Sunday, 17 October 2010

How to ruin a franchise

Square-Enix has done alot of seriously good work in their time, most famously the Final Fantasy series, the Dragon Quest series, some amazing gems like Chrono Trigger and Kingdom Hearts, as well as the Star Ocean series. However, they seem to be slowly making a habit of ruining their longer running franchises. Take Star Ocean for example. While being one of their more unheard of series, the first three games (I’m not counting Blue Sphere) were exceptional. Solid RPGs with new ideas, new battle systems, a good plot, characters you cared about and a game that came together to make something that was truly, in my opinion, exceptional. However, then “The Last Hope” came out. Initially, the game looked solid, a 3-D updated version of the battle system looked good and functional and new. However, as i got into the game, i found several things to be desperatly amiss. The characters were annoying, the game demanded severe griding int eh later stages to get anywhere, the plot was ill-explained, and the voice acting ranged from average to painful. The final game didn’t really make much of a dent in the market over here, and i still see alot of copies that were taken back, probably because people didn’t feel like RUNNING AROUND A BEACH FOR AN HOUR. Which brings me roughly to my next point, Final Fantasy XIII. Having played about half the back catalogue, it’s safe to say that I’m a pretty decent fan of the series. Each one did something new in some form or another, and as far as I’m aware, each one has a significant fan base, for good reason. As i think every one else was, i was expecting a brand new RPG, doing all kinds of amazing things that had yet to be seen in the genre. What did we get? Running down a corridor for about the first 8 hours of the game. Yeah. When you finally do get to an open world section, it’s almost the end of the game, and by this point you just want it to be over. You can go back to the massive world of Pulse after the end boss, but that somewhat defies the point of having an open world to explore. Ultimately, i found the game to be a massive disappointment. Now, Deus Ex 3 happens to be coming out soon. Please Sqaure, don’t get a hat-trick for crushing my dreams.

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