Category: Staff Musings
I had several nits to pick when it came to the relationship between Rinoa and Squall in Final Fantasy VIII, otherwise known as the Twilight of Final Fantasy romances.
For all the problems with FFVIII’s coupling, however, Final Fantasy as a whole is a series known for some of gaming’s most beautiful and memorable romances.
Even during its humble beginnings, Final Fantasy has relied on its character development to help drive the story. There’s something about exploring the themes of love in a fantastical setting that helps make characters feel so much more grounded in reality. Here are a few examples of Final Fantasy romances that actually worked.
Square Enix’s choice of platform for the newly-announced Rise of Mana should honestly not come as any surprise to the series’ fans. Nevertheless, I can imagine Mana fans are ready to cast Level 8 Gem Missile on this game.
Reading through comments on Kotaku, I’ve already picked up on irritated responses to the new game, including “Square Enix just refuses to act right where this series is concerned…” and “Saw the title and knew with 100% certainty this would be the standard pay to win bullshit.”
But should we be so quick to cast judgement on a game that was just announced? Despite my own misgivings about JRPG series going the way of mobile platforms and the whole free-to-play, micro-transaction-laden model that Japanese game publishers are wiggling their way into, there are some details from Rise of Mana’s debut trailer that left me feeling – dare I say it – cautiously optimistic.
I’m about to become very unpopular with fans of Final Fantasy VIII.
Now, I actually like Final Fantasy VIII. I think it took risks on its leveling and stats systems; risks that paid off. And for the most part, its story is fairly inventive and unique: a futuristic spin on Harry Potter that follows a group of gifted youths in a mercenary academy trying to fight off the threat of an evil sorceress.
But the game’s biggest claim to fame is with its increased focus on romance. The key players in this romance are Squall, a withdrawn swordsman with a chip on his shoulder, and Rinoa, a spirited young woman at the forefront of a rebellion. Over the course of the game, Squall and Rinoa fight alongside each other, surmounting obstacles both human and supernatural, and then end up falling in love.
I’m about to show you why their love story was total bullshit.
A bombshell of a news story came out of this week that undoubtedly surprised fans of Resident Evil and Onimusha alike. One of the series’ composers, Mamoru Samuragoch, didn’t actually write any of the music.
Samuragoch (birthname Samuragochi), who was originally thought to have composed the soundtracks to both 1998′s Resident Evil: Director’s Cut DualShock Ver. for PlayStation and 2001′s Onimusha: Warlords for PlayStation 2 and Xbox, has recently admitted through a spokesperson that he had actually hired a ghostwriter to do his work for more than 15 years. The composer has been hailed as “Japan’s Beethoven” by Time Magazine back in 2001 for his purported hearing loss in the late 90s.
The story gets even juicier when the ghostwriter, revealed to be Takashi Niigaki, publicly questioned Samuragoch’s supposed deafness.
It’s important to note that some online publications are erroneously reporting that Samuragoch had hired Niigaki to compose Resident Evil: Director’s Cut. In actuality, it was the 1998 DualShock version of the Director’s Cut, which features a vastly different soundtrack from the original 1996 release of Resident Evil and its subsequent 1997 Director’s Cut.
Allow me to show you just how different it is.
The official Super Smash Bros. website confirmed last week that Lucario shall be returning for the fight, for better or for worse.
Lucario first appeared in Super Smash Bros. Brawl and essentially replaced Mewtwo in terms of style and aesthetic. I was surprised to see that Lucario was confirmed this time around; I figured they would replace him with an equally stoic/quasi-psychic Pokémon from the latest generation. That being said, Lucario does play a small role in X and Y and is one of the lucky few who can mega evolve. I imagine Mega Lucario will be his final smash transformation.
While I have no strong feelings on Lucario’s confirmation, I’ve begun to have some qualms about how the Super Smash Bros. updates are being handled.
Horror is an inherently mutable genre in media. In order to illicit “scares”, good horror movies, books and videogames adhere to a certain formula, only to change it up once that formula becomes predictable.
With strong signs in a resurgence of survival horror games on the horizon, heralded in by games such as Outlast and the highly anticipated The Evil Within, I think it’s about time the industry takes a look at itself in the mirror and switches the genre up.
We’re starting to see the zipper in the monster’s costume.
By now you’ve probably caught wind of the news emanating out of Nintendo’s investor meeting earlier this week that the Wii U Virtual Console would become home to digital re-releases of Nintendo DS titles.
If you’re like me, you’re probably wondering why there was no indication of this for the 3DS. After all, wouldn’t DS games be a better fit for the 3DS’ Virtual Console?
The Wii U, which recently suffered a major reduction in Nintendo’s annual sales forecast from 9 million to 2.8 million, sadly doesn’t enjoy the kind of following its handheld cousin has.
As convenient as it would be to carry DS games on an SD card, putting DS games on the Wii U feels like just another example of Nintendo trying to add another selling point to their embattled console.
We often accuse people of wearing “nostalgia-tinted” glasses when they defend a game with outdated graphics or gameplay that no longer meets the current gen status quo. No more often does this nostalgia vs. reality fight come into play than when discussing the Final Fantasy series, especially the original PlayStation’s Final Fantasy VII – IX.
But following the release of the mobile port Final Fantasy VI, I think we can all come to a consensus. This is a hideous looking port, or at the very least the most divergent from the original art style of the game. As Jane Austen once famously wrote: “It is a truth universally acknowledge that the graphics for the smartphone port of Final Fantasy VI are ugly as sin.”
At least, that’s totally what dear Jane would have said if she had ever laid her eyes on this sad excuse for a port. Now, I am not going into the gameplay. I’m approaching this game from a purely visual standpoint, and indeed I am comparing it to its original art. I am also aware that smartphones still have kinks to work out when it comes to upscaling graphics.
Disney, the now-protective parent of the Star Wars Franchise, has recently allowed their trademark for the upcoming Star Wars 1313 to lapse.
1313 was going to be a game set in the crime-ridden underground of Coruscant. Darker in tone than the usual franchise, 1313 strayed its focus away from Jedis and took a closer perspective on morally ambiguous bounty hunters and gangs. The developers also stated that it was going to feature strong influences from Dante’s Inferno.
From the clip you can watch after the jump, one can see the visual homage to the epic poem, as the elevator goes deeper and deeper into the center of Coruscant’s corruption and sin.
Alas, Disney did not show a strong interest in this promising title. While the reasons are unclear, perhaps 1313‘s departure from PG-marketability had something to do with it. Disney has a certain family image to uphold, so it makes sense that it would scrap a game that makes its newly acquired franchise dark and not for kids.
While the mystique of New Year’s is so two weeks ago, 2014 still has yet to truly begin. And based on the amount of games we are excited to see, I thought it’d be a good time to think ahead and dream of the impossible.
In recent years, game developers have worked more closely with the players to craft their final products. Betas allow players to directly give their feedback; stating what works, what doesn’t and what they’d like to see.
So here’s a list of games that should exist; metaphysical ideas that I’d like to see manifest into our reality. While you may deem some of these choices slightly absurd, I’d genuinely like to see all of these games happen. Picture it as a personal Christmas list that’s just a couple of months too late.