Hard to play tennis in this heat…oh well, rowing inside and Top Spin 3 will have to suffice until the furnace lets up.

Wada is confused…but maybe the fans are, too

You know, everyone has been getting on Square-Enix president Yoichi Wada's case lately, but I actually feel a little sorry for him. Not only has he lost touch with the fans who helped make him rich and famous, but he seems honestly and genuinely confused . And I don't think it's necessarily his fault; as he said, he's heard plenty of contrasting feedback. Don't think for a second that he doesn't hear, "oh my God, Final Fantasy XIII was so awesome!" all the time. One in every two PS3 owners (or close to it) owns that game in Japan. And I seriously doubt they all returned it disappointed. So yeah, a lot of old-school veteran fans of the franchise are a little disappointed, but there are a good many who have nothing but glowing praise for the game. And Wada really doesn't seem to know what to do next…

So perhaps the question is, what can we do to try to help him? Calling him names isn't gonna do anything; we need to try to give him a hand in the intended "direction" for FF. It'd be interesting to see if we're even of the same mind on this issue…personally, I just say if you had opened up FFXIII, given us a world map and towns and NPCs that made it feel like a real RPG, and allowed us to have a gameplay mechanic like Dragon Age 's (just let us pause , for crying out loud), I think it would've made everyone happy. But who knows?

I'm not sure I want to be "surprised"

Quantic Dream says fans of Heavy Rain might be surprised when they hear about their big new project (evidently entitled, Horizon ). And although Cage does say the team continues to make strides in the field of interactive storytelling – which is exactly what I want – to say I'll be "surprised" at the new game implies it's very, very different… We know Quantic is actually working on two separate titles right now, and we know the team is always interested in breaking new ground and innovating. So regardless of what they do, I'll be interested. But at the same time, I don't necessarily want them to stray from the formula too much; granted, they made unbelievable strides with Heavy Rain but admittedly, there's more that can be done. We can all imagine just how far it can go, can't we? I once envisioned a cross between Heavy Rain and Red Dead Redemption … Could we maybe work on that before starting something entirely new?

Personal gaming update

Not much else to report. I've decided I want to replay Uncharted 2: Among Thieves because I never got a chance to do that, and I've basically maxed out another character in Top Spin 3 . Super Mario Galaxy 2 is still going to happen, and then Alan Wake come my birthday in early August. After that, I'll have to focus on August reviews like Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days and Mafia II …is anyone really enthusiastic about either of these? I actually have moderately high hopes for the Kane & Lynch sequel, if only because I'm intrigued by how far IO plans to push the envelope. If they go over the edge simply for the sake of going over the edge, I won't be impressed. But here's hoping for something better than that.

By the way, I'm still wondering when Final Fantasy Versus XIII will get fully unveiled. I'm guessing the Tokyo Game Show but I find myself becoming more nervous than excited as we get closer; I'm just so worried I'll be disappointed…and I don't want to be.

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Scarecrow
Scarecrow
10 years ago

I'm over FF

GT5! Can't wait!
There are other rpgs series, not as cinematic, but still fun.

WKC, Ar Tonelico, Record of Agarest War, Alterier, etc.

Squeeeenix has moved on, I'll do the same. Unless they make a FF worth my time.

Quantic Dream can do anything I really don't worry 'bout them.

TheHighlander
TheHighlander
10 years ago

Ar Tonelico III will not be turn based.

🙁

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
10 years ago

What kinda based will it be Highlander?

shadowscorpio
shadowscorpio
10 years ago

Hack 'n Slash based?

TheHighlander
TheHighlander
10 years ago

It's described as "action oriented".

GuardianMode
GuardianMode
10 years ago

Im having a bad feeling about Versus as well. Its like they are holding off to the last minute to reveal anything. That looks like a bad sign for us "old school, non twitch gamers."

hellish_devil
hellish_devil
10 years ago

Mafia II setting has me intrigued, but I'll wait for a review….and a price drop.

As for Wada, he's a lost case. SE (Japan related) released FFXIII, and it sold like hot cakes, but the fans weren't all pleased. Now, they release Dragon Quest IX, it also sells like hot cakes, but this time around, fans like it!! So… I think it's obvious… Both games were targeted to the same public, both were commercially successes, but just one managed to please the fans.


Last edited by hellish_devil on 7/17/2010 10:47:54 PM

NeoHumpty
NeoHumpty
10 years ago

I just think that Wada needs to make these new "Westernized" games as their own new IP. No point in a sequel when it is only a pale shade of the originals. Make them for the people that like them, but bring back my RPG.

StangMan80
StangMan80
10 years ago

I plan on getting Mafia II's collectors edition.
It is looking very good.
I can't wait for Nov 2nd I preordered the GT5 CD also.


Last edited by StangMan80 on 7/17/2010 10:47:35 PM

Lawless SXE
Lawless SXE
10 years ago

Eh, I've had enough of the Final Fantasy XIII talk. If anyone cares, go read some of the other things I've written about it on the articles around the site.

Surprised can be a good thing. Maybe they'll be doing a game with even more options that Heavy Rain had. Maybe they'll be doing a game in which EVERY action you perform has an impact on the ending, rather than the (I hesitate to say limited here because it is still far greater than anything else to date as far as I know) limited number of things in HR. Although, I'd like to see QD bring their brand of storytelling into a more traditional gaming experience, if only to see what they do with it.

Personal update:
Still working on finishing the latest chapter, I was hoping to have it done some time last week, but no such luck. Maybe Thursday though…
I finished reading The Time Ships on Friday, and then yesterday purchased Love in the Time of Cholera and Anna Karenina (Thank you Ben for those suggestions), and have started reading the former.
Still chipping away at Valkyria Chronicles, while playing a little bit of Demon's Souls on the side, which I might add I found a copy of yesterday. Black Phantom Edition FTW!
I'm trying to get myself excited for the show, which rolls around in a fortnight's time, but am finding it difficult. The social event of the year here in town and I invariably find it boring, disappointing and depressing.
And, my boss has not yet had the decency to give me my group certificate, so I can't get my tax return. Which means I will wait until next month, regardless of whether or not it comes this week.

Okay, once again I'll be taking the week off from commenting here, still be reading though. I'll pop in if I need to say anything that I feel needs to be said.
Until next week people, Peace.
P.S. Sorry for any spelling problems, I'm wearing gloves at the moment.

JackC8
JackC8
10 years ago

Just ordered The Time Ships – sounds interesting. Thanks for the tip 🙂

Doosharm
Doosharm
10 years ago

"Although, I'd like to see QD bring their brand of storytelling into a more traditional gaming experience, if only to see what they do with it. "

That's exactly what I was thinking. QD brought something so completely original to the playing field that I don't think they can do any wrong. Even if the tackled the most common and mundane genres of gaming I think they would still put such a spin on it as to make it feel completely new. In fact, I would go so far as to suggest they should do just that. If they show the world what CAN be done in a certain genre then people will begin to see there are other options and we may actually get some more innovation out of old, stale genres.

CharlesD
CharlesD
10 years ago

I really liked FFXIII but I agree the controls needed to be opened up a little more. It is just too fast paced you don't have time to make decisions or plan. Also being entirely unable to attack while getting beat to hell in a paradigm shift is quite annoying.

I want something that is still considered an interactive drama from Horizon and when they say we'll be surprised it better not be surprised in the way of, "my god what did these people do and why.." It really needs to maintain the multiple ending emotionally involving intense cinematic storyline with the feeling of complete control. If they can do that I'll be happy

As for Kane&Lynch or Mafia II intrigue, I will be buying Mafia II as soon as it is confirmed a nb (non-bomb) I think the destructibility factor is interesting and the fact that bullets are wikid harmful to your character means there might be some thinking before you move. Combat in general might be more strategy based. The time period is great and the attention to detail on the characters and story seems to be quite interesting. Although I don't expect higher than a 9 it looks like a rather fun game.

kraygen
kraygen
10 years ago

I have high hopes for mafia 2, I really enjoyed the first one and the second looks ten times better.

I don't know if there's any way to help wada, I mean everyone told him they wanted ff7 remake and then he comes out and asks if anyone would be interested in a ff7 remake. When they say yes, he acts surprised. I'm not sure how to help him.

Alienange
Alienange
10 years ago

Exactly the same thoughts about Wada. If you're that oblivious as to why you are where you are, then who can say or write anything to make him understand? Might as well be talking to a boulder.

MyWorstNightmar
MyWorstNightmar
10 years ago

Ben, I'm really surprised that you haven't played Alan Wake yet. I know it was HIGH on your radar for a long time, and now that it has been out, you have managed to avoid it thus far. Especially surprising as there really isn't much to play this time of year. Is there something that has soiled your enthusiasm for the game?

If I had a 360, I would at least rent it to give it a try.

TheHighlander
TheHighlander
10 years ago

Maybe he took it's nickname – Alan Wait – seriously?

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
10 years ago

No, my birthday is coming up and I can't really think of anything to ask for. Figured I'd just get Alan Wake then.

TheHighlander
TheHighlander
10 years ago

LOL! I was just kidding around.

Temjin001
Temjin001
10 years ago

I wouldn't know what more to ask for either if I just got a new freak'n 3DTV with uber visuals that kill you when you play it.

MyWorstNightmar
MyWorstNightmar
10 years ago

Chicks dig 3DTV's.

Alienange
Alienange
10 years ago

They do?

TheHighlander
TheHighlander
10 years ago

<rant>
You know what's wrong with video game development these days? Producers. Fat, over paid middle aged men who haven't picked up a game controller in years and wouldn't know what to do with one if they did. Men who's digital dexterity is limited almost entirely to fingering a cigar, counting bills and punching numbers on their touchscreen smart-phone.

You see dear readers, I am annoyed, and I think I finally puzzled it through. You see all these RPGs that come out with new combat systems trying to fix something that wasn't broken in the first place. New combat systems that replace 'old fashioned' turn based with twitcher friendly real-time, action base, combat system. Well I have thought about this and thought about it. Wada and his friends at SE counting their pieces of silver gave me a lot of material to think about recently, and now NIS announces the latest Ar Tonelic will have an action oriented battle system – despite all the previous games being turn based.

It was then that it finally struck me. these middle-aged men who haven't an ounce of gamer in their soul, are the ones with the power. Not the consumer, not the developer. No, the producers. the ones listening to marking analysts and focus groups. The ones reading studies and trying to read the tea leaves. Theyre' the ones that commission games and guide the features that will be included. A game isn't going to be released unless a publisher is happy, so no point in developing a turn based game if no producer will publish.

All these new games come along, and these money men who pretend to be gamers are counting the sales of games like Modern Warfare 2 and wondering how they can get a slice of that action. Instead of listening to gamers, they look at the numbers and decide that whatever that game does must be the sekret sauce. So now multi-player twitch based action is the name of the game – regardless of genre.

The thing is, what it comes down to is that these executives are telling me what They are defining the parameters of the market. The customer is always right, except when they're not. Instead of listening to the thoughts of customers who previously bought their games these fools are listening only to the sounds of cash registers ringing up copies of MW2.

What an asinine way to make games. Forget your existing market, don't listen to them. No, instead listen to the dollars spent by gamers who have never even looked at the genre your game is in. Yes, let those dollars be your guide, after all your existing customers are like sheep and will buy what you tell them too, right?

So now these morons in-charge are destroying their old market in an attempt to woe a new market – a market that really doesn't care for anything other than shooters set in a semi-realistic war-zone.

I'm sorry, I'm just ranting and rambling I know. But why the hell would the makers of Ar Tonelico decide to change from turn based battle to action oriented battle in a very traditional JRPG game crossed with a Japanese dating sim game. Why?

Oh, whatever. It won't change just because some random commenter on a PS3 news site decides to rant.

*sigh*

I'm going to go back and replay Xenosaga to make myself feel better…

</rant>

Lawless SXE
Lawless SXE
10 years ago

Y'know Highlander, you're dead right. Commercialism and consumerism is going to kill the gaming industry for veterans such as yourself. Well maybe not, but certainly for those people that like strategy and slowness.

I just wish that there was some way to get this across to all those foolish people that greenlight games. Mayhap we should search for a way to unite all gamers towards the solitary goal of reintroducing diversity, but many would be too busy shooting up MW2 to be interested. Such a shame…

Peace.

TheHighlander
TheHighlander
10 years ago

The only way to cling to gaming diversity I know is to cling to the PlayStation and (to a lesser extent) Nintendo, both of those brands remain loyal to their customers and seem to encourage games other than action heavy first and third person shooters.

As Ben posted earlier this week about hardcore gamers and which platform is best for them, PlayStation is it. In the words of the Coca Cola marketing machine, it's the real thing – and it only does everything.

Lawless SXE
Lawless SXE
10 years ago

Oh, I've got to give props to Sega. I know they don't do consoles anymore, but the games they make and commission are, well, different. But yeah, Sony only does diversity, and Nintendo only does platformers 😛

Peace.

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
10 years ago

What you said makes me wonder how many gamers these practices are killing off. Not literally, but if the things you enjoy in gaming are gone, more people are likely to give it up. For instance, I am in Minnesota and am a Vikings fan. The Vikes contract is up really soon, at which point if they don't get a new stadium they will leave MN. If I don't have a team to back, I probably won't even watch Football anymore. There's no longer an vested interest in the sport for me if we lose our team.

Thankfully as a Playstation backer I like many genres so I can keep gaming, but as the RPG formula dies out I have one less vested interest in gaming… sucks balls.

MyWorstNightmar
MyWorstNightmar
10 years ago

You know World, people around here (including me), are still not over the Hutchinson deal. We got screwed so royally. And all we got out of the whole sorted mess was Nate Burleson.

Once Hutch was gone, things went to sh!t. Sure we got to the playoffs the next two years, but only won two games. Stupid GM was a fool.

I guess I know what sour grapes taste like, huh?

Alienange
Alienange
10 years ago

Very interesting TheHighlander. I would have to say I completely agree with all that. Not only are many publishers chasing after the dreams of selling like MW2, they're also chasing after the success of the Wii by accommodating to the casuals. I guess it's easier to have a 'me too' approach than to actually use your own brain.

frylock25
frylock25
10 years ago

Personal gaming update:

i got ACII in the mail and played the hell out of it all week. so much that i drove my gf nuts. she is comlaining it was all i was doing. so…?

i decided to go back to uncharted 2 and finish off the treasures. i need 9 more right now, hoping by the end of the night to be done. been a while since i have played this and i love it. still as great as the first day i got it.

still playing brain challenge, think im up to 71%. my gf is finally getting the hang of it i think shes at 20%.

i am still waiting to find a used copy of the new transformers for a little cheaper. normally i buy my games new but not for activision any more, and i really want that game.

fluffer nutter
fluffer nutter
10 years ago

frylock, do you live in the states? Toys R Us has a deal, starting on Sunday, where you buy two games from a select list and get a $50 gift card. Transformers is on that list. I'll be grabbing a couple games.

Also, there is a B2G1 for $1 used sale that was posted in the forums. Transformers is one of the selections.


Last edited by fluffer nutter on 7/17/2010 11:56:53 PM

oldmike
oldmike
10 years ago

heads up evil gamestop has 3D dot heroes for 29.99

Shams
Shams
10 years ago

I just beat U2 a couple weeks ago on Crushing. One of the many qualities of the game is that even the single-player never gets old. It's just as much like watching your favorite movie, as it is like playing your favorite game. The lines will still invoke LOL's and grins. New strategies and enemy behavior constantly reveals itself. And one gets reminded how beautiful the game is every time you put it on. Awesome.

I sold my 360 a month back, so I won't be getting Alan Wake anytime soon. Also, FFxiii will have to wait some more, as I'll be getting in to Demon's Souls, and I'm thinking I'll be occupied with that for a while.

My anticipation level for K&L and Mafia 2 is fairly low, and not so many AAA must buys seem to be on the horizon, which is fine & dandy as it has given me more time to digest my current collection. But as usual, I'll be looking out for psxextreme reviews, just in case they change my mind.

On other fronts, I've started running again (I've let my body go to hell and I'm trying to get it back). Also, I plan to watch Inception, but I'm not sure if I want to see it in 3D, or not. Summer is hot, but I'm enjoying it, while we have it.

TheHighlander
TheHighlander
10 years ago

Regarding Uncharted 2 – yep, I'm replaying the final chapters in crushing again, just for fun.

TheHighlander
TheHighlander
10 years ago

No, no, it's a challenge, it's fun, but can be punishing. I find you just have to be very deliberate, and approach the levels in a completely different manner to the way you might otherwise do it. Headshots, sniping, grenades, and care.

Lawless SXE
Lawless SXE
10 years ago

Uncharted 1 and 2 on Crushing weren't that hard… Well except for that final boss on Among Thieves. I don't know how many times I tried that battle before finally giving up.
Peace.

TheHighlander
TheHighlander
10 years ago

@Lawless,

There's a trick to that final boss, you can manipulate the AI and literally run rings around him while trying to pot-shot your way to the end. You can google it, but in the end all you are doing is manipulating the AI's ability to track you and respond to your threat. It still takes a while, but it can be done.

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
10 years ago

Inception was awesome, but there's no need to see it in 3D (Didn't even know that was an option)

Shams
Shams
10 years ago

@World:
Good, because I saw Avatar in 3D, and I found the effect detracting for the most part. Inception seems to be receiving even better critical acclaim than Nolan's Batman movies, so I wouldn't want my experience ruined by some cheesy effect.

@FFRulez:

Although, on Crushing U2 was obviously not a walk in the part, I do remember it being far easier than U1. Unlike U1, you didn't necessarily have to exploit bugs or cheats to make it through to the next area, and you didn't have to make 20 headshots to put down an enemy (unless he's armored). And unlike Demon's Souls or Ninja Gaiden Sigmas on MNM, checkpoints were frequent, so it's not like you had to successfully execute arduous, massive, killing-spree, marathons unscathed to make any progress.

@Lawless and Highlander:

Although, it did take more attempts than I care to admit (anywhere between 10 and 20 times I'm guessing), I didn't use any special strategy. But as Highlander said, I did bait him by running away from him in what seemed to be an optimal route with the most number of exploding amber deposits, and the longest distance (which helps deposits regenerate). I didn't bother emptying my clip in him, though gun fire does noticeable damage, and I did shoot from the hip as I was running away from him towards then end. And besides exploding amber deposits, I think I did finally end him with a behind-the-back, free-thrown grenade (ammo and grenades start respawning as soon as he starts chucking grenades three at a time). I even got thrown by him in my successful attempt, but still survived, so, like I said, it was difficult, but not controller breaking-difficult.

Alienange
Alienange
10 years ago

Crushing mode was amazing. Enjoying the game on normal was fun, but crushing mode forced me to adapt and create strategies that were not necessary in normal difficulty. I welcome that kind of ingenuity over the cheating AI most devs use to make things harder.

johnld
johnld
10 years ago

i had a lot more trouble beating that last boss in hard mode than crushing, never bothered to look for exploits because i just couldnt put down the controller long enough to go online and find it.

eLLeJuss
eLLeJuss
10 years ago

Alan Wake? Just don't touch it Ben. I was so excited to play it and when i got it. BOOM felt like haze all over again. well not really. It wasn't bad but it wasn't good either.

Geobaldi
Geobaldi
10 years ago

Just about all the reviews that I've seen for Alan Wake say it's good and all ratings, on average, have been around or just behind Heavy Rains' ratings.

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
10 years ago

I'm going by the reviews on this one.

Temjin001
Temjin001
10 years ago

Okay, so I've only played some of the Heavy Rain demo, and I've played some of Alan Wake (mostly observing my brother playing it) but are these two games actually that similar that they're often referenced together? Or is it the film noire vibe I feel from each of them that create so many comparisons?

Shams
Shams
10 years ago

Film noire vibe. A.Wake is a survival-horror/action-adventure, like an "Uncharted in the Dark", but not quite the tour-de-force or scary as the name suggests.

Heavy Rain is really the only unique game of the two, being a decision based game as you know, with nothing quite like it this generation, other than say, Mass Effect, but is still more like a choose-your-own-adventure novel with occasional exploration and frequent quick-time events, than an action adventure with standard gameplay.

So, yup, the single thing they have in common is the film-noire vibe they both were aiming for.

Ergi
Ergi
10 years ago

The sad thing is fans can no longer count on square enix (not just square enix) to produce those traditional story driven RPG's that created the huge fan base in the first place.
Is there any guarantee that FF versus 13 won't have exactly the same gameplay as FF 13 ? Has anybody mentione it to be different?

I don't want to think about what kind of surprise we are getting from Quantic. But one thing is certain, they seem to consider their fan base. Maybe we'll be surprised but he seems to know what fans expect of them and take these expectations into consideration. Wada has no clue what fans expect.

Maybe he should make FF versus turn based and see the reactions and sales.

Danny007
Danny007
10 years ago

Well Ben, yes I am enthusiastic about Mafia II. I think it looks intriging and really fun. I have the collector's edition pre-ordered.

Charger7302
Charger7302
10 years ago

I loved Alan Wake, and I believe Ben will too.
BTW, has anyone here, who lives in California, even been able to play their "phat" ps3s? I haven't. It's been so hot here that as soon as I turn on my 60 gig, the fans go on full blast.

Temjin001
Temjin001
10 years ago

Ah well, that's just what mine was doing before it died… for me, it wasn't in the summer, but the winter.

Hope you're saving up for a nice Slim in the meantime, because by the looks of your avatar you'll be wanting to drive one of them cars in that GT5 game =p