Big week, obviously. The Tokyo Game Show, the launch of Move; all kinds of stuff. 🙂

It isn't just another remake

Over the past few years, remakes, collections and retro-oriented downloadable bouts of nostalgia have become very in vogue. And I don't have anything against that, really. However, I don't want the ICO & Shadow of the Colossus Collection to get swept under the rug by indifferent gamers; it's not just about high-definition, 3D or Trophy support. In this case, it really is about the games themselves. The God of War Collection was great because GoW is one of the most polished, most accomplished action franchises in history. In the case of Team ICO's productions, we're talking about two of the most memorable titles ever…for an entirely different reason. Originality and freshness is at the core. It's why both ICO and Shadow of the Colossus are so beloved. I will never forget leading Yorda about and never feeling more vulnerable or human. The latter trait is exactly what makes both games so poignant; they feature no superheroes. Just look at The Last Guardian .

Yeah, I have both games on the PS2. Will I get the Collection? Yup. Because it's not just a high-def remake; it's a high-def remake of some of the most cherished gaming memories I have, which stand apart from others specifically because of that ingenuity. The flying Colossi…man, I just can't wait to see them again. I can't wait to see everything in both games again!

Hey, Square-Enix…what is an RPG?

Maybe they can explain it to me, because I'm not entirely sure I've seen an RPG from them in quite some time. I'm not saying Final Fantasy Versus XIII isn't promising, and I'm not saying there weren't distinct role-playing elements in FFXIII…I'm just saying I don't really know what to expect, anymore. That leaked 30-second footage of Versus XIII from TGS may have been nice (hard to tell), but how is that an RPG? Looked like Kingdom Hearts to me. And I'm not saying the game won't be great; it has every chance of being pretty damn amazing. I'm just saying that if you compare that to say, Dragon Age , it's hard to put both titles in the same genre, you know? I don't mind hybrids and crossovers and all that and in fact, I like a lot of them. That being said, I kept hearing about the return of RPG elements in Square-Enix's new project here, and I'm not really seeing them…  Of course, that doesn't mean they're not there.

I mean, they haven't shown much, and I'm not really sure why.  I'd just like to play a Square-Enix RPG that feels like an RPG both inside and outside of combat. In FFXIII, there was plenty of micromanagement outside of combat; when involved in battle…not quite as much.

Personal gaming update

Over the past few weeks, I haven't had much time for personal gaming, as I've had to review Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions , Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X. 2 and R.U.S.E. . But today, I picked up Halo: Reach and I've played the first hour or so. I've said in the past that this is the franchise's last chance to really impress me, and I definitely like it a little more than past installments. Well, so far, anyway. I've also been playing Sports Champions …ah, you didn't think we'd forget about Move, did you? Of course not. In fact, I'll be starting on that review in about ten minutes.

Next up is Quantum Theory and others; don't forget to check out our Q&A with Tecmo director Makoto Shibata . Also, please don't forget that we always go out of our way to bring as much show media to you as possible, so if you missed out on any TGS 2010 footage, check our latest PS3 videos .  Great stuff in there.

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Riku994
Riku994
10 years ago

You know, KH is classed as an Action RPG. I'm thinkin' that's whats FFv13 is gunna be. The RPG elements are probably the semi-open world (a la FF1,2,3) and MAYBE open character development, and hopefully weapon/equipment customization (Materia, Grid, Crystarium). I'm not saying that FFv13 is gunna be the definitive RPG of life, but I'm just trying to be positive about a game I've been more hyped about than XIII since both were announced.

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
10 years ago

Yeah, I know it'll probably be categorized as an action/RPG.

But I do have a question: what ISN'T an action/RPG these days? Turn-based is dead, so…

Riku994
Riku994
10 years ago

You bring up a good point. I'd VERY loosely call FF13's combat "turn-based", in the sense that it WAS ATB, but even then it was very shotty. I…Just didn't like it that much. You do have a very valid point though, but if turn-based combat is the ONLY aspect that seperates RPG from A/RPG, something is amiss here.

TheHighlander
TheHighlander
10 years ago

Turn based combat isn't the only element that separates an action RPG from a turn based one. But the turn based mechanic forces you to approach your party and the entire game in a different way. At least IMHO.

Shams
Shams
10 years ago

The realization I'm slowly beginning to accept is that the growth and recognition that video gaming is finally receiving (as a legitimate form of entertainment media, next to film, and music, as an industry, as an art form, and as cultural phenomenon) is a double-edged sword. We'll be seeing less and less games of particular genres, as developers and publishers fight to stay in business by focusing on more "marketable" games (for the mass market), especially since the market is becoming even more competitive, and development costs are on the rise.

So although I'll be seeing less of the games i liked before, perhaps we'll be seeing new games that we couldn't play before. And we're already seeing that, too. And besides, they'll always be devs out there that will avoid the competition by aiming at what has become more niche (like Atlus for instance). And with b/c, and remakes, we'll still have access to the classics.


Last edited by Shams on 9/19/2010 12:32:40 AM

Shams
Shams
10 years ago

And that's why I love Sony. Because of their 1st party and 2nd party exclusives, remakes and restored classics, we're guaranteed to have our bases covered…both casual, and core gamer. Both big genres, as well the niche ones…the most innovative and cutting-edge games, and many of the old classics we adore.

Lawless SXE
Lawless SXE
10 years ago

The lines of distinction between the varying subgenres of RPG have become very blurred in recent years. I feel that the 'death' of the turn-based system has forced the need of a new system for the classification within the genre. But, I really can't think of anyway to do it, outside of a game by game basis. For example, I wouldn't consider Demon's Souls an ARPG, as it requires timing and strategy as opposed to something like Oblivion, which is more about attacking when you have the chance.

It's a head-hurter alright. The other point brought up by Shams is very valid also. The increased market of gaming has created a much larger rift between what is enjoyed by quantity. Shooters are prevalent because they are a primarily social experience (or at least most are), while the sales of SP only games remain stagnant as fewer people buy a game for the story, or to play alone nowadays. So, the market share changes dramatically, devs think that what all gamers want is what the more casual gamers want and so try to cash in on that, not realising that they are set in their ways.

Ah, well. As long as some companies aren't in it only for the $$$s, we will still get what we want, and if not, well, books will make a real comeback.
Peace.

LimitedVertigo
LimitedVertigo
10 years ago

I despise the term ActionRPG. It's thrown around way too loosely. Nowadays you can have a game with multiple playable characters with a dash of strategy and it's considered an RPG. IMO RPG doesn't describe what you can expect from a game like it used to in the first several generations of gaming.

People like to make the argument that companies have to evolve and do new things or people will grow tired of the same ole same ole but I call BS. Give me the exact same gameplay offered in FFVII with different characters and a different storyline each time and I'd buy every game you make.

Jawknee
Jawknee
10 years ago

I wouldn't say turnbased is dead Ben. Atelier Rorona: The Alchemist of Arland and Ni No Kuni look pretty turnbased to me. There's also a great selection of turnbased handhelds.

I do agree there isn't enough of them this gen. Especially from Squaenix.

@LV, I too would buy every FFVII clone. 🙂


Last edited by Jawknee on 9/19/2010 4:36:57 AM

wakkaoaka
wakkaoaka
10 years ago

I wish action and rpg never got married. I like to take my times… i like to smell the roses if you will.

Square I miss you 🙁 Final Fantasy X's story and gameplay was amazing. Not to forget the cut scenes, music, and fantastic artistry. Versus always sounded like an action based game… because of that word "versus", although i hope that with every release that final fantasy returns to it's older self.

Im off to ridezzz ze shoopuff in my dreams now.

Shams
Shams
10 years ago

Who is saying japanese studios should stop making turn-based rpg's, or that they should westernize their games, or this is how they HAVE to or should evolve? Not me. I'm po'ed about that, too.

But if that's how the cookie crumbles, at least we can look forward to other games, too. Could i even have imagined a Shadow of the Colossus when i was playing FFvii, or even early in the ps2 generation while i was playing DMC? Nope. And who knows? Maybe with the future, we'll be seeing a return of some of our favorite kinds of games and/or mechanics. Games like LBP showed 2D ain't dead, for example.

Shams
Shams
10 years ago

Not that i'm implying Shadow of the Colossus was an example of westernization of Japanese games, or a result of the death of turn-based rpg's. But it's an example of what a new generation of gaming can bring, and to what kinds of surprises we can look forward to.

Temjin001
Temjin001
10 years ago

I'm much more of an action-gamer so all this migration to realtime actually doesn't bother me much. Though, I do like classic style turn based from time to time. It feels nostalgic to me. FF, Xenosaga, and Phantasy Star are about all the turn based games I've played.

I wonder, though, if the decline in turn based game design is really correlated with lesser sales. Maybe some experts on these boards know more than I.

The reason I question this is because I read that FFX had nearly as many sales as even FVII (both turn-based games) But FFXII and FXIII don't look like they're even be close in sales–both are more real-time.

Aren't the majority of console turn based games from Japan?

PS3 in Japan had been a slow burner and the Japanese gaming muscle looks to be soft. And the 360 is non-existant. Maybe the Wii has segmented the market in such a way that turn-based has been getting the shaft, I dunno.

Maybe another possible variable is because devs feel much more capable with today's hardware so they try to integrate the depth of turn-based into realtime ( i know it can't ever be the same) as a means of flexing their creative potential on such powerful hardware.

Anyhow, some thoughts of mine on the matter.


Last edited by Temjin001 on 9/19/2010 4:46:41 PM

piratedrunk
piratedrunk
10 years ago

The ICO collection is the only thing that has made me really want to get a 3D tv.

Also, stoked to hear your thoughts on the Move. I am almost definitely going to get one but it will probably be around christmas (or boxing day rather)

kevinater321
kevinater321
10 years ago

I'm still debating on ps move. Anyone who's got it can you tell me if it's worth the price atm?

Pandacastro
Pandacastro
10 years ago

Does anyone know why I cant leave comments on youtube in the ps3 browser anymore?

TheHighlander
TheHighlander
10 years ago

Something to do with the scripting? Try clearing the browser cache and cookies to see if it clears it up.

shadowpal2
shadowpal2
10 years ago

Well…wasn't it known from the very beginning since the trailer at E3 2006 – that this wasn't going to be your normal Final Fantasy turn based RPG?

It said clearly that it was being developed by the Kingdom Hearts team. In all fairness, what more did you expect?

I even remember Nomura sama saying that the gameplay would be like Kingdom Hearts except with a more realistic/gritty feel – like none of those crazy launching Goofy like an RPG, or spinning him around like a top knocking out everyone.

But I have to say – for that 30 second footage…I was disappointed, I wanted to see MUCH MUCH MUCH MORE. Damn it…but even if it was a low quality video recording – I have to say it looked gorgeous in my eyes. I could see all those bits and details of the weeds blowing in the wind. The tree, city, and etc.

I'm waiting for January for the "blowout."

Lawless SXE
Lawless SXE
10 years ago

Okay, as I've said before, I don't give a damn if they add anything to Ico/SotC in this collection, just as long as they update the textures of Ico a bit, I'll be happy as a pig in sh!t. I'll be getting this collection as soon as it's released for the sole purpose of them being such great games. Well, at least I know Ico is, haven't had a chance to play SotC, but it hardly matters. They're proven.

You can't really get any impressions about a game from a thirty second clip besides maybe the look of it. I mean, imagine watching a thirty second clip of Heavy Rain, or SotC. What kind of conclusions would you draw knowing all but nothing about the games besides what you saw?

I'm not necessarily saying that Versus will be as memorable as those games, but I'm saying keep an open mind until we see and hear more. What I want to know is what kind of a battle system will it have. It is touted as being something akin to Kingdom Hearts, but that really felt too simple to me. I would love for Versus XIII to have a battle scheme that uses all of the buttons on the controller, and for it to be relatively slow so that you can really get a handle on the abilities and attacks that you want to use.

Outside that, I expect to see a lot of elements very similar to FFXIII in it. Perhaps a more advanced weapon system, in that you can pick and choose what enhancements to place on it. A more branching Crystarium, again allowing you to pick and choose as you want. At the same time, I don't want it to be seen as the definitive FFXIII experience, as that would really kill off the mystique of the franchise in my opinion. I'm rambling.

Personal Update:
Well, I had planned to blitz my book this weekend, but got a bit sidetracked. So I read stuff all. But I'm about halfway through it now, so getting there.
I also planned on putting a good many hours into GTAIV so that it would be almost out of the way by this coming weekend. That didn't happen either. But, I've written the first draft of my review for it, so I'll be redoing that this week. I've also put about twelve hours into VC2, and although I still have my reservations about it, I've changed my mind in regards to it not feeling right. I suppose the feeling came from trying to adjust to the PSP platform again.
I was planning on detailing my car this weekend, but the weather dictated otherwise. It's just been drizzling all weekend, and it really makes you want to do nothing. And I won't be able to do it next weekend either, I'll be busy.
So it goes. Peace all.

P.S. Ben, we can expect the Insomniac interview sometime this week, yeah?

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
10 years ago

I hope so, yes.

Still reading Anna Karenina? I'm closing in on the last 300 pages of War and Peace. 🙂

Lawless SXE
Lawless SXE
10 years ago

Yep that's the one. And a great book it is too.

BigBoss4ever
BigBoss4ever
10 years ago

@Ben

very very accurately described my feelings about the ICO and SOTC, two greatest "mystical" action/adventure game of the history; and very well said about Squeeenix's product in recent years.

cant agree with more, as always


Last edited by BigBoss4ever on 9/18/2010 10:52:34 PM

Snaaaake
Snaaaake
10 years ago

SoTC in 3D would be colossal……….

Riku994
Riku994
10 years ago

I see what you did there.

main_event05
main_event05
10 years ago

FML I lost my bet to John. Damn you SE!!

PGN:
Up to Code Veronica in my RE replay through. Also playing Burnout Paradise on occasion.

PS
Anyone been playing Halo Reach? Is it safe to say it's the same as the others? Just a new story?


Last edited by main_event05 on 9/18/2010 11:23:51 PM

Riku994
Riku994
10 years ago

1: What's the bet?
2: I love Code Veronica.

main_event05
main_event05
10 years ago

The bet was that SE would unveil the FFVII remake at TGS.

Kr3sn1k
Kr3sn1k
10 years ago

Ive been playing it and ive been loving it and its not like the others they changed it in alot of aspects of it

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
10 years ago

Lost your bet to me too.

main_event05
main_event05
10 years ago

You are John, remember?

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
10 years ago

Ohhh yeah, forgot about that, it's Dave actually 🙂

LimitedVertigo
LimitedVertigo
10 years ago

Please no first names, it ruins it for me.

SirLoin of Beef
SirLoin of Beef
10 years ago

I'm about 1/2 way through (I think) the Halo: Reach campaign. Yes, it's very similar to the others, though since they're all FPS set in the same universe, there's not really much you can do to make them different. It does have a bit with in-space combat which is a welcome change. It's not a world-changing addition but it's pretty decent.

I've spent the most time with the game in the Forge editor. They've really opened up what you can make with it. One of the maps you can edit, Forge World, is a huge open area that you can create all kinds of stuff on.

I've toyed a little bit with the MP, mainly firefight. I'm not a big online fps player but I kind of dig firefight.

Temjin001
Temjin001
10 years ago

I look forward to the ICO/SotC collection. I can't say I'm as big a fan as many of those who frequent this site, but I did admire the two games. I played through the first Ico once(when it released), and I played through most of SotC (it came out during a time when I played very few games). They were really unique and invoked something of an ethereal feel in me. I look forward to revisiting them and completing SotC this time.

I'm holding off on Move. But I think it could evolve into something I could see myself investing in over time.

Personal Gaming Update:

I rented and played through Halo Reach. I have to say it's easily the best Halo game to date. And quite honestly, I can't think of another FPS that does as many things that Halo does. Being the fifth game in the series the well worn feeling can't be overlooked, but Reach was a superb blend of elements that nailed the strengths of the series on the head. Goodbye Bungie you didn't let me down, this time.

Aside from that, I'm catching frogs in FF9 and playing through NGS2 on Master Ninja.

Shams
Shams
10 years ago

LOL @ catching frogs!

Kiri
Kiri
10 years ago

I always thought that i should be put in prison for not playing ICO or SOTC and here's the chance to redeem myself… 😛

Hmm i kinda want to add my personal take on the whole rpg dicussion… I don't believe that the FF series were a pure RPG…
I mean if turn based is what turns a game into an rpg then isn't chess also one?
I think that Bethesda found a better recipe for an RPG than any company
(I'm not saying a recipe for a better game but for a better RPG)…
And by saying that… I hope that i'm wrong but…
After watching the 30" video… Did anyone get the feeling of Fallout? But you know, with more action elements and a Japanese feel to it?

Oh a bit off topic… Did any of you get the feeling that ever since Square started adding voices to the FF series that something didn't add up?
I know that i'm late on this subject but didn't text feel..kinda right?
Or am i the only one?

TheHighlander
TheHighlander
10 years ago

Still working on FFVIII – taking my time. Nearly 40 hours into it, and I'm loving it. Classic RPG feel. I knew I hadn't done well with the game back in the PS1 days, but this time around, I'm getting further and seeing more. I may even have to give this thing a second play through.

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
10 years ago

Omega has to go down. You know that, right? 😉

main_event05
main_event05
10 years ago

Let me know when you hit IX. My 3rd favorite right behind X.

LimitedVertigo
LimitedVertigo
10 years ago

Thanks for the review Highlander, I appreciate the time you took to give your 2cents on the game. I really enjoy reading others experiences with the FF series.

While I do like to hate on VIII for being the weakest in the series (IMO) I still bought it on the PSN on Day1 and I've enjoyed playing it on my PSP but once IX came out I started up with that since it's one of my favorites.

Jawknee
Jawknee
10 years ago

LV, you really think FFVIII is worse than XIII? as a whole?

LimitedVertigo
LimitedVertigo
10 years ago

Yes. I can't stand any of the characters, I don't like the orphan storyline, and I really hate how magic is used in the game.

XIII may be one big tutorial for the first half of the game but I loved the characters and the storyline and the gameplay while weak still doesn't make it worse than FFVIII to me.

Jawknee
Jawknee
10 years ago

Hmmm, I liked everyone in VIII quite a bit besides Squall and Irving. I agree that the magic seemed kind of a waste. Drawing takes too long and once your full, I don't want to use any of the spells as the best ones are Junctioned to the stats. Thats actually an incentive not to use any spells.

I suppose I can see why you prefer XIII to VIII. For me, the fact VIII is still more of an RPG than XIII, I guess is makes me prefer VIII.

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
10 years ago

Highlander, don't forget to check the draw point at Shumi Village as often as you can. It gives up lots of Ultimas over the course of the game.

Underdog15
Underdog15
10 years ago

You guys just have unbalanced parties in FFVIII!! Also, I hated the orphan storyline too…. IN FFXIII!!!!!! But seriously, the relationship between Squall, Ellone, and the truth about their birth/adoptive parents explains a lot about the reasons for why Squall is the way he is, and I think the unraveling of that protective layer he has built up is pretty characteristic of most males in society.

But in VIII, i use magic ALL the time! In fact, Selphie has a huge huge SPR stat and is my main healer, Rinoa has a HUGE MAG stat and is my black mage (or sorceress, if you will!)(Of course, Rinoa and Selphie share responsibilities and are often not together), Squall and Zell are my physical damage dealers, Irvine is my "red mage" if you will, (casts triple on the mages, protect, shell, aura, haste, slow, stop, etc.) and Quistis is my tank! (Takes the damage, uses the GF cover ability and has a massive VIT stat) She will cast protect and shell on herself, and I often make her use her GF summon for added tank taking damage.

If you read the tutorials in game, you'll notice that the stats are best built by magic not associated with that stat. So the best strategy is to make your teams well balanced with different roles (excellent for the final castle!) And by equiping certain magics to one character, you boost a stat with magic they don't need to use. If you play lots of cards and have all your refine abilities in place, you have a never-ending supply of magic. I'm on disk 2 right now, and Squall deals 800+damage in physical attacks while a water spell by Rinoa will do 1800+. Add that with double/triple, and magic is far more effective than physical attacks. You gotta use it more, Jawk!

You don't need online faqs to make these strategies, the tutorials that are unlocked as the game progresses (and if you get the add-ons from NPC's you meet, like the one in D-Prison) give you ALL the info you need, and it's obvious about it.

If you ask me, FFVIII is far more in depth strategically than FFVII. Trust me… when you do something like I do, your teams become far more God-like than if you try to make everyone good at everything. Trust me on that one!!

Besides, it's fun utilizing all your tools to stick it to enemies like snot to a hankie!


Last edited by Underdog15 on 9/19/2010 8:58:32 PM

aaronisbla
aaronisbla
10 years ago

how can you have unbalanced parties when all of the characters are practically the same in FF8? The only difference being the limit breaks.

All the characters being pretty similar as far as some stats go is what makes FF9 such a breath of fresh air compared to 8. Vivi will never be able to destroy an enemy with powerful physical attacks, nor will Zidane be able to use magic. Makes the game a bit more challenging

nogoat23
nogoat23
10 years ago

Thanks for all your hard work, Ben. It is appreciated.

___________
___________
10 years ago

$E have released a RPG this gen, its called neir.
must admit it was so much better than what i was expecting, instead of trying to westernize it they actually did what they do best making a traditional RPG.
neir is the closest thing to a traditional JRPG i got so use to on the ps2 and even ps1.
one game i have been really craving lately is a adventure fantasy game, something like tomb raider or sorcery but more fantasy, not futuristic or fantasy as in dragons and flying sheep outrageous crap like that, more like old school hunting games, one game that constantly comes to mind is the old digemon back on ps1.
by far one of the best RPGs ever released, definitely the one i enjoyed the most.

that and strategy stealth games.
i found my old PS1 collection today, and with it found sheep raider and bugs and taz time busters.
forgot how good those games were, 2 of the very few decent loony tunes games!
especially sheep raider, its a proper stealth strategy game you really have to plan in advance, think about everything your going to do well before you do it i so miss games like that.

Jawknee
Jawknee
10 years ago

Actually it's called DragonQuest IX.

___________
___________
10 years ago

ok, well 2 then.