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Role Playing (Games)

FF XII Re-make, New RPG Announced By Square/Enix 77

Posted by Zonk
from the hip-to-be-square dept.
Yesterday was Square/Enix's annual media party, and there were a couple of interesting announcements. Game|Life's Chris Kohler was there, and reports on the most interesting announcement: a Final Fantasy XII re-envisioning entitled International: Zodiac Job System. The title will feature the same story, a further-refined combat system, and a series of 12 separate license boards. Each board corresponds to a traditional FF 'job', like Monk or Red Mage; at the moment there is no plan to release it in the states. Other announcements include word that Star Ocean will get the remake treatment, with the first two games coming to the PSP sometime in the future. They are also working on a next-gen Star Ocean 4; no details about that. Crystal Chronicles for the DS drops in August in Japan, no US release date was given. Finally, screenshots and videos of The Last Remnant capped off the event; we talked about the game earlier this week when it was announced.
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FF XII Re-make, New RPG Announced By Square/Enix

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  • An honest question: (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anarchysoft (1100393)
    What is the special appeal of Final Fantasy? I've played half a dozen of them (and watched the two CGI movies,) none of them to completion (although I've watched friends beat them) and I just don't understand what people love about them. I recognize the games have many great qualities, like beautiful graphics, addictive gameplay and so on, but I don't understand what makes them so unique to many folk. Is it a prior love of anime? Deep familarity with the story? I'd like to know.
    • by jimstapleton (999106) on Friday May 11, 2007 @10:29AM (#19082651) Journal
      I didn't get introduced to anime before FF games, so it's not that.

      Until recently, they didn't have any continuous storlines - each was in a world of it's own, so it's not that.

      Honestly, in my oppinion, the gameplay is fun (though it's gone downhill since 7 IMO), the graphics are usually pretty nice for the systems, the music is pretty good, but a with a few exceptions, and the usually have very nice storyline in any given game.
      • Thanks for you reply (and thanks to the others that replied.) It sounds like it is mostly the story for you; is that correct? This is interesting since it's a different storyline each game. It sounds similar to when you really like an author and whichever book or short story of their's you read, you can count on liking it.
        • Yes it's very much the story, although the gameplay is fun too, although as I said, it's gone downhill. and of course, I forgot to mention, that's just me, there are certainly other reasons for other people.

          Yes, it's like a book from an author you think is good.
        • My first Final Fantasy I owned was FFX. The story was good but confusing at first, but the game play and character control was quite fun and the variety of encounters cool. The story developed nicely while the fighting eventually got tedious. Some of the side stories and extras make Final Fantasy the most fun -- trying to figure out what the developers hid in there for you without using a cheat book ;-)
        • by Nazlfrag (1035012)
          You hit the nail on the head. The series is one of the perfect mixes of storyline and gameplay efforts out there, something they kept from the older generation of games. Most games have a focus squarely on the gameplay, and have a fraction of the story. Even titles like Halflife, which have a decent story, don't have the same immersive effect that the FF series does so well. The closest comparison to western games would be the Ultima, Fallout or Baldurs Gate series, yet even then these are not as story driv
      • by asuffield (111848)

        Honestly, in my oppinion, the gameplay is fun (though it's gone downhill since 7 IMO)


        Everybody always seems to say "the gameplay has gone downhill since X", but nobody ever agrees on the value of X. My observation? Everybody who says that has grown older since they first played X. That probably has more to do with it. This effect is not specific to Final Fantasy, you see it happening everywhere.
        • possibly, but I've gone back, and still think 4 and 5 are the pinnacles of the series.

          But yeah, it can vary by the person.

          Then again, I do think the Materia system was not just unique, but very interesting, and Square should have done that a bit more, instead of this skill grid crap.
        • by Carnildo (712617)

          Everybody always seems to say "the gameplay has gone downhill since X", but nobody ever agrees on the value of X. My observation? Everybody who says that has grown older since they first played X. That probably has more to do with it. This effect is not specific to Final Fantasy, you see it happening everywhere.

          Over the course of about a year, I played the following Final Fantasy games, in this order:

          Final Fantasy IV (US)
          Final Fantasy VI (US)
          Final Fantasy I
          Final Fantasy VII
          Final Fantasy II (NES, translated)

          • The interesting thing, to me, about Final Fantasy games is how little the series' fans can agree on the quality of the games. I love FF8, I really do. Plenty of people hate it. I think FFX is the second-best game in the series, others in this discussion think it's horrible. I think FF6 is overrated, many fans fondly think of it as the best in the series. What is it that inspires us to think such widely varying things about these games?

            To answer the original question: I play FF games for the story. I find

            • Yes, the one constant with FF fans is they can't agree on which is the best. My favorite is FFT with FFIX being my favorite in the main series and FFXI rounding out my top three.

              As for why I like them (and RPGs in general) is while I like the story, I like getting to explore a new world even more. Tis one of the drawbacks for FFX for me. While the story wasn't too bad I wish I actually got to wander off the beaten path as it were.
            • by arodland (127775)
              Yeah, I know exactly what you mean. My personal feelings are something like:

              Great: VI, VII, X.
              Good: I, III, XII
              Not so good: VIII, IX.*
              Didn't play (yet): II, IV, V.
              Don't count: XI, FF:T(A), FF:CC, FFMQ, etc.

              And I wouldn't really be opposed to VI or VII getting the III-DS treatment (keeping essentially the same game, but updating the technology and the production values to modern standards). Why? Because they had strong storylines and wonderful casts of characters, and updated scripts, updated translations, v
      • by SirCyn (694031)
        It's the combination of flexible game play, long and detailed story lines, and a general theme of blending modern world technology with old world magic. FF7 and FF8 were the epitomes of the FF series IMHO.

        FF7 had breakthrough graphics (which look kind of clunk these days) and still holds the title for plot/storyline, I think. FF8 has the title in terms of character development and interaction, the story suffered a bit due to that but it's still one of the greats.
        • A LOT of people seem to share the opinion that VII had the best story line... But I don't feel that way.
          I wonder, when did you get introduced to the series?
          While I found VII to be very enjoyable, II/IV was my favorite as far as storyline, followed closely by III/VI.
          • I would agree with this.

            IV had one of the most interesting storylines of any gave I've ever played.

            except remove the "one of", and make storylines singular...
          • VII was my second with FFT being my first. In comparison VII was a major let down for me. I felt it was over rated and I had a hard time giving a crap about any of the characters. Now this is coming from someone who grew up playing and beating Dragon Warrior 1-4 and Phantasy 1-4 amongst other RPGs so I'm no stranger to the genre. The one I ended up liking the most out of the main series was FFIX because I cared about the characters. With VII I could have cared less if Cloud saved the world or not, in f
    • by Dale512 (1073668)
      I've been a FF fan since the very early FF games. There isn't any knowledge of the story since each game (barring a couple of direct sequels/prequels) has its own world and story. There are simply themes and character names that appear typically across the board. For me, the story, music, and characters bring the story to life. It is much the same as reading a good book or watching a really good tv series. Just like some authors prove themselves time and time again that what they write is good, the FF
    • FF appeals to many people for many different things. Some enjoy the battle system, others the characters and people like myself enjoy exploring the world and never knowing what big town or country bumpkin we'll find next.

      So no one can say "FF is popular because" as there are many reasons.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by tzhuge (1031302)

      FF games are more than the sum of their component parts. They're a convergence of interesting characters, intriguing story and incredible production quality.

      That being said... I have a friend who really dislikes FF games even though he loved Chrono Trigger. He got me thinking about it and I realized that FFX is the only FF game I have ever finished even though I've played pretty much every single one. I think the series has somewhat staled. A cynic might say that FF games are just interactive fiction c

      • As much as some people disliked it, I quite liked how the plot development worked in FFX2. I liked the new class system and the development of skills as well as the nearly free-roaming storyline at points. Unless you play the game trying to figure out the 'best' way to get through everything, its quite replayable even.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      "What is the special appeal of Final Fantasy?"

      I don't think I can definitively answer your question, but I can tell you I was hooked on Final Fantasy 3 because of the story. (Before I go any farther, I just want to say that the story in FF3 was far better than either of the movies. I don't want to confuse you on this point. ;) ) I can give you an example. One of the characters was a heroic king that had recently lost his family to an invasion. He joined your party after he had saved them from certain doo
      • Cyan wasn't the king, he was head of the knights....

        His storyline was VERY good though. :)
      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        The character you're describing, Cyan Garamonde, wasn't the king of Doma, but was a knight in service to the king. But yes, in FF6 (the game was released as Final Fantasy 6 in Japan and originally as Final Fantasy 3 in the US; the Nintendo DS remake and Final Fantasy Anthology name it Final Fantasy 6) there's a lot of character development, a good story, an enemy you really start to hate (if you were to play Kefka's laugh on a repeating soundtrack, I think you could drive people mad in about a day of conti
    • by Hubbell (850646)
      The story is the appeal after playing 7 and 8, but 9 and up it was just to play em cause it's the new final fantasy, it's gotta be good!!!!!...right? No, sadly they aren't good after 7 and 8. A lot of people dislike 8, say it was the beginning of the shitty FF's, and to an extent I guess it was, but I loved it as it was my first Final Fantasy I played. I've played the prePS ones, as well as 7-10 + 12, and all I can say is this:
      7 and 8 were awesome, 7 by far the best of all the FF games.
      9 was semihomo
    • by XMyth (266414)
      The real answer is that there is no one special appeal. The games themselves are high quality and always have been (with the exception of X, yea that's right..I said it. 8 was better than X. :P )

      But seriously, they're just great games...people know if it is a Final Fantasy game then many trust the brand enough to just buy the damn thing without waiting to read reviews.
      • I really liked 8 personally, right up there with 7. (But 6 was the best)
        • by XMyth (266414)
          For me, the card game made 8. I liked 8 too, but I didn't like how they moved away from anime characters and I didn't care much for the story line. So, I don't think it was a great final fantasy, but it was a great game (as all Final Fantasys have been).

          And yea, you're spot on... 6 was the best....would be very hard to top that.

          I really like XII so far though.
          • Honestly, I wasn't too keen on X, and I havn't gotten around to picking up XII. Perhaps I'll do that this weekend.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Garrett Fox (970174)
      The first Final Fantasy was one of the first console games I played, so the series has nostalgia appeal for me. What I enjoyed about it (in hindsight) was exploring a big game world on an epic quest, being able to wander around instead of being stuck in the linear levels of most games. In reality the series is nearly linear because the geography just happens to force you to do X to get a ship, then Y to get an airship, etc., but there's still a sense of there being some freedom of exploration and a "living"
      • by mrmagos (783752)
        Wow, I followed almost the same progression as you, and came to a similar conclusion. The last FF I played was 8, and the last one I truly enjoyed was 7. Sometimes I play the original for nostalgia, but I'd have to say 6 is my overall favorite. I've always been a pen-and-paper RPGer, so these games passed the time between campaigns for me. They had compelling storylines, but recently they've become repetitive and stale.
        • *nod* I can't speak fairly for games 8-12 in the series, not having played much of them, but the trend seems the same.

          Square seems to be locked into a niche that's worked very well for them, so that innovation comes slowly to them in that series, even though they try different things in off-series games like Chrono Trigger and Dirge of Cerberus. Minor tweaks plus top-of-the-line graphics keep a certain group of gamers happy with the main series.

          As I try to learn game design, a lot of my thinking goes ba
    • by loafula (1080631)
      I consider Final Fantasy a brand, not a series. Each numbered iteration is an RPG with deep storyline, combat systemsand character customization. The combination of the three, along with (usually) outstanding soundtracks, visuals and gameplay tend to make a great (though not for everyone) game. The series is popular because the quality of Squeenix's FF development team pretty much ensures each iteration to be a quality gaming experience. The same can't be said about the numerous spin-offs, which are pretty
    • by arodland (127775)
      Beautiful graphics and addictive gameplay are usually considered sufficient.
    • Mostly, I think its nostalgia. I can sit down with a final fantasy game, and no matter how much they've updated things; the storyline may have changed, the characters may have changed, what-have-you; I still always know I'm playing final fantasy. They've done an absolutely great job of making the game worlds "feel" the same over the years, even if the characters go from bad to dreadful. And because of that, they can continually cash in on a bit of my childhood. And its not the umpteenth transformers/s
  • Final Fantasy is finally reaching finality. Now they are just remixing the already made games and stories.

    I will hand it to them, they managed to come up with 12 different worlds, storylines, etc, and several different combat and character building systems over the years. For the most part, all enjoyable games.

    But I for one hope they close it off and leave it decent, rather than trail off creating worse and worse games as they run dry on ideas, taking a once great game and destroying its legacy in the tim
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Tofystedeth (1076755)

      But I for one hope they close it off and leave it decent, rather than trail off creating worse and worse games as they run dry on ideas, taking a once great game and destroying its legacy in the time honored tradition of good video games gone bad.
      What are you talking about? Something like that could never happen to our beloved franchises like Final Fantasy or The Simpsons...
  • Out of ideas? (Score:1, Redundant)

    Is it just me or is Square really out of ideas now? In Japan special editions are common things and a lot of big titles get them, but very few companies would make a special edition for every game they release, yet here is Square with about 10 different games in a row getting special editions. Isn't it about time they either give up on releasing games and just refine one to the point or perfection or admit they are just releasing half arsed unfinished games before they are ready?

    I'm looking forward to FF:CC
    • Most of the best brains at Square have left to do other things. One of those other things is the company Mistwalker. Their debut RPG -- Blue Dragon -- has Sakaguchi the creator of Final Fantasy I-X doing the design, Uematsu the composer for Final Fantasy I-X doing music, and Toriyama the character designer for Dragon Quest I-VIII all on board.

      Ever since the Square-Enix merger, all the inventiveness seems to have been sucked out of Square, and they've become a true sequel and spin-off factory with too much
      • I think they peaked with FF X, and it's been downhill ever since.

        If that is your opinion then I find your judgement highly suspect. The story was interesting but the characters were mostly retarded, cloy, annoying, or all 3. VIII suffered the same "unlikable" characters. FFVI problably had the most complete story with fairly likable. It is easier with speechless sprites since we will embue them with our own idea of what they are like. We're more liekly to forgive "over emoting" when the sprite is significan
  • Remakes... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Psmylie (169236) * on Friday May 11, 2007 @10:32AM (#19082709) Homepage
    The combat system was, in my opinion, the best part of FFXII. I have to wonder how they're planning on refining it. Still, even if they release it stateside, I don't really see buying it unless they enhance/expand the story. FFXII was "good enough" for me as-is.

    I never got to play Star Ocean, though I've heard it's pretty good. Maybe a remake would be a good time to pick it up.

    • Star Ocean 1 and 2 are amazing games. The first one was never released in the US as it came at the end of the SNES's life and was an absolutely huge game relative to everything else that had been released (something like a 48 megabit cartridge when most games were between 8 and 32Mb). Anyways, it was never released in the West because of the amount of text and how it came so late in the game. There is a very good fan translation that you can apply to the ROM and it's worth playing.

      Star Ocean 2 is also ve
      • by Psmylie (169236) *
        "The voice acting is so horrendously bad"

        er... like how bad? The original Resident Evil bad? That's about as bad as it can get and still be funny :)

        In any case, it sounds like a game I may want to pick up. Thanks!

      • by skobar (890726)
        What about the one on the playstation 2 game, Star Ocean: Till the End of Time, was it good?
        • NO. I put 15-20 hours into this game and still didn't give a shit about the characters. Star Ocean 2 (the PSone game) was engaging, though very wordy. The first 90 minutes of the game is all dialog.
        • by wolfing (1007041)
          Till the End of Time, one of the best console RPGs I've played. The best being Suikoden 3, then it'd probably be SO till the end of time. I loved it!
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Fallingcow (213461)
      I think that the combat system in FFXII was a work-around for a fundamental problem that has yet to be addressed: most fights in FF are boring as hell.

      Everyone that I know who plays FF games does it in spite of random encounters (yeah, they got rid of those in XII, but there are still more-or-less required fights every few steps on most of the game's maps, so they still count) and grinding, certainly NOT because of them.

      The big draws that I see:

      1. Epic boss fights
      2. Storyline
      3. Character development
      4. Char
      • I wouldn't mind seeing an FFT style system replace the Fight/Magic/Defend/Item system of random encounters.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by blahplusplus (757119)
      "The combat system was, in my opinion, the best part of FFXII. "

      Ouch, all you had to do in FF12 was navigate, the computer would do everything for you. This is *NOT* my idea of gaming. Why did they not have the computer navigate for you too and you just sit back and watch?

      I must vehemently state that people that like FF12's combat system are one of the reasons gaming is going to tank in the future, all the interactivity is being dumbed down or driven out (automated) entirely, people complan of "button mas
      • I remember all the button mashing I did back in Myst. Sometimes a game doesn't have to involve twitch interaction to be engaging.
        • I remember all the button mashing I did back in Myst. Sometimes a game doesn't have to involve twitch interaction to be engaging.

          It does actually have to be interesting and fun to play, though. Myst was one of the most boring games I've ever played in my life, and I like solving puzzles. I feel like it sold a lot of copies because it was new and different, and at some point sold more because it had already sold a lot of copies and everyone had heard of it, even people who wouldn't normally have. Some of them must've liked it, or it wouldn't have ended up with a good reputation preceding it. Unfortunately, popularity doesn't make

  • FFXII "remake" (Score:5, Informative)

    by hansamurai (907719) <hansamurai@gmail.com> on Friday May 11, 2007 @10:38AM (#19082795) Homepage Journal
    I don't think remake is the right word for the new FFXII release. Many Square games have been re-released with changes in the Japanese and European markets (but generally for the European release it's the first release).

    For example, FFX was re-released in Japan as "Final Fantasy X International". For the re-release they added some extra bosses, a secret ending, and the coolest thing was the new sphere grid. This is basically what they're doing with the new license boards in FFXII, so I'm honestly not surprised that they're doing this. This FFX International was the only game that PAL territories got.

    They also did a FF7 International because for the American release of the game, they added some more bosses (I think Ruby Weapon and another super boss). So then they re-released the game in Japan again with these new enemies and maybe some other changes.

    Anyways, I don't think we'll see this game in the U.S., or in Europe as they've already gotten the original game. With the Western releases they added 16x9 widescreen which is something TFA is touting as new. The only real new thing is the new license boards, which are basically used for leveling up your characters and giving them abilities and magic.
    • by Applekid (993327)
      Back in the day of FFVII English and the International Edition, word was that the game was rushed for the Japanese audience and localization gave them extra time to further refine the game.

      Western versions of FFVII had a slightly retooled enemy difficulty, the bosses as you mentioned (Ruby Weapon and Emerald Weapon), and a few extra cut-scenes to try and clarify the story a little more. International Edition re-release included little pictures of some "souvenier" items like maps, a matchbook from the Honeyb
      • I wonder if this rerelease of FFXII is evidence that it, too, was rushed.

        I doubt it. The game may have been rushed, but more to the point is the fact that International Editions are becoming par for the course these days. Both Final Fantasy X and Final Fantasy X-2 had 'em, as well. In both cases, there were some significant changes to the game, but I'm not sure they were really "refinements," per se. They were just different, and I suspect the intention was to provide a different way to play.

    • by Daetrin (576516)
      I agree, if they were using standard software numbering this would be Final Fantasy 12 - 1.1 at best. It's some patches and tweaks with a little bit of new content thrown in just to make it seem worth buying over the original version.
  • by BitwizeGHC (145393) on Friday May 11, 2007 @10:42AM (#19082889) Homepage
    FFXII was a damned fine RPG, a refreshing outing from Square and, while rehashing old stuff can be tiresome, more FFXII is better than many of the alternatives, like more FFVIII, even more FFVII, or worse yet, FF Versus XIII, in which Square has slipped into the depths of self-parody. Have you seen the trailers? We have all the essential elements: black leather, self-cutting angst, girly men, and lots of huge swords. I think Square ought to just cut to the chase and make their next installment FF:BB, or Final Fantasy: Bankable Bishies. Make it an action RPG where your party consists of Cloud, Squall, Zidane, Tidus, Vaan, and for the purists, Cecil and they fight the multidimensional menace Kefkujaroth. Just get the visual kei fetish out of their system so they can concentrate on making wonderfully approachable fantasy RPGs like the old days. Of course, if the Kingdom Hearts franchise is any indication FF:BB is likely to spawn the inevitable sequel, threequel, fourquel, etc. so maybe that's not a good idea after all...
  • by hardburn (141468) <hardburn AT wumpus-cave DOT net> on Friday May 11, 2007 @10:48AM (#19083011)

    . . . do the Chrono Trigger fans get some love?

    • by penp (1072374)
      Is the team that made Chrono Trigger even with Square anymore? I heard they were the ones who crafted Xenogears... and the ghastly Xenosaga series. It's been how long since Chrono Cross? I think it's time to let it die, man.
      • Hey, we waited a decade for the third Earthbound installment, and it finally delivered (in Japanese). Never lose hope.
    • by skobar (890726)
      Final fantasies get different stories everytime. How many games could you make about travelling into time to save the world? Chrono Trigger was fun. We don't need a sequel... A remake or port would be fun though.
      • by hardburn (141468)

        Chrono Break [chronocompendium.com] was a planned game for a while, so apparently they did have some idea of a story for a new game.

        There's plenty enough material left over. Other planets holding sentient life are already known to exist in the Chrono universe. Lavos came from somewhere, and other members of his species likely infect these other planets.

        Even within the same planet, we don't know what happened to Magus, how Porre crushed Guardia (interview statements indicate that they got help from outside the normal stream o

  • Come back! Please!!!
  • Star ocean is what FF could have been in my opinion and to force me to buy a PSP (and I will, if only for star ocean) is cruel and horrible.
  • How about you just translate the original Super Famicom game and put it on the Wii Shopping Channel unadulterated? Or is that too much to ask for?
    • by Rycross (836649)
      But if they do that, how will they be able to make their money hats? That stuff doesn't just grow on trees you know.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by rpguy (998925)
      Square-Enix doesn't like the idea of the Virtual Console [1up.com], apparently. They'd rather port or remake older titles to card or disc and collect $40-$50, instead of settling for a "mere" $5.00 to $8.00 for digitally distributed product. It's hard to blame the execs, since Square-Enix can easily crap in a box and sell a million copies of anything with "Final Fantasy," "Dragon Quest," or "Kingdom Hearts" in the title. They've simply trained their fandrones too well.
  • at least the option of the new license board system in the original release, but I'd definitely not shell out $60 more dollars for another game.

    They did the same thing with a number of other final fantasy's (7 and 10 at least) and I'm surprised that it sold... I'm hoping that now that final fantasy games are running on systems with built in harddrives, that they'll start releasing these things as downloadable content for the PS3 and xbox.
  • Guys! Any chance of a Secret of Mana [manatheater.com] or Secret of Evermore remake?
    I would have loved to have played more of both of these classics.. ... and A Link to the Past as well (while we are here :P )

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