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Role Playing (Games) XBox (Games)

True Fantasy Online May Be On Track for Xbox 2 23

German site GameZone is running a piece discussing the late, lamented True Fantasy Online. In it they mention that the Xbox MMOG may be released on the Xbox 2, based on commentary from the president of Level-5. From the article: "Now these hopes are affirmed by the level 5-Praesidenten Akihiro Hino, because in the Japanese Dorimaga said it that according to its estimates True Fantasy Live one on-line one could nevertheless still appear."
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True Fantasy Online May Be On Track for Xbox 2

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  • Huh. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Golias ( 176380 ) on Thursday December 30, 2004 @03:55PM (#11221408)
    As appealing as it may sound at first to play any sort of MMOG from the living room sofa, I'm not sure if this will ever really fly.

    The thing about these games is that they are really just simplified MUDs with graphics, which is to say that they are pretty much an first-person (or nearly first-person) RPG with a text-based chat room attached to them.

    The whole point of Playing EQ, AC, DAOC, CoH, WoW, etc., is the social aspect of the gameplay.

    I think most of you already see where I'm going with this.

    The X-Box has no keyboard, so unless you want to roleplay via voice chatter (in which case, "broadcast" and "shout" type messages will be more annoying than ever), this large part of the game is missing.

    In the early development phase of EverQuest, it was pretty clear that Sony intended it to be a big hit for the PS2. As it turns out, they could only deliver a stripped-down version of it to the console, and almost everybody who played EQ did so on the PC.
  • Re:Huh. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by _xeno_ ( 155264 ) on Thursday December 30, 2004 @04:27PM (#11221794) Homepage Journal

    Nah, you can get it to work on a console. Final Fantasy XI proved that it can work. I have no idea about the actual PC vs. PS2 player breakdown, because Square-Enix doesn't list statistics like that (grumble), but apparently it does work.

    If you don't have a keyboard for the PS2, you can enter text like you would on those "Enter Your Name" screens I'm sure everyone knows about. Obviously it would be a very slow process.

    The end result is that almost all PS2 players wound up getting keyboards to chat.

    As it turns out, they could only deliver a stripped-down version of it to the console, and almost everybody who played EQ did so on the PC.

    Which is the exact same problem FFXI ran into - Square-Enix just did the reverse, holding the PC version back to the constraints on the console version, making the PC UI for the game very strange. (They basically mapped the controller buttons onto the keyboard. Not to mention that the graphics engine on the PC seems to be much slower than I would expect from my hardware.)

    So, just like the PS2 players needing to get a keyboard, almost all PC players wound up getting gamepads to make the controls work sensibly. (On the plus side, I can now play ZSNES with a DualShock, heh.)

    It can work, but it's still debatable whether or not it was worth it. Apparently consoles are more popular than PCs in Japan, so for a Japanese company like Square-Enix, it may well be. I suspect this game was supposed to be kind of like an XBox version of Final Fantasy XI to try and win over Japanese users to the XBox. But I honestly have no idea what the Japanese market is like.

  • Re:Huh. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Yosho ( 135835 ) on Thursday December 30, 2004 @05:59PM (#11222533)
    Hey, let's make you log off by pressing the "-" on the numpad twice, then up, then enter, then left, then enter!

    Yeah, it sounds terribly confusing when you put it that way. The other way to think about it is that you open the menu, go to the "log out" option, press enter, go to "yes" when it asks if you're sure, and then press enter again. If that many keypresses really disturbs you, you could also just type /logout.

    Oh, and instead of offering hot keys, let's make it so that pressing any letter or number starts the chat interface!

    Yes, one of the selectable keyboard layouts is like that. There's another that offers all the hotkeys you want. Nevermind the fact that you can bind alt or ctrl plus any of the number keys to any action you want.

    And no one likes using the mouse to activate objects, so let's make clicking and dragging move the player!

    I'm not sure what you're getting at here, I can click on objects just fine with the mouse. The game wasn't designed to be played with a mouse, anyway, nobody I know who plays it ever even touches the mouse. I played for quite a while using just a keyboard, and it's also easy to play with a game pad.

    It runs like ass, even on high-end computers where it should run well, cheerfully producing graphics that look worse than PC games older than it at 10fps (or worse).

    The benchmark program is designed to run "like ass". That's what benchmarks do. It loads up as many character models and turns up the detail as high as it can and sees how fast it runs. It's not at all representative of the actual game -- while the benchmark is choppy as hell on my computer, I get a smooth 30 fps when playing the actual game at 1280x960.

    Anyone who's played FFXI past the first couple of levels will know that there are like a total of ten enemy models and they get reused all the way through to the end-game.

    Anyone who's played much further than the first few levels will tell you that's not true. There are particular types of monsters that tend to be easier than others (such as crabs), so leveling groups tend to stick to them, but there are plenty of different types out there for you slaughter if you're willing to look.

    Given that Sony is discontinuing the PS2 hard drive

    Because the newer model PS2s have built-in network adapters (for the uninformed, previous Sony's hard drive and network adapter were bundled together) and you can use any external hard drive with them.

    Final Fantasy XI is the poster-child of why console-based MMORPGs just don't work

    Even though it has over 500,000 subscribers.

    FFXI has its fair share of problems, but the things you pointed out aren't among them.

"What the scientists have in their briefcases is terrifying." -- Nikita Khrushchev