Final Fantasy VII Will Not Make the PS4
Good news! Well actually it is bad news for anyone who wants to play the Final Fantasy VII Remake – but it is good news nonetheless. Good news for people who do not want to see this project come into fruition, and good news for people who enjoy watching as Square Enix chase their tails, whilst squandering millions of moon dollars in the churn! Final Fantasy VII Remake is never coming to PS4! It will not even make launch on the PS5! The project is running well tardy, and the team is only now hiring key personnel for pre-production roles!
The game began development with CyberConnect2 as its primary developer, yet last year they were unceremoniously booted off of the project, and it is thought that most of what they had produced was binned at the time. It would seem that between then and now Square Enix did little more than play with their dicks, as they have not even managed to fill key pre-production roles yet. Before content can be produced it has to be planned out, and this week Square Enix posted job advertisements for level planners and battle planners.
The job listing also seems to indicate that what little the Remake team has managed to produce so far has come in under the quality bar they have set for themselves – and if Square Enix is actually concerned about quality then something must have gone seriously awry. Thus they need key planning personnel not just to work on level designs, but also to contribute fresh ideas to the game.
“We’ve come to the conclusion that in order to meet fan expectations we must increase its quality another step higher.
Therefore, in addition to the current members for the Final Fantasy VII Remake development, we must establish a core group that includes level planners, battle planners, designers, engineers, and various types of jobs to tackle on the production of the big title.”
It is pretty clear that we have to stop thinking about Remake as a game that went into production in 2015, and start thinking of it as a production which began Q1 of 2018. It will not see release on PS4 – and if Square Enix insist on releasing the game on defunct PS4 hardware to make good on their promise then they will be needlessly handicapping the game, as we will all own PS5s by that time.
One interesting aspect of this revelation is that it probably means that Square Enix is actively working on Final Fantasy XVI at present. Most people probably thought that the development of Remake was being prioritised over the the development of a full-blooded Final Fantasy XVI, but this is clearly not the case if Nomura does not even have dedicated level planners yet.
All this being said – this is Square Enix’s last chance to turn back. The project seems to be in a state of pre-production – so Tetsuya Numura’s bad ideas are not yet set in stone. This is the last opportunity for the company to throw out the game’s current pathetic trash battle system and reinstate the ATB from Final Fantasy VII proper. Fans of the game do not want it to play like Kingdom Hearts, and we are bemused as to who the Remake is even being made for. Seriously, stop it!
Omega Labyrinth Z Has Been Banned in England
This week Britbongistan has seen fit to ban Omega Labyrinth Z, and it is little wonder that this is case given that they have previously seen fit to ban free speech and common sense. This is the first game to have been banned in the country since Manhunt 2, and what sets this apart is that the ban does not actually seem to be the result of any of the game’s actual content. Omega Labyrinth Z has already been banned in Germany and Australia, and that is hardly even noteworthy given how notoriously puritanical both of these national censorship bodies happen to be and the fact that they banned the game for its actual content. England on the other hand has banned it because of ‘think of the children!‘
Omega Labyrinth Z is an adult game, and has never attempted to present itself in any other light. It is full of cheeky lewdness, where character power levels are represented by their breast size, and much of the gameplay involves skinship mini-games. It is clearly an 18+ affair, but that matters not a jot because it has cartoon graphics, and on those grounds it has been refused classification because its content is not suitable for underage children:
“The grounds for this decision are as follows: – The likely harm being caused to a viewer or potential viewer, e.g. children or young people.
The game is explicit in its setting within a “school” environment and the majority of the characters are young girls – one child is referred to as being a “first year” student and is seen holding a teddy bear. The game clearly promotes the sexualisation of children via the sexual interaction between the game player and the female characters. The style of the game is such that it will attract an audience below the age of 18.
There is a serious danger that impressionable people, i.e. children and young people viewing the game would conclude that the sexual activity represented normal sexual behaviour. There is a constant theme of sexual innuendo and activity throughout the game that suggests behaviour likely to normalise sexual activity towards children. As a means of reward gained by successfully navigating the game, the player has the means to sexually stimulate the female characters by using either a hand held remote device or touch screen software.
The VSC Rating Board believes this content in a game, which would have strong appeal to non-adult players, is an issue which would be unacceptable to the majority of UK consumers and, more importantly, has the potential to be significantly harmful in terms of the social and moral development of younger people in particular.”
It is a bullshit state of affairs when Omega Labyrinth Z is prohibited for featuring cartoon graphics, yet the South Park games are just able to stroll onto store shelves! The British youth are surely learning wonderful life lessons by murdering people in Call of Duty, but God forbid they should happen to be exposed to some fan service [which was never intended for them anyway]! Games like Call of Duty and Grand Theft Auto are far more popular among young people than some obscure fan service RPG; when is the last time these out of touch dinosaurs even met one of their nation’s youngsters?
The censors here are so culturally illiterate that they even appear to attribute malign motive to the depiction of certain characters – when those characters are pretty much compulsory anime stock character types – and good luck getting funding for your anime game if it is not set in a Japanese High School! The cultural insensitivity here is very triggering – but then the politics of the progressive stack seems to be increasingly regarding the Japanese as honourary aryans, so they are not really afforded much more leniency or understanding than white men.
Regardless, it would be lovely if the British would focus more time on actually enforcing the age restrictions of games, and less time prohibiting consenting adults from playing them. At any rate, one had never even heard of Omega Labyrinth Z before this week, and it sounds pretty gosh darn wonderful – so maybe this ridiculous ban is a good thing after all.
The Absolute State of Naughty Dog
If Square Enix is dangling on the precipice of irretrievably fucking themselves, then Naughty Dog is several leagues past that point. This week the company has appointed Israeli game developer Neil Druckmann as vice president, so anyone hoping to see his departure will be sorely disappointed.
“In recognition of his expanded role, contributing on critical, studio level decisions, Neil Druckmann is now vice president of Naughty Dog. He’s been a vital part of the management team for some time now, and we’re proud to formally acknowledge his involvement. In addition to his new position, Neil will continue as the creative director on The Last of Us Part II.”
Druckmann is famous for forcing Uncharted creator and Soul Reaver luminary, Amy Hennig, out of the company for her failure to include enough thirteen-year-old lesbians in Uncharted 4. Druckmann has gone on record as thinking that vibrant cutscenes are more important than actual gameplay in vidya, and that his biggest inspiration is Anita Sarkeesian – and boy does that really show in the terrible games he produces. According to Nolan North, Druckmann demanded that eight months of Amy Hennig’s work be thrown out when he seized control of Uncharted 4, resulting in a game that was an unplayable mess. This guy is the reason that many people simply will not touch a Naughty Dog game in the current year.
Despite being appointed vice president, Druckmann will continue in his role as creative director for The Last of Us II. He used the opportunity to announce that Anthony Newman and Kurt Margenau would also serve as directors on the game, while Emilia Schatz and Richard Cambier would serve as the game designers. All four of these people served as the lead game designers on Uncharted 4, so it is already clear how The Last of Us II will turn out. There are only so many bad games that can be papered over with the hollow spectacle of expensive graphics, and it is clear that Naughty Dog is a studio that is about to enter a period of steep decline.