Final Fantasy VII
Oh dear. JRPGs are essentially comprised of three components – structure, mechanics, and narrative – and with Final Fantasy VII Square Enix has obliterated all three. How is this supposed to be a Final Fantasy VII remake when no part of Final Fantasy VII is actually being made?
The element that we have focused most on here at TDT has thus far been the battle system. We have pointed out that changing Final Fantasy VII’s orthodox ATB battle system into a hack and slash battle system harms the core of the game in a pretty significant way. It turns out that this was the aspect that we should have been least concerned about though. The hack and slash action attacks do next to no damage at all, and instead serve to build up the ATB meter. Once at least one segment of the ATB meter has been filled players can open the command menu, which allows them to strategically input powerful attacks, magics, or use items. Square Enix has claimed that this allows people to play the game however they wish:
The system we’ve created retains the strategic decisions of controlling multiple party members, allowing you to select from a wide range of abilities and spells. You can control your favorite character while issuing orders to others, or leave them to AI. And choose when to switch to a different party member to make best use of their unique abilities in battle. This allows all players to choose and enjoy your favorite way of playing.
This obviously is not true. The ATB builds up super slowly unless players engage in the battle system’s action elements. Attacks do next to no damage unless people use commands. This means that people who want to engage with the action elements still need to use commands, and people who only want to use commands are forced to engage with the action elements, That said, this is probably the best we could have hoped for, and it sounds about a thousand times better than the Final Fantasy XV battle system.
While the battle system is shaping up to be pretty good, the rest of the game is anything but. The first game in what is now set to be the Final Fantasy VII series is set to be 30-40 hours, spanning two Blu-ray Discs, yet will only cover the opening Midgar section of the game. The Midgar section is only 5-6 hours of gameplay! The first part of the Final Fantasy VII remake is set to feature just 5-10% of legacy content, and a massive 90-95% of fanfic bloat! The remake is a complete write-off! The original justification for splitting Final Fantasy VII into multiple parts was that multiple installments were required in order to do justice to the detail rich locations of the original game. This was obviously a lie though, since the multiple installments are just being used to bloat the games with unimportant filler content.
It’s a huge volume of work and data to re-imagine this world. Each game in the project will have a volume of content comparable to a standalone Final Fantasy. The disc version of the first game is actually a 2 Blu-Ray Disc set. This approach allows us to remake the original without having to scale back on everything players loved.
Square Enix do not even know yet how many installments there will be. They are probably hoping that there will be enough demand for infinite installments, so that they can just keep padding out the content from now until Armageddon.
“Before we actually started working on this, we knew it was going to be a large amount of content,” Kitase told the press at E3. When we started out planning the plot for the first game, it hit us again… at that point we decided we were going to focus first game on Midgar and what happens in Midgar. Unfortunately we can’t say anything more about the future games, because we don’t know ourselves.”
Square Enix are going to find two entries in that they are facing diminishing returns, and then they are going to have to cut corners anyway. It is a fucking travesty that this is the Final Fantasy VII remake we are getting. This is just dismal.
E3: Game Announcements and Release Dates
Seiken Densetsu 3 is coming West in two big ways. The game, which is now localised to Trials of Mana, is available for purchase immediately on the Nintendo Switch as part of the Collection of Mana. Collection of Mana is only available digitally right now, but there is allegedly a physical copy coming in a couple of months. If gamers do not wish to pay top price for a twenty year old ROM, then they can simply download the officially translated ROM which has already been extracted, or they can wait until next year to purchase the full 3D remake of the game, which looks absolutely lovely, and is coming to PS4, Switch, and PC.
Romancing Saga 3 is also coming West, in the form of a lowkey remake, to the PS4, Switch, PC, Xbone, and, interestingly, the Vita. Square Enix also showed off Saga: Scarlett Grace Ambitions, but that title was already known to be coming Westward.
Final Fantasy VIII is finally receiving a current gen port, which is due out this year. It looks like Square Enix spared no effort with this particular port, which is galling given the current state of the Final Fantasy VII port that Square Enix is selling on the consoles. Final Fantasy VIII will be coming to PS4, Switch, Xbone, and PC. Square Enix has actually been selling a PC version for years, but this will presumably now be replaced with a nicer version.
GhostWire: Tokyo is the next game being developed by Shinji Mikami’s Tokyo Gameworks, and is being directed by certified cutie pie Ikumi Nakamura. The game is so early in development that they only had a CG trailer to show for it, but the trailer was kind of nostalgic in the way that it looked like the kind of thing that one would see come out of Capcom in the early 2000s.
Nintendo has a sequel to Breath of the Wild in development, which Caspius is very excited about. Hopefully this one doesn’t have breakable weapons.
Tales of Arise was announced, and it looks pretty good for a tales game.
No More Heroes 3 will be coming to the Switch as an exclusive in 2020.
The next Xbox console, Project Scarlett, will release during holiday 2020. This means that the PS5 will probably release within a similar window.
Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles Remastered Edition will release Winter 2019. The Switch port of Dragon Quest XI will release on September 27. Tokyo RPG Factory’s Oninaki will release on August 22. The remake of Link’s Awakening will release on September 20. Switch exclusive Astral Chain will release on August 30. The Panzer Dragoon remake will release this Winter. Contra: Rogue Corps will release on September 24.
Finally, we heard nothing from Shin Megami Tensei V, which is a little worrying, frankly.
If fun new game announcements were E3’s Yin, then bullshit corporate fuckery was its yang. As is happening increasingly frequently these days, Shenmue III, a crowd funded game, has gone Epic Game Store exclusive at the behest of its eleventh hour publisher, completely screwing its backers in the process. Kickstarter is a mechanism through which to bring a game to market without the need for a publisher, so what was Ys Net even doing hopping into bed with Deep Silver? Like, what is Ys Net even doing hanging onto backer donations after hopping into bed with a corporate publisher? Anyway, access to a Steam account was listed as a requirement for access to the PC version of Shenmue III, which many backers rightly interpreted as being confirmation that they were buying the Steam version of the game – only to be informed this week, amid the background buzz of E3, that the game that they had purchased had been retroactively switched out for the Epic Game Store version. Like, did Ys Net think that throwing the news out there during E3 would cause it to go unreported, because if so then ooooosh!
PC Version Epic Games Store Exclusive!
We are happy to announce that Shenmue III for PC will be will be an Epic Games Store exclusive. Development for Shenmue III has been moving forward using Unreal Engine and the support we have received from Epic has been excellent. But most importantly, in looking for the most enjoyable experience on PC, it was decided together with Deep Silver after much discussion that the Epic Games Store would be the best distribution platform option.
Ys Net has subsequently softened their stance, and claim to be looking into what they can do for their PC backers. It is unclear just how sincere they are being though, as they might just be attempting to blunt the outcry against what they have done.
We want to make sure that the Backers are aware that we are listening to their concerns. We kindly ask all our fans to have some patience, we are currently at E3 demoing the game and need to get back to our respective offices to assess the situation and together find a way forward to justify the trust you placed in us.
If Ys Net cannot see their way clear to making good on Steam versions of the game then they need to offer these backers a full refund. Period. If not, then they will have well and truly earned their class action lawsuit.
Microsoft is looking to foul up the Japanese vidya industry again. Microsoft corporate meddling led to the dark age of Japanese gaming, which caused Japanese developers to lose faith in themselves, which in turn caused them to lose any semblance of their distinct Japanese identity, instead churning out mediocre Western knockoffs. Now Phil Spencer has taken out his checkbook once again, in order to destroy Japanese gaming once again!
I think it would be nice if we found an Asian studio, in particular a Japanese studio, to add [to our studios]. I liked it when we had some first-party capability in Japan. We have a small team there, but I think we can do more.
REEEEEEEEEEEEEEE! This is why Microsoft is such a cancer! Their audience do not even care about Japanese vidya, but they just want to ruin this nice thing that Nintendo and Sony have because they can, owing to their deep pockets and willingness to meddle. Nintendo establishes studios, Sony establishes studios, Microsoft gets out their checkbook to buy their exclusivity. Microsoft adds nothing of value to gaming. They should just leave.