News: Findom Sharts

Final Fantasy XVI Battle Designer Said Some Interesting Things About Command Battle Systems in June

Given TDT’s coverage of Final Fantasy XIV, it would be very easy to conclude that we have drawn a lot of harshly negative opinions based on very little information. Battles seemed to be standard action fare, albeit they looked more than a little stiff, and there was nothing in evidence to weight opinions in a more positive direction. That being said, the same was also true for combat in Final Fantasy VII Remake right up to the point where Square Enix decided to show off the game’s command entry features. Ultimately Remake‘s combat was far from perfect, yet it was so much better than it initially seemed to be – so why could that not also be the case here?

Action and RPG ought never to have mixed.
Even if XVI is a visual match for DMC, it won’t feel as good.

In order to properly get a feel for how Final Fantasy XVI‘s battle system will turn out, it is perhaps best to go straight to the ass’s mouth and pick Ryota Suzuki’s brain on what he thinks of command-based battle systems. Now this news is not new, but it was not newsworthy enough to report at the time because Final Fantasy XVI had yet to be unveiled, and Suzuki had yet to be announced as the game’s battle designer. Suzuki has still yet to be formally announced as battle designer, but it is an absolute certainty that he is such – so what does the man think about the combat system adopted by the most celebrated entries of the series that he now represents?

I may be exaggerating, but nowadays many believe that Command RPG itself is old-fashioned. These games are called JRPGs outside Japan, and older players will play them, but the younger generation, raised playing GTA and FPS games, aren’t used to command-based battles systems. They feel weird seeing a system where the enemies and allies will simply stand as they wait for commands. Square Enix still deem RPGs as important though. We plan to make games for those who enjoyed our works until now, and for the younger players who are more used to Action games.

What a pity that the youngsters of today were never introduced to Pokemon!

What hope is there for Final Fantasy XVI when the people working on it are as retarded as this guy? Command-based battle systems will never be old fashioned or outdated until such a time as the pen and paper underpinnings of the genre can be better realised through a more intuitive playstyle – and action mechanics ain’t it! Action RPGs make for poor action games, and they make for poor RPGs. The thing that makes action games like Devil May Cry satisfying to play is reliable and responsive mechanics. Attacking and blocking needs to be relied upon to do the same thing each time, else the experience starts to feel inaccurate and sloppy. Naturally, this becomes a problem when the player’s block can be broken if they do not have a high enough defence stat, or if they can simply break through the enemy’s block by putting enough points into strength, or if they cannot even properly manoeuvre because their armour is too damn heavy!

When everything is determined through a combination of statistics and a dice roll, it is near impossible to have a reliable ruleset that the player can rely upon for good gamefeel and strategy. Companies like Square Enix make their RPG franchises into Action RPGs in order for people who hate playing proper RPGs to have a path of least resistance through the game’s content, but such a compromised way of thinking will never lead to the creation of a great game. At best the game will turn out to be not so bad. Such games might find ways to bolt on features which can somewhat facilitate strategic command selection, as was the case with Final Fantasy VII Remake. While such games can never be great action games or RPGs, they can nevertheless be enjoyed to some extent by RPG players. But what chance is there of XVI ending up as one such game, when the battle designer views the very notion of command-based battle systems with derision?

Nothing is set in stone, and TDT could always be pleasantly surprised down the road, but this sure does not bode well, and one considers a certain bleak scepticism towards the game to be more than justified. If Yoshi P wants to step in and mandate that Suzuki find a way to accommodate command inputs then fine, but assuming that likely is not going to be the case then Square Enix would be much better served by stripping out all of the game’s RPG mechanics and just making a pure action game. The worst thing that Final Fantasy XVI could be is forgettable mush like Kingdom Hearts.

Konami Games Releasing on GOG

Several weeks ago on the podcast the panel discussed two pieces of Metal Gear Solid news. The first was a persistent rumour that Metal Gear Solid would be getting a ‘next-gen’ remake, and would be released along with HD remasters of the other Metal Gear titles. The second was the tangible fact that a number of Metal Gear titles had been re-rated for release in South Korea. This author tied the two stories together, as the latter news strengthened the former rumour, and it made a lot of sense to do that given the temporal proximity of one story to the other. Metal Gear Solid may indeed be getting a fullblown remake, yet it turns out that the Korean story is likely not at all related to that.

Some of them don't seem to be running too well though.
A number of Konami games have arrived on GOG.

It is much more likely that the Korean news was derived from the spate of reasonably priced Konami releases that have popped up on Good Old Games over the last couple of weeks. Metal Gear, Metal Gear Solid, Metal Gear Solid 2: Substance, Silent Hill 4: The Room, and Konami Collector’s Series: Castlevania & Contra are all now digitally available on PC. The real elephant in the room is whether we will end up seeing releases of Silent Hill 2: Director’s Cut and Silent Hill 3 over the coming weeks, as there are existing PC ports of both of those games, and plenty of demand for them. With Halloween right around the corner Konami could really make bank by releasing two of the greatest horror games ever made. That being said, buyer beware. The GOG user reviews appear to indicate that a few of these games have arrived in relatively rough shape. Konami.

Available Storage for PS5 Revealed

The next console generation begins next month, and new consoles have already begun to find their way into the wild – which means that new information is coming to light. The system startup has been recorded and shown on Plebbit, and photos revealing the system’s available storage have also made it into the wild, and osh! When the PS4 launched with a 500GB HDD, only about 400GB were available for storage after the operating software and associated bloatware were installed. This very quickly led to a situation where owners of early PS4s were constantly struggling to find storage space for new games. When it was announced that the PS5 would have a 825GB SSD that set off all kinds of warning bells. 825GB of storage sounds very underdone compared to the 1TB available to the PS4 Pro, especially when the PS5’s 100GB discs are twice the size of the 50GB afforded to PS4 games. Well, apparently after the PS5 operating system and associated bloatware are installed users will have just 664GB with which to install games!

Hopefully everyone continues buying Switches and forgets about it.
What a giant piece of shit!

The PS5 system software is not actually 160GB in size. Because of the way that gigabytes (1000MB) and gibibytes (1024MB) have over time been generalised to represent the same thing (GB), that has led to some confusion over how a gigabyte is measured. Hardware manufacturers calculate storage volumes in true gigabytes, where each GB is 1000MB in size. Software such as operating systems tends to measure storage in terms of gibibytes, or 1024MB per GB, and these are often, confusingly, also referred to as gigabytes. This means that the PS5 operating system will recognise an 825MB SSD as being 768GB in size because of the discrepancy in measurements, and then of that 768GB storage space 664GB will be available to users.

It is really one thing after another with the PS5. First Playstation HQ start their pogrom against Japanese games, then they under-spec the PS5 which obliges them to massively overclock it in order to compete with Microsoft, which in turn causes massive overheating issues, which then obliges them to design their system to look like a giant novelty taco. Now we have this very obviously insufficient storage space. The PS5 system software is not drastically bigger than that found on the PS4, but it was already too big on the PS4 and games are now twice the size! It is a really good idea to hold off on buying a PS5 until Sony manage to fix their shit, if at all possible.

9 comments

  1. “Companies like Square Enix make their RPG franchises into Action RPGs in order for people who hate playing proper RPGs to have a path of least resistance through the game’s content, but such a compromised way of thinking will never lead to the creation of a great game.”

    Absolutely nailed it.

  2. “Well, apparently after the PS5 operating system and associated bloatware are installed users will have just 664GB with which to install games.”

    You know things are fucked-up when the next-gen system is measurably worse than the current-gen system.

  3. I don’t buy another Final Fantasy title till they go back to a pre-12 battle system. There’s no single player FF Title after Lightning Returns in my eyes.

  4. Damnit Matt, you’ve spoiled my news column for next week! :P

    I had previously thought that Sony Of California’s disdain for the Japanese people only extended to things with anime influences, and that they didn’t actually hate the people themselves. Now it is clear that they are hostile to the people themselves, and even the Japanese lineage of the Playstation brand. They are attempting to rewrite the company’s history by poisoning their own roots.

    The very reason that the Playstation controller even has an ‘X’ and an ‘O’ button is because in Japan ‘X’ is the symbol for ‘no’ and ‘O’ is the symbol of ‘yes’. If you have ever seen a Japanese show or anime where a person makes an ‘X’ symbol with their forearms to indicate their opposition towards something, that is why. The West got it backwards, which is OK because those symbols mean nothing to us in a cultural sense, but that is what it means for Japanese people. By forcing this change onto Japanese people it is effectively changing the meaning of ‘yes’ and ‘no’, which probably makes the cultural Marxists at Playstation HQ giddy with delight if they even have the cultural awareness to realise that is what they are doing.

    Imagine if you we’re playing a game which gave you the option to do something, but the meaning of ‘yes’ and ‘no’ was reversed, so you always ended up choosing the option that you didn’t intend to. There are even a few English releases with botched localisations where this is possible in a few isolated instances. It leads to an extremely unintuitive experience. The upside to this is that now Japanese people know, if they were not already aware through Sony censorship, that Playstation is not for them. Playstation is now Californian, and is intended only for Californians, and maybe also Portlandians.

  5. I was (and remained) angry when the shift came, around 1998, for virtually all US Playstation games to ditch the JP O-Confirm/X-Cancel setup that they had been using in line with Japanese games. First, O and X always made more sense that way, secondly it was consistent with SNES using A for confirm and B for cancel in the same locations, and thirdly it meant a weird changeover that was annoying to adapt to, and then annoying again whenever one went back to the old pre-changeover games.

    Apparently, Sony is now happy to force Japanese gamers to go through the same shift in order to bring them into line with progressive American Sony. If Japanese gamers didn’t feel second-class before, they might now.

  6. I was (and remained) angry when the shift came, around 1998, for virtually all US Playstation games to ditch the JP O-Confirm/X-Cancel setup that they had been using in line with Japanese games.

    I wouldn’t be angry so much at their decision to standardise the American confirm button, as much as I would be angry at Sony for not thinking to mandate a standard confirm button from the outset, which obliged them to do this down the road.

    I imagine that Sony of Japan didn’t think to mandate the use of ‘O’ to confirm and ‘X’ to cancel, because in their minds they had very clearly labelled confirm and cancel buttons, without realising that it wasn’t very apparent to Westerners. I don’t know what Sony of America and Sony of Europe were thinking though. Not sure whether they were content to negligently allow devs to use whatever button scheme they preferred until they later realised that they had created a mess, or whether the American branch were attempting to subvert the control scheme being pushed by Japnese HQ by encouraging devs to use an alternate button scheme. I imagine that communication between the different Sony divisions must not have been great back in those days. Though it doesn’t seem particularly great these days either. Either way, by the time X was mandated as the confirm button, it really had to be because the majority of games were already using it as a confirm button.

    I always find it mind-boggling how one division of a company can brazenly sabotage another division of the same company, at great cost to the company itself, all for the sake of the petty egos. And it never ever does any harm to the careers of the people responsible.

  7. I guess this will further the push towards PlayStation being the console for Japanese developers seeking to westernize their games for a mass audience, and Nintendo for those that stick to what pleases a Japanese audience.

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