Wada: “Final Fantasy Reputation Greatly Damaged”

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Yesterday, during a press conference in Tokyo, Yoichi Wada mentioned the following words: “The Final Fantasy brand has been greatly damaged.” He was talking about Final Fantasy XIV, the MMORPG launched with major problems that made the game somewhat unplayable. The backlash of that game was universal and loud, with major critics and fans alike expressing frustration at the basic mechanics. However, with Wada uttering these words, he has recognised the problems of the game and expressed the desire to make everything right.

On the patches, Wada notes “We’ll continue with our reform work, which basically amounts to fully redoing the game, and hope to revive the FFXIV that should have been released.” For some fans, it might be too little too late. There was no mention of the Playstation 3 version.

This particular press conference focused on the online plans of Square Enix’s flagship titles: Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest. There was talk of Dragon Quest X, but only as an example of this online direction. Wada did note that the Dragon Quest main series will not be online only, telling the audience, “We’re not making them all online. We’ll continue with a variety of developments, offline included.”

Source: Sponichi (via Andriasang)

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Josh is the name, writing is my game... well my degree will say that. But, when uni gets me down (and it does), there is no better way that to grab a chair, sit back and slicing up some Darkspawn I started my gaming interest back in the good old 16 bit era with the Sega Mega Drive and Sonic The Hedgehog 2. I was roughly five years old. To this day I still try to fire up the dusty companion and speed through the wacky and bright levels, jumping on some Badniks, collecting those damn Chaos Emeralds. Then I moved onto Sony's disk based console the Playstation (thanks to my uncle). Since then I have picked up each of Sony's consoles from the 5th to current generation that has been released in Australia (with more to come). In terms of writing about games, I am quite new to the field. I started out late last year with my own blog before deciding to move to greener pastures. I have written a few reviews for the Playstation 3 and Playstation Portable. Features as well. I hope I can flex my muscles while writing with Capsule Computers. If I'm not gaming, however, I'm writing narratives. I am currently trying to kickstart a high fantasy novel (which, hopefully, turns into a complex RPG) that I want done in five years or so. My passion of writing has been there for a long time and has flourished as I grew. I'm into the fantasy genre, both games and novels, and thoroughly enjoy a deep and complex RPG, whether it comes from the East or West. Oh and anime is awesome!
  • Cellophane Girl

    I always thought making the FF MMORPG’s part of the numbered series was a bad idea.

    I mean I suppose XI worked out okay, but I didn’t play it and a lot of fans didn’t play it because it was an MMORPG.
    I mean call it Final Fantasy, that’s fine, but not one of the numbered games.

    I think true fans of the final fantasy series aren’t going to be TOO hurt by the MMORPG game being broken. Since the MMO’s have very little to do with the other games.

    I think FF as a whole will be ok.

    • Joshua Spudic

      With XI, those who played it really enjoyed it. It was as popular as World of Warcraft.

      I will agree with you and I’ll join the OK train. With Wada admitting its problems, I believe that the series will be OK.

      However, even though he refers to the MMO game, fans are still blaming XIII (which is a great game) and the spinoffs (some of them actually good) for the “poor” quality.

      I think the problem of hardcore FF fans is what I like to call the “VII Syndrome” where if a game is not like FF VII, its automatically a bad game. Some fanboys and fangirls can be very fickle people who can not be pleased.

      • Cellophane Girl

        I wasn’t saying it was a bad game. I know some people who really loved it. It’s just that being a MMO I feel that it should have been named something other than “Final Fantasy XI”. Even though the numbered FF games are not direct sequels to the others (with the exception of the “2’s”) they are traditionally single player games, so the MMO angle throws it off somewhat. I remember being disappointed when they announced it as being an MMO.

        I agree completely with the VII Syndrome. I don’t even think it’s the best game in the series. Yes it’s good, but it’s not the only FF game out there.

        The only one that I have played and not enjoyed was XII, and that was solely because of the combat style. I just didn’t care for it. I tried multiple times to pick it up and play it, but I couldn’t get the hang of it.

        People give XIII a lot of grief, but from what I’ve played of it, I really enjoy it. Okay it is a bit heavy on the cinematics but I don’t mind that at all. I can see where some people might not like it, but I think a lot of people aren’t even giving it a chance.

        When I say “True fans” I don’t mean the VII fanboys. They compare every FF game to VII and already have it in their mind that no other FF game will be as good as VII. They are totally biased in that regard. But that’s how fanboys are in general.

        It’s very refreshing to see companies that admit when they make mistakes and work to fix them.

        • Joshua Spudic

          I would agree with you with the naming. It should have been a separate game with constant updates. I guess you wouldn’t be happy that Dragon Quest X is an online MMO then, rather than a single player game like its predecessors.

          I also agree that “True Fans” are not those with VII Syndrome. A good game, but not the best. I have played each main FF before VII and believe that they are much better than said game, especially I, IV and VI.

          With XIII, I really enjoy it. I prefer the linear style because I love a story heavy game. The linearity puts the focus on the story and doesn’t go all over the place, yet still makes the world feel big in scope. The characters were awesome and I enjoy the battle system. I blame Western RPGs (and Western trends in general) for all the criticism FF XIII got. You don’t buy a Japanese game for its Westernization.

  • Claire Phillips

    Ah the FF13 debate. The story is intriguing and the cutscenes are beautiful, but someone forgot that for the story to truly matter you need to be able to immerse yourself in it, and for me that means being able to have some sort of part to play in how and when it progresses – talking to NPC’s, exploring for myself – not being railroaded into the next cutscene after walking ten paces. I would actually have rather watched it as a movie – it just felt like my input was a bit pointless throughout.

    The characters are fine too, I just wish Vanille didn’t constantly ‘ooh’ and moan all the damn time, she’s supposed to be a kid!

    Yes, I could rant a bit, I should stop!

    • Joshua Spudic

      To be perfectly honest, the characters, being Pulse I’Cie, are fugitives of Cocoon, thus going through a town would be suicide (they do that, actually). Hence, the lack of towns and NPC’s to talk to. Maybe in FF XIII-2 its a little different.

      In fact, Toriyama and Kitase themselves said that most of the criticism did come from linearity and the lack of interaction between player and world (which is where the NPCs come in), but Toriyama said it “becomes very difficult to tell a compelling story when you’re given that much freedom”. He was talking about the open worlds of Western RPGs.

      With Vanille, she is actually 19 years old. I don’t know if you would call that a child. In fact, five of the six playable characters are quite young, which is interesting.

  • Claire Phillips

    And to be on topic – I have always disregarded the online games anyway, it does mystify me why they keep them in the numbered series.

    Releasing XIV in the state they did was a huge mistake, hopefully more general fans won’t have noticed 😀

    • Joshua Spudic

      The general fans wouldn’t care about the MMOs in my opinion. It would have been the core fanbase.

      Just to be clear, you do mean as part of the main series, right? Final Fantasy works really well as a MMO. The amount of jobs, scope of the world, the amount of monsters… as a side project I believe it could best World of Warcraft.

      • Claire Phillips

        Yes that’s what I’m saying, the people who pick up the odd game and enjoy it won’t really know about the MMO’s and might wonder where number XI went, that sort of thing.

        And yes, as part of the main series, I’m quite happy for the MMO to exist 😀

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