Friday, March 4, 2011

Tactics Ogre And An Epiphany

Those of you who know me know that my biggest axe to grind with Square-Enix has always been Tactics Ogre. Tactics Ogre was one of the best RPGs ever made, even compared to modern fare, a deep and amazing franchise that was deliberately killed off by both halves of Square-Enix, even before they merged. Well, with the recent remake of Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together for the PSP, I suppose I have to finally let this grudge go. But that's not what this post is about.

No, this post is about an epiphany I had while playing the new Tactics. Ready? Here it is.

Square-Enix half-asses everything, except when making remakes.

That's not an underhanded jab about how their old games are better than their newer ones either, that's an honest statement. The new Tactics Ogre isn't just a re-release, even though that would've been fine. It's gotten a complete loving makeover. Graphics, dialogue, even the combat and levelling systems have been overhauled, all in the name of making it better.

Tactics Ogre isn't alone. When Square-Enix decided to finally port Final Fantasy 3 to the United States, they could've done the same thing they did for the original Final Fantasy, and ported it mostly as-is with some graphical updates; and you know what? People probably would've been happy with that. But they didn't. They completely overhauled the game, changing the graphics to 3-D, adding new gameplay, classes, and even creating entirely new main characters. They put forth a lot of effort.

The remakes prove that as much as we all hate Square-Enix they really can still make good games, which is why it's so infuriating that (with a few exceptions) they just don't bother with their new games. I've already talked about the half-assed job they did on Dissidia as well as Magical Yuri Dress-Up Fantasy. I haven't reviewed Final Fantasy 13 because honestly I just can't be bothered to care about it, but it definitely qualifies too. When it comes to making new games Square-Enix doesn't care at all.

I can't say why it's this way. The most likely answer is that the teams that do the remakes and the teams that make new games are different crews. (The Tactics Ogre remake, for example, was made by the same people who made the original, who are now called the Ivalice Alliance and actually do tend to do reasonably good work.) Whatever the case, Square-Enix, this isn't how you run a franchise. I love that you're putting thought and effort into your remakes, and yes I love the old games too, but there's only so many times I can replay them.

If you were to make a new game, putting in the same amount of thought and effort that you put into the remakes...well, I'm not going to say it will shut up all the raving fanboys. Most of them are hard-headed idiots who will never be satisfied by anything. But Hell, at the very least it might save you from eventual obscurity.

So how about it, guys? You gave us Tactics Ogre, Final Fantasy 6, and Final Fantasy 7. You can do good work. I know you can do it again, at least once. What do you say?

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

You Decide! Which YouTube Idiot Is Stupider?

YouTube and idiocy are pretty much synonymous with each other. Still, there are some that stand out above the rest like finding a diamond in a mountain of solid gold, or a rat trap cleverly hidden in a pile of dog shit.

What we have here is the double rainbow of shit: two comments of such superfluous badness that even one could fuel a month of blog posts. But which is worse? It's hard to decide, which is why I'm going to force you to do it for me.

So, which of these two comments is more stupid, fear-mongering, and ignorant? Is it this stunning critique of Finnish symphonic metal band Nightwish?

"Wow. I don't have a lot to say about this. Excuse me but nothing but satanic crap. I found my youngest daughter listening to this band, and now that I've looked even deeper into them, I know that this is nothing a pop goth band crying for attention that should keep their mouth off the word of god, and my 15 year old daughter!"
Because a song lamenting the evil in the world is totally comparable to Gorgoroth.

Or is it this response to the above comment? (Forgiving the bad grammar, because I don't think english is her first language.)

"omg! You're could get in really serious trouble posing as 43 woman,U Saying you're have daughter, that's really mess up! That's not really your pic, I'm going to report you'd to FBI. It's People like you're that play Sick games. Like the Death Megan Meier because of that woman was posing like boy made her commit suicide. I take this very serious! it's trolls like you'd should all belong in jail, grow up assholes, I'm not going report. if you lose the act."
Because being 43 on the internet is a felony, apparently.

Post your answers in the comments, or just e-mail them to IDon't@Really.Care.