Jimquisition: Batman Is Everything Wrong With Square Enix

 Pages PREV 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 NEXT
 

-Dragmire-:

OtherSideofSky:

-Dragmire-:

Wasn't Bravely Default developed by a different company? I know SE was the publisher but I'm pretty sure someone else made it.

Technically yes, but with the announcements they made afterwards (http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/133397-Square-Enix-Recommitting-to-JRPGs-After-Bravely-Defaults-Success), it seems to be something they want to commit to going forward. At the very least, I think a discussion of Squenix's overall business strategy should address a statement like that.

Plus, spending the majority of a video reiterating common complaints about a five-year-old game that has since had two substantially different sequels just smacks of laziness.

Ah, I see what you're getting at. I don't quite agree that the video reflects laziness on Jim's part but I do like the more optimistic view of SE(I really want them to make games that I enjoy again). We'll see how things pan out in their next few releases.

Don't get me wrong; they have serious problems (although, with the exception of mobile gaming, I'd say those are mostly better than they were a few years ago). It just seems weird to base that criticism in something so out of date. It's like wanting to criticize Ubisoft and going about it by enumerating all the flaws in the first Assassin's Creed. Honestly, what the video makes me think more than anything is that Jim didn't play FF XIII-2 or Lightning Returns and didn't have time for a 60-hour RPG before making his video. LR is kind of weird, but is at least something different, whereas XIII-2 does a lot to address most of his complaints with XIII. It cuts out most of the made-up words, explains the few it does have in dialogue instead of weird files in the menu, and tells a story in which one always knows where one is going, what one is trying to do, and why one would want to go there and do that. That's hardly a major accomplishment, but it does show learning from past mistakes. I can't say the video is wrong, but it feels like it fell through a time-warp from 2011 or 12 and doesn't seem especially relevant to anything now.

This video is so true. I was a huge FF fan way back when. The last title I played was FF10, which I already thought was the beginning of the end. Some years ago I tried a demo of a more recent installment and I felt like a 90 year old Alzheimer patient. First I was confused, then I got progressively angry because nothing made any sense to me. That was the first time in my life I felt to old for something (all thought: modern anime has a similar effect on me).

Fucking bang on this week Jim. I haven't played FFXIII cos it looks like garbage, but I did recently play "Type-0", the fan translated PSP Final Fantasy game. Everyone is praising it (see /v/ and neogaf and gamefaqs) but it's just utter garbage and I'm mad at myself for even spending a few hours on it. :( "FML" etc.

Meh.

FFXIII was amazing. Story wasn't overly complicated at all, imo.

praisegrima

If you look at concept art for even the earliest Final Fantasy games, it's all extremely overelaborate. A lot of characters look like they tried to dress themselves in a Persian rug store, and only through the naturally simplifying elements of sprite limitations did their much more simple, elegant designs come about.

FF XIII was the game where Squeenix finally and irreversibly jumped the shark. I mean it's not literally irreversible, hell, they could theoretically stop doing moronic things and go back to making the greatest JRPGs in the world tomorrow, but we all know they won't. They seem utterly committed to this mindless course of self-destruction and nothing can change their minds.

Hell, they still refuse to remake FF VII (despite remaking the SHIT out of the rest of the FF series), presumably because of a crippling phobia of success, adulation and money. There's no helping a company like that.

Norithics:
If you look at concept art for even the earliest Final Fantasy games, it's all extremely overelaborate. A lot of characters look like they tried to dress themselves in a Persian rug store, and only through the naturally simplifying elements of sprite limitations did their much more simple, elegant designs come about.

Oh that's just Yoshitaka Amano's personal art style. ALL his characters looks like that.

Respect for voicework.

I disagree, partially.

I don't think Square needs to stop making overelaborate, weird, supercolourful characters and monsters with absolutely impossible clothes or appearances.

I think Square needs to return to make good stories and characters. You can have those without losing all the visual extravaganza.

As far as Batman goes, the design is pretty bad. However, I wouldn't mind a boss like this in my next action RPG. That would be pretty sweet and bowel cleansing at the same time.

I'm struck by the lack of Angry Weeaboos in this thread. I've seen the "That's just Japanese Design" thing a coupel of times but if this was a few years ago there would be a army of angry fans telling Jim he just hated Japan. I'm glad we've moved on from that because i fucking hate the excuse that "Well it's just Japanese so you're 'flaws' are really just you being a Baga Ganshu". Bad design is bad design no matter where it comes from.

canadamus_prime:
Square-Enix does seem to have it's priorities screwed up. And yes the most iconic characters in video games have very simple designs,

I think FF10 was actually ok for this. I remember what Tidus, Yuna, Tidus, Auron, Kimahri, Jecht and seymour look like (Not so with the Al-Bhed character). FF12 wise I'm not so sure, I remember fran and vaan for all the wrong reasons, and balthier just because he's a knight who kicks major ass.

But yes, FF4 and FF7 crisis core are potentially the best when it comes to simple but memorable characters when it comes to design (out of the FF games I have played). Crisis core in particular, the main players are all distinct in their own ways and have personality quirks that are memorable.

So yeah, tone it down, chill out, stick to the rules of KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid)

CAPTCHA: Dollar Signs. This is what Squenix have in their eyes.

Arcane Azmadi:
FF XIII was the game where Squeenix finally and irreversibly jumped the shark. I mean it's not literally irreversible, hell, they could theoretically stop doing moronic things and go back to making the greatest JRPGs in the world tomorrow, but we all know they won't. They seem utterly committed to this mindless course of self-destruction and nothing can change their minds.

Hell, they still refuse to remake FF VII (despite remaking the SHIT out of the rest of the FF series), presumably because of a crippling phobia of success, adulation and money. There's no helping a company like that.

Norithics:
If you look at concept art for even the earliest Final Fantasy games, it's all extremely overelaborate. A lot of characters look like they tried to dress themselves in a Persian rug store, and only through the naturally simplifying elements of sprite limitations did their much more simple, elegant designs come about.

Oh that's just Yoshitaka Amano's personal art style. ALL his characters looks like that.

Only thing is that there was a concept artist between Yoshitaka's work and the sprites you got to see in the early games - Their job was to actually "de-detail" the concept art and pose them into something that could be clearly seen as a character in the game, but would still keep crucial details that made them unique. Otherwise, what you saw of Yoshitaka's original designs ended up in the portraits in the stat and party menus. (I really wish I knew whoever did that part of the concepts, because he/she is quite the unsung hero)

He won't admit to it, but maybe Tetsuya needs that same crutch for his own concept art now?

I can't stand the anime-zation of everything. Everything the Japanese edit or create LOOKS EXACTLY THE SAME. Either all the men look like women and anything in armor looks like a Gundam robot.

>_> I like the facy batman... BECAUSE it's so overdesigned...
But I guess my mentality of it is "well it's certainly a nice display piece" but it's not like I'd buy that for a 10yrold to play with... Billy could lose an eye... or 12.

As for FFXV... it's gonna be shit.
From all the gameplay "footage" I've seen... all the trailers... all everything...
It's trying to be Uncharted... and it's gonna fail at that.
Namely because when I pick up an RPG... I want to play an RPG. I don't want to go running around jumping on shit... I wanted to play a damn RPG with levels and strategy and gear and thinking...
If I wanted Action-Adventure-CSfest... I'd go play Uncharted.
But that's not why it's gonna be shit.
That's just why it will probably sell poorly and have MASSIVE return rates.

It's gonna be shit because it's FFXIII-4.
I don't understand what they are thinking at SE... They basically fired Sakaguchi (in Japan, when you have done a lot for a company but it would look bad if you got fired for doing poorly... they give you a fancy window office and basically entomb you there) after the abysmal failures that were 8 and 9. (Which 9 is not a bad game, it's actually very good. But it sold terribly, and I feel like that was for two reasons: 1) PS2 just came out so stupid people won't buy a new PS1 game and 2) FFVIII was so bad that people decided to skip 9. I feel like it's much more the latter than the former reason since the PS2 was backwards compatible.)
Yet the FFXIII guy... who is a HUGE asshole... (he's the one who "defended" FFXIII's "plot" with "if you don't get it, you're not smart enough to grasp the complexities")
Is somehow not only still legit employed....
But he's now gonna ruin FFXV too??
How much money do you have to loose SE before you realize that that man is dumber than dumb????
(And it was said by the devs that FFXV IS just FFXIII-4 but with all the funny gibberish names replaced... They literally just replaced all the l'cie falcie and all that BS with other names....)
He's given us X-2. XIII. XIII-2. and XIII-3.
Bitch should have been fired after X-2... cause that... "game".... uhg.
Is it any wonder that XIII was to terribad when he's also responsible for X-2?

That's a Batman? Huh, wouldn't have known that if somebody just showed me a picture of it. It looks like some 10 year old's ultimate badass fantasy. And also terrible. It is terrible.

I agree 97%.

Except I think Nomura is just about the only thing in Square Enix that DOES work.
They have these...beautiful games with nice designs and then shitty planning and shittier story.

Nomura directed the Kingdom Hearts series and that's pretty straight and pretty fun. So him Directing XV I think (or hope) will save FF.

And yeah...I think that was actually just bahamut from some unreleased game...which was then reverse-engineered into Batman. And characters become iconic, not because of how they look, but what they do.

Jim, while I sort of agree with your video, I don't think the issue is overdesigning. If done right, one can create an intricately layered piece of art that has more elements than gramatical errors in your average, unhappy commentor.

The issue with Final Fantay games, in particular, is that they gear all of their design elements to adhere to an angsty tween's outlook on the world, their outlook on 'epic', and their outlook on 'normal, because you adults are just stupid har har har'.

I want to make a distinction in my argument right now, however. I'm clear on the concept of overdesign being a cluttered mess of elements that could just be eliminated, and I understand that it might sound like I'm simply defending good design while not grasping the difference between theory and execution. I'm not.

I'm saying, that, really, if done right, a character can have 9 belts and 8 hats with 2 monocles and shoulderplates as big as... really big shoulderplates. If done right, that character can have endless designs layered on top of them, maybe clashing, maybe not, but that character can still look much better than how they would look with any of those layers of designs removed.

What I'm trying to say is this: Most of Final Fantasy 13's characters probably look like a clusterfucks of polygons and mismatched shapes, done so badly, that there's no point in trying to sift through the intricacy in them, but Lightning? She's hot. Also, I'm getting sidetracked, but she's done well, and maybe part of it is, really, because her design is relatively simple. A few other characters I can't remember? I don't know, they're well done too. Lightning's an example of element heavy design done well; she's my entire argument encapsulated in a single, pink haired badass. Because of that, she's easily one of the most iconic characters in the series, and as someone who actively hates that said series and almost everything that it stands for, I can say that Lightning will probably be one of the most memorable characters from this generation of gaming.

Sort of like another character, who's an awesome example of element heavy design done right. It works with her theme, and nothing about her detracts from the message her character portrays.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5r03Q3gglV8

Vi.

With that said, when overdesign is done bad, well, take a field trip into Second Life to see what happens.

There is definitely one thing that's iconic about Lightning:

Motomu Toriyama's Pygmalion/Galatea relationship with his own creation.

Seriously, what the fuck?

I'm not offended that Jim bashed the XBox One. I found that -even when Microsoft changed its policy behind Kinect- his lack of satisfaction because of them not issuing a formal apology that they will never do was pointless and unrealistic, reflecting a lack of willingness to move on.

If anything, they should apologize for how much they totally fucked Skype. But if they actually get their shit together and make it less of a mess than it's turned out to be then I can only hope for so much more and expect nothing else.

"There is nothing for the eyes to hone in on" Yeah, except for the GIANT CRIMSON RED BAT INSIGNIA as his visor!

I can't say I agree that Square Enix's drive to amp up their game's graphics are the issue, but they are definitely a part of the problem. This developer made it's bones by catering to gamers who were and continue to be hungry for a good story. For myself, seeing Final Fantasy 4 played by a friend in my youth was the catalyst to turn games from a high-tech toy for kids into an art form as valid as a well executed book or film.
Square Enix seems at some point to have lost track of the tale-telling aspect of their products. Mr. Sterling touches at this here but I don't think he puts enough emphasis on it. I enjoyed Final Fantasy 13. Barely. The crap going on in the background was, as Mr. Sterling pointed out, a huge distraction from the story embedded in it, what little there was present.
The last time I was REALLY pumped for a new FF game was 8. The last decent story was 7. Argue if you want, but how much money has Square Enix made from sequels, movies, toys, and assorted paraphernalia from that title? Was it the amazing graphics that made players drop trou and spread cheek to accommodate the FF7 merchandise train? I kind of doubt it. The equation is simpler than Square seems to think. This works for good books, music, films and TV too. Program a semi-original story with minimal to middling character drama, don't over-explain your environment, operate on the assumption that your audience have enough brain cells to fill in the gaps, and as the good book says, "Don't Panic!"

Make a game that is more "Louis C.K. in a brandy room" and less "juggling clown in an elementary assembly hall" and I will buy it every time.

Anyone else look at this Batman design and think, "Azrael's batsuit modifications have gotten way out of hand?"

No? Just me? Okay. v.v

(If you're unfamiliar, just search "Azrael as batman.")

So if Batman's going in Kingdom Hearts, and Disney owns Marvel... well, best not to get hopes up

As much as I used to like Squeenix's over the top designs, I agree that they've been way out of control recently. I can hardly keep up with all the new character designs they churn up, nothing sticks. They've also been whoring up the iOS market, disappointing fans again and again (dat TWEWY tease will forever anger me). I like how they also cheated us PSP owners out of FF Type-O. Thanks SE. We don't need fancier graphics and even more over the top character designs. I want good characters and decent plot more than I want bells and whistles. They're trying too hard to stay at the top of the industry (all the industry, seriously, they're trying to do shooters, iOS, MMO's, final fantasy...), and if anything all their recent behavior has been pointing towards the fact they're already failing and are just trying to make cash grabs.

I think they're too scared to do what they used to do (make normal games) any more. Hell, they're terrified of making a FF7 remake despite the fan demand. They put way too much money into their main productions if their that scared of a classic that popular failing. Or maybe they know that under their current direction and obsession with glamour that they'd mess it up somehow.

I'm beginning to think that part of the reason TWEWY was good was because it was made with Jupiter. Bravely Default likewise wasn't directly made by SE. And as excited I am for KH3 I have no hopes for the plot or the characters. KH3D already trained Axel/Lea of his personality (and the plot was completely BS, completely forgettable, at least the other games' plot left somewhat of an impression on me).

The Osaka group working on them however is solid in their game design, if nothing else. They made KH3D in only a year and although it felt undercooked, tedious, and scattered compared to BBS, another game they worked on, the gameplay had a lot of potential behind it. Hell, they made BBS and that had a fantastic fighting system and minigames, imho. I want to see what they can do with KH3. Maybe its a good thing Nomura's team is busy with FFIV.

otakon17:
"There is nothing for the eyes to hone in on" Yeah, except for the GIANT CRIMSON RED BAT INSIGNIA as his visor!

Yes but is it his eye slit? Is it an entire facial sequence? Is the bottom part of the red bat symbol coming down over where his mouth would be? Or are the peaks of the red wings going up above his head? Where is his face in proportion to that red insignia? I've seen anime armor types that would fit either shape, and you can't freaking tell with this design.

And seriously, if the only thing that you can make out as an identifying mark on the entire suit is a single, small piece of different coloration, on a huge, black amalgamation of angles and lines and pointy bits, is that a good thing? The only thing you can hone in on as you put it, is his face, everything else is an eye strain of extraneous bits and stuff that the Batman wouldn't freaking bother to have because they would be impractical in a fight.

I guess the designer who made the aesthetic for Final Fantasy is the same guy who designed the Lexus LFA.

image

Intakes and odd angles all over the damn place.

An excellent point, well made.

Kuro Serpentina:
My favourite company is Nippon Ichi, but Jim never seems to say shit about them... Heck, I think he praised them for a moment a while back

So I'm looking at some of their newer games, and honestly most if not all of them looks like the kind of game that is impossible to get into unless you played the previous titles. Got any recommendations, that are easy to get into?

Drejer43:

Kuro Serpentina:
My favourite company is Nippon Ichi, but Jim never seems to say shit about them... Heck, I think he praised them for a moment a while back

So I'm looking at some of their newer games, and honestly most if not all of them looks like the kind of game that is impossible to get into unless you played the previous titles. Got any recommendations, that are easy to get into?

I played Disgaea 2 for PSP for the first time a while back and got into it surprisingly easily
The games aren't that hard to get into, so long as your not afraid to grind like hell
For gateway stuff, Disgaea 1 & 2 for PSP are good starts, but overall recommendations include Guided Fate Paradox for PS3, Soul Nomad and the World Eaters for PS2, Makai Kingdom for PS2 & Zettai Hero Project: Unlosing Ranger Vs. Darkdeath Evilman for PSP (Warning: ZHP is their most hardcore grindfest of all time)
Also, NISA (Their American branch) dubbed and publishes a lot of great RPGs and Visuals Novels, so keep an eye out for the NIS logo, its a sure sign of quality and to be MAD MAD MAD~

Richfeet:
image

You saw this batsuit and thought "hmm. it needs more details."
Its like giving spider man more arms just to look more spider-like.

I haven't read the rest of the forum. But I'm almost sure that you know by now that they already did it (in the comics and the animated series... more than once. *shudder*)

Neverhoodian:
Sandwich designed by Squeenix:

It's getting there, but first it needs more color; some muted pink, bright yellow, clean white - colors that stand out. Preferably added with the use of inedible materials, like plastic or painted metal.

After adding some much needed colors you've got to add some useless spikes - making the sandwich extremely difficult to handle. Then wrap it up with at least 2 belts (though more is obviously better), and a plate made mostly out of zippers.

And then add a chocobo at the top, made out of marzipan and lead paint. There: stupidly large sandwich by Square Enix :D

Happyninja42:

otakon17:
"There is nothing for the eyes to hone in on" Yeah, except for the GIANT CRIMSON RED BAT INSIGNIA as his visor!

Yes but is it his eye slit? Is it an entire facial sequence? Is the bottom part of the red bat symbol coming down over where his mouth would be? Or are the peaks of the red wings going up above his head? Where is his face in proportion to that red insignia? I've seen anime armor types that would fit either shape, and you can't freaking tell with this design.

And seriously, if the only thing that you can make out as an identifying mark on the entire suit is a single, small piece of different coloration, on a huge, black amalgamation of angles and lines and pointy bits, is that a good thing? The only thing you can hone in on as you put it, is his face, everything else is an eye strain of extraneous bits and stuff that the Batman wouldn't freaking bother to have because they would be impractical in a fight.

I think at this point it's just an argument of "How well you can tell details apart". Did I think the design was over-the-top? You betcha however I didn't have any issues telling what was what for the most part.

Jim you are wrong about one thing - Square enix is not pushing for graphics. they try to make it as shiny and contrived as they can, but as far as graphic technology actually goes they are dragging behind.

their downfall is, as you say, overcomplocated wierdness. Square enix manages to be the worst company around without having bad PR like EA, and thats a feat to achieve.

Well, art is subjective ...

While not a fan of it, I don't really mind the overuse of belts and zipper. It's just the way their artists design stuff.

FFXIII sucked not because of the art, it sucked because the plot was a mess, the characters are so-so and the gameplay is poorly paced - which was not surprise given that it was rushed out the door after being stuck in development hell for so long.

Square Enix is a big company. It has many divisions working on multiple projects at once. You can't really paint the whole company with a single brush based on a few of its products.

Graphics are something all game companies have to keep on top of. Yes, Minecraft sold tons despite have horrible graphics, but Minecraft is an outlier. It's hard to get noticed among all the AAA releases if your game looks like crap - it will effectively be DOA.

Just about every major publisher is working on an engine, EA has Frostbite, Ubisoft has Snowdrop ... etc. It's common sense to have in-house engine tech that can be shared across projects, so your individual teams don't have to reinvent the wheel independently.

See, I thought this was going to be about Lightning and how much like Batman she is (orphan, talks all raspy, tries to sound dark and edgy, comes off as very callous almost always, and tries to work alone or have a young sidekick).

Fair points nonetheless. I played the XIII sub-series and agree about XIII's clusterfuck of a story and the shallow, immemorable cast. But, and I am aware I may be biased, XIII-2 really felt like a gem in the sub-series. Admittedly, the story was still fairly over complex, but Noel... He is still a wonderful character in my opinion. The concept of "last human on earth" in as literal a sense as it was is still a fairly unseen or unexplored concept. And the way they made that relevant to his final fight with Cauis, the most evil shithead in the sub-series, was a pretty good connection (if you chose mercy I mean). I'm not a major fan of the Final Fantasy games, but when I beat XIII-2 I do remember actually spending another dozen hours post-game just to get all the best weapons and beating the most difficult optional bosses. And the Ezio outfit looked pretty great on Noel.

 Pages PREV 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 NEXT

Reply to Thread

Your account does not have posting rights. If you feel this is in error, please contact an administrator. (ID# 59924)