Performancing Metrics

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Oops I Did It Again

     Sorry for the horrible Britney Spears ripoff, but I felt it best illustrated how dumb I think this latest Square-Enix development is.
     I'm talking about Final Fantasy 14.  I've been a long standing fan of the Final Fantasy series, starting off with the original game on the NES, but I've been worried lately about the health of the series.  All the way up to the ninth installment of the series, things seemed to be going golden, everything the square team touched was magical (at least to my young eyes), and each game far surpassed the last, in technical achievement, game play, and graphics.  And the later games had magnificent story lines.
     But Final Fantasy 14 seems to be attempting to re-attempt a previous campaign.  A campaign that failed horribly.  Does anyone reading this blog really remember the story of Final Fantasy 11?  No?  I didn't think so.  A brilliant design team wasted years of development to come up with a game that lost its audience in a matter of months.  No one I know played the game for more than six months.  And only the devoted fans of Final Fantasy lasted that long.  The game supposedly had everything to make a great MMORPG, graphics, great character design, unique lifestyle and combat system.  But the most important part of any artwork was missing.  This great master piece of visual achievement had an almost none-existent story.  None of it seemed believable.  You weren't really sucked into the game at all.
     After Final Fantasy 12 made the leap back to single player console, and shocked the world with a gripping story of the effect of the ravages of war, I, as a die-hard fan of Final Fantasy, I slept easier knowing that the beautiful tales of Final Fantasy were something that would remain where they belong, on the single player systems.  Final Fantasy 13 didn't upset this balance either.
     So, imagine my dismay then, when walking through Wal-Mart today, to turn and see a case I didn't recognize, bearing a name I did.  But the number wasn't one I was familiar with.  I had heard rumors of Square Enix working on 14, but nothing solid had really materialized.  Then suddenly, sitting in with PC games of all things, there is FF14.  I thought to myself, 'No, it can't be.  They didn't really try it all over again, did they?  But sure enough, there it was on the synopsis on the back.  Online.  And my spirits fell. 
     And as to the title of this post, I am terribly disappointed with Square Enix for trying to push through something that already failed so miserably the first time.  I had hoped that they would have learned not to dabble into areas where they are not wanted.  The problem with the world of gaming is that as much as the critics want it to push the boundaries of new,  their artistic and cultural value dictates that they remain rooted in tradition.  These games have become our means of chronicling the values and desirable attributes of our society.  More than books, more than movies, more than even the spoken word.  Video games are our cultural center, and we must not forget that people find comfort in the familiar.