Posts Tagged ‘Square-Enix’

Yoichi Wada thinking we need more games like Heavy Rain is scary

Yoichi Wada - Square Enix PresidentThe video game internet work is buzzing right now thanks to wonderful Yoichi Wada. In a recent interview with Famitsu the president of Square Enix, Wada, stated:

It would be good if they made more games like Heavy Rain.

It’s comments like this that scare me. I love Square Enix. I think they are a fantastic group with some serious talent and wonderful story telling abilities. On top of that most of the games they publish are visually stunning and enough to make a grown man giggle titter like a small child on the playground.

Heavy Rain - Madison Paige

That's right Madison, we all know your secret.

I am also a fan Heavy Rain. It was fun, it was interesting, it was different. The controls were unlike anything I had ever played previously and once you got the hang of them it was game on. Visually this was one of the more exquisite games I have ever had the pleasure to play. Not to mention that Quantic Dream was nice enough to answer the age old question “does she shave” when looking at Madison Paige. Thanks guys!

Now you’re probably wondering “Why are more games like Heavy Rain scary?”

Because what made Heavy Rain so good was that it was so different. Lets be honest, Square Enix has a tendency to beat a dead horse so unmercifully that it actually comes back to life briefly so that it can be killed and beaten again. You know it’s true. Look at Final Fantasy. “Rebel/outcast gets mixed up in an adventure in a world that is a mix of magic and technological wonders. Through struggle and loss he gains the trust and admiration of his group and becomes their leader in a struggle to save the world from certain doom.” One time they had Vivi. Vivi rocked.

Final Fantasy IX - Vivi

Excessive stitching is also bad ass.

When that formula got a little old, they added Disney to the mix, but still injected it full of Final Fantasy. Okay I’m not going to lie to you, I still love Kingdom Hearts II. Organization XIII was bad ass, and so was Vivi.

But the more people make a game like Heavy Rain the more the market will be diluted and lose its charm. While yes, I do agree with Wada that there needs to be more games like it with a rich and deep story line, I beg them not to bombard the market with Heavy Rain clones that force the user to solve a murder mystery with plot twists, winding turns, and some whiney guy who desperately needs to shave running around shouting “JASON” over and over.

So here I am asking please. Wada-sama please. Square Enix please. Please from the depth of my soul don’t take something as beautiful and magnificent as Heavy Rain and dilute its magnificence by flooding the market with games that aren’t as polished, thought out, or interesting. I’m not asking you not to make something like it, but please for the love of all that is pure take time with it. Make it outstanding.

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Nier: The Review

Nier: Gestalt - Square Enix

Nier: Replicant - Young Nier

This is not you

Nier: Gestalt - Old Nier

This is you

Here in the States we can’t get the video game Nier: Replicant where you play as a young seemingly spry lad with white hair and large sword. Instead you get a character that is quite the opposite. You get to play as a large caveman like character who goes by the moniker “The Father” and bears a striking resemblance to Gary Busey. This is not necessarily a bad thing as I for one am a huge fan of Mr. Busey and all he does…partly out of fear that he may appear next to my bed one night with that…that grin. But I digress. The only real difference between Nier: Gestalt and Nier: Replicant is the age of the main character and their relationship with Yonah. As “The Father” you assume the role of (you guessed it) her father, while in Nier: Replicant you play as her brother.

As stated above the states you play the video game as her father attempting to find a cure for the aptly named “Black Scrawl” that begins to engulf her. Where her mother may be I haven’t the foggiest and leaving a teenager up to their own devices while Dad’s out engaging the world in combat and completing quests has bad idea written all over it. Add in the fact that she’s sick and you begin to unravel a blanket of bad parenting. But it’s this bad parenting that makes this video game fricking AWESOME. I don’t want to play a video game as a loving father who sits by his daughters bed side applying a cold compress while creatures called “Shades” are attacking travelers and miscellaneous sheep. NO! I want to be the guy out there kicking shade (and sheep) ass with my magical talking book and sword the size of a sofa. There’s a sentence I never imagined I would ever have a reason to type.

This is a video game on a whole different level. To understand what you’re getting in to all you really have to do is watch the opening video. Seriously. It’s total rage before Square Enix’s logo even pop’s up. At the time I didn’t know who was yelling but it was love at first sight.

Neir: Controls

From the onset the controls are simple and easy. They don’t throw anything new or innovative at you. This is where the problem lies. There are so many opportunities to take advantage of something like the PS3 controller that they never capitalize on.

For example there a few times in Nier you have to go fishing. In order to fish you have to make Nier “pull” the rod away from the fish. Naturally the fish will swim any way it can to get away from the hook which is all well and good, but  all you really have to do as a the player is tilt the right stick in the opposite direction of the fish. There’s little skill or even fun involved. Why not have the player at least tilt the controller in the direction they need to pull. Something? Anything?

Hell, thanks to Heavy Rain I half expect developers to have me literally stand in a bucket of water with controller in hand flicking it like a fishing rod while I use the joystick as the reel. Now that would be a fun experience.

For sheer lack of living up to the potential I have to give the controls a 4 out of 5

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Neir: Gameplay

Nier's First Weapon

When you look like Gary Busey even a pipe is bad ass.

To help ramp up the “Nier is awesome” factor you start the game off fighting a swarm of shades with a metal pipe. During this fight you learn the wonderful integration of the magic and combat system as you summon a ginormous hand, throw ginormous lances, and beat shades up with a ginormous metal pipe. You also hit level 30 in the first 5 minutes… using a metal pipe. Seriously…you smack shit with pipe.

Then the true RPG experience begins. The rank is stripped away and you start back at level one (sadly without the pipe) and you receive a series of quests from local townsfolk who seem to be too lazy to get up from the local fountain and go get their own damn mutton. You do everything you would expect to do. You fish, you grind, you hunt for drops from animals, you collect experience to level up, you grind, you farm, and you grind a little more.

Remember this published by Squre Enix who just released Final Fantasy XIII. Final Fantasy XIII was essentially Square Enix saying “Move from point A to point E by going through B, C, and D. In that order. At that speed. No exceptions. You have to. Why? Because we said so. Want to explore? You can’t. Why? Because f*ck you, that’s why. And stop asking about a damn remake.”

Nier was a breath of fresh air. It was a nostalgic return to RPG roots that I have been missing as of late. Gameplay gets a perfect 5 out of 5

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Nier: Graphics

Graphics are the only real problem with Nier. It’s a total visual turd. Every now and again you will see something that looks nice but these moments are few and far between. The trees are SQUARE!! Logs are TRIANGLES!! Kaine…well she’s perfectly formed gothic lolita. Essentially they spent more time making sure Kaine’s boobs came out great but the rest of the game looks like it belongs on a PS2 or XBox. Notice the lack of a 360 after that? Yeah that’s what you’re getting yourself into. The characters are about the only thing that look like they belong on the current gen systems.

Nier, Kaine, Emil and some dead wolves

Nier: Chalk full of totally uninspiring surroundings but gorgeous characters

Ultimately the graphics just don’t do anything for…well…anybody or anything. They’re getting Nier a 2 out of 5

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Nier: Story

This is a tale of a fathers love and willingness to give the finger to what social services says good parenting is and go just about anywhere and do just about anything for Yonah. More than once I find myself getting warm fuzzies for Nier’s willingness to fight pretty much everything around him for his only child. The story is full of twists and turns that makes you want to keep playing well into the night and show up to work the next day disheveled with puffy red eyes.

Nier’s story gets a 4 out of 5.

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Nier: Overall

Ultimately the graphics hurt the video game. Its a truly magnificent game. It’s a great return to an RPG style I have missed. It looks like total crap but plays like a dream. It has a lot going for it, but not enough to push it above a 3 out of 5. I will, however,  say that this is one 3 out of 5 that you need to buy, play, and love. Maybe cuddle up with a bit. Given that its a confusingly ugly game though we could give it an confusingly ugly score like PBBN9JCPR8H. Make sense of that and you win the weekly prize.

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Seriously though: Here is Nier and here is Busey. Am I the only one seeing this?

Really? They both look effing crazy.

Didn’t like what you read above? Got something to say about it? Hit us up in the comments below.

Additional Busey pictures are encouraged. I want to make a shrine.

Nier

Nier

Gary Busey

Gary Busey

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Final Fantasy VIII: Squall’s Dead

Final Fantasy VIII (FF8) happens to be another one of my favorite games of all time.  FF8 was my first introduction into the world of role playing games, and boy was that a wonderful experience.  I know a lot of people have issues with FF8, that it tends to be very controversial, and well, I’d like to throw an extra wrench in it.

 

Squall Iced

Ouch. That's gotta hurt.

I stumbled upon a theory and possible interpretation of FF8 the other day, and at first when reading through it, I was furious.  The idea is that Squall, the main character, essentially dies at the end of the first disc, when Sorceress Edea stabs him with the ice shard.  What happens from then on is basically ‘life-flashing-before-your-eyes’, except with a twist.  Instead of seeing what he’d already done, Squall sees the neat closure to the adventure and story they started in the beginning.  Essentially, everything from Disc 2 on is all just a dream.

Again, when I first saw this link, I wanted to scream.  I wanted to kick the computer.  I wanted to pound on the keyboard and yell that it wasn’t true.

But the further I read, the more I started to see how it was plausible, if not necessarily likable.

It’s true that once out of Disc 1, the twists and surprises start rolling in.  And, strangely enough, a lot of these twists connect the characters together.  All the main characters, minus Rinoa, all grew up together.  The Guardian Forces cause memory loss, which is why no one remembers each other.  Edea is married to Headmaster Cid.  Etc, Etc.  It almost seems…too neat.  Too tidy.

Squall's Dead

Squall's wholy. And potentially dead.

Even if I prefer the neat and tidy wrapping up of the story, with all characters happy, I have to admit that this theory made me think.  Made me wonder.  Is it possible…that everything was just a dream?

Check out the site and theory for yourself at SquallsDead.com.  What do you think?  Does the theory hold up?

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