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Why I Hate Squaresoft


biglime
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And where have you been, miss?

R.

On holiday! Wooh!

I've been playing Suikoden III. I hated it the first time I tried it, now I adore it.

It's really good, but horribly different.

Some nasty people are trying to kick me out of my castle. ;)

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On holiday! Wooh!

I've been playing Suikoden III. I hated it the first time I tried it, now I adore it.

It's really good, but horribly different.

Some nasty people are trying to kick me out of my castle. ;)

Ah. I've missed you. Post a picture of JG just to seal the deal.

R.

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Like John I used to love their stuff on the NES and SNES. I played FFVII through to the end on PlayStation, and that's when I gave up on them as an RPG developer.

To me that was the point where it became clear they'd gone in the wrong direction - too much of everything - too many enemy types, too many locations, too big a story, too many cut scenes -- too many graphics full stop. All the money they had made churning out relatively cheap to produce & low tech 2D RPGs (which had to work on game content rather than cosmetics or production value), selling 5million plus of every one, had gone to their heads.

It felt like they were cheating - they wanted to beat their competitors by spending more money than anyone else rather than making better games, and as they had more money in the bank than anyone else it was a battle they were always going to win. I quite dislike square now because they are one of the main companies responsible for convincing gamers and the media that the quality of a game is judged only by the produciton value / money spent. Seeing the amount that they must spend on unneccessary cosmetic crap depresses me whenever I see their recent games.

I did very much enjoy FFTactics on GBA. And I loved the music in FFVII...

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Like John I used to love their stuff on the NES and SNES.  I played FFVII through to the end on PlayStation, and that's when I gave up on them as an RPG developer.

To me that was the point where it became clear they'd gone in the wrong direction - too much of everything - too many enemy types, too many locations, too big a story, too many cut scenes -- too many graphics full stop.  All the money they had made churning out relatively cheap to produce & low tech 2D RPGs (which had to work on game content rather than cosmetics or production value), selling 5million plus of every one, had gone to their heads.

It felt like they were cheating - they wanted to beat their competitors by spending more money than anyone else rather than making better games, and as they had more money in the bank than anyone else it was a battle they were always going to win.  I quite dislike square now because they are one of the main companies responsible for convincing gamers and the media that the quality of a game is judged only by the produciton value / money spent.  Seeing the amount that they must spend on unneccessary cosmetic crap depresses me whenever I see their recent games.

I did very much enjoy FFTactics on GBA.  And I loved the music in FFVII...

Too much of everything? ...what?

To many enemy types and locations? Too big a story?

You only like short games with little variety?

And you dislike square because they make games with nice graphics?

Can you show me exact numbers of what square uses their money on?

Do you actually know anything about this?

I find it hard to believe that they only use money on 'graphics'

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Hmm, I wonder if there's any correlation between people who hate Squaresoft games and people who hate Bioware games (in particular KOTOR)? I only ask because I can't stand Square's output in general, yet really liked KOTOR (my most played game of the year by far). perhaps it's just the different ways in which the games attract their followings.

Generally, Square RPG's feature:

an adolescant little shit as their main character, who will be a complete cunt for virually all of the game, who rarely talks and who you have little control over. He will, of course, be adored by at least one female character.

They like to keep the main objectives tightly controlled, and to spend as much of their budget as possible on snazzy cut-scenes. The combat they like to make as mind-numbingly shit as possible, and to keep the player on their toes with the threat of a soul-sapping random battle once every few seconds or so. They make up for the tightly restrictive 'main' game by letting the player explore and find secrets everywhere, which is nice.

They also include shite mini-games, including card games.

Generally, Bioware RPG's feature:

A customisable main character, who either has a fake or wiped memory. The way they iinteract with other characters is up to the player entirely, and can go around being little shits if they so wish. They usually have the option of a love interest, if the player feels that way inclined.

They like to keep the main objectives fairly open in the way they're completed, with the only real way to fail being if the player manages to die. They do, however, stop the player from killing key NPC's. They include no random battles, but plenty of enemies strewn around the landscape. It is usually possible to avoid said enemies. They like to spend their budget either on adding a huge script that reacts to the player's behaviour. With KOTOR they had money spare, which they spent on making sure every character was well voice-acted. Cut-scenes are pretty enough, but not spectacular, and in-game-engine cut-scenes are the norm.

The combat is varied, and enables for a variety of tactics depending on how the player has developed their character. It makes placement vaguely important with area-of-effect attacks. They make up for the varied approach to the main game by including few secrets, though side-quests are numerous.

KOTOR also includes shite mini-games, including a card game.

Obviously these are sweeping, innacurate generalisations. Obviously I far prefer Bioware's approach to Square's. Live with it ;)

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Too much of everything? ...what?

To many enemy types and locations? Too big a story?

You only like short games with little variety?

I think Ste was saying that the games became bloated, ponderous messes. Quantity over quality.

And the production values...every yen spent on those lavish FMV sequences could be better spent elsewhere.

That's what he was saying, I think.

R.

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i like the story, characters, and their presentation in vagrant story and fft a lot. however, square has a bad habit of making games stupidly complicated. vagrant story and sword of mana are a bitch to play with their alignment or days-of-the-week systems. vagrant story could have been an awesome game, but it's not, because the core gameplay was padded with this dense garbage that keeps you from playing it. square does this in almost every game now, and if you're like me and consider random battles (as they are now and have been, at least) in rpgs to be a lazy and stupid game design element, then you might say that they've been doing it in their games for years.

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Maybe, but does it matter if the plot isn't going to win an Oscar?

d-side is going to find me and flame me, but look at ico. for a game that you could pretend is an adventure rpg as much as you could pretend zelda is one, its plot is as minimalized as could be. and this is a good thing. it doesn't get in the way of the gameplay but instead strengthens the player's ties to the gameplay. any involving story should do this. fft did this. how many square games actually make you stop in the middle of a battle and feel enormity about the situation?

game plots shouldn't be trying to win oscars. but they should be good. the criteria for a game's plot are different from plots elsewhere.

not that there is any reason why a game's plot should not be capable of winning an oscar.

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And Xenogears- as bad as Squaresoft storytelling gets (and they're terrible at it) this is the worst. Absolute shite, new-age gibberish, pretentious claptrap, clueless scripting, a plot that twists so many times it becomes a chore even to press the X button to read some more.

o/\o

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I wouldn't disagree that the better a story is, then all's the better for it. But what I would insist is that most of Square's stories are good and entertaining. Not all the time, but most of the time.

Having said that, FF VII has yet to be bettered in a videogame and recent Square efforts have paled into obscurity in comparison.

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I think Ste was saying that the games became bloated, ponderous messes. Quantity over quality.

And the production values...every yen spent on those lavish FMV sequences could be better spent elsewhere.

That's what he was saying, I think.

R.

FF VII can hardly be called a bloated ponderous mess...

..neither can VIIII or IX

..ive heard many bad things about FFX

..but havent played that or X2 ..so cant comment on them

And some people actually LIKES the cinematic FMVs

..their beautiful

..sure they must cost something

Do any of you have exact $ numbers of how much money was used on FMV in feks FFIX ..and how much % those money where of all the money spent on the game?

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Hmm, I wonder if there's any correlation between people who hate Squaresoft games and people who hate Bioware games (in particular KOTOR)? I only ask because I can't stand Square's output in general, yet really liked KOTOR (my most played game of the year by far). perhaps it's just the different ways in which the games attract their followings.

no, they both suck.

as much as i love ff6, ff7, fft, som, and ct, square's game design is seriously lacking and it appears that the developer makes an effort at being lazy. bioware. i already made a whole thread just so i could bash bioware.

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[bioware] likes to spend their budget either on adding a huge script that reacts to the player's behaviour.

see, this is my main problem. this is only true in the most superficial way, which means that bioware's games feel just as soulless to me as the worst of squaresoft.

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no, they both suck.

as much as i love ff6, ff7, fft, som, and ct, square's game design is seriously lacking and it appears that the developer makes an effort at being lazy.  bioware.  i already made a whole thread just so i could bash bioware.

Remind me again; what RPG's do you like? [Not counting Zelda, which is a fucking adventure game. And a shit one at that :(]

(I myself used to hate all RPG's bar tactical ones, e.g. the Fallout series, Shining Force series etc., only recently finding out I quite liked Planescape: Torment and KOTOR, I can actually somewhat empathise with you not liking standard RPG's :()

Edit: just noticed your second post (the horrific image of JG put me off ;)) - I can understand that viewpoint. I guess I'm just able to ignore the somewhat artificial responses of the players. I blame Hollywood ;)

[Mind you, anyone who said that about Planescape anywhere near me would get a punch. Or, failing that, a 'Dead Inside']

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Remind me again; what RPG's do you like?

well, i do like the square games i mentioned. i just don't really find them fun and i don't think they represent good game design. i like earthbound (though, still, random battles, not really rpg, but moreso than ff games because ness & co. are really vessels for you) and som and planescape and i keep waiting for something that is really an rpg and not just an interactive set piece. fable looks very promising.

the WORST thing about bioware is that they promised me the very things i wanted so badly and gave me the cheapest imitation.

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I thought you'd have a knack for being able to pick out the GOOD wrestling games.

Not this.

Indeed. That one is Pish.

It's no VPW or Fire Pro, is it? In fact, it's been so long since we've seen a good new Puroresu game that I'm beginning to lose all hope.

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Square need to learn that a simple story well told (Suikoden) always beats out a ridiculously bloated story dreadfully told (Xenogears).

R.

I see... so logically following your argument you think The Hobbit is a far superior book to The Lord of the Rings...

Whats the matter? Xenogear got too many big words in it for you? Maybe you should go an play Final Fantasy: Mystic Quest....oh wait no you couldn't do that because its a Square game...

*sigh*

Anyway all this is ignoring the obvious...Square are a publisher not a developer....the games mentioned in this thread are all very different to each other...FF, the chrono and Xenogears(saga) series all have very different takes on the RPG and are all by completely different design teams.

Saying you hate all Sqauresofts output is about as logical as saying everything EA produces is rubbish.....

erm hang on

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Indeed. That one is Pish.

It's no VPW or Fire Pro, is it? In fact, it's been so long since we've seen a good new Puroresu game that I'm beginning to lose all hope.

It's not the best puro game, not by far.

But in terms of bringing a puro atmosphere, and the dynamics of puroresu to a videogame, it is unmatched. I'll stand by that. But not the best, no. It IS a franchise that's been improving with every release, though, which has to be worth something.

Besides, it's impossible to be the best puroreus game if there isn't the possibility of a 'CRITICAL!' in there somewhere.

R.

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Hmm, I wonder if there's any correlation between people who hate Squaresoft games and people who hate Bioware games (in particular KOTOR)? I only ask because I can't stand Square's output in general, yet really liked KOTOR (my most played game of the year by far). perhaps it's just the different ways in which the games attract their followings.

Generally, Square RPG's feature:

an adolescant little shit as their main character, who will be a complete cunt for virually all of the game, who rarely talks and who you have little control over. He will, of course, be adored by at least one female character.

They like to keep the main objectives tightly controlled, and to spend as much of their budget as possible on snazzy cut-scenes. The combat they like to make as mind-numbingly shit as possible, and to keep the player on their toes with the threat of a soul-sapping random battle once every few seconds or so. They make up for the tightly restrictive 'main' game by letting the player explore and find secrets everywhere, which is nice.

They also include shite mini-games, including card games.

Generally, Bioware RPG's feature:

A customisable main character, who either has a fake or wiped memory. The way they iinteract with other characters is up to the player entirely, and can go around being little shits if they so wish. They usually have the option of a love interest, if the player feels that way inclined.

They like to keep the main objectives fairly open in the way they're completed, with the only real way to fail being if the player manages to die. They do, however, stop the player from killing key NPC's. They include no random battles, but plenty of enemies strewn around the landscape. It is usually possible to avoid said enemies. They like to spend their budget either on adding a huge script that reacts to the player's behaviour. With KOTOR they had money spare, which they spent on making sure every character was well voice-acted. Cut-scenes are pretty enough, but not spectacular, and in-game-engine cut-scenes are the norm.

The combat is varied, and enables for a variety of tactics depending on how the player has developed their character. It makes placement vaguely important with area-of-effect attacks. They make up for the varied approach to the main game by including few secrets, though side-quests are numerous.

KOTOR also includes shite mini-games, including a card game.

Obviously these are sweeping, innacurate generalisations. Obviously I far prefer Bioware's approach to Square's. Live with it ;)

This really comes down to the difference between linear RPGs and emergent ones. Hopefully, in the not-too-distant future, all RPGs, even Squaresoft ones, will follow the Bioware approach.

The point, theoretically, of Squaresoft-style linearity is that it sacrifices interactivity for an epic, emotional, intricate storyline - sadly, the plotting, characterisation and dialogue of the FF games is uniformly dire, thus defeating the point entirely. Add to this combat systems which get soul-crushingly boring after ten hours, never mind fifty or a hundred, and you're left with an expensive, funless mess, of little or no merit as a work of art (ie: FFX). I didn't cry when Aeris died: I laughed, because the dialogue I was reading sounded like it had been written by a four year old. KOTOR, by contrast, was a powerfully emotional experience for me.

Maybe it's a localisation thing? Maybe FFX's original Japanese script was well written and acted, and it all just got murdered in the translation? I dunno. Anyone?

Oh yeah, and one reason why I certainly DO hate Square: their insultingly lazy PAL conversions. Unoptimised 50Hz despite their massive coffers. BASTARDS!

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