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10 Things We Want To See In Final Fantasy 15

Jun 7, 2012 3:18 am
Back when I was a lad (he writes, attempting to not sound completely like an old codger) Final Fantasy was the franchise. It put the JRPG on the map with the release of FF7, and it subsequently sparked off a love affair with turn based battles that has lasted in the hearts and minds of gamers the world over. The stories, production values and strategy used to be top notch, but all we have to show for it now are bad MMOs and Final Fantasy 13; and the less said about that, the better. Here are ten things SquareEnix should include in Final Fantasy XV to return the series to its former glory.

No MMORPG mechanics

Hmmm. About this one guys…

SquareEnix seem to have undergone a minor obsession with the online MMORPG in recent years. The upcoming Dragon Quest 10 will be the first MMO for that series, FF11 and 14 were both MMOs as well. Hell, even many of Square’s single player efforts have seen a huge influence from the massively multiplayer online sub-genre. Final Fantasy 12 in particular had a battle and loot system that was very reminiscent of MMOs and, whilst it was an interesting design choice, it was very divisive amongst fans. I respect that Square will want to push themselves with the next Final Fantasy, but MMO mechanics are not the answer. The abysmal Final Fantasy 14 should be an indicator that the MMO style just isn’t working for the series.

Battles that don’t play themselves

Save it for the opening CGI Squre, we want real combat.

Between the Gambits system in FF12 and FF13′s auto-battle command, recent single player Final Fantasy games have almost played themselves. There was certainly a degree of strategy involved in these mechanics, but they could also create a distance between the player and the on-screen action. Square’s recent focus on style over substance needs to come to an end in Final Fantasy 15. Save the flashy stuff for the CGI and movie spin-offs. I’d rather have gameplay over combat animations any day.

A customisable level up and skills system

I'd take the Junction Syetm over Paradigm Shifts any day.

Customisability is one of the most satisfying elements of gaming, with the JRPG often being capable of offering persistent players a huge variety of potential skill set ups and levelling paths. The best FF games have always been the ones that offered this level of customisation. The materia system in FF7, the espers in number 6 and, despite it being largely hated, the hugely versatile junction system in Final Fantasy 8 etc. All of these gave the player a real sense of ownership, something that would be warmly appreciated in FF15.

Characters we care about

No one likes a cry baby.

Though they may have been ruined for us all by emo culture, Cloud, Squall, Terra, Cecil etc. were all examples of characters with complexity. Harbouring crossed allegiances, dark pasts and an often complicated sense of justice, these characters are loved by gamers the world over. The more extreme happy-go-lucky or mopey characters of Square’s arsenal haven’t faired so well. Zidane and Tidus aren’t so bad, but Snow and Hope are truly awful examples of character design. Get it right next time Square.

A story we want to follow

Because one clichéd character just wasn't enough for this tale…

Possibly as a knock on effect from the unfortunately dull and one-dimensional members of Square’s contemporary cast of characters, some of the more recent Final Fantasy titles have seen increasingly more arbitrary stories. The first trilogy was a bit of a false start, and FF5 too offered gameplay over narrative, but all the other Final Fantasy games offered stories and scripts that blew the competition out of the water. 12 and 13, on the other hand, were stories I had to endure rather than enjoy. Let’s just hope Square can pull out something more gripping in FF15.

No direct sequel

Say what you want about the pace, Blitzball has some serious depth to it.

Crisis Core worked well as a prequel to FF7, but the other direct sequels to Final Fantasy games have never quite seemed right. 10-2 managed to completely ruin the tone and sobriety of its predecessor in the intro movie alone, and 13-2 was little more than an apology to make up for the grave misdirections taken in FF13. The sequels of FF games have always seemed like an excuse to re-use assets or a thinly veiled attempt to make up for a poor core series entry. If Square can get FF15 right the first time, there should be no need for a 15-2.

Meaningful side-quests

Say what you want about the pace, Blitzball has some serious depth to it.

No I don’t just want to hunt monsters randomly, and fetch quests won’t do either. I want to get properly sucked into side-quests that have meaning and depth. Things like Blitzball, hunting the ultimate weapons, getting all the GFs in FF8 etc. The linearity of FF13 hugely detracted from this ideal and, though a better attempt, FF13-2 didn’t really draw me in to any of its secondary content. It’s time to make a change Square.

A proper world map

That's the way, none of this corridor level design rubbish.

Tying into the whole side-quest issue, having a proper world map in FF15 would help make the game feel far less linear. Even FF10, a game which offered a lot of interesting detours from the main quest, felt more linear than its predecessors due to the lack of an explorable world map. I appreciate that SquareEnix are trying to push the series in new directions, but they shouldn’t be afraid to go back to what used to work so well.

The original soundtrack style

Just look at that 'tache. How could he not be a great composer?

Final Fantasy 13 saw many changes made to the FF series, for better and for worse. One of the big ones was the change from legendary series composer Nobuo Uematsu to Masashi Hamauzu. Hamauzu is a fantastic composer for sure, but Nobuo Uematsu has been the sound of Final Fantasy for so many years that he’s kind of hard to beat when it comes to scoring Square’s seminal RPG series. Let’s hope good old Nobuo comes back to where he belongs for the next instalment.

Turn-based battles

If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

I know everyone likes to hate on turn-based combat, but the evidence is hard to argue with. All of the best Final Fantasy titles have had turn-based battles (or the Active Time Battle system, but that still counts). By contrast, only the hugely underrated Mystic Quest sub-series, the critically eclectic FF12 and the disappointing Final Fantasy 13 have strayed from their combat roots. When a game gets real time RPG combat right, it really nails it, but it can also go horribly wrong. Nobody would blame Square for playing safe, so let’s hope they don’t try to create yet another ambitious but flawed core Final Fantasy game.
souce: gamingbolt

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Jun 7, 2012 11:33 pm
"It put the JRPG on the map with the release of FF7..."

I guess Chrono Trigger never existed.

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    Jun 8, 2012 12:52 am

    Final Fantasy is pretty much a dead franchise. It died when the original team left. If the team came back, it might have some success. FF10 and up was bleh. But I will admit 10 was on the borderline. Unless the team comes back, I have no more interest in the series.

    Jun 8, 2012 2:12 am
    Wrong. I don't want to see anything in FF15. In fact, I don't want to see FF15 at all. ALl I want is a next gen remake of FF7 on PC (among other platforms, since I only have PC and it's a best platform anyway).

    Jun 8, 2012 6:20 am
    i was thinking of buying ffxiv today . but i heard its a ghost town with no players and thats what stopped me
    i was also gonna buy secret world but the resident evil puzzle quest were just 2 annoying lol

    Jun 8, 2012 12:32 pm
    there are some features that are often overlooked.

    -No MMORPG Mechanics
    Sorry, but there is a huge problem with this. One of the basis for MMOs is the class system and it is also HUGE in the Final Fantasy series. They neglected it in FF7 onwards, but it played a major part of the game in all the previous games. In FF4, one of the main story elements involved a character's class change as part of his resolve towards his new goal. In FF5, the fragments of the broken crystals in the story are what create the job system. We haven't had many FF games with a true class system since FF5 and that is one of the reasons why the original creators left.

    -Auto Played Battles
    This is determined by whether you want a standard RPG, or an action RPG. Most RPGs have been auto battles, but we see Square-Enix recently deviating from that model and they have attempted to make FF13 into a hybrid system and it just hasn't worked out as well. The AI is quite intelligent though they never use the character's limit breaks. The only problem is that the Crystal Tool engine changed how the ATB system worked. FF Versus is supposed to be an action RPG style game though so that will definitely be different.

    -Customizeable Level and Skill System
    We need to return to the basic class system for this to work. The closest we got to this again is in FF13. People have ignored the fact that FF13 has a working class system. The problem is that the class system isn't as effective as previous games due to the limitations of the class systems and the desire for in battle class changes. While that is a very good system in concept, it is extremely difficult to implement without tons of menu clutter. If we want to see this, they need to implement the class system once more.

    I hate to say this, but FF7 and FF8 was a goddamn mess story wise. FF7 required supplemental material to make sense of Jenova and Sephiroth. The guy's argument that FF8 beyond disc 1 was playing Squall's life before he died was a valid argument and makes much more sense than the actual story. FF10 was a huge improvement in the overall story though people like to call them out on their infamous laughing scene ignoring that for that brief moment, it was a moment where Tidus and Yuna connected and it gradually leads Yuna to her "I can't accept these sacrifices" decision towards the end of the game and in FFX-2.

    -Direct Sequels
    Each FF game should have had a separate subtitle entry like the Tales series rather than the numbering that they use. Direct sequels are good for the FF games that DID NOT have a happy ending. However, a lot of the sequels are just misguided attempts to cash in on the franchise. FF7 only needed a sequel because the ending of the actual game was vague. FFX needed a sequel because at the end, everyone was miserable in their environment. FF12 followed Vaan and Penelo attempting to become sky pirates like Balthier and Fran. FF13 sequel was completely unnecessary as they had a happy ending, but the story was a goddamn mess. FF13-2 did a much better job of telling the story and the legend though.

    -Side Quests
    Side quests are sadly only available in DLC format for most games nowadays. Until developers get their heads out of their asses about DLC, this probably won't change much. Unfortunately, most side quests end up being fetching anyways and people always criticize developers for it, yet they accept it when they can trick them into thinking that it isn't a fetch quest. Some side quests are a pain in the ass as shown in FF13-2. Exploring every map to 100% and killing every monster in the game will probably make you super annoyed.

    -Original Soundtrack
    People are to used to games with Nobuo's music. They forget that Nobuo only contributes 1 or 2 pieces of music to an FF game at most now. The new pieces of music are usually still extremely good. They fit their environment much like their predecessors did, but they just want Nobuo back because his name is that famous. FF13-2 kind of just used remixes though and that often killed the mood and the seriousness of the game.

    -Turn Based System
    See Auto Played Battles above


    Need some referrers to get to lvl 10 for a free rune page cause I'm too lazy to farm one up
    Jun 8, 2012 8:46 pm
    SE had so many good under rated games that could have made it big if just given the right direction.

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      Jun 9, 2012 3:30 pm

      No MMORPG mechanics

      MMORPG mechanics in MMORPG Based games (FFXI & FFXIV) yea.... the offline games have nothing to do with MMORPG mechanics

      A customisable level up and skills system

      Sphere Grid anyone? Crystarium? Materia?

      Characters we care about

      All the Final Fantasies have certain characters we care about, it doesn't necessarily mean you have to care about ALL the characters.

      A story we want to follow

      They all had stories (Whether vague or overly complex)

      No direct sequel

      FFX needed a sequel, most of us wanted to know if Tidus would ever be re-united with Yuna, FF7 needed a sequel, the ending was vague (The numerous cash cow games a spin-offs weren't needed) FFXIII-2 was needed (Not only because of the flaws XIII had, but because many wondered if Fang and Vanille would return)

      Meaningful side-quests

      Define "meaningful" you mean side quests that give you things that you may need in the future? they're there, the feeling of accomplishment? yep that's there. Something to do other than the main storyline? That's why they're there.

      A proper world map

      They give you a map to pick places from and explore, do you want an open world map where over 90% of the world is desolate and lifeless until you run into town? (ala Elder scrolls series)

      The original soundtrack style

      Hop off Nobuo's dick and give other composers a chance, he's not the second coming of christ FFS...

      Turn-based battles

      Every FF game does something different while keeping the TB formula, whether you like it or not, the turned based system is there, you just don't like to accept change.

      Jun 10, 2012 6:50 am
      Do you guys really think that the FF franchise is going to make a return???

      I ask because I find it kinda hard to believe that someone is going to be able to take the friggin FF franchise and once again return it to its glory...


      Jun 10, 2012 11:49 am
      suikoden system is another one... but i also like the fact that i don't need to grind all the way...

      Jun 10, 2012 3:44 pm
      For me, I think that different types of people look for different things in games.

      I am just a casual gamer. For me, when I play Final Fantasy, I look for an interesting plot, amazing graphics, and easy battle system that I can work with without thinking too hard.

      Jun 10, 2012 5:36 pm
      then why not do an more interactive game, like the few PS3 or X360 games, put games with both status: "online and offline"... with an anual payment and slight changes, cos' the FFXIV grafx are INSANE !!! but FF lost his place because of the limitation, restriction of players, restriction of players cos' of the high payments, i know the servers are expansive, but more players means popularity and popularity means $$$ !!! i would love to see FFXV, sounds outrageous !

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        Jun 10, 2012 8:42 pm
        dont just add "We" whenever you feel like it
        cos its just your thought

        Jun 11, 2012 4:45 am
        I wish they could fix Final Fantasy 14 now!

        Jun 18, 2012 6:46 pm
        [b]Reply [url=http://forum.mmosite.com/thread/2/62/20120607/10_Things_We_Want_To_See_In_Final_Fantasy_15-4fd0800711da35c13-1.html#p4fd3ce86a591c2]7#[/url] [i]Dododoro[/i][/b] [br] [br]But all 13-2 did was create a giant mess with 13's story, and now not only do we not have an idea about fang and vanille, but now every character in the game is F**Ked. Final Fantasy 13-3 anyone

        Feb 19, 2013 11:39 am
        I was interested enough in the topic alone to read this entire article. However I was pretty disappointed to see it was written by what seems to be just another FF7 fanboy. FF7 was not the dawn of turned based games as I fell in love the genre when I first played dragon warrior for the NES. Also, I can't understand why people are so negative about FF12. I found it be one of my all time favorite RPG's. Shame people judge it so harshly just because it is not exactly the same as their favorite FF game (FF7). I thought it was a great attempt at trying to evolve the turn based fighting system while still keeping it turned based...

        Sep 14, 2016 11:25 am

        Your advice is rather interesting. weferhervvbt

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