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June 3rd, 2013, 10:26
EuroGamer has a new retrospective article based on Final Fantasy 7.
Final Fantasy 7 was at the start of a golden era on the PlayStation, but it was also the beginning of the end for the company. The western success, and what it was attributed to, were surely the key factors behind the disastrous formation of Square Pictures and production of Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within, a $137 million CGI movie released in 2001 - which it's fair to describe as an overlong cutscene. It flopped so hard that it finally forced and indeed almost scuppered Squaresoft's long-mooted merger with Enix in 2003.

This is the nadir of the obsession with filmic storytelling. I adore Final Fantasy 7 when I'm waxing nostalgic, but feel murderous when considering its legacy. It's an exceptional production, a game born of extraordinary vision and deeply ingrained RPG talent, a near-faultless Trojan horse bearing all the seeds of Squaresoft's self-combustion. Even now, when suffering through Final Fantasy 13s linear, cutscene-heavy slodge, the dead hand lingers. Square Enix still believes Final Fantasy's defining qualities are narrative and non-interactive cutscenes. So does much of the series' fanbase to be fair, yet they're an albatross.

When will we see the next Final Fantasy game that is, first and foremost, a game? A parallel universe perhaps. One where Final Fantasy 7's influence came from the depths rather than the surface. One where Final Fantasy 7 was celebrated for its overworld design and interlocking systems rather than the flower girl. One with more perspective, of a sort, than our own; where whole generations of games will go on chasing a dead end to the grave.
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June 3rd, 2013, 10:26
It seems odd making this kind of game for a console market, that really prefers fast paced action qames, and then needing a huge marketing budget to get people to play them. I don't reckon Square Enix is likely to continue with that approach.
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June 3rd, 2013, 14:52
It's a problem, since they think they need all that cut-scene baggage, games go very expensive, so they make less games. In the PS/PS2 era, it was like a new RPG every month. You can count RPGs in the PS3 with your 2 hands, and I think you'll still have free fingers to pick your nose.
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June 4th, 2013, 04:22
I didn't get past the first paragraph. The beginning of the end?? Square's first release was in 1984. By 1987 it looked like it was going to fail, hence the name "Final Fantasy." FF7 came out in 1998, 14 years after their first game. It is still alive and pushing out games in 2013, 15 years after FF7. So Square has been in its end times for over half its life? That's just dumb.

You want history? Go watch Gametrailer's Retrospective.
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