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Wallet Abuse Wednesday 2-03-10 OH GOD EVERYTHING SUCKS

Posted by nfinit on February 2, 2010

This week is sort of like the Mondale/Ferraro ticket of videogame retail.  you can’t even charitably call it “uninspired”– It’s more along the lines of “we are contractually obligated to fill up space”.  Much like this week’s WAW.

Family Party: 30 Great Games Winter Fun (Wii)

Let’s say you had twenty bucks and you wanted to fuck around with your kids– well don’t do it by validating D3 Publisher’s horrible, horrible business model.  Also, you need to remember that the kids you impose Family Party upon are the same kids get to pick out your retirement home.  It’s just a bad scene all the way around.
Instead, maybe you should look into getting your kids a Testor’s model kit.  Your child will soon go broke buying paints to complete the kit, and the fumes from the glue should be fun if you want to pull further cruel tricks on your offspring, like fooling them into playing Exitebots.
Imagine:  Reporter (DS)
Or you could, I dunno, encourage the kid toward a rewarding and fulfilling career path and wait a goddamned second this is an Imagine game?  And it’s not encouraging little girls to become a fashion diva or a professional babysitter or something?   What the hell is going on here, Ubisoft?  How far are we from Imagine: Stay At Home Dad?
…not that Imagine: Stay at Home Dad wouldn’t be useful.
White Knight Chronicles (PS3)
White Knight Chronicles has an interesting history.  Pushed as Sqeenix’s first big title of (what was then assumed to be) the PS3 hardware era, WKC looked to be SE’s first big post PS2 franchise– and then it was released and got a bad Famitsu score and discussion about WKC fell off the map because it was horrible and sucked and okay maybe it isn’t an interesting history so instead I’ll talk about Mass Effect 2 and how it relates to Final Fantasy 13.

So I was reading Action’s FF13 review– (you should, too!) and judging from what I read there it struck me that it appeared that both Mass Effect 2 and Final Fantasy 13 were developed with the intention of doing away with all the extraneous cruft surrounding their respective RPG genres and the horrible, horrible divergence those two games took along the way.

Final Fantasy 13 would appear to have removed everything that’s not relating to the core components of JRPGs– However, Squeenix has done this in a sort of way that leaves nothing behind but numbers.  There are apparently no towns in FF13 for instance– instead you buy and sell directly from an in-game menu.  When you hit an enemy you’re exposed to an endless stream of seemingly unrelated numbers that flow forth from your stricken enemy like so much digital gibberish, sort of like what’s happen if you started repeating “competent game design” until the words were reduced to nothing more than an unconnected string of grunts and clicks.  The game itself would appear to play as a long, extraordinarily linear boss rush mode sprinkled here and there with FMV sequences.

This is all rather remarkable as we already know full well what happens when you strip JRPGs of thier baggage and instead leave behind the core strategy game element inherent to all good JRPGs– You wind up with Shining Force.

Mass Effect 2 takes this same basic concept and distills the WRPG formula until you wind up with Gears of War.  I don’t know exactly how that happened, but at least Bioware managed to keep the towns in place.  Much like the original Mass Effect, ME2 is a surprisingly linear affair, with this game taking the extra liberty of making the dungeons themselves distressingly linear and incorporating an ammo mechanic that forces your character to either march forward or run out of bullets–which would be more of an issue if there was actual loot involved.  As it stands all the secret rooms in ME2– as few of them as there are– generally lead to gold and raw materials for the extremely basic crafting game that you use to upgrade your equipment with.

Despite these gripes, ME2 manages to still recognizably be a WRPG in the parts where it matters– side quests and NPC interaction.  And this is where it would appear tha that Final Fantasy 13 fails– ME2 is a WRPG that represents and evolution of its genre.  I’m not entirely sure what FF13’s evolution represents, but I’m pretty sure it’s not enjoyable.


*EA will sell more copies of DANTE’S INFERNO than Sega will Bayonetta but that’s okay because Ferrari still sells fewer cars than Glacier Bay does toilets
*We never asked for BIOSHOCK TWO but by god we’re going to get it anyway
*Somehow SHIREN THE WANDERER is now a Wii game


One Response to “Wallet Abuse Wednesday 2-03-10 OH GOD EVERYTHING SUCKS”

  1. hugh betcha said

    Wow, so that’s what happened to WKC. I admit I didn’t pay attention much after that first big vid that got all the press over on Penny-Arcade, you know where it looks like dudes are swordfighting and the swords are actually stopping when they hit other things like shields and stuff.

    FF13- wait, wat? They’re doing what to the towns? SQUARE? You PUT that franchise RIGHT BACK WHERE YOU FOUND IT, do NOT play with it, it is NOT A TOY. If you have to do hinky shit like removing towns then go do it in one of your b-franchises, one of those things with a title like “Eternal Concerto” or “Azure Summonmonster-B” or whatever the fuck adjective-noun combos you have lying around.

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