Final Fantasy Goes Social

Marshall Honorof

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Feb 16, 2011
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Final Fantasy Goes Social


After years of medieval city-states and futuristic dystopias, Final Fantasy has found a new setting: Web 2.0.

Social media can already help you change jobs, but did you know that you can also use it to engage in deadly airship battles and summon ancient mythological beasts? Almost 25 years after the series first appeared on the NES, Square Enix is bringing Final Fantasy to web browsers and smartphones in Japan. Working in conjunction with Japanese social gaming service Mobage, Final Fantasy Brigade will bring traditional 2D Final Fantasy gameplay to social media networks, complete with its classic job system, over-the-top summons, and iconic airships.

Mobage and Square Enix did not reveal too many details about this new game at a recent press conference, but assured the media that Final Fantasy Brigade will retain the key elements that made the series so popular. Players should expect 16-bit style graphics (not unlike the upcoming Theatrhythm [http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/112956-Theatrhythm-Final-Fantasy-Footage-Enrages-Net]), turn-based battles, a world-spanning story, and plenty of character classes and abilities. It's not all old news, though: two new features will allow players to "fight for their friends," suggesting a cooperative battle element, and airship combat, which has generally existed only in cutscenes in prior games. The game will release in late December for choice phones, and expand its presence to the web and other smartphone models some time afterwards.

While there's no question that this is unusual territory for the series, Bioware has actually tried this concept before and it worked out pretty well [http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/107275-BioWare-Offers-5-Powerful-Dragon-Age-2-Items-to-Facebook-Users]. 2D sprites lend themselves well to almost any computer or smartphone, and turn-based combat mixed with a limited number of actions per day seems like a natural match.

Square Enix's last online outing was actually enjoyed [http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/108955-Final-Fantasy-XIV-Subscription-Fees-Still-a-Ways-Off] a Final Fantasy game?

Source: Andriasang [http://andriasang.com/comz68/ff_social_game/]

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LavaLampBamboo

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Jun 27, 2008
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Cool. This looks like it could be fun. I've been really enjoy the original Final Fantasy on my iPod, so bringing it up to date with some social elements could be interesting.

Then again, I do quite enjoy big name social games. I realise others won't be so understanding.

But good luck to Square. I look forward to giving this a go.
 

vrbtny

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Marshall Honorof said:
Some fans will undoubtedly be upset that one of the most popular core RPG series out there will soon embrace the casual market, but then again, when was the last time the Final Fantasy fanbase actually enjoyed [http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/RuinedFOREVER] a Final Fantasy game?
Final Fantasy VII.

VIII - Eh, alright, Not as good as VII
IX - Eh, alright, still not as good as VII
X - Tidus.
X-2 - Everything.
XI - ???
XII - A load of people hated the Combat system.
 

zombie711

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Marshall Honorof said:
Some fans will undoubtedly be upset that one of the most popular core RPG series out there will soon embrace the casual market, but then again, when was the last time the Final Fantasy fanbase actually enjoyed [http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/RuinedFOREVER] a Final Fantasy game?
Final fantasy crystal chronicals, crystal bearers, my life as a king, and my life as a darklord were pretty good.

Also Theatrhythm Final Fantasy looks great.
 

Catalyst6

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Apr 21, 2010
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It could be interesting... maybe. It depends on how they handle it.

Then again, combat is always the least interesting thing about Final Fantasy, so they'd better have something backing it up.

Also, I am going to be incredibly disappointed if a single summon doesn't fill at least five screen heights worth of my facebook feed.
 

Epona

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Catalyst6 said:
It could be interesting... maybe. It depends on how they handle it.

Then again, combat is always the least interesting thing about Final Fantasy, so they'd better have something backing it up.

Also, I am going to be incredibly disappointed if a single summon doesn't fill at least five screen heights worth of my facebook feed.
Really? I play Final Fantasy to build up my characters (ie, espers, materia, GF abilities, sphere grid, etc..). The story is usually stupid and badly told so that isn't a reason to play. The story does serve a purpose though, it serves as markers (ie, after Midgar the game opens up). The graphics only matter for the first hour or two so that isn't a reason to play. Remember how annoying is was to be forced to watch the long GF animation sequences in Final Fantasy VIII? That's no reason to play.

So why do you play?
 

burningdragoon

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Jul 27, 2009
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I've "enjoyed" almost every Final Fantasy game. "Liked" is another story though. I will remain intrigued about this until I see it in action.
 

Sylocat

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Nov 13, 2007
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I've been saying for years that Squeenix would have more luck with a 16-bit MMO than with another WoW clone, and now they seem to have gotten the message... AW YEAH!
 

Baresark

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I like the idea, except for one thing: That so many actions per day scheme. It is bullshit. I tried that with a few games, such as Zork, and Godville even (don't get me started on the latter one). When I want to play a game, I don't want to be limited by so many actions per day. I want the only limit to be how long I wish to spend on the game.

I guess that if it's a F2P setup, they would need something along those lines to make money, but there are much better F2P models than that.

As a huge fan of RPG's/JRPG's, I would rather they invest time in an actual title that isn't going to limit the amount of actions I get take a day. I would rather they spent time on perhaps a more budget oriented title that offered good gameplay and didn't worry so much about how the game looked. On regular releases they invest so much time into making it look good that I feel they let the gameplay go. The FF13 battle system was fun and intuitive, but that was the only good part of the game. The story was junk, it looked really nice, but who the fuck cares, and you had a very passive roll in the world.

A lot of people bitched and whined about it, but the FF12 was the first truly different step anyone took with the traditional JRPG setup. The active battle system was fun, it was challenging, the exploration mechanic was really fantastic. I didn't care for the androgynous main character, but that is a Square Enix staple at this point. As soon as they could make a convincing looking character that wasn't gender specific, it was the sad end to a traditional and very rewarding archetype.

I would literally kill for an HD remake of FF12 International Zodiac Edition (the one with the job system). I have only played an emulated version and it's awesome. Stop remaking older ones already with slightly shinier graphics. The put a bit of spit and polish on them, but they are always dated, using combat systems that are not nearly as in depth as current RPG standards.
 

Kae

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Darn! I was hoping for them to do this but specifically with Final Fantasy Tactics or Front Mission or something like that.
Redlin5 said:
wooty said:
Sigh, only in Japan, only in Japan..........i bet
They're keeping Mother 3 too...

Oh Japan, you always get the good stuff first and sometimes forever.
Yeah I was thinking about that when I read the news about Xenogears coming over here, darn it I freaking loved mother 3, it's so sad that I can't have an official version.
 
Jun 11, 2008
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I just hope that they don't do something really thick and add a Zynga style energy meter as that is what ruined a game called Spiral Knights for me. Other than that I don't see a problem with this and the last genuinely enjoyed in a more or less uncontested way FF was 9. Although it may not even be released outside of Japan.
 

GeorgW

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Aug 27, 2010
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I like it. I loved the old school FF games, it's good to see a return to form. Now if only it wasn't social...
 

Waaghpowa

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vrbtny said:
Marshall Honorof said:
Some fans will undoubtedly be upset that one of the most popular core RPG series out there will soon embrace the casual market, but then again, when was the last time the Final Fantasy fanbase actually enjoyed [http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/RuinedFOREVER] a Final Fantasy game?
Final Fantasy VII.

VIII - Eh, alright, Not as good as VII
IX - Eh, alright, still not as good as VII
X - Tidus.
X-2 - Everything.
XI - ???
XII - A load of people hated the Combat system.
You forgot...

FFXIII- Everything about it sucked.

Seems like just about everyone thinks that the last really good ones were VI and VII.