Results 1 to 10 of 10

Thread: Could there be a revival of Golden Era Final Fantasy-style games?

  1. #1

    Post Could there be a revival of Golden Era Final Fantasy-style games?

    It often happens that certain parts of culture come back again years later. These cultural revivals often happen when the people who grew up with something grow up to become artists themselves and bring their nostalgic feelings about things from their childhood into their work.

    With the people who grew up with Golden Era Final Fantasy games now in their late twenties or thirties, do you think that as they climb the ladder in development studios and enter directing positions or hone their craft in indie development, we will see a revival of static-background, fixed-camera RPGs like FFVII-FFIX, similar to the revivals we have seen of idSoftware-style egoshooters, tough as nails jump 'n' runs and old school Final Fantasy-style top-down RPGs?

  2. #2
    Let's get ready to bumble Vincent, Thunder God's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    3,296
    Blog Entries
    2

    Default

    Well in terms of the PSX era in particular I recently heard of this new game by a Norwegian developer inspired by the late 90s RPGs : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earthl...tival_of_Magic I haven't tried it yet but I'm thinking of playing the Switch version at some point.

    One concern I have with revisiting genres of a certain era later is that you tend to lose something in the process (especially when graphics are updated to a more modern look). Even something like Octopath Traveler, while aesthetically similar to the SNES era, seems to lose a lot of the extra details of the early games. Some of it could be chocked up to nostalgia, but I still feel like a lot of games made later in an older mold tend to be less detailed (and often the stories don't grab me as much either). You can even say the same about genres like adventure games (i.e. Tim Schafer revisiting adventures in Broken Age and it being markedly different from the classics) and some isometric RPGs (though some recent ones have been quite good). I feel like in attempting to recreate something, developers hit some of the same notes but lose a lot of the care that went into the original titles they're emulating, perhaps because they're trying to imitate something rather than create an original IP at a time when there are no prior conceptions about what it should be. Also the technological limitations of the time could sometimes prompt innovation and creativity - it's kind of hard to have that same spirit when you're trying to recreate something in an existing template with modern technology.

  3. #3

    Default

    That game looks really cute, thank you for mentioning it!

    While the developer is explicitly influenced by PSX Square RPGs, they went for an art direction that doesn't involve pre-rendered backgrounds or fixed cameras. I wonder whether those are a dead tradition because devs simply prefer other ways of designing the graphics of their games, or whether it's just something nobody has given serious thought yet. Pre-rendered backgrounds were basically just a compromise to create highly detailed backgrounds on very limited hardware, so there may not be a reason to use them any longer. Fixed camera angles on the other hand are still a thing in other genres (horror in particular), so maybe someone will attempt an RPG with those again someday. They were a really integral part of the look and feel of the PSX FF games, I think.

    I agree, but I don't know whether it's just that as I got older, those types of stories do less for me, or whether they are actually substantially different from those of older games. I feel like stories nowadays have gotten a bit more gimmicky, maybe? When I replay older RPGs, I notice that a lot of them are very straightforward. There's usually a love interest. There's a bad guy who stays bad until the end and never repents or becomes all that sympathetic of a character. There are some twists and turns, but nothing that really alters the overall arc of the story too much. Maybe devs are trying a bit too hard to wow the audience and in doing so kinda lose some of what makes simpler stories so appealing?

  4. #4
    Radical Dreamer Fynn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Tower of the Swallow
    Posts
    17,828
    Articles
    57
    Blog Entries
    16

    FFXIV Character

    A'nutoh Tia (Sargatanas)
    Contributions
    • Former Editor
    • Former Cid's Knight

    Default

    Idk, FF has had shocking swerves in its stories as early as FFIII. And you don't need to look much further than FFIV to find one that subverts most of the things you've mentioned :P FF stories have pretty much always been about twists, is what I'm saying. What you describe really aligns more with Dragon Quest than anything.

    As for games in that particular style, Bravely Default comes to mind. It even has pre-rendered backgrounds - they actually look kinda like a pop-up book with 3D turned on.

  5. #5

    Default

    Good point. So it's either something else, or perhaps just age after all. :P Dang, I guess I'll have to pick up a 3DS after all. (I'm usually not all that into handhelds. The last one I had was a Gameboy Color. )

  6. #6
    Let's get ready to bumble Vincent, Thunder God's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    3,296
    Blog Entries
    2

    Default

    To me it feels like the charm of the old games has been lost. Part of it is nostalgia but also part of it is just that some of the warmth and love of design has been lost too, especially since it's no longer a fresh kind of design. Also I feel like JRPG characters have become way more tropey than they used to be, and voice acting only tends to make that worse.

  7. #7

  8. #8
    Let's get ready to bumble Vincent, Thunder God's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    3,296
    Blog Entries
    2

    Default

    Do you mean in terms of ageing out of it or because the target demographic for current-gen JRPGs is different?

    I still think that the JRPGs actually geared towards oldschool fans lack some of the earlier games' charm. I also think that some people who have discovered the early games later might enjoy games that are more like the classics too.

  9. #9
    Radical Dreamer Fynn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Tower of the Swallow
    Posts
    17,828
    Articles
    57
    Blog Entries
    16

    FFXIV Character

    A'nutoh Tia (Sargatanas)
    Contributions
    • Former Editor
    • Former Cid's Knight

    Default

    In that most JRPGs are targeted at terms/young adults. We loved them when we were that age - and we still love the ones we did - but its probably harder for us to accept new ones the same way for that reason. Imo, the stories have always been silly for the most part

  10. #10
    Memento Mori Site Contributor Wolf Kanno's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Nowhere and Everywhere
    Posts
    17,576
    Articles
    57
    Blog Entries
    20
    Contributions
    • Former Cid's Knight

    Default

    I'm sure we'll see something like it in the indie scene more than from professional companies. Maybe in another decade or two we may see high profile companies try to recreate the style, but honestly, I feel that early 3D/pre-rendered backgrounds/fixed camera style works better in other genres than with RPGs I imagine if SE even attempted it, the game would feel more like FFX than FFVII due to appeal.

    I've been watching some companies try to recapture that early 3D craze style and what I see more often than not is that early 3D was always hampered by design issues that were trying to overcome the technology limitations. Its kind of like how we don't see too many retro games try to bring back Atari if you know what I mean or how retro RPGs tend to stick to the 16-bit era over the 8-bit one with a few exceptions, because its easier and certain genres excelled better in terms of charm on one than the other. I feel certain genres benefited more from the era than others. So I can see myself getting excited for a Silent Hill/Resident Evil style PS1 retro title because I feel the genre really benefited from the tech like how Silent Hill's infamous fog effect was basically used as cheat to help hide a lot of the rendering shortcomings of the game. For the core FF games of the era, the big tech advantage was the seamless transition from game to cutscene like watching the Dollet Tower activate or Cloud's train enter Make Reactor 1; but nowadays, the devs can do it even better like we Noct and his entourage see one of the Legendary Beasts fly over head while driving on the road.
    True beauty exists in things that last only for a moment.
    Current Mood:
    もし今の私を見れたなら
    どう思うでしょう
    あなた無しで生きてる私を







Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •