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June 6, 2012

Square Enix has all the good ideas.

So apparently, Square Enix is showcasing their new graphics engine.  I guess there's no better time than E3 Week, but on the other hand, I still think it's way too early to even discuss better graphics and new engines and whatnot.  Square Enix in particular, because even after some six years of waiting, we STILL haven't gotten our hands on Versus XIII.  There's thinking ahead, and then there's an attempt at ethereal clairvoyance.

While it's about as good-looking as you'd expect, there's something even more interesting about the page itself -- namely, that it links to a survey where you can voice your reaction and opinion.  Squeenix has some real gusto to invite Hell so liberally; after a quick selection of questions (ranking your satisfaction from 1 to 5), there's a box where you can put in additional feedback.

There's no way this can end poorly.

You would think that I put in some scathing diatribe, and threats to burn their headquarters down with a well-placed Firaga spell.  But actually, I think it came out somewhat positive.

Here, have a read:

"Square-Enix, you are a company with the potential to make the world’s finest games.  When given the question 'How do you make a beloved experience?' you have the ability to provide an answer.  Lately, however, the answers you’ve provided have done nothing but disappoint gamers in droves.  We don’t just want better graphics.  We want a good story.  Characters we can laugh and cry with.  A world worth exploring. 

You can give us the answer we’ve all been waiting for.  Don’t let us down."       

It's not a hundred percent positive, and you could argue that it's just fanboyish bellyaching, but in spite of all my complaints, in spite of all my criticism toward their games and their motions and their decisions and their lamentably bad writing, I still genuinely believe that they can put out a satisfying game.  If they just stop screwing around and put their heads together, and make judicious use of their resources, they can put together something with the potential to be fantastic.  They just need to go back to the drawing board -- and for once, put the graphics aside for a minute.

You can do it, Square Enix.  You've disappointed me before, but I think -- I hope -- you've learned from your mistakes.  You can win us all back with one amazing game.

...I'm still gonna give you shit over Final Fantasy XIII, though.


  1. Call me a cynic, but I don't think Squeenix is going to give any feedback more than a cursory glance; they've gone too far of the edge to listen to their consumers.

    On the other hand, the romantic in me keeps telling me I should give them another chance, if only because they swept me off my feet back in the 90's and because I'm essentially the abused redneck ex-wife, still pining for the old glory of the FF series, momentarily forgetting how I once got a blackened eye.

    Still, here's my own little pice of feedback:

    'Dear Square-Enix

    First of all, as a fan of your older games (from 3-7), I would like to congratulate you on your excellent work and your mastery of any and all technical limitations you had been facing this far. Your work was stellar and I applaud you for it. I also think that your fame and place as a leader in the console RPG genre is well deserved.

    It has however, come to my attention that your current Final Fantasy (and other assorted) supplements have been slipping. Not so much in technical quality but in narrative.

    It has obviously become apparent that you have been focusing on style, instead of substance and you need to deal with that before you move on. Your games have become so laden with aesthetic grandeur that they've lost their purpose and grown into great dull kitch artifacts.

    But we don't need gilded works, Square Enix. We don;t need fancier graphics and more awesome cinematics. What we need instead are games that might look a bit less impressive, but will focus once again on themes that made your originals great.

    Give us a simpler game, with fewer strokes. Give us a piece of gaming art that is not as impressive, but has a deeper meaning. Stop trying to outdo yourself artistically and focus on recapturing the old magic.

    If anyone can do it, it's you. Please don't let us down.'

    1. Yeah, I'll admit that sending them feedback is a bit of a shot in the dark (doubly so since messages from the U.S. would have to be translated to Japanese for maximum impact...and that would require work), but it still feels good to try.

      I don't want to hate Square Enix, and with all their resources I know that they could put SOMETHING good together. They just have to apply themselves. (Man, I feel like a parent trying to motivate his son...)

      If Versus XIII is any good, I might be willing to forgive them. Alas, that game seems to be slipping further and further into the ether...oh well. At least I still have Devil Survivor.

  2. "Now Square, I know, I say I KNOW you mean well, what with you tryin' all them new thingamajigs in yer graphics..."

    "They're called engines, dad..."

    "Now don't interrupt me son. What I were sayin' is that them people out there, they used to like what ye did cause ya made them games all interestin' like. They um..."

    "Caused a genuine investment in the narrative?"

    "That there thang. Why dontchoo that son?"

    "Well dad I'm already spending on my money on making my games prettier..."

    "Now don't you go giving me this pretty bullshit rap! Think I married your momma cause she was pretty? No sir! I married her cause she had a good heart"

    "And 2000 acres of land"

    "That there too! What I'm saying son is you don' need pretty. Pretty comes and goes and in two years tops your pretty's gonna be just kinda okay. Naw, sir. What you need is to get your head straight and say: I'm gonna make a game that's gonna make them folks playin it give a damn. Y'hear?"

    "Okay, dad."


    1. That...that was beautiful.

      *initiates slow clap*