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Posts Tagged ‘final fantasy xii’

The Straight Line

January 24, 2011 7 comments

Linearity has become a curse word in the videogames industry over the past five years. Fewer words these days can sink a game’s reputation faster. Take the controversial Final Fantasy XIII: surrounded by malicious Internet mutterings of, “It’s just one straight line”, its reputation was damaged before its release and the stigma of linearity still surrounds it today. Strike up a conversation with a critic of Final Fantasy XIII and the first thing that will be brought up- I guarantee you this- is the linearity. Try it at home, you can make good money.

But are things as different as people think? I went back to Final Fantasy VII– that most treasured of titles- to find out. Upon leaving Midgar, I was instructed to go directly to the nearby town of Kalm. No detours. I decided to defy this order and see how much of this new frontier I could explore. Not much. There was a giant land snake that killed me if I went too far in one direction, and a Chocobo Stable that I couldn’t use. In-between all of that was not a land of unexplored wonder, but a big green blob of grassland filled with unusually-organised groups of monsters that wanted to hurt me. The game refused to allow me to advance, despite teasing me with a brave new world. I was, in fact, on a straight line.

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Dads Are Tough

July 1, 2010 3 comments

I picked up NIER (sic) the other day, a game that I’ve been umm-ing and ahh-ing over for a while. NIER is about a muscular manly man on a relentless quest to save his daughter from a terminal illness… unless you’re playing NieR Replicant (sic), an alternative version released in Japan that replaces the manly man with a girly boy on a relentless quest to save his sister from a terminal illness. I’m not privy to the decisions that led to two versions being created and released- according to this interview with the creators, Replicant NieR came first- but something particularly strikes me about the Gestalt (manly man) version, one that elevates it above the majority of cooker-cutter RPG stories: the love of a father towards his daughter.

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