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Dissidia: Final Fantasy (PSP) artwork

Dissidia: Final Fantasy (PSP) review


"While chatting with one of my friends over sushi, I described Dissidia: Final Fantasy as "Virtual On with Final Fantasy characters". He gave me a puzzled look; far too many people missed out on Sega's one-on-one mech combat masterpiece. Perhaps an Armored Core comparison — 3D arena battles with extensive character customization — would have been more appropriate, but I didn't think of that until later."



I've never been a fan of the Final Fantasy series, although I enjoyed the original NES game quite a bit. Friends describe fond memories of Cloud, Zidane, and Tidus; I shrug.

While chatting with one of my friends over sushi, I described Dissidia: Final Fantasy as "Virtual On with Final Fantasy characters". He gave me a puzzled look; far too many people missed out on Sega's one-on-one mech combat masterpiece. Perhaps an Armored Core comparison -- 3D arena battles with extensive character customization -- would have been more appropriate, but I didn't think of that until later.

Then again, perhaps I didn't need any obscure comparisons. As I recounted tales of Cloud clashing swords with Sephiroth inside a grandiose palace bedecked by destructible pillars, my friend's eyes lit up. Personally, I was more intrigued by Garland's appearance, but that's the appeal of Dissidia -- characters from the first ten episodes come together in a grand festival of fan service. Thanks to smart dialogue and strong voice-acting, the heroes all come out looking like legends. As for the villains . . . well, the more "human" antagonists wind up as flunkies to the ruthlessly ambitious despots, so there's a definite disparity. Sephiroth didn't readily fit into either category, so he just stands around and shows off his bare bishounen chest when not stalking Cloud.

Whichever character you choose, Dissidia kicks off with a chaotic cutscene that showcases ten heroes taking on ten villains in a Final Fantasy dream match. This might trick people into thinking the game features team-based combat, but every 3D battle is one-on-one. Fights are swift but strategic, fancy but deep. In addition to hit points, every combatant has a "bravery" factor; pump up the endorphins and they're more resistant to physical pain. This forces players to intelligently alternate attacks -- I never imagined the "button-spammer" problem would be solved so easily.

Many attacks launch an opponent into the air, at which point the fearless warriors engage in absurd(ly awesome) airborne combat. Every character wields a different moveset for land-based or airborne combat; Zidane's nearly unstoppable in the sky, but Firion players will want to get back to the ground as quickly as possible. The extreme variety of fighting styles means players really need to know who they're facing. Onion Knight is a master of quick strikes, Firion can grapple people and rope them in, and Cloud simply brutalizes with that big sword. The twenty fighters aren't even close to balanced, but imbalance didn't stop some people (me) from enjoying Marvel Vs Capcom 2. Besides, no matter how significant the disadvantage, blocking and counter-attacking is always effective.

While Terra Branford flings explosive fireballs or icy shards of doom, it's conceivable that her opponent might actually move out of the way. Such attacks could very well cause the arena itself to start falling apart; sometimes "damage points" are obvious, such as the aforementioned palace pillars. As the game progresses, the world becomes even crazier. Crystal staircases shatter while people are standing on them; follow the opponent into the abyss and a surreal twilight zone awaits . . . or perhaps you'll both just land on the ground. Whether dashing through the air or running up a brick wall (ninja style!), it's easy to maneuver through the large arenas.

As walls explode, you might earn a special ring or accessory. That's not the only way to obtain new items -- you can also buy them from the shop (boring) or occasionally earn them by performing "EX Bursts", such as the famous omnislash. Pulling off a perfect EX Burst requires mastering a button-pressing challenge; the latter-era characters' challenges somewhat mimic similar shenanigans from their original episodes. In Cloud's case, that means tapping "circle" really fast.

There are other clever nods to the original Final Fantasy games. Whereas most characters face their respective nemesii in the final battle, the first boss the Light Warrior encounters is Garland, which mimics the storyline progression of the original NES game. Final Fantasy IV's Cecil alternates between dark knight and paladin mid-battle, demonstrating his mastery of both sides. I'm just grateful that the early-era characters finally resemble Yoshitaka Amano's artwork, although it's quite comical to see a bunch of warriors clad in exquisitely exotic attire standing next to . . . Tidus.

Dissidia includes a slew of game modes that allow players to either face each other or the computer in a variety of ways. The game also includes over 75 missions, each presented as a miniature board game (with fights mixed in). Clearing all of those missions with a 100% rank will take a very long time, as will collecting the hundreds of weapons and armor -- which can thankfully be shared between characters, unless it doesn't match their occupation. Everyone knows mages can't wield zweihanders.

To help make such goals achievable, Square-Enix incorporated a number of bonus incentives to reward repeat play. I began playing Dissidia on a Sunday, which I selected to be my "bonus points" day on the Chocobo Calendar. Ever since then -- thanks to the PSP's manually-adjustable internal clock -- every day has been Sunday in the House of Zigfried.

I later discovered that a few special bonuses had been stealthily assigned to other days of the week . . . bonuses that I missed because I was cheating. Damn those scrupulous Square-Enix ninjas!

Dissidia: Final Fantasy is a flashy but intelligent fighting game, backed up by a lengthy story mode, clearly intended to please fans of the series. But my most striking experiences did not involve familiar faces fighting against familiar villains. As I played through the story mode for Firion -- hero of Final Fantasy II -- I was impressed by his "Master of Eight Weapons" abilities and his honest, innocently charming persona. The villain he faced demonstrated a scheming nature and devious fighting style that would be perfect for an RPG boss. Later, while playing Tidus's storyline, I was shocked by the sincerity behind his confrontation with Jecht.

I've never played Final Fantasy II or Final Fantasy X, but now I'd like to. Dissidia may have actually turned me into a Final Fantasy fan.

Maybe.

//Zig

Rating: 9/10

zigfried's avatar
Staff review by Zigfried (September 21, 2009)

Zigfried likes writing about whales and angry seamen, and often does so at the local pub.

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zippdementia posted September 21, 2009:

Great to see a non-fan review of this. I actually think, in some ways, non-fans will like this one BETTER than fans. But I need to play more than just the demo to make sure of this.

Alright, Ziggy, this will be what I purchase with my upcoming game sale money. You've convinced me. Bastard.
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Suskie posted September 21, 2009:

Great review Zig, although if I owned a PSP, this would be a game I'd avoid simply out of principle. I'm really sick of Final Fantasy and I think Square needs to put some of this shit to rest already. FFVII is over.
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honestgamer posted September 21, 2009:

Final Fantasy VII is over when fans say it's over, because video games are an industry and an industry needs to support itself by making money. It would be a different story if games were art, the way some people wish, but when games are art they are art because that's a way the developer sees to make money. Final Fantasy VII doesn't need to be art. It needs to be a cash cow, and so it is. We can complain all we like about Square-Enix not putting the game firmly in the past, but Square-Enix is only doing what I would expect any decent business to do. I'm not sure why fans remain so passionately interested in that specific installment while ignoring the superior efforts that surrounded it, but reality is what it is.
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True posted September 21, 2009:

We can complain all we like about Square-Enix not putting the game firmly in the past, but Square-Enix is only doing what I would expect any decent business to do.

Then tell them to get off their ass and either make a true, decent sequel to Crono Trigger or not sue fucking fans for making their own.

Money-grubbing bastards.
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zigfried posted September 21, 2009:

I don't recall Square sueing any fans. They told fans to stop making an unauthorized sequel, which is the same thing Disney would do if you were releasing a Mickey Mouse cartoon of your own, or that Sega would do if you were releasing a Sonic game of your own, or that Capcom would do if you made a Street Fighter 2.5, etc etc... if blame is to be placed, it's to be placed on the legal precedents that force a company to defend its trademark from everyone who comes to their attention, instead of being able to selectively target true financial threats.

I don't quite follow Honestgamer's post. Plenty of people would call movies "art" even though they're just as much an industry as games. I get the part about Square beating a horse to death to service the fans, but I don't understand how that makes any statement regarding FF7's artistic status one way or the other.

NOTE: I HAVE NOT PLAYED FF7. PLEASE NO SPOILERS

//Zig
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jerec posted September 21, 2009:

Even after reading your review, I'm still undecided on this one. But then I remember I don't need to decide, since I don't have a PSP yet. But if I get one, I might get the Dissidia bundle, since that's about the only bundle I find interesting.
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True posted September 21, 2009:

Well...threatened to sue them, and had their lawyers send them a very nasty letter.

I understand where they're coming from, I do. If some fan ever took Darkness and used its premise to write a side-story, D&D Map or MMORPG I probably would not be happy about it. That's my story and I want it to go the route I've chosen for it, not anyone else. But I would also take their ideas to heart, and consider what the fans want to see.

And that's why the whole Crono Trigger thing pissed me off, and it's why I have a problem with Square-Enix and developers in general. Square seems to be on this whole Final Fantasy VII kick as of late. Re-releasing the game on PSN, Advent Children, the crummy Vincent game that I don't even remember the name of and now Dissidia. Which--don't get me wrong--is awesome because I'm a fan but they seem to be ignoring everything else.

VII is not their only legacy. Who wouldn't like to see a true sequel to Chrono Trigger? A lot of people would, I imagine. But instead of taking their idea and maybe even bringing some of the guys on board to develop something (Which, in all honesty they may have, and they're just keeping everything secret) they sent them a cease and desist letter and went on about their business, disregarding the cry of thousands of fans.
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Genj posted September 21, 2009:

NOTE: I HAVE NOT PLAYED FF7. PLEASE NO SPOILERS

Barret dresses up like a sailor and Cloud calls him a bear <3
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honestgamer posted September 21, 2009:

Maybe it somehow escaped your notice, True, but the "sequel" that those folks were working on for ChronoTrigger looked spectacularly awful. The trailer almost made me physically ill. Square-Enix did us all a favor when it issued that cease and desist order. If a "proper" sequel ever does come, my fervent hope is that none of the people responsible for that abomination are involved in its development.
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EmP posted September 21, 2009:

[Insert obligitory "couldn't be worse that Chrono Cross" slur here]

I think that focusing only on (I think) the two characters of the cast that came from FFVII kind of misses the point of Dissida. Instead, we should be focusing on how SE are admitting that XII was complete shit by disincluding the cast from the game enjoying the look back on a lot of games that might have very well shaped our enjoyment of this hobby. Less so for me, as the vast majority never got PAL releases, but it gives me something else to rage about, so I'm cool with it.

I, for one, am glad for FFVII spin offs because Crisis Core was absoltely bloody awesome. As was this review.
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zigfried posted September 21, 2009:

Jerec -- if you pick up a PSP, you should absolutely get a bundle of some sort. It's just a much better value -- for the memory card alone.

However, be warned that the games inside don't come in their nice normal cases, but instead come in dumb little cardboard sleeves. So try to get a bundle with games that you don't plan to sell.

EDIT:
Much agreed with Emp. The two FF7 characters really aren't very important (which I alluded to with Sephiroth). Dissidia is more of a continuation/conclusion of Final Fantasy I than anything else.

EDIT2:
It should also be noted that some fan developers ask permission from the copyright holders before making their own game, and some fans have received permission. Square-Enix would almost certainly say "no" if someone asked. That's their right, and it should be respected. The same thing happens with fan-fiction... some authors/companies have laid out specific rules that fanfic writers must follow. For example, I believe you're allowed to write a story in the world of Pern, but not allowed to use any of McCaffrey's characters (unless I'm confusing her with someone else). Star Trek is far more lenient, but they may come after you if Spock and Kirk hook up together for a hot steamy night or if a pre-existing character gets killed. Other series just don't allow fanfics at all and will send a C&D if one is brought to their attention.

//Zig
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joseph_valencia posted September 21, 2009:

Way to stick it to the little guy, Venter. That'll show all those foolish fans who want to make loving tributes to their favorite games. I mean, really, they had the *audacity* to develop a game on no budget and with no motivation but their own devotion to their classic RPG. Long live Squeer.
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honestgamer posted September 21, 2009:

The people that made this craptacular fan game are like a mosquito, and I guess that you could say I'm like Square-Enix. If a mosquito lands on me and prepares to bite me, I'm going to swat it. If that means I'm "sticking it to the little guy," so be it. The little guy asked for it. Sure, he feels like all he was doing was trying to share my blood and doing what he loves, but my blood is mine to give--or to keep--and if I don't feel like sharing that doesn't make me queer.
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joseph_valencia posted September 21, 2009:

Yes, they'd be a mosquito...if a mosquito didn't suck blood or take anything from its host. Fan works like the one those queers at Squeersoft shut down are completely harmless to Squeer's IP rights and create no revenue for the fan-artists. It's simply a bunch of a fans having fun and trying to do something they thought other other fans would like, but we can't have that can we? No, that would be respecting your fans and giving yourself free advertising. Can't have that at all.

Anyway, you are full of shit, Venter.
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hmd posted September 21, 2009:

You guys are all missing the point.

The point here is that this is a game where you can play as Tidus.

This is awesome.
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True posted September 21, 2009:

While I will agree that it's an intellectual property and Square is entitled to reprimand anyone for using it without legal consent or permission, I just think they were...wrong in doing so.

Had the designers come out and said "buy the new Crono Trigger sequel directly from our website and pay only us, Square won't see a dime for something they created" I would be more understanding to Square's plight. They didn't. It was simply a game made by fans, for fans who have asked and waited patiently for something for over a decade. And it may not have been up to par, but honestly would you expect it to be? It was probably done without a budget, most likely without fancy tools or sophisticated software by people who may or may not have schooling in game design. Just a bunch of guys with such an appreciation for a series they spent their free time trying to re-invigorate it, re-introduce it and make something new for current fans and first time players to enjoy. They weren't--in the grander scheme of things--taking anything away from Square.

And I think the corporation just went about it in the completely wrong way. It's the same with the music industry. Instead of recognizing that things designed by fans--Napster, Crono Trigger, Youtube videos featuring songs--may utterly have potential, then implementing some sort of rules while still allowing said outlet to continue would be beneficial to them in the long run, they don't. They just completely slam the door on anything that involves their product, lock it down, sue and bully, meanwhile stifling these poor guys who meant no harm by their actions. They just wanted to give something back to the fans, something--I'm sorry--Square has seemingly no interest in doing.

I don't think you're full of shit, Jason. I just think you have a very corporate way of looking at things. And while to a point that's understandable, especially if someone was taking money out of your pocket, I think it's also wise to consider the fan's perspective. What if someone created a new story for Nigel? Posted a fan-fiction on some no-name website and made absolutely no claim to have invented, contributed or influenced Defiant Light in any manner? He simply did it for love of your story, and wanting to see it continue.

That's wrong?

I'm sorry, but it's not. If someone ended up writing a story, killed Elryia off, made Grahamas The True homosexual and broke Fate (yes, I realize you have no idea what I'm talking about, just go with me. One day you will.) I would not be happy, but I would also understand that people have creative urges. Sometimes that leads them to build something new, other times that leads them to re-mold something that already exists. And I would also have enough respect for my fans to realize they are intelligent enough to discern what is fan-based and where the true story lies.

And if my fans were that desperate to see something new, they went to the lengths of coding an entirely new game, or writing a completely new novel I would sure as shit listen to them and give them what they wanted.

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zigfried posted September 21, 2009:

True, what you describe above is exactly why Hatsune Miku became an internet phenomenon in Japan. The original software had a very generous license agreement, and fans ended up going hogwild by making songs, making videos to go with those songs, and creating a personality that the original designers never imagined. She's gone on to become a virtual pop idol performing live concerts in Japan... and fans are still free to use her voice (commercially!) and her likeness (non-commercially!) as they see fit. It's incredibly awesome.

But then there's the other side. The intensely proud artist who doesn't want anyone else to ruin his perfect creation. Isn't it interesting that FF7 has tons of spin-offs, but Chrono Trigger remains untouched? Even its PSX "sequel" has loose ties at best. Yes, Square will sue the pants off anyone who makes anything based on one of their games (including action figures), but I suspect there's more to the Chrono Trigger story. Such behavior is selfish, but if there's anything people should be allowed to be selfish about, it's their own creations.

Anyways. If fans really wanted to, they could rebel by creating two-hundred simultaneous sequels and summon a tsunami of fandom that Square couldn't possibly defend against.

Also, Tidus wears funny clothes.

//Zig
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hmd posted September 21, 2009:

http://www.demon-sushi.com/warning/

guys this is what happens when square-enix doesn't step in.

LOOK AT THIS

LOOK

AT

IT
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zigfried posted September 21, 2009:

I've actually seen that before!

Actually... I think it was because of you. This is twice you've cursed my eyes now

//Zig
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True posted September 21, 2009:

Anyways. If fans really wanted to, they could rebel by creating two-hundred simultaneous sequels and summon a tsunami of fandom that Square couldn't possibly defend against.

That an offer? Honestgamers unite and all that? Because if it is, I'm down.

We just have to re-make and translate Shining Force III first.
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overdrive posted September 21, 2009:

1. I agree with EmP in that comparing this game to the FF VII expansions/remakes/whatever isn't really accurate, as from what I get about this game (mainly from Zig's review) is that it has major characters from all the FF games. If Cloud and Sephiroth are the two commercials focus on, that's because of the popularity of FF VII as the game that, for all intents and purposes, made RPGs "cool".

2. Zig....don't play FF 2j. It's the worst game of the series and uses a poorly-executed version of their Saga engine. Maybe the GBA FF I-II port version is better (and it has a bonus dungeon/quest/whatever thing), but the NES version is one the rare RPGs that I looked at as not worth my time.

3. Jason....I disagree with your use of the term mosquito. I agree that people shouldn't be able to randomly swipe the work of professionals (ie: this isn't the same as people making their own Doom levels with the freely-given source code for that game), but some discretion should be used by companies.

a. Correct me if I'm wrong, but this "sequel" was designed with the SNES CT engine, wasn't it?

b. Square hasn't touched Chrono since Chrono Cross, which was two gaming generations ago. There hasn't been any breaking news they have another Chrono game in development. Correct me if I'm wrong again.

c. In my opinion, quashing an indy Chrono game on an archaic engine is lame, unless you intend to make an actual game yourself and don't want your game-world's mythology to take a hit due to what someone else said. A company should at least consider the passion that gamers have towards a certain product they've provided and nurture that love. Who knows.....a mosquito might blossom into something more welcomed.
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honestgamer posted September 22, 2009:

3. Jason....I disagree with your use of the term mosquito. I agree that people shouldn't be able to randomly swipe the work of professionals (ie: this isn't the same as people making their own Doom levels with the freely-given source code for that game), but some discretion should be used by companies.

I think the "mosquito" metaphor is actually quite apt. Square-Enix has a history of vigrously defending its precious IP--which is the only reason the company enjoys its past and current success and which is therefore essential to its continued existence--and the developers of the fan game knew this ahead of time. They have to have known it, because even people who only casually follow the industry are aware. The developers aren't some victim. They're a nuisance, like a mosquito. Dealing with them requires resources, and not dealing with them isn't an option.

a. Correct me if I'm wrong, but this "sequel" was designed with the SNES CT engine, wasn't it?

It certainly seems that way. Essentially, the game is an ambitious ROM hack. It would be distributed as an illegal ROM with new content built on the core engine that Square-Enix developed. It looks like many of the same assets are being used and rearranged.

b. Square hasn't touched Chrono since Chrono Cross, which was two gaming generations ago. There hasn't been any breaking news they have another Chrono game in development. Correct me if I'm wrong again.

Square-Enix has registered new trademarks for names that have an apparent connection to the Chrono Trigger universe, though that was two or three years ago now. They do seem intent on continuing the franchise and recently re-released the original game on the DS. A sequel for that platform--or some other platform--would not be unexpected at all and would likely find its sales cannibalized by a "free" project that people would probably download to their illegal cards en masse. The only possible benefit of this whole situation is that maybe some people would be trying to get a ROM of the eventual sequel but would accidentally download the crappy fan project instead... but then that could cause them to start trash talking the sequel without even having played it. Clearly, it would be a mess.

c. In my opinion, quashing an indy Chrono game on an archaic engine is lame, unless you intend to make an actual game yourself and don't want your game-world's mythology to take a hit due to what someone else said. A company should at least consider the passion that gamers have towards a certain product they've provided and nurture that love. Who knows.....a mosquito might blossom into something more welcomed.

The problem here is that allowing the fan project to exist is legally viewed as accepting it, which in turn opens two potential issues. The first is that it could be argued to show precedent, to indicate that Square-Enix is not interested in the IP and has released it for others to use. This could free up others to produce similar projects and perhaps even market them and Square-Enix couldn't do anything about it because it let the one case go by without action.

Another issue--however unlikely--is that the fan project might actually contain a good idea or two. Those ideas may have already occurred to Square-Enix developers, yet if they implement them after some fan project has exposed the ideas--even if the ideas were coded into Square-Enix's project independently--then the fans could come back and make a legal argument that the idea was theirs and that Square-Enix stole it. There is a history of this happening to individuals in other industries, which is why IP must be protected with vigilence. There are numerous fantasy and sci-fi authors--including J.K. Rowling, among many--who have had to deal with such concerns.

So really, there are a lot of down sides to letting a project like this exist and be distributed. The negatives far outweigh any positives. Square-Enix would have had to be criminally stupid to let this thing be distributed.
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joseph_valencia posted September 22, 2009:

The notion that someone could "mistake" a fan hack for a legit game is downright silly. First of all, ROM file names are marked to indicate if something is patched or hacked. Second, high quality fan hacks tend to have splash screens and disclaimers. Third, most of the software that's hacked is for defunct consoles like the SNES.

Square-Enix has a history of vigrously defending its precious IP--which is the only reason the company enjoys its past and current success and which is therefore essential to its continued existence--and the developers of the fan game knew this ahead of time.

I doubt the fan developers were aware of what IP Nazis Sqeersoft are. Like many people who do fan projects that aren't motivated by profit, they had this simple-minded notion of doing something neat and sharing it with other people. They may have figured if some Squeer employee stumbled upon what they were doing, they would stand back and let them work out of the whole "Gee Whiz!" factor of *fans* doing neat stuff with this code they created.

But, no, they encountered lawyers instead. By the way, lawyers are the number one factor behind these C&Ds. I doubt the actual creative forces behind Chrono were even aware of the fans or their efforts.

The developers aren't some victim. They're a nuisance, like a mosquito. Dealing with them requires resources, and not dealing with them isn't an option.

I suppose to a legal department they're some kind of nuisance. I imagine the actual creative minds of Squeersoft would be intrigued by these fan works. Hell, who wouldn't be amazed by some foreign school kid cracking some professional code you wrote over a decade ago?

A sequel for that platform--or some other platform--would not be unexpected at all and would likely find its sales cannibalized by a "free" project that people would probably download to their illegal cards en masse.

You don't seem to understand anything about the ROM or hacking community. For starters, the audience for fan hacks isn't that big. Second, the average consumer is savvy enough to discern between "official" and "unofficial" product. Even the most elaborate Chrono hack can't double for a brand new Squeersoft project. If you actually understood these hacking methods and programs instead of blindly fearing them, you would know that they have limitations.

Those ideas may have already occurred to Square-Enix developers, yet if they implement them after some fan project has exposed the ideas--even if the ideas were coded into Square-Enix's project independently--then the fans could come back and make a legal argument that the idea was theirs and that Square-Enix stole it.

This happens all the time without fan works. For example, I recall the 1988 movie "Big" had to compete with two other comedies that year that had a similar premise. It's possible for two people to have ideas that are similar and not the same. There's also the solution of, I dunno, *thinking of a new idea*! Unfortunately, IP Law discourages that in favor of using sheer blunt force legal trauma to get your way.
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overdrive posted September 22, 2009:

I guess I'd disagree with the comment that they're only "mosquitos" if the company forces them into that label. There have been instances where companies have had a legit working relationship with amateur designers.

First in my mind is id Software with the Doom/Doom 2 source code. It was made freely available from the beginning and many fans of the games created levels and complete WAD replacements for Doom episodes and the entire 32-level Doom 2 game. How did id treat these mosquitos? Well, Team TNT and the Casali brothers got enlisted to release their own 32-level WADs together on id under the name of Final Doom. A number of level designers were able to use their experience with the Doom code to move on to legitimate work in the gaming industry. A couple others ended up working on Daikatana and likely committed ritual suicide to retain honor afterwards. All in all, it was a neat scene that I wish I'd known about during the 90s, as it'd have been cool to have been there while it was going on.

While it is the decision of each individual company as to how they deal with things like fans wanting to work with their source code, it just strikes me as bizarre how one company looked at that as something to be encouraged, while another seemingly looks at it as a travesty deserving to be quashed immediately. Especially since, in the grand scheme of things, both those fan-made Doom levels and that fan-made CT hack are the same basic thing — a not-for-profit project made for a niche audience. Overall, it's not something that particularly bothers me, as it'd be unlikely I'd ever have the time to play that hack if it had been released, but it is something I find somewhat amusing.
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darketernal posted September 22, 2009:

I heard the version that the remake of Chrono Trigger was actually made by Square employees to tantalize fans a bit and they just closed it down, they never did more then those teasers/sneak peaks/trailers because apparently they are tremendous douchebags. I like that explanation, I like it a lot.
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wolfqueen001 posted September 22, 2009:

I liked FFII. At least, I liked FFII when it was consolidated with FFI on the PSX release of FF Origins several years ago. I've no idea what the NES version is like. I imagine the 'newr' one has had some modification to make it smoother, though. Can't say for sure.
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EmP posted September 22, 2009:

I'm going to agree with Jason here.

Yeah, right, can you imagine if I was actually like that? Squarenix are being uptight jackarses, which is nothing new. Better games like XCOM and Shining Force have been subject to fan remakes and the teams behind both commercial releases have praised their fanbase's efforts, to the point where one of the bigger and better XCOM projects was helped along by a handful of the original programmers. See, that's cool. It's being openly and charmingly humbled and flattered by the depth of love your fanbase has for your project and respecting the effort they put in at great personal cost to keep your vision alive and well. Belittling people with a lot invested in video games strike me as a questionable attitude to be held by someone owning a video game review site and by people producing the games alike. You're lucky I carry the place for you, Square hold no such luck.

In SE terms, Chrono is dead. They had rights to the name Chrono Break, but it has long, long expired in the US and more recently (though still a fair way back) in Japan. All they've done with the game is release its second almost-straight port (though I respect the fact they altered it enough to banish Cross from the canon. Even they secretly know that game is shit) and nought else. The fanbase made Square and since they're comfortable to release nothing but subpar RPGs these days, they could really do with trying to keep them on board, not forcing them to their knees and cockslapping them in the face.
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zigfried posted September 22, 2009:

I keep seeing comments about Square not doing anything with the Chrono Trigger franchise. Thing is, fans have no clue whether or not the Chrono Trigger franchise is dead/abandoned/etc.

If I write a book called "Clan of the Polar Bear" and have vague ideas for a sequel in my mind for 15 years, I don't want some schmuck to suddenly decide the IP is dead and write their own sequel. The only people who know whether a concept is abandoned are the creators.

I can understand the "what's the harm?" argument -- which applies whether an IP is active or not -- but fans have no right to decide what is or isn't abandoned.

Regarding companies helping fans, the nice/admirable companies will do that as long as the project looks promising (Square is anything but nice), but don't be surprised if inferior projects still get corporately squelched even by the kindest creators.

//Zig
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EmP posted September 22, 2009:

Frankly, I don't care if Square released Chrono Break tomorrow: there's still no need to belittle their fanbase's intelligence by claiming they won't understand which canon to follow or reward the people who invested in their vision the most by inviting them to die in a fire.

As for the last bit, I disagree. I spent a lot of time around the XCom remake (because the idea of playing that co-op on line might be the only thing in the world that'll make me truely happy) and the people there were clearly humbled and fell over themselves to help out where there could. If this is the case for XCom, a game that overshadows everything Square have done and ever will do [/clear bias] then I'll just sit back and continue to enjoy watching them shoot themselves repeatedly in the foot and sulk when they find their Phoenix Down stocks depleted.
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zippdementia posted September 22, 2009:

Considering I am a part of the community that spent three or four years creating that now defunct Chrono Project, I somewhat resent them being compared to an annoying and disease spreading insect. Why shouldn't someone be able to present their interpretation of someone else's creative work? There was no money involved here, just some people living out a dream. If SE told me to stop writing my Chrono Fan Fic, I'd tell them to go fuck themselves (note: it's worthless sueing me because I have nothing and I intend to stay that way for my entire life).

To clear up some of the confusion, there were two Chrono projects shut down by SE. The first was Chrono Remake (link) which was a full 3D remake of the original game, started about eight years ago.

The second was created by the Chrono Compendium community and was, as Jason has pointed out, a ROM hack. But it was a project filled with a lot of love (and a little bit of ego, as is inevitable on these things). Say what you want about how good the game might've been (or not been), that's our role as reviewers after all, but I think it is undeniable that they should've been allowed to present their vision to the world, regardless.

Which isn't really to say I resent anyone's opinion, here. I actually respect the opinion of Honest Gamers more than most anyone online. But I just can't get behind a cease and desist letter. It's a commercial response to a fan base and that always sucks.
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zigfried posted September 22, 2009:

I can't wait to see the feedback topic after I review Chrono Trigger!

Not to spoil anything, but I thought it was quite terrible.

Anyways, we've all spent long enough talking about games that have nothing to do with my review. Well, except hmd. He's a smart guy. So, to put some closure on the ridiculous claim that Square is evil and hates their fans, I have this quote from their Japanese website:

Square Enix provides high-quality content, services, and products to help those customers create their own wonderful, unforgettable experiences, thereby allowing them to discover a happiness all their own.

So there you have it. Square believes in customers creating and discovering their own happiness.

//Zig
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joseph_valencia posted September 22, 2009:

I look forward to that review, even though I enjoyed Chrono Trigger. There aren't enough CT bash reviews on the internet, and in some ways the game is kind of overrated.
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Suskie posted September 22, 2009:

I'm kind of looking forward to it as well, because while it's very easy to imagine someone not being blown away by CT, I cannot think of a single reason why someone would hate it. Few here are as articulate as you, Zig, so it'll be interesting.
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randxian posted November 06, 2009:

I chuckled a bit about how you missed certain bonuses because you cheated and made every day a Sunday on your PSP.

I like the approach used here. It's refreshing to hear from another old school Final Fantasy fan instead of some FF7 drone.

I really don't understand this whole hootinany about Square suing some fans trying to create an unofficial sequel to CT. If they were planning to make the game free for download, like most ROM hacks, then why should Square give a damn? How are they "bloodsucking" if they aren't making any money doing it?
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zippdementia posted November 07, 2009:

SE is very protective of their material. In case they ever get around to making another Chrono game (yeah right) they don't want the potential market to have been pre-saturated.
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EmP posted November 07, 2009:

Let us all pray that day never comes.

There are some fanmade Square stuff out there, and some very good stuff to boot. I assume it was something that fell under the radar at the time.
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Probester posted November 07, 2009:

While we're ripping on Square for not making good sequels for their other games, anyone really want more Chocobo's Dungeon or Vagrant Story? Both blow FF VII out of the water.

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