Title: Our Revolution Doesn't Have A Best RPG
Posted: February 05, 2006 (03:08 PM)
Just like one of our fellow Gamespot staff has said in Freeplay, the RPG has been in a rut. Ever since Final Fantasy VII. It revolutionized without fail - and perhaps, over-revolutionized. Quite frankly, every damn RPG that has come after FF7 has tried to mimic it and follow it as if it was manual to success. And now I can't stand playing RPGs anymore. And I loved FF7.
But let's not go overboard. We can argue that everything looks like FF7 because, well, it's an RPG. With a few exceptions aside, RPGs were like this ever since the day we had a NES twinkle in our eyes. Still, the fact remains.
Nothing has revolutionized the world of RPGs since FF7, and we are perpetually looking for that next hope, perpetually looking for nostalgia. FFX is still Final Fantasy. World of Warcraft is an MMORPG, and while it most definitely impacted the world, didn't revolutionize what an MMORPG does. The Dragon Quest series is just a brethren of its Final Fantasy counterpart.
Perhaps the only RPG that has dared to explore is Suikoden III, with five storylines interweaving together into a fabric full of pushes and pulls. But even this can be said to a semi-cop-off of Shining Force. So even if we were to pick a "Best RPG" within our generation, it wouldn't mean anything. Except for answering the question:
"What RPG copies FF7 the best?"
If we are truly looking for revolution, it would be Grand Theft Auto. Of course, that's not an RPG, but the question we now ask in parallel is, "What will be the next GTA?" For a game to revolutionize the gaming industry, it will have to so far away from GTA and FF7 that it can revolutionize. And while we can hope for a "Best RPG" to make one, the search for that pot of gold will probably force us to go down a different rainbow. You can't look for revolution down the same street. At some point, you have to turn. Turn away from the Best RPG.
Posted: February 05, 2006 (03:28 PM)
Interesting, but ultimatly flawed.
In this logic, FFVII was simply a copy of an older, better game. Phantasy Star II for example.
In essence, the assumption that FFVII reinvneted RPGs is close-minded and incorect. It simply populourised it for people who didn't already know better.
Posted: February 05, 2006 (04:29 PM)
I would have to disagree. Revolution and reinvention are two different concepts. I never said anything about how innovative FF7 was - in fact, I find it boring. All it did was add a third dimension. But that's all that was needed to start a revolution. No one can deny its impact on the gaming industry - for better or worse.
Posted: February 05, 2006 (06:50 PM)
Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic was the best RPG of this generation, and it most certainly doesn't copy FFVII.
. . .
Or maybe FFX was better. I dunno.
Posted: February 05, 2006 (07:35 PM)
By the way, -67 points for EmP.
And I guess with so much praise for KOTOR, I'm going to have at least see it.
Posted: February 05, 2006 (09:12 PM)
KOTOR would've been a contender for the best RPG ever if my stupid party members wouldn't always use "Stun Droid" (a crappy move used for taking out droids) on Siths and always getting themselves killed. It pised me off when I had to constantly select their moves every time I entered a somewhat challenging battle. Luckily that wasn't until the very end of the game, because that's when the game finally started to almost become a challenge.
And FF7 is nothing more than an average RPG with impressive (at the time) cutscenes. I hate it because it led the way to crap such as Metal Gear Solid and Xenosaga. It might've been revolutionary, but certainly not in a good way.
Posted: February 05, 2006 (09:48 PM)
I don't remember any of my Jedi using Stun Droid on non-droids ever. Maybe that's because I could usually take on everything myself with either MASTER FLURRY + TWO LIGHTSABERS or FORCE STORM x a gajillion.
Posted: February 05, 2006 (11:07 PM)
As a long-time RPG devotee....
1. The first Dragon Quest game came out before the first FF game.....you could say that FF was the devotee that (as far as popularity goes) wound up outshining its big brother (at least in America).
2. FFVII's appeal over other great RPGs was it's cinematic appeal. RPGs always had been ugly compared to other genres of games.....now they were pretty, too.
3. When anyone goes so far as to say Suikoden III is derivative of Shining Force....well, that's just grasping at straws. Maybe they share certain themes, but that's it... By that standard, it's completely and utterly impossible for anyone to create a truly original RPG today.
4. While I may have touched on this before, the main things FFVII did that other RPGs have copied is create a lush graphical world with more cinematics and being able to handle a more complex/convoluted story that the previous hardware couldn't. I mean, if FFVII didn't look so good (as compared to other RPGs) with such stunning FMV (for the time)....I doubt it would have been more of an overall success than FF III/VI. Sephiroth is the crazed villain (like Kefka), only with a backstory to explain why he went wacko.....Rufus is a younger Emperor Gestahl (secondary evil leader eventually wiped out...in this case, indirectly...by his subordinate...since Seph did free the Weapons).....Cloud was a more angsty version of Terra...and so on.
Posted: February 05, 2006 (11:15 PM)
Lunar 2 was a HUGE hit in terms of Sega CD games. The Turbo had already shown people what RPGs could be like (even though most people still didn't buy one). So basically, I think the US was already primed for cinema-based RPGs to hit big.
The thing is though, no CD-based system itself had ever been "big". In 1997, when FF7 came out, the PSX had already become the US's most successful CD-based system by at least 3 or 4 times over.
Basically, I think FF7 succeeded because it did what had already been done before... but this time, on a system that had a real userbase.
Posted: February 06, 2006 (07:05 AM)
FF7 was at the right place at the right time. If it hadn't come along, people would simply be hailing some other game as the most revolutionary RPG of the last decade.