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Graphics: Who needs them?

by Mike Wasson

Oh, this is my first editorial, so go easy on me...^_^ I've noticed that when RPGers aren't busy arguing about whether Square has sold out to us or not, they tend to argue about the quality of the Final Fantasies, namely FF1-6 against FF7-8. After looking at these games, I've come to the conclusion that people probably aren't arguing about the gameplay(FF7 and FF8 don't have similar gameplay, nor do 4 and 5). And the stories are different, so it'd make more sense to debate over the quality of individual games' stories, instead of placing them in large groups. Music, for the most part, tends to remain out of editorials, so about the only thing left would be setting and graphics (unless somebody decideds the sound effects in FF7 suck, or something-- but knowing RPGers, that's not a farfetched scenario) Essentially, the way I see it, two factions have shown up in the RPGing world:

1. Old school, "hardcore" RPGers who think that the setting and prerendered graphics of FF7-8 suck because they're different. (Ironically, these are the same people who complain that Square sold out with FF9)

2. Newer RPGers who dislike the earlier RPGs because of 8- and 16-bit graphics (I'll give credit to most RPGers who started with FF7: the ones who hate older RPGs are in the minority).

Now, if people are going to bicker endlessly about graphics (it's been, what, four or five months since FF8, and a coupla years since FF7?), I've come to the conclusion that graphics == bad. In fact, I've found a series that few people have ever said has sucky graphics. A series that Squaresoft would be smart to emulate, and release the new FF's (especially FF11) in this style. I'm sure you all know the series I speak of:
The Zork series.

>> You are outside Mako Reactor 1. Two Shin-Ra Military Policemen run at you.
>> Command?

FF10 could come with a small keyboard that would allow gamers to type in coherent responses. Also, think of the benefit of being able to interact with fellow RPGers in a MUD-style environment in FF11!

>> You are standing on the bridge of the airship "Odin."
>> You see a steering wheel and a man with a gunblade.
>> You also see KupoMog69, Squall666666, and SeifrSUX.
>> Command?
> say Hello. Would any of you care to buy Gold Armor?
>> You say, "Hello. Would any of you care to buy Gold Armor?"
>> KupoMog69 says, "@#$% off, lamer"
>> SeifrSUX says, "U R A LAME NEWBE FAG"
> look KupoMog69
>> KupoMog69: Level 99 Ninja/Level 99 Summoner ATK: 99 DEF: 99 MAG: 99 HP: 9999/9999 MP: 999/99 He is wearing Genji Armor, Genji Gauntlets, Genji Shield, Genji Helmet, Dragoon Boots, and Economizer. He wields Excalibur and Masamune.
>> KupoMog69: "U SUK TIM 2 DIE!!!!!!!!1111"
>> KupoMog69 attacks you! 9999 damage! 9999 damage!
>> Thou art dead.

Ah, how I love the sensibility of RPGers...and remember, those people shouting 1337 stuff and hacking games are most likely the same people who complain about the setting in RPGs.

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