Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Final Fantasy: Modern Warfare

Y'know what would help the moribund Final Fantasy franchise out? Relocating the action to a generic gray/brown desert/shantytown/psuedo-favela with stereotypical Middle Eastern Terrorists as baddies...

NOT for an actual game, thankfully, but rather a tech-demo for Squeenix's pretty amazing-looking new graphics engine. Still, I can't say it's not incredibly despressing to think about this particular aesthetic being picked up as "the way to go now" by Japanese developers. C'mon, guys... you're my last hope for this to NOT be the dominant setting/theme/palette for the entire fucking medium. You are NOT going to solve your own industry's stagnation problem by borrowing OUR industry's stagnation.

Also, jumping on the "generic-Muslim-looking-dudes-as-canon-fodder" bandwagon isn't helping ANYONE... though on the plus side maybe since it'll offer the chance to bag on a JRPG, perhaps this will cause Western Gaming to spontaneously realize that racism is a bad thing; much like how everyone was suddenly very concerned about the objectification of women in games once [REDACTED] gave them the opportunity to use it as a cudgle against The Wii?

Nah... thats just me talkin' crazy talk , right ;)


Mika Hirvonen said...

If the way the Al Bhed were handled in Final Fantaxy X is of any indication, this could actually be interesting.

Hyrabethian said...

Brown and Grey are not your enemies. But seriously man, play some Dark Souls and you'd see that maybe borrowing some trends might actually be for the better. In the end there will always be a plus in learning from one another....^^

smile said...

Along with Capcom, there seems to be an emerging trend of Japanese games that are ashamed of being Japanese.

I'd hate for Western audiences to miss out on visually pleasing games like Tales of Xillia or Atelier Ayesha just because the distributors think brown and bloom is what Americans want.

Botman said...

Are you seriously going to keep claiming with a straight face that the only reason people complained about Other M's treatment of Samus was because they wanted just another excuse to attack Nintendo?

Also, I don't see anything wrong with this obviously small and brief setting of what intends to be a much larger world. I see a dragon, and a post-VII style futuristic city. Given how often FF changes it's setting and tones from game to game, I doubt this is another example of doom and gloom filthy gaijin games corrupting the creativity of glorious Nippon.

Sabre said...

Photo realism is the best way to show how advanced a graphics engine is. Let's face it, the reason NSMB2 doesn't look much better than the wii game or the DS game is because there are limits to what fancy shading stuff can be done in a cartoony, fanciful enviroment.

Plus it's not like this is exactly a simulation of real life, and Final Fantasy has gone through patches of realism and cartoony graphics.

"Along with Capcom, there seems to be an emerging trend of Japanese games that are ashamed of being Japanese. "

As discussed in the last post, JRPGs, and Japanese gaming generally, is currently in trouble. The games aren't selling as well as they used to. This has led to American pandering with mixed results. Vanquish was good, Binary Domain, which I liked, bombed. Oddly, Vanquish played it with over the top mechs and power armour, whereas Binary Domain had a typical gears GI types. (Though I liked the story and hit its themes well I thought.)

Hell, the ultimate examples imo of games pandering to Americans are British. Qube, while a portal rip off, even went so far as to remove the entire plot because Americans wouldn't buy a game if it had a British accent.

So, I guess it's not that Japan is ashamed to be Japanese, but the games with sufficient budgets to be considered for translation are pandering because otherwise they won't break even, and the niche know they won't sell to xenophobic Americans, so they rarely come out over there.

It's not as much of a problem here in the UK, but if you really want to get your japan fix, the PS3 is/was region free so you can always import them, you will have to pay through the nose though.

James said...

Final Fantasy is the perfect example of stagnation and decline in the JRPG industry. If you want a breath of fresh air, look to Persona or any of the other series by Atlus. Or Xenoblade Chronicles, for a more recent example.

MatsVS said...

"Ashamed of being Japanese."

Fucking LOL.

On topic: The trailer may have some problematic aspects, but I'm not worried, as Japan isn't as filled with slobbering, racist, gun-worshipping, white-as-fuck couch-warriors as america and other parts of the west. I honestly can't see them ever fall back to the "faceless brown person" trope.

MatsVS said...

Also, and sincere apologies for the double post, please remember that the setting of Final Fantasy XII was "standard brown", yet was still one of the most AMAZING things ever brought to console. Seriously, I'd offer up my first-born to the Square-Overlords for a full HD, bells-and-whistles remake of that best-since-VI, incredible gem.

Christopher said...

Eh, Final Fantasy will be fine. They've been entertaining for 25 years and they'll probably continue to be.

The gaming community has been acting like a pack of rabid hyenas since the release of FF 13 for some reason. It seems weird to me that they want to see the JRPG genre die so much since apparently "teh hardcorez" never liked them and don't care about them. It's like everyone caught a massive case of "badwrongfun" toward anyone who still enjoys those games.

Thomas Winwood said...

Frankly, if anyone can handle what looks uncomfortably like it'll veer straight into Call-of-Duty-with-wizards well it's Square-Enix. I won't worry until I see the first bow-and-arrow or the first throat slashed with a combat knife.

Nixou said...

You know what: I absolutely love this video:

You see, my very first RPG was Phantasy Star on the Master System, and one of my favorite moment in the game -hell, one of my favorite moment in any pieces of fiction period- was how, after a long string of quests, the sword wielding, fire conjuring heroine finally got her own spaceship, which she parked right next to a shanti town.

At that time my mind was blown away by how this apparent anachronism: the shiny space shuttle piloted by an R2D2 expy next to the muddy streets of a backward settlement made complete sense: The shanty coexisted with futuristic cities because of the Algol empire corruption, and the heroes had parked their own spaceship next to one because they had been blacklisted by the official spaceports.
Sure, it is cliché, but at the time I was fascinated by the contrast between high-tech cities and the "primitive" poorer towns, between the enforced-by-armed-robots police-state and the magic wielding band of rebels (I must say that I did discover Phantasy Star before watching Star Wars)

And this video, with the favelas standing before some ginormous modern towers while people fight inside with guns, spells, and biologically altered beats is exactly how I imagined Phantasy Star would have looked like if not limited by the hardware of its time.

And now I'm dreaming to see a full fleched video game built from this demo.


"Final Fantasy is the perfect example of stagnation and decline in the JRPG industry. If you want a breath of fresh air, look to Persona or any of the other series by Atlus. Or Xenoblade Chronicles, for a more recent example."

I know that people are still talking about decline as in "decline in sale" (which is moronic, because JRPG still sell more than WRPG, but don't mind me contradicting your reality distortion field)...
But ironically the FF series is indeed the perfect example of what's wrong in JRPGs, with its terrible thirteenth episode being a commercial success. (Also Atlus went bankrupt and Xenoblade sold only 600K copies)


"Japan isn't as filled with slobbering, racist, gun-worshipping, white-as-fuck couch-warriors as america"

They're just as slobbering, insular, old weapons and heraldry worshipping as Britain.
Come on: Japan is a Western country, and we're all pretty much an embarassment for the uiverse at this point/

Botman said...

Apologies for the crude words in my last post, I just wasn't expecting this kind of story (not to mention your *ahem* "distinctive" take on it) to pop up a few minutes before I left for work.

Looking at the credits, I see that the concept artists were from Crystal Dynamics. Which brings up another question:

Are you going to have this kind of overblown reaction every time a western developer collaborates with, and offers their own personal interpretation and take on a Japanese IP? First, (since you can't seem to stop bringing up your opinions on Metroid) you complain that Retro Studios turned Metroid Prime into a "creatively bankrupt" FPS, and now this.

I mean, in your political videos, you tell your audience that we have to come to terms with the fact that the world is becoming more globalized with each passing day. Shouldn't that also apply to gaming as well?

Sabre said...

"Frankly, if anyone can handle what looks uncomfortably like it'll veer straight into Call-of-Duty-with-wizards well it's Square-Enix."

They already did, kind of. One of my favourite games is Parasite Eve 2. It got slammed by critics back in the day as they reviewed it as a horror game (it used the same art style and pre rendered backgrounds as Resident Evil) but was a square game and was more RPG like (you gained exp, bought spells, managed items ect.).

I'll dumb it down because it's complicated, the virus that is causing the monsters also gives you super powers of sorts, including magic, but you spend most of your time using various real-ish guns against various monsters. The main thing that held it back was the combat, specifically that you moved like a crate full of bricks. There was a PSP game I never played because I don't own a PSP.

However, I wouldn't mind square going back to that series. Make it Dead Space like, could be great. I doubt they would because nobody played them. JRPG fans who don't know the series would likely cry foul, but I'd play it. If they did it right it could be a big hit I think.

Anonymous said...

Actually, seeing what appears to be a perfectly rendered real life setting juxtaposed with fantastic elements is the kind of stuff I love.

I blame superhero comics but seriously, if I was playing a Modern Warfare game, and suddenly, one of the missions stumbled upon a cult of genuine magic users summoning a Final Fantasy style dragon? That would rock my socks.

Axle said...

I can see a sci-fi/fantasy mix where the 'middle east' is still poor being a bad thing, sure. And them being the bad guys, too. But other than a young innocent-looking woman being the main focus, it didn't really look like the 'white' people were up to much good either.

Final Fantasy's good/bad sides haven't been even a little straightfoward in a long time. FF13's plot was so convoluted when it came to what was going on and who was the enemy, I'd be more disappointed by "arabs = bad guys" because of how simple and boring it was more than because of "arabs again?"

Sabre said...

"I blame superhero comics but seriously, if I was playing a Modern Warfare game, and suddenly, one of the missions stumbled upon a cult of genuine magic users summoning a Final Fantasy style dragon? That would rock my socks."

There are a few games like that. I believe bob made a similar argument in favour of Double Dragon, that the game starts of in 1980s urban slums and ends up in a temple. FEAR is a tactical combat game with ghosts all over the place. Some less good examples include Blacksite, which starts out as typical American GIs in not-Iraq-istan, but instead of WMDs you find aliens. In Condemned 2, it's a pretty serious, (but not scary) horror game until the very end when SPOILERS a bear turns up (scariest part of the game) followed by a last boss you kill by using a super powered scream.

Aiddon said...

eeeeyeah, I saw obviously Semitic dudes in face wraps shooting guns and I stopped the video there. Really, Square? Really? I mean, Christ, I know you guys have been creatively bankrupt since FFXII but there's no way couldn't have done something better than THAT. It's times like this where I'm glad that developers like Atlus, Nintendo, and Arc System Works exist that have a wide range of aesthetic sense

Razmere said...

Yeah, I'm with you Bob, this sure as hell doesn't LOOK like a Final Fantasy game. I'm also getting tired of the generic middle east bad guys as bad guys myself. Could they at least give them cyborg parts? That would at LEAST make it interesting.

James said...

Nixou: when I said "decline" I meant decline in quality, not sale. As you pointed out, the latest FF title sold massive numbers but was horrible. Xenoblade Chronicles has yet to break the million mark, but is still far superior to most other JRPGs on the market.

Also, where did you hear that Atlus went bankrupt? They're still developing and publishing games.

Anonymous said...

Oh for fucks sake, no, just no, everything about this just look horrible.

Bad square-enix, bad!

Why can't you just go back to stuff like FF5, that one was a good game, I liked that one, I still play it once in a while.

Ever since FF7 you guys have made some horrible choices and went off in a terrible direction.

James said...

Anonymous: It's a shame, because after "The World Ends with You" came out, it looked like Square might be back on the right track. But they fell back into bad habits with horrible Final Fantasy & Kingdom Hearts installments.

Again I say that if you want quality JRPGs, you need to look at the fresher studios. Atlus is currently at the top of the game, IMO. Vanillaware, Monolith, tri-Cresendo, Monlith Soft, and Level 5 are also excellent developers.

Dave from canada said...

@ Botman

"Are you going to have this kind of overblown reaction every time a western developer collaborates with, and offers their own personal interpretation and take on a Japanese IP? First, (since you can't seem to stop bringing up your opinions on Metroid) you complain that Retro Studios turned Metroid Prime into a "creatively bankrupt" FPS, and now this."

He continually suggests that people who don't like the same movies as him should not be allowed to vote and clearly don't think. What do you think? Of course he is. And don't apologize for your earlier comments. You were right on the money. Bob and the peopel like him are the exact reason WHY the japanese gaming industry is dying.

They refuse to embrace change and respond to even the mildest suggestion of it with a combination of bile and virulent bigotry.

And a refusal to adapt is exactly what is going to kill companies like nintendo. because while bob CLAIMS to hate stagnation, he actually wants it. He wants us all playing nothing but Mario Bros 3 because that was the last time he was happy.

And as long as nintendo can depend on that market, they won't bother making any new fans,and they'll shed more and more of their old ones until one day they'll find themselves without enough left.

And when that happens bob and the people like them will wail and gnash their teeth and blame everyone but the people who made it happen.

James said...

@DaveFromCanada: I've been saying the same thing: Bob doesn't WANT innovation in the gaming industry. He just wants everything like it was in the 8-bit era, and dismisses all the improvements the industry's made by pulling the "modern gaming is nothing but FPS and sports games" card. It's pathetic by this point.

And Bob, if you're reading this, have the guts to acknowledge our criticisms and offer a valid response.

Nixou said...

"Also, where did you hear that Atlus went bankrupt?"
Atlus was bought by a cell-phone-apps in 2006, and after huges loses in 2009, was completely absorbed by its parent company. the brand is still used, but the company itself ceased to exist two years ago.
So instead of the company going bankrupt, than being bought, Atlus was bought, then suffered loses it could not recover at which point its owners decided to pull the plug on its autonomy

Anonymous said...

At this point the only one continually beating the dead horse that is Other M is you Bob.

Dave from canada said...

@ James

And the real bitch of it is? NOTHING about the modern gaming prevents 8 bit style games. FFS two of the biggest titles in this year's summer of arcade are deadlight, which is a sidescroller inspired by Out of this world and Dust, which is an utterly GORGEOUS candy coloured sidescrolling beat em up where you play a samurai fox.Been looking forward to that one since 09.

Modern gaming is FULL of opportunities to retrogame, and to play new games in the style of old games. Hell Call of duty black ops shipped with a smashtv clone on disc.

But it isn't enough. Bob doesn't just want to have the games he wants, he wants those to be the only games.

James said...

@DaveFromCanada: Bob is arrogant - he thinks what he likes best should be what everyone likes. I'm starting to think Mr. Chipman has a massive superiority complex. That or narcissistic personality disorder.

Specter Von Baren said...

I was actually kind of sighing when I saw the stereotypical Muslim like guys but then as it got into the more fantasy elements I actually started liking it more. It made me want to know what was going on with that ritual and what the dragon was all about and so on. And really, even if it was just injecting fantasy elements into a Modern Warfare setting... would that really be a bad thing? Wouldn't that actually be kind of interesting and different?

And I see Bob still can't stop being childish about the arguments he's lost and still needs to bring up Metroid at every opportunity.

And why doesn't Bob EVER talk about the indie game scene? It's the place that has the most of the kinds of games he likes so I'm baffled as to why he never talks about it. Why haven't I seen him bring up 'You Have To Win The Game' and talked about how it brings him back to the really old days of gaming?

James said...

@SpecterVonBaren: What do you want to be that Bob will actually have the balls to respond to the criticism being brought up here? If not, let's ask the questions on his ScrewAttack page, see if he'll answer them in his next mailbag video.

Redd the Sock said...

I'll admit, I'm not impressed. I mean, it looks nice technically speaking, but the whole thing's just rehash of old RPG plots, COD enemies, and tosses in an uninspired looking dragon at the end. Maybe they didn't want to scare us with something new and innovative. They really don't seem that concerned with the projects fans have been asking for for years.

I guess I'll be fair and say they probably didn't want to waste a lot of design time on something intended to only be a tech demo, or cause another FF7 tech demo fuss. Still, graphics don't do it for me anymore. I'd rather see them do somethng that stirs the imagination than another micro step in photo realism.

Anonymous said...

Oh James, your homosexual lust for Bob is just moving into the 'creepy' territory. Just propose already so you can make passive-aggressive love to him.

Anonymous said...

Your still bringing up Metroid Other M, in a discussion over tech demo not completly related?

Its being two years Bob there is nothing left to discuss. The game bombed in sales, the market spoke, get over it.

Also, just go back to playing your old systems and leave the real overthinking to people who actually play games today or actually research. That way we are exposed to your tired, washed out arguments.

Anthonee Jones said...

Bob I respect your opinion but I must disagree. I'm not sure if you saw the whole thing or just stopped once you saw the supposed mid eastern "bad guys" But if you really looked there was a lot of color there and it seemed that if this would become an actual game I doubt it would be so one dimensional. Since you brought up the Other M debate which I whole heartedly agree with you about I feel I must accuse you of doing something that fans of previous Metroid games were doing, you are projecting aspects of the guys shooting the mages/cult leader as automatic bad guys (although the animal mutation doesn't sound all good either) and label them as stereotypical bad guys with little information other than inherited experience and point of view. I love jrpgs and I get physically ill when playing fps's (I'm serious I lose my vision and feel nauscious) so I can't deny my bias but I feel with no real information to back on and that you might not have seen what I saw especially at the end I feel you may have labeled it a bit too quickly. I'll go out and say I love modern jrpg's and feel no shame in saying that currently Xenoblade and FFXIII- are my favorite games and to tell me that there is a lack of quality in jrpgs is just false in my opinion. You are free to feel how you feel but I just thought I would show you my point of view.

Xaos said...

Actually....and I know this is going to sound strange, but for the first few moments of the video, I wasn't sure the terrorists were really the bad guys.

"Oh noes! Those faceless towelheads just broke in and killed that elderly priest in the middle of his peaceful Cthulhu Summoning! THOSE -BARBARIANS-, THEY SAVED THE WORLD!"

Seriously, everything about that ritual screamed the Dark Arts. I suppose they could be trying to bring magic back into the world or summoning Bahamut or something, but it looks downright questionable to me. In this case, I'm going to let the Jihadists put as many bullets into the (Crazy-looking) old white guys ass as they feel like.

And then the camera revealed the pretty girl crying over Emperor fucking Palpatine and taking the crystal thing and I'm scratching my head and going "Okay, I guess she's the protagonist? Or something?"

But even then, I'm not QUITE so sure. I'll admit that 1) she's pretty, 2) her grandpa...thing just died and she seems to be having a lot of trouble protecting what is obviously some sort of legacy he entrusted with her...and 3) Al Queda did release a spiky hyena monster to chase her down. But really, now. This is Final fucking Fantasy. When has outlandish hair and having a tragic backstory ever stopped a character from eventually trying to destroy the world in this series? Heck, its a good day for gender equality if she turns out to be the only other HUMAN female Final Boss aside from Ultimeci-what'sherface instead of the hero's love interest who also has a destiny to heal the world and blah blah blah...

I would actually find it fucking refreshing to have those masked middle easterners be part of some kind of suppressed Inquisition that rebels against the magocracy that now strangles the world.

Really, re-watch the video after changing some of your assumptions about the content. Its AMAZING

maninahat said...

What Xaos said: whilst watching it, both the women and the "terrurists" had head covers, and I had no idea which would be the one to take off their headscarfs and reveal themself to be the hero. The magic thing looked evil, the old man's speech had fascist overtones, and besides feeling sorry for the generically pretty girl, I didn't exactly see her as a hero of the piece.

Jannie said...

James, Dave:

Well...yes, you're both right to a degree, though I'd argue the problem is more deep rooted than a simple rejection of change.

Like I said it strikes me as not entirely coincidental that the people who obsess over old style, SMB3 type platformers and mascot games all or nearly all got into the gaming community around the time when those games were ALL that was available--so they were bombarded with such intense propaganda by the companies that make them that they became indoctrinated, much like a religion.

I'd argue that most or all of these people don't REALIZE how intolerant of modern gaming they are since they seem to genuinely be shocked when things don't go their way. It's not arrogance or bigotry it's like programing or indoctrination.

The way that, for example, some of these people (not Bob, interestingly, but others I've met) react with such virulent hate and even FEAR of modern gaming trends and aesthetics strikes me as more a literal repulsion and not some logically thought out resistance. Yet at the same time they casually brush off all the violence and intolerance in those old games and go through mental contortions to find SOME WAY, ANY WAY to excuse games like Other M simply BECAUSE of what they are not any inherent merit.

And yes eventually, if things don't ever change, the Japanese games industry will collapse because it is dependent on people accepting what they're given without question and outside of a small group of indoctrinated core fans they don't or won't anymore. That's why it's not just stagnant it's DYING, because in a sense even the Japanese gaming industry itself has forgotten HOW to change, they've driven anyone who tried out and into other companies.

I mean, I thought FF13 was an almost stereotypical Final Fantasy game but I've been told it was made to be "different" and "appeal to western gamers", which left me with a "wait...WHAT?" expression for an hour. THAT is their idea of innovation and change in that branch of gaming now--the exact same thing as before, but with more quicktime events.

I'm reminded of an old Sandman comic by Neil Gaiman where this king wished that his city, the largest and greatest in the world, would stay the same forever and ended up with them becoming a stagnant slum as the rest of the world grew and changed around them.

Anonymous said...

Oh I can see it now:


If this turns out to be Modern Warfare with wizards, I'm slapping down sixty bucks right now.

Nixou said...

"Oh noes! Those faceless towelheads just broke in and killed that elderly priest in the middle of his peaceful Cthulhu Summoning! THOSE -BARBARIANS-, THEY SAVED THE WORLD!"

It's true that the good Final Fantasy often play with the ambiguity: we've had during the last few years the Darth Vader lookalike as the protagonist (FF4), the neurotic female Doc Manhattan as the protagonist (FF6), the psychotic manchild terrorist as the hero (FF7), the "I'm going to genocide a whole nation to avenge my dead husband" crazy widow (FF12) as the protagonist... When they're inspired, Squeenix teams of writers know how to play with our expectations.

So who knows: the pretty girl could be a villain, or the protagonist working for the villains, while the faceless guys were in fact the heroic defenders of Democracy and progress and it was pretty much Fantasy Navy Seal 6 attacking Magical Osama compound.

James said...

Jannie: the sad thing is, that while you raise excellent points about the problems present in the industry, Bob will ignore them, and simply keep promoting his biases because that's what he's comfortable with.

Seriously Bob, you've got a lot of valid criticism here. An "overthinker" like you should be able to address points raised by people like Jannie and Dave.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, Bob, that IS just you talking crazy.

People didn't hate the-game-whose-name-shall-be-redacted because it was a Wii game, they hated it because of how it treated its female protagonist, more specifically because of WHO that protagonist was. Nobody cares if Lara Croft gets objectified because she was never anything BUT an object. But this particular character had been, until that point, a symbol of how strength, skill, and numerous other laudable qualities transcended the gender boundary. It was there, it was just that it happened at a time when video games actually had a soul and didn't feel the need to club players over the head with stilted and hackneyed "story" to convey ideas.

But yeah, whatever, it was totally because it was a Wii game and Nintendo are such repressed underdogs, surely.

Dave from canada said...

@ Anon

I'm glad you brought up Lara croft. Have you seen the new footage? The current team did a totla reboot and turned the patron (or is that matron) saint of 1 dimensional fanservice driven female gaming characters into an interesting

She's interesting because she's flawed and obviously human, and thrust into situations that would make Nathan Drake wet himself. And despite obviously being terrified, she picks p a compound bow or a shotgun when she needs to. She's vulnerable, but not infantilized and she isn't vulnerable because she's a woman but because she's an ordinary person not long out of her teens forced to save her best friend or sister or whatever from smugglers or pirates or whatever.

Take samus, who was the patron saint of badass equal opportunity asskicking female protagonists in gaming (and one of the few anyone remembers outside femshep) and now she's the hyper objectified weakling.

The two characters have effectively switched roles. I can't think of a better metaphor for nintendo then vs nintendo now.

And put me down as someone who would fucking love to see war on terror but with magic. That's basically the premise of shadowrun anyway.

hazlenaut said...

Modern Warfare with wizard does sound like a good idea. This point out that Call of Duty realism sells is a lot of hooey. You used a magic knife/knives that one cut can kill with one contact slice, you want to do several killings in order have summon something to devastate your enemies which is a ritual, One big seller were zombies, you are able to self heal and more. The evidence is piling up you are right. All we need is the revival of the player character that was killed in Modern Warfare 4.
There is a sad tragedy for this the Arab characters only had guns and magic steroids amplify their attack dog. It is difficult to use Muslim magic for entertainment and educational purposes since it is considered blasphemy using Muslim culture or anything that goes against it. There are some words that got thru such as djinn, genies.

Anonymous said...

Well, it is either appealing to the lowest common denominator in the west to survive, or appealing to the lowest common denominator in the east to survive.

Xaos said...

Yeah, since the conversation has deterred to Metroid, (Although when *I* try to talk about Mass Effect 3 in a topic that's not about the game, everybody bites my fucking head off) I'd like to point out that the allegations of sexism ISN'T the only criticism levelled against Other M.

What Mr. theEgad here primarily talks about was that Samus in the game is not the protagonist.

I mean, she kills a few unimportant monsters, but none of the major conflicts of the game's stories are resolved by her.

Traitor on the team? Killed off screen by someone else.
Invincible Metroids? Adam takes care of it (by blowing himself up OFF SCREEN), thinking Samus should fight the Ridley clone instead.
Ridley Clone? Killed off screen by someone else.
MB? Resolved by other people while Samus just stands there.

I mean, geez. I haven't met such an UN-assertive player avatar since Quote from Cave Story. (*tries to yell over the crowd booing him* Oh come on! He just stands there at let's both Sue AND Toroko get kidnapped on different occasions right in front of him, and then goes to help Jenka find her stupid mutts even though the old hag has already refused to help him with his mission!) And this is all ignoring the Ridley freak out (IT WAS A CLONE, LADY! A CLONE!).

Nixou said...

"People didn't hate the-game-whose-name-shall-be-redacted because it was a Wii game, they hated it because of how it treated its female protagonist"

More to the point, the audience who did not mind or even craved for the heavily objectified female characters turned out to be different than the audience of the Metroid games.

Who'd have thought, huh?


"I'm glad you brought up Lara croft. Have you seen the new footage? The current team did a totla reboot and turned the patron (or is that matron) saint of 1 dimensional fanservice driven female gaming characters into an interesting [one]"

Are you kidding me? the last Tomb Raider trailer looked like torture porn. There may be an interesting plot and character behind this, but so far, I see mostly an attempt to pander to the "get aroused by women looking hurt and fragile and oh she needs a hug" crowd.

angel_of_rebirth said...

I absolutely loved the tech demo, and honestly, I kind of wish this was it's own game. It combined a few things that were familiar to both western and eastern audiences.

I have to say though, was I the only one who didn't see the Middle Easterns as the "bad guys"? Think about this for a minute, if you knew there was someone in your home town, summoning god knows what onto your territory, would you just leave them too it?

The way I saw it, they were just trying to defend there homebase...but hey, I could be wrong, but that was how I saw it.

I just hope FF13 Verses will come out sometime either this year, or next year, cause I really want to play that one.

maninahat said...

So I've seen the tech video of the new unreal engine, and do you know what they went for? A cliched, rpg demon in a lava filled dungeon. Both this and the "FF:MW" tech demo suggest that producers prefer generic looking settings. I think the purpose is to make easier, the comparisons between the new engine and the previous one in older games.

Anonymous said...

Actually, imagine for a second this becomes it's own game:

You play as one of the brown skinned middle eastern dudes, going on a jihad to defeat the evil Cthulhu summoning cult from destroying your homeland.

If they went with that, it would be getting all kinds of accolades for how inspired it is

Xaos said...


....Did you just steal my idea? I mean, its verbatim, man.

But yeah. It would be getting accolades. And probably be a pretty awesome game, too.

Marcomax said...

@ Jannie, Dave and James

I just wanted to chime in on the conversation you three were having because something just kind of poked at me.

It feel like you making his opinion sound more nefarious then it actually is. He's gone on record saying that his love for Nintendo, Mario, platformers etc. is his own personal preference. In numerous videos he's joked about not being a cut out to be a serious game reviewer because he loves what he loves. He's not asking that they be the be all end all of gaming.

With indie, mobile, all kinds of other games and gaming avenues, I don't see how hardcore or retro gamers alone could really hold the medium back.

On Metroid: Other M, he already acknowledged that the sexist portal of Samus in the game was due to poor narrative choices on the creator's side. He didn't dismiss the presence of it in the game.

Last note: I'm sure he reads the comment sections and looks over each criticism. But he's not going to be able to answer them all and not in the comment section. More often then not he might just end up repeating himself because the same criticism with get brought up over and over again. Anyone who follows his twitter account and knows Jim Belan will know what I'm talking about. So yea it's best to give the mailbag a try if you want an immediate response. But please don't be offended if he doesn't always leave a response to you comment. This isn't a Q&A event.

Anonymous said...


That's not the issue. We are LONG past the debate on whether Other M is or isn't sexist/misogynist in its portrayal of Samus. What's at issue is this phrase:

"much like how everyone was suddenly very concerned about the objectification of women in games once [REDACTED] gave them the opportunity to use it as a cudgle against The Wii?"

That phrase is insulting to the intelligence of Bob's audience, suggesting that the only reason anybody cares about the issue is so they can bash the Wii through one of its games. It's intellectually dishonest at the most basic level. It's a cheap dig. It is the smug equivalent of "You just hate it because it's Nintendo!", which is the sort of shit the UNDERthinker might say.

Hell, my REAL problem with Other M has nothing to do with its terrible story. You could strip every ounce of that abysmal trainwreck out of the game and it would STILL be a godawful Metroid game, and you want to know why?

There is a room, I forget what its name is, but it's somewhere in the jungle sector -- it's the room with the tiered catwalks and the big trees growing up in tubes such that the catwalks are arranged into a grid. In this room, there is a missile pack on a ledge, a ledge that you are supposed to reach by speedboosting through a wall in the previous room. However, if you have the Space Jump and start from the highest tier of the catwalks, you can spacejump over to this ledge and be at the proper height to completely clear its railing.

At which point you start spacejumping against an invisible wall, just inches from the missile pack that you can plainly reach.

THAT is why Other M is a shitty game, THAT is why it is horrible, because it completely betrays the entire POINT of Metroid games in the service of its linear, scripted, me-too approach to game design. It is exactly what we knew it would be the instant we heard it was being farmed out to Team Ninja for development: A boring, hackneyed sellout designed to throw away everything that made gaming good, in order to pander to everything that has made gaming bad, in the name of sales.

THAT is why we hate Other M. Even before the story even comes up, it's a farce.

And that has NOTHING to do with what fucking platform it's on.

Marcomax said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Marcomax said...

Sorry Spelling errors:

I'm sorry if I offended you. To be honest, Metroid: Other M wasn't really the topic I wanted to talk about and it was more in response to the idea that he glossed over the topic before when he's talked about it twice. But I can under stand why you'd take offense to his statement. I just think he tried to make and off key remark and it ending up derailing the conversation. And now it's happened to me. Do you think he wanted to do a third episode on the topic.

I still stand by my statement before that Bob doesn't has some kind of agenda or vendetta against modern gaming. It just a matter of preference. After seeing all of his work (GO, Big Picture, Escape to the Movies) I know he doesn't what retro to be the only way. At the same time he can't answer every criticism let alone get into a proper debate. That doesn't mean he'd ignoring them. I only commented because it felt like James wanted to pick a fight with Bob and the comment section seems like a bad place to do it.

I'm not saying you shouldn't criticize him let me be clear. If you what a response or debate that badly, his email, twitter or even the mailbag show is a better way of going about it. The comments are only good for one-sided conversations. Here:



Dave from canada said...

@ Macromax

And if you belive that, I have a bridge to sell you. Anyone can say something they don't really mean. Clinton claimed to not be sleeping with a woman he was in fact sleeping with. That's what we call a lie.

Bob might not admit that all he wants is nothing but nintendo games for everyone, but it is clearly what he believes. He holds modern and western gaming gaming to vastly higher standard than he does nintendo and EVEN when they meet it he still finds ways to bitch about it.

His first 'big picture' was about equating halo with white supremacy.

He bitched about how modern action heroes take themselves too seriously and never stop to acknowledge how crazy their situation is and never look like they are having fun. Then a week later, he starts bitching about uncharted, a series which does exactly that. If anything, his hatred of uncharted and halo seems to stem from them NOT being the stereotyped strawmen he'd prefer.

It took him how long to play the fact that Breivik was one of the 20 million odd young people in first world countries to play call of duty? He may have phrased the accusation in a Glenn Beckish "Now I'm not saying...." but that doens't take away the implication he knew damn well he was making.

Meanwhile, nintendo games can be rereleased with minimal changes..sometimes multiple times a year and he's fine with that....but the rest of the industry (which he barely knows anything about to begin with) is somehow stagnant.

Nixou said...

"It took him how long to play the fact that Breivik was one of the 20 million odd young people in first world countries to play call of duty? He may have phrased the accusation in a Glenn Beckish "Now I'm not saying...." but that doens't take away the implication he knew damn well he was making."

Well, of course he made the implication, because it's true: racist wankers like Breivik use modern FPSes as masturbation material. They do that. The world would be a better place if every douchebaggy kid and every racist wanker who play CoD decided to commit suicide instead of buying more FPSes, leaving this market with only people who like to play virtual paint-ball without insulting their playmate or daydreaming themselves as manly übermenshen, but so far racist wankers and young douches have shown a remarkable lack of willingness to make the world a better place through their own self-destruction.

Anonymous said...

Wow Nixou, if only you could comprehend the irony of your statement...

Raenir Salazar said...

I don't see how at all this tech demo is even remotely comparable to the Modern Warfare trend of Grey/Gray/Brown; there's a purple dragon for god's sake. It's clearly Final Fantasy to the hilt and frankly the Arab looking guys looked like the GOOD GUYS in this as well.

The colours might be slightly more subdued than is the trend but it doesn't seem to have departed from what makes Final Fantasy, it's still clearly FF.

It comes across as Diablo III in daytime and you can't claim that went Grey/Brown.

Marcomax said...

@ Nixou

Your not helping.

@ Dave from Canada

No thanks, I learned my lesson the last time I got taken for a ride by an African Prince. ;)

I assume your talking about "Off the Chart" and "Combat Evolved?" and "Supreme Responsibility" right? I decided to re watch both. If it's a different set let me know.

I see your point with "Combat Evolved?". The episode comes off as overly confrontational.

For Uncharted, I don't think he bitched about it. If being compared to Indiana Jones and Dane Cook is that much of an insult than I must be missed something.

Look, I'm not here do defend each of his works. I get it. You think Movie Bob gives Nintendo a free pass. I not arguing that fact. I was taken aback by how sinister people were making it sound. But look, I'm done. I've made three posts without commenting on the post itself. (P.S. I thought it looked kind of interesting. If this wasn't just a tech demo and an actual trailer, I'd be curious in seeing how all these elements fit together). I jumped in when I shouldn't have and I won't bother you guys any more.

Nixou said...

"Your not helping"

I'm not trying to help. Why should I try to help... who or what exactly? Fans of a genre which is willingly devolving more and more into gun porn? Not worth my sympathy.


"For Uncharted, I don't think he bitched about it"

He did, but not on video. Bob dislike Uncharted because Nathan is an unrelatable tomb plunderer with very few redeeming qualities.

Anonymous said...

Nixou, your douchbaggery and unwillingness to be the better man only makes gamers look worse. Do us all a favor, shut the fuck up, drink some bleach and put us out of your misery.

Nixou said...


I'm already the better man

What? Aw, come pulling this quote was waaaaay too tempting. Especially when the whole conundrum started when a commenter bitched about the fact that Bob did not act like a good christian when he aknowledged the problem of rapist among the priesthood... I mean, did not act like a good gamer when he aknowledged the problem of racists with murderous fantasies among FPS gamers

Anonymous said...

Oh sure, because anyone who likes to shoot things in video games is obviously a racist redneck with a gun rack in their '93 Chevy and a Charlton Heston poster over their bed.

It's twats like you and Bob that really give gamers a bad name. If anyone needs to grow up it's you.

Nixou said...

"anyone who likes to shoot things in video games is obviously a racist redneck yada yada yada yada"

To tell you the truth... Anyone who reacts defensively and playact the outraged-innocent-man-personally-accused-of-a-heinous-crime when someone reminds them that racist gamers exist is suspect in my eyes, Especially when Activision uses someone like Oliver North as a salesman, since racist/authoritarian douches are the sole demographics susceptible to react positively to such a thing, which shows that someone among the higher ups behind the Call of Duty franchise sees said racist/authoritarian douches as a part significant enough to be specifically targeted.

Or to use a more crude language:
On one hand, Activision believes that the number of useless Breivik-lite among its consummer base is big enough to justify giving them a virtual blowjob.
On the other hand, a bunch of insecure men-children thorw a tantrum every time someone reminds them that they play with the same toys than the Breivik-lite

I'm not keen of being polite and patient and understanding toward said men-cildren.

Dave from canada said...

@ Nixou

That, or Activision knows that a simple case of stunt casting will gives them tons of free publicity through controvercy when people like you and exactly what you did. Good job.

@ Macromax

Those things were examples but its been going on for years. Its not the only example either Bob is quiet find of claiming to support something up until it becomes inconvenient.

Look at his recent post: Sexism bad...but do you think he'll EVER level that accusation at nintendo, who among the big 3 has the FEWEST female characters who are there as something other than for men to fight over? Of course not.

He 'apologoized' for calling Michael bay all sorts of names in order to appear more diplomatic...but hasn't stopped him from using michael bay's america as an all purpose label for for all the filthy mud people who don't think like him on a given issue.

Nixou said...

"That, or Activision knows that a simple case of stunt casting will gives them tons of free publicity through controvercy"

Controversy works well as a publicity stunt when something "controversial" is done. There's nothing controversial about North: he abused the power vested in him and dealt in secret with organizations his country's legislature had explicitely forbidden him to deal with, before getting away with a mere slap on the wrist thanks to his connections.

Dave from canada said...

@ Nixou

Are you seriously trying to claim that activision ISN'T getting free publicity because of this? And that you aren't doing exactly what they want?

It speaks volumes to the weakness fo your position that you jump to splitting hairs this early.

Nixou said...

"Are you seriously trying to claim that activision ISN'T getting free publicity"

negative publicity: the whole pseudo-complex conspirationist storylines squeezed into increasingly shorter solo campains was akready bad enough, and stunts like this or their tone deaf recents ad campains only increase the idea that Activision's target audience should be kept as far away as possible from real guns.

Dave from canada said...

@ Nixou

No such thing as negative publicity. The COD franchise sells some 10+ million units every year.

"Activision's target audience should be kept as far away as possible from real guns".

And as much as you and bob love the idea of placing people who think differently than you in a nice convenient box labeled "bad people" reality doesn't work like that.

Your line of logic is nearly as batshit retarded as suggesting that pokemon fans should not be allowed to own animals because the games are essentially a dog fighting simulator.

Jannie said...

Hey, Nixou, I'm neither a man nor a child so why don't you sit and spin.

The reason people get "upset" about shit like that is the same reason people get upset when Jack Thompson says that Mortal Kombat is a Holocaust simulator (or whatever the hell) because IT'S THE SAME FUCKING ARGUMENT.

You and Bob and Captain Jack are all basically making the same completely vacuous argument: that the possibility of, or even indication of, one or more people committing a crime while involved with a group therefore makes that group guilty of the same crime.

The fact that you then compound your idiocy by saying people should commit suicide and then puffing out your chest when someone--much more politely than I would have--calls you on your bullshit betrays how utterly vapid both you and your argument is.

So I'm saying the same thing to you I say to people like Jack Thompson: unless and until you can show that the MAJORITY of people who are part of Group A (whatever you perceive that is) are involved in somekind of wrongdoing then your argument is both completely disingenuous and utterly moronic.

And frankly, you're venturing into Godwin's Law-like territory here. Oh some nutcase in Norway played COD, yeah well, Hitler breathed air so I guess air is evil now too. There I made an argument just as intellectually sound as you did, yay.

Stop acting like a child. Or, alternatively, continue to be a troll. Whatever is good for you.

nerdgasm said...

That's it, Bob. I'm done with you. You, frankly, are a bigoted, talentless, shameless hack. To compare the FF trailer to modern warfare shows, at best, a lack of imagination/understanding of the subject matter; at worst, it's an example of bullying.
What I mean is that I saw nothing in the trailer that was Arab, unlike Modern Warfare. Dust is middle eastern now, I guess? I don't get it. Your hyper sensitive personality is what bugs me. And I wanted to let you know.
This is a fan who shrugged off your feminism, your economics, your politics at large because we shared a nostalgia factor of classic games. But there's a limit.
This comment is aside from the straight up STUPID plot line you've decided to add to your show. I'm absolutely convinced that no one on this board is tuning in to find out what happened to the next "thinker" you are introducing in the next few weeks. And no, I'm not illiterate or even uninformed, but the black ring plot line of the green lantern was a waste of my time as well.

Everything above means nothing. I voted for you on's contest. I wanted a show that promised a look at the video game industry from the outside with morality and intelligence. I did not watch for the last three years to see you become a headline spewing hot topic regurgitating snob, mixed with completely amateur film writer, producer, editor, sound mixer, animator...
Enjoy your free speech without my internet traffic. If you care, take a look in the mirror and see your contempt, and grow stronger. But I will never be back to your site or page on, no matter what. I no longer have enough time to sit through your anecdotal and superfluous tirades. I have better things to do.

Rusty said...

this is a tech demo, not a trailer for any actual IP that will ever see the light of day. Let's get a hold of ourselves

MKG said...

I think Final Fantasy is suffering from uninspired, lazy game mechanics. Their settings are always varied and take full advantage of whatever hardware is cutting edge at the time. I would gladly play through one with the story depicted here if it was fun to play like the old ones were.