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Which long-running franchise is most in need of an overhaul?

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Platform(s): Xbox 360   Wii   PS3   Nintendo DS   PSP  
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My vote was for . . .

Final Fantasy. Square Enix needs to . . .

1) Quit numbering the "Online Only" games as part of the Final Fantasy "Canon".

2) Bring back towns, airships and decision-making. They've had their chance to try things different with FF13 . . . and overall it's only getting mediocre reviews despite a larger audience.

3) Get rid of "silent heroes", "emo" characters, annoying brats (like Vanille and Hope) and start coming up with characters more along the lines of the cast of the LUNAR series.

4) Get a better music composer for their games. Preferably bring Nobuo Uematsu back!

"Get a better music composer

"Get a better music composer for their games. Preferably bring Nobuo Uematsu back!"

Can't say I agree with that; don't get me wrong, Nobuo is great, but, actual gameplay aside, the music for both FFXII and FFXIII is excellent, especially XIII. If other RPG developers put as much effort into their music then I'd be a very happy person (BioWare/Bethesda certainly could learn a lot from the East when it comes to sound).

The thing is, every Final

The thing is, every Final Fantasy is an overhaul; because the systems and stories mutate constantly. The only way to overhaul the series would be to stop overhauling it. Even the personalities of the characters are not as consistent as most complainers would have you believe. As far as experimentation in other gameplay modes, I would recommend against it, because I have played Dirge of Cerberus.

As far as the music goes, I disagree, at least as far as XII is concerned (I haven't played XIII). I really loved the intimate, tightly woven score Uematsu created for X, and I did not have strong feelings about the score for XII, which was overbearing and impersonal. However, that characteristic suited the design of XII, which had a bombastic story and was rather distant from its characters.

Leaving alone series I haven't played (or haven't played recently)... I don't think Madden needs an overhaul in terms of the game. I don't even know what that would be. Madden Futbol? Cel shading? No, what Madden could use is a structural overhaul. It needs to go to a base game sold every 2-3 years with yearly (or twice-yearly) downloadable roster/gameplay updates or something. This cuts costs while preserving the annualization factor.

Super Mario is a really diverse franchise and I don't know how you can complain about its state when it produces something like Galaxy. I'm not even sure what direction you could take it in that it hasn't already succeeded wildly at. RPG? Racing game? Sports franchise? Fighting game? Done, done, done, and done. I guess they haven't done an FPS.

You could make a better case for the Zelda games. More experimentation along the lines of the Wind Waker seems vastly preferable to me over another game that tries to remake Ocarina without actually remaking Ocarina. I would love to see a Zelda game where you play the lady herself, or playing around more with the look of the game, or even a true sequel to Majora's Mask (assuming everyone learned from the mistakes).

All of them...

Wow, tough poll. All the series mentioned could use an overhaul to some degree (except maybe Dynasty Warriors, just know so little about). I voted for Madden: it sells like hotcakes, I know, but it's more-or-less the same game it was 10 years ago. Not to say it isn't fun, but I feel once you buy one version for a console generation, you're set until the next consoles come out. In fact, maybe Madden should do just that, come out every five years and in between, just offer downloadable upgrades (teams, rosters, venues, NFL Europe:)! ).

Mega Man I feel like already has received an "upgrade", albeit in a retro-veneer. Both MM9 and MM10 are solid games.

The Zelda franchise should do more games along the lines of the brilliant GameBoy versions. Link's Awakening and the Oracle series are some of the most unique (and best) Zelda games out there. So really, Link should just avoid rescuing Zelda so often.

As for Mario, I feel like they should make the 3D games co-op. Make it so Mario and Luigi (and Wario...) are all going around trying to accomplish a goal. The multiplayer action was what they were trying to promote with New Super Mario Bros. Wii, why not take it a step further.

"The thing is, every Final

"The thing is, every Final Fantasy is an overhaul; because the systems and stories mutate constantly".

I think what people who complain about stagnation in the FF franchise are wanting to see is a different implementation of story - less linearity and a more 'open world' which don't change the story per se, but affect the gamer's reception of the story.

FF12 was promising in some ways, but FF13 just reaffirms Squenix's philosophy for FF games - an unchanging cinematic experience broken up with simplistic command-based battling. It's this increasingly outdated formula which will probably see it lose its grip in the West, if not in Japan, within the next few iterations.

As to the battle-systems, I'll explain what I mean in calling them 'simplistic'. It's essentially been the same in every iteration, no matter what bells and whistles they add to it. This is the core of it:

1. Could the enemy kill me with its next move?
- If yes, heal.
- If no, attack.
2. Repeat 1. until enemy dies. If enemy kills you, go to 3.
3. Grind.

(Admittedly this is the description for most other JRPG's battling also.)

Until they meaningfully integrate an element of positioning and timing, the FF battle-systems will continue to feel kinda like they did back in '87.

I never played any Dynasty

I never played any Dynasty Warrior or Final Fantasy, so I can't speak for them.

My vote goes to Zelda. In essence it's always the same game with the same sword, shield and the same f*ck*ng boomerang. Yes, I know, of course there are some small variations and alterations. Yes, there are other series that also vary only little. But with Zelda it's a capital offense if you criticize it.

I can't play Zelda games anymore. The last game I tried to play was phantom hourglass on the DS and I didn't play very far. It was just a badly designed game for a mobile console. You can save your overall progress, but you can't save in a dungeon. As soon as the dungeon gets longer than you have time between changing trains or the bus, this becomes a problem. I don't like loosing progress.

The other major flaw for me personally is the use of the microphone. I am about 30 and I travel in the train or plane often with a suit. I don't want to blow in the f*ck*ng microphone or yell some name in it. At least the blowing can be substituted by swiping over the mic with a finger. It's still annoying. Does nobody who playtests that thing ever take a bus? When I read about the increased functionality of the mic in spirit tracks I knew I won't buy it.

Megaman is a close number two. I personally think there was no good mega man after the second. There were some which were ok (I enjoyed MM3 quite a bit still), but that's not a seal of quality. And there were some that were atrocious. Come to think of it: the first Megaman wasn't really good either.

MM9 and 10 were total turn-offs for me. If I want to play MM2 I play MM2 and not MM9 which emulates MM2. Don't sell me a game stuck in the 80ies as the best thing since sliced bread. We're in the future now. We are supposed to have hoverboards and space lasers. Not 8-bit-esque graphics and sound. That's not cool and retro. It's just retro, and not in the good way.

Re: Nobuo Uematsu in FFX

Sparky, you might be interested to learn that Uematsu wasn't responsible for the majority of the FFX score. A lot of it was done by Masashi Hamauzu, who was chosen to score XIII entirely.

I also thought very highly of the FFX score, and was excited to hear about Square picking Hamauzu for XIII.

Dynasty Warriors!

DW is the king of the button-mashers! Barely any strategy is involved in killing hordes of thousands. I like the 2094948 characters they add in each installment, but slapping on a new title like "Samurai Warriors" or "Gundam" is a poor substitute for evolving gameplay. This is the game series that allows me to pass out quicker when I'm absolutely hammered and don't feel like listening to Jim Brickman.

Final Fantasy

After FF X-2 I don't feel like playing FF or RPG anymore...
And I'm also an offline gamer.

Zelda.

I don't really have any ideas to renew this franchise, maybe all they need is a new story type or a new graphical direction. Zelda in Space?!? lmao.

In all honesty it could be something crazy like that. My favourite Zelda is easily Wind Waker followed by Majoras Mask. Wind Waker was just a super polished beautiful experience and the open world was perfectly realised, man I love that game. Majora's Mask is unique and innovativ in it's narrative and exposition, I got so flustered when I first played the game freaking out thinking I must suck/the game sucked if it expected me to finish it so quickly only to have one of the greatest *click* moments I've ever had in a game.

Since Wind Waker the DS games have proven middling to good and Twilight Princess was a throwback to OoT fans which I'm not really part of. I hope the next Zelda surprises me with something original but I can't help but think it's going to be another token effort. If they pull through though I commend them, it's formula is a well beaten horse and making something innovative while working within the constraints it's created for itself would be a hard thing.

Sparky Clarkson wrote: I

Sparky Clarkson wrote:

I would love to see a Zelda game where you play the lady herself.... (assuming everyone learned from the mistakes).

They made that into a game, and it bombed, horribly.

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