Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The science of old-school RPGs...

So, I was testing emulators on my vaio netbook today. Now as some of you know, the best emulators run most games very well. You'd have no problem playing Super Mario World on any emulator. The problem comes in with Squaresoft RPGs. Now, I loaded up Final Fantasy 1&2: Dawn of Souls for the gameboy advance. The emulation was pretty bad for the intro, but I wanted to see how it would handle the actual game. Pressing start about 257209562 times lead me to the "opening cinematic". It began with this operatic score...I mean, this music was epic! But the visuals behind it was a bunch of cutesy 16-bit sprites. I particulary recall a scene that just had a rinky-dink tower on barren desert world map with a partical system covering the wholescreen and moving left to right. At that moment, I thought "I actually like that these simple graphics and symbols let my imagination handle this 'Tower standing in the sandstorm image. I thought "This is why I still like these games". Now you think about it. You thought Magus was cool in '96. The rinky-dink graphics of Chrono Trigger only nudged you in the direction of how to invision that character, but your imagination, powered by all the things you'd seen and experienced at the age of 15 made him cool for you. Now think of how differently you might have envisioned that character AFTER seeing Ninja Scroll or Princess Mononoke. Now think of how you might see him in the present, after seeing more recent animated awesomeness! Point is, i realized that the way I see a game like Final Fantasy VI changes as i change. It grows with me. Final Fantasy X does NOT. And neither does any other RPG made after....Maybe Wild Arms 2074523056 is old school style, but who cares about Wild Arms. A lot of you missed out on this experience because you only really got into RPGS with FF7, But I think that you might all be able to relate this concept to RTS/RPG hybrid games like Final Fantasy Tactics and Disgaea.

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