In the wake of the euphoria surrounding Square Enix latest (and stunning) tech demo, the Tokyo-based game company launched a website for the demo. On it, there is a survey in which Square Enix asks people to give their opinions. You know, be honest. And honest I was.
The first questions in the survey were the following:
• Did you enjoy this movie?
• Did you feel that Agni (the heroine) was an attractive or appealing character?
• Were you interested in the vision of the world portrayed in the movie?
• Did you find the movie to be visually attractive?
• Were you impressed by the real-time computer graphics from a next generation perspective?
I answered the same to each question: "Very much" (the highest rating). And I was being honest. Square Enix creates impressive visuals. Square Enix always has impressive, cutting edge visuals, and it will continue to well on to the next generation.
The last question on the survey read: Is there any other feedback you would like to provide? Here's what I wrote:
"You guys really need to improve your combat mechanics in favor of something more action based and less passive. Even way into the end of this generation, Square Enix games still feel old fashioned and clunky. I'm not saying you guys need to copy, say, games like Mass Effect. But realize, those types of games are your rivals and they are kicking your asses."
Granted, Square Enix wasn't really asking what I thought of their Final Fantasy games, but that's exactly what I was speaking to (I'm looking at you FFXIII!).
Because those rivals will continue to kick Final Fantasy ass well into the next generation if Square Enix doesn't do more than simply update how pretty it can make video games. This isn't the movie business, and real-time tech demos are only skin-deep. Video games are not.