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More Crystal Bearers Details Surface Thanks to Famitsu

by Pedro Hernandez - April 26, 2009, 3:53 pm PDT
Total comments: 16 Source: Weekly Famitsu via IGN

The weekly magazine brings new details on characters and new gameplay mechanics in Square Enix's upcoming Wii game.

Last week, Weekly Famitsu offered its readers details on the plot and gameplay of Square Enix's Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: The Crystal Bearers while offering an interview with the game's directors. This week the coveted Japanese gaming magazine brings even more details regarding the game's universe.

The first of these details is on a new character named Keiss. Keiss is a male Selkie who partners with Kyle, Crystal Bearer's lead, who has earned the trust of many army leaders. Since gamers can't create parties in Crystal Bearers, Keiss can't be controlled.

Two new gameplay details were also explained.

The first of these is Playable Events, which are scenes where you interact with cut scenes at certain points in the game. Players will shake the Wii Remote or point at certain parts in the scene. Some of these are scenes are required to be completed successfully in order to progress, but the story will continue on regardless.

The other gameplay detail, Demon Reaction, is a gameplay element that's been featured on the site's teaser videos. Demons and enemies will react to each other when left alone, and will react to the character's actions when you engage in battle.

So far, there is no firm release date for Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: The Crystal Bearers.

Talkback

NinGurl69 *hugglesApril 26, 2009

Let me throw this out there:  February 2010

KnowsNothingApril 26, 2009

This game is turning into everything I hoped it wouldn't.

ShyGuyApril 26, 2009

Quote from: pap64

Playable Events, which are scenes where you interact with cut scenes at certain points in the game. Players will shake the Wii Remote or point at certain parts in the scene.

This is a Quick Time Event isn't it? This is like calling Dead Space Wii a "scripted first person shooter" when it is a rail shooter.

NWR_pap64Pedro Hernandez, Contributing WriterApril 26, 2009

Quote from: ShyGuy

Quote from: pap64

Playable Events, which are scenes where you interact with cut scenes at certain points in the game. Players will shake the Wii Remote or point at certain parts in the scene.

This is a Quick Time Event isn't it? This is like calling Dead Space Wii a "scripted first person shooter" when it is a rail shooter.

That's what I thought as well. It could be QTE, but it might be like the scene switcher in Final Fantasy IX.

MoronSonOfBoronGarnet Red, Contributing WriterApril 27, 2009

Waggle QTE is one thing, but pointing at stuff on screen is new.

And horrifying.

UltimatePartyBearApril 27, 2009

Square has been doing QTEs since before we knew what to call them.  Usually, they're one-off segments in a 50 hour long RPG, so nobody remembers them.  Most of them don't even have to be passed, giving varying rewards instead, but there have been a few do or die sequences.  The airborne paper-rock-scissors fight while dangling from a rope in FF8 comes to mind.  Maybe that one wasn't quite as Simon Says as a run of the mill QTE, but it's close enough.  They've done the Simon Says thing plenty of times, too, regardless.

ShyGuyApril 27, 2009

I remember a rock paper scissors level in The Bouncer.

NinGurl69 *hugglesApril 27, 2009

Can someone explain how those worked?  I'm beginning to equate these Square minichallenges with simon-says Ocarina minigames rather than QTEs.

UltimatePartyBearApril 27, 2009

I mean Simon Says as in the game flashes an X on the screen, you press X, and your character doesn't die.  Ocarina minigames were more like just plain Simon.

The FF8 example involved pressing a button for a punch, kick, or headbutt as you (Squall) and an enemy grunt tried to knock each other off a rope dangling from some kind of flying machine.  If you didn't win, you'd fall to your death and get sent back to try again.  There was a similar event later on involving a dragon that was supposed to be a movie prop but -- oops! -- turned out to be real.

In the "flash a button on the screen that the player has to hit" category, the intro of FF9 involved exactly this in a fake sword fight in a play.  Random buttons to press briefly flashed, and you had mere moments to press them.  How many you nailed related to how much the crowd liked your performance, which I think had a monetary reward.

This sort of gameplay changeup with rewards goes back at least as far as FF6, where you won different items based on your dinner conversation in one scene, but button presses and timing started in FF7.  In particular, I recall a scene in which you had to march in step in a parade and do some tricks with your rifle.

Maybe I'm being too loose with the definition of a QTE, but Square has a history of handling scenes that wouldn't work in the game's combat engine with timing, pattern recognition, or simple button pushing challenges.  Combine that with Square's older attempts to merge gameplay with FMVs, and full blown QTEs are an obvious direction for them to go, if they haven't already.  I haven't played any FF since FF9.

NinGurl69 *hugglesApril 27, 2009

Maybe you're being loose.  I associate QTEs with the Shenmue application, where they're used during EXCITING cinematic sequences, to break up what would've been a sit-back-and-watch cutscene.  The Square stuff you described sounds like some Mario Party stupid fun minigames from GameCube (hit button to swing golf club without screwingup, hit button when the flag goes up, etc.).

UltimatePartyBearApril 27, 2009

Quote from: pap64

Quote from: ShyGuy

Quote from: pap64

Playable Events, which are scenes where you interact with cut scenes at certain points in the game. Players will shake the Wii Remote or point at certain parts in the scene.

This is a Quick Time Event isn't it? This is like calling Dead Space Wii a "scripted first person shooter" when it is a rail shooter.

That's what I thought as well. It could be QTE, but it might be like the scene switcher in Final Fantasy IX.

Incidentally, Square actually called those scenes in FF9 Active Time Events.

NinGurl69 *hugglesApril 27, 2009

Active as in you're paying attention and regularly participating?

Then there's Quick as in you gotta be quick cuz the surprise gameplay might catch you offguard.

UltimatePartyBearApril 27, 2009

Quote from: NinGurl69

Active as in you're paying attention and regularly participating?

Then there's Quick as in you gotta be quick cuz the surprise gameplay might catch you offguard.

Active as in I don't know.  The similarity in name is just mildly interesting in light of this discussion.

Quote from: NinGurl69

Maybe you're being loose.  I associate QTEs with the Shenmue application, where they're used during EXCITING cinematic sequences, to break up what would've been a sit-back-and-watch cutscene.  The Square stuff you described sounds like some Mario Party stupid fun minigames from GameCube (hit button to swing golf club without screwingup, hit button when the flag goes up, etc.).

It's not quite as low concept as Mario Party.  I think the concept of a QTE is to keep the player involved during sequences that couldn't be done in gameplay or would leave the player uninvolved.  Highly cinematic action scenes are the most obvious use for that concept in action games.  FF games leave the player in control during combat, so they instead had a need to break up lengthy non-combat scenes.  I say it's the same line of thought, and what we now know as QTEs are something Square was scratching for and almost figured out in FF8, both in story sequences and in combat, oddly enough.  There are multiple scenes in FF8 in which you are in control of your characters acting against an FMV backdrop, but with one notable exception (I think), it doesn't matter what you do.  It just looks like it should very convincingly.

Anyway, my original snarky point was that Square doing QTEs isn't surprising because it's right up their alley.

KDR_11kApril 28, 2009

There's a difference between a QTE and a minigame. A minigame comes with rules attached and often requires you to make the decisions yourself, as trivial as they may be while a QTE shows a button and if you press it you succeed, if not then not with the only action on your part being to translate the button symbol into a position on your controller (difficulty depends on the system, worst case being a PlayStation). QTEs often happen without warning and interspersed into various cutscenes while a minigame will often announce that it's starting, last for a while and then disappear.

QTEs are increasingly seen in scenes that could be done in gameplay but the designers wanted to look cooler. I can understand wanting to keep the player at attention in a horror game (where cutscenes usually were a breather in which nothing could happen to you) but outside of that, no.

UltimatePartyBearApril 28, 2009

Quote from: KDR_11k

There's a difference between a QTE and a minigame. A minigame comes with rules attached and often requires you to make the decisions yourself, as trivial as they may be while a QTE shows a button and if you press it you succeed, if not then not with the only action on your part being to translate the button symbol into a position on your controller (difficulty depends on the system, worst case being a PlayStation). QTEs often happen without warning and interspersed into various cutscenes while a minigame will often announce that it's starting, last for a while and then disappear.

I agree, and I apologize for my original post's tongue-in-cheek tone not even remotely coming across, but it did start me thinking about it (I reserve the right to move from a glib first post to a more refined position as I spend more time thinking, sorry if that bothers anyone).  Square really did come surprisingly close to doing QTEs in the past.  The only thing separating the rope scene I mentioned from being a QTE is that the player isn't told which button to press to succeed.  You have to guess.  That is technically enough of a difference for patent claims and forum posts, but it's fascinating to me to look back at that game and realize just how close Square came to inventing the QTE.

It's also reason to believe that this new game's "Playable Events" won't necessarily be QTEs, either.  Or they might be so close that they spark flame wars over it on Gamefaqs for years to come.

Dirk TemporoApril 28, 2009

Quote from: KnowsNothing

This game is turning into everything I hoped it wouldn't.

Basically, yeah. I can't say I was hoping for Force Unleashed: Force Choke Only Edition.

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