BioWare: Final Fantasy XIII is Not an RPG

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BioWare: Final Fantasy XIII is Not an RPG

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According to BioWare, a series that once defined the traditional RPG has stepped completely out of its own genre.

The divide between western and eastern RPGs has always been pretty large, but the sides have tended to keep to themselves. Not anymore, as BioWare Austin writing director Daniel Erickson has called Final Fantasy XIII out on its validity as an RPG.

Taking to Strategy Informer, Erickson said: "You can put a 'J' in front of it, but it's not an RPG. You don't make any choices, you don't create a character, you don't live your character... I don't know what those are - adventure games maybe? But they're not RPG's."

This was in response to a question about Star Wars: The Old Republic's story being a major pillar of the upcoming BioWare MMORPG, and how the lack of good gameplay to back up a story can affect a game like it may have with Final Fantasy XIII. It's definitely an interesting comment that highlights the controversy created by the latest game in a series that was traditionally meant to define what an RPG is.

It's useless to get into the debate over the definition of an RPG, but even Square Enix once told 1up that Final Fantasy XIII wasn't designed using the RPG template. Final Fantasy XIII is the only Final Fantasy title that seems to be pushing away a huge segment of the hardcore audience that would have at one time supported it vehemently. I've got to agree with Erickson here, even games like Mass Effect 2, which has been criticized for losing some traditional RPG elements, feel more like RPGs lately than Final Fantasy XIII due to the choices players can make with regards to their own characters. Years ago, I doubt anyone would have predicted that Final Fantasy XIII would fall off of the RPG ladder to any extent, let alone become something that doesn't even feel like one to some players.

Via: Kotaku

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I have to admit I kind of agree. I said as much in a topic yesterday about RPG's; they have evolved far beyond the old style PnP RPG's, and now RPG can hardly be considered its own genre anymore when it has so many sub-genres.

Does it have stats and leveling as a focus in combat? Then it's an RPG.

Unless he's also saying that stuff like Diablo and MMORPGs aren't RPGs?

Besides, when the genre was named, anything with dialogue and a plot above "Eat Dots" was pretty much an RPG.

I'll start taking anything BioWare has to say on their alleged definition of roleplaying seriously once they stop this asinine nonsense about Shepard being a predefined character.
Hypocrisy much?

Tom Goldman:
You don't make any choices, you don't create a character, you don't live your character... I don't know what those are - adventure games maybe?

No, they're RPGs, silly. You are just Role Playing the lead character. In Game format.

/does not play many RPGs

Well... The trouble with Final Fantasy is, is that it is a corridor with an encounter ever few hundred yards and a cinematic every now and again. That's what everyone says.

Calumon: Don't these guys talk about these games alot?

I wholeheartedly agree, it was a decent game, but the thing about RPG's, THEY'RE NOT FUCKING LINEAR!

Optimus Hagrid:

Tom Goldman:
You don't make any choices, you don't create a character, you don't live your character... I don't know what those are - adventure games maybe?

No, they're RPGs, silly. You are just Role Playing the lead character. In Game format.

/does not play many RPGs

No. As an avid defender as JRPGs. This defense is wrong. Saying that you are playing a "pre-defined" role makes nearly every game an RPG.

LiquidGrape:
I'll start taking anything BioWare has to say on their alleged definition of roleplaying seriously once they stop this asinine nonsense about Shepard being a predefined character.
Hypocrisy much?

No, you can make him whatever you want, he just has a predefined LAST NAME, that's hardly the same as having a game like Final Fantasy 13, where you literally walk down straight linear paths for hours at a time, I felt like I was playing an old 2d sonic game for god's sake.

If the game focuses upon playing a role. Then its an RPG. The combat system is regardless.

Onyx Oblivion:
Does it have stats and leveling as a focus in combat? Then it's an RPG.

Unless he's also saying that stuff like Diablo and MMORPGs aren't RPGs?

Besides, when the genre was named, anything with dialogue and a plot above "Eat Dots" was pretty much an RPG.

I define RPG as a game with a high level of character customization, exploration, and sidequests that are littered throughout the game, you know, not "go kill this" quests that they throw into THE LAST 3 HOURS OF THE GAME!

Im sorry, I love Bioware and all, but they need to shut up.

Square might have missed the bullseye on ff13 a bit, but its still a awesome game with a awesome story.

Dont insult your elders, if you get what i mean.

Tom Goldman:
It's useless to get into the debate over the definition of an RPG, but even Square Enix once told 1up that Final Fantasy XIII wasn't designed using the RPG template. Final Fantasy XIII is the only Final Fantasy title that seems to be pushing away a huge segment of the hardcore audience that would have at one time supported it vehemently. I've got to agree with Erickson here, even games like Mass Effect 2, which has been criticized for losing some traditional RPG elements, feel more like RPGs lately than Final Fantasy XIII due to the choices players can make with regards to their own characters. Years ago, I doubt anyone would have predicted that Final Fantasy XIII would fall off of the RPG ladder to any extent, let alone become something that doesn't even feel like one to some players.

Here's what I don't get. You've effectively stated that Square-Enix themselves didn't design it to be an RPG, shouldn't that be the end of the debate? Why did you feel the need to make that next statement? Isn't that a sort of kick it while it's not even participating statement?

I disagree completely because only in the most infamous FF (X-2) was choice and even character building really a focus. I can't see where this has gone off the rails.

FF's have always defined their RPGness as turn based combat, high customization of equipment, story based focus and creating a huge new world.

FFXIII does all this exactly like it's predecessors. The only real difference is a lack of towns and sidequests, which I don't feel define a JRPG but are far more valid

Under the definition of "role playing", Final Fantasy hasn't really been an rpg since FF2 (you could argue that 1 was because the characters didn't have defined personalities). Final Fantasy kind of made that an rpg is something with stats and levels for years, now its just hard to call it something else.

Brad Shepard:
Im sorry, I love Bioware and all, but they need to shut up.

Square might have missed the bullseye on ff13 a bit, but its still a awesome game with a awesome story.

Dont insult your elders, if you get what i mean.

So you're essentially saying that Square Enix shouldn't ever be criticized? That's ridiculous.
Anyway Bioware aren't saying that it's a bad game, just that it doesn't fit the description of an RPG.

danpascooch:

LiquidGrape:
I'll start taking anything BioWare has to say on their alleged definition of roleplaying seriously once they stop this asinine nonsense about Shepard being a predefined character.
Hypocrisy much?

No, you can make him whatever you want, he just has a predefined LAST NAME, that's hardly the same as having a game like Final Fantasy 13, where you literally walk down straight linear paths for hours at a time, I felt like I was playing an old 2d sonic game for god's sake.

No, see; with predefined, a term coined by Ray Myzuka, BioWare mean to say that Shepard has a fundamental persona which the player is unable to affect. They've especially used that little nugget to dodge questions about the lack of same sex romances.
It's all a load of tripe anyway. They don't believe it themselves. Chris Priestly even said recently on the BioBoards that Shepard is "completely unique to each individual playthrough".
That's the hypocrisy I was referring to.

If you define a role playing game by turn based combat where you choose actions and have them play out, sure X game is an rpg.

If you want to press X and watch things play out instead of contributing more (ff13, heavy rain) then it's not an rpg, it's an interactive movie.

It doesn't help ff13's case that it's a really really bad game, but hey, FF lovers would eat shit on a plate if it had squeenix's name on it

TheMonkeySlayer:

Brad Shepard:
Im sorry, I love Bioware and all, but they need to shut up.

Square might have missed the bullseye on ff13 a bit, but its still a awesome game with a awesome story.

Dont insult your elders, if you get what i mean.

So you're essentially saying that Square Enix shouldn't ever be criticized? That's ridiculous.
Anyway Bioware aren't saying that it's a bad game, just that it doesn't fit the description of an RPG.

im not saying that, im saying it is an RPG, like Onyx above said.

It is not an RPG. You have no choice, and no role. You choose nothing. It's turn-based action.

Onyx Oblivion:
Does it have stats and leveling as a focus in combat? Then it's an RPG.

Unless he's also saying that stuff like Diablo and MMORPGs aren't RPGs?

Besides, when the genre was named, anything with dialogue and a plot above "Eat Dots" was pretty much an RPG.

A copypasted reply to a copypasted statement:

My copy of Football Manager 2010 is loaded with stats. It has more stats than FF13, ME2, and every GTA game combined. The characters 'fight' using their stats and skills, they even gain 'experience' and 'level up' their attributes with enough training. Still, I would find it very difficult to take you seriously if you were to claim that FM'10 is more of an RPG than any of the other titles I mentioned.

Diablo isn't more of an RPG than ME2. It's a hack&slash dungeon crawler. It has more in common with any given Roguelike than an RPG. Mumorpegers can be more RPG-like than any other genre currently in existence if you choose them to be (there's that magic word again: choice).

When the genre was named, it was the name of a pen-and-paper game that was all about endless choice. The level of choice from a PnP RPG still can't be approximated by a CRPG, but JRPGs aren't even trying.

Gvaz:
If you define a role playing game by turn based combat where you choose actions and have them play out, sure X game is an rpg.

If you want to press X and watch things play out instead of contributing more (ff13, heavy rain) then it's not an rpg, it's an interactive movie.

It doesn't help ff13's case that it's a really really bad game, but hey, FF lovers would eat shit on a plate if it had squeenix's name on it

You, good sir, got it absolutely right.

Deofuta:
If the game focuses upon playing a role. Then its an RPG. The combat system is regardless.

Exactly. With Mass Effect for example you choose class, background, name and gender to begin with. In the game you decide make choices that affect the outcome of the ending, as well as the consequences in the sequels. Not to mention many smaller choices that affect the finer elements of the game-play as well as NPC interactions.

Just because Mass Effect 2 has less statistics thrown around doesn't make it any less of an RPG.

Brad Shepard:
Im sorry, I love Bioware and all, but they need to shut up.

Square might have missed the bullseye on ff13 a bit, but its still a awesome game with a awesome story.

Dont insult your elders, if you get what i mean.

They didn't say it's a bad game. Or that they make bad games.

They just don't consider FF XIII an RPG.

Brad Shepard:
Im sorry, I love Bioware and all, but they need to shut up.

Square might have missed the bullseye on ff13 a bit, but its still a awesome game with a awesome story.

Dont insult your elders, if you get what i mean.

One person from bioware.

And why not? If your elder is clearly trying to be something it isn't, then someone is well within their rights to call them out on it.

Hurr Durr Derp:

Onyx Oblivion:
Does it have stats and leveling as a focus in combat? Then it's an RPG.

Unless he's also saying that stuff like Diablo and MMORPGs aren't RPGs?

Besides, when the genre was named, anything with dialogue and a plot above "Eat Dots" was pretty much an RPG.

A copypasted reply to a copypasted statement:

My copy of Football Manager 2010 is loaded with stats. It has more stats than FF13, ME2, and every GTA game combined. The characters 'fight' using their stats and skills, they even gain 'experience' and 'level up' their attributes with enough training. Still, I would find it very difficult to take you seriously if you were to claim that FM'10 is more of an RPG than any of the other titles I mentioned.

Diablo isn't more of an RPG than ME2. It's a hack&slash dungeon crawler. It has more in common with any given Roguelike than an RPG. Mumorpegers can be more RPG-like than any other genre currently in existence if you choose them to be (there's that magic word again: choice).

When the genre was named, it was the name of a pen-and-paper game that was all about endless choice. The level of choice from a PnP RPG still can't be approximated by a CRPG, but JRPGs aren't even trying.

Just to add something to your post - because I agree with almost everything.

MOST of the RPGs are not trying. Shin Megami Tensei are almost as devoted to freedom of choice as Bioware. Hell, in Devil Survivor, you must weigh every pro and con before choosing another mission or storyline fight - clock advances by 30 minutes every time you do so, so if you decide to fight someone instead of saving another person, you might end up losing that person instead of gaining a party member.

I really don't care about what does it as an RPG.

It's the same damn thing, doing it driffent ways. It's dosen't matter who you save; the world, princcess, sister, your own ass, it's about two things.

The road getting to where you going
and leveling up charisma baby.

Brad Shepard:
Im sorry, I love Bioware and all, but they need to shut up.

Square might have missed the bullseye on ff13 a bit, but its still a awesome game with a awesome story.

Dont insult your elders, if you get what i mean.

With respect, no, they really don't. A journalist asked them a question, they gave an answer. As one of the forefront developers of RPG's in gaming right now, that's going to keep happening, and they have the right to say whatever they like. Just as SE does.

In no point did they say FF13 wasn't an awesome game, just that it doesn't fit what alot of people feel makes an RPG these days. And while I enjoyed FF13 more then I expected, I happen to agree with this viewpoint.

Doesn't make it a bad game, but it does mean the genre has evolved and changed considerably over the years.

Abedeus:

Hurr Durr Derp:

Onyx Oblivion:
Does it have stats and leveling as a focus in combat? Then it's an RPG.

Unless he's also saying that stuff like Diablo and MMORPGs aren't RPGs?

Besides, when the genre was named, anything with dialogue and a plot above "Eat Dots" was pretty much an RPG.

A copypasted reply to a copypasted statement:

My copy of Football Manager 2010 is loaded with stats. It has more stats than FF13, ME2, and every GTA game combined. The characters 'fight' using their stats and skills, they even gain 'experience' and 'level up' their attributes with enough training. Still, I would find it very difficult to take you seriously if you were to claim that FM'10 is more of an RPG than any of the other titles I mentioned.

Diablo isn't more of an RPG than ME2. It's a hack&slash dungeon crawler. It has more in common with any given Roguelike than an RPG. Mumorpegers can be more RPG-like than any other genre currently in existence if you choose them to be (there's that magic word again: choice).

When the genre was named, it was the name of a pen-and-paper game that was all about endless choice. The level of choice from a PnP RPG still can't be approximated by a CRPG, but JRPGs aren't even trying.

Just to add something to your post - because I agree with almost everything.

MOST of the RPGs are not trying. Shin Megami Tensei are almost as devoted to freedom of choice as Bioware. Hell, in Devil Survivor, you must weigh every pro and con before choosing another mission or storyline fight - clock advances by 30 minutes every time you do so, so if you decide to fight someone instead of saving another person, you might end up losing that person instead of gaining a party member.

Ah, true enough. I made the mistake of treating Final Fantasy as "all JRPGs" there. My bad. I loved Devil Survivor since I'm a huge fan of turn-based strategy games, so you'd think I'd know better.

I can see the point but I totally disagree.

I think this is a case of bio getting too cocky

Gvaz:
If you define a role playing game by turn based combat where you choose actions and have them play out, sure X game is an rpg.

If you want to press X and watch things play out instead of contributing more (ff13, heavy rain) then it's not an rpg, it's an interactive movie.

It doesn't help ff13's case that it's a really really bad game, but hey, FF lovers would eat shit on a plate if it had squeenix's name on it

^^Clearly never played either of those two games...

You don't make any choices, you don't create a character, you don't live your character... I don't know what those are - adventure games maybe? But they're not RPG's."

A game where you don't make any choices and don't live your character doesn't even sound like an action game to me; sounds more like he's insulting action games than FF13. Where do you draw the line between an action game with RPG mechanics and an RPG?

I'm a fan of Bioware, but aren't they also the people who are refusing to address homosexuality in Mass Effect 2 because they consider it like a PG-13 action movie?

Brad Shepard:
Im sorry, I love Bioware and all, but they need to shut up.

Square might have missed the bullseye on ff13 a bit, but its still a awesome game with a awesome story.

Dont insult your elders, if you get what i mean.

There is nothing wrong with insulting your elders if they are doing something wrong. My "elders" engineered the financial crisis. Should I keep quiet?

You seem to have missed the point anyway. It's not an insult to say that FF13 is not an RPG. There are lots of good games that are not RPGs. He is saying it is more of an Adventure game. I think I agree.

Deofuta:
If the game focuses upon playing a role. Then its an RPG. The combat system is regardless.

So Gears of War is an RPG? I play the role of Marcus Phoenix...

BrotherRool:

FF's have always defined their RPGness as turn based combat, high customization of equipment, story based focus and creating a huge new world.

FFXIII does all this exactly like it's predecessors. The only real difference is a lack of towns and sidequests, which I don't feel define a JRPG but are far more valid

HAH! Please tell me you're joking.
FF13 does not have many weapons for each person, and they all need to be upgraded to actually be of use. Also, the accessories don't vary that much. It's either raising resistances, raising power, or buff effects for the most part. And that's it for "customization of equipment."

On topic, I agree. Like it was said before, the game is an interactive movie most of the time, and the battles feel more like an RTS game than an RPG, given how lazy it has become.
After I beat the game, I got bored of it immediately. There's just nothing fun to do afterwards, except constantly grind for getting more HP boosts.

Soviet Heavy:
I'm a fan of Bioware, but aren't they also the people who are refusing to address homosexuality in Mass Effect 2 because they consider it like a PG-13 action movie?

Indeed. And the rating for ME2 is mature. And it's even more prudish than the original.
Try solving that equation.

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