This year, Square Enix managed to bore me, confuse me, and creep me out all the same presentation.
After a reasonably sound showing of Just Cause 3, they announced a sequel to Nier, otherwise known as “that JRPG starring that old guy that no one played.” The director, Yoko Taro, showed up on stage wearing this:
An Hour and Half of Awkward Golf Clapping
I’m going to type as fast as I can now so I don’t have to look at that mask anymore.
The game seemed to feature a lot of talent and was teaming up with Platinum Games; I’m sure the gameplay will improve over the last one. So it saddens me that whenever I think Nier that horrible leering moon-faced freak will haunt my dreams.
We saw a tech demo for Rise of the Tomb Raider that impressed nobody, some hipster touch and go game called Lara Croft Go, and the same Final Fantasy VII remake trailer we saw yesterday. Nothing exciting there.
But then I saw one good thing: Kingdom Hearts 3
The director of the Kingdom Hearts series showed up on stage and announced a new Kingdom Hearts game: Kingdom Hearts: Unchained. It was an isometric RPG that wasn’t in the same timeline. I could feel the bewildered disappointment of the audience.
But then the director was like, “Oh, right, we have Kingdom Hearts 3,” the crowd predictably went bananas. They showed us a gameplay trailer, in all it’s blasting, slashing, wall-running, high-flying glory, and everyone loved it. I love a good old bait-and-switch.
The rest was pretty bad
We got World of Final Fantasy again, Hitman again, the horribly titled Star Ocean: Integrity and Faithlessness (whose “gameplay trailer” consisted mostly of running around in empty environments), and an ok trailer for Deus Ex: Mankind Divided (now with less yellow).
But the crowning moment of failure was when Yosuke Matsuda, President and CEO, announced in an agonizingly boring monotone that there was going to be a Final Fantasy Portal App, for all Final Fantasy related news. When he awkwardly paused for applause, no one clapped. The room was dead silence. He then showed a few concept paintings for a new game he called “Project Setsuna.” He gave no other information save that it was “early in development.” Again, no one clapped.
And to top the whole sad clown performance, they said not one word about Final Fantasy 15
The disappointment and boredom I felt cannot be exaggerated. Come on, Square Enix, you’re freaking Square Enix! One of the most legendary developers on the planet! You’re better than this. This was straight-up amateurish.