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True Fantasy Online May Be On Track for Xbox 2

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the shiny-anime-mmoging dept.

Role Playing (Games) 23

German site GameZone is running a piece discussing the late, lamented True Fantasy Online. In it they mention that the Xbox MMOG may be released on the Xbox 2, based on commentary from the president of Level-5. From the article: "Now these hopes are affirmed by the level 5-Praesidenten Akihiro Hino, because in the Japanese Dorimaga said it that according to its estimates True Fantasy Live one on-line one could nevertheless still appear."

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23 comments

Bravo (2, Funny)

jabber-admin (803332) | more than 8 years ago | (#11221361)

Congrats to the submitter for comprehending the article. I would have given up after 1 or 2 lines.

Re:Bravo (1)

LordPhantom (763327) | more than 8 years ago | (#11221380)

No kidding - I think they hired Yoda over at altavista........

Re:Bravo (1)

_xeno_ (155264) | more than 8 years ago | (#11221523)

It's a German translation through Babblefish, which is why none of the page makes any sense. The original is here [gamezone.de] in case anyone wants to try a human translation of the article.

Anyway, since I'd never heard of True Fantasy Online before, I figured some people might find the GameSpot page on it [gamespot.com] useful.

Sounds... meh. Apparently it was aimed at the Japanese XBox market, which probably wasn't the best of ideas... Seems like it's another attempt to somehow "revolutionize" MMORPGs, but it sounds like it ultimately came out like any MMORPG when Microsoft axed it.

Re:Bravo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11233427)

It's Babelfish. As in HHGTTG. Which in turn is referencing the story of the Tower of Babel.

Word. (1)

Momoru (837801) | more than 8 years ago | (#11221388)

Times it looks whether True Fantasy Live one on-line one will appear. Akihiro Hino will not say sowas, in order to then take the fans nevertheless on the arm. Perhaps we become with the official Xbox 2-Vorstellung in the next year more erfahen also here.

Yes, this is so true....i can't wait to by taken on the arm!

Huh. (4, Insightful)

Golias (176380) | more than 8 years ago | (#11221408)

As appealing as it may sound at first to play any sort of MMOG from the living room sofa, I'm not sure if this will ever really fly.

The thing about these games is that they are really just simplified MUDs with graphics, which is to say that they are pretty much an first-person (or nearly first-person) RPG with a text-based chat room attached to them.

The whole point of Playing EQ, AC, DAOC, CoH, WoW, etc., is the social aspect of the gameplay.

I think most of you already see where I'm going with this.

The X-Box has no keyboard, so unless you want to roleplay via voice chatter (in which case, "broadcast" and "shout" type messages will be more annoying than ever), this large part of the game is missing.

In the early development phase of EverQuest, it was pretty clear that Sony intended it to be a big hit for the PS2. As it turns out, they could only deliver a stripped-down version of it to the console, and almost everybody who played EQ did so on the PC.

Re:Huh. (2, Insightful)

_xeno_ (155264) | more than 8 years ago | (#11221794)

Nah, you can get it to work on a console. Final Fantasy XI proved that it can work. I have no idea about the actual PC vs. PS2 player breakdown, because Square-Enix doesn't list statistics like that (grumble), but apparently it does work.

If you don't have a keyboard for the PS2, you can enter text like you would on those "Enter Your Name" screens I'm sure everyone knows about. Obviously it would be a very slow process.

The end result is that almost all PS2 players wound up getting keyboards to chat.

As it turns out, they could only deliver a stripped-down version of it to the console, and almost everybody who played EQ did so on the PC.

Which is the exact same problem FFXI ran into - Square-Enix just did the reverse, holding the PC version back to the constraints on the console version, making the PC UI for the game very strange. (They basically mapped the controller buttons onto the keyboard. Not to mention that the graphics engine on the PC seems to be much slower than I would expect from my hardware.)

So, just like the PS2 players needing to get a keyboard, almost all PC players wound up getting gamepads to make the controls work sensibly. (On the plus side, I can now play ZSNES with a DualShock, heh.)

It can work, but it's still debatable whether or not it was worth it. Apparently consoles are more popular than PCs in Japan, so for a Japanese company like Square-Enix, it may well be. I suspect this game was supposed to be kind of like an XBox version of Final Fantasy XI to try and win over Japanese users to the XBox. But I honestly have no idea what the Japanese market is like.

Re:Huh. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#11222346)

Nah, you can get it to work on a console. Final Fantasy XI proved that it can work.

No, Final Suckfest XI proved that it does't work. You mention the fucked up UI briefly, but that's a minor crime against users that Square should never have been allowed to get away with. (Hey, let's make you log off by pressing the "-" on the numpad twice, then up, then enter, then left, then enter! No one will be confused by that! Oh, and instead of offering hot keys, let's make it so that pressing any letter or number starts the chat interface! And no one likes using the mouse to activate objects, so let's make clicking and dragging move the player!)

The graphics engine was much worse. I'm not going to find it, but some recent Slashdot story pointed to the FFXI benchmark. It runs like ass, even on high-end computers where it should run well, cheerfully producing graphics that look worse than PC games older than it at 10fps (or worse). This is partly because all the character models, maps, and textures have to fall within the limitations of the PS2, which also meant that FFXI had a small, bland world.

Anyone who's played FFXI past the first couple of levels will know that there are like a total of ten enemy models and they get reused all the way through to the end-game. Apparently the highly-technical approach of scaling the monsters and altering their skins was beyond the programmers at Square.

Given that Sony is discontinuing the PS2 hard drive, I'd say that's pretty conclusive evidence that MMORPGs on consoles aren't quite there yet.

(I've also got to go find the posts by people who have destroyed their plasma televisions playing FFXI on the PS2. In a way it's their fault, except that Square offered no way to avoid burn-in since certain play elements are always at given locations and can't be adjusted. Combined that you effectively can't do anything in that game without spending at least two hours on it (one mission took eight hours to complete), plasma TV users were screwed.)

Final Fantasy XI is the poster-child of why console-based MMORPGs just don't work, even ignoring the gameplay.

Re:Huh. (4, Insightful)

Yosho (135835) | more than 8 years ago | (#11222533)

Hey, let's make you log off by pressing the "-" on the numpad twice, then up, then enter, then left, then enter!

Yeah, it sounds terribly confusing when you put it that way. The other way to think about it is that you open the menu, go to the "log out" option, press enter, go to "yes" when it asks if you're sure, and then press enter again. If that many keypresses really disturbs you, you could also just type /logout.

Oh, and instead of offering hot keys, let's make it so that pressing any letter or number starts the chat interface!

Yes, one of the selectable keyboard layouts is like that. There's another that offers all the hotkeys you want. Nevermind the fact that you can bind alt or ctrl plus any of the number keys to any action you want.

And no one likes using the mouse to activate objects, so let's make clicking and dragging move the player!

I'm not sure what you're getting at here, I can click on objects just fine with the mouse. The game wasn't designed to be played with a mouse, anyway, nobody I know who plays it ever even touches the mouse. I played for quite a while using just a keyboard, and it's also easy to play with a game pad.

It runs like ass, even on high-end computers where it should run well, cheerfully producing graphics that look worse than PC games older than it at 10fps (or worse).

The benchmark program is designed to run "like ass". That's what benchmarks do. It loads up as many character models and turns up the detail as high as it can and sees how fast it runs. It's not at all representative of the actual game -- while the benchmark is choppy as hell on my computer, I get a smooth 30 fps when playing the actual game at 1280x960.

Anyone who's played FFXI past the first couple of levels will know that there are like a total of ten enemy models and they get reused all the way through to the end-game.

Anyone who's played much further than the first few levels will tell you that's not true. There are particular types of monsters that tend to be easier than others (such as crabs), so leveling groups tend to stick to them, but there are plenty of different types out there for you slaughter if you're willing to look.

Given that Sony is discontinuing the PS2 hard drive

Because the newer model PS2s have built-in network adapters (for the uninformed, previous Sony's hard drive and network adapter were bundled together) and you can use any external hard drive with them.

Final Fantasy XI is the poster-child of why console-based MMORPGs just don't work

Even though it has over 500,000 subscribers.

FFXI has its fair share of problems, but the things you pointed out aren't among them.

Re:Huh. (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#11222739)

OK, let's talk about the UI.

First off, the menu is opened with the minus key on the numpad. Because, whenever I think of keys to use in programs, I think "the minus key on the numpad," instead of something sane, like escape. Except that escape is always "cancel current action" in that game.

So let's get into that. There are basically four sets of keys you need to access anything in the game: the numpad's minus key, the enter key to access options, the arrow keys to navigate the menu, and the escape key to leave a selected option or close the menu.

Put your hands on your keyboard such that you can press both the enter key and the numpad's minus key. (Keep in mind that the minus key near the P key doesn't count. It starts the chat interface.)

You'll wind up, most likely, with your right hand over the numpad's minus key and the enter key, and your left hand doing the arrows. So you select something, and now want to close the menu. You'll have to move your left hand across the entire freaking keyboard to close the menu by hitting the escape key.

This behavior could not be changed. About the only thing you could do was switch the keyboard into "laptop mode" which would move the menu onto keys available on a laptop. (Which is nice, because my laptop doesn't have a numpad.)

The best part about the main menu, accessed by the minus key, was that there were two of them. You got to the first one by pressing minus once, and then pressing minus while the menu was up would toggle them. The logout option was on the second menu, of course.

The mouse could be used to select things by clicking on them, and you could then activate them by pressing the enter key. You can move using the mouse, by dragging with the right mouse button. But instead of moving in a sane way, this starts you moving at a speed and spin relative to the distance you moved the mouse, which is so intuitive that no one does it any more.

There's so much more than can be said on how horribly designed FFXI's UI was (enough that it effectively became a MUD with pretty graphics because typing /logout was usually easier than using the GUI).

Because the newer model PS2s have built-in network adapters (for the uninformed, previous Sony's hard drive and network adapter were bundled together) and you can use any external hard drive with them.

Dead wrong. (Well, the new PS2s do have network adapters.) You cannot use any external hard drive with the PS2. In fact, you can't use just any hard drive with the PS2. You can only use the special Sony-formatted hard drives - which Sony has discontinued.

Anyway, there's so much wrong with Final Fantasy XI that listing it all would be a freaking novel. It's far easier to list what they got right:

Re:Huh. (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11229425)

The X-Box has no keyboard, so unless you want to roleplay via voice chatter (in which case, "broadcast" and "shout" type messages will be more annoying than ever), this large part of the game is missing.
The Xbox does have a keyboard adapter [xbox.com] and they're giving it away for free (minus S/H charges).

Lineage 2 (2, Interesting)

Dark Lord Seth (584963) | more than 8 years ago | (#11221424)

I don't know what it's like for other MMORPGs, but Lineage 2 makes me feel.... icky. First of all, there's client stability and overall design that just seem poor. Sure, it looks good but there are several weird in-game glitches that make me wonder just how qualified the people at NCSoft are. These issues range from playability issues to client stability. Playability is not so bad, just a few minor glitches like monsters getting stuck and all that.

Client issues are a bit worse really, with the client regulary crashing on me for no good reason at all. The game often freezes as well, has weird graphic glitches that can lock up my entire PC and I get sudden disconnects for no real reason. All very annoying. While L2 boasts about having hundreds of thousands of paying subscribers, it's pretty evident that none of the monthly money they get go into development of the game, except perhaps a sequeal which would only serve to bring in more money.

I've heard stories about most MMORPGs being like this; the game appears to be nothing more then a poor release based on a proven addictive concept along with pre-existent competitive ( sometimes hostile ) player behaviour. The actual client or storyline doesn't really matter just as long as these two elements are in there. The question is, though, why the hell would anyone want to pay for such lousy services? I mean, I play L2, sure. But I do so on a free server at no cost at all. I don't pay a single cent for this worthless client I'm stuck with and the actual server runs on donations from the users.

But despite this and the fact that at least some people agree with me on this, MMORPGs keep popping up like bad weeds. Is it just a fad like all the "* Tycoon" games we had?

( On a different note, heard Slashdot solved the issues about the 503s and generally atrocious performance lately. Maybe they even decided to stop banning my subnet the whole damn day! Anyways, giving this a try again, so here goes... )

Re:Lineage 2 (2, Interesting)

Golias (176380) | more than 8 years ago | (#11221764)

Come up with another type of massively-multiplayer game in which downtime is built in to the game concept (so players will be foreced to slow down and get to know each other), and some people will play it.

Anybody who learned about Pavlovian conditioning in Psych 101 understands why the system of nearly-random rewards makes these games so addictive, and why you eventually realize that you are not really having fun, but playing out of compusion. When people reach that point, they either quit, or decide that the company they keep while on-line is pleasant enough to stick around in spite of not caring much about the game itself.

Level-5 President? HA! (4, Funny)

Samrobb (12731) | more than 8 years ago | (#11221519)

I've got a 14th level Prime Minister that'll mop up the floor with that looser!

(Oh, c'mon. You know that your first thought was a lame joke like this, too...)

Re:Level-5 President? HA! (0, Redundant)

Creepy Crawler (680178) | more than 8 years ago | (#11221754)

And Ive a 22 level President that has 3 lvl 12 secretary minons that suck dick to increase constitution ;P

And the president can smoke cigars with no ill effects!

Customer Service (0, Troll)

Vampyre_Dark (630787) | more than 8 years ago | (#11221853)

For the low monthly price of only 19.95 you too can put up with this.

ERROR: The Disc You Are Using May Be Dirty Or Damaged.

ERROR: The disc you inserted is not recognized. Please insert a valid DVD, CD, or XBox game disc.

*Crash trying to load title screen*

No keyboard (1)

theREALMcCoy (817988) | more than 8 years ago | (#11222463)

is a real issue for me. It's nerdy enough to run around in an RPG in the role of your avatar, but having to do so with real voice chat is a bit uncomfortable for me.

Re:No keyboard (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 9 years ago | (#11224250)

If it has vocoder support, at least no one will be able to recognize your voice - plus it will be neccessary for all the teenage boys and hairy old men who want to play female characters, and the females who don't want anyone to know they're a chick so they don't have people following them around making lewd and often downright repugnant suggestions...

Fishing Live Online? (1)

ZombieFrog (119809) | more than 8 years ago | (#11222919)

The same company that was making True Fantasy Live Online was also making an online Xbox fishing game. I was really looking forward to that one, what happened?

Re:Fishing Live Online? (2, Funny)

Mike Hawk (687615) | more than 8 years ago | (#11223329)

Fishing online? That would be sick. I'd buy it just so I could paddle up to other boats and yell into the mic to scare fish away. Good times.

Nice To Salvage Something... (1)

blueZhift (652272) | more than 9 years ago | (#11226960)

It would be nice to salvage something from all of the work that went into the title, but I won't be holding my breath. If it is true that Level 5 and MS had a falling out over TFLO, then it is unlikely it will be a poster child when Xbox 2 promotions begin. Why would Microsoft want to smear more egg on its face with this failed title, though even Malice [proliphus.com] eventually came out...

If Level 5 is serious about getting some return on investment, I think their best bet is to convert whatever they have into a single player Xbox or PC game (PS2 port would take too long and wouldn't fare well against Square Enix offerings that dominate that platform). This isn't trivial, and a rushed game will likely suck, but it would cut their loses somewhat and perhaps save some face.

Re:Nice To Salvage Something... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11227742)

Considering Level 5 already colaborated with Square Enix on the monstrously good selling (in Japan) Dragon Quest VIII, a PS2 port could be more logical than you think. Even moreso as Level 5 also produced both Dark Clouds for Sony themselves on the PS2.

It's actually the fact that Level 5 is pretty much an important RPG developer, that makes the entire fallout with Microsoft so.. weird. No, they're not Square Enix, but they sure as hell are the closest Microsoft can get at the moment.

Re:Nice To Salvage Something... (1)

Loonacy (459630) | more than 9 years ago | (#11227824)

Speaking of Square/Enix... How long did it take Level 5 to come up with the name "True Fantasy"?
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