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Square Enix's Falling Performance Standards Signal an Alarming Trend

Hardcore Gamer: In just over three months, Square Enix has published three titles that run less than perfectly: Thief, Drakengard 3, and Murdered Soul Suspect. Each one of these games suffers from one or more unforgivable technical issues, be it excessive loading times, texture pop-in, abnormally poor texture work, framerate drops, and lip-syncing issues. When Thief was released, its issues could be brushed off as an aberration; Drakengard 3's problems could be considered happenstance. With the release of Murdered: Soul Suspect, this has become an issue that should lead gamers to wonder whether or not, as a publisher, Square Enix has lowered their performance standards.

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ValKilmer1176d ago

They're going the way of Capcom. Putting out a bunch of trash developed by western developers that have no or little appeal to anybody. I mean come on, really, did they think Murdered would be their next big IP?

showtimefolks1176d ago

no doubt these Japanese developers/publishers need to get their acts together. They are trying to copy western publishers and are failing. Just do your thing and do something fresh

if i was running SE here are things i would do right now, i mean right the heck now:

FF7 remake, the recenetly released FF HD collection has sold so well

KH HD collection both versions coming to ps4

announce next Hitman, get feedback from fans and make sure its what fans want

show the next Tomb Raider

Show gameplay of KH3 and make that development team bigger so the game along with FF15 could be released by fall 2015

next Dues EX game

Legacy of Kain HD collection coming to ps4/xbox one, also announce a new game in this series

stop making crappy games, make stuff people want and you will make a lot of money

Lord_Sloth1176d ago (Edited 1176d ago )

I didn't even read all of your post. I gleamed Legacy of Kain and gave bubs!

Dark111176d ago

Yeah outside of souls and MGS , the worldwide market don't give shit about Japanese developers/publishers .. i won't be surprised if they end up being left behind completely.

showtimefolks1176d ago

Dark11

people do give a **** but when they do something right. Tomb Raider did well, KH hd collections did well. Dues ex did well, FF hd collection did well

its just they are wasting too much time of stuff we don't need. Why is it that dues ex human revolution hasn't gotten a sequel?

Lord_Sloth

i am so hoping man, its like waiting for the last guardian lol

NihonjinChick1176d ago (Edited 1176d ago )

Murdered: Soul Suspect was not developed by Square Enix.

Qrphe1176d ago

This exactly and Thief IS developed by SE.

MillennialBuddha1176d ago

I do believe the article names Square Enix as the publisher and mentions the developers of each of the three titles.

Qrphe1176d ago

SE bought Eidos a long time ago

+ Show (2) more repliesLast reply 1176d ago
Capt-FuzzyPants1176d ago

I thought Soul Suspect actually had a pretty cool concept. I didn't buy it and I probably won't be buying it, but I thought it would be good for people who like the interactive story games like the Walking Dead and Heavy Rain.

mogwaii1176d ago

Cool concept clearly dosnt mean a good game nor sales.

ifistbrowni1176d ago (Edited 1176d ago )

Capcom is a better developer than square enix. Resident Evil 6 was an awful Resident Evil game, but in no way would it be a bad game "mechanically." It played fine. Lost Planet is another game that i can think of that plays fine.

Square Enix haven't created a "well playing" game for a long time. Tomb Raider is the only one worth mentioning, and if it wasn't for the story, that game would be in my list of crappy games that Square Enix have made because of how clunky your player feels. But, i feel like any other developer could've done just as well of a job (probably a better job) on Tomb Raider.

I think it's time for Square Enix to die. Like THQ, they can sell their assets and competent teams can pick up their interesting IPs like Murdered and Tomb Raider.

It's crazy, Murdered has a lot of elements within it that could make a great/unique game, but the developer doesn't execute it as well as they advertised it in their "101 trailer." If this was an isolated incident, i'd blame the developer.. But, since this is like the 8th game in a row Square Enix has failed to deliver on, it's obviously their fault.

There is nothing "next-gen" about any of Square Enix's new releases. Graphics - i've played better looking games mid-generation on ps3 and 360. Plus, the loading screens on next-gen ports are atrociously long (and there is an abundance of loading screens in games like Thief).

dcj05241176d ago

SE=FFXIV for me. That's all their worth other than other FF and Deus Ex.

Knushwood Butt1176d ago

Yes, they are going the way of Capcom, and I bet that there's a 'big' reveal at E3 where MS have bought exclusivity to an SE game, probably Final Fantasy VS or whatever development hell that has become.

That's the only way MS are going to be able to sell the Xone in Japan.

KinjoTakemura1176d ago

The crappy Square Enix games seem to have one thing in common, Montreal.

+ Show (4) more repliesLast reply 1176d ago
-Foxtrot1176d ago (Edited 1176d ago )

The problem with Thief is that they tried to dumb it down and make it accessible for a bigger audience...it ended up blowing up in their face. Dishonored has basically become the master and overshadowed Thief, a game it was trying to live up to, despite in some sections of the game you could argue Dishonored is a little easy, least then Square Enix would be sticking to what made Thief so great instead of trying too hard.

I think the problem with Square Enix is that the existing IPs they have, Hitman, Tomb Raider, Thief, Final Fantasy are making them into something they aren't to try to appeal to a wider audience. Yes games like Hitman and Tomb Raider were good games that did pretty well but can you honestly say they lived up to their franchises roots. When you have a new IP like Murder Soul Suspect it doesn't have anything to live up to, if it stumbles it will get back up and hopefully improve in the next game, slowly building up an audience like old IP's did but they are trying to hard to widen these existing fanbases when they should just be happy with the ones they have.

I found Hitman too easy and not as fun as Blood Money, Thief was dumbed down and just didn't feel the same as past games while Tomb Raider was anything but a Tomb Raider game...the fact that the tombs were optional says it all really, I don't see what was wrong with the original Lara Crofts back story about her plane going down in the Himalayas, killing her fiancée and parents as she struggles for 2 weeks in the mountains surviving until finally making it to a small village to call for help.

Then we have Final Fantasy there prized possession, you know the story of this game, with Final Fantasy 13 they basically took everything we adored about past FF games, ripped it out of the game. It was a stripped down FF game which goal was to appeal to a bigger audience because of how easy it looked and played. They thought walking door corridor A to B, adding it cutscenes and saves would appeal to a bigger audience but it didn't, all they did was p*** off their already established audience while bringing in a bunch of people who didn't like FF games for what they were. Now what would you rather have a huge, happy existing audience or a mostly p***** off existing audience with a bunch new members.

Capcom does the same thing and I seem to be thinking that most Japanese companies are getting a little desperate for money so they are trying to copy the west instead of sticking at what they can already do even better.

gamer78041176d ago

Totally agree especially with tombraider. Nothing like its predecessors

Moe-Gunz1176d ago

I agree with what you said except for Tomb Raider. No doubt it's not like the old ones, but I liked it way better because it told a good story. How Lara became Lara. I think the sequel needs more exploring now because she's no longer just a survivor, but now an archaeologist-adventurer. The reboot made sense to me since it was basically the creation of her. Not everything has to stick to its roots. However, Thief definitely should have. Hitman wasn't that bad. Final Fantasy is now "inconsistent".

Square definitely needs to pick things up.

-Foxtrot1176d ago

"How Lara became Lara"

That's the thing....it's not "our" Lara. It's someone totally different.

It's Lara alright...but it's not the Lara in Tomb Raider 1-3 or even Legends/Underworld which despite changing things around still had a similar backstory/origin.

"basically the creation of her"

Except it's not "her" as we know. So really how she became "Lara" holds no substance since we've never seen a grown up version of this Lara Croft and what this Lara Croft becomes as it's a totally different backstory/origin.

Think of the Devil May Cry reboot, totally different origin story which gives us a totally different Dante. Is this the Dante we play as in DMC 1-4...of course not. So that dmc game isn't really how Dante became the guy who played in DMC 1-4 as it's a totally different Dante

Confusing I know....but do you get what I mean.

Tomb Raider was Uncharted with small open Hubs instead of chapters. It was on steroids most of the time, the amount of shit Lara went through in that game, the near death experiences, her getting hurt, the death QTE were more then what Nathan Drake went through in ALL three games. It was over the top and didn't fit Tomb Raider at all.

This basically changed the core mechanics of the gameplay to a third person shooter instead of a puzzle game with third person shooter elements. Hell the game had regenerating health, the one thing they could of taken from the old games to the reboot and they discarded it. The health system should of been like the Last of Us, you find health packs, like the ones in the old game or you make them yourself.

I mean like I said I don't see what was wrong with the origins of classic Lara.

The Himalayas are a massive place and they could of used the same kind of structure with smaller hubs. There could of been wild predators, human hunters who live in the mountains and eat anything, then you have the mountains it's self....the amount of secrets and hidden tombs that she could of found, and in the process of trying to escape she could of found her self right in the middle of a tomb for some ancient treasure which sparks her interest in the end when she gets rescued to do it again. The last scene of that game would basically be her wandering into a local village, badly bruised, cut and bloody as she makes one call to I'm guessing her butler at the mansion to pick her up.

Moe-Gunz1176d ago

The new Tomb Raider story has nothing much to do with the old ones. I understand if you want to play as the old version of Lara, but that's why you can still play those games. Your entire premise to your rebuttal reply is based off of latching onto the old Lara. This is like comics where a different series has a different take/origin.

"That's the thing....it's not "our" Lara. It's someone totally different."

What you mean by "our" Lara? You mean the old one? Well time to move on man. This is a reboot/new take. Personally feel the new Lara is a more developed character.

"Except it's not "her" as we know. So really how she became "Lara" holds no substance since we've never seen a grown up version of this Lara Croft and what this Lara Croft becomes as it's a totally different backstory/origin."

You failed to understand what I meant. The girl in the reboot is a girl. She isn't the legend Lara will become (this is the one similarity to the old ones. We know Lara will be come a legend adventurer). Although, she won't become Lara of the old games because this is a different take, She will become a legend. Just like how different comic origins exist, Batman is still in a sense Batman.

I can understand if you prefer the old versions. That's a matter of taste. As far as the mechanics, I felt this one was about survival and Lara seeing things she never saw before. The sequel I feel is where the exploration should come into fruition.

Change can help or hurt a franchise. The reboot actually saved this one in my opinion. As far as the others on the list; not so much.

I respect your opinion.

-Foxtrot1176d ago (Edited 1176d ago )

@Moe-Gunz

I don't think I'm getting confused over what you said. I was only replying to that and saying those things because you said "How Lara became Lara". You were implying in your comment above that it's a good game because we how Lara became Lara yet what I'm trying to get across is that it's not Lara we've known in the past. Since the two Laras are different we aren't really seeing how Lara became Lara as new Lara will grow up into a totally different character.

"Personally feel the new Lara is a more developed character."

Not really

I mainly prefer the old ones because she had a better back story then this game. This game features some really bad development to her. I know the backstory of the old Lara was told in comics and manuals but it made more sense in my opinion. Surviving a plane crash only to find out it's killed your parents and the love of your life, not to mention being standard in the middle of nowhere with not much survival skills. That would harden any person if you managed to survive.

In this game one minute she's crying over her first kill then she goes all Rambo having no problem killing enemy after enemy. I mean it's bad enough she has no problem killing more people without any more reactions but the fact she goes all commando on us taking down wave after wave of enemies, knowing how to use all these new guns. How did she know how to use them, where did she learn to do it, who taught her...it doesn't really go into that at all for being an origin tale.

The game never really built up to anything at all. It goes into it head first and rushes through it. You want to know why? Because they were too focused making this a third person, over the top action shooter instead of a puzzle game with third person shooter elements which could of slowly built up her character through the story. I mean they introduce all these characters with little personality instead of focusing on Lara herself.

I think the reboot saved it as Underworld was getting stale...but at what cost? In my opinion the cost was Tomb Raiders identity, they could of called it something else other then Tomb Raider and we wouldn't bat an eye lid.

"As far as the mechanics, I felt this one was about survival"

Again I have to disagree, it could of been a survival game but they didn't add any survival elements to the game. Like I said the health system would of been better with health packs, ammo should of been rare to find, you should of had to rely on stealth since she's just a young girl with little experience, other times she would get out of situations with pure luck, there wasn't enough of the hunting like the first mission with the deer etc.

You talk about comics and Batman but the thing your missing is that each version of Bruce Waynes backstory is similar, unlike this game which totally changes everything. That's why I don't mind the Legend/Underworld version of Lara since she's similar to the first Lara Croft and it still revolves around a plane going down in the Himalayas

Moe-Gunz1176d ago

"I was only replying to that and saying those things because you said "How Lara became Lara". You were implying in your comment above that it's a good game because we how Lara became Lara yet what I'm trying to get across is that it's not Lara we've known in the past."

Wrong I wasn't implying that. Simply think it's a great new origin story and a great way to kick of the new series. It's telling us how Lara is becoming (changed the wording to avoid confusion) Lara. Rather than telling us through reading manuals and crap.

"Not really

I mainly prefer the old ones because she had a better back story then this game. This game features some really bad development to her. I know the backstory of the old Lara was told in comics and manuals but it made more sense in my opinion. Surviving a plane crash only to find out it's killed your parents and the love of your life, not to mention being standard in the middle of nowhere with not much survival skills. That would harden any person if you managed to survive."

Having a good origin story on paper does not = a more developed character. The new Lara is portrayed better. You go through so much to the point you begin to understand why Lara is going to become who she will eventually be. The character goes through a range of emotions. She grows from a kid to a strong survivor.

"In this game one minute she's crying over her first kill then she goes all Rambo having no problem killing enemy after enemy."

It's a video game after all. She doesn't go rambo in the cutscenes, the player does.

"Again I have to disagree, it could of been a survival game but they didn't add any survival elements to the game. Like I said the health system would of been better with health packs, ammo should of been rare to find, you should of had to rely on stealth since she's just a young girl with little experience, other times she would get out of situations with pure luck, there wasn't enough of the hunting like the first mission with the deer etc."

I agree here. What I meant when I said mechanics was that puzzles didn't seem to fit into the overall story. It was mainly about survival not exploring. However, they could have executed in the gameplay mechanics better to push that point.

"You talk about comics and Batman but the thing your missing is that each version of Bruce Waynes backstory is similar, unlike this game which totally changes everything."

Yea right! So many comic characters have drastically different origins. Some even change ethnicity!

"That's why I don't mind the Legend/Underworld version of Lara since she's similar to the first Lara Croft and it still revolves around a plane going down in the Himalayas"

And she was stuck on an island? Basically the same premise here. Just what got her to an island with no surviving skills is different.

Again like what you want, but I'm free to like the new one more. It's a debate of opinions and taste. Sorry, but although I liked the old ones, the new one is much more appealing to me at this point. I'm excited to see where it goes.

-Foxtrot1176d ago (Edited 1176d ago )

"Again like what you want, but I'm free to like the new one more. It's a debate of opinions and taste."

...Urm, when did I say you weren't allowed to be free to like something else. We're discussing something

"It's a video game after all. She doesn't go rambo in the cutscenes, the player does"

Oh come on...in some of them she does, it doesn't matter if it's the player, they should of showed more scenes showing the development and slowly added more enemies in the game she had to take down. Bad story telling whether you like it or not and thats why the development of this Lara is pretty bad and rushed.

Anyway I feel like we are going in circles with the whole Lara thing

You keep saying things like

"How Lara became Lara"
"basically the creation of her."
"It's telling us how Lara is becoming Lara"
"to understand why Lara is going to become who she will eventually be."

Yet in other places you know that because this version of Lara is different she will grow up into a different Lara we played in the old games.

However you still phrase it like this game is made to show us Lara became Lara Croft we all know today, yet that Lara we all know today was the Lara from the old games.

We honestly don't have a clue what this version of Lara will be like grown up. She could be totally different in character because she's had a different back story, she'll still be a "Tomb Raider" but all that personality the other Lara had won't be seen here.. So really it's not a game showing how Lara becomes Lara because it's a totally different Lara Croft. We're just seeing a re-telling.

I'm sorry I just hate how people (not you...others) keep making out like this is like the official origin story for the Lara we all know and love when it's not.

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MrSwankSinatra1176d ago (Edited 1176d ago )

Thief was in development hell before square even purchased Eidos. When development shifted for square to oversee, the game ended up hemorrhaging so much money that they had no choice to release that turd to at least get some type of return back. Square let their western studios have creative control over all their projects whether it was from Hitman to Tomb raider or Deus Ex and some of them ended up being critically acclaimed, but some were just dry air.

mogwaii1176d ago

Seriously WAY to big a comment, do you really have that much time? And do you actually expect people to read all that?

Moe-Gunz1176d ago

Sick of long replies at this point. I'm saying how Lara became Lara because it's not just telling us a backstory, we get to play it and experience it. This version didn't start with her being an adventurer and later explore her past (something they could have done). It's starting with the one defining situation. So when I say Lara becoming Lara, i'm saying it's showing her development first. I'm not saying she'll become the Lara of pass games. It's not confusing what I'm saying. "Hey cool this version is going to start with a origin story" basically what I'm saying. Going this route we'll get to grow with the version of Lara they're creating. Therefore, showing how she'll become who we'll see in the sequels.

You can pick apart some issues with the new one and say it's poor storytelling. However, the old ones you can have a field day with.

"I'm sorry I just hate how people (not you...others) keep making out like this is like the official origin story for the Lara we all know and love when it's not."

Not everyone Love it remember. I know people who only like Lara because she was a hot bad a** female character and the games was cool. As far as story and character...they have no idea and don't care.

+ Show (2) more repliesLast reply 1176d ago
izumo_lee1176d ago

I would give Drakengard 3 a pass since the budget for that game is much much lower compared to Thief & Murdered Soul Suspect. The director of the game is even looking for work after finishing Drakengard.

ValKilmer1176d ago

You know the scary thing is what Square will even have on display at E3 this year. I mean KH3 and FF15 are still a ways off, so what is it going to boil down to this year? Kingdom Hearts 2.5 and Theatrhythm? At least they're Japanese, I suppose...

DEATHxTHExKIDx1176d ago

in addition to what u said maybe Tomb Raider 2, Deus Ex, Just Cause 3,Hitman, Bravely second? Personally I just want a FFXV release date or window and I'll be fine with whatever else they show.

MoveTheGlow1176d ago (Edited 1176d ago )

Square was in upheaval a while ago, and they've now had their new CEO for a short while past that point. Good games take years to make, and FF15 is the end of a project that started not under his watch. Since then, they've assembled a cabal of people in their company to talk about what worked in Final Fantasy in the past, and where they want to take it next - FF15 isn't even a part of that discussion.

It's pretty logical to me that they haven't had much to release lately - let's see what they announce this E3, but especially what they announce in 2015. Games - even those shiny demos that are often full of bullshots - take a long time to make and polish. They've obviously scrapped their past stuff and rebooted most of the company.

And they'd better start a new Chrono game. Come on. That IP is staring you in the face, Square!

MoveTheGlow1176d ago

Also, Bravely Default...