TSM Episode 392: Burgers and Biscuits

Yay, a new Final Fantasy! Hmm, an action game? Ugh, playable party members only via season pass!?
Pictured: the series of emotions felt by someone playing Final Fantasy XV for the first time.

Download: Released 2016.09.05

Imitanis brings to the podcast a comprehensive knowledge of the many forms of biscuits; Caspius provides an American corollary with burgers, sausages, and pizza; and resident Aussie SiliconNooB provides the beer in this end-of-the-summer celebration.


  1. I did not read the Tabata interview because I’m just not interested in playing XV. But good god, the things discussed here, the quotes from that guy? I’m -glad- I’m not touching that thing. The man is a moron. Final Fantasy XIV, a bloody MMO, is more akin to Final Fantasy than anything I’ve played in the series since the turn of the millennium. What does that say about the competency of the devs at Square?

  2. Additionally I’d like to add that this reading has been another homerun. Much like Interview With the Vampire, I entered into it disinterested and wound up struggling not to rush out to buy a copy prematurely to the reading just to carry on.

    This is the only podcast I listen to where I anticipate being read to. Well done.

  3. @Wolfe: Thank you! The kind words are appreciated.

    What really upsets me about SE is not that they are butchering Final Fantasy XV in a rush towards some sort of modernist bottom. After all, virtually every big company is doing that. It is a function of becoming too big, spending too much money, and having too many people involved. What upsets me is that SE has demonstrated that they can fix the problem: their management of the FFXIV fiasco and the subsequent development of that game shows that with strong, clear leadership and an absolute remit of authority, great things can be done. And, their creation of Tokyo RPG Factory and the development of Setsuna shows that they are aware that properly funded small groups can make great games if they are realistic about their expectations.

    Except that these are both sideshows. SE does these things but does not take any of the lessons to heart with regard to its core operations. Instead, it blunders from making one mistake to making the same mistake again, only larger. That’s not excusable to the same degree. They aren’t just too big to survive like so many other companies: instead, they know what is wrong and they simply don’t resolve it.

  4. FFXIV is a treasure. I honestly can’t think of a better designed MMO at the moment. It’s got great balance, good content, and plenty of challenge.

    FFXV is going to be a disaster. And it doesn’t need to be.

    You don’t have to iterate the FF formula. Just give us a good story, memorable characters, turn-based battles, and pretty graphics. The plot can even be formulaic — group of Rebels must take down Evil Empire. Have us visit a snowy mountain, a beach, a fire cave, and a ninja village. Make us learn to summon monsters. Someone has to kill and Ogopogo for a sword. Some nonsense about crystals.

    Boom. License to print money.

  5. @Lane: I think I may have mentioned this on SN’s news post, but that is what is so frustrating for me. SE has all the ingredients to do well. They even have the recipe. But they have a lot of cooks who have determined to throw all of the ingredients and recipes away in favour of making mud pies. The whole thing is infuriating.

  6. I got to thinking about this earlier today.

    I think the problem is that the FFXV game directors feel too hampered by that formula. They want to somehow surpass what has been done before, to broaden their project. I suppose, as a matter of artistic merit, that’s a worthy endeavor.

    However, as a practical concern, it leads to things like Lightning showing up at fashion week. And it’s just like, eh, no, you missed. You swung for the fences, but you fucking whiffed it.

    If I were an artist, I would understand the desire to create something uniquely your own, to leave your own touch on the world. But, if you’re tapped to present the latest version of a hugely successful entertainment franchise, maybe check the ego at the door? It’s the same reason why auteur directors don’t get tapped by Disney to make a new Marvel or Star Wars movie. The suggestion is, “listen, shit-for-brains, all you have to do is do the same thing as everyone else, just slightly newer, and we can grind up $100 bills and snort them off naked interns until we can’t see straight.” And that’s a perfectly valid choice for consumer entertainment. I never pick up a FF title thinking, “I wonder if this will leave as profound a mark on me as the first time I heard the Prelude in Parsifal?” Because of course it won’t, and who says it should?

    So if Hajime Tabata wants to create a grand work of art that redefines what it means to play video games, then I’m all for that… but maybe Square-Enix shouldn’t give him carte blanche to do that with their signature property? Go give a director who will play ball the helm for the money-making game, and let Tabata run wild with some cast-off staff at Tokyo RPG Factory or something.

  7. @Lane: Exactly. This is what SN and I were banging on about when the demo first came out. If they want to make this game, fine. Make it. But don’t call it Final Fantasy because it is not a Final Fantasy game, and it is irresponsible towards fans to try and turn Final Fantasy into something else.

    “I never pick up a FF title thinking, “I wonder if this will leave as profound a mark on me as the first time I heard the Prelude in Parsifal?” Because of course it won’t, and who says it should?”
    I doubt any game will ever deliver that kind of experience, and to answer your question: it shouldn’t, for exactly the same reason that no Cricket match should ever deliver that kind of experience. Likewise, no opera should ever deliver the kind of experience I got from watching Jimmy Anderson trying to bat out a draw at Headingley against Sri Lanka only to fall to the penultimate ball of the match.

    These are different mediums and they work in totally different ways, and hence deliver different results to the participants/audience–it is a matter of using the right tool for the right job, where the medium is the tool and the job is the desired effect in the partaking entity. Simples.

  8. And what you’re dealing with is a cricket bowler who wants to be conducting the LSO.

    Which, I get it. I too have dreamed above what natural allotment of talent was given me. But at some point sober reality tapped me on the shoulder and reminded me, which is what I think these “rockstar” game devs are starting to forget.

Comments are closed.