Yesterday while meandering through the aisles of the game store, searching for something to play now that we have finished Final Fantasy XII, we found Final Fantasy VII: The Dirge of Cerebrus. The story line takes place after the events of FFVII and FF Advent Children. Same beautiful animation, the tale of yet another character in the massive narrative that is the Final Fantasy dynasty but with a different type of gameplay. For some it is a welcome change, and for others not so much:
Dirge of Cerberus tells the interesting story of a memorable video game character, but beyond that it’s nothing more than a very generic shooter. (www.gamespot.com)
As a very novice player of the FF series, I enjoy watching the game more than I do playing it (I have always had a hard time managing one character, let alone 4!). Last night, as my partner was playing the game in the living room, my daughters and I watching the cinematics between battles, I started to wonder about a few things.
In a game as complex as any of the Final Fantasy games, where one can complete the game per se but with only 53% completion rate, what does that do for the cinematics/cut scenes? In the class I took with Bernard Perron last year at the Universite de Montreal (Cinema, jeu video et fiction interactif), there was discussion about the use and purpose of cut scenes within the context of game-play.
I wonder – are the cut scenes dependent on your play choices in a series such as FF or do the cut scenes drive your play choics? If cut scenes were there to drive the narrative of the play along, but you can complete the game, with (i believe) the same ending at 53% or 99%, what role does your play really … play? By taking different play paths in the game, are the cinematics organized differently? Or does the play navigate the player to the relevant cut scene to further the narrative? How many scenes were missed if I finish the game at 53% and what extras do I get at 99%? And do they even matter if the narrative winds the same way at either percentage to the same final scene? I don’t know if this really makes sense – please feel free to clarify – by all means actually!
Finally – as a spectator, we enjoy the cut scenes in the Final Fantasy series, and for us (my daughter’s and I) we often urge my partner to hurry up and get to the end of the fight so we can see what is next, I wonder if there are online versions of each games cut scenes sewn together to make a film of sorts. And if so, how congruent are they (or would they be) in this case?