Friday, May 24, 2013

Game Design: Parasite Eve and Final Fantasy 8

To start off, I REALLY like this book.  3/4 of the book is scientific explanations and analysis of mitochondria, with a few flashbacks and some plot. However, that means that last quarter becomes absolutely terrifying because you know EXACTLY what is going on with the characters because of the science behind it.  And, really, who thought mitochondria could be so fascinating? 

Apparently, someone at Square Enix liked the book too.  Enough to make a semi sequel to it in the form of the game, Parasite Eve.

Now, there is another reason why they made the game.  You see, while Final Fantasy VII had done extraordinarily well, they wanted to change things when creating Final Fantasy VIII, such as a new area, a new magic system, and - most importantly- a new graphical overview.  Add in a desire for a greater understanding of how the PS1 system worked, and Square Soft realized they needed to make an entirely new series. 

Now, this isn't a completely original idea.  Many companies have done this before and since.  Most recently, Atlus decided to create "Catherine" in order to explore the PS3 capabilities and other gameplay options.  If the game fails, they don't damage their main series (Final Fantasy, SMT/Persona, etc).  If it works, well, they have a new series.  Square Enix did it again for the DS.  The World Ends With You exists because they wanted to know how the DS runs before they created Kingdom Hearts 358/2.  TWEWY and 358/2 are games that involve heavy use of both screens, contrasting to something like Final Fantasy 3 has a more static bottom screen and Final Fantasy 4 only uses the bottom screen to display maps or battle stats, depending on the situation.    

So, that's why there is a game called Parasite Eve and this terrifying book is allowed to live on.  Square Soft wanted to make sure they got the tech right for Final Fantasy VIII.

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