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Kingdom Hearts II Sells A Million 61

Opposable Thumbs reports that Kingdom Hearts 2 has sold a million copies here in the states. From the article: "Squeenix deserved this home run, and it'll be interesting to see how well Final Fantasy XII does in America after its perfect score in Japan, but lukewarm reception of the demo in North America. Even with Final Fantasy there are no guarantees, and Squeenix has to be glad they have another high-performing franchise under their belt so that the big-haired emo kids of FF don't have the burden of the entire company on their shoulders." It really does get better after the first two hours.
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Kingdom Hearts II Sells A Million

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  • Snobbery and RPGs (Score:5, Interesting)

    by medeii ( 472309 ) on Wednesday May 03, 2006 @05:43PM (#15257631)

    OK, so in the last story, people wondered why KH2 was selling so well. I responded that the sales were for two reasons:

    1. There's been a dearth of other RPGs worth buying, for the past year
    2. KH2 is a well-made game

    Most of the people responding to that comment figured that I either was simply unaware of, or ignoring, so many other games. (I was ignoring them, since they didn't hold any interest for me; most of them were not high sellers, indicating that they didn't hold any interest for a lot of other people too.) Several posters took it upon themselves to bash the Kingdom Hearts series as "not [a] real RPG", claiming that despite battle systems, experience points, and a distinct leveling system -- nah, they don't qualify. Final Fantasy -- arguably one of the largest RPG franchises in the world -- was quickly brought up as the "RPG for wimps."

    So here are my questions:

    • Why are RPGers so snobbish about what games they'll call an RPG?
    • Why are people like me, who prefer storyline, graphics, music, and "fun" gameplay over interminable level-grinding and cheap-move boss fights, so disdained?
    • What unique qualities make an RPG different from other games?
  • Re:Snobbery and RPGs (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Valdrax ( 32670 ) on Wednesday May 03, 2006 @06:25PM (#15257986)
    Why are RPGers so snobbish about what games they'll call an RPG?

    Welcome to the world of geekdom, where people have screaming arguments over whether vi or emacs is a better editor, what sci-fi series is best, and how any product that you like that competes with a product they like is a clear sign of your moral and mental inferiority.

    Gamers who like one type of game frequently disparage the other types because of same sort of stupid pride that leads to platform and editor flamewars. Rather than admit that we all like different games and that that's okay, they'd rather go off about how people who enjoy something they don't are idiots.

    This is unfortunately human nature and is only curable with maturity.

    There's a site called The Forge [] that's been wrestling with what is an RPG (for table-top gamers) for a while that's come up with a good broad three categories for game types: Narrativist, Simulationist, and Gamist.

    Narrativist games focus on a story.
    Simulationist games focus on exploration.
    Gamist games focus on overcoming challenges.

    The main emphasis of The Forge for table-top gamers is to point out that games (and gaming groups) that try to satisfy everyone tend to satisfy no one and to increase awareness of alternative playstyles for people stuck in games that they find disatisfying.

    Eastern / console RPGs are narrativist games that focus primarily on the telling of a good story and in getting you emotionally involved in the plot. Western / PC RPGs are simulationist games that have an open-ended world to explore and let you shape a character into anything you want. The only purely gamist games with little emphasis on plot and exploration might be a few Strategy RPGs like Fire Emblem and Makai Kingdom and some action RPGs like Shining Tears. All RPGs have some element of all three play styles, but all workable RPGs tend to strongly reward one of the three player goals over the others.

    People just need to recognize that tastes differ and quit falling back on the "no true Scotsman" argument.
  • Re:Snobbery and RPGs (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Jerf ( 17166 ) on Wednesday May 03, 2006 @08:06PM (#15258681) Journal
    What unique qualities make an RPG different from other games?

    Call me an RPG fundamentalist. A Role-Playing Game is a game where the primary focus is on you playing the role of some kind of human-type thing. It is not a binary distinction, it is a continuum.

    On the far non-RPG end, we have things like puzzle games. Tetris is not an RPG. Quake is not an RPG, because it's about blowing things up. Something like Half-Life gets a little RPG-ness; I've never played it so I don't know how much but I get the impression it's mostly a shooter. Old-school adventure games are not RPGs, they're about the puzzles, not the role.

    On the far RPG end, we have things like Planescape: Torment where you play a very open-ended character with many distinct decisions to be made.

    (The hypothetical perfect RPG would be simply an alternate world with no particular storyline, merely potential storylines. This doesn't exist right now, really, although Second Life probably comes closest.)

    The reason I give a bit of an advantage to the RPGs where you can choose the roles is you get more Role per Game, but there is nothing "wrong" with something like FFX, it just has one "Role", which certainly qualifies as a Role-Playing Game.

    Combat mechanics are certainly extremely common, but ultimately unnecessary; you can have RPGs that have no traditional combat, or have FPS-style combat, or other things.

System checkpoint complete.