Last night Sasarai was going through the Al Bhed Home part of FFX, featuring someone repeatedly shouting something in Al Bhed through a loudspeaker. Of course I couldn’t understand what they were shouting (for all I know, it was “you can’t understand Al Bhed, lol”), but it sounded like “an annoyed hub”. We were joking about this, particularly that after a while it became annoyed players.
I wonder if the developers were trying to give us an authentic frustrated experience, or if they just didn’t realise how irritating the repetitive shouting would be. It’s a strange idea, to think that we might deliberately make entertainment annoying (unless perhaps it’s a toy for little kids, in which case it’s not the primary consumer being annoyed, anyway). It’s rather like how sometimes games need to evoke boredom or the passage of time, as when your character is locked in a jail cell or cast away on a raft; they want the player to have the idea that it’s boring, but not too boring. I suppose there is an art in trying to reach a balance where the game will evoke enough negative feeling to draw us into the story and make us feel as if we’ve gone through a lot, but not so much negative feeling that it stops being worth it for us to play through that part.
In other news, I picked up a gaming magazine yesterday, and it introduced me to a new series that Squenix is trying to establish to go along its old flagship titles of Final Fantasy and Dragon Warrior. That’s terribly ambitious, but also good news to me, because I like new series that are just starting up. If the developers are going to put a lot of energy into something that’s not constrained by prior series expectations, that makes me happy. It also seems that the plot is political, which I like because it feels very world-spanning without being so much of a calamity that one can’t really wrap one’s mind around the potential damage. It’s possible that I might be tempted into buying a PS3 for this game, if it is a success. I still want a Wii more, though.