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Idea Factory: The Devil of RPG Makers?

HGH

Banned
Aug 6, 2014
1,196
0
0
First things first, apologies for the title, I couldn't come up with a better idea.

Ah, Idea Factory. Who hasn't heard the name? Well, quite a few people I'd assume, despite its notoriety. So, a brief history of the company that not too long ago celebrated its 20th birthday.
Founded in 1994 by ex-Data East employees, the company has been churning out RPGs and female-oriented visual novels ever since, sometimes releasing upwards of 20 titles a year. A great majority of these titles were Japan exclusive; after all they were, and still remain, super low budget and rather niche products. While more active back in the 90s and early 2000s, IdeaFactory still make quite a lot of games these days, but mostly defers to its left and right hand associates/subsidiaries: Design Factory(who makes VNs and other female-oriented products for the Otomate label), and Compile Heart.

Oh, here's another name that should ring a few bells (maybe alarm bells for some too). Good ol' Compile Heart. Rumor has it that by 2006, the IdeaFactory brand name had quite a few negative connotations, so what better way to escape them than by creating a new identity? And lo and behold, Compile Heart was born, taking the reigns of game development as a subsidiary of IF, who did the publishing. Now, outside of having the old CEO of Compile heading the company, Compile Heart had nothing to do with the original Compile, who made many classic shmups, RPGs and the Puyo Puyo series. Well, up till 2012 anyway, when said CEO retired of old age and Compile Heart acquired the rights to all the old Compile games and began digital distribution of them in Japan (save for PuyoPuyo, still owned by Sega).

Alright, enough of the history lesson. So Compile Heart, and by association IdeaFactory, make a lot of RPGs (and also DS games for children but those don't really matter here). Low budget RPGs. Sexualized male-oriented RPGs. Bad RPGs. Or at least that's the general impression.
Some of the most common features of these games include overly complex mechanics (or by contrast very simple ones), reliance on grinding, reliance on sexualization, throwaway plots, asset reuse, and so on. Quite the melting pot of negativity. And yet the company still trucks on as if unaffected, successful in the west and east, quite to the chagrin of a few. You'll often hear comments to the tune of "Why'd they localize CH games instead of game X or Y?", "IdeaFactory, more like IdeaFuck", and my favourite "Compile Heart is giving RPGs a bad rep!". And you still get your Neptunias, Agarests, curry, and other assorted moe games.

So at some point, IdeaFactory/CompileHeart became the end-all be-all of all negative RPG traits. "Ugh, why is FireEmblem pandering like CompileHeart trash", "Man SMTXFE looks like some shitty IdeaFactory game", "Don't compare game X to IdeaFactory, it's way better than that!", "I'd rather have a million Lightning games than more of those games"... You get the point.
The thing here is, IdeaFactory has been playing it safe for around a decade now. Reuse assets to lower production costs (although asset recycling should not be mistaken for such a negative thing as it can be used cleverly), have low poly models that don't fully utilize the hardware they're on, make heavy use of VN sequences instead of actual cutscenes, target hardcore Japanese niches that will guarantee you sales (and maybe get a couple bucks from the west too). And hey, it worked. They're still in business, and doing better than ever since Comcept gave them a boost a while back.

So here's the question. Is the reputation of IF/CH as some evil company ruining RPGs deserved? Should they be blamed for playing it safe and pandering to that small loyal audience to get guaranteed sales? Should they go make more mainstream(and better quality) stuff?

Personally I feel like this whole issue is severely overblown by internet hyperbole. Ignoring the quality of their games for a moment, here's their top sales for 2014 (many thanks to the Media Create Thread and hiska-kun):
20. Compile Heart
Total Software: 278.138

01. [PSV] Genkai Totsuki Moero Chronicle # <RPG> (Compile Heart) {2014.05.15} (¥7.344) - 61.024
02. [PSV] Hyperdimension Action Neptunia U # <ACT> (Compile Heart) {2014.08.28} (¥6.458) - 45.481
03. [PSV] Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth 2: Sisters Generation # <RPG> (Compile Heart) {2014.03.20} (¥6.090) - 42.398
04. [PSV] Chou Megami Shinkou Noire: Gekishin Black Heart # <SLG> (Compile Heart) {2014.05.29} (¥7.344) - 40.654
05. [PSV] Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth 3: V Century # <RPG> (Compile Heart) {2014.12.18} (¥6.264) - 30.455
Hardly impressive. Any other company would be bankrupted by such small numbers. Supposedly their games sell better in the west, but that could be attributed to the larger overall market.
This isn't to say that the company is blameless. On the contrary, they're rather subpar compared to many other producers, albeit showing signs of improvement here and there. And yet I can't find it in me to condemn people that enjoy their games.

The above FireEmblem/SMT quotes seem to highlight a minor move towards IF's sort of elements in more mainstream games (or well, as mainstream as an SRPG can get). A shift that's rather disliked by some in the west. Intelligent Systems, when faced with the threat of closure (EDIT: I was corrected here, IS were not being closed but would simply stop making FE games if their next one did not sell well), used some of those elements(although mildly) and found success. Should they be blamed for doing that? Or maybe it's the Japanese audience's fault for not buying "normal" games? After all these elements are still niche stuff. This isn't as much a shift in consumer preferences over there so much as general disinterest for video games at hand.

So yeah. Interested in hearing opinions. Sorry if I didn't make much sense or rambled on at parts. Please feel free to point any errors or fallacies I made.
 

ActuallyHulk

Banned
Jun 19, 2014
1,209
0
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As someone who has enjoyed JRPGs since the SNES days, they are my sworn enemy. It's not even because it offends my sensibilities due to fanservice, it's because they feel like a soulless product that was pumped out from, well, a factory. I don't mind fanservice one bit so it says something when I played Neptunia on PS3 for an hour and suddenly I was waking up the next morning. What a bore.

And this is coming from someone who is very much anticipating SMTxFE. That's their thing though and if it works for them then it works for them and there's really nothing anybody can do for it. Not my thing though.
 

YianGaruga

Banned
Jun 1, 2009
25,236
0
0
Germany
They make low-ish budget games that are fun and sell well enough for them to continue operation. Compared to many other Japanese publishers they seem to know how to run a company and know their audience at least. The negative impressions about their games are extremely hyperbolic.
Neptunia games are good and fun, Moe Chronicle is a decent DRPG. If the themes don't appeal to you you're free to ignore them. I have absolutely no idea why people hate the company so much.

I'm not sure what else there is to say.
 

Mailbox

Member
May 3, 2014
4,815
0
0
Canada
Well, Idea factory did give us 2 of the worst anime ova's in existence
mars of destruction and Skelter Heaven
so... yeah... they aren't in the happy fun box side of my brain.

That said, didn't know there was hate for the hyperdimension games.
 

Durante

Member
Oct 1, 2006
48,836
1
0
peter.metaclassofnil.com
Some of the Compile Heart branded games are pretty fun. Particularly the Neptunia series.

And Idea Factory International does better at creating decent PC ports than far larger Japanese companies. Seriously.
 

Percy

Banned
Apr 29, 2014
5,273
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I haven't really played a lot of their titles outside of the Neptunia series, but I gotta say, fanservicey or no... those games are usually pretty enjoyable. Highly unambitious design wise and low budget obviously, but with the exception of the piece of shit first game it's a series I've gotten fairly fond of.
 

CaviarMeths

Member
Mar 20, 2015
7,428
1
0
I know CH/IF have a following here, so I'll watch what I say.

But yeah, I think their games are ass, but I wouldn't go so far as to accuse them of "ruining" RPGs. Their products are incredibly niche and sell to an incredibly small audience. They ain't affecting shit on the grand scale. What Idea Factory does has absolutely no bearing on the industry as a whole.

They can exist and keep catering to their audience without any negative impact. People who like their games are going to keep buying them and supporting the company, and that's totally fine. They'll keep doing what they do and the more "acclaimed" and broadly appealing RPG houses will keep doing what they do.

The sad part is those who get left behind. Imageepoch may not have been trailblazers of 7th Gen RPGs, but it's still a shame to see them eat dirt. Isn't NIS in some trouble too?
 

2+2=5

The Amiga Brotherhood
Jul 28, 2011
12,406
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0
OP i really don't see the problem, i don't like sexual fanservice too but as you yourself said: "Hardly impressive. Any other company would be bankrupted by such small numbers", this means that other companies are not using fanservice because it made IF/CH rich, but because it's a general trend in small-medium japanese games especially if new ip or aimed to japan.

If someone favorite jrpg series is becoming bad its developers are the only ones to blame, not IF/CH, it would be a wrong and meaningless witch hunt.
 

Northwest

Banned
Mar 11, 2015
28
0
0
I don't really understand, are you complaining that they survive by making low budget games ?

Do they really "ruin" RPGs ? I was under the impression that the only persons that actually say that were some American bloggers. I mean how can you ruin an entire genre with sales that low ?
 

jzbluz

Member
Oct 27, 2013
1,240
0
0
I think the only RPG of theirs I've played was Spectral Souls, and it wasn't that bad? I haven't really been interested in their other stuff, apart from their Otoges.
 

SolidSnakex

Member
Jun 7, 2004
85,527
1
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So here's the question. Is the reputation of IF/CH as some evil company ruining RPGs deserved?
Who exactly thinks that? They're an extremely niche studio that found a small fanbase that they appeal to. But they're still small and their games don't sell enough. There's no way in hell that they have any real influence on other studios because of just how little their games sell. If anyone does think that, then it's just a case of someone being bothered by something that really has no impact on them. They're a studio that you can easily ignore if you want to.
 

Kudo

Member
Nov 11, 2014
4,589
7
340
This is the internet, everything is blown out of proportions.
Personally I love most of the Idea Factory/Compile Heart games and I will keep buying them cause I really enjoy them, when someone says otherwise:
 

Rymuth

Member
Jun 8, 2014
15,301
2
0
"Don't hate the player, hate the game."

This is apt for the situation because this company knows their strengths/weaknesses and play to them, the know their audience and they are thriving because they cater to them.

And as Durante said, they make good PC ports.

In an age where Japanese developers appear to be running around in circles, Idea factory should be commended for having their heads screwed on right even if they don't cater to one's tastes.
 

LayLa

Member
Feb 7, 2011
2,326
0
485
Only game I tried was the original Neptunia on PS3. Gave up after 2 hours, everything about it was so janky and poorly made. I've heard the sequels improved things a lot but that terrible first impression has put me off investigating further.
 

Fisico

Member
Jul 9, 2012
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425
Japan
twitter.com
Hardly impressive. Any other company would be bankrupted by such small numbers.
Well actually there are a few others companies which make a profit by selling 10k games.
Sales is not the only primary indicator when you want to know if a game is profitable,

Regarding IF/CH well, they have their fanbase and their games are selling rather steadily in Japan, good for them but like most of us here I don't give a single crap about any of their production.
The bashing you mention is rather exagerated though, of course it's lower production values than almost any other game, so what? Everyone know it and it's not like they are pretending it's not the case.
Fanservice may be something they rely on a lot, I honestly have no idea, but I don't think it's their games which have any influence over others bigger JRPG, or if it's the case the problem is that bigger seller/production values are influenced by <50k sellers lol.
 

Durante

Member
Oct 1, 2006
48,836
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peter.metaclassofnil.com
In an age where Japanese developers appear to be running around in circles, Idea factory should be commended for having their heads screwed on right even if they don't cater to one's tastes.
I was about to post something like that as well.

Whatever you think of their games, the fact remains that while other Japanese developers were/are whining about how hard HD is, how hard consoles are, or how hard PC ports are IF just creates games.
 

system11

Member
Jun 28, 2013
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blog.system11.org
They make low-ish budget games that are fun and sell well enough for them to continue operation.
This covers it perfectly.

I like their games, they cheer me up, they're solid basic fun and I know exactly what I'm going to get. Some of the writing is legitimately funny, the actual games are slowly improving for example the Omega Quintet battle system is legitimately interesting favouring well planned short battles (even against bosses) vs a long drawn out traditional war of attrition.

They are part of the middle ground which has so sadly been lost in recent times, as such I find them a company that give me some amount of hope in gaming going forward.
 

YianGaruga

Banned
Jun 1, 2009
25,236
0
0
Germany
They also manage to release physical copies of their games more or less simultaneously in the EU and US. Something that Atlus or even bigger companies can't do to this day because "wahh wahh EU ratings and cert and production and stuff"

And yeah their PC ports are very good.

They deserve the success for those two alone.

This covers it perfectly.

I like their games, they cheer me up, they're solid basic fun and I know exactly what I'm going to get. Some of the writing is legitimately funny, the actual games are slowly improving for example the Omega Quintet battle system is legitimately interesting favouring well planned short battles (even against bosses) vs a long drawn out traditional war of attrition.

They are part of the middle ground which has so sadly been lost in recent times, as such I find them a company that give me some amount of hope in gaming going forward.
Yep. Their games are not some huge stroy driven adventures, but they're just games that play well and are fun and happy. Too many people hate fun apparently.
 

donutzsick

Member
Feb 5, 2013
940
0
0
Nice op, i didn't expect it to be as neutral as it is. Also for the people asking the OP what his complaints are, I don't think he is really picking a side or complaining but is asking for a genuine discussion.

Idea factory definitely doesn't deserve the rep. The fact that people keep bringing it up as the "this is what is wrong with JRPGs" is because idea factory actually puts out RPGs. The real anger towards the state or JRPGs should be on the companies that USED to make JRPGs but no longer are making them or funding them the way they did during ps2 and earlier. People who don't like idea factory for the skeeve, fair enough but because of how niche the company is they shouldn't really blame idea factory for the industry.

Omega Quintet is by many accounts really fun (i haven't gotten to play it yet) and neptunia and moero are really funny and entertaining. I'm a big idea factory fan and supporter because they never fail to make me smile, and i can always rely on them for new games. ALSO consistent and quick localization and excellent limited editions.
 

N.A

Banned
Jun 6, 2007
3,250
0
0
I'm enjoying Hyperdimension: Neptunia Rebirth1 on PC and Omega Quintet on PS4...

I'm glad there is still a place for smaller, niche developers in the industry.

And as has been said, the PC ports are excellent.
 

jonno394

Member
May 28, 2010
10,069
2
705
I've only dabbled in the Neptunia series (rebirth 1 and 2, U and Noire) and Omega Quintet (gave up after a while) and they're good fun. Nothing wrong wit the games and they're harmless really.
 

YianGaruga

Banned
Jun 1, 2009
25,236
0
0
Germany
Seriously the (misguided) hate that IF and CH gets should be directed towards Square Enix, Capcom, Konami, Bandai Namco and whoever else there is for

a) stopping to make decently budgeted games that won't ruin your company

and

b) never brining tons of promising games to the west for whatever reason and relying on the japanese market alone
 

Kresnik258

Member
Jan 25, 2014
9,210
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*shrug*

I don't see how it affects things really. Idea Factory continuing or not continuing to exist isn't suddenly going to make Breath of Fire 6 a console game or revive Wild ARMs from its absence.

To be honest, I'm pretty glad a company like them exists to make low-budget stuff. Personally, I have no interest whatsoever in pandering nonsense but I'm not affected in the way that some people are in that they can't even see it in a game without heaving. I can take it or leave it so long as there's not too much of it. So I've played through a number of Compile Heart games with it in just as JRPG's and you know... they weren't perfect, but I had a lot of fun playing them.

(It's still a little much for me in games like Moe Chronicle or Monster Monpiece though, so I skipped those games).

One other thing - they're getting better too. Compare the original Neptunia to Re;birth 1. Worlds apart. Fairy Fencer F was - I felt - a big step up in terms of story-telling too.

So yeah. Not even that I have no problem with them, I actually quite like having them around.
 

Falk

that puzzling face
Aug 26, 2013
20,818
0
0
www.vgo-online.com
I'm enjoying Hyperdimension: Neptunia Rebirth1 on PC and Omega Quintet on PS4...

I'm glad there is still a place for smaller, niche developers in the industry.

And as has been said, the PC ports are excellent.
I get that fanservice can be offputting, especially in a franchise where it makes up a large portion of the appeal. Bolded part on the other hand is why I wish them success. In an industry that laments the death of mid-tier developers, Idea Factory is succesfully budgeting and creating games that apparently turn enough of a profit to continue to do so.

They might not tell a story that's engaging in a way that's engaging to some, but the games aren't fundamentally broken (Well, outside of non-rebirth1 OG Neptunia which was by and large a huge mess) and as mentioned the PC ports are competent.
 

OuterLimits

Member
Apr 25, 2014
2,485
1
310
Virginia
I actually enjoy some Idea Factory games. Especially the first two Agarest games. First one is better than Zero though. I haven't played Agarest 2 although I have the game. I heard the battle system is super complicated?

They teamed up with Sting and made Generations of Chaos: Pandora's Reflection which also happens to be a really good game. Extremely low budget, but the battles are fun and the story is actually quite good. I still play it on my PSP at times.

Haven't played any of their other games though.
 

Uthred

Member
Nov 24, 2011
5,894
0
440
Ireland
The argument that Idea Factory are somehow to blame for the downfall of RPG's (which in translation generally means they are to blame for making the games the speaker dislikes) doesnt really seem to hold up. They are objectively a small developer making niche games that sell small numbers to a dedicated fanbase. Unless their dedicated fanbase includes the game designers of larger companies RPG's how can anyone realistically assign them this sinister influence they apparently have over the entire genre? Idea Factory games might, at worse, be emblematic of the type of rpg elements the speaker dislikes but its patently obvious they dont have the influence to ruin anything.
 
Jun 19, 2013
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I think you've got cause and effect the wrong way round. Yes, CH/IF published games don't sell a lot, but that's not because of the style the games take on.

Instead of "because of their style, these games don't sell a lot", it's probably more "because these games don't sell a lot, they have this style".

In other words, regardless of their perceived quality as raw RPGs (which the fans or converted don't tend to care about anyway), their unique flavour and style means they will always drag in a certain subset of the audience.

Intelligent Systems adopting that for Fire Emblem means they'll bump up the sales by an amount that's more than likely to justify the switch.

Ironically, Fire Emblem If and Codename: S.T.E.A.M. are polar opposites in this respect. The former is Intelligent Systems styling the game to appeal to focus groups and business needs, given the success of Fire Emblem Awakening.

The latter tends to be criticised for looking ugly and dismissed solely on its art style, despite Intelligent Systems doing whatever they wanted with it. It's a rare case of Intelligent Systems stepping outside of their comfort zone from a game-design standpoint, and it's really interesting, but I wonder whether it would have had more appeal if it had different art direction.
 

YianGaruga

Banned
Jun 1, 2009
25,236
0
0
Germany
They're not ruining JRPGs (they have nowhere near enough influence) but that doesn't mean that they aren't a shitstain of a game developer.
See this is the kind of language I don't get when it comes to IF. What makes you say things like that? Did they kill you dog or something?
In other words, regardless of their perceived quality as raw RPGs (which the fans or converted don't tend to care about anyway).
What do you mean?
 
Jun 19, 2013
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The general consensus among the unconverted (to their games) is that people who buy their games aren't particularly interested in their raw quality as RPGs, relative to the RPGs they could be playing.

Which, if true, certainly validates the direction (in terms of pandering to a certain audience) that they take, once you step away from more obvious things like game design and the quality of the programming,

Anecdotally speaking, Omega Quintet has superficial idol elements added into it, which certainly got my attention. But I'm not sure I'd have bothered to look into it if it didn't. Same goes for Sorcery Saga.
 

Sir TapTap

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Jun 17, 2014
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Just finished Neptunia Victory 2 and had a damn blast despite not understanding the story or most of the jokes. People have shit taste and just hate either low budget Japanese stuff "because anime", are incapable of understanding parody (amazingly common in regards to Neptunia) or just know Compile Heart as something it's cool to hate.

The general consensus among the unconverted (to their games) is that people who buy their games aren't particularly interested in their raw quality as RPGs, relative to the RPGs they could be playing.

Which, if true, certainly validates the direction (in terms of pandering to a certain audience) that they take.

Anecdotally speaking, Omega Quintet has superficial idol elements added into it, which certainly got my attention. But I'm not sure I'd have bothered to look into it if it didn't.
That's a damn shame then because the gameplay of omega quintet is the best part by far and the idol stuff arguably the worst. Story/characters were forgettable but I'd buy a more polished sequel any time, great ideas left and right in that combat system.
 

kurahador

Member
Mar 29, 2011
14,414
2
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Their more famous games are pretty tame really. I don't see how they're worse than say...some of Tales or Gust games.
 

Rocky

Banned
Sep 21, 2012
2,347
0
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Hey OP, have you actually PLAYED any IF/Compile Heart JRPGs? Because you sound like one of those people that just dismisses their games as "lol otaku and loli" based on what's written about them on the internet.

I predominantly play JRPGs and these have been some of the best and most entertaining games I have ever played. Hyperdimension Neptunia has become one of my all time favorite series, right up there with Dragon Quest and Tales. And it has far surpassed the Final Fantasy series in my list.

Their games are really very entertaining and fun, and not "perverted" at all as some might have you believe.
 

Yoshi

Member
May 4, 2005
14,757
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www.gaming-universe.de
Intelligent Systems, when faced with the threat of closure
What? IS was faced with the threat of closure? I have never heard that, source? The only thing I've read is, if Fire Emblem Awakening failed, they wouldn't have made another Fire Emblem (at least for a long time), but IS is more than the Fire Emblem studio, they are doing hardware work for Nintendo and the Paper Mario series...

I have no problem with IF, they make some sexualised rpgs, but why should they not? There are people who like that and it's completely fine to offer them those games. Moreover, Neptunia is said to be a bit more clever, too, than just "see, an almost nude girl", with their console- subplot, no? I don't like IS integrating the sexual elements in Fire Emblem, but that's hardly IF's fault.
 
I don't think they have any influence in Japan, due to their reviled reputation, but I think they're doing a lot of damage to the JRPG reputation in America with all their pandering tripe. The fact that their games sell so well and continue to see almost uninterrupted localization just makes me sadder.

The few times they haven't made an RPG around fanservice, you usually just get straight garbage(Chaos Wars), so it says to me what their bread & butter is. I'll give them credit for one thing; they're savvy businessmen. They know what sells, and go right for it.

That said, I legitimately enjoy their otome games, and the world would be a better place if they did nothing else.
 
Jun 19, 2013
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are incapable of understanding parody (amazingly common in regards to Neptunia) or just know Compile Heart as something it's cool to hate.
Quite a few people that I know who do understand the parodies see them as witless namedrops, rather than clever writing.

There's a big difference between the two of course, but I haven't played Neptunia, so I can't comment. From what I've seen shared on the internet, it seems closer to the former than the latter -- you see a lot of players go crazy for a reference which is literally just a namedrop interspersed into the text or context.

I'll give them credit for one thing; they're savvy businessmen. They know what sells, and go right for it.
That's an interesting point. Despite being "niche" games in some peoples' contexts of things, it's likely they are made around focus groups and knowing a certain subset of the audience. In a way, they are like "industry games", but shrunken down to suit a much smaller, yet loyal audience.
 

Falk

that puzzling face
Aug 26, 2013
20,818
0
0
www.vgo-online.com
Their games are really very entertaining and fun, and not "perverted" at all as some might have you believe.
There are sure a lot of boingy bits in the games for something that's 'not perverted', tbqh.

I personally find Monster Monpiece hilarious because you have to figure a bunch of people had to have designed, implemented and tested the rubbing minigame without questioning the larger aspect of "why!?". Despite that, the card battler mechanics (the actual GAME) are pretty well thought out and actually fun.

Too bad that means I'm terrified of playing online because of the target marketbase in general though. (Although multiplayer is, not surprisingly, pretty much a barren wasteland at this point)

Quite a few people that I know who do understand the parodies see them as witless namedrops, rather than clever writing.

There's a big difference between the two of course, but I haven't played Neptunia, so I can't comment. From what I've seen shared on the internet, it seems closer to the former than the latter -- you see a lot of players go crazy for a reference which is literally just a namedrop interspersed into the text or context.
I'd say it's more of the latter. Unfortunately a lot of the more geeky things you really have to be into Japanese game culture to really get. Hyperdimension Neptunia really isn't a parody of the video game industry as much as it is a parody of Japanese video game industry. That much is clear from their gags, cameos and writing with regards to the XBOX industry and how they reference PC gaming in-universe.
 

HGH

Banned
Aug 6, 2014
1,196
0
0
I wasn't really trying to complain about the company per se, but I didn't want to appear biased since I do like some of their games and find them funny and enjoyable.

I didn't really just choose a couple vocal complaints overnight though, all this was mostly from observing people and critics for almost 2 years now. And stuff like some comments here or #FE and FireEmblem Fates being called "compile heart trash" on lots of sites is what finally motivated me to write this.
Maybe it's not an issue at large but I feel like there's an undercurrent of blame for them wherever I go.

What? IS was faced with the threat of closure? I have never heard that, source? The only thing I've read is, if Fire Emblem Awakening failed, they wouldn't have made another Fire Emblem (at least for a long time), but IS is more than the Fire Emblem studio, they are doing hardware work for Nintendo and the Paper Mario series...
I read the same info as you and most likely misinterpreted that, correcting the OP right now.
 

Slashlen

Member
Sep 9, 2013
1,425
0
340
IF/CH games are really bad(Yes, I have played a few). They're grindy, they have poorly developed stories/characters, and they just seem to rely on moe/fanservice to get by. They're not ruining JRPGs, they're just the best example of a lot of the bad trends we're seeing in JRPGs these days. I think the name just gets thrown around because it's an easy shorthand for "moe waifu dogshit with terrible combat and story".
 

SliceSabre

Banned
Apr 3, 2014
20,552
0
0
Akron, Ohio
www.youtube.com
It amuses me how people witch hunt against IF/Compile Heart as though they are to blame for all the ills JRPG when really they're just a smarter run business than your favorite JRPG series owners were/are and that's why they're able to pump out the games they do.

They know their niche and know it well, I can't hate'em for that. I admit I'm totally biased though because I love the Neptunia series.
 

Dark_castle

Junior Member
Jun 25, 2013
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TBH I can't really get too mad at Compile Hearts anymore for all their sexualized game. It's blatant they have an audience, their games as of late has actual decent gameplay and humour.
 
Jun 19, 2013
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Oh, one thing I did forget to mention as a blanket narrative, as it were, is that I see the pandering as necessary to keep some of these series going.

Fire Emblem Awakening is a good example of this, as it's clear Intelligent Systems (and publisher Nintendo, who would have also dictated the dual-games setup) realised what worked last time round in terms of it being an unforeseen success, despite being the developers' last chance at keeping the series alive.

If you look at games like Monster Monpiece, which I think is a pretty competent turn-based card battler (but again, badly programmed in terms of polish and "feel"), that sort of thing probably wouldn't have been a sustainable or profitable release had it not been styled to suit a certain audience.
 
Hey OP, have you actually PLAYED any IF/Compile Heart JRPGs? Because you sound like one of those people that just dismisses their games as "lol otaku and loli" based on what's written about them on the internet.

I predominantly play JRPGs and these have been some of the best and most entertaining games I have ever played. Hyperdimension Neptunia has become one of my all time favorite series, right up there with Dragon Quest and Tales. And it has far surpassed the Final Fantasy series in my list.

Their games are really very entertaining and fun, and not "perverted" at all as some might have you believe.
I sure wouldn't want to be caught reading a Moero Chronicle article at work.
 

patapuf

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Nov 18, 2011
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I don't think they have any influence in Japan, due to their reviled reputation, but I think they're doing a lot of damage to the JRPG reputation in America with all their pandering tripe. The fact that their games sell so well and continue to see almost uninterrupted localization just makes me sadder.

The few times they haven't made an RPG around fanservice, you usually just get straight garbage(Chaos Wars), so it says to me what their bread & butter is. I'll give them credit for one thing; they're savvy businessmen. They know what sells, and go right for it.

That said, I legitimately enjoy their otome games, and the world would be a better place if they did nothing else.
I don't think their games do particularily amazing numbers.

What they do have over a lot of their competitors is that they seem to be able to localise their games as well as port them to other platforms without too much trouble.

That's really not something you can fault the company for.
 
Nov 24, 2014
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I'm actually amazed they were able to make Neptunia into a series. The first game on PS3 was sooo bad. Yet they green lighted sequels, improved the gameplay and now have a dedicated fan base.
 
Jun 19, 2013
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I'd say it's more of the latter. Unfortunately a lot of the more geeky things you really have to be into Japanese game culture to really get. Hyperdimension Neptunia really isn't a parody of the video game industry as much as it is a parody of Japanese video game industry. That much is clear from their gags, cameos and writing with regards to the XBOX industry and how they reference PC gaming in-universe.
Fair enough! I haven't played Neptunia, but what you say does make a lot of sense. The less wittier references are going to be targeting the lowest common denominator, and thus will be shared more, and the best, most tailored references (like the commentary on the Japanese games industry that you mention) are probably going to be missed by a large proportion of western players for understandable reasons.