Anyone who has played a Final Fantasy game since FF7 will know that Squaresoft's - and now Square Enix's games often have opening cinematic sequences that set the tone and provide a prelude to the game. The first time I saw the opening sequence for Final Fantasy VIII I was blown away by what increadible CG cinematography it was. In just three minutes and fifteen seconds, it had me so hooked on that game that I played it non-stop for hours and hours at a time. It had me completely roped in to the characters and the story: it gave you flashes of pieces of the story that at the moment you first watched it, you knew nothing about. Not only that, but it established an idea that flowed throughout the story and didn't come to completion until the very end of the game, so that you had the moment of "Oh WOW, THAT'S what that was all about!"
For me personally, I get very attached to games. For some reason, it's very easy for a game creator to make me feel a part of the game - to make me actually be the protagonist rather then just play the game. As a game creator, that's what you'd want really, isn't it? You want to make your game so emmersive that people feel that they are the person in the game, and in the case of story-based games, react emotionally to the story as it unfolds. I tend to be the easy catch - if it's got ANY emmersive qualities, then you've got me.
Well, this morning I fired up Kingdom Hearts II for the first time, and I have to say Square Enix are the MASTERS of game openings. I was hooked on this game about 20 seconds into the opening sequence. It tells the story of the game from the beginning of the original through to the point at which the sequel opens, but also throw in elements that lack an explanation so that you are left sitting there going "What?!?! What was that?!?" and more importantly, you want to find out what it all means - and so are drawn into playing the game.
...at least until your pirated downloaded copy falls over about 4 hours into the game. Turns out that if you're playing the game off a hard disk (which I am) there's one particular essential componant of the game that causes the whole thing to crash. Now I need to wait until they get around to releasing the game over here - which could be whenever. They've already released in their primary markets (being USA and Japan) and made more then enough money to not be worried about how it does in "Europe" (Australia being part of Europe, obviously). Bah. There's another rant for another time...
STATIC DISCLAIMER: All the stuff in here is purely my opinions, and they tend to change depending on what mood I'm in. If you're going to get bitter if I say something about you that you don't like, then maybe don't read. I avoid using names as much as possible, and would request that people who know me do the same in their comments. Basically, I often vent my frustrations on here, so if you happen to be someone who frustrates me, expect to read a description of someone very much like you in here!