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-4-6 party members that have unique stats and skills. If there are 4 or 6 party members, there should be an equal number of male and female party members. If there are 5, I wouldn't care if there were 3 male/2 male or 3 female/2 male.
-About 7.5 hours of cutscenes (playable, non-playable, whatever).
-45 minutes of beautiful, amazing, memorable pre-rendered CGI cutscenes
-Story takes 35-45 hours to go through, with plenty of challenge. I want there to be at least a few locations with tough-as-nails enemies, and I want most of the bosses in the second half of the game to be very challenging
-At least a few chain boss fights. I want the climax to have at least 3 chained boss fights in a row. As for the finale, I wouldn't mind if there were 5 or 6 bosses in a row.
-The menu screen should be at least as visually appealing as FFXIII's. Beautiful CG portraits and clips would be great, and if the color scheme is blue instead of grey, that'd be amazing.
-I want variety with the level design. I want some areas to be linear, some to be very large, and some to be in-between. No maze-like designs like the Absorption Gate in Tales of the Abyss or The Great Crystal in FFXII.
-Easy access to grinding like in The Last Story. Something like a summon circle would be absolutely amazing.
-I want summons to be equippable, I want them to change your stats, and, well, in short, I want them to be very useful. I'd prefer for them to not just attack and leave.
-A traditional leveling system coupled with a Sphere Grid-like system for skills
-A save-anywhere system with visible checkpoints that fully heal your party and serve as a reminder to save. These checkpoints should also be used as a teleportation/fast-travel device.
-Tons and tons of optional content and replay value. I want tons of great quests, optional locations, optional dungeons, optional bosses, and optional Eidolons. I want to be rewarded not just with extra gil and good items, but cutscenes. I want to learn more about the world the more I explore. It only makes sense, does it not?
-As for replay value, I want the second playthrough to include things like new quests, some additional cutscenes, additional boss fights, and maybe even an additional dungeon or two on top of all that was available in the first playthrough. If the toughest dungeon is completed, something like an extra form for the final boss and an extended ending would be brilliant.
-I want the dialogue to flow smoothly and I want it to be smart and effective. No cheesy things about "hope," "the power of friendship," "light," "darkness," etc. etc. etc. I want things to be believable. I want to feel the emotions of the characters. I want to believe the characters. I don't want to be rolling my eyes at the things that come out of their mouth like in certain scenes in XIII and in the entirety of XIII-2.
-The story should be well-paced. This means no instances of going 3-4 hours in a mandatory area without any sort of plot progression. Things should flow smoothly.
-I want the story to be unique and dark above anything else. I don't want the writers to be scared of killing off characters. I don't want the writers to be scared of making their characters do something that will make them hated or unlikable. I want to be enthralled by the story, and I want it to affect me in a positive way. I want to come out of the experience a better person, and I want to come out of the experience moved by the writer's message.
-I want all of the music to be a mix of choir and beautiful orchestration.
-Towns to be filled with things to find and do and lots of unique NPC's. Mini-games would be a nice touch, too.
What about you guys?
"Dyin' is easy. It's the livin' that's hard..." Grim Reaper, Maximo vs. The Army of Zin