179: The Battleship Final Fantasy

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Onmi:
if it was poorly written then people wouldn't have these.

Yes; they would. Kids cry over children's programming all the time. They have all of the kinds of reactions you quoted. This doesn't mean that there's anything particularly special about the children's shows that were able to elicit these responses.

And I'm not disregarding anything. I enjoy Final Fantasy myself. I've never cried over it or been emotionally affected by it, because I first played FFI at the age of sixteen. By the time the histrionics of FFVII rolled around, Aerith's death was something my friends and I could no longer take seriously. We laughed at her death scene, in the same we way we would laugh at, say, the Power Rangers. This doesn't mean I don't understand that people have found moments of FF affecting. But neither are their reactions sufficient to establish FF as anything more than fare for pubescents.

Which is a fine thing to be!

Ray Huling:

Onmi:
if it was poorly written then people wouldn't have these.

Yes; they would. Kids cry over children's programming all the time. They have all of the kinds of reactions you quoted. This doesn't mean that there's anything particularly special about the children's shows that were able to elicit these responses.

And I'm not disregarding anything. I enjoy Final Fantasy myself. I've never cried over it or been emotionally affected by it, because I first played FFI at the age of sixteen. By the time the histrionics of FFVII rolled around, Aerith's death was something my friends and I could no longer take seriously. We laughed at her death scene, in the same we way we would laugh at, say, the Power Rangers. This doesn't mean I don't understand that people have found moments of FF affecting. But neither are their reactions sufficient to establish FF as anything more than fare for pubescents.

Which is a fine thing to be!

Oh, so I was correct in saying you were insulting our maturity. Clearly if you don't enjoy the same things we do, its us that are the overly sensitive "pubescents." I have pointed out the flaw in your logic several times now and you have never confronted it directly. Instead you pick the easy fights or simply ignore any response that reveals your article as merely a glorified opinion.

Grampy_bone:
Go back and play FF1 and then tell me it's just as 'rewarding' as FFX.

Actually, I did just that while writing this piece. It was pretty much just as rewarding as FFX, only it didn't have so many cringe-inducing moments in the dialogue, and I didn't feel like a sap for doing things like dodging 200 lightning bolts in a row.

It's funny: while playing through it again, I was able to recall talking with a friend of mine about this game in the high school cafeteria. I still remember feeling jealous that he'd found some kind of Ultima weapon, and I hadn't. With FFX, I remember talking about how nobody wanted to play enough Blitzball to get Wakka's weapon.

Onmi:

TsunamiWombat:
Oh snap Gaijin, I think you just picked a fight with the inteir nation of Japan!

Now I will definatly agree with you that Final Fantasy has become a lumbering behemoth of grind and glitz, like a high budget summer movie lacking substance or fun, possessing only over the top action and hackneyed formulaic plot.

The ORIGINAL Final Fantasy was popular because it was endlessly replayable and customizable. You could make a party of everything, build your characters from the ground up. Recent Final Fantasys have tried to capture this with their many obtuse grid systems and whatever, but the experiance is diluted by the plot. It is very difficult to have complete freedom and a strong plot- Final Fantasy needs to move away from it's current linear model if it's going to combine strong writing with customizable characters. May I suggest Fallout 3 as a model? Yes yes let all the failboys cry "NO! NO FINAL OBLIVION!" but screw you. I'm not saying make an Oblivion clone, i'm just saying that perhaps having a main character that is designed from ground up, combined with pre-genned followers with interesting personalities and traits, as well as selectible history for your character (ala Mass Effect) would be a good formula. Sometimes you just need to shake it up. The grind-tastic linear setup of Final Fantays is a dinosaur, and I know they can do better.

Signed,

Someone who wasted 60 bucks on FFXII

Okay that's it unless your problem was the pacing, or you just didn't connect with the story, I dare you to tell me a design flaw in FFXII. It is a good game, it's not bad by any means of the word. Yes the plot is badly paced around midway. That's it's only problem, well that and the Guide Dang It stuff.

Monsters drop loot, Human enemies drop money, you can create items in the Bazaar from Loot, this is more believable than a giant bird with 10,000 gil in it's beak, I mean a dragon I could understand, maybe the bird, but a Cactus? why does a Cactus carry money?!?

As for the Battle system, Yes you could make the game 'Play itself' but that's less a problem with the game and more a problem with you. I never used gambits on my main character unless I was waling through the starting area and didn't wanna fight weak enemies. The gambit's let you program the AI of your party so they don't do stupid shit. with a full 13 gambit slots you can program them to play like YOU.

The Party's Character development and plot is defended here http://www.gamefaqs.com/boards/genmessage.php?board=459841&topic=46066678

I am not saying you have to LIKE FFXII, so if I'm giving that impression that's incorrect, what I am asking is why you hate it, and is it for the right reasons. I have played every FF and save VI in story it's better than all the rest, I remember when X came out and EVERYONE called it shit, I remember that when IX came out everyone called it shit.

So understand my skepticism to anyone saying they dislike XII, Because I am predicting a big spike in hatred for XIII once it is released.

Also the Zodiac Job System (A.K.A. we fixed all the issues with the English game and refuse to release it their) solves Licence Board issues by making 13 of them, and you can only assign one to a character, and that corresponds with a Class.

Also the MP bar stopped serving for Quickenings and they added a third bar.

So yeah I consider your statements uninformed.

I just now caught this.

My statements aren't uninformed because I don't agree with you *blows over the strawman*

My problem with FFXII was primarily the story. The Combat system was okay though it all looked a bit too much like an MMO stripped of the whole multiplayer thing to me- meaning boring and lonely. None the less it was fun. No, my problem was they screwed the pooch with the story. Shit, they revealed the evil twin within the first two hours of gameplay. The main character wasn't the main character, and all the characters looked far too metrosexual or rediculously underdressed (except Balthier) for me to take them seriously. I really wanted to like the game, really, it just never grabbed me like it should've and when you take away the gripping story all you have is completionist grind.

Sorry, Final Fantasy's gameplay aspects simply are not entertaining anymore. They've been using the same basic mechanics for almost twenty years- or is it 30 now? 1980's right?

Edit: Also, did anyone comment on my design suggestions?

May I suggest Fallout 3 as a model? Yes yes let all the failboys cry "NO! NO FINAL OBLIVION!" but screw you. I'm not saying make an Oblivion clone, i'm just saying that perhaps having a main character that is designed from ground up, combined with pre-genned followers with interesting personalities and traits, as well as selectible history for your character (ala Mass Effect) would be a good formula. Sometimes you just need to shake it up. The grind-tastic linear setup of Final Fantays is a dinosaur, and I know they can do better.

GloatingSwine:
It's teenage/young adult fiction, and uses the themes of that fiction, personal growth, identity, responsibility to others, and coming of age have been at the core of Final Fantasy's stories since they got stories back in Final Fantasy II.

You're saying it's more like Saved By the Bell?

Yeah; you might have something there. But have you really given thought to how all of these elements appear in the best episodes of the D&D cartoon?

Consider Uni.

Ray Huling:

Grampy_bone:
Go back and play FF1 and then tell me it's just as 'rewarding' as FFX.

Actually, I did just that while writing this piece. It was pretty much just as rewarding as FFX, only it didn't have so many cringe-inducing moments in the dialogue, and I didn't feel like a sap for doing things like dodging 200 lightning bolts in a row.

It's funny: while playing through it again, I was able to recall talking with a friend of mine about this game in the high school cafeteria. I still remember feeling jealous that he'd found some kind of Ultima weapon, and I hadn't. With FFX, I remember talking about how nobody wanted to play enough Blitzball to get Wakka's weapon.

Err, right. Yeah. FF1 had all the same rewarding gameplay, characterization, and graphics as FFX. Riiiiiight. Fine. I'll give that to you. There's no accounting for taste.

But making such a broad generalization as this is essentially meaningless. It can apply to any game ever released, anywhere, forever. Why play Super Mario Galaxy when it's just as rewarding as Super Mario Brothers? Why play any Zelda game other than the first? They're all the same 'reward' after all. Why play any shooters past Doom? Everything they've added since is just grinding. Better make it portable, that'd be a real innova-shun. Yepper right uh-huh yup dagnabbit! In fact, why play any videogame-game at all? They're all the same reward as Pong, just go play that!

Don't feed the troll, people.

Sylocat:
Don't feed the troll, people.

Agreed I'm out of here.

Ray Huling:
But neither are their reactions sufficient to establish FF as anything more than fare for pubescents.

Which is a fine thing to be!

I'd agree that Final Fantasy and for the most part, jRPGs in general do trade in pedestrian pabulum, young adult fiction worthy of the average D&D or Star Wars novel, but does that make it any less "worthy" of a place in the title lineup of current-gen consoles? I say it does not.

Gears of War 2 and its "ten shitloads" of Locust roundly deserves its place among the 360's top games, even when the quality of its writing and dialog is just as cringe-inducing (perhaps moreso) than the amnesiac angst of Cloud or Squall. So why NOT Final Fantasy? How is a badly written action game more deserving of continued existence than a long-running franchise characterized by lavish cutscenes and ridiculous grind?

Is it because of the battleship metaphor, that its antiquated gameplay no longer justifies the resources spent producing it? That's yet another matter of preference rather than fact. What you call obsolete and old, some would call classic and venerable. Perhaps the innovation you've wanted to see in Final Fantasy has occured on a smaller scale, rather than in the fundamental design philosophy. Junctions, Materia, Gambits, Jobs, Summons, Turn Order, even Dress-Spheres, all are "innovations" on the battle system. You're still selecting "Fight" from a menu in the end, but you're still just shooting things in Gears.

We can see it in narative as well, or at least in setting. From Midgar to Ivalice, Spira to Vana'diel, Magitek to Magicite, all the core releases have seen substantial change, even if only on an arguably superficial level.

We may not have seen a substantial move towards integrating narrative with gameplay in Final Fantasy, but is that such a terrible thing? Is that focus on small changes as opposed to sweeping revolutions what it takes to resign a game to the trash heap of history (which, by your logic, is the DS)?

Even with everything that's been said, there is still no real reason to scuttle the ship.

FFVIII is not even close to a grind you can go kill any boss at lvl 8 if you wanted excet omega weapon hes the only boss that doesnt scale with character level (all enemies stay at a lvl that is is = upto 5 lvls higher thne ur party) no grinding in FF8.

Rezuvious:
FFVIII is not even close to a grind you can go kill any boss at lvl 8 if you wanted excet omega weapon hes the only boss that doesnt scale with character level (all enemies stay at a lvl that is is = upto 5 lvls higher thne ur party) no grinding in FF8.

People have beaten YIAZMAT in FFXII at the beginning levels (I believe it's 1,2,2,3,3,3) Items have allways meant more than levels in these games.

Solid article all around, even though the ship metaphor got a little stretched by the end of it. Personally I really cant understand how anyone can take the FF series seriously, it only works as a game if the player is totally removed from it. the clearest example of this is the basic combat system. the idea of everyone standing around, taking turns in the fight can only be appealing if you've removed yourself enough from the game to view it more like a checkers match. I think the same goes for the characters and story elements.

(note- this isnt a bad thing, its just the kind of game it is. the same could be said for lots of other great games too.)

unangbangkay:

Ray Huling:
But neither are their reactions sufficient to establish FF as anything more than fare for pubescents.

Which is a fine thing to be!

I'd agree that Final Fantasy and for the most part, jRPGs in general do trade in pedestrian pabulum, young adult fiction worthy of the average D&D or Star Wars novel, but does that make it any less "worthy" of a place in the title lineup of current-gen consoles? I say it does not.

Gears of War 2 and its "ten shitloads" of Locust roundly deserves its place among the 360's top games, even when the quality of its writing and dialog is just as cringe-inducing (perhaps moreso) than the amnesiac angst of Cloud or Squall. So why NOT Final Fantasy? How is a badly written action game more deserving of continued existence than a long-running franchise characterized by lavish cutscenes and ridiculous grind?

Is it because of the battleship metaphor, that its antiquated gameplay no longer justifies the resources spent producing it? That's yet another matter of preference rather than fact. What you call obsolete and old, some would call classic and venerable. Perhaps the innovation you've wanted to see in Final Fantasy has occured on a smaller scale, rather than in the fundamental design philosophy. Junctions, Materia, Gambits, Jobs, Summons, Turn Order, even Dress-Spheres, all are "innovations" on the battle system. You're still selecting "Fight" from a menu in the end, but you're still just shooting things in Gears.

We can see it in narative as well, or at least in setting. From Midgar to Ivalice, Spira to Vana'diel, Magitek to Magicite, all the core releases have seen substantial change, even if only on an arguably superficial level.

We may not have seen a substantial move towards integrating narrative with gameplay in Final Fantasy, but is that such a terrible thing? Is that focus on small changes as opposed to sweeping revolutions what it takes to resign a game to the trash heap of history (which, by your logic, is the DS)?

Even with everything that's been said, there is still no real reason to scuttle the ship.

Your ideas are intriguing to me, and I wish to subscribe to your newsletter.

Well, lets see. I used to be a fan of FF series. That is until I've played more than 3 games and understood that: 1) Its the same story with "different" characters (same party, just protagonist is a different member), 2) Plot falls apart the further you get into the game 3) Most of the time I cant connect with protagonist for some emotional reason (they don't act "real"). So yes, I agree with the fact that FF should either change their storyline or stick to handhelds.

RedMenace:
Well, lets see. I used to be a fan of FF series. That is until I've played more than 3 games and understood that: 1) Its the same story with "different" characters (same party, just protagonist is a different member), 2) Plot falls apart the further you get into the game 3) Most of the time I cant connect with protagonist for some emotional reason (they don't act "real"). So yes, I agree with the fact that FF should either change their storyline or stick to handhelds.

So your saying that FF 1 had the same story to FFXII

I can understand the 'Crystals' being used in FF1,3,4 and 5 all being similar themes, but no, bullshit.

as for plot pacing, varies with game.

As for character... well you cant connect you cant connect *Shrugs*

Okay but seriously what the fuck "They should stick to handhelds" Yeah because on the handhelds their games have been SO fucking different, why should a series that STARTED on Consoles migrate to handhelds, except at the behest of people who aren't actual players of the series. Also known as the people who don't actually matter to Square.

Infact replace Square with any company and it's the same, IT doesn't matter what someone who DOESN'T play wants, it matters what people who DO play want.

Ray Huling:

You're saying it's more like Saved By the Bell?

Yeah; you might have something there. But have you really given thought to how all of these elements appear in the best episodes of the D&D cartoon?

Consider Uni.

If you're going to protract the TV analogy, I'd say it's closer to something like Heroes. The development of a continuous story is not that of an episodic one like the D&D cartoon, where character development (if it happens) is done by repeating the same response to the same situation over and over again.

GloatingSwine:
a: Buffs persist outside of combat. In every prior FF game, a turn spent casting a buff was a turn wasted, in which you would probably have killed an enemy anyway, reducing the number of attacks the party would take and thus the incoming damage.

Sure, but here you're talking about the typical random encounters you have whilst wandering about. As you yourself point out, these present no challenge most of the time.

In reality, buffs outside combat are disastrous for exactly the reason you think they're an asset: they cost nothing to set up. In fact, the main interest where buffs are concerned is (or should be) in deciding which you want. If you start with all of them for free, that removes much of the interest.

b: MP regenerates. In most prior FF games, magic is simply not worth using for most fights

Again, this only applies to the filler battles. Since pretty much all the powers in the game involve magic, a combat you can fight only with weapons is almost the definition of easy since you apparently require no strategy at all.

Regenerating MP was a catastrophically stupid change, since if MP regenerates the player is optimally obliged to sit around doing nothing after a tough encounter until all characters are back up. Apparently FF-XII's designers never played Diablo II.

Final Fantasy XII simply also has more going on than other Final Fantasy games.

Here I agree with you - the cities are quite spectacular! At least visually - the interactive aspects are sadly rather shallow.

Dom Camus:

Sure, but here you're talking about the typical random encounters you have whilst wandering about. As you yourself point out, these present no challenge most of the time.

In reality, buffs outside combat are disastrous for exactly the reason you think they're an asset: they cost nothing to set up. In fact, the main interest where buffs are concerned is (or should be) in deciding which you want. If you start with all of them for free, that removes much of the interest.

That may be the case but I never used buffs before FFXII, it was a good way to get people to USE magic. Now all they gotta do is make status spells worth SOMETHING. In a way your right though so I guess it's a Hit or Miss depending on the player.

Again, this only applies to the filler battles. Since pretty much all the powers in the game involve magic, a combat you can fight only with weapons is almost the definition of easy since you apparently require no strategy at all.

Regenerating MP was a catastrophically stupid change, since if MP regenerates the player is optimally obliged to sit around doing nothing after a tough encounter until all characters are back up. Apparently FF-XII's designers never played Diablo II.

Better than Fable 2's lets not have a Mana system period. Also the addition of the Charge Skill made it better, adding to the fact you DON'T have to remain still to charge MP.

Also while it's true that you can stand around doing nothing to recover MP, the sheer fact that no Rechargeable MP may cause Backtracking, delaying the same amount of time to the nearest crystal.

Again this is a hit or a miss, it's true you can stand around doing nothing, you can also set all gambits to play the game for you, it's your personal choice.

Again not saying your wrong, just that it's a two way street. so in a sense I'm agreeing with you to.

Onmi:
Also while it's true that you can stand around doing nothing to recover MP, the sheer fact that no Rechargeable MP may cause Backtracking, delaying the same amount of time to the nearest crystal.

Good point, yes.

The FF series previously got around this via the fact that it has self-setting difficulty. So you use Ether (or a Tent, if permitted) to push your MP back up if you need to and then if you run low on Ether you have to spend time accumulating more money to buy more.

This isn't a perfect solution either, but at least works on some level. But then that's what I was hoping for from FF-XII: for the game to come up with clever little improvements to some of the format's weaknesses. (FF-X was good in that respect. The "swap in/out during combat" mechanic improves a lot more than it seems to at first glance.)

Onmi:

TsunamiWombat:
Oh snap Gaijin, I think you just picked a fight with the inteir nation of Japan!

Now I will definatly agree with you that Final Fantasy has become a lumbering behemoth of grind and glitz, like a high budget summer movie lacking substance or fun, possessing only over the top action and hackneyed formulaic plot.

The ORIGINAL Final Fantasy was popular because it was endlessly replayable and customizable. You could make a party of everything, build your characters from the ground up. Recent Final Fantasys have tried to capture this with their many obtuse grid systems and whatever, but the experiance is diluted by the plot. It is very difficult to have complete freedom and a strong plot- Final Fantasy needs to move away from it's current linear model if it's going to combine strong writing with customizable characters. May I suggest Fallout 3 as a model? Yes yes let all the failboys cry "NO! NO FINAL OBLIVION!" but screw you. I'm not saying make an Oblivion clone, i'm just saying that perhaps having a main character that is designed from ground up, combined with pre-genned followers with interesting personalities and traits, as well as selectible history for your character (ala Mass Effect) would be a good formula. Sometimes you just need to shake it up. The grind-tastic linear setup of Final Fantays is a dinosaur, and I know they can do better.

Signed,

Someone who wasted 60 bucks on FFXII

Okay that's it unless your problem was the pacing, or you just didn't connect with the story, I dare you to tell me a design flaw in FFXII. It is a good game, it's not bad by any means of the word. Yes the plot is badly paced around midway. That's it's only problem, well that and the Guide Dang It stuff.

Monsters drop loot, Human enemies drop money, you can create items in the Bazaar from Loot, this is more believable than a giant bird with 10,000 gil in it's beak, I mean a dragon I could understand, maybe the bird, but a Cactus? why does a Cactus carry money?!?

As for the Battle system, Yes you could make the game 'Play itself' but that's less a problem with the game and more a problem with you. I never used gambits on my main character unless I was waling through the starting area and didn't wanna fight weak enemies. The gambit's let you program the AI of your party so they don't do stupid shit. with a full 13 gambit slots you can program them to play like YOU.

The Party's Character development and plot is defended here http://www.gamefaqs.com/boards/genmessage.php?board=459841&topic=46066678

I am not saying you have to LIKE FFXII, so if I'm giving that impression that's incorrect, what I am asking is why you hate it, and is it for the right reasons. I have played every FF and save VI in story it's better than all the rest, I remember when X came out and EVERYONE called it shit, I remember that when IX came out everyone called it shit.

So understand my skepticism to anyone saying they dislike XII, Because I am predicting a big spike in hatred for XIII once it is released.

Also the Zodiac Job System (A.K.A. we fixed all the issues with the English game and refuse to release it their) solves Licence Board issues by making 13 of them, and you can only assign one to a character, and that corresponds with a Class.

Also the MP bar stopped serving for Quickenings and they added a third bar.

So yeah I consider your statements uninformed.

I also didn't like XII. The characters we're dull or to sidelined to care about as main characters. The fighting became to repetitive to be fun and the story was predictable and didn't inspire me to play further.
So basically I agree with the article in that for all the refining they do to the combat system etc it's grown beyound the enjoyment it provides.
If you liked it however that's great. At least it wasn't a complete waste of time for the developers. But don't get annoyed when people say they don't like your beloved games. It's just different strokes for different folks.

Apone:

Onmi:

TsunamiWombat:
Oh snap Gaijin, I think you just picked a fight with the inteir nation of Japan!

Now I will definatly agree with you that Final Fantasy has become a lumbering behemoth of grind and glitz, like a high budget summer movie lacking substance or fun, possessing only over the top action and hackneyed formulaic plot.

The ORIGINAL Final Fantasy was popular because it was endlessly replayable and customizable. You could make a party of everything, build your characters from the ground up. Recent Final Fantasys have tried to capture this with their many obtuse grid systems and whatever, but the experiance is diluted by the plot. It is very difficult to have complete freedom and a strong plot- Final Fantasy needs to move away from it's current linear model if it's going to combine strong writing with customizable characters. May I suggest Fallout 3 as a model? Yes yes let all the failboys cry "NO! NO FINAL OBLIVION!" but screw you. I'm not saying make an Oblivion clone, i'm just saying that perhaps having a main character that is designed from ground up, combined with pre-genned followers with interesting personalities and traits, as well as selectible history for your character (ala Mass Effect) would be a good formula. Sometimes you just need to shake it up. The grind-tastic linear setup of Final Fantays is a dinosaur, and I know they can do better.

Signed,

Someone who wasted 60 bucks on FFXII

Okay that's it unless your problem was the pacing, or you just didn't connect with the story, I dare you to tell me a design flaw in FFXII. It is a good game, it's not bad by any means of the word. Yes the plot is badly paced around midway. That's it's only problem, well that and the Guide Dang It stuff.

Monsters drop loot, Human enemies drop money, you can create items in the Bazaar from Loot, this is more believable than a giant bird with 10,000 gil in it's beak, I mean a dragon I could understand, maybe the bird, but a Cactus? why does a Cactus carry money?!?

As for the Battle system, Yes you could make the game 'Play itself' but that's less a problem with the game and more a problem with you. I never used gambits on my main character unless I was waling through the starting area and didn't wanna fight weak enemies. The gambit's let you program the AI of your party so they don't do stupid shit. with a full 13 gambit slots you can program them to play like YOU.

The Party's Character development and plot is defended here http://www.gamefaqs.com/boards/genmessage.php?board=459841&topic=46066678

I am not saying you have to LIKE FFXII, so if I'm giving that impression that's incorrect, what I am asking is why you hate it, and is it for the right reasons. I have played every FF and save VI in story it's better than all the rest, I remember when X came out and EVERYONE called it shit, I remember that when IX came out everyone called it shit.

So understand my skepticism to anyone saying they dislike XII, Because I am predicting a big spike in hatred for XIII once it is released.

Also the Zodiac Job System (A.K.A. we fixed all the issues with the English game and refuse to release it their) solves Licence Board issues by making 13 of them, and you can only assign one to a character, and that corresponds with a Class.

Also the MP bar stopped serving for Quickenings and they added a third bar.

So yeah I consider your statements uninformed.

I also didn't like XII. The characters we're dull or to sidelined to care about as main characters. The fighting became to repetitive to be fun and the story was predictable and didn't inspire me to play further.
So basically I agree with the article in that for all the refining they do to the combat system etc it's grown beyound the enjoyment it provides.
If you liked it however that's great. At least it wasn't a complete waste of time for the developers. But don't get annoyed when people say they don't like your beloved games. It's just different strokes for different folks.

I don't get annoyed when people dislike games I like, if you notice the name of the topic hyperlinked in the quote 'Defense of FFXII's Story Against All Inaccurate Attacks' I don't care if you burned and salted the ashes of the CD, just making accurate attacks.

You say that you didn't connect with the characters, okay, but you can't say 'They we're dull' you can say 'I didn't like their characterization" and yes the wording DOES make a difference.

Again if you didn't like it, fine. just clarify if your stating a personal opinion (how it effected you).

There are accurate attacks, the game is not for everyone.

look at this in my post.

I am not saying you have to LIKE FFXII, so if I'm giving that impression that's incorrect, what I am asking is why you hate it, and is it for the right reasons. I have played every FF and save VI in story it's better than all the rest, I remember when X came out and EVERYONE called it shit, I remember that when IX came out everyone called it shit.

I considered his statements uninformed at the time because I didn't have his reasons, I have his reasons now, so I felt no need to reply. now I am informed of his statements, and honestly It wasn't his cup of tea, he also raises a point I raised that the FF series has developed slowly it's battle system, the customization is what changes more often.

As another note don't forget all the re-release 'super' editions in Japan, which fix a LOT of the errors in most games, while adding more in. Of course they are 'No export for you' but just cause they aren't released outside of japan doesn't mean they don't exist.

Also if FFXIII has an even more interactive battle system that's faster I will be a happy panda.

I agree with this article in pretty much every way. I used to get excited about final fantasy games, but not so much anymore. I bought FF XII, and my expectations went out the window. It was the same game as the last, and the one before that. Now-a-days I seem to find more fun in older games, and DS remakes than main console titles. I mean, I still love final fantasy, but sometimes traditions need to change to keep the audience's hold.

In every game, it's pretty much save the world... but you know, that's how the game goes.

I'm not saying I regret playing the games though... I mean I had some pretty great times with it. And I would get FFXIII if I had a PS3 just for nostalgia, but Sqaure-Enix has got to at least change something to make the game enjoyable for me again... in my point of view anyway.

The naval analogy, while interesting, does suffer from a few problems. They're problems that only a pedant like myself could point out, but they're problems nonetheless.

While it took until the Second World War for the battleship to become officially obsolete, it could be argued that they had been becoming obsolete since the construction of the HMS Dreadnought, where the formerly dominant Royal Navy of the British Empire sealed their own demise by making a ship which obsoleted everything else on the waters, and in turn obsoleted itself by making battleships so expensive to produce that they would never face each other in a true contest. One need only look at the Battle of Jutland to note this - the battle took place between the less heavily-armoured battlecruisers rather than the true battleships. The development of the submarine didn't help things either, creating an adversary which the battleship was unequipped to fight, and which required specialist ships to really contest on an equal footing.

Secondly, and more relevant to the discussion at hand, the aircraft carrier, which you note was the type of ship which really displaced the battleship as the capital ship of a navy, has grown larger than any battleship ever made. At 100,000 tons for the Nimitz-class carriers, and 93,500 tons for the earlier USS Enterprise, they make even the gargantuan Yamato look a bit puny in comparison. What then would be the gaming equivalent of a supercarrier? The battleship was constructed with lots of huge guns, where the aircraft carrier is more flexible with its armaments. Could the "aircraft carrier" of the gaming world be the sandbox RPG? The MMORPG? Both of these seem more likely to displace the linear JRPG than the handheld gaming system.

RAKtheUndead:
What then would be the gaming equivalent of a supercarrier? The battleship was constructed with lots of huge guns, where the aircraft carrier is more flexible with its armaments. Could the "aircraft carrier" of the gaming world be the sandbox RPG? The MMORPG? Both of these seem more likely to displace the linear JRPG than the handheld gaming system.

That's a question I've been wrestling with. I think flexibility and scope are key, as well as responsiveness.

I think the answer might be found in the hype around Mass Effect. If you go back and listen to the marketing of that game, to all of the hyperbole tossed around by the developers, it sounds pretty great: a powerful system of moral choice, storylines of many branches, wildly varying game experiences, etc. Of course, none of that turned out to be true.

The same goes for all of the lies of Peter Molyneux. The power of a modern gaming console should be put toward realizing the hype around games like Mass Effect and Fable, this kind of RPG--not towards a massive application of a twenty year-old gaming formula.

Maybe.

One tiny problem, Fable 2 was a bug ridden, badly designed game. Which not only became UNPLAYABLE at times, but wasn't significantly different from Fable one, or, indeed MOST Western RPGs, which tend to have the habit of doing the same fucking thing. Like everything else there are the truly original good ones, but not Fable, definitely not anything old Pete ever made.

Your post just made your entire article clearer, you like Western RPG's more than JRPG's. how is farting in the face of your wife/husband or being generic silent hero #33 who despite all the choice you have behind it will end up with the same endings as EVERYONE ELSE. Oh Linearity isn't a bad thing, just like being main stream isn't a bad thing and being Indie isn't a good thing.

All games are Linear, Bioshock has two endings, doesn't matter HOW you get to them, they are the same ending, you can do boss fights out of order and skip them all together in FFXII but it leads to the same ending. In Disgaea 2 you CAN be possessed by an evil demon and eat your siblings while they beg you to stop, but Disgaea 3 proves that doesn't happen.

the only game that did multiple paths with ENOUGH Variety that it REALLY made a difference was (Brace Yourself) Shadow The Hedgehog, around the only thing the game did good, then the special stage fucked with that.

Onmi:

Apone:

Onmi:

TsunamiWombat:
Oh snap Gaijin, I think you just picked a fight with the inteir nation of Japan!

Now I will definatly agree with you that Final Fantasy has become a lumbering behemoth of grind and glitz, like a high budget summer movie lacking substance or fun, possessing only over the top action and hackneyed formulaic plot.

The ORIGINAL Final Fantasy was popular because it was endlessly replayable and customizable. You could make a party of everything, build your characters from the ground up. Recent Final Fantasys have tried to capture this with their many obtuse grid systems and whatever, but the experiance is diluted by the plot. It is very difficult to have complete freedom and a strong plot- Final Fantasy needs to move away from it's current linear model if it's going to combine strong writing with customizable characters. May I suggest Fallout 3 as a model? Yes yes let all the failboys cry "NO! NO FINAL OBLIVION!" but screw you. I'm not saying make an Oblivion clone, i'm just saying that perhaps having a main character that is designed from ground up, combined with pre-genned followers with interesting personalities and traits, as well as selectible history for your character (ala Mass Effect) would be a good formula. Sometimes you just need to shake it up. The grind-tastic linear setup of Final Fantays is a dinosaur, and I know they can do better.

Signed,

Someone who wasted 60 bucks on FFXII

Okay that's it unless your problem was the pacing, or you just didn't connect with the story, I dare you to tell me a design flaw in FFXII. It is a good game, it's not bad by any means of the word. Yes the plot is badly paced around midway. That's it's only problem, well that and the Guide Dang It stuff.

Monsters drop loot, Human enemies drop money, you can create items in the Bazaar from Loot, this is more believable than a giant bird with 10,000 gil in it's beak, I mean a dragon I could understand, maybe the bird, but a Cactus? why does a Cactus carry money?!?

As for the Battle system, Yes you could make the game 'Play itself' but that's less a problem with the game and more a problem with you. I never used gambits on my main character unless I was waling through the starting area and didn't wanna fight weak enemies. The gambit's let you program the AI of your party so they don't do stupid shit. with a full 13 gambit slots you can program them to play like YOU.

The Party's Character development and plot is defended here http://www.gamefaqs.com/boards/genmessage.php?board=459841&topic=46066678

I am not saying you have to LIKE FFXII, so if I'm giving that impression that's incorrect, what I am asking is why you hate it, and is it for the right reasons. I have played every FF and save VI in story it's better than all the rest, I remember when X came out and EVERYONE called it shit, I remember that when IX came out everyone called it shit.

So understand my skepticism to anyone saying they dislike XII, Because I am predicting a big spike in hatred for XIII once it is released.

Also the Zodiac Job System (A.K.A. we fixed all the issues with the English game and refuse to release it their) solves Licence Board issues by making 13 of them, and you can only assign one to a character, and that corresponds with a Class.

Also the MP bar stopped serving for Quickenings and they added a third bar.

So yeah I consider your statements uninformed.

I also didn't like XII. The characters we're dull or to sidelined to care about as main characters. The fighting became to repetitive to be fun and the story was predictable and didn't inspire me to play further.
So basically I agree with the article in that for all the refining they do to the combat system etc it's grown beyound the enjoyment it provides.
If you liked it however that's great. At least it wasn't a complete waste of time for the developers. But don't get annoyed when people say they don't like your beloved games. It's just different strokes for different folks.

I don't get annoyed when people dislike games I like, if you notice the name of the topic hyperlinked in the quote 'Defense of FFXII's Story Against All Inaccurate Attacks' I don't care if you burned and salted the ashes of the CD, just making accurate attacks.

You say that you didn't connect with the characters, okay, but you can't say 'They we're dull' you can say 'I didn't like their characterization" and yes the wording DOES make a difference.

Again if you didn't like it, fine. just clarify if your stating a personal opinion (how it effected you).

There are accurate attacks, the game is not for everyone.

look at this in my post.

I am not saying you have to LIKE FFXII, so if I'm giving that impression that's incorrect, what I am asking is why you hate it, and is it for the right reasons. I have played every FF and save VI in story it's better than all the rest, I remember when X came out and EVERYONE called it shit, I remember that when IX came out everyone called it shit.

I considered his statements uninformed at the time because I didn't have his reasons, I have his reasons now, so I felt no need to reply. now I am informed of his statements, and honestly It wasn't his cup of tea, he also raises a point I raised that the FF series has developed slowly it's battle system, the customization is what changes more often.

As another note don't forget all the re-release 'super' editions in Japan, which fix a LOT of the errors in most games, while adding more in. Of course they are 'No export for you' but just cause they aren't released outside of japan doesn't mean they don't exist.

Also if FFXIII has an even more interactive battle system that's faster I will be a happy panda.

Yes the wording makes a difference. I can and will say that many of the characters were dull. Since a forum is a place to express and discuss ones feelings and opinions it is taken as read that I am not stating a fact. Merely my own opinion based on my experience, so yes I can say the characters are dull.

Thanks for the discussion though. I'm glad you like the games. I think my tastes moved away from FF when I grew out of my teens. I played VIII when I was about 14, then played VII, my favorite, then tried IX and wasn't so bothered. I played all of X, it was a good bit of fun but that was all. They haven't grabbed me the way 8 and then discovering 7 did in my youth.

Onmi:
One tiny problem, Fable 2 was a bug ridden, badly designed game...how is farting in the face of your wife/husband...

You didn't quite come up with a predicate there, but I'm going to assume you were heading for a conclusion along the lines of "how is that any better than FF?!"

It isn't.

Let's revisit my comment: "The same goes for all of the lies of Peter Molyneux. "

I don't like Fable. I don't like Mass Effect. You can find a whole article of mine devoted to my dislike of the latter.

But they way that the developers of both of these games have lied about what their games actually are--this interests me a great deal.

I'd like to see what would happen if the hype about these games could be made into a reality.

Listen. Review games. Describe what their strenghts are, in your opinion. Write well about what the games are about, and how they tell a story, if any. But for the love of god, can the lot of you who are competing on writing bloviating crap to describe the nature of gaming in the most general and undefinable way - can you just shut the hell up? I don't care about your ridiculous feelings of betrayal from the games- industry, I don't care about your righteous bitterness, I don't care if you've outgrown "the Final Fantasy Franchise", and I don't care about "coming of age" history- revision, that inevitably results in that every game that doesn't exist in potential only becomes worse than bad. And I certainly don't care if you're so smart and composed that you're able to resist the wonderous flash- animation on the Fable home- page enough to read one review before rushing to the story to buy the game - unlike, oh, the rest of the fucking planet.

Still - if you really have to write about game- industry politics. Can't you at least avoid mixing up the quality of the game with the hype and marketing bits? I suppose it must be difficult when what you really want is for the hype to actually be real - but try anyway. Trust me on this one.

Ray Huling:
The power of a modern gaming console should be put toward realizing the hype around games like Mass Effect and Fable, this kind of RPG--not towards a massive application of a twenty year-old gaming formula.

Maybe.

And there's the critical watchword, "Maybe". It's nice to shout that it's time for something new, but that does not necessitate the death of the old. There's a lot of space in the world of gaming for every kind of design philosophy. The emergence of unique RPGs like The World Ends with You, Persona 3/4, and Mass Effect proves that Final Fantasy isn't strangling the development of new titles and designs. On the contrary, the consistently high sales of the typical Final Fantasy title may in fact fuel and support the growth of new IPs.

Making entertainment is ultimately a creative enterprise, and even the most derivative sequential garbage brings something new to the table, even if the only thing new is a naming convention or more belts and zippers.

I mean hell, look at casual gaming. How many games are there that are merely minor variations of Diner Dash, Bejeweled or Tower Defense? Those all conform to a basic formula, and are yet different enough to justify selling like gangbusters.

My point is that it isn't necessary to shoot holes in the hull in order to rock the boat.

Why the hell was Onmi banned for a perfectly respectable post?
There was no spite, aggresion or bullying and yet hes be been banned for three days.
What the fuck is that all about?
Onmi was perfectly polite With this reply...

We see the Gambit System Differently, to me assigning it to everyone was pretty much the same as when Earthbound made weak enemies run away....yadda yadda

The_Deleted:
Why the hell was Onmi banned for a perfectly respectable post?
There was no spite, aggresion or bullying and yet hes be been banned for three days.
What the fuck is that all about?
Onmi was perfectly polite With this reply...

We see the Gambit System Differently, to me assigning it to everyone was pretty much the same as when Earthbound made weak enemies run away....yadda yadda

Hear here! What was wrong with his post?

I consider myself a RPG fan, but one thing that I've been noticing lately which turn me off from RPG's have been the claim of complex stories. I tend to avoid a lot of JRPGs because of how much they wish to focus on story telling--mainly because the story is really childish or separates too much of the player's attention from the gameplay.

I mention this because while I do have fond memories of RPGs on the Super Nintendo, like Final Fantasy III or Chrono Trigger, I just tend to look for more of the "game" aspect more in them now instead of good story-telling. Okay, so Chrono Trigger's story was good, but I'm not sure I can say the same for FFIII (It's been awhile since I played that).

I just think like this because I picked up the re-make for Final Fantasy V for the GBA like a year ago and fully enjoyed that toward the final dungeons. It wasn't the story that kept me hooked, which I considered rather meh-ville really, but I just liked the job system in the game. I always liked it when a game gives me a plethora of options to do--not something like a sandbox feature, but the job system in Final Fantasy V is an example.

Sorry, long rant, just wanted to post my 2 cents. >.>

/end rant.

Response to Omni:

While I do like Final Fantasy, the only one I finished was VII. I didn't finish VIII because I got bored with it at the 3rd disc. I didn't get far in IX since I hated it. I almost finished X, but then my disc broke and the data was also corrupted (lucky me!). It's always a case of "so close, yet so far." Again, I like Final Fantasy, it's just that I never get a chance to finish it, and this article makes good points about Final Fantasy's shortcomings in recent games.

Cinematics.

One word I could use to sum up the appeal of FF. Originally FF was D&D, you could make your characters as you wished, then the Paper RPGing changed up too. Motley Crew Hack and Slash began to get tiresome. How do you flesh that out. Actual character plots, Histories, and Spirit. All of wich began to evolve FF into the interactive Cinemas we enjoy today.

You can play FF for hours and hours of entertainment. I myself have logged in 170 hours on FFXII, and still cant get 'everything' cause I sold the snake skin at the very beggining, yet I still enjoyed it enough to play the full 170. Couple hundred dollars here and there for system, game, and HD TV, 170 hours Trumps 2 hours of Blu Ray movie anyday, and I still get extensive Cinematics to cool my mind and keep me up to date with where the plot of the game is taking my actions, and what it is the characters are even doing there busting up these imortal entities for anyway.

Interactive artistry at work and ever evolving with each installment is another reason I fanboy this stuff.

I guess what im trying to say is, I can understand the article relating to the games as a battleship that sunk cause it was late for the party because I relate this concept to the age old mechanics of the games I love..... Yes attack, yes attack, yes attack, can you attack already? But hey, There must be something about that that keeps us coughing up cash each time to see more!

Note on that (turnbased combat) Thank you FFXII for knowing well in advance that all I needed was some sword swinging there hey! Now go over there, theres more to mash!!!

Nice job on the article by the way.

***I dont think FF is out to kill anyone out on the open seas, although there have been some epic cinematic sea battles in FF.

I think that one of the big reasons why I've fallen out with my once passionate love for the Final Fantasy series is because I've grown up, but the series hasn't. Final Fantasy could get away with it's terrible plots and scripts in the past because I was a kid and didn't have any literary standards at that point. I remember watching the scene in Final Fantasy VIII where it's revealed that all the characters had some sort of amnesia from the Summons and thought that the plot twist was incredible. Now that I look back on that scene and the plots of the Final Fantasy's I've played, I've come to realize how bad they are.

The entire problem is that JRPGs put so much focus on the plot and character, moreso than any other genre, that it becomes hard to ignore the flaws in the plot of JRPGs than in other games. I've been playing through Tales of Vesperia on the 360 and while I've been enjoying the game, I can't tell you how many times I've facepalmed at scenes that were so badly presented or badly written. It's not like I can shrug it off and ignore them like I can with other games because JRPGs like Tales of Vesperia put so much focus on this stuff.

What's really quite sad though, is that in many ways, FPS have become better storytellers than JRPGs have. Games like Call of Duty 4, Bioshock, and Half-Life 2 all have extremely mature and intelligent storytelling. They aren't overly complex or innovative plots, but they really are at the pinnacle right now of video game storytelling.

And that is what I recommend to all JRPG developers to do from now on: follow the lead of FPS games in storytelling. I know it sounds completely ludicrous, but instead of evolving into mature storytelling, JRPGs developers have decided that "more is better" and laid on more story and more "twists" without actually improving the quality of the storytelling. Get the storytelling down first, THEN move on to a more complex plot.

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