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Lago PARANOIA
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 14, 2014 9:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Quote:
They're unconventional, character-focused stories in a series that is largely about event stories--in most FF games, "shit gets out of whack and plucky heroes go save the day" is the A plot, whereas both FF8 and FF13 treat it as a B plot. I played through FF8 again late last year and I think that they did a remarkable job until the "oh fuck we need to ship" fourth disc.


What? I found all of the main characters (with the exception of Squall) in FF8 to be stereotypical bland teenyboppers.

Specifically, here are my problems with the FF8 crew.

  • They don't feel like they're natural characters from the setting. They have no real roots in the culture, have no real backstory even when we consider the ARGLEBARGLE ORPHANAGE plot tweest, and have few ties to any character that you couldn't play in battle. FFX had a lot of fucking problems, but one thing it did right -- even moreso than the other games in the series -- is have the characters immerse you in the setting.
  • The characters are, frankly, not very bright. The Edea Assassination plot has to be one of the most retarded sequences I've ever seen in a game but it's far from the only example of their passive blandness. The characters get led by the nose too fucking much, are unable to anticipate any plot twists or non-obvious aspects of the setting, and don't show any real aptitude or insight towards their roles as mercenaries.
  • Except for Squall, there is no character development among any of the cast. Everyone else is exactly the same person they started out the game as. Oh, sure, they revealed some things about the characters we weren't aware of originally like Irvine's shyness or the GF Plot Tweest or Laguna = Squall's dad, but they don't actually show any real change. Even for the low standards of jRPG storytelling, that's fucking pathetic.

    Now, except for FFX and FFT pretty much all of the Final Fantasies have this problem. However, they also have redeeming factors. FF7 is hilarious so it gets a pass on flubbing point 3. FFV has great gameplay so we give it a pass on 1 and 3. FF6 gets a pass on point 1. And so on. But FF8 falls flat on its face character-wise, story-wise, and gameplay-wise. It's not Chrono Cross awful in any sense and does have a few good moments, but it doesn't deserve to be called good or even decent. I put it on the level of the GBA Golden Sun games.

    I don't understand FF8 being popular as a character-driven piece at all. Or rather, I do, but I don't understand the audience being so fucking ignorant as to actually fall for it. That game was set up specifically to appeal to people not only unfamiliar with jRPG storytelling but people unfamiliar with stories in general. FF8 is pretty much Pretty White Kids With Problems: The Video Game. Meant specifically to appeal to people who think that Patch Adams is hilarious and heartwarming and that Armageddon is a fun and engaging movie.
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    Last edited by Lago PARANOIA on Fri Mar 14, 2014 10:20 pm; edited 3 times in total
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    radthemad4
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    PostPosted: Fri Mar 14, 2014 10:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

    I started 6 on the GBA, got stuck somewhere, looked at a walkthrough, decided to read ahead a bit, and then never put down the walkthrough again till I finished the game. The game has way too much easily overlooked and missable content, and some stuff that isn't at all obvious, e.g. you should wait near the exit in the self destruct area with the timer instead of leaving right away to so that Shadow can catch up to you, some of the espers and equipment are in obscure locations, 'Stray Cat' is the best rage, etc. It's the only FF I've played but I really enjoyed it.

    Last edited by radthemad4 on Fri Mar 14, 2014 10:02 pm; edited 1 time in total
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    Leress
    Prince


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    PostPosted: Fri Mar 14, 2014 10:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

    Quote:
    I can agree with this. I don't mean to praise either game for being genius storytelling, more that I appreciate what they were trying to do. FF8 after FF7 was a pretty ballsy decision and I appreciate it more in hindsight than I did the first time I played it. That, coupled with the nostalgia (FF8 was the first game I bought with my own money from working an actual job), may make it mean more to me than other folks.
    For me it would be my second game (first being Phantasy Star 4)

    Quote:

    Totally agree regarding 13's plot--this is what I tried to convey with liking it for what it wanted to be more than what it was, I don't think it particularly succeeded at telling the story it wanted to tell but I did like that they tried. I found the game's minimalism appealing and not unambitious given S-E's size, though. I like to refer to the game as the "minimal viable JRPG"--

    That game already existed, it was called Dragon Quest/Warrior 1. That game had better story telling then FF13 and all it consisted of was " The Dragon lord kidnapped the princess are you a bad enough dude to save her, and after you do go stab the Dragon lord in the dick."
    Quote:

    there is not a whole hell of a lot in the game that you can remove and still really have a workable model of a JRPG. It isn't an unqualified success by any means, but I appreciated what they were trying to do, and for me that means a lot.

    For me the it was like it was doing what Xenosaga tried to do but cranking terrible story presentation to eleven. You don't put important information in fucking datalogs. The story fails at even basic shit like villain motivation (since it is fiction it actually has to make sense).

    Quote:
    I found switching between paradigms and balancing buffs/debuffs versus stagger versus damage output versus defense to be a lot more engaging than any prior Final Fantasy combat system and for me it wasn't really close. For me, the "hold A" criticisms don't really hold as well because that's pretty much exactly what I'd done for most of the series--go from shift to set, find the optimal pattern, hold A. I felt a lot more engaged when FF13 abstracted away the specific actions in combat in favor of higher-level strategic options.
    I know you were talking to Nall, but really the combat was mindless, doing unnecessary fancy shit doesn't make it better. I played a number of JRPGs that had more engaging battle systems Mana Khemia, Grandia 2, Shin Megamin Tensei Nocturne, and Digital Devil Saga. FF13 had dumb things that didn't make sense like if your leader die game over. That shit was dumb in Persona 3 and only made sense in SMT: Nocturne because world consistency-wise it made sense (The party was a very loose alliance of demons under the main character's command). Hell a better version of FF13 battle system was done in FF X-2. Even leveling up in FF13 was mindless it was like FF10 but on auto pilot.

    But so I am not entirely negative towards FF8 there were three things I liked about it:
    Graphics - They were definitely a step up from FF7's
    Triple Triad - That was a very fun game until the random rule ends up spreading
    Zell's Shoes - Not too often I can say, "A character in an RPG is wearing Jordans"
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    Last edited by Leress on Fri Mar 14, 2014 10:15 pm; edited 1 time in total
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    Lokathor
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    PostPosted: Fri Mar 14, 2014 11:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

    Koumei wrote:
    So, given it's an RPG by SquareEnix that isn't Dragon Quest, I figure Bravely Default is close enough to talk about in this thread. Is it any good? Someone recommended I tjeck it out, and I'm not sure. On the one hand, I've kind of lost interest in jRPGs (tacticals all the way!), on the other hand, I do like games that let you pick your class/job, especially if you can do a little mix-and-matching.

    Does it take particularly long to unlock the various classes?
    Do your levels in the basic "starting class" count against being able to take levels in the later classes you unlock (other than "the amount of XP needed")?
    What actually are the Brave and Default systems?


    I've only played the Demo (free on the eShop) and heard about it from others.

    A brave point is essentially worth 1 action. Each round all characters/monsters get 1BP. Each time you act it spends one of your BP. You can "Default" to on on defense for a turn and it ends up netting you a BP (you got one this turn, but didn't spend it). You can "Brave" to spend more than one brave point in a single turn (so that you're acting more than once). Some effects can also give you BP (there's a passive that sometimes gives you a BP when you're attacked, for example).

    So you can have up to 4 BP stored, and you can only spend 4BP in a turn, and you can go into BP debt (where your turn is automatically skipped each round until you're out of debt). Since getting your turn skipped doesn't raise your defense, and Defaulting does, it's better to store up BP by Defaulting than going straight into debt. Unless suddenly going 4 times at once is going to end the battle right there (eg: in almost any random encounter).

    So, it's basically FF5 with turn manipulation stuff. But also, I've heard that the story is, uh, lacking...
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    Lokathor
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    PostPosted: Sat Mar 15, 2014 1:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

    (double post i know)

    http://ff6.ocremix.org/

    particularly, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ln9Sq7IOP3o
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    infected slut princess
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    PostPosted: Mon Mar 17, 2014 1:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

    FFXIII is the biggest piece of shit I have ever seen.

    FFIV-VI are masterpieces.
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    OgreBattle
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    PostPosted: Mon Mar 17, 2014 1:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

    One of the things I like about the FF8 story is that the protagonist is a lot 'cooler' than his rival. Seifer's life basically revolves around trying to one-up Squall, while Squall just takes a 'whatever' attitude swords it. It's a nice inverse of the typical Ash/Gary situation.
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    Koumei
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    PostPosted: Mon Mar 17, 2014 1:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

    That's because Squall takes a "whatever" attitude towards everything in the entire fucking game.

    "Squall, we're going to die!"
    "I don't care."
    "I love you Squall!"
    "I don't care."
    "We won, we saved the day!"
    "I don't care."
    "You rubbed my cocklamp, now I will destroy you!"
    "I don't care."
    "You lost a bullshit card game, now I'll take all your best cards that you really should turn into special stat-boosting items."
    "I don't care."
    "We found 99 Ultima that you could junction to a stat (don't do anything as dumb as casting it!) for a huge bonus!"
    "I don't care."
    "I'm throwing this game into a volcano where it belongs!"
    "I don't care."
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    NineInchNall
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    PostPosted: Mon Mar 17, 2014 2:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

    Apathy is at least better (in that it is less grating) than the adolescent angst that has dominated Final Fantasy (and JRPGs in general, really) since VII.
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    Koumei
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    PostPosted: Mon Mar 17, 2014 3:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

    Well, Cloud at least gets better by the end of 7. I mean, they completely undo that for Advent Calendar, but if you ignore that (and I totally understand if you do), there's at least some character growth at all. That said, it does take quite a while, and by that time you're already balls-deep in the JENOVA AND SEPHIROTH plot, rather than the eco-terrorists vs Shinra arc, which would have made an awesome game.

    9 is amazing in the way it breaks away and gives you a smartass bad-attitude pervert for the main character, also it doesn't exist because it doesn't have the _____sword.

    I'll agree that 10 is more of the mopey kid. I assume Tidus grows out of it before he ceases to have existed (spoilers), but I couldn't be fucked finishing the game.
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    Maxus
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    PostPosted: Mon Mar 17, 2014 3:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

    Tidus's inner monologue gave hints that there was more going on in his head than he outwardly showed, but it...never showed up outside his head.

    Auron was cool, though.
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    TarkisFlux
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    PostPosted: Mon Mar 17, 2014 4:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

    I sort of skipped Final Fantasy 9. I was so let down by Chrono Cross and Final Fantasy 8 that I wasn't even following the series anymore, and I had a shiny new launch PS2 to look for games on. My roommate picked it up and I watched a bit of it, but I missed most of it. Is it worth tracking down?
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    TarkisFlux
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    PostPosted: Mon Mar 17, 2014 4:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

    I sort of skipped Final Fantasy 9. I was so let down by Chrono Cross and Final Fantasy 8 that I wasn't even following the series anymore, and I had a shiny new launch PS2 to look for games on. My roommate picked it up and I watched a bit of it, but I missed most of it. Is it worth tracking down?
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    Maxus
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    PostPosted: Mon Mar 17, 2014 4:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

    Yeah, it's actually pretty good.

    It's on the PSN for, like, ten bucks or so. Or fifteen. I forget which.

    It has some nice polishes--like, the hero is a thief. Most bosses have multiple items you can steal. Likewise, if you rob -everyone- in the game's opening sequences, you'll get some good equipment that'll make the game easier for a while.
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    He jumps like a damned dragoon, and charges into battle fighting rather insane monsters with little more than his bare hands and rather nasty spell effects conjured up solely through knowledge and the local plantlife. He unerringly knows where his goal lies, he breathes underwater and is untroubled by space travel, seems to have no limits to his actual endurance and favors killing his enemies by driving both boots square into their skull. His agility is unmatched, and his strength legendary, able to fling about a turtle shell big enough to contain a man with enough force to barrel down a near endless path of unfortunates.

    --The horror of Mario

    Zak S, Zak Smith, Dndwithpornstars, Zak Sabbath. He is a terrible person and a hack at writing and art. His cultural contributions are less than Justin Bieber's, and he's a shitmuffin. Go go gadget Googlebomb!
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    OgreBattle
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    PostPosted: Mon Mar 17, 2014 7:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

    NineInchNall wrote:
    Apathy is at least better (in that it is less grating) than the adolescent angst that has dominated Final Fantasy (and JRPGs in general, really) since VII.


    How so?

    FF7: Cloud starts the game as an asshole mercenary, then's revealed that his memories are all gummied up and the villain even convinces him he's a figment of his imagination for a good amount of time.
    FF8: Squall has a "whatever' attitude towards everything
    FF9: Zidane is a pro thief and pretty happy-go-lucky
    FFX: Tidus is a pro-athlete, pretty outwardly happy-go-lucky, keeps his issues to himself
    FFXI: MMO
    FF12: Vaan is all smiles even when he's fighting in a revolution
    FF13: Lightning's a police woman trying to save her little sister from the church/government and becomes foster authority figure to a kid that lost his mom along the way
    FF14: MMO
    FF15: Protagonist is the prince of a kingdom getting invaded, looks up to his dad who is an ideal king, is followed by his dude-squad bodyguard, not much else is known yet.

    And with earlier FF's...

    FF6: Everyone got issues, everyone helps each other deal with them. One guy kills himself at the end.
    FF5: Bartz is on an adventure!
    FF4: Dark Knight feels guilty about invading Iraq for oil, confides in his girlfriend, his foster brother is jealous but keeps it to himself until an evil god possesses him in a Kain and Abel scenario, except in this case the god loses.
    FF3: Blank slate heroes
    FF2: Fighting against the empire in th' rebellion!
    FF1: Blank slate heroes
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    Dean
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    PostPosted: Mon Mar 17, 2014 10:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

    FF9 is definitely worth your time. It's the last good one they made. At the time it felt like a real return to fun and enjoyable characters and gameplay to which the series has never hence returned. It is also the last game with a story I could follow which wasn't something like "The Gods made a dream called the Oaenus. All the L'frie were part of the Oaenus until the fabrics of love started to come undone and cast sin through time. You are a blonde man with pants."
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    Meikle641
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    PostPosted: Tue Mar 18, 2014 12:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

    I love FF9. The music, the aesthetics... The story is pretty decent and I enjoyed combat and character advancement.
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    codeGlaze
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    PostPosted: Tue Mar 18, 2014 1:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

    Meikle641 wrote:
    I love FF9. The music, the aesthetics... The story is pretty decent and I enjoyed combat and character advancement.
    FF9 was my favorite of all the "modern" Final Fantasies. It was like SNES FF in Threeeee Deeeeeeee.

    My favorite old school one was which ever number had the flying desert castle and the comedic relief octopus boss that wouldn't die. xD
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    Maxus
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    PostPosted: Tue Mar 18, 2014 2:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

    6. Kefka rocked as a villain.
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    --The horror of Mario

    Zak S, Zak Smith, Dndwithpornstars, Zak Sabbath. He is a terrible person and a hack at writing and art. His cultural contributions are less than Justin Bieber's, and he's a shitmuffin. Go go gadget Googlebomb!
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    codeGlaze
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    PostPosted: Wed Mar 19, 2014 5:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

    Wow... I forgot I owned FF13.... man that game was a piece of shit.

    My fiance BOUGHT OUR 360 just to play the game... and stopped after two days.
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    RufusCorvus
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    PostPosted: Wed Mar 19, 2014 7:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

    I remember hating FF9 when it came out. Every single thing about it, from the art style to the characters to the combat. I only kept playing it because I'd rented it from Blockbuster and was going to get my money's worth (read: my parents' money) out of it.

    Fast forward about a decade later, with me now in college, I got the urge to try FF9 out again after reading so many people talking about how much they liked it. So I buy it for cheap off Amazon and give it a shot and... it is fucking AMAZING. By far my favorite of the numbered FFs (second, counting Tactics). Hell, just typing this makes me want to play it again.

    As for FF8, I feel like my nostalgia glasses are too thick on that one. It was the first game I got for the PlayStation and I was a tender, impressionable 6th grader when I first played it. I still like the overall aesthetic of the game and recognize its many faults, but the game has too much emotional cachet for me to fully hate it.

    ...My strong feelings for FF8 probably had a lot to do with my knee-jerk initial reaction to FF9, considering how different they are.
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    GreatGreyShrike
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    PostPosted: Wed Mar 19, 2014 5:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

    I really enjoyed FF9 and FF7 a lot more than FF8.

    I didn't really like Squall's character, or the entire Orphanage plot, or the Time Compression bit, or some of the first disk's shenanigans with e.g. Edea's failure-filled attempted assassination; Even some of the aesthetic decisions (e.g. gunblades) I hated a lot.

    That said, a lot of that could be argued one way or another and it is all subjective stuff. There is a bunch of stuff that is just inarguably, nondebatably wrong that I want to write about instead - basically, all the stat systems and mechanics in it.

    FF8 is basically the king of perverse incentives, failed expectations, and misleading mechanics. In FF8, your enemies you fight (except one optional boss) all take as their 'level' determining their stats etc. the average of the party's fighting thems' level. HOWEVER, they get more out of the levels (in terms of stats, etc) than your party does, and you are supposed to make up for this with the junctioning system. This means that the 'powergaming' way to play is to never, ever get any experience or level up, and if you try to grind levels to make a boss fight you are having trouble with easier it gets HARDER instead. This really puzzled and frustrated me at the time I originally played it - every game up to then for me if you went and leveled up and made your numbers go up, things would get easier allowing bad players (like I was at the time) to succeed anyway.

    By the way, the ways to avoid experience? Mostly puzzling and counterintuitive - running away makes sense, but to still get AP you can:
    A) Fight bosses and advance the story (gets no XP from bosses, just AP)
    B) Petrify enemies (a lot of unescapable encounters can be petrified with Break to go past with no XP) (WTF?)
    C) 'Card' enemies into cards for the card game. (Even more WTF?)

    Then, if you figured out levels were a trap, the most common reaction was to immediately try to junction stuff instead... by drawing it. That's ALSO a trap - at low levels, no enemy has anything other than GFs on bosses worth drawing, and drawing takes forever and is insanely tedious. The actual way to get good magic involves playing the card game (triple triad) for maybe an hour or so and using Card Mod to turn cards into items then refining the items into magics - it was easy to get a full set of tornado/death/curaga/regen/break and some other less relevant stuff in an hour of triple triad a couple hours into disk 1, and then use that straight to the end of the game while running from all fights and never levelling up. But actually trying to play the game the way it seemed to encourage you to - leveling up, drawing magic - worked really poorly - it was both super tedious and ineffective.

    Even the in-combat actions you could do tended to be misleading. Zell's whole shtick with his limit break encourages you to try to do increasingly complicated combos to get cool-looking attacks, which were ultimately ineffective. However, if you abused alternating two simple attacks that could be executed fast you could get a hundred or more attacks out of a single limit break - and kill any boss in the game in one go.

    The junctioning system meant that trying to cast spells as an archetype was basically nonfunctional - the only magic worth casting was Aura (for easy limit breaks), Break (to avoid XP), Demi (for easy card-moding) and Meltdown (to reduce damage resistance). Actually casting, e.g. fire magic or any of the other iconic spells was basically yet another trap.

    The best thing about FF8 were probably the music. There was some quite memorable stuff in FF8 - I really liked the soundtrack a lot. Also, the card game (Triple Triad) was the best minigame Square Enix has ever come up with in any game to date by a huge margin.
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    TOZ
    Duke


    Joined: 29 Oct 2008
    Posts: 1148

    PostPosted: Wed Mar 19, 2014 5:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

    FF6 is the greatest and you are all idiots. That is all.
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    Gabriel
    NPC


    Joined: 02 Apr 2014
    Posts: 6

    PostPosted: Wed Apr 02, 2014 1:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

    When FF13 came out there was a lot of anti-JRPG stuff going on in the gaming press. I ascribed the negativity regarding FF13 as people just riding that wave. The complaints I heard sounded a lot like generic nonsensical complaints that were making the rounds against JRPGs. I convinced myself the naysayers had to be wrong. FF13 became the first FF since FF8 that I purchased, because it looked like maybe the series was worth another shot.

    I played FF13 to completion. To this day I really don't know why I did. I think it was because I kept on playing and telling myself that it HAD to start telling a story sooner or later. All the elements of something great were there, floating around in the void, but they could never chemically combine. It kept on seeming like a great game was on the very cusp of coalescing, but it never happened. And the mechanics made me feel they were dreamed up by someone who hated JRPGs and wanted to make a parody of them.

    To this day I'm bewildered by FF13. How could it be this bad, yet have caused me to play all the way through? I'll probably never know.

    Some of my happiest video gaming moments are in FF6 and FF7. I enjoy playing FF1 from time to time. I just can't get into FF4 or FF5. I can't stand FF2 or anything from FF8 onward.
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    Whipstitch
    Prince


    Joined: 29 Apr 2011
    Posts: 2935

    PostPosted: Wed Apr 02, 2014 1:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

    TOZ wrote:
    FF6 is the greatest and you are all idiots. That is all.


    Eh, FF7 was easily good enough that I don't begrudge people for picking it as their favorite, particularly since that's where most people were introduced to the series. FF7 enjoyed tv spots, a bigger market, newer technology and a longer leash than FF6 had it when it comes to the translation. That last one is kind of a big deal when your games sometimes touch on suicide or becoming a cross dressing honeypot. FF6 is my personal favorite, but I think that's largely because the cast was so big that they could strike out on a half dozen character designs and still have enough guys left over to build a team out of people you don't hate too bad.
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    Last edited by Whipstitch on Wed Apr 02, 2014 1:56 am; edited 2 times in total
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