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Op Ed

WIRED Game-Life - Final Fantasy Isn’t Dying. It’s Already Dead. Stick a FFork in it. Thanks Ant.
What inspiration, if any, will breast-jiggling simulator Lightning Returns pass down to a new generation of game creators? Somewhere along the line, Final Fantasy lost the plot. Original creator Hironobu Sakaguchi is long gone, and if he attempted to pass the torch to a new generation they dropped it, let it go out in the dirt and kept running anyway. The 2001 game Final Fantasy X wasn’t that bad, but the next game after that, the awkwardly-named Final Fantasy X-2, decided that what the series needed was to take all the female player characters, give them skimpier outfits and make them into J-pop stars.

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27. Re: Op Ed Aug 19, 2014, 20:57 Redmask
 
I thought the series peaked with FF6, everything since then has been trying to tell stories no one cares about with bad characters and average gameplay.  
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26. Re: Op Ed Aug 15, 2014, 18:20 panbient
 
Creston wrote on Aug 15, 2014, 11:53:
I've played through X probably 9 or 10 times, and there really isn't any location where it takes that long to find another save crystal... I think the Mi'ihen High Road and Mushroom Rock are two of the longest sections, and if you bash through you'd get to the next save crystal in maybe 10 minutes.

Obviously I'm an expert at FFX, but even if you had never played it, if you just kept walking (and since it's a corridor, you can only go one way) it'd take maybe 15 minutes.


But obviously to each their own.

Indeed. And it has been a long time but that's the impact FFX left me with :S I'm not a fan of just bashing through an area or avoiding battle, and I'm thinking that's where the extra time came in.

I'm actually a big fan of grind-y RPGs when there's good character customization options, which 12 had a great system. From what I remember with 10 you'd get better stats and regular unlocks but no real option to tweak your builds as you progressed.

And has there been a modern FF game where the story wasn't pants?

I mean really, water polo? That's the sport of the future? hehehe
 
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25. Re: Op Ed Aug 15, 2014, 11:53 Creston
 
panbient wrote on Aug 15, 2014, 07:54:
The pacing was messed up where you'd end up finding 3-4 save crystals within an hour long session then you'd end up on a road or a trail or some other thing that totally was 'not' a corridor and couldn't save for at least another hour of grinding to get through.

I've played through X probably 9 or 10 times, and there really isn't any location where it takes that long to find another save crystal... I think the Mi'ihen High Road and Mushroom Rock are two of the longest sections, and if you bash through you'd get to the next save crystal in maybe 10 minutes.

Obviously I'm an expert at FFX, but even if you had never played it, if you just kept walking (and since it's a corridor, you can only go one way) it'd take maybe 15 minutes.

I gave up on it in that maze cave where you had to find all your party members before escaping or they'd be lost for good.

You mean the one that Yevon throws you in after you break up Yuna's wedding? That maze is like four rooms big.


FF 12 on the other hand was excellent in my book and pretty much the perfect combination of 4,6, and 7 that I'd always hoped for.

I hated FF12. I kinda liked the removal of the battle screen, but the story was pants, the characters were pants, and if you disliked X's grinding, I really have no clue how you liked 12, because in 12 you had to grind monsters with 0.0001% drop rates to get certain items.

But obviously to each their own.
 
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24. Re: Op Ed Aug 15, 2014, 09:20 Prez
 
Scottish Martial Arts wrote on Aug 14, 2014, 22:51:
Creston wrote on Aug 14, 2014, 13:00:
The fact the girls are dressed like they're getting ready for a Brazzers shoot doesn't bother me.


Completely off-topic but that reminds me of something a friend recently said: "It's getting increasingly difficult to tell female Fox News anchors apart from Brazzers porn stars." I'm kinda inclined to agree.

That's why I watch Fox News!
 
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“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”
- Mahatma Gandhi
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23. Re: Op Ed Aug 15, 2014, 07:54 panbient
 
Verno wrote on Aug 14, 2014, 12:13:
Everything else who knows, it ain't lookin good unless you release on the 3DS.

And considering the price of a 3DS plus the wealth of available games (including all the old regular DS titles on the 'used' shelf) it's great little RPG machine, even if it is a console. You can keep a session going forever just by closing the lid, it's like a permanent save state.

As for Final Fantasy I never got the hype for X. I tried it and found it very linear, and even more flamboyant. The pacing was messed up where you'd end up finding 3-4 save crystals within an hour long session then you'd end up on a road or a trail or some other thing that totally was 'not' a corridor and couldn't save for at least another hour of grinding to get through. I gave up on it in that maze cave where you had to find all your party members before escaping or they'd be lost for good. Funny how the 3DS lid thing completely eliminates that pacing complaint.

FF 12 on the other hand was excellent in my book and pretty much the perfect combination of 4,6, and 7 that I'd always hoped for.
 
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22. Re: Op Ed Aug 14, 2014, 22:51 Scottish Martial Arts
 
Creston wrote on Aug 14, 2014, 13:00:
The fact the girls are dressed like they're getting ready for a Brazzers shoot doesn't bother me.


Completely off-topic but that reminds me of something a friend recently said: "It's getting increasingly difficult to tell female Fox News anchors apart from Brazzers porn stars." I'm kinda inclined to agree.
 
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21. Re: Op Ed Aug 14, 2014, 15:04 Verno
 
Task wrote on Aug 14, 2014, 14:55:
Has anyone here played Ni No Kuni? The world is all open and what not, but the progression and 'extra stuff' are well placed/paced I think. Its a bit like a FF JRPG meets Zelda style progression.

Yeah I really enjoyed Ni No Kuni but man the party AI in that game is fucking awful and really drags down the experience considerably. It was great to play a JRPG that I could share with the daughter though.
 
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20. Re: Op Ed Aug 14, 2014, 14:56 Total-Khaos
 
Creston wrote on Aug 14, 2014, 14:13:
Total-Khaos wrote on Aug 14, 2014, 13:23:
Anyone else notice this article is more than a year old? Slow news day?

Yes, I did. See two posts below you.

Touché - I missed that!
 
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19. Re: Op Ed Aug 14, 2014, 14:55 Task
 
Verno wrote on Aug 14, 2014, 13:39:

The illusion of freedom is really important in most RPGs. When you strip down a JRPG to its barest form there isn't much there, that's why you can't make a game like that. People want the towns, dumb conversations with no-name NPCs, side quests and strategy guide fodder. That shit fills out the world, makes it more convincing. I remember reading that the producer on XIII wanted to make it a more "Call of Duty" experience and suddenly the quality

Has anyone here played Ni No Kuni? The world is all open and what not, but the progression and 'extra stuff' are well placed/paced I think. Its a bit like a FF JRPG meets Zelda style progression.
 
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18. Re: Op Ed Aug 14, 2014, 14:48 sauron
 
I know most folks here don't play the MMO FF titles but they make Square Enix an absolute TON of money, and XIV is one of the best MMOs on the market these days, if not THE best.

It won pretty much every Best MMO award last year. Granted that was its second iteration and the first was nowhere near as good, but still...

So, FF games are dead? Don't think so.
 
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Kittens!
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17. Re: Op Ed Aug 14, 2014, 14:42 Verno
 
UHD wrote on Aug 14, 2014, 13:47:
But yeah, the complaints about linearity are hilarious when you realize X is just as bad in almost every respect and I don't remember anyone bitching about it then. I didn't think either game suffered for it. It's not like Final Fantasy stories have ever changed significantly because of player decisions.

X isn't as bad not even close. The illusion of freedom is important and X skirts the border but never goes beyond, always giving you enough to do and see. You do your shopping at the save cube in FFXIII while you venture down an often literal corridor, I don't care if there were story reasons for it thats just breaking down the 4th wall too much. Might as well include the producer as the antagonist. One of the most commonly leveled complaints about X back then was its linearity, though personally I believe that it hit the right balance. XIII goes way too far by stripping everything down to the bare minimum which is not what people play JRPGs for. A convoluted story with a largely unlikeable cast didn't help and the games combat system wasn't deep enough to carry it. Even forgetting comparisons to FF or other JRPGs it was just a mediocre game, almost incredibly so when you consider the sheer amount of money and time spent on it.

I actually liked X-2, it was a fun game and the story was more nuanced than it appears at first glance. It's just hard to see it over the in-your-face Dress Me Up Idol Yuna mini(skirt)game.

X-2 was a fine game, it just had bad characterization and a plot that no one outside of Japan could identify with due to cultural differences.
 
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16. Re: Op Ed Aug 14, 2014, 14:41 KS
 
"decided that what the series needed was to take all the female player characters, give them skimpier outfits and make them into J-pop stars."

Dang! I wish I had known that. I might have played it.
 
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15. Re: Op Ed Aug 14, 2014, 14:13 Creston
 
Total-Khaos wrote on Aug 14, 2014, 13:23:
Anyone else notice this article is more than a year old? Slow news day?

Yes, I did. See two posts below you.
 
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14. Re: Op Ed Aug 14, 2014, 13:47 UHD
 
Story constraints made backtracking unrealistic in XIII - at least for the bits I played which was roughly half. But yeah, the complaints about linearity are hilarious when you realize X is just as bad in almost every respect and I don't remember anyone bitching about it then. I didn't think either game suffered for it. It's not like Final Fantasy stories have ever changed significantly because of player decisions.

I actually liked X-2, it was a fun game and the story was more nuanced than it appears at first glance. It's just hard to see it over the in-your-face Dress Me Up Idol Yuna mini(skirt)game.

Edit: I can understand the lack of interaction with neutral or friendly NPCs, but you're supposed to be fugitives on the run in XIII. It's part of the atmosphere. So I can get that. Just my opinion though.
 
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13. Re: Op Ed Aug 14, 2014, 13:39 Verno
 
NKD wrote on Aug 14, 2014, 13:27:
13-2 and Lightning Returns ditch all that corridor bullshit. But the thing is, when I was replaying Final Fantasy X HD Remaster on my PS3, it struck me that FFX was pretty corridor-based as well. A LOT of the areas were just paths that funnelled you along to the next story point. In fact it's a lot like FF13 in that regard. The difference being in FFX you could revisit old areas.

The illusion of freedom is really important in most RPGs. When you strip down a JRPG to its barest form there isn't much there, that's why you can't make a game like that. People want the towns, dumb conversations with no-name NPCs, side quests and strategy guide fodder. That shit fills out the world, makes it more convincing. I remember reading that the producer on XIII wanted to make it a more "Call of Duty" experience and suddenly the quality of that game made more sense. I have no interest in checking out any of the follow ups, I hear lame things about the time mechanic and I thought the characters from that "universe" are by far some of the worst they've produced.

I hope 15 or whatever is a return to form. I really want something big and expansive again. FF12 had its flaws but overall something more like that. Give me an emphasis on gameplay again, not just the visuals, its a package deal.
 
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12. Re: Op Ed Aug 14, 2014, 13:27 NKD
 
Total-Khaos wrote on Aug 14, 2014, 13:23:
Anyone else notice this article is more than a year old? Slow news day?

Wow, good catch. Didn't notice that. No wonder the fucker is bitching about Lightning Returns. It wasn't even released in Japan back then, let alone the US.

Verno wrote on Aug 14, 2014, 13:19:
I thought FFX was fine but FFXIII takes it way too far into corridor territory. It is a literal corridor, play it sometime and you'll understand the complaints. The story and characters are fucking trash (which is saying something for a JRPG) which leaves no redeeming aspects to the whole experience other than over-produced visuals.

13-2 and Lightning Returns ditch all that corridor bullshit. But the thing is, when I was replaying Final Fantasy X HD Remaster on my PS3, it struck me that FFX was pretty corridor-based as well. A LOT of the areas were just paths that funnelled you along to the next story point. In fact it's a lot like FF13 in that regard. The difference being in FFX you could revisit old areas.
 
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If you don't like where gaming is heading, stop giving your money to the people who are taking it in that direction.
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11. Re: Op Ed Aug 14, 2014, 13:23 Total-Khaos
 
Anyone else notice this article is more than a year old? Slow news day?  
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10. Re: Op Ed Aug 14, 2014, 13:19 Verno
 
I thought FFX was fine but FFXIII takes it way too far into corridor territory. It is a literal corridor, play it sometime and you'll understand the complaints. The story and characters are fucking trash (which is saying something for a JRPG) which leaves no redeeming aspects to the whole experience other than over-produced visuals.  
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9. Re: Op Ed Aug 14, 2014, 13:00 Creston
 
I must be the only guy who loves FFX. (FFX-2 not so much, but that's mostly because of the annoying "Visit every location once every chapter" style exploration they introduced. The fact the girls are dressed like they're getting ready for a Brazzers shoot doesn't bother me.

I got FF13 awhile back, but have yet to actually really play it. Keep forgetting to.

Anyway, so far FF Versus (or rather FF15) is looking pretty promising, and the entire series still sells millions and millions of copies.

All that aside, why are you linking year-old OP ED pieces, Blue?
 
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8. Re: Op Ed Aug 14, 2014, 12:13 Verno
 
PHJF wrote on Aug 14, 2014, 11:11:
I just can't get around how stark the contrast between FFXII and FFXIII was. One was a huge pseudo MMO world chock full of monster-infested expansive zones, and the next a corridor-laden title which made Doom 3 look like Far Cry. And WTF is Square doing taking tri-Ace, who made actually interesting games of Star Ocean and Resonance of Fate, and dumping them on Final Fantasy???


I can't believe the Dragon Quest and Ni no Kuni dev is making a fucking ipad game. It seems the only JRPG still kicking is Tales.

The Japanese console market has been shrinking for some time, to do a big budget JRPG you pretty much need to do it on a handheld. People there are going nuts over mobile games so unfortunately this trend will likely continue which sucks because I love me some JRPGs.

There is still a huge market for FF games but they can't afford to keep making these 5 year affairs that resemble movies more than games. Tales will be fine as they have a solid fanbase and a good niche. Everything else who knows, it ain't lookin good unless you release on the 3DS.

This comment was edited on Aug 14, 2014, 12:48.
 
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