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#52 Jul 20 2010 at 5:19 PM Rating: Good
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Puppy1 wrote:
Hehe I have no idea how this thread turned from armbands to Fav Final fantasy game (mine was 3 na version btw).


It started with...

ascorbic wrote:
I'm derailing the thread, so I apologize in advance


and was cemented by...

Mikhalia wrote:
ascorbic wrote:
GuardianFaith wrote:
I was going to buy FFXIII just for the promotional thing, but then I heard from many people that it's the worst FF yet.


I wouldn't call it the best FF made, but I also wouldn't rank it near the bottom.


I would.


...and went from there.

Hope that clarifies things :)
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#53 Jul 20 2010 at 5:25 PM Rating: Good
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Mikhalia wrote:
Puppy1 wrote:
Hehe I have no idea how this thread turned from armbands to Fav Final fantasy game (mine was 3 na version btw).


It started with...

ascorbic wrote:
I'm derailing the thread, so I apologize in advance


and was cemented by...

Mikhalia wrote:
ascorbic wrote:
GuardianFaith wrote:
I was going to buy FFXIII just for the promotional thing, but then I heard from many people that it's the worst FF yet.


I wouldn't call it the best FF made, but I also wouldn't rank it near the bottom.


I would.


...and went from there.

Hope that clarifies things :)


LoL Okay thanks for the clerification :)
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#54 Jul 20 2010 at 6:14 PM Rating: Decent
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LOL that made me chuckle.
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#55 Jul 20 2010 at 7:19 PM Rating: Decent
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I hate to derail this derailed thread but as much as I've loved most of the Final Fantasy games, I think Suikoden is better than them all..

Discuss lol...
#56 Jul 20 2010 at 7:39 PM Rating: Good
supergp17 wrote:
I hate to derail this derailed thread but as much as I've loved most of the Final Fantasy games, I think Suikoden is better than them all..

Discuss lol...


This is available for download on the PSN. I was thinking of putting it on my PSP. Never played the original version.
#57 Jul 20 2010 at 7:44 PM Rating: Decent
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I've only played the original from the PSN. I thought it was fun. Too bad I had to send in my ps3 for repairs before I could finish it. :( My friend downloaded it and I can't log into his account to re-download it.
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#58 Jul 20 2010 at 11:43 PM Rating: Good
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Osarion, Goblin in Disguise wrote:

Mik, between this rant and your rant about overpaid celebrities, I think you need to start a new church. And I'll be your first fanatical follower Smiley: grin


Any one who doesn't recognize the greatness of FF10 is not only not allowed to have a church, they're not even allowed to ATTEND the church. :P

As a child in a single parent home, I really identified with the conflicted emotions of a boy becoming a man and trying to sort out his feelings over his father. As a Marine who left loved ones and friendships behind, I felt Yuna's conflict between a duty to the greater good, and the desire to live a normal and happy life. I thought Maester Seymour was the second greatest villain of the entire FF series (Kefka is obviously the best, Hwa hwa hwa!). Sin represented literally and figuratively the phenomenon of modern guilt and ecological disaster. The sphere grid was an awesome system for character advancement, striking the perfect balance between freedom and structure (any character could become anything if you REALLY wanted, but each character still had a clear niche). The side game (Blitz Ball) was entertaining enough on its own. The characters were awesome. The many layers of amazing game play and story in this game were just terrific. Even the Avatars finally had a role that made SENSE for the first time since... Terra? Even the romance of the game rang true to me. Squall and Yuna were so bittersweet, and Wakka and Lulu so perfect together in a way that wasn't easy to see until it happened (which is so true to life, IMO).

As far as the game I most enjoyed at the time, it's FFIII (I know it's actually VI, but it was III when I played it on the SNES). I got so much joy from playing that game for hours and hours. 7 and 10 were the same for me, but III was first, so that's the one I loved playing the most, even though looking back I think 10 was the best as a total package.



Edited, Jul 21st 2010 1:47am by KarlHungis
#59 Jul 21 2010 at 12:28 AM Rating: Good
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KarlHungis wrote:
Osarion, Goblin in Disguise wrote:

Mik, between this rant and your rant about overpaid celebrities, I think you need to start a new church. And I'll be your first fanatical follower Smiley: grin


Any one who doesn't recognize the greatness of FF10 is not only not allowed to have a church, they're not even allowed to ATTEND the church. :P


While 10 wasn't my personal favorite, it did have a very good story, and very good characters. I didn't really care for the fact that the world was one long tunnel, or the whole "swapping members in and out mid-battle" but the story was done well and told effectively. I've never felt X was a bad game at all.
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#60 Jul 21 2010 at 7:00 AM Rating: Good
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I, too, loved FF10, and I greatly enjoyed FFXIII.

While I acknowledge that everyone has the prerogative to their own opinions, I've never understood the "linear" complaint. Linearity, to me, seems to be good game design. If there are 30+ hours of linear gameplay with the opportunity for much more side-content, I'm quite happy. I like the story advancing at a regular pace.

Then again, I've liked every FF I've played except for VIII, and even that I didn't hate.
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#61 Jul 21 2010 at 2:09 PM Rating: Good
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JayRams wrote:
I, too, loved FF10, and I greatly enjoyed FFXIII.

While I acknowledge that everyone has the prerogative to their own opinions, I've never understood the "linear" complaint. Linearity, to me, seems to be good game design. If there are 30+ hours of linear gameplay with the opportunity for much more side-content, I'm quite happy. I like the story advancing at a regular pace.

Then again, I've liked every FF I've played except for VIII, and even that I didn't hate.


Heh, most of us who complain about the linear aspect of it are used to the older final fantasy games where the words were more open, able to go just do random stuff, grind up levels or random side quests. Reason 13 sucked , for me anyway, It was because you couldnt randomly go do other things like hunt random mosters or any side quests. Until it opened up anyway, and by that time.. kinda lost its appeal, nice graphics in it though.
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Church OF Mikhalia
#62 Jul 21 2010 at 3:07 PM Rating: Decent
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Could someone explain where on the user management page you can check to see if the code was redeemed properly? I've looked around and I cannot find anywhere that mentions it. I did register FF13, and I thought I registered the armband code, but I am not honestly sure.

Thanks
#63 Jul 21 2010 at 3:09 PM Rating: Good
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lol nvm read Swisa below!

Edited, Jul 21st 2010 5:18pm by JayRams
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#64 Jul 21 2010 at 3:16 PM Rating: Decent
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Quote:
Could someone explain where on the user management page you can check to see if the code was redeemed properly? I've looked around and I cannot find anywhere that mentions it. I did register FF13, and I thought I registered the armband code, but I am not honestly sure.

Thanks


Muzner.... I'll give you step by step instructions on how to find your armguard code. You'll need to enter this code sometime while you first play FFXIV. First of all, you need to have registered the PS3 version. If it's the 360 version, unfortunately, you will not be able to receive the armguards.

First log into your square enix account via the square enix website. Next choose features near the top of the screen. Next click on the FF13 picture/logo. You'll be taken to a page solely for FF13. Next click bonus codes at the bottom left side of the screen. Scroll down and you should see a red link that says "Review Your PlayStation®3 Bonus Code and Bonus Details." Click that and scroll down. You'll see two pictures of the armguards and then right beneath that is the code you'll need to enter after installing FFXIV. Once you've done that, you'll receive the armguards on EVERY character created from then on. Happy hunting!
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#65 Jul 21 2010 at 3:17 PM Rating: Decent
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LOL I'm pretty sure when I went to sign up for the PC beta, I entered in the wrong code. I entered in the one that registered FF13 and not the one for the armguards. Boo! :(
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#66 Jul 21 2010 at 3:37 PM Rating: Decent
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It says on it that you get both FFXIV beta AND the arm bands, so im sure if you registered correctly you should be getting the item.

Just got back from 3 EB games, found 9 codes in total, prob 1-3 used but still not to bad a find for 30 min of work. Time to Ebay!
#67 Jul 21 2010 at 5:38 PM Rating: Decent
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Swisa,

Thanks so much for the instructions. I was looking under the member pages, and not the one associated with the game code I registered.

#68 Jul 21 2010 at 7:24 PM Rating: Decent
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#69 Jul 21 2010 at 8:16 PM Rating: Decent
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#70 Jul 21 2010 at 9:19 PM Rating: Decent
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What are those smaller registration cards for? Are they the same thing only for the 360? I've never seen them before.

Muzner...It's no problem. I had to do some digging myself before I finally found it.
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#71 Jul 21 2010 at 10:42 PM Rating: Decent
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They are registration codes for the game, they all came from PS3 FFXIII, i assume these are from 2nd generation FFXIII games released. They say nothing about the beta or item, only to register for points. i grabbed them too since the staff didn't mind(perk of having worked at an EB games and knowing how to talk with them). Well at least my GF is happy that she got a code, going to make the sting of losing those goggles less :D

#72 Jul 21 2010 at 10:56 PM Rating: Good
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Criminy, Mikhalia! I know I brought up the game, but geez. You sure ran with the ball, so to speak...

Mikhalia wrote:
My complaints were thus:

1) Way too many cutscenes. Like way, way, way, way, way, way, way too many cutscenes. It felt less like I was playing a game and more like I was watching a movie.

2) Way too linear. Like, way, way.... yeah. Everything was on a path from point A to point B. This was a complaint I had in FFX as well, but FFX didn't couple the path with cutscenes at the beginning and end of every path, with two more in the middle. There's an art to making a linear game not -feel- linear. SE has done it reasonably well in the past. It's pretty clear they didn't even ATTEMPT it in 13.


There were a lot of cutscenes, and rather predictably you'll find more in the beginning and the end, where the story is being set up/resolved. Other FFs have used cutscenes and a healthy dose of dialogue boxes to run the story. This one used cutscenes exclusively. I didn't feel I spent a grossly higher % of time watching the story of XIII than I did watching/pressing the "ok" button of previous editions. Certainly not if we were removing grind time from the equation.

Mikhalia wrote:
3) Poor advancement system. The came capped your progress to a certain level in each of your roles. If you wanted to take a little more time and level up more, you couldn't, because you were capped at how far you could progress your character until you got to later in the chapter.


If you were looking to over-level the characters early on to adjust the difficulty of the bosses, you're right. You can't. Of course, the bonus is that the devs got a chance to tune encounters with a firm grip on what the capabilities of the party would be. I know the feeling, because I naturally tend to overlevel my characters in RPGs because... sometimes, I just like to veg out and grind mindlessly while listening to tunes. While initially I found the design limiting, I found myself enjoying the boss fights more than many previous FFs. Because I wasn't over leveled to the point of invincibility.

While some of us dig the grind, some loathe it. For the other side, these limits kept them from having too do much extraneous work to keep the story going. Well, for a good chunk of the game, anyhow. If you'd have played further, you'd know that as your access to other disciplines grew, you had far more opportunities to advance other skills, while still not making your party so powerful as to render all boss fights trivial. By mid game, you could spend hours trying to keep all characters and all disciplines at max in between grid expansions. The flexibility of knowing your other disciplines gives you options and advantages in certain battles, but doesn't break (most of) them.

Mikhalia wrote:
4) Far too much reliance on the paradigm shift mechanic and the autoattack. I liked the mid-battle job changes (I liked FF X-2), but 13 made it so you HAD to be CONSTANTLY shifting your party. It made combat really un-fun because I didn't feel like I was actually fighting anything. On top of that, the fact that there was no wait on the ATB to allow you to think and plan before pressing buttons, you were pretty much resigned to mashing autoattack most of the time. You said it's "less tedious [than 12] with less flexibility"; I saw it as autopilot with paradigm shift every 10-15 seconds.


Might appear that way five hours in, when you have few abilities to choose from and the easiest/most straightforward encounters to face. And even then, I could see your point still, except that you extolled FFXII... and that game WAS autopilot, without the shifts. There was a fair amount of customization available to you in XIII, both with the abilities you could select with your character, and the ability to set up what you wanted the default actions to be for different Jobs and situations. But even if you took advantage of every automizing feature present, you couldn't walk around and auto-level your party without pushing a button. Because of the need to paradigm shift for tougher fights, you actually had to play, and think. If you wanted more control of Any party member, Bam! It's yours.

For many normal battles, yeah there wasn't much you needed to do aside from default attack and move on. But isn't that the case with practically all FFs?

Mikhalia wrote:
5) Too much, too quickly, too soon. Usually FF games will start you off with one or two characters and slowly introduce the rest of the cast one or two at a time. The game will start you out with a few terms you've never heard of (but will pick up on) and will eventually introduce more game terms (like place names, ancient civilizations, etc) as the game progresses. The way 13 added Lightning, Hope, Vanille, Sazh, and Snow all at once, all at the beginning, and simultaneously bombarded you with so many things (Pulse, Gran Pulse, l'cie, fal'cie) on top of the standard "Why am I here and what am I doing?" that every RPG confronts you with meant that if you wanted to understand what the **** was going on, you pretty much -had- to start browsing through the codex. All this at once just made it impossible for me to care about the characters, their plight, or wanting to help them.


Of course, you had a hard time identifying with the characters... you barely met (most of) them before moving on. You didn't really get to meet them, so much as try to assimilate the present situation and deal in the beginning. That was by design. The devs wanted you to feel lost and overwhelmed in an alien situation with barely anytime to think... because that's the general feeling of this group. I'm not saying you'd fall in love with all/any of the characters if you'd have actually gotten to know them. Who knows? You didn't stay long enough to find out.

For me, codex was really interesting at first, but rarely used after the first couple of hours, except to firmly reacquaint myself with where I was in the story if it had been a couple days. If you assumed the amount of time you spent in the codex at the beginning was representative of how much you'd be using it to understand the rest of the game, you're mistaken. Once you get down the few alien terms, that's really about it. I found it no more time consuming or immersion breaking to learn terms/locales from the codex than if the characters stopped in mid conversation and explained these terms to each other in a cutscene. And I Know you don't want longer cutscenes in the beginning. That was clear. :P


Look, I don't know if you finished XIII that you'd enjoy it. That's part of what I love about the series. Poll ten fans and ask what the 3 best and 3 worst installments were, and you're likely to have ten different lists. Even though I'm forced into the position of defending this installment, it wouldn't likely make either of my lists. I DO know that I enjoyed the game more the further in I got, and that by the end, I found the journey enjoyable and worthwhile. What gets me is that you (in another post) speak disparagingly about FFVII first timers ignoring a great game in VIII because they ran away after spotting the differences in conventions, yet you feel that you can unequivocally label XIII the worst in the series with little more than a taste of the game. Maybe you saw enough to feel the game wasn't for you. But it's impossible for you to accurately rate a game you didn't play. At least, it's impossible for me to put any weight behind an under-informed opinion. No malice, of course. I think you have a lot of great ideas about the series that you do know, especially XIV, and that's why we're here ;D. You just don't really know XIII.
#73 Jul 21 2010 at 11:02 PM Rating: Good
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linuse wrote:
It says on it that you get both FFXIV beta AND the arm bands, so im sure if you registered correctly you should be getting the item.

Just got back from 3 EB games, found 9 codes in total, prob 1-3 used but still not to bad a find for 30 min of work. Time to Ebay!


Not sharing with your fellow boardmates? GET HIM!!!
#74 Jul 22 2010 at 12:16 AM Rating: Good
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ascorbic wrote:
There were a lot of cutscenes, and rather predictably you'll find more in the beginning and the end, where the story is being set up/resolved. Other FFs have used cutscenes and a healthy dose of dialogue boxes to run the story. This one used cutscenes exclusively. I didn't feel I spent a grossly higher % of time watching the story of XIII than I did watching/pressing the "ok" button of previous editions. Certainly not if we were removing grind time from the equation.


I felt more like XIV was a movie than a game; I prefer dialogue options where I press X/A periodically with the occasional cutscene for effect instead of having nothing but cutscenes. It's a matter of personal preference. I won't debate that if you factored in "Time reading while pressing okay in previous games" vs "cutscene time in 13", they may very well come out close to each other. You're probably right. I just prefer dialogue to cutscenes; dialogue feels like I'm playing a game, cutscenes feel like I'm watching a movie. If I wanted a movie, I'd have gone to Blockbuster instead of GameStop :)

Regardless, I can see how those who prefer cutscenes might prefer it.

ascorbic wrote:
If you were looking to over-level the characters early on to adjust the difficulty of the bosses, you're right. You can't. Of course, the bonus is that the devs got a chance to tune encounters with a firm grip on what the capabilities of the party would be. I know the feeling, because I naturally tend to overlevel my characters in RPGs because... sometimes, I just like to veg out and grind mindlessly while listening to tunes. While initially I found the design limiting, I found myself enjoying the boss fights more than many previous FFs. Because I wasn't over leveled to the point of invincibility.

While some of us dig the grind, some loathe it. For the other side, these limits kept them from having too do much extraneous work to keep the story going. Well, for a good chunk of the game, anyhow. If you'd have played further, you'd know that as your access to other disciplines grew, you had far more opportunities to advance other skills, while still not making your party so powerful as to render all boss fights trivial. By mid game, you could spend hours trying to keep all characters and all disciplines at max in between grid expansions. The flexibility of knowing your other disciplines gives you options and advantages in certain battles, but doesn't break (most of) them.


I enjoy taking a break from teh game and doing the grind periodically. In 12, I usually "take a break" (and by take a break, I mean chain 100-200 2-3 times) in the sands early on, then again in Lhusu, then again in the sandsea... I had a total of 9 quickenings between all 6 people by the time I fought the first Judge aboard the airship. Defeated -both- demon walls in one shot.

In single player RPGs, I always try to grind a bit whenever I hit a sweet spot in the game. Again, matter of preference.

I don't care for grinding in MMORPGs, but I'll grind the **** out of single player ones.

ascorbic wrote:
Might appear that way five hours in, when you have few abilities to choose from and the easiest/most straightforward encounters to face. And even then, I could see your point still, except that you extolled FFXII... and that game WAS autopilot, without the shifts. There was a fair amount of customization available to you in XIII, both with the abilities you could select with your character, and the ability to set up what you wanted the default actions to be for different Jobs and situations. But even if you took advantage of every automizing feature present, you couldn't walk around and auto-level your party without pushing a button. Because of the need to paradigm shift for tougher fights, you actually had to play, and think. If you wanted more control of Any party member, Bam! It's yours.

For many normal battles, yeah there wasn't much you needed to do aside from default attack and move on. But isn't that the case with practically all FFs?


As far as I'm concerned, the regular battles -should- be trivially easy. I wouldn't mind needing to paradigm shift for boss fights; I expect difficulty there, but I shouldn't have to do it 1-3 times in a random battle is my opinion. 2-3 attack rounds should be more than enough to clear an early to mid game random encounter. I personally prefer to level up such that they end in 1-2, but 4 or more attack rounds, IMO, is too much for a random encounter in a single player game.

ascorbic wrote:
Of course, you had a hard time identifying with the characters... you barely met (most of) them before moving on. You didn't really get to meet them, so much as try to assimilate the present situation and deal in the beginning. That was by design. The devs wanted you to feel lost and overwhelmed in an alien situation with barely anytime to think... because that's the general feeling of this group. I'm not saying you'd fall in love with all/any of the characters if you'd have actually gotten to know them. Who knows? You didn't stay long enough to find out.


Well, I must say that if the devs wanted me to feel "lost and overwhelmed" then they certainly achieved their goal. See, I don't mind the immersion factor, I just don't like the fact that they give you everything at once. Start me off with Lightning and Sazh. Bring Hope and Vanille into the story in 2-3 hours. Bring Snow into the story in another 2-3 hours. Let me get a firm grasp on who people are and what they're about before giving me new people to worry about. Doesn't help that many of SE's protagonists (Cecil, Terra, Cloud, Squall, Lightning) are people who don't like to talk about themselves or their past, but I can live with that. I just don't like having to worry about everyone at once, especially how it keeps jumping from "these two over here" to "these two over here". FF6 did a similar scenario split between Locke and Terra/Edgar/Banon and Sabin/Cyan/Gau. Even then, it did them one at a time (and still introduced you to Shadow, Cyan, and Gau one at a time) and didn't jump back and forth.

Like I said; it just felt like way too much at once, way too early in the game. If they wanted to do it 10-15 hours in, it wouldn't be as big a deal.

ascorbic wrote:
Look, I don't know if you finished XIII that you'd enjoy it. That's part of what I love about the series. Poll ten fans and ask what the 3 best and 3 worst installments were, and you're likely to have ten different lists. Even though I'm forced into the position of defending this installment, it wouldn't likely make either of my lists. I DO know that I enjoyed the game more the further in I got, and that by the end, I found the journey enjoyable and worthwhile. What gets me is that you (in another post) speak disparagingly about FFVII first timers ignoring a great game in VIII because they ran away after spotting the differences in conventions, yet you feel that you can unequivocally label XIII the worst in the series with little more than a taste of the game. Maybe you saw enough to feel the game wasn't for you. But it's impossible for you to accurately rate a game you didn't play. At least, it's impossible for me to put any weight behind an under-informed opinion. No malice, of course. I think you have a lot of great ideas about the series that you do know, especially XIV, and that's why we're here ;D. You just don't really know XIII.


I agree with your sentiment of "ask any 10 fans and you'll get 10 different answers". I see your point about the 7/8 thing vs my opinion on 13; here's my response:

My negative outlook was geared towards people for whom 7 was their first game and they played 8 expecting 8 to have the same story and characters at 7. If you played 8 and didn't like it on its own merits, then fine. I was more directing my comment on people who expected (and logically so, I will admit) that "Final Fantasy VIII" would have the same characters/story as "Final Fantasy VII" and sperged on 8 when it didn't have anything that 7 had, for no other reason. As an analogy, I would equate if 12 were my first FF game, and then upon playing 13, I quit because "zomg what happened to Vaan? And where are the Viera? And why aren't there any more hunts?" etc... My reasons for disliking 13 were based on my dislike of the merits of the game itself.

I'll admit that the strength of my opinion may be somewhat limited; the most common counterarguments I hear to "I didn't like 13" are usually "It opens up after 15-20 hours" or "I found I liked it more as the game went on than I did at the beginning". And that alone is room for one of my ultimate gripes about the game. If so many people are in agreement that the first 15 hours are just a massive tutorial and/or that the game does in fact get better later on, than my biggest complaint is the fact that I may never get to actually -enjoy- the good parts. I'll never know what I'm missing unless I can force myself to push through something I hate.

Almost coincidentally, this same argument was often made about CoP in FFXI. Many people HATED doing the missions due to the difficulty of gathering a party who weren't absolutely retarded. It wasn't even that the missions were hard, it was just that what you had to GO THROUGH to do them was a HUGE pain in the ***. The story of CoP was great. The ending of CoP was spectacular. Many men shamefully admit to tearing up during it. Many more men won't admit it.

That's what I see when I look at 13; it's a game that may very well have a GREAT story, and it may indeed get better as it goes along. But just as someone who can't find a party to get past the promyvions would never see Al'taieu, I will never know what I'm missing until I can get past walking through a tunnel and being bombarded with cutscenes.

I don't disagree with anyone's right to enjoy a game I couldn't stand, regardless.

Edited, Jul 22nd 2010 2:17am by Mikhalia
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Mikhalia: only 5% or less of my posts are utter crap.
Tyapex: 393 posts of utter crap...
Mikhalia: Sounds about right.
#75 Jul 22 2010 at 2:28 AM Rating: Good
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Mikhalia wrote:
I felt more like XIV was a movie than a game; I prefer dialogue options where I press X/A periodically with the occasional cutscene for effect instead of having nothing but cutscenes. It's a matter of personal preference. I won't debate that if you factored in "Time reading while pressing okay in previous games" vs "cutscene time in 13", they may very well come out close to each other. You're probably right. I just prefer dialogue to cutscenes; dialogue feels like I'm playing a game, cutscenes feel like I'm watching a movie. If I wanted a movie, I'd have gone to Blockbuster instead of GameStop :)

Regardless, I can see how those who prefer cutscenes might prefer it.


Fair enough. To me, I see very little difference between the two. Certainly not enough to make it a sticking point. With a cutscene, I can see the argument that there's no interaction. To me, the dialogue boxes from previous installments gave me vitrually no interaction either. There were a few "choices" you could make occasionally, but answers rarely did more than loop the dialogue back to get you to answer correctly... or no matter what you chose, the story was unaffected. In FFs, the idea of choice is a sham, at least as far as the story goes. There's one story, with one ending. So, IMHO, the only thing different between the two was that you read dialogue boxes, and watched cutscenes. I don't think it was ever a design philosophy that led earlier FFs to use fewer cutscenes. They were limited by space. As space has increased, cutscenes have replaced automatic dialogue.


Mikhalia wrote:
I enjoy taking a break from teh game and doing the grind periodically. In 12, I usually "take a break" (and by take a break, I mean chain 100-200 2-3 times) in the sands early on, then again in Lhusu, then again in the sandsea... I had a total of 9 quickenings between all 6 people by the time I fought the first Judge aboard the airship. Defeated -both- demon walls in one shot.

In single player RPGs, I always try to grind a bit whenever I hit a sweet spot in the game. Again, matter of preference.

I don't care for grinding in MMORPGs, but I'll grind the **** out of single player ones.


We definitely share that philosophy. I even enjoy the mesmerizing grind of an MMO when the mood strikes me. And like I said, I shared your initial disappointment in not being able to "clock out" of the story and get my grind on, so to speak, in the initial chapters. Then again, I can think of a few FFs that didn't really present you with a good chance to break out into heavy grinding (or at least, not very good grinding) for longer than 5 hours into the game (again, or at least longer than 5 hours with me scrutinizing every nook in town)... Of course, I can think of a few that you could start your grindfest within 30 minutes of purchasing the game, too. Point being: a long, story driven, fairly (or even very)linear initial act wasn't invented with XIII. And Contrary to popular opinion, you don't have to wait to grind out some xp until "The game opens up." You'll find yourself long before then with Crystalarium sections unfilled on multiple disciplines, and nice areas to run circuits to rectify the matter. Most people don't because they don't have to. The opportunities exist, they just won't allow you to unbalance the game to where you're one-shotting bosses. In a way, the game tries to save people like you and I from ourselves. :D


Mikhalia wrote:
As far as I'm concerned, the regular battles -should- be trivially easy. I wouldn't mind needing to paradigm shift for boss fights; I expect difficulty there, but I shouldn't have to do it 1-3 times in a random battle is my opinion. 2-3 attack rounds should be more than enough to clear an early to mid game random encounter. I personally prefer to level up such that they end in 1-2, but 4 or more attack rounds, IMO, is too much for a random encounter in a single player game.


See, it's hard for me to remember how things were a few hours into XIII, looking back months after completing, but from the impressions I'm getting from you, and my hazy recollections on the matter, it sounds like the early "normal fights" were either encouraging you tutorial style into shifts to learn the system, or flat our forcing you because you had so few abilities on any one job/party setup that you Had to shift to get things to work.

I'll tell you this: when I think back on all the "normal fights" for the first 1/2 or so of the game all together I would guess the average one lasted 30-40 seconds from start to celebration music ending. And until pretty late in the game I sat exclusively in my favorite party paradigm (which varied by members, naturally) unless I ran across mob types that were very resistant to that setup. Of course there are a couple notable instances where I performed terribly against a specific mob type... preferring to force "my way" of killing on an enemy rather than shift strategy to something far more efficient. Why? I dunno, I get like that. But really, the battles might not be Nintendo fast these days, with all the fancy animations, but it gets loads faster, and easier, than the pace and effort you're describing.

Further in, around the much ballyhooed time when "The game opens up"? Well, that gets rather challenging again... Of course, grinding more skills becomes more practical too.

Mikhalia wrote:
Well, I must say that if the devs wanted me to feel "lost and overwhelmed" then they certainly achieved their goal. See, I don't mind the immersion factor, I just don't like the fact that they give you everything at once. Start me off with Lightning and Sazh. Bring Hope and Vanille into the story in 2-3 hours. Bring Snow into the story in another 2-3 hours. Let me get a firm grasp on who people are and what they're about before giving me new people to worry about. Doesn't help that many of SE's protagonists (Cecil, Terra, Cloud, Squall, Lightning) are people who don't like to talk about themselves or their past, but I can live with that. I just don't like having to worry about everyone at once, especially how it keeps jumping from "these two over here" to "these two over here". FF6 did a similar scenario split between Locke and Terra/Edgar/Banon and Sabin/Cyan/Gau. Even then, it did them one at a time (and still introduced you to Shadow, Cyan, and Gau one at a time) and didn't jump back and forth.

Like I said; it just felt like way too much at once, way too early in the game. If they wanted to do it 10-15 hours in, it wouldn't be as big a deal.


Boy do I feel you, because you're right. XIII really puts you into a busy portion of the narrative from the get go, and if you're trying to master the intertwining motivations right off, it can feel overwhelming. But the devs didn't do so accidentally. Their intention was to put those questions into your mind while driving the action at a breakneck pace initially. They Wanted you to feel the situation first, and really learn the characters later on. It's been done before in FF. Take VII (since you obviously love it so much :P ) You start off as Cloud, jumping off a train and fighting Shinra soldiers right off the bat with some weird Dude with a gun for a hand and a bunch of other miscreants calling themselves AVALANCHE with no real idea what's going on for an hour or so. Two hours in, you'd have a certain basic opinion of Cloud, Tifa, and Barret. 10 hours in, you'd have a different view on all three. 25 hours and you'd have another completely different view of at least 2 of them.

XIII throws 5 of them at you in short order instead of 3, but it also really doesn't delve into any of them in a substantive way until you're able to deal with them in 1-2 person narratives. It may not fit the ideal formula in your mind, but the story necessitates it. Because you aren't wandering around meeting people in XIII. Mostly, you're running for your lives. They don't all speak 5-6 at a time though. When the story slows to allow it, each character has opportunities to be revealed in a way that allows you to really understand who they are. And as with many FFs, these revelations usually come in layers and over time.


Mikhalia wrote:
I agree with your sentiment of "ask any 10 fans and you'll get 10 different answers". I see your point about the 7/8 thing vs my opinion on 13; here's my response:

My negative outlook was geared towards people for whom 7 was their first game and they played 8 expecting 8 to have the same story and characters at 7. If you played 8 and didn't like it on its own merits, then fine. I was more directing my comment on people who expected (and logically so, I will admit) that "Final Fantasy VIII" would have the same characters/story as "Final Fantasy VII" and sperged on 8 when it didn't have anything that 7 had, for no other reason. As an analogy, I would equate if 12 were my first FF game, and then upon playing 13, I quit because "zomg what happened to Vaan? And where are the Viera? And why aren't there any more hunts?" etc... My reasons for disliking 13 were based on my dislike of the merits of the game itself.


Of course, many knew that Cloud wasn't coming back, they just wanted the gameplay to be what they remembered in VII. They wanted Materia back. They didn't like to "Draw" their spells from mobs (actually, I kind of hated that too), and other game mechanics that they weren't used to. So they quit. Not because it wasn't a direct sequel to the story. They quit because the mechanics changed. That's where I draw the comparison. In a series with games as divergent as 2, 6, 8, and 10, I'd think it behooves a FF fan to ride it out.

I mean, I don't like 2. At all. The basic combat is expanded and improved, and the story is leaps above the first, but the leveling system and those #$%& keywords were agonizing. Heck, I remember reading one of the creators even referring to some of the design choices as "failed experiments" or something to that effect. I still trudged through. If I quit once I realized how boneheaded it was to advance character stats in the game, I'd have never seen the story, and I'd never be able to really know if I didn't like the game, or if my reservations were just an uneasy adjustment, kind of like the materia loving guys from before with VIII. At the end, I still felt 2 was the worst of the main FF series, and it's on a very short list of FFs I wouldn't likely ever play again. But I only know because I played. And I played it (obviously long after its initial release) because this series has a well deserved reputation for doing right by me in the end.



Mikhalia wrote:
That's what I see when I look at 13; it's a game that may very well have a GREAT story, and it may indeed get better as it goes along. But just as someone who can't find a party to get past the promyvions would never see Al'taieu, I will never know what I'm missing until I can get past walking through a tunnel and being bombarded with cutscenes.


Bah, tunnel shmunnel. You made it through the Tunnels of X just fine. Heck, you even went back into the SAME Exact tunnels for X-2. Uphill, both ways, AND YOU LIKED IT!!

Let's be clear hehe. I'm not championing playing XIII for the story alone. I liked the story, but you'll be revisiting many themes that are staples of the FF series, and frankly unless a particular FF game gets you to relate to the story in some personal fashion, they are all somewhat generic, as compared to a great book or movie. I recommend XIII for the journey. Yes, the story, but also the combat and the world. If you're convinced you're gonna hate everything about XIII But the story, then the story ain't saving it.

Also, I loved CoP. Evey stinkin' bit. It's the first thing that pops into my mind when asked for my favorite game/gaming experience. Frankly, once CoP was completed, nothing else was ever as fun in XI for me... so that might convince you to ignore every good point I've made :D



Edited, Jul 22nd 2010 5:16am by ascorbic
#76 Jul 22 2010 at 3:45 AM Rating: Good
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11,539 posts
ascorbic wrote:
Fair enough. To me, I see very little difference between the two. Certainly not enough to make it a sticking point. With a cutscene, I can see the argument that there's no interaction. To me, the dialogue boxes from previous installments gave me vitrually no interaction either. There were a few "choices" you could make occasionally, but answers rarely did more than loop the dialogue back to get you to answer correctly... or no matter what you chose, the story was unaffected. In FFs, the idea of choice is a sham, at least as far as the story goes. There's one story, with one ending. So, IMHO, the only thing different between the two was that you read dialogue boxes, and watched cutscenes. I don't think it was ever a design philosophy that led earlier FFs to use fewer cutscenes. They were limited by space. As space has increased, cutscenes have replaced automatic dialogue.


It's like chocolate syrup vs chocolate powder. Yeah, in the end, they're both chocolate, but some people still prefer one to the other. I don't disagree that read-X-read-X-read-X-read-X is fundamentally different than a cutscene in terms of both of them telling story; I just prefer the former to the latter.

ascorbic wrote:
In a way, the game tries to save people like you and I from ourselves. :D


<old codger> I don't need saving, dammit! </old codger>

ascorbic wrote:
I'll tell you this: when I think back on all the "normal fights" for the first 2/3-3/4 of the game all together I would bet the average one lasted shy of 20 seconds from start to celebration music ending. And until pretty late in the game I sat exclusively in my favorite party paradigm (which varied by members, naturally) unless I ran across mob types that were resistant to that setup.


With paradigm shifts, most fights were doable in under 40 secs. If you didn't chain, however, random battles could take 2-3 minutes or more. I had one random battle take me almost 5 because I didn't shift (and couldn't chain).

ascorbic wrote:
They Wanted you to feel the situation first, and really learn the characters later on. It's been done before in FF. Take VII (since you obviously love it so much :P ) You start off as Cloud, jumping off a train and fighting Shinra soldiers right off the bat with some weird Dude with a gun for a hand and a bunch of other miscreants calling themselves AVALANCHE with no real idea what's going on for an hour or so. Two hours in, you'd have a certain basic opinion of Cloud, Tifa, and Barret. 10 hours in, you'd have a different view on all three. 25 hours and you'd have another completely different view of at least 2 of them.

Well, I do know a couple people who'd fit your basic description of VII first timers to a point. Except, they knew the story would be all new, they simply assumed the game mechanics were going to be identical. You mentioned in a prior post about these guys crying over lost materia. That's them. They weren't upset Cloud went missing, they wanted Materia back. They didn't like to "Draw" their spells from mobs (actually, I kind of hated that too), and of course they also didn't like "moody" Squall and the whole school vibe, and so they quit. Not because it wasn't a direct sequel to the story. They quit because the mechanics changed. That's where I draw the comparison. In a series with games as divergent as 2, 6, 8, and 10, I'd think any FF fan would have learned to ride it out.

I mean, I really don't like 2. At all. The story and basic combat are better than the first, but the leveling system and those #$%& keywords were agonizing. Heck, I remember reading one of the creators even referring to some of the design choices as "failed experiments" or something to that effect. I still trudged through. If I quit once I realized how boneheaded it was to advance character stats in the game, I'd have never seen the story, and I'd never be able to really know if I didn't like the game, or if my reservations were just an uneasy adjustment, kind of like the materia loving guys from before with VIII. At the end, I felt 2 was the worst of the main FF series, and it's on a very short list of FFs I wouldn't likely ever play again. But I only know because I played. And I played it (obviously long after its initial release) because this series has a well deserved reputation for doing right by me in the end.


VII wasn't my favorite or anything, but comparing it to XIII...

I liked 7's Materia system, didn't care for the Crystarium's inherent limiting (I didn't really care much for 10's sphere grid, but it never really forced a limit on you like the Crystarium did).

Of all the games, 12's license system has to be my favorite. The job system" (11, 10-2, 5, T, etc) is a close second. The materia system was probably third, The sphere grid comes in fourth, the crystarium in four and a halfth (if it didn't have hard limits), 6's esper system and 9's armor system tie for fifth. 8's draw system brings up the rear.

At any rate, nearly all FFs throw you into a world with a lot of stuff hitting you at once. I just felt 13 outdid the rest of the games in this regard. It was kinda like I felt when I tried to play EVE... there's so much to figure out that there's -too- much to figure out.

Again, if it were just this, I could have dealt with it. I could come up with something I didn't like for most FF games. I hated 8's draw system, I hated that 10 required me to juggle characters (and was also a tunnel), I hated that 10-2 was pretty princess dressup, I hated that Tactics required assloads of JP to master jobs, I hated that 7 was the first game that didn't take place in a medieval setting... Anyone can pick out something they dislike about a game.

In all those cases though, my gripes were minor enough that they could be overlooked in the greater scope of things. In the case of 13, I had so many things I didn't like about it from the start that I really had trouble finding a reason to keep playing other than "I just paid 60 for this game and 25 for the strategy guide, I'll be damned if I'm going to give up on disk 1, no matter how much it ****** me off".

ascorbic wrote:
Bah, tunnel shmunnel. You made it through the Tunnels of X just fine. Heck, you even went back into the SAME Exact tunnels for X-2. Uphill, both ways, AND YOU LIKED IT!! ;P

Let's be clear hehe. I'm not championing playing XIII for the story alone. I liked the story, but you'll be revisiting many themes that are staples of the FF series, and frankly unless a particular FF game gets you to relate to the story in some personal fashion, they are all somewhat generic, as compared to literature, or even classic movies. I recommend XIII for the journey. Yes, the story, but also the combat and the world. If you're convinced you're gonna hate everything about XIII But the story, then the story ain't saving it.

Also, I loved CoP. Evey stinkin' bit. It's the first thing that pops into my mind when asked for my favorite game/gaming experience. Frankly, once CoP was completed, nothing else was ever as fun in XI for me... so that might convince you to ignore every good point I've made :D


Actually, I hated X's tunnels. And the character swapping. Looking back, I'm surprised I didn't quit 10, given how similar to 13 it is. If 10 had spammed me with cutscenes the way 13 does, and limited my sphere grid progress based on how far I was in the game, I wouldn't have made it to my first blitzball match. Without a doubt I'll say that of all the games, 10 falls into my bottom three. As for X-2, the job system (sorry,"dressspheres") made the game much more tolerable. Of course Yuna and Rikku were annoying as ****, which didn't help... but my love of the job system overshadowed my complaints. If 13 had a job system instead of the crystarium, I would have beaten it. If 13's crystarium didn't cap you the way it does, I would probably have gotten much farther. If it were less linear, akin to 12, I would have gotten less farther. It was just too many things I didn't like that overwhelmed my ability to find things I did.

And I loved CoP too, man. I feel sorry for anyone who didn't get to experience the story it was meant to be experienced solely because of poor luck with bad groups. I don't feel that ToAU lived up to CoP at all, and I felt WotG might be getting there, but I quit XI before the story was finished.

As I said, that's my largest complaint; that I won't know what I'm missing about XIV unless I can get over my immense dislike of everything I hated about it.

Edited, Jul 22nd 2010 5:49am by Mikhalia
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