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Thread: A real criticism thread

  1. #1
    Exotic weapon proficiency ftw Prak's Avatar
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    A real criticism thread

    The title pretty much says it all. Post your two cents if you like, but remember that if you want to defend the game, you're in for a severe uphill battle.

    My gripes:

    Story - It's obvious that the story is influenced heavily by those of western RPGs. And therein lies the problem. It's a Japanese game. A Japanese game should have a Japanese flavor. When it doesn't, things go wrong.

    In this case, the failing is simply that FFXII is NOT a role-playing game. It is an adventure game, just like the majority of its predecessors. RPG scenarios and adventure game scenarios have to be designed differently. In the case of RPGs, development of the main character is left virtually untouched so that players can fill it out through their own actions. To make up for that, the focus is placed on developing the setting, scenario, and secondary characters. Of course, in most successful RPGs, those elements are also flexible and change depending on the traits you display through the main character's actions.

    Adventure games focus more on the main character and are absolutely rigid in terms of plot progression. That is, of course, the way the Final Fantasy series has always been. The primary characters in adventure games are usually very well-developed and a great deal of time can potentially be spent exploring their personalities.

    In FFXII, the focus is likewise placed on developing the setting and scenario. The problem is that the characters are pre-defined. They lack the depth and appeal of adventure game characters and are more in line with side characters in an RPG. If the Japs want to make a role-playing game, they should try to go all-out and make a real one. Don't rip the worst possible element from them and trust that a flashy execution will make up for it and convince people that different is good just because it's different.

    Gameplay - Using a system basically taken right out of a MMORPG was a great idea. Breaking it with quickenings was an abominably bad idea.

    I heard before the game was released that it was actually pretty hard. Imagine my surprise and outrage when I discovered that the people who made that claim were full of crap. Once you have quickenings for a few characters, the game becomes ridiculously easy. And don't even start with that nonsense about not using them to make the game harder. The objective of any game is to win, and it only makes sense to use any means at your disposal to achieve that goal. If you deliberately hold back to make something harder, it means you've acknowledged its failing on some level, even if you're not totally aware of it.

    Also, gambits are nice, but there just aren't enough of them. What's more, the developers knew that and specifically designed it that way. It's obvious from the fact they limited the number of them that you can use, especially at the start. Their objective was to hold players back from doing as well as they possibly could to make the game more difficult and try to give the illusion of depth by making you find or buy new gambits. If the system was fully accessible right at the start and gave players dev-level control over the AI of the characters, it would have been ideal for a game that was more well-designed all around.

    Secrets - I know I've made this rant before, but it sucks when developers hide things in a game that no one in their right mind can possibly find without some kind of guide. The series started doing this with FFVII (which was perhaps the first game to be aggressively marketed along with a strategy guide at the time of its release) and has gotten worse with almost every subsequent entry. If you hide things in such a manner that people cannot find it without a guide, you're basically locking away part of the program that they've paid for and telling them they have to shell out even more if they want it. It's only a step short of extortion.

    I have other complaints, but this is pretty long already.

  2. #2
    A Captain Need Not Have a Eyepatch! Agent0042's Avatar
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    I... don't have time to post a spirited defense right now. I'll come up with what I can later...


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  3. #3
    Shriner
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    my problem with the story is that it does not mimic MY character developments. the license system lets me decide how i want to utilize a character, but in the end, all my characters are pretty much the same. what also happens is the stroryline and MY character roles don't jibe. in the story, ashe is sorta a bad ass (we see her originally as a fighter and her personity is aggressive), however, in MY game (when i am tooling around fighting fiends) she is a support character used for healing and stealing. i would rather have the game place some limits on character development so that it will match the story line and character personalities. after spending millions of hours leveling and hunting with ashe being passive i get a bit removed from the story after a cut scene shows her being a bad ass. the best case scenario would be if the makers could have multiple story lines based on how the player utilizes characters. this would make the next problem worse:

    it would make a strategy guide even larger, lol, which i totally agree with you on how the player should be dependent on the game not the game being dependent on the strategy guide.

    about gameplay, i don't mind the quickenings, but they do make things too easy. i liked ff 8's way of limit breaks, you had to be HP crit and it didn't interfere too much with the battle. i hope they keep the current battle system since it makes things go much faster (i hated when you wanted to get somewhere and would be attacked, which forced the game into an independent battle screen. there would be times when it would take longer for the battle to "load" than me to kill the enemy). i do hope that for boss battles or special fights they have independent battle screens. sometimes i can't see all of the beast i'm fighting or the camera gets caught and i can't monitor the beast's HP or status effects (though the worst is when you can't see the five other lesser enemies hitting your players, or even worse is realizing one of your characters has ran away to steal and then pissing off a whole other onslaught of enemies). i miss when you came upon a huge boss and needed to take a breath because it was so massive. here i just walk up and the gambits do their thing. it sorta takes away from FF's ability to make the player feel afraid for their characters and also the feeling of accomplishment after defeating a truly huge boss.

  4. #4
    Exotic weapon proficiency ftw Prak's Avatar
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    Oh, I'm so glad you reminded me of the license board. That was another thing that was detestably poorly implemented in the game. What is the point of a system that allows you to develop characters any way you please, but makes specialization absolutely worthless? I tried to specialize my characters early on, but completely gave up when I realized I was just giving them licenses for things they wouldn't have access to for a long time. At about ten hours of play time, I had given up on trying to make a dedicated white mage, ranged specialist, and tank. After all, with the license for Cure being so cheap, why would I not have it on every character? With points left over after acquiring all the white magic licenses and magic augments, why would I not start stocking up on weapon licenses? It's a retarded system designed to be completely idiot-proof that ultimately cheapens the entire experience and gives credence to the notion that you're not so much playing a game as watching a particularly simple and stock, yet over-extended story play itself out.

  5. #5
    Shriner
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    see, i make good points, you need to take back what you said earlier, lol. (however, i still can't respect anyone who liked x-2, uggghhh.)

  6. #6
    Exotic weapon proficiency ftw Prak's Avatar
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    Heh. I can guarantee you that you would look at things differently after discussing that game with me, although I'm not going to do it in this thread. PM me if you really want to go at it.

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    A Captain Need Not Have a Eyepatch! Agent0042's Avatar
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    kilgore --- as always, fail. You have yet to post a single salient, comprehensible, or reasonable reason why FFX-2 isn't better than FFX, or even why it isn't a good game.


    Proper responses to the actual on-topic points made in this thread still to come.


    P.S.: That's brave of you, Prak. It's enough of a headache for me trying to read kilgore's messages on the boards. I can't imagine trying to carry on a conversation by PM.

  8. #8
    Shriner
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    I don't know guys.... call me shallow, but I like the game just fine the way it is. Imagine Square Enix or anyone for that matter actually making a game that NOBODY had a problem with. Why play it if you detest that much about it?

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    A Captain Need Not Have a Eyepatch! Agent0042's Avatar
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    Okay, let's see what I can do here...

    Story --- If you're playing a Final Fantasy game, then you accept to some degree that it is not an proper role-playing game. But that doesn't mean that there isn't character development. Let's take a look.


    We have Balthier --- who seems to be a pirate who is focused mainly on himself and his own affairs. But who is he, really? It turns out that he's the son of Doctor Cid, plus he's heavily involved with Fran --- who he ends up getting married to?

    We have Captain Basch, my favorite main character of the game. Basch, a man defeated, but still clinging to his honor. Basch --- who has a brother who works for the Empire and who he has been mistaken for. A man who must come to terms and find something and someone to protect, plus face the failures of his past.

    Okay, how about Fran? A mysterious one. Still carries some of that Viera coldness, but has gone out into the world and found something else. The woman who has nothing to prove, really, who is on her own personal journey to find what she wants out of life. And who must also struggle with her decision to largely cut ties with her own people.

    Ashe - A tough nut to crack. Who is Ashe, and what does she want? Is she after revenge, restoring the power of herself and her people, or what? And how will the new friends and allies she makes affect this?

    Vaan - As I have admitted in other threads, Vaan seems to me to be a mix of Butz/Bartz from Final Fantasy V and Tidus from Final Fantasy X. Unlike other recent Final Fantasy protagonists, Vaan is not destined to fall in love with the main female character of this game. Isn't that a nice change? Like Butz/Bartz, Vaan seems to be in some ways, largely simply along for the ride. But as the game progresses, connections are revealed and Vaan begins to find his path.

    Penelo - A lot like Rikku from FFX. A bubbly, fun sort, but troubled by the things that are happening in her life and the lives of those around her. As the game progresses, she begins to relax more and more of her fun side comes out.


    No more time --- I'll have to add more detail and respond to your other two points later. I also need to add in a bit on NPCs / Guest Characters...

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    Magots Albel's Avatar
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    You two just go die...

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    Shriner pagan pride's Avatar
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    has anybody played rogue galaxy??

    (& this is the 1st time i've ever blasphemed the holy name of final fantasy,.so please forgive me,.30 hail mary's,.& 10 ooh-baby's)

    but 12's really like a cheap knock off of rogue galaxy,. better grafix or course,cuz final fantasy's always been the ca$h cow,.. the battle sequence is similar to 'dirge of cerebrus',.the way you get your experience with each hit,& it's alot more active,. & from the demo i got,it seems like rogue galaxy doesn't have magick,.but of course like every good rpg,each person,bring a unique specialty/ability to the table,.& they're really dramatic,.. (i was rather dissapointed in the spells in 12<<<--OH DEAR ESPERS,PLEASE FORGIVE ME,.I'VE DONE IT AGAIN,...cuz i figured each spell would have more c.g. instead it's like,firaga throws a couple hands full of flammable powder,that ignites on contact,..etc,...

    shit,.even the old tactics had it right,.they had spells in 4-d,. like any of the more powerful magicks,.showed the whole battle field raise up,spin around,& cast magick accross the board (weather cure,or destructive),. i was sort of hoping after the whole ffx-2 flop <
    that's my take,.by the way,i kept all my people since the beginning,in heavy armor,& strongest wepons,.then i found that the mage hats + better mag def,but take away nothing,.so that's how they all stay,. but i noticed that ashe's magick power is like double over everyone else's,& basch,is the same on strength,.

    also,.why is it,that every single ff (that i can vividly remember) has the weakest hero's? am i wrong?? but for real,the hero's never the most powerfull any-damn-thing,..they should be the most powerful every-damn-thing,to have the title of "THE HERO",..

    ~MY $2

  12. #12
    Shriner
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    pagan, nice point on the uncool magic effects. i totally agree. the first time i ran scathe i was excited, but only to be let down.

    and agent, thanks for making my point where i said in other posts that penelo is useless. you summed her character progression as such:
    As the game progresses, she begins to relax more and more of her fun side comes out.
    how the fuck is game progression and story developement IMPROVED by her character? it's not! she's a babbling idiot who does nothing but helps to keep the fighting parties even at 3 characters each. if i wanted to see her "relax" then square should have added a mini game where i could give her a qualude and screw her up the ass!

    the game is still pretty cool, they just needed to tweak a few more things to put it over the edge. at least it's a better direction than where x-2 was taking the series.

  13. #13
    A Captain Need Not Have a Eyepatch! Agent0042's Avatar
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    pagan and kilgoretrout. Both of your posts are, as per usual, supremely unreadable to anyone who actually respects things such as grammar, formatting and punctuation. So you'll forgive me if I just ignore them.


    Let's continue...


    NPCs / Guest Characters - Okay, I'll admit it. Guest characters for the most part suck. The lack of any chance to customize them at all and the fact that their Gambits are always on sucks majorly. The best guest character by far was Larsa. He's awesome in battle and awesome as a character in general. The brother of the main villain, he ends up becoming a powerful ally.

    NPCs --- This game has the best moogles ever. Also, the Clan Centurio and its members are way awesome. And this game has a wonderful diversity of races.

    Gameplay - Okay, watch Argument A. fly out the window. If you don't like the Quickenings system, there's a simple solution --- don't use it! Besides, this same argument pretty much applies to pretty much any Final Fantasy limit break system, FFVIII's especially. Also, the further you progress in the game, the less useful Quickenings become. The greatest advantage of Quickenings is that they essentially take you out of the battle as such --- while you're running Quickenings, the enemy can't touch you. I don't think this an unfair advantage against enemies in a game where your opponents can put up Palings and Magick Shields, making them completely invincible for a while.

    Gambits - You win this one. You win it completely. You are absolutely, 100% right. I personally feel most, if not all of the Gambits should have been available right at the start and you should have been able to use more of them right away.

    Secrets - Prak, you win some points for this one. Some of this crap really is impossible to figure out your own. Like the Zodiac Spear or even having to summon Belias to pass through certain points. But you're forgetting ne thing --- the Internet. Unless you're a moron, or you live in a cave somewhere and don't have Internet, there's no reason why you have to buy the strategy guide. I mean, if it's something you want to get, then that's cool. But there's plenty of great guides out there already, and if you still can't figure it out after looking at GameFAQs or whatever, you can always ask a question here. But I will agree that Kingdom Hearts, and even more so Kingdom Hearts II is more fun that way --- there's no missable secrets in Kingdom Hearts II, really. Everything is compiled in Jiminy's Journal, so if you're missing something, you pretty much know it.


    And finally...


    Licenses - Well, you're sort of right. I dunno, I don't really play most Final Fantasies that way. Magicks and technicks and stuff are useful for support, but I generally rely more on physical attacks. I will agree that LP farm is too easy, but again, it's more a matter of how much time are you going to spend on it? If you don't want to nerf the difficulty of the game, then just don't spend so much time doing it.

  14. #14
    Shriner pagan pride's Avatar
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    agent0042--i'm sure u might b a mod,or respectected highly dude around here,.but apparently,.ur very new to the internet OLDTIMER grammar & puntuation? get real dude,if u got music downloading,2 forums pages,& 3 other pages up,.runnin adaware ready to post ya latest song,. u gunna type quick,..

    now on the other hand,.. if ur 30,.& livin in ya parents basement,play ff all day every day,& steal the souls of innocent children,just to sell em 4 the new game,.cuz u got no job,.. then sure,take all the time u need there sweet heart,..

    here's an idea,..join a writers forum WHERE THEY GIVE A FUCK!!!

    in closing,.up ur vocab,.& impress me w/ an iq higher than ur shoe size,. mines 167,. what's ur's mr. bright??

  15. #15
    Shriner pagan pride's Avatar
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    get a life^^^kupo^^^

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    A Captain Need Not Have a Eyepatch! Agent0042's Avatar
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    Wow, welcome to my ignore list, pagan. It took you way less time than sain to make it, and not only because you have nothing interesting to say in a way that's worth reading, but you're also entirely unentertaining.


    Oh, and by the way, I think you'll find that pretty much everyone here who isn't an idiot like you (which is pretty much everyone here) does give a fuck.

  17. #17
    Renegade Dust Bunny Cloud
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    Pagan Pride--
    There's nothing wrong with being considerate to readers!! >>
    I know that sometimes people don't have time to pay attention to correct grammar those things....
    But the things you post here are permanent! So it shouldn't hurt to spend a bit of time to fix spelling and grammar mistakes...since the effort you spend will only be once, and the results of your efforts--the post, will be there forever.

    <<
    About FFXII--I also had similar problems with the game that Prak mentioned...
    The story seemed a bit "bare"...and at times, it also seemed as if you needed more background about the world than the game ever has provided you with....
    The wording of the script was also sometimes a bit too...pedantic at times. Though it might have been done for effect, it sometimes felt a bit overdone....

  18. #18
    A Captain Need Not Have a Eyepatch! Agent0042's Avatar
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    I will admit that the first time I played through the game, there were a lot of things that well, I didn't pick up, or didn't make sense at first. I find that playing the game through a second time, as I'm doing now, is actually a great idea. Having the background of all of the stuff that I did manage to pick up on the first playthrough, certain scenes make so much more sense than they did before.

  19. #19
    Shriner
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    I'm going to try to respond to some of Prak's specific comments on the story so ifeel free to skip past.

    Story - First off, In my opinion, the story of this game was the best in any FF game since FF6 - phenomenal, but I think it's all a matter of what you like. If you like teen angst and sappy romance this isn't for you. If you want a lighter tone like Kingdom Hearts or FFX-2 this isn't for you. If you want a political drama with fantasy elements and likable characters, then you might like it.

    Alrighty then.

    You bring up some interesting theories about the nature of RPG's vs Adventure games, and what you perceive as Western vs. Japanese storytelling methods. Personally, I think these distinctions are paper-thin at best.

    First of all, the term RPG has always been misleading when applied to console games. There are very few console games where you actually role-play per se and they always end up being limited in scope in some way. For example Oblivion has wonderful world richness and freedom, but I found it lacking in how much you could actually effect within game on a 1 on 1 basis.

    Nearly every console RPG would be I guess what you define as an "Adventure" game (though I've never heard anyone else define Adventure game as "RPG where you don't roleplay"). The reason games like FF, DQ, etc are called RPG's is because they follow the general scheme of the original RPGs like D&D: A party of adventurers explores a world, fights monsters, gets stronger, and interacts with one another. FF12 fits that mold as well as any console RPG.

    Somewhat ironically given the term, the part that's lacking is player input - the roleplaying itself. However, it's a functional definition and IMO it's silly trying to come up with new terms that no one else uses. FF12 is, like every other FF game, a console RPG, not an adventure game. Some have more freedom of character development than others (KOTOR comes to mind - in many ways a traditional console RPG but it does let you make meaningful roleplaying decisions), all have variations in gameplay, but all that means is that they are different games, not different genres (though I will admit overlap certainly exists - some games I'd call RPG's you don't even level up, some adventure games you do, but that's all semantics again).

    Now about your Japanese/Western distinction.

    There is no "Japanese" method of storytelling and there is no "Western" method of storytelling. There are just different storytellers, or writing styles if you will. The storytelling of Matsuo and his team, as shown in this game, FFTactics, and Vagrant Story is different from the storytelling of the other recent FF games (lets say FF7-10), but it's not more "Western". It's just the product of a different storyteller(s), nothing more to it.

    Now, if you don't like Matsuo's style that's one thing. But unless you're a dedicated scholar in both American and English literature I think you'd be hard pressed to define exactly what distinguishes Western and Eastern storytelling even in the classic works of each.

    The whole point is especially silly when you consider that the plot, story, and setting of FF (and DQ and every other Fantasy jRPG) was originally inspired by a western game (D&D), and then written by Japanese D&D fans! Simple concepts such as Japanese and Western become inextricably tangled in the modern world.

    Quote Originally Posted by Agent0042 View Post
    Some of this crap really is impossible to figure out your own. Like... having to summon Belias to pass through certain points.
    It's sad you feel that way! I thought that was a really cool puzzle, primarily because I didn't get it at first, then I thought about it for awhile, and tried a few things, and finally got it. What seems like an irrelevent headache to some people is fun for others.

    There are clues for that one: I mean Belias is called "Belias: The GIGAS" when you get him - the gigas, just like the door asks for. Plus, if you don't remember, when you go to the bestiary the file tells you the same thing again.

  20. #20
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    (To Agent0042)
    Ah, I see...
    Mm, I'll definitely replay it once I finish....

    I actually enjoyed the license board, though...>> Or maybe I just enjoyed "exploring" it with my non-main-party characters....
    I usually prefer having freedom with characters, since specialization may force characters into the party that the player might dislike, or that sort of thing....

    For the game's difficulty, I've never had to hold back so far, but all I've been doing to win major battles is using Quickenings. I've just received Belias, and I really like the Esper system so far...
    I'm actually not very partial to this battle system, though, and I prefer the ATB/ADB. The battle screen doesn't bring much attention to the actions of the characters or monsters...it does have "action lines" and there are many places which tell you monster and ally actions, but important or dangerous enemy actions are sometimes drowned out by other actions listed at top. At times, a battle might turn for the worse seemingly out of nowhere, and sometimes I lose without knowing why I lost....
    That's no good! I want to know what I can do better next time--not just that....I lost....

    Quote Originally Posted by Synthia View Post
    It's sad you feel that way! I thought that was a really cool puzzle, primarily because I didn't get it at first, then I thought about it for awhile, and tried a few things, and finally got it. What seems like an irrelevent headache to some people is fun for others.
    >>
    <<
    That's...how I felt about political drama, too....
    "An irrelevant headache".....XP

    Tell me more about why you like the story! So that I can enjoy it, too....<<

  21. #21
    A Captain Need Not Have a Eyepatch! Agent0042's Avatar
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    Okay --- I suppose the Belias one is one that can be figured out if you apply yourself hard enough. Not some of that other stuff, though.


    Oh --- and I agree, the battle log at the top of the stuff is a lot less useful than it should be.

  22. #22
    Shriner
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    Quote Originally Posted by NorseFTX View Post
    I've just received Belias, and I really like the Esper system so far...
    Hmm... you may change your mind. Unfortunately, Espers were not well-utilized in the gameplay. They are useful for only a little while after you get them. They don't gain in power at the same rate as your party so they become obsolete quickly after you get them.

    On the other hand, I found the general battle system easier and easier to manage over time - it just takes a little forethought instead of the on the fly thinking like ATB required.

    Personally, I never thought that Quickenings were overpowered. I used them, but they were never my main source of damage. I always had to do at least 80% of the damage to bosses of my own accord. I recommend getting yourself a good strategy, whether that involves tracking your characters (what I did) or choosing 3 generalists (this may require farming some LP and money).

    Quote Originally Posted by NorseFTX View Post
    That's...how I felt about political drama, too....
    "An irrelevant headache".....XP

    Tell me more about why you like the story! So that I can enjoy it, too....<<
    Hmmm norse, it seems from what you've written above that you are just barely starting the game! Trust me, the story develops a LOT from where you are now. I dont' want to tell you specifically WHY I liked the story because doing so would totally spoil you because overall, it's the intricaces and parallels in the stories of both heroes and villians that I found most fascinating. I really liked watching Ashe's journey and development in particular.

    Generally though I like the feel of the story. I like the humor. I like the care taken to bring each character to life through his or her voice acting and animation (including accents, etc). The writing was amazing - I loved the sort of over the top old fashioned way of speaking, even (maybe especially) when it was a little "overdone"! I liked the serious feel of the game.

    I liked how I didn't hate anyone! I'm used to there being at least one character I don't like (or all of them in certain games >.> ), but I liked everyone in FF12. They seemed so genuine, not the fakey popstar stuff I've been used to Square pumping out lately. The villians and side characters are all top-notch, well developed characters as well, that really impressed me. Some of the best cutscenes are the ones where you see what's happening in Archadia.

    I like how you have to pay attention to really get what's going on. Not a word spoken is "irrelevant" (if you treat it as such you'll probably get really confused and will probably hate the story).

  23. #23
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    Everyone has really valid points for liking or disliking this game in various ways.

    I, myself, was rather thrown when I first started playing it. FF12 is completely different to any other FF game I have played. I was rather dismayed at the way actual character development was pushed to the back to make room for the political advancements of the tale and the overarching plot. That's a personal choice though. I like character driven stories, doesn't mean though that FF12 is bad. It's just different.

    The Gambit system I think is a clever illusion. Take away the fact that your characters automatically do whatever they are supposed to be doing and it would be like any other FF battle where you input the (often tedious and repetative) commands. The fact that I don't have to tell my gang to constantly 'attack' every turn is refreshing and makes the battle system a great deal more enjoyable for myself. The magick attacks however do disappoint on several levels. Maybe it is the games 'realistic' approach that causes this. And yet it still isn't a good excuse seeing as game developers must know that fans love to get such fanservice.

    On that note I will move onto boss battles. Overwhelming or utterly underwhelming? They certainly don't have the glitz and glam of previous bosses. I can understand why this is, but I don't understand why they can't just say 'screw this, we'll seperate the bosses from the enemies and ramp up the battles'. Sure, the age old 'there's a save point... there's a new area coming up' applies. You can anticipate the boss battles, but in the end bosses tend to be like normal monsters, only more powerful and on the odd occassion throw up a special attack. Half of them aren't even more 'annoying' than regular monsters. That is best kept to the rare hunts. Some of those rare hunts are far more difficult to battle than actual bosses. Ah well.

    I apologise that I can't quote whoever brought this up (i tried scrolling up and looking, but it's totally gone now :-S ) but they were dismayed at how underwhelming the size of these bosses are. Again goes back to bosses just being overgrown fiends. Aside from Esper battles there isn't a boss battle that really sticks out in my mind. And yes, they seem to be shamefully small. But I also want to say here that if you want a truely humoungous enemy to fight go find yourself the Hell Wyrm. It's.... huge. Massive, any other adjectives which means 'big' too. It's amazing and my jaw hit the floor.

    This game has great replay value. Even though most of the side quests revolve around killing things it is still fun and challenging. Out of all the FF series this game gets my vote for most enjoyable gameplay due to the gambit system and the ease with which you can complete sidequests. But of course that's only because I lack the patience for most side-quests and mini games.

    As I was playing through the bulk of the game it grew on me. I may not like certain things about it but the world grew on me. I think there's plenty of background information on the world if you finish the beastier and read everything it has to offer. I havn't finished the game yet but am on the very last leg. Just doing hunts now, primarily. It does annoy me that some ultimate weapons (Zodiac Spear) are unreachable because I didn't go looking for walkthroughs or help until I had alredy opened a few of those holy chests which thou dareth not touch. I agree with Prak on that regard. Where is the fun in discovering things if half the things you should find are so well hidden and there are no hints within the game what-so-ever. Blah, I say.

    Anyway, I think that's all for now. Sorry that I couldn't bring anything new to the table. I'm just enjoying reading this thread.

  24. #24
    Exotic weapon proficiency ftw Prak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Agent0042 View Post
    Okay, let's see what I can do here...

    Story --- If you're playing a Final Fantasy game, then you accept to some degree that it is not an proper role-playing game. But that doesn't mean that there isn't character development. Let's take a look.


    We have Balthier --- who seems to be a pirate who is focused mainly on himself and his own affairs. But who is he, really? It turns out that he's the son of Doctor Cid, plus he's heavily involved with Fran --- who he ends up getting married to?

    We have Captain Basch, my favorite main character of the game. Basch, a man defeated, but still clinging to his honor. Basch --- who has a brother who works for the Empire and who he has been mistaken for. A man who must come to terms and find something and someone to protect, plus face the failures of his past.

    Okay, how about Fran? A mysterious one. Still carries some of that Viera coldness, but has gone out into the world and found something else. The woman who has nothing to prove, really, who is on her own personal journey to find what she wants out of life. And who must also struggle with her decision to largely cut ties with her own people.

    Ashe - A tough nut to crack. Who is Ashe, and what does she want? Is she after revenge, restoring the power of herself and her people, or what? And how will the new friends and allies she makes affect this?

    Vaan - As I have admitted in other threads, Vaan seems to me to be a mix of Butz/Bartz from Final Fantasy V and Tidus from Final Fantasy X. Unlike other recent Final Fantasy protagonists, Vaan is not destined to fall in love with the main female character of this game. Isn't that a nice change? Like Butz/Bartz, Vaan seems to be in some ways, largely simply along for the ride. But as the game progresses, connections are revealed and Vaan begins to find his path.

    Penelo - A lot like Rikku from FFX. A bubbly, fun sort, but troubled by the things that are happening in her life and the lives of those around her. As the game progresses, she begins to relax more and more of her fun side comes out.


    No more time --- I'll have to add more detail and respond to your other two points later. I also need to add in a bit on NPCs / Guest Characters...
    Agent, most of what you describe here is nothing but backstory and events, not actual personality development. Therefore, I'm just going to write this post off as a non-argument and move on.

    Quote Originally Posted by Agent0042 View Post
    Gameplay - Okay, watch Argument A. fly out the window. If you don't like the Quickenings system, there's a simple solution --- don't use it! Besides, this same argument pretty much applies to pretty much any Final Fantasy limit break system, FFVIII's especially. Also, the further you progress in the game, the less useful Quickenings become. The greatest advantage of Quickenings is that they essentially take you out of the battle as such --- while you're running Quickenings, the enemy can't touch you. I don't think this an unfair advantage against enemies in a game where your opponents can put up Palings and Magick Shields, making them completely invincible for a while.
    You used the "don't use it" defense. I specifically addressed that in the first post and you used it anyway. For shame.

    Also, comparing it to the equally broken systems of other Final Fantasy games isn't a defense in itself. It is more of a condemnation of the design of the entire series.

    Secrets - Prak, you win some points for this one. Some of this crap really is impossible to figure out your own. Like the Zodiac Spear or even having to summon Belias to pass through certain points. But you're forgetting ne thing --- the Internet. Unless you're a moron, or you live in a cave somewhere and don't have Internet, there's no reason why you have to buy the strategy guide. I mean, if it's something you want to get, then that's cool. But there's plenty of great guides out there already, and if you still can't figure it out after looking at GameFAQs or whatever, you can always ask a question here. But I will agree that Kingdom Hearts, and even more so Kingdom Hearts II is more fun that way --- there's no missable secrets in Kingdom Hearts II, really. Everything is compiled in Jiminy's Journal, so if you're missing something, you pretty much know it.
    I'm afraid I have you on this one also. As you should well know, the game was marketed alongside its guide, so a great many people bought it right up front. The size of the guide alone implies (to the less astute) that it would be useful. Also, guides do not tend to reach the internet for several days after a game is released, and it can take several weeks for complete guides to appear. Do you think people are likely to wait for internet guides to be finished or will they cave in and buy the official guide? Please don't answer that, as it was rhetorical. The simple fact is that a lot of guides have been sold, due in large part to the amount of stuff hidden in the game.

    Licenses - Well, you're sort of right. I dunno, I don't really play most Final Fantasies that way. Magicks and technicks and stuff are useful for support, but I generally rely more on physical attacks. I will agree that LP farm is too easy, but again, it's more a matter of how much time are you going to spend on it? If you don't want to nerf the difficulty of the game, then just don't spend so much time doing it.
    For the record, I didn't spend any more time on it than was required to get through an area. I pretty much rushed through it since there I never ran into anything that posed a significant challenge. If I still found it piss-easy after playing like that, it's broken.

    Quote Originally Posted by pagan pride View Post
    agent0042--i'm sure u might b a mod,or respectected highly dude around here,.but apparently,.ur very new to the internet OLDTIMER grammar & puntuation? get real dude,if u got music downloading,2 forums pages,& 3 other pages up,.runnin adaware ready to post ya latest song,. u gunna type quick,..

    now on the other hand,.. if ur 30,.& livin in ya parents basement,play ff all day every day,& steal the souls of innocent children,just to sell em 4 the new game,.cuz u got no job,.. then sure,take all the time u need there sweet heart,..

    here's an idea,..join a writers forum WHERE THEY GIVE A FUCK!!!

    in closing,.up ur vocab,.& impress me w/ an iq higher than ur shoe size,. mines 167,. what's ur's mr. bright??
    Agent is correct. You are a fucktard. Now stop shitting up the thread.

    Quote Originally Posted by Synthia View Post
    I'm going to try to respond to some of Prak's specific comments on the story so ifeel free to skip past.

    Story - First off, In my opinion, the story of this game was the best in any FF game since FF6 - phenomenal, but I think it's all a matter of what you like. If you like teen angst and sappy romance this isn't for you. If you want a lighter tone like Kingdom Hearts or FFX-2 this isn't for you. If you want a political drama with fantasy elements and likable characters, then you might like it.
    Way to say nothing that actually addresses my complaints.

    You bring up some interesting theories about the nature of RPG's vs Adventure games, and what you perceive as Western vs. Japanese storytelling methods. Personally, I think these distinctions are paper-thin at best.
    That's nice. I dislike you already and am not taking you very seriously at this point.

    First of all, the term RPG has always been misleading when applied to console games. There are very few console games where you actually role-play per se and they always end up being limited in scope in some way. For example Oblivion has wonderful world richness and freedom, but I found it lacking in how much you could actually effect within game on a 1 on 1 basis.

    Nearly every console RPG would be I guess what you define as an "Adventure" game (though I've never heard anyone else define Adventure game as "RPG where you don't roleplay"). The reason games like FF, DQ, etc are called RPG's is because they follow the general scheme of the original RPGs like D&D: A party of adventurers explores a world, fights monsters, gets stronger, and interacts with one another. FF12 fits that mold as well as any console RPG.

    Somewhat ironically given the term, the part that's lacking is player input - the roleplaying itself. However, it's a functional definition and IMO it's silly trying to come up with new terms that no one else uses. FF12 is, like every other FF game, a console RPG, not an adventure game. Some have more freedom of character development than others (KOTOR comes to mind - in many ways a traditional console RPG but it does let you make meaningful roleplaying decisions), all have variations in gameplay, but all that means is that they are different games, not different genres (though I will admit overlap certainly exists - some games I'd call RPG's you don't even level up, some adventure games you do, but that's all semantics again).
    Every bit of the ignorant bullshit you've spewed here has been thoroughly redressed in [Hidden link. Register to see links.], so I'm not going to bother typing it all out again. Go read that, then come back here.

    Now about your Japanese/Western distinction.

    There is no "Japanese" method of storytelling and there is no "Western" method of storytelling. There are just different storytellers, or writing styles if you will. The storytelling of Matsuo and his team, as shown in this game, FFTactics, and Vagrant Story is different from the storytelling of the other recent FF games (lets say FF7-10), but it's not more "Western". It's just the product of a different storyteller(s), nothing more to it.

    Now, if you don't like Matsuo's style that's one thing. But unless you're a dedicated scholar in both American and English literature I think you'd be hard pressed to define exactly what distinguishes Western and Eastern storytelling even in the classic works of each.

    The whole point is especially silly when you consider that the plot, story, and setting of FF (and DQ and every other Fantasy jRPG) was originally inspired by a western game (D&D), and then written by Japanese D&D fans! Simple concepts such as Japanese and Western become inextricably tangled in the modern world.
    Do you simply pull these arguments out of your ass? It's very obvious that you have no idea what you're talking about.

    First, a toddler could look at Japanese and Western storytelling methods in video games (particularly what each defines as role-playing games) and see a difference. I elaborated on the differences earlier in the thread, so I will not repeat myself unless you have a specific point you want me to focus on and expand.

    You also don't seem to understand the origins of "jRPGs" particularly well. Certainly, they did model those games after D&D to an extent, but having had no experience at all with the precursors of D&D, they didn't know why it warranted the creation of the RPG title. The actual role-playing aspects of D&D were not a part of their product. Instead, they incorporated systems that originated in minature-based wargames. Therefore, through sheer ignorance (innocent, but nonetheless wrong), they mistook the meaning of the term and applied it to games that did not warrant it.

  25. #25
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    ili - I liked your points, especially the boss battles. Glad there are others who miss having more "dedicated" battles, one with more pressure and meaning. You did say that one should find the Hell Wyrm to see a huge boss and they would be impressed. There have been times when I came across some really impressively sized bosses/hunting marks. My problem with some of the huge battles is that I can't see all of the boss. I would love for the camera to shift downward, zoom out, and be behind my characters when I come upon a truly huge boss. I want to feel like I could be utterly crushed by the boss, so once I beat it, then I get a greater feeling of satisfaction and achievement.

    Which brings me to my next point along the same lines of satisfaction and achievement. I was playing last night and realized that the whole license system/character developement scheme really kills the challenge of the game. Since all the characters are the same (at least in my game) it doesn't make a difference who dies in combat. For example, last night Ashe went down (in my game she is used for support/magic). All I needed to do was have Basch (he's my tank) cast Arise...and away I went. Sure this was easy and I'm glad I could do it, but I also realized that it took away from the challenge. In older FF games the player would have had to change strategies in the middle of the battle to account for losing their healer. Or if you lost your fighter than support characters were at risk to take huge HP losses. I liked the cerebralness of the earlier games for this reason. There was no better feeling than being in a long battle where you had to overcome the bosses attacks, status effects, and losing role characters while changing stategies the whole time. It took skill and timely player intervention. I can honestly say the only truly gratifying battle I ever had in this game (gratifying being defined as having to skillfully manuever and utilize many different strategies to win the battle) was with the esper in the Necrohol. I think that if character developement was linear and roles were static, then battles could be more dramatic and offer the player a higher level of satisfaction after winning an extremely difficult fight. It's not much fun to go up to a boss, cast dispel, and pound away.

    However, maybe someone can comment on the AI of the bosses. I think they really need to adjust this since many are "dumb". Like why don't they cast Dispel on my characters? If I enter the battle with tons of status protections, then why wouldn't a boss want to get rid of them? It seems only natural for a foe to counter your moves. However, in this game, it seems that bosses follow a set pattern when they fight. I wish they would "think" through their moves rather than "blindly" cast spells or attack.

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