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Old 2007-05-06, 22:56   Link #241
arias
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SeijiSensei View Post
What I found most compelling about X was its portrayal of a theocracy, which I thought was remarkably bold on the part of Square-Enix. At bottom, X suggests that religion is all a front for political gain, which is spectacularly controversial in a world where religion has become a more potent political force than it has been for decades. I didn't see X as a boy-meets-girl story, though there is certainly a lot of that, but more of a criticism of organized religion and a warning against letting religion become the basis for government. Few games dare to tread in areas as controversial as this.

Edit: Not to mention including scenes that are highly suggestive of nuclear destruction.
Sounds more like a disgruntled atheist than a disgruntled gamer ; ) Hm - this theme has already been applied by Breath of Fire II which I played way back.. It's even more explicit with churches and their various "pastors" (not sure if this was the term for the personnel) being designed like modern day Christian churches and such. Save for the cross and such. I do think there is an element of truth to what you said but for myself the theme of religion was not all that salient. Compare this to BoF II, where boss battles took place in the churches and I think even the final boss battle... wait, I can't remember. 10 years back.

Obviously while I thought "boy meets girl" is a caricature, it is also what FFX is significantly about. I have to confess I teared.. sort of... maybe.. maybe not.. What I felt was more novel was that FFX was largely a father and son story. Note

Spoiler:


I also want to complain that

Spoiler:



Digital Devil Saga is another game quite big on the religion sort of factor - but it goes largely into the Buddhist tradition. And is not a criticism but a sort of instantiation.
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Old 2007-05-06, 23:39   Link #242
SeijiSensei
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arias View Post
Sounds more like a disgruntled atheist than a disgruntled gamer
I'm not sure to whom you're referring here, me? I'm probably an atheist, but I'm not disgruntled.

Quote:
this theme has already been applied by Breath of Fire II which I played way back.
I wouldn't know; my gaming days don't extend back more than five years or so. Even if there were other games with this theme, I doubt they had the built-in global audience that the FF series had. (Wikipedia reports some five million copies of FF X were sold.) Most popular entertainment eschews controversy, and FF is about as mainstream as gaming gets.

Quote:
What I felt was more novel was that FFX was largely a father and son story.
Funny, I saw that part of the story as more the usual Oedipal conflict. To me that was even more cliched than the boy-meets-girl part. And, really, how many times can you hear Tidus say, "I hate you," before it gets old or becomes merely humorous?
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Old 2007-05-06, 23:54   Link #243
arias
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Originally Posted by SeijiSensei View Post
I'm not sure to whom you're referring here, me? I'm probably an atheist, but I'm not disgruntled.
Obviously you, but with no ill-intent! Honestly.


Quote:
I wouldn't know; my gaming days don't extend back more than five years or so. Even if there were other games with this theme, I doubt they had the built-in global audience that the FF series had. (Wikipedia reports some five million copies of FF X were sold.) Most popular entertainment eschews controversy, and FF is about as mainstream as gaming gets.
That's why FFX's religious theme was pretty tame, I feel. They definitely don't want to lose the audience and there's never a single line admonishing any sort of religious organization directly. If anything it's just an underlying tone you have to tease out - or one can even say, work to read into.


Quote:
Funny, I saw that part of the story as more the usual Oedipal conflict. To me that was even more cliched than the boy-meets-girl part. And, really, how many times can you hear Tidus say, "I hate you," before it gets old or becomes merely humorous?
It didn't feel all that old to me, but if the age in your profile is true then your exposure to such sorts of media is probably far richer than mine. Thematic cliche is also one of my least concerns for any sort of thing I consume - games, art, music, stories. What's important to me is how it's executed and weaved into the general story arc of the entire product. In FFX's case I think all the whining from Tidus came when he was but a child, he never actually did that as the character we played with as far as I remember. That's fine with moi.

Besides, uncovering his father was a part of Yuna's father's troupe was a big thing, not least

Spoiler:
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Old 2007-05-07, 01:26   Link #244
hobbes_fan
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I seriously love this thread. Most have given good solid answers to why they hate it/like it. I probably would never have bought FFXII had I read the comments here first. I just don't know how this scores 10's in almost every website and forum when at least 1/3rd of the people have pointed out major (legitimate) issues. Even those that love it acknowledge its flaws.

I wish more reviews were like this especially with the RPG genre which is tough to get a feel for just by looking at the cover and a 15 min test at EB.


Quote:
Originally Posted by HurricaneHige View Post
I do agree that FFXII's story is more political...which imo is not good since previous FF doesnt really hold politics as a major part of the plot, character development and "save the world" plot is the keystone of FF, and tbh i know its hard to come up with a refreshing save the world story, but thats y FF was so great for so many games, different save the world stories and still keep us gamers entertained. It seems that FFXII lacks that and thats y so many FF fans r disgruntled.
I'll admit I have no plans for finishing this game, but I don't think the fact that it was politically themed had anything to do with why I hated it and why people felt it lacking. At least for me having gone about halfway through, the story didn't feel central to the game. And I never actually felt any empathy for the characters, they didn't intrigue me. I would've gladly forgiven the issues I have with the battle system if there was something - anything to keep me interested through the plot.

There's two parts to an RPG as most of you have said. The story and the game. I think this is where it really sucked for me because it failed to engage me either through the story or the game aspect. Whether politically, theocratically, socially or culturally based, it has to evoke a response in some way.
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Old 2007-05-07, 04:47   Link #245
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Hmm...it comes down ultimately to aesthetic differences doesn't it? Whether you hated or liked FFXII.

As I've mentioned earlier, I think part of the reason why I loved FFXII was because of its similiarities to FFXI. One thing they both had in common were believable NPCs, that were part of the fabric of the overall story.

Contrary to what many people think, FFXI actually has a very well developed back-story, which you gradually learn through interactions with various NPCs, either through its missions (which formed the central plotline) and quests (side-stories that revealed various aspects of life in Vana'diel). What's even more interesting is that by the time you get to the advanced stages of the game, you realise that the "common" history that was included in the game's official website -- which represents what common folk in Vana'diel "know" about their past -- is not exactly what it seems. Yup, there's a huge conspiracy (in the usual FF-style), and the shocking truth is eventually revealed. What's more, each of the three major nations in the game has a different perspective of Vana'diel's history, and it takes quite a while to piece together the full story of what really happened in the past. That, in my opinion, is an incredible amount of effort to put into an MMORPG. In my experience, no other MMORPG out there has anything close to that level of plot complexity.

FFXII has similar elements, ie, you have to explore its environment in order to "learn" about the larger story. For example, I feel that Archadia is easily the best conceived and probably the best developed area in the whole game. If you take the time to speak to every NPC, you gradually build a picture of a cut-throat, winners-take-all society -- in some ways a capitalist society gone bad. There were several NPCs with tragic stories to tell, such as the poor woman stuck in the slums, pining after her lover who promised to return for her once he's struck it rich in the city. You'll find out later that the man had failed, and was too ashamed to go back for her.

And then, there were the:
Spoiler for :


FFXII's story, in a sense, is more than just its central plotline of nethicites and Ashe's attempt to restore her kingdom. It is also about the larger world of Ivalice, which is, in my opinion, S-E's best developed world after Vana'diel. If you have the patience to look for it, you will be rewarded by a richer experience -- that's how I feel about it anyway.
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Old 2007-05-07, 15:59   Link #246
wsheit
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Demongod86 View Post
And on the plot note, FFXII wasn't subtle. It just wasn't there. There was nothing mysterious or subtle about the politics. We all thought Vayne was a good guy until it's blatantly obvious he killed his father and main senator for political gain. Little Larsa was the good guy, Vayne was the evil scheming politician that was a wolf in a very bad imitation of sheep's clothing, and everyone else had some little stake in the action that really became insignificant to Ashe pulling a Lara Croft and going tomb-raiding in dungeon mazes for plot coupons.

Here, Ashe and Co. are your roody poo goody-two-shoes crew, Vayne is the evil badguy, anyone pro-Vayne is evil, and anyone anti-Vayne is a good guy.
I find it very had to believe that anyone could think that XII's plot was simpler than X's. The whole story of X is basically the party on a linear track headed to the spot where Sin is. There's a love story, and some guy tries to intervene. If you're on the his side, you're bad- otherwise you're good. XII has a number of twists:

Spoiler for twists:


You simply can't argue that there are as many turns in X as there are in XII. In addition, there's a good deal of subtlety to the way the story of XII unfolds. (And, again, I'm in love with the VA's)

Quote:
FFVII was mostly about Cloud vs. Sephiroth and FFVII AC made it look gorgeous. But FFVII was the first, and that is why it's so good. Had it come later, it wouldn't have been held in such high acclaim. Like if tolkien were to submit LotR today, he'd get rejected by every agent. (Ironic, isn't it?)
I'm largely in agreement about Tolkien except that I have to admit he had exceptional world-building skills.

But VII would still be considered great if it were released today with current graphics. VII had some truly great twists and turns. In particular,

Spoiler for for the last man on earth that hasn't played VII:
surprised the hell out of me. I only finished X because a friend kept pushing me, too. There simply wasn't a compelling edge to the story, and there definitely wasn't a compelling villain. I just don't get it. And I know you love Yuna, Demon, but I particularly don't get that. We've seen her character in a million animes, and her VA was just...meh.
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Old 2007-05-07, 16:20   Link #247
arias
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Originally Posted by wsheit View Post
I find it very had to believe that anyone could think that XII's plot was simpler than X's. The whole story of X is basically the party on a linear track headed to the spot where Sin is. There's a love story, and some guy tries to intervene. If you're on the his side, you're bad- otherwise you're good. XII has a number of twists:
I just had to log in from outside to intervene. Your points are good, and spoiled some of the game for me since I'm not through it but I'm fine with that. Will finish it in the coming weeks perhaps. However, your qualms against the simplicity of FFX are probably not all that justified.

I'm not sure how to quantify it in terms of the "twists and turns", and I don't like to do so but:

Spoiler:


Man.. I hate to continually embark on defence of FFX wherever I go but it's really a very great game in terms of its character plot. I don't think its subtleties escaped the Japanese gamers when they voted it as the greatest game in Famitsu.

I'm still very open to FFXII, and I'm going to go back to it soon enough.
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Old 2007-05-07, 22:05   Link #248
Demongod86
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The problem with XII's twists, wsheit, is this:

1) It was completely meaningless. Whether or not this was the case had nothing to do with what happened. Do you really think the other 5 woulda let Ashe go power-nutso over the rock? Do you think you wouldn't have fought Cid if not for it?

2) This was more comedic to me than anything else. This kind of "twist" is the stuff of jokes. I recommend you to listen to Eminem's "As the world turns" song. The fact that you learn of this twist very early and don't even so much as address the damn thing until the last two hour of the game is also very poor pacing.

3) And like number one, these characters literally had NO effect on the game. They did nothing, and Ashe woulda gotten the sword anyway, whether or not they were there or not. They did not make any other appearance and were just there, to be, well, there.

4) Whether or not that character died would have made no difference, either! Had he lived, great. He died, and so little changed. His death was pretty much token! As for your second number four, that was one of the better "twists" in FFXII but that entire issue was so insignificant that it was just a little side-story that you hopped upon if you took a wrong turn in a forest whose name I can't even remember.

5) Once again, a character who it was hard to really give a damn about to begin with.


As for why I love Yuna, where to begin...

1) She's not the typical tagalong to the leading man. In fact, the leading man was the tagalong to HER. In all other RPGs, here's your hero. Along comes a girl to join him, usually a childhood friend or the runaway princess or whatnot. Yuna had the story *revolve* around her.

2) Classy dresser. No tiny tanktops (hi there, Tifa!), no midriff-revealing tubetops (Marle), and didn't really dress in a way that said "I AM THE GAME'S SEX ICON! FAP AT ME PLEASE!" As another example, I cite Lacus Clyne.

3) Not a sissy that can't get anything done without her guy around. Which just so happens to be 95% of RPG gals around. Oh crap, my guy is under the weather! OH NOES, ANGST ANGST ANGST!

4) Not a NOTHING WILL STOP ME FROM MY OBJECTIVE narrow-minded unstoppable force bitch either. Case in point? Ashe. Ashe=girl on a mission, and very little after that. She seems far more a human than most other RPG characters. Perhaps that was aided very much so by voice acting, but Ashe certainly didn't make any big impact on me.

5) Grows out of her shell and actually *CHANGES*. Perhaps Rikku was to credit (or to blame) for this, but whereas the first game had Yuna, despite her strength, needing the help of her guardians, FFX-2 showed that she could, if put to it, kick tons of ass, even if it meant kicking the ass of her boyfriend's overangsted evil twin!

6) Songstress. Calming songs = good things.

And I'm not sure we have seen Yuna's character millions of times in anime. The only one I could really consider being a close match to Yuna is Lacus.

I also like Tifa a lot, but Tifa was always a support character, despite kicking tons of ass and looking good.

As for another very awesome RPG female, Legend of Dragoon's Rose. Another one of those rare RPG females that, when it comes down to it, is more or less the reason for the game, with a very deep story behind her.
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Old 2007-05-08, 12:02   Link #249
Lebron
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http://ff13vids.jugem.jp/

FFXII international version release is confirmed.
This time, each character has own license board.
FF12 International will be released on August 9th in Japan.

Edit: Actually, nothing has been officially confirmed by Square(or the Blogs with a good track record). So, I guess we have to wait till this weekend when the SE party starts to know if these announcements are indeed true. Carry on :P
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Old 2007-05-08, 15:22   Link #250
Demongod86
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Irrelevant. The horrid story isn't changing.
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Old 2007-05-08, 21:14   Link #251
Lebron
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Originally Posted by Demongod86 View Post
Irrelevant. The horrid story isn't changing.


EDIT: Not that it matters I guess, but seems the rumor was true.

Final Fantasy XII International Zodiac Job System
http://www.enregistrersous.com/image...509143435.html
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Old 2007-05-09, 14:19   Link #252
wsheit
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Originally Posted by arias View Post
I just had to log in from outside to intervene. Your points are good, and spoiled some of the game for me since I'm not through it but I'm fine with that. Will finish it in the coming weeks perhaps.
AAAGGH! I understand the temptation to open spoiler bubbles, but that kinda sux.

Quote:
However, your qualms against the simplicity of FFX are probably not all that justified.

Man.. I hate to continually embark on defence of FFX wherever I go but it's really a very great game in terms of its character plot. I don't think its subtleties escaped the Japanese gamers when they voted it as the greatest game in Famitsu.
I guess my point was really in pacing. In every most every cutscene in XII, there's a new twist to the plot. We learn most of the important plot stuff in X pretty early on and then the plot just coasts. All of that extra stuff with the moronic guy that tries to stop them really didn't do it for me. I just felt that while cutscenes were few and far between in XII, there was vivacity and drama in them that I just didn't feel in X.


Spoiler for Answers to Demongod, LADEN with XII spoilers:
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Old 2007-05-09, 16:15   Link #253
Demongod86
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At 1) Whether or not it was assumed was details. It was a one-shot attempt at making Balthier something other than the smooth-talking somebody and actually give him some form of a stake in the business, because other than that, he was just some treasure hunter. Did it work? Meh. It filled him out but in no way did it change what would have happened had he been a judge or not. He was going to stick it out with the party one way or another, whether he simply was in it because seeing Ashe instated (by his responsibility) could mean privvy to royal treasures, or because of other, higher reasons. Sometimes the good guys are in it for the money, too.

2) There was ONE time that we got a peek at Gabranth not being this evil evil judge (right when he had to kill that other girl, ironically!). I don't even recall him looking similar to Basch. To me, he was always just that blond judge. At the end only is when I noticed the similarities. And about the characters' responses: they just went the way of the typical "well, we're in over our heads with a bigger problem, so let's forget about the fact that you ARE A MURDERER", sort of like we forgot all about Vaan's motives and Penelo's as soon as you left Rabanastre, and they just became characters that were there.

3) They made the story more epic? Are you kidding? We saw them ONCE and ONLY once. Vayne's purposes were anything but noble, might I add. He was out to wreck the place, not to do something prophetical or anti-prophetical. That was simply something on the side because it coincided with his goals. If take over world and change history's flow were two very contradictory objectives, he'd take the former in a heartbeat.

4) Gollum's death at the end of LotR wasn't token...it was essentially bound to the ring, because without the ring, well, who knows...he mighta gone and tried to bite Frodo's hands off as revenge or something . In this case though, the death was completely token. Nothing would have changed either way. Had he lived, the guy above Larsa in the ending wouldn't have a scar on his brow, but instead, he did.

4.2) Yes, he woulda yakked about it. And most of us would be sitting there looking like this: . What exactly was he talking about? Who knows? Wasn't until you took a wrong turn. And for a plot point destination to be absolutely optional...well that's just silly. Hell, the fact that the game consisted of more optional content than plot-related content was just pathetic.

5) That event just showed how dumb people could be, and nothing more.

And about your FFX plot qualms: we learned the plot as soon as we met Yuna. Cute girl wants to kill monster. Monster goes on wrecking sprees. Kill monster quick. If you're paying attention to the plot, you're missing the forest for the trees, because the plot was pretty trashy. It was essentially the story of Tidus and Yuna (not sure who more in the first, certainly Yuna in the second...that and Lenne and Shuyin), rather than the story of destroying Sin. It may have been better had it not been a big ugly whale-turd that was the entire moving force (come on Squeenix, couldn't you have made it something less ugly-looking so as to paint it shades of gray? Yuna was already as fluffywhitebunny as they come), but the big monster was just the gravy.
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Old 2007-05-09, 23:06   Link #254
Urzu 7
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Originally Posted by hobbes_fan View Post
I seriously love this thread. Most have given good solid answers to why they hate it/like it. I probably would never have bought FFXII had I read the comments here first. I just don't know how this scores 10's in almost every website and forum when at least 1/3rd of the people have pointed out major (legitimate) issues. Even those that love it acknowledge its flaws.

Because it is a Final Fantasy game. I like the game and it is real solid, but I think it was over rated by many reviewers. Sometimes big name games in established franchises get better ratings then they should. It happens.

For example, MGS 2 got excellent scores. Yet, I feel MGS 1 and MGS 3 are definately better. A lot of MGS fans think 1 or 3 are the best ones yet. Quite a lot pick 3 (my personal fav). Yet, MGS 3 got the lowest scores of those three games. I, and a lot of MGS fans, think that one is definately the best one yet.
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Old 2007-05-09, 23:44   Link #255
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That really wasn't my point. My point was there are almost nil negative reviews. Franchising plays a role and the FF franchise is a powerful tool, but there were plenty of negative to average reviews of FFX2 when it released. Every successful franchise has had a dog of game eg Resdent evi Survivor, Command & Conquer Generals etc etc. Fanboy reviews still jack up the score but there are enough negative reviews or at least honest ones to paint a decent picture of what to expect.
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Old 2007-05-10, 00:29   Link #256
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Originally Posted by hobbes_fan View Post
That really wasn't my point. My point was there are almost nil negative reviews.
Did you consider the possibility that the game is just good?
Heck, even X-Play gave it their highest score. Even after the hostile takeover of TechTv, they still don't hand out good scores very often.
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Old 2007-05-10, 01:06   Link #257
Jazzrat
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Quote:
Did you consider the possibility that the game is just good?
Heck, even X-Play gave it their highest score. Even after the hostile takeover of TechTv, they still don't hand out good scores very often.
Bearing the name Final Fantasy itself gave it a lot of weight for scoring. It's often hard to disregard the brand name behind it. Technically the game itself was good, i.e graphics, gameplay, music.

Ok, gameplay might depends on taste. The board system was pretty boring to me while Gambit system was probably my favourite aspect of it. Limit breaks is trash.


But i think what a lot of folks didn't like it about was the poor characters in it. Honestly, Vaan is one of the dullest main character for me in the FF series. Even emo boy Squall was better. If anything, the characters' personality was too stiff for me. It lacked that chemistry you see from memorable characters like Cloud x Aeris/Sephiroth, Tidus x Yuna. The only one guy that's memorable from 13 was Balthier. The political stories can be good when done right, a lot of people still love FFT for it's story.
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Old 2007-05-10, 01:31   Link #258
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Originally Posted by FatPianoBoy View Post
Did you consider the possibility that the game is just good?
Heck, even X-Play gave it their highest score. Even after the hostile takeover of TechTv, they still don't hand out good scores very often.
ding ding ding!

Spoiler for Answers for Demon- again laden with FF spoilers:
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Old 2007-05-10, 03:32   Link #259
Demongod86
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About the death: His atonement was to backstab the bastard, not to die from his attack.

And of course Vayne would be defeated. Those gods could have done whatever they needed to long before, so it's clear that they weren't going to budge, one way or another. They were there just for shits.

At Balthier being fleshed out: when you can define as fleshing out a character through ONE little dialogue (maybe two if you count the shit with Cid at Ridorana), something is WRONG. Balthier was the only character in XII worth liking, so of course I liked him. But compared to Yuna or Cloud or Seph? GTFO, thx.

And as for Nabudis: yes, it's mentioned once before. And at that point, you're sitting there like this: -_-? And when you do stumble upon it, Basch just says "well, it's a bad place, let's get outta here" If you stay to explore, it's more or less a super-mario haunted house.

And if you didn't like Yuna, of course you weren't going to bite on X. The entire story revolved around her and Tidus. Sin was there to provide a motive, but the story wasn't about Sin.

In XII's case, it's all about "Get Vayne!" yet most of the story is just about fighting crony judges or random monster bosses.

If you want to really cap off the poor pacing, how's this: Penelo says more in the ending than in the entire game combined.

Also, about FFXII being "a genuinely good game"

Strip it of its FF franchise name. Still a good game?

Anyone remember Legend of Dragoon? Sony's own little attempt at making an RPG, and I have to say that storywise, it was a really solid game. Battle-system wise, it was a complete joke since the powers of the dragoons (what the entire game revolves around) were actually a liability because of the way most bosses would just up and punish you for turning into them. (Dragon Block staff! Dragoons are useless! Dragon Buster! Instakill-a-goon!). That game will probably forever go down in history as a "FF wannabe". But if you dropped the name FF on it, I can almost assure you that it would have been much better regarded than XIII and IX.

If you look on gamefaqs, if you check out the lower end of the reviews (and there are quite a few), you'll find that they all harp about the same thing:

THE STORY.

I don't know about you, but I don't find the fact that you can possibly spend *more* time doing optional junk (hunts) than you can of playing the game. And the fact is, that you run out of gil after every re-equip just makes them all the more mandatory.

FFX's entire pokemon game was if you wanted to go through the length of getting auron's ultimate weapon. You could procure Tidus's and Yuna's (the most important ones--and Yuna absolutely rapes face with nirvana+ultima+doublecast) without *too* much trouble, at least in terms of game time if you know what to do.

I just think FFXII went the completely wrong way. When I think FF, I think deep, all-encompassing story, not some cheap star-wars ripoff combined with 60 hours of meaningless hunts.
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Old 2007-05-10, 03:44   Link #260
hobbes_fan
You could say.....
 
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
If the responses in this thread are any indication of the general RPG playing demographic, it isn't all its made out to be. An RPG gaming classic? Not by the amount of negative/disappointed opinions in this thread. Not with 1/4 to a 1/3 unsatisfied/underwhelmed/disappointed. Even from the some that like it the opinion seems to be that it is far from what its made out to be.
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