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Tales Of Phantasia
- Some New Guy: The "reveal" of Dhaos' true intentions in Tales of Phantasia. Not only does it come completely out of nowhere, but the game seems to expect us to believe that it completely justified him launching a genocidal war against mankind. Protip: No, it doesn't. It actually makes Dhaos less sympathetic, since it makes it appear that Dhaos brought his end on himself by never bothering to explain his actions when he had multiple chances to. The Tales series has many sympathetic villains, but Dhaos does not deserve to be one of them. Wanting to help your own world is no justification for wanting to cause the destruction of another.
- sumguy: While I don't see Tales of Symphonia as one of the greatest games in the series, I can recognize it's several strengths, and I did all around have a good time with it. That is, except for one small little detail. Over the course of the game, we learn that the people of Mizuho tried to get Sheena/Shiina to tame the spirit Volt in that past. This failed, 25% of Mizuho's population were killed, and Sheena has been carrying guilt over this ever since. After the party does tame Volt, Kuchinawa challenges Sheena to a duel, claiming that she purposefully let Volt kill 25% of the village, considering that she was able to tame Volt in the present. Whatever drama that may arise from this situation falls apart when we learn that when Sheena failed to tame Volt, she was seven years old. Let that sink in. The villagers thought that a seven-year-old could successfully tame a Summon Spirit. Kuchinawa blames Sheena for something she failed to do when she was seven. Where's the logic in that? Sure, Kuchinawa challenging Sheena isn't supposed to be entirely logical, but you'd think Kuchinawa would have realized this after thirteen years. While this doesn't destroy the game by any means, it does make a plot point involving a character I liked seem extremely contrived.
- Sahgo: Tales of the Abyss, I love you, but I'll never forgive how Anise's betrayal subplot was handled. Let's count the ways; 1) It all begins when Anise was being a spy for Mohs for the sake of her parents. A little retarded (since she should know that the party is more than strong enough to take matters into their own hands), but understandable, since she's just a kid, and a desperate one at that. But it all goes to hell when she's asked to bring Ion to Mohs. She knew that he would get rid of him as soon as he read the Score, and she supposedly freakin' loves him! And yet she carries him to his death. 2) After the party kills Mohs for that, they feel sorry for him. Namdai, you're trying to make us feel sorry for Mohs, that's easier said than done (actually, scratch that; it's not even easy said). 3) After the whole thing, Anise gets no comeuppance whatsoever, particularly egregious since Luke got a much harsher treatment after committing a much more justifiable mistake. And 4) When Anise meets Arietta (another who cared deeply for Ion), she doesn't even bother to tell her of his death, and just kills her. There are no words.
- CharlestonMan: Unlike Sahgo, I can never love this game, and Arietta's death is the reason why. This would have been the prime moment for Anise to redeem herself. Arietta wants a duel to the death, but Anise could have come clean about everything, she could have told Arietta the truth about Ion and how the supposed love triangle between him and the two girls never really existed. If Arietta attempted suicide like people kept saying she would if she knew the truth, she could either die from it (better her blood be on her own hands than the heroes') or Anise could stop her. It could have been terrific. But no, Anise just fights the duel and kills Arietta, only expressing remorse for about a minute before forgetting about it entirely. Arietta, a sad and misled 16-year old girl, dies a horribly sad death crying out for Ion, and both players and party are supposed to just brush that off even though it could have easily been avoided? No, sorry. Not happening. To me, this was Anise and the game itself crossing the Moral Event Horizon. Fighting and death may be a part of the game, but when it's treated as a superior way to settle things as opposed to talking things out (or hugging them out in Arietta's case, as she needs it) is when it just becomes disgusting and an unpleasant gaming experience.
- Catmuto: Oh, how I love you myself, Tales of the Abyss. But you have two absolutely infuriating moments for me, that make me hate going through the game every time. But I picked the one that bugs me more. note After Luke destroyes Akzeriuth and the party has managed to make it back onto the Tartarus, everyone begins to yell at Luke for what he did. They yell at him for blindly following Van's words, for not telling them what Van's plan was and how he ultimately killed thousands of people and destroyed an entire city and part of the continent. When they're all a bunch of filthy Hypocrites themselves!
Guy and Natalia are the ones who know Luke the best and know how much he idolizes Van and, if Van told him 'Do not tell anyone about this', Luke will most definitely not tell anyone about this. Jade had potentially vital information that could've shaken Luke's psyche enough to not run headstrong into Van's arms and do whatever he's told. Anise has no good reason to yell at Luke to begin with and everyone conveniently ignores the fact that, if Ion hadn't opened the Daath Door, Van and Luke couldn't have proceeded to the Sephiroth Tree and caused this disaster. Yet nobody calls him out on this. In fact, when Ion apologizes and tries to take his share of the blame, they immediately tell him to stop and say it is 100% Luke's fault and nobody else's. Not even Van's.
Now, I'm not one to say that Luke would have listened to any of them, had they said anything bad about Van - the party consisted of his best friend, sure, but the rest were a snide-remarking Colonel from the opposite kingdom, a brat who wants his money, his annoying childhoodfriend-fiancée who forced her way into the party and Tear, who made the wonderful impression on Luke by dropping into his house and trying to kill his dear Sensei. But the fact that nobody considers that they, at least indirectly, could've stopped this or even see any of the fault of their own, even later, is infuriating!
Obviously, this is a scene where we are supposed to hate Luke for his actions, but I am always on Luke's side at this moment. Yes, what he did was wrong, but given his background and the fact that he's technically only 7 years old and clearly was never taught how to properly suspect people, especially Van who Luke says was the only one who bothered to really explain things to him, I can absolutely understand why he said nothing. I'm just angry that the party is considered in the right, when they are just as much at fault for not speaking up. If I didn't enjoy the game in its entirety, overall, I would generally keep a save-file after this moment, just so I don't have to deal with it.
- alienatedchaos: By the time the party reached the Main Arc's final dungeon in Talesof Graces, I had become disturbed by how little anyone called out the genocide Lambda committed against the Fodrans. The experimentation he suffered was torturous, sure, but there is no universe in which one person's suffering, however grave, justifies the murder of a planet's worth of people.
- CatMuto: My DMoS for Graces occurs exactly in a skit in the main arc's Final Dungeon, after the flashback scene depicting Lambda's torturous experimentations. It's a line uttered by Asbel, who suddenly thinks that he and Lambda are alike. I remember pretty much slamming my controller onto a table and ranting for a good five minutes. Asbel comparing himself to Lambda was stupid, since their circumstances and events in their life were completely different. Asbel was born as a noble and had a rather happy house, despite living under the thumb of a very strict father.
Yes, he ultimately lost a friend during childhood, ended up separated from his new friend Richard, his brother was shipped off to another family note , but Asbel still had it good! After his brother is shipped off, Asbel gets to yell at his father and runs away from home, to fulfill his dream of joining the Knight Academy and becoming a knight himself. Yeah, that life is totally like being an energy-entity that is shoved into a humanoid body and performed horrible, painful experiments on almost permanently, for the sake of science and having no other purpose in life, than to destroy planets for no reason. I don't know what Namco was aiming for with this, but I think they really missed the target.
- TimeTravelerEon: The entire second half of Tales of Legendia (the character stories). The first half of the game ended beautifully, with the unintended Rite of Feriyen and finally fixing the entire problem with the Merines, even though it did leave that little hanging thread of who the hell Grune was and maybe include brand new content...but then the character stories, which seemed like they'd resolve that thread, instead was just a long and admittedly boring slog through pre-existing dungeons (I did not need to go through any mazes a second time, thank you), with the bosses just being doppelgangers of player characters. Topping it off was the very unfortunate lack of any sort of voice acting save for the animated scenes and battle cries, which made the whole atmosphere feel empty. Voice acting is the key to portraying emotion in a game with limited visuals like that, and a lack of it made any sort of emotional impact practically nonexistent. The only one that even remotely got me in the gut was Moses's story, if only because he had to say goodbye to Giet, his family. The rest? Sorry, but it was pretty lackluster.
- Catmuto: The end of the third arc, with Milla sacrificing herself to save the others was a DMoS for me. First and foremost, Namco, you are not Square. Do not even attempt to make me think you are Square, because I will not believe that you would honestly kill off one of the main characters (especially the female lead) and stick with it. The scene is overall decently done, but the fact that the game is split into two routes (Jude and Milla) just made this worse. Because immediately after this huge scene, the game asks you if you want to save. Thanks for ruining even the potential suspense that Milla might be dead for good, now I know that something is gonna happen that will make her not-dead. She has a route in the game and this event took place during the late halfway-point of the game, making me believe less that Namco would release even an admittedly rushed game with such a short main arc. Now, had Milla's route played through this scene without asking me to save before proceeding, I might have bought the idea of her dying for real. As it is, it was already unbelieveable on ground principle and suspense was ruined through gameplay mechanics popping up at an inopportune moment.
- Catmuto: As entertaining as Xillia 2 was to me, the Hot Springs Scene was horrible. The scene is unlocked by paying off Ludger's debt of 20 Million Gald and Nova invites the party and her sister to go to a hot spring, as means of celebration. Well, the hot spring is co-ed, so the girls lock the guys inside Teepo, where it's horribly cramped, hot and their towels dissolve as well. All while the girls can enjoy the hot springs. They even locked Rollo in there. The scene is supposed to be funny, but it's quite the opposite and it sounds like Milla was the main instigator of this, which feels horribly out-of-character for her. This was the reward for paying off a huge debt that had been blocking me throughout the game? My reward for spending hours fighting the higher-powered Elite Monsters and going through the difficult Bonus Dungeon, just so I could watch the girls being dicks to the guys, who did nothing wrong? That's a horrible reward.