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By the way, III has some... weird things respect to the time stopping in the surface world. If The surface world was frozen by Xande for about a thousand years, then why does the rest of the game play the same?.
In regards to Kefka, I've said it many times before, and I'll say it again: Kefka makes a perfect foil to the angsty nature of the protagonists by being gleeful and carefree as he does horrid things, which is why I describe him as a great video game villain and an even better Final Fantasy villain.
I'm with Cliche. I HATE how every villain/ hero who has some odd relationship with the villain has to angst profusely.
That's why I love Kefka. He's a funny, fucked up bastard, not some brooding metrosexual basketcase.
edited 3rd Nov '09 9:22:59 AM by Schitzo
On another note: GODDAMN THOSE TONBERRIES!!!!
I have a soft spot for XII, X, I, VII and Tactics. I didn't like IV or VI, who knows why. The spinoffs can die in a fire.
I've never found any FF character intriguing enough to care about the story. I tend to tune out the plot and focus on the music, writing and atmosphere, since the series tends to excel in those areas more than most RP Gs I've played.
Not only is Kefka the best villain in any Final Fantasy game, he is also the only character worth watching in Dissidia - the only one whose dialogue does not consist of overly vague and cliched lines that say nothing whatsoever.
I like Kefka, he's like The Joker without the immunity.
Honestly, I have to admit to being a big fan of Sephiroth. He was a genuinely interesting villain in a lot of ways, but he's been completely sucked dry by the fanbase, to the point that it's become uncool to admit to liking him.
edited 3rd Nov '09 11:07:49 AM by Desertopa
And then Square ended up Pandering to the Base and reducing him to that "cool guy with a sword" the fanbase treated him as, which is why Advent Children was so disappointing. The entire plot could be summed up as "revive Sephiroth for yuks and giggles".
"On another note: GODDAMN THOSE TONBERRIES!!!!"
Malboros are an even bigger pain in the buttocks.
edited 3rd Nov '09 12:21:34 PM by Cliche
You know how Cloud spent the first half of FFVII being a jackass that only cared about himself and them post-lifestream he was a droky guy that thought that "Let's mosey!" is an addecuate warcry?
Square doesn't. That's why ever since Cloud has been characterized as a mopey, emo guy when he's almost the opposite of that -I can actually imagine early game Cloud picking on early game Squall at the academy-, Sephiroth as the orchestrator of everything (it makes more sense if you blame everything on Jenova, damn it!) and the whole setting is treated as a bleaker Neon Genesis Evangelion in RPG format; dressing up cats as sailors, evil sentient cartoon houses and Cloud's homoerotic hijinks notwithstanding.
So, to put it simply, the wost part of FFVII is the fandom because they even made Square forget what the game was all about.
Edit: Squall wasn't even that bad in comparison to the characters he influenced. He has a sense of humor, only moped in his narration and the plot actually tried to justify why would someone take orders from Douchebag Nofriends Mc Sarcasm (Quistis turned out to be incompetent on her first mission, the only other candidates were not-too-bright Zell and batshit insane Selphie).
edited 3rd Nov '09 12:33:09 PM by TheAdversary
Yeah. Sephiroth as a character in FF 7, and (perhaps even more) in Crisis Core, was deep and interesting. Every other place he's appeared he's been reduced to a smirking evil guy with a sword, and since he appears everywhere that's the one that sticks with us, unfortunately.
First off, can I please note that Final Fantasy X-2 was not "shoe-horned" into the canon? The game was planned from the time FFX was and was developed before and during the merger. In fact, in Japan, it didn't even have a "Square-Enix" logo because the merger hadn't completed by the time it was released.
Now that's a nice segue for what I wanted to say. Namely, I quite liked it. I liked the plotting in X, but after awhile, it was so damn serious and melodramatic and depressing that it started to wear on me. X-2 having a sense of humor brought back refreshing memories of FFV, another game that didn't take itself all that seriously. Strange how people always complain about the series being "mopey" and "emo" but rebel against games that are the exact opposite. Golly. I wonder why.
If I wanted to rank main-series games in some sort of convenient list format, I would have to go something like this...
You may notice the low-ranking of the NES era. Well I feel that they have a lot of trouble overcoming their age compared to others in the series. III, even with the shiny DS port, still has serious gameplay issues even with its lovely little job system. I has little motivation for me to play and little direction in the game itself, though it's still fun if simple. II has a great plot and innovative battle and character system...but the same innovative battle and character system work against it as well. I think it's sorely underrated anyway.
VII is a game that I loved when it was new, but like less as I play it in later years. There's serious problems with the presentation that block my enjoyment of the game, and a lot of gaps in the story that didn't get filled until the Compilation happened. Yea, I know the fans call it a "Complication", but dammit, that game makes so much more sense to me now that somebody bothered to try and explain it. I loved Advent Children for what it was (and hated Spirits Within for not just embracing what it was and failing at being something else), and for plugging one of the biggest annoyances I had with the plot of VII - Aerith dies, and everyone stops caring when they start up Disc 2?! We've passed out of the pre-determined mourning period and we're okay with that? Oy. Since this game wasn't my first FF, I wasn't as enamored with it as others at the time, but I still think it's a good game. And even when it was new, my mind was blown. And yet, despite my not being that big a fan of it overall, I think I remember the characters a bit better than the people who seem to forget that even back in 1997, Cloud was a basket case (hint - just because he pretended to be a "don't care about anyone" jackass doesn't mean he was!) Funny how nobody remembers the actual Cloud when Square doesn't portray him as the unstoppable badass he pretended to be. Yea, people complain about Sephiroth being reduced to that, but they do it to Cloud all the time. Apparently it's not important to pay attention to the entire second half of the game where the hero's severe mental problems are broken down and deconstructed in grand detail. Because hell, that's what I took away from it - the main character is a classic Unreliable Narrator and a giant middle finger to the traditional game hero. And that's why I can still enjoy aspects of it even if I have trouble with the complete package.
IX is a game that I actually liked more the second time I played, but still irks me in other ways. I feel like the game coasts a lot on being nostalgic and nothing else. In my experience, a lot of people who claim to like it ignore the game itself and just focus on it making shout-outs to older FF games and being medieval as if that's all an FF game needs to be "good". I had a lot more fun with the sci-fi mash-ups that tried something unique than IX, which feels like it's merely aping a generic setting without understanding how to make it worth. It also contains Garnet, a poisonous character to the plot that completely derails most of the game and shunts most of the cast to supporting members. Yet it also contains Vivi, a character with a story so tender and poignant that I can't entirely throw the game out as worthless. To me, Vivi's story saves the entire experience and made it worth playing to completion. Garnet could have fallen off a cliff for all I cared, but by the end of the game, I was genuinely worried for Vivi. Somehow, Garnet's ridiculously obnoxious storyline doesn't stop his from touching me. Now, if only the rest of the cast had gotten better development. I intend to give this game another run through later in the year, though, so it may hop up the list again if another subsequent playthrough illuminates it better.
X, as I mentioned, is a game with a solid story that overdoes it. I still enjoyed the hell out of it at the end of the day, and I've played through it a few more times and still appreciated the depth of the storyline. I also liked that Tidus was unique - unlike most teenage heroes, he doesn't know what to do. Maybe some people don't want to see what would happen if a real person got shoved into the situation he does, but that's what I liked. I also liked watching his evolution as a character. It gave his ultimate attitude of Screw Destiny have some damn meaning when he was shown having to weigh this over and over. I also got a kick out of the game's tweaks to the turn-based battles and having playable summons was a blast. It's one of the reasons I'm looking forward to XIII so much.
XII is an odd bird. But I apparently like the odd birds in this series. Where X had a fun twist to turn based battles, XII completely turned the meaning of turn-based and action-based on its head. I've waxed on about my love for this game before, but I lost hours on end to grinding through the dungeons and customizing my characters. I also liked the attempt at at using The Ishamel to insert a stereotypical JRPG hero into the main cast (pleasing the suits and fans) and then tell a story about other characters instead. I thought it was rather clever and made for a deeper story. How many times does the "CHOSEN HERO" actually realize he is just a kid and that sometimes you need adults around to teach you something? It was also a lot more political, like the original Tactics, despite clearly pulling from the embellishments added in Advance.
IV is a strange game. The more I play it, the more it strikes me that the hero is the stupidest JRPG hero in the universe. The plot deaths are transparent, most of them fall squarely under Stupid Sacrifice, and the plot just feels disconnected and random by the time its over. Yet, I still feel nostalgic for the story of redemption and the coolness factor of setting things on fire on the moon. Despite a lot of these points being more obvious on FFIV DS, I still loved playing it from beginning to end.
V actually snuck ahead of IV and its mainly for gameplay. I love the jobs system to death. Faris is the most badass pirate ever. And frankly, it's a game with self-awareness of its strangeness. FFIV tries to play it all straight, but FFV winks and nods. The recent GBA script just made this even more fun to play by adding another healthy dose of self-awareness. FFV is a game that knows how to be fun and have fun with itself. It's probably the most light-hearted game in the series, all things considered. And there's still the fun factor of being able to make the main character summon squirrels in combat. The soundtrack is also one of my favorites in gaming for being equally quirky.
FFVIII brings back a lot of fond memories. I'm a sap for a good romance. At the time, my angsty teenage self identified with Squall. Having played it a few times as an adult since then, I still appreciate the character from a different angle. Unlike the stereotyped Emo Teen, Squall is pretty active. Since he absolutely believes in not burdening other people with his social issues, he doesn't whine to other people for attention. He's an intriguing main character to me. And the game as a whole is entertaining to me since it spends so much time as a character study, even if it means the main plot gets sidelined. And the Junction system is one of my favorite character systems, period. I figured out how to break it pretty quick back in the day and my Squall was a freaking death machine. It's one of the rare games where I actually tried to max out my characters, and that's mostly because it was fun to me. Oh yea, and I love Liberi Fatali.
Then lastly, my favorite, Final Fantasy VI. I'm really not going to lie - nostalgia is probably helping a lot. But it was my first JRPG, period. It was the first game I played that convinced me to care about games with storylines. The soundtrack is freaking amazing. The characters, despite there being a lot of them, felt like fully fleshed out characters. Yea, I would have loved if the last half of the game was as tightly plotted as the first, but on the other hand, there's something fun about running around and collecting everyone after the world actually ended. And there is Kefka, who is yet to be matched by any other villain in the series or the rest of gaming for that matter. This is also one of the few games left where its Fan Dumb hasn't made me want nothing to do with it anymore (ala Chrono Trigger). And god knows the Nostalgia Goggles crowd has been trying as hard as they can since 1997 when It's Popular, Now It Sucks! set in.
I am one of the five people on earth who found VIII to be the best in the series. When you add this to the fact that I'm one of the three people who enjoyed Tales Of Legendia, it seems I just a sucker for character-driven stories in games... and no one else is.
...I love you, Rebochan.
About X-2: The combat system was nice and I actualy ended up liking the JUMP BUTTON! as it made the overworld a lot funner.
Now, V may be my third or fourth favorite FF but X-2's plot was... silly. And not funny-silly, just plain silly. I mean, that was the first game I had to close my room's door for playing because the cutscenes made me embarrassed to play it and even like the game as far as gameplay goes. Hell, even Yuna's characterization was pretty damn good but they had to sandwich it between anime Charlie's Angels and "fanservice". And I use that in quotations because It sure as hell was not being servicial at all to me.
But more games should try to do both an action-y battle system with Jobs. The Job system rules.
Edit: The writing in Crisis Core made an extreme emo stereotype I know get to like Zack even if he didn't identify with him. That's all the proof I need to call it the best written Final Fantasy to date and I hate Gackt with the fury of a raging Viking God.
edited 3rd Nov '09 2:45:16 PM by TheAdversary
See, I thought the fanservice charges in that game were overblown. I played it after being built up to believe the game was a giant hentai. There was nothing in the game that wouldn't have been appropriate for Sailor Moon. Yea, it's there, but it's pretty light. Strangely enoguh, despite being a girl, I never felt objectified playing it. I did notice more men complaining about it than women, when theoretically as a woman myself, I should have been the one offended.
And gosh darnit, I liked playing a game where the entire party was female. I think that upsets a lot of gamers in and of itself.
I haven't played VII through IX in a long time, and none of the ones after that.
It doesn't upset me. Sometimes I end up with all-female parties in games I don't need them and have the option of having guys. But FFX-2 is just not the game you can play with your entire family watching without feeling really awkward even if there's no sex.
It upsets me. I want fanservice too, dammit.
I can buy Squall being a squad leader, and for all that he lacked social skills, he really wasn't unsuited for the position. But I find it absolutely mind boggling that in the entirety of Balamb Garden, a place supposedly full of elite veteran mercenaries, there is not a single more qualified candidate to lead the place than a seventeen year old rookie who's been on a grand total of two missions, one of which was a failure.
No, I suppose it wasn't. Crisis Core was shoehorned into canon. Final Fantasy X-2 was tacked on.
That's not so bad by itself; there was no foreshadowing of the events of X-2 in the previous game, but at least it didn't have to distort existing canon. But it seriously clashed with the tone of the previous game (I'm not someone who accuses the rest of the series of being mopey) and in my mind, nothing excuses turning Yuna into a pop star. People prayed to the other High Summoners, who only accomplished for a brief period what she accomplished forever, and lived to tell about it. She should be the Holy of Holies, not a goddamn idol singer.
May I note that in the case of Squall assuming leadership, even he noted this was insane and unusual? It's not like the game wanted you to assume this was logical - it's supposed to be jarring.
The entire reason this happened was because of the Stable Time Loop - Squall told a younger Edea Kramer about See D at the end of the game. Thus, Cid knew that somehow Squall was going to need See D to stop a Sorceress. Hence why Squall got put in charge - he knew Squall had to do the job and he would need the full force of See D for it. If Squall had been fucking up left and right, he might have changed his mind, but he was an extremely talented soldier, so that was all the confirmation Cid needed that the Stable Time Loop wasn't full of crap (well, that and his wife going crazy and trying to take over the world, just as predicted).
Regarding The Adversary's embarrassment, maybe you're just easily embarrassed? I played x-2 for hours in front of my friends and family and nobody cared. I played Bio Shock with my parents around and got ordered out of the room because of the language. Possibly your friends and family could also just be jerks.
And Yuna wasn't turned into a pop star. The start of the game showed a completely different person stealing her identity and making a quick buck off of it. A later event required that she actually channel the spirit of a real singer to try and get some people that were ready to kill each other to stop. That's a bit of a stretch for "idol singer".
Some days I think I'm the only person that actually pays attention to these games.
edited 3rd Nov '09 4:22:11 PM by Rebochan
Yes, I'm aware of that, but people still treated her more like a popular celebrity than a figure of reverence. The very fact that people bought into the idea of the concert at all is testament to that.
And she shouldn't have needed to channel Lenne's spirit to convince the two sides to stop fighting, considering the level of influence she ought to have been wielding in the first place.
Not that it wasn't a cool scene ( I created a save file just to revisit it whenever I felt like it,) but if you had asked me at the end of the last game if that was a position Yuna would ever plausibly be in, I would have laughed.
Er...why not? Yuna was only a holy person as long as there was still a church to worship her. The Church ended because of her and the halls stand abandoned and there's even a large faction that doesn't believe in bowing to Summoners. She's famous, but not a religious figure. And for the most part, that's because she made it that way. She's been out of the public eye for two years. The high attendance at the concert just shows that a lot of people will turn up to see her for any reason because she's famous. Hell, they all showed up at the end of the last game just to watch her speak at a microphone for awhile.
She can't just wave her hand and make people stop fighting over something they believe in so strongly. Yuna isn't the emperor and she's not a god. She is influential, but she can't brainwash people just by saying "Please don't fight." She also can't declare martial law over them and force the fighting to end. The concert was a way to get them to calm down without subverting their will or using confrontation.
This was illustrated on a smaller scale with the Ronso and the Guado. Yuna is a powerful figure to the Ronso, but she can't step in because she's not the god of them. Even when that conflict does result in a boss fight, it's under a battle of honor and not Yuna forcing someone to bow to her will.
I wouldn't have bought it myself without the context of the game to back it up.
It wasn't just me, I've talked to a lot of people about it and all of them have felt pretty embarrassed.
Then again, all of us are male. Different standarts and different tresholds for how much Charliesangelsness we can take.
Okay, since when have males been embarrassed by Charlie's Angels? This is an entirely foreign concept to me.
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