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Final Fantasy VII (and those other games named Final Fantasy)


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#21 Ocelot

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Posted 11 December 2015 - 10:54 PM

In response to the Final Fantasy VII trouble, I think it speaks to a problem of the games industry today when a game that was released in 1997 contained too much content to be released today. 

 

I think I know what they're getting at. If you look at Midgar in the original game, it's basically a static jpeg that Cloud runs around on top of; you can only go inside a couple of buildings, you can't look around with a free camera or really explore anything beyond just going down all the alleys and stuff. With the remake, it seems like they're turning it into an actual full-3D, fully-run-around-able city. Day/night cycle, NPCs walking and driving around, weather and smoke and lens flares and a lighting engine and all that stuff. When you get out into the overworld they probably can't get away with having the screen go all swirly when a random battle pops up; they'll have to have all the monsters waiting out there to be fought.

 

Not to mention the fact that everyone who used to look like this:

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Now has to look like this:

 

final_fantasy_7_remake-3.jpg

 

It's not that Square couldn't make a game the size of 1997's Final Fantasy VII in 2015, it's that the standards for the way a huge blockbuster game needs to look and feel are like a bajillion times higher than they were 18 years ago. If someone announced something FFVII-sized at E3 we'd all be rolling our eyes wondering when this indie game montage would finish so we could get back to the real blockbusters; that new Cloud character model alone probably has more polygons in it than the entirety of the original game :P

 

Now, as to whether it's worth splitting the game up into multiple full-price purchases, that seems a bit much to me. Plenty of other developers seem perfectly capable of creating gigantic games without charging me three times the price of a normal game. I mean, even if they really fill it out with extra stuff, Final Fantasy VII isn't a 150+ hour game. I suppose we'll have to see how it all shakes out. Personally, the idea of turning FFVII into a huge budget episodic thing that takes years and years to come out just seems so weird when we all already know what happens, y'know? Picture something that'll probably end up being similar to the entire lifespan of the Mass Effect series, except everyone has already known the entire storyline and everything will happen in each of the games for almost two decades.

 

EDIT - First Yakuza 6 trailer:

 

Well, it's not exactly dramatic, but I can safely say that's the highest-resolution Japanese-man-beat'em-up-and-Tokyo-rooftop-clambering simulator I've ever seen.

 

As always, though...

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#22 Hawk

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Posted 13 December 2015 - 09:00 AM

It's not that Square couldn't make a game the size of 1997's Final Fantasy VII in 2015, it's that the standards for the way a huge blockbuster game needs to look and feel are like a bajillion times higher than they were 18 years ago. If someone announced something FFVII-sized at E3 we'd all be rolling our eyes wondering when this indie game montage would finish so we could get back to the real blockbusters; that new Cloud character model alone probably has more polygons in it than the entirety of the original game :P

 

I really don't think that the people who wanted to see Final Fantasy VII remade had the expectation that it would look as good as the other blockbuster titles being released today. Final Fantasy VII is simply one of the first games people think of when they hear the word JRPG, and despite the plethora of amazing games that have been released in the genre, its a dying breed. People wanted Final Fantasy VII to come back because it is a symbol of a bygone age of videogames, a time when you could count the amount of polygons on your protagonist's hair, fight through a long dungeon with random battles, and play a game for more than fifty hours and still have more of the storyline to uncover and still be satisfied.

 

This remake might carry the Final Fantasy VII name, but if its story is broken up into episodes, the battles are no longer turn-based, and the graphics are so detailed that nothing is left to the imagination, I think Square is missing the point. Gamers wanted a return to form from the JRPG genre, not a game that simply carries the name. Its the same sort of thing that happened with Valkyria Chronicles. The game was very successful with its niche audience, but in order to try and attract more gamers to meet some unobtainable sales goal, the series added things like a high school theme and real-time battles, showing that Sega does not understand what made the series successful in the first place. 

 

And for the record, I have never been a big JRPG fan. In fact, I never played the original Final Fantasy VII. It is only after I played some newer titles like Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky that I became interested. When I get tired of modern games, its nice to go back to a bygone age. There is always an audience for niche titles.


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#23 Ryoma

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Posted 13 December 2015 - 12:24 PM

When I made the original comment, I was just snarkin'. But the more I think about it, the more I realize that it has more merit than me attempting to be funny. Especially with responses like Hawk's and Ocelot's. And, I think, it can speak to where Final Fantasy XIII, which we spent about two pages crapping on, went wrong.

 

See, Final Fantasy games have been known for being...well, pretty. The originals on the NES and SNES looked great for the time (And I would argue hold up very well), the PS1-era had intricate 2D backgrounds with 3D models, and Final Fantasy X was like the prettiest thing ever upon release. When it came to the PS3-era, Square Enix put so much effort into making Final Fantasy XIII look good that everything surrounding that suffered. Hard. If you watch early trailers, you can see characters in locations that are impossible for those characters to be in in the actual game. The battle system changed pretty drastically if memory served. Etc.

 

To make the worlds look as good as they do, Square Enix had to invest a lot of money into the graphics. However, the more detailed the worlds got, the harder they were to create. This led to them becoming essentially hallways, because there was no way they could make big areas with the graphics the way they were. The battle system is the crap that it is because, in trailers, they needed it to look "cool." Turn-based stuff doesn't look very cool, so they made this terrible thing where characters move all over the place and the player has no real control. There's no freedom, because there was no money to create big areas. So on and so on.

 

If Final Fantasy XIII had been less concerned with looking pretty, it could've put more effort into other areas, and maybe not have been such a disaster in the first place. 

 

You know why it had to look so pretty?

 

If someone announced something FFVII-sized at E3 we'd all be rolling our eyes wondering when this indie game montage would finish so we could get back to the real blockbusters.

 

Final Fantasy VII is a forty-hour plus JRPG with a large open, explorable world, good story, lots of good sidequests (including optional party members) and lots more. But, if it looks old, no one cares apparently. We want our games gorgeous! We want our games to wow us with their graphics!

 

Or so developers like Square Enix think.

 

Remember, Square Enix was surprised Bravely Default, a throwback to the games Square Enix made their name on, sold so well. It wasn't as pretty as Final Fantasy XIII, how could it sell? But it's a long game with a huge open world and plenty of side quests, a deep and rewarding battle system, a charmingly cliched story, and several steps to modernize some outdated JRPG tropes. Why would anyone want that? It doesn't have Snow's oh-so-punchable face.

 

top10ffsnow.jpg

 

Yet, it sold well, and its characters look like this:

 

tumblr_n13o2gmCFN1r4cusio4_r1_250.gif

 

It's not a technical powerhouse, but it doesn't look BAD because it has a lovely art style. I really think Final Fantasy VII should go more for a throwback look rather than something that looks super modern and quote/unquote jaw-dropping. I worry that by trying to appeal to those who are only impressed by graphical powerhouses will result in a worse game, and one that won't appeal to newcomers. Remember, the audience for this game is really people who played the original. Do you want the battle system messed around with? Or do you want the feelings of nostalgia reborn? Final Fantasy VII is not flawless, but it means a lot to a lot of people. It's essentially Star Wars for a video game audience.

 

Just now we're taking A New Hope, reshooting everything, using computers to make Luke look prettier than before, changing how the battles play out, redoing all the music, CG'ing the crap out of the backgrounds, and splitting it into 3 parts.

 

Would anyone want that?

 

((I think I made my point. I'm not sure. I kind of lost track of what I was getting at))



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#24 Spark

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Posted 13 December 2015 - 01:19 PM

The draw for me was that FFVII was the first one that actually seemed interesting on the story side to me. And the impact the worldbuilding in the game had on me. It's no coincidence just about any story idea I have has at least one detail inspired by FFVII.

If they can deliver that story in a satisfying way again, that's all I really need. I guess I'm a little easy to please when my absolute favorite game of all time (proof: my big spiel in that favorite vg topic) is getting remade.

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#25 Joe

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Posted 13 December 2015 - 02:16 PM

There's a slew of fantastic Final Fantasy games; IV, VI, VII, VIII and X. VII stands out in particular because of what it was at the time and the cultural impact it's had, not to mention the multiple spin-offs that turned out pretty damn good (Crisis Core, Dirge of Cerberus, Advent Children, etc). For me, FFVII was the first JRPG I ever played (I was introduced to it by my older brother, who was a massive fan of FF back in the day), and much like every other game from that era it's left one hell of an impression on me. 

 

Anyway, cross-dressing Cloud confirmed? There's some interesting stuff in that interview; new areas to compensate for anything removed (perhaps some stuff we saw in Crisis Core and Dirge of Cerberus?), for example.


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#26 Ryoma

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Posted 13 December 2015 - 02:49 PM

Psh, IX is the best Final Fantasy. Dat Battle Theme.

 

 

Nah, all the ones you list are pretty excellent. Though, I don't much care for X's story, the battle system is top notch.

 

In news, Nintendo has filed a patent for a touch screen controller. Please don't let this be a thing. Please. I hate touch screens enough on my cell phone. I don't want to Mario with one too. 



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#27 Spark

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Posted 13 December 2015 - 05:26 PM

I see your IX, and I raise lower you to VII.

 

Original version for posterity, though Distant Worlds cover FTW.


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#28 Spark

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Posted 13 December 2015 - 06:01 PM

Making a separate topic, because the VG topic is being once-again cluttered by a specific topic.

 

Talk about Final Fantasy here. VII mainly :P.

 

I'll start the conversation proper by quoting what I said earlier:

 

 

The draw for me was that FFVII was the first one that actually seemed interesting on the story side to me. And the impact the worldbuilding in the game had on me. It's no coincidence just about any story idea I have has at least one detail inspired by FFVII.

If they can deliver that story in a satisfying way again, that's all I really need. I guess I'm a little easy to please when my absolute favorite game of all time (proof: my big spiel in that favorite vg topic) is getting remade.

 

FFVII has such an interesting atmosphere to it. It feels somewhat post-apocalyptic, but at the same time, at a time just before the end. That looming melancholy feeling. And concepts like Midgar: the lone, high-tech city in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by an almost untouched, alien world, have stuck with me and have provided a not-so-insignificant inspirational foundation for- well, that would be telling.

 

 

And now to switch gears, allow me to make a case in favor of an episodic FFVII.

 

VII was a huge game, there's no doubt about it. But I feel like certain parts were left unexplored due to the constraints back then, and of being a single game.

 

For instance, presenting the first 3 hours of the game (and expanding on it) as the first part of a trilogy of sorts, would allow them to build a better connection to Midgar, and the Shinra characters for that matter. Given how big of a role they played in the game, guys like Rufus, Reeve, the President, and those other 2-3 jerkasses that make up the Shinra board were barely in it. Like at all. Expanding on the initial plot and giving it a longer time in the spotlight before Sephiroth Sephirekts everything would give everything moving forward more weight. Some spoiler'd bullet point ideas for your consideration in this part:

Spoiler

TL;DR, give this entire section of the game more breathing room by allowing it to become a game in its own right.

 

If they went with a trilogy model, it'd be hard to figure out where to end the 2nd game. Most people would want to say Aerith's death, but I think it'd fit better if it ended at the Northern crater incident (AKA the end of Disc 2, rather than Aerith's end of Disc 1 death.). Most people forget, that is one hell of a wham sequence, a perfect time to induce a cliffhanger.

Spoiler

And naturally, the 3rd game would deal with the rest of the story, which I don't think warrants justification, since it's the end anyway.

 

One last thing before I put a cork in this post. Here's a neat little video that shipped with Advent Children all those years ago. It's a pretty neat recap of the entire FFVII story.

 


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#29 Ryoma

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Posted 13 December 2015 - 06:56 PM

I've been playing JRPGs for a long time, but my first one was not a Final Fantasy. It was a Dreamcast game by the name of Skies of Arcadia, a charming adventure through an imaginative world that captured my imagination like no other. This game showed me what a video game storyline could be, how invested I could get into a world, and that there were games out there with more a story than Dr. Robotnik kidnapping all the animals again. I got hooked on JRPGs as a genre, and wanted to get my grubby mitts on every one I could.

 

Final Fantasy X was my first Final Fantasy, and the first game I bought for my PS2. The PS2 was significant because it was the first console I bought with my own money, and I got Final Fantasy X to go with it. The two memories are linked. I remember the first time playing Final Fantasy X and seeing the game's opening cinematic, with the somber mood and the "this is my story" stuff going on. I was hooked. It felt like a movie more than any other game I had played. It didn't matter that I found the story confusing. It didn't matter that the voice acting was spotty. I felt like I was in another world. I wanted to stop SIN. Etc. Etc.

 

I actually had to play through the game twice before I beat the sucker. I had gotten to the "final" (Jecht) boss with a poorly leveled party (I kind of suck at grinding and leveling characters), and I couldn't beat the boss no matter how hard I tried. For some reason, I decided to start over rather than grind, and then I was able to finally beat the sucker. I saw the final cutscene, I realized very little in the game made sense, but I just assumed it was far too brilliant for my teenage mind to comprehend.

 

Looking back, the story was complete nonsense. Nothing made sense, motivations were weird, sometimes the translation and voice acting were spotty. The more I looked into the game, the more I saw how little everything clicked. Like I said, I had thought I just didn't understand all the details. But no, it was that the details just don't make sense. Fortunately, the game has a strong battle system that holds up very well, and you can't fault its ambition, especially for the time.

 

Since then, I've had a spotty relationship with the series, and an even worse one with Square Enix. I've played VII and remember really enjoying it for what it was, though I remember enjoying Crisis Core far more. I've played X-2 and remember enjoying it when I played it, as it was my first introduction to the Job System, though I didn't fully understand how it worked. I played XII and don't remember much of it other than Balthier. I downloaded IX from the PSN about a year ago on sale and really enjoyed it. I've played some spin-offs, parts of IV and VI, and dabbled about here and there. I played about 20 hours of XIII and hated every second of it.

 

It's really disappointing to see the series go the path it did though. Early games like VI had more in common with Game of Thrones than anime, with kingdoms fighting each other and the threat of dark magic. Nowadays, it seems to just be pretty boys with huge swords (TEEHEE) kicking the crap out of each other with a poorly translated storyline and some of the worst dialogue ever written. Final Fantasy went from being the pinnacle of the JRPG genre to a punchline seemingly overnight (as XII was still pretty respectable). 

 

Fortunately, while JRPGs aren't exactly plentiful, there are plenty of quality ones out there, mostly for handhelds, to scratch that itch. I really want to play more Final Fantasies as well, specifically IV and VI, since I've never finished them and they are generally considered the best ones. 

 

The name Final Fantasy still carries weight though, especially if the people excited (For reasons unknown to me) for XV, and maybe the VII Remake won't be a disaster. But the fact remains. The people who made Final Fantasy VI and IX and many of the other beloved ones simply aren't at Square Enix anymore. The company isn't what it used to be, and thus, the brand isn't what it used to be either. And it's a shame.

 

But hey, at least the original Final Fantasy crew can still make a damn fine JRPG. This was a Final Fantasy game in everything but name. 



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#30 Joe

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Posted 13 December 2015 - 07:18 PM

I'm still pining for the inevitable sequel set after Dirge of Cerberus. Genesis is still alive, SephirothxJenova's remnants are still lingering in the lifestream and there's still the business of the SOLDIERs and Hojo's other experiments to wrap up.

Not to mention the fact they have to rebuild Midgard with Shinra's help for the third or fourth time.
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#31 Saber-Scorpion

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Posted 13 December 2015 - 07:41 PM

Moved a bunch of relevant FFVII posts in here from the Vidya News Thread, for the sake of archiving I guess.

 

For the record, Bill Ciper/Spark is the one who really started this thread, so you can give him your Like's, if you're into that sort of thing. His original OP is up there.


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#32 Spark

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Posted 13 December 2015 - 08:27 PM

Rant

 

Every point you made is a valid one. But like I also said, FFVII has the benefit of having an unusually strong story for the series that hasn't been rivaled since (or IMO, before) in the series.

 

VII's crew was out-Bioware-ing Bioware before Bioware ever thought about Bioware-ing. :P

 

It also stands to reason that FF's decline was in part caused by VII's popularity. Every game afterwards tried to emulate it in some way or form, until it became a cliche of itself. VII eventually got hit with a case of Seinfeld is Unfunny (Warning: TVtropes link)

 

It seems I have a habit of loving games that get hit with bad cases of this. *cough*Halo*cough*Doom*cough*
 


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#33 Ryoma

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Posted 13 December 2015 - 09:07 PM

It also stands to reason that FF's decline was in part caused by VII's popularity. Every game afterwards tried to emulate it in some way or form, until it became a cliche of itself.

Untrue. While VIII took many aspects of VII and ratcheted them up to 11, IX took a much lighter approach to its story, going back to a high fantasy-esque world with plenty of color and humor. Gone are the angsting pretty boys with giant swords, and in comes Zidane, a young thief with a monkey tail and a way with the ladies. Zidane is just a more enjoyable protagonist to be around compared to Cloud or Leon, and especially compared to those after IX. He's kind, he's flawed, and he wants to do what's right. The story he goes through feels more like a fairy tale than most JRPGs of the time.

 

So, you know, it sold far worse than VII and VIII. :P

 

That's not to say that the game doesn't have emotional weight. If anything, because of the relative lightness and humor in the story, when things get dark, they stand out all the more. Vivi's story in particular stands out here, but every party member goes through some kind of change by the end of the game. Plus, it helps that the cast is super varied, both in personality and design. No one looks even remotely similar. 

 

FFIX_characters.png

 

Also, Vivi has the perfect reason to be as angsty as Cloud or Leon, but he's not. He's such a strong character, but with sad eyes. And he's always tripping over his clothes.  Guh, it's impossible not to love Vivi.

 

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It's a shame that more recent appearances of Zidane have made him...well...prettier.

 

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He looks a like a 12-year-old girl. Kind of a far cry from this:

 

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It kind of goes to show where Final Fantasy is now and where it once was. I would love to see Square Enix HD Final Fantasy IX up. Not remake it like VII (I'd hate to see what Modern Squeenix would do to it), but just make the graphics tighter, shorten load times, and revisit the translation. Don't even need to redo the models, because they really don't look that terrible. 

 

tumblr_myfe4n2DV11ru5tboo1_500.gif

 

Clean up the textures a bit, throw it on the 3DS. You'd make me a happy camper. 



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#34 Risk

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Posted 14 December 2015 - 01:01 AM

Time to be that guy. This is my favorite FF and it always makes me wonder why VII is more popular.

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#35 Spark

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Posted 14 December 2015 - 01:50 AM

Law of firsts. :P VII may not have been the first FF released abroad, but it was the first released to massive clout as a PS1 exclusive. 'That' game that you had to own if you were a self-respecting console owner. My immature young adult mind could not comprehend why I was not continuing the adventures archived within VII. That's a failing on my end, but it might give you some perspective. A lot of people were not familiar with the anthology aspect of the series.


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#36 Spark

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Posted 01 September 2016 - 12:25 AM

Super Bump for incoming relevance for Final Fantasy XV in these next few months.

 

So, despite recent rumblings and whatnot with Square's other properties, and even this itself, I've been slowly taken aback by FFXV these past few weeks, and I'm almost certainly on board with it's story, a first since the VII days. I spent the past few days catching up on stuff like that miniseries anime they're putting on YouTube, and I just watched that Kingsglaive movie tonight. It serves as a good prequel for XV, great voice work, and I genuinely liked many of the characters

Spoiler

 

All I'm saying is, I've seen a lot of rain and stormy moods on this game for a while, and I'm here with a fresh face to bring some sun to it. I'm not saying get super hyped, but...

 

This is the first FF game since VII I've had a good vibe about. And as far as I go, I'm very rarely wrong about my personal enjoyment of something I thought looked good.


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#37 Spark

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Posted 12 September 2016 - 04:18 AM

Oh, hey. There was this thing that happened last week.

 

 

Have I mentioned how crazy excited I am for XV's story? I don't think I mention that enough. And to know the music lives up to the quality I'm thinking that will have....well.

 

Nox Aeterna, Noct's theme and Apocalypsis Noctis are my faves, but everything is just so great.


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#38 Ocelot

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Posted 20 September 2016 - 12:16 AM

Well, perhaps against my better judgment, I went and watched Kingsglaive and Brotherhood. I thought Brotherhood was pretty good, but Kingsglaive... About halfway through I just had to stop and start over from the beginning, because I just wasn't getting it at all. There's a city called Lucis, which means light, and one called Tenebrae, which means dark, but they aren't actually the good and evil ones. Well, Lucis is the good one, and everyone there has black hair, but Tenebrae is just another city (where everyone is blonde) that's been taken over by the evil empire of Niflheim (because why not just sprinkle one word of Norse mythology in there?). But Lucis has also been mostly taken over, and it's just the one city that's still free, and that city is called Insomnia, which I have to imagine is because it never sleeps, hurr hurr hurr.

 

Luna Headey is supposed to marry Noctis, and at first I thought the opening scene implied they were brother and sister until I watched it again with subtitles on and realised King Regis was just trying to help Luna escape the bad men that arrived while he and Noctis were visiting. Luna's brother Ravus has like two scenes before he puts on the One Ring that had never been mentioned up until that point and then suddenly burns to death (which Luna doesn't seem too cut up about). There's a secret plot by the bad guys, but it's actually a secret trap for the good guys, and everyone turns heel and everyone dies and I still don't know if that General Glaucoma dude from the beginning flashback is the same guy Nyx fights at the end because they seemed to have different coloured highlights on their armour that was so hilariously overdesigned that my eyes couldn't find any purchase on it. So many twists and turns and betrayals before I was ready for them made it such a confusing experience.

 

I don't understand how any of the magic works. It seems like they can teleport to wherever their knives are, so they have to throw them away and teleport to where they end up, but then they can also do Force Lightning and throw up bubble shields when they feel like it. But Noctis and Regis can summon swords out of thin air, and so can the rest of the FFXV squad, so I don't know why the Kingsglaive can't. That final action scene was really cool from a scale standpoint, but I thought all the nitty gritties of this movie's action were really poor. Bad framing and confusing editing, and so many explosions and particle effects and weird camera angles that I just couldn't follow it. Advent Children this ain't (God I should watch that movie again. And by 'watch' I mean 'skip through until I hit a fight scene' because that movie's terrible :P).

 

But I guess I have to play Final Fantasy XV now that I've done all this homework. I go back and forth over whether I'm actually excited for it. It's such a big thing, y'know? So many years in development, so many of Square-Enix's dollars poured into its production. It's the first numbered Final Fantasy game in, what, like twenty five years? How long ago was FFXIII? At least a couple of decades, right? And I do really like the concept of a road trip game, just Noctis and his buds out on the road, meeting people, seeing places, and coming to the gradual realisation that his real life is going to start at the end of the trip. I'm looking forward to that story.

 

And then I think about that Platinum demo, and how the game feels like actual, for reals garbage to play, and how it kind of looks like trash, too, and how it definitely runs like poop from a butt on PS4 and presumably even worse on XB1. Game seems like an absolute mess, and I'd be legitimately stunned if they somehow managed to pull it all together before November. I don't know, you guys. This is going to be an interesting one.



#39 Spark

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Posted 31 October 2016 - 04:22 PM

'nother, smaller bump. If you're worried about the final game being similar to Platinum, don't be. Pretty much every source that's gotten their hands on a near-final build of the game has said Platinum was a poor representation of the gameplay, almost as poor as Duscae before it.

 

Kotaku had a decent hands on impression of the first 10 hours of the game, warts and all.

 

To just sample a bit:

 


 

Combat feels significantly better in the final game than it does in both demos, especially Platinum. (In retrospect, Platinum was a terrible way for Square to showcase Final Fantasy XV — playing as real Noctis feels nothing like playing Dream Child Noctis.) There’s a certain rhythm that you can’t really wrap your head around until you’ve played the game for a few hours. In the real FFXV, you can’t expect to defeat tough monsters just by mashing buttons; you have to dodge, switch weapons, and warp to safe ground to recharge your MP. Noctis has access to an array of powerful weapons called the Royal Arms, each of which can do a great deal of damage but only at the cost of your health. There are a lot of moving pieces, in other words, which is very much unlike the two demos. The demos also don’t give you access to Noctis’s car, the Regalia. Getting around the world requires you to use the Regalia quite a bit—cruising highways, bantering with your bros, and listening to Aeris’s Theme on repeat—and adds flavor that was missing in both demos.

 


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#40 Ryoma

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Posted 31 October 2016 - 04:34 PM

I'm glad to hear that. I was very unimpressed by the Platinum Demo, so it's good to see that combat has more meat to it than it seemed. Though, the fact that it takes several HOURS to feel good is a bit worrying. Either way, the game is still on my radar, but only if/when it comes to PC.

 

I hope I don't have to have seen the movies or any other tie-in nonsense to understand the story if I decide to play it.



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