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A Look At the Final Fantasy XIII Demo, Early Analysis

Soulskill posted more than 5 years ago | from the slowly-but-surely dept.

Role Playing (Games) 103

A demo for the PS3 version of Final Fantasy XIII was released in Japan this week, and people have had a chance to try it out and report back. In fact, video footage of the demo in its entirety was streamed and then posted on YouTube shortly after finding its way into customers' hands. Eurogamer got a chance to give the demo a test-drive, and they had this to say: "The characters are likeable — Lightning for her mysteriousness, the members of NORA for their banter and camaraderie — the setting is compelling, and the whole thing is as sumptuous visually as you'd expect of a next-generation Square-Enix title. The plot's the only thing that I couldn't get a definite feel for from the demo, beyond the basic set-up of an oppressive regime, a resistance fighting against it and a character with mysterious powers brought to aid them in a twist of fate. But forty minutes with Final Fantasy XIII have left me with nothing but anticipation for what else it has in store."

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XIII'th (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27608423)

Post!

Aerith dies (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27608463)

Snape kills Dumbledore

Lightening Dies. (-1, Troll)

MindlessAutomata (1282944) | more than 5 years ago | (#27608547)

LIGHTENING DIES, LOL

Re:Lightening Dies. (1)

MindlessAutomata (1282944) | more than 5 years ago | (#27608551)

...but I guess that means Lightning lives.

Re:Lightening Dies. (1)

MindlessAutomata (1282944) | more than 5 years ago | (#27608647)

(if you don't get the joke you probably aren't familiar with an old meme regarding FFVII)

Re:Lightening Dies. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27610031)

I get it, it's just not funny.

What part of "final" don't they get? (-1, Troll)

dominique_cimafranca (978645) | more than 5 years ago | (#27608599)

At the thirteenth installment? Doesn't seem so final at all.

Re:What part of "final" don't they get? (2, Informative)

Tukz (664339) | more than 5 years ago | (#27608653)

Do you even KNOW why it's called "Final" Fantasy?

Even if you think about it, just for a second, the title doesn't even imply it's a final game of any kind. It's a final dream.

Go look it up. There is an explanation why it's called Final Fantasy.

Besides, they have nothing to do with eachother.

Re:What part of "final" don't they get? (1)

jbacon (1327727) | more than 5 years ago | (#27608721)

Besides, they have nothing to do with eachother.

Well, there was that one time [wikipedia.org]

Re:What part of "final" don't they get? (2, Funny)

Pervaricator General (1364535) | more than 5 years ago | (#27612295)

We don't like to talk about that one

Unless we're alone with our action figures

I told you never to call me in here!

Re:What part of "final" don't they get? (2, Informative)

imgod2u (812837) | more than 5 years ago | (#27619949)

Uhhh. According to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Final_Fantasy_(video_game) [wikipedia.org] it's called "Final Fantasy" because it the creator thought Square would go out of business. He thus named it so because he anticipated it being the last fantasy game Square would produce.

Re:What part of "final" don't they get? (3, Informative)

njen (859685) | more than 5 years ago | (#27608909)

Way back when Square was a much smaller company, they actually were on the verge of folding after a string of mediocre titles. Knowing their next title was basically all or nothing for Square, they created what they thought was their "final" chance at making it. It turned out to be a success, and they stuck with the name.

Re:What part of "final" don't they get? (1)

Pervaricator General (1364535) | more than 5 years ago | (#27612341)

Don't you EVER speak that way about Rad Racer, EVER.

Re:What part of "final" don't they get? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27613679)

Rad Racer is a blatent but inferior ripoff of Outrun. The only reason anyone liked was because they were stuck with the inferior NES hardware and couldn't play the real thing.

Re:What part of "final" don't they get? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27609077)

At the thirteenth installment? Doesn't seem so final at all.

it's the final fantasy of said world, as i understand it.

Last video 9:40 (3, Funny)

sakdoctor (1087155) | more than 5 years ago | (#27608641)

Camera focuses on "man cleavage"

W T F!

Re:Last video 9:40 (2, Funny)

MindlessAutomata (1282944) | more than 5 years ago | (#27608683)

Since most FF male heroes look like girls, it's not such a big deal.

Re:Last video 9:40 (2, Insightful)

hellfish006 (1000936) | more than 5 years ago | (#27610039)

men are not the only ones who play video games, and I would assume the RPG genre has one of the bigger followings of female gamers. grow up?

One major problem... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27608661)

The demo weighs in at over 5GB. Consider the Xbox can only hold 7GB of game data (the other 1.4GB is security sectors), then the Xbox can basically only do the demo, without disk swapping...

Either the Xbox is getting a 10disc edition, or it's going to be HEAVILY gimped.

Re:One major problem... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27608681)

Or maybe at worst you'll have to swap discs once every 20 hours like you did with Blue Dragon and other similarly large games but wasn't a big deal because a 5 second interruption in 20 hours matters fuck all, particularly when compared to the generally slower load times of Bluray discs which result in more wasted time throughout the duration of a game.

Re:One major problem... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27608767)

Sorry, Blu-Ray in the PS3 has a faster transfer rate that the 360's DVD.

Get your facts straight please, and stop spreading the Microsoft pre-PS3 launch FUD...

Re:One major problem... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27610939)

Sorry, Blu-Ray in the PS3 has a faster transfer rate that the 360's DVD.

Which handily explains why PS3 games take longer to load, looks worse and chugs, not to mention why they fit their killer game Killzone 2 with such a lame control scheme?

Impressive track record for a system that's "twice" the power of the MS noise box 360.

Re:One major problem... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27614637)

Do PS3 games take longer to load, look worse and chug? Or is that what Microsoft want people to think?

Are you people too stupid to see how Microsoft is manipulating blogs and forums with their viral marketing FUD and astroturfing...

There are a few games that ended up worse on PS3, in the early days, but that changed a VERY long time ago...

Re:One major problem... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27614779)

Do PS3 games take longer to load, look worse and chug? Or is that what Microsoft want people to think?

Of course Microsoft wants people to think it, but that does not make it untrue either. Don't let your hatred of M$ blind you to the fact that the xbox does a better job on multiplatform games, yes even Burnout, DMC4 and recent multiplat games like RE5 plays better on the rroding noise box.

What? (0, Flamebait)

Spatial (1235392) | more than 5 years ago | (#27612511)

No it doesn't. I just looked it up, the PS3 is a lot slower according to its specifications.

1x BRD = 36Mbps.
1x DVD = 10.5Mbps.

PS3: 2x BRD = 72Mbps.
360: 12x DVD = 126Mbps.

Re:What? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27613155)

Nice bit of cherry picking there. Microsoft will be proud. However to ruin your FUD, I have the bits you decided to leave ON the cherry tree.

Firstly, the Xbox360 only reads DVD4.3 at 12x, I can list all the DVD4.3 titles on one hand. The other 99% of Xbox360 games are on DVD9, which is read at 8x.

Whoopsie...

Secondly, it seems you have either deliberately, or accidently forgotten the CLV/CAV differences. The PS3 can read the entire disk at 72Mbit/sec, however the Xbox only reads a very small percentage at 8x ( 80.4Mbit/sec), then rest is on a downward spiral from there.

In summary, 1% of the Xbox DVD is marginally faster than the PS3 BD drive, the other 99% is increasingly slower..

Go back to your masters at Redmond and tell them you need more FUD training..

Re:What? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27614381)

Yikes. I don't have a horse in this race (though I do have a Wii gathering dust), but it's pretty clear that even if everything you said is totally correct, you're the one who's nuts.

Re:What? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27620293)

No joke. He's totally subscribed to the "console as a religion" deal. Saddest part is he probably talks just like this in real life.

Re:What? (3, Insightful)

Spatial (1235392) | more than 5 years ago | (#27615003)

That's actually pretty interesting, I didn't know about those differences in the drives at all. So although you're a bit of a cunt, hopefully you'll get modded +5 informative. I had assumed the 12x read rate was for dual layer discs and that BDRs were read with CAV. My bad.

No need to become paranoid-delusional over it though; I just looked it up as you should expect any reasonable person to do and happened to miss a few things. Relax.

Re:What? (1)

Vohar (1344259) | more than 5 years ago | (#27620091)

Looks like you got too close to a rabid fanboy there. There's no reasoning with them. Just back away slowly and avoid eye contact, they'll get distracted by some other perceived slight and run off.

I learned something as a result of your post, so I'd say that's a win in your column.

Re:What?^2 (3, Interesting)

Maxwell (13985) | more than 5 years ago | (#27613205)

You are comparing the PS3 CONSTANT speed, to the MAXIMUM speed of the 360.

The 360 DVD, like most DVD reads tracks on the outer edge of the DVD faster than it reads them on the inside.

BD discs are read at a constant speed, from start to finish.

The 360 *average*, on a full disk, around 64Mbps.

and finally, Xbox uses 12xDVD, not 16 as you used.

http://forum.beyond3d.com/showthread.php?t=42157 [beyond3d.com]

Re:What?^2 (1)

anss123 (985305) | more than 5 years ago | (#27613969)

and finally, Xbox uses 12xDVD, not 16 as you used.

He used 12x as far as I can see. Anyway, while load times don't generally bother me (assuming we're not talking minutes), the PS3 is reported to load slower than the 360 and does not speed up significantly even when fitted with a faster 7200 RPM HD (on games playing from HD of course).

So there might be a bottleneck in the disk drive interface holding the PS3 back.

Re:What?^2 (1)

csartanis (863147) | more than 5 years ago | (#27619007)

BD discs are read at a constant speed, from start to finish.

lol what? Might want to compare the circumference of the bluray disc at the center and the outside edges again!

Re:What?^2 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27619391)

Might want to learn about something called CLV [wikipedia.org] yourself...

Re:What?^2 (1)

csartanis (863147) | more than 5 years ago | (#27619521)

Huh, maybe thats why real-world performance of the PS3 shows slower load times than the 360. Forcing the drive to constantly adjust the rpm as it seeks doesn't seem like a great strategy.

Re:One major problem... (2, Funny)

_Hiro_ (151911) | more than 5 years ago | (#27610803)

Or it will finally be the first game to take advantage of the HD-DVD add-on! ;P

Re:One major problem... (1)

enderjsv (1128541) | more than 5 years ago | (#27614509)

The xbox now allows you to store games on the harddrive. At worst, this means an initial instillation of the disks and nothing more. I guarantee if this game is large and fits onto one blue ray, the ps3 will STILL require you to upload it to your harddrive just like it does with Metal Gear Solid. So it's really the same for both systems.

Hmm (2, Insightful)

Haiyadragon (770036) | more than 5 years ago | (#27608695)

"The characters are likeable -- Lightning for her mysteriousness, the members of NORA for their banter and camaraderie --"

I don't know why, but this gives me a bad feeling about the game. It sounds very contrived.

Let's hope the game's storyline will at least be somewhat compelling this time.

Re:Hmm (4, Insightful)

SpottedKuh (855161) | more than 5 years ago | (#27608887)

Let's hope the game's storyline will at least be somewhat compelling this time.

If they want my money, how about making the game fun -- that seems like a good goal. FF4-FF7 were incredibly fun, but they seriously lost their way with later games. FF8 was an exercise in redundancy (draw, draw, draw...). FF10 had a painful level dynamic (having to bring every character into every fight, in order to actually level up your party). FF12 lost me the moment I realized that if I opened the wrong treasure chest at the beginning of the game, I'd be screwed out of something much later in the game.

Focus on pure fun, the way FF5 did (the job system was great); or, tell an amazing story in a fashion that is enjoyable to play, as FF7 did. If they can't fix this horrifically paced, guidebook-requiring style of game that FF has become, I'll spend my money on a different game.

Re:Hmm (3, Informative)

Creepy13 (239104) | more than 5 years ago | (#27609201)

Even in FF VII you had to bring every char in your party to level them (as in most FF's!). In FF X things just got easier because you could swap then right in the battle instead of only via the overworld menu.

FF12 lost me also. Story wise and character wise.

Re:Hmm (3, Insightful)

bigstrat2003 (1058574) | more than 5 years ago | (#27609243)

Even in FF VII you had to bring every char in your party to level them (as in most FF's!)

Not true. In FF7, characters not in your party level up with your party, but are held back. They'll be usually 3 or 4 levels behind the party members. It makes it so that you aren't screwed over if you want to switch party members, but you still have some incentive to pick a party and stick with it.

Re:Hmm (1)

hansamurai (907719) | more than 5 years ago | (#27611475)

But you couldn't master materia in FF7 without having characters in battle, so it really wasn't that big of help. At least in FFX you could use spheres on anyone in your party.

Re:Hmm (1)

bigstrat2003 (1058574) | more than 5 years ago | (#27611531)

Well yeah, but why would you have a set of materia that you limited to one character anyway? I only ever had one set of materia, that I gave to whichever characters were active.

Re:Hmm (2, Insightful)

bigstrat2003 (1058574) | more than 5 years ago | (#27609259)

I dunno, I found FF8, FFX, FFX-2, and FF12 to be quite fun. For example, drawing spells is annoying in FF8, but it usually stops being something you need to focus on after the early game, and the junction system overall gives you an unparalleled amount of control over your characters. All those games were rather fun to me, even though they had some drawbacks.

Re:Hmm (1)

Joe the Lesser (533425) | more than 5 years ago | (#27616543)

FF8 was a horrible battle system, drawing sucked, the guardians took forever to use, were hard to find without walkthroughs, and you were supposed to push fucking buttons during the cutscenes?

I enjoyed FF9 and X and X-2, but ff8 is a black spot for me, i simply could not bear to play it when I realized that to properly build my characters I'd have to spend boring hours drawing shit.

Re:Hmm (1)

Homburg (213427) | more than 5 years ago | (#27618089)

I realized that to properly build my characters I'd have to spend boring hours drawing shit.

No, you don't. After the first mission or so, you should be refining magic from objects, not drawing it.

Re:Hmm (1)

Hubbell (850646) | more than 5 years ago | (#27609851)

Fuck Final Fantasy XII. The instant I got the Attack and Heal 70% gambits, the game was basically over. The only gameplay I did was getting through dialog, buying shit, and then moving my party in the landscape while it automatically raped whatever I came across. The final boss was a joke, insofar as I left my house not less than 3 times for 1hour + each time while they were fighting him, and each time I'd come back and find 'oh shit, hes immune to phys or magic now, switch the gambits!' The game was basically a 60$ macro with dialog.

Re:Hmm (1)

cluke (30394) | more than 5 years ago | (#27611087)

Man, you are so wrong. I think you just over-levelled and made it too easy which is a design flaw inherent in all RPGs (well, maybe not Oblivion, but look how well its levelling system went down). I loved the battle system in FF12. I can see that it did expose more than usual the diry secret of RPGs in that all you do is the same moves over and over to win fights but that is not the gambit system at fault, it is the same in other FF's where you select "Attack" or "Firaga" from the menu every single turn.

Re:Hmm (1)

Hubbell (850646) | more than 5 years ago | (#27614733)

Too powerful? As SOON as I got heal ally and attack enemy the game played itself for me. Once I got the other gambits to cast haste and the like, it got even easier for my party to run house on anything other than the special mobs.

Re:Hmm (1)

brkello (642429) | more than 5 years ago | (#27617671)

So in previous rpgs you had trouble with the non-special mobs?

Re:Hmm (1)

Hubbell (850646) | more than 5 years ago | (#27618325)

On SNES games yea like Lufia 2, you'd get worn out pretty damn fast. The special mobs in FFXII were the only challenge in the game as soon as you got the Heal Ally and Attack Enemy gambits, and once you got the Antidote, Haste, etc gambits it was ridiculously easy. Even the bosses in the game were jokes with the gambits. The only reason I had trouble with the special monsters was cause my guys *werent* high level and were half assed equipped/skilled.

Re:Hmm (1)

burntsigil (898978) | more than 5 years ago | (#27610547)

*shrug* Maybe I'm just easily amused but I've never played a Final Fantasy game I hated. The closest would have been X-2. But even that game had a pretty good battle system, IMO. You just had to get past the horrible music and story. I suppose I can understand the common beef with FFVIII but I still loved it. As far as FFXII goes, I thought the battle system was great. And IMO the story was a great step forward. There weren't an over-abundance of angst-ridden characters and there was no love-triangle/romance subplot. I thought it showed a maturation of the Final Fantasy series.

Re:Hmm (1)

CronoCloud (590650) | more than 5 years ago | (#27611519)

The character swap in FFX isn't a problem because you WANT to swap them because early on, each character works best against specific enemies. So if you want see that "" show up early, you want wakka to fight the flying enemies, Tidus the fast ones, Auron the armored ones, etc. In fact, early on, only Wakka will be able to hit those flying enemies regularly, the others won't be able to.

Re:Hmm (1)

Fallingcow (213461) | more than 5 years ago | (#27613585)

Plus the swapping is 100% painless. You don't even lose the character's turn--they come in, and you get to use them immediately.

Re:Hmm (2, Insightful)

brkello (642429) | more than 5 years ago | (#27613835)

I actually really liked FF8's story and thought it was fun. The ones since haven't had as much impact, but all solid titles that I have finished (except x-2 which I try not to remember). I am looking forward to the next one apart from the fact it will force be to buy a PS3.

Re:Hmm (1)

bunuel (1061042) | more than 5 years ago | (#27621909)

I liked XII a lot, I would say it is my favorite FF. I wouldn't have been aware of the chest-opening thing unless I had read it in a FAQ, I can see your point there, but it didn't affect my enjoyment of the game.

Re:Hmm (3, Funny)

Cathoderoytube (1088737) | more than 5 years ago | (#27611075)

A Final Fantasy game without a contrived storyline is like a gallbladder without bile.

No way!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27608937)

The plot's the only thing that I couldn't get a definite feel for from the demo, beyond the basic set-up of an oppressive regime, a resistance fighting against it and a character with mysterious powers brought to aid them in a twist of fate.

Err... you already said it was a Final Fantasy game.

Final Fantasy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27609125)

The original.. can we have a game the progresses in that manner? You know, kill an evil knight to break a spell and wake up a princess.. etc. Some objectives.. Quests, if you will. I loved FFVII, but you know, the story sort of sweeps you along, not a lot of thinking in it. I'm just saying, they haven't topped FFVII yet, so maybe go for a different style of game, finally.

Re:Final Fantasy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27611567)

I personally think FFVI was the better FF, in both character development and story. FFVII was more popular beacause it was the first FF in 3d. Besides, Kefka is the Joker of Rpgs.

Looks pretty (1)

Sardak (773761) | more than 5 years ago | (#27609127)

The game looks amazing visually.

The plot's the only thing that I couldn't get a definite feel for from the demo,

I'm a bit worried about this, but I'm hoping it's just because the demo is short.

It's a shame I'm boycotting Square-Enix over the whole Star Ocean/PS3 thing.

Re:Looks pretty (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27613073)

I am boycotting Square-Enix over the whole FFXI thing. My gamer friends geeked out on FFXI back in 2002, I ending up plaing also. I want the 1 year of social life back, did not gain anything for my time.

Re:Looks pretty (1)

bonch (38532) | more than 5 years ago | (#27615425)

I'm sure they'll go bankrupt because of your boycott.

Re:Looks pretty (1)

Rycross (836649) | more than 5 years ago | (#27615789)

What Star Ocean/PS3 thing?

FFIX?! (1)

SkeezerDoodle (1178213) | more than 5 years ago | (#27609179)

Has anyone even played this game? I hear people say 7 was awesome (which it was...the best game for PSX if not more) 8 was crap (again...I agree), 10 was even worse and those other games that shant be mentioned. It seems like everything tanked after the greatest game they've ever made. Well, what about 9?

Re:FFIX?! (1)

Sardak (773761) | more than 5 years ago | (#27609213)

VII was my favorite, and I actually liked X (but not really X-2). I tried to play IX a long, long time ago, and couldn't get more than a couple of hours into the game. Maybe it just started too slow or something, but it just never seemed to be able to hook my interest. Several friends of mine, however, swear it is better than VII in their opinions.

Re:FFIX?! (1)

bigstrat2003 (1058574) | more than 5 years ago | (#27609301)

Don't know how you can bash FFX, it's second in quality only to 7... *grumble grumble*

Anyways, I hated 9 (or more accurately, was really disappointed by it). It's not a terrible game (even the worst FF is still better than a lot of other games), but it definitely was my least favorite in the series. The characters were annoying as hell, the battles were tuned too hard for how scarce resources were, the limit break system is goddamned awful*, it makes you keep items after they're not useful just to learn abilities from them, the story wasn't very good... about the only thing I enjoyed about that game was Nobuo Uematsu's excellent-as-always music.

*Seriously, this was the worst damn thing ever. In 9, the limit breaks are referred to as Trance, and your characters automatically go into the Trance when their gauge is full, which grants them extra abilities and makes them do more damage. It lasts until their bar empties (every action taken empties the bar a little, and exiting battle completely drains the bar). The problem is that you have no control over it. This is a real scenario that happened to me multiple times during this game: One monster left, guy 1, 2, and 3 are all told to attack the monster. Guy 2's trance gauge is almost full. Guy 1 attacks, monster is almost dead. Monster attacks guy 2, guy 2 is in trance! Guy 3 attacks, monster is dead, battle is over, and THE ENTIRE TRANCE METER IS NOW WASTED. It was the worst goddamn system ever in vented, I have no idea how it made it past testing.

Re:FFIX?! (1)

SkeezerDoodle (1178213) | more than 5 years ago | (#27609821)

The coolest thing about X was blitzball. That was fun. I didn't mean to say that 10 was the worst (that belongs to X-2...dresses??? WTF?!?!) It just seemed a bit...off. It was too much of a diversion from the older FF games which I still play. 3 was fantastic for the Famicom (thanks to translations) I haven't played the DS remake but I hear it's well made. The PSX remakes of the other games were horrendous! They are so much better on SNES/NES/GBA and the load times...ugh... I'm excited but reserved about 13. I'm still waiting for a re-release of 7, but that is looking less and less like a possibility. I understand there is a PC version with updated graphic textures, but the issues in getting it to run on modern hardware have driven me away from it.

Re:FFIX?! (1)

bigstrat2003 (1058574) | more than 5 years ago | (#27610237)

I haven't played the DS remake but I hear it's well made.

It is. If you have a DS, pick that up as well as the FF4 remake, both are good.

The PSX remakes of the other games were horrendous!

Eh, I liked 'em. I never really noticed any load times. The PS1 is the form in which I own FF1,2,4,5,6, and Chrono Trigger, and I have no regrets.

I'm still waiting for a re-release of 7, but that is looking less and less like a possibility.

You and me both, brother. I wish they'd stop teasing us with it already (damn you, Crisis Core post-ending!!!). If they're going to make it, make it. If they're not going to make it, stop hinting they will!

I understand there is a PC version with updated graphic textures

Save yourself the trouble. I played the PC version before the PS1 version, and they look the same.

Re:FFIX?! (1)

SuiteSisterMary (123932) | more than 5 years ago | (#27611367)

FF7 for the PC tends to look great, because there aren't many textures; most of it is shading. A notable exception is Barrett's arm tattoo. But the increase in resolution is handy.

FF8 PC, on the other hand, uses textures pretty heavily, and doesn't work out as well...

Re:FFIX?! (1)

anss123 (985305) | more than 5 years ago | (#27611317)

Anyways, I hated 9 (or more accurately, was really disappointed by it).

Heh. Final Fantasy 9 is my favorite, followed by the original. Don't remember what trance was about, but I do remember that I never had to grit my character before a boss fight. My end boss characters went up some 10 levels on the last dungeon. Fun game.

As for FF7, Hated Aeris and I'm probably the only one that cheered when I recognized a standard death scene set up. Still FF7 was descent enough. FF2,3,5 and 8 never managed to keep my interest. Don't have a PS2 but FFX and XII seems pretty bleh to me.

Re:FFIX?! (1)

bigstrat2003 (1058574) | more than 5 years ago | (#27611445)

As for FF7, Hated Aeris and I'm probably the only one that cheered when I recognized a standard death scene set up.

Oh, me too. But I think the game is nonetheless brilliant.

Re:FFIX?! (1)

gid (5195) | more than 5 years ago | (#27611719)

Man, I so wished there was a way to keep Aeris--her high level limit breaks were phenomenal.

And while I'm at it. I really really wish they will release XIII for the PC. I mean, it's being developed ON a PC, but they're not going to release a PC version? I don't do consoles.

Re:FFIX?! (1)

Mr. DOS (1276020) | more than 5 years ago | (#27613595)

Actually, I heard tell of a hack for the PC version of FFVII that let you add Aeris back into your party after she'd died. I never bothered to look it up, but I'd imagine it had something to do with modifying the save file.

Console-only really ticks me off - they'd probably sell a lot more copies if they released a PC version. I guess the problem with PC versions is you'd have to release it on BluRay or about half-a-dozen DVD's, and neither of those options is very convenient. Oh, or it could be downloaded, I guess, but I don't think anybody'd want to download a (wild guess, here) 30GB game.

      --- Mr. DOS

Re:FFIX?! (1)

CronoCloud (590650) | more than 5 years ago | (#27612081)

Yep, X is my second favorite too, with VI being the third.

The worst thing about IX is the bleeping Playonline integration in the strategy guide. Followed by non-fun Tetra Master (not as much fun as FFVIII's Triple Triad), and the fact that the game seemed to be designed with the PS2's ability to Fast Load and Texture smooth PSone games. Load times on a PS1 are a litle on the slow side.

But each Final Fantasy has it's own annoyances.

Re:FFIX?! (1)

enderjsv (1128541) | more than 5 years ago | (#27614817)

Wow. Thanks for bringing that up. I'd almost forgot about it, but the Playonline integration in the strategy guide really, REALLY pissed me off. I had a tradition with all the FF games I played. I would beat the game by myself, then replay it with a strategy guide to see all the stuff I missed. FF9 was the first FF game I failed to beat the second time simply because of how terrible the strategy guide was. Looking back, I should have asked for my money back.

Re:FFIX?! (1)

mister_playboy (1474163) | more than 5 years ago | (#27615113)

I had the exact same problem as you guys... I can't think of that game without being pissed at the strategy guide.

Re:FFIX?! (1)

mrdoogee (1179081) | more than 5 years ago | (#27619321)

Oh how I hated that strategy guide. I looked up the first few clues (on my second playthrough dammit!) and just said "screw it" and went to GameFAQs. I actually haven't bought an RPG strategy guide since then.

Re:FFIX?! (1)

Carnildo (712617) | more than 5 years ago | (#27621205)

The worst thing about IX is the bleeping Playonline integration in the strategy guide. Followed by non-fun Tetra Master (not as much fun as FFVIII's Triple Triad), and the fact that the game seemed to be designed with the PS2's ability to Fast Load and Texture smooth PSone games. Load times on a PS1 are a litle on the slow side.

Guess it's a good thing I waited so long to play it, then. The guides on GameFAQs were well-developed, ripping the discs to RAM beats anything the PS2 could do for load times, emulators could scale the graphics to 2048x1536 while still looking good, and savestates mean you avoid the annoyances of save points. FFIX was one of my favorites.

Re:FFIX?! (2, Interesting)

endianx (1006895) | more than 5 years ago | (#27610297)

Everybody has their own opinions. I loved 10, for example. It was probably my 3rd favorite FF (after 7 and 6). 9 would be my 4th favorite, probably. Didn't like 8 and 10-2, and couldn't get in to 12.

Non of them are bad games, it just depends what aspects of the game you like.

Re:FFIX?! (1)

rob1980 (941751) | more than 5 years ago | (#27612459)

FFIX was good. That's it, just good. I enjoyed it when it came out ten years ago, but I didn't enjoy it enough to want to play through it again. The music was generic and I couldn't tell you the first thing of what the game was about unless I looked it up first. My imported SNES copy of Final Fantasy V sees more action than the copy of FFIX I have collecting dust on the shelf at home.

Also, am I the only person who legitimately enjoyed FFVIII?

Re:FFIX?! (1)

Bardez (915334) | more than 5 years ago | (#27612769)

No. I f'in' loved VIII. The game up until the Garden battle was awesome, though I have to admit that afterward the game's plot slowly became pants.

Re:FFIX?! (1)

bigstrat2003 (1058574) | more than 5 years ago | (#27613399)

Nope. VIII is my third-favorite, after VII and X, respectively.

Re:FFIX?! (1)

Nick Ives (317) | more than 5 years ago | (#27613577)

I liked IX and would probably play it again. I disagree about the music too, I still occasionally get random bits of music from IX stuck in my head.

I think most of the hating on VIII is down to the fact that it came after VII and Squall. The scene at Fisherman's Horizon between Squall and Rinoa is the only time I've ever wanted to punch a video-game character in the face; Squall is such a massive dick.

Looking past the fact it came after VII and tolerating Squall are the keys to enjoying VIII.

Re:FFIX?! (1)

enderjsv (1128541) | more than 5 years ago | (#27614895)

Actually, what I hated the most about 8 was those parts where you had to play in the past as those three dudes. I can't even remember why I hated it, but I did. Maybe because you had to reequip them or you didn't have all your magic or something. eh, I can't remember.

Re:FFIX?! (1)

7Prime (871679) | more than 5 years ago | (#27618273)

It's my favorite in the series, and I know a lot of FF fans that loved FF8 as well. Most people who started with FF7 don't like it too much because it really didn't follow in FF7s footsteps, but many who had played since the SNES days loved FF8. I thought it was fucking brilliant myself. The story may be a lot more simplistic, but it's better told, and the characters felt a lot more flushed out than in FF7. Best music in the series too... though FF9 and FF6 are right on its heals.

Re:FFIX?! (1)

Carnildo (712617) | more than 5 years ago | (#27621283)

Also, am I the only person who legitimately enjoyed FFVIII?

VIII was a good game, but there wasn't enough stylistic continuity with the others to justify calling it a Final Fantasy game.

Re:FFIX?! (1)

Kintanon (65528) | more than 5 years ago | (#27616461)

IX was my third favorite of the games, V being my favorite and VI being my second fav.

I liked the return to a slightly cartoony look, the story was good except for the random twist bossfight at the end, the characters were generally likeable. There were plenty of sidequests you COULD do, but you didn't really HAVE to do them to beat the game. I beat it the first time without ever riding more than 1 chocobo I think...
I give it much love.
X was better than VIII, X-2 was shittastic, XII was so annoying that I couldn't play it for more than 30 minutes.

Re:FFIX?! (1)

Joe the Lesser (533425) | more than 5 years ago | (#27616567)

I liked 9, it was somewhat simplistic but I recall enjoying the game all the way through.

I was impressed (1)

rob1980 (941751) | more than 5 years ago | (#27611313)

I was impressed by what I saw. The series has been on a downward slide for me since FFIX, but after watching the demo I think I'm ready to jump back into the pool again. I plan on importing this if it gets released on time in Japan, as I'll actually be over there when it gets released here.

One comment though, any other Japanese speakers notice the manner Lightning was speaking in? After years of male protagonists who could get mistaken as chicks, now we have a female protagonist who talks like a dude. For once I'd like to see a protagonist with no sexual identity issues and no antisocial behavior. Is that even possible anymore?

Re:I was impressed (1)

ookaze (227977) | more than 5 years ago | (#27612535)

I was impressed by what I saw. The series has been on a downward slide for me since FFIX, but after watching the demo I think I'm ready to jump back into the pool again. I plan on importing this if it gets released on time in Japan, as I'll actually be over there when it gets released here.

For me, the series is on a downward slide since FFVIII, FFVIII being my worst FF ever (still didn't finish it and probably never will). I'm still mixed about importing this one. I wasn't impressed at all actually, but I have a better feeling than before, when I believed it would be a complete failure. It's still not good enough for me to buy the demo though. Oops, I mean, buy the movie (which is region free, or at least works with region A and B BRD players) with the demo.

One comment though, any other Japanese speakers notice the manner Lightning was speaking in? After years of male protagonists who could get mistaken as chicks, now we have a female protagonist who talks like a dude. For once I'd like to see a protagonist with no sexual identity issues and no antisocial behavior. Is that even possible anymore?

You lost me there.
Someone who has enough japanese culture to notice that Lightning was talking like a dude can't at the same time say things like "male protagonists who could get mistaken as chicks", because only someone with no japanese culture and feeling very insecure would say sth like this. Sth that just isn't true.
I've yet to see a FF protagonist with sexual identity issues. Same for antisocial behaviour (there may be one or two though, which depends on the story).
But I see this said a lot by mostly USA gamers, who seem to have huge problems of insecurity as soon as sth could remotely make them labeled as gay.
So I see lots of these comments, and it's fascinating to read, because I just can't understand where is this coming from.
Usually, it seems like "blond spiky hair" is enough for some USA gamers to believe someone has "sexual identity issues". The mind boggles...

I've had the general feeling that Lightning had the behaviour of a man, but didn't really realise why. I dismissed it as being only because of the way she moves, but it didn't strike me that she was talking like a man. I'll check that.

Re:I was impressed (1)

rob1980 (941751) | more than 5 years ago | (#27613407)

But I see this said a lot by mostly USA gamers, who seem to have huge problems of insecurity as soon as sth could remotely make them labeled as gay. So I see lots of these comments, and it's fascinating to read, because I just can't understand where is this coming from.

Well, applying the American mindset to a Japanese protagonist probably isn't the smartest thing to do in the first place. I certainly don't see them as gay, but I grew up watching TV shows where the heroes were supremely confident and completely muscle-bound, square jaw, scars, and what have you. Probably why I still get a kick out of guys like Vin Diesel even though his net cultural contribution is minimal at best. Seeing slender protagonists like Squall moping about when he could be whooping somebody's ass flies in the face of everything I learned the first 15 years of my life. :)

Re:I was impressed (1)

MaWeiTao (908546) | more than 5 years ago | (#27613827)

By sexual identity issues I think the point is that the game has these characters who are supposed to be male but end up looking like girls. It's not that they're depicted as being conflicted about their gender, although they might be.

It is no uncommon to see japanese girls who do have boyish voices. As for the girly guys, I think it's really drawing on fashion trends in Japan where young guys do sometimes appear somewhat effeminate.

Given the kinds of activities these characters engage in they really should appear tougher and more masculine. That said, while I'd rather see more mature, masculine men, I do much prefer this stylized look over what I see in American RPGs. There's a simple reason why. Americans have this overwhelming desire to go for sheer realism. So we always end up with unattractive characters that look like crappy b-movie-grade actors at best and LARPers at worst.

Here I am being told my character is this fearless warrior and every time I look at this guy I see a pasty-faced programmer. So I'll take my chances with the prepubescent boy. At least there was a little more creativity involved in designing that guy, and this is coming from someone who finds most anime derivative and uninteresting.

Re:I was impressed (4, Informative)

ookaze (227977) | more than 5 years ago | (#27618113)

By sexual identity issues I think the point is that the game has these characters who are supposed to be male but end up looking like girls.

But that's the point, they actually don't look like girls, like not at all.

As for the girly guys, I think it's really drawing on fashion trends in Japan where young guys do sometimes appear somewhat effeminate.

This is what I think is fascinating: they are not girly guys, like not at all.
Those fashion trends you talk about are for music pop stars most of the time, which are made to appeal to girls. So these characters are actually fashioned to attract girls, meaning to be beautiful. How can this become girly guys for some cultures, or rather for some guys? I wonder.

Given the kinds of activities these characters engage in they really should appear tougher and more masculine.

Actually no, they shouldn't. But most western cultures mostly make use of the strength in the higher part of the body, and thus are only being able to see someone as strong if he develops always the same muscles. These are the easier to master because they are the most obvious moves. eastern cultures usually concentrate on all the other muscles and moves that are rarely used, and don't require you to have huge muscles bulging everywhere. The best way to understand that is through traditional martial arts. Meaning, for judo, not the judo you see at the olympics, but the true traditional one. The one that makes experts that go stronger when they get older (up to 70 years older and older), while westernized ones must give up after reaching 35 (and I'm generous).
When you understand, or rather feel this cultural difference, there is no way slender characters look girly at all.

But I bet only younger gamers find them girly, I'm sure even in the USA, older gamers have no problem with these characters, and don't think of them as girly.

Re:I was impressed (1)

enderjsv (1128541) | more than 5 years ago | (#27619551)

This is what I think is fascinating: they are not girly guys, like not at all. Those fashion trends you talk about are for music pop stars most of the time, which are made to appeal to girls. So these characters are actually fashioned to attract girls, meaning to be beautiful. How can this become girly guys for some cultures, or rather for some guys? I wonder.

There's a small problem in your argument, though. They're designed, as you said, to appeal to girls. Men are actually manliest when they're trying to impress other guys, not girls. I remember in high school at an all-class assembly, the speaker asked us why we thought men acted tough and who we thought they were trying to impress. I knew right away. I'm sure a lot of other guys around me knew, too. But the first three answers from the audience were all from girls who said something like "they're trying to impress girls." Finally a guy from the audience shouted out "to impress other guys" and the speaker validated it. I'll always remember that because it's really so true. It's why guys are more into action movies starring the likes of Arnold or Stallone, or games like Gear of War.

I'm not an expert on Japanese culture, so I can't say whether Japanese guys feel the same way or not, but if these so-called pop stars are being made up that way to attract girls, that really doesn't say anything about how they are considered amongst Japanese males.

Re:I was impressed (1)

ookaze (227977) | more than 5 years ago | (#27624171)

if these so-called pop stars are being made up that way to attract girls, that really doesn't say anything about how they are considered amongst Japanese males.

But guys that attract lots of girls impress other men who don't (which is most), so it all perfectly makes sense.
The protagonist in your typical JRPG is this guy that is very tough and also is attractive to girls.

Re:I was impressed (1)

Pervaricator General (1364535) | more than 5 years ago | (#27612537)

FF6 port to PS3 please. I want to use some of Edgar's lines as soundbites.

Re:I was impressed (1)

Convector (897502) | more than 5 years ago | (#27615559)

As long as they get Stephen Colbert for his voice actor.

Re:I was impressed (1)

rob1980 (941751) | more than 5 years ago | (#27617635)

Dude, I'd totally buy that game.

Pacing the gameplay with the story (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27618139)

Through the three Final Fantasy games I've played, IX, X, and XII, there's been a point where steadily the monsters get harder and harder, while my characters lag behind while the story progresses, leading to a moment where I have to go out and grind on the same monsters over and over again to progress. Final Fantasy XII was the worst in the grinding respect. If it were better, you would be able to sufficiently level up on story line missions combined with side quests. Not only that, but in Final Fantasy XII, monsters 30 levels higher than my characters appear randomly, and then when I double back the way I came, a new one spawns and it kills my party, so you can't even grind properly. Grind not only for levels, but for loot for new abilities, it feels like it has all the grind of a MMORPG, but without the pesky human interaction. Then for all your grinding, the storyline amounted to "kingdoms fighting." There was hardly any character interaction in the party outside of duos, like Vaan and Penelo, Asche and Basche, and Fran and Balthier.
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