Thursday, September 23, 2010

Final Fantasy Smackdown: VII

And so we arrive at this one.

This game gets off easy with a lot of people for the same reason Final Fantasy VIII gets off easy with me. Nostalgia. This game was the first Final Fantasy on the PS1, and for a lot of people it was their introduction not only into Final Fantasy, but possibly JRPGs in general. This game, this game has a ridiculous number of flaws, but because of the warm fuzzies associated with it, a lot of people will defend it tooth and nail.

So unless I upset the might and powerful internet let me say this.

This is not the worst Final Fantasy I have ever played.

We'll get to that one.

This is however, well.... Depressingly bad at times.

However, having said that, I must admit the game did do one thing right. Materia. The combat in Final Fantasy VII is actually pretty fun, and as a result it doesn't feel as repetitive as it could. The materia system allows for a lot of customization with your characters, including some things that weren't quite possible in previous Final Fantasies. If you really want to you can set up a tanking Black Mage, or you could make everyone well balanced so you can have high damage output without having any squishies. Certain characters do tend toward certain rolls, but you can easily switch things around to alternate who does what. This makes the game genuinely fun. The game can actually feel really different each time you play it just from using different materia sets.

So what's wrong with it?

The storyline, is one of the worst I've ever seen in a game, and that's saying a lot. I mean.... I've played games that end by the final boss falling off a cliff, BEFORE you fight him. Anti-climatic.

But this. This is a mess.

Honestly the story is largely awful because of two very specific characters. Sephiroth, and Cloud.

Let's start with Sephiroth, the villain of the story. Apparently he was originally a good guy, and the game does a bit of build up about how he used to be this really awesome hero, and prequels confirm that he might not have been a total pushover. However, then he finds out he was born from Jenova, reads books in a library for a few days and then goes.

"Whelp! Looks like it's time to destroy the world!"

And proceeds to commit arson, somehow fails to destroy the hero's town in a JRPG. I mean what the heck? It's the hero's hometown. How can you not destroy it!? I mean blowing up the hero's hometown is like the cornerstone of villainy. It's an easy cop out for why the hero would go chasing them, so villains always do it, but somehow despite setting the entire town on fire, Sephiroth does not manage to quite destroy the town, as it's still quite alive and well later in the game. Funny that.

Well okay so he misses one mark of villainy, surely he do something else impressive.

So he proceeds to run to a power plant or something to rip his mother's head out of it. It makes sense in context. Okay it makes sense in context if you're drunk or high. Anyways, he proceeds to prove he's awesome by going ahead and killing off the hero's girlfriend!

Except she lives.

Don't worry though, he'll kill of the cooler mentory guy to the hero and.

Oh wait he lived too.

Oh hey he's fighting the hero in the flashback, of course Sephiroth is going to win and... Oh wait, he lost.

Ladies and gentlemen, this is the villain we're supposed to take seriously. He somehow failed to burn down a town, managed to somehow miss hitting any vital organs with his massive sword against named characters, and then lost to the hero at level 1.

I can't be the only one who's really unimpressed here.

Maybe though, the villain is going to come back later and do something totally impressive!

So later he shows up and killed a giant snake! Oh wait, I killed six of those on the way here.

Well, I guess it's mildly impressive.

Later, he proves he's awesome, by killing a bunch of bureaucrats who... can't... fight... back. Alright is he actually the villain, or is he just a parody of one? I mean is this just Japan's private joke.

"Okay okay okay. So I got this idea, for a guy who looks like a girl, who fails at every act of villainy ever. And, we'll totally say he's the real villain with a straight face and see how they react!"

"They liked him."

"Wait what!?"

Well okay, so our villain so far has been beaten by the hero at level 1, and killed some paper pushers. Surely he'll do something impressive later!

Like kill the leader of a group of mercenaries who is not actually all that super strong.... and got better later.

Or kill a party member! Who... fully intended to die.... in order to cast a spell. And her death means he loses and can't do anything else for the rest of the game.....

Ladies and gentlemen, our villain. Killer of defenseless secretaries, and people who are committing ritual suicide.

I mean, just wow.

Well okay, let's take a look at our hero!

Ah yes Cloud. The guy who looks like a blue lego man. Well that's not quite fair. A lego man would have more of a personality.

Yes, Cloud only comes in two modes. You suck mode. And Cloud sucks mode.

In you suck Mode, Cloud will be abuse and jerkish to any other character that shows even the slightest amount of care for him, because how dare they have the audacity to have human emotions. He takes a little girl's college funds for crying out loud. He then refuses to acknowledge anyone else as being capable of anything even remotely resembling competency, which makes even less since since mode two happens.

Yes the Cloud Sucks mode. Where Cloud is filled with self hate about his own inability, how he fails time and time again. He fails to become SOLDIER, he fails to become a proper clone, he fails to die instead of the awesome character, he fails to save his first girlfriend, he fails to then throw a phoenix down on her, he fails to not hand over the plot coupon that would let the villain actually do something without a good reason, he fails to be interesting, he just plain fails.

Honestly I know why Cloud is the hero. He's the only hero in all of existence that Sephiroth would have ever stood a chance against. Anyone else would have ended the game before the first disc.


So you know what. Imagine if just for a moment.

Imagine if we had Zack as the main character, with some emotional baggage about letting Cloud die when that platoon of soldiers happened.

Now imagine if Jenova was the main villain, and we got to see her slowly warping and controlling Sephiroth, using him as a puppet. (Actually looking at it this way makes his evil actions a lot more believable.)

Just, take a moment, and think about how that might turn out.

And I'll leave you with that thought.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Final Fantasy Smackdown: VIII

Okay, this blog has been delayed for a couple of reasons. First off, better games than this one had come out in the last two weeks. Playing these took priority.

Secondly, I am really not looking forward to this review.

Let me start, by alienating most other people, by saying that, I do not hate Final Fantasy VIII. IN truth it had a special place in my heart, as this is technically the first Final Fantasy game I had ever played. Not the first JRPG, but before this my idea of a JRPG was closer to Dragon Warrior. Anyways, as a result, this game gets a sort of special nostalgia filter for me.

However, this is not the place for pleasant memories, and this game had some serious flaws in it. Though, those flaws do at time get well, blown out of proportion. This is not the worst Final Fantasy ever (Oh we will get to that one) neither is is even the worst Final Fantasy on the PS1. (We'll get to that one too.) It is however an interesting case.

Part of the problem is the storyline. The storyline is actually, somewhat decent. The villain even has an interesting backstory. The problem comes though, in that a good chunk of this interesting part, was left out of just the game. This may just be part of Japan hating America, but apparently a good chunk of FFVIII's story was in some kind of guide about the game that was never released properly in America. I've read a few wikis on some of this information recently, and it's actually really interesting, and does explain a few things in the game that confused me. Though it brings up a very big question.

WHY WAS THIS NOT IN THE GAME!?

Something that A LOT of games tend to forget, especially the Final Fantasy series is that the game needs to stand on its own. If the game is not well thought out to a single player playing the game by itself then the game is well, not that greatly explained. There are, A LOT of games that fall into this trap, and some of them are actually fun, in fat there are a few I even love, but. That does not excuse this. EXPLAIN YOUR DANG PLOTLINES! If you're not going to put it in the game, at least put it in the instructions manual.

Though granted for the life of me I don't know anyone else who has ever even looked at those, and even I've stopped reading them since games started including unskippable tutorials. I mean, I don't mind a tutorial if you can skip it, but being told the most basic button controls for an hour at the start of every new game really does kill the replay value of some games.

And Final Fantasy VIII is heavy on the tutorials. Granted, when you're halfway through the game, and still hitting tutorials it does at least make some of them optional but.

I KNOW HOW TO PLAY SHUT UP!

This Final Fantasy though, it does have an interesting stat and level up system, that probably will require some explaining your first time through though. I dunno though, I find it's better to experiment and learn for myself how it works.

Essentially, in this game you can "junction" magic to various stats in order to raise them. This actually has the effect of making the game ridiculously easy, especially if you teach yourself the card enemy and refine card skills early? Why? Because it lets you get absurd amounts of absurdly powerful spells really early in the game. Also, card enemy ends the battle without giving you any exp, and the enemies level with you. Meaning, it's more than possible to have a level 10 characters with level 100 stats, and this is actually less time consuming than leveling normally. It gets even worse with draw points being ridiculously plentiful. There are two islands in the game that are for some reason full of ultima, flare and holy draw points, allowing you to easily stock 100 of each on every character in just a few minutes. Between this and cards, you never have to actually use draw in battle which seems was the tactic meant for you to gain spells. In short, this game is ridiculously easy to break fast and break hard. This is probably the easiest Final Fantasy in existence, and despite being four discs once you know how to use junctioning it's probably one of the fastest to playthrough as you can speed through all the bosses. And then it gets worse. The Bonus Boss, Omega Weapon, seems like he might be tough at first, until you realize just how easy this game is to take and break over your knee.

Squall is usually required in your party, and while not the most broken he does have 255% accuracy. Even when blinded, you will NEVER miss. Then his limit break always has a chance of triggering a second limit break. If you upgrade him to his ultimate weapon, then you may trigger Lionheart, with which the exception of the final boss and Omega Weapon will end any battle in one round. In the final boss it will most likely knock her into her next form.

Zell. Zell is the ultimate game breaker because of his limit break. There are all kinds of seemingly ridiculous moves you can enter for massive damage that are time consuming but, he's actually easier to just use his two most basic moves. You can enter them with such speed that you can wrack up hundreds of thousands of damage easily in one use. I believe fans have dubbed this technique Armageddon Fist. If you're gonna go after the Omega Weapon this is how I recommend taking him out.

Rinoa. Rinoa is well. Those islands with flare and ultima? They also have meteor. Junction 100 meteors to Rinoa's magic stat, don't junction anything else. Have someone else casts Aura on her, use Angel Wings. Watch as she hits the boss for about 50k each round. (Maybe up to 100k I forget)

Selphie: While random chance, there are certain things you can do to rig her limit break to come out as The End which results in an automatic victory except against undead.

Irvine: Ehhhh I personally hate using his limit break. It's easy to break, but requires spending a lot of resources on ammo, and I hate spending gil and using items but he can pump out damage.

Quistis: Probably the least broken in the game, but she can easily dish out 9999 with a single attack, and honestly you can have her a few healing commands and use her Mighty Guard to basically make her the defensive person who keeps your party from dying. Give her 100 auras to make sure everyone else can spam limit breaks.

It takes very little effort to break this game, which thankfully eliminates the need for grinding, something I hate, so which is why I will like it.

But of course, let us go ahead and get to the part of the story everyone hates.

TIME TRAVEL!

You must go back in time to compress time so you can go forward to the future.

What really?

Yeah it makes no sense whatsoever, but as far as time travel plots go, do they ever? And as for Ultimecia and her time compression thing, ehhh it's not really going to make sense unless you read the extra material which was once more.... Not in the actual game. How annoying. But you know what as FF villains go. At least her master plan doesn't involve her mother, or marrying a party member for lulz.

Honestly, the game is alright. If you stop trying to explain things and just sit down for the ride it's not bad. Master story? Not quite. But it did give us something that was at least different as for as stat development goes. So honestly, I think it's worth a play. Is it going to be one of my favorite games of all time? Hell no. Needs more awesome for that. Selphie and Quistis try, but they're no Zidane Freaking Tribal.

Though Selphie does like trains.

I'd honestly rate this game as average, which in today's market is A LOT higher than most critically acclaimed games. The storyline needs some explaining, and some of the characters aren't that likable, but you know what it's better than the one before it.

So it is fun.

BUT THAT DOES NOT JUSTIFY NOT EXPLAINING WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON!?

Sqeenix! Explain your dang games, IN THE GAME.

That is all.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Final Fantasy Smackdown: IX

Well we've hit the PS1 of the games and well today.

Today's game makes me angry, but not for the reason you're thinking of.

See there's a debate on if VIII or IX was the worst of the PS1 Final Fantasies. That, that pisses me off. Why? Because IX is freaking awesome. The main complaint it gets is the graphics everyone is chibi and they complain how Zidane looks like he's twelve. (Though to be fair he is only sixteen and shorter than humans so that might not be to far off. Yet he hangs out in bars and is an infamous womanizer. Strange.)

Now I can see the argument on graphics, but I personally like the style. It's not for them all to completely dressed in black with emo hair. And honestly, compared to VII the graphics probably look more like actual humans than those did. I mean Cloud looked like a lego figure. VIII people could actually compare and say they like that graphic style better except they're to busy bashing it for not being VII but anyways.

IX is well.... Kinda awesome I mean first off. The character's outfits make sense. They're exotic but not just... stupid. And they actually are somewhat practical. I mean Dagger has got to be the only princess I have ever seen who was actually dressed for traveling. The characters though are just.... well better than most other Final Fantasies. I mean let's look at the main character Zidane. He's not an emo unlikable twat. He's a cocky womanizing god of thievery. Okay cocky might not be the best quality in a personality, but he's fun, and humorous and it's actually fun to play as him. He grows over time, and you know what? This guy refuses to go emo no matter what the world throws at him. There are two parts in the game where he's actually depressed, and it made sense in character instead of just general "My life sucks" you get in most of these games. I mean, this guy had it revealed it was his destiny to kill all his friends, destroy the world he was calling home, be a sort of puppet angel of death, and then he had his soul sucked out of his body. This is something he had a genuine reason to be depressed about, and it lasted for maybe five minutes as he wasn't a twat and didn't force all his friends to run off when they were telling him he wasn't alone. He even gets an awesome song out of it.

No really.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dHsXNkI1rfA

But the storyline is fun for this game. Yeah it's not the best story ever written but by comparison to other games, especially in the Final Fantasy series, it's a freaking master piece. It's not a stupidity driven plot and it's completely free of time travel.

Then there's the villain. Kuja. He breaks the practicality of outfit rule everyone else established, but he's actually a competent and frightening villain. This is a guy who we learn pretty quickly just how powerful he is, but he still remains on the sidelines, letting people set up their own destruction and toying with them. Eventually he becomes the most powerful being in both worlds, and to be quite frankly is one of the most powerful villains in the series. I mean, he deals plot damage. And he apparently undid most of reality at one point or something. He's kind of interesting because his obvious character flaw eventually leads him to being a larger threat. His narcissism and inability to accept the world without him is ultimately what ends up sending him into an omnicidal rage. Granted I wouldn't be to happy either if I finally succeeded at my master plan then found out I only had a few hours to live I'd probably through a bit of a tantrum as well.

Having said that there is one huge problem I have with the game.

What the hell is Necron? I mean seriously, final boss completely out of left field. We never really get an explanation on what that is... That bugs me. Apparently he's some god of death or something Kuja brought into the world by destroying the source of all life. There are some really good explanations made by fans as to what he is and where he came from, and some of them explain any and all plot holes in the game. The problem? WHY WEREN'T THESE IN THE GAME?

Also he looks kinda ridiculous.

Final boss aside, the game is great. It presents challenges, though some that are just unfair. (Screw you Ozma. We're not allowed to talk about how many attempts that took) It's well written, the characters are likable, the villain is deadly, and everyone isn't dressed up in black zippers.

Which is probably why you all hate it because if apparently if a character doesn't have the personality of a cardboard cutout and isn't the most unlikible person in all of existence he's unrelated to the average FF gamer.

So to everyone who skipped out on this game because of the graphics or the fact that everyone wasn't dark.

Screw you all. I'm not smacking down this game, the idiot fans of the series who skipped this one need to be smacked down.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Final Fantasy Smackdown: X

Ah finally, a game in the series I actually like.

What? It's not that bad.

Okay so anyways, Final Fantasy X. The game where you play as well.... This weird thing named Tidus. A lot of people hate this guy. They go on about how he whines all the time, how he has very little personality, is kinda a wimp, and just genuinely unlikable. I've never quite understood that, because that pretty much makes him identical to 90% of the other Final Fantasy protagonist. So, what makes him special? Let's see, blond hair, no that's been done before. Maybe his sword just isn't big enough to off set his personality. No, in all likeliness, it's because he has a voice actor. Think about it. Two of the previous games had characters who whined and moaned and complained nonstop through the game, but they did it in text boxes. Tidus can actually talk. That means you can't just mash X to get through the scenes, you have to listen to him, again, and again, and again. Though I think how much of a whiner he is is mostly exaggerated.

Well a little exaggerated.

The thing is though, I actually kind of like Tidus. Before you start hiring assassins to come after me, let me explain why. I find that he redeems a lot of how he's acted in the last ten minutes of the game. Say what you will, but this is a guy who went and and fought the final boss, knowing full well victory would mean that he would cease to exist. It's not like the world was going to be destroyed if he didn't. Sure, Sin would go on killing people, but humanity wouldn't come anywhere near extinction from it. The world would have gone on. However, in order to rid the world of the pain of Sin forever, and so no more summoners ever have to be sacrificed he is willing to make the ultimate sacrifice himself. I mean, that deserves some respect right there. I can't imagine a certain spiky haired whiner doing the exact same thing to do the same. But anyways him making this sacrifice does bring up a rather interesting point in that it is a little well.... hypocritical. Letting Yuna sacrifice her life but still having a confirmed afterlife, bad. Him sacrificing his entire being, okay. But hey, in the end he had the guys to sacrifice himself to save everyone else, something I personally can't do and I doubt most of the people who played this game could, so for that one reason I don't hate him.

But anyways that aside. There is the story of the game. It revolves around Yuna making a pilgrimage to be the best there ever was, defeat all the rest because that's her cause. Then she'll collect all the various monster summons and after that head to a big city place out in the middle of nowhere to meet the ultimate summoner and the two of them fight. And then she killed the ultimate summoner. Well, oops. Oh also there's a giant death whale flying around. Wheeeeeeeeeeeee! So they decided to get on that, and weaken it with the power of music and jumping inside and proceeding to beat up every half dressed man they meet till a small smokey thing appears, kill that and the world is saved! Except Tidus, he ceases to exist. Sucks to be him. And everyone lived happily ever after! Until they made a sequel.

But anyways the majority of the drama in the story comes from the fact Yuna is going to sacrifice herself to defeat Sin and they're trying to find a way to save her and destroy Sin at the same time. Then eventually they cut off that route by salvation when it's revealed Sin can never be defeated permanently, but it is replaced with the tension of knowing that the cost of defeating Sin forever will be for Tidus to cease to exist. To most people that sounds like a win win situation so I can't see why they wouldn't enjoy the story.

The story is well, it's interesting. As far as video games go, it's not bad. Video game storylines are well, not known for being the best written stories around, but this one makes effort, and in comparison to other video games could even be called good. I mean it's better than a story about a man in love with his mom and a thing for giant rocks. Okay, I'll lay off those jokes now I swear.

Despite being video game writing though, this game has some truly epic lines in it.... Most of them said by party badass Auron. However he eventually winds up saying one of my favorite lines uttered in any form of media ever. "Die and be free of sorrow, or live and fight your pain." I wish every emo protagonist in every game, movie, book, TV show, radio song, reality ever got those lines said to them. The point, don't just lay down and die and wallow in self pity. If something sucks in your life, fight the pain and endure. What can I say? Emo kids ignore me.

Honestly though, there is one thing about this game that makes me really like it though. The battle system, is FANTASTIC. You can switch party members at will in the fight, making it actually easy to level up everyone instead of a chore like in other games. It also allows for a lot of strategy throughout the game (though most of it will probably be dedicated to Yuna nuking everything) and just makes the game more enjoyable. One of my favorite things though is being able to see the turn over. I swear in some of the previous Final Fantasies I've played the turn order seems to always get really jumbled up and random making it seem impossible for me to get moves off at the right timing. Like say a Curaga spell on the entire party after the monster attacks.... Except the white mage randomly moves before the boss one round and then after next and boom TPK. In this game, not so much. Every character has their area of specialty and the right time to use them.

Anyways unlike the last couple I genuinely recommend this game. It's not perfect, but it's more than passable.

Of course then something else happened as a result of this game.




Final Fantasy X-2

DUN DUN DUNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN!

This.... This game is interesting. I will admit I like the magical girl genre but... transformations are a really short part of it just for them to get into combat mode and well... This game seems to be 50% transformation scenes of watching parts of the girls' clothing vanish and new ones appear. Come to think of it, where the heck did Paine come from? I mean I get they needed a physical base character so Lulu was out, but why not use Kimarhi or Wakka for the third party member?

Oh right, we need them scantily clad..... And apparently there they think any female gamers out there are lesbians so they need only girls wearing the outfits. Or maybe they were genuinely just trying to do a Charlie's Angels homage and this entire game wasn't just a cheap excuse to sexualize three characters to no end and make a quick buck.

Honestly this game.... It's just so freaking tedious. It's like the game is trying to encourage you not to play it. "Oh you didn't go to one place at a specific time in the game! Now you can never fully clear it! Guess you might as well quit now." No seriously you have to go to a bunch of areas that have nothing to do with the plot at all and watch a bunch of cut scenes you don't care the slightest about otherwise you won't get the real ending, and you'll wind up missing most of the classes in the game. Alright here's the thing. Side quests are not bad in a game. They're good, they give you little bonuses. However, the game should not be 90% side quest and 10% main story. Then again maybe they just wanted to distract us from the main story as much as possible since it can be more or less summed up. "The world is saved, but everyone is arguing on what they should do now."

Oh and some guy playing an organ is going to blow it up.

No, really.

And that's X-2 in a nutshell.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Final Fantasy Smackdown: XII and XI

Alright sorry about that. I got a new job that required me to move to another state, and then I didn't have internet for awhile, and after that was really busy so whoops.

Hooked back up against so should go one update a week from now on. Maybe two if I wind up with more free time than expected.

But anyways I feel bad about the wait, so let's do a two for one today and review the next to games in the list.

So let's start first with....


Final Fantasy XII

Ugh, just saying the game's name makes me want to head desk, and from that you can probably guess my general opinion of the game. I mean where do I even begin? It's like they set out as an experiment to make the game as horrible as possible for the sole purpose of seeing how many fans they could get to desperately cloud their own vision and try to insist it was decent. I mean there's being a fan and there's being blind.

After all it's not the worst Final Fantasy. Oh we will get to that.

But, maybe I'm just being mean, maybe the game actually is somewhat decent once you give it a.... Yeah I'm not even convincing myself.


Okay so first off, let's go with the battle system. Anyone ever played an MMORPG? Notice how the battle system is.... kind of boring, because it needs to be simple enough system to have so many people playing at once without things getting screwed up but hey it's okay because there are loads of other players and you can work up some pretty complex tactics through numbers. Now then imagine if they took out all of the other players, and you were left alone on the map. Also imagine that you set up all your actions in advance, so you just have to go get a sandwich and come back later to see if you won. At least XIII you had to press a button every now and then. I mean it's just.

Okay, okay okay. So the game play isn't the greatest maybe it will have a really good story. So let's look at.... Um..... I... It.... THIS STORY MAKES NO SENSE! The plot is garbage, the characters are unlikable, the catcuars look like killer tomatoes I'm not sure why that last part bothers me so much, but it does. But the worst part of this entire freaking game? It ruined Ivalice. Ivalice is awesome, but this game takes that world and just does everything it can do to grind it to a pulp. I just.... I really hate this game.

The worst part, I actually went into the game expecting to love it. I mean it's Final Fantasy. I'm suppose to be a fan, I hadn't read the reviews yet being an idiot and it just. ARGH! I hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE this game! And what the hell is with the bunny girl? Why does it feel like every single cut scene has her randomly take her shoes off and give us a camera focus on them? Did some weirdo on the development team have a bunny girl foot fetish? Everything about this game does something to piss me off to ridiculous levels and ohhhhhhhhhhh I HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAATE this game so freaking much so I'm going to move on to the next one before I get so pissed off I get on a plane to Japan and punch out whoever was in charge of this game. ARGH!



Final Fantasy XI

Okay, I'm going to be honest. I have never played this game, nor do I intend do. I mean, it's an MMORPG, which means it's inherently inferior to other video games. But hey a lot of people seem to like it, so more power to them.

I mean I guess this game kinda sold a lot and....

.....




Final Fantasy XII is this game reskinned and with disguised by an incomprehensible plot isn't it?

Ohhhhhhhhhhhhh XII that game feels me with so much hate it argh rawerahoi;r wetjh;oiaaijwg;iaehjwgihj;eahgh;aie.










Okay sorry about that, I've had my medicine and all that so I can go back to talking about XI now and stop trying to think about XII.......

I

HATE

THAT

GAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAME!

ARGH! SCREW IT ALL CAL IS OUT!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Final Fantasy Smackdown: XIII

So anyways since I'm on my own now and have moved to blogger.com I figured I should probably start with something grand or something in order to do like some big celebration.

Then I said screw it I'm lazy, let's just review all XIII of the main games in the Final Fantasy series and make fun of them.

So without further ado let's start with Final Fantasy XIII.


Final Fantasy XIII is unique in a couple of ways. For starters it's the first game in the series available for two different video game systems. The fan base was less than pleased. Apparently not having to own one video specific video game system to play the games you like is a bad thing.

That or all the PS3 owners were pissed they wasted $300-$700 on a system before the game came out and realized they could have bought the cheaper system and still played it. Who knows?

But anyways let's talk about the game itself.

Well like any decent JRPG the game starts up as slowly as freaking possible. Like the first hour or two might as well be one long cut scene, or heck they could have just given you a DVD with the game and said it was the prequel.

Now some of you may be going

"Wait not so fast! The game starts with a combat encounter, and then plenty more."

Well, this is true. Except, you have no spells, no skills and gain no experience from these first battles. In short, the battle is nothing but pressing x whenever you get the option. For a few hours, it's just cut scenes, walk down a narrow corridor, press x, more cut scenes. This is largely where the criticism comes from for the game and well, it's entirely justified.

I don't really care if it's just the introduction. Heck, because it's the introduction it is unacceptable. It doesn't matter if it's a game, a movie a book or anything. The introduction is honestly the most important part? Why? Because that's when you get your player hooked and want to finish the game. If your introduction is boring, we have no reason to assume the rest of the game won't be just as bad. Granted a lot of the time that's a case, and this is a trend that's been going on that needs to be stopped.

There are a lot of games that are actually pretty decent, who just have introductions where for the first hour or three the game is just really boring. I complained about Kingdom Hearts 2 awhile back under my other alias The Fuzzy Gamer, and it's the same problem here. Before you can get to the actual game they make you sit through a pile of crap. I seriously feel like the game is trying to haze new gamers. They treat it like "Only after you sit through this will we let you play the actual game" and then expect us to buy it. And well, I'm saying right now. Stop it. Stop what you are doing. Just let us have fun and enjoy the game from the start. A grand opening cut scene to set the stage and show how much trouble the world is in works fine. However, when you proceeds to just drag on with game play that's less than stellar it's just. WHY!? Who possibly thought it was a good idea to design games like this?


So anyways Ted we have the game mostly complete, but I'm worried it might start out a little fast with putting a battle up front.

Oh I know! Let's change the battle so you don't gain any experience, you just press x over and over again, and oh I know! Let's make all the corridor a single line without any chance to explore.


Actually that no chance to explore thing goes on until like the third to last chapter of the game, and then you gain exactly one side quest. Also, it's a pain in the butt of running back and forth between stone statues and random targets. Yeah not fun.



So anyways, the game eventually let's you start playing for real when you get the paradigm options. Then the battles become slightly more complicated as you have to press the l buttons every now and then to make sure you're using the right strategy of pressing x when you get the chance. The weird thing, is the game actually manages to be challenging from time despite being so simple. The Odin battle is probably a pain for anyone who's giving it a shot. The summon battles are weird to begin with though.

Each summon has infinite HP, so instead of trying to slay it you have to impress it without dieing. Sometimes this is easy, sometimes it isn't. Either way it certainly is nice to have to do something other than just beat stuff down.

Sometimes though, the game difficulty well, I wouldn't call it difficult as much as a just plain screw you. The worst offender is the final boss believe it or not. I play Atlus games, I believe the final boss should be hard but. The issue that comes is that the boss can use an instant death attack with a 50% chance of working. Coincidentally, if your party leader dies, it's instant game over, and you have to start the boss fight over. Meaning, at anytime there's a chance the boss could just screw you over. Oh right and sometimes he poisons you and immediately goes into a cut scene to attack you where he reduces you automatically to low HP and you die from the poison before you regain control of your character.

There's designing a hard boss, and there's being a dick.

This game is being a dick.

So yeah, the game play is... mediocre at best.

Let's move on to the story. The story is fairly lackluster, and mostly is your typical pre-destination vs making your own destiny debate. However that's largely because the focus of the story isn't on the events that's happening but the characters. So! Let's meet them!

First off we have Lightning, who is kinda the same depressing protagonist that appears in most newer FF games, except she has boobs. Gets depressed a lot but acts like a jerk to avoid showing it. The fans were pleased. Now stop drawing that fan art of Cloud.

No seriously, stop.

Snow. He's a hero. Not the hero just a hero. Gets depressed over his failings.

Hope. His mom died so he can live, is naturally pressed.

Sazh. He's a black man with a chocofro. Gets depressed over his son.

Vanille. She smiles a lot. Is secretly depressed.

Fang. Kicks ass.


So those are the characters and yeah, can't you tell we're going to have fun?

Actually we kinda do. Something very strange happened in the game.

The characters.

They... got... developed.

There was actual character development, they weren't the same emo twats at the end of the game that they started as! Okay, maybe this game isn't so bad after all.



So honestly as you've probably guessed by now from the amount of complaining I've done I actually liked the game.

Wait what?


Yeah, I can't think of a single logical reason as to why, bu I for some reason enjoy the game even though I have almost nothing but bad things to say about it. I don't know, maybe I just enjoyed playing a PS3 game where I could actually see what was happening on the screen without turning my TV's brightness level up to the maximum setting and melting the skin off my face, but for some reason some part of me kept playing the game.

Something must be wrong with it.

So I guess if you're a fan of the series and don't mind the combat not being that engaging, go ahead and give it a try.


But stop when you get to the final boss.

No seriously.

The ending just plain sucks. If you have to kill the final boss, quit after the fight..... The ending is just one long deus ex machina sequence, and then the game abruptly quits without any explanation or conclusion.

No seriously, we could have at least gotten a flash forward or something to years later to show that society was still alive and stuff.

Ugh why do I play this game?

I Exist and Welcome

Right then this is a continuation of The Fuzzy Gamer's blog before it crashed. So here it's revived on blogger.com as Calex vs Everything.

Why is it me vs everything?

Because no longer shall I review only video games, but now whatever catches my interest or hate.

Video games, movies, books, tuna fish sandwiches. Nothing is safe from me. If it's bad the world must known, and complaining must be done on the internet!

After all you can either use the internet for complaining or porn, and I don't have the body for the latter.