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.


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


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.......