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Final Fantasy Series
08-09-2014, 05:56 PM (This post was last modified: 08-09-2014 06:01 PM by ctophil.)
Post: #1
Final Fantasy Series
Due to the discussion we had on this week's Top 5 List, I wanted to create a separate thread to talk exclusively about Final Fantasy to see where you guys truly stand on the series. I want your unbiased opinions. :-) This means don't be swayed by public opinion, magazines, or any other forum. I will talk about the "best of" categories and assign my favorite Final Fantasy games to each one.

Here we go.

The Best.....

Storyline: Final Fantasy VI - The storyline was pretty simple. A group of rebels against the empire. But Kefka was quite heinous. He represented the "ideal" villain in every way. FF VI's world is devoid of magic until the group found out that technology was merged with magic, causing great chaos. A lone woman named Terra was the first person in a long time who still knows how to use magic (although she didn't know it herself) because the empire has destroyed and suppressed the use of magic. Thus, the story begins when this group of rebels slowly gather and fight against the terror inflicted by the empire, lead by Gestault with his evil clown, Kefka.

Just when you thought that the game's credits would roll, the whole world becomes even worse! So you re-band the group and go for a second round against the empire. Finally, I really felt for the characters. They were all very distinct and grew on you throughout the game. The characters were very noble and charming at the same time. You can't say the same for the more popular title, Final Fantasy VII.

Runner Up: Final Fantasy IV - Cecil was a great character. He made the storyline worth playing through. He is so much better than Cloud in FF VII who was an amnesiac wuss for most of the game. lol.

Gameplay: Final Fantasy III - This game kept the classic Final Fantasy battle system. But in addition, I liked the job system introduced in this game. I like the fact that you can change your characters' class when suitable. I prefer full turn-based battle systems over the Active Battle System starting in Final Fantasy IV. RPGs were meant for you to take time to decide on many things, very slow paced. So it doesn't have to be realistic. Later Final Fantasies decided to assign classes automatically to your characters (except for FF V), and you can't change them. The Job System allows you to change strategies in the battle systems. So it's really fun when you can rebuild your characters when changing classes.

Runner Up: Final Fantasy IV - The game introduced summons and the Active Battle System. Though I don't prefer Active Battles, it was still a good alternative that started it all. Summoning was one of my favorite aspects of the FF battle systems.

Graphics: Final Fantasy VI - This game just wowed me even to this day. Square really knew how to push the SNES to its limits with very detailed sprites and backgrounds. The Mode 7 effects when walking around on the overworld was impressive as well. Sure, Final Fantasy VII introduced CG Movies and Polygon graphics; but to me, beautiful sprites just feel more appropriate for traditional RPGs.

Runner Up: Final Fantasy VII - It didn't look too great, since the original Playstation couldn't render too many polygons, but it introduced the series to 3-D graphics. The CG cut scenes didn't hurt either. Overall, it was the best graphics for intro to modern RPGs.

Music & Sound: Final Fantasy VI - Hands down, this game had the largest number of very good songs. Every single song really pulled at your heart strings or made you excited and aggressive for battle. I thought the SNES had an orchestra going on in there. The Terra Theme Song at the beginning was epic with the mechs walking in the snow. That song pulls you into the grand epic that is about to come.

Runner Up: Final Fantasy IV - This game had some of the best music ever. The Rosa's Theme really captured the moment, while the Overworld Theme was excellent too. Final Fantasy VII had some good songs too. But FF IV beat it to the punch.

Overall: Final Fantasy VI - In my book, I don't think any RPG in the past nor present has ever surpassed my fondness of its complete package. From the beginning to end, the game just put me on edge with the characters, storyline, graphics, music, gameplay, and overall theme. Even the ending was the longest I've seen yet very emotional. The best RPG of all time.
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08-09-2014, 08:49 PM
Post: #2
RE: Final Fantasy Series
Good topic. I will have to post my thoughts in the next day or so when I am off work and able to concentrate. :)

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08-10-2014, 01:24 AM
Post: #3
RE: Final Fantasy Series
Storyline: I think I'll go with Final Fantasy IV, every games story wasn't so bad, but I like the plot twists in the 4th, even if they're pretty stereotyped.

Gameplay: I'm not 100% sure, because I can't really remember the gameplay at all, even if I played every game more than once, but probably one of the games where you could skip turns without losing the full turn bar.
I guess I should either play the games again or should lose some years of my life, I'm getting old Grin Also my brain is completely in Splinter Cell "Where are the enemies going" mode.

Graphics: Probably X, because I like the fact, that the summons are not just spells, but stay for some time until you call them back or they're defeated, their style is pretty awesome, especially Bahamut in his "I'm the greatest badass on this battlefield" stance Grin

Music: Does Mystic Quest count as a Final Fantasy? If yes it definitely is my favorite, but if not ... I don't know, I never really paid attention to the music if it was fitting.

Overall: First place goes to the 4th installment, even if X isn't too far behind. Maybe I should give III a try, I vaguely remember that I bought it for Steam some time ago.
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08-10-2014, 06:25 PM
Post: #4
RE: Final Fantasy Series
Well Lotex, maybe you should play all your favorite ones again and then later on the ones you never played before? I'm planning to play the ones I didn't beat, which I mentioned in the Top 5 NES games thread. Sure, Final Fantasy: Mystic Quest does count. Anything in the Final Fantasy series will count, even the spin-offs. Because as you know, each Final Fantasy had a different story, theme, characters, and so forth. They are only connected with each other by cameo appearances or common themes, such as Cid, The Chocobos, Moogles, Airships, and in some cases, Cloud and Aerith from Final Fantasy VII.

Other notable titles that are considered not part of the main series are Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles series, Final Fantasy VII: Crisis Core, and Final Fantasy Tactics. I don't consider Final Fantasy Legend series part of Final Fantasy due to it being just the renamed version of the Saga series. Final Fantasy Adventure was actually the first Seiken Densetsu or Secret of Mana. Those titles don't count.
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08-10-2014, 07:45 PM (This post was last modified: 08-10-2014 07:47 PM by Lotex.)
Post: #5
RE: Final Fantasy Series
I guess I should, but there's so much to play and so little time.
It was a topic on another thread, but if I play a game I'd like to get the most of it and achieve anything I can, so it would take even longer to finish one title. I still remember farming everything for X ... it was a great feeling to achieve it, but it was a horrible time Grin

I never achieved some things though like getting all spells and weapons to max level in Secret of Mana or mastering all jobs with all heroes in Final Fantasy V, I'm surprisingly persistent when it comes to games like Splinter Cell where I try to get through the whole mission unseen without knocking out anybody, but on the other hand I'm incredibly lazy when it comes to such boring farming stuff.

I remember one mission in Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory where I got stuck with a 97% rating on the second to last mission, it took me the whole weekend to figure out the problem but in the end I got everything I wanted Grin
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08-11-2014, 10:40 AM
Post: #6
RE: Final Fantasy Series
For me the fondness of the Final Fantasy series as a whole is up there with the older titles bringing a certain happy-level of nostalgia. I'll be rating them and so forth down this list but I wanted to also share my specific reasons and mini-rants on each of them. Seems like I may have already done this on the forum but I cannot remember! Grin I will add the entire list below.

I'm keeping my list concentrated on the main 14 numbered games in the series and avoiding the spinoffs and or games that Japan just renamed with an FF name in the title because Americans wouldn't of bought it otherwise (supposedly). And I will try and keep as much nostalgia as possible out of the equation of the category winners. Though I do not pretend to not be a little biased. ;)


Storyline: Final Fantasy IV/II US SFC/SNES - The game starts out with a pretty good bang here. You're on an airship...where could you be going? BOOM there is already mystery. You end up in a room with mages and wizards...oh shit you stole their crystal and started killing them! Though in the US version of the game just had Cecil punch them back. Then you take your stolen goods back to your King and WTF he kicks you out of your job and sends you on what is probably a death errand.

So you see from the beginning this game had me HOOKED! I was never bored in this game the first few times I played it, and actually even now when I go through it start to finish (about twice to three times a year) I just love every minute of it. Even the unneeded level grinding. :) The story is so rich and you actually start caring for the characters and want to see them all succeed in what endeavors they do. The character "deaths" whether permanent or not (no spoiler here) really hits you as a player that you are going to have to deal with not having those characters you spent time and gold on.

The ending is, well, awesome. I love RPG endings of this caliber where you breath a sigh of relief and watch almost 20 minutes to a half hour of content then see the appropriate "The End". Loved it.

Runner Up: tie Final Fantasy V / Final Fantasy XII - You see, these two are the only other two in the main numbered FF games for which I thoroughly enjoy playing start to finish. Final Fantasy V is such as great game all around anyone who loves classic RPG's / jRPG's should really get this a go in its native format on the Super Famicom/Super Nintendo. All other ports failed in comparison, and by a large margin.

FFXII has a great story and really had me hooked throughout the game. NEVER a dull moment.

Gameplay & Controls: Final Fantasy VI / III US - This game should be the game that all jRPG's should aspire to be in terms of play-ability and physical control of your environment. The characters and environments were large and colorful as well as the world you interacted with was very detailed and polished. You absolutely knew how precise the game was going to run from a control perspective right off the bat when you are navigating the Narshe caves. Very impressed with it still. Menus were crisp and fast unlike all of the previous games, though Final Fantasy V had good menus too. Using the controller to do Blitzes was a pleasant surprise! I also liked the way you felt interacted with some of the story with being able to control player direction whether that was when you were on a raft or on a mine cart. Very good ideas. My only slight let down is the game absolutely needs the characters to "sprint" all the time and the "sprint" shoes should make you move a little faster still. Maybe that's just the impatience of my older age but walking speed should of never been that slow.

Runner Up: Final Fantasy V - The predecessor of Final Fantasy VI, and this one really improved on the whole jRPG experience by getting the gameplay and controls down pat. I just loved how seamless this game felt while playing, I never had a moment where I wished "it would of been cool had they done this" in reference to the gameplay or controls. Very good stuff.

Graphics: Final Fantasy V - Once I went from Final Fantasy I and saw a little Final Fantasy III for the Famicom back in 1990 I thought wow, what an improvement here. Final Fantasy IV/II US rolled around a year later for us Americans so I naturally picked it up and was astounded how much better the game was over the latest NES offerings. Then I was BLOWN AWAY when I imported Final Fantasy V shortly after release date. I remember seeing an add at the back of an EGM of those days and seeing the list of Super Famicom games and I thought "let me pull the trigger and order a couple". So I ordered Final Fantasy V and waited to order another game after I finish FFV. That ended up being a while because I was just blown away on how awesome it was, everything was just perfect. Technically it was superior to any RPG I had seen at that point--and that was just the beginning. Every few game hours or so I would get a new spell or fight a new enemy where the graphics were really cool. The first time I saw Meteor I was "wow what an upgrade over FFIV's Meteo". Seeing the dragons, chimeras, and behemoths of that game were really cool because of the detail. I'm not even counting ExDeath or other bosses. I actually had some fear instilled with some monsters and their toughness. One particular turtle and one particular machine come to mind... The world changed a few times, and that was a first for me to see such a large world change that many times during a game and not look half-assed. Yes there were better graphically intensive games later on, but I'm going by how I felt when I got it at the time of release. No other Final Fantasy game for me pushed such graphical boundaries at the time of release.

Runner Up: Final Fantasy XII - I will be short and sweet here. This game still impresses me on how awesome the environments and characters look. There are some early PS3 and XBOX360 RPG's that look suspect compared to FFXII. Being interactive with your environment as this game is you sometimes forget to stop and take it all in. I will sometimes stop playing just to look at the scenery or detail of the area I'm in. Very pleasant to look at. Plus, the monsters are badass in this game.

Music & Sound: Final Fantasy IV - No contest. Nothing comes close. This is by far Nobuo's best work since he joined Mistwalker. No piece of music in this game annoyed me back in the day and every piece was a pleasure to listen to and was perfectly timed to whatever events were happening. My only complaint is I wish there had been more and that those "unreleased" tracks were actually put in the game! I bought every soundtrack that had an original, arranged, and or remix of anything Final Fantasy IV--its that good. I could go on but I'll stop here. The sound effects were brilliant and perfectly executed. I actually love the sound effects so much I have a couple on my phone for some events like calendar alerts. That says a lot.

Runner Up: Final Fantasy V - FFV's music really put you in the mood on whatever was happening. The soundtrack was vast (I bought this soundtrack too!) and had some of the most memorable scores in gaming. What surprised me the most is how when the game entered urgency the soundtrack stepped up and made you feel like you had a sense of urgency. When the game slowed down and became soft or humorous the soundtrack did that too. The word I'm looking for is seamless. Without nostalgia and a tiny bit of bias this game would be #1 on my musical score list but it isn't and half of that reason is the song "Harvest". I hate this song, hate it so bad I mute the TV when I'm playing the cart on real hardware. If I'm playing a ROM I've already modified that song the hell OUT first. The sound effects were equally as brilliant as FFIV's, but some spells sounded a little off or had pitches too high.

Overall: Final Fantasy IV - This will be short. Too many things to love here and I've quite literally played through this game start to finish easily over 1,000 times in my life. It will always be the best for me.

Worst: tie Final Fantasy VII / Final Fantasy XIII - FFVII was and is overhyped, boring, and frankly annoying. I thought Squaresoft put way too much emphasis on graphics and CGI movies instead of better character development and more polish on the overall gameplay. I thought the concept of a "high res" background and low res polys on the same screen was dumb. Battles seemed to be generic feeling on the average and the world felt really plain. Some of the music was fantastic but the rest was somewhat forgettable. I was disappointed when I bought this new when it came out, and I forced myself to finish it just for completion's sake. How people can still hype this game up is beyond me.

Don't get me started on Final Fantasy XIII. I'll make it short and simple. Fucked up battle system, fucked up characters you just do not care about, and an absolute feeling of numbness while playing. The game plays itself and the battle/character stat system is just stupid.

-----------------------

My highlights of each game are here...

Final Fantasy I - Great game. Music--and at the time--graphics were very good and suited the game. Controls and gameplay were tough to deal with but the story arc and game progression made it a worthwhile interest.
Final Fantasy II - Mediocre game. Good music and slightly better graphics vs FFI along with a much better control/gameplay feel. What lets it down are the way the characters increase stats and how the game's difficulty is such on a knife edge of either too easy or too hard. Story was somewhat of a let down but it wasn't a bad story. Just not as good as FFI.
Final Fantasy III - Much better game. Gameplay and controls were 100% better vs the previous two. Story was very good and graphics were just right. I thought the sound effect and music were good too but felt repetitive. Overall it is a good game that is worth a look on real hardware translated to your native language.
Final Fantasy IV / II US - My favorite for the above reasons on the main list.
Final Fantasy V - Like the last porridge in the three bear's story, it is just right. Everything works and works very well. The only thing that lets it down is the fact that it wasn't translated to English on original hardware...and I'm not talking about emulation either.
Final Fantasy VI / III US - Great game. Good graphics, good characters personalities, and good environments. The only let downs for me are the character development and character statistical development were subpar and on the development side it felt forced. You do care about the characters but sometimes the game's dialogue felt "cut" in terms of character interaction. Wanted to see more. I did not like some of the music, but only a handful of tracks. I bought the soundtrack back in the day so it is at least very good, but not excellent. Controls and gameplay were very good, almost top notch here. Only Chrono Trigger and Romancing SaGa 3 had better controls and play-ability in the 16-bit era.
Final Fantasy VII - High development cost, poor result. I did not like this game. I'm sorry to those that do but this game is poor. I did not care for any of the characters and I did not get any enjoyment from playing. Right now it is just a collector's piece sitting on a shelf right next to the next few FF games.
Final Fantasy VIII - I really enjoyed most of this game. Very good game. I loved the story and cared about the characters. The beginning of the game, for the sake of argument the first disc, was a little slow moving. Fantastic music, Nobuo really made up for a mediocre FFVII soundtrack. And of course Triple Triad is the best mini-game ever in a video game. I would pay $100 for just that on the XBOX360 or PS3. :)
Final Fantasy IX - Unrated for me. The graphics look good and the characters that I met seemed ok. My problem is this game bored me. I quite literally have never finished this game after a few attempts. I always get bored and stop playing. It is a shame I think because the environments look good and the music is top notch. And I mean the music is TOP NOTCH. I bought the soundtrack and listened to it entirely and man the soundtrack is awesome. That's all I can comment on since I haven't played it enough. Sad
Final Fantasy X / X-2 - Hated them. Voice acting was porous and music was forgettable. I hated the characters and hated how the games made me feel like I was just watching an interactive movie. Do not want. I own them but I will not play them for a long time.
Final Fantasy XI - Good game, sort of? Well this sort of counts as it is #11 in the FF series but being an MMORPG really makes this limited. I only managed to watch my buddy play it back when it came out on PC so my knowledge of it is limited. Because it was an MMORPG grinding and tedium was the norm. On the happy side the music was awesome and the graphics were very good.
Final Fantasy XII - Brilliant game. You all know how I feel about this game, I love it. It is just the right balance of everything that makes the previous PS2 FF's crappy while also giving it a modern feel with how the battle system is seamless with the areas. I enjoyed how this game did the battle system despite what others have said it is quite good. My only complaint here is the International version release added more content and expanded licenses/gambits a little better I believe? Also, I would of wanted more freedon in exploring some of the areas in the game but understand the limitations of the PS2. This is why this game screamed to be released on the PC.
Final Fantasy XIII - Terrible game. A few hours in and I'm OUT! Hated it. It is clear that this was designed for a younger audience and to be a simpler way to play a jRPG. Terrible outcome. The graphics actually didn't look that much better for the environments over FFXII on the PS2. Better light filters yes but the actual textures and overall environmental feel didn't really see much improvement for me. Voice acting was BAD, as in late 1990's bad. Ugh...
Final Fantasy XIV - It is an MMORPG that you must pay for, so I'M OUT.

Spinoffs/unrelated...
Final Fantasy Mystic Quest - Screw anyone who doesn't like this game and its charm. I love this game and who cares if it is simple and short. Games are meant to be fun and this was designed to be fun! The music is one of the best ever in an RPG as a bonus. :)
Final Fantasy Tactics - If this was considered in the main FF series and not a spinoff it would probably be #1 or #2 in a millisecond. I cannot tell you how awesome this game is on every bloody level. This game is anything but boring and will have you playing for so long you'll forget to do the normal adult life's chores. You won't want to put it down even with its sometimes frustrating difficulty. The monsters level with you so really grinding is self destructive, but, you have to level your jobs and whatnot so it really forces you to balance and make choices. I like that! Story is so good it should be a movie. Gameplay is limited because of the fact it is a strategy game but with what it is the game does it very well. My only complaint is not really a fault of the game perhaps but sometimes the isometric view causes some bad angles in battle with the higher terrain or objects in the terrain. I guess the PS1 was limited in this aspect. Did I mentioned yet that the music is just phenomenal? So of course I bought the soundtrack! Ok I'll shut up already so you can go play it! P.S. Do not play the PSP version, the battle isometric controls are reversed and the game suffers some serious slowdown during spell animations. Too bad too because of the improved graphics.

Squaresoft, Squeenix really needed to take a lesson from Mistwalker right after FFXII. Blue Dragon and Lost Odyssey are such superior games in the jRPG genre that it almost sickens me to think what could of been had Square/Squeenix kept their nose out of their asses and focused on the prize instead of money.

That is all for now.

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08-11-2014, 06:10 PM (This post was last modified: 08-11-2014 10:07 PM by ctophil.)
Post: #7
RE: Final Fantasy Series
JCE, you're simply passionate with your RPGs. Hehe. That's good, people should be more passionate with their hobbies. I really enjoyed your opinions. On the worst side of things, I do agree with you that Final Fantasy XIII was horrible! Nothing about it was decent. If it didn't have the name, Final Fantasy in the title, I wouldn't even own the game! It's so bad that I can't even remember any of the characters' names, don't like a single song (did it even have music?), the battle system was horrendous when you gotta keep changing the "style" of battle over and over, and then the storyline....I don't even remember what it's about! Haha! That is quite sad since FF XIII came out not too long ago. I can't believe I actually beat the game. I must of put on my "Patience Armor."

As for Final Fantasy VII being one of the worst games, well I have to disagree. It wasn't a bad game comparably to FF XIII. The only gripes I had about the game were how confusing the storyline happened to be. The characters were not memorable. And for some reason, Sephiroth (the main villain) felt like he was "being fake" as a villain. Like he was a bad actor or something. I just couldn't put my finger on it, but it seemed like Sephiroth just couldn't prove to me that he was a villain. There are ton of people out there who just love Sephiroth and believe that he was the best RPG villain of all time. The graphics, enemy designs, gameplay, and music were all good in my opinion. I would say FF VII is comparable to FF X.

Speaking of FF X, I thought it was a good game, except for the main character and the Sphere Grid level up system thingy. I mean, the level up system was okay. It gave you a lot of freedom of where you want to upgrade your characters. But I didn't find it too interesting. I like the linear level up system, but allow you to change the characters' classes. Tidus, the main character, was such a goofball. He is like Cloud's brother or something. Tidus was confused about himself and the mission for most of the game. Sure, that presents "human traits," but I don't care. "Human Traits" are not "Hero Traits." The Hero should be noble, strong, and exhibit great inner and outer strength. Tidus was just another amnesiac wuss like in FF VII. Hehe. But everything else about the game were cool.

FF VIII and IX I couldn't really get into. They were just boring at many points in the game. But were also decent titles. Don't get me wrong, I liked them at certain points. FF VIII's love story was pretty cool, and the music were very good. FF IX's characters were goofy, but a nice change in direction. FF IX had some nice graphics (big improvement over FF VII on PS One), and the music was great as well. I gave FF VII the "Runner Up" title to graphics because it was Square's first entry into 3-D graphics.

Final Fantasy I & II I didn't really get into until the PS One versions. But they are very fun games as old-school RPGs. They were simple for their time, but I have to agree that they were excellent in every way. Although I did beat them, I spent most of my time grinding (they were hard games) and wasn't on the edge of my seat eager to know what will happen next like FF VI & FF IV (most favorite and runner up, respectively) as mentioned in my article above.

Final Fantasy V I also played on the PS One as part of the Final Fantasy Anthology game. I did play it for about 10-15 hours or so, then just lost interest. I'm not sure of the reason. I loved the job system in the game. Perhaps the storyline and/or characters didn't really catch my attention too much. But I do promise to beat the game when I sit down and do a Final Fantasy play session sometime. :-)

Final Fantasy XI I played for a few days on the PC, since I had a trial period. I'm not big on MMORPGs, but it was pretty fun. MMORPGs take a long, long time to get into. They are so complex. It takes a lot of time and patience in order to level up your characters high enough to get somewhere in the game. I own FF XI and a couple of expansion packs on the Playstation 2, complete with the Hard Drive and huge Strategy Guide.

Final Fantasy XII was an "okay" game. It wasn't bad nor was it really good in my book. I guess the MMO-style battle system really turned me off. Because Final Fantasy was known for the traditional turn-based battles. Of course, I still haven't beaten yet, so my opinion might not be too accurate. I would of beaten the game if I didn't get stuck. I think I put in about 20 hours into it. I have to admit that graphics were good; but I still think as far as PS2 Final Fantasies, FF X was better graphically than FF XII. The music was on par with Final Fantasy XIII, just terrible. No offense, JCE. It's just one man's opinion.

Finally, we have Final Fantasy XIV. I was one of the beta testers for the Playstation 3 version. As far as MMOs go, it's a really good game, better than Final Fantasy XI. Square Enix made improvements in every area. I'm sure the PC version was really bad. That's why they had to remake it. Originally, it was only called Final Fantasy XIV, but now it's called Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn. I have to say that the music are fantastic. Nobuo Uematsu composed most of the tracks in the game. So you better believe it has a high standard in music excellence.

So, Final Fantasy XV has been delayed again far into 2015. I'm hoping that it's at least better than Final Fantasy XIII (that's not saying much). Okay, let's try this again. I hope it will be comparable to Final Fantasy XII. If not, maybe Square Enix just needs to hire Mistwalker as their 3rd Party Developer. That would work for me.
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08-11-2014, 08:42 PM
Post: #8
RE: Final Fantasy Series
I will craft a reply when I can get on my notebook tomorrow. Mobile devices suck for long posts. Sad

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08-12-2014, 02:43 PM
Post: #9
RE: Final Fantasy Series
I will now comment on the spin-off titles.

I did play the first Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles on Gamecube with a few of my friends back in 2004. The cool thing about FF: CC is that you can hook up your GBA or GBA SP to the Gamecube as a controller for coop multiplayer. The GBA screen can be used as your map and inventory screen. And you thought the Wii U started it all, huh? The game is very fun when doing 4-player coop. Because it's such a riot when you are fighting a huge boss together, coordinating your attacks. The game itself is an Action RPG similar to Secret of Mana. It's not so fun single player, but is still enjoyable. I recommend you try it out with your spouse and/or friends. The first player can use the controller. But the 2nd player and so on must use a GBA. So just having one GBA system would work if you are going to play with a 2nd player.

Final Fantasy Tactics was the best strategy game I ever played (second place goes to Vandal Hearts). It was hard as a rock. The game really made you think of clever ways to defeat the enemies on every map. I enjoyed it a lot. The storyline was good, but had so much political turmoil, I couldn't remember the names of characters that constantly came up. It was so much to keep up with this and that person betrayed somebody else. Hehe.

Final Fantasy: Mystic Quest was a cool little game. I didn't own it back in the day. Because I was a starving student who depended on game rentals. The game really surprised me when it was as fun as any main Final Fantasy title. The music was great too.
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08-12-2014, 05:35 PM
Post: #10
RE: Final Fantasy Series
(08-11-2014 06:10 PM)ctophil Wrote:  JCE, you're simply passionate with your RPGs. Hehe. That's good, people should be more passionate with their hobbies. I really enjoyed your opinions. On the worst side of things, I do agree with you that Final Fantasy XIII was horrible! Nothing about it was decent. If it didn't have the name, Final Fantasy in the title, I wouldn't even own the game! It's so bad that I can't even remember any of the characters' names, don't like a single song (did it even have music?), the battle system was horrendous when you gotta keep changing the "style" of battle over and over, and then the storyline....I don't even remember what it's about! Haha! That is quite sad since FF XIII came out not too long ago. I can't believe I actually beat the game. I must of put on my "Patience Armor."

I can get passionate for sure on a subject that I care about. Maybe I should try and play through FFXIII to the end, I mean after all it is dirt ass cheap now!

Quote:As for Final Fantasy VII being one of the worst games, well I have to disagree. It wasn't a bad game comparably to FF XIII. The only gripes I had about the game were how confusing the storyline happened to be. The characters were not memorable. And for some reason, Sephiroth (the main villain) felt like he was "being fake" as a villain. Like he was a bad actor or something. I just couldn't put my finger on it, but it seemed like Sephiroth just couldn't prove to me that he was a villain. There are ton of people out there who just love Sephiroth and believe that he was the best RPG villain of all time. The graphics, enemy designs, gameplay, and music were all good in my opinion. I would say FF VII is comparable to FF X.

Agree to disagree for sure as that is the norm for me on this game. I am in the minority I think but I believe my strong negative opinion to FFVII is primarily because the few games that came before it were so much better minus some graphic tweaks (not related to polygons). Don't get me wrong, FFVII isn't a bad game when you consider all jRPGs of the 90's or even the average PS1 game. I just don't think it was better than IV through VI.

Quote:Speaking of FF X, I thought it was a good game, except for the main character and the Sphere Grid level up system thingy. I mean, the level up system was okay. It gave you a lot of freedom of where you want to upgrade your characters. But I didn't find it too interesting. I like the linear level up system, but allow you to change the characters' classes. Tidus, the main character, was such a goofball. He is like Cloud's brother or something. Tidus was confused about himself and the mission for most of the game. Sure, that presents "human traits," but I don't care. "Human Traits" are not "Hero Traits." The Hero should be noble, strong, and exhibit great inner and outer strength. Tidus was just another amnesiac wuss like in FF VII. Hehe. But everything else about the game were cool.

The level system was ok, but I just didn't really care for it versus a more traditional style. The music was ok, don't get me wrong it wasn't bad from an artistic perspective I just felt it wasn't Nobuo's best though I suspect the other two collaborating composers may have made the situation worse. Graphics were good enough but I think there wasn't moments where you would stop and admire the scenery as much as say FFXII.

Quote:FF VIII and IX I couldn't really get into. They were just boring at many points in the game. But were also decent titles. Don't get me wrong, I liked them at certain points. FF VIII's love story was pretty cool, and the music were very good. FF IX's characters were goofy, but a nice change in direction. FF IX had some nice graphics (big improvement over FF VII on PS One), and the music was great as well. I gave FF VII the "Runner Up" title to graphics because it was Square's first entry into 3-D graphics.

I agree that there are boring parts of VIII & IX but I also though the same thing for VII as well. FFVIII was very good at more categories for me vs IX or VII. Though it is an acquired taste that most jRPG gamers won't bother with. I enjoyed the magic system, very new and refreshing.

Quote:Final Fantasy I & II I didn't really get into until the PS One versions. But they are very fun games as old-school RPGs. They were simple for their time, but I have to agree that they were excellent in every way. Although I did beat them, I spent most of my time grinding (they were hard games) and wasn't on the edge of my seat eager to know what will happen next like FF VI & FF IV (most favorite and runner up, respectively) as mentioned in my article above.

Dawn of Souls / Origins for the PS1 and GBA were indeed VERY good. VERY VERY good in fact. My issue was I thought too much of the original feel and flare was lost, especially for FFI because they changed the magic system. That's a small complaint though and I would of been happy to have it end there. BUT, the Anniversary collection for the PSP is by far the best versions of FFI & FFII. Oh, and so is the FFIV Anv. version too.

But all that aside, it doesn't count if you haven't played the original. I'd classify remakes as spin-offs or other. If say FFI & FFII only existed as the PS1 or GBA versions they would be very high on my list. :)

Quote:Final Fantasy V I also played on the PS One as part of the Final Fantasy Anthology game. I did play it for about 10-15 hours or so, then just lost interest. I'm not sure of the reason. I loved the job system in the game. Perhaps the storyline and/or characters didn't really catch my attention too much. But I do promise to beat the game when I sit down and do a Final Fantasy play session sometime. :-)

Probably worthwhile to replay FFV, though the GBA version might be the best compromise here. No loading times, a decent translation, and easier to obtain. The PS1 version had way too much loading.

Quote:Final Fantasy XI I played for a few days on the PC, since I had a trial period. I'm not big on MMORPGs, but it was pretty fun. MMORPGs take a long, long time to get into. They are so complex. It takes a lot of time and patience in order to level up your characters high enough to get somewhere in the game. I own FF XI and a couple of expansion packs on the Playstation 2, complete with the Hard Drive and huge Strategy Guide.

If someone can come up with a private server for FFXI I would JUMP at that in a nanosecond. I'd buy all of the PC FFXI versions then download that server client and would forget all about my XBOX 360 for a while. :)

Quote:Final Fantasy XII was an "okay" game. It wasn't bad nor was it really good in my book. I guess the MMO-style battle system really turned me off. Because Final Fantasy was known for the traditional turn-based battles. Of course, I still haven't beaten yet, so my opinion might not be too accurate. I would of beaten the game if I didn't get stuck. I think I put in about 20 hours into it. I have to admit that graphics were good; but I still think as far as PS2 Final Fantasies, FF X was better graphically than FF XII. The music was on par with Final Fantasy XIII, just terrible. No offense, JCE. It's just one man's opinion.

No offense taken. I understand most FF fans treat this game like FFVIII and just don't like it. I just happened to love the hell out of it the first time I turned it on.

Quote:Finally, we have Final Fantasy XIV. I was one of the beta testers for the Playstation 3 version. As far as MMOs go, it's a really good game, better than Final Fantasy XI. Square Enix made improvements in every area. I'm sure the PC version was really bad. That's why they had to remake it. Originally, it was only called Final Fantasy XIV, but now it's called Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn. I have to say that the music are fantastic. Nobuo Uematsu composed most of the tracks in the game. So you better believe it has a high standard in music excellence.

I need to see if the soundtrack is out there, I'd love to hear it. I just don't have the time and or extra $$$ for an MMO game. Too bad because it looks fantastic.

Quote:So, Final Fantasy XV has been delayed again far into 2015. I'm hoping that it's at least better than Final Fantasy XIII (that's not saying much). Okay, let's try this again. I hope it will be comparable to Final Fantasy XII. If not, maybe Square Enix just needs to hire Mistwalker as their 3rd Party Developer. That would work for me.

I hope XV will bring back the series though secretly I'm hoping it will be the last game in the series so everyone can move on. Hard to say but that's my hope.

I do agree that Mistwalker knows what the hell they are doing and should be immediately hired to produce games for Squeenix. Lost Odyssey and Blue Dragon were so epic on the 360 it is a shame that Mistwalker isn't more mainstream now. Sad

(08-12-2014 02:43 PM)ctophil Wrote:  I will now comment on the spin-off titles.

I did play the first Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles on Gamecube with a few of my friends back in 2004. The cool thing about FF: CC is that you can hook up your GBA or GBA SP to the Gamecube as a controller for coop multiplayer. The GBA screen can be used as your map and inventory screen. And you thought the Wii U started it all, huh? The game is very fun when doing 4-player coop. Because it's such a riot when you are fighting a huge boss together, coordinating your attacks. The game itself is an Action RPG similar to Secret of Mana. It's not so fun single player, but is still enjoyable. I recommend you try it out with your spouse and/or friends. The first player can use the controller. But the 2nd player and so on must use a GBA. So just having one GBA system would work if you are going to play with a 2nd player.

Funny thing, I bought CC for the GameCube and the CC's on the DS but never fired them up. I don't even think I kept them. Maybe I need to pick them back up to play in the future?

Quote:Final Fantasy Tactics was the best strategy game I ever played (second place goes to Vandal Hearts). It was hard as a rock. The game really made you think of clever ways to defeat the enemies on every map. I enjoyed it a lot. The storyline was good, but had so much political turmoil, I couldn't remember the names of characters that constantly came up. It was so much to keep up with this and that person betrayed somebody else. Hehe.

What's better; the storyline, gameplay, or battle/job system? So hard to pinpoint exactly what makes it so brilliant...maybe everything as a complete package? I LOVE this game.

Quote:Final Fantasy: Mystic Quest was a cool little game. I didn't own it back in the day. Because I was a starving student who depended on game rentals. The game really surprised me when it was as fun as any main Final Fantasy title. The music was great too.

MQ obviously has a special place in my heart. I think that part is obvious. :) The lasting legacy is the music was epic and even people who do not like the game love the music.

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08-13-2014, 01:23 PM
Post: #11
RE: Final Fantasy Series
You have inspired me to buy Final Fantasy II and III on NES reproduction carts later this year. I think it's always the best to play the originals with English translations of course. As for Final Fantasy I, I'll replay that one as well for NES. You know I'm a Super Hardcore Purist Gamer. lol.

One question though, I have found Final Fantasy V reproduction carts at a few web sites with English. Are you sure there are no English translations for SNES/Super Famicom? I'll probably get FF V repro cart as well to play on its original hardware.
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08-13-2014, 05:35 PM
Post: #12
RE: Final Fantasy Series
No, FFV was never officially translated by Square on the Super Famicom/Super Nintendo. The first official translation by Square(soft) was the PS1 version with Final Fantasy Anthology I believe. I would love an FFV repro but with a couple of slight mods. :)

I know you're a purist, I'd classify myself as one. Would you agree? And yes you need to give Final Fantasy 1 another try. If you want an easier time make a party of two Fighters and two Red Mages. Should be smooth sailing albeit slightly expensive.

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08-13-2014, 05:38 PM
Post: #13
RE: Final Fantasy Series
Wait, were you asking if ANY English translation exists for Final Fantasy V or "official" translations?

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08-13-2014, 05:47 PM (This post was last modified: 08-13-2014 05:52 PM by ctophil.)
Post: #14
RE: Final Fantasy Series
(08-13-2014 05:38 PM)JCE3000GT Wrote:  Wait, were you asking if ANY English translation exists for Final Fantasy V or "official" translations?

I was asking if there are ANY English translations. The official translations are nice, but I'll take anything just to play a game like FF V on a SNES cart in English. Have you played FF V fan translations before?

Your previous comment sounded like there weren't any translations at all. So I was curious about that. Here is what you wrote about Final Fantasy V:

JCE3000GT Wrote:Final Fantasy V - Like the last porridge in the three bear's story, it is just right. Everything works and works very well. The only thing that lets it down is the fact that it wasn't translated to English on original hardware...and I'm not talking about emulation either.
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08-13-2014, 05:54 PM
Post: #15
RE: Final Fantasy Series
I gotcha. Sorry about that! I meant Square never translated the SFC/SNES cart aka original SNES hardware. There are a couple fan translations for the SFC rom, I just don't know which is better. I know the RPGe version was too literal for some players tastes but I thought it was ok.

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10-10-2015, 05:35 PM (This post was last modified: 10-10-2015 05:36 PM by ctophil.)
Post: #16
RE: Final Fantasy Series
I know JC really likes Final Fantasy XII. I found out that there was another FF XII sequel that never came out besides Revenant Wings for Nintendo DS. It was called "Fortress," the codename for a Final Fantasy XII sequel developed by a Swedish game developer called Grin [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grin_(company)]. Besides this game, Square Enix has never outsourced Final Fantasy development to a western company. You can read the article(s) below to learn about the game's fate, how it was cancelled, take a look at its design, and learn a bit about Final Fantasy trivia. Make sure to read Part 1 and 2 with the third part forthcoming.

http://www.gamespot.com/articles/the-sto...0-6431036/
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10-10-2015, 07:17 PM
Post: #17
RE: Final Fantasy Series
Interesting read, it's too bad they weren't given the opportunity to do their own art-style. It may have been the Final Fantasy game that needed to come out to save the franchise from mediocrity.

I couldn't find part 2..?

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10-10-2015, 08:13 PM (This post was last modified: 10-10-2015 08:13 PM by ctophil.)
Post: #18
RE: Final Fantasy Series
(10-10-2015 07:17 PM)JCE3000GT Wrote:  Interesting read, it's too bad they weren't given the opportunity to do their own art-style. It may have been the Final Fantasy game that needed to come out to save the franchise from mediocrity.

I couldn't find part 2..?

Here is Part 2: http://www.gamespot.com/articles/the-can...0-6431040/

In Part 2, they talk about the art direction, storyline, characters, and gameplay.
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10-11-2015, 08:49 AM
Post: #19
RE: Final Fantasy Series
Thanks Phil!

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01-19-2016, 04:51 PM
Post: #20
RE: Final Fantasy Series
Hey guys, thought I would share a thread from another forum about Final Fantasy, which is titled, "Final Fantasy Re-releases Ruins Pureness."

I will begin with the original post and then followed by my reply. Feel free to cast in your opinions and so forth.

Quote:With all the recent re-releases of the Final Fantasy series games SquareEnix has been adding some new options to these games such as skipping random encounters and adding the instant limit breaks. Does anyone else feel like its ruining the pureness of these titles? Or do you think its nice to have more options? I feel like by removing random encounters you are taking away a major part of what made old style RPG/JRPG games great. They were used to increase your level, gil/money, and stats. I feel like by removing them its taking away so much of how the game was meant to be played and in turn ruining the experience of a longer play time and in ways depending on what options you choose making the games just way to easy and short. I am a old school gamer and maybe odd in this way but I liked the grind and I still enjoy the grind when replaying these old games and even some modern games built on this style. What do you think of these changes?


My reply:

Quote:Square Enix is basically trying to cater to a new and larger audience by making it more action oriented and taking away random battles. I guess the vast majority of people prefer the more "realistic" approach to RPGs. It's more of a western mentality. You've noticed that western RPGs are more action than traditional, D&D-style, turn-based battles. The western mind is all about high-octane action (hence, the most popular genres here are fps shooters and sports titles). While in the East, the RPG genre still remains supreme. The RPG genre requires us to enjoy the subtleties of a grand storyline, leveling up system, character development, and just take in the richness and complexity of the virtual world. The Western mind, on the other hand, would rather trade the above for headshots, how fast you can kill your online buddies, and who will win the next football game. Of course, I'm speaking of the majority of people in the west. Some of us still like to think and feel about our games.

Do these "new" Final Fantasy titles take away the "pureness" of older titles? If you ask my opinion, yes it does. If you are going to continue to release new Final Fantasy games, you should stick to its traditions. These days, FF titles no longer feel like Final Fantasy other than the moogles, chocobos, music remixes, and other fan tributes. So the people want more action-style RPGs? Give them those games with an original IP. Don't use Final Fantasy anymore for your experiments. You are going to lose your core audience by smudging the Final Fantasy name. Of course with original IPs, people are not going to recognize the title. That's why Square Enix wants to keep releasing new types of Final Fantasies. It's pure business. Remember that without the "Final" Fantasy back in the day, Square Enix would have been no more.

I don't like the modern Final Fantasy either. I love the traditional titles, especially FF IV, VI, and VII. But let's face it, you are going to have to stick with the older games or look for games that have traditional JRPG aspects, such as titles by Mistwalker run by the creator of Final Fantasy, Hironobu Sakaguchi (Lost Odyssey, Blue Dragon, The Last Story), Bravely Default series (very traditional RPG), Shin Megami Tensei and Persona series, Atelier series (PS2 and PS3--Atelier Iris, Atelier Rorona, Atelier Totori, etc), Ar Tonelico series (pretty much any title done by Gust Team are good), and you can try the indie game, Pier Solar, which was inspired by Lunar and FF series.
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