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Author Topic: FF series question  (Read 2403 times)
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EddieA
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« on: August 01, 2004, 06:18:26 AM »

Someone made this comment in the Tales of Symphonia thread, and I just to have ask -
"FFX, bah. Square lost their imagination and simple 'awe' of playing a FF game at number 6, personally. They regained some things in my eyes with FF9, but other than that, I haven't been impressed at all with a Final Fantasy title in ages."

I've heard this a hundred times, and I just don't get it.  I've played every FF game since the first one, and FFX is, IMO, so much better than FF6 or any of the other games in the series, they don't even compare.  FFX has everything that FF6 had, only everything's much, much better.  Yes, the graphics are amazing, but they're used to create a beautiful, creative, awe-inspiring world.  The Farplane is still the most amazing sight I've seen in a game, but the way it was used to underscore the losses of the people of Spira is what made it truly special.

I could understand this comment if the FF games had become some sort of Hollywood blockbuster explosion-a-minute fast-paced games, but they couldn't be farther from that.  Most of the story of FFX consists of small, intimate moments, examining things like the love, faith, family, tradition, sacrifice, and death.  FF6 certainly had some memorable characters, and that may be the only area where it can compete with FFX.  There are moments in FF6 I'll never forget, but there isn't a minute of FFX that isn't memorable.

I hope I don't sound like I'm attacking this opinion or anything, but I hear these comments so often, and I just can't for the life of me understand them.  I could understand someone not liking the FF series as a whole, but I don't see how someone could like FF6 and not like FFX.  Could someone who feels this way explain why they do?
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Tebunker
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« Reply #1 on: August 01, 2004, 12:46:45 PM »

when did you play FF6? was it back in 94/95 or so when it came out on SNES? Or was it the PSX remake. That could have an influence.

It's partly nostalgia, but for a lot of us FFX wasn't as great as you seem to remember it. I thought the characters were weak and fairly thin at best. I never felt connected to the characters or the world like I did when I played FF3/6 back then. I also felt that the story was much more interesting in 6 as well. So I never was really impressed by what went on in X, just thought that it was cool.

The way I see it, 6 set the bar for future FF games, and even when it comes to the very solid X, it really only feels like a meager extension of what was established. Sure sure, the technology is better so the graphics are pretty, but who really plays RPGS for graphics? It's the characters and story that wasn't really advanced past the rut that some fans felt Square had fallen into.

I think it's a mixture of things, but I am sure you can chalk a lot up to nostalgia, and a lot of it depends on when you played 6 for the first time.

Here's another thing, there's a pretty large contingent who still feel that 5 is the best game in the series. It's crazy how vastly different opinions get on the series.
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Fellow
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« Reply #2 on: August 01, 2004, 01:07:49 PM »

Sigh, here I had this huge scripture written, and Tebunker sneaks in, says pretty much everything I was going to. Blergh.

Anyways, I'm also going to chalk it up to nostalgia. I recently tried playing FF6 for the first time, and it's not such a shining bastion of RPG goodness some people make it out to be.

Thing of it is, because people had the change to play it back when it was first released, they had the chance to experience something that didn't exist in the market yet. Back then, you didn't have RPGs on the console with such character development, plot twists, expansive worlds, and a beautifully crafted music to accompany it all. It was a huge jump from FF4 & FF5.

I've personally accepted that there're people who vehemently state that Final Fantasy 6 is the be-all and end-all game of the series. FF6 to them is like Planescape Torment to me.

It's strange, though, that I had so much difficulty getting into FF6, when Chrono Trigger sucked me right in. Right now, out of the two, I think Chrono Trigger is the better RPG.
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Destructor
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« Reply #3 on: August 01, 2004, 02:03:46 PM »

Quote from: "Tebunker"
It's partly nostalgia, but for a lot of us FFX wasn't as great as you seem to remember it. I thought the characters were weak and fairly thin at best. I never felt connected to the characters or the world like I did when I played FF3/6 back then. I also felt that the story was much more interesting in 6 as well. So I never was really impressed by what went on in X, just thought that it was cool.

The way I see it, 6 set the bar for future FF games, and even when it comes to the very solid X, it really only feels like a meager extension of what was established. Sure sure, the technology is better so the graphics are pretty, but who really plays RPGS for graphics? It's the characters and story that wasn't really advanced past the rut that some fans felt Square had fallen into.

I have to agree with Tebunker - the general story was better back in the SNES era, and you simply cared for the characters more. In FF7, FF8 (8 especially), and FF10, I just couldn't care for the people I was guiding around the world.

Square has always focused upon the graphics from FF7 on up. Heck - remember the four different FF7 commercials? 100% CGI shown the ENTIRE time. Sure, FF7 was also known for bringing RPGs into the mainstream here in the US, but I think it was because many, many, people were fooled into thinking that the game truly looked as good as the commercials showed.

In FF9, I just cared for what happened to the cast and crew more than the others. Which is why I mentioned it in my Tales post that started this whole post. Same with 4 and 6 (or 2 and 3, depending on the numbering system you use).

Square needs to realize that graphics are not the most important thing in an RPG. It's the story the developers are trying to present, as well as the characters. If you don't fall in love with who you're playing as, it'll be really hard to follow along that character(s) life for the next 40-50 hours.
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Calvin
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« Reply #4 on: August 01, 2004, 06:23:20 PM »

FFX is fantastic. IMO, it is far and away the best of the FF series. The characters are interesting and engaging, the storyline, while convoluted and difficult to follow, is touching, meaningful, and almost....heartbreaking in an odd sort of way.

Anyways, as annoying as Tidus was at times...he became RPG family to me by the end of the game. A few months ago I restarted FFX again and got 10 hours into it and realized I still loved the game. I need to get back to it.

Now, just since I am rambling, let me throw in some FFIX thoughts. I started this one a few months ago, and playing sporadically got about 10 hours into it, and I must say, I was exceedingly impressed by what I played. My only problem is the jagged graphics.

FF7 though, and I know this is blasphemy, I can't stand. Slow, boring, pedantic, overwrought, and man do the graphics not work for me smile
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« Reply #5 on: August 01, 2004, 07:16:06 PM »

I'm with the pro-FFXers on this one. I think the general difference is that those who think the older FF games were the best may have played them back when they were released. I'm sorta-kinda youngish (20), so the first real RPG I played with half a brain was FF7, a year or so after its release. After FFX, I was told that FF6 was the best, so I went back and played it, but I couldn't stand it. Not just for the graphics, but because it seemed so..corny and unrefined. I loved the music though...a few MP3s are sitting on my comp.

   So yeah, opinions vary.
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EddieA
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« Reply #6 on: August 01, 2004, 11:28:24 PM »

"when did you play FF6? was it back in 94/95 or so when it came out on SNES? Or was it the PSX remake. That could have an influence. "

I played it back when it was released, then again about 1997 (I couldn't afford a PSOne and I need to play something slywink) and I'm playing it again now as part of the FF Anthology.  It's not as good as I remember it being, though.  The characters, although extremely well-designed, don't really get developed much.  Major things happen to them, but the amount of time spent developing the characters is much less than the later games in the series.  I think what FF6 nailed was the setup - how can you go wrong with a girl who was forced to kill learning to find a place in the world, and another who chose to be a killer trying to make peace with what she's done?  At the time, it was so much better than anything else, it made a big impact.  Personally, I feel that FFX stands out even more today, since even though there are a lot more RPGs to compare it to, it's still manages to be so much better than the others.

"Square has always focused upon the graphics from FF7 on up."
I don't think that's true at all.  The games do have great graphics, but there's a lot more time spent on character development and story than there ever was in the earlier FF games.  FF7 and FFX were obviously big leaps over the earlier games in terms of graphics, but I think they were equally big leaps in storytelling and character development, especially FFX.  Square is a big enough company that they don't have to sacrifice gameplay, story, or character development for graphics - they can do both well.

Personally, I chalk it up to nostalgia and a preference for the fantasy settings of the earlier games.  Most people who didn't care for FF7 and FF8 do like FF9, despite the fact that FF9 had much better graphics and more CGI than 7 or 8.  Maybe people couldn't get into the world or characters or FFX, but I'd say that's due more to personal preference than the quality of the game.
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« Reply #7 on: August 01, 2004, 11:44:06 PM »

Quote from: "Rage"
Now, just since I am rambling, let me throw in some FFIX thoughts. I started this one a few months ago, and playing sporadically got about 10 hours into it, and I must say, I was exceedingly impressed by what I played. My only problem is the jagged graphics.

FF7 though, and I know this is blasphemy, I can't stand. Slow, boring, pedantic, overwrought, and man do the graphics not work for me smile

Personally, I had a PS2 not too long after I bought FF9, so I played it with the enhanced loading and graphic options that the PS2 had. Made a world of difference. That, the Spyro series, and Vagrant Story were drastically improved by the enhanced PS1 options on the PS2.

It's funny - there are two camps when it comes to the Final Fantasy series. If you loved 4 and 6 (and one and five if you played them), you loved 9 and didn't like 7, 8, and 10. If you liked 7 (and think it's the next best thing to sliced cheese), you loved 8 and 10 (and the fan-service 10-2), but hated 9.

As far as FF7 goes... I liked it when it came out, but it was an overblown title by all the graphic lovers of the time. As I said before - it was the commercials that made it such a success. You couldn't watch an hour show without seeing a commercial for it. FF8 was a joke, especially when you had to draw every single spell you wanted, in addition to push buttons rapidly to make your summons that much more powerful (which was nearly a requirement).

As EddieA said though, the people who grew up with FF4 and 6 love the older games. If your first RPG was FF7, you loved the newer titles. Go figure.
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AgtFox
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« Reply #8 on: August 02, 2004, 12:41:55 AM »

Yep, Console RPG fans can be split into two chronological groups:

1. Pre-FF7
2. During and Post-FF7

Much as other people have said, #1 (which I would be a part of) will be more fond of FF 1, 4, 5, 6, 9 and FF Tactics; #2 will be more fond of FF 7, 8, 10, 10-2 and most likely the upcoming 12.

Before FF7, RPG as a genre was more of a niche market.  There were many people who went out and bought RPG games, but the sales usually wavered very little and they weren't the breakout success they were in Japan.  Chrono Trigger, even though it is very loved (including by me), did not sell at a hugely different rate than FF3 (FF6) on the SNES.

Then the Playstation came out, then Square moved to Sony exclusively.  Then the first pictures of FF7 came out, then Sony and Square created a brilliant marketing campaign for FF7 (as outlined by Tim earlier in the thread).  Both the old fans of RPGs and brand new faces in the RPG universe grabbed FF7 and has pretty much grabbed every FF since then.  Nowadays FF games sell millions.  I personally believe if it wasn't for the mass marketing Sony and Square did, FF and all console RPGs would still very much be a niche market.

Love of FF games are very divided between the old school (pre-FF7 players) and the "new school" (post-FF7 players).  I am part of the old school having played Final Fantasy since it first showed up on the NES.  I also played many other RPGs.  I still consider FF6 to be the best of the FF series and I consider FF9 to be right up there as well (do you see a trend with the "old school"?).  I liked FFX a lot and I liked FF7 quite a bit.  I wish FF8 would burn in the nearest trash heap though.  I have owned FFX-2 since it came out, yet have never played it yet (shocking!).

To this day I continue to be a Square fan and will purchase almost anything they bring out.  I will be there on the first day when games like FFXII and Kingdom Hearts 2 comes out.  Do I miss the old days of FF4 and 6?  Sure, but Square can still tell a pretty good yarn and we can't dismiss that their localization talents have become better as the FF series has gone along.  Granted, they have given more time to graphics over gameplay from the "old schooler" perspective, but FFXII is looking like a groundbreaking game that may combine the old (story, FF Tactics like combat) and new (graphics, speed) schools.  We'll just have to see.

FF7 changed the landscape of console RPGs, the genre changed after the bombshell of FF7 came out.  Many old schoolers would whine that we will never see the nirvana of FF4 or 6 again.  Then there are old schoolers like myself that will "roll with the time" and enjoy the new games for what they are: a long, beautiful and usually fun quest.

I could also go into Computer RPGs and how Baldur's Gate brought it back from the brink of extinction, but that's another story for another time.
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« Reply #9 on: August 02, 2004, 01:12:05 AM »

Before I read the last two posts on this thread, I want to state that while I enjoyed and completed FF9, I found it nearly unplayable.  On the PS1 at least, the battles were so unbearably slow that I actually stopped playing the game for about 3 months thinking I would wait to run it on a PS2.  to my knowledge, that doesn't help.  There are, it seemed, about 10 seconds of useless camera zooming at the start of each battle, and the ATB bar (PIN number, anyone?) fills so slowly for everyone that I was bored when I should have been excited.  

Aside from the design flaws, it's a great game.  Good skills system.  Great unorthodox story twists.  And the last disk (and last segment of the third disk) remain one of my favorite sequences to date in any RPG.  I just wish it were more playable.
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« Reply #10 on: August 02, 2004, 01:15:43 AM »

Also, Loren: play FFX-2.  You'll find yourself wishing it had the skill system of FF9, but otherwise it's a great game and superb complement to FFX.  Make the time.  

Good thing: It can be played in discrete chunks pretty easily.
Bad thing: The main story end sequence is kind of underwhelming for veterans of Final Fantasy Powerleveling.
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EddieA
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« Reply #11 on: August 02, 2004, 04:18:23 AM »

I thought I was the only person around here who likes FFX-2 slywink  It has one of the few battle systems I never got tired of playing.
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aledromo
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« Reply #12 on: August 02, 2004, 04:25:03 AM »

I thought it was great.  I also appreciated that there was freedom in a Final Fantasy story, however limited, for the first time really since FF6.  Chain timing in battles never got old for me, either.  I keep meaning to go for the perfect ending one of these days...

Cat Nip kind of breaks the game a bit, but so did Knights of the Round or Omnislash or Offering or Ultima any of the superitems that have historically always been available in these games.
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« Reply #13 on: August 02, 2004, 12:41:04 PM »

I must be the black sheep here.  I have been playing all manner of games since the early 1980s, and I have never been able to stand the Final Fantasy games.  I hear about how wonderful they are, and I try to play every single one of them, but I always end up disappointed.  (Actually, I haven't tried FF XI)

Maybe I need help... you see, I really WANT to like them.  I keep giving them a chance, over and over again, but I just cannot bring myself to play them all of the way through, or even 50% of the way.
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aledromo
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« Reply #14 on: August 02, 2004, 12:53:56 PM »

You sound like me with Prince of Persia.  Just chalk it up to differences in tastes and move on.  I know I'll never understand it, so I try not to think about it.
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AgtFox
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« Reply #15 on: August 02, 2004, 01:30:38 PM »

Quote from: "Balshazaar"
Maybe I need help... you see, I really WANT to like them.  I keep giving them a chance, over and over again, but I just cannot bring myself to play them all of the way through, or even 50% of the way.

Here's another of my theories.  RPG fans are, for the most part, divided between two groups:

1. Console RPG fans (Japanese-centric mostly)
2. Computer RPG fans (North American-centric mostly)

There are people who like both, but there are also many stringent fans of only one of the above.  For instance, I would pick a Console RPG over a Computer RPG almost any day of the week.  However I have played many Computer RPG games (Ultima series and Planescape Torment are the high points for me), but I find Console RPGs to be far more engaging to me.  I don't know why, they just do.

Anyway, back to the point.  Can I ask if you enjoy Computer RPGs over Console RPGs?
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Balshazaar
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« Reply #16 on: August 02, 2004, 01:41:49 PM »

I do, for the most part, and one of the main reasons is...   [insert drum roll] ...you can save anywhere!!  What a novel idea...   There is nothing that I hate more than playing 2 hours of a game to die before finding a save point.
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AgtFox
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« Reply #17 on: August 02, 2004, 01:45:50 PM »

Glad to see my theory is supported biggrin
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EddieA
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« Reply #18 on: August 03, 2004, 02:39:19 AM »

I guess I'm easy to please - I like both old and new-school console RPGs, and computer RPGs.  I much prefer console RPGs, but I think the future holds a lot of promise for hybrids like KoTOR.
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