A Fantasy Shatterred- My Experince with the Final Fantasy Series

Chaos Isaac

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Don't let anyone trick you into thinking Final Fantasy 4 is good. It's boring, kinda tedious, and filled with so much deus ex machina you'd think it was written by a child.

Also, then is not a good game for the characters and plot. Nine, Seven, and a few others are better for that, but even then they have their own drawbacks that make it difficult to finish.
 

Elvis Starburst

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I wanted to like the series myself, but I haven't had amazing experiences. I started out with the Crystal Chronicles games oddly enough. Kinda cool, I had fun, but Ring of Fates was 100 times better with its characters and story telling than Echoes of Time. Then came 14- A Realm Reborn. Cool game, loved the controller gameplay on an MMO, but I skipped so much of the story. I didn't care (Cause I don't tend to care bout the story in MMO games).

I realized I never really got into a FF game that was well known as AMAZING (Save for 14's remake), so I snatched up FF 9 on the PSN not too long ago. I played it a bunch, and I like the characters, art style, story telling, etc. I HATED how the random encounter rate was so high (I got into combat 2 seconds after my last battle once. Fuck's sake man >.>). By disc 3, I realized I wasn't really having much fun.

The encounter rate, long battles, bullshit enemies (Antlion and his move Sandstorm can fuck right off), having all of my attack bars cluttering up and making it tough to determine who was doing what at what time... Ok, most of my issues were the combat type. But that didn't change how I wasn't having a whole lot of fun. So, I dropped it. I didn't want to, but I got Shovel Knight right after and was having fun right out of the gates. Faster than FF 9 ever did. I haven't really looked back.

I plan to try FF 10, but I'm still unsure about how I feel. I don't think this game series is for me. Or at the very least, I don't think its main titles are for me. I still wanna try FF 3 (6 in Japan). I have high hopes for that one at the very least.
 

ChristopherT

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Sep 9, 2010
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Just so there's some love, Final Fantasy 8 is my favorite Final Fantasy game, and I find 13-2 to be a pretty decent game over all and a vast improvement over 13. That being said, 13-2 really not a great game to measure the series with, as it is rather different, same with 13. 10's more in line with the others, just lacking over world exploration and lacking being able to fly a damn airship.

OP, it sounds like you may enjoy 12, but I'm not positive.

Personally I think the core Final Fantasy experience can be found with the SNES and Playstation titles. 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, and Tactics. I think choosing two or three from those gives the best idea of what Final Fantasy has been. From the dawn of the ATB gauge, refinement of the Job system, The era of customizable character stats, from 2D to 3D, to 7 bringing cut scenes into the series.

I'd say story wise, I think 9 starts out with the strongest story, not to say it drops it, just I think those first few hours are a good measure whether you'd like the rest of it. 4's is a pretty solid classic redemption story. I think 5 is a little on the weaker side, story wise - gameplay wise it may be the best job class system in the series.

Then there's 8, I wouldn't recommend 8 for it's story, without strong cautions(which that word doesn't have an "S" in the middle of it, why did I just spend two minutes trying to type cautions with an "S" in the middle?). Final Fantasy 8, from the opinion of some who adores the game, is, at times odd, crazy, senseless, and "WHAT?!" inducing. Ignoring gameplay for a moment and looking at the story, some spoilers, spoilers -> with paraphrasing .

Squall - Missiles are coming for the school!
Everyone Else - Do Something Squall!
Squall - Like What? Why Me?
Everyone Else - I don't know, something, you're in charge!
Squall - I don't wanna be in charge! I just graduated last week, why the hell am I in charge?
Everyone Else - The school used to be a shelter or something, go to the basement!
Squall - Fine!

Squall goes to the basement, pushes a button, the entire school lifts off from the ground, flies into the air, and moves out of the way of the incoming missiles. Smooth landing into the sea, and drifts the ocean blue. And I love it.

Brief micro special things that happen that fill me with joy

There is a Dance Scene, a dance scene that may be summed as a Dance Off
Zell, a hyper active who wants to touch your sword, because your sword is cool, because your sword is also a gun
Also, the hotdogs. The hotdogs at school are awesome, but they always run out
Delusions of White Knight hood, fighting off evil villains
Orphans!
Dog Cannon, a dog that fires off your arm like a cannon, also, gives you wings
Squall's teacher comes onto him
Squall's teacher has groupies, and all they do is gush about her
Seifer has groupies, and all they do is follow him around, direct, no excuses, no BS, they follow him, cause it's what they do
We're going to die, I was put on this team to die because Squall doesn't like me
Wah! We're in prison! Don't worry in my dreams, where I see the past, I was a janitor here, I can lead us out!
The End of Disc 1 is fun cut scene
 

Arqus_Zed

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Aug 12, 2009
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Alright, so, OP, you might have realized that there are a lot of different opinions here.

People claiming FF VII sucks, others saying it is still the best game ever. One guy saying you should play FF IV, the other one saying it's boring and stupid. Some saying the series only became good after they went 3D, others saying you should stick to the 2D games.

What you should take away from this, is that Final Fantasy is a series that isn't afraid to try new things, changing almost everything from one game to another. It might be that after a few tries you'll finally find a Final Fantasy you like, or it might be that the series just isn't your cup of tea.

My two cents? I'm also one of those guys who simply loves Final Fantasy IX to death. I personally find the CG-cutscenes to be amazing, the environments downright enchanting, the soundtrack solid, the characters engaging (with some very strong female members and ever endearing Vivi) and the load-out system both functional and easy to use (which wasn't so much the case in FF VII and FF VIII). The story itself starts out like a simple fairytale but ends up smashing all cliches as it goes on (and as far as FF games go, it's probably one of the most coherent plots). However, if you're not looking through the glasses of nostalgia, I can imaging the low resolution hurting your eyes now and then.
 

Maximum Bert

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Feb 3, 2013
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Sounds like you had to high aspirations as someone who has completed all the non MMO numbered titles up to and including XIII (near the end in XIII-2 not sure I will bother finishing). I can tell you the series swings wildly in quality and in the direction it takes some will love VI others VII others IX or X or IV. The best part about my personal top rated FF games being VII,VI,IV and X were the characters the story was after that along with the combat in all but IVs case. With hindsight I can say the only ones that made me think this were awesome were the ones I had mentioned all the others I wish I had not bothered with i.e II(especially) or could have taken or left them.

None of the games have an amazing intricate story if you want that it may be cliched but read a book or a visual novel my personal favourite story is VII its simple but well told imo and has a few surprises.

If you think Xs story is to weird though then I dont know what you think about a lot of other games stories Xs is pretty tame as far as weirdness goes in compared to a lot of them.
 

x EvilErmine x

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Apr 5, 2010
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Everyone who's played Final Fantasy games has a different opinion on which one is the best. A lot of the arguments for or against a particular entry are based on personal opinion. No to mention the fact that the games are usually not the same mechanically so people tend to pick their favorite battle system. So really the best advice I can give is to play as meany as you can and make up your own mind. Go into each one as if it's a totally new game and not a sequel.

Personally my favorite ones are:

FF8 - First one I played.

FF7 - Interesting world I thought.

FF12 - This one is hatted by meany people but i rate it as one of the best.

FF13 - I liked it, it's not the best story but it sure is good looking and the soundtrack is amazing.
 

Cat Cloud

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Aug 12, 2010
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A lot of people here seem to be responding to the gameplay, but you seem more concerned with the story. It sounds like you started playing the games with very high expectations. Personally I can relate to this because my friends lured me in to FF with promises of amazing stores, but I've never been able to stay long. 3's the only one I've completed, although I own 4,6,7,9,and 10. Honestly the grind just gets me and the story (while good, esp in 9) isn't always exactly mind-blowing. But like you I am coming into the game late, and I think part of the nostalgia is playing the games growing up and comparing them to other (less interesting story-wise) games at the time.

I agree that they never really do seem to take full advantage of the atmosphere and world of the game. Part of this problem might be the fact that the games are mostly turn-based RPGs rather than action based RPGs (unlike the other games you mentioned).

That being said the games are Japanese and do take from Japanese pop culture rather heavily. They have slightly different common stereotypes/tropes and ways of expressing them through their story. If you pretty much only have been exposed to western stores and stereotypes/tropes as an effect, FF's stories, especially more recent ones, can be a strange and somewhat jarring experience.

Honestly I do think that some of the games have good stories. I haven't completed most of them, but there's potential. It just depends on what you think a good story is and your expectations (it seems like yours were sky high, and it is a lot harder to live up to such high expectations). FF's stories focus on a group of people traveling together who eventually face the destruction of whatever planet they are on. They generally take common character tropes and manage to tweak the story around them to make them interesting. They don't always accomplish this, of course, depending on how fine your definition of "original" and "interesting" are. Personally I think if you go into the games expecting the stereotypical group of heroes saves the day story then you might be surprised. You have been disillusioned already, maybe you could try some other Japanese games/stories first before picking up FF again. If you are willing to invest the time, that is.
 

RJ 17

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The Almighty Aardvark said:
Although I have to ask, what's so bad about War of the Lions? I've only played that version and could have sworn it was just a remastered port of the original for the PSP
To be honest I've never played War of the Lions, but from what I've heard it's not as good as the original version for some reason. :p

Edit: In looking through some of the other responses, it seems a couple other people have given you your answer. :p
 

elvor0

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Roken Ado said:
It's so weird. And Yuna, wow... she's hell bent on marrying that weird haired Seymour and why I don't know. The first time Tidus saves her but then again, after being kidnapped, she shows up in a wedding gown just to send Seymour (who is supposed to be dead) with a ritual. Tidus and the lot come to save her, defeat all the soldiers, and get surrounded, lol. Then she marries Seymour and jumps from a building to save Tidus. Well, she could have jumped before marrying Seymour in the first place! Then Rikku throws a flasbang and they all escape. Well, she could've thrown it before Yuna got married! That's when i decided to take a break. I didn't rage quit, I got wiereded out. Those cutscenes, dialogues, the plot, all of them got built up to that momment.
First of all, it'll never live up to your expectations if you've been internally hyping it up for 10 years. Especially not if you completely imagine everything to be your "dream game", when basically all you've seen is cutscenes.

Secondly, FF13 and it's shoot offs are considered by far an away the worst in the series, and terrible games on their own merits. And not even on a "I don't like that" kind of style, I could give you an objective list of bad narrative and mechanic problems that game has that not even fans of the game could like (they do exist but are few and far between). I know the FF series is heralded as a groundbreaking series of games, but it doesn't hurt to do some research before you buy something. EVERY time FF13 is bought up, people will uniformly grab pitchforks to fend it off.

Thirdly, Lulus grumpy, because her husband died, quite horribly, reasonably recently, Spira isn't a very nice world to live in anyway. She tells you this quite early on in the story.

Fourthly, it's a japanese game, wierd and crazy is not that surprising, the animations for voice acting are for the original japanese dub, hence them not matching up at all, just and ignore. Animations otherwise are perfectly fine, Yunas voice acting is all over the joint, I find everyone elses okay, but obviously your milage may vary there.

Fithly! No offense dude, but you clearly wern't paying attention to the lead up and events of the wedding scene. Yuna goes in an attempt to send Seymour, she kind of has to because she's being forced. If she'd jumped, they would've shot the rest of the party, her causing the distraction allowed Rikku to throw the flashbang in the first place. The game has explained to you why Seymour is still running around after being killed. It's something that has had precident in the game since Killika.

Otherwise, what's wrong the plot? There is more to the main plot than you know at this point, but otherwise, the plot isn't that insane, Summoners go to fight Sin in an attempt to bring the world peace. The guardians protect her on the pilgrimage. If you were paying attention, you'd see the world is no less or more believable than worlds such as Mass Effect or Dragon Age.

Lastly! Aside from the diehards, nobody hypes any Final Fantasy as the best game ever, even the fans will freely admit that each of the games have flaws (Cept 9, which was a gold studded masterpiece from start to finish), one of them usually gets labelled as ONE of the best JRPGs ever, but never THE best. If anything, the people that shout loudest are the haters, rather than the fans, who usually only pop up to defend it from unreasonable expectations or hatred. And on that point, obviously it's disheartening to have it not live up to expectations here, but part of it can fall on you, one for not doing the research and buying FF13, secondly for building up and believing your own hype.

Never believe the hype.
 

Majinash

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The Almighty Aardvark said:
RJ 17 said:
FFTactics: The original one, at least, all the way back on the PS1 (so not this War of the Lions bs). You want an epic story? Pick this one. This is the game that inspired me to become a creative writer. It's a spin-off from the series with a VASTLY different format than any of the other games, however if you ask me it's got the best story of any game with the words "Final Fantasy" in the title. This is easily my favorite title in the series.
I came here to mention this game. I was actually shocked with how much I liked its writing, in my opinion it completely blows the other Final Fantasy games out of the water in that regard. It's a pretty decent tactics game too, and while there was some parts where the difficulty absolutely spiked (Save a LOT), I really enjoyed playing it.

Although I have to ask, what's so bad about War of the Lions? I've only played that version and could have sworn it was just a remastered port of the original for the PSP
I'm going to this up as there seems to be a lot of misunderstandings about WoTL. The port to the PSP was a FULL retranslation, trying to make it seem more like it is set hundreds of years ago. They got rid of the famous "EAAAGH" from Dortor.

It added 2 new classes. It also added 2 new party members, Balthier from FFXII and Luso from... FFT advanced? Balthier is stupid OP.

It also added multiplayer. I've never played the multiplayer but it is the only way to get the Genji gear in WOTL as you can no longer steal it from one of the bosses. Also the only way to get Onion Knight gear is from multiplayer.

Also added a few new battles related to Reis, a new event related to Agrias, ect. The game also has a few new Cell shaded cutscenes that replaced old cutscenes (grass whistle scene) and some normal cutscenes that were added to explain a few things we missed.

Also a few spots where you get to play as Delita later in the game. Rapaha and Malak were buffed, Reis was buffed. Weigraf was nerfed. A few bugs fixed (oil condition did nothing, the JP glitch was fixed I believe)

In the PSP version there is SLOWDOWN with ability use. You will notice this if you look carefully because the sound does not slow down. So the sound for say, Judgment Blade will play at normal speed, but the animation is slowed down, so the sound normally ends half a second before the visual. I hear there is a patch for the PSP version (fanmade?) that fixes this. There is NO PATCH for the PSvita version.

The iPhone version fixed this, and all the animations actually play TOO FAST. The sounds play fast too, so they actually match this time, so you might find it as an improvement. I loved the iPhone version except for the touchscreen controls.


I may have left a few changes out, but really WoTL is (except for the slowdown) by far the better version.

Source: I own the PS1 version (x2), PSP version, iPhone version and PSVita version.
 

goldenblack

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Played through all the "core" FF titles other than 2, 3, and the MMOs; FF 4 was one of the first games I ever beat actually. Much of the series' prestige comes simply from its age, due to nostalgia and the RPG alternatives then available (especially outside Japan). RPGs were a niche market that Square had a stranglehold of until the PS1 era, and even then, they were the ones who popularized and expanded the market with FF 7 and their focus on then ground breaking visuals. Square basically got to define the genre up until around the new millennium, and FF was their flagship brand. That said, much as I love(d) the series, it simply doesn't hold up as well today if you're entering it fresh. The SNES games were remarkable then for their expansive worlds, characterization, epic stories, etc., but that was back when cartridge memory constraints limited things as simple as text length, and when your options for a non-Square RPG (especially with narratives) were few. The old FF games are still good, but taken on their own merits, they don't stand out near as much given the shear breadth of options today, much less technology differences.

Anyway, as to the individual games themselves.... I think FF X is overall one of the better games in the series, but yeah, it's not due to the characters. Tidus is really annoying for much of the game, Yuna's fatalism is also frustrating, the rest of the crew are pretty two-dimensional, and the very mediocre voice-acting often makes them worse. Many of the negative aspects are appropriate and realistic given the character's background, but still can make them difficult to suffer at times. Seymour pretty much just sucks; generic bishie thrown in to serve as a rival since the game doesn't have a conventional big bad. I do think the lore of Spira and story premise are both pretty good, and the character development of and relationship between Tidus and Yuna is actually some of the best work in the series, but the story as a whole has plenty of nits to pick.

IMO, 6, 9, or Tactics would be your best bet to look to next. Gun to my head, I'd probably say 9 is my favorite of the series; just a really, really well done JRPG, and one of only two that I regularly go back for a playthrough of every few years. The party is the best in the series IMO. Zidane and Garnet are both likable leads from the start with good development, but also ended up really enjoying Vivi and Steiner's own stories and characters, plus Quina is always amusing. The story itself strikes a great balance between whimsy and maturity, and for me the primary antagonist is by far the best in the series. OST is a strong contender for Uematsu's best, which is saying something. The only gripe I can come up with is that it is a bit grindy. 6 is fantastic itself too though (my fears of the people behind the XIII garbage ruining it aside, why hell is there never-ending clamor for a 7 remake, and an actually been done 4 remake, yet no call for seeing this masterpiece realized free from cartridge constraints?). Not usually a big tactical RPG fan, but Tactics had one of the few systems that didn't completely burn me out midway through, and one of the best stories among any game (only other JRPG story I'd put on its level is Xenogears).