The Great Final Fantasy Retrospective - Let's Mosey

CriticalGaming

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Pretty sure FF7 was the first game that made me cry. And it wasn’t the infamous death scene that did it, but the game’s ending. After the long, memorable journey getting there it was just…fucking beautiful.
So I was going to save this for the Remake when I got there, but this made me want to share this now.

When I was a kid my Grandpa used to watch me play games while reading the paper or whatever. He never played with me because his hands were pretty arthritic so it was too hard for him to play. But he liked to watch. And he used to comment on story or graphics or whatever. And I remember when I played FF7 for the first time he couldn't believe the graphics, especially the cut scenes, and I remember him saying, "There is no way it's going to look better than this."

Sadly he passed before HD stuff really became a thing, he was gone by early PS3 era. But I'll never forget the first time I saw the intro cinematic in the Remake. I heard his voice say "wow" again and I lost my mind. I miss him so much.
 

Kyrian007

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?! The junction system grind is the main reason I think FF8 is one of the most flawed FF game, its the only FF game where I genuinely had to roam around an area triggering pointless battle to just sit around for 10 minute drawing magic. I think your confusing the junction system with the level scaling.

But FF grind ridiculously exagerated, you can breeze trough most of the game even if you run from most battle. I know cause that's how I beat 9 the first time, I was a dumb kid and didn't realize that Zidane Flee ability made your group run and gave you no exp, so I beat the game in the low 30 without too much trouble (turn out using all those elixir you gather during the game makes things really easy if you use them).
Because with junction and draw, you never had to roam around trying to grind random encounters to level up. You only ever had to fight each type of enemy once. Some of them not at all if you already had their spells. Spend 5 minutes drawing to full and then its on to the next area, never again engaging in a random encounter in that area ever again. FF8 is basically a FF game in a "boss rush" mode for as few random encounters as you have to deal with. Its basically FF with 98% fewer random encounters needed. You are generally going to encounter each enemy type once just walking from one objective to the next. So you can go through the game just walking from one mission objective to the next, never having to roam around at all.
 
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CriticalGaming

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Because with junction and draw, you never had to roam around trying to grind random encounters to level up. You only ever had to fight each type of enemy once. Some of them not at all if you already had their spells. Spend 5 minutes drawing to full and then its on to the next area, never again engaging in a random encounter in that area ever again. FF8 is basically a FF game in a "boss rush" mode for as few random encounters as you have to deal with. Its basically FF with 98% fewer random encounters needed. You are generally going to encounter each enemy type once just walking from one objective to the next. So you can go through the game just walking from one mission objective to the next, never having to roam around at all.
The flaw with that, is you still have to run from all the random encounters. So like even if you only care aboue the boss you have to deal with all the random encounters on the way there and running away non-stop is not fun, and killing the monsters actively hurts your progression, so no matter what the player does it's a loss. And then drawing 100 spells for every person in the party is also just a time sink and you don't even get to kill the monster at the end of all the drawing you have to run away. It's awful.
 

meiam

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Because with junction and draw, you never had to roam around trying to grind random encounters to level up. You only ever had to fight each type of enemy once. Some of them not at all if you already had their spells. Spend 5 minutes drawing to full and then its on to the next area, never again engaging in a random encounter in that area ever again. FF8 is basically a FF game in a "boss rush" mode for as few random encounters as you have to deal with. Its basically FF with 98% fewer random encounters needed. You are generally going to encounter each enemy type once just walking from one objective to the next. So you can go through the game just walking from one mission objective to the next, never having to roam around at all.
But in none of the FF game after 2 roaming to grind random encounter was necessary. Doing low level run is generally pretty easy and if you just kill the enemy you naturally encounter as you explore the world you'll pretty much always overlevel the content. I'd also much much much prefer 10 one minutes fight to 1 ten minutes fight of just selecting drawing over and over again.

And that has nothing to do with the junction system, that's just the game level scaling. Remove the junction system from 8 (and adjust all enemy stats down accordingly) and you could still just rush the boss and ignore all encounters. The junction system was just pointless busy work.
 

sXeth

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MY big critiques of FF7 would be:


1) Sephiroth actually. All that build up and such? It goes nowhere. Sephiroph was never there and did none of it, all Jenova mimics all the way down. Sephiroth's canonical appearances are getting accidentally (almost) stabbed by Cloud in the flashback and dumped in the lifestream, and sitting in an icecube while all the villainy is done by jenova-hive zombies until the last long boss fight. Its sort of amusing as an inversion of the series sometimes tendency for "giant final boss from nowhere" but he's a lame duck in FF7 itself. (Consequentally the sequels that keep trying to rehab him into someone more sinister all just read as fanwank-fiction)


2) Just an excess of padding out. Midgar/Disc 1 is cool. Cosmo Canyon, the crater dungeon, the actual story bit of Disc 3, all cool. Everything else just drags out and feels like they're trying to show off a big world that is... 95% just a flat map rendered in 3d. A lot of the side content is less interesting or story driven more then an excuse to sell strategy guides (another place where it was a tipping point in the series). Also reincarnating the "4 crystals" back into the series with "huge materia" section.


3rd would just be a plus one on the annoying minigames. Chocobo racing gets the bonus points for being an annoying multi-run lock on a good dozen other things.
 

Kyrian007

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The flaw with that, is you still have to run from all the random encounters. So like even if you only care aboue the boss you have to deal with all the random encounters on the way there and running away non-stop is not fun, and killing the monsters actively hurts your progression, so no matter what the player does it's a loss. And then drawing 100 spells for every person in the party is also just a time sink and you don't even get to kill the monster at the end of all the drawing you have to run away. It's awful.
One of the abilities you could get pretty easily was the ability to turn off random encounters. And why run away after drawing to 100? And time sink? 5 minutes so you never have to fight that type of monster again... pretty simple tradeoff. Way faster than the hundreds of random encounters necessary to level a materia up so you can cast firea instead of fire. And having to do that for every materia. With AP being doled out in single digits per fight, and hundreds or more needed to level up.
But in none of the FF game after 2 roaming to grind random encounter was necessary. Doing low level run is generally pretty easy and if you just kill the enemy you naturally encounter as you explore the world you'll pretty much always overlevel the content. I'd also much much much prefer 10 one minutes fight to 1 ten minutes fight of just selecting drawing over and over again.
And that has nothing to do with the junction system, that's just the game level scaling. Remove the junction system from 8 (and adjust all enemy stats down accordingly) and you could still just rush the boss and ignore all encounters. The junction system was just pointless busy work.
With junction, and your magic junctioned to skills... you were always guaranteed to be "overleveled" vs the scaling. Huge time saver. You could still if you wanted grind out hours and hours to level up and increase your HP. Or you could junction heal to your HP and do it in seconds. Same with every stat. It wasn't pointless, it was the easy way to be OP through the entire game. Fast too; draw spells once, junction to skill... done... None of this grinding up materia through hundreds of encounters and hours of grind just to get a spell that can heal a character all the way instead of restoring an 8th of your health.

Look, its my opinion. Based on experience, my time with the games. I don't like blundering into the next area I'm supposed to be in and finding out the monsters there can kill my entire party because I didn't wander around and kill enough slimes the area before. With draw and junction, you just had to make sure you drew to full killing the one slime... and you are always good for that next area. And when it comes down to one fight vs hundreds to ensure that. Sorry... one just takes less time, its going to get my vote.
 

hanselthecaretaker

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Because with junction and draw, you never had to roam around trying to grind random encounters to level up. You only ever had to fight each type of enemy once. Some of them not at all if you already had their spells. Spend 5 minutes drawing to full and then its on to the next area, never again engaging in a random encounter in that area ever again. FF8 is basically a FF game in a "boss rush" mode for as few random encounters as you have to deal with. Its basically FF with 98% fewer random encounters needed. You are generally going to encounter each enemy type once just walking from one objective to the next. So you can go through the game just walking from one mission objective to the next, never having to roam around at all.
Sounds like this would be right up Critical’s alley actually! :)
 
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Kyrian007

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Sounds like this would be right up Critical’s alley actually! :)
But I do get why it isn't. The characters in 8 are much more shallow, the main character in specific is pretty insufferable. Some people didn't like the visuals compared to 6 and 7, didn't bother me but that's just a matter of preference. I thought 8 had a better/more useful limit break system, but some people just thought it was easier to exploit to make you op (and to be fair... that's exactly why I liked it.) There isn't a villain that is anywhere near as interesting as Sephiroth. At least 7 "no taksies backsies" killed a party member. I could have done with that happening to at least 1 of 8's party... if not as many as 3 of them. And some people have the time and just want to put 40 to 60 hours into a game... and then feed weed to birdhorses so they screw and have a .001% chance at making a slightly better birdhorse until you breed the bestest birdhorse of them all... wark. But I just prefer the game that I can wrap up in about 8-12 hours, but COULD put 40 into if I wanted.
 

CriticalGaming

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1) Sephiroth actually. All that build up and such? It goes nowhere. Sephiroph was never there and did none of it, all Jenova mimics all the way down. Sephiroth's canonical appearances are getting accidentally (almost) stabbed by Cloud in the flashback and dumped in the lifestream, and sitting in an icecube while all the villainy is done by jenova-hive zombies until the last long boss fight. Its sort of amusing as an inversion of the series sometimes tendency for "giant final boss from nowhere" but he's a lame duck in FF7 itself. (Consequentally the sequels that keep trying to rehab him into someone more sinister all just read as fanwank-fiction)
There actually is some evidence in the OG game and then of course future media, that because Sephiroth was in the life stream living in essence through the blood of the planet. He was able to take control of Jenova and all those infused with her cells. That is why the clones continue to appear as sephiroth because he is controlling everything including Jenova herself. Then once finally defeated by the party, Cloud's memory kept his essence in-tact and allowed him to manipulate things in the world, infecting people (geostigma in Advent children). In fact Aerith has this same power, Cloud's memory of her kept her spirit together in the life stream and she moves through the life stream keeping an eye on sephiroth's essence even though she can't defeat him. This is through novels written by the original story writer of FF7 called Lifestream White and Lifestream Black.

Everything else just drags out and feels like they're trying to show off a big world that is... 95% just a flat map rendered in 3d.
I mean this is the same as every FF game up to this point and also a few more future games so....that's just par for the FF course.
 
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meiam

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One of the abilities you could get pretty easily was the ability to turn off random encounters. And why run away after drawing to 100? And time sink? 5 minutes so you never have to fight that type of monster again... pretty simple tradeoff. Way faster than the hundreds of random encounters necessary to level a materia up so you can cast firea instead of fire. And having to do that for every materia. With AP being doled out in single digits per fight, and hundreds or more needed to level up.

With junction, and your magic junctioned to skills... you were always guaranteed to be "overleveled" vs the scaling. Huge time saver. You could still if you wanted grind out hours and hours to level up and increase your HP. Or you could junction heal to your HP and do it in seconds. Same with every stat. It wasn't pointless, it was the easy way to be OP through the entire game. Fast too; draw spells once, junction to skill... done... None of this grinding up materia through hundreds of encounters and hours of grind just to get a spell that can heal a character all the way instead of restoring an 8th of your health.

Look, its my opinion. Based on experience, my time with the games. I don't like blundering into the next area I'm supposed to be in and finding out the monsters there can kill my entire party because I didn't wander around and kill enough slimes the area before. With draw and junction, you just had to make sure you drew to full killing the one slime... and you are always good for that next area. And when it comes down to one fight vs hundreds to ensure that. Sorry... one just takes less time, its going to get my vote.
But drawing magic took so long, it was way longer than just fighting enemy as you progressed. I guess maybe if you play so slowly that a regular FF fight without drawing magic take you 5+ minutes I can see your point that drawing magic save time. But in my experience its way way longer to do all the drawing BS than just do the regular fight, which tend to take a minute or less, whereas drawing 300 of every magic would take upward of 10 minutes, and you had to do that for every magic, and as the game progressed the amount of magic you obtained would go down with every draw (low level magic are maybe 5 a draw on average, high level would be maybe 2). Also if you use no encounter, how are you going to know if you're not skipping monster that do have magic you don't have? One way or another you have to fight a couple of enemy every new area. And where not even touching on the fact that the system meant you couldn't actually use magic in fight, otherwise you'd just make your character weaker.

Not to mention, has I already said, you can just skip fight and be underlevel and still clear most of the FF games easy peasy. As a whole, the FF franchise is incredibly easy, aside from a few optional super boss, grinding or even keeping up in level is completely unnecessary. As a kid who didn't really understand english and didn't know how leveling worked, I managed to clear FF4-9 all incredibly underlevel and with piss poor use of the game unique mechanic (materia, skill, junction etc.), without much trouble. In most game item are insanely overpowered and incredibly cheap, you can clear entire boss really easily by just constantly using phoenix down since you can buy 99 of them for really cheap and a character does as much damage whether they have full health or are almost dead (in a few of them being low health is actually a good thing).
 

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What they have instead is Materia. Green, Blue, Red, Yellow, and Purple, each Materia can be slotted into weapons and armor your characters have equipped and each materia will grant that character a bonus. Sometimes it's an ability like with Green, Red, and Yellow Materia, other times it enhanced your stats like with Purple materia, Or it enhances other materia you might have equipped in the Blue materia.

Each piece of equipment has a different number of slots in which you can put materia, of these slots there are two types Linked and Unlinked. Unlinked slots are easy you just drop in a materia and it does what it does nothing more. However with a linked slot you can put blue materia in with a green (and only green) materia to enhance it in some way. You can make the magic hit all enemies, you can add that magic's element to your weapon attack, or enhance the resistance to that elemental magic on that character, you can even make that character heal if they get hit with that magic type.
Did you try to experiment different characters with different materias, or did you feel the characters were more appropriate towards certain ones? Because I always felt the latter. I.E. Aerith felt like the mage of the group, so I always gave her stuff like mp plus, cure, fire, ice, W-Magic, etc. Yuffie is a nimble ninja, so I give her steal, time, throw, gil plus. Barret was the tank, Tifa was a skillful monk with counters things a fighter would do, Red XIII was the analytical tactician/support with buff and deff, and Cloud probably was my jack-of-all-trades guy.

Of course, I had to switch the materials around to match the situations, but I personally thought some characters would prefer certain types of materias
 

meiam

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Did you try to experiment different characters with different materias, or did you feel the characters were more appropriate towards certain ones? Because I always felt the latter. I.E. Aerith felt like the mage of the group, so I always gave her stuff like mp plus, cure, fire, ice, W-Magic, etc. Yuffie is a nimble ninja, so I give her steal, time, throw, gil plus. Barret was the tank, Tifa was a skillful monk with counters things a fighter would do, Red XIII was the analytical tactician/support with buff and deff, and Cloud probably was my jack-of-all-trades guy.

Of course, I had to switch the materials around to match the situations, but I personally thought some characters would prefer certain types of materias
The difference in stats between character is really small, were talking 10% at max level.

There's also only one, iirc, limit break that actually interact with materia, and only magic.
 
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CriticalGaming

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Fair enough, but why are repeated fights an issue in one but not the other?
Because the issue i have with repeated fights in ER is bosses that are repeated. Final Fantasy games almost never reuse a boss, and even when you are fighting technically the same fucking dude, the fight is drastically different with a completely different power level.

The normal scrub mobs I don't care about them being reused.