The Great Final Fantasy Retrospective - Let's Mosey

Drathnoxis

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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).
For what it's worth, the speedrun record is about 2 hours shorter for FF7 than FF8.


It's interesting how that works sometimes. Like if you compare the JP Rhythm Heaven to the English localization, the JP lines are way more generic but by having to confine their word choices to fit to the rythm of the songs, the English versions have a lot more individual character to them. Like how, "Woah, you go big guy!" would have just been, "Woah, amazing!" if translated more directly.
They also sound really stilted and awkward. English translations of Japanese songs tend to sound like the singer is rushing to try and fit longer English words into the same space that shorter Japanese ones would be.


Rhythm Heaven Fever is the only game I've ever played in untranslated Japanese.

Go-Home-Drunk-Guys-You-Are-Drunk-Funny-Meme-Photo-For-Facebook.jpg
To be frank, by the looks of them I'd say they already are home.

Now I have to split this post due to word count.
There's no way you hit the word cap. Look, I'll post the whole thing.

So it's time. I don't even really know how to approach this game for this retrospective. Like how can I objectively talk about my favorite game of all time? How can I really put a critical (ha) lens on it? I guess the answer is, that I simply can't so you will have to take the following wall of text with the knowledge that to me it's the best game ever made......actually maybe? I don't know. Here we go.

Final Fantasy VII:

Final Fantasy games for a long time have always had this touch of science fiction within them. As far back as the first game there were warmech's to fight and robots and various types of ships or submarines or space ships or all three. But all that sci-fi has been sprinkled into a very fantasy setting which makes sense because of the name of the series.

Final Fantasy 7 hits different immediately as the opening shows a huge city sprawled out before the player. The cinematic focuses on a girl whom we don't yet know and pulls back to an aerial view of the entire city of Midgar with a big imposing tower in the center. It's semi-futuristic, it's industrial, it's very different from any FF games setting yet even as the camera pulls in to a train pulling into a station you get the feeling of the modern touch to all of this. The guards have guns, the big black dude who's apparently you're ally has a gun for an arm. Yet you....Ex-Soldier, have a big fucking sword.

This was my first FF game back in the day and the image of the first battle didn't click with me that the guards im fighting are shooting me with machine guns, and i just have a sword, it's a big sword, but it's just a sword so I shouldn't win this fight. But after playing through 6 games and coming into this one it stands out a bit to me.

Final Fantasy 7 wasn't just my first Final Fantasy game, this was my first RPG game. Never had I played games with exp, level ups, or anything like that. I was used to Crash Bandicoots, Metal Gears, Marios, things like that. I still remember my first thought when I got into the very first fight in FF7, "Oh this is one of those stupid menu games." Meaning you just picked options on a menu and watched things happen. This was nothing like Street Fighter or Streets of Rage where you were an active part of the gameplay. But since I was a kid and didn't have money to go get another game I kept playing, needless to say I got over the "menu game" thing pretty fucking quick.

I think what grabbed me about the game first was all the story. I had played games with story before but it was usually just a few lines of text before going through entire levels of gameplay before getting anymore out of the story and it wasn't good story either. But here in FF7, the characters talked all the time, after almost every battle and sometimes even during there would be dialog, story, the characters felt real in a way no other video game characters had felt before.

So everyone knows how this plays out right? You are part of a terrorist group called AVALANCHE in all caps because reasons, and you are battling against an evil electric company because the fuel they use to power the city is the life essence of the planet itself called Mako. What was so captivating about this game for me was not the environmental message, I was a bit young to really get it, I just thought it was a planet saving quest like any number of other save the world adventures before it. But what was really interesting was like the obvious set up for the game. It was three discs at the time and there are eight reactors in Midgar, so I remember thinking, "ok so there's probably only a few reactors per disc and then the final disc will be attacking the tower directly. FF7 does a really good job keeping the scope of the story small, Midgar is where you are and that's the only thing that matters. There is very little about the world beyond Midgar at any point during Midgar, some references to the promised land and the Gold Saucer but nothing that directly suggests the game is much bigger than you think.

But at the second reactor things go wrong, the president of Shinra shows up to taunt the party and uses a new prototype weapon to fight you. The best boss theme music plays for the first time and you battle a very easy robot because back attacks are broken. The robot explodes and Cloud falls to his death. Welp, game over then, guess the game is short than I thought. What are the other two discs for?

Wait he lived? Unharmed!? Oh right flowers, yeah I guess you could fall from a skyscraper into a pile of flowers and be okay, that makes sense. So from terrorist to body guard, why is Shrina after a flower girl? Three hours into the game and it expertly begins to build up the world and that there is more going on with Shrina and even the people you befriend than you would expect.

If I could say one thing that FF7 does absolutely brillantly, better than any game in the series, is the build up. From the world outside Midgar, to the big villain Sephiroth, they do a fantastic job building up these characters and these elements of the story better than ANY entry in the series. Nobody is teased and built with such ominous effect as Sephiroth. During Midgar Sephiroth is a legend, also a soldier like CLoud but better than any Soldier anyone has ever seen. There is no indication that he is the bad guy or where he is now or anything. It's really great but is greater by what happens when the party storms Shinra's tower.

Turns out we storm Shrina HQ much faster than I ever thought, Aeris (it was Aeris in the original PS1 version) is taken by Shrina, AVALANCHE's home sector is brought down and the only choice left is to take the fight direct to the boss himself and get Aeris back. The invasion doesn't go super well, as the party is captured and thrown in jail. At least we're thrown in the cell next to Aeris, that's cool, saves us the trouble of finding her when we break out of this joint.....as soon as we figure out how.....

Oh never mind the door is open, wait why is there blood everywhere, why are all the guards dead? Where is the alien thing in the tank? Let's go ask the president....oh he is dead with...a....big....sword....impaled....into his back. Sephiroth? But wait? Why would he help us? Where even is he?

Well the Vice President shows up, and Shinra guards aren't too happy with us murdering the President so we are chased out of town and....then the game shifts dramatically. Cloud knows that is Sephiroth is alive and doing shit, then it's not gonna be good shit and he has to chase him down to stop him. So we go from focusing on Shinra and Midgar to chasing Sephiroth across the world. It's a huge focus shift that blew my mind and it was still disc 1!? Holy fuck how big is this game!?

That's just a brief overview right. The funny thing about FF7 is that I think it has the most lore and deepest story layers than any other Final Fantasy game. Truly I think this is the peak of Final Fantasy story telling. No other game has a world this built, this fleshed out, this deep even down to the tiny subconscious motivations of each character.

Now I have to split this post due to word count.


PART 2

The Gameplay of FF7 is interesting. I think this is where the Final Fantasy games really start to try to invent new battle mechanics with each game to make the gameplay unique and more customizable. In Final Fantasy 7 the characters aren't really unique in battle, beyond stats making them slightly better at melee or magical combat. There is a range system where you can move characters to the front or back row but like in previous games this is pretty ignorable. Unlike in 6 where some characters had special commands like Tech and Blitz. Nobody in FF7 has anything like that.

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.

What is really good about the Materia system is it allows for a crazy level of customization, on top of also allowing for a crazy level of combos and interactions that can make you extremely powerful to the point were you can't lose the game ever for any reason. It's an easy to understand system that isn't super complex to break but does require a decent level of thought to put things together in ways that break the game. And even if you don't want to break the game, it's at least easy to make sure you are strong enough to beat the game.

I don't think anyone would say FF7 is hard by any stretch. But it doesn't have to be, it simply let's itself be fun.

Top that off with a shitload of mini games thanks to....I dunno drugs at Squaresoft at the time. I dunno. But I can't fathom why they felt like it was so needed to make a bunch of mini games, and I'm not even talking about the Gold Saucer, at least there it makes sense. There are other mini games everywhere through out, from dropping barrels on dudes chasing Aeris to giving a little girl CPR, fucking snowboarding with the worse controls ever made. As much as I love the game itself, the mini games are almost without exception, terrible. Maybe the motorcycle game is already and the battle arena but that's just because it's battling with RNG debuffs. Oh and Chocobo Breeding/racing is great if a little tedious but hey you get the most power Materia in the game for doing it so, it has the best payoff of any mini game in the game.

One thing FF7 does really well with the gameplay is that it's spread of materia is fantastic. Every new location has a new cool materia to find, topped with a great variety of equipment that you can combine to making leveling materia easier.

Beyond all that, FF7 continues to use the ATB-turn based battle system seen since FF4 and it works just as good here as in those games.

BACK TO STORY:

After leaving Midgar you head to the first town Kalm where Cloud tells a story about why Sephiroth is a danger. He showcases Sephiroth's power and what's really cool about this part is that it's a playable flashback where you get Sephiroth in your party! You can't control him but he appears in random battles and everytime he just immediately fucks up everything and anything on screen. It shows his power incredibly well and leaves that impression in the players mind that this dude is the real deal. What's really smart about it too is that Sephiroth will use magics that the party will eventually get like Fire 3, Ice 3, etc etc, it also showcases a benchmark of where you can go as the player.

Anyway Sephiroth learns during this adventure that he is a half-breed with an alien creature called Jenova that Shrina has been expiramenting with. Using alien DNA to create super soldiers in a program called Soldier. Which means it's not just Mako that makes the Soldiers so good, it's alien juice. Again there are levels to this lore that get really really deep.

The thing about FF7 is that a lot of people dismiss it's lore as something that Square built up because FF7 was the most popular game in the series and they make excuses as to why other FF title's don't have that same detail. But the problem with that argument is this lore is all straight from the original game. Meaning it was in place way before FF7 became the best selling biggest FF game ever. It's because of how fleshed out the world is, and how deep the rabbit hole goes, as how they've managed to make a FF7 cinematic universe out of it basically.

I wont regail you with the entire lore, nor the entire story of the game. Because it's far too long. But I've played this game well over 50 times start to finish now, and I enjoy it every single time. I've platinumed the game, dated Barret, Yuffie, Aeris, and Tifa (the most). There isn't anything in this game I've not done except speedrun it because I don't want to skip the story and stuff when I go to play it.

Final Fantasy 7 is the best Final Fantasy game imo hands down, it brings more customization, fun battles, deep lore, than any game in the series....oh and best villian. However I do think other games have better individual characters. Yuna and Wakka are both better than anyone in 7 tbh.

It's definitely better than 8......oh god......So it's time. I don't even really know how to approach this game for this retrospective. Like how can I objectively talk about my favorite game of all time? How can I really put a critical (ha) lens on it? I guess the answer is, that I simply can't so you will have to take the following wall of text with the knowledge that to me it's the best game ever made......actually maybe? I don't know. Here we go.

Final Fantasy VII:

Final Fantasy games for a long time have always had this touch of science fiction within them. As far back as the first game there were warmech's to fight and robots and various types of ships or submarines or space ships or all three. But all that sci-fi has been sprinkled into a very fantasy setting which makes sense because of the name of the series.

Final Fantasy 7 hits different immediately as the opening shows a huge city sprawled out before the player. The cinematic focuses on a girl whom we don't yet know and pulls back to an aerial view of the entire city of Midgar with a big imposing tower in the center. It's semi-futuristic, it's industrial, it's very different from any FF games setting yet even as the camera pulls in to a train pulling into a station you get the feeling of the modern touch to all of this. The guards have guns, the big black dude who's apparently you're ally has a gun for an arm. Yet you....Ex-Soldier, have a big fucking sword.

This was my first FF game back in the day and the image of the first battle didn't click with me that the guards im fighting are shooting me with machine guns, and i just have a sword, it's a big sword, but it's just a sword so I shouldn't win this fight. But after playing through 6 games and coming into this one it stands out a bit to me.

Final Fantasy 7 wasn't just my first Final Fantasy game, this was my first RPG game. Never had I played games with exp, level ups, or anything like that. I was used to Crash Bandicoots, Metal Gears, Marios, things like that. I still remember my first thought when I got into the very first fight in FF7, "Oh this is one of those stupid menu games." Meaning you just picked options on a menu and watched things happen. This was nothing like Street Fighter or Streets of Rage where you were an active part of the gameplay. But since I was a kid and didn't have money to go get another game I kept playing, needless to say I got over the "menu game" thing pretty fucking quick.

I think what grabbed me about the game first was all the story. I had played games with story before but it was usually just a few lines of text before going through entire levels of gameplay before getting anymore out of the story and it wasn't good story either. But here in FF7, the characters talked all the time, after almost every battle and sometimes even during there would be dialog, story, the characters felt real in a way no other video game characters had felt before.

So everyone knows how this plays out right? You are part of a terrorist group called AVALANCHE in all caps because reasons, and you are battling against an evil electric company because the fuel they use to power the city is the life essence of the planet itself called Mako. What was so captivating about this game for me was not the environmental message, I was a bit young to really get it, I just thought it was a planet saving quest like any number of other save the world adventures before it. But what was really interesting was like the obvious set up for the game. It was three discs at the time and there are eight reactors in Midgar, so I remember thinking, "ok so there's probably only a few reactors per disc and then the final disc will be attacking the tower directly. FF7 does a really good job keeping the scope of the story small, Midgar is where you are and that's the only thing that matters. There is very little about the world beyond Midgar at any point during Midgar, some references to the promised land and the Gold Saucer but nothing that directly suggests the game is much bigger than you think.

But at the second reactor things go wrong, the president of Shinra shows up to taunt the party and uses a new prototype weapon to fight you. The best boss theme music plays for the first time and you battle a very easy robot because back attacks are broken. The robot explodes and Cloud falls to his death. Welp, game over then, guess the game is short than I thought. What are the other two discs for?

Wait he lived? Unharmed!? Oh right flowers, yeah I guess you could fall from a skyscraper into a pile of flowers and be okay, that makes sense. So from terrorist to body guard, why is Shrina after a flower girl? Three hours into the game and it expertly begins to build up the world and that there is more going on with Shrina and even the people you befriend than you would expect.

If I could say one thing that FF7 does absolutely brillantly, better than any game in the series, is the build up. From the world outside Midgar, to the big villain Sephiroth, they do a fantastic job building up these characters and these elements of the story better than ANY entry in the series. Nobody is teased and built with such ominous effect as Sephiroth. During Midgar Sephiroth is a legend, also a soldier like CLoud but better than any Soldier anyone has ever seen. There is no indication that he is the bad guy or where he is now or anything. It's really great but is greater by what happens when the party storms Shinra's tower.

Turns out we storm Shrina HQ much faster than I ever thought, Aeris (it was Aeris in the original PS1 version) is taken by Shrina, AVALANCHE's home sector is brought down and the only choice left is to take the fight direct to the boss himself and get Aeris back. The invasion doesn't go super well, as the party is captured and thrown in jail. At least we're thrown in the cell next to Aeris, that's cool, saves us the trouble of finding her when we break out of this joint.....as soon as we figure out how.....

Oh never mind the door is open, wait why is there blood everywhere, why are all the guards dead? Where is the alien thing in the tank? Let's go ask the president....oh he is dead with...a....big....sword....impaled....into his back. Sephiroth? But wait? Why would he help us? Where even is he?

Well the Vice President shows up, and Shinra guards aren't too happy with us murdering the President so we are chased out of town and....then the game shifts dramatically. Cloud knows that is Sephiroth is alive and doing shit, then it's not gonna be good shit and he has to chase him down to stop him. So we go from focusing on Shinra and Midgar to chasing Sephiroth across the world. It's a huge focus shift that blew my mind and it was still disc 1!? Holy fuck how big is this game!?

That's just a brief overview right. The funny thing about FF7 is that I think it has the most lore and deepest story layers than any other Final Fantasy game. Truly I think this is the peak of Final Fantasy story telling. No other game has a world this built, this fleshed out, this deep even down to the tiny subconscious motivations of each character.

Now I have to split this post due to word count.


PART 2

The Gameplay of FF7 is interesting. I think this is where the Final Fantasy games really start to try to invent new battle mechanics with each game to make the gameplay unique and more customizable. In Final Fantasy 7 the characters aren't really unique in battle, beyond stats making them slightly better at melee or magical combat. There is a range system where you can move characters to the front or back row but like in previous games this is pretty ignorable. Unlike in 6 where some characters had special commands like Tech and Blitz. Nobody in FF7 has anything like that.

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.

What is really good about the Materia system is it allows for a crazy level of customization, on top of also allowing for a crazy level of combos and interactions that can make you extremely powerful to the point were you can't lose the game ever for any reason. It's an easy to understand system that isn't super complex to break but does require a decent level of thought to put things together in ways that break the game. And even if you don't want to break the game, it's at least easy to make sure you are strong enough to beat the game.

I don't think anyone would say FF7 is hard by any stretch. But it doesn't have to be, it simply let's itself be fun.

Top that off with a shitload of mini games thanks to....I dunno drugs at Squaresoft at the time. I dunno. But I can't fathom why they felt like it was so needed to make a bunch of mini games, and I'm not even talking about the Gold Saucer, at least there it makes sense. There are other mini games everywhere through out, from dropping barrels on dudes chasing Aeris to giving a little girl CPR, fucking snowboarding with the worse controls ever made. As much as I love the game itself, the mini games are almost without exception, terrible. Maybe the motorcycle game is already and the battle arena but that's just because it's battling with RNG debuffs. Oh and Chocobo Breeding/racing is great if a little tedious but hey you get the most power Materia in the game for doing it so, it has the best payoff of any mini game in the game.

One thing FF7 does really well with the gameplay is that it's spread of materia is fantastic. Every new location has a new cool materia to find, topped with a great variety of equipment that you can combine to making leveling materia easier.

Beyond all that, FF7 continues to use the ATB-turn based battle system seen since FF4 and it works just as good here as in those games.

BACK TO STORY:

After leaving Midgar you head to the first town Kalm where Cloud tells a story about why Sephiroth is a danger. He showcases Sephiroth's power and what's really cool about this part is that it's a playable flashback where you get Sephiroth in your party! You can't control him but he appears in random battles and everytime he just immediately fucks up everything and anything on screen. It shows his power incredibly well and leaves that impression in the players mind that this dude is the real deal. What's really smart about it too is that Sephiroth will use magics that the party will eventually get like Fire 3, Ice 3, etc etc, it also showcases a benchmark of where you can go as the player.

Anyway Sephiroth learns during this adventure that he is a half-breed with an alien creature called Jenova that Shrina has been expiramenting with. Using alien DNA to create super soldiers in a program called Soldier. Which means it's not just Mako that makes the Soldiers so good, it's alien juice. Again there are levels to this lore that get really really deep.

The thing about FF7 is that a lot of people dismiss it's lore as something that Square built up because FF7 was the most popular game in the series and they make excuses as to why other FF title's don't have that same detail. But the problem with that argument is this lore is all straight from the original game. Meaning it was in place way before FF7 became the best selling biggest FF game ever. It's because of how fleshed out the world is, and how deep the rabbit hole goes, as how they've managed to make a FF7 cinematic universe out of it basically.

I wont regail you with the entire lore, nor the entire story of the game. Because it's far too long. But I've played this game well over 50 times start to finish now, and I enjoy it every single time. I've platinumed the game, dated Barret, Yuffie, Aeris, and Tifa (the most). There isn't anything in this game I've not done except speedrun it because I don't want to skip the story and stuff when I go to play it.

Final Fantasy 7 is the best Final Fantasy game imo hands down, it brings more customization, fun battles, deep lore, than any game in the series....oh and best villian. However I do think other games have better individual characters. Yuna and Wakka are both better than anyone in 7 tbh.

It's definitely better than 8......oh god......So it's time. I don't even really know how to approach this game for this retrospective. Like how can I objectively talk about my favorite game of all time? How can I really put a critical (ha) lens on it? I guess the answer is, that I simply can't so you will have to take the following wall of text with the knowledge that to me it's the best game ever made......actually maybe? I don't know. Here we go.

Final Fantasy VII:

Final Fantasy games for a long time have always had this touch of science fiction within them. As far back as the first game there were warmech's to fight and robots and various types of ships or submarines or space ships or all three. But all that sci-fi has been sprinkled into a very fantasy setting which makes sense because of the name of the series.

Final Fantasy 7 hits different immediately as the opening shows a huge city sprawled out before the player. The cinematic focuses on a girl whom we don't yet know and pulls back to an aerial view of the entire city of Midgar with a big imposing tower in the center. It's semi-futuristic, it's industrial, it's very different from any FF games setting yet even as the camera pulls in to a train pulling into a station you get the feeling of the modern touch to all of this. The guards have guns, the big black dude who's apparently you're ally has a gun for an arm. Yet you....Ex-Soldier, have a big fucking sword.

This was my first FF game back in the day and the image of the first battle didn't click with me that the guards im fighting are shooting me with machine guns, and i just have a sword, it's a big sword, but it's just a sword so I shouldn't win this fight. But after playing through 6 games and coming into this one it stands out a bit to me.

Final Fantasy 7 wasn't just my first Final Fantasy game, this was my first RPG game. Never had I played games with exp, level ups, or anything like that. I was used to Crash Bandicoots, Metal Gears, Marios, things like that. I still remember my first thought when I got into the very first fight in FF7, "Oh this is one of those stupid menu games." Meaning you just picked options on a menu and watched things happen. This was nothing like Street Fighter or Streets of Rage where you were an active part of the gameplay. But since I was a kid and didn't have money to go get another game I kept playing, needless to say I got over the "menu game" thing pretty fucking quick.

I think what grabbed me about the game first was all the story. I had played games with story before but it was usually just a few lines of text before going through entire levels of gameplay before getting anymore out of the story and it wasn't good story either. But here in FF7, the characters talked all the time, after almost every battle and sometimes even during there would be dialog, story, the characters felt real in a way no other video game characters had felt before.

So everyone knows how this plays out right? You are part of a terrorist group called AVALANCHE in all caps because reasons, and you are battling against an evil electric company because the fuel they use to power the city is the life essence of the planet itself called Mako. What was so captivating about this game for me was not the environmental message, I was a bit young to really get it, I just thought it was a planet saving quest like any number of other save the world adventures before it. But what was really interesting was like the obvious set up for the game. It was three discs at the time and there are eight reactors in Midgar, so I remember thinking, "ok so there's probably only a few reactors per disc and then the final disc will be attacking the tower directly. FF7 does a really good job keeping the scope of the story small, Midgar is where you are and that's the only thing that matters. There is very little about the world beyond Midgar at any point during Midgar, some references to the promised land and the Gold Saucer but nothing that directly suggests the game is much bigger than you think.

But at the second reactor things go wrong, the president of Shinra shows up to taunt the party and uses a new prototype weapon to fight you. The best boss theme music plays for the first time and you battle a very easy robot because back attacks are broken. The robot explodes and Cloud falls to his death. Welp, game over then, guess the game is short than I thought. What are the other two discs for?

Wait he lived? Unharmed!? Oh right flowers, yeah I guess you could fall from a skyscraper into a pile of flowers and be okay, that makes sense. So from terrorist to body guard, why is Shrina after a flower girl? Three hours into the game and it expertly begins to build up the world and that there is more going on with Shrina and even the people you befriend than you would expect.

If I could say one thing that FF7 does absolutely brillantly, better than any game in the series, is the build up. From the world outside Midgar, to the big villain Sephiroth, they do a fantastic job building up these characters and these elements of the story better than ANY entry in the series. Nobody is teased and built with such ominous effect as Sephiroth. During Midgar Sephiroth is a legend, also a soldier like CLoud but better than any Soldier anyone has ever seen. There is no indication that he is the bad guy or where he is now or anything. It's really great but is greater by what happens when the party storms Shinra's tower.

Turns out we storm Shrina HQ much faster than I ever thought, Aeris (it was Aeris in the original PS1 version) is taken by Shrina, AVALANCHE's home sector is brought down and the only choice left is to take the fight direct to the boss himself and get Aeris back. The invasion doesn't go super well, as the party is captured and thrown in jail. At least we're thrown in the cell next to Aeris, that's cool, saves us the trouble of finding her when we break out of this joint.....as soon as we figure out how.....

Oh never mind the door is open, wait why is there blood everywhere, why are all the guards dead? Where is the alien thing in the tank? Let's go ask the president....oh he is dead with...a....big....sword....impaled....into his back. Sephiroth? But wait? Why would he help us? Where even is he?

Well the Vice President shows up, and Shinra guards aren't too happy with us murdering the President so we are chased out of town and....then the game shifts dramatically. Cloud knows that is Sephiroth is alive and doing shit, then it's not gonna be good shit and he has to chase him down to stop him. So we go from focusing on Shinra and Midgar to chasing Sephiroth across the world. It's a huge focus shift that blew my mind and it was still disc 1!? Holy fuck how big is this game!?

That's just a brief overview right. The funny thing about FF7 is that I think it has the most lore and deepest story layers than any other Final Fantasy game. Truly I think this is the peak of Final Fantasy story telling. No other game has a world this built, this fleshed out, this deep even down to the tiny subconscious motivations of each character.

Now I have to split this post due to word count.


PART 2

The Gameplay of FF7 is interesting. I think this is where the Final Fantasy games really start to try to invent new battle mechanics with each game to make the gameplay unique and more customizable. In Final Fantasy 7 the characters aren't really unique in battle, beyond stats making them slightly better at melee or magical combat. There is a range system where you can move characters to the front or back row but like in previous games this is pretty ignorable. Unlike in 6 where some characters had special commands like Tech and Blitz. Nobody in FF7 has anything like that.

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.

What is really good about the Materia system is it allows for a crazy level of customization, on top of also allowing for a crazy level of combos and interactions that can make you extremely powerful to the point were you can't lose the game ever for any reason. It's an easy to understand system that isn't super complex to break but does require a decent level of thought to put things together in ways that break the game. And even if you don't want to break the game, it's at least easy to make sure you are strong enough to beat the game.

I don't think anyone would say FF7 is hard by any stretch. But it doesn't have to be, it simply let's itself be fun.

Top that off with a shitload of mini games thanks to....I dunno drugs at Squaresoft at the time. I dunno. But I can't fathom why they felt like it was so needed to make a bunch of mini games, and I'm not even talking about the Gold Saucer, at least there it makes sense. There are other mini games everywhere through out, from dropping barrels on dudes chasing Aeris to giving a little girl CPR, fucking snowboarding with the worse controls ever made. As much as I love the game itself, the mini games are almost without exception, terrible. Maybe the motorcycle game is already and the battle arena but that's just because it's battling with RNG debuffs. Oh and Chocobo Breeding/racing is great if a little tedious but hey you get the most power Materia in the game for doing it so, it has the best payoff of any mini game in the game.

One thing FF7 does really well with the gameplay is that it's spread of materia is fantastic. Every new location has a new cool materia to find, topped with a great variety of equipment that you can combine to making leveling materia easier.

Beyond all that, FF7 continues to use the ATB-turn based battle system seen since FF4 and it works just as good here as in those games.

BACK TO STORY:

After leaving Midgar you head to the first town Kalm where Cloud tells a story about why Sephiroth is a danger. He showcases Sephiroth's power and what's really cool about this part is that it's a playable flashback where you get Sephiroth in your party! You can't control him but he appears in random battles and everytime he just immediately fucks up everything and anything on screen. It shows his power incredibly well and leaves that impression in the players mind that this dude is the real deal. What's really smart about it too is that Sephiroth will use magics that the party will eventually get like Fire 3, Ice 3, etc etc, it also showcases a benchmark of where you can go as the player.

Anyway Sephiroth learns during this adventure that he is a half-breed with an alien creature called Jenova that Shrina has been expiramenting with. Using alien DNA to create super soldiers in a program called Soldier. Which means it's not just Mako that makes the Soldiers so good, it's alien juice. Again there are levels to this lore that get really really deep.

The thing about FF7 is that a lot of people dismiss it's lore as something that Square built up because FF7 was the most popular game in the series and they make excuses as to why other FF title's don't have that same detail. But the problem with that argument is this lore is all straight from the original game. Meaning it was in place way before FF7 became the best selling biggest FF game ever. It's because of how fleshed out the world is, and how deep the rabbit hole goes, as how they've managed to make a FF7 cinematic universe out of it basically.

I wont regail you with the entire lore, nor the entire story of the game. Because it's far too long. But I've played this game well over 50 times start to finish now, and I enjoy it every single time. I've platinumed the game, dated Barret, Yuffie, Aeris, and Tifa (the most). There isn't anything in this game I've not done except speedrun it because I don't want to skip the story and stuff when I go to play it.

Final Fantasy 7 is the best Final Fantasy game imo hands down, it brings more customization, fun battles, deep lore, than any game in the series....oh and best villian. However I do think other games have better individual characters. Yuna and Wakka are both better than anyone in 7 tbh.

It's definitely better than 8......oh god......So it's time.
... 3 times. You must have gotten some other error. Next time, try copying your post into notepad, toggling BBC code (the gear on the far right) and copying it back in.
 
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CriticalGaming

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*sigh*

It's times like these that make me wonder if I even like Final Fantasy games or if it's just Final Fantasy 7 that I like.

FINAL FANTASY 9:

Like 8, FF9 is another one of those FF games that is one several people's top lists for best or favorite Final Fantasy game. Unlike 8, with 9 I can sort of see it but still don't really get it. Final Fantasy 9's gameplay is leagues better than 8's for sure and falls in lines with more traditional FF games. This also marks the last time the series will use ATB for...ever? Does 13 count? I don't think so because that's like a whole other type of thing. Okay whatever let's call it the last of the ATB games. As the final installment of the ATB, FF9 does it perfectly. The flow of combat here is fantastic and fits with the other thing that FF9 does for the last time, and that's being the last Fantasy game. That's right FF9 is the last Final Fantasy game that strictly sticks to a purely traditional fantasy setting. Sci-fi was the name of the game in the last three installments, but with 9 they decided to go back to the grass roots and bring the fantasy back to the series.

The story revolves around a boy/man/monkey named Zidane who is part of a thieving theater group on a mission to kidnap Princess Garnet from the kingdom of....fucking someplace. And immediately FF9 does something that only FF6 ever did before. Multiple protagonists. While Zidane is the "main" dude, the story constantly shifts focus to other characters as well at least until the party is complete and together. For instance the black Mage Vivi gets a lot of runtime of his very own in the opening hours of the game. While Zidane's group is putting on a show, Vivi is trying to just sneak into a place where he can watch that very same show. Meanwhile Steiner a loyal queen's knight is on the lookout for the princess as she should be at the queen's side watching the show but is nowhere to be seen.

Needless to say shit happens. Turns out that the Princess wants to be taken away because her "mother" the queen is doing some nasty shit and she wants to leave to get help from another kingdom with stopping her. Vivi is a doll as it turns out destined to be part of an army of powerful black mages used for war, but he aint about that life. Zidane is willing to help Princess Garnet aka Dagger to get into them panties. And Stiener is determined to protect the chastitiy of Garnet at all dopey costs. So begins a globe trotting adventure that is extremely extremely boring.

Yeah I said it, the story is fucking boring. It's so slowly paced that anybuild up to excitement is never really paid off and you start to get annoyed with the characters more than invested into their goals. At least for me, and part of that might be the A.T.E. or Active Time Events. See throughout the game there will be ATE pop ups that allow you to view a scene with another character who isn't with the party member you are currently controlling. In fact many of these events showcase side stories with characters that aren't even part of the main story. And boy howdy is there a lot of these fucking things. Watching them tends to kill the pacing and even the dramatic rush of some moments in the game entirely.

The main theme of the game is Identity as almost every character in the game is struggling to figure out who they really are. Zidane learns he's a clone, Vivi learns he's a death doll, Garnet struggles with her own identity trying to figure out who she is beyond "princess", And even the game feels like it's a struggle to figure out what it is. It feels like FF9 started development with the goal of, "ok let's make a fantasy game again" and then didn't get any further than that and simply threw in a bunch of references to previous FF games and a very mellow disjointed feeling story. Maybe there is even some merit to that as this is the last FF game that series creator Hironobu Sakaguchi worked on and I think they meant it to be a love letter to all the games leading up to this point.

When you compare this game to the stories of 6 and 7, 9 simply doesn't hold up.

Then there is the gameplay which again is perfectly fine. It's ATB again and doesn't really use any crazy systems. No junctioning, no materia, nothing like that. Characters go back to having a bit of uniqueness to what they do and something even interact in battle directly. For example Vivi can cast magic on Stiener's sword to add magic to his attacks.

The big system in FF9 is that each piece of gear has special abilities that grant which ever character has it equiped with those abilities. For example a shirt might have the Flee ability on it, allowing that character to use it to help run from battles. Or something like Bird Killer, which causes that character to deal extra damage to bird enemies. Furthermore every battle rewards AP, ability points, those get applied to the abilities of the gear equipped by the party and once an ability is master that character can now use that ability without needed the item equipped. This does a couple of things, number 1 it encourages you to equip very item you can on every character to learn as many abilties as possible as some are very good like status immunities and such. Number 2 it gives purpose to gear that might be outdated by your party's levels giving you a reason to at least look at all the items rather than disregarding them because of a lower stat.

So the battle system is the games saving grace, it's good, but it's not enough to make this game a standout in my eyes. It's not a bad FF game, but I also wouldn't call it a good one either. It's okay.

Oh FF9 also has a card game but it's not as good as 8's and nobody talks about it.
 

sXeth

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I would say that Final Fantasy 9 benefits heavily from its position and the series. And directly in opposition to people who liked 7 and 8.


Most of the highlighted positives in 9 are direct reactions to 7 & 8. Less broody, ... style characters (Garnets BSOD aside), more upbeat personalties. A step back from convoluted nonsense storylines with time travel and seventeen layers of false memories. The sci-fi does still creep up with Garland (And that is probably where the sotry starts to fumble, particularly with being a weird sequel to an alternate universe of FF1). In the gameplay again, returning the job system instead of the more or less templates of MAteria or Junction setups that could be blobbed onto anyone with little overall significance between them.


The pacing does really have problems, particularly in the second half. But the pacing in most FF's is kind of trash. 4, 6, and 10 probably are the closest to any kind of smooth one.


10/X is really where they seemed ot briefly find a healthy marriage. And then the rest of the series becomes polarizing due to experimentation with MMO-mechanics (And full on MMOs), the weird AI-plays-for-you systems, and 13 of course takes the convoluted JRPG nonsense trope up to 13.
 

CriticalGaming

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I would say that Final Fantasy 9 benefits heavily from its position and the series. And directly in opposition to people who liked 7 and 8.


Most of the highlighted positives in 9 are direct reactions to 7 & 8. Less broody, ... style characters (Garnets BSOD aside), more upbeat personalties. A step back from convoluted nonsense storylines with time travel and seventeen layers of false memories. The sci-fi does still creep up with Garland (And that is probably where the sotry starts to fumble, particularly with being a weird sequel to an alternate universe of FF1). In the gameplay again, returning the job system instead of the more or less templates of MAteria or Junction setups that could be blobbed onto anyone with little overall significance between them.


The pacing does really have problems, particularly in the second half. But the pacing in most FF's is kind of trash. 4, 6, and 10 probably are the closest to any kind of smooth one.
I never thought about the personality differences tbh, that's a real good point. Maybe I didn't notice because the overarching story didn't grab my interest. Good points though.
 

sXeth

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Kefka's motivations being an insane power hungry monster (who then becames a psychopathic insane god) are of themselves, nothing special, true enough. (He's also not the first villain to "win", so did X-death, except the merged world wasn't as bleak and we mostly ignore XDeath because his name is XDEATH)

Kefka's motivations are a bit of "all there in the manual" which expounds a bit on his background (in short summary, after being the initial guinea pig for Magitek Knightery they tortured/tested him out the same way he does Terra in her flashbacks). Its just never really expounded upon in the game much (I believe either Celes or Leo will mention it in some optional conversation).
 

FakeSympathy

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Funny thing about FF9 is that it's the first one I was exposed to FF franchise, and it was from a friggin coca cola commercial

Yeah, even the voice line was dubbed in Korean. It was unlike anything I had seen before, as CGI cutscenes in games were completely new to me at that point.

I also gotta give this game credit for going back to the actual "fantasy" theme. And from here, the series went back to mixing tech into the games again.
 

meiam

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I have the completely opposite reaction to FF9. I absolutely adore the cast and I think its easily the strongest of the franchise with Zidane being the best protagonist by leagues. But I find the gameplay kinda of a let down and being the least developed since FF4/6. Story wise I think the first half is very strong but it falter quite a bit in the second half, its also one of the darkest FF game (with 6 being the only one being close to it) which gives a nice contrast with the artstyle.

I'd say the biggest problem with the story is that there's too much stuff in it and it leaves some of the aspects of the story under developed, which are then rush all once in the last portion with a lot of exposition scenes, the Garland/Kuja aspect needed to be better integrated in the Alexandria part or severely curtailed. The Alexandria part is great, there's a clear antagonist, the story is interesting with the underlying theme of terminological advancement sparking instability by breaking the statue quo. I'm not sure how much was intended, but there's also a nice reversal of the usual theme of the franchise, usually technology = bad while magic = good. But here you have Alexandria using magic for evil mean (black mage and summon) while Lindblum is the technological powerhouse but a good one with very little sign that they have any warlike intent for their new technologies. The consequences of the war are pretty big and the game doesn't shy away from putting it front and centre, at the end of it it all, one of the three main kingdom is destroyed with almost its entire population almost fully genocided, while the two other are in sever ruin. But then after that you just sort of meander around trying to follow Kuja, who is just a less fun Kefka. The Terra portion with Garland is fun, but it occur way to quickly. I think maybe if Kuja was just a mid level antagonist and Garland/Terra was introduced much earlier and not crammed in the last 2 hours of disc 3 it could have helped. It would also avoid the awkward point where Zidane personality 180 for maybe 15 minutes before going back, could have done without that or at least expand it.

I really like the cast, you have a large variety of personality and they mostly get the time to explore their arc (Amaranth is kinda just there and Freya arc seems to have been severely cut short). Zidane is a great protagonist that's actually in charge and taking decision throughout the game, which is a nice change from the usual main character that just constantly react to events. And its just great to have someone who take the time to inject some fun and leisure in the adventure. The romance is also nice, nothing very original but Zidane isn't shy about his feeling so you don't have the usual pussy footing scenes where everything drag. Vivi is one of the stand out character in the franchise and is a nice case of a character thats mostly use for exposition dialogue not being annoying. Garnet is a nice twist on the damsel in distress since she's constantly taking action and trying to avert everything going to shit. I also really like that they recognize that Bramhs was evil but that it was okay for Garnet to feel sad regardless. I even like Quina as comic relief since the game does a good job of not over using him during the more dramatic portion. The system where you can see what other character are doing in little cutscene while your in city/dungeon is really nice and I think it's a shame they never brought it back as it really help make the character feel like they have interaction with each others outside the main narrative and help flesh out the NPC and even city life.

But gameplay wise its pretty bland, the skill system is a nice attempt at living it up, but there's just not enough interesting skills. Almost all of them are super situational, all of the "do more damage to X enemy" and "immunity to Y status" are only useful if you follow a guide and know what the next boss is/will do. Otherwise there's no real way to know what's actually useful. I guess its nice for people who are struggling trough the game so that if they have to fight a boss a second time they'll at least know what to expect and can prepare for it, but otherwise they're just pointless skills. But right there that's like 3/4 of the skills available, and most interesting one are only given to the player at the end of the game, so for most of the game the skill system is kinda just there. It's also pretty annoying to keep up with the item synthesis since you don't really know what you'll need ahead of time, so you need to make sure you buy excess of everything, and even then some item are in such high demand you'll probably run out, pro tip buy a shitons of wrist. Outside the skill system, most character are simple archetype a la FF6, there's nothing wrong with them but its kinda obvious what to do with everyone in every fight. Also a lot of the skills aren't very useful, I don't think I ever use half of Freya ability. Stenier x Vivi combination attack are fun, would have been nice if they expanded on that aspect and maybe given every character combination action.

Sadly there's not quite enough side quest toward the end of the game, and just overall disc 4 is quite uninteresting since everything is just cut off and the final dungeon is pretty uninteresting, not as bad as FF8 but not far behind. Oh and there's also the infamous final boss that just shows up out of nowhere. Really it feel like the Garland was supposed to be the real final boss and at the last minute they decided to tack on disc 4. Even the ending is lame, Kuja destroy the crystal that supposed to kill everything but you kill Necron so everything is good now, don't think about it.

Mini game wise, the game is dominated by two big one. The card system is absolutely awful since the rule makes no sense and the game never explain them anyway, it just feel like random crap everytime you have a fight and you often end up with the last move being able to reverse everything that happened. The other is chocobo, which consist of going playing the cold-hot game, which is not super interesting. But the other half, finding treasure in the world from a few clues, is pretty fun and make good use of the world map (possibly the last in the franchise). Otherwise there's a bunch of minor one, none of them really stand out but its nice to have some variety here and there.
 

FakeSympathy

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Considering this was Sakaguchi's last ff game he worked on, I'd
Maybe there is even some merit to that as this is the last FF game that series creator Hironobu Sakaguchi worked on and I think they meant it to be a love letter to all the games leading up to this point.
And I think that's exactly the point of this game; Yes, it's bit bland in terms of story, gameplay, and the overall presentation, but as his last ff game he probably wanted to refine everything he did with FF1, as well as implement all the ideas he had from all the previous games. He even said it was his favorite game he had worked on


While the art style and character might come off as childish, I think it's just like Wind Waker where there's certain charm to it but people were more used to realistic designs from 7 and 8.
 

hanselthecaretaker

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I never thought about the personality differences tbh, that's a real good point. Maybe I didn't notice because the overarching story didn't grab my interest. Good points though.
Well, the overall more comparatively cheerful tone of the game is one of the more blatant differences from what I recall. It’s also the last full FF game (in terms of release dates) that I’ve played and have fond memories of (memories were another big theme of it IIRC). It was just a pleasant, occasionally even feel-good kinda thing to play through overall, and the game I was playing when I moved out for college.

So yeah, I guess for personal reasons it sticks out since there’s really little wrong with the game itself as it is. You’ve already detailed why FF7 greatly stands out personally for you at least a couple times on here, so it’s not surprising other entries in the series (still really good games generally speaking) ultimately land with a thud. The other thing is you’re nine games into a marathon now so that would test anyone’s patience.

Since FFX is next I’ll just mention I tried it on two separate occasions but the Seymour battle towards the end on the mountain was I think the farthest I got. Fuck was that dude annoying. I also think the addition of VA’s made the series lose a good chunk of its earlier charms to be had through simply using one’s imagination. Tidus also oddly reminded me of the TV show’s Titus since the game was released smack dab in the middle of the show’s very limited run. Blitzball sucked as a mini game IMO too.
 
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CriticalGaming

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Well, the overall more comparatively cheerful tone of the game is one of the more blatant differences from what I recall. It’s also the last full FF game (in terms of release dates) that I’ve played and have fond memories of (memories were another big theme of it IIRC). It was just a pleasant, occasionally even feel-good kinda thing to play through overall, and the game I was playing when I moved out for college.

So yeah, I guess for personal reasons it sticks out since there’s really little wrong with the game itself as it is. You’ve already detailed why FF7 greatly stands out personally for you at least a couple times on here, so it’s not surprising other entries in the series (still really good games generally speaking) ultimately land with a thud. The other thing is you’re nine games into a marathon now so that would test anyone’s patience.
I don't think that playing all of these games very close together if not back to back is why certain games land with a thud. I never thought FF9 or 8 was very good. FF8 I hated as a kid and I still don't like it. FF9 is still just okay. That's the best I can say for it because it just doesn't do anything that stands out, it's just a generic JRPG with a slow disjointed story. It plays fine and it's certainly not the worst game in the series, but it's also not a great game imo. It's fine, it's okay.

If anything, I'm finding that my opinions on these games isn't really changing much. Honestly I had hoped that looking at FF8 with a more Adult eye, would change how I thought about it, but it didn't work out.
 

hanselthecaretaker

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I don't think that playing all of these games very close together if not back to back is why certain games land with a thud. I never thought FF9 or 8 was very good. FF8 I hated as a kid and I still don't like it. FF9 is still just okay. That's the best I can say for it because it just doesn't do anything that stands out, it's just a generic JRPG with a slow disjointed story. It plays fine and it's certainly not the worst game in the series, but it's also not a great game imo. It's fine, it's okay.

If anything, I'm finding that my opinions on these games isn't really changing much. Honestly I had hoped that looking at FF8 with a more Adult eye, would change how I thought about it, but it didn't work out.
Mainly meant the marathon thing was beside the point, that your personal connection with FF7 must be a big part of why other games fall flat, even if they are generally considered good games in their own right.
 

CriticalGaming

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Mainly meant the marathon thing was beside the point, that your personal connection with FF7 must be a big part of why other games fall flat, even if they are generally considered good games in their own right.
Oh im sure Bias towards FF7 is a thing I have. I can't really do anything about it, and at least you guys know about it so you can take my opinions of the games however you want knowing that FF7 will be my favorite.

However moving forward with the series we are going to get to more games that I really really like a lot. So it wont all be shitposting about FF games that aren't 7.

Probably.
 

CriticalGaming

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Yoshi P continuing being apparently the only person at square enix to be able to see the writing on the wall

The dude is king but his quote here leaves a lot on the table. STruggling? In what way? What's the solution? What direction do they need to go? Things like that.

FF games are strange because for the last 20 years the series has never been under the control of a single creative team. Every single FF game since Sagaguchi left has been a mis-mash of people at Square who were free to pick up the project at the time.

For FF games to truly get back on track the series needs a single core team that can direct and control where the series goes and what it does moving forward. Yoshi-P might be that guy but I dunno how much he can tackle at once, but maybe he should become the lead FF guy at Square and he can control the people he puts in charge of FF development.

I don't really know, but we've seen that Final Fantasy games have more or less been hit or miss since forever. There was a consistancy in the begining though and though 2 stumbled the series kept improving all the way till 8 imo. Then from 9 onwards they once again stayed fairly consistant for years until 13. And now we are 7 years after 15 and still don't have 16.

The potential is there at Square though. FF7Remake and FF14 are proof that they can make great FF games still. There just needs to be a person in plan to maintain that standard and control.
 

meiam

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I don't think there's necessarily a direction they need to focus on, they just need to make more game.

He says "We’re now at a point where we receive a wide variety of requests regarding the direction of our game design. To be honest, it’d be impossible to satisfy all those requests with a single title. My current impression is that all we can really do is create multiple games, and continue creating the best that we can at any given time."

And I think that's whats important, FF15 tried to be everything all at once and failed at most of these. Instead they need to go back to a new game every 2-3 years and try something interesting with all of them and tolerate the occasional failure because they'll also have success. Like I don't particularly like FF8 but I appreciate they tried to do new stuff and I didn't really mind because FF7 came out not too long ago and 9 was out a year later.
 

CriticalGaming

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I don't think there's necessarily a direction they need to focus on, they just need to make more game.

He says "We’re now at a point where we receive a wide variety of requests regarding the direction of our game design. To be honest, it’d be impossible to satisfy all those requests with a single title. My current impression is that all we can really do is create multiple games, and continue creating the best that we can at any given time."

And I think that's whats important, FF15 tried to be everything all at once and failed at most of these. Instead they need to go back to a new game every 2-3 years and try something interesting with all of them and tolerate the occasional failure because they'll also have success. Like I don't particularly like FF8 but I appreciate they tried to do new stuff and I didn't really mind because FF7 came out not too long ago and 9 was out a year later.
I mean there is that. But to pump out games like that....I dunno how feasible that is with the scope of modern game design. Maybe they should give FF to three studios and have them work on a 3-year cycle so that we get a new game every year like Call of Duty. But then again I see CoD games these days and think that maybe we don't. I dunno.