The Great Final Fantasy Retrospective - Let's Mosey

CriticalGaming

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Now while Stormblood is definitely all over the place, I would argue that it does have a clear point and you do achieve something meaningful by the end. Yeah, the empire's not fully defeated, but you have liberated Gyr Abania and Doma from their rule, which means something to the people who live there. FFXIV's plot is very much about heroism at all levels; saving the world and being big damn heroes at the end of Endwalker matters, but so do the small acts of kindness and bravery you do on your travels, and everything in between. The humanitarian crisis caused by the imperial occupation of Gyr Abania and Doma is explored quite a lot prior to Stormblood, which gives some context and meaningful stakes to your fight to kick them out. One of the other major themes is societies moving forward after trauma and strife - Eorzea after the calamity, Ishgard and Dravania after the Dragonsong War, everywhere freed from Garlean occupation, The First after the Sin Eaters, everywhere after the Final Days. You get to give those places a chance, and then participate in their reconstruction. Where Stormblood really falters for me is in finding sufficiently interesting things for you to be doing in while doing the liberating. All the expansions have parts that feel like padding but Stormblood is the worst for it; not a filler arc, but an arc with a lot of filler.
The thing about Stormblood though, is that I really like a lot of the characters within. Sadu is one of my favorites and that little sun guy just trying to find the best girl to fuck with. It's funny especially when he tries to stick it in Y'shtola and she just calls him a little boy and stuns his ass.

FF14 does something that i think is WAY better than the overarching story, and that's making good character moments. Smaller moments you have with these characters throughout the game are far better than any of the big overall plot imo, and that's why drove me forward to pay attention to it. Otherwise I would have immediately skipped it.

Another thing that annoys me is that Y'shtola is hot and I love her, but every expansion she gets fucking gibbed and is gone for the vast majority of it. I hate that.
 

meiam

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In 14 you are the HERO! Nobody can do the shit you do, there are big world

Basically there is a common theme of slowness to it.
... are two reason why I didn't stick with FF14 for very long. I hate MMO that claim that you're the hero (ignore everyone else) and the 2.5 sec GCD was excruciatingly slow (I already find WoW 1.5 pretty slow).

Combined with lack of mod, which means your stuck with the UI (sure its customization, except in all the way that I want to), very easy raid and lackluster leveling (dunno is its different now but at release there wasn't enough quest to level so you had to repeat the same repeatable quest for hours) I just didn't care.
 
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09philj

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... are two reason why I didn't stick with FF14 for very long. I hate MMO that claim that you're the hero (ignore everyone else) and the 2.5 sec GCD was excruciatingly slow (I already find WoW 1.5 pretty slow).

Combined with lack of mod, which means your stuck with the UI (sure its customization, except in all the way that I want to), very easy raid and lackluster leveling (dunno is its different now but at release there wasn't enough quest to level so you had to repeat the same repeatable quest for hours) I just didn't care.
There was one point in A Realm Reborn where I needed to run a dungeon roulette to level my main class because I was underlevelled and there weren't any sidequests. Not sure if that's been fixed with the rest of the refinements to ARR. There were definitely enough quests in all the expansions. (Re-running dungeons to level other classes is assumed, and is part of what keeps old content populated). The normal raids, alliance raids, and trials are deliberately designed to be possible for casual players, although the difficulty does ramp up in later expansions. Savage raids and extreme trials are the proper hard content. The GCD is slow but it also slightly reduces as you get gear, and by max level you have a lot more off GCD skills, and the bosses are throwing so many mechanics at you that it's barely a consideration. The experience of getting new skills as you level can be a bit weird because jobs often have to be reworked in order to keep max level rotations somewhat reasonable, so the progression to that point has to be changed to go with it. This makes all the jobs very slow at the start, and also does weird things in terms of how good that job is at a particular level; my preferred healer, Scholar, is very strong in low level content, but pretty weak in mid level content, but I feel is about on par with other healers by max level.
 
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CriticalGaming

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Well here we are. Five months and 16 Final Fantasy games. For now we are at the end of the road so let's go on a trip.

Final Fantasy XV:

Final Fantasy XV opens with a message that reads, "A Final Fantasy for fans and first timers alike." This statement is bullshit because this is the only Final Fantasy game that has a movie, an anime, and a mobile game that all tell part of the story. It's one thing to jump into a Fantasy game of any type and have to learn a bit about the world before you really get into the swing of the story. But it's another when a huge chunk of the story is told off screen and doesn't even tell the player where the story happened.

So already FFXV fucks up. The game opens with Noctis and the boys on a road trip with a car that doesn't work. Noctis is a prince so you wonder how the hell his car broke down like a half mile from home, but we wont talk about that. Noctis is a Prince and he is joined by his homies Gladious, Promto, and Ignis, and immediately you know they are bros because they shit on each other from moment one.

The basic premise here is that Noctis's kingdom is being over run by the Empire (which is obviously evil) and in order to stop them he has to go marry Lunafreya who's a notable figure in another kingdom, or possibly the empire, I can't fucking remember the reasoning behind the marriage. Everyone acts like Noctis and Luna are in love too but in every scene they have absolutely zero chemistry together.

Look the story, doesn't really matter here. Which is strange for me to say in a Final Fantasy game, but seriously it's a mess even worse than 13's and you are better off not thinking too hard about it.

Where FFXV really shines is Noctis and the boys, driving around, hunting monsters, and just being bros. That is when the game is at its best.

As if a direct response to people complaining about the linearity of 13's three games, FFXV instantly starts you in the open world. And it's a pretty big map considering. However it's clear that Square simply don't know how to make open world games because it's an open map with not much in it besides gas stations and like two cities. There are no random events here, nothing dynamic, every encounter you have will be a hunt with a monster that's scripted and actively chased by the player which again is a bummer.

Combat is completely action based now, holding a button to attack, pressing another to dodge, and pressing another to teleport attack around the map. Sadly no combos here, and a few minor interactions with your friends where you issue them special attack commands based on a meter that fills. It's not going to shake the foundations of a DMC game, but it's also not completely terrible either. Magic is weird too because you basically have to mine elemental energy from nodes at every camp site, then combine that energy to make magic grenades.

A lot of the game is strange. So much so that Square spent a couple years fixing a lot of issue with the game before transforming it into the Royal Edition. There were moments in the plot where you would lose one friend for a while, and when they came back they change in certain cosmetic ways. The Royal Edition includes DLC chapters for every character where you see what they did while they were gone, and they are all pretty good side stories but nothing super exciting.

There is also a day night cycle where monsters are tougher at night and you are encouraged to sleep at an inn if you are in a town, or camp at a safe site if you're out and about. Here Ignis will cook for you, monster pieces you get from fights will sometimes inspire him to come up with a new recipe, which you'll never get tired of hearing trust me. These meals will grant you a buff for a while during the next day and come meals that completely break your party for a while so you can go obliterate some of the hardest monsters in the game with ease. It's okay and the food looks good.

Once you've had your fill of the open world you are to invade your homeland and liberate it from the villain Arden. Who is a bad guy I guess. He certainly seems evil, but because a lot of context isn't in the game, even in the updated version, you don't really know who he is or why he's a dickhead.

Basically once you're done in the open world, the back 20% of the game is kind of weak. Again they tried to add stuff and expand it in the Royal Version but it doesn't really help. FFXV suffers from a long development cycle and a lack of a consistent vison for the game. It's sad because the open world and hunting monsters with the bros is a lot of fun and it's a relaxing game while you're doing that. But the mess of a story, janky combat, and randomness of the game just makes it feel hollow in the end.

I've certainly played worse FF games, but there are a lot that are better too.
 

hanselthecaretaker

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Well here we are. Five months and 16 Final Fantasy games. For now we are at the end of the road so let's go on a trip.

Final Fantasy XV:

Final Fantasy XV opens with a message that reads, "A Final Fantasy for fans and first timers alike." This statement is bullshit because this is the only Final Fantasy game that has a movie, an anime, and a mobile game that all tell part of the story. It's one thing to jump into a Fantasy game of any type and have to learn a bit about the world before you really get into the swing of the story. But it's another when a huge chunk of the story is told off screen and doesn't even tell the player where the story happened.

So already FFXV fucks up. The game opens with Noctis and the boys on a road trip with a car that doesn't work. Noctis is a prince so you wonder how the hell his car broke down like a half mile from home, but we wont talk about that. Noctis is a Prince and he is joined by his homies Gladious, Promto, and Ignis, and immediately you know they are bros because they shit on each other from moment one.

The basic premise here is that Noctis's kingdom is being over run by the Empire (which is obviously evil) and in order to stop them he has to go marry Lunafreya who's a notable figure in another kingdom, or possibly the empire, I can't fucking remember the reasoning behind the marriage. Everyone acts like Noctis and Luna are in love too but in every scene they have absolutely zero chemistry together.

Look the story, doesn't really matter here. Which is strange for me to say in a Final Fantasy game, but seriously it's a mess even worse than 13's and you are better off not thinking too hard about it.

Where FFXV really shines is Noctis and the boys, driving around, hunting monsters, and just being bros. That is when the game is at its best.

As if a direct response to people complaining about the linearity of 13's three games, FFXV instantly starts you in the open world. And it's a pretty big map considering. However it's clear that Square simply don't know how to make open world games because it's an open map with not much in it besides gas stations and like two cities. There are no random events here, nothing dynamic, every encounter you have will be a hunt with a monster that's scripted and actively chased by the player which again is a bummer.

Combat is completely action based now, holding a button to attack, pressing another to dodge, and pressing another to teleport attack around the map. Sadly no combos here, and a few minor interactions with your friends where you issue them special attack commands based on a meter that fills. It's not going to shake the foundations of a DMC game, but it's also not completely terrible either. Magic is weird too because you basically have to mine elemental energy from nodes at every camp site, then combine that energy to make magic grenades.

A lot of the game is strange. So much so that Square spent a couple years fixing a lot of issue with the game before transforming it into the Royal Edition. There were moments in the plot where you would lose one friend for a while, and when they came back they change in certain cosmetic ways. The Royal Edition includes DLC chapters for every character where you see what they did while they were gone, and they are all pretty good side stories but nothing super exciting.

There is also a day night cycle where monsters are tougher at night and you are encouraged to sleep at an inn if you are in a town, or camp at a safe site if you're out and about. Here Ignis will cook for you, monster pieces you get from fights will sometimes inspire him to come up with a new recipe, which you'll never get tired of hearing trust me. These meals will grant you a buff for a while during the next day and come meals that completely break your party for a while so you can go obliterate some of the hardest monsters in the game with ease. It's okay and the food looks good.

Once you've had your fill of the open world you are to invade your homeland and liberate it from the villain Arden. Who is a bad guy I guess. He certainly seems evil, but because a lot of context isn't in the game, even in the updated version, you don't really know who he is or why he's a dickhead.

Basically once you're done in the open world, the back 20% of the game is kind of weak. Again they tried to add stuff and expand it in the Royal Version but it doesn't really help. FFXV suffers from a long development cycle and a lack of a consistent vison for the game. It's sad because the open world and hunting monsters with the bros is a lot of fun and it's a relaxing game while you're doing that. But the mess of a story, janky combat, and randomness of the game just makes it feel hollow in the end.

I've certainly played worse FF games, but there are a lot that are better too.
That’s over 3 FF games per month, and you burn through these things. I envy your average block of leisure time. :(
 

FakeSympathy

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The hunt for royal arms was kinda weird. The best usage for them was Armgier, and I think they couldn't decide whether the weapons were optional or important to the plot.

I also could never figure out how summons worked; Were they scripted for certain events in the stories, was there a certain condition that had to met during combat?

I think my biggest issue was the way they try to expand the shallow stories with the episodic dlcs for all major characters, only to cancel the last few episodes. It's a shame, because I really liked episodes Ignis and Ardyn.
 
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CriticalGaming

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That’s over 3 FF games per month, and you burn through these things. I envy your average block of leisure time. :(
Well the first 5 are pretty fast. i beat 1 and 2 in a day. I beat 3 that sunday and started 4 which i finished the next weekend and started 5.

7 i beat in a day, because of sheer memory.

8 i rushed because I hate it.

Games didn't start taking more than a week to beat until 10 tbh.
 

CriticalGaming

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The hunt for royal arms was kinda weird. The best usage for them was Armgier, and I think they couldn't decide whether the weapons were optional or important to the plot.

I also could never figure out how summons worked; Were they scripted for certain events in the stories, was there a certain condition that had to met during combat?

I think my biggest issue was the way they try to expand the shallow stories with the episodic dlcs for all major characters, only to cancel the last few episodes. It's a shame, because I really liked episodes Ignis and Ardyn.
i think the only reason why I enjoyed 15 so much is much the same reason why I like the FF games I like. The characters. All the overarching stories are mostly fucking dumb tbh, except 7, so if the game's got bad characters then it's a bad FF game.

Speaking of which I'm done so I suppose I can rank these fuckers now huh?


From worst to best the ranking of FF's imo are:

2 < 8 <9 < 1 < 3 < 5 < 4 < 13 < 12 < 15 < 6 <10 < 14 < 7 < 7 Remake
 

meiam

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I'd say there is a worse game FF game then 15, 13, but that's it. 15 is a game thats worse than the sum of its part, which is not surprising considering most of its part are missing from the actual game.

So Luna is the princess from the nearby Venice-like kingdom that's been conquered by the empire, the idea is that if they have a marriage then that'll link the empire and Noctis kingdom and is seen as a peace offering. But it doesn't really matter cause like 5 hours into the game the idea is tossed aside, hope you watched the movie. Saying they have 0 chemistry together is really underselling it, they talk maybe twice to each others in the entire game and she has maybe 10 minute total screentime. And its supposed to be this amazing love story to the point where she's on the game logo (well actually the logo was made in a much earlier version of the game and that was supposed to be an entirely different character, Luna is just the stand in because they didn't want to redo the logo).

But her story is really the most amazing part of 15. See the main character is collecting summon (for no real reason we find out) and the Venice-like city has a summon (leviathan) sealed in the middle of it. The empire as expressively forbidden them to un seal it, but Luna decide to do it anyway (which gets her killed), once summoned Leviathan completely ruin the entire city and its not clear what would have happened if Noctis didn't manage to win in his fight against it, possibly it would have just gone on to ravage most of the coast. Which means, as far as the game is concerned, the only act of large scale destruction committed is by the "good guys" and the empire was actively trying to prevent this from happening. Oh and you only use Leviathan once in the game story and its pointless anyway. Also, summon will randomly come help you in combat, but that happen so rarely you'll probably never see it, and even when it does happen, the animation takes so long that the fight is usually over before it happen. What a joke.

And this is one of the game biggest problem, the bad guy aren't really bad for most of the game. The territories that have been taken over by them aren't in any trouble, in fact they're all very prosperous. The main antagonist is barely in the game and you probably won't realize its him until way late. And its not clear what they're trying to accomplish. They dethrone Noctice... but he's only the leader of his country because of inheritance and I'm not much of a monarchist so I don't care about restoring him to the throne. Plus you never actually spend any time there.

I do like the party... early in the game. They're a fun group and it really help sell the roadtrip aspect. Problem is as the game goes on, they all turn into bitter asshole to each others for no real reason. Gladiolus seem obsesses with giving shit to Noctis, early in he'll chide Noctis for not taking thing serious enough (just get over your dad dying dude) and later he'll piss on him for taking things too seriously. This isn't help by the fact they they're all worthless in fight and will constantly die, so I really just wanted to ditch them toward the end of the game.

The open world is indeed pretty underused, there really needed to be more stuff to do around it. It would have been great if they lean in harder on the monster hunter aspect. 15 is a weird game that's both over and under cooked at the same time. It's a shame cause the world is beautiful and I really like going around it and camping out, just needed a lot more stuff to do.

But runing around it is fun, I did like the photo aspect, once in awhile you'll get really cool picture randomly taken. It help that the game is beautiful with varied fauna. Its just weird that the open world aspect isn't really integrated into the story, its like 70% of the game, but nothing significant happens in it, you just bum around for awhile and then someone tell you to get on with it and then you leave and everything is mediocre.

Combat is a bit on the mediocre side, there's no stamina management or set combo so to keep things challenging they make it so enemy don't really stunlock when you attack them, so you can't keep figthing them, you only do 1-3 attack to one and just jump to another. And that's kinda all there is to the combat. Grenade (ie magic) are insanely OP if you just set them right and that just break the game.

Overall its a weird game that really show its been in development for close to a decade.
 
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Drathnoxis

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Well here we are. Five months and 16 Final Fantasy games. For now we are at the end of the road so let's go on a trip.
Also, I believe in Critical Gaming. If he plays 40 hours a week and we assume 100 hour average per game he'll be done in half a year.
There you go, my faith was well placed.
 

BrawlMan

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