FFnumbered series love/hate relationship

Seirein

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I have a love/hate relationship with the series.

As in, I love the series and hate the "fandom."
 

Touchfuzzy

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I honestly like Final Fantasy VI (I think it is part of the best string of FF games, with the sequence of 5, 6, 7, Tactics being the height of the series), but still think some of the praise it gets is bizarre. Kefka is a terrible villain. He's basically a ripoff with Joker without the understanding of WHY JOKER IS INTERESTING. (Joker is interesting because of his relationship with Batman, Joker on his own is not interesting, this is actually pointed out in the Batman comics themselves as when Batman "died" the Joker just left cause it wasn't interesting anymore). Kefka's entire schtick is "WOO I'M CRAAAAAZY" and for some reason people think that is good writing.

His character is weak, his motives are weak, he doesn't have any kind of relationship with the party to really play with. From a writing perspective he is a super boring villain. He's just LULZ RANDOM. Which worked well for a character I do like, Final Fantasy V's Gilgamesh, cause he isn't the main villain, he's a sidekick. But for a main villain it just feels hollow.

Also, the opera scene is laughable. I will never understand the obsession with "WARBLE WARBLE WARBLE" SNES attempts at singing sounds.

V and VII are probably my favorite of the numbered games. No other game in the series makes the party feel like a real group of friends quite like Final Fantasy V did, plus "Tree that had evil spirits sealed into it until it turned sentient" is a cool villain. VII had some really cool ideas and actually makes a hell of a lot more sense than people think (the translation didn't help). Tactics and X-2 are up there when you include spinoffs (Tactics is in my top 10 games of all time... or at least was last time I did a list, I might need to redo that sometime soon, and FFX-2's gameplay is glorious, and I love how little it takes itself seriously).

For the others, 1 is generic and obviously was a game of its time, 2 tried a neat idea with its leveling system but is the poster child for "great concept, terrible execution), 3 was probably the best game of that generation, 4 is "I sacrificed myself for the greater good, oh no wait I'm not dead" repeatedly, 8's junction system is a mess and the story is possibly even more of a mess, 9 has a good story but some pointless as hell characters (Amaranth why are you?) and some frustrating gameplay mechanics (oh you forgot to keep that sword from hours ago, no way to get it back now and now you can't learn that ability!), 10 I wanted to punch everyone who was ok with sacrificing a friend for a few years of peace rather than try something new, 11 Is an MMO so I'm not playing that, 12 had the most boring characters in the world outside of Balthier and his father, 13 I didn't play, 14 another MMO, 15 was pretty good to start with but just loses all steam because it feels like it has no focus at all.
 

Seacliff

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I honestly like Final Fantasy VI (I think it is part of the best string of FF games, with the sequence of 5, 6, 7, Tactics being the height of the series), but still think some of the praise it gets is bizarre. Kefka is a terrible villain. He's basically a ripoff with Joker without the understanding of WHY JOKER IS INTERESTING. (Joker is interesting because of his relationship with Batman, Joker on his own is not interesting, this is actually pointed out in the Batman comics themselves as when Batman "died" the Joker just left cause it wasn't interesting anymore). Kefka's entire schtick is "WOO I'M CRAAAAAZY" and for some reason people think that is good writing.

His character is weak, his motives are weak, he doesn't have any kind of relationship with the party to really play with. From a writing perspective he is a super boring villain. He's just LULZ RANDOM. Which worked well for a character I do like, Final Fantasy V's Gilgamesh, cause he isn't the main villain, he's a sidekick. But for a main villain it just feels hollow.
I made a similar statement on a different site when asked about this. Kefka has a Joker skin, but his role in the story contradicts what works with the Joker. I personally hate insane villains, as it feels like a lazy excuse to make someone do evil things, the Joker is a very big except to this because he still has a (somewhat) focused hobby on testing Batman.

Every scene where Kefka appears in the first half of FF6, Kefka ends up doing exactly what he planned to do while entering the scene. (The only reason the player is there is to see him do those things, since it makes no difference if they were there or not.) However, it's not because he's thinking several steps above the heroes like the Joker does in several Batman stories, it's because he's too powerful to not be subdued or compromised. His role in the story as a failed genetic experiment works, and does somewhat justify his mental state, but they didn't play with that part of his character enough carry him as a villain.

Also, the opera scene is laughable. I will never understand the obsession with "WARBLE WARBLE WARBLE" SNES attempts at singing sounds.
I think a lot of scenes like this existed in FF6 for the sake of making the game more movie-like. In fact, the current trend of making game more cinematic probably has deep roots within this game. The Opera scene is a good example when that gets forced to much that it interferes with the story's pacing.
 

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Final Fantasy VIII was the first one I ever played, and I'll always have a nostalgic attachment to it because of that. I hadn't actually played any RPG's or JRPG's before that one, but my parents friends happened to own the game and I used to sit in their house playing it while the adults sat outside during barbecues and stuff. Eventually they gave me the game so I could actually beat it, and I got introduced to FF that way.

Final Fantasy VII I enjoyed but I .... *awkward cough* never finished it. It's a long story but basically my save got corrupted and I was like, eh, whatever, and never started it over again. I'm waiting on the remake to replay it.

Final Fantasy IX was the next one I played, and I noticed a lot of similarities between it and Final Fantasy VII but I enjoyed it more? I think it was the medieval setting that made me latch on to it more, I hadn't realized at the time that was considered more traditional Final Fantasy than the other games I had played, but I loved it. Vivi was one of my favourite characters. ♥

After that I went back and played the older FF's, so I played Final Fantasy: Mystic Quest. Don't remember the story, but I remember it being entertaining to me at the time. I think after that I played FFV and FFVI, but I don't remember much of FFV. I loved FFVI but I've been meaning to replay it because I remember very little of it too (I was in highschool when I played it).

FFX is one of the more memorable FF's for me, just because of the story and the characters. It was really colourful and endearing, and even though the game was linear (which I usually hate) it didn't feel like you were trapped in a linear storyline, you just enjoyed it anyway. That to me is what makes a good game, because most linear games are just... not as enjoyable.

FFXII is a game that I love and hate. It starts off really strong, but at some point in the early middle it starts to fall apart and then it just becomes really unmemorable after that. I loved the setting, the world was really interesting to me and I wanted to explore more of it, and the battle system - although disorienting at first - I actually quite enjoyed. But the story itself just ended up being really weak which was unfortunate.

FFXIII, I've never finished. Some day I might go back and replay it, but at the time, I remember being hyped for the game because SO many people were obsessing over it, and obsessing over Lightning and I finally had a PS3 so I could actually play it, and I remember just finding it really underwhelming. Now that I know more of what to expect, maybe I'll enjoy it more, but I found it really linear (but in a bad way) and like you barely got to do anything. At that point, I had started playing more RPG's outside of Final Fantasy, so that kind of thing just didn't appeal to me anymore.

I recently finished FFXV, and again, I think it had potential, there was a lot of interesting things that they tried to do with the game that I'd like to see them carry with them into future releases, but the story and characters were highly undeveloped. I don't even think watching the movie or anime series would help with it either, to be honest, and I'm curious to see what the game might have been had they continued with the original project it started out as.

I think as a whole, the Final Fantasy franchise has just started focusing more on graphics and trying to trump the gameplay of their former release, but what always made Final Fantasy great to me personally were the characters, the stories, and the music. Sure, the gameplay mechanics of your game might be what stands out initially, but it's not going to be what people remember about the game a decade from now, so focusing all their time and energy on that seems like a waste. The reason games like the Tales of series still do good is because they know their market, and they focus more on their stories and characters rather than trying to outdo themselves in every game. There's some hit or miss games in the series, and there's probably some people who don't like those games at all, but they do more than well enough.
 

Sednaiur

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Yes, the Final Fantasies.. I have many font memories of of Squares/Squaresoft's masterpieces right from the original Game Boy, even though, on that one there was no numbered Final Fantasy, if I remember correctly. Only Seiken Densetsu, which was my second RPG ever, right after Star Tropics on the NES.
Anyways, here I go with my personal opinion about every Final Fantasy I played, in that order. But be warned, as I am rather talkative and long-winded with these. So do not expect a quick read-by on these. ;-P

Final Fantasy 7
It was the first game of it's kind for me (Final Fantasy 8 was about to come in the following year) and to this day I really like it and it is probably my most favorite of the series. But that is entirely for the battle system, the materia system and the world itself, not the story or the characters, altough, I do like all of them, especially Barret, Nanaki and Cid. I do not belong to any fanclub and I rather dislike that fanboy-style that FF7 has nowadays. I always liked the Anime-design of the original way more than what became of the look now. If it were for my opinion, they should have kept the Anime-look and just update that, instead of meshing Anime-details with real looking CGI-graphics. But that is just my opinion.
Back then I was so blasted about all the new things it showed me. I still remember when I just started to play it, was in the first battle after Cloud jumped down from the train and my brother came in from school, telling me to attack and not standing there and wait. It was such a confusing battle system for me at that time, since I only played action RPGs and the best Metroidvania to this day, called Castlevania: Symphony of the Night. ^^
The story, to be honest, I was too young to care much about it. I just loved the battles and always wanted to become stronger. Even to this day (and I played the game at least 20 times from start to end) the story is rather messy and convoluted for me, but the elements it contains are interesting enough, in my opinion. One other reason for that surely also are the countless typos and translation errors they made, by taking the already highly faulty american translation and base the german translation off of that. There are scenes where Dyne -usually considered male throughout the game- suddenly becomes a female by Barret saying "Dyne was my best girlfriend, we were close to each other from the beginning" or Don Corneo in the scene in Wutai asking you why you did kill his precious monster "Rapps" for no reason (he surely is supposed to talk about "Aps" from the sewers in Midgar, not "Raps" which you will fight moments later), while right afterwards calling said monster to attack you, while -in battle- having another different name, which is "Arca". Yes, very confusing, especially for a child. xD

It had so many things to discover, like the two optional characters Yuffie and Vincent, the two super boses Emerald and Ruby (the harder of the two, if I am asked) and how to defeat them, the master materia, the ultimate limit breaks and weapons, etc. It took years for me and my brother to find them all and we always were competing over who would get the fastest chocobo.
I also think that no other game has so many hoaxes around it, like what you could do and who you could get into your party. No matter if reviving Aeris, getting Zack Fair from Gongaga Village into your group by collecting 50 Masamune blades, 39 super sweepers and a love letter, or that hoax they even published untested in many cheat and solution books at that time, regarding Calm and that clock where you would get an infinite amount of money from, all that in the NTSC-versions of the game, of course.

In my FF love list, it surely is on spot 1!

For the upcomming remake of it, I can just say that I am not awaiting it in any good way, as Square Enix is simply not able to touch a Final Fantasy as what it is and make anything remotely as good from it, in my opinion. But more on that later. :p
Final Fantasy 8
I played it when it was newly released in europe, and I loved it right from the start. Everything looked better, sounded more mature and behaved cooler, like having stacks 100 instead of 99 etc. The characters and monsters were looking so much more appealing to me, due to them having actual textures. Of course it was super confusing in the beginning, with it's "Draw Magic"-system, it's SEED-Levels, the different battle mechanics in general and so on, but me and my brother loved it so much.
That moment when you are on the train to Timber and your party fally asleep out of the blue, and then you are suddenly playing as Laguna and his comrades is one of the glorious moments I remember. Hearing that battle tune of Laguna's the first time made me battle Fongo Ongos (those cycloptic mushrooms) for around half an hour, just for that battle music.
Final Fantasy was also the game that woke my interest for CCGs or TCGs, as the minigame "Triple Triad" (which I always did read as Criple Criad -I was a german kid after all, not being able to make any sense from english or american language) was the most played minigame in any final fantasy ever. And since it was rewarding aswell, I loved it even more, always trying to get every card until I accomplished my goal. My brother,though, he hated it to oblivion.
Back when I thought Final Fantasy 7 is hard, Final Fantasy 8 was here to teach me otherwise. Especially when I found out that the monsters actually leveled alongside you. And that honestly teached me what I will not like in any game from there on, up to this day: Leveling monsters. No matter what, monsters that level up alongside you make any leveling in your game just completely pointless, in my opinion and I will always hate it when a system like this is used.
Yes, there were also things I disliked about the game. Like the fact that you do not get any real equipment for your characters to find. You could upgrade the weapons you had by a kind of forging system, but the selection of weapons only ranged from 4 to 7 weapons a character, which was very underwehelming for me.
Regarding the story, I actually like it and can live with it really well. After all, it makes you visit many interesting places like the salt flats (I love that place for all it is, including it's BGM), the technologically super advanced state Esthar, a space station and the dark future of the world you're living in. But I always only really care about the gameplay itself, so when someone says he does not play a game because of the story, then I will never be able to follow, because after all, a game is a game and not a movie or a book. If the story is bad, it surely takes off from the game, but if the gameplay is bad, then I will quit, but not for a bad story.
The game also features quite some nice humor, like the Brothers guardian force, the gigantic cactuar Gigantuar or the sidequest around the alien Koyo Koyo.
What I liked the most about the game was the advance in technology it brought, with it's higher limits, it's bigger world and such. This game was the first for me to have any damage values above 9999 which was a huge deal for me and my brother back then. I remember when I came back from a vacation with my parents and my brother reported to me that he found a guardian force which can do more than 9999 damage.
All in all, I really like Final Fantasy 8 and would put it on spot 6 of my FF-list. So many good memories playing that game against my brother. ^^
Final Fantasy 9
When I saw first screenshots of it in the several playstation magazines, I was not impressed in the slightest, as I honestly hated that childish look it served after Final Fantasy 8 was looking so mature and polished, so I was only awaiting it for it's gameplay. An that really was as good as I was hoping. No leveling monsters anymore, magic spells were back to consuming MP again instead of being stored as quantities, and you finally could get your usual nice old-fashioned equipment again.
The world itself was really well detailed and had a lot of fairytale-like aspects to it. I had a rather hard time with the game bcause of that but that feeling was declining more and more, as I found the story and characters to be rather interesting. When it comes to character-development, I think this game did it the best so far, but I could be wrong on that.
In general I was less impressed about the game overall, because it took a major step back in technology which is highly notable even to this day (talk about hacking the game and not being able to bypass the game's NES-like limitations).
The battles are slow like molasses due to long-winded load times, skill-pre animations and high-detail character models, that more time flows into that than the actual battle itself. Grinding for levels always was a pain too, because of the excessive amount of EXP you need later on, just to see that the HP and MP you get raise less and less with each level, resulting in a +1 HP for all the last 20 or so levels, just so you do not get too much resources, which is the dumbest thing I have ever seen in a FF-game, balance-wise. That is, save for the catastrophe that is Final Fantasy 12, but that comes later. (Ominous foreshadowing ;-P)
Enemies and you had way less HP and MP, and any parameters save for attack could not bypass the two-digits and yes, these kinds of things always bothered me.
Another thing I highly disliked, was that you could not get as powerful, equip-wise, but that does not matter much after you played Final Fantasy 12, which is a whole different story. I was also really bored by the fact that enemies -no matter if trash mop or superboss- could not have more than 65535 HP (55535 on several bosses because of questionable coding and eventing-decisions) which took away that feeling Final Fantasy 7 and 8 could deliver so nice.
And last but not least, the card minigame, which I highly dislike even to this day. To me it is limiting, dumb, and highly questionable with it's strange card stats. I already know what does what, but the cardgame is simply too random to play it like any good cardgame I know to this day. How often did I lose a card like "Gemini Moon" to a "Oglob" just because the game dosn't really know itself what it wants. And the fact that you could only ever have a maximum of 100 cards made it even more bad for me. At least, in Final Fantasy 8 you could hold any card you got and every monster in the game had a card, unlike this game, where only a random selected amount of monsters and other stuff had a card.
Today I really like the game in general, for it's colorful fantasy world, it's funny and interesting characters (Freya and Quina have to be my favorites) and the big plottwist at disc 3. :p
It takes my spot 4 on the list for everything it is.
Final Fantasy 10
I remember everyone awaiting this game and the hype it had. All that talk about the sphere grid system and that you would not accumulate levels anymore, to get stronger. My first impressions of the game were great and the game played even greater for me. The fresh and polished look of the PS2, the great soundtrack and soundeffects like that of the Gravitas-spell, the more dynamic moving monsters (at least back then) and the voice acting were all great to have, eventhough, these days I find it rather dumb that Tidus is never called by his name just so you could rename him, which in my opinion was a very silly move. I always was okay with the aeons, though.
The game surely was challenging back then. You had to rely onto elemental affinities, debuffs and ailments or you would bite the grass quite fast, especially against Iron Giants, Wendigos and the like. I think that the summoning in Final Fantasy 10 is the best still to this day and I like how powerful they are compared to you... at least until late game where they become just meat shields against superbosses. My alltime favorite has to be the almighty Bahamut and the great Yojinbou with their appearance and skills. The first time you are summoning Bahamut or the moment you are talking with your brother about something and suddenly you see a 5-digits number popping up onscreen while performing a Mega Flare, or that moment when you summon Yojinbou and pay him to attack and he blatantly kills a superboss in front of you will always be golden memories for me. Finally a Final Fantasy did let you do stuff like this.
The story of the game, in my opinion, is the most interesting of all the FF's I have played. That is for one the fact that it could be summed up perfectly in a movie and that it does not take so much round-abouts like other games. Sin was there from the beginning to keep you served with action and dispair, and Seymour was just grotesque enough with his crazy attitude.
Gameplay wise, it was a huge step-up from final fantasy 9, in my opinion. The sphere grid was great, I loved the new limit breaks (admitting that some characters just have useless limits, like Kimahri, Lulu or Auron later on) and the fact that you could even get 5-digit numbers ad dealt damage or even HP was huge. What I never liked about the game, however, was the equipment-system and the fact that the high numbers meant nothing in the end. Weapons and off hand-equipment only had an impact through the abilities on them (man, was I confused as to where to look for the parameters of the equipment xD) and not through stats. And while you may break the damage cap of 9999 later on, it is a necessity rather than a help, as just about every postgame monster tends to have millions of HP, which killed that aspect for me later.
One fact I always found interesting is that the european version was always superior to the US-release due to the fact that europe always had to wait for games so long that the japanese release of the "International" version was used for a european translation, among other reasons, of course. So I came into contact with these obnoxious dark aeons just after heading for Besaid near the end of the game. I thought that these dark aeons are simply meant to prohibit you entry to all the places they were located at, because they were so overpowered.
On my list, this game is at spot 3. Always remembering how I felt when getting to a new area not seen before.
Final Fantasy 10-2
When I first heard about this, I thought it is just another "I wish it would happen"-thing by someone back then, but when I first saw it, I was super happy. It once more brought back normal levels, real equipment (well, real accsessories at leat) and was more traditional in the sense of older Final Fantasies. The game itself sure is really trashy and girly at times but it always keeps up for me with good and interesting gameplay. This was the first game I played, that brought actual "Active"-time battle to the pool. Everything happens in realtime and simultaneously, meaning when you attack an enemy, it could attack one of your teammembers at the exact same time. They even brought a combo-mechanic in aswell, to further abuse such a battle system.
The game-balance also felt way more under control than that of the previous entry. In general the game plays very smooth and satisfying to me, because there is so much you can do and so many sidequests and optional stuff. The story of the game is rather simple at first, but I like that they actually explain things that you may have asked yourself in Final Fantasy 10. So, if you want to know where exactly "Sin" comes from, this game has the answer. ^^
Well, what I didn't like about the game, like so many others I know, is what Yuna has turned into. I do not hate it, but I think it does not really fit, either. Also, regarding optional stuff, the game makes you waste a lot of time fairly often, just to get an item of insignificant worth. There is even an optional dungeon that you have to complete twice for absolutely no reason, just so that on your second go-through a chest with a very rare but not really useful effect spawns at the very end.
The best late game-dungeon for me was the "Via Infinito" which is the classical "100 floors of monsters with bosses inbeween stages". But in my opinion there is nothing wrong with that. The rewards are surely worth it.
I always saw this game as a bonus-entry for all those people who enjoyed the original so much, and despite the fact it was the first Final Fantasy made by Square Enix, I think it still is very good. The best version however is the International-version, which contains so much more stuff that it has to be the best rerelease I know of any game.
In conclusion I have this game on spot 5 of my list. Many people dislike it and I can see where they are comming from, but I still really like it anyways.
Final Fantasy 6
I got to play this game after it was released in europe first in 2002. I was always wondering how a Final Fantasy was before the Playstation time and Final Fantasy 6 made me realize that Final Fantasy 7 is kind of an oddball when compared to other final fantasies, for several small reasons. Final Fantasy 7 was the game without a Drain or Osmose-spell, it's stats are less of an impact on your character, the reflect-state does actually reflect back already reflected magic (up to 4 times), there are elements that shouldn't even exist, experience is not devided by party members, and so on.
Final Fantasy 6, despite being originally released for the SNES, may be the game with the second most content overall, only topped by FF 10-2 International + Last Mission HD Remake. I loved the sheer amount of skills, items and gear, characters, dungeons, secrets and espers it had, alongside all those strange monsters and bosses. It was a bit difficult to adapt to the graphics at first, as I had not played a game as this in ages, but in the end it was very rewarding in the end.
My brother never really liked it because of it's look but it made me actually love pixel games and now I can (and will) design graphics like this.
But since this game is already a bit older, it holds it's fair share of bugs and quirks too, like the Rippler-bug, the Interceptor-bug, the empty party-softlock, and more, but if you are not unlucky, then you will most likely never see any of these.
What I always found to be funny is that this game, despite being on SNES, is not as limited as Final Fantasy 9, code-wise and that hacking seems way easier aswell.
The story is not too interesting for me, but like with almost every other Final Fantasy, I like most of the characters. The main-villain is the most interesting of 'em all to me (followed by FFX's "Sin") and is always good for a laugh too.
I would consider this entry in the FF-series to be the easiest one ever, as your levels alone tend to fix all your difficulty problems you could ever have, and you already start with exeptionally high stats all around. The monsters are also rather fair and the bosses, save for the extra dungeons and super bosses of the GBA-version, are also not that hard.
Considering everything, this game holds the number 2 of my alltime favorite Final Fantasy games. It is huge and rich, funny, holds probably more secrets than any other Final Fantasy and just feels great for an SNES-game in general.
Final Fantasy 5
In europe it was released shortly after Final Fantasy 6 and it was similar to final fantasy 6 in one way and to 9 in another way.
Even with the fact that I played this game quite some times until late game, I never ever finished it, despite having a lot of fun with it. I have to admit that the story is not really interesting for me, but I always found it funny that "Lonewolf the Pickpocket" (an NPC from FF6) is in reality an alien from another planet. xD
Gameplay-wise it was very interesting with it's job-system, ABPs, and the fact that you only ever get 4 characters (Krile replaces Galuf, so no 5th character really) in the whole game, which made leveling off party-characters unneccessary.
Otherwise I cannot say much about this game, so this entry is on place 8 of my personal FF-list.
Final Fantasy 4
Out of all the final Fantasies, this one has the most classical Spirit of Squares Final Fantasy itself to me. Just by the look of the enemies, the characters, the skills, the world and the story, I feel like this. Overall I had lots of fun playing this game and experiencing it's more unique battle flow. Otherwise there is not much I can say, other than that I at least finished this game twice, once on Playstation in 2002 and on the PSP of the "Afteryears"-edition, which out of all the available platforms has the worst version of the game.
Final Fantasy 4 itself is on spot 7 of my list.

If I would talk about "The Afteryears" made by Square Enix, I would say screw that one. I liked half of that, but I highly disliked the second half of it. Yes, it was clearly made by Square Enix...
Final Fantasy 12
Well, this one holds a very special place in my heart, for many reasons, if good or bad. When it came out in 2004, it surely was the most well worked out Final Fantasy - gameplay-wise. Not a single game that I had played up to this point had so much detail put into it's battle system as Final Fantasy 12 and they really went out of their way to build someting unique. Many people hate the gambit-system but I always really favored it, as it made most things easier and puts you in a kind of manager-role. The world itself also has loads of details in it and technically it is the strongest Final Fantasy of all the ones I have played.
Atmospherically this game also hits it for me in the way they talk, the ways you interact with people and with how full of life everything is. Also someting I liked was the licence board which was similar to the sphere grid from FF10, even though, it was pretty easy for me to complete it at the very beginning of the game.
But to be honest, this game literally killed the series for me, as it was the first game that had that distinctive Square-Enix-smell with it. I cannot really tell too much about the story, even though, I have sunken around 230 hours into this game in just two playthroughs but none of them brought me further than Archadis (that red city that is devided into old and new) due to how uninteresting the game got for me both times.
I am that kind of player that likes to grind and harvest the fruits of such hard and often very boring work in the end. Final Fantasy 12 seemed so good to me that on my first attempt of a playthrough I managed to level up to level 84 in just the Giza Plains (slaying these 2 Werwolves over and over), which took around 110 hours to do (yes, that was dumb I guess). When I then finally decided that this should be enough (xD) I ventured onto the real thing, always looking forward to things to come, especially the places, monsters, skills and equipment.
But in the end I found out what horrible game balancing this game has to offer. No matter if totally cryptic droprates and conditions several items have, they are mostly totally useless too, like beating a super strong and rare mob (this game always wanted to be like an MMORPG but it forgot to have the upsides of one) that could easily kill vastly overleveled me despite being supposed to beatable with 50 less levels than I had, and then dropping a piece of equip that already is useless against normal monsters from 3 areas before.
Most of the game mechanics and designs contradict each other, which to me looks like the team on this game had no clue of game balance.
About the espers there is not much to say either, other than that they are all absolutely useless, even weaker than your normal characters.
I honestly could go on forever, but I guess it is pointless anyways. I can safely say that this game to me is the worst Final Fantasy, no matter if the original version or the "The Zodiac Ages". I rather rant about this game then playing it, and no, none of that is what I really want to do. ^^
 

LaFlibuste

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I just miss the days when a new FF game comes out and you go get it and bam. Got a new jrpg with altered/new mechanics, new lore, but the gameplay being exactly what you expected.

Honestly I would argue that this premise is flawed and it is why people are always disappointed with the franchise. People just happened to pick one they refer to as the "classic" (usually the first one they played - for me it's FFIV) and expect new titles in the series to follow its trend but really if there has ever been a trend with the numbered FF game, it is in my opinion that the devs have always tried new, different stuff, always tried to be different. Maybe the modern titles are "more" different from one another than the older ones but I'd argue it is mostly due to less technical limitations.

I'm not super knowledgeable about the early days of RPGs, honestly I picked the series up at FF4 and left it at FF10. Case in point:

FF1 might be seen as a classic today, but I'd argue that in comparison to the hit series of the time (aka Dragon Warrior) it was trying to be different by being more open (letting you make up your party) and the sideways battle in particular.

With FF2, they decided to forego levels entirely characters getting better at actions by executing them (or is it FF3? I tend to confuse these two, haven't played them much).

Can't say I remember much about FF3. I think it had a job system?

FF4 seems classic, maybe it's kinda more story driven? It has a larger party then most other titles and it is fixed by the narrative, which wasn't always the case with earlier titles (I think?)

FF5 tried to be different with its job system.

FF6 was being different with it having the largest cast of characters ever in the series (and arguably in a JRPG at that time?)

FF7 is firmly story-driven, one of the first specialization rather than being a simplification like most RPGs before it. Also it introduced limits.

With later titles they experimented with different level up systems and skill acquisition systems (an experimentation they had started with FF6). FF8 was a graphical revolution, FF10 did away with the ATB, FF11 was an MMO, FF12 did away with the sideview battles, and I can't comment much on 13-14-15.

So I think we can debate whether this trend of constant innovation is good or bad, but I'm not so sure we can point to a "typical" FF game that sets the core elements of the series. Not in the same way that we can with Dragon Warrior, for example, which is much more monolithic a series, in my opinion.
 

wonderjosh3000

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I found that up until 13, most Final Fantasy's had that FF thing going on in many ways, whether I enjoyed the game or not. Sometimes there was more story, sometimes less, but usually had some similar battle system (even 12 as different as it was, had it), some kind of summoning, creatures like moogles or chocobos, and the like. Generally the stories were pretty good, but how they were executed might not have always been great. My first was 3/6. And at that time in video game history, it was REMARKABLE. Heck, the bad guy actually succeeds and destroys the world, becoming god-like, and you have to reassemble your members who've scattered to the winds and take him down. There was a good number of great side quests and hidden bits. So for me, that game hold a special place in my heart, haha.

I'll do the usual and number out the games and my thoughts on them!

FF1 - I played the remake of this one first. I never owned an NES so I hadn't played it until I got the PS1 version. It was fun. A good simple little RPG that was mainly dungeon crawling and grinding. But it was enjoyable.

FF2 - Dang, I never got far in this one. I played this just after FF1 on the PS1 remake. I found I had to battle a lot to make my characters into my desired 'classes'. It was a really cool system and I was impressed that it was able to be implemented on the NES when it was released. Sounded like it had more of a story going for it than FF1, but I never got far enough to find out.

FF3 - Ah, the class/job system was super cool. Again, played a remake. I THINK I beat the game, but I don't remember, haha.

FF4 - I owned this one and played it many many times because I only had a handful of games for SNES back in the day. Well, of RPG's anyway. The boss battle music is probably still one of my favourite battle tunes from the series. Great story, even though limited with the 2-dimensional story-telling that lots of older games had. But awesome stuff with the whole dark knight/paladin thing, the lost brother being your prime enemy, the EFFING MOON. Pretty rad stuff. Zeromus coming outta nowhere was a bit weird but hey, he made for a gnarly final boss, haha.

FF5 - Played this one on the PS1 release as well. It had some of the same 2-dimensional story-telling as FF4, but you could tell it was more fleshed out. A bridge between 4 and 6. The job system was pretty killer in this one, with levels in multiple jobs giving you access to another, being able to equip job skills, and all that. I don't remember much of it though. The story was pretty forgettable, I guess, haha.

FF6 - My favourite, likely because of nostalgia reasons. I said mostly what I love about it in my opening paragraph, so it's pretty much all there. Edgar FTW!

FF7 - I got this game after finding out that Aeris bites the dust, so when that happened in-game, I didn't get it in the feels :| Thanks, friends from grade 7. BUT it was a pretty cool game, even though I couldn't stand the Cloud's weird emo whine and didn't think Sephiroth was a good bad guy, motivation-wise. Your mom being an alien and you being created doesn't seem like enough to tip you off your rocker. I felt like he went crazy too easily. Maybe that was lost in the English translation, and I'm sure it was the translation that got me confused a lot when I first played the game, haha. But it was a good one nonetheless!

FF8 - The first time I played the game I must not have leveled up much and when I got to Pandora or whatever, I couldn't beat the witch boss there who was holding Rinoa captive, and all enemies gave me 1 exp, so I couldn't leave the place and I couldn't grind. Had to get a friend to load up a save file on my memory card so I could resume the game, haha. It also had some weirdly confusing and convoluted bits. I hardly remember the story being coherent. At one moment this was the story and then all of the sudden the story was something else. The GF system was cool, though. I liked that. And it made Alexander my favourite summon of the series, haha.

FF Tactics - Amazing game. Super sad ending. A bit of a letdown ending, actually. But the game itself all the way through to then was great. A+ with the job system and combat balancing compared to other tactical RPG's I've played.

FF9 - Overall I loved 9. Brahne and Kuja were kinda weak antagonists, with Kuja having sort of a Sephiroth thing going on. I LOVED how all NPCs were a blend of humans, anthropomorphic creatures and weird looking things. Such a cool world. Didn't care for how the late game phase closed off a bunch of towns and villages. That probably had something to do with disc space though, I'm thinking. I also enjoyed character-tied classes coming back. The story, the look, the feel, the skill learning system, were all things I vibed with in FF9. Probably my second favourite of the series.

FF10 - This was an odd duck. The sphere-grid was lame in end-game since everyone could learn all skills and I don't like that. Makes having particular characters a bit useless, especially if their design is based around their innate skillz, like Lulu being a black mage but then can be a tank like Auron? Nah, not a fan. The characters weren't all that interesting. Yuna was boring, Tidus was generic, Wakka was annoying, Lulu was a bit bland, Kimari was ok since his deal was stoicism, and Riku was a typical quirky character. Seymour's visual design was super lame I found, and an uninteresting enemy. Jecht's boss battle theme was cheese up the butt. And the lack of variety of aeons was disappointing. The story as a whole was pretty good but just fell flat on the delivery for me. It's an ok entry in the series, but definitely not a fav.

FF11 - Online and MMO so meh!

FF12 - At first I was like nah this is tedious, with the giant maps and looting for things to sell for money. Exploring the maps and getting sell-able loot took so long that I'd forget about what was going on story-wise. But the summons were a cool diversion from the usual FF summons and they all had some pretty great design and backstories. Got all of them. I really liked the battle system. Would be a great battle system concept for a Chrono Trigger remake. But same with 10, the ability to have everyone learn every skill was dumb. When I got to end game, I started doing the hunts and got lots done. About 100 hours in by little brother accidentally saved over my game file, haha. SO a couple years later I played it again, and knowing what to expect, I LOVED it. I even bought the remaster that came out last year or whatever, which was even better since the license boards were job-oriented and your characters could only have 2. Hooray, haha.

FF13 - A similar experience to 12 in that I played it, disappointed with how linear it was and the lack of towns/npcs/actual interaction with the world it had, got to Pulse, and stopped. I think I even sold the copy I had. But then a year or so later, I was like 'I should finish it' and picked up a cheap copy somewhere and enjoyed the rest of the game since I knew what to expect! Though the battle system was meh. I'm not a big fan of automated character actions. The thing Square-Enix has with having to have a unique battle system each game lately is something that doesn't interest me. But anyways, the story was interesting and big and I was a big fan of the mechanical design of the Fal'Cie, lol.

FF14 - Like 11 for me! Lame races! They all just look human with cat ears or just big trolls. BORING.

FF15 - Ah, the game that never was. No magic, lame summoning, hardly a story, you controlled only one character. Sure, it was a pretty game, some plot points were delivered with style and drama, and yeah the relationship between the party members was very well done, but that's it for me. A very short game with MMORPG-style fetch quests for sidequests? Guh. I traded in the game as soon as I finished. And I preordered the thing for 80 bucks. It's potential was there, but I think it was in development hell for too long and suffered because of it.

Let's just say my disenchantment with the FF series began years ago and now I don't think I'll ever pre-order one again, but I'll play them when they're cheap/on sale!
 

OgreKiddo

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Hey it's my turn!

FF1: Good for a straightforward adventure but truly a product of its time, has a lot of archaic systems.

FF2: Adored the Story & Characters, FF2 gets a lot of hate for no reason. The Stat System is very Western RPG, & something a lot of people gravitate more today, its just FF2 was progression system was broken. FF2 had Leon tho, the 1st Dark Knight ever, he essential pulled a Sasuke Uchiha before it was; an orphaned man teen who wants to fix his homeland by embracing darkness/power & becoming the necessary evil so many can prosper. Leon is one my favorite Final Fantasy characters.

FF3: Cool Job system, the DS version is really great, still lacks a lot of strong narrative points.

FF4: Incredibly written, with a great cast. Cecil scaling that mountain & baptizing himself into a Paladin is one of Final Fantasy's greatest narrative moments. Rosa's Theme is one of the best pieces of music Uematsu put together. Kain is one of the best Final Fantasy characters ever, & written near-perfect. Rydia top 5 Waifus, her story/tragedy is amazing.

FF5: my favorite Final Fantasy. Job System is incredible. Bartz is my #1 favorite Final Fantasy Hero with Ex-Death being my favorite villian, both represent Nothingness & the Void. FF5 may have not has depth as the Final Fantasy games after, but it has this Dragon Quest vibe & a lot of great quotes, the interaction between the crew is amazing. Lenna's Theme is also incredible Uematsu piece.

FF6: Absoutely love it, the cast is amazing & the tragedies they suffer can be too real at times. Incredible moments. Ultros is top 5 favorite Final Fantasy characters.

FF7: I will never forget being in 1st grade & coming home to find this in the PSX Disc Drive. Memory will stay with me forever. FF7 was my 2nd FF Experience, & a close part of my childhood. It is overrated because a lot of people wouldn't shut up about it, but this game has a magical flow about it & was just perfect for a kid to experience. Still...I can get annoyed by the newer fanbase because they really only like Cloud yet make fun of FF7 like dude cmon

FF8: Heavily slept on, the lore in FF8, as well as the theories are mind-blowing. Juggling a Time Travelling/Space-Time narrative can be convoluted but FF8 has a great flow, though there are times where stuff falls apart

FF9: Probably has the best atmosphere & world, there are times when the Narrative/World is perfect & other times that are kinda loose. Zidane & Dagger have a great relationship. Love the thrill of adventure & exploration, kidnapping a runaway princess is such a beautiful fantasy trope, Kuja is a fiesty ***** I love him.

FFX: that ending...FFX has some deep moments & the music is incredible, some of Uematsu best.

FF12: 2nd behind FF5 as my favorite, Yasumi Matsuno is a genius & FF12 has the best intritcate world out of the entire series. the Politics, the War Themes, the progression system, all of the hidden stuff. Balthier & Fran are incredible.

FF13: Really really hate the beginning of this game but it does pick up & eventually warm up to the cast (except for Snow...I hate Snow Villers...I hate his face) Lightning can have sweet moments at times, but she can be a wood plank also. Really believe Fang should've been the protagonist.

FF15: The Road Trip theme is amazing, Nocto & fam have the best friendship out of the entire series. Jeez does this game fall apart, like Square put their team hard at work on Visuals & Animations then totally forgot to keep the Narrative cohesive. Still, the bromance is real.
 

Engr. Adiktuzmiko

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I don't really look at games with technical stuff in mind, I mostly just try to enjoy them as much as possible.

My favorite/s would be X/X-2. I just really liked Yuna and the whole summonner thingy, it was the game/s that I had most fun with..

Next would be Tactics Advance and Tactics Advance 2. I got kinda hooked in those games for a long time.

I liked FFXIII too even if most people hate it because of its linearity.

FF Tactics was good but the time I played it was a time I wasnt really good at these things so I kinda hated how hard it was to me.

FFVII was pretty much not memorable for me, but maybe because I played it on PC with lots of "cheats"

Never got to play FFXV because of all the updates/DLCs it has. I simply dont have the capability to download them right now.. If they shipped the royal edition with everything inside the disc instead of vouchers, I would have gotten it.

I will probably get FFXII once it releases for Switch because my PS4 has a long list of upcoming games..
 

bgillisp

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@wonderjosh3000 : On ff8, you were probably actually overleveled, which was the problem. ff8 scales enemies to match your level, but they scale them more than you could ever gain yourself in a level up. So say you gain +1 STR, +1 MAT and +44 HP with that level up. Guess what, all enemies just got +67 HP, +2 STR, +1 MAT, +1 VIT and +1 AGI, have fun. And bosses scale even more. In theory you were supposed to balance that out with good junctions but if you get to say that Soceress Adel battle where you are trapped there until you beat it, then you are just stuck.

I've actually found that game easier the less I level up due to the awful scaling system it uses.

Oh, and the story about disc 3 it does feel like someone threw every idea they had in a blender and hit blend. I liked it until there, but around disc 3 it fell apart. It was almost like they had an idea for discs 1 and 2, but had no idea how to finish it or make it go on beyond that, so just did something. Personally, I think they should have just tried to end it around end of disc 2, but people would have rioted at a FF game with barely 20 hours of playtime then, so we got what we got.
 

wonderjosh3000

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@wonderjosh3000 : On ff8, you were probably actually overleveled, which was the problem. ff8 scales enemies to match your level, but they scale them more than you could ever gain yourself in a level up. So say you gain +1 STR, +1 MAT and +44 HP with that level up. Guess what, all enemies just got +67 HP, +2 STR, +1 MAT, +1 VIT and +1 AGI, have fun. And bosses scale even more. In theory you were supposed to balance that out with good junctions but if you get to say that Soceress Adel battle where you are trapped there until you beat it, then you are just stuck.

Yeah that makes sense! I mean this all happened back in the actual PSX time of the game, so I don't fully remember, but that sounds legit!

Oh, and the story about disc 3 it does feel like someone threw every idea they had in a blender and hit blend. I liked it until there, but around disc 3 it fell apart. It was almost like they had an idea for discs 1 and 2, but had no idea how to finish it or make it go on beyond that, so just did something. Personally, I think they should have just tried to end it around end of disc 2, but people would have rioted at a FF game with barely 20 hours of playtime then, so we got what we got.

That's true. It was a good game up until a point and then it fell apart. I DO remember that when they figured out they were all orphans at the same orphanage I was like whaaaat where was the foreshadowing on this? It was SO random that it felt weirdly inserted. And then I don't remember much of the game after that, haha. Also, I don't remember much of the game at all, really. I've got it on Steam, so I should hit it up again!
 

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I grew up with the series starting with the SNES games. FF's a biiiiig part of my life, or was. I loved 1 through 10 a lot. I mean some were worse than others (8 with the junction system make me want to die), but regardless they all FELT like FF.

11 bothered me when it came out because I found it dumb that there was an MMO in the main series. It genuinely bothered me and continues to bother me with 14. Why on earth are these called FF11/14? Why are these sub based shared world MMOs in the numbered main series of single player epic stories about actual characters? Why couldn't these just be called FF Online or something and be their own thing?

12 felt weird to me because Ivalice was a world made specifically for side series stuff, and it just played and felt way too different. I liked the game, but it being called FF12 felt weird because it just didn't feel like it should be called FF12. It definitely felt better than 11 though and I was way more accepting of it. My gripe with it is minor, it just feels weird seeing an Ivalice game in the main series.

I remember being so excited for 13. I even took the day off school to pick it up and play it. I was pumped.
I tried very very hard to like this game. Played through it twice just to be sure. But I just can't. I actually hate this game, a lot. I had never cared so little about a storyline or plot or the characters within in it before in my life. And dear god it just railroaded you so hard. And if you didn't have a max crystarium for every boss then you were outright not killing that boss, it felt like. Fights were either easy as can be or impossible. It just felt awful. I think most people, if observation serves me right, agree 13 was bad, but then they kept making sequels??? 13-2 was genuinely bad. And I didn't even play Lightning Returns because I was disgusted at that point. Can't wait for "FF13-4: Lightning Leaves Again"!

14 like I said with 11 I just, again, why is there an MMO in the main series. I don't care how good it is. It shouldn't be called FF14.

15 I didn't even buy or play. Looked like Kingdom Hearts with a coat of lead paint over it in terms of battling and I heard nothing good about it either. And it seems to have been completely forgotten by now.

Can't we just go back to a turn based/ATB based Final Fantasy game that tells a memorable story? People like to use the excuse for Square Enix that "Those kinds of games don't sell/no one's interested in those games anymore" and yet everyone I know that loved FF like I do, including myself moved over to the Persona series, which is popular as hell and sells like hotcakes. So that's a BS excuse.

I'll always remember FF4, FF6, FF7, FF9 especially,and I love 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, and 10 to death as well. Hell I even like 10-2 and that game is a literal meme. I couldn't even TELL YOU what happened in 13 and I played through it TWICE, and I have 0 desire to even TRY 15.

Idk, this series is always a painful subject for me haha. I can go on and on and on.
 

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Oh man i love these sort of threads :kaoluv:

FF1: Great little game if you want your own team of named characters going through adventures
FF2: Skipped because i didn't like the gameplay
FF3: Loved the Nes version, skipped the DS. They've refined the FF formula and made the music enjoyable enough despite being on the nes
FF4: I loved the story, still need to play the sequels.
FF5: Refined job system of FF3, definitely worth the play.
FF6: By far my favorite Final Fantasy. You have a ton of characters to choose from, lots of branching story/side-quests and you get to use all of your characters at moments. The story is pretty good too :kaopride:
FF7: Sure, it's highly overrated but you can't deny how good the game is. You have way more content than most final fantasies, and while you expect the game to end after Shin-ra and change disk, instead your adventure begins for real on a huge map :kaojoy:
FF8: I had to restart my entire game :kaoback:The game was fun but the gameplay was terrible with the way it expected you to play.
FF9: Definitely brought back those good times of the earlier games.
FF10: The story was good despite how you now longer walk on a map, i also loved the summon system. :kaoluv:
FF13: I stopped midway due to how terrible everything felt. You just walk to the next event and that's it.:kaoangry:
 

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Made the "My Beating Mystery" board today:
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in Grim Trigger episodes 3 & 4, the main characters play a Clue rip-off board game called "My Beating Mystery" (haha), so of course I had to draw the board for it. Can't decide if I wanna add blood or not
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I finally decide, after several ppl asking me to, to create a gamethread about project M... And my internet craps out on me halfway through the process :(
making my first game is like trying to stuff all my experience with old games into one
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