Discussion in 'Video Games' started by yieldingmydestiny, Mar 21, 2012.
The only characters that are interesting in FFXII are Balthier and Bad Guy Cid.
Yes! I said this from the moment I met him. He is far more interesting than Vaan.
With Vaan I feel like they were trying to be like Les Miserables but then forgot the songs
final fantasy xii had a wide array of interesting characters, some of which became less interesting after act 1... and then another bunch became less interesting on the way to the final act, or had plot arcs with rushed resolutions. The only character who was consistently good... was Basch. The game spent 5 years in development, with many significant staff changes, and probably suffered from schedule crunch, a hectic development, and lots of hiccups. Which is a shame, one because I actually really like FFXII despite everything, but there's probably a lot of interesting development gossip probably locked up behind NDA's. There's just... at a few parts of the game where you can see them drop the ball in a big way. I want the dev gossip. I wont get the dev gossip, at least not for a while and it won't be fresh. i am frustrated.
Actually, I think the problem lies with Amano as a writer.
He doesn't really do character driven narratives, and has said as much in interviews. He is great with plots and politics but that's his forte.
He had great impact on the game.
Apart from that FF12 was riddled with the same dev problems as Vagrant Story. Vagrant Story was cut short by around 2/3 for a lot of the same reasons as the butchering of FF12 development.
Personally, I liked FF XII for pretty much exactly that reason. It's not the straight "Story of the Hero" that so many of them are. You're not the 'Chosen One' [Arcanum], 'Son of Bhaal' [baldur's Gate], 'Crystal Warrior' [Final Fantasy, take your pick], 'Prophesied Messiah' [Dune, Star Wars], or any of the other 1001 ways that character has been packaged. It's a good story (which it's why it's been packaged 1004 different ways) but not every story needs to be that story.
FF XII was just a bunch of guys that got caught up in something, each with their own motivations (or lack thereof) for being there.
Balthier and Fran were the sky pirates, so they started off with a motivation, though Balthier evolves a bit as the story goes on. Penelo arguably grows the most - starting of as the 'perky sidekick' to Va'an at the start but becoming a strong supporter of Ashe as the game progresses. Basch has his whole character arc thing going on (along with the 'Who the hell is he, really? trope). You could argue that Va'an was pretty much just chasing Penelo's skirts through the game, especially once Penelo came into her own with the Ashe character arc.
The gambit system was a good idea poorly executed. For example, gambits like "Do this when blinded" were basically useless since the only thing you'd want to do when blind is cure the blindness, but the game was smart enough to not do that unless you were blind anyway... It still was a nice break from mashing the same keys over and over and over though.
As for X-2? Not one of my favorite Final Fantasy's, but one of my favorite games, if that makes sense.
Save the world? Screw that! I wanna gonna go play in the dirt... It was fun. Three hot chicks having fun. In a hot springs... Umm, Brother... that's your cousin (still better than Luke's sister ;p ). Almost the easiest 'Big Bad' of any game in the series though (a monk could one shot Chaos in FF I) - if you had Dark Knight and one Alchemist leveled up you could beat him at 30 pretty easily. The 'main quest' was more of a side quest than the 'episode' quests were. OTOH you had to really work at it to see the 'bad' ending.
"1000 words"? Epic.
The dressphere system was nice - it was a throwback to FF V in spirit, even if the mechanics were different. Much better (IMHO) than FF VIII's summon esper/junction, lay the smackdown, lather, rinse, repeat. Seriously, did anyone ever actually "Attack" with their characters outside of a 'challenge' game? FF X started out ok, but eventually everybody could do everything as well as anyone else (Lulu's mog smacking something around for 90+k?!?) other than summoning, which was Yuna's bag (although it did allow for the summons-only games). Once everyone had 'Quick Hit' tactics/strategy was easy: beat on something till dead, probably before it ever got a move off (Except Sleep Sprout - the first rule of Sleep Sprout is you never attack Sleep Sprout...).
XII was the last I played, so I can't speak to any of the ones after that.
I think you mean Yasumi Matsuno, and he had no problem creating characters that were actually interesting in FFT. Delita is one of my favorite video game characters period, and Ramza is also pretty interesting actually.
FFXII just lacks interesting characters. Like I can't for the life of me figure out why I'm supposed to care about them.
I did. I was in a hurry and on my phone, so I miswrote.
That's still not a very good example. FFT is still not really a character driven narrative by a longshot and characters are afforded much less dialogue than in most other numbered FFs.
What was there might have been more appealing to you, but it doesn't change the fact that what was there is still noticeably less than in average FFs.
Also, FFT had Sakaguchi as a producer. Knowing how much creative influence Sakaguchi usually has on all the games he's involved in, and how almost any FF he isn't involved in takes a turn for the worse, I think it's safe to assume that much of the feeling that makes FFT a stellar game on a character level, didn't happen because of Yasumi, it happened despite of him.
Yasumi's writing seems to lend a lot to chance in that regard. In Vagrant Story minimal dialogue and character transparency makes the protagonist seem human because of subtle visual cues, and story elements that are received sparingly which explain exactly why he, Ashley Riot, is the way he is. This works really well because there is only one protagonist, and because the game makes Ashley's struggle on a personal level run parallel to the plot.
In FF12, his writing fail because he now has a much larger cast to work with, who because of diverse background cannot all necessarily have a personal battle that runs parallel to the plot.
So, if you're not afforded enough dialogue to flesh them out as humans, they just start to come off as set pieces. IMO that's exactly what they did after a little while of playing.
That being said I felt the same way about the majority of characters in Vagrant Story and FFT as well.
Yasumi Matsuno wasn't the only producer for FFXII, as he had to drop the project in part way through due to health reasons, and have other people take over in his place. Fans speculate internal pressure also forced his resignation, like having to change the story due to focus-testing, but it's basically gossip. Speaking of focus-testing, adding characters in response to focus testing also hurt the story. Vaan and Penelo both have their stories drop off after the dreadnought leviathan sequence, and are the two most likely candidates for late-ish additions.
I'm not the only FFXII fan who wonders what the "original" vision was, before focus-testing and Matsuno's departure from the development. Not that it would have been necessarily better or worse, or even complete, but it's something to be curious about.
The problem with FFXII isn't that its plot driven rather than character driven, its that the characters are boring. The idea that people find the characters boring because it isn't a character driven story is a red herring. Yes, FFT slides more towards plot driven (though I would say that a huge portion of the periphery stuff post Chapter 1 happens because of Delita imposing his will), but the characters are still engaging.
And I definitely wouldn't put much blame on Matsuno, considering that he quit partway through making FFXII due to illness.
I'm not too far into it, but why does everyone hate Vayne?
He's incredibly down to earth given the circumstance. I'd like to get trashed with him and Miguelo
I just did that part where you find out Vossler is a chode
I don't have Vayne. He's much more powerful than fans like to give him credit for. You've done a great job as a villain if YOUR henchmen turn against YOU. And as stated before, he keeps very calm about everything.
and then "Skyfortress Bahamut" happened.
I dislike Bergan, but that is just me.
I should clarify, all the characters talk about he is such a big bad. Yet everytime I have seen him or his younger brother, they were out fist bumping with the common people and generally being cool.
And Ashe is all 'he's super dangerous'
That's because you haven't seen his evil side yet. I don't know how far you're into the game, but if you haven't seen Vayne being evil, you're not very far yet. Also, "Lamont" is a lot nicer than Vayne.
Vayne was just a really watered down incarnation of Dycedarg, with less cunning and more opportunities before him. This was always really glaringly obvious to me and is probably my main reason for disliking Vayne. I tried really hard to like 12, but the only person who I really had any kind of feeling for at all was Basch, yet the game chose to focus so little on him that that never developed from an initial curiosity at the potential that his backstory could have provided, yet didn't. I don't care what the reasons for it were, it's a shame that the game fails so fully to flesh out these characters and their roles in the story as I've always felt that 12 had a lot more potential than it utilized. Tactics did great as a plot driven game because though the overall plot was more important than the individual characters it was these characters that drove the plot, everything that happened happened because of how the characters in the story acted and reacted towards each other. While 12 is just coincidence after coincidence leading the party around until they eventually confront Arcadia and Vayne and all them, which gives the characters little real believability for why they are even involved in the first place.
Vayne is true evil done well, to borrow from another thread.
No nation is going to follow a leader who's all about bloodshed and butchery. Think Emperor Palpatine. Vayne's 'nice side' lets him keep his empire together, and all the sheeple following him. Some are more happy about it than others, but he uses his charisma to bring people around to his cause.
It's only the few who are really close to him (you'll see this later) that don't trust him, turn on him, have their own agendas against him, etc... They're the ones who have seen his 'evil' side and can see where it must lead.
I agree that XII doesn't develop its characters' personalities as well as say, VI or IX, but its characters don't take away from enjoying the game either. Some of the more recent games have had characters that are so annoying they make me dislike otherwise enjoyable games (Tidus, Fang, Vanille, that awful villain lady from X-2). I thought twelve's characters were solid. Not great, but not terrible.
And I agree that Vayne's a good villain. His 'wolf in sheep's clothing' persona works nicely with the more political storyline for XII.
Actually, my least favorite thing about XII was when the story started drifting away from Dalmasca v. Arcadia and got into the whole 'Humans drive history/gods drive history' thing. But overall I liked the story, and loved the gameplay.
The dreadnought leviathan sequence is something I already mentioned as the part thereafter Vaan and Penelo's plot lost all relevance to the story, but it's also where the story as a whole seems to go down a notch, and from there on it doesn't manage to live up to it's solid beginning. I mean, a second-act less hectic is the usual in most stories, but the game also failed to end as strongly as it began. That's not to say nothing cool happens for the rest of the game, but just everything before the dreadnought leviathan sequence is solidly pased, executed, involves the characters and political world drama in good amounts, and then for the rest of the game it never gets that good. And it's disturbing how easy it is to pinpoint where the slip begins.
I dont think I saw anyone mention it, but SE is remaking FF3 for the PC. No not just a port of the DS version, but a remake.
I'd agree for the most part. The first act is definitely the most interesting for most of the characters (though the second act does give us the interesting Cid/Balthier content)
If it ends up getting good graphics, it might be worth a try.
However, the plot to that game was quite repetitive, so I really don't know. I'm not going to touch it if it's more than $10.
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