At 6/15/13 12:13 PM, VoidForce wrote:
VIII is definitely controversial when it comes to fan opinions. I think my only real gripe with it is that if focuses a LOT on Squall and Rinoa because it's to centred on the love story and neglects the other four a bit. The cast are still all likeable and great fun to play with, three of the six could just use a lot more character development.
FFVIII and I have a very strenuous relationship with one another. It was ambitious and tried a whole bunch of new things, some hit the wall and stuck while others fell flat on it's face. First of all Triple Triad is hands down my favorite FF minigame in the entire series. I found it incredibly addicting, wishing at one point there were more cards and rewards. The rules are simple (unless you spread the complex rules throughout regions, which you should never do) it is completely optional and grants extremely useful (game breaking towards the beginning) rewards for your trouble.
The junction system is where everybody's complaints lie (atleast one half of my issues with the game) and rightfully so. I understand what Square was trying to accomplish with enemies leveling up along with your character, it's all about game balance. The fundamental problem however is that it is unintentionally IN-balanced, due to the fact that enemies level according to SQUALL and only him, with the addition that stat gain modifiers hinder at higher levels. It is much more beneficial to learn and adapt the junction system and equip adjacent spells to the stats that receive the highest boost, rather than XP grind. Disc one all by itself you can become overpowered to the point to where you can beat the game by abusing your GF refining abilities=>magic and junctioning properly and this is poor design.
Also, weapon upgrading is extremely useless in stat gained by doing so and the items required to forge are often out of the way or difficult to get your hands on. The only person I would even suggest upgrading their weapon is Squall because he receives new limit breaks upon doing so, it's worth noting Selphie gains a significant accuracy boost also.
The next issue to have with the game is its' spoon-fed romance, sorceress time fucked narrative. Let me put this out there DISC ONE FUCKING RULED HARD. You witness one of the most engrossing and impressive CGI cutscenes ever made, followed by your heroine dukin it out with his rival, taking steel to the face bleeding all over the place only to wake to a hospital. You are then graced with some hot ass blonde babe who escorts you to a fire cavern to fight a goat god. After that you're sent to raid Dollet on a mercenary style mission Normandy style, as you hurl your ship on the beach and unleash Ragnarok on the country's military. You then fight a gigantic mechanical spider only to flee for your life and barely escape with your rear in tact. (btw you witness blonde bitch fill it full of lead with a huge ass machine gun) There's the Timber mission where you are sent to assassinate a man for political gain in your countries favor, it's all so romantic in the early stages of the game, only to disappoint later on. Finally, you're tasked with lopping off the sorceress's head during her celebratory inauguration only to be thwarted by her other-worldly magic. Leaving you thinking Squall died reaching for this girl he barely knew with a gigantic icicle firmly in his chest.
DISC ONE WAS FUCKING PERFECT
but then it goes downhill
I like to believe the end of Disc one is the end of the game and everything thereafter is Squall's mind while in comatose, but that is wishful thinking I'm sure.
I don't really have the presence of mind to give a fully detailed reasoning and description as to where and why the game's narrative falls apart (my ass is half drunk atm) but I may pop in here and finish up what I started.
Pros- Badass as FUCK music score, insane graphics for it's time, triple triad kicks all sorts of asses, disc one storyline is god damn cinematic and breath-taking, tons of secret optional GFs and areas to explore
(staple to a great FF game)
Cons- Junction system is broken, characters are hit and miss as to their likability with Squall being extremely infamous, narrative completely falls apart and tramples on itself after disc one
Overall the game is a 7/10 -where 5 is average-
Other notes I wanted to say, but couldn't fit anywhere. No encounter ability on Diablos is a GOD SEND, they need to incorporate this into future games COME THE FUCK ON SQUARE. The final dungeon of Ultimecia's castle is absolutely jaw dropping gorgeous; it's atmosphere and tone gives me goosebumps EVERY. FUCKING. TIME. Plus secret Super boss Ultima Weapon was tons of fun figuring out how to best, I love when rpgs give players optional super bosses to tackle.
VI on the other hands manages to give everybody a lot more focus and at times it's not even clear who the lead is meant to be out of Terra, Locke and Celes. It really gets the formula of the ATB right, completely spot on.
Many people (myself included) believe the game is split into two distinct halves, The World of Balance and the World of Ruin. Terra is more or less the "main character" for the first half of the game where she's discovering her identity as a half human half Esper and joining the other cast as they stand force against the Empire. The second half sees Celes with her struggle to cope with her friends lost (and possibly Cid) and breathes hope into the game as she scours the planet looking for old friends to put a stop once and for all to Kefka's world domination.
Technically, there is no main character. VI is my favorite of the series BY FAR, it's not even close and I could talk for days about this game. How it has the largest cast of characters; each with distinct and charming personalities. The largest selection of summons (espers) in ANY of the FF games to date and how the sprite/animation work was ahead of it's time. I'll cut it short though.
IX I have only played the first two/three hours of. It was a very enjoyable game and having watched my room mate get about halfway through, I definitely want to give it another chance as it seems full of a lot of potential.
IX I personally place as either my 2nd or 3rd favorite in the series. Abilities learned through equips was refreshingly simple after VIII's junction system (I was young, so shit was complex yo) although the card game Terramaster was a huge step back from Triple Triad. The music is absolutely god tier, Uematsu was at the top of his game with that OST seriously. The world is varied and the locales really feel alive beyond the player's presence. (Lindblum and Treno come to mind) It brought back the auction house from VI which was fun to mess with. Lots of secrets (Excalibur II anyone?) and the story progression had excellent pacing. Some people give Kuja a lot of criticism for being so androgynous, but I thought he still maintained an ominous presence and later in the game really exposes his vulnerability as a person.
Did I mention this is in the top three best looking ps1 games? Not even opinion, straight up fact. Some of the CGI cutscenes rivaled PS2 graphics.
Really, IX just hearkens back to the old days and really pulls on the heart strings of nostalgia fags like myself, which is one of the reasons why I love it so much.
It's hard for me to give too detailed of an analysis or opinions about certain aspects without getting into the major spoilers region so hopefully that at least helps a bit with initial perceptions. I'll finish by saying that they're all worth playing through even if you're having a struggle at the start of the game.
My ranking for Final Fantasy:
I place FFII last, however, it DID introduce Chocobos, Cid and Airships so keep that in mind. The characters and battle/lvl up mechanics were just an abortion waiting to happen though. I'll save that for another day.