Final Fantasy XIII Catch-All

Rave wrote:

Garion I feel like maybe 10hrs in? Maybe less I've fallen asleep while playing so the counter isn't accurate lol. Not sure the chapter but the story bits I kind of remember (it's been months)

Spoiler:

The groups are separated, Vanille and Zas (was that his name) just camped out by a waterfall and spoke about his son.
Hope and Lightning are heading towards Hopes hometown.

Ok, I know this is "the joke", but I am saying this with all sincerity:

The game was a slog for me until around 20ish hours in when you get access to the full character roster and the training wheels come all the way off; that's when the combat finally got good. Once you're swapping paradigms more aggressively to make use of buffs/debuffs and juggling defense/recovery with opportunities to bust out the heavy offense, it's finally the dynamic and exciting system that the game (rightfully) received praise for.

I think a lot of why I liked FFXIII-2 more is that you reached that point much earlier in the game. And with FFXV, I am getting thrown right in with just about the full range of systems available to fiddle with from the get-go. I don't mind a "soft" start where some systems or options are withheld to give me a chance to get familiar with a game's systems, but generally I like to be able to delve as far in as I can handle as early as possible. It's probably why I respond so enthusiastically to games like both Xenoblade Chronicles titles, FFXII, and FFXV (and frankly, I feel that FFXII and the first Xenoblade could stand to drop the training wheels a little sooner as well).

And don't neglect Sab/Syn roles! You should have unlocked some of them by now. This is the first FF game ever where buffs and debuffs actually matter. You'll see negative effects (red) and positive (blue) fill up under each player and enemy's name. Once a couple have stuck you can switch over. Done well these can make battles go MUCH faster, stripping enemy resistances or otherwise incapacitating them.

I took the second half of the year off of gaming, totally dropping everything where I was at, which included being almost at the end of chapter 11.

Well, since I had gotten so far I decided I should finally finish this game. I beat the boss at the end of chapter 11, watched the few cinematics that followed and then the game got stuck on a black screen trying to access the beginning of chapter 12. I tried again and actually got a "now loading" graphic but still stuck. Tried a few more times, no luck.

I'm playing off of a disc. It looks okay. Trying to decide whether I should try another disc since the game is so cheap or just watch the rest on YouTube.

Minarchist wrote:

This is the first FF game ever where buffs and debuffs actually matter.

Wut.... (unless you mean way overleveling compensates for them.)

steinkrug wrote:

I took the second half of the year off of gaming, totally dropping everything where I was at, which included being almost at the end of chapter 11.

Well, since I had gotten so far I decided I should finally finish this game. I beat the boss at the end of chapter 11, watched the few cinematics that followed and then the game got stuck on a black screen trying to access the beginning of chapter 12. I tried again and actually got a "now loading" graphic but still stuck. Tried a few more times, no luck.

I'm playing off of a disc. It looks okay. Trying to decide whether I should try another disc since the game is so cheap or just watch the rest on YouTube.

I picked up another copy at a local game store for under $5 and it has allowed me to progress into chapter 12. It looks like I may actually finally finish this game after several years.

RoughneckGeek wrote:
Warriorpoet897 wrote:
Minarchist wrote:

This is the first FF game ever where buffs and debuffs actually matter.

Wut.... (unless you mean way overleveling compensates for them.)

This is the first FF game where the buffs/debuffs are valuable enough to use rather than just flat out offense and healing.

It's much like SMT where using the right buffs and debuffs for an encounter can take it from unwinnable to trivial.

I might just be terrible, but shell, protect and haste have always been must haves in FF for me since FF IV. The demon wall and other tough bosses were impossible for me without buffs. Hell, you can one shot Chaos in FF1 with a monk with fast casted on him.

That said, FF XIII is a much more developed version of these systems and it's my second favorite FF battle system (actually the only thing I like about the game).

Personally, I've never felt like using things like shell and protect were better than using that same turn to heal or attack (in the games I played prior to XIII). I have better luck tinkering with equipment before combat than casting buffs in combat. But I'm also notoriously terrible at these games, so I'm willing to accept that I'm doing it wrong.

Haste/Shell/Protect have always been useful (especially when you can do 2 or 3 of them at once with Big Guard)... but that's about it. You rarely ever cast debuffs like Confusion, Sleep, Poison, etc. in the older games because 90% of the time they don't hit nor is it worth wasting a turn on them.

Slow and Haste were always my favorite FF spells. You could control so many encounters with them.

I did always like that one boss battle in IV where you debuffed with Reflect and had to bounce offensive spells off yourself to hit the boss. Rosa doing Holy that way was cool. Other than that I don't even remember using it much in other games.

Reflect was pretty vital for getting through the Magus/Fanatics Tower in VI if I recall correctly. Actually, most of the fights where you need it tend to be fairly gimmicky with it being the only way to win.

You could equip Vivi in IX with the Reflect x2 ability that reflected any spell cast at him back twice. If you targeted him, you could get two casts of anything for the cost of one.

I recall Carbuncling my party in VIII against Edea, then reflecting her for the odd times I needed to heal.

There have always been places, often boss fights, where buff/debuff spells made sense in Final Fantasy. Stacking Haste early on, for example, has been a go-to at least since FF5. But FF13 is the first (and only) game in the series where I felt rewarded for starting regular encounters with a debuffing Saboteur or a buffing Synergist and then switching to my beat-'em-ups. That, I think, is the real difference here.

Ed Ropple wrote:

But FF13 is the first (and only) game in the series where I felt rewarded for starting regular encounters with a debuffing Saboteur or a buffing Synergist and then switching to my beat-'em-ups. That, I think, is the real difference here.

This.

DanB wrote:
Ed Ropple wrote:

But FF13 is the first (and only) game in the series where I felt rewarded for starting regular encounters with a debuffing Saboteur or a buffing Synergist and then switching to my beat-'em-ups. That, I think, is the real difference here.

This.

Ayup, (de)buffs aren't as vital as say in the SMT series, but it's they're a lot more necessary in XIII than in past games for dealing with trash mobs.

Well, I finally finished Sunday evening. Playtime was over 40 hours, don't remember the exact number, which I guess is about average. I put the game down multiple times for long stretches of time but I'm happy I finally finished it.

I remember hearing that the game opened up later on, and feeling like that was expressed as a good thing, but when I got to that point, it felt like padding to me and I thought it was kind of irritating.

I liked the game overall, but didn't love it.

If you don't choose to try to S rank all the challenge fights in the open world bit then the open world bit doesn't really have much to offer.

I personally enjoyed that new challenge/ "puzzle" mechanic but I can see why it wouldn't interest others.