JRPG Catch-All

psoplayer wrote:

They're really making up for lost time with the number of times they've released FF III on various platforms. Is it really seminal enough to warrant all this attention or are they just cashing in on North American confusion with the beloved FF6?

It was probably easy to do the port. We'll probably see iOS and PSP/Vita ports of IV DS soon enough.

shoptroll wrote:
psoplayer wrote:

They're really making up for lost time with the number of times they've released FF III on various platforms. Is it really seminal enough to warrant all this attention or are they just cashing in on North American confusion with the beloved FF6?

It was probably easy to do the port. We'll probably see iOS and PSP/Vita ports of IV DS soon enough.

$20 on PSP? Dang... think I'll wait for a sale.

I wonder if Trails in the Sky HD (PS3) will get a stateside release?

http://www.rpgsite.net/news/2034-fir...

Since I can't remember where most of the Kingdom Hearts 3D chatter was happening, I'm going to put some thoughts down here now that I've actually finished it, and these seems like the most appropriate spot.

Overall, it's good. However, I'm not sure if I'd put it above Birth By Sleep. But that might be due to the overall frustration I had due to playing 3D on Proud Mode (aka Hard Mode) while BBS was on Normal Mode. Both, however are the strongest of the "spinoffs" and I highly recommend them as must-haves for anyone who enjoyed the console games.

In some ways though, I feel like 3D is a case of one step forward, 1.5 steps back.

The story pacing is much improved over BBS primarily because there's only two characters to control and you're effectively ping-ponging between two different storylines. BBS fell apart in my book because Terra's story lays the entire plot bare and there's really not much more insight coming from viewing the same events through the eyes of Ventus and Aqua. Plus, Riku and Sora tend to explore different zones of each world (especially in the later half of the game) while BBS had much less variety in the zones you saw with each character.

The plot is still your standard Kingdom Hearts HEARTS! LIGHT! FRIENDSHIP!

Spoiler:

However, I would like to punch the writer who thought introducing time travel to this series was a great idea.

Combat mechanics are largely unchanged from BBS. However, and this might be due to Proud Mode, they increased the "cheese" dial on the enemy/boss maneuvers which made this a bit more frustrating than past games. Several trash mobs have rage counters where they turn red and receive a noticeable boost to their damage output. Most, if not all, of the end-game bosses rely on a couple of really cheap moves which makes them hard to kill. In addition, the spirits you recruit aren't exactly the best replacements for Donald & Goofy, instead they require a significant amount of investment in their "affinity" level in order to feel like they're attempting to pull their weight in combat. Lastly, I still feel like the camera is pulled in too close on the mobile games which often lead to dying from a shot to the back by an enemy or projectile I couldn't see.

Spirit system is a mixed bag. I liked unlocking abilities, but beyond that it felt like there was too much to do in the span of a 35 hour game. There's a New Game+ feature, but I don't see myself coming back for the story or even to finish creating the spirits I missed (about half of the roster). I also didn't like that passive abilities only applied as long as the spirit was in your party. Which is a disappointment after BBS let you max out your abilities (even passive ones) permanently on each character as long as you were willing to put in a little bit of grind to earn the AP. What's the point of playing if I can't have a badass by the end? The last downside is that if you want to efficiently grind affinity or ability points you're going to spend a good chunk of time playing mini-games (which means no EXP for Sora or Riku). I hope you like this song!

Despite the above issues/gripes I still had a good time overall and it's a lot of fun to see all the various systems tie together (and with the plot) as only a JRPG can do.

I never played FFIX. Worth a go?

garion333 wrote:

I never played FFIX. Worth a go?

I liked it. One of the few RPG games that allowed two people to play at the same time.

garion333 wrote:

I never played FFIX. Worth a go?

Absolutely, IMO. Likable characters, and the most interactive world the series has ever seen.

Blind_Evil wrote:
garion333 wrote:

I never played FFIX. Worth a go?

Absolutely, IMO. Likable characters, and the most interactive world the series has ever seen.

This, and there's a little bit of fan service things like references to past Squaresoft games if you've played their other games.

shoptroll wrote:
Blind_Evil wrote:
garion333 wrote:

I never played FFIX. Worth a go?

Absolutely, IMO. Likable characters, and the most interactive world the series has ever seen.

This, and there's a little bit of fan service things like references to past Squaresoft games if you've played their other games.

All this and it was generally more lighthearted than any of the others in the series that I'd played. It makes it a fun game to spend time in.

garion333 wrote:

I never played FFIX. Worth a go?

I thought it was terrible, my least favourite FF. Completely lacking in interesting characters or plot (I played through to the end and can barely remember a thing about it). Having said that, I'm in the minority on this one. Still, a rough rule of thumb seems to be that if you thought FF8 was a good or great entry in the series (I did) then you probably won't like FF9. And vice-versa.

I hadn't heard that rule of thumb, but it holds true for me, too. I liked VIII but found IX to be a bit dull. It tries too hard.

Yeah, just whenever discussions come up over the merits of the PS1 era Final Fantasys, it seems to hold true. I'm sure there are exceptions of course.

Who's that? A party member? An NPC? A summoning? A chocobo?! I have no memory of any Alexander ;).

ClockworkHouse wrote:

I hadn't heard that rule of thumb, but it holds true for me, too. I liked VIII but found IX to be a bit dull. It tries too hard.

The moment Alexander makes his appearance in FFIX any grievances were settled. That's the other half of what I loved. The big moments and the world. Every area was jam packed full of easter eggs and secrets.

I liked all three PS1 games, but thought VIII fell flat more often than the other two. It was the first time I'd found a main character to be mostly unlikable. And this is just a pet peeve, I find Selphie's character design horrid enough to mar the rest of the cast.

Mr GT Chris wrote:

Who's that? A party member? An NPC? A summoning? A chocobo?! I have no memory of any Alexander ;).

Alexander was a summon in FF8 other than that I can't think of any.

Edit: Looked it up, guess he's in a lot of the FFs, only remember him from 8 though. Think giant castle.

I might go with Xenogears instead. Can't decide. Choices, choices.

I seem to recall getting locked up at some point in FF9. That might have been in a castle.

Another + for FFIX. I've been playing through it again on the PSP, and I'm enjoying it just as much as I originally did. I forgot a whole bunch, since I played it when I was probably 14 or so, but I enjoyed the relatively light-hearted world, and I find the characters are pretty enjoyable.
Vivi's very insecure because he's unsure of his origin. Steiner's a big huge lovable brute who loves stinky pickles (that's not dirty in any way), Freya's rather mysterious and has a very dramatic if not Shakesperian love story to be told. I also enjoyed that Zidane was not a relucant hero. He was a womanizer thief, but still wanted to help and do what's right.
Perhaps none of the characters were revolutionary, but I thought they were all very good takes on characters, and I thought they were all very interesting in their own ways.

One of the complaints I have is that combat sometimes pops up too often, being random, but that was a problem of the generation, not just this game. The combat is decent, if not sort of regular, but at least each character (they're definitely based on classes, but you don't have to worry about that), and each of them have specific skills that can help keep things interesting at least for a while.

I'm probably close to disk 3, and although it's on and off playing, since it's on the PSP and I just pick it up when I can, I'm still enjoying it just as much a the first playthrough.

garion333 wrote:

I might go with Xenogears instead. Can't decide. Choices, choices.

Can't go wrong between those two. It's a tough call. I personally like FFIX more, but I think I could more strongly recommend Xenogears because there's not a whole lot out there that's similar (in terms of game narrative). On the other hand, the back quarter of the game is a hot mess.

Citizen86 wrote:

Perhaps none of the characters were revolutionary

I BEG TO DIFFER.

IMAGE(http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y94/galactic_empire/ffpix/quina.jpg)

Blind_Evil wrote:
Citizen86 wrote:

Perhaps none of the characters were revolutionary

I BEG TO DIFFER.

IMAGE(http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y94/galactic_empire/ffpix/quina.jpg)

HOW COULD I FORGET THE FROG EATER??!?!!

Mr GT Chris wrote:
garion333 wrote:

I never played FFIX. Worth a go?

I thought it was terrible, my least favourite FF. Completely lacking in interesting characters or plot (I played through to the end and can barely remember a thing about it). Having said that, I'm in the minority on this one. Still, a rough rule of thumb seems to be that if you thought FF8 was a good or great entry in the series (I did) then you probably won't like FF9. And vice-versa.

God I hated FF8. I thought it was the absolute worst in the series. So I guess your theory is true for me.

Baron Of Hell wrote:

God I hated FF8. I thought it was the absolute worst in the series. So I guess your theory is true for me.

As far as mainline FFs go, it's my second favourite after 12.

walterqchocobo: I maxed out the frog eating, and found every chest on the main map. I didn't mess with the jumprope, though.

Also, while that's a magnificent shot, the reason we're talking about FFIX is someone asked if they should play it. I think posting that picture's pretty spoilery.

I went with Xenogears. All the love for its story is what put me over the edge. That and while the familiarity a FF game entails is appealing, the (apparent) lack of a really good, central story to FFIX drove me away. For now. I'm intrigued by FFIX's characters and I actually find myself digging the CG art style for cutscenes. But, I'm venturing into unknown territory with Xenogears and that's probably going to hold my attention longer. I think.

I thought "save the crystals from the evil empire" wasn't a terrible hook for the story. Even if that was the 4th go around for it (and that's by design).

shoptroll wrote:

I thought "save the crystals from the evil empire" wasn't a terrible hook for the story. Even if that was the 4th go around for it (and that's by design).

Vanilla saving the world quest can't quite compare to the allure of "Friedrich Nietzsche, Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung combined with religion"-inspired plots considering I have degrees in Philosophy and Psychology.

Citizen86 wrote:
Blind_Evil wrote:
Citizen86 wrote:

Perhaps none of the characters were revolutionary

I BEG TO DIFFER.

IMAGE(http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y94/galactic_empire/ffpix/quina.jpg)

HOW COULD I FORGET THE FROG EATER??!?!!

Did anyone spend time in the swamps leveling up his frog eating? I loved FFIX but some of those mini-games (I'm looking at you, jump rope contest) were really annoying. Fortunately, nearly all of them are optional.

Oh, and Alexander is the bomb.

garion333 wrote:

Vanilla saving the world quest can't quite compare to the allure of "Friedrich Nietzsche, Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung combined with religion"-inspired plots considering I have degrees in Philosophy and Psychology. ;)

Checkmate. You win.

garion333 wrote:
shoptroll wrote:

I thought "save the crystals from the evil empire" wasn't a terrible hook for the story. Even if that was the 4th go around for it (and that's by design).

Vanilla saving the world quest can't quite compare to the allure of "Friedrich Nietzsche, Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung combined with religion"-inspired plots considering I have degrees in Philosophy and Psychology. ;)

The only ding on Xenogears is the slow-ass, non-speed-up-able text speed. Otherwise, love it. Some of my favourite special moves in battle.

In my search to determine whether or not to play FFIX or Xenogears I came across a few articles that might interest other people. This is the sort of writing about games I wish we had more of. It's not Kill Screen, but it's more interesting than reviews.

http://m.joystiq.com/2012/01/06/in-d...

http://bitmob.com/articles/xenogears...

http://bitmob.com/articles/the-many-...

http://www.1up.com/do/blogEntry?publ... (about Xenoblade Chronicles, but found it interesting nonetheless)

http://m.kotaku.com/5854162/xenogear...

Especially this: http://xenoverse.xenotensei.com/arti...