Fabulous Final Fantasy Franchise Discussion Catch-all

Fastmav347 wrote:
sometimesdee wrote:
Demonicmaster wrote:

Final Fantasy in old style movie posters

Would be awesome if you could get small prints of those 5x11 or so.

I'm currently playing VIII on psp during lunch break and XIII for about an hour at night, halfway thru chapter 11!

Actually this is the source I think. They sell prints of it but the smallest is 7x10. I remember favoriting it a long time ago, thinking I'd by the FF8 one.

http://society6.com/BuddyIris213/Vintage-FF-Poster-VIII_Print

Interesting developer interview with vi.

Who is your favourite character from vi? Hero would be Sabin for his overpowered techniques and Celes as heroine for the juxtaposition of overwhelming martial prowess and fragility.

Personally I preferred Celes to Tera, it was probably because from memory the former had a tragic past but achieved redemption whereas the latter seemed like the typical DID plot activator. I also found Locke was a bit bland as his motivations were too basic.

I bought the FFVIII print for my brother. I knew he would love it but I didn't expect his wife to want to display it near their fireplace.

I think this is the best place to ask.

I bought FF13-2 for Xbox, but the console is now in storage, I find the ps3 to be somewhat better for my need.

The game is like new, so will it be a good idea to try to trade for a ps3 version? Or I thought I saw the game in download for 20$ on the ps3 store.

It's sad, I never touch the game since it arrive...

Or am I missing a lot so far by not playing it?

Bfgp wrote:

Personally I preferred Celes to Tera, it was probably because from memory the former had a tragic past but achieved redemption whereas the latter seemed like the typical DID plot activator. I also found Locke was a bit bland as his motivations were too basic.

I don't agree. I'll spoiler this for those who haven't played VI yet...

Spoiler:

Terra wasn't crying out to be saved, it was Locke who imposed his own need to be a savior onto her when he found out what the Empire was doing. If any cliche was used with Terra it was the amnesiac protagonist, and once that's done away with after Zozo you see an entirely new Terra.

I really don't think I could ever choose between Celes and Terra in terms of favorite. They both have really interesting stories, and they both come out as really strong characters in the end, even though they start out in fragile positions. Terra changes a lot during the course of the game, and while Celes goes through character growth too it's not as pronounced.

Manach wrote:

I think this is the best place to ask.

I bought FF13-2 for Xbox, but the console is now in storage, I find the ps3 to be somewhat better for my need.

The game is like new, so will it be a good idea to try to trade for a ps3 version? Or I thought I saw the game in download for 20$ on the ps3 store.

It's sad, I never touch the game since it arrive...

Or am I missing a lot so far by not playing it?

You can buy a brand new physical copy for ps3 for 20 dollars, or get it used on e bay. I actually managed to find a complete collectors edition at gamestop for 15 dollars used a month ago. To me it just feels weird playing FF on xbox.

Manach wrote:

I think this is the best place to ask.

I bought FF13-2 for Xbox, but the console is now in storage, I find the ps3 to be somewhat better for my need.

The game is like new, so will it be a good idea to try to trade for a ps3 version? Or I thought I saw the game in download for 20$ on the ps3 store.

It's sad, I never touch the game since it arrive...

Or am I missing a lot so far by not playing it?

Depends. How much did you like FFXIII, particularly the world, characters and combat system? The narrative flow of the game is much much improved over XIII, much less linear.

I would say it's very good, but equally, not essential.

Jonman wrote:

The narrative flow of the game is much much improved over XIII, much less linear.

Man, I thought the narrative in XIII-2 was a total mess. All the jumping back and forth between dimensions or whatever, having to alter this reality and that reality. I honestly lost track of it after about twenty hours and quit. I'll take linear over nonsensical any day.

Blind_Evil wrote:
Jonman wrote:

The narrative flow of the game is much much improved over XIII, much less linear.

Man, I thought the narrative in XIII-2 was a total mess. All the jumping back and forth between dimensions or whatever, having to alter this reality and that reality. I honestly lost track of it after about twenty hours and quit. I'll take linear over nonsensical any day.

That's a fair complaint. I played it to the end of the story, but was daunted by the same thing in the post-game, and shelved it.

Blind_Evil wrote:
Jonman wrote:

The narrative flow of the game is much much improved over XIII, much less linear.

Man, I thought the narrative in XIII-2 was a total mess. All the jumping back and forth between dimensions or whatever, having to alter this reality and that reality. I honestly lost track of it after about twenty hours and quit. I'll take linear over nonsensical any day.

So this. SO very this.

Although I still liked XIII-2 and skill 1k'd it, I thought there were a lot of things they "fixed" from XIII that turned out to be steps in the wrong direction.

I do believe I am in the minority with this opinion, however.

ccesarano wrote:
Hobbes2099 wrote:

I haven't engaged into the thread, but I remember FF VI, the last title for the SNES as the best game I had played in years.

I'll post the writing i've been working on evernote for about a week; 3 minutes at a time between meetings and calls. Yay for work.

Anyway; thought I'd add this oped from Wired into the mix and see how it's received.
I've skimmed a bit, but it seems the conversation is more about enjoying particular games or parts of games than talking about where Squeenix is taking the franchise...

anyway: here!

I just think our industry has a bad habit of wanting to hang onto franchises for too long. I understand every industry has its icons, such as Looney Tunes and Mickey Mouse (equivalents being Sonic and Mario, if the former can become relevant again with the Wii U game coming out), and it seems like Hollywood is also becoming obsessed with IP (oh look, not only a new Star Wars trilogy, but spin-offs, too!), it still seems ridiculous where games are concerned.

There's a rich irony to posting this in a thread dedicated to one of the longest-running and most-flogged franchises in gaming.

I wouldn't call it irony as that was the intention. Has the name "Final Fantasy" run its course? Especially seeing as the new games don't really reflect the originals in any way? I don't mean this in terms of standards of quality like the guy in the article is suggesting, though.

The nostalgic part of me would love to see certain elements carry on from game to game, as you can tell in 15 they're updating the design of Behemoth. However, seeing as Moogles were in both Secret of Mana and Final Fantasy, why not just allow certain creatures, designs, or assets to be used across several games?

Then again, I think the one thing Mickey and Mario have in common is that they, for the most part, never changed their image too much to fit with modern times. I mean, look at the style of humor to A Goofy Movie in the 90's. Goofy is still, well, Goofy. And now no one cares about his 90's "too cool for school" son Max, but Goofy remains. Meanwhile, Looney Tunes saw several attempts at reinvention and going "edgy", from Space Jam to that X-Treme makeover. It's much closer to how Sonic has been treated by Sega, whereas Mario is, well, Mario.

One of the big things a lot of developers are trying with these classic franchises is to make them appeal to a new market. To me, that's a recipe for disaster. If you make something specifically for the time, then you won't be timeless at all.

As someone without any nostalgia for the older entries, I like that Final Fantasy can be very different from game to game. I wish more franchises did that, and I feel like Far Cry is an interesting example of a franchise with a core set of ethos or touchstones, but each entry in the main series is wholly different from the others. That may change now that Far Cry 3 is so popular, but I think the example is still valid. Elder Scrolls is potentially another example, though they do take place in the same world and follow a linear timeline.

Still, each game is relatively standalone. American Horror Story on TV is an example from another medium. Something about that kind of franchise structure appeals to me, because you can experiment and have a "new" IP while still staying within the bounds of the overall franchise, and people's expectations are different. They know that each entry will be something new but something familiar. I like that everyone has a different Final Fantasy. Yes, it's frequently the one they played first, but there's a wide variety in favorites. People might not like FFXIII, but others do, and XIII being a relative black sheep in the franchise doesn't mean XV will as well.

I don't think you can say Final Fantasy is dead, really, because each entry is a new stab at something great. The name certainly carries with it certain expectations, but each main series entry is a chance for something new and fresh. After 15 entries in the main series, it's inevitable that some will be stronger than others, but that doesn't automatically mean the franchise is doomed.

I totaly agree with above comment by Beanman

beanman101283 wrote:

I don't think you can say Final Fantasy is dead, really, because each entry is a new stab at something great. The name certainly carries with it certain expectations, but each main series entry is a chance for something new and fresh. After 15 entries in the main series, it's inevitable that some will be stronger than others, but that doesn't automatically mean the franchise is doomed.

I don't know, the run on VII, VIII and IX is much better than what they've produced in XIII, XIII-2 and LR (presumably). Sure, all of us have our opinions but for a while there there FF was synonymous with quality, exceptional quality. Now it just seems to mean high production values.

I don't think the argument is that the franchise is doomed. Not yet at least. It's that the franchise is stale and lacks the impact it once had. And thus what FF used to once stand for, quality and impact, is gone.

I agree its impact has lessened, and that Square Enix doesn't seem to have the development chops it once had. There are a lot of issues surrounding the company and franchise that have weakened it. But they can be overcome. The article linked earlier said Final Fantasy is dead, which is what I was arguing against. If "dead" means "not a big deal anymore" then I can see that argument. But the article's tone struck me more as "the games aren't like what I remember and therefore the franchise is doomed." That I don't agree with.

Honestly, I think a lot of it comes down to the loss of Sakaguchi and Uematsu.

garion333 wrote:

I don't know, the run on VII, VIII and IX is much better than what they've produced in XIII, XIII-2 and LR (presumably). Sure, all of us have our opinions but for a while there there FF was synonymous with quality, exceptional quality. Now it just seems to mean high production values.

I don't think that's exclusive to Final Fantasy though. A number of other franchises have run off the rails since the PS1 (or even the PS2) era mostly due to the expanded cost of making the games and certain aspects of development taking higher precedence over others. PS1 and PS2 era were a really nice sweet spot for impressive games with a good return on investment.

I don't think the franchise is necessarily doomed but without having really played any of the PS2 or later games I don't think I'm any position to ruminate on what the series could do to "fix" things. Also, maybe it's just the audience has changed?

I think alot this is comming from the fact that we remember the greats (7,8,9 etc) from our memory with alot of nolstalgia and rose tinted glasses. I am currently trying complete 8 and 13 at the same time, and to me 13 is on par if not better then the older game, and there is no way I can force myself to try to replay 7 no matter how much I remember myself loving it.

Fastmav347 wrote:

I think alot this is comming from the fact that we remember the greats (7,8,9 etc) from our memory with alot of nolstalgia and rose tinted glasses. I am currently trying complete 8 and 13 at the same time, and to me 13 is on par if not better then the older game, and there is no way I can force myself to try to replay 7 no matter how much I remember myself loving it.

And I would disagree because I skipped VIII and IX and have found them much more engaging than XIII, which puts me to sleep.

I have a crapload of nostalgia for IV and haven't enjoyed any of the re-releases of that, but VI is still a quality game and while I never thought VII was the end all be all of gaming it still manages to spin a good yarn.

Fastmav347 wrote:

I am currently trying complete 8 and 13 at the same time, and to me 13 is on par if not better then the older game

Well you are trying to replay 8. Of course it's on "par if not better" :p

I'm actually not replaying, it was one of those games where I started it back in the day and the story just didn't grab me and it gotten put way in favor of other games, I don't think I even got off the first disk ever...So technically its my first play thru

shoptroll wrote:
Fastmav347 wrote:

I am currently trying complete 8 and 13 at the same time, and to me 13 is on par if not better then the older game

Well you are trying to replay 8. Of course it's on "par if not better" :p

I think what shoptroll is getting at is that VIII is considered to be the weakest of the PSOne Final Fantasy games, so you're comparing two pieces of poo and saying that one smells better than the other.

That said, I agree with you that one of the biggest issues the Final Fantasy series faces right now—in terms of development, in terms of reception, and in terms of sales in the Western market—is nostalgia for the SNES and PSOne entries.

Many fans are looking for games that make them feel the same way games did when they were kids and teenagers, but they're adults now and things have become barriers to engagement that weren't an issue before.

And on the development side, I feel like the Final Fantasy team has gotten too caught up in the idea that they're making a Final Fantasy game and have pushed a series that has always teetered on the edge of ridiculous into full-blown operatic pretension. The whole "Fabula Nova Crystallis Final Fantasy" project seems to hinge on the idea that this particular Final Fantasy project will be some kind of grand, generation-defining experience across years and platforms and demographics, and those are britches too big for this series (or any series) to fill.

What I'd love to see and hear from Square-Enix at this point is that they're focusing solely and completely on XV as a stand-alone project. I don't want to hear any guff about how it's too epic for a single game, or that the themes will be carried over into mobile, social, and handheld games, or anything like that.

Fastmav347 wrote:
Manach wrote:

I think this is the best place to ask.

I bought FF13-2 for Xbox, but the console is now in storage, I find the ps3 to be somewhat better for my need.

The game is like new, so will it be a good idea to try to trade for a ps3 version? Or I thought I saw the game in download for 20$ on the ps3 store.

It's sad, I never touch the game since it arrive...

Or am I missing a lot so far by not playing it?

You can buy a brand new physical copy for ps3 for 20 dollars, or get it used on e bay. I actually managed to find a complete collectors edition at gamestop for 15 dollars used a month ago. To me it just feels weird playing FF on xbox.

Wow, just realize. The ps3 store offer the game for 20$ as well. Gonna go that route.

ClockworkHouse wrote:

The whole "Fabula Nova Crystallis Final Fantasy" project seems to hinge on the idea that this particular Final Fantasy project will be some kind of grand, generation-defining experience across years and platforms and demographics, and those are britches too big for this series (or any series) to fill.

This so very much. The PS1/PS2 era really went to their heads I think. I also think other companies like BioWare and Blizzard had this happen in the last decade as well.

ClockworkHouse wrote:

that the themes will be carried over into mobile, social, and handheld games, or anything like that.

They seem to have finally gotten that out of their system after Fabula Pretentious Name split apart (I think they're now semi-officially referring to the 3 XIII games as The Lightning Trilogy), Compilation of FFVII was lukewarm, and World of Mana crashed and burned. Personally, while it's a neat idea it doesn't work unless your pipeline is really streamlined so you can get the releases out on time and the games aren't critically panned.

I've actually wondered if feelings on Final Fantasy, from my and other old-fogey points of view, would be different if we didn't get such a small selection. From what I understand, II and III were neat and provided a gradual stepping-stone towards IV. However, we made the leap from I, which was really fun but sans story, to IV, which added the ATB battle system, summon magic, and an incredibly epic (albeit the very definition of melodramatic) storyline. I was roughly 6 or 7 years old when I first played it, and it managed to show me that games could be more than Mega Man or Mario Bros. or Ninja Turtles.

Then we skipped 5 and went to 6, which felt like another leap. Not only visually, but in how it told the story. It wasn't quite as melodramatic and had a lot of better executed mature themes going for it, and just came off as nothing short of amazing.

Then came Final Fantasy 7, which I'd say is the only time Square managed to knock it out of the park twice in a row. Looking back, FF5 feels like it had a strangely lower budget (I really can't put my finger on it, but everything about it feels more cheaply made than FF4 or FF6), and while I can't really comment on FF2 or 3 much, well, I know I found 3 on the DS boring (as opposed to 4 on the DS, which I still enjoyed, warts and all).

So when you get old fogeys like me that play 8 and 9 and some of the others and complain how the "franchise has gone downhill", I wonder if it's an incorrect attitude when you consider we got (what seem to be) the four best in the franchise without any of the lesser games. So it would be more likely to be a pinnacle franchise for us.

That said, of the games post-7 that I've played, I enjoyed X the most. Haven't played 12 or 13, though.

ClockworkHouse wrote:

What I'd love to see and hear from Square-Enix at this point is that they're focusing solely and completely on XV as a stand-alone project. I don't want to hear any guff about how it's too epic for a single game, or that the themes will be carried over into mobile, social, and handheld games, or anything like that.

Yes.

ccesarano wrote:

So when you get old fogeys like me that play 8 and 9 and some of the others and complain how the "franchise has gone downhill", I wonder if it's an incorrect attitude when you consider we got (what seem to be) the four best in the franchise without any of the lesser games.

That's a really interesting idea that I hadn't considered.

Farscry wrote:

this generation we've only gotten a few games: FFXIII, XIII-2, and the upcoming XIII-3 (Lightning Returns).

I think this is partially due to the budget increases and pipeline issues they've had with HD development. Square-Enix's overall output for consoles is a lot lower than the last generation if you look at the number of releases. The reliance on XIII sequels is probably related and is likely an attempt to amortize development costs by asset sharing/re-use between games.

ClockworkHouse wrote:

Many fans are looking for games that make them feel the same way games did when they were kids and teenagers, but they're adults now and things have become barriers to engagement that weren't an issue before.

I do wonder about this, and wonder how much of an issue it really is.

While the FF franchise has moved away from the games I loved in the NES through PS2 eras (honestly, even FFX and FFXII still mostly "felt" like Final Fantasy games to me, especially XII which ended up tying with VI to be my two favorite entries in the franchise), this generation we've only gotten a few games: FFXIII, XIII-2, and the upcoming XIII-3 (Lightning Returns).

Meanwhile, other games are hitting the notes that classic (PS1 and earlier) FF games used to hit for me. Off the top of my head (just on games I've played since the end of the PS1 era), I can think of Dragon Quest VIII and IX, Lost Odyssey, Ni No Kuni, Blue Dragon, Xenoblade (this one's iffy; plays more like FFXII than the classics), and Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky.

FFXIII was a good game, but it didn't feel like a Final Fantasy game to me, or like the kind of rpg that these others felt like to me. That classic NES through PS1 jrpg feeling. It's totally subjective though.

[SIDEBAR EDIT]My first FF game was the original. I played all the US releases in the order they came out, and filled in the gaps as we finally got the Japan-only releases over the years.

I loved each FF more than the one before it from 1 to 3 (US numbering), but while VII was great, it didn't top VI for me. VIII was ok, but not as enjoyable as VII, but IX was great and easily rivaled VII for me. X was good, but XII (as I noted) was every bit as great as VI. So while the "you always love your first the most" rule seems to be often true, it definitely wasn't the case for me.

ccesarano wrote:

So when you get old fogeys like me that play 8 and 9 and some of the others and complain how the "franchise has gone downhill", I wonder if it's an incorrect attitude when you consider we got (what seem to be) the four best in the franchise without any of the lesser games. So it would be more likely to be a pinnacle franchise for us.

I think this is probably part of it. During the NES/SNES era we were basically presented with the "Greatest Hits" of Squaresoft and we missed a lot of their B-list titles/franchises during that time. Not to mention we also missed a lot of Enix and Atlus's output during that time. Sony was a lot more hands-off with licensing so Square was allowed to bring over pretty much everything they were making at the time.

I also think release cadence has a bit to do with it as well. We get console Zelda games what, once every 3-4 years? Final Fantasy has a release cadence of about 18-24 months between numbered iterations and direct sequels (not counting spinoffs), with XII and XIII being the exception to the rule. That's not a lot of time to really mull a game over and explore it when it's a JRPG. We had about 3-4 years between FFII and FFIII on the SNES which was plenty of time for us to play and then replay FFII multiple times before FFIII arrived. And then we probably did the same with FFIII. I remember when VIII came out I was still working on VII.

Franchises kinda lose their specialness when they're released at a pace where you can barely keep up. See Assassin's Creed and Kingdom Hearts for example.