Final Fantasy Omnithread - All FF, all the time.

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Re: Final Fantasy Omnithread - All FF, all the time.

Postby capefeather » Mon Nov 28, 2011 3:17 am UTC

Yeah, probably, lol. But the general idea is still there. A game should not compel the player to engage in tedious, repetitive activity, or make stuff unreasonably difficult to find. Normally these would make the game bad, and making them means to gain a secret is a bad excuse. I actually like Chocobo's Hot & Cold, though, probably because it rewards the player along the way by making it easier the more you play. It's stuff like Friendly Creatures / Ozma, Ragtimer and frog catching that really annoy me. The synth shops are kind of dumb, too, since if you don't hoard, you can easily miss out on, say, a Barette and be without Cura for most of Disc 2. That and a bunch of mithril stuff is needed for synthing in Disc 4 and, whoops, the places that sell them are now blocked off.
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Re: Final Fantasy Omnithread - All FF, all the time.

Postby ProZac » Mon Nov 28, 2011 3:15 pm UTC

Along the lines of the "need a guide to complete the game" thing, I felt X-2 did this as well. Seems to actually 'complete' the game you need to go visit random locations to hunt out events that trigger happenings later in the game. Miss those? Too bad. Especially considering those 'side quests' constitute nearly 50% of the game's content. Also, there's no indication you should go to these areas unless you're just randomly exploring (and oh how I hate random exploration). I think X-2 is the one that baffles me when people say they enjoyed it.
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Re: Final Fantasy Omnithread - All FF, all the time.

Postby Lostdreams » Mon Nov 28, 2011 3:17 pm UTC

ProZac wrote:(and oh how I hate random exploration)


Why play an RPG at all?
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Re: Final Fantasy Omnithread - All FF, all the time.

Postby Endless Mike » Mon Nov 28, 2011 3:30 pm UTC

I didn't really feel I needed a guide to get almost everything in FF9. I enjoyed Chocobo Hot & Cold, so that wasn't a big deal, and the Friendly Animals was cute but unnecessary. I'm pretty sure the only equipment I never got was, um, that one sword that you have to get to the end in like 12 hours or something silly. Excalibur, maybe?
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Re: Final Fantasy Omnithread - All FF, all the time.

Postby ProZac » Mon Nov 28, 2011 3:44 pm UTC

Lostdreams wrote:
ProZac wrote:(and oh how I hate random exploration)

Why play an RPG at all?

Because not many RPGs force you to randomly explore (and I believe it's even less common in JRPGs). Nearly all FFs have fairly well defined path to take. You know exactly where you are going, and if there is a 'side quest' to do, the game introduces it to you, or you pass by the area with it. There an area you're not supposed to be in yet? Game probably won't let you go that way and block it off. Added bonus to games that specifically tell you "once you go past here, you can't go back", which to me is time to "go hunt down all those side quests".

Hate for exploration is also why I hate towns in games (and part of why I liked FF13). They tend to just be large places filled with many pointless interactions. There are 50 NPCs here, and one of them *might* be important. Better talk to them all.
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Re: Final Fantasy Omnithread - All FF, all the time.

Postby Izawwlgood » Mon Nov 28, 2011 4:42 pm UTC

ProZac wrote:Along the lines of the "need a guide to complete the game" thing, I felt X-2 did this as well. Seems to actually 'complete' the game you need to go visit random locations to hunt out events that trigger happenings later in the game. Miss those? Too bad. Especially considering those 'side quests' constitute nearly 50% of the game's content. Also, there's no indication you should go to these areas unless you're just randomly exploring (and oh how I hate random exploration). I think X-2 is the one that baffles me when people say they enjoyed it.

Out of curiosity, did you play Chrono Trigger? Chrono Trigger's end game content was all exploration of sidequests, and I think it was, again, the best example of How To Do It Right.
But ProZac, it sounds like what you want from an RPG may be fairly narrowly defined. Exploration, even random exploration isn't bad if there's a solid story or reason to back it up.
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Re: Final Fantasy Omnithread - All FF, all the time.

Postby SecondTalon » Mon Nov 28, 2011 5:09 pm UTC

Point 1 - There are two distinct gaming genres that share a lot of elements yet deliver a completely different gaming experience.
Point 2 - The elements they share often relate to how the player's avatar advances and even how the avatar interacts with the world, but are not at all alike in presentation of the world to the Player.
Point 3 - Like most gaming genres, these two can be blended and create wonderful games. Also terrible ones, which make up the bulk of it.

Problem - Both distinct gaming genres are called Role Playing.
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Re: Final Fantasy Omnithread - All FF, all the time.

Postby Izawwlgood » Mon Nov 28, 2011 5:10 pm UTC

Just two? Out of curiosity, what would you define as the two distinct variants on/of RPGs?
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Re: Final Fantasy Omnithread - All FF, all the time.

Postby SecondTalon » Mon Nov 28, 2011 5:27 pm UTC

While it's hard for me to describe without sounding like I'm picking sides (because really, when done well they're both equally good) the basic distinction is

"Open World, You make a person based on all these choices to be the person you want to be and there's a story here somewhere, I guess, but mostly it's just for dicking around and getting God-slaying weaponry that you then sell to the local shopkeep because it's not as badass as the other God-slaying weapon you use. And the 'Boss' of the game? You can totally kill that bastard in, like, five minutes tops if you know where to find the hidden blade of Ass-slaying in the Nondescript Woods. It's basically a sandbox."

as opposed to

"You take on the role of Jerorik McGiantSword and carefully guide him through the story we've crafted that is going to show to you in tidbits along the way in carefully measured amounts, making the 'Gameplay' be combat and maybe a couple of choices on other party members, but you're pretty much on the rails for this story... which makes sense, as sequence breaking of any sort would turn the story from a carefully crafted tale of intrigue, betrayal, love and redemption into a complete shambling WTFery mess and possibly leave you thinking you were your own grandfather or something equally preposterous. It's basically a book."

In the first, you have to reach out and grab on to every bit of story you can, because no one's giving it to you any other way, while in the second you don't have to worry about seeking out the story, it's impossible to go anywhere without running face-first into it. In the first it's hard to tell where you're supposed to go because there's (arguably) too much freedom and because of that you might skip bits and end up with a story that's got holes in it and is kinda incomprehensible outside of a base "Me good, Him Bad, Me Kill Him" sort of way, while in the second the only bits that are "off the rails" are sidebits that may flesh the world out a bit more, but are unnecessary to get a self-contained complete story.

And you can mix elements of the two freely. But they're not the same thing. It's all in who you are in the game, and how the world relates to you.

Are you a blank slate on which the player is free to impose whatever? Are you a distinct person with distinct abilities already defined for you? Basically, can you be what you want, or are you only what you are?

Are you dumped in a place with a few plot hooks pulling you in one direction but are otherwise free to go wherever and do whatever? Are you incapable of leaving the place you're in without advancing the story a bit more? Basically, do you act on the world, or does the world act on you?

They're not mutually exclusive, I know, but how those questions are answered will change the gaming experience completely.
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Re: Final Fantasy Omnithread - All FF, all the time.

Postby Box Boy » Mon Nov 28, 2011 5:36 pm UTC

ProZac wrote:I think X-2 is the one that baffles me when people say they enjoyed it.

I liked it because of how unashamedly cheezy it was, but that was the story. The battles were decent too, but everything else?

Let's not talk about it, k?

Also, you forgot the part where you have to talk to certain NPC's a minimum number of times to hear a special piece of dialogue that you'll miss if you don't do it right now, without any hints about this, and will never get 100% if you don't.
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Re: Final Fantasy Omnithread - All FF, all the time.

Postby ProZac » Mon Nov 28, 2011 5:46 pm UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:Out of curiosity, did you play Chrono Trigger? Chrono Trigger's end game content was all exploration of sidequests, and I think it was, again, the best example of How To Do It Right.
But ProZac, it sounds like what you want from an RPG may be fairly narrowly defined. Exploration, even random exploration isn't bad if there's a solid story or reason to back it up.

I did play Chrono Trigger, which I quite enjoyed. I don't remember it that well, but isn't it a case of:
1. Go through 75% of game's Main Story (ends at point which you are told "You can't go back from here!")
2. Stop to do 20% of game which is side quests
3. Finish last 5% (end dungeon).

I like this formula. It works, as you usually have some in-game way of knowing where side quests/unexplored areas are, or it's easy enough to get a list knowing where to go without ruining any of the game.

And yes, what ST said about Open Worldness. I can't stand the Open World. There's a reason I won't touch a Bethesda game. Oblivion is an RPG. So is Final Fantasy XIII. I wouldn't expect someone who likes one to enjoy the other (at least for the same reasons).

I also had much greater tolerance for exploring in the 2D days as opposed to 3D, solely because 2D worlds are easier to navigate and tend to be smaller.
Box Boy wrote:I liked it because of how unashamedly cheezy it was, but that was the story. The battles were decent too, but everything else?
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Re: Final Fantasy Omnithread - All FF, all the time.

Postby Izawwlgood » Mon Nov 28, 2011 5:54 pm UTC

I generally really dislike sandbox games. I've enjoyed the Elder Scrolls games, but only because my play style is like such:
1. You are awakened in a dark prison! The King confronts you and says "Yo, you're the shit, we love and need you. Save us! Go chat with this master of something or another at this village over yonder! Quick, you must flee!"
2. Head to town. Find other stuff along the way.
3. Murderize and pillage ALL the dungeons.
4. Become mega-epic powerful master.
5. ???
6. Get bored of game, put it down, never chat with first check point.

ProZac wrote: "Why do I still only have the initial 6? I thought there were supposed to be like 15. What do you mean I missed them? Where do I go to get them? I can't?! I'd have to do those first 12 hours over again? Screw this."

This would be an absolute deal breaker for me.
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Re: Final Fantasy Omnithread - All FF, all the time.

Postby Box Boy » Mon Nov 28, 2011 6:19 pm UTC

I've quit games over losing a half hours work.


Unless it's grinding, in which case, meh, I can deal with it.
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Re: Final Fantasy Omnithread - All FF, all the time.

Postby Dark567 » Mon Nov 28, 2011 10:26 pm UTC

Skyrim composer, remixing FFVI's "Terra"
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Re: Final Fantasy Omnithread - All FF, all the time.

Postby Box Boy » Mon Nov 28, 2011 10:45 pm UTC

Dark567 wrote:Skyrim composer, remixing FFVI's "Terra"

I need a new pair of pants.
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Re: Final Fantasy Omnithread - All FF, all the time.

Postby capefeather » Tue Nov 29, 2011 1:41 am UTC

I enjoyed Chocobo Hot & Cold, so that wasn't a big deal, and the Friendly Animals was cute but unnecessary.


OK, but could you figure out what all of them were, where all of them were, and whether you were "done"? Could you figure out that doing this makes Ozma weak against Shadow and vulnerable to physical attacks? All without a guide?

"Open World, You make a person based on all these choices to be the person you want to be and there's a story here somewhere, I guess, but mostly it's just for dicking around and getting God-slaying weaponry that you then sell to the local shopkeep because it's not as badass as the other God-slaying weapon you use. And the 'Boss' of the game? You can totally kill that bastard in, like, five minutes tops if you know where to find the hidden blade of Ass-slaying in the Nondescript Woods. It's basically a sandbox."


I think that Romancing SaGa 3 is an interesting take on the open world theme. Though compared to a standard JRPG there's practically no story to speak of, it does have a vague end goal that is revealed in pieces as the player progresses. The last bosses are actually pretty freakishly hard, especially if you decide you're bored of exploring everything and try to "beat" the game. A neat feature is that the world map isn't "walked on", but rather, it allows the player to go to any place that's already been visited (a lot like Fly in Pokémon). So the game doesn't have the vast empty spaces that some people tend to dislike in open-world RPGs. Plus, there are 31 characters AND a flexible experience system not unlike FF2's. (I'd consider FF2 a prototype for the SaGa / Final Fantasy Legend games, anyway.)
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Re: Final Fantasy Omnithread - All FF, all the time.

Postby charliepanayi » Tue Nov 29, 2011 9:24 am UTC

capefeather wrote:
I enjoyed Chocobo Hot & Cold, so that wasn't a big deal, and the Friendly Animals was cute but unnecessary.


OK, but could you figure out what all of them were, where all of them were, and whether you were "done"? Could you figure out that doing this makes Ozma weak against Shadow and vulnerable to physical attacks? All without a guide?


Apart from that bloody Ocean one, yes!
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Re: Final Fantasy Omnithread - All FF, all the time.

Postby mosc » Wed Nov 30, 2011 6:30 pm UTC

You know, it came to me that the game perfectly in the middle between plot driven story based gaming and action driven open world based gaming is a bioware RPG. Mass Effect is very story focused yet relatively open and action driven throughout. It's hard to call it a rail-tight story game, yet it's also hard to call it open world when most of your choices are A? or B?
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Re: Final Fantasy Omnithread - All FF, all the time.

Postby Dark567 » Wed Nov 30, 2011 6:35 pm UTC

mosc wrote:You know, it came to me that the game perfectly in the middle between plot driven story based gaming and action driven open world based gaming is a bioware RPG. Mass Effect is very story focused yet relatively open and action driven throughout. It's hard to call it a rail-tight story game, yet it's also hard to call it open world when most of your choices are A? or B?

Deus Ex is much the same way.
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Re: Final Fantasy Omnithread - All FF, all the time.

Postby mosc » Wed Nov 30, 2011 8:10 pm UTC

That's true. There's a whole style of middle ground type RPG's out there. Though, Deus Ex doesn't let you move between cities at your own leisure so I'd have to put it a little more towards the story driven rail than open world compared to something like KOTOR or another bioware game.
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Re: Final Fantasy Omnithread - All FF, all the time.

Postby Box Boy » Wed Nov 30, 2011 9:03 pm UTC

I'd agree, except it always bothered me that Commander Sheppard and the Normandy's crew had time to flute around on one side of the galaxy scanning rocks for minerals, running oddjob for soldiers and killan mercenaries for credits when they apparently had only a few days or even a couple of weeks to gather a team from across the galaxy, get them working together perfectly and then get the ship ready for the Omega Relay.

The only part of 2 where I felt they got the whole 'rushed' feeling right was right after Kelly and the others get kidnapped, and if you do anything but dive right in they are fucked. Really, I think Majora's Mask got it better with the whole time limit dealy, even if you could turn back time for it. Something like having a set in-game time limit that gives you a comfortable window of opportunity to get the main quest and a decent number of side missions would be good, especially if taking your time causes people to panic/bad shit to happen. It's encourage multiple playthroughs, cause some really tough choices. (Waste an hour saving what a high ranking Turian officer in x system, potentially earning you major brownie points and improving Turian/Human relations, or keep on your current trek across this system after the Slavers who luck'd out after using the current panic over the reapers to raid a Salarian colony-world containing some very important scientists?)

But really, that's just me, and YMMV.
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Re: Final Fantasy Omnithread - All FF, all the time.

Postby mosc » Wed Nov 30, 2011 9:37 pm UTC

That's very true, although I find that most of the time those time limit type things are incredibly poorly implemented and lead to broken gameplay more than providing the underlying urgency open world games often feel phony for lacking. I'd say the very best game at using that kind of time limit was Star Control 2. Basically, you had a planet devouring superpower making a very slow progression through the galaxy. You could go to places before they got there and do your usual tomfoolery, you could go while they were there and get destroyed (or if you had done the correct plot stuff, take em on and win the game), or you could wait too long and get to a planet after they'd demolished it and lose out on all the side quest goodies. Always a describer of good games to me, you could LOSE if you failed to achieve key goals before the world destroyers arrived at a location. Not that the time limits were too oppressive, you had months to save the galaxy and travel didn't take TOO long. But it did turn a completely open world type game into a very story focused experience like you were describing.
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Re: Final Fantasy Omnithread - All FF, all the time.

Postby rigwarl » Fri Jan 27, 2012 4:57 pm UTC

So... anyone excited for FF13-2?
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Re: Final Fantasy Omnithread - All FF, all the time.

Postby Kag » Fri Jan 27, 2012 5:01 pm UTC

I don't know if I would say excited, but I've been having the jRPG itch, so I'll probably play it. It seems like it has potential, and hopefully they've learned some lessons about what to do with the characters this time.
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Re: Final Fantasy Omnithread - All FF, all the time.

Postby mosc » Fri Jan 27, 2012 5:45 pm UTC

I get the sense from Square these days that they completely ignore western feedback to a FF game. We'll buy them in decent quantities anyway and I think we're deluding ourselves to say we were ever the target audience.
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Re: Final Fantasy Omnithread - All FF, all the time.

Postby Dark567 » Fri Jan 27, 2012 5:56 pm UTC

mosc wrote:I get the sense from Square these days that they completely ignore western feedback to a FF game. We'll buy them in decent quantities anyway and I think we're diluting ourselves to say we were ever the target audience.
We may not be the direct target, but I don't think FF would survive without Western's buying it. They spend too much to not have decent sales in the West. That said, they have still been able to have good sales, so maybe they won't care until they don't.
At the same time, they are right to ignore certain criticism's from the West. When Bioware or Todd Howard complain about FF, they are complaining basically about the fact that Eastern RPG's exist, and all of the things that are essential to Eastern RPG's. If Square listened to them, we would just end up with fantasy Mass Effect(i.e. Dragon Age), which is specifically what I am not looking to play when I play Final Fantasy.
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Re: Final Fantasy Omnithread - All FF, all the time.

Postby Xanthir » Fri Jan 27, 2012 6:05 pm UTC

rigwarl wrote:So... anyone excited for FF13-2?

I'm going to wait and see if it's more of the "spend 60 hours playing a tutorial before you get the real game" bullshit.

...and then probably buy it even if it is.
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Re: Final Fantasy Omnithread - All FF, all the time.

Postby Izawwlgood » Fri Jan 27, 2012 6:07 pm UTC

Is anyone else sort of disapointed that the new FF games are sequels? I feel like that's very lazy and not in the spirit of the series.
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Re: Final Fantasy Omnithread - All FF, all the time.

Postby Dark567 » Fri Jan 27, 2012 6:12 pm UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:Is anyone else sort of disapointed that the new FF games are sequels? I feel like that's very lazy and not in the spirit of the series.
Well aren't you in luck: Rumors out of Japan indicate that FFXIII-2 ends with a "to be continued...".

FFXIII-3
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Re: Final Fantasy Omnithread - All FF, all the time.

Postby charliepanayi » Fri Jan 27, 2012 8:09 pm UTC

Dark567 wrote:
Izawwlgood wrote:Is anyone else sort of disapointed that the new FF games are sequels? I feel like that's very lazy and not in the spirit of the series.
Well aren't you in luck: Rumors out of Japan indicate that FFXIII-2 ends with a "to be continued...".

FFXIII-3


I've heard that's the ending you get if you don't totally complete the game (or something).
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Re: Final Fantasy Omnithread - All FF, all the time.

Postby Dark567 » Fri Jan 27, 2012 8:14 pm UTC

charliepanayi wrote:
Dark567 wrote:
Izawwlgood wrote:Is anyone else sort of disapointed that the new FF games are sequels? I feel like that's very lazy and not in the spirit of the series.
Well aren't you in luck: Rumors out of Japan indicate that FFXIII-2 ends with a "to be continued...".

FFXIII-3


I've heard that's the ending you get if you don't totally complete the game (or something).

According to the article, that's the canonical ending, which is one of many(the others don't have the message). Which also I think is the only thing that makes sense, why would you have a "be continued" just for the alternative endings?

But, XIII-3 would also dependent on whether or not XIII-2 does well, naturally.
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Re: Final Fantasy Omnithread - All FF, all the time.

Postby rigwarl » Fri Jan 27, 2012 8:26 pm UTC

Xanthir wrote:
rigwarl wrote:So... anyone excited for FF13-2?

I'm going to wait and see if it's more of the "spend 60 hours playing a tutorial before you get the real game" bullshit.

...and then probably buy it even if it is.


Can you explain what this means to me? I picked up FF13 last week and the tutorials stop a few hours into the game (and even until then, they're few and far between anyway).
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Re: Final Fantasy Omnithread - All FF, all the time.

Postby Dark567 » Fri Jan 27, 2012 8:36 pm UTC

rigwarl wrote:Can you explain what this means to me? I picked up FF13 last week and the tutorials stop a few hours into the game (and even until then, they're few and far between anyway).
Uhh... I remember tutorials all the way until you got to Pulse. Not a lot, they are pretty spread out, but the point is that the combat system doesn't become fully fleshed out until near the end of the game. This is somewhat frustrating since once its unlocked its one of the best combat systems in FF history, but you only get to use it for like 2 chapters of the game. It's why I have hope for XIII-2, if the combat system is completely unlocked from the beginning it could be awesome.
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Re: Final Fantasy Omnithread - All FF, all the time.

Postby rigwarl » Fri Jan 27, 2012 8:49 pm UTC

I've been playing it all week, I just got to Pulse (~25 hours in, Chapter 11)- but I don't remember there being any combat tutorials ever since the Ice Sisters Eidolon one (~4 hours in, Chapter 3)?

But yes, I agree I love the combat system. It's actually consistently challenging, different from most of the FF's I've played in the past where I would very rarely die. Here there are some bosses in which you're basically guaranteed to die on first try, then you have to think about what character lineup and strategy you want to use next time- and execute it correctly.
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Re: Final Fantasy Omnithread - All FF, all the time.

Postby Dark567 » Fri Jan 27, 2012 9:11 pm UTC

rigwarl wrote:I've been playing it all week, I just got to Pulse (~25 hours in, Chapter 11)- but I don't remember there being any combat tutorials ever since the Ice Sisters Eidolon one (~4 hours in, Chapter 3)?
According to the walkthrough the last tutorial is in Chapter 4 for the synergist role(I am not counting the C'ieth stone tutorial). I am skeptical that its the last one, but you seem to be more correct then I remember when I played through.
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Re: Final Fantasy Omnithread - All FF, all the time.

Postby rigwarl » Fri Jan 27, 2012 9:19 pm UTC

I figured I was likely to have forgotten about one or two after, but I was fairly certain it ended somewhere around there as I *just* played it =)

Anyway, is the Synergist thing bad to be introduced that late? For comparison, in FFX, you don't learn about stealing/mixing items until you get Rikku, which is way later compared to how long it takes to get to FFXIII's Chapter 4. This IMO is totally fine as well- it's just one set of moves you don't have until then. For the Eidolon tutorial, you don't get a summon until at least twice that late in FFIX, etc. I guess what I'm saying is I don't see how FFXIII differs from any other FF game in this regard.
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Re: Final Fantasy Omnithread - All FF, all the time.

Postby Xanthir » Sat Jan 28, 2012 12:01 am UTC

rigwarl wrote:
Xanthir wrote:
rigwarl wrote:So... anyone excited for FF13-2?

I'm going to wait and see if it's more of the "spend 60 hours playing a tutorial before you get the real game" bullshit.

...and then probably buy it even if it is.


Can you explain what this means to me? I picked up FF13 last week and the tutorials stop a few hours into the game (and even until then, they're few and far between anyway).

I consider the game in "tutorial mode" until you hit level 8 in the crystarium (which I believe happens when you go to pulse), because you simply don't have your full set of abilities.

Once you get *past* that, it's a fun and relatively interesting combat system. But the *entire* time spent in cocoon is done with a crippled combat system. :/
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Re: Final Fantasy Omnithread - All FF, all the time.

Postby Kag » Sat Jan 28, 2012 12:10 am UTC

rigwarl wrote:For the Eidolon tutorial, you don't get a summon until at least twice that late in FFIX, etc.


Well, technically you can cast them at any time if you have the patience to grind like 15 levels to get the MP.
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Re: Final Fantasy Omnithread - All FF, all the time.

Postby mosc » Sun Jan 29, 2012 6:26 pm UTC

You can't even use sen/sen/sen in FF13 until AFTER you've beaten the game. The ENTIRE game is a tutorial. The combat system is not unlocked until after completion of the final boss.
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Re: Final Fantasy Omnithread - All FF, all the time.

Postby rigwarl » Sun Jan 29, 2012 6:41 pm UTC

Is that different than not being able to use a triple Quick Attack lineup in FFX until after you beat the game? I'd honestly say it's not even as bad since it's an edge case, whereas triple Quick Attack is used against the majority of the arena creations?

I just finished FF13 today. You have 95% of combat options available to you, but not 100%- just like every other Final Fantasy game I've played- available after about 5 hours in. The only Paradigms you don't have are Triple Synergist, Triple Saboteur, and Triple Sentinel. That hardly qualifies the entire game as being a tutorial for the sole reason that you don't have those 3 options...
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