Final Fantasy Omnithread - All FF, all the time.

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

Postby Box Boy » Sun Jan 29, 2012 11:20 pm UTC

You must have had a very fast playthrough to get that far in five hours....

More seriously, while I like the game, I think that you're not given any substantial form of control over your party until far too late into it for my liking - it should not only become viable to upgrade/change my weapons, choose my party freely to any extent and generally grind/use alternate roles for characters so far into it.
While being able to mess with paradigms is cool, and useful, it's not really enough and makes me feel as if the game is very controlled to a certain point. Heck, even being able to select the party leader would have been a massive improvement.

That said, once you do gain control, I really like the battle system overall - it's different enough from other FF titles to be new, challenging to master, and familiar enough that I didn't feel lost at first when using it. Fair play to Square for that, if nothing else.
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Re: Final Fantasy Omnithread - All FF, all the time.

Postby mister k » Mon Jan 30, 2012 9:51 am UTC

I genuinely think the problem with 13 wasn't the longest tutorial in the world (13 hours I've played, and still felt like that), but the sheer emptiness of the world building. The map that appears in the top right corner mocks you with the pathetic nature of what you are doing: walking in a straight line with occasional detours to pick up an item. There are no npcs, no cities, not even vendors (disembodied save points), no minigames, no sidequests, just one long trawl in one direction. I play, or played FF for the emotions it evoked, not just a decent combat system.
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Re: Final Fantasy Omnithread - All FF, all the time.

Postby Xanthir » Mon Jan 30, 2012 4:15 pm UTC

rigwarl wrote: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...

That's not quite true. After 5 hours you've seen all the paradigms, yes. However, they're split across your party, and you don't have free ability to build that party until you leave Cocoon, with a substantial part of the game spent with *pairs* of party members.

In addition, after five hours you have, what, Launch on your Commando and two spells on your Ravager? The classes didn't fill out and become *real* until much later in the game (again, I felt the transition point was the crystarium level-up you got when you left Cocoon).

(mosc: What did you use sen/sen/sen on? I don't think I used that combo the entire game, and I defeated all the hunts.)
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Re: Final Fantasy Omnithread - All FF, all the time.

Postby rigwarl » Mon Jan 30, 2012 4:24 pm UTC

Yes I agree with the above, but again, I'm asking is that different than the other FF's? 5 hours into FF7 for example, you literally have maybe 1 or 2 other abilities I'm forgetting besides regular attack, cure, and the 3 elemental attacks (Fire/Ice/Bolt).
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Re: Final Fantasy Omnithread - All FF, all the time.

Postby Xanthir » Mon Jan 30, 2012 4:36 pm UTC

It's been too long since I've played FF7 to remember the exact pacing, so that may be true. But it certainly opened up in <20 hours, which I didn't feel was the case in FF13.

I think the combat system was just another facet of the basic problem that mister k talked about. For nearly the entire game, there is only *one thing* to do, and it's the thing that's directly in front of you. There's a single sidequest in the game once you enter Pulse. For chrissakes, they have a Golden Saucer analogue and *don't give you any minigames while you're there*.

My feeling is that the game was the most successful attempt yet at making a book/movie that plays like a game. However, if that was the goal I'd've liked it to be shorter. I don't spend more than 3 hours on movies, and the biggest books take, hm, 30-40 hours of reading. I didn't spend overlong in FF13, and it took 80+ hours.
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Re: Final Fantasy Omnithread - All FF, all the time.

Postby Dark567 » Mon Jan 30, 2012 4:41 pm UTC

Xanthir wrote:My feeling is that the game was the most successful attempt yet at making a book/movie that plays like a game. However, if that was the goal I'd've liked it to be shorter. I don't spend more than 3 hours on movies, and the biggest books take, hm, 30-40 hours of reading. I didn't spend overlong in FF13, and it took 80+ hours.
Well, Dreamfall is certainly the best book/movie that plays like a game.
But yeah, the main problem was that FFXIII was all battle, not that it was a long tutorial. No NPCs, no towns, no shops, no over world, no sidequests, nothing. Just one battle after another while fighting down a very long corridor.
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Re: Final Fantasy Omnithread - All FF, all the time.

Postby rigwarl » Mon Jan 30, 2012 4:51 pm UTC

Xanthir wrote:But it certainly opened up in <20 hours, which I didn't feel was the case in FF13.


I see, that makes sense. I would still disagree, but oh well.

Also you said you did every single one of the hunts, which AFAIK don't really have any strong story aspect to them? The story part of the game took me ~35 hours and that's including exploring nearly every single fork in the game (didn't bother exploring too much in Gran Pulse, but other than that...), so that's in the range of the book, but more importantly, it's around what I would expect for this game.

Just curious, is the sidequest you're referring to rebuilding the robot (pretty crappy sidequest :()? I was pretty disappointed in the lack of exploration and minigames as well, but ST had a good post last page about how there are basically 2 different genres and they're both called RPGs so I don't really think it's fair to label it as a "problem" of the game- although hopefully in the future, things will be more clear before you actually buy it:

SecondTalon wrote: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.


@Dark567: I'm only going off my own observation so it could quite well be flawed, but I believe that "time spent in battle" vs "time doing other stuff" is the same as all the other FF games I've played, although it's true that the "time doing other stuff" is 100% watching cutscenes in FF13 as opposed to some mix of cutscenes, minigames, exploration.
Last edited by rigwarl on Mon Jan 30, 2012 4:51 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Final Fantasy Omnithread - All FF, all the time.

Postby mosc » Mon Jan 30, 2012 4:51 pm UTC

sen/sen/sen is a huge strategic asset. The game is mostly designed to be beaten by brute force against brute force but you need surprisingly fewer stats when you unlock all roles for everyone. The game becomes like a fighting game where you switch roles on the fly based on enemy actions. Sen/Sen/Sen is the apidomy of this because of how the game handles defense. Sen increases the defense of the character using it but also the whole party. Putting all 3 in Sen raises their individual defense and also buffs each other. You can now take far FAR less damage than you would in an offensive set. Enemies with predictable attack patterns can be beaten with this tool at far lower stats than without.

The strategy of FF13 is in the combat system, particularly on how the roles affect the other party members. Without being able to use more than a random assortment of roles though most of the game (can't even chose your party members till chapter 11 of 13 ffs), that element doesn't show. The twitch-type fighter style gameplay is in the role switching. Role switching is mostly useless throughout the 13 chapters because you have few roles to chose from and your characters cannot handle more than half the roles.
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Re: Final Fantasy Omnithread - All FF, all the time.

Postby Dark567 » Mon Jan 30, 2012 5:00 pm UTC

rigwarl wrote:
@Dark567: I'm only going off my own observation so it could quite well be flawed, but I believe that "time spent in battle" vs "time doing other stuff" is the same as all the other FF games I've played, although it's true that the "time doing other stuff" is 100% watching cutscenes in FF13 as opposed to some mix of cutscenes, minigames, exploration.
I am skeptical, maybe the total time spent in battle is close, but generally earlier FF's were longer(My first playthrough of 8 was like 100 hours, and 7 was 50 or 60, 13 was like 35), so the ratio would be skewed more towards battles in this one. I spent hours in the gold saucer in 7, where else could that time be spent in 13? I guess cutscenes is significant as XIII has 10 hours, while VII and VIII had around an hour. Still seems like the ratio of battle to not battle is higher in the others.
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Re: Final Fantasy Omnithread - All FF, all the time.

Postby rigwarl » Mon Jan 30, 2012 5:08 pm UTC

Hmm, yea I guess you can't actually use that metric as a comparison at all, since I was basing it on completely different playtimes than you used for FF7/FF8.

I loved Gold Saucer as well but mainly the battle arena, heh. The rail shooter game was fun too but I can't remember anything else I was fond of.
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Re: Final Fantasy Omnithread - All FF, all the time.

Postby Xanthir » Mon Jan 30, 2012 5:47 pm UTC

mosc wrote:The strategy of FF13 is in the combat system, particularly on how the roles affect the other party members. Without being able to use more than a random assortment of roles though most of the game (can't even chose your party members till chapter 11 of 13 ffs), that element doesn't show. The twitch-type fighter style gameplay is in the role switching. Role switching is mostly useless throughout the 13 chapters because you have few roles to chose from and your characters cannot handle more than half the roles.

Ah, yes, this is perfectly what I wanted to say.

Almost the entire strategic depth (read: "fun") of the battle system is in role-loadout pre-battle and role-switching in-battle. For most of the game, your characters have only 2 or 3 roles, which limits your ability to put together good loadouts. For most of the game, your party is set by the story, which gives you only a limited set of role combinations to work with at any one point. Finally, and potentially the worst, for a substantial portion of the game your party consists of *pairs* of characters, not triples, which *greatly* restricts the depth. You lose almost *everything* fun about the battle system when you're stuck with a pair of chosen-by-the-game characters with only two or three roles.

For example, I found the Sazh/Vanille sections *torturous*, because every battle was the exact same. Start with Com/Rav, switch to Com/Med occasionally for healing, sometimes switch into a Syn combo for fun, *very* rarely switch to Rav/Rav for giggles when it won't kill your chain. It was boring as hell, and they lasted quite a while. When someone's got Sab or Sen it's at least a little more fun/strategic. But really, though, having a 2-person party is just the worst.
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Re: Final Fantasy Omnithread - All FF, all the time.

Postby mosc » Mon Jan 30, 2012 5:53 pm UTC

Yes. Roughly half of the chapters are 2 party members and they generally only share 1 role (rav or com). The entire complexity of the battle system of using role bonuses to affect other party members using that role just doesn't work. Did you know that each of the three ravs in a rav/rav/rav group will do more damage due to them buffing each other? Did you know that status affects are so difficult to land on most enemies because you only have one sab? Etc. You can't use the strategy you want against your enemy because you can't apply that strategy with only 1 character.

Because of this, FF13 mostly plays as simple fight/heal switching while hitting x over and over. That lack of depth only magnifies the straight-line gameworld and inability to chose individual character actions. Watching a movie and having "hit X to kill the villain" would be a pretty similar experience.

That said, the fighting system underneath all that is really quite good and exciting. You just can't USE that system hardly at all until AFTER you beat the game. Infuriating.
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Re: Final Fantasy Omnithread - All FF, all the time.

Postby rigwarl » Mon Jan 30, 2012 6:04 pm UTC

If i want to pick up FFXIII-2 tomorrow, do you guys think I need to preorder? I dunno how popular these games usually are, the reason I'm asking is because I have to go out of my way to preorder (I tried calling but you have to actually be at the store).
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Re: Final Fantasy Omnithread - All FF, all the time.

Postby Dark567 » Mon Jan 30, 2012 6:17 pm UTC

rigwarl wrote:If i want to pick up FFXIII-2 tomorrow, do you guys think I need to preorder? I dunno how popular these games usually are, the reason I'm asking is because I have to go out of my way to preorder (I tried calling but you have to actually be at the store).
I doubt it. The only games I haven't been able to get the day of were Skyrim and The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. Skyrim was just Gamestop being dumb, and back in the 64 days, media was actually expensive. The only reason to preorder would be to get Serah's extra outfit.
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Re: Final Fantasy Omnithread - All FF, all the time.

Postby Xanthir » Mon Jan 30, 2012 6:28 pm UTC

Yeah, generally speaking you only need to pre-order if you want the pre-order goodies, except for the rare uber-popular game.
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Re: Final Fantasy Omnithread - All FF, all the time.

Postby rigwarl » Mon Jan 30, 2012 6:54 pm UTC

Cool, thanks!

Also I have some bad news for people planning to get this game. About half the fighting in the FFXIII-2 trailers I've seen consist of 2 party members. Hopefully this will be only the start of the game though... Once you get 3 party members it appears the third one is a captured enemy monster that can be changed frequently. Reminds me of Pokemon =P

Sunleth Waterscape was my favorite zone in FFXIII, but only due to the music.
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Re: Final Fantasy Omnithread - All FF, all the time.

Postby Dark567 » Mon Jan 30, 2012 7:07 pm UTC

rigwarl wrote:Also I have some bad news for people planning to get this game. About half the fighting in the FFXIII-2 trailers I've seen consist of 2 party members. Hopefully this will be only the start of the game though... Once you get 3 party members it appears the third one is a captured enemy monster that can be changed frequently. Reminds me of Pokemon =P
Yeah I have been reading reviews:
Spoiler:
The only time with 3 members is with 2 members and monster, which is apparently very Pokemon like. The game is apparently less linear, but still fairly linear, and has real shop owners, which are apparently so annoying as you wish you could go back to buying from save points. Apparently the two best characters, Lighting, and the villain are mostly secondary. The game is also apparently about 25 hours, so shorter then the last, but our experience from X-2 should have predicated that.
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Re: Final Fantasy Omnithread - All FF, all the time.

Postby Box Boy » Mon Jan 30, 2012 8:04 pm UTC

Personally, I'm waiting till it's gone down halfway in price and the free preorder goodies get made into cheap DLC - it's what I'm willing to pay for the game, and I've got other things on my plate and coming up (Deus Ex: HR, Skyrim, ME3, Street Fighter Vs Tekken, DOTA 2 and the HD RE-Releases of DMC and MGS are pretty much my games for the next year besides FFXIII-2, and I've got three already to play)
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Re: Final Fantasy Omnithread - All FF, all the time.

Postby Xanthir » Mon Jan 30, 2012 8:08 pm UTC

Looks like that'll be my plan too. I've still got 6 games on my "to play" list, and that's ignoring ME3 which'll be OMGOMGOMG when it comes out.
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Re: Final Fantasy Omnithread - All FF, all the time.

Postby Endless Mike » Tue Jan 31, 2012 3:08 am UTC

Xanthir wrote:Yeah, generally speaking you only need to pre-order if you want the pre-order goodies, except for the rare uber-popular game.

I've always found it to be the opposite: popular games are easily found provided you live somewhere with more than one store that sells games. It's the less popular stuff you need to preorder since GameStop bases their total orders on preorders (a game with only one preorder might only have two total copies ordered since there's no expectation that they'll sell more than one). Big retailers are similar. That said, GameStop can sometimes be dicks and say they only have preorders available. Which is bullshit.

That said I'm sure this will fall in the easily found group.
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Re: Final Fantasy Omnithread - All FF, all the time.

Postby charliepanayi » Tue Jan 31, 2012 9:03 am UTC

On a side note, Final Fantasy VII is 15 years old today. I will celebrate by finding a 70-storey building and climbing the stairs to the top. Then busting out in a motorcycle.
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Re: Final Fantasy Omnithread - All FF, all the time.

Postby Box Boy » Tue Jan 31, 2012 7:58 pm UTC

I'm just gonna chill around in a purple jumpsuit.
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Re: Final Fantasy Omnithread - All FF, all the time.

Postby Endless Mike » Tue Jan 31, 2012 9:26 pm UTC

I'm gonna make some money for Marlene's schoolin'.
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Re: Final Fantasy Omnithread - All FF, all the time.

Postby Dark567 » Wed Feb 01, 2012 3:29 am UTC

First impressions of XIII-2:
Spoiler:
  • Unsurprisingly it's beautiful
  • Serah is less annoying then I anticipated
  • Definitely less linear
  • Quicktime action, fuck
  • Plays way more like a traditional FF, then XIII did
  • Semi-random battles are interesting, but could get annoying
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Re: Final Fantasy Omnithread - All FF, all the time.

Postby Box Boy » Wed Feb 01, 2012 3:57 pm UTC

...semi-random battles, you say?
Is this the same as XIII's roaming monsters, or is it handled differently now?
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Re: Final Fantasy Omnithread - All FF, all the time.

Postby Dark567 » Wed Feb 01, 2012 4:04 pm UTC

Box Boy wrote:...semi-random battles, you say?
Is this the same as XIII's roaming monsters, or is it handled differently now?
It's different, its like a combination of random battles and XIII's roaming monsters. Monsters don't roam, you just walk around and sometimes they will randomly pop up close to you, but not start a battle. Once they do that you can either try to run away a la XIII, or run into them(or them run into you) to start a battle.

EDIT: Ok, the "Last time on Final Fantasy XIII-2" that happens every time you load a save game so you know what was happening when you left off, is actually pretty cool the first time, although I could see it getting annoying.

EDIT2: Okay the non-linearity is getting really confusing:
Spoiler:
So you go through all these different levels in different times through the history, like 3 AF(After [Cocoon's ]Fall), 5AF, 700AF. You do things in each one, but you can erase what you did in one year and then change the future. So although the levels are still somewhat linear(although not as much as XIII), the game itself seems anything but... so far
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Re: Final Fantasy Omnithread - All FF, all the time.

Postby rigwarl » Thu Feb 02, 2012 2:05 am UTC

You can skip the "Last time..."

Man, I can hardly play this game. I get motion sickness easy (can't play any FPS games), and with all the spinning effects + strobe light effects I have a headache after like an hour. Still plan on finishing it, just gotta take it slower (real-time wise) than I usually play RPGs.
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Re: Final Fantasy Omnithread - All FF, all the time.

Postby Dark567 » Thu Feb 02, 2012 6:59 pm UTC

Dark567 wrote:
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.
To go back to this, sounds like the "to be continued..." refers to DLC. Fuck you square, I shouldn't need to buy DLC to find out the ending to the game.
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Re: Final Fantasy Omnithread - All FF, all the time.

Postby Endless Mike » Thu Feb 02, 2012 9:41 pm UTC

Yeah, that's some bullshit.
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Re: Final Fantasy Omnithread - All FF, all the time.

Postby mosc » Thu Feb 02, 2012 10:08 pm UTC

The entire game is a Giant money grab. How can you be insulted when they end with a nice fittingly transparent "insert $10 to continue" sign?
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Re: Final Fantasy Omnithread - All FF, all the time.

Postby Dark567 » Thu Feb 02, 2012 10:12 pm UTC

mosc wrote:The entire game is a Giant money grab. How can you be insulted when they end with a nice fittingly transparent "insert $10 to continue" sign?
Because, I paid for the full game. I understand that games are made for profit's(most games are ultimately money grabs), but they should at least include the whole thing.
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Re: Final Fantasy Omnithread - All FF, all the time.

Postby Kag » Fri Feb 03, 2012 12:34 am UTC

Having "to be continued" doesn't make the ending a non-ending. If they just have an unsatisfying ending, given that it's Square-Enix, it's probably just that they wrote an awful story rather than being intentionally evil.
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Re: Final Fantasy Omnithread - All FF, all the time.

Postby Box Boy » Fri Feb 03, 2012 5:32 pm UTC

I agree - planning to include DLC continuations of a game isn't bad unless you're making a product deliberately worse by not including content so you can sell it again later.


.....unless the DLC is an unlock code, in which case, fuck Square to the fourth circle of Hell, I'm buying the game secondhand and scabbing the DLC off a friend for free (yay sharing downloads on PSN)
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Re: Final Fantasy Omnithread - All FF, all the time.

Postby Kag » Sat Feb 04, 2012 3:56 pm UTC

Box Boy wrote:unless the DLC is an unlock code


In which case absolutely nothing is different.
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Re: Final Fantasy Omnithread - All FF, all the time.

Postby Xanthir » Sat Feb 04, 2012 9:58 pm UTC

The problem with an unlock code is that they are deliberately withholding content *on the disk you bought*. That's different from downloading it.

Yes, it's still different even if they just remove the content from the disk solely so you have to download it. Because in the previous situation, you *already own it*.
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Re: Final Fantasy Omnithread - All FF, all the time.

Postby Box Boy » Sat Feb 04, 2012 10:38 pm UTC

Pretty much what Xanthir wrote - I'm perfectly willing to pay for new DLC that is made since release/started on towards the end of development, even if it re-uses game resources, but if they withhold stuff on the disc itself just to sell it to me after release then you can bet your ass I'm not gonna pay willingly.
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Re: Final Fantasy Omnithread - All FF, all the time.

Postby Kag » Sun Feb 05, 2012 12:48 am UTC

Xanthir wrote:you *already own it*.


No, you don't.
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Re: Final Fantasy Omnithread - All FF, all the time.

Postby Dark567 » Sun Feb 05, 2012 7:42 am UTC

Okay, so there is this place called Serendipity in the game, and it's basically a Golden Saucer type place. I go up to play some of the games: "This content to be included in future DLC." Seriously? You let me walk up to these games just to tell me you are going to add them later? WTF? No, that's not cool.
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Re: Final Fantasy Omnithread - All FF, all the time.

Postby Box Boy » Sun Feb 05, 2012 3:17 pm UTC

.....they're making you pay for mini-games?
What the actual shit, Square?
Kag wrote:
Xanthir wrote:you *already own it*.
No, you don't.
Yes, you do - if you purchase the disc and everything on it while led to believe that you'll eventually be given access to everything on it at no extra cost so long as you work for it (which is the standard practice of most companies, and the standard procedure for most games), then the makers silently including content on it which they'll sell unlock codes for later is in-arguably lazy, greedy and a dick move on behalf of the company, and is in my opinion dishonest business practice.

Of course, that's irrelevant if you're given fair warning that's what's happening, or include the DLC as part of a standard update later on and then put out the code - I'd still call it lazy, and a bit greedy, but I can't really complain beyond saying I'd rather it weren't done.
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Re: Final Fantasy Omnithread - All FF, all the time.

Postby Kag » Sun Feb 05, 2012 4:24 pm UTC

Box Boy wrote:Yes, you do


No, you really, genuinely do not. You have a license to play the software that runs when you put the disc in the console. That's it. Whether data is actually on the disc or not doesn't matter at all.

include the DLC as part of a standard update later on and then put out the code


I'm sure this would bother people less, but large title updates aren't possible this generation because you can't assume people have hard drives.
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