Final Fantasy XIII-2 – Finally


After being behind the curve on getting a chance to play this game,I finally found time this week to take a crack at it.

First off let me say that right off the bat this game surpassed my expectations. I am roughly half way through the game but I have found less to complain about than I thought.

My biggest complaint is still the battle system. I was not impressed with it in XIII and I still am not impressed with it in XIII-2. I have stated this many times, as everyone who reads my blog knows, FF needs to go back to the turn based battle system and eliminated the retry. If yoy you strategy and a little common sense, why would you need to retry? The retry makes for lazy battles and takes the fun out of it.

Another complaint I have, up to where I am, is the lack of playable characters. Yes you have all the monsters to choose from but it’s not the same as using a person. The monsters play no part in the story line so it feels like they got lazy and didnt want to develop back story for characters.

The only other complaint I have is the quiz system. It sucks! Enough said.

Now for the things I like that have stood out in the game. I will more or less just list them as I hope to come back later and go into much more depth. For starters I like how I have the ability to roam around again. I hated the linear feel of XIII. I love that the chocobo races are back. I love how beautiful they have incorporated the original characters into the story. This was one of the biggest surprises to me. And to finish off my likes as of where I am is Mog.

As always I look forward to your comments and hope to see you at the forums!
Althalus

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Final Fantasy XIII-2


The good news it the game has been out for a while and many of you have had the opportunity to play it. The bad news is that I have been so busy with other task that I have been unable to play it as of yet 😦 I hope to correct this soon and have lots to say about the game but until that time comes I didn’t want anyone to think that I had forgotten about the game.

From what I am hearing from fans who have played the game, it has been better than expected. I haven’t heard to many bad things yet, but then again I haven’t scrutinized it with a fine tooth comb myself yet either. Until the time comes when I add my two cents worth in about the game I would love to hear what you all think of it. Leave a comment, email me, something…. I want to hear everyones opinions, both good and bad.

As always you can get ahold of me at the forums or via email (althalus @ ffexodus dot com). Stop by and say hi. I enjoy saying hi to people

Althalus 🙂

Final Fantasy has lost it’s way


Final Fantasy lost its way. The creative experimentation seen in Final Fantasy XII and XIII, while admirable, steered the series in a direction that many devoted fans openly lament. Even Final Fantasy XIII-2 appears reactionary; it exists to advance a story, yes, but also to address numerous consumer complaints leveled at its predecessor. I enjoyed both Final Fantasy XII and XIII, though I can say without hesitation that Square Enix’s past works reached far greater heights.

Final Fantasy was originally released in December of 1987. Since then the series has come a long ways. In that time span there have been many games and many spin-offs of the series. Along the way many good things have come along, also many things have come into play that make some fans wonder why they continue to be a fan of the series.

You can ask any fan of FF what they think the best game is, and you will get many different answer. Usually the answer they give is an indication of how long they have been a fan of the series. I, like most old people who have been with the series since the beginning believe that nothing beats an original. There is no FF better than the first. I am not saying that there have not been some other good FF’s along the way, for that would be untrue. There have been many good Final Fantasy’s since the original along with some good spin-offs.

The recent retro craze — popularized by such games as New Super Mario Bros., Pac Man Championship Edition, Bionic Commando Rearmed, and Mega Man 9 — showcases how popular traditional gaming remains. Even in an industry saturated by eye-searing graphics and motion technology, many gamers just want the classics. And who can blame them; gameplay above all else, right?

So where have the creators of the new FF’s gone wrong? At which point or game did they lose their way? That all depends on who you ask. Personally I feel that Final Fantasy took a nose dive with XI and have continued to fall. Why XI you ask, because FF is a turn based RPG. Creating a MMORPG and calling it a Final Fantasy was the worst mistake Squeenix (my affectionate title for Square-Enix) could have made. And yet, they want to make the same mistake again with XIV.

What does Squeenix need to do to correct their mistake before they lose more fans? Simple, go back to the roots of the game. Stop worrying about trying to keep up with what the other games are doing and using. That is not what fans of FF are after. Here are some thoughts.

Story

The story itself needn’t tread entirely new ground. Crumbling worlds will continue captivate us with the right characters and enthralling dialogue. The most important point is to instill a sense of danger in us — create a problem that needs fixing. And if we care about the world enough, we’ll care about saving it.

Battles

Get away from the real-time battles and return to the turn-based or even the ATB (active time battle). Something where you are not just reacting to the fight, but involved in the fight. Thinking ahead, trying to determine the enemies next move, his weakness, his strengths. You don’t really have any of this in a real-time battle.

Another critical element to gameplay: equipment. The recent Final Fantasy titles did away with traditional equipment, so a return to form is in order. Each character should have slots for their head, arms, body, and legs, as well as an additional two slots for relics. Squeenix should feed our collective obsession with loot and invest serious time into developing a massive item catalogue — perhaps even randomize it. Remember the thrill of maximizing relics in Final Fantasy VI so one character attacks first with multiple strikes in a row? That potential for fine-tuning and meticulous customization would be a breeding ground for replay value.

The World

Ask anyone who is a fan of Final Fantasy and they can sum the solution for this up in two words “WORLD MAP”. Enough of the linear crap. That was one of the biggest downfalls of XIII. Where was our world map, where was our ability to free roam?

Final Thoughts

I believe that the potential for the best FF is there by combining the best elements of the past games and doing away with the crap that has been added over the years. What are the best and worst elements? Lets start with the worst things that have happened to FF over the years.

Creating an MMO (XI and XIV) and calling it a FF was by far the worst move ever. Along with this are the ability to restart after a battle instead of dying (XIII), making the game linear with no free roam (XIII), sequels (X-2 and XIII-2) to continue a storyline because they couldn’t get it right to begin with and real-time battles

Those are ones that pop into my head without having to think on it. I am sure when I go back to play the games there will be things that will pop out at me that could be added to the list. I do not want to focus on just the negative though. There are many aspects that have been added over the series that have been very fun and/or beneficial. I am not going to attempt to list them, because at that point I would be writing a book and not a blog. All fans of FF have their favorite things they would like to see return to the game. I will end this with telling you my favorite thing about FF that I would love to see return to the games.

Character class! White Mage, Black Mage, Fighter etc….

Althalus http://www.ffexodus.com and http://www.ffexodus.com/forums

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