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A Contrarian View of FFVII 159

Posted by Zonk
from the spiky-hair dept.
This week is seeing the commercial release of Advent Children, so it's appropriate to see Jeremy Parish discussing the original game. However, he's got a slightly different take on the game than you might be used to. Seen via GameSetWatch. From Parish's article: "What better way to sell to people than by speaking directly to them? Cloud Strife is the everynerd -- wrapped up in delusions of greatness when allowed to take things on his own carefully-selected terms until he sees the world for what it is and is forced to come to grips with the fact that he's actually completely pathetic. That's your average game-obsessed message board dork in a nutshell: the petty tyrant of a tiny little niche of the Internet but a failure in real life. It's the kind of parable Jesus would have been proud to have shared with the hungry masses between bites of magical fishloaf, the cigarette ad of nerd coming-of-age stories -- a promise to nerdlings that if you face down your demons, accept your failures and struggle to move beyond them, you'll save the world and your childhood crush will fall madly in love with you."
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A Contrarian View of FFVII

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  • Contrarian? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by EggyToast (858951) on Tuesday April 25, 2006 @10:53AM (#15196677) Homepage
    I thought it was already established that there were a large number of people who didn't like FF7 when it came out, and more who changed their mind as time went on?

    For many people, it was the first Final Fantasy game that they played, so it's obvious why there are many who hold it in high regard. But it's sluggishly paced and the characters are mostly interchangeable towards the end game, despite their roles (or lack thereof in some cases) in the story.

    • We're not naming names on the useless ones *cough* yuffie *cough*
      • Hey, without her there wouldn't be such a... erm... lively doujinshi market!
      • We're not naming names on the useless ones *cough* yuffie *cough*


        Beat the game using intial weapons, no materia, and no accessorys.. and you would see yuffie is one of the most important characters!

        no I don't have a girlfriend... why do you ask?
    • Re:Contrarian? (Score:2, Interesting)

      by TheCarp (96830) *
      Yah it was certainly no FFI...now there was a game with a deep story line and amazing character development.

      Don't get me wrong, I am a fan of the Final Fantasy series, and have played most of them to the end. However, they have always been kind of cheesy in alot of departments.

      Actually, my main problem is that they seem to have become alot more movie-like since around VII. The first several hours of some of them is just like watching a movie with very little actual interaction beyond running the battles.

      I
    • I agree, compared to FFVI iit was kinda a dissapointment, like they spend forever on the graphics and forgot that a good story has to well infact, HAVE a story.

      Not to say that VII didnt have a good story, but once Aries dies, its well kind of a letdown. Here they are building and building and building and then bame, shes dead and the story just takes a nosedive into emoville.

      If they had made it so that Cloud made the ultimate sacrafice at the end and comes to the conclusion that he needs to, I have a fe

      • You are able to resurrect Aries, but only in the Japanese version or if you have a game shark. If I remember correctly, you need three items before you move on to disc 2 in order to resurrect her, and what Square did was put a locked door in front of an area that has one of the required items that can't be opened until Disc 2. This effectively makes it impossible to bring her back without learning Japanese or hacking the game.
        • This is an example of a bad rumor that will never die. There is no way to resurrect Aeris. Period. I have owned the Japanese version since it was released in January of 1997 and I can assure you there is no such feature.
          • My sister managed to do it with a game shark. Perhaps you can't in the Japanese game, that was simply something I read and can't confirm myself, but you most certainly can defeat the game with Aries in the party.
            • You can add Aerith/Aeris back into the party manually, sure -- that doesn't mean she'll be in the STORY at all. She won't have any dialogue (aside from generic lines that EVERY character says exactly the same) and sometimes the game will crash with her in your party.

              In other words you just swapped character data into your party, she's not actually "there" story-wise.

            • but the story ends with her death. People try to claim the shadows are parts of the original JP data for her, but all research and evidence points to the fact that much like the twins in 4 in the original version as well as rereleases, shes dead and never comes back.

              all the gameshark does is force the data in, but depending on where you are, you can actually crash the game doing it.

    • Re:Contrarian? (Score:2, Interesting)

      by hackwrench (573697)
      Great, a person who's only concept of RPG is tabletop RPG. Couple that with a lack of metaphysical understanding, and value system that says what he likes in a game is what everyone should like in a game, and you've got one person who has no standing in reviewing games period.

      On top of that he's seriously emotionally repressed. Apathy is about as emotionally stable as death is medically stable.

      Also, he's reading a lot into the game. I never thought that Tifa was Zack's girlfriend, and besides Cloud and
      • and besides Cloud and Tifa grew up together.

        Umm... I could be wrong because it has been awhile but wasn't it revealed in the game that Cloud never grew up with Tifa, that he kind of "stole" Zack's memories, putting himself in Zack's place?
        • Tifa and Cloud did grow up together. That part was never in question. Tifa never contradicted it, though there were parts of his story that he made up when he was telling it to the rest of the cast at the inn at Kalm. Tifa isn't the girl he was talking about, though. It's been a while since I've played the game, but I'm pretty sure there were a lot of hints that Zack had been Aeris' boyfriend. She even mentions an ex-boyfriend that was in SOLDIER when she notices Cloud's "Mako eyes".

          I feel a little dirty d
    • Re:Contrarian? (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Cecil (37810)
      it's sluggishly paced and the characters are mostly interchangeable towards the end game, despite their roles (or lack thereof in some cases) in the story.

      You know, the same thing could be said about any of the later FF games. 8? Most definitely. 9? Pretty much, yeah. 10? Very much so. Even Final Fantasy 6(3) had the same issue due to the fact that anyone could use Espers to learn any and every spell, although at least the special abilities were somewhat unique and non-interchangable. But really, you rarely
      • Re:Contrarian? (Score:4, Insightful)

        by zerocool^ (112121) on Tuesday April 25, 2006 @02:10PM (#15198599) Homepage Journal

        The problem you mention in FF3/6 is simply that the game will level you up too quickly; or, more accurately, there are a number of sidequests in the World of Ruin that people won't pass up on. Think: If you were playing it for the first time, would you sit there and hammer away at Intangir on Gogo's island in the World of Balance before the floating continent? I wouldn't. Or, in the world of ruin... would you try to get every character + Umaro and Gogo? Nope, I would have stopped once I had a good compliment of Celes, Sabin, Edgar, Terra, Shadow, Mog, and maybe Gau.

        People get overpowered in FF3, and then wonder why the game gets lame. You're not supposed to be able to do 9999 damage 8 times per round with Genji Glove + Offering! You're not supposed to be able to cast 3 ultima spells per round for 4 MP (magic box / economizer, Ult. Haste Ult. Ult.). You (and I) are overpowered by the end of the game BECAUSE we love it so much that we explore every nook and cranny. We do the phoenix cave. We beat all 8 dragons. We get Tritoch and beat doom gaze. We upgrade Odin to Raiden. We de-curse the cursed shield. We do Elbot's rock. We get the Water Rondo.

        If you were speed running the game, it would be much harder.

        ~Will
        • Not so much a speed run - try the low level challenge. At an average character level of 8, Kefka is one hell of a hard fight.

          • Oh, that brings to mind another point about the game. When you get most new characters, their level is based on the level of your existing characters, plus or minus a modifier that's static.

            So, when you get Sabin, if edgar, locke, and terra are lvl 6 (reasonable), Sabin will be lvl 7 or 8. If your characters are lvl 30 (you used frameskip to level them up), sabin will also be around lvl 30.

            So, if you spend the time at the begining of the game, then everything from then on our is cake.
    • Re:Contrarian? (Score:3, Insightful)

      by zerocool^ (112121)

      Not to mention the plot holes that you can drive a semi-truck through.

      Most of the people that like that game like it due to nostalgia - they never had an SNES, it was the first console RPG they played, etc etc. But, I agree. The game is just awful. I was happy when Aris died. The characters are cookie cutter. The story DRAGS ON FOREVER. The end guy is too easy. The sidequests are stupid. In the end, everybody dies anyway, even though she "saved the world".

      ~W
    • It's the "Halo Effect". It's the first decent game someone has played in a particular genre, and thus it gets labeled "The best thing since bread and butter."
  • by Qzukk (229616) on Tuesday April 25, 2006 @11:03AM (#15196789) Journal
    accept your failures and struggle to move beyond them

    Because obviously trying to improve ourselves is doomed to failure, we're all going to remain permanent virgins for the rest of our lives.
  • That was the FFVII revolution: half the game, spread across twice as much time.

    I've always thought that FFVI had much more meat to the game. I mean, the plot in 7 wasn't really that great compaired to the plot of the other games. But it had so much flash, it just made peoples eyes glaze over if they hadn't had previous RPG experiance.

    I for one am glad that I played RPGs well before FF7 came along, otherwise I think it would have ruined me and made me unable to enjoy graphics and ignore the actual gamep

    • by TooMuchEspressoGuy (763203) on Tuesday April 25, 2006 @11:11AM (#15196867)
      I've always thought that FFVI had much more meat to the game.

      I agree completely. In a smaller storage space, and with pixels rather than 3-D models, FF6 managed to tell a much better, richer, and more complex story than FF7. Every one of the many characters had his/her own personality and slice of backstory, and each had his/her time in the spotlight at some point in the game. Oh, and Kefka makes Sephiroth look like a pansy.

      • It's pretty sad that FFVI's Kefka literally dressed like a clown, yet represented a far more significant threat than his successor. Kefka broke the world in his quest for raw power, then ruled over the ruined remains with divine fury; Sephiroth wanted a hug from mommy and babbled a lot.

        Advantage: Kekfa.

        Yes, he did look like a panzy, compairatively

      • Every one of the many characters had his/her own personality and slice of backstory.

        What, even the moogle, the mime, and the abomniable snowman? It's a bit like they decided to have a seperate character for every "class", and by the end ran out of ideas. A few of the other characters are a bit disposable as well IMO. I have a bit of a general dislike of the whole thing in RPGs where you end up with a dozen characters but you can only use about three of them at once, so maybe I'm biased about it...

        (My other
        • What, even the moogle, the mime, and the abomniable snowman? It's a bit like they decided to have a seperate character for every "class", and by the end ran out of ideas. A few of the other characters are a bit disposable as well IMO. I have a bit of a general dislike of the whole thing in RPGs where you end up with a dozen characters but you can only use about three of them at once, so maybe I'm biased about it...

          Thus why I said "slice of backstory" instead of "complete backstory." All of the characters,

          • Thus why I said "slice of backstory" instead of "complete backstory." All of the characters, at least, have a reason for being (yes, even the moogle and the yeti.)

            They're still pretty throwaway, you could easily get rid of half of FFVI's playable characters for the core story to work.

            And what if that "prick in a clown costume" poisoned entire villages,shattered the world, and sent his wrath upon anyone who dared to disobey him? Would you take him seriously, then?

            Not really. He's a generic evil villian, his
          • by Rei (128717) on Tuesday April 25, 2006 @12:42PM (#15197759) Homepage
            I know people will hate me for saying this, but Kefka was transparent. He was an Insane Evil Overlord(TM). Kill people with unneeded brutality! Destroy the world for no particular reason! All while dressing like a clown!

            I just have trouble seing a character like that as a person. Now, Sephiroth, that was a "villain" I could get behind. Yes, he angsted a fair bit. But he had a plan, a purpose. He had a method to become a God that actually worked well within the framework of the game universe. He wasn't evil for evil's sake - he was purposefully evil.

            Of course, here is my greatest heretical notion: that FF8 was a better written game than FF7. No, seriously, I mean it. Compare the dialogue from the earlier FFs (through 7) and later (say, 9; oh dear god, 9 was poorly written) to that in FF8.

            Non-8 FFs:
            A: "Oh, woe! The world will end!"
            B: "WHAT?!?!?!?!!?!!!!?"
            C: "Take heart, everyone, we can do it!!!!"
            D: "Lets do it... together."
            A: "Yes! For the world!!! If we believe in ourselves, we can do it!!!"

            VIII did have its fair share of that kind of cliche (it's an FF tradition, after all), just not as much. And certainly not the entire script, as in IX. God, that was awful.

            Not that FF8 didn't have its problems. Ultimecia would best be described, to borrow Miss Snark [blogspot.com]'s term, as "aliens that arrive in chapter 14". Squall was deliberately hard to like, and as a video game MC, that's harder to deal with than an unlikable book MC. And lets not even get into the gameplay balance/time issues.

            Of course, nothing beats Tactics. I think they were channelling George R. R. Martin on that one ;)
            • Of course, nothing beats Tactics. I think they were channelling George R. R. Martin on that one ;)
              Say what? I never played Tactics but am almost unhealthily obsessed with the Song of Ice and Fire. If you're serious about the great Tactics plot then I predict an addition to my DS (advance) library very soon.
      • Sephiroth is just Magus rehashed. And you don't get to have him in your party.
    • FF7 had a unique plot at its time. Now every game after that is the same thing...Save the world bang the girl. Its becoming to repetitive.
    • The plot in FFVII is not expansive but what I found impressive is that there's so much to do. I think the basic dichotomy between people who do and don't like FFVII is actually over mini-games. People who like mini-games adore FFVII, it was the first game to do them worth a crap. People who don't like mini-games hate it, because some of them are mandatory and in order to accomplish certain things you pretty much have to play them. I mean the whole chocobo thing requires you to race your chocobos just to br

      • au contraire, the minigames were the only part of FFVII I liked. Well, Yuffie and her story were pretty cool. But aside from that, I found it incredibly trite and needlessly convoluted story-wise. That, along with static and cliched characters and the emphasis on Cloud to the exclusion of everyone else ruined it for me.
    • The more I look back on VII the more I think they were trying to adapt VI in a new setting. I find similiarity in Kefka and Sephiroth. Vincent's mystique is no different than Shadow's (only less so since Shadow's backstory is never made clear anywhere). Aeris and Terra are both "specimins" that the main antagonists are looking for.

      I don't know if anyone agress with this either. It's been quite some time since I played both so I could be wrong...

      Anyways, VII was a good game in the series. I would say it
      • Shadow's backstory gets exposed, but you have to do certain things and go to certain areas with him in your party to do it. It's actually a real pain in the ass to do, but you can find out who he is if you're willing to dig deep enough in the game.
  • by Rob T Firefly (844560) on Tuesday April 25, 2006 @11:07AM (#15196830) Homepage Journal
    (-1 Flamebait)
    • They actually do this now with the tags. And it's getting kind of pathetic - every other article gets tagged as flamebait or troll just because it's a little controversial. An interesting parallel with the moderation system.
  • Er.. WTF (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Turn-X Alphonse (789240) on Tuesday April 25, 2006 @11:08AM (#15196836) Journal
    "The petty tyrant of a tiny little niche of the Internet but a failure in real life"

    Maybe it's just me here.. MAYBE.. but isn't life a meaningless exercise of not dying untill you die..? Surely being a failure at life means you're oh.. DEAD!

    Maybe we should stop judging people on their job/material goods and go "Hey this guys doing something he enjoys, he's not doing too bad really is he?" Life is not what you own, what you buy or what you want to buy.
    • Re:Er.. WTF (Score:3, Funny)

      by linvir (970218)
      As a journalist, it's his job, nay, his duty to inform the likes of us mere readers of our most shameful shortcomings. I don't understand why people like you are always wasting our time with these 'independent thoughts', when people like this are already being paid to pre-fabricate opinions and ideas for us.

      Get over your stupid little philosophy, sit down, shut up and consume. Maybe if you weren't such an ideological insurgent, the elders would have already picked you out to work as a supplier of opinions a

  • by The Living Fractal (162153) <banantarr.hotmail@com> on Tuesday April 25, 2006 @11:08AM (#15196838) Homepage
    It's ok to be contrarian. You have every right to form an opinion. But I can't help but say I detect a degree of hypocrisy when I read this:

    "That's your average game-obsessed message board dork in a nutshell: the petty tyrant of a tiny little niche of the Internet but a failure in real life."

    I mean, is it just me, or does it seem like this is exactly what this guy represents, within the context of the very article he has written about it?

    The rest of it.. I tried hard to find anything meaningful. But every time I just can't help but think the author has personal experience pushing each word into the keyboard.

    TLF
  • A lot of times I read articles about how gaming journalism needs to be more "professional" and "serious" - Well, if articles like this are the direction people think we should be heading then COUNT ME OUT.

    This dude has his head so far up his ass that he doesn't even realize what he is saying anymore. He has "Chris Crawford" syndrome. These poor little people don't even understand what fun is! They have no idea how to derive enjoyment from an entertainment product! They just don't GET it. They don't un

  • My reasoning (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Traiklin (901982)
    the only real reason I enjoyed this game was because of the setting.

    I got so sick and tired of seeing the EXACT same setting for every RPG, is there some rule when it comes to making a good RPG that says "You MUST set this in times of dragons and dungeons!"? I understand that they are all based off the D&D games but come on, do they ALL have to take place in the same time frame?

    Earthbound, Secret of Evermore, Final Fantasy VI (III in the US), VII all these use the same formula but they exsist in t
    • Re:My reasoning (Score:3, Informative)

      by meringuoid (568297)
      I got so sick and tired of seeing the EXACT same setting for every RPG, is there some rule when it comes to making a good RPG that says "You MUST set this in times of dragons and dungeons!"? I understand that they are all based off the D&D games but come on, do they ALL have to take place in the same time frame?

      Well, let's see...

      * checks RPGs on game shelf *

      Baldur's Gate 1 and 2, Neverwinter Nights: Forgotten Realms, D&D
      Morrowind: Vvardenfell, Mournhold and Solstheim, magic mediaeval
      Fallout

      • Star Ocean 1, 2 and 3- future of galaxy which is actually a computer simulation in 5D space, with a smattering of undeveloped planets
        Phantasy Star, Xenosaga- high technology in alien worlds
        Kingdom Hearts- pretty much everything

        There is a LOT of variation that people gloss over because they've only played Dragon Quest/Final Fantasy and simply assume that everything is the same. You get the same thing as far as plots go: people reduce the plots to absurdity to further whatever point they want to make.
      • Right. Now how many of those came out before FFVII? The GP's assertion is quite correct in the context of when the game was released.
    • Earthbound is steam universe?

      Ummm... check your facts. It's sci-fi set in a modern context. You cut out the alien technology (sky runner, psi, phase distorter) and you're left with modern day.

      Evermore is just a giant cyberworld where each area has a "theme" of some epoch.

      Final Fantasy VI i guess is steam... Narshe is entirely run on steam... But there's always been some element of high technology mixed with fantasy in the series. Some games just gravitate to one side of the line more than others. VII a
  • he's actually completely pathetic.

    I think I speak for all of us when I say I'm glad that most basement nerds aren't commiting terrorism (bombing a power stations), attempted murder (attack on Rufus), and having unsafe, preparital sex (what do you think that fade-to-black with Tifa outside the highwind was?)
  • Personally I'd say skip the article. The poor writer clearly has no clue about anything but "being cool" in the geek way. For example "Of course, to call FFVII a role-playing game is to stretch the term to the point where it gets so thin you can see the veins through its skin"

    Last time I checked playing a role could be where you have full control and make the character (western sandbox style RPGS), or where you take the hero and play as him, to tell the story (Eastern RPGs). The entire article comes across
    • I'd like to know what kind of idiot doesn't realize that no computer RPG that isn't multiplayer can actually involve roleplaying? If you're picking from a list of responses, you're not playing a role, you're taking a test. Final fantasy (and most other console RPGs) does away with this by simply providing you scripted dialogue, while you make in-game choices by doing things or not doing things. Most console RPGs have gone the same way, because why bother?

      As for the quality of the FFVII music, well, I di

      • You can roleplay without it being interactive. So you're choosing premade dialogue. Actors don't even get to do that, and no one would argue whether they are playing a role.

        Personally, I think that if you aren't minimaxing every decision but thinking, "What would this character do in this situation?" then you are roleplaying, whether anyone else is watching. In an MMORPG you may be minimaxing, power-levelling and chatting in l33tsp43k and that is NOT roleplaying even if others are around.

        Very few single pla
      • Bioware has managed to produce quite a few games that I feel have a great deal of roleplaying to them. You can get from point a (the game start) to b (game end) in a LOT of different ways, and there isn't a "right" one. They are different in how your character ends up.

        Planescape Torment, Baldur's gate 1,2, KOTR, Jade empire... Fallout, for goodness sake (although not bioware). YOU get to decide who your character is, and how to play them.

        Japanese "rpgs" tend to be more of "here are a bunch of characters
        • Planescape Torment, Baldur's gate 1,2, KOTR, Jade empire... Fallout, for goodness sake (although not bioware). YOU get to decide who your character is, and how to play them.

          Now, I've beat Torment, and I don't remember any features in there that used conversational AI to allow me to have real conversations with anyone... Probably because it's not possible and if it were, it would not be desirable.

          you're really just showing that you're either not very familiar with the medium, or you have different

  • Everything about this article yells: "I couldn't get attention on myspace so I'm gonna try to piss off as many people as possible."

    Honestly, everyone is entitled to their own opinions but the entire tone of this article is "I'm calling you an idiot; what're ya gonna do about it?"

    • I think you hit the nail on the head. Even bad attention is better than none, right? The funny thing is, this guy demonstrates every cliche he rants against.
    • "Honestly, everyone is entitled to their own opinions but the entire tone of this article is "I'm calling you an idiot; what're ya gonna do about it?"

      I had a slightly different take. I thought he was trying to gather together an army of people who don't want to be idiots so they support his view and fight the battle.

      Dunno if that's the case here, but I've seen it on web forums. "I don't like BSG!" "Me too! I look more sophisticated and intelligent by having a different view!" "STFU!"
  • by awing0 (545366) <adam@badtec[ ]rg ['h.o' in gap]> on Tuesday April 25, 2006 @11:22AM (#15196991) Homepage Journal
    The old Squaresoft we know isn't anymore. This FF VII movie just proves it. It's one of the only things they have that might spawn a successful franchise (besides NEW and GOOD FF games). If this movie goes over well, expect to see more of the same old thing. I thought the FFs were just ONE game, no sequels and no returning characters. I guess that changed with X-2 and the marketing engine that is now in full swing.

    Amano (Artwork for 1-6) is long gone. Yoshida (FF Tactics) is designing the new FF XII. Uematsu (music composer) is also gone.

    Maybe I'm too cynical, but I think SE is the EA of RPGs now.

    • The Enix half is alive and well, thank you very much. Star Ocean III (with Tri-Ace) and Dragon Quest VIII are two such examples of absolutely fantastic modern games.
    • He was considered the father of FF and at least produced/directed up to FF7-8. He's now going to be rotting in Mistwalker Studios... guh... no matter how awesome his Eastern RPG might be I doubt it would sell well in Japan for the xbox360.
    • It's a good thing Yoshida's at the helm. The Final Fantasy games since 6 have been terrible and while Yoshida's made some bold desicions, his work in FFT is a throwback to older games and he seems to bring a lot of that into FF12 (from what I've played here in Japan).
  • I've seen the movie. Advent Children continues the tradition of subpar plot paired with awesome visuals, and is basically a huge action sequence with bits and pieces of a dumb plot sprinkled in. The plot may have been cool had they developed it, but that would have gotten in the way of the fights!

    Basically, it is worth seeing for the cool effects and the fanboyism of seeing all the characters, but don't go in expecting a coherant plot.
    • Lil 20-30 min animated episode showing a earlier part with Zack that came with the Japanese DVD release was much more enjoyable to me. I wish they continued that instead.
      • I agree on Last Order. I haven't looked at the North American DVD details, but I hope they are including that with the movie. I may still get the Advent Children DVD for the "show off my home theater" factor... not sure.
  • by Doomstalk (629173) on Tuesday April 25, 2006 @11:24AM (#15197011)
    That's your average game-obsessed message board dork in a nutshell: the petty tyrant of a tiny little niche of the Internet but a failure in real life.

    Says the man who A) reviews 7 year-old games B) uses them to insult people.
  • This is going to provide all kinds of fodder for the Overrated Gremlins that follow me around Slashdot, but....

    This article is right on, on just about every point. It's what I always considered to be wrong with VII. From the annoyingness of Cloud Strife, to how VII is everywhere now, to how it wrecked length expectations in the console RPG market, to how it's horribly padded, to the load times. ESPECIALLY the load times. Those are the reasons I got to the 10 hour mark in the PS1 game and lost interest a
  • It spoke to me (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Godai (104143) *
    The author's a little flamebait-astic, but he's right about a lot of things, particuarly FF7's popularity being driven by 'firsties'. Though I have to wonder, if he hated FF7 how much he must despise the trainwreck that was FF8!

    It's like he crawled into my head and managed to coalesce a lot of the things I hated about FF7. I never liked it much; it was okay but it never engaged me like the previous FFs did.

    • Final Fantasy 8 had one thing: the card game.

      The damn card game in FF9 is WAY too random. I mean, a 6m15 card should occasionally be able to beat a 6m27 card, but should never be able to beat a Dx7A card.

      Other than that, yeah. Give me FF3/6 and FF9.
    • What I don't understand is how this "game" where most of the character building is in random battles that (last I looked at FF?) still used the Bard's Tale style of combat (stacks of monsters, front line of PCs, back line of PCs, etc, etc).

      It was lame on my Apple2 in 86. In the same era I was playing RPGs like Ultima that let me move each character independently, modify the world (did dungeons stay dead on the console?)

      How in any way do you derive even the slightest fun from console RPGs? I admit to only pl
    • I thought he as a lot more interesting than Cloud. He at least had emotions, even though he wasn't necessarily capable of showing them. Squall's just an example of someone who closed up because they were afraid of losing someone again. He actually becomes pretty likeable by the end of the game, and he shows more character development than any other video/computer game I can think of at the moment.

      I hated the draw system, and I didn't much care for the Ultimecia plot. I can think of a lot of RPGs that ar
  • Dumb. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by menace3society (768451) on Tuesday April 25, 2006 @11:47AM (#15197234)
    This has to be the dumbest "review" of a game I've read in a long time. To sum up his major "arguments" (and I'm committing an injustice to the civility of marital altercations the world over by using this term):

    • "I don't like FF7" (not really arguable), "I'm a rational person" (debatable), "therefore no rational people like FF7" (fallacious).
    • "It's not really an "RPG" according to the classical definition." But then, 90% of D&D sessions I've played in involved about as much role-playing as a random number generator. For better or worse, the term 'RPG' in video games refers to games like Final Fantasy. Get over it.
    • "The characters are animated inconsistently--there are several versions of each character, with widely varying degrees of realism for each." This is, I suppose, as valid a complaint as any of the author's, but since he spends two paragraphs talking about how great the graphics are (and eventually goes on to complain about how good the graphics were) he does kind of undermine himself here.
    • "The story is convoluted and weird." This is also true. Too bad FF7 didn't have a plot as good as the original FF, where the ultimate bad guy trying to take over the world is a souped up version of someone you killed in the very beginning, or Suikoden where the King is being controlled by an evil witch--oh wait, no, he's not, he's just love sick.
    • "Cloud isn't a one-dimensional character who picks one of two personality types and never changes emotional state throughout the game." While technically a true statement, I'm not sure if it counts as criticism.
    • "Sephiroth is a bizarre and incomprehensible villain, and hence inferior to Kefka." Or, to put it another way, Kefka is a 1970's destroy-the-world-I'm-evil comic book villain, and Sephiroth is a guy with his own neurosis, and motivations (however bizarre). Kefka just does it for the hell of it, really.
    Basically, what it boils down to, is that this guy wishes all RPGs were still developed for the SNES because things like graphics, characters with personality, and entertainment are all things which subtract from a good RPG.
    • The thing I liked about Kefka, is that in the beginning of the game he didn't start out as the main villain, he started out as chief henchman. The character you can compare him to is Dildandau in Escaflowne. They are both creations of the Empire, and they are both insane. However, they are not in charge! Watching Kefka get more and more evil and powerful until he takes over was kind of fun.

      Douglas Adams used to really hate characters like Kefka, villains who were just motivated by sheer destructive evi

  • This article smacks of "My opinion is better than yours, and if you disagree, it is because you are wrong." Sure, the game had flaws. Few games don't. Sure, earlier RPGs are arguably far better, and I'll even agree with him on that. I still have a hard time finding a better game than Chrono Trigger in that sense. And yes, I played that long before I played FFVII. Still have a super nintendo on my living room table (Coffee table? There's more cigarette ash on that thing than anything else... Ash tabl
  • Parish is a great guy, but has terrible taste. Just last week he was singing the praises of the mediocre-at-best Chrono Cross, and he's also on-record bashing Transformers: The Movie.
  • That's your average game-obsessed message board dork in a nutshell:

    Well, at least he's self referential.

    Never understood the whole fractioning of the FF fanbase. I've played all of them except #11. I enjoyed them all. Even X-2, which was just a bit of fun that seems to offend so many *cough*serious*cough* RPG gamers.

    Ah well... Kingdom Hearts II is in my PS2 now, so who cares about anything else? :)

    • And one thing KH2 bucks from the recent (past 10 years or so) Square history is that it clocks in at around 22-25 hours. It probably could have been shortened just a bit (going back to each world asking, "You seen Riku?" got annoying after the first two times or so), but it feels like a very natural length to me.
  • So he's done a nice job of recognizing that Cloud's dilemna represents what happens when you come to believe your own lies about yourself, how these lies take on a life of their own and gain power over you, and how only by recognizing the lies can you overcome the problems that led you to cover up the truth in the first place. 'A' or 'B' material so far on this work of literary analysis, if we're grading at a high school level.

    Thinking that this observation applies to gamers and only gamers? That's a 'D'.
  • "a promise to nerdlings that if you face down your demons, accept your failures and struggle to move beyond them,"

    Except, in this case, his demon is this guy who's calling forth a meteor to destroy the world...

    You see, everyone has their own personal El Guapo which they must face one day. For some, shyness may be their El Guapo. For others, a lack of education may be their El Guapo. For us, our El Guapo is a big, ugly guy who wants to kill us. But I believe that if the people of this town work together, tha

  • "Cloud Strife is the everynerd -- wrapped up in delusions of greatness when allowed to take things on his own carefully-selected terms until he sees the world for what it is and is forced to come to grips with the fact that he's actually completely pathetic."

    Except he didn't have all that much control over those "carefully-selected terms." He envied Zack, sure, and he didn't dare tell anybody in his hometown that he ultimately failed in his goal, but after having his mind fucked with, Cloud honestly though
    • It seemed like Cloud wasn't too concerned with Romance or really showed signs of loving anyone too much until Aeris arrived. Especially the younger cloud...Earlier on it seemed like Tifa had a crush on him then the other way around.
  • This whole article is flame bait.

    The author obviously doesn't get the whole story of FFVII at all or the appeal of the characters. Its close-minded, self-righteous idiots like this guy that make me wish for manditory sterilization of stupid people.

    FFVII was a masterpiece of storytelling and innovative game design. It changed the world of console RPGs forever and showed what could really be done with the PSOne hardware if developers too the time to "try" harder.
  • by Glowing Fish (155236) on Tuesday April 25, 2006 @05:31PM (#15200439) Homepage
    We, as humans, aren't really all that smart

    Do you all remember the age at which you could state, in all seriousness, that people aren't smart? And say it as a straight-forward comment, as if this is a great discovery? I think everybody goes through this period. Especially geeks. Especially geeks who may have had a hard time in the teenage years. But then, after you get done picking on the expected targets: mainstream culture and society, you have to prove yourself "geekier than thou" by picking on things in your own sub-culture, until only the very narrowest is good for you. I think we have all seen this and taken part in it.

    The thing is, in places, FFVII is indeed stupid. It has the same hardcore hero who gets better and more magical powers, living everyone's dreams of power fulfillment. And of course he is surrounded by the same group of magical beautiful women. Of course it has a villain that you save the world from. The game mechanics are often repetitive. There are certain holes and inconsistences in the story. The world only has ten or so towns, and the planet is shaped like a Torus. There is an Evil Corporation(TM) running things. And many more. So, yes, like all human endeavor it has lots of stupidity. But it also has many, many smart and engaging things about it: the gradual, spooky peeling back of Cloud's character, the mixture of cute nostalgia and gothic elements, the look at the inner machinations of Shinra, the gigantic amounts of literary references, the sometimes understated dialogue, the design of the geographic locations you visit, and of course the music and graphics.


    So, yes, while in some ways stupid and repetitive, it seems somewhat snide to dismiss it out of hand. He could say that he doesn't like playing it, or that its legions of fanboys and fangirls sometimes treat the game as the greatest thing ever. But I think Final Fantasy VII got its reputation for a reason. Lots of people who are not stupid at all think it is a great, great game.



  • And, just on the subject of the various literary references that you can find in Final Fantasy, and why the game does indeed have a lot of substance, read these:

    God will forgive you, but I won't... [dyndns.info]

    The lack of realism in Final Fantasy VII [dyndns.info]

    Although perhaps after reading these, a case could be made that I am a fanboy who reads too much into the game...


    • # The two people who are in political control in the game are called "President", even though they are a Father and Son. "President" suggests a republic, where leaders are suggested through merit, not because of who your father was.
      # In addition, the government doesn't seem to be elected. It seems to be just a front for a bunch of greedy energy company executives.


      [Insert standard snarky Slashdotter remarks about the Bush administration here.]
  • FFVII was a bad game because it was linear, nothing less, nothing more. There's no character design, no real thought involved in materia, and no real challenge. I beat the whole game without dying in a non-optional combat.

    FFVII is closer to an "interactive movie" than it is to an actual game. At some point, I was playing the game half-asleep just waiting for the next cutscene, not really noticing the 100 random combats that they make you fight between "Cutscene H" and "Cutscene I".

    My girlfriend played FFVII
  • I don't know FF7 but I know an arrogant asshole when I see one. Or read an article by one for that matter. So this game had some stuff that made it cream of the crop for a large fanbase. Judging from the screenshots it had some really neat looking 3D Anime characters by the standards of those days. Apparently he doesn't comply with the majorities opinion. So what's the big deal?
    Using D&D as the bar to define Roleplaying - not matter if Pen & Paper or Videogame - goes to show that this guy is nothing
  • That is all this is. If he truly feels this way, then he has some serious mental delusions. The only reason I think that anyone could or would write this up is if they wanted to see a bunch of people get pissed off. While he writes well enough, he fails to argue any of his points. He just places a bunch of degrading labels on the characters without deomnstrating why he believes that. Same when he talks about the plot or storyline. He just complains and doesn't state anything specific to make you say "

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