Author Topic: Maxx plays FFXIII - based on a true story [SPOILERS!]

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Maxximum

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Re: Maxx plays FFXIII - based on a true story [SPOILERS!]
« Reply #15 on: September 27, 2014, 04:23:51 AM »
It needs be said though; I adore FF13's graphics.  I feel like its often glazed over because we've come to expect that from Square.  But lordy, I was watching a let's play and [my eyes] adored every moment.  For as much as the game loves showing its characters talk (and sometimes little else), I actually just ogle it.

The graphics are top notch, no question about that. If there's one thing that Squenix knows how to do, its FMVs. I'm not as keen on some of the art direction, especially secondary character design. The main cast is surprisingly toned down (by FF standards anyway), but the purge exiles and Snows band of merry men look like they're being chased out of town by the fashion police.

Serah just got the Han Solo treatment and Hope once again unleashed his fury by moping about. Sanctum is already knocking on the doors while I rush to have some words with casa de Vestige's management.
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Yggdrasil

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Re: Maxx plays FFXIII - based on a true story [SPOILERS!]
« Reply #16 on: September 27, 2014, 06:09:19 AM »
Maxx, I hope that by the end of this you don't feel like you wasted your time with a game you have some personal problems, or whatever.

Years ago I almost went through the same with VIII and X. I never got around to finish either of them because as much as I tried to genuinely like those two games, they were simply not for me when all was said and done.

The whole noise with the XIII series and SQEX is settled on my end. And the most I get out of what SQEX does nowadays is seeing their line of Play Arts Kai figures. I feel that I got enough of their games and fans for a while.

Maxximum

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Re: Maxx plays FFXIII - based on a true story [SPOILERS!]
« Reply #17 on: September 27, 2014, 07:35:13 AM »
Maxx, I hope that by the end of this you don't feel like you wasted your time with a game you have some personal problems, or whatever.

I'm not having a bad time by any means, I just like to poke fun at it for the sake of satire, and the game isn't exactly making it very difficult. I'd like to think it makes for a much more enjoyable read than just saying I got to point x.
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Yggdrasil

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Re: Maxx plays FFXIII - based on a true story [SPOILERS!]
« Reply #18 on: September 27, 2014, 03:15:46 PM »
Heh. That reminds me of the walls of text I read about XIII when virtually everyone on blogs and forums were trying to make sense of their childhood thinking back as to why they liked FF in the first place. These two pieces are the most impressive in terms of the effort and raw emotion that were put into them.

Maxximum

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Re: Maxx plays FFXIII - based on a true story [SPOILERS!]
« Reply #19 on: September 27, 2014, 04:33:06 PM »
To sum up my thoughts on the game so far. I've reached chapter 4.
The story makes a lot more sense, and isn't half bad so far, as long as you read the datalog. In fact, the datalog does the story a lot more justice than the cutscenes, describing character emotions that the cutscenes simply fail at conveying. I'm also starting to really dislike the battle system, the little control I have over whats going on is almost lost in the frantic pace of the battles and the constantly spinning camera. Despite this, I'm able to 5 star most of the fights, but it is getting more and more tricky and frustrating as the game progresses. The art direction it at times fantastic, but the NPCs suffer from spandex syndrome. I can imagine that it was done to save time and resources, but it does kind of break the immersion when looking at an otherwise fantastic looking game.
The linearity doesn't bother me as much anymore. I think I just got used to the idea, and at least it makes it very easy to explore.

The game is incredibly streamlined. Two stats, two equipment slots and some very linear maps and story progression. However, if I ware to treat it as its own game. Not an FF title, not even a jRPG but an experiment, it's not half bad.
« Last Edit: September 27, 2014, 04:36:30 PM by Maxximum »
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Holykael1

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Re: Maxx plays FFXIII - based on a true story [SPOILERS!]
« Reply #20 on: September 27, 2014, 05:01:01 PM »
Are you still doing "Auto battle"?

Tomara

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Re: Maxx plays FFXIII - based on a true story [SPOILERS!]
« Reply #21 on: September 27, 2014, 05:04:24 PM »
Quote
I'm also starting to really dislike the battle system, the little control I have over whats going on is almost lost in the frantic pace of the battles and the constantly spinning camera.

The system is great during those fights that are long enough to actually control the flow of battle, the ones where you have to switch often to battle as efficiently as possible. Sadly, this means the battle system only gets to shine during boss battle and every other battle is kinda meh.

Oh, and it helps if you stop paying attention to whatever fancy shit the characters are doing and focus on the numbers and gauges.

(The battle camera in XIII isn't even the worst by the way. In XIII-2 it's like it's having a seizure and plans on sharing it with you.)

Quote
The game is incredibly streamlined. Two stats, two equipment slots and some very linear maps and story progression. However, if I ware to treat it as its own game. Not an FF title, not even a jRPG but an experiment, it's not half bad.

I think that's the right attitude. I went in without any noteworthy expectations (I don't strong nostalgic feelings towards the Final Fantasy series) and had a good time.

Maxximum

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Re: Maxx plays FFXIII - based on a true story [SPOILERS!]
« Reply #22 on: September 27, 2014, 05:19:18 PM »
Are you still doing "Auto battle"?

Mostly, as it tends to queue up more or less what I would have picked anyway.

Oh, and it helps if you stop paying attention to whatever fancy shit the characters are doing and focus on the numbers and gauges.

That's what I've been doing, and its a shame. A lot of work went into all the battle animations, but I miss most of it because I'm too busy watching the status bars and menus.

I suppose most of my frustration comes from trying to five star every battle. If I ware to take it slow, the game would be a lot more relaxed and I probably wouldn't have died a few times.
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Aeolus

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Re: Maxx plays FFXIII - based on a true story [SPOILERS!]
« Reply #23 on: September 27, 2014, 10:47:47 PM »
Are you still doing "Auto battle"?

The only times you really need to be hands on is when you're playing as a Sentinel or a Synergist since the AI kinda fails at playing those roles efficiently.

What Maxx should be doing is casting Libra every fight that introduces a new enemy. The AI will dick around a bit until it fills out the enemy's Beastiary page and knows what the enemy is susceptible to. The difference between that and a Libra Scope is that Libra Scopes fully view the entries of all enemies on the screen for no TP.

Additionally, aside from instances when you need a piece of gear to complete a bonus attribute set, you should never touch the crafting system until the end/post game. And only do so with a guide in hand.
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Holykael1

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Re: Maxx plays FFXIII - based on a true story [SPOILERS!]
« Reply #24 on: September 28, 2014, 06:40:43 AM »
Are you still doing "Auto battle"?

The only times you really need to be hands on is when you're playing as a Sentinel or a Synergist since the AI kinda fails at playing those roles efficiently.

What Maxx should be doing is casting Libra every fight that introduces a new enemy. The AI will dick around a bit until it fills out the enemy's Beastiary page and knows what the enemy is susceptible to. The difference between that and a Libra Scope is that Libra Scopes fully view the entries of all enemies on the screen for no TP.

Additionally, aside from instances when you need a piece of gear to complete a bonus attribute set, you should never touch the crafting system until the end/post game. And only do so with a guide in hand.

I would argue that the AI also sucks as a medic.. He always fills the ATB bar and overheals one person while you could divide the ATB bar to heal one person and then be able to quickly heal the other person. I've died because of the AI playing as a medic before and letting people die while they were overhealing someone else. The AI is also rather meh as a ravager, at least playing as Lightning, they take way too much time figuring out what the elemental weakness is when sometimes it's easily known through the enemy designs, and when they do they always choose a mixture of the physical elemental attacks and the casting elemental attacks, the thing is you will have either a higher strength or magic stat and furthermore when the enemy has no elemental weaknesses you will want  to choose the spells with the quickest animation to maximize damage.

And lastly it's the thing I don't get. A lot of people complain about the lack of control yet at the same time they let the game choose their actions automatically(something that was intended for beginners because SE thinks we are dumb or something), it doesn't make any sense. In previous FF games part of the strategy is to find out which elemental weaknesses the enemy has, choosing your own attacks with animation time/damage/MP cost  etc into consideration, that's something you can mostly do in FF13, also the biggest AI flaw that applies to all the roles is that the AI always fills the entire ATB bar when many times you don't actually wanna do that maybe because the enemies require less attacks to kill or whatever other reasons that might come up. Why relegate that for an AI that is mostly "good enough" and why choosing to disregard the option that lets you have more control and at the same time complain about the lack of control. Or perhaps people are talking about other type  of control...Idk. There is more to it than changing paradigms, unless you willingly commit yourself to that handicap for whatever reason.
The only times I used auto battle was when I was tired of fighting and didn't care and wanted a more passive role in the battles, the game has  way too much fuckin combat.

« Last Edit: September 28, 2014, 06:50:36 AM by Holykael1 »

Maxximum

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Re: Maxx plays FFXIII - based on a true story [SPOILERS!]
« Reply #25 on: September 28, 2014, 09:29:58 AM »
It mostly comes down to time and the fact that the game operates around the basic idea of "fill stagger bar -> do damage". If you want a five star rating to maximize battle rewards you don't really have time for navigating any menus. Had the game allowed more time for player input, I would probably do it manually. My role in the battles comes down to shifting, item usage, target selection and bar interruption. I only select skills manually in very specific situations. Most of the time pressing autobattle is just a shortcut for filling the bar with attack commands, elemental magic or heal commands. I can interrupt and launch strikes early regardless of how the bar was filled (which I do on a regular basis). As far as your complaints about how the AI plays the other characters, there's absolutely nothing that can be done about that. You select their role and pick a target, the rest is up to the algorithms.
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Cyril

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Re: Maxx plays FFXIII - based on a true story [SPOILERS!]
« Reply #26 on: September 28, 2014, 11:19:02 AM »
To be quite fair, proper shifting becomes quite an art when you get to post game content.  It's really something of beauty when you can do it right.  We've discussed it on this site before, but the battle system is more about acting on a larger scale rather than smaller, individual scale. 

I found the battle system much more interesting when I figured that out.

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Re: Maxx plays FFXIII - based on a true story [SPOILERS!]
« Reply #27 on: September 28, 2014, 02:40:59 PM »
Are you still doing "Auto battle"?

The only times you really need to be hands on is when you're playing as a Sentinel or a Synergist since the AI kinda fails at playing those roles efficiently.

What Maxx should be doing is casting Libra every fight that introduces a new enemy. The AI will dick around a bit until it fills out the enemy's Beastiary page and knows what the enemy is susceptible to. The difference between that and a Libra Scope is that Libra Scopes fully view the entries of all enemies on the screen for no TP.

Additionally, aside from instances when you need a piece of gear to complete a bonus attribute set, you should never touch the crafting system until the end/post game. And only do so with a guide in hand.

I would argue that the AI also sucks as a medic.. He always fills the ATB bar and overheals one person while you could divide the ATB bar to heal one person and then be able to quickly heal the other person. I've died because of the AI playing as a medic before and letting people die while they were overhealing someone else. The AI is also rather meh as a ravager, at least playing as Lightning, they take way too much time figuring out what the elemental weakness is when sometimes it's easily known through the enemy designs, and when they do they always choose a mixture of the physical elemental attacks and the casting elemental attacks, the thing is you will have either a higher strength or magic stat and furthermore when the enemy has no elemental weaknesses you will want  to choose the spells with the quickest animation to maximize damage.

And lastly it's the thing I don't get. A lot of people complain about the lack of control yet at the same time they let the game choose their actions automatically(something that was intended for beginners because SE thinks we are dumb or something), it doesn't make any sense. In previous FF games part of the strategy is to find out which elemental weaknesses the enemy has, choosing your own attacks with animation time/damage/MP cost  etc into consideration, that's something you can mostly do in FF13, also the biggest AI flaw that applies to all the roles is that the AI always fills the entire ATB bar when many times you don't actually wanna do that maybe because the enemies require less attacks to kill or whatever other reasons that might come up. Why relegate that for an AI that is mostly "good enough" and why choosing to disregard the option that lets you have more control and at the same time complain about the lack of control. Or perhaps people are talking about other type  of control...Idk. There is more to it than changing paradigms, unless you willingly commit yourself to that handicap for whatever reason.
The only times I used auto battle was when I was tired of fighting and didn't care and wanted a more passive role in the battles, the game has  way too much fuckin combat.



The AI Medics aren't so much trying to over heal as it is trying to take advantage of the extra percentage on the character's Stagger Gauge. It helps a lot when somebody is really hurting for health since the battle system moves too fast to just pick a point on a character's health bar and say "Good enough.", besides they may end up taking follow up damage while healing, so healing a bit more helps as well.

As for Ravagers, that's precisely why I suggested to cast Libra/throw a Libra Scope out during an encounter with a new enemy type/boss fight. That cuts down the amount of time the AI flaffs about significantly.

As for the automatic control thing, see the posts above. The battle system is way too fast paced to allow players to just futz about in the various menus without costing time and opportunities. Hell, one of the things that makes Lightning worth using during the endgame/post game despite her Red Mage-iness, is the fact that she has easy access to a combination of equipment and abilities that let her build ATB while taking actions, speeding her up and cutting the time between her actions by a significant amount. The last thing you want to do with Lightning is spend all that extra built up ATB fucking around in the menus since it defeats the entire point of having that as an advantage.

People also tend to bitch about FFXII playing itself automatically, but they either forgot or didn't realize that stuff like passive buffs persist for a set amount of time regardless as to how much time is spent in battle and that the whole purpose of Gambits was to eliminate the sheer amount of tedium that would've been involved if the player had to apply each individual buff manually (they probably also didn't realize that they could set up their spellcasters to throw out spells based upon what weaknesses an enemy has automatically which again saves a massive amount of menu diving tedium and memorization in terms of looking shit up).

Of course, this is one of the reasons so many people love Xenoblade Chronicles so much. Prebattle buffs are straight up regulated to passive skills learned over the course of the game (the skills in question usually affect the entire party and are freely available to the person that learned it) as well as equipable Gems and managing to nail that opening Quick Time button press boosts them and offer other bonuses as well (as well as refresh them with additional QTEs that show up during the fight). There's no need for your characters to suddenly come to a dead stop every so often to drop Berserk or Haste on one of your peeps or burn through their MP nor spend time in a suboptimal job/class waiting for all the buffs you want applied before switching to whatever deal damage directly class/job waiting in the wings.
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Holykael1

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Re: Maxx plays FFXIII - based on a true story [SPOILERS!]
« Reply #28 on: September 28, 2014, 04:41:16 PM »
I managed to pick everything manually without wasting time, maybe that's because I never relied on auto battle to begin with(so you know muscle memory and familiarity from early on in the game where you had almost jackshit to do in battles), I knew those menus like the back of my hand and I already had an efficient skill set to use every time(as a ravager) and I had good reaction times for whatever other roles and it became second nature. In any case, it doesnt matter, people should play whichever way they like so if that tickles your fancy, auto battle away.
« Last Edit: September 28, 2014, 04:42:58 PM by Holykael1 »

Maxximum

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Re: Maxx plays FFXIII - based on a true story [SPOILERS!]
« Reply #29 on: September 29, 2014, 03:53:09 PM »
Snow and Lightning just got their transformers. Hopeless is finally starting to show some of those emotions the datalog keeps talking about and Sazh (who from this point on I shall refer to as "Danny Glover" as I keep forgetting how to spell his name) is quickly becoming my favorite character. His voice actor is one of the few that doesn't go over the top with his anime delivery and actually comes across as believable.

At this point the game has already given me two potential hints about Vanille so I'll allow myself to make a little prediction
which I would appreciate no confirms or denies just yet:
-Each character starts off with two ability slots on the ATB bar then gets an additional slot after getting Lassiefied and another when they pokeball their very own transformer. Vanille starts out with three.
Prediction: Vanille was a L'cie from the start of the game and her focus is different to everyone else. PLOT TWIST!
-More Australians showed up which leads me to believe that the accent is actually intentional and servers the same purpose as the British accent in FFXII.
Prediction: Pulse is actually Australia!Vanille and Fang come from Pulse.
« Last Edit: September 29, 2014, 03:55:56 PM by Maxximum »
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