Author Topic: A Mana series retrospective.

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Klyde Chroma

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Re: A Mana series retrospective.
« Reply #30 on: October 21, 2014, 11:25:20 PM »
Square and consequently Square Enix is like that uber-popular band you loved since the first album, but their second album had a crazy popular top 40's tune and now you don't even want to count yourself amongst the fanbase openly because of what it could falsely indicate about your taste and sensibility. And of course you hate that top 40's song and really only now appreciate the band for helping mainstream a sound that once resonated with you.

^^ That is how I feel about Square at least.

If I said I loved Square, what I would truly be saying is that I loved SoM, and what they managed to get on the shelf of my local blockbuster back in the early 90's. I respect the fact that were it not for them I would not have discovered my primary love in terms of media, across the board, until much later in life.

Sadly, if I do indeed say I love Square amongst most anyone at present its immediately assumed I am Kingdom Hearts/FF7/FF10 fan. It is like saying I love early nineties rock so people just assume I'm a pearl jam fan. These assumptions fall a fair distance from the truth in my case.



This soliloquy has forced me to adjust my question from the dice thread: is there any Square or Square Enix game you don't actively hate on at every opportunity? You don't seem to miss a beat around here.

Maybe I'm totally off base, but I sort of developed the impression that Aeolus is hyper-critical of every game he writes about. I'm positive I've seen his posts pick apart the technical aspects of games he has openly admitted loving, with a pretty remarkable recall for detail. I think I love reading Aeolus' posts for that very reason. LoL
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Re: A Mana series retrospective.
« Reply #31 on: October 22, 2014, 12:05:02 AM »
I think he's critical 'cuz he cares.
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Damacon

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Re: A Mana series retrospective.
« Reply #32 on: October 22, 2014, 10:01:52 AM »
 You have to be critical or nothing will change, unfortunately complaining on some random forums isn't going to help much unless you manage to change peoples perspectives which is very unlikely going to happen over the internet.But the main problem is most game companies will only make games that they know have been successful before and just want the money without really caring if the game is fun or not. I am not saying everyone in that company is bad or whatever but there is always that real rich dick who just wants money that is usually in control of everything.

 But back to the point at hand if people just accept a company because they have done well in the past or fall for the pretend super CG hype trailers that usually have no actual gameplay involved in them. You end up with problems like in the MMO world where every single MMO is just a direct copy of Warcraft with different skins. Its never good to be a yes man no matter how much you may of liked a companies game in the past or whatever reasons you may have. The gaming industry has evolved so slowly because people are satisfied and never seek the new greener games over the hill in the past they were evolving fast and it wasn't just the graphics.

Rucks

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Re: A Mana series retrospective.
« Reply #33 on: October 22, 2014, 06:50:35 PM »
Square and consequently Square Enix is like that uber-popular band you loved since the first album, but their second album had a crazy popular top 40's tune and now you don't even want to count yourself amongst the fanbase openly because of what it could falsely indicate about your taste and sensibility. And of course you hate that top 40's song and really only now appreciate the band for helping mainstream a sound that once resonated with you.

^^ That is how I feel about Square at least.

If I said I loved Square, what I would truly be saying is that I loved SoM, and what they managed to get on the shelf of my local blockbuster back in the early 90's. I respect the fact that were it not for them I would not have discovered my primary love in terms of media, across the board, until much later in life.

Sadly, if I do indeed say I love Square amongst most anyone at present its immediately assumed I am Kingdom Hearts/FF7/FF10 fan. It is like saying I love early nineties rock so people just assume I'm a pearl jam fan. These assumptions fall a fair distance from the truth in my case.

I am unashamed of being a fanboy of FF IV, V, VI, IX, and XIII.  Also Chrono Cross. I REALLY REALLY enjoyed Chrono Trigger, SoM, Live a Live, Super Mario RPG, FFTactics (both versions), Xenogears, Parasite Eve and...ok just listing this out right now kind of just proved your point for you (and made me re-evaluate some thngs on my end).  Other than the much hated XIII (and to a much lesser extent XII) I haven't played a Square game I was truly immersed into since... uh....the PSX??? Holy...shit...

edit: I guess I'd realized a while ago that Atlus had supplanted Square as my go-to developer, but it hadn't occurred to me until now how much of my own reverence for them was based off nostalgia.
« Last Edit: October 22, 2014, 06:54:27 PM by glassjawsh »

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Annubis

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Re: A Mana series retrospective.
« Reply #34 on: October 22, 2014, 07:01:27 PM »
Same here.
If we're talking about JRPGs, I expect much more out of Atlus and even Bamco than SE now.

Kevadu

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Re: A Mana series retrospective.
« Reply #35 on: October 22, 2014, 07:12:15 PM »
If you're talking console games maybe (though I'm a weirdo who really liked XII), but S-E has had several good portable games over the last couple generations of handhelds.

MeshGearFox

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Re: A Mana series retrospective.
« Reply #36 on: October 22, 2014, 07:32:14 PM »
There are actually a lot of Square games that I like, I'm just, in general, /not/ fond of their SNES output. Final Fantasy 5 is probably my favorite of the bunch, though I do like SoM and CT (although again I think CT's kind of overrated a lot). But that's about the extent of it. Although if we're expanding Square to Square Enix... I didn't really like DQ5 or 6 in their original incarnations either.

It's more PSX-era Square I'm... still sort of obsessed with.
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Rucks

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Re: A Mana series retrospective.
« Reply #37 on: October 23, 2014, 04:30:26 PM »
There are actually a lot of Square games that I like, I'm just, in general, /not/ fond of their SNES output. Final Fantasy 5 is probably my favorite of the bunch, though I do like SoM and CT (although again I think CT's kind of overrated a lot). But that's about the extent of it. Although if we're expanding Square to Square Enix... I didn't really like DQ5 or 6 in their original incarnations either.

It's more PSX-era Square I'm... still sort of obsessed with.

You didnt like FFVI? You are in the vastest of the vast minority on that one.  Curious.

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Klutz64

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Re: A Mana series retrospective.
« Reply #38 on: October 23, 2014, 04:39:34 PM »
The more I reflect on it, the more I realize I wasn't a huge fan of FFVI either. The game is far too easy, including the end-game content, Kefka is an extremely overrated villain with less of a character arc than even Sephiroth and no real motivation beyond "He's evil." Finally, while I appreciate the sentiment behind the idea of having so many characters and no one single "main character" it does kind of make it hard to become immersed in the cast.

Klyde Chroma

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Re: A Mana series retrospective.
« Reply #39 on: October 23, 2014, 05:28:27 PM »
I will needlessly express my adoration for the VI cast. Some of my favorite characters in JRPG history are part of that roster, believe it or not! LoL

But seriously, I feel like the 6 cast is by far my favorite FF group by a landslide. I could attribute my love of that game to the soundtrack and cast entirely. I also give it a nod for doing a "dark world" better than I had ever seen to date when I first played the title.

However, the biggest draw of 6 (for me personally) was the amount of content for a game at that point in time. The title created the illusion that endless amounts of optional and secret pay-offs await the adventurous and ambitious player. To play that game back in the day and accidently "discover" Gogo, in a time when you didn't have the internet and knew nothing of the optional character was one of the most exciting moments of my childhood. Than of course, long discussion with other young aspiring-nerds ensued questioning Gogo's identity at the lunch table for days.

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Rucks

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Re: A Mana series retrospective.
« Reply #40 on: October 23, 2014, 05:36:34 PM »
The more I reflect on it, the more I realize I wasn't a huge fan of FFVI either. The game is far too easy, including the end-game content, Kefka is an extremely overrated villain with less of a character arc than even Sephiroth and no real motivation beyond "He's evil." Finally, while I appreciate the sentiment behind the idea of having so many characters and no one single "main character" it does kind of make it hard to become immersed in the cast.

"Nothing can beat the sweet music of hundreds of voices screaming in unison!"
Kefka is a sociopath.  His motivation doesn't need explanation because essentially he has none beyond the fact that he enjoys human suffering.  Do you need to know why Jeffrey Dahmer murdered all those children in order for him to be compelling?  No you don't, because the compelling part about both of them is that they were seemingly average guys (at least in the WoB) that were capable of being extraordinarily evil, and in Dahmer's case, he was evil in spite of his rather pedestrian upbringing. Which somehow makes him an EVEN MORE COMPELLING individual. He isn't sick because his his dad beat him or his uncle touched him in his naughty bits, he's evil because he fucking can be.  And, to me at least, that idea is 1000 times more terrifying than Sephiroth wanting to destroy the planet because his mommy doesn't love him/really exist.

As far as difficulty goes, I tend to agree with you.  But it doesn't get too super easy until you start really leveling up with espers equipped towards the end.  So to mitigate this just do a playthrough without using them (ie. the natural magic route) It really balances the game out. And yes, I get that you shouldn't have to go out of your way to make a game more interesting.

edit: if you hadn't noticed, kefka is my favorite video game villain of all time

double edit: fuck it, after I finish FFIV (and the interlude, and the after years) I'm going to try doing a VI LP on here.  I've always wanted to see if I'm any good at it.
« Last Edit: October 23, 2014, 05:52:54 PM by glassjawsh »

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Damacon

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Re: A Mana series retrospective.
« Reply #41 on: October 23, 2014, 07:40:20 PM »
 Most RPGs are easy just the fact that you can level means its going to be easy, but I agree FF3 or 6 or  whatever you want to call it was really easy probably for the soul reason that everyone could be everything at once. But it was also one of my favorite of the FF titles for the reasons people stated, funny story though I had so much problems with the boss where you had to use Sabin's skill to win I always sucked at old fighting games for the same reason I am just not good at doing swirly motions on the Dpad unless my hands are soaked with sweat lol.

 Even though I really liked Kefka as a villain I would have to say Sephiroth is my favorite FF villain just for the reason that he is the villain through the entire story. Think thats one of my biggest pet peeves with a lot of games not just rpgs is that last bosses just appear out of no where and you know nothing really about them so it doesn't feel anywhere near as epic to kill them as it did say Sephiroth after chasing him across the entire world.

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Re: A Mana series retrospective.
« Reply #42 on: October 23, 2014, 07:40:34 PM »
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=efHCdKb5UWc#t=42
Time stamp to exact quote

....I would have to say Sephiroth is my favorite FF villain just for the reason that he is the villain through the entire story. Think thats one of my biggest pet peeves with a lot of games not just rpgs is that last bosses just appear out of no where and you know nothing really about them so it doesn't feel anywhere near as epic to kill them as it did say Sephiroth after chasing him across the entire world.

I actually really respect and take special notice when games do this.  I hate the whole "EVIL GOD FROM THE DARK MATTER" BS (as much as I love FF9, it should have stopped with Kuja).
« Last Edit: October 23, 2014, 07:42:25 PM by Dice »
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MeshGearFox

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Re: A Mana series retrospective.
« Reply #43 on: October 23, 2014, 07:52:42 PM »
FFVI was basically glitchy as all hell and the dungeon designs weren't very good. Also the ratio of Good Characters to Total Characters was low and at least one would literally destroy your save if you used her. Also you tend to happen upon really simple things you can keep spamming that basically win every battle.

I love the style and atmosphere and storytelling, I just find it miserable to actually /play/ it.

Quote
And, to me at least, that idea is 1000 times more terrifying than Sephiroth wanting to destroy the planet because his mommy doesn't love him/really exist.

Prior to Square's endless retconning, the thing with Sephiroth is that he's a byproduct of Shinra's sketchy energy business. It's not so much that Sephiroth wants to destroy the world so much as it is the planet wants to kill humanity/commit suicide and Sephiroth's just the thing through which this is being did.

I mean I'm pretty sure in the original FFVII Sephiroth's this insane radioactive zombie and then people got really turned on by this for some reason so Square was like FUCK IT WE NEED MORE ATTRACTIVE RADIOACTIVE ZOMBIES.
« Last Edit: October 23, 2014, 08:05:20 PM by MeshGearFox »
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Annubis

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Re: A Mana series retrospective.
« Reply #44 on: October 23, 2014, 07:53:02 PM »
I actually really respect and take special notice when games do this.  I hate the whole "EVIL GOD FROM THE DARK MATTER" BS (as much as I love FF9, it should have stopped with Kuja).

Yu Yevon was the real bad guy!

geh...