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Author Topic: Revisiting FF7  (Read 8655 times)
Dios GX
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« Reply #30 on: January 08, 2007, 06:41:03 PM »

I like FF7 plenty fine because it is a fun game.

But to say the writing is good is like saying the Sun is wet. It blows.
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James8BitStar
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« Reply #31 on: January 11, 2007, 06:52:03 PM »

Well, now I've beaten the game, and its served its purpose.

What was its purpose?  Simple--1.  To relieve me of boredom caused by too much oldschool gaming.  2.  To remind me why I became an oldschool gamer in the first place.

Okay, so I can't really say for sure yet that #2 has been accomplished--after all, I've also been playing Mega Man Legends 1 and 2 and I enjoyed MML1 at least--but FF7 certainly reminds me of why I generally came to dislike Square's RPGs, both old and newschool, but especially starting with this game and continuing into all their games after.

My thoughts on the last two discs aren't any different from my thoughts on the first one, just a lot more negative.  In fact, let me say it:  after I got the Highwind (it may have been before that but I can't remember) the game became real tedious.  Oh sure, I kept playing it, but in the same way I keep watching those idiotic shows on Cartoon Network--I don't enjoy it, it just ticks me off, but I do it and I keep doing it like some bizarre video game masochism until finally the torture is over.  I guess I really just needed to know how the story ended, or maybe I was, in some bizarre way, enjoying this--like how you see so many good movies you eventually have to watch a bad one, just to have a different experience (or a point of comparison).

But God did it ever get tedious, especially with how Sephiroth suddenly became a side-issue and you were dealing with Shinra all the sudden, in a poorly-explained bunch of plot points.  Huge Materia?  That's a new one on me, and the game never really explains why you're trying to recover it except for some vague allusions to "if it gets destroyed, all our materia is worthless" and "there's years of wisdom in it" and, of course, Shinra is evil so you have to interfere with them at every step.  Oh, and when the North Crater is FINALLY open, you go to it only to be told that you have to go back to Midgar to deal with Shinra one last time.

Oh, and the final dungeon... let me elaborate on my past complaint about "Unfair" monsters (formerly called "Gimmicky" monsters).  Safer-Sephiroth is a challenge.  The Gargoyles you sometimes face in the North Crater are unfair.  SS is hard and has a lot of powerful attacks and effect spells but can be beaten through resourcefulness, strategy, and determination.   The Gargs can not--I actually tried to take on a group of them, killed both with Cloud's Meteorain Limit Break, but the second one did a pre-death counter attack where it instant-deathed my entire party!  So basically you've got an enemy that you can't fight--you have to run from them.  And they aren't the only ones--a white enemy called "Scissors" will instant-death any character who attacks him, and there are flying eyeballs that, while they can't do InstaDeath, have an attack so powerful that its the next best thing.  So instead of making this dungeon creative or challenging, Square just packed it full of unfairly tough monsters that you basically have to run from or get lucky with.  What's more, even if you DO take them on, they aren't worth much in terms of gold, EXP, or AP, so really there's no point fighting them.

Seriously.  That's the same kind of game I used to make up with my friends back in school.
"Okay, that sounds like a cool game, but it needs challenge."
"Hmmm... I know!  How about, in the eighth level, there's this HUGE pit and there's no way to jump over it?"
"Dude, that's lame.  You can't just make something impossible."
"Well... BUT the pit is a trap, and you only go to it if you go the wrong way in a maze!"
"Uhhh.... okay!"

What's funny is, the best parts of the game were the parts where I wasn't playing, I was just watching the story.  Most would say that speaks highly for the story, but I tend to think it just shows how I hated the game so much that I would be much happier if the only thing I ever needed to do with the controller was pause the action from time to time.

Whatever.  Game's over now, finally.
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MeshGearFox
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« Reply #32 on: January 11, 2007, 08:49:10 PM »

FFVII isn't oldschool?
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James8BitStar
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« Reply #33 on: January 11, 2007, 09:56:50 PM »

Quote from: "MeshGearFox"
FFVII isn't oldschool?


Generally I tend to feel that "oldschool" = 16-Bit period and before.

Of course, I could really elaborate, since sometimes "oldschool" isn't so much about age as it is about design philosophy.
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Fadedsun
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« Reply #34 on: January 12, 2007, 12:38:59 PM »

I never had any problems with the monsters in the last dungeon. Perhaps it's because you were rushing through the game and didn't have time to properly level and do better materia combinations?
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Professor Gast
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« Reply #35 on: January 12, 2007, 02:34:15 PM »

While I'm not 100% sure that they prevent instant death, there are two "Ribbons" in the game that make their wearers immune against status effects. Having played the game more than 20 times, I don't re-call my characters dying from those death-related status attacks a lot. And never ever did they wipe out an entire party.

Seeing that the entire game is rather easy (even without every L4 limit break and Knights of the Round, these make it a piece of cake), you should expect some resistance in the North Crater, since that's the final dungeon. On the left route, you will find enemies called Magic Pots, I think. If you throw an Elixir at them, they will reward with insane amounts of experience. Besides, I only recently finished Xenosaga Episode III, and in that game you did not get any meaningful amounts of experience in the final dungeon either, so that's not a Final Fantasy VII-exclusive problem.

You retrieve the huge materia, so Shinra can't put it into the rocket and smash it into the meteor. As for those materia missions, the only ones that are kinda long are the Underwater Reactor and possibly the Corel Reactor missions. Retrieving the materia from the sunken submarine is a piece of cake, with no fighting involved. In Fort Condor, you wait for Shinra to invade the reactor and then take down that joke of a boss. And in the Rocket Town mission you only need to take down one boss (Rude), then watch the events, and retrieve the materia and you are done. Besides, you can get Bahamut ZERO, if you collect all the materia pieces.
 
What I'm wondering is this: You said, you like 16-bit games. Now, games I would call unfair are rather from that generation. I only played the PlayStation port, but Final Fantasy IV comes to my mind as being really difficult and unfair at that. Compared to games like Final Fantasy IV, Final Fantasy VII was incredibly easy. That being said, Final Fantasy VII has a lot of optional stuff. Collecting all the high-end summons and the best weapons takes some time (like in every Final Fantasy game), but compared to other installments, it's a quick and easy affair in Final Fantasy VII, unless you are going after Knights of the Round, which takes 2-3 hours to get. If you don't pick up the majority of this high-end equipment, the game probably becomes considerably harder.
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James8BitStar
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« Reply #36 on: January 12, 2007, 04:55:35 PM »

Quote from: "Professor Gast"
you should expect some resistance in the North Crater, since that's the final dungeon.


True.

Quote
You retrieve the huge materia, so Shinra can't put it into the rocket and smash it into the meteor.


Yeah, but it isn't clearly explained what this huge materia is and why its such an important issue that the heroes have to get involved.  Heck, Barret even admits afterwards that he was hoping Shinra's plan would work.

Quote
What I'm wondering is this: You said, you like 16-bit games.


Well, 8/16-Bit as well as DOS/early Windows PC games, to cover all the bases.

Quote
Now, games I would call unfair are rather from that generation. I only played the PlayStation port, but Final Fantasy IV comes to my mind as being really difficult and unfair at that.


I must admit that its been awhile since I played it and I'm only really familiar with the North American Super Nintendo version (the easytype, in other words), but I don't recall FF4 being particularly unfair.

Though I HAVE seen 16-Bit RPGs that are unfair--Robotrek for example easily has some of the cheapest enemies I've ever seen in an RPG.
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MeshGearFox
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« Reply #37 on: January 12, 2007, 06:53:10 PM »

I've been playing the PSX port of FFIV and I'm possibly underlevelled immensely but I don't know. Anyway, I'm at some town before that magnet cave, and there are these porcupine creatures, and they get 2-3 attacks per each of mine, and they do about 120-220 damage per attack Given that my highest HP dude is... Puncho McFisty with 1000~, that's quite a bit.

Oh, and what else. Tellah's useless in combat so far, because most of his magics, while powerful, take enough MP to leave him completely drained after about 9 shots, which isn't really bad, I guess, but... that's not really GOOD either.

I don't know. The series as a whole isn't particularly "fair." Not, like, fair in the same way I'd consider Nocturne fair, at least. In general, though, they're also all rather easy, with the early ones only having difficulty insofar as you need to levelup a lot, and mandatory powerlevelling does not, in fact, mean difficult so much as it means artificially expanding gametime~ I don't mind having to powerlevel in the beginning like in Phantasy Star or the earlier wizardry games, but when you're doing it constantly like in FF4 or the Bard's Tale it does get sort of bleh.
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James8BitStar
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« Reply #38 on: January 12, 2007, 10:01:22 PM »

Honestly, I try NOT to powerlevel when I can help it.  Often it makes it so you have to be more strategic (and by "strategic" I mean more decisive about which enemy you take out first, and using status spells, etc.)
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Masamune
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« Reply #39 on: January 12, 2007, 10:39:06 PM »

I don't really understand, Final Fantasy has been on the most part, for me, a very easy RPG series.  Especially when you actually start to compare it to others.  For example, I do find it true the earlier installments are indeed harder then the latter, but either way they are still beatable.

I consider it cheap and not so much challenging when it's bosses like the ones you encounter in Xenosaga I.  There would be times where a boss would completely take out my party because he got a few moves in a row.  The only option there is to level, whereas in Final Fantasy games I find that if I try a different technique, I can eventually take them down.

It's pretty much all in how you decide to play the game.  As Gast said, there's more then one option to the end of a game, and that's typical in most rpgs.  It's not a requirement to get all the best weapons or level everybody to 99, but for some people, it's something they naturally do in order to feel that they have truly and 100% completed the game.  I myself prefer a good challenge and would rather lose to a boss a few times, instead of just beating it simply on the first try.  But it's all a matter of taste.
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