Author Topic: Frosty plays Final Fantasy XIII blind [INDEFINITE HIATUS]

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Frostillicus

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Frosty plays Final Fantasy XIII blind [INDEFINITE HIATUS]
« on: June 17, 2017, 12:40:30 PM »
Ah, yes. Final Fantasy XIII. Perhaps the most beloved FF of all time. I myself have never played it. Never even seen it in action. So much love and adoration has been given to this game over the years.... that I've decided I'm going to go in blind, and see what all of the positive hubbub is all about.
*Fellow posters Arvis and Rucks have said they will play along, so that we can bounce takes/insults/thoughts off each other. We gonna be clubbin' this game like baby seals. I encourage all to post their thoughts and opinions, as long as you don't spoil part of the game I haven't gotten to yet.
*Updates may be sparse at times, as I am a busy man most days, but rest assured, I'll get 'er dun.

So dear friends, come with me now, as I discover the wonder and magic... that is-

Final Fantasy XIII

After the uncanny valley video intro that shows me random things that are happening/possibly going to happen, I hit the title screen. I like the orchestral/piano piece. So much better than the trying-too-hard-to-be-inspirational J-pop intros in certain other JRPGs.

Playing on Normal. Let's do this.

Action-packed opening. Very, very nice. Lightning is quick to make it known that she has very few fucks, if any, to give.


Faces of Apathy


Interesting battle system. My initial impression is: "Auto-Battle"? What the hell?
I see we get rated on our battling, akin to Tales games. ...And here comes the self consciousness. The battle music is nice. Kind of subdued, but better than annoying. Gets thumbs up from my son. I assume there will be some sort of crafting or collection system, what with all of the seemingly random items gained after some battles.

The very first area in which you can freely move is a corridor. Good to see that this game certainly lives up to the hype! As we eventually take control of... Snow (I sincerely hope that's a code name), we learn there is something of an an oppressive society/group that is being fought by rebels. You get huge points for originality, XIII. I do like Snow's approach to battle: Punch the SHIT out of it. I don't know about his buddy Gal Gadot, though. Dude shouldn't be fighting if he lost a contact lens.


"Where the hell is it???"


Holy crap is Maqui a douche. He should be sent out a sacrifical decoy. Although, I will give thumbs up for Lebreau for having the foresight to wear hot pants to the battle front. This particular merry band seems to be obsessed with their own visions of what heroes do and don't do. Psh... label-dropping conformists. Things turn bad quickly for this crew. At least the stereotypical timid child known as Hope has a great day.

Not sure what to make of pre-teen woman-child Vanille. Something about her seems.. strange. The uncanniness is strong with her, too. She's not annoying, but definitley off-putting. Even her weapon is weird. Her accent is at least pretty cool.
Hope on the other hand... Wah-wah-wah lack of self confidence.

I've currently saved at a point when Hope and Vanille are trying to hide from Snow, who seems borderline obsessed with being some sort of hero to mystery woman Serah..



My impressions:
  • I get the overall feeling that this game wants to be an interactive movie. Everything is so... theatrical. It's done well for what it is, though. Squeenix knows presentation, for sure.
  • I like the initial build up of switching through different characters that I presume work together eventually.
  • I totally get what people say, in that so far, this really does seem like a corridor simulator with battles and cut scenes in between.
  • The battle system definitely has a neutered feel, but I don't hate it. I'm sure it will become more involved as time goes on.
  • I've seen this mentioned before, but there definitley are a lot of unique terms being thrown around right off the bat. It's confusing. Gotta hit up that database, for sure.
  • Despite the apparent flaws, it does feel like a Final Fantasy game to me overall.

...to be continued.
« Last Edit: July 20, 2017, 01:36:03 PM by Frostillicus »

Starmongoose

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Re: Frosty plays Final Fantasy XIII blind (aka FF XIII club)
« Reply #1 on: June 17, 2017, 12:44:14 PM »
You have one thing going for you, me bitching about this game has probably lowered your expectations and you'll probably get more enjoyment than expected.


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Rucks

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Re: Frosty plays Final Fantasy XIII blind (aka FF XIII club)
« Reply #2 on: June 17, 2017, 01:03:33 PM »
Snow is one of the least likable playable characters in the history of Squaresoft.  Most of his screen time is spent waiting for him to just shut the hell up already.  Hope is right up there too (only I don't find myself wanting to punch him in the face repeatedly like I do with snow). 

It would then of course make sense that, outside of Lebreau, every member of the idiotically named NORA (No Rules, Obligations or Authority.  No part of which they ever attempt to adhere to, at all) is almost completely insufferable.   

Thank god for Lightning and Sazh being great (for the mos part).

edit: regarding Vanille; even though I find their accents rather grating, I still think it was a nice touch to include Australian voices in the English release.  That's a very underrepresented group within gaming at large.
« Last Edit: June 17, 2017, 01:08:51 PM by Rucks »

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Klutz64

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Re: Frosty plays Final Fantasy XIII blind (aka FF XIII club)
« Reply #3 on: June 17, 2017, 04:18:22 PM »
A) To get full enjoyment from the battle system, just ignore "Auto-Battle"

B) Best way to get past the corridor-iness of the game, it's best to not think of it as a traditional RPG, and more a stage-based RPG, like your typical 2D platformer or FPS Campaign. In this sense, every battle is a staged obstacle, rather than just a tool to get stronger--there are no "trash mobs" for the most part. I personally find it to be an interesting and unique take on the traditional formula that almost completely eliminates grinding unless you opt to take on some of the game's more challenging fights and endgame content.
« Last Edit: June 17, 2017, 04:23:01 PM by Klutz64 »

Frostillicus

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Re: Frosty plays Final Fantasy XIII blind (aka FF XIII club)
« Reply #4 on: June 17, 2017, 04:40:25 PM »
You have one thing going for you, me bitching about this game has probably lowered your expectations and you'll probably get more enjoyment than expected.

I was actually betting on this. All of the negative hype surrounding the game leading to the bar being lowered enough to appreciate it better.


B) Best way to get past the corridor-iness of the game, it's best to not think of it as a traditional RPG, and more a stage-based RPG, like your typical 2D platformer or FPS Campaign. In this sense, every battle is a staged obstacle, rather than just a tool to get stronger--there are no "trash mobs" for the most part. I personally find it to be an interesting and unique take on the traditional formula that almost completely eliminates grinding unless you opt to take on some of the game's more challenging fights and endgame content.

Good call. I can appreciate it in that way.

Frostillicus

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Re: Frosty plays Final Fantasy XIII blind (aka FF XIII club)
« Reply #5 on: June 17, 2017, 04:42:23 PM »
*UPDATE*

Let's continue:

The loveable scamps Vanille and Hope meet up with Snow, who is crazy committed to this hero bullshit. You're not kidding Rucks. This guy seems kind of like a jack ass.

So then we switch back to Lightning, who finally gives up a little back story about her being out to save her most-likely-already-doomed sister. I can see why people like Sazh. He is easily the most likeable person in this game so far. So, the dyanmic duo fight their way through a bunch of ghouls and ghasts (nice name throwbacks, by the way), which seem to be some sort of transformation rejects. They come across an unconscious girl known as Serah, who must be the same girl Snow White is after. Sure enough, in heroically-timed fashion, Snow Ball himself comes onto the scene with sweeping ochestral music accompanying him. Serah then proceeds to crystalize and die in what appears to be an honorable l'Cie death, leaving Snow Shoe a crystal tear. Well, alrighty then. Next, what appears to be a massive attack commencing on the complex suddenly stops. Onward we go, with Snow Cone joining Lightning and Sazh in battle.
They come across what they call the fal'Cie, and Snow Flake demands, then subsequently begs it to return Serah to life. Lightning decides to try to pummel it instead. This is seriously a group comprised mostly of overly emotional clowns. Anyway, under Lightning's death threat, the fal'Cie awakens, and into a major battle with "Anima" we go!!...Which is easily won by destroying the arms and then the core in a repeated fashion. Then the crew meets what looks like some stronger being in a dream-like place. They are grabbed and it looks like they are branded, or something. Fade to black.

Finally, a change of scenery. We come to a seaside town known as Bodhum. Fun music leads the way.... to a flashback. Snow Day and Serah together. Awwwww. A hammy marriage proposal and a great view of the seaside festival fireworks as sappy music plays. Shit does play out rather romantically, though.

The crew awakens in the present in Lake Bresha, which has been completely frozen by the fall of the big stoney thing, whatever it's called, I can't remember. A subsequent battle introduces the paradigm shift command. Neat.
Turns out the party is now l'Cie. New powers? I'm down. The Crystarium is also introduced, which must be the character development system. Not sure if I like it....

aaaand we save here for now.

EDIT: Cleaned up my wording.
« Last Edit: June 17, 2017, 04:52:59 PM by Frostillicus »

Rucks

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Re: Frosty plays Final Fantasy XIII blind (aka FF XIII club)
« Reply #6 on: June 17, 2017, 04:51:56 PM »
^ the crystarium is a perfect angel. don't you dare badmouth it.

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Aeolus

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Re: Frosty plays Final Fantasy XIII blind (aka FF XIII club)
« Reply #7 on: June 17, 2017, 05:33:58 PM »
Here's what I remember of the Crafting in this game.

First, everybody has like 5 or 6 different weapons available to them over the course of the game, with each weapon conferring some kind of different bonus or effect like ATB drain or a higher Magic buff over a Physical buff.
Second, each weapon has like 3 or so evolutions on top of that, capping out at their final Ultima Weapon tier.
Third, growing each weapon requires pilling on Exp onto the weapons, until they hit Max Level, at which point you evolve using a specific Crystalline Material.
Fourth, growing weapons requires two other different types of materials, Natural Materials like Oozes, Scales, Hairs, etc..., and Artificial Materials like Screws, Springs, Gears, Cores, Large Cores, etc...
Fifth, the difference between the two types of materials is that Artificial Mats give larger quantities of Exp over Natural Mats, but Natural Mats provide a Bonus Exp multiplier that increases as you use more Natural Mats and is used up when Artificial Mats are applied.
Sixth, there are generally three ways to go about upgrading weapons, Au Natural (just slam shit to make the numbers go up), Efficient Play (upgrade only when you need to using the most efficient mats available at the time), and Sperg Lord (never upgrade until the game's Mat Shop finally stocks the most efficient buyable Mats, then sell all of your current crap to buy and use that).
Seventh, Money is extremely tight in this game (since you don't have much need for it). Fortunately, some items (specifically anything that sounds like Credits or Chips) exist solely to be sold.
Eight, Accessories have the same system.
Nine, there are three Achievements associated with Crafting. One requires accumulating a ridiculous sum of Gil, another requires having one of everything on hand (including Accessories and I think Mats), and the final requires getting everyone at least one Ultima Weapon (or all of their's, I forget which).
Ten, and yes, every weapon's name at the final tier is literally referred to as Ultima Weapon. And no, that does not mean that every weapon gains the effects of all of the character's weapon effects. Its just something that was about as well thought out as everything else in the game was.
In my vision, I see that one of us is going to KO the other.

Rook

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Re: Frosty plays Final Fantasy XIII blind (aka FF XIII club)
« Reply #8 on: June 18, 2017, 07:54:30 PM »
Ah, yes. Final Fantasy XIII. Perhaps the most beloved FF of all time. I myself have never played it. Never even seen it in action. So much love and adoration has been given to this game over the years

Yes a lot of people including myself like FF13 but there is a ton of HURDUR FF13 RUINED JRPGS 4EVAR sentiment.

The characters aren't great but for some reason I grew to like them.

Andrew

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Re: Frosty plays Final Fantasy XIII blind (aka FF XIII club)
« Reply #9 on: June 18, 2017, 09:23:46 PM »
I didn't mind XIII. Had its ups and downs, but overall I left with a positive impression (even if the world-building was kind of screwy and the characters a bit blah). Looking forward to following your progress along!

Also, still better than XV.



Aeolus

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Re: Frosty plays Final Fantasy XIII blind (aka FF XIII club)
« Reply #10 on: June 19, 2017, 12:12:51 AM »
I think my issue with FFXIII lies more in the fact that it was basically the majority of Final Fantasy for the last decade or so. XII came out in 2006, XIV is an MMO, and up until XV, the most you'd see with FF in the name, was Bravely Default: Flying Fairy, one of the many mobile products, spinoffs like Theathym or Dissida, or an FFX remaster.
In my vision, I see that one of us is going to KO the other.

Arvis

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Re: Frosty plays Final Fantasy XIII blind (aka FF XIII club)
« Reply #11 on: June 19, 2017, 02:00:50 PM »
So much better than the trying-too-hard-to-be-inspirational J-pop intros in certain other JRPGs.

Was that really necessary? T____T


Quote
I don't know about his buddy Gal Gadot, though. Dude shouldn't be fighting if he lost a contact lens.

I will never look at gadot in battle without giggling ever again.


Quote
I will give thumbs up for Lebreau for having the foresight to wear hot pants to the battle front.

You mean those purple leather panties she's wearing?  It's like she saw the promo art of Gunner Yuna and thought "Slutty, but I can do so much better..."  She even has the side-skirt thing.


Quote
Things turn bad quickly for this crew.

Is it weird that I kinda.... choked up a bit at Hope's mom dying?  And really, all the civilians.  It all turned out how you'd expect a group of civilians who just took up arms against a military to turn out, but I found myself much more moved at Snow's massive error this time around.


Quote
  • The battle system definitely has a neutered feel, but I don't hate it. I'm sure it will become more involved as time goes on.
  • I've seen this mentioned before, but there definitley are a lot of unique terms being thrown around right off the bat. It's confusing. Gotta hit up that database, for sure.
  • Despite the apparent flaws, it does feel like a Final Fantasy game to me overall.

1. Boy does it ever.
2. The jargon is probably the #1 sin XIII commits, as far as the story goes.
3. Glad to hear it.  It actually does some really good, interesting things.  And coming out after XII, it was kind a neat to see a game that, visually, felt more like a natural progression of X.



Snow White
Snow Ball
Snow Shoe
Snow Cone
Snow Flake
Snow Day

*golf clap*
"You know, you're pretty cool too, Arvis.  You like good music, good games, and good tennis." - Divingfalcons

Aeolus

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Re: Frosty plays Final Fantasy XIII blind (aka FF XIII club)
« Reply #12 on: June 19, 2017, 02:27:21 PM »
Quote
Things turn bad quickly for this crew.

Is it weird that I kinda.... choked up a bit at Hope's mom dying?  And really, all the civilians.  It all turned out how you'd expect a group of civilians who just took up arms against a military to turn out, but I found myself much more moved at Snow's massive error this time around.

Yes, because uttering a phrase like "Moms are tough!" or "I am invincible!" before immediately dying is something you see happening to a Bond Villain at the end of a movie. Trying to kickstart you plot with something that Narmy is both completely tone deaf and just asking for trouble, especially if its for the sake of making one of your protagonists look bad and facilitating interparty melodrama.
In my vision, I see that one of us is going to KO the other.

Arvis

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Re: Frosty plays Final Fantasy XIII blind (aka FF XIII club)
« Reply #13 on: June 19, 2017, 02:46:59 PM »
You may be (surprise!) overstating things a bit there, Aeoly-poly.  Hope's mom is hardly Boris Grishenko.

I kinda felt Snow's desperation when everything went as horribly pear-shaped as possible.  Of course, the first time around, I had no idea who that woman was anyways, or who Hope was, or why I should care.  So it definitely helps bringing some foreknowledge to this opening.
"You know, you're pretty cool too, Arvis.  You like good music, good games, and good tennis." - Divingfalcons

Rucks

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Re: Frosty plays Final Fantasy XIII blind (aka FF XIII club)
« Reply #14 on: June 19, 2017, 03:03:46 PM »
Hope's mom is awful.  As are most other things related to Hope (his dad could have been ok, but it wasn't fleshed out nearly enough to be very meaningful).  Schmaltz.  And bland schmaltz at that.

I'm agreeing too much with the "this sucked" crowd for a game I loved...

"This goes way beyond pumpkin spice"