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Author Topic: Which Final Fantasy Has The Best Story and Why?  (Read 14550 times)
Dice
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« Reply #45 on: November 24, 2010, 09:36:13 AM »

I hope you'd thing better of me than that. =P
Hard to pass tone on a forum.

Anyways, I'm giving a nod to mystic quest being awesome... musically, if nothing else.
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« Reply #46 on: November 24, 2010, 10:33:13 AM »

Depending on how you qualify a story as being "good", I think there are a lot of different answers we could all come up with (and have. Just look at this thread).

For me, in terms of creating a complex narrative, FFVI probably did the best job. I think FFIX tried this, but fell short in a few places, namely the resolution of the overarching plot. (Keep in mind here, narrative =/= writing.)

By far, I think X probably had the weakest writing and narrative. Its characterisation was hammy and over the top (as most of the series is), and unfortunately lacked a lot of the subtlety of previous incarnations. On top of that, it was pretty hammer-on-anvil about Yevon being evil/false/somecombinationofthetwo, and it felt like a very poorly built revelation in the end. Add to that the rather off-key portrayal of some key individuals (Jecht, Auron), and I have to say I wasn't impressed with the cast. There are good things to FFX, like building a larger mythology through the Al Bhed, but it felt like the narrative came up short in a lot of ways.

FFXII is a stellar example of narrative like FFVI was, but it lacked character development for its principle cast. It's a shame too, because the archetypes they used are really strong. They just never went anywhere. FFXII is probably the closest any game has come to being legitimate in its mythology, given that it has environments and creatures explained in ways that largely make sense.

For character development, I think FFVIII has a lot of merit. Certainly, it dealt with far more human characters than is or was typical of RPGs. Some people complain about Squall's sudden turn-about in the third act, but I think it's actually quite reflective of how I've seen people change. They build and build and build, and then suddenly they make a decision that alters their outlook on life dramatically. Also, while there are certainly weak portions to the story, a lot of the isolated subplots are really quite well done.

For overall plot? I think FFVII did things well. The writing is kind of simple at times, and the cast doesn't grow nearly enough, but the plot is genuinely interesting and well developed. It's hard to feel that at times, what with the recent inundation of FFVII material and the distance from the original that I feel these days, but when I really take a look at the material, it's actually not bad.
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« Reply #47 on: November 24, 2010, 10:54:47 AM »

For overall plot? I think FFVII did things well. The writing is kind of simple at times, and the cast doesn't grow nearly enough, but the plot is genuinely interesting and well developed. It's hard to feel that at times, what with the recent inundation of FFVII material and the distance from the original that I feel these days, but when I really take a look at the material, it's actually not bad.

Agreed. I think FFVII had a certain kind of balance that Square has not replicated since then. Even if you don't become attached to the characters, the overall arc of the story keeps things interesting and moving forward.
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Dice
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« Reply #48 on: November 24, 2010, 11:19:52 AM »

I'm glad Hidoshi mentioned the "ham" factor of FFX... that there made a lot of cutscenes a turn off.

I dont know... maybe I'm just not a fan of taking anime-esque scenes and converting them into a more real-life [looking] drama, or maybe I've lost my love for the overall Japanese flavor.  Everyone admires Auron for his "bad-ass" factor, but I just see the "tough guy" archetype.  Cute.  He wields a huge sword with one hand..BADDASSS.  He's silent and could have revealed any/everything if he wanted to (I do realize for the sake of story, it's better *not* to do so and much less interesting) but chose to dick you around at the start.  The two characters I found realistic were Rikku (playing what a girl her age probably would be) and Kimahri (because he's a different species I can't associate with).  Lulu was a bitch more often than not, Yuna was just the sweetest thing ever I got a cavity, and Wakka shouldn't even be there - he's a bloody underwater polo athlete (who thankfully can deal...um, blindness attacks and the like).

My lure for the game was the quick battle system (anyone wanna give me the international version? I wanna take out Dark Aeons =/  ), the gorgeous and brilliantly cultured world and unique environments, and yeah, a pretty deep story.

FFVI and VII were definitely my highlights.  Game writing wasn't especially fine-tuned to the sound of novels, but, to me, those two titles tell a way better tale.
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« Reply #49 on: November 24, 2010, 11:42:17 AM »

The only time I felt anything for Zidane is when he "snapped."  And don't even get me started on Kuja.


I liked IX overall.. a lot, BUT I think Zidane is one of the weakest characters in the whole series in terms of personality and development.  Plus, I didn't know he was a boy until a couple hours in!?!  I only started to get attached to him by the way he treats "Dagger".
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« Reply #50 on: November 24, 2010, 11:48:47 AM »

The only time I felt anything for Zidane is when he "snapped."  And don't even get me started on Kuja.


I liked IX overall.. a lot, BUT I think Zidane is one of the weakest characters in the whole series in terms of personality and development.  Plus, I didn't know he was a boy until a couple hours in!?!  I only started to get attached to him by the way he treats "Dagger".

I think people appreciated how he was so opposite of the previous two depressed prone heroes.  Cloud could barely express happiness and Squall was an anti-social recluse with an attitude, even towards a hot girl in an ass cape who was clearly eager to put out for him.

Zidane was almost the polar opposite.  He was a generally happy, carefree fella, who was eager and instead of showing his soft spot in the final act, shows a more sad side in his "snapped" state.
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« Reply #51 on: November 24, 2010, 12:31:16 PM »

It's hard for me to choose but I think I liked VIII the best. The story was just solid to me and the characters had some of the best development in any RPG. I really grew attached to Squall and Rinoa. I grew pretty into their relationship and how everyone related to each other. I think I got a tear in my eye on when they were on the Ragnarok when I first played that game way back. Some of the stuff was a bit weak but no story is ever really so rock solid you can't find a single fault in it. All in all I think VIII has had the best story and relatable characters of them all.

Now I'm all nostalgic and want to get out a PS2 and VIII.
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« Reply #52 on: November 24, 2010, 02:41:59 PM »

I'm with Pearly on this one. FFVIII was just beautiful, in my mind. Really human characters, probably more realistic than most people care to think about. If FFVII had had the realism in their characters, I would probably like it a lot more than I do. My problems with FFVII is that the characters are a bit flat. Add to that that I have a strong distain for plots that get convoluted, and that's two strikes against it. FFVIII is convoluted, for sure, but I always have the characters to fall back on for focus... and FFVIII spends so little time focused on it's silly plot, that I don't really mind. FF9 had my favorite villain and motivations in the series, but unfortunately trips over itself in its final hour, overall though, I put FF9 almost even with FF8. I do love FF7, but it always came across a bit cold and impersonal, which I find very difficult to really fall in love with.
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« Reply #53 on: November 24, 2010, 02:48:28 PM »

My lure for the game was the quick battle system (anyone wanna give me the international version? I wanna take out Dark Aeons =/  ), the gorgeous and brilliantly cultured world and unique environments, and yeah, a pretty deep story.

I'm not sure FFX qualifies for the title "deep" when it comes to story. I get that the concepts are "deep" with regards to the whole dreams-becoming-reality and cyclical tragedy portions, but in execution, I found they really fell short. If the best the sleeping spirits of an entire civilisation could come up with was some surfer kid from California, I'd say Spira should hire better help.

On top of that, the cycle of tragedy was interesting in theory, but the way it was shown made me feel unfulfilled. A lot of the summoners you meet are hard to take seriously, and Yuna just isn't an useful character when it comes to communicating pain and suffering. Jecht is similarly bad, in that he isn't really likeable, and it's hard to generate sympathy for him or his "son" because of that.

That said, to me FFX fell really flat in its delivery, and I feel like in its delivery, it was a shallow, shell of the game it was meant to be. I enjoyed Rikku, the battle system, and that's really about it. Heck, even the visuals didn't feel as polished as say, FFVIII. Sure, higher polygon counts, fully 3d environments, etc. But FFVIII had that cool insta-transition to FMV that I think really helped incorporate the cutscenes into the narrative. With FFX, it felt like a major step backwards. That's a very personal artistic gripe though, and one I'm sure most people don't share.
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« Reply #54 on: November 24, 2010, 03:13:36 PM »

Tactics does count right? I believe the story has aged well. Going from a pawn to a real catalyst in the war really made me feel Ramza's development and motivations. Also, I think the story took the whole "church is evil" theme to a different level...as well as "war sucks, no one wins in the end".

 For main series...I'll have to say X was the best. The immersion was there save for the cheesy parts...heck it was so good I actually played through X-2 for closure. I wouldn't put myself through that torture if X's story was horrid...haha
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« Reply #55 on: November 24, 2010, 03:46:57 PM »

Of course Tactics counts. =) All the games in the series are up for consideration. It's all your opinions, after all.

8's story is shit. Thankfully, most of the game focused on individual character portrayal, which I thought was the best in the series.

But if we're talking plot, specifically? They all sucked. At least FF6 probably had the least amount of face-palms. I love FFIX, but it takes some real crapper's in the flow towards the end. FFX was a tad padantic and drawn out.

Gotta go with FF6, but they all suck. Play games for characters, dialog, setting, and gameplay.

I consider Characters, dialogue, and setting part of the story, personally. Afterall, where would the story go without them?

That said, to me FFX fell really flat in its delivery, and I feel like in its delivery, it was a shallow, shell of the game it was meant to be. I enjoyed Rikku, the battle system, and that's really about it. Heck, even the visuals didn't feel as polished as say, FFVIII. Sure, higher polygon counts, fully 3d environments, etc. But FFVIII had that cool insta-transition to FMV that I think really helped incorporate the cutscenes into the narrative. With FFX, it felt like a major step backwards. That's a very personal artistic gripe though, and one I'm sure most people don't share.

I have to agree, FFX could've been great, but the excecution really held it back. I still got to get to the ending, though.
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« Reply #56 on: November 24, 2010, 04:29:11 PM »

Tactics does count right? I believe the story has aged well. Going from a pawn to a real catalyst in the war really made me feel Ramza's development and motivations. Also, I think the story took the whole "church is evil" theme to a different level...as well as "war sucks, no one wins in the end".

 For main series...I'll have to say X was the best. The immersion was there save for the cheesy parts...heck it was so good I actually played through X-2 for closure. I wouldn't put myself through that torture if X's story was horrid...haha

Not playing down your tastes or anything, but it's also feasible that you played it because of the production values at the time, and because of your own investment in the game. I certainly feel that way with some games. Only weeks, months, or years later do I really sit down and analyse what I've been playing. It takes time to get away from your fandom, as well as a want to eradicate as much bias as possible. It's hard, but necessary for earnest critique in the end.

I realise not everyone likes doing this with their media, but I'm a big fan of analysis. I like a certain amount of being honest with myself about questions of quality, and I do encourage it in others.
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« Reply #57 on: November 24, 2010, 04:51:17 PM »

Tactics does count right? I believe the story has aged well. Going from a pawn to a real catalyst in the war really made me feel Ramza's development and motivations. Also, I think the story took the whole "church is evil" theme to a different level...as well as "war sucks, no one wins in the end".

 For main series...I'll have to say X was the best. The immersion was there save for the cheesy parts...heck it was so good I actually played through X-2 for closure. I wouldn't put myself through that torture if X's story was horrid...haha

Not playing down your tastes or anything, but it's also feasible that you played it because of the production values at the time, and because of your own investment in the game. I certainly feel that way with some games. Only weeks, months, or years later do I really sit down and analyse what I've been playing. It takes time to get away from your fandom, as well as a want to eradicate as much bias as possible. It's hard, but necessary for earnest critique in the end.

I realise not everyone likes doing this with their media, but I'm a big fan of analysis. I like a certain amount of being honest with myself about questions of quality, and I do encourage it in others.


I don't think you are at all. But we have to remember these are games we've played years ago anyways (most of us). I'm just speaking from my recent replays of these games. Although it's interesting to read unbiased opinions on games (especially pre-purchase). I believe it's the personal fandom, bias, and connections to the story the really make it "stick" to me. Like VIII used to me my favorite story...till I grew up...hehe
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« Reply #58 on: November 24, 2010, 04:59:36 PM »

Tactics does count right? I believe the story has aged well. Going from a pawn to a real catalyst in the war really made me feel Ramza's development and motivations. Also, I think the story took the whole "church is evil" theme to a different level...as well as "war sucks, no one wins in the end".

 For main series...I'll have to say X was the best. The immersion was there save for the cheesy parts...heck it was so good I actually played through X-2 for closure. I wouldn't put myself through that torture if X's story was horrid...haha

Not playing down your tastes or anything, but it's also feasible that you played it because of the production values at the time, and because of your own investment in the game. I certainly feel that way with some games. Only weeks, months, or years later do I really sit down and analyse what I've been playing. It takes time to get away from your fandom, as well as a want to eradicate as much bias as possible. It's hard, but necessary for earnest critique in the end.

I realise not everyone likes doing this with their media, but I'm a big fan of analysis. I like a certain amount of being honest with myself about questions of quality, and I do encourage it in others.


I don't think you are at all. But we have to remember these are games we've played years ago anyways (most of us). I'm just speaking from my recent replays of these games. Although it's interesting to read unbiased opinions on games (especially pre-purchase). I believe it's the personal fandom, bias, and connections to the story the really make it "stick" to me. Like VIII used to me my favorite story...till I grew up...hehe

Yeah, FF4 used to be my fave, but now I realize that it's not the story, but the pacing that grabbed me. For an RPG, it moves pretty fast and doesn't waste a whole lot of time. The story itself is...well, I guess I still like it, but its far from the best I've experienced. I'm not sure what else deserves such a title, though. I've only been playing RPGs for a few years.

On a side note, I'm glad to see that not everyone listed Final Fantasy IV or VI. That's honestly a first for me, but then again, the other forums I went to are mostly Nintendo centric, so I suppose its to be expected.
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« Reply #59 on: November 24, 2010, 05:34:24 PM »

Not playing down your tastes or anything, but it's also feasible that you played it because of the production values at the time, and because of your own investment in the game. I certainly feel that way with some games. Only weeks, months, or years later do I really sit down and analyse what I've been playing. It takes time to get away from your fandom, as well as a want to eradicate as much bias as possible. It's hard, but necessary for earnest critique in the end.

I realise not everyone likes doing this with their media, but I'm a big fan of analysis. I like a certain amount of being honest with myself about questions of quality, and I do encourage it in others.

X was the only FF where I mostly ignored side missions and finished the main quest straight, and I liked its story the most. If I had to analyze, putting aside my personal preference, I'd say VI and VII were the most consistent within their respective themes. Now where is the fun in that? "I'm really just asking for a fan's opinion on this" is what the OP asked for after all, so I don't think we should treat this thread like some sort of professional editorial. Anyone can come up with a believable justification to why VI, VII, VIII, IX, Tactics or X has the best story, because they're all good in one way or another.
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