Final fantasy 8 spinoff thread

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Final fantasy 8 spinoff thread

Postby Cybren » 25 Apr 2009, 13:20

The ultimate rebuttal to final fantasy 8:
http://www.spoonyexperiment.com/categor ... tasy-viii/
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Re: Final fantasy 8 spinoff thread

Postby Matt » 25 Apr 2009, 13:36

Ok, since there's no context to this thread unless you've been reading the video discussion thread for the dinner party, this thread got started because I believe FF8 to be the worst game in the final fantasy series by a WIDE margin, and have been pressed for details as to why I think so.

I'm at work at the moment, and don't particularly want to spend my afternoon typing up a 10,000 word essay on why final fantasy 8 is garbage (particularly since I have discussed it many times before), but I will participate in the discussion as neccessary.

All you really need to know is that there are only two things I liked about final fantasy 8, and they are the battle theme, and the other battle theme (when you're playing as laguna). Everything else was a total waste of 4 CD's that could have been used to print a game actually worth playing.

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Re: Final fantasy 8 spinoff thread

Postby Cybren » 25 Apr 2009, 13:46

Yeah I was going to link to the previous discussion for context but got sidetracked, thanks.

That said, if you think FF8 is the worst "by a wide margin", then I have to ask if you've played FF2 or 3(NES).
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Re: Final fantasy 8 spinoff thread

Postby Matt » 25 Apr 2009, 13:49

I have played the DS re-make of 3. and I'm not going to punish those games for being rudimentry. they weren't great, but they were also faced with technical limitations, and came out in an era where gaming was focused on different priorities.

I suppose I could make the addendum that I do not consider ff1-3 (NES) in this discussion, but they are extremely difficult to compare to a modern FF game - they're etirely different classes of game now.

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Re: Final fantasy 8 spinoff thread

Postby Jillers » 25 Apr 2009, 13:53

I agree with Matt, though I'd say that I enjoyed most of the music from the game, not just the battle themes.

As for Spoony's Let's Play of FFVIII (which is an ongoing series and not done yet)... he makes tons of valid points that I never thought about and have only added to my ire of FFVIII.
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Re: Final fantasy 8 spinoff thread

Postby Cybren » 25 Apr 2009, 14:20

Matt wrote:I have played the DS re-make of 3. and I'm not going to punish those games for being rudimentry. they weren't great, but they were also faced with technical limitations, and came out in an era where gaming was focused on different priorities.

I suppose I could make the addendum that I do not consider ff1-3 (NES) in this discussion, but they are extremely difficult to compare to a modern FF game - they're etirely different classes of game now.

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Even judged in the context of their age and release, FF2 and 3 are pretty horrible.
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Re: Final fantasy 8 spinoff thread

Postby Matt » 25 Apr 2009, 14:22

I'd still rather play 3 than 8.

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Re: Final fantasy 8 spinoff thread

Postby Elomin Sha » 25 Apr 2009, 14:32

I don't know why but I do enjoy VIII. There are terrible plot parts but I like ideas they had.
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Re: Final fantasy 8 spinoff thread

Postby Dave-O_Boy » 25 Apr 2009, 14:46

Personally, FF8 has a special place in my gaming heart as one of the games that got me through middle school. Of course that was back when I thought having character that could beat any enemy by just looking at them was totally awesome, and that a game that has no challenge is still fun. In a more recent playing of it, it was still pretty enjoyable but that could be because I couldn't go passed disc two as it was broken. *tear*
I will say that the soundtrack is one of the best and anyone that can't dig Blue Fields is kinda sad. 8 had a lot of good ideas that didn't work in practice.

Personally I can't stand 9. However I can't say much about it either. I found the characters that weren't Vivi not to be interesting, the trace system more inconvenient then helpful, the chibi character design unappealing (this is totally superficial I know, but comparing to 8's more realistically proportioned characters), and stopped playing after that black mage like guy chases them in an airship.

I enjoy the DS version of 3 simply because it has some form of challenge as I'm not going to spend hours enemy hunting in that game.
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Re: Final fantasy 8 spinoff thread

Postby notomtolose » 25 Apr 2009, 14:56

If you just wanna argue about FFVIII in a generalized fashion, you can skip to the end. Thinking about the how and the why just made me... well, verbose, obviously. I was hoping to go a little deeper, though.

Cinematic presentation, graphics, art style, character design, exploration, battle system, dialogue, narrative, plot, sound and music, extra gameplay. Thinking briefly to myself about what makes a Final Fantasy game (and what makes it good), these were the main things I came up with in descending order. Obviously a lot of them are kind of specific, this isn't a formula one could apply to all games. These are just the names I thought up for my favourite FF qualities. I'll try to be brief in discussing each one.

I did play the original Final Fantasy as a kid. While I enjoyed my time with it, I can't say I got very far. My first real FF experience was with the sixth game. Magitek soldiers cresting the snowy ridge over Narshe. Finding Tritoch in the ice. The narrator's description upon meeting a future party member. I dare to say, my favourite thing about the Final Fantasy series is it's cinematic presentation. Granted, the series goes overboard with it at times, but only because they know that's where their bread is truly buttered. If you don't feel like you're a part of something epic, you just won't want to play a hundred-hour game.

I don't know how much credit to hand directly to Amano, but Final Fantasy has been refining it's art style for thirteen iterations, and every time it's displayed more faithfully. It's hip these days to be a purist and throw around terms like 'graphics whore', but there's no denying FF has always been on the bleeding edge of graphical fidelity - and yes, I do believe it's part of Final Fantasy to get that 'wow' moment when you see a new FF game for the first time.

Speaking of seeing what's new in every Final Fantasy, we come to exploration and character design. No matter how linear it may really be, every FF wants to make you feel like you're in a larger world. Part of selling that world is just more art design, and part of it is the people: creating interesting characters for you to meet and interact with.

As far as I'm concerned, FFVIII is a huge success on every point before this one. My memory is a little weak, but I do think I found the player characters a little flimsy and one-sided - I have no problem with anyone wanting to hate on that particular aspect. I did think they were designed well visually and in how they fit the story, but they definitely didn't leave much of a lasting impression.

So here we reach the real disagreement. This makes sense, since each individual player will experience it differently. I think the battle system is great. Yes, it is so very flexible that one can find exploits which make the game too easy. It's a huge oversight, sure. Then again, fans have found FF games 'too easy' since the beginning of the series - if they don't like it, they simply handicap themselves.

There is also a flaw to be seen in the fact that some strategies leave the player unprepared to fight the final boss without major overhauls - and while some might argue it's the fault of the player for honing an easily breakable strategy, others would say (and I would agree) that the game should foreshadow that battle style a lot more, introducing it early and often rather than springing it on players only at the very end. Then again, wouldn't that just make the game even easier?

Anyway, that's about as much as applies to our direct discussion of FFVIII. The rest really applies to FF in general.

That leaves dialogue, narrative, plot, sound and music and extra gameplay. I remember liking the music but I only remember a little of it. I also don't remember the extras apart from Triple Triad (that was it, yes?), which I didn't understand in the least, therefore hated and therefore ignored. No harm, no foul.

So, what do I mean by dialogue, narrative and plot? They're all part of the story, but some can be better than others. In general, the plot of most Final Fantasy games are complete and utter nonsense. In my mind, plot answers the question, 'what really happens in this story?'

Bad examples of FF plots:

FFVIII
- Lunar cry? Time compression? WTF??
FFIX - So like, there's two planets, and one wants to eat the other one's energy or something, and the guys with tails are alien clones of some kind, so I guess this huge tree is important... umm... I don't even know, dude.
FFX - There's these ghosts, and they want to stop a monster that keeps coming back. So they travel with the summoner to kill it, but the monster is really related to the what the previous summoner does, so have to find the real source of the problem.

Good examples of FF plots:

FFVI
- Power-mad general seeks the world's ruin, rebel forces fail to stop him, then regroup to end his global reign of terror.
FFVII - An powerful hero finds out he's an experiment and wants to destroy the world, one of his old followers and his freedom-fighter friends travel the world trying stop him.
FFXII - Uhh... well, I haven't actually finished it yet, but the story's strength seems to be in the very grounded political plot.

Clearly, that's not the whole 'story,' though. JRPG plots in general are known for being very weak and/or silly. Yet, if you're enough of a fan to be reading this, you know that doesn't mean they have bad stories. Narrative and dialogue (and character design) can combine to turn a terrible plot into a wonderful story. So, what do I think are the best Final Fantasy tales of all?

FFVII
is my favourite FF story because I feel it combines all four elements, but FFX is my second. So-so acting and writing mean that even the dialogue isn't that great - but I think the characters and especially the narrative are totally amazing. The sacrificial pilgrimage, the parental issues, the star-cross'd lovers, the racial and religious tensions... all pulled off beautifully in my opinion, and they come together really well, too.

FFIX is probably next, mostly on the strength of the dialogue and characters. The narrative is great for Zidane, Garnet and Vivi, who are most prominent at the beginning and the very end of the game - I think a lot of the middle story is weaker, but the dialogue saves it. FFIX is far and away the best-written and best-translated game in the series to date. The characters all interact genuinely. Sometimes they're funny, sometimes they're sad... it all comes off perfectly.

TL;DR?
My real point is that even if the characters are lame and the battle system vulnerable to exploitation, there's a heck of a lot more to a Final Fantasy game. Even if I agreed that those were the most important aspects, I still wouldn't HATE FFVIII, I just wouldn't like it so much.
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Re: Final fantasy 8 spinoff thread

Postby notomtolose » 25 Apr 2009, 14:57

I clicked on the first video on that link, and within thirty seconds I was dead sure I never wanted to hear that man's voice ever, ever, EVER again. Please don't make me...
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Re: Final fantasy 8 spinoff thread

Postby Cybren » 25 Apr 2009, 16:03

Go to the bottom of the second page, they're ordered most recent first.
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Re: Final fantasy 8 spinoff thread

Postby Hakaryu » 25 Apr 2009, 16:27

FF8 wasn't total shit compared to some RPG's. Anyone ever play Legend of Legaia? It would be tolerable if the leveling system wasn't stacked against you.

Out of all the games on the playstation at the time. Xenogears IMO is the best.
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Re: Final fantasy 8 spinoff thread

Postby Dave-O_Boy » 25 Apr 2009, 16:46

Xenogears you, of course, mean Suikoden 2. It's a common spelling error.
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Re: Final fantasy 8 spinoff thread

Postby notomtolose » 25 Apr 2009, 17:15

I started at the beginning this time. I was shocked to find it was even worse. Who would listen to that guy? Even if I hated FFVIII there's no way I could stand listening to him whine and moan about how some people like stuff he doesn't like.
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Re: Final fantasy 8 spinoff thread

Postby Jillers » 25 Apr 2009, 18:09

notomtolose wrote:I started at the beginning this time. I was shocked to find it was even worse. Who would listen to that guy? Even if I hated FFVIII there's no way I could stand listening to him whine and moan about how some people like stuff he doesn't like.


So, you're saying you don't watch anything on the internet (except for the quality videos on LRR of course)?
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Re: Final fantasy 8 spinoff thread

Postby CyberTractor » 25 Apr 2009, 19:41

FF8 was just really soap opera-esque to me.

Squall was a really whiney main character, and it focused too much on the romantic aspect between him and Rinoa. They should have fleshed out details about what the fuck time compression was (or try to actually included something that was plausible or had back story), and made unique characters instead of using the same archetypes from FF7 and changing the character model.

That was my biggest gripe. FF9 learned from the backlash from 8 and drew away from the romantic angle (it was there, but was a backstory). Unfortunately they still threw in off the wall stuff about the planets eating each other, and the last boss (and the crystals at the end) literally came out of nowhere.

FF12 was a huge step forward in plot. Instead of some unspeakable tragedy befalling the world, it was all a political plot rife with corruption and scandal. I really, really enjoyed 12's plot more than the other games.

Mind you guys, the above only deals with plot. I like the battle styles of every Final Fantasy, mainly because I just like playing games instead of criticizing and putting down people's creativity.

A battle system like FF8 was definitely flawed, but it was unique and interesting to figure out how to make powerful combinations (until you realized exactly how easy it was to achieve, but for me that was at the end of the game), which was a completely different angle from FF7 where you had to grind to get powerful materia or FF9 to learn skills.

FF10 was just awkward, but again never done before.

FF11 just went back to the grindfest and slowed down gameplay to an almost unplayable speed (I quit after three months of playing).

FF12 was nice because you could plan out your characters well in advance.


Anyway, I appreciate FF8 as a game, but I do not think it was a really good game. Final Fantasy has been about putting out a unique game with every title, and 8 was definitely unique, which in my opinion they accomplished.
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Re: Final fantasy 8 spinoff thread

Postby Cybren » 25 Apr 2009, 19:52

I didn't like 12 but as I barely played it I can't really defend the statement (not that I am under obligation to)
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Re: Final fantasy 8 spinoff thread

Postby notomtolose » 25 Apr 2009, 21:26

Jillers wrote:
notomtolose wrote:I started at the beginning this time. I was shocked to find it was even worse. Who would listen to that guy? Even if I hated FFVIII there's no way I could stand listening to him whine and moan about how some people like stuff he doesn't like.


So, you're saying you don't watch anything on the internet (except for the quality videos on LRR of course)?


Not much, no. Co-op is the only video thing I keep up with, I'm not a YouTube surfer or anything. I only really became a citizen of the Internet in the last few months, when I realized I could listen to podcasts all day at work.

You make a good point, though - it's less the fact he was complaining, more that his complaints were often groundless and petty, and he would punctuate with insults disparaging anyone who might disagree. No matter the subject, if your criticism isn't constructive, it's really just whining - and nobody who recognizes that will respect you for it.
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Re: Final fantasy 8 spinoff thread

Postby Jillers » 26 Apr 2009, 00:15

notomtolose wrote:You make a good point, though - it's less the fact he was complaining, more that his complaints were often groundless and petty, and he would punctuate with insults disparaging anyone who might disagree. No matter the subject, if your criticism isn't constructive, it's really just whining - and nobody who recognizes that will respect you for it.


Except I found his points to be rather right on the mark; sure, he sound whiny, however I agree with all of his criticisms, even of the overzealous fanboys. The battle mechanic of FFVIII is broken, the draw system is ridonculous, and Squall is an emo-git. Granted, I don't think the tone he uses helps his case.
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Re: Final fantasy 8 spinoff thread

Postby Darkobra » 26 Apr 2009, 00:18

I am a HUGE Final Fantasy VII fan. It is one I play beginning to end, all hidden secrets and stories, repeatedly and have done for the past 10 years now. It was my first Final Fantasy, but not my last.

When VIII came out, I leapt at it. I saw my friend play it and the graphics looked incredible back then. Once I started playing it, I felt that the world was quite limited and the story didn't really have any twists that would catch my attention.

Of course there are a few things I do like about it. Despite the characters like Squall feeling hollow, the story not really grasping me and things trodding along at a leisurely pace, there are some really nice places in it. The Ultimecia's Castle, puzzles and interesting music. Going to fight Ifrit for the first time changing the setting from happy, grassy Balamb to something that added a tiny amount of depth to the world.

I believe that VIII is lacking in some aspects but I'd hardly consider it a horrible game.


Final Fantasy X-2, on the other hand...
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Re: Final fantasy 8 spinoff thread

Postby Emperor Gum » 26 Apr 2009, 05:13

Despite its flaws, Final Fantasy was my first RPG, and I enjoyed it. In particular the soundtrack is brilliant.
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Re: Final fantasy 8 spinoff thread

Postby Hakaryu » 26 Apr 2009, 06:59

Dave-O_Boy wrote:Xenogears you, of course, mean Suikoden 2. It's a common spelling error.



=P Suikoden is good but I liked the subject matter that xenogears covered.
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Re: Final fantasy 8 spinoff thread

Postby Dave-O_Boy » 26 Apr 2009, 10:54

Darkobra wrote:Final Fantasy X-2, on the other hand...

X-2 is a guilty pleasure of mine.

While the story is nothing more then a gloried ghost story with some silly political nonsense thrown in, the gameplay is almost everything you'd want to be in a RPG.
A fun and interesting battle system, an relatively open world, and although the plot is linear there are some choices to slightly alter the story.
It certainly isn't disasteriffic.

While I haven't played 12, I have seen a friend play it the final area. The best thing about that game is that the final boss is the singer from Manowar. [link]
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Re: Final fantasy 8 spinoff thread

Postby notomtolose » 26 Apr 2009, 11:04

I guess that makes me the rate-limiting step in my own discussion. The argument in opposition is wrapped in so much bile that I can't even listen to it. Oh, well. I don't suppose he's got a text version tucked away somewhere on that site of his?

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