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Artix
Apr 26, 2010

He's finally back,
to kick some tail!
And this time,
he's goin' to jail!




In early 2010, Final Fantasy XIII art director Isamu Kamikokuryou was doing an interview for Dengeki Magazine (or Famitsu, no one seems to be able to track it down for sure), and was talking about some of the things that were left on the cutting room floor. Among other things, he talked about Lightning's house, NORA's headquarters, and a zoo in Bodhum; all of these had been rendered in-game and were explorable, they just never made the final cut for the master copy. That on its own is not surprising - all games leave some material behind, and with XIII's long and drawn out development cycle, it would hardly come as a shock that it has a bit more than most games. In fact, in his own words, there were enough art assets for "a whole other game."

Fast forward a year to January 2011, and Square-Enix registers a trademark for Final Fantasy XIII-2. Well that's awfully funny, isn't it? Producer Yoshinori Kitase was quick to deny that they had made use of these cut assets, but... Well, I suppose you'll see for yourself.

The Game

Release in January 2012, XIII-2 is a very, very reactionary game. The bulk of the changes between XIII and XIII-2 are addressing the complaints of the former with various levels of success - people complained about how linear XIII was, and XIII-2 is...well, still pretty linear, but much more open. In the wake of Mass Effect and Dragon Age, there are now dialogue choices every now and then, and absolutely none of them matter. Combat has been tweaked so that you no longer get a game over if your leader dies, and you can swap which character you're controlling on the fly. The plot has gone from "incomprehensibly stupid" to merely "painfully stupid". I could go on, but you get the gist of things.

On the other hand, actual new features include a complete lack of a difficulty curve, a framerate that's lucky to get out of the low 20's, platforming and literal computer science homework puzzles, and being the most blatant bait-and-switch this side of Metal Gear Solid 2.

See, Lightning was and still is very popular in Japan. So one would assume that XIII-2 would be another round of Lightning and Friends™. I mean, she's on the box art and all the marketing material, and she has a spiffy new outfit! Then you play the first 15 minutes and suddenly you get slammed with these two chucklefucks - a Kingdom Hearts reject, and a recovering ice cube.

Surprise!

The LP

Okay, so despite what I've written above, I actually don't hate this game. It's my least favorite of the trilogy by far, but it does have quite a bit going for it and I don't begrudge anyone who prefers it. We will be as fair as we can in the videos, but frankly neither of us like it very much, and we wouldn't be doing it at all if it wasn't required setup for Lightning Returns. So yeah, full disclosure.

Updates

Update 1: Where do I even start with this?
Update 2: Shooting Star Surfer
Update 3: Gentlemen, Start Your Retcons
Update 4: lyrics.mp3
Update 5: Can I give you a hand?
Update 6: That's not a Charmander
Update 7: Attack on Atlas
Update 8: An Extremely Important Diversion
Update 9: Metal Gear Stupid
Update 10: Hope's Funniest Home Videos
Update 11: Enter Caius
Update 12: Fashion Statements
Update 13: Shut the gently caress up, Noel
Update 14: Step Into the Rainbow (Again)
Update 15: Why did we come here, again?
Update 16: The Hunters' Test
Update 17: Chocobo Cannibalism
Update 18: Trans-Dimensional Bowels
Update 19: gently caress Academia 400
Update 20: PARADOX.EXE
Update 21: The Grammar of Time Travel
Update 22: Forbidden - Learning; Recommended - Puzzles
Update 23: Yelling Into the Digital Abyss
Update 24: A Trivial Matter
Update 25: gently caress Clock Puzzles
Update 26: Crazy...Flan?
Update 27: The Beginning of the End
Update 28: Game Over, Caius Wins
Update 29: An Eternity of Snow
Update 30: Donald Trump presents: The Monster Hunter
Update 31: A Shocking Reveal
Update 32: ...L-Lightning-senpai?
Update 33: Mog's Big Payday
Update 34: The Puppy Who Ruined the Timeline
Update 35: The Soothing Sounds of the Ochu
Update 36: Connecting the Dots
Update 37: The Legacy of Lightning
Update 38: Mog's Welcome Home Cakes
Update 39: I Will Protect You...
Update 40: ...Until the End of Time

Update 41: Welcome to the Chocobo Rodeo
Update 42: A Quantum Conundrum
Update 43: Back to the Punching Ground
Update 44: The Don is In
Update 45: Toilet Paper Hell
Update 46: The Fanservice Episode
Update 47: Taking Out the Trash
Update 48: Picking a Fight With Death
Update 49: Final Fantasy XIII-2 - Prepare to Die Edition
Update 50: Please Buy Lightning Returns

Artix fucked around with this message at 03:31 on Oct 18, 2015

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Artix
Apr 26, 2010

He's finally back,
to kick some tail!
And this time,
he's goin' to jail!




Final Fantasy XIII is a game that needs no introduction. Released in March 2010, it is perhaps the most divisive title in the entire franchise to date - no small feat for a series that contains games like Final Fantasy VIII and XII. While it is unquestionably a lesser game than IX, VI, or X, it's far from the worst the series has to offer. The battle system is fast, fluid, and challenging, the game is a gorgeous triumph on both a technical and artistic level, and the difficulty curve is silky smooth, combining the best (and worst) bits of SMT and Final Fantasy. For most people, this is counterbalanced by the game's excessive linearity, terrible story, and characters that make even the most hardened defender of the game groan.

As for me, I like the game. It's not perfect, but I had enough fun with it to call it an enjoyable experience. My partner in crime, Fedule, does not. Maybe you don't either. But that's okay! I'm not going to tell you that if you had just read Datalog 5.38A then the story would have made perfect sense and everyone would love the game. I'm not here to change anyone's mind about the game, and all I ask is that you do the same. Just keep it civil and concise - no one wants to read your 10,000 word diatribe about how Final Fantasy XIII is god's gift to mankind or an abomination crafted by Satan himself in a bid to destroy the franchise forever, and I will lock the thread if things get out of hand.

This LP will be done in video, and there will be commentary over cutscenes. The story is the last reason to be playing FF13 and while we'll do our best to let the game speak for itself, you're not missing much, I promise. There'll also probably be more than a few effort posts along the way covering combat, datalogs, etc, but we'll cross those bridges when we get there.

Spoilers: If you absolutely have to post them, tag them. Sure, they're going to be incomprehensible to anyone who hasn't played the game anyway, but it's good form. And absolutely no spoilers for the sequels. Period. Not even tagged.

Full Playlist

Updates
Update 1: Does this remind you of anything?
Update 2: Neither a Hope NORA Care
Update 3: Sympathizing with Hope
Update 4: A Brilliant Plan
Update 5: Crystalline Drifts and Paradigm Shifts
Update 6: Tri-Disastrous
Update 7: Slippery Summons
Update 8: Trash Walking, Trash Talking
Update 9: Managerial Initiative for Incentivizing Rapid Growth of Industrial Synergy
Update 10: Abandon Hope
Update 11: Auric Amulet of Forgetfulness
Update 12: Following the Blue Light Road
Update 13: You Wouldn't Stab a Golden Retriever...
Update 14: The Umbrella School of Pokemon Design
Update 15: Step Into the Rainbow
Update 16: Weathering the Wilderness
Update 17: Director Rosch Vows to Personally End Pulse Menace
Update 18: How Many More PSICOM Troops Will Pulse L'Cie Murder Today?
Update 19: Repulsed! Cowardly l'Cie Flee in Face of Heroic Stand by Citizens
Update 20: Panicked L'Cie Continue Flight From Justice
Update 21: Could YOUR Child be a Pulse L'Cie?
Update 22: The City of Dreams
Update 23: The City of Nightmares
Update 24: Aerodynamics 101 with Motomu Toriyama
Update 25: Oerba Dia Vanille's Pro Kalavinka Striker Fishing®™
Update 26: Space Pope Cope to Cope
Update 27: Ark-Annoyed
Update 28: When it Raines...
Update 29: Falling with Style
Update 30: The Writing on the Wall
Update 31: The Hunt Begins
Update 32: Drakengard!
Update 33: Undyin' Over Here
Update 34: Paling in Comparison
Update 35: A Feathery Frolic with Friends
Update 36: something something Hecatoncheir?
Update 37: Hope, Emissary to the Juggernaut People
Update 38: Who the gently caress is Taejin?
Update 39: Taejin Our Time
Update 40: Dekcus noegnud siht
Update 41: The Sands of Time
Update 42: End of the Road
Update 43: Gentlemen, Start Your Engines
Update 44: Where Hope Goes to Die
Update 45: Pride Before the Fall
Update 46: A Haerii Situation
Update 47: Welcome to the Matrix
Update 48: Eden's Final "Challenge"
Update 49: The Cradle Will Fall

Update 50: Hunt Roundup 1 - Analect Edition
Update 51: We're Going to Need Some Bigger Numbers
Update 52: A Treatise on the Collapse of the Pulsian Economy
Update 53: 1000 Needles
Update 54: A Titanic Achievement
Update 55: Well that was anticlimactic
Update 56: Claire Farron, Oretoise Hunter
Update 57: ~Fin~

Artix fucked around with this message at 03:27 on Apr 14, 2015

Artix
Apr 26, 2010

He's finally back,
to kick some tail!
And this time,
he's goin' to jail!


Intro Cutscene

Music

Prelude (Intro Cutscene)
The Promise (Title Screen)


------

Update 1: Does this remind you of anything?
Part 1 (Polsy)
Part 2 (Polsy)

Music

Defiers of Fate
Blinded by Light
The Hanging Edge
The Warpath Home
Saber's Edge

Bestiary













Datalogs



quote:

Defiers of Fate

Lightning and Sazh are held aboard a military 'Purge' train along with a group of civilians destined for exile. In a stark contrast to the uncertain and despairing people around her, Lightning appears determined and focused.

She seizes upon an instant of inattention to disable a guard, and her impressive display inspires Sazh and the other civilians to take up arms against the soldiers.

After clashing with army forces, the train crashes to a halt in the war-torn district known as the Hanging Edge.

Sazh attempts to figure out Lightning's angle, but she shows little desire to share. The former soldier throws herself into battle without the slightest hint of hesitation — what could be driving her...?

quote:

Fields of War

Suspect citizens of Cocoon are wrenched from their tranquil existence and threatened with exile to the world of Pulse. The Purge has begun.

The 'land below' is said to crawl with unknown perils, and terrified civilians begin to rebel against the Purge. A revolt also occurs on the train transporting Purge deportees, as Lightning's battle against the guards galvanizes the other prisoners into action.

The train comes to a halt in the district of the Hanging Edge—now a hellish warzone where soldiers open fire indiscriminately upon civilians.

Lightning makes her way through the middle of the conflict, all but ignoring her uninvited companion, Sazh. She seems determined to press onwards even when the path before her is destroyed by military strikes.

quote:

Another Rebellion

The peaceful citizens of Cocoon live in constant fear of invasion by the forces of Pulse — the world below and supposed home of terrors unknown.

Were even a single Pulsian agent to be discovered on Cocoon, panic and civil unrest would be sure to follow, threatening the very fabric of society. To prevent such a calamity, the Sanctum (Cocoon's governing body) initiates the 'Purge' — a government initiative officially entailing the deportation of all those who may have come into contact with corrupting Pulsian influences.

However, the Sanctum army is now brutally slaughtering the civilians they were supposed to be deporting.

Realizing that the Purge is nothing more than a massacre in disguise, Snow leads the young freedom fighters of NORA in an effort to protect the Purge 'deportees' from the Sanctum soldiers.

quote:

The Warpath Home

The Purge is a Sanctum initiative designed to protect the stability of Cocoon by forcing potentially dangerous civilians to relocate to Pulse.

However, the relocation is simply a facade to cover the massacre that ensues. The government's true goal is the brutal extermination of all possible threats to society.

Having discovered the horrific truth, Snow leads the members of NORA against the government soldiers of PSICOM.

Inspired by the actions of this handful of brave young men and women, the beleaguered civilians take heart and join the battle in the hope of returning to a normal life.

Among the citizens who stand against the forces of PSICOM is a mother who wishes for nothing more than to protect her son.

quote:

Fallen Innocence

Cocoon's citizens have always been terrified of Pulse and the mysterious horrors that are said to stalk its hostile wastelands.

Their fear is so great that if a Cocoon native were to have even the briefest contact with Pulsian elements, former friends and neighbors would consider them corrupted and dangerous.

In light of this fact, the Sanctum orders the Purging of Bodhum in an effort to remove all potentially Pulse-tainted civilians.

Accordingly, soldiers round up all those identified as candidates for relocation and inform them of their impending exile.

However, PSICOM, the elite arm of the Sanctum military, then begins to massacre the helpless civilians. This prompts Snow to lead the people in a rebellion against the army. Tragically, one of the civilians who decides to follow him, hoping to protect her son, dies in the act of saving Snow's life.

From afar, the boy witnesses the moment of his mother's death in shock and disbelief.



quote:

The Thirteen Days: Day 13 - Exile

A fal'Cie of Pulse origin was discovered within a Vestige on the outskirts of Bodhum two days previously, having apparently spent centuries in hibernation with humans none the wiser to its presence. The Sanctum deemed the potential contamination by Pulse magic a risk too great to overlook, and immediately enacted legislation permitting the Purge - an involuntary removal of the fal'Cie and the entire population of Bodhum from Cocoon.

Deportees were told only that they would be transported to Pulse.

Artix fucked around with this message at 16:56 on Apr 1, 2014

Fedule
Mar 27, 2010


No one left uncured.
I got you.


I regret nothing!

WaltherFeng
May 15, 2013

50 thousand people used to live here. Now, it's the Mushroom Kingdom.

This game is my guilty pleasure.

Yes, it's a long stretch from point A to B. Yes, it's all things Ey-Nii-Maay. However, what the game lacks in game direction, it compensates to some degree in visual design, music and battle system (Yes, it is different and restricting but still entertaining).

Blueberry Pancakes
Aug 18, 2012

Jack in!! MegaMan, Execute!


I've heard a lot of complaints about the "hallway simulation", but isn't this the game as linear as Final Fantasy X?

WaltherFeng
May 15, 2013

50 thousand people used to live here. Now, it's the Mushroom Kingdom.

Hobgoblin2099 posted:

I've heard a lot of complaints about the "hallway simulation", but isn't this the game as linear as Final Fantasy X?

The difference is, FFXIII offers practically no diversions whatsoever to the player outside fighting monsters. The pacing is pretty much non-stop fighting from beginning to the end. The only real respite you get is during cutscenes and one specific chapter in the game. This can wear players down quickly when talking about 20+ hour game.

When people talk about "linearity", that is what they are truly referring to, even if they don't realize it themselves.

WaltherFeng fucked around with this message at 15:47 on Apr 1, 2014

Wild Knight
Mar 27, 2010

Foul villain! I do not flee. I will never turn my back on you and run away!

[he says, running away]


Ooh, the two of you vlping the one FF game I couldn't be arsed to finish? So onboard with this. Really enjoying the dynamic you guys have going and I'm only halfway through the first video.

I will be very surprised if this endeavor does not suck all optimism and positive thinking out of Artix, though.

Speedball
Apr 15, 2008



WaltherFeng posted:

The difference is, FFXIII offers practically no diversions whatsoever to the player outside fighting monsters. The pacing is pretty much non-stop fighting from beginning to the end. The only real respite you get is during cutscenes and one specific chapter in the game. This can wear players down quickly when talking about 20+ hour game.

When people talk about "linearity", that is what they are truly referring to, even if they don't realize it themselves.

Yeah, and even though a lot of the skill trees in FFX were linear, late-game you had the option of smashing through barriers between characters, copying skills and just going nuts. AND, and, there were many tactical differences between the player characters! FFXIII just sort of has most of FFX's problems but exacerbated.

It is one goddamn pretty game, though. And gorgeous music. The aesthetics directors were doing their jobs, let me tell you.

anilEhilated
Feb 17, 2014

But I say fuck the rain.



Grimey Drawer

Speedball posted:

It is one goddamn pretty game, though. And gorgeous music. The aesthetics directors were doing their jobs, let me tell you.

On everything but the characters.

theshim
May 1, 2012

You think you can defeat ME, Ephraimcopter?!?

You couldn't even beat Assassincopter!!!


Fedule posted:

I regret nothing!
I don't think I believe you.

Artix
Apr 26, 2010

He's finally back,
to kick some tail!
And this time,
he's goin' to jail!


theshim posted:

I don't think I believe you.

We'll see if he's still singing that tune after 13-2.

I'll be right there with him!

Fedule
Mar 27, 2010


No one left uncured.
I got you.


Artix posted:

We'll see if he's still singing that tune after 13-2.

I'll be right there with him!

Hey, after XIII-2 isn't the bit I'm worried about.

anilEhilated
Feb 17, 2014

But I say fuck the rain.



Grimey Drawer

Something tells me they managed to miss the most important part of what made Cloud Cloud, ie being a complete fuckup. Anyway, is that fal'cie thingy a drinking game worthy word?

Blastinus
Feb 28, 2010

Time to try my luck

Crap.

Ah, FFXIII. As a guy who's played basically every game in the series, it's far from the worst that the series has to offer. There's something to appreciate in the way the game flows, and as already mentioned, the game's got amazing art and music.

Where FFXIII really fails though is in its hand-holding. We'll be hamstrung for hours while the game slowly trickles gameplay features down at us, when the average player could have probably got the picture in about half the time. These first few updates won't be boring by any means, but it'll be a while before we can get to the really fun stuff.

theshim
May 1, 2012

You think you can defeat ME, Ephraimcopter?!?

You couldn't even beat Assassincopter!!!


anilEhilated posted:

Something tells me they managed to miss the most important part of what made Cloud Cloud, ie being a complete fuckup. Anyway, is that fal'cie thingy a drinking game worthy word?
Only if you want to die around three hours in?

poorlywrittennovel
Oct 9, 2012



Glad to see this is up. Honestly, I think that while FF13 is a bad FF game, I don't think it's a bad game overall. It tried something different, and failed at it. But the cutscenes look nice, and the gameplay itself gains some depth later on.

Lustful Man Hugs
Jul 18, 2010



Snow: "Here, point this probably loaded gun at these civilians as I give it to you in a weird way."

Is basic gun safety not common knowledge or something?

1stGear
Jan 16, 2010

whoa nice



ChaosSamusX posted:

Snow: "Here, point this probably loaded gun at these civilians as I give it to you in a weird way."

Is basic gun safety not common knowledge or something?

Forget it Jake. Its anime.

1stGear fucked around with this message at 23:39 on Apr 15, 2014

WaltherFeng
May 15, 2013

50 thousand people used to live here. Now, it's the Mushroom Kingdom.

ChaosSamusX posted:

Snow: "Here, point this probably loaded gun at these civilians as I give it to you in a weird way."

Is basic gun safety not common knowledge or something?

If that was a serious question, I would say "No, it most definitely isn't". Not in the game or the real world.

Lizard Wizard
Dec 25, 2004

mep, mep


Love the LP so far. I've actually been thinking about trying XIII-2 recently, so this couldn't have come at a better time!

David D. Davidson
Nov 17, 2012

Orca lady?

I like this game. It has it's problems. It starts off on the wrong foot on just about everything especially presenting and introducing Sazh, right now he's just the comedy relief funny yet kind of racist stereotype black man with a bird living in his afro but once you get into it it's actually a very fine game. Probably one of the weakest Final Fantasy games.

One of the things I like most out of this franchise is how they do try to do something different with each game and each game has it's own unique identity and feel to it. It's probably why the series has lasted this long. This game isn't quite what people were expecting and that's why it replaced Final Fantasy VIII as the Black Sheep of the series. That game also had that problem. People were basically expecting Final Fantasy VII-2 and were upset with the fact that it was so radically different from that. Is it a bad game? Nope. Did they try something different? Yes. Did it work? It's hit or miss really.

Wild Knight
Mar 27, 2010

Foul villain! I do not flee. I will never turn my back on you and run away!

[he says, running away]


It's a little way the hell early to be getting into a deep discussion of the game's ups and downs, but I will say it did a pretty great job of creating cinematic anime jump-all-over-the-place combat that they'd been doing in CGI cutscenes for years before this game came out.

Of course, so did Kingdom Hearts 2.

Simply Simon
Nov 6, 2010


big enough
for the both of us





This game is loving terrible.

That does not mean it is never fun, though. Au contraire - I think you can have a lot of fun with FFXIII. And I had, and will have (playing it intermittently at the moment). Which makes its utter failure even more apparent: it has the potential to be really loving good, but it's not.

Not even close.

Were it always ridiculous garbage, an unplayable mess or had a story that's not just cringe-inducing but actively causing people having to endure it become legitimately angry (all three exemplified perfectly by Metroid: Other M, by the way) - then it would be an easy hate it, play it because you somehow love to complain about poo poo nobody forced to you pick up in the first place, and that's it.

But it's just not that easy. There are many legitimately great moments in FFXIII - it has just this teeny tiny problem that there is material for three hours of solid, honest-to-God great fun, but it's 60 hours long.

And this is what makes it terrible. Every time you had a good time in this game is a harsh reminder of how absurdly this entire Frankenstein's monster of poo poo stitched together with mapstrings and Hope fails at entertaining you because of countless design decisions which were blatantly, obviously, unignorably just made to keep you from having the fun you could be having constantly.


Before this even starts to become apparent, however, you somehow have to get through the first two chapters. Because in a hilariously inept move, there is not a single second of fun in them just to get you used to the idea of having to endure a ridiculous amount of boredom to sieve through in order to get a few, tiny but admittedly very tasty morsels.


I appreciate it hugely that you undertook this insane project, and so far it seems to be going swimmingly. Reminder: if the game seems to flow reasonably well so far...there have already been four (?) fights of 30-odd seconds each been cut which were literally completely pointless padding. For the TUTORIAL.

Seraphic Neoman
Jul 19, 2011




David D. Davidson posted:

I like this game. It has it's problems. It starts off on the wrong foot on just about everything especially presenting and introducing Sazh, right now he's just the comedy relief funny yet kind of racist stereotype black man with a bird living in his afro but once you get into it it's actually a very fine game. Probably one of the weakest Final Fantasy games.

He's the best character. He actually knows the kind of game this is and acts maturely in response to it.

David D. Davidson posted:

One of the things I like most out of this franchise is how they do try to do something different with each game and each game has it's own unique identity and feel to it. It's probably why the series has lasted this long. This game isn't quite what people were expecting and that's why it replaced Final Fantasy VIII as the Black Sheep of the series. That game also had that problem. People were basically expecting Final Fantasy VII-2 and were upset with the fact that it was so radically different from that.

Yeah, no. This is a way different case.



This is the game promised to us. It was supposed to feature a battle system that blended dungeon running with an RPG system. You'd select commands on the fly and the characters would execute moves in flashy combos. You could use magic, which was rare, destructive and costs a lot of ATB, or you could instead focus on stringing together a flurry of weak attacks for a sweet combo multiplier. The idea is that you use weaker attacks to up your hit count and then finish off with a powerful magic attack.
Your limit break was the Overclock system, where you would stop time to string together a super long, super-insane combo.

All this without ever leaving the overworld.

Lightning could also control gravity, which would have been her magic affinity in the game. This was a radical change from the usual RPG character mold. A female character? Who actually has a cool power? In a game with hella flashy combat? Take all my money!

Instead we got Press X the RPG with customization that was far more limited than ever before. That is why people dislike this game.

anilEhilated
Feb 17, 2014

But I say fuck the rain.



Grimey Drawer

theshim posted:

Only if you want to die around three hours in?

I... see. Thanks for the warning.
Anyway, here's an actual complaint: I know silly outfits are a JRPG trope, but this game seems to take it way too far. I guess I can get past the hairchicken by it being on what seems to be the comic relief (and yet so far the only likable) character, but let's look at Lightning. Soldier, professional, miniskrt. Also one glove and... whatever is that on her other arm. Granted, she's not the only or worst offender (that prize goes - again, from what I've seen so far - to Snow's French Female Redshirt) but Lightning's introduction kinda makes me think the developers intended us to take her seriously. Which is just about impossible.

Gaz-L
Jan 28, 2009


WaltherFeng posted:

The difference is, FFXIII offers practically no diversions whatsoever to the player outside fighting monsters. The pacing is pretty much non-stop fighting from beginning to the end. The only real respite you get is during cutscenes and one specific chapter in the game. This can wear players down quickly when talking about 20+ hour game.

When people talk about "linearity", that is what they are truly referring to, even if they don't realize it themselves.

Yeah, it's a linearity of experience and tone, not 'corridors'. Think about Uncharted 2 or Half-Life 2. Those games are much more explicitly linear that FFXIII, but they break up the experience with puzzles, with survival horror segments (the yeti cave/Ravenholm), even with respite and conversation (the Tibetan village/any part with Barney and co) and setpieces (the train level/the airboat sequence). So while you literally have just filed down a corridor for 15 hours, you FEEL like you've been doing a bunch of different things, so it doesn't bother you. FFXIII, you fight, or you level up/buy and craft poo poo. That's it for gameplay. FFX had sidequests and collectibles and minigames. It even has a whole turn-based sports sim built into it if you care to do it. Plus you could backtrack through most areas in X (a surprisingly long way, actually) even before the airship.

FPzero
Oct 20, 2008

Game Over
Return of Mido



I somehow own two copies of this game despite having returned my original copy years ago. No clue where they came from but they showed up in my house one day. As for the game itself, apparently I stopped playing about 15 minutes from where the game actually lets you start battling and never picked it up again. Oh well, now I'll get to see all the poo poo that I missed.

Man, even in the couple hours I did play I already knew which characters I hated. Looking at you Snow.

Heroes.

Barent
Jun 15, 2007

Never die in vain.

Yeah Sazh is the only good character and is definitely not just comic relief, but we'll get to that later. Will be following this!

Hunt11
Jul 24, 2013



Grimey Drawer

anilEhilated posted:

I... see. Thanks for the warning.
Anyway, here's an actual complaint: I know silly outfits are a JRPG trope, but this game seems to take it way too far. I guess I can get past the hairchicken by it being on what seems to be the comic relief (and yet so far the only likable) character, but let's look at Lightning. Soldier, professional, miniskrt. Also one glove and... whatever is that on her other arm. Granted, she's not the only or worst offender (that prize goes - again, from what I've seen so far - to Snow's French Female Redshirt) but Lightning's introduction kinda makes me think the developers intended us to take her seriously. Which is just about impossible.

I doubt they put much thought into it but there actually is some justification why she is dressed like that. For whatever reason she reason she ended up on the train she was going as a civilian and not a soldier so what we are seeing are her casual clothes and not what she would usually wear when actually fighting.

RareAcumen
Dec 28, 2012






Wild Knight posted:

It's a little way the hell early to be getting into a deep discussion of the game's ups and downs, but I will say it did a pretty great job of creating cinematic anime jump-all-over-the-place combat that they'd been doing in CGI cutscenes for years before this game came out.

Of course, so did Kingdom Hearts 2.

How they managed to make Kingdom Hearts and then didn't think to port over the active time combat system into Final Fantasy once they began making this game is baffling.

I mean I can understand it for ten because your characters don't have to move around at all but twelve would've been so much better if you could just hit a button and thus hit the enemy instead of having to use menus. And then they go on to make an MMO before just doing what would've been much more fun to play in the first place.

Blueberry Pancakes
Aug 18, 2012

Jack in!! MegaMan, Execute!


David D. Davidson posted:

I like this game. It has it's problems. It starts off on the wrong foot on just about everything especially presenting and introducing Sazh, right now he's just the comedy relief funny yet kind of racist stereotype black man with a bird living in his afro but once you get into it it's actually a very fine game. Probably one of the weakest Final Fantasy games.

I found Sazh to be pretty great, honestly.

That Fucking Sned
Oct 28, 2010



This game is fun if you like the battle system and don't like pointless JRPG filler. Unfortunately XIII-2 lacked the fine-tuned difficulty of this game and went completely nuts with fetch quests and checklists.

This game would have been improved a lot if you always had three characters in battle, had some meaningful decisions in building your characters, and were able to do things in battle before you're given a tutorial on them.

With that out of the way, there's nothing left for me to do apart from making fun of the terrible story and characters. Thankfully a certain someone isn't around to act like the Datalog is a perfectly viable storytelling device in a game that devotes two dozen hours of cutscenes on the characters telling each other how they feel.

E:

RareAcumen posted:

How they managed to make Kingdom Hearts and then didn't think to port over the active time combat system into Final Fantasy once they began making this game is baffling.

I mean I can understand it for ten because your characters don't have to move around at all but twelve would've been so much better if you could just hit a button and thus hit the enemy instead of having to use menus. And then they go on to make an MMO before just doing what would've been much more fun to play in the first place.

That is exactly what they're doing for Final Fantasy XV. I guess that back in 2006 when both XIII and Versus XIII (now renamed XV) were being planned, Toriyama was going to use a battle system that was like a cross between X-2 and XII, while Nomura was going to use his experience with the Kingdom Hearts games. The main game, XIII, was going to be menu-driven and tactical, while the spin-off would be a full action game.

Lightning Returns is actually very close to the original concept video shown for XIII. It's just Lightning by herself, you have more direct control over her, and you select and execute commands on the fly rather than having to fill up a bar first.

Despite being disappointed in the XIII trilogy, I'm really looking forward to both FFXV and KHIII, mostly because KHII, BBS, and 3D were incredibly fun, and because XV has a ton of great ideas in it. Being able to teleport, switch characters and weapons on the fly, pilot vehicles, use hand-to-hand combat, and drive a car make it seem a lot different to the Kingdom Hearts series. All KHIII needs to do is be the unconstrained and completely over the top brother to XV and I'll be happy.

That Fucking Sned fucked around with this message at 00:25 on Apr 2, 2014

David D. Davidson
Nov 17, 2012

Orca lady?

Hobgoblin2099 posted:

I found Sazh to be pretty great, honestly.

I found Sazh to be great too. It's just his introduction establishes him as a racist stereotype with a bird living in his afro, and then we see him do stupid trickshot poses in combat and in the cutscenes he's show blundering his way through a warzone going from one "wacky" mishap to the next as he follows after Lightning like some bad comic relief character in a eighties action movie. Not the best way to establish that he's a determined everyman caught up in extraordinary circumstances.

If you ask me, if you approach this game with an open mind. He basically represent this game in a nutshell.


Also Final Fantasy XV looks loving awesome. If it turns out to be any good I might just buy a next gen console to play it.

Arcade Rabbit
Nov 11, 2013



I like this game, quite a bit actually, but definetly agree that it has its flaws. The slow start, both in terms of story and gameplay, is probably my biggest gripe about it. Hope is a good indication of that. He is honest-to-God my favorite character in this game, both in gameplay and story. People like to fixate on his low points, but the kid becomes great later and one of the best characters in battle. Sazh is good too though. I was pleasantly surprised by just how much I ended up liking him.

Gamerman386
Oct 30, 2012

I'm certainly glad to have found Vilkacis lying in that field.


Awesome I get to see an Artix lp from the beginning ! I actually liked 13, even though the plot and most of the character's suck, if you can turn your brain off and ignore that, it's quite fun.

Rith
Oct 10, 2012

YOU'VE GOT THAT WRONG!


I've got a terrible fondness for this game. I can't help it. I love the battle system. I love the character dynamics. I even love Snow. That's how bad it is.

I don't think even I can defend the lack of variety in the gameplay, though. What Final Fantasy XIII does, it generally does fairly well: it looks and sounds great, it's got nice cutscenes (with the exception of all the ones where a character goes 'goodness me, I've just realised what fundamental flaw has led me to make all these poor decisions; better explain it at length, aloud, just in case the player didn't catch it'), it's got an engaging and strategic battle system (once it actually lets you use the thing). But those are literally the only things that it does; it's nothing but cutscenes and fighting, with maybe two hilariously half-arsed attempts at minigames. When it tries to open up a bit, all it really does is take away most of the character interaction and leave you with nothing but fighting.

All that said, I don't care. Somehow I still love this game.

I'm enjoying the Let's Play so far, and I'm looking forward to more!

Beartaco
Apr 10, 2007

I THINK BUDWEISER IS GOOD. PLEASE DO NOT LISTEN TO ME.

I hated every minute of playing this game but for whatever reason I still remember it fondly. I loved everything but the soul crushing linearity and repetitiveness. Especially Sazh, I love Sazh.

Artix
Apr 26, 2010

He's finally back,
to kick some tail!
And this time,
he's goin' to jail!


Right, so let's get one small thing out of the way. Given that yesterday was April Fools day, I can understand if anyone was a little wary over whether or not this is real. Well, last night I put the finishing touches on the first video of Chapter 3, so rest assured that this clearly well thought out project is not a total pipe dream.

At any rate, updates will be coming not quite twice a week, but more than once a week if that makes any sense. The first non-Sandcastle update will be on Friday, so I'll see you guys then.

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Fedule
Mar 27, 2010


No one left uncured.
I got you.


I never stopped believing.

Really, the real joke is that this isn't an April Fool's joke.

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