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08 March 2010 @ 07:47 pm
Once more unto the breach...  
An addendum/clarification to the last post.

First of all since it wasn't clear, i don't equate battle transitions with random battles. I confess i have a bit of a masochistic attraction to random battles, but i can live without them. Chrono Trigger did away with random battles but kept the battle transitions and i was quite happy with that system. (You would see the enemies on the main map, but if you got close/touched them both the enemies and the characters would arrange themselves in battle formation and the battle music would start up.)

After discussing the issue a bit more it seems that i have three key criteria for what is necessary in terms of gameplay to make what is in my opinion a good Final Fantasy game.

1) Battles should have distinct beginnings and endings
2) During at least part of the game you should have control of multiple characters, and it should be both possible and feasible to fully control all of them
3) Killing the enemies and winning the battles should result in unambiguous bonuses.

Of course i figured these things out via FF games that violated those criteria. The 3rd rule was violated by FF8, which was designed so that the enemies gained levels in proportion to the characters. In theory this negated most of the advantage of leveling up, in practice it often made the game impossible if you leveled up too much. They reverted on that change pretty quickly with 9.

The 1st and 2nd rules of course were violated by FF12, which has no distinct battles and makes it very difficult if not possible to effectively control all your characters all the time.

It's possible there are other personal rules that i haven't figured out yet because no FF game has broken them yet. However outside of the three things i've already determined i've been enthusiastic or at least tolerant of every every gameplay change they've introduced in the Final Fantasy series the first one.

So from what i've heard already it seems that FF13 will be going back to battle transitions, in fact it sounds like they'll be using a system very much like Chrono Trigger's, which i applaud. However it also seems that you won't be able to control anyone aside from the main character at all, so they're screwing up rule #2 even more as far as i'm concerned.

From the art side everything looks much better to me than FF12. Except for that one doofus with the incredible stupid looking hat. (Snow?) Other than that the characters look potentially interesting (there's even girl with dark hair this time! Yay! =) and i really like the more vibrant colors.

In other news, after posting the poll on friday i asked shelleycat about the midnight release thing, and she thought i ought to go to that instead of Wumpskate, so that option wins the vote :) (Of course the fact that she can actually hang out with me at the mall may have influenced her decision.)

(And this is also why everyone should go ahead and fill out polls about what i should do without worrying about responsibility for the results =)

So i am about to head off for that now. Hopefully in a little over four hours i will have the game and be heading home to give it a quick try before sleep!
Pava: EdKickMyAssjmpava on March 9th, 2010 08:01 am (UTC)
So, it's been a minute. How is it?
DonAithnen: Games: Tifa - FF7donaithnen on March 9th, 2010 04:24 pm (UTC)
Okay, posted :)
Kirinkirinn on March 9th, 2010 04:01 pm (UTC)
Well, it's a little bit of an exaggeration to say you have *no* control of the non-party-lead characters in XIII. From what I gather the real meat of the battle system (once you open it up several chapters in) is in changing paradigms on the fly - so, say, you switch someone into healer mode and they heal. You don't chose the low-level specific actions, but you're constantly giving them direction. I know it's not the full control you want, but it's not exactly hands-off either.

And yeah, the dark-haired girl (Fang) is my pre-release favorite character. She has an Aussie accent and is attached to Bahamut!
DonAithnen: Games: Sephirothdonaithnen on March 9th, 2010 04:27 pm (UTC)
Er, are there two characters with an Australian accent? Because as i just posted i thought Vanille was the one who sounded vaguely Australian, or at least odd.

And no, that doesn't seem like an exaggeration to me. Clearly we have different ideas of what "control" means. If i can't select Fang and tell her to cast Ultima directly then it doesn't matter if i can tell her to be a Black Mage instead, and maybe she'll decide to cast Ultima on her own instead.

_Maybe_ i'll feel differently later, but that's how it seems to me right now anyways.
Kirinkirinn on March 9th, 2010 04:49 pm (UTC)
Judging purely from pre-release videos, Fang is way more Australian than Vanille. I don't really remember what Vanille sounded like, though, and may not even be booting up the game 'til like Sunday.

Also, from everything I hear, it's difficult to pass judgement on the battle system until like half-way through the game, since different aspects of it come online so slowly. And there's a point somewhere between half and 2/3 where it suddenly goes from being very, very linear to rather not. Evidently the beginning of the game is the "hand-held spectacle" segment and the end is the more hard-core RPG nerd bits.
DonAithnendonaithnen on March 9th, 2010 05:45 pm (UTC)
It seems there may be multiple Australians. Or at least according to jmpava other people have complained about Vanielle's (possibly fake) Australian accent.

I've heard the same thing about the battles, but unfortunately so far the only things i really don't like about the battle system are the two things i know they're not going to change. (Okay, they _could_ theoretically add a Victory Fanfare later, but it seems implausible.)

I've also heard the same thing about the linearity. Unfortunately i've _also_ heard from the same sources that you don't get very long in the free-form area before you get stuff back into the tube again for the rest of the game.

We'll see how it goes.
Pava: Osaka Sez!jmpava on March 9th, 2010 09:53 pm (UTC)
Specifically what I indicated was that people have complained about Vanielle's Australian accent (which I believe is real, at least, the voice actor is indeed from Australian) trying to do jpop cute-girl and that that just really didn't work. Not the accent itself. That's the only complaint I've heard about the english voices, fwiw.

But yes, two Australians (as already discussed above, I suppose)