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Imbroglio
09-19-2009, 05:33 PM
Now, I'm not talking about your favorite game, I'm talking about the best when it comes to storyline and characterization.

For me, coincidentally, xDDD, it happens to be both my favorite and the one I believe is the best, Final Fantasy X.

Typically, you aren't going to get much characterization until FFVI. From there on out though, it's good.

What's your opinion?

icerose
09-19-2009, 07:43 PM
Game play and story line for me had to be X. I haven't played any of the ones beyond that. I think it has some good twists and turns built into it.

2 and 3 were quite extraordinary for their time. They really seemed to change the face of gaming. 7 was the first play station one, though the characters were blocky, I did like the story line quite a bit, it had a lot of twists and turns and each character was different.

I didn't ever get to play all of 8, 9 was fun but definitely not deep or anything like that. I think my favorite part was when Queen Braun (sp) died.

Imbroglio
09-19-2009, 07:46 PM
Yeah, Final Fantasy has always kind of pushed the boundaries. I remember when I played all of the old SNES Rpgs on the Emulator, I was so dissinterested in playing most of them because of a lack of plot. Final Fantasy was always a good one.

Also, Chrono Trigger, as much as I hate following the band-wagon, was amazing for it's time. Absolutely.

Final Fantasy 8 was deplored because of its gameplay, but I honestly didn't mind. I liked the story, but I wasn't enraptured, as I was with ten. I agree about 9 as well. Very typical medieval plot with a twist that wasn't exactly the most engaging, but still enjoyable.

Fenika
09-19-2009, 07:56 PM
III/VI was awesome!

VII was interesting, but a bit strange at times. But the characters really came alive. I wanted more, more, more.

VIII I wasn't thrilled with. Never really played the others.

Imbroglio
09-19-2009, 08:01 PM
I think my least favorite parts of Final Fantasy 7 were Barret and Sephiroth.

icerose
09-19-2009, 08:33 PM
I think my least favorite parts of Final Fantasy 7 were Barret and Sephiroth.

I have to agree there. I have a friend who has a love affair going on with Sephiroth and I simply don't get it.

The weirdest part was when Cloud fell into the gaia or whatever they called it in that particular game.

Imbroglio
09-19-2009, 08:36 PM
I don't think I will ever understand Sephiroth fandom.

Yeah, that game confused me a bit, because when I played it the first time I was like seven.

DragonHeart
09-20-2009, 01:49 AM
Bah, this is a tough one lol. I've played all of the main games and several of the spin-offs. I'd say that X is put together the best as far as the storyline goes, at least as long as you pretend X-2 doesn't exist. :p Characterization is even tougher. Every game has standout characters and awful, useless, TSTL abominations. I'll have to think about that one for a bit.

And I reserve the right to change my answer once XIII comes out. :D

Zoombie
09-20-2009, 01:59 AM
Anachronox!

http://www.criticalmassinteractive.com/clients/ArchiveTitles/images/large/Anachronox.jpg

Dawnstorm
09-20-2009, 03:36 AM
Storyline: Most definitely VI. No main character; failing to prevent the apocalypse than pulling it together; lots of personal backstory hidden all over the place.

Characterisation: X. Perfect, both the development and relationships. They've got everything right, down to the bodylanguage. Everyone's got their unique sense of humour, even. (Some of the battle quotes are hilarious.) The story is solid, but not great. The characters carry the story, but they do that really well.

MGraybosch
09-20-2009, 05:58 AM
My wife likes IX best because she finds Vivi adorable.

My first Final Fantasy was IV, which had been released in the US as Final Fantasy II during the SNES' heydey. I played it over fifty times; sure, the story was relatively simple, but I was a young teenager and loved Cecil's journey. And the music was absolutely awesome. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pzoy26Wj8I0)

After Final Fantasy IV came Final Fantasy VI, and I adored that game as well. I'll admit that I identified at the time with Terra's struggle to find a place for herself in the world.

Final Fantasy VII intrigued me from the beginning; it was the first videogame I ever bothered to pre-order. I just knew that there was more to the story than I was being told, and when I first read about post-traumatic stress disorder I immediately thought of Cloud. And I shed manly tears when Aerith died.

I know a lot of people dislike the story of Final Fantasy VIII, and dislike Squall in particular. However, I was at a point in my life where as I played through the story, I was able look at Squall and say, "Oh, fuck. That's me." And as far as I'm concerned, the following is the most romantic line I've seen in a video game: "Even if you end up as the world's enemy. I'll... I'll be your knight."

My favorite FF game thus far, however, is Final Fantasy XII. Vaan and Penelo are annoying, but the real heroes of the game, Balthier, Fran, Basch, and Ashe carry the story. Vayne Solidor is an awesome villain; I knew he was a character to be watched as soon as he finished his inaugural speech as Consul of occupied Dalmasca.

Snitchcat
09-24-2009, 06:16 AM
My absolute favourite: FFVII. Has to be 7! *huggles FFVII*

Have played FF since it started and FFVII clicked. Probably not the best when it comes to storyline and characterisation, etc., but I wuvs it anyway! =^P

Imbroglio
09-24-2009, 01:50 PM
Blah.

xD

No, just kidding, you're entitled to your opinion.

I will just never understand it, hahaha.

Parametric
09-24-2009, 01:58 PM
Fell hard for VIII. It's one of only a few games that I still play regularly. It's not a perfect game, but there's a huge nostalgia value for me, and I love the characters.

Imbroglio
09-24-2009, 02:06 PM
I'm gonna have to agree. Although I do like X more, I thoroughly enjoyed VIII. I was a little upset though, since I could never beat Griever, or whatever his name was.

WmHopper
09-24-2009, 02:08 PM
Weird you shoud post this. I just got fed up of all the new first-person shooters, sports games, and movie clone games and decided to go get me something I really wanted to play. I got my all-time favorite: FFX.

I was psyched about getting the new Resident Evil, but when it came out (like so many good games-gone bad) they changed everything I liked (like the spookiness) and replaced it with complex controls, simple plot, and bad writing. I mention this because I am really looking forward to FFXIII, due out next year for PS3. I am hoping against hope that they do not do the same cap to FFXIII as they did to RE.

Parametric
09-24-2009, 02:11 PM
I'm gonna have to agree. Although I do like X more, I thoroughly enjoyed VIII. I was a little upset though, since I could never beat Griever, or whatever his name was.

What surprised me on my recent replay was how much more awesome I am at this game now. I trashed T-Rexaurs with a tiny level 5 character and no stat magic ... at all. Just soaking up the punishment and dealing out the GFs. I also managed to kill the giant metal spider in Dollet for the first time, although it took me about fifteen tries and I was about to give up.

The one thing I can never manage is to take out Ultima Weapon without liberal use of invincibility items. Ow ow ow the pain and hurting.

WmHopper
09-24-2009, 02:13 PM
The FF XIII trailer:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ephE0HMts0

Imbroglio
09-24-2009, 02:17 PM
Yeah, I don't know if I ever even got to Ultima Weapon. I should re-play the oldies since I was so young when I played most of them.

All I remember combat-wise was basically destroying everything with Zell.

I am sooo stoked for 13, though I was a little upset by the combat system. I like traditional turn-based battles, Not Gonna Lie.

Parametric
09-24-2009, 02:37 PM
Don't have time for Zell. My awesome weapon of destruction is Squall armed with Lionheart and a stack of Aura spells. Not a whole lot survives that. :D

Imbroglio
09-24-2009, 02:41 PM
Next time I play I'll definitely give that a try.

xD

Sophia
09-24-2009, 05:45 PM
My favorite FF game thus far, however, is Final Fantasy XII. Vaan and Penelo are annoying, but the real heroes of the game, Balthier, Fran, Basch, and Ashe carry the story. Vayne Solidor is an awesome villain; I knew he was a character to be watched as soon as he finished his inaugural speech as Consul of occupied Dalmasca.

I wasn't going to post in this thread as I've only played FF12, but had to agree with this. :) I love Fran's back story; the part where she tells her sister that she fears the Wood hates her always makes me choke up. Basch is a great, noble character, and Balthier is interesting for all sorts of reasons. :) Ashe I found hard to warm to, except in the cut-scenes from her past, but as her story is basically rather unhappy and serious the whole way through, her character is plausible. Vaan and Penelo are all right, but feel mostly like generic player avatars aimed at younger consumers. I've read the Wikipedia entry for the game where the developers' aims are given, and I think they've achieved what they intended to with the characters. For a console game, where as a generalisation, the character depth doesn't tend to be as good as in PC games, I think it's a great buy. I still play it for around an hour most mornings to wake up. :)

Snitchcat
09-24-2009, 06:25 PM
Wait... I'd forgotten about FFXIII coming out. Must get! (^_^) (Yes, I have the other FF games, too.)

12 I also played and loved it. But I keep going back to 7. What can I say? I like nostalgia. :D

Snitchcat
09-24-2009, 06:26 PM
Blah.

xD

No, just kidding, you're entitled to your opinion.

I will just never understand it, hahaha.


PPPPPpfffffffffttttt~~~~~~~~~!!!

Hehehe. (^_^)

Imbroglio
09-24-2009, 06:32 PM
Oh yeah, about 12, haha... I liked Penelo.

^.^

I know, I'm a total loser.

freeman801
09-24-2009, 09:00 PM
I enjoy 7 and 9 a lot.

But my favorite is FF6. The opera scene was so well written that I still hum the tune and the lyrics with it years after playing the game for the first time!

MGraybosch
09-24-2009, 09:27 PM
I enjoy 7 and 9 a lot.

But my favorite is FF6. The opera scene was so well written that I still hum the tune and the lyrics with it years after playing the game for the first time!

Get a copy of The Black Mages 3: Darkness and Starlight. The title track is a 15 minute rock opera adaptation of the opera scene.

Jcomp
09-24-2009, 11:00 PM
III/VI was awesome!


Amen, that's my favorite too. I was in love with VII when it first came out, and still think it's cool, but over time the flaws have pushed through the sheen of the initial "wow" factor to become more prominent.

X probably would be my new fave if it wasn't for the horrible voice acting for Tidus. It's the first thing I think about when that game comes to mind.

I'm an FF junkie, can't wait for the next installment.

Imbroglio
09-25-2009, 12:12 AM
I was okay with the voice acting for Tidus. It was more Yuna's voice acting that struck me as bad, but I learned to love the voice because I loved the characters.

I always used to think that I wanted them to do a remake with all new stuff, even voices, but I don't know if the game would feel the same way if the voices were changed, even if they sounded similar.

Dommo
09-25-2009, 12:14 AM
I concur with FF VI/III. The opera scene was awesome, and Kefka was one twisted mother fucker.

Lhun
09-26-2009, 01:34 AM
Definitly FFVIII and FFX and XII gets an honorable second place.
Though for me, in VIII the characters made the game interesting, while in X the worlbuilding was nothing short of phenomenal. I even liked X-2 because they continued to develop the world, and that's saying something. Ok, and made a pretty cool (and oh so hate-able) villain. Sephiroth? Puh-leeze. A walking oedipus complex with a sword that's longer than him. I'd like to know who came up with that. Or maybe not.

fairy86
09-27-2009, 08:57 AM
FFX is my favorite. I loved the story. Ironically, I played and completed X-2 about 6 months before I ever picked up X. I purchased FFXII the day it came out and was disappointed. I played it for an hour and then mailed it to my younger sister--I think it was just because I was so attached to the Tidus and Yuna love story. :)

greeeed
09-27-2009, 08:12 PM
1- FFVIII because it's my first FF & rpg game
2- FFVII rule
3- FFX
4- FFXI

Delhomeboy
09-27-2009, 10:12 PM
I love X and VII, both for stories and characters. I've probably done all that you can possibly do in VII, and tried to in 10, although that whole monster hunting thing is way beyond me.

VIII is okay, and I finished it, but I didn't love it enough to do all the sidequests, etc. Basically I got Squall's Lionheart overdrive and kicked that witch's ass and that was that.

XII, I just couldn't get into. Don't know why.

But, yeah VII and X pwn all, with X having the most badass character ever in a video game. (Auron, for those who don't know.)

And all you Sephiroth haters can go jump off a bridge. With love, of course. :D

Nick Blaze
09-28-2009, 08:54 AM
FFVI and FF:Tactics are the best FF games. Most of the PSX/PS2 ones are terrible, and FFX is no exception.

There were only two interesting points to FFX and the rest was cliché and poorly developed. Most of the characters were pointless, such as Rikku, Wakka, and Lulu, in terms of overall plot. The game was ridiculously easy on top of that. It was a fun game and had some emotional scenes, no lie, but it had little quality to it.

FFVI, however large a cast, had some very developed characters, good plotline, and had difficulty on top of it. FFV had the best class system. FF:T, overall, had a great story, great development, good classes, difficulty, and a lot of quality (as a literary work).

Of course, it goes without saying the Final Fantasies are not a very good series. XenoGears is far better plotline-wise than most every game, for instance. The early Dragon Quest series, the Breath of Fire series, and obviously the Suikoden series (especially II). Others, such as Lufia II, Terrangima, and some others were just beautifully unique.

Nick Blaze
09-28-2009, 08:56 AM
Get a copy of The Black Mages 3: Darkness and Starlight. The title track is a 15 minute rock opera adaptation of the opera scene.

Also, I would like to point out that The Black Mages play a mix of progressive metal and rock. Some songs, usually FFIV and before ones, are rock, while most, like The Skies Above, are metal. Darkness and Starlight, an amazing song, is a hefty mix of both genres. The male vocalist is terrible, however the mezzo-sopranist is amazing.

Imbroglio
09-28-2009, 06:41 PM
Whoa, no need to hate on Final Fantasy now.

D=

MGraybosch
09-28-2009, 07:53 PM
Of course, it goes without saying the Final Fantasies are not a very good series. XenoGears is far better plotline-wise than most every game, for instance. The early Dragon Quest series, the Breath of Fire series, and obviously the Suikoden series (especially II). Others, such as Lufia II, Terrangima, and some others were just beautifully unique.

What? No love for Shin Megami Tensei? What kind of gamer are you? :)

Imbroglio
09-28-2009, 08:21 PM
Well I personally love Final Fantasy X and thought it was plenty original. The characters are extremely loveable, and as for them having no role in the plot, that happens left and right in video games. They just need archetypes for battle purposes, and if the characters have an actual personality to go along with it, then super. Rikku played a role in FFX at plenty intervals. Lulu probably had the least impact but she was still one of my favorites.

As for the other games you mentioned, Xenogears was good, but as far as story-line is concerned, Xenosaga was much better. Maybe not for gameplay considering half of it was cutscenes. The early dragon quest games were hardly deep in the story department, and neither were the Breath of Fire games. They had some plot elements that were out of the ordinary, but the characterization was typically not very good and the only characters who played roles were the main one and the love interest, if there was one.

I've never played the Suikoden games, but I thought Terranigma was all right, and Lufia II was pretty good.

-deep breath-

cethklein
09-29-2009, 09:12 PM
FF6 is probably my favorite, followed closely by FF4 and then FF5. All three Super NES final Fantasy titles were great (don't shoot me, but I also kind of liked Mystic Quest). Squaresoft made some great stuff back then. What happened? Now all they care about is making their newest FF as big-budget as possible and whoring out the older titles in the series. i want another true Mana game. The last really good one was Seiken Densetsu 3. Square really needs to get back in the game.

mscelina
09-29-2009, 09:15 PM
Seven. Period. My husband, however, is addicted to the FF Tactics game, which he plays as nauseum on his game emulators.

Nick Blaze
09-30-2009, 06:41 AM
What? No love for Shin Megami Tensei? What kind of gamer are you? :)
I've played the first and the second, but, I just can't see what the hype is about. :(

MGraybosch
09-30-2009, 06:45 AM
I've played the first and the second, but, I just can't see what the hype is about. :(

You mean the SNES games? Try the more modern games. Check out Persona 4; you might be pleasantly surprised. :)

Nick Blaze
09-30-2009, 06:55 AM
I'll give it a shot, but I don't think I'll buy it unless I like it. I'll go rent it. :P

MGraybosch
09-30-2009, 06:59 AM
I'll give it a shot, but I don't think I'll buy it unless I like it. I'll go rent it. :P

By all means, rent it. I don't ever expect somebody to buy a game based on my recommendation.

The Lonely One
09-30-2009, 08:39 AM
Now, I'm not talking about your favorite game, I'm talking about the best when it comes to storyline and characterization.

For me, coincidentally, xDDD, it happens to be both my favorite and the one I believe is the best, Final Fantasy X.

Typically, you aren't going to get much characterization until FFVI. From there on out though, it's good.

What's your opinion?

Nice thread.

I beat X a while back and convinced my wife to play it with me AGAIN! I love the story, though it gets cheesy at moments, it's ultimately really sad and epic. I love the beginning, middle and end. I don't care what others thought who just wanted a happy ending. X-2 was an awful attempt to reconcile something that didn't need reconciling (I couldn't make it through 10 hours of that game).

The gameplay is one of the simplest and most enjoyable to me of the final fantasies.

I've only played since 7 so here are my assessments:

VII: Like X, great gameplay and story. Epic, though not my favorite, I understand why it got the attention it did. The timing of the release, and the overall greatness of the game. Characters, everything great about this one.

VIII: Enjoyed the story despite taking some really strange twists. I thought of it like fate bringing a family together despite being separated by external circumstances. Squall and Rinoa was an awfully sad angle, and I absolutely thought the game was worth it for some of the story/videos of them alone. The gameplay was shit. Pure unadulterated shit. You could spend hours doing nothing but sitting on that ugly grey screen equipping magic to your shit. I absolutely hated it. Too complex, too time-consuming, cut wildly into the actual playability of it.

The card game and tracking down the best cards/players was how I spent most my time on 8. That was pretty fun.

IX: Thought the story was OK, a lot lighter on the emotional side than the others, though the characters were fun. I liked vivi and the dragon lady (I forget some of their names). I also liked the cook that ate people. Strange stuff. The playability was like FF7-lite. Easy to figure out, and very fun. This was one of my favorites on playability alone.

X: Freaking all around great game. Love all the characters, and the storyline that weaves between them. They aren't just random friends, they're strung together by tragedy. Some of the storylines and dialog is really in depth to the point of making it feel more like a movie or book than a game. The gameplay is ultimately pretty simple, the sphere grid is fun and blitzball is like crack. Loved it last time loving it this time. (fuck Luca.)

X-2: Not worth an entry. Yuna joins JEM and then they have wacky adventures to find Tidus and then they fight fiends in real time while you try to navigate all their awful menus. Bah. I might play it with my wife if she wants to after X. But not likely. Thumbs down.

XII: Haven't played much of this but I got it as a Christmas gift. Don't know that I'll ever have the time to invest in it. Hopefully one day.

The Lonely One
09-30-2009, 08:45 AM
FFVI and FF:Tactics are the best FF games. Most of the PSX/PS2 ones are terrible, and FFX is no exception.

There were only two interesting points to FFX and the rest was cliché and poorly developed. Most of the characters were pointless, such as Rikku, Wakka, and Lulu, in terms of overall plot. The game was ridiculously easy on top of that. It was a fun game and had some emotional scenes, no lie, but it had little quality to it.

FFVI, however large a cast, had some very developed characters, good plotline, and had difficulty on top of it. FFV had the best class system. FF:T, overall, had a great story, great development, good classes, difficulty, and a lot of quality (as a literary work).

Of course, it goes without saying the Final Fantasies are not a very good series. XenoGears is far better plotline-wise than most every game, for instance. The early Dragon Quest series, the Breath of Fire series, and obviously the Suikoden series (especially II). Others, such as Lufia II, Terrangima, and some others were just beautifully unique.

While I disagree with what you say sir, I'll defend to the death your right to say it.

Dommo
10-03-2009, 01:53 AM
I still think the best japanese RPG is Chronotrigger for the SNES. Had an amazing soundtrack, and a ton of different endings. It was both revolutionary when it came out, and is still an amazing game almost 15 years later.

Nick Blaze
10-03-2009, 07:43 AM
Chrono Trigger is very good. Chrono Cross is also very good (but in a different way, and has an even better soundtrack). CT is one of the few games you can beat in only a few minutes. :P

Justin K
10-03-2009, 02:02 PM
7, then 6. 6 was the last great 2 dimensional rpg. 7 moved me.

Imbroglio
10-03-2009, 09:22 PM
@Justin;

How so?

@Nick;

Yeah, but that was really no fun.

darkprincealain
10-05-2009, 04:30 PM
What? No love for Shin Megami Tensei? What kind of gamer are you? :)

I've liked all of the Persona-subtitled games. (With, of course, an exception for the one that was never translated into English.)

Back to the original post, I'd have to say characterization-wise, Tactics, VI or VIII, get high marks for me. I couldn't find a PC that got on my nerves, which I can't say for any of the others.

Regarding storyline, I'm not sure... Tactics, VII, or XII?

Ah, what the heck. Just call me an Ivalice fanboy. ;)

Jcomp
10-05-2009, 09:54 PM
I really, really didn't care for VIII, the characters bugged me, though I did like the ending (I'm a sap, what can I say). Basically ever since VII I've found them all a bit lacking in the villain department. In my favorites of the series, IV, VI and VII, the main villain is known largely from fairly early on and just becomes a more pronounced threat as the game goes on. It seems more recently that the games have ventured for more ambiguity regarding the villains.

Feh. Just give me a good bad guy so I may smite him with Meteo or Ultima or something...

Nick Blaze
10-08-2009, 09:18 AM
You would have loved Luca Blight, then, from Suikoden II. Villains do not get more evil than him.

Imbroglio
10-08-2009, 06:09 PM
I'm attempting to make a villain, for my book, that is just evil to the core, but I'm not doing a very good job of it.

Blah.

OddButInteresting
10-08-2009, 11:35 PM
I really, really didn't care for VIII, the characters bugged me, though I did like the ending (I'm a sap, what can I say).

No, you're not; the ending truly is fantastic. As far as I'm concerned, FFVIII is the love story to end love stories.

But as for the best story, FFX wins hands-down. Its thesis on the function of faith and the double-edged swords that are both science and organised religion is something that I think we could all learn from.

And as much as people loathe FFX-2, I believe that it also communicates several ideas that our fractured international society could do with taking to heart.

In terms of fun, though, FFVII and FFIX take the crown, with the former just coming out on top.

FFXII is pleasing to the eyes and the ears, but it's too darn long!

The Lonely One
10-09-2009, 01:14 AM
In terms of fun, though, FFVII and FFIX take the crown, with the former just coming out on top.


I agree. A lot of what had to do with 7 being more fun to me was the types of sidequests, the superior story, characters, the world building, villains.

9 was mostly fun because of playability. Zidane wasn't the most memorable character and I didn't really care about his love interest in Garnett. A lot of the other characters were throwaway, at least emotionally. I did like the characters because they were fun, but little more.

Also, the ending of 9 sucked. I was like "I waited 4 discs for this?"

MGraybosch
10-09-2009, 05:42 AM
I'm attempting to make a villain, for my book, that is just evil to the core, but I'm not doing a very good job of it.

How are you going about it?

OddButInteresting
10-09-2009, 10:19 PM
A lot of what had to do with 7 being more fun to me was the types of sidequests, the superior story, characters, the world building, villains.

I would argue that its simplicity is the agent of its charm, as well as the sidequests, like you said. This is where FFX took a nosedive in the gameplay department (despite having the most refined battle system of the entire series to date).

IX and VIII had their moments, but nothing in those instalments was as joyous to play as the submarine, snowboarding and motorbiking minigames of VII.

In regard to the graphics, FFIX took that simplistic style and added a sense of depth to it. Having said that, I prefer the glossier, gradient-based textures of VII's models. They still look so darn pretty!

X's colour palette is the champion, though, in my view.


Also, the ending of 9 sucked. I was like "I waited 4 discs for this?"

Yeah, it was a bit strange, wasn't it?

I really enjoyed the Terra scenario. It just goes to show that swapping genres (Fantasy to Science Fiction) toward the end of a story can work well if executed by skillful hands and minds. I encourage writers to take such risks, in fact.

I strongly urge you to check out the plot analysis of IX on Gamefaqs. I must say that after having read that, I was able to forgive the partially unexplained appearance of Necron.


I'm attempting to make a villain, for my book, that is just evil to the core, but I'm not doing a very good job of it.

He'd have to be absolutely insane. I mean completely and utterly insane.

This also means that he'd be a terrible swordsman or magician. He'd be easy to foil as he would be too stupid to comprehend the possibility of it. Therefore he will need to rely solely on his feelings and instincts.

My point is that any act of true evil can be justified, from a certain point of view. Evil in its purest form would have no concept of good.

cethklein
10-11-2009, 03:51 AM
I think my least favorite parts of Final Fantasy 7 were Barret and Sephiroth.

Agreed. I liked FF7 but Sephiroth has to be the worst villain in gaming history.

MGraybosch
10-11-2009, 04:14 AM
Agreed. I liked FF7 but Sephiroth has to be the worst villain in gaming history.

I think Exdeath from Final Fantasy V was worse, but the story in that game never impressed me much.

Nick Blaze
10-11-2009, 09:37 AM
I think Exdeath from Final Fantasy V was worse, but the story in that game never impressed me much.
Kuja is pretty terrible character design-wise. But I agree. FFV was amazing because of its class system (best in the FF series, including FF:T) and its gameplay. Not its humorous (not just because of Gilgamesh, either) plotline. Also, Boco.

OddButInteresting
10-11-2009, 04:23 PM
I think Exdeath from Final Fantasy V was worse, but the story in that game never impressed me much.

You're better off skipping games I-V and going straight to IX. I gave up on IV when I got stumped at the Antlion battle in the caves, and V when... the graphics had insulted my eyes for the last time. The water effects were fantastic, but that high contrast colour scheme it had going was a little obnoxious, to put it nicely.

I would argue that X-2's 'Dressphere' system is perhaps the best implementation I've seen of a class system in a Final Fantasy title. That said, once you've bagged three Berserker Dressphere's the game's a doddle with increased strength and auto-counter.

MGraybosch
10-11-2009, 06:58 PM
You're better off skipping games I-V and going straight to IX.

Bullshit. Every FF game has something to offer, even Final Fantasy II with its approach to character development that came to characterize Square's SaGa games. :)


I gave up on IV when I got stumped at the Antlion battle in the caves

You got stumped by the Antlion battle in FFIV?! All you had to do was keep your dudes alive, avoid using physical attacks, and have Rydia spam her Chocobo summon.

Final Fantasy games aren't that hard. If you're getting your ass kicked, that's a sign that you need to work on your tactics. :)


I would argue that X-2's 'Dressphere' system is perhaps the best implementation I've seen of a class system in a Final Fantasy title. That said, once you've bagged three Berserker Dressphere's the game's a doddle with increased strength and auto-counter.

Aside from the fact that you only need to get one of a given dress sphere for all three girls to be able to use it, I'm tempted to agree with you about it being the best implementation of a class system. It certainly offers the best fanservice if you're a fan of magical girl anime.

OddButInteresting
10-11-2009, 07:46 PM
Final Fantasy games aren't that hard. If you're getting your ass kicked, that's a sign that you need to work on your tactics. :).

I would agree that instalments VII-onwards are fairly straightforward (although those Mandragoras in XII's Sochen Cave Palace were a tactical nightmare), but those NES-era Final Fantasys are just plain cruel.

That said, I used to find VII rather difficult. Chiefly because I would skip all the random battles in favour of progressing with the story. I've said for a while now that a Story Mode should be an essential feature of any story-driven videogame, where every hit deals 9999, status effects are void and any skill or armour systems are merely redundant options on the menu screen. Then, once you've got all the mileage you can out of the story, you can start again on Normal Mode and play the game as it was intended.

During the last couple of years of FF replays I've found that it's best to relish every engagement that's thrown at you. As a result the experience curve feels a lot smoother. Not like Dragon Feckin' Quest VIII, where even a slime is as proficient in the arcane as a blummin' warlock!

Needless to say, I didn't get very far with DQVIII. I should probably give FFs IV, V and VI (I got as far as Atma Weapon on my first playthrough) another chance if they're as well balanced as the later games.


It certainly offers the best fanservice if you're a fan of magical girl anime.

On the contrary, I can't bloody stand it! The only animes that I've recalled actually enjoying are The Animatrix and that little segment in Kill Bill Vol.I. It's all a little too left-field for my taste, but I am keen to watch Akira.

Back to FFX-2, though; I admire its class system for the same reason that I admire X's mid-battle party changing system. Simple, swift, smooth and reliable. If I recall, in V you could only change jobs in the field.

MGraybosch
10-11-2009, 09:22 PM
I would agree that instalments VII-onwards are fairly straightforward (although those Mandragoras in XII's Sochen Cave Palace were a tactical nightmare), but those NES-era Final Fantasys are just plain cruel.

If you think the NES Final Fantasy games are cruel, then you haven't played any of the Wizardry games on a PC. I tell you what: if you have a DS, go and rent The Dark Spire. Play that for an hour, and then tell me if you think that NES Final Fantasy games or Dragon Quest VIII are cruel. :)

As for a "story mode" in a RPG that makes every battle a cakewalk: I would never use it.

OddButInteresting
10-11-2009, 09:43 PM
Given that you find DQVIII's difficult level acceptable (you're insane. I'm sorry, but you are :)), I may just give The Dark Spire a miss.

Forcing the player to either start again or grind is damn cruel. I was playing Resident Evil: Code Veronica X recently, and after I'd been playing it for an hour or two I ended up using an item on a door that I should've been saving for a slot elsewhere. I had no idea that there were two of these items, the second of which can only be obtained after having used the first in the proper place.

As you have probably already assumed was the case, I had to start again. Later I found out that there's apparently another way to do it, but at that point I'd almost completed the game anyway.

FFXII's major flaws, in regard to the gameplay, were the unbalanced levelling-up system (my Vaan, Ashe and Basch are all at levels 70+, whereas Balthier, Fran and Penelo are all at around 15) and that bleedin' penultimate dungeon, The Pharos Tower at The Ridorana Cataract. Talk about contrivedly protracting the playtime! I was relieved to complete the First Ascent after three hours, then riled to discover that there were two to go.

Excellent battle with Gabranth, though. That split-screen with him and Basch was truly inspired direction.

And, for Glorium:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P9769vztXW4

You wanted a good example of a truly evil villain? ;-)

MGraybosch
10-11-2009, 11:22 PM
Given that you find DQVIII's difficult level acceptable (you're insane. I'm sorry, but you are :)), I may just give The Dark Spire a miss.

Acceptable? I found it enjoyable. If I have to screw up on purpose in order to see the game over screen, then the developers are slacking off, and by that standard the Dragon Quest VIII crew was definitely spending more time watching staring at Jessica's cleavage than they should have.

MGraybosch
10-11-2009, 11:24 PM
FFXII's major flaws, in regard to the gameplay, were the unbalanced levelling-up system (my Vaan, Ashe and Basch are all at levels 70+, whereas Balthier, Fran and Penelo are all at around 15)

If you don't use characters, they don't level up. You should have swapped 'em out from time to time, so that your reserve squad was at adequate strength in case your main trio got wiped out.

How long have you been playing videogames, anyway?

OddButInteresting
10-12-2009, 02:10 AM
Acceptable? I found it enjoyable. If I have to screw up on purpose in order to see the game over screen, then the developers are slacking off, and by that standard the Dragon Quest VIII crew was definitely spending more time watching staring at Jessica's cleavage than they should have.

I didn't even get far enough to meet Jessica. I literally played up to that cave behind the waterfall and couldn't be doing with the overpowered enemies coupled with the sparsity of healing items.

Looks like I'll just have to grin, grind and bear it if I'm gonna snap a butchers' of some good ol' polygonal mamaries, eh? :D


If you don't use characters, they don't level up. You should have swapped 'em out from time to time, so that your reserve squad was at adequate strength in case your main trio got wiped out.

I meant that in IX (at least up to the end of Disc 3) and X you were actively encouraged to swap out your characters when the situation called for their specific talents.

In VII and VIII it didn't matter if you levelled your team up evenly, as in the former the whole gang gained experience regardless of their involvement (with the main party bagging the majority of it, but still) and in the latter the Junction System rendered the traditional curve obsolete. All you needed to do was exchange your Junction settings with another character and they'd be good to go. When it came to Ultimecia though I just let the weaker members buy it and get absorbed into time.

XII just takes the piss, pure and simple. I can understand training your party evenly, but if I recall most of the battles required an intense and focused offensive. In the end I only brought out my weaker characters so I could bombard the target with their Quickenings. Added to this, every character is almost exactly the same in terms of performance; they can all use the same weapons, magic and technics providing they own the licences.

The incentive to go all Tamagotchi on your entire team just wasn't there this time. If anything the system was tailored to the tastes of grinders.

But by God is that game a beauty to behold! I first watched that opening sequence at about 3am, after having come home from a local club. Although we were both knackered, me and my housemate (who'd bought the game just before we went out) figured it wouldn't hurt to take a little bite out of it before bed.

When that aircraft took off from Rabanastre, then the panorama faded into the Nabradian battleground just before it got blown away by an Arcadian fighter...


How long have you been playing videogames, anyway?

Too long and too often, is the answer. I first got a Sega Master System II when I was about five or six.

These past few days I've sought solace between the oversized bosoms of Lara Croft. In particular, I've been replaying a few levels from her second and third outings.

The Last Revelation is probably the best of the bunch, but Tomb Raider III is definitely my personal favourite.

As story goes though, the Crystal Dynamics titles have really pushed the envelope.

MGraybosch
10-12-2009, 04:35 AM
XII just takes the piss, pure and simple. I can understand training your party evenly, but if I recall most of the battles required an intense and focused offensive.

You're doing it wrong. :)

Sure, the intense and focused offensive helps, but the real reason to give you six characters but only allow three to be active at a time is so that you have reserves. If your main trio gets knocked out, you swap in your reserves and retreat. You can't really do that if you haven't leveled up your reserves.

Or, depending on how you program your characters' gambits, you can have a party for tearing through areas and clearing dungeons and a party that you can use to hunt monsters for loot.

OddButInteresting
10-12-2009, 03:07 PM
You're doing it wrong. :)

Hey, I still completed it! I shan't be doing so again, though. The dungeons are too bloody long and stylistically repetitive.


Sure, the intense and focused offensive helps, but the real reason to give you six characters but only allow three to be active at a time is so that you have reserves. If your main trio gets knocked out, you swap in your reserves and retreat. You can't really do that if you haven't leveled up your reserves.

I wait for a break in the boss' attack pattern, pull out my weaker characters and punch up one of their Quickenings, hoping that the enemy won't paste one or two of them before the command executes.

It usually works well enough. My characters can now take-down Vayne's first two forms (Pete Burns and He-Man, respectively :)) with ease, but The Undying's melee attack still gives them a bit of jip.


Or, depending on how you program your characters' gambits, you can have a party for tearing through areas and clearing dungeons and a party that you can use to hunt monsters for loot.

Now the Gambit system really is a treat. That was one thing that many of the fans hated that I personally couldn't get enough of. If anything FFXII's emphasis on realtime action was a welcome improvement on the classic model.

Good idea about having two separate parties for separate functions. Having said that, though, my housemate took the experience route that you've suggested, whereas I focused on grinding my three principle characters. He got to a point where he was so under-levelled (however evenly) and overwhelmed that he just gave up.

The great thing about the earlier instalments was that all of the stupendously challenging bosses were delegated to optional sidequests. I don't know whether or not you've heard of that crazy Spanish feller who defeated all of the Dark Aeons without activating any nodes on the Sphere Grid. You should never be forced to tackle such a challenge during the course of the main story.

Lhun
10-14-2009, 03:29 AM
IX and VIII had their moments, but nothing in those instalments was as joyous to play as the submarine, snowboarding and motorbiking minigames of VII.Funny that. I thought the storyline of FF7 was ok, a bit above average, and the magic system was one of the best i've ever seen in an RPG. (Though Elder Scrolls thrones waaay up above the rest)
But i hated those minigames. With a passion. And the ones in FFX. After finishing the chocobo races in FFX i usually go straight to playing some FFXII just so i can go on a rampage and kill every chocobo on sight.

X's colour palette is the champion, though, in my view.It is incredibly impressive what FFX manages to do with the PS2 hardware. If you check out some earlier PS2 games and compare them to FFX, it boggles the mind what PS3 games that come out in 2-3 years might look like, assuming the gradient will be the same.

I really enjoyed the Terra scenario. It just goes to show that swapping genres (Fantasy to Science Fiction) toward the end of a story can work well if executed by skillful hands and minds. I encourage writers to take such risks, in fact.Chrono Cross also does a good job at this. Squenix really now hot write good stories for RPGs.

He'd have to be absolutely insane. I mean completely and utterly insane.

This also means that he'd be a terrible swordsman or magician. He'd be easy to foil as he would be too stupid to comprehend the possibility of it. Therefore he will need to rely solely on his feelings and instincts.

My point is that any act of true evil can be justified, from a certain point of view. Evil in its purest form would have no concept of good.That is a philosophically interesting question because it really depends on what "evil" actually means. There couldn't be a greater difference between creating a badguy that's just a bully on a cosmic scale, or an Unfettered (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/TheUnfettered). But which one is more evil is hard to say, depending on the concept of evil you might even call one of them not evil at all. (i.e. if you take a strong action or intention based position on the definition of evil)

OddButInteresting
10-15-2009, 03:21 PM
But i hated those minigames. With a passion. And the ones in FFX.


They were a bit stiff, but they provided a nice break from the field and battle gameplay.

As for X: I only recall the Chocobo and Blitzball minigames, and I hesitate to refer to the latter as a "Mini-Game", given its stat-based format. It wasn't so bad, but would've undoubtedly been much more fun as an action-driven challenge.

The music and the atmosphere are top-notch, though. I remember playing it during the summer of '02, with the windows open and the June breeze blowing through. Four-dimensional gaming long before its time!



If you check out some earlier PS2 games and compare them to FFX, it boggles the mind what PS3 games that come out in 2-3 years might look like, assuming the gradient will be the same.


Well we have got FFXIII coming next Summer; I can't believe it's almost upon us. I remember seeing the first trailer and screenshots and worrying that it would never come out due to the lack of status updates.

Hopefully it won't get carried away with an emphasis on scale like XII.



Chrono Cross also does a good job at this.


Neither Cross nor Trigger were released in the UK, but I've heard very good things.



That is a philosophically interesting question because it really depends on what "evil" actually means. There couldn't be a greater difference between creating a badguy that's just a bully on a cosmic scale, or an Unfettered (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/TheUnfettered). But which one is more evil is hard to say, depending on the concept of evil you might even call one of them not evil at all. (i.e. if you take a strong action or intention based position on the definition of evil)

I personally define an act of "Evil" as:


Any action committed with the intention of deriving pleasure and/or personal satisfaction from the pain and/or suffering of others.

That essentially rules-out the The Crusades, Guantanamo Bay, The Purges and even The Holocaust. And yes, even 9/11. That is not to suggest that the aforementioned events were not horrific and utterly deplorable.

The incident at Abu Graib, though, was certainly an act of evil. I finished reading David Pelzer's 'A Child Called It' last night, and what his Mother did to him was definitely evil, according to my definition.

Why torture suspected terrorists? Why attempt to exterminate an entire race? Why fly two commercial airliners into the financial heart of the United States? The difference between the above and "an act of evil" is that reasons have been provided by the perpetrators, however illogical and disagreeable.

Do you pull the wings off of a butterfly for the pleasure of seeing it squirm with agony? Or do you pull its wings off because you fear that if it takes flight it will become to prey to eagles?

The Lonely One
10-16-2009, 05:37 PM
I just wanted to stop to point out...I love the blitzball feature on FFX. Love it.

Just me?

MGraybosch
10-16-2009, 05:41 PM
I just wanted to stop to point out...I love the blitzball feature on FFX. Love it.

Just me?

Count me out. :)

OddButInteresting
10-16-2009, 06:00 PM
I just wanted to stop to point out...I love the blitzball feature on FFX. Love it.

Just me?

Hey, I never said I didn't like it! It could've done with being a little more dynamic, that's all.

Take the opening FMV, where the players are charging and diving all over the place. Heck, Tidus even jumps out of the arena at one point (although I wonder where he was intending to kick the ball, given that the goal posts are in the bubble).

That said, it's a fine system for an RPG, but without the Jecht Shot you don't really stand a chance.

Imbroglio
10-16-2009, 06:35 PM
Blitzball was really fun even though the mechanics were kind of crappy.

They should have just made a spin-off or something with improved everything. I think I honestly would have bought it.

Who knows though.

xD

Lhun
10-18-2009, 08:11 AM
Neither Cross nor Trigger were released in the UK, but I've heard very good things.Don't let that stop you. An emulator won't care what region coding the cd has. Though i never understodd why some game companies insist on not releasing games for the european market. I mean, not translating them from japanese or russian or something like that, i can understand, that costs money. But if there's already an english version available?

I personally define an act of "Evil" as:
That essentially rules-out the The Crusades, Guantanamo Bay, The Purges and even The Holocaust. And yes, even 9/11. That is not to suggest that the aforementioned events were not horrific and utterly deplorable.That's an extremely intention based view of evil, since you define evil as dependent on certain motives. Like extremely action based concepts on the other hand, it obviously has some problems, as can be easily shown with some thought experiments. That is not to say that the truth has to be somewhere in the middle, that's a stupidly PC notion we far too often take for granted. When two sides argue, sometimes (pretty often actually) one side is plain wrong.
Anyway, for ethics, it's pretty hard, there is basically no simple model of morality that will not have some examples where it's strict application will lead to intuitively wrong results. The only thing we can say for sure is that some kind of utilitarian has to be that basis for any ethical system.
Anyway, to get back on topic, saying that only intentions matter is problematic in cases where an actor is something like the above mentioned unfettered. The problem becomes quite easy to see when you compare someone doing a little harm out of evil motives to someone doing a lot of harm out of good intentions.

Why torture suspected terrorists? Why attempt to exterminate an entire race? Why fly two commercial airliners into the financial heart of the United States? The difference between the above and "an act of evil" is that reasons have been provided by the perpetrators, however illogical and disagreeable.Yes, according to your definition it is. It would probably be most compatible with some kind of virtue-ethics, like the most famous example, the categorical imperative as invented by Kant. Personally, i tend to favour a more rule-utilitarian based approach. It is more difficult in application, but is not in danger of being circular.

Do you pull the wings off of a butterfly for the pleasure of seeing it squirm with agony? Or do you pull its wings off because you fear that if it takes flight it will become to prey to eagles?Personally, i'd say that any sensible concept of ethics would have to consider both evil.

OddButInteresting
10-18-2009, 02:58 PM
Let's call a spade a spade here; to call someone "evil" is a pretty harsh. It's like how everyone seems to equate the word "Paedophile" with "Child Molestor". Dictionary.com defines a "Paedophile" as:


an adult who is sexually attracted to children.

Yet the papers, and the people, constantly refer to Paedophiles as "Monsters" and "Evil", even those who are innocent and in-the-closet. If the stigma were removed then the chances are that the innocents would feel more comfortable seeking help for their condition. In this day and age, I doubt any Paedo would have the balls (and understandably so) to walk into a psychiatric clinic and request such aid for fear of word getting out.

Evil is the absolute antithesis of Good, therefore it's fundamentally the most extreme form of "wrongness" there is. If you know what you are doing is wrong, and you commit such an act without remorse and objective justification, then you are most certainly "evil".

This is indeed according to my definition, but from where I'm standing it seems like the fairest definition there is. Yes, people should be punished for their mistakes depending on the devastation they cause, but the term "evil" (very much like "art") has been reduced to a mere label, and in many cases one without a logical basis.

The Lonely One
10-19-2009, 09:58 PM
Hey, I never said I didn't like it! It could've done with being a little more dynamic, that's all.

Take the opening FMV, where the players are charging and diving all over the place. Heck, Tidus even jumps out of the arena at one point (although I wonder where he was intending to kick the ball, given that the goal posts are in the bubble).

That said, it's a fine system for an RPG, but without the Jecht Shot you don't really stand a chance.

Yeah, it could have been better, and I agree with the other user they could have made it better as a separate game, but I also hated blitzball until I learned to move the characters on my own rather than automatically. That made a big difference in playability to me. A lot of it was a stats-matchup and abilities matchup, but swimming around and passing back and forth until tidus or the other forward gets in for the kill is a lot of fun.

Plus I hate those goers.

OddButInteresting
10-20-2009, 07:32 PM
Plus I hate those goers.

The first time I played the game I was hopeless, especially so because I'd bollocksed-up the minigame on the ship that awards you the Jecht Shot.

Ever since I've thrased 'em every time. Having said that, I'm shite at the tournaments. The Al Bhed Psyches and the Ronso Fangs are real hard work to best.

Imbroglio
10-21-2009, 02:48 PM
I messed it up the first time too.

But I was young! I DIDN'T KNOW ANY BETTER!

DragonHeart
10-22-2009, 08:28 PM
You're better off skipping games I-V and going straight to IX.

I'd just like to point out that since IX is a homage to the early games, skipping them in order to play it would be kind of silly. Yes I know, the games aren't direct sequels, but there's a lot of little details and things you'd miss if you hadn't played the earlier games.

Anyways, Blitzball was a lot of fun. Half of the time on my main FFX file comes solely from playing that. The difficulty of the Goers match made for a crazy steep learning curve if you didn't know about the Jecht Shot. Plus the Aurochs do mostly suck. =/ I booted almost all of them off my team asap, kept Wakka even though I didn't really like him lol. I wish they'd had an option to change up the music though, I can only play a couple of matches at a time before the music irritates me too much.

I like the card games too, wasted many many hours on Triple Triad. Tetra Master not so much but the last time I played IX it finally 'clicked' and I actually got pretty good at it. I'm replaying IX again right now and I think I've gotten even better at it. Now I just wish my cards didn't suck. =( I don't like how random the little arrows are, you either have to have stupid good luck or play a gazillion matches just to get a decent card, then 'level' it before it's actually useful. Bleh. But I'd rather do it now than later so I don't get stuck on the tournament in Treno.

*NeW*WrItEr*
10-24-2009, 11:39 PM
I love final fantasy :) I liked the Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicals game for the Gamecube and I LOVE the Final Fantasy: Tactics Advance for the Gameboy Advance. Ahh....good games....

Imbroglio
10-25-2009, 06:00 AM
OMG!

I just watched the FFXIII 7 min trailer with english dubs, and I like them a lot!

I'm excited! My least favorite voices are probably Snow or Lightning, but I can deal if they have good character development.

Rhys Cordelle
10-25-2009, 03:43 PM
I still feel gutted about final fantasy 8. It is my favourite final fantasy in terms of gameplay and characters, but it really fell down in the storyline. In my opinion the biggest mistakes they made were (don't read this if you don't want the plot spoiled):






-The way they revealed that most of the main characters were orphans who had been raised in the same orphanage, and that they had most conveniently forgotten this fact because of the guardian forces which grant them power in battle. It felt contrived and unnecessary, and it probably would have made for a better plot if these characters were concious of their history together from the start of the game.
- The way they switched from Edea to Ultimecia being the villain. Edea looked amazing, she was in the fmv's, she was a part of the story and you were getting to know her, and then all of a sudden you discover that it's not actually her, it's some faceless sorceress from the future. You don't get to meet the real villain until the final moments of the game, which to me is always a thumbs down.
- There was potential there for one of the main characters to have actually been a young Ultimecia. Rumors were all over the net that Rinoa is Ultimecia but squareenix denied it and there are flaws to the theory anyway, but if they had designed the game this way it would have made Ultimecia a much more relatable character and there would actually be decent reasons for why all these things were happening.

So as much as I'd like to say Final Fantasy 8 is my favorite, I think I will have to side with the FFX fans.

Lhun
10-25-2009, 03:54 PM
Yet the papers, and the people, constantly refer to Paedophiles as "Monsters" and "Evil", even those who are innocent and in-the-closet. If the stigma were removed then the chances are that the innocents would feel more comfortable seeking help for their condition. In this day and age, I doubt any Paedo would have the balls (and understandably so) to walk into a psychiatric clinic and request such aid for fear of word getting out.Well, it's all for the children of course. Moral panics, such as the current one about paedophiles are never about the current hate-group.

Evil is the absolute antithesis of Good, therefore it's fundamentally the most extreme form of "wrongness" there is. If you know what you are doing is wrong, and you commit such an act without remorse and objective justification, then you are most certainly "evil".Well, you are including a quantitative element in your definition of evil. As such it can be consistent, but it's not the only, most likely not even most common use of the term.

Delhomeboy
10-25-2009, 07:16 PM
I still feel gutted about final fantasy 8. It is my favourite final fantasy in terms of gameplay and characters, but it really fell down in the storyline. In my opinion the biggest mistakes they made were (don't read this if you don't want the plot spoiled):






-The way they revealed that most of the main characters were orphans who had been raised in the same orphanage, and that they had most conveniently forgotten this fact because of the guardian forces which grant them power in battle. It felt contrived and unnecessary, and it probably would have made for a better plot if these characters were concious of their history together from the start of the game.
- The way they switched from Edea to Ultimecia being the villain. Edea looked amazing, she was in the fmv's, she was a part of the story and you were getting to know her, and then all of a sudden you discover that it's not actually her, it's some faceless sorceress from the future. You don't get to meet the real villain until the final moments of the game, which to me is always a thumbs down.
- There was potential there for one of the main characters to have actually been a young Ultimecia. Rumors were all over the net that Rinoa is Ultimecia but squareenix denied it and there are flaws to the theory anyway, but if they had designed the game this way it would have made Ultimecia a much more relatable character and there would actually be decent reasons for why all these things were happening.

So as much as I'd like to say Final Fantasy 8 is my favorite, I think I will have to side with the FFX fans.

I completely agree, and would add that 8's story, period, is confusing. Like all the stuff with Ward, Kiros, and laguna...I had no idea why that was happening, and I'm still not COMPLETELY sure why...and I didn't get the fact that Laguna was Squall's father till I read it somewhere.

It's a shame, too, because you're right, the gameplay is awesome, and the limit breaks are amazing (Lionheart FTW). But it almost seems that Square was so trying to "up the ante" after the groundbreaking ff7 that they bit off more than they could chew.