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Guest FrenchTaunter

Gaming Final Fantasy Monotonous?

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Guest FrenchTaunter
is it just me or does the final fantasy series seem to repeat itself? its practially the same in every game:
1-boy meets girl
2-boy and girl meet bad guy
3-bad guy kidnaps girl
4-boy travels the world meeting people
5-boy and friends save world and girl

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[color=#707875]I agree and disagree with you.

On the one hand, I think that Final Fantasy can be [i]incredibly[/i] stale. With Final Fantasy IX and X in particular, I just felt like it was a case of "been there, done that".

For me, this is a problem not because of the story itself -- but because some other aspects of the game might be really great. For example, I adore the Sphere Grid system in FFX. And I love the way that you can pull characters in and out of battle. It's wonderful -- but I felt like I was sitting through the most boring story on Earth, just so that I can get to another awesome boss fight. You know?

FFIX is similar. In IX, I enjoyed the characters a lot more. I felt that they had more character and depth in IX, compared to X. It just felt more "fun". And I preferred the artistic design.

However, the story was incredibly bland. Bland and boring. It started out relatively well, but became horribly predictable.

And for me, this hurt the game. I liked the battle system enough and I enjoyed the characters themselves. But the story hurt it.

Final Fantasy VIII is another story. I liked the story okay...even though some aspects were cliche. But I hated the battle system. It was clumsy, awkward and awful. For me, that hurts the game a great deal -- moreso than a lack of good story.

This is why I look at FFVII as being probably my favourite in the modern series. It had story, it had pretty strong characterizations, it had good translation (PAL/AU anyway) and it had a relatively strong battle system.

All of those elements combined made it more memorable for me. I mean, I preferred the FFX battle system by far...but FFVII has an atmosphere that I really adore.

So, yes, on one level you are right. But on another, I think we have to ask ourselves how important story really is.

For example, the story in most of the Zelda games is pretty average. It's mostly very predictable and the dialogue is mostly pretty boring and cliche.

But why is Zelda such a great franchise? Because it's [i]fun[/i] to play. Play is the operative word -- gameplay takes a front seat, story takes a back seat.

If I had to choose between the two, I'd always take gameplay. Afterall, I'm not watching a movie, I'm playing a video game. If the game is at least fun to play, then I think you're more inclined to forget or dismiss a boring or pointless story.

In terms of story alone, there are a lot of subtleties. Even games with better stories may still have a traditional "good versus evil" approach, or even a traditional "boy meets girl" approach.

However, some developers (and specifically, some directors) will approach this situation better than others.

In Final Fantasy VIII for instance, one thing annoyed me above else; Squall. I didn't want to play as him. I didn't want him in the story. Why? Because he is the most angsty teen I've ever come across in a game. lol

And to me, that just felt annoying and stupid. Here they are, trying to save the world -- trying to deal with a very serious situation. And what does Squall do? He sulks and gets upset.

I found that incredibly annoying. How could Rinoa fall in love with Squall?

Look at Rinoa's personality. She's fun loving, intelligent and she takes responsibility. And here she is, dealing with this bratty little teenager. To me, it seemed annoying and ridiculous that she'd fall in love with him. But because of the "laws of traditional RPG plots", she sort of [i]had[/i] to fall in love. Squall was undeserving, to say the very least.

At least FFX was refreshing in this regard. Tidus wasn't a moody brat. Instead, he was more of a ditz who had a somewhat ignorant view of the world. And he was immature, but not in an angsty teen way -- in a more optimistic, fresh way. If that makes sense.

So, the fact that we started our journey like that...and developed into someone who was more knowledgable -- but just as comedic and fun loving -- was refreshing. It was really the only aspect of FFX's story that I actually found worthwhile.

So yeah. That's my two cents I guess.[/color]

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Guest FrenchTaunter
i agree. the battle system in FFX was the best. and the S.G.S in FFX was great, too. also, the gameplay, to me at least, should ALWAYS come first in a game. i can deal with the dull story line and crap characters.....but to a certain extent. FFXII was the greatest achievement in the Final Fantasy world in my eyes. the characters were interesting and the story was marvelous.

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Like I've said before, most FF games follow the same basic plot scructure.

1.) You against some sort of evil, governmental figure. (Queen, Shinra, Empire, etc)
2.) You try to stop them, but you're ultimately not successful because...
3.) This is overthrown in some manner by an even more evil sorceror (Kuja, Sephiroth/Jenova, Kefka)
4.) Stop that sorceror.

This has been used in the last several games to some degree. Now obviously some are more effective with it than others and there's more to it than that. That's just a simple breakdown.

RPGs don't NEED to have the plotline you or I listed. It's just what people are used to and I think in a sense companies were stuck with the idea of "How do we get out of this rut without changing the series too dramatically?" There are many RPGs that don't do this, some even from Square itself. I don't think this is an easy change to make when you're that far into a series.

For the love stories, it just depends. I'm tiring of them mostly because I'm sick of all the melodrama in RPGs lately. I don't mind some, but it's getting too thick when coupled with everything else. It's why games like Disgaea and Skies of Arcadia are such a breath of fresh air, really.

Some of the FF games pull it off better than others. Squall lightens up some before Rinoa really shows any signs of interest, but it doesn't change what a complete wuss he is. There really wasn't anything to speak of in FF7 unless you fill in the blanks and make assumptions. I think the only FF game to pull any sort of "love" story off well was FF6, because it seemed logical. Locke and Celes were in very similar situations and both were rather vulnerable at the time. I put love in quotes mostly because it doesn't really go anywhere, but there are obviously feelings.

My problem with Tidus in the scheme of all this was that he was just too bouncy. FF games seem to like extremes. If you're happy you're super happy. If you angsty, you're the most angsty person ever. If you're weird, you always must act weird. There isn't much of a middle point most of the time (note, I didn't say ALL of the time).

This is why I'm looking forward to FFXII so much, and have been for over a year. First of all, Matsuno is involved on a very big level. You may know him from Vagrant Story. This alone signifies a pretty big change in many ways. Plus he's already promised that there wouldn't be any significant love story... among other things that leave me really optimistic for the future. Apparently what they've shown so far is similar to past FF games, but he claims that there's a lot that isn't similar at all and will leave people surprised. No clue what that may be lol.

So I'm looking forward to that.

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Why change something that works so well, I mean their great with storylines like that, its what people keep playing them for. People fall in love with the charcters as they advance in the game, and its those concepts that they love.

FF7 played and finished 24 times and counting :)

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I personally loved te plots in all the FF games I've played (Cept' Tactics Advance, but that doesn't count here).
I've noticed that they are very similar in many aspects, they're all about saving the world with a bit of a love story thrown in, following the same ol' pattern of story telling.
I guess I'm just a sucker for that kind of stuff. I've emersed myself in the story of each and everyone that I've played and I just love it. I loved Tidus and Squall as hero's.

I'm a guy who loves gameplay, but, in an RPG, the story is what I look forward to. FFX has the best battle system in the series so far (In my opinion), but it's the story that keeps me going forward. I love FFX's story. I quickly got bored of the gameplay in FFVI, but the story pushed me to complete the game. And it doesn't matter to me that it all seems the same, because when you really allow yourself to get into the story, you forget that you've already been here. It feels like it's all new :)

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If you think about it though, it is not only the ff games that follow the pattern. I could name countless others that offer similarities as well. With or without the whole love aspect, most of the time the stories have the same basic formula. There has to be a big, evil "government" or "invincible" bad guy because there would be no point in pursuing a weak individual. Let the local authorities take care of them, we'll handle the big stuff.

I will admit, however, that it is about time for ff to stray from the pattern for a few games. I have no problem with the love, but don't make it the focus (maybe save for someone besides that two main characters). The problem is really that ff has been around for a long time and the "true gamers" are tired tired of the redundancy.

If only they'd let me write the next story.....

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