Is the fantasy finally over?

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Posted by 28daveslater (13 posts) -

Fifteen years ago, nearly to the day, a game was released that changed my life. That game was Final Fantasy VII.

I was a fresh faced seven year old yet to truly experience what the gaming world had to offer me, besides jumping on turtles and eating mushrooms which I could do at the local petting zoo, boy was I in for a shock. On the suggestion of my best friend at the time I managed to nag my parents into shelling out for, what I would later describe as my favourite game of all time, Final Fantasy VII which by the way I recently completed again for the umpteenth time.

The story compelled me, the graphics amazed me, the music spoke to me and the gameplay enraptured me… I was hooked and from that fateful day that my brand new PSX span that disc I was an RPG nut and I’ve never looked back.

So… what happened?

You know when you were young you’d go to a family party or dinner and there’d be that one relative, be it an uncle or a cousin or whoever, that would have you is hysterics and would make what you thought was dull bearable but then many years later you’d see them again and you realise that they’re actually a massive tool well that’s what Final Fantasy has become to me. How could something that was so great fall so far.

I recently saw the Final Fantasy XII-2 trailer and no word of a lie I actually felt sick. “What the fuck is this?!” I cried. This wasn’t the series I remembered, not even close! The story looked generic, the gameplay was shallow, the graphics… well they looked quite good to be honest but worst of all, WORST OF ALL was the music. I’m sorry but when did Square decide that instead of using a beautiful, wondrous, fairy tale-esk, Nobuo Uematsu penned main theme that had been a staple of the series since the original it was going to go with pop garbage.

Then it hit me you know that joke about the abused house wife who keeps going back because “no really he’s changed this time”… that’s me! I’d given XI a go, sat through XII, drudged through XIII hell I’ve even played through the entire of X-2 all the while telling myself this was just a blip and any second now I’d turn a corner and it would be the same game I’d fallen in love with so many years ago… wrong, WRONG!

You see although people say that games aren’t art they’re wrong because if, like me, you consider art an expression of emotion through a sensory medium then that’s exactly what Final Fantasy VII was. VII dealt with issues that had rarely been explored in video games at that point in time most likely due to the death of Nobuo Sakaguchi’s mother near to the release of VI. It openly questioned what you as the gamer were doing, for example Cait Sith near the end of the second disc destroys the very first thing you achieved in the game, the destruction of the Mako reactor, by openly telling you that you’d killed innocent people and destroyed families to complete your goal and was that so different from what Sephiroth was trying to achieve, the game had what we call subtext. In fact here’s a fun game without describing what they look like or what their job is tell me about the characters from each game.

Final Fantasy VII:

· Cloud was a lost soul empty of emotion and feeling who through the course of the game not only regaines his memory but discovers who he truly is and wants to be.

· Barret whose anger burned reactors to the ground was actually angry at himself for letting his friend die.

· Tifa is a mothering and caring character but is also shy and repressed keeping her pain locked in her heart, see what I did there.

· Aeirth is a girl who has been treated terribly by people her whole life but yet is still full of unconditional love and peace despite the past, even to the point where she makes the ultimate sacrifice to save the world.

· Red XIII is the last of his kind who mistakenly resents his father for being a coward and so faces adversity head on.

· Cait Sith is actually Reeve a man ashamed of what he and the company he works for is doing and who personifies redemption.

· Yuffie is cocky and brash but this is because of her strained relationship with her father who she has never been able to impress.

· Cid is a bitter man whose dream was crushed when he is forced to choose between everything he’d ever wanted and the life of his friend.

· Vincent is a cold man who saw his one true love fall into the hands of a mad man and was unable to save her for which he blames himself and seals himself off from the world.

· Sephiroth never fitted in. Raised by the Shinra electric company he has never truly known love or what it’s like to belong and has always known that he was different from everyone else. So when he thinks he’s discovered the truth about his origin he finally knows his place is by his mother’s side. What’s even more tragic is that even this is a lie and the truth is that there never was any love for him from his only living family… only curiosity.

Final Fantasy XIII:

· Erm… uuuummmm… the black guy’s got a chocobo in his hair and that kid’s mom dies at the beginning… I don’t know.

(The worst thing is that, that isn’t even a joke I can barely name half the characters in that game despite only completing it last year.)

You see over the years the series has changed, it’s become less about pushing boundaries of what subject matter could be put in a game or how video games can reflect personal struggles in real life and has instead become pulp, more about the glamour of saving the world and less about why you’re doing it.

To take it back this whole issue is personified for me by doing one simple thing listening to two pieces of music, the Final Fantasy main theme and the god awful XII-2 theme New World, and understanding what each tells you and which means more even though one doesn’t have any words. To me the main theme is majestic, full of highs and lows and has a sweeping epicness despite its simplicity whereas the XIII theme is simply like every other song on the radio generic and shallow and if that isn’t an allegory for the difference between these two games then I don’t know what is. thank you for reading and enjoy.

Final Fantasy VII Main Theme:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=88_PGUa69aE

Final Fantasy XIII Theme 'New World':

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E6bkfhLbw4Y

#1 Edited by 28daveslater (13 posts) -

Fifteen years ago, nearly to the day, a game was released that changed my life. That game was Final Fantasy VII.

I was a fresh faced seven year old yet to truly experience what the gaming world had to offer me, besides jumping on turtles and eating mushrooms which I could do at the local petting zoo, boy was I in for a shock. On the suggestion of my best friend at the time I managed to nag my parents into shelling out for, what I would later describe as my favourite game of all time, Final Fantasy VII which by the way I recently completed again for the umpteenth time.

The story compelled me, the graphics amazed me, the music spoke to me and the gameplay enraptured me… I was hooked and from that fateful day that my brand new PSX span that disc I was an RPG nut and I’ve never looked back.

So… what happened?

You know when you were young you’d go to a family party or dinner and there’d be that one relative, be it an uncle or a cousin or whoever, that would have you is hysterics and would make what you thought was dull bearable but then many years later you’d see them again and you realise that they’re actually a massive tool well that’s what Final Fantasy has become to me. How could something that was so great fall so far.

I recently saw the Final Fantasy XII-2 trailer and no word of a lie I actually felt sick. “What the fuck is this?!” I cried. This wasn’t the series I remembered, not even close! The story looked generic, the gameplay was shallow, the graphics… well they looked quite good to be honest but worst of all, WORST OF ALL was the music. I’m sorry but when did Square decide that instead of using a beautiful, wondrous, fairy tale-esk, Nobuo Uematsu penned main theme that had been a staple of the series since the original it was going to go with pop garbage.

Then it hit me you know that joke about the abused house wife who keeps going back because “no really he’s changed this time”… that’s me! I’d given XI a go, sat through XII, drudged through XIII hell I’ve even played through the entire of X-2 all the while telling myself this was just a blip and any second now I’d turn a corner and it would be the same game I’d fallen in love with so many years ago… wrong, WRONG!

You see although people say that games aren’t art they’re wrong because if, like me, you consider art an expression of emotion through a sensory medium then that’s exactly what Final Fantasy VII was. VII dealt with issues that had rarely been explored in video games at that point in time most likely due to the death of Nobuo Sakaguchi’s mother near to the release of VI. It openly questioned what you as the gamer were doing, for example Cait Sith near the end of the second disc destroys the very first thing you achieved in the game, the destruction of the Mako reactor, by openly telling you that you’d killed innocent people and destroyed families to complete your goal and was that so different from what Sephiroth was trying to achieve, the game had what we call subtext. In fact here’s a fun game without describing what they look like or what their job is tell me about the characters from each game.

Final Fantasy VII:

· Cloud was a lost soul empty of emotion and feeling who through the course of the game not only regaines his memory but discovers who he truly is and wants to be.

· Barret whose anger burned reactors to the ground was actually angry at himself for letting his friend die.

· Tifa is a mothering and caring character but is also shy and repressed keeping her pain locked in her heart, see what I did there.

· Aeirth is a girl who has been treated terribly by people her whole life but yet is still full of unconditional love and peace despite the past, even to the point where she makes the ultimate sacrifice to save the world.

· Red XIII is the last of his kind who mistakenly resents his father for being a coward and so faces adversity head on.

· Cait Sith is actually Reeve a man ashamed of what he and the company he works for is doing and who personifies redemption.

· Yuffie is cocky and brash but this is because of her strained relationship with her father who she has never been able to impress.

· Cid is a bitter man whose dream was crushed when he is forced to choose between everything he’d ever wanted and the life of his friend.

· Vincent is a cold man who saw his one true love fall into the hands of a mad man and was unable to save her for which he blames himself and seals himself off from the world.

· Sephiroth never fitted in. Raised by the Shinra electric company he has never truly known love or what it’s like to belong and has always known that he was different from everyone else. So when he thinks he’s discovered the truth about his origin he finally knows his place is by his mother’s side. What’s even more tragic is that even this is a lie and the truth is that there never was any love for him from his only living family… only curiosity.

Final Fantasy XIII:

· Erm… uuuummmm… the black guy’s got a chocobo in his hair and that kid’s mom dies at the beginning… I don’t know.

(The worst thing is that, that isn’t even a joke I can barely name half the characters in that game despite only completing it last year.)

You see over the years the series has changed, it’s become less about pushing boundaries of what subject matter could be put in a game or how video games can reflect personal struggles in real life and has instead become pulp, more about the glamour of saving the world and less about why you’re doing it.

To take it back this whole issue is personified for me by doing one simple thing listening to two pieces of music, the Final Fantasy main theme and the god awful XII-2 theme New World, and understanding what each tells you and which means more even though one doesn’t have any words. To me the main theme is majestic, full of highs and lows and has a sweeping epicness despite its simplicity whereas the XIII theme is simply like every other song on the radio generic and shallow and if that isn’t an allegory for the difference between these two games then I don’t know what is. thank you for reading and enjoy.

Final Fantasy VII Main Theme:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=88_PGUa69aE

Final Fantasy XIII Theme 'New World':

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E6bkfhLbw4Y

#2 Posted by ZenaxPure (2569 posts) -
@28daveslater said:


So… what happened?


Your nostalgia goggles are strapped so tight to your head that it's caused a loss of blood flow to your brain, seriously your post is "sickening" (to use your favorite word) and drenched so far into the river of nostalgia I thought I was going to drown before I finished reading the wall of text. 
 
While I agree that the characters of 7 were memorable the cast of 13 actually felt like human beings who interacted with each other instead of being in a group with each other but never really interacting like human beings, instead they were simply together to fight against Shinra and eventually Sephiroth. 
 
The fact you don't recall the strong cast of 13 is simply because you go into the game wanting Final Fantasy 7 again, well guess what? They already made 7, go replay that story over and over and over if that's the only thing you want to experience in your life. 
#3 Posted by 28daveslater (13 posts) -

#4 Posted by Demoskinos (14562 posts) -

I don't even think your really giving XIII a fair shake and everything you've said about VII was so heavily nostalgia driven that its hard to take it seriously. I mean do you remember how god awful the localization for FF7 was? Do you? Because it was awful.

#5 Posted by 28daveslater (13 posts) -

@Demoskinos: I would say that genuinly I only meant for the first couple of paragraphs to be nostalgic as set up. I mean I only completed VII again literally yesterday so it's not as if I have a poor memory of the game and I still thought it was great despite the technical leaps that gaming has made since then.

Although it apears that I'm jumping on XIII what I actually am talking about is what I concider the recent spate of bad Final Fantasys, I can't say I've actually enjoyed one since X, and am more trying to highlight what I think has been lost, although I can see how it can come across as nostalgia overload.

As for the localisation thing I can't say it even bothered me or got in the way of me enjoying the game, in fact if that's the only complaint people have then I'd say that was pretty stella going compaired to the veritable myriad of complaints I had about XIII.

#6 Posted by McGhee (6094 posts) -

I've been replaying FF 13 and it has one of the strongest FF soundtracks.

#7 Posted by Doctorchimp (4069 posts) -

I'd rather play XIII than sit through VII again...jesus.

#8 Posted by obcdexter (577 posts) -

Yeah, seriously. XIII was so god awful an experience I actually did start yet another run through VII just days after having finished that nightmarishly dull bubblepop-fantasy. What a great treat that was, even now. VI and VII were both absolutely fantastic. I'd take those two over every other entry in the series any time. But what the heck, if they make a lot of money with their current games, all power to them, I guess. Just not my cup of tea any more. (XII was dope, though.)

Either way I think this thread is a bad idea. Because: opinions.

#9 Posted by FlarePhoenix (420 posts) -

Here is a crazy idea: STOP PLAYING THE FUCKEN FINAL FANTASY GAMES!!! I am so sick and tired of people who keep playing these games, and then bitching about how the series hasn't been good since Final Fantasy <insert number here>.

#10 Edited by CaptainCharisma (339 posts) -

I find myself agreeing with a lot of what you said. I really wanted to like XIII but it had so many little problems; like a game over if your character dies but not when your other members die. Or they changed the battle winning theme. The music in XIII was atrocious in my opinion. The Leona Lewis song at the end had lyrics that were both hard to listen to, and they drowned out the dialogue. I could go on for a while but while you may be looking at VII with nostalgia, I still go back to VII ever few years and enjoy it. And I can't say I'll ever do the same for XIII. And man VII's battle themes were great and they're even on my Ipod. The theme I put up perfectly explains what is wrong with the newer music (I actually almost like it due to how dumb it is, in my opinion of course ;) ).

#11 Edited by ZenaxPure (2569 posts) -

I will say spoilers ahead, for those that haven't played 13 by now for whatever reason: 
 
@28daveslater: Actually you said sick to your stomach, which is the same word as sickening, obviously, but you're right as a whole I meant that as a theme not the word "word" specifically. That aside it has been about 3 years since I've played through 7 again (which ironically made me like the game less for the exact reasons Demoskinos points out) however I don't have any idea how you can argue that the characters have near the amount of interaction as the cast of 13. 13's ENTIRE PLOT revolves around the interactions of the characters as opposed to 7 where at the core it's simply a group of people with the same mindset who seek out the same goals. Where as in 13 most plot points and character goals revolves around the interaction they all have.  
 
Hope blames Snow for his mom's death and thus spends the game contemplating what he should do and eventually lets his anger get the best of him as he decides to fucking murder Snow and would have murdered him if not for the fact they were attacked when he was about to stab him in the back. In addition to Hope's hate Lightning blames Snow for what happened to Serah and spends a lot of the game upset at him and avoiding him until time passes enough for her to understand nothing was actually his fault, in addition she reluctantly takes on a motherly role toward Hope (who is susceptible to it given his own mother died just days before) and ends up forming a strong bond with him. Then we have Vanille and Fang (specifically vanille) who blames everything that is occurring on herself and covers her sadness for what she's done to Sazh/Snow/Lightning (and a hefty portion of Cocoon's populace) by being overly happy and nice to everyone, her tone winds down as the game continues on going from the " generic bubbly/annoying girl" of the game (similar to Yuffie, Selphie, Eiko, and Rikku) to a more serious and depressed individual.  
 
I could go on but I think you see my point by now, each interaction between characters in 13 is significant towards the entire plot and much more memorable than anything ever in 7. I mean I can't even think of one scene in the game where the characters actually interact with each other to the degree of basically every cutscene in 13. I am sure one exists, but that is about how memorable that game was to me.  My point with this is you claim you can barely remember the cast of 13 and how it doesn't invoke any boundaries or character's comparable real life struggles when you are factually wrong it's just that you simply chose to ignore it all in your post.
 
Furthermore your comment about the gameplay being shallow honestly makes me frown a little, I mean seriously you are going to argue that the gameplay being mostly the same outside of the combat is "shallow"? Did you really enjoying spamming "attack" over and over again and magic being near useless in 7 and the fact you could easily exploit the materia system to make the entire game a huge joke? I'm sorry but that is your nostalgia talking, you claim I should go back and play 7 when it's you who should go back and see how boring and un-engaging actually playing 7 was. I mean shit, you could grind in that game by equipping materia to counter attack and then rubber banding your analog stick to run around in circles as you watched TV. I dare you to try to grind that way in 13: spoiler alert, you would not get anywhere.
 
You claim that your post is about how the series has lost it's magic or whatever with 12 and 13 when all this is you not giving the games a chance. Nothing has really been lost, each game always set out to be different than the last as dramatically as they could, the only thing tying them together being the brand. Each and every game made changes to the formula, setting, characters, and story, and 12/13 follow the same formula. Is it alright for you to not like a game in the series? Yes, of course, valid complaints can be made for each game but that doesn't mean you should hold up the PS1 era as some weird pinnacle of excellence that Square should be striving to reach, as it's simply not the case. 
 
 I mean the team behind X (which you claim is the last one you enjoyed) is also the team behind 13 and the similarities to the 2 are striking. Both follow a very linear line of progression with no world map but open up at the end of the game for tons of content/grinding/bosses/whatever you want to do to fill your time. Yes 13 had a lack of side things to do such as blitzball but this is because of how much money and time it took for Square to build an engine from the ground up for the HD era (as 13 is the first game Square themselves developed with their own engine, Last Remnant used Unreal 3). 13-2 is already on it's way to fix that with proper sidequests (more than any game in the series it appears as well) and little things to do such as Chocobo racing or gambling nonsense.  
 
Also yes I come off as pretty much a dick because that is how you come off as one in your original post. You sound like the typical whiner who is upset that a developer he loved when he was seven years old wants to change their formula each game and are so consumed by your nostalgia you refuse to even given modern games a chance. Based on the info you gave I can tell you and I are about the same age, and you are never going to enjoy a game in the series again if you go into it expecting it to be as crazy and mindblowing as it was when you were a bright eyed young kid.

#12 Posted by CaptainCharisma (339 posts) -

@Zenaxzd:It's just his opinion. No offense but relax man, we're just having fun discussing.

#13 Posted by ZenaxPure (2569 posts) -
@CaptainCharisma said:

@Zenaxzd:It's just his opinion. No offense but relax man, we're just having fun discussing.

  
 
Sorry, but he's the one who decided to strut on in sounding like a dick and taking it further by stating things that aren't even factually true. An opinion is one thing but saying things like modern FF characters don't mirror real life troubles or gameplay is shallow just isn't even true. That's not even an opinion thing, he is choosing to ignore things and let his nostalgia eat him alive, it's gross.
#14 Edited by CaptainCharisma (339 posts) -

@Zenaxzd: Whatever you say bro. I for one, enjoyed XIII and even its characters (until the ending). But I would play VII again without a doubt before I touch XIII again. From the materia stuff that I found fun, the music, and the characters I enjoyed more; VII is just better in my opinion. XIII's music and combat is what made me not enjoy it. Sazh was awesome though.

By the way, he claimed he was seven years old when he played VII. I was the six back then so maybe we were just brought up with that as our first really good game and I'm sure you'd defend your childhood equivalent of that.

#15 Posted by Dolphin_Butter (1913 posts) -

First post in, and this thread is already making me reach for the popcorn.

#16 Posted by Grillbar (1796 posts) -

@FlarePhoenix said:

Here is a crazy idea: STOP PLAYING THE FUCKEN FINAL FANTASY GAMES!!! I am so sick and tired of people who keep playing these games, and then bitching about how the series hasn't been good since Final Fantasy <insert number here>.

i agree with you, but then im kinda part of the problem since i still play them but still think the last good ff game was 8... but atleast i dont bitch and complain

#17 Posted by ZenaxPure (2569 posts) -
@CaptainCharisma said:

@Zenaxzd: Whatever you say bro. I for one, enjoyed XIII and even its characters (until the ending). But I would play VII again without a doubt before I touch XIII again. From the materia stuff that I found fun, the music, and the characters I enjoyed more; VII is just better in my opinion. XIII's music and combat is what made me not enjoy it. Sazh was awesome though.

And... that's fine. 13 isn't even my favorite in the series (far from it really) but the OP was just annoying. I mean surely I was not the only one who used a rubber band to grind levels in VII (I know my friends did as well, though that's anecdotal). How was any of that engaging? And especially more so than 13. I don't want to sound mean but OP sounds like a crazy person afraid to enjoy anything that didn't come out when he was a kid. Having an opinion is a good thing but shouting about things that aren't even true is silly. 
 
We all have our favorites, for now 12 will remain mine and is my mirror of your experience with 7. It's the one in the series I've replayed the most and went out of my way to squeeze every bit of content I could and mess with the licence board and try to play it in different styles.  
 
My playtime with 12, I should also note that file was saved over a file with 60 hours on it. 
#18 Posted by phrali (646 posts) -

i played FF2/4 when i was very young and loved it and this thread mirrors what i felt about FF7 when that came out. i thought it was horrible compared to the SNES games.

#19 Posted by Grissefar (2842 posts) -

It's funny that everyones favorite Final Fantasy is their first and that every game after that has lost the magic. C'mon man, take of your ugly nostalgia glasses, bro.

#20 Posted by JordanK85 (140 posts) -

About a year ago I was discussing with my friends about how the shows we liked as kids were much better than the shows that kids watch today. After the discussion I felt so nostalgic I couldn't help but watch a few episodes of my favorite childhood shows on Youtube. I couldn't believe how terrible they were. What I discovered about myself is that as a child I was dumb and lacked taste. I think it's safe to say this is true of most children really. At that young age we just lack the life experience and critical thinking skills to determine quality. The only shows that I still like now that I liked as a child are the shows that have something more to offer than what we can comprehend as children. In a sense, those shows change and grow as we do. Much the same can be said of games. Hopefully, what you appreciate about FF7 now is different from what you appreciated then.

#21 Posted by Draugen (628 posts) -

@Zenaxzd said:

We all have our favorites, for now 12 will remain mine and is my mirror of your experience with 7.

Yes! Thank you! For all this time, I've felt so alone. I thought I was the only one in the world.

Fistbump, bro.

#22 Posted by Mercy_ (259 posts) -

I feel so alone in my little land of X and X-2.

#23 Posted by Alexandruxx (228 posts) -

@courtney12490: What about my IX _( ?

#24 Posted by drag (1223 posts) -

@courtney12490: X tends to come pretty high on lists of people's favourite - you're certainly not alone. I might suggest because it was a lot of people's first FF game, perhaps first RPG and was quite exciting for looking so good at the time.

#25 Posted by Draugen (628 posts) -

@courtney12490: @Alexandruxx:

Oh please. Everyone loves those games. You're not edgy or original, like me.

I kid, I kid.

#26 Posted by CaLe (3910 posts) -

The only reason I played 8,9,10,12 and half of 13 (terrible game) was because of 7. Nothing ever surpassed it. Just like no new Metal Gear Solid will surpass the original PSX game. Nostalgia is a powerful thing indeed.

#27 Posted by NTM (7263 posts) -

@CaptainCharisma said:

I find myself agreeing with a lot of what you said. I really wanted to like XIII but it had so many little problems; like a game over if your character dies but not when your other members die. Or they changed the battle winning theme. The music in XIII was atrocious in my opinion. The Leona Lewis song at the end had lyrics that were both hard to listen to, and they drowned out the dialogue. I could go on for a while but while you may be looking at VII with nostalgia, I still go back to VII ever few years and enjoy it. And I can't say I'll ever do the same for XIII. And man VII's battle themes were great and they're even on my Ipod. The theme I put up perfectly explains what is wrong with the newer music (I actually almost like it due to how dumb it is, in my opinion of course ;) ).

I wrote my opinion on YouTube of this same song you posted, and people just kept sending messages of how my taste in music is bad and how great this really sounds. I swear, the song is terrible.

#28 Edited by Sayishere (1838 posts) -

I actually liked the soundtrack of 13, but i must admit its lost its charm without Uematsu, but thats a different matter. I think this is similiar to the Resident evil and how 5 is not like 4 and previous games in the series. They are changing with the times. I love FF7 with a passion and have heavy nostalgia towards it (i always replay it every year) but you have to admit its showing its age. The random encounters are becoming annoying. the game is not balanced to say the least (materia system abuse), the dialogue is janky at times. This is not a bash at FF7, im just showing you some of its flaws. which FF13 also has. But this hate towards FF13 seems unnessary. Theres alot of good things about the game, one being the combat which i really enjoyed, but also things i hate i.e. linearity and blood curdling voice acting at times.

#29 Edited by WilliamRLBaker (4777 posts) -

I can only say one thing...FF7 was the worst of all the Final Fantasies it was the downward spiral of remaking every thing except the best and forcing all characters to wear chains, leather, belt buckles, and have spikey hair.

#30 Edited by ZenaxPure (2569 posts) -
@Draugen said:

@Zenaxzd said:

We all have our favorites, for now 12 will remain mine and is my mirror of your experience with 7.

Yes! Thank you! For all this time, I've felt so alone. I thought I was the only one in the world.

Fistbump, bro.

Indeed, I actually fired up one of my random saves after posting that and have been playing it since, the game is just as good as I remembered and looks surprisingly nice on my HDTV with component. 
 
On an entirely random note Vossler is probably the first time I heard Nolan North do voice work and I have to say even back then the man is fucking amazing, you can barely tell it's him in the role, sounds totally different than the Nate voice most of us associate with him now.  
 
@NTM: Honestly I think the song is great, but I also realize that it's a damn joke song meant there to make you laugh. Which it does for me. 
 
Its also worth noting (since no one has brought it up here anyway) that it is only 1 of 3 chocobo songs in the game, and it seems completely up to you which you play. I will be laughing my ass off as I ride around listening to that song, but for those who can't take a joke surely either groovy chocobo or rodeo de chocobo will make you slightly happier... if not stop being so grumpy is all I can say.
#31 Posted by obcdexter (577 posts) -

@WilliamRLBaker said:

I can only say one thing...FF7 was the worst of all the Final Fantasies it was the downward spiral of remaking every thing except the best and forcing all characters to wear chains, leather, belt buckles, and have spikey hair.

And I can only say: I could not disagree more.

But hey: opinions ...

#32 Posted by Legend (2649 posts) -

I agree with you, man. Cloud is my avatar everywhere on the internet; I love FF and I own every FF game in the main series released to date; but I haven't finished any FF game since X.

#33 Posted by Wes899 (2107 posts) -

Square just needs to figure out what they're doing, maybe by getting some new people involved? Also please get a different character designer.

#34 Posted by Animasta (14648 posts) -

@Draugen said:

@Zenaxzd said:

We all have our favorites, for now 12 will remain mine and is my mirror of your experience with 7.

Yes! Thank you! For all this time, I've felt so alone. I thought I was the only one in the world.

Fistbump, bro.

me too

#35 Posted by FritzDude (2253 posts) -
According to the future, Final Fantasy is still going.
#36 Posted by FateOfNever (1814 posts) -

You know why I can't get behind FF7?

Red 13's dad was turned to stone - did no one think to ever use a Soft on him? These status effects are so fucking common in this world that they just make items that are relatively dirt cheap to counter act them just about every time they come up. So why not just cure his dad and boom? Problem solved. Dad saved. No more emo Red 13.

Remember when Aerith dies because she just didn't move out of the way and no one tried to stop Sephiroth... and then instead of just healing her or reviving her (didn't even TRY) they just cried and tossed her body in the water? They were just happy to be rid of her. That's all that happened. Everyone else in the party was so focused on being as sad and depressed as they could be that Aerith and her sunny demeanor was driving them crazy, Sephiroth just did them a favor.

Do you remember how Cloud has no personality at all throughout the entire game? And then he finds out that he has no personality because he was actually thinking he was a guy that also had no personality? And then he still has no personality except to be a whiney brat about it that's more content to let the world burn around him because he can't be bothered to be taken away from his constant crying?

Also, your description of the characters kind of shows off one of the biggest problems I have with the game. You give brief descriptions about what each character is like. You notice a theme? They're all sad, depressed, emo people except for Aerith. And then she dies (in this oh so dramatic cut scene that is ruined by the world that they've established up to that point.) and then they get EVEN MORE sad and angry. When everything in the world is tragic, all of the tragedy loses its emotional weight and impact. And most of those descriptions also make the characters sound even more laughably bad than they already are (and most of them just sound like bad knock-offs of FF6 characters.)

There's also the great big "Mwahahaha, I, Sephiroth, son of the alien is about to destroy the world in 5... 4... 3... 2...--" "wait hold on, I have some side quests I still need to go do, I'll be back in like... a week." "Well.. I... ok, look, I'll hold off on destroying this world until you get back, but just this once, ok?"

The series also hasn't degraded as much as you think in terms of pushing boundaries. And FF7 is honestly also nowhere near as good at pushing boundaries as you think it is, and is almost entirely just about the glamour of saving the world for the sake of saving the world.

But, I guess if you're into one dimensional characters that are all about being whiney shits that can't let go of the past, those characters are GREAT.

#37 Posted by Elazul (1327 posts) -

I don't mean to rock the boat here (famous last words, right?) but in my opinion, FFVII is one of the most criminally overrated games of all time. The battle system, plot and setting are no better than those in FFVI (or FFIII) and were it not for the cutscenes and slightly more varied in-engine animations, the storytelling would be no better either. Most people who put it on a pedestal as the "best" Final Fantasy game or JRPG overall, do so soley because of the fact that it was some of their first exposure to the genre. Not to say that it isn't a great a game, but everyone who thinks that the characters and writing are miles ahead of every other Final Fantasy game, or any other JRPG for that matter, should really go back and replay it, preferably alongside FFVI or Chrono Trigger. Nostalgia's a hell of a drug.

As for XIII-2, while most of the marketing material that game does not look, uhh, good, most of the preview coverage I've read makes it sound a suspicious amount like Chrono Trigger. So I guess I'm buying it. *sigh*

#38 Edited by Draugen (628 posts) -

@Zenaxzd: And it's not just Nolan North. I think that the voice performances in FFXII are the strongest I've ever seen in any game.

I know alot of people complained about it, but I simply cannot get enough of Fran's accent. You know what? I'm blowing the dust off my PS2 right now and booting it up. It's been far too long.

@Animasta: Word

#39 Posted by TheSouthernDandy (3786 posts) -
@FateOfNever
Dude. Video games.
Yeah in a world where Pheonix Down exists, people dying seems dumb but if you drill down that much almost every game is stupid. At some point you have to divorce game mechanics from story. Suspension of disbelief.

Also its nice we can all express different opinions without shitting on each other...
#40 Posted by ApeGantz (216 posts) -

Opinions are on fire here. Ill drop my change in here. I playes 7 when I was maybe 8 or 9. Played it as my first FF game. I think I got to disc 3 and fell off and started playing other games. Now I'm not sure why exactly but I think it's because I liked the OST and the world. For the characters I could give two shits. Except for Shinra for some reason. Everything else was just...meh. As for Reds Father I think its different. I haven't played in years but in battle your party can become petrified right? They don't turn into stone I think. And if they all have that status doesn't the game just....keep going until you get out of it or does it game over? As for Areith I don't know what the fuck that was. If your gonna kill her, you should probably make it better. I could totally see if Sephy stabs her and somehow absorbes her life energy or something. There's more I wanna say but I'm in class.

And as for 13. Shit just moved slow. Very slow. That was its main problem pretty much. I tried to get through it but there's a point in your life where your kinds pressed for time. And when a game takes around 8 to 10 hours to let you have the feeling of freedom, its nasty.

#41 Posted by Elazul (1327 posts) -

@Draugen said:

@Zenaxzd said:

We all have our favorites, for now 12 will remain mine and is my mirror of your experience with 7.

Yes! Thank you! For all this time, I've felt so alone. I thought I was the only one in the world.

Fistbump, bro.

For the record, I'm with you guys. Everyone who complains that Final Fantasy is the same monotonous, formulaic JRPG crap, year-in year-out should go play it. Now.

#42 Posted by FateOfNever (1814 posts) -

@TheSouthernDandy: Or, you know, they could do it better? There's already so much suspension of disbelief going on would it actually have hurt them to of tried to of done the story beats BETTER? I don't think so. And not just Phoenix Downs, but straight up materia that also brings people back from the dead, and magic that can cure the most serious of wounds. And none of that can save anyone in the outside world? Why? Because suspension of disbelief should be an excuse for a story that's filled with holes? It's not a very good excuse. Other games handle it better than FF7 did, games that came before it and came out around it. Don't set up a world where crazy shit that would make some things like death or the most grievous of wounds trivial and then just go "but we conveniently don't want this stuff to exist in the story right now because we couldn't think of a better way to have this scene play out."

#43 Posted by YI_Orange (1128 posts) -

@FateOfNever: There have always been healing/revive spells/items in RPGs and there always will be. The way I deal with it is just to treat them like they pretty much don't actually exist and are just a mechanic. To me, from a story standpoint, if I had watched a battle play out rather than control it, no one would have died(unless they were supposed to). If you can think of a better way for games to handle death I would love to hear it.

#44 Posted by TheSouthernDandy (3786 posts) -

Once again. Dude. Video games. Any character in Uncharted who gets shot in a cutscene, why don't they just crouch behind a barrier for a few seconds till their health regenerates? For that matter any character in ANY game with regernerating health should never die in any cut scene provided they just hide behind something for a few seconds. (Red Dead, any CoD game, Deus Ex, etc)

Can you explain to me how Gordon Freeman could possibly haul around 10 guns at the same time, much less the ammo for all those guns? Does he have magic pockets or something?

I get your point but like I said at a point you have to seperate story from game mechanics for most games.
Ok with items and magic you can raise people back from the dead so there's now no danger in that story, who cares if someone dies we'll just bring em back!

#45 Edited by FateOfNever (1814 posts) -

@YI_Orange: The problem there though is that FF7 acknowledges that materia, as a thing and as a tool, exists. If they had never done that, I could potentially agree (for as silly as it would still be) but by their acknowledgement in story that materia actually exists and functions (i.e. by having Yuffie steal all of your materia as a plot point) then they've lost me on it.

I would almost rather that they had never treated materia as a real thing. One of the dumbest moments I had playing Chrono Cross was when a girl steals all of the elements out of your element bar. I just stared at the screen for a long moment going "Wait, you mean the element bar is like.. actually a thing? Like a real thing? How does that work within the context of the world? Do you like pin this bar to your shirt and then place elements in it? I just assumed this was like a gameplay thing that wasn't really apart of the real world and was just sort of.. I dunno, there. Like it broke my suspension of disbelief on that system.

But FF7 goes pretty far to make materia a thing, not only by having a different number of sockets on different pieces of gear to put it in to (thus explaining where the materia 'sits' on a person for them to have access to it) but by having Yuffie later rob you of all of your materia as a physical possession.

I realize I'm probably making it sound like I detest the way that they handled that stuff in FF7, and I guess that's not really true. I think it's more a problem that I have when people sort of talk about FF7 and say that it has some really good writing in it and it's so unique and so well done and so on and so forth; those events/moments just sort of are easy examples to point to and go "is the writing really as good as you think it is/remember it being?"

Like if I look at the FF7 Advent Children movie I go "this movie has some really ridiculous writing in it with some really dumb action scenes and a lot of stuff that kind of doesn't make a whole lot of sense. But I am willing to go "fuck it" and just enjoy the movie as kind of a dumb, stupid ride." But if someone were to try and tell me that the writing in Advent Children is 'good' or 'well done' I would probably burst out laughing at the notion of that. I certainly think it (and FF7 the game) can be and are enjoyable but I wouldn't say either has good writing in it. The story is pretty absurd in a lot of weird ways, not just like 'crazy wild ride' ways, but in ways that are just.. bizarre. Not to mention that relatively little of its story feels different enough from a lot of else of what else was out there. The beginning of that game is pretty good, I'll give it that, but then somewhere it just goes off the rails (do people forget that whole scene where Shinra is, at least implied, to be trying to make Red 13 and Aerith have sex?)

Plus, most of the characters are relatively poorly written/fleshed out. I enjoy that each character actually has a side quest. By the third time though, when you realize that every single story and why everyone is so grumpy tends to be 'something bad happened in my past and I refuse to let it go'.. that's not good.

As for games like this handling character death, look at Chrono Trigger. Crono dies in that game. He straight up dies. He gets turned into nothing. They can't just whip out a spell or an item and bring him back because there is nothing there TO bring back. You have the chance to bring him back afterwords by jumping through some crazy hoops and taking a one in a million chance to get just a brief moment to change the way things played out, but you also have the option to just completely go 'no, he's dead' and leave him that way.

Let's look at Aerith's death. If they weren't trying to be so melodramatic about it they could have had it so that after Sephiroth ran Aerith through with the sword her body fell into what is, more or less, a bottomless pool of water. No one gets to say their goodbyes to her corpse, she dies and then her body floats down somewhere where no one could realistically get to her in time to save her. They also could have had Sephiroth steal the body (maybe Jenova would want the last remaining member of the only 'species' on the planet that could have stopped her for something.) There are two ways there, just off the top of my head, that barely even change the cutscene of her dying.

Cloud stops and actually has a conversation with Sephiroth after he runs her through. He doesn't do ANYTHING to try and save her. She gets stabbed, she doesn't die instantly (as you can see her blink several times after she's been stabbed) and then she falls forward, Cloud catches her, and... then holds a conversation with Sephiroth about how she's dead now. He doesn't even move a muscle to one try and save her (neither do either of your other chuckle head party members that didn't even bother trying to stop her death, or, for that matter, avenge it after it happened.) I get that it was supposed to be some great big emotional event that was all drawn out and dealt with death or.. whatever, but it wasn't THAT well done from a writing perspective.

I just watched that scene again and it's ridiculous. Cloud goes to see Aerith, Cloud get mind controlled to kill her, your party members yell at you to stop, then Sephiroth jumps down from hundreds of feet up in the air, gets a perfect landing, sticks his sword through her, she blinks several times, Sephiroth pulls his sword out, she dies, Cloud catches her, him and Sephiroth have a serious discussion about death that lasts all of 30 seconds, Sephiroth the whole time is just standing back behind the both of them with his arms raised, and then he takes off flying straight up back the way he came leaving a sentence unfinished as he throws you into a boss fight. At no point does anyone do anything to try and save her. She gets stabbed and everyone just goes "Well, I guess that's that."

Red 13's dad I'm 'slightly' more forgiving on. It still doesn't make a lot of sense, but I, personally, could rationalize "well, no, we don't want to cure them and save them because then that would kind of cheapen their noble sacrifice" or something (if they were a very honor driven species.) But if that were the case, and they were such an honor driven species, then I really don't know why Red 13 would ever think that his dad just bailed and everything and be so angry at him in the first place, and at that point Red 13's complaining is even worse.

#46 Posted by Dookysharpgun (586 posts) -

Trust me when I say; this has nothing to do with nostalgia. I played Lost Odyssey and found that it was an old school JRPG with a new sheen. I played FFXIII before it, and it sucked the life out of me.

VII managed to resonate through generations, bringing about a whole new level of JRPGs that people simply loved. The characters were timeless, the story was epic in scale, the world was interesting, everything flowed together. XIII was a boring, linear trudge through mediocrity, with a story that made no sense, that actually contradicted itself over and over again, handing the player codex pages instead of weaving the narrative into the storyline through the appallingly long cutscenes, with a sequel that is pretty much kicking a dead horse. Not to mention the fact that all of the characters were two-dimensional caricatures of stereotypes, whose interactions were fucking terrible. The only two good characters were Fang and Sazh, one of whom didn't come in early enough, the other who had some emotional background who was immediately reduced to stereotyped comedy character. Oh and it was also badly translated, so it showed just how much effort square put into it. The combat system was boring, the timer on battles that effected the XP you got was counter-intuitive, and the god-awful, broken record of a soundtrack never got me pumped, at all. If I can finish a game and say to myself: "well that wasn't very good at all...what the shit?" then something is wrong, because I played Bulletwitch and although it was a stinking pile of crap, it was at least trying to take itself seriously, the big difference is, that game was actually trying to do something, it didn't do it well, but you could see all the try in it.

Unless Vs.XIII redeems the series in any way, we've got XIII, XIII-2, the soon to be XIII-3 and XIV dragging the brand through its own bloody feces. The fantasy is, in fact, over, and other than VII, VIII and IX, hell I'll even throw in X, the series has degraded into a very poor example of what once was a highly impressive series. Without Hironobu Sakaguchi, this series is dead, and it'll take a real visionary to bring it back to the levels of decency that we had once seen from the previous titles.

But what do I know, I mean, clearly nay-sayers and apologists will point out that all of those FF games must have been my firsts, or that I have nostalgia goggles on, or I just don't 'get' it...because XIII is such a hard game to 'get', because its so deep, like that one line, the one that shows just how competent this title really was: "Moms are tough!".

...god dammit why did this series have to go to shit? Is nothing sacred anymore?

#47 Edited by FateOfNever (1814 posts) -

@TheSouthernDandy said:

Once again. Dude. Video games. Any character in Uncharted who gets shot in a cutscene, why don't they just crouch behind a barrier for a few seconds till their health regenerates? For that matter any character in ANY game with regernerating health should never die in any cut scene provided they just hide behind something for a few seconds. (Red Dead, any CoD game, Deus Ex, etc) Can you explain to me how Gordon Freeman could possibly haul around 10 guns at the same time, much less the ammo for all those guns? Does he have magic pockets or something? I get your point but like I said at a point you have to seperate story from game mechanics for most games. Ok with items and magic you can raise people back from the dead so there's now no danger in that story, who cares if someone dies we'll just bring em back!

Because crouching behind the wall is exactly the same thing as having magic, amirite? Give me a break. Don't design a world where magic exists, as an actual thing, not just a gameplay mechanic, and then go "eh, fuck it, that doesn't exist at this exact moment in time, despiting existing just a second ago, and a second after this, because we're too lazy to try and write something good." If you can't tell the difference between regenerating health as a game mechanic and creating a world where magic exists as a story element, then I can't help you. And I won't bother trying to explain it to you because I'm not sure you could understand the difference.

#48 Posted by TheSouthernDandy (3786 posts) -
@FateOfNever
Ah and now the personal attacks. Insulting my intelligence is a sure sign of a strong argument. I think I'll check out of this now before you bring my mother or my sexuality into it. Feel free to chalk this up as an internet win :)
#49 Posted by CountRockula (398 posts) -

@Animasta said:

@Draugen said:

@Zenaxzd said:

We all have our favorites, for now 12 will remain mine and is my mirror of your experience with 7.

Yes! Thank you! For all this time, I've felt so alone. I thought I was the only one in the world.

Fistbump, bro.

me too

You folks are not alone! In fact, FF XII has been empirically proven to be the best in the series! Just look at these science numbers:

FF GameGoodness Number
VII6
VIII8
XI7
XHAH HAH HAH HAH HAH!
XI???
XII1,000,003
XIIIAfro-bo

Seriously, though; XII was the best; it makes me sad to think we'll probably never get another FF game like it. Even if new games in the series just adopted XII's approach to localization and voice acting, it would be a huge step forward for them.

#50 Edited by FateOfNever (1814 posts) -

@TheSouthernDandy said:

@FateOfNever Ah and now the personal attacks. Insulting my intelligence is a sure sign of a strong argument. I think I'll check out of this now before you bring my mother or my sexuality into it. Feel free to chalk this up as an internet win :)

Considering that you started it? It wasn't any more of a personal attack than the way you wrote your own thing that very easily read between the lines as "you're dumb to think that magic actually exists in the final fantasy universe, it's just a gameplay mechanic. I mean geeze, are you so stupid as to think that regenerating health actually exists in the worlds of Uncharted or Modern Warfare or the like?" I didn't go any farther than you did.

Edit: But hey, if you really want me to try and explain this to you, I'll give it a go.

Uncharted/MW3/myriad of other games with regenerating health: The regen health is never shown or expressed as a thing within the created universe outside of the gameplay (other than potentially suffering and surviving wounds, falls, explosions, etc. that no normal human being could ever survive, let alone walk away from.) They never talk about regenerating health, they never act as if it exists. It is strictly a gameplay mechanic (some universes it does exist, however, but most, it does not.)

Magic in final fantasy universes: This is stuff that is talked about outside of combat. This is stuff that gets context in the greater world as a whole. Yuffie steals your materia- giving proof that materia is a physical thing that works within the world and grants people the ability to cast spells. They talk about how Sephiroth is going to cast a spell, meteor, to destroy the world. They talk about how Aerith is going to cast a spell, holy, to protect the world. And undoubtedly there are other proofs of this too (such as Sephiroth burning an entire village to the ground despite not using torches to do so and instead, presumably, using magic to do so as there's nothing else that could cause that amount of fire to get raging.) Magic is a THING in the universe. It is not JUST a gameplay mechanic. In FF7 magic exists in the greater world as a whole.

That is the difference. Plain. and. simple.

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