View Full Version : The After Years: Does it get better? (Mostly a rant about Yang's chapter)

12-30-2013, 07:20 AM
Okay, I've played Ceodore's, Rydia's and Yang's tales (PSP version if it matters), and so far I'm very disappointed with TAY. Have I just not gotten to the good parts yet, or is my experience so far representative of the whole?

(Spoilers follow, plan accordingly.)

Ceodore's Tale was okay. The destruction of the Red Wings was somewhat emotional with the big "my captain, my king" moment. It's good setup for what could be an interesting plot, not that much of which plays like a retread of the original FF4. It's nowhere near as gripping story-wise as the original, but it's at a level I'd have been okay with.

Rydia's tale was disappointing. Rydia was my favorite character from a gameplay standpoint in the original, mostly because the summons were so cool, but here she spends the entire tale without access to them. This kind of is and kind of isn't a plot point; the very beginning is about what happens to the eidolons and the name of the chapter is even "The Eidolons Shackled", so you'd think it would be mostly about her going to find them again. In practise, though, she seems to forget all about them after the first ten minutes, and plays "her" entire chapter with her defining gameplay feature greyed out. Instead, she goes off on an ill-advised quest through one of the original game's more annoying dungeons - not even a new one! - to safeguard one of the crystals, which made me want to scream "Why are you being so f&$*ing STUPID?!?" at her and Luca because, 100% predictably, it causes the very disaster it's ostensibly trying to prevent. Things would literally have been better if they hadn't tried to help! The problems with their plan would have been screamingly obvious even if they weren't a retread of a plot element from the previous game.

I did like Luca as a playable character, especially once I got the hang of the whole moon cycle thing (if played correctly, Luca always either benefits from or is unaffected by the moon), and Calca and Brinna had their moments. It's fairly emotional when Luca needs to scavenge them. The fake-boss-battle at the end makes you think the plot is finally getting back to the eidolons, but then the chapter ends just when it looks like it's about to get interesting.

Yang's chapter is AWFUL. If you enjoyed it, you are objectively wrong.

First of all, he repeatedly makes stupid decisions for no other apparent reason than either sexism or sheer mean-spiritedness toward his own daughter. Yeah, real admirable hero figure there. Yang was one of my favorite characters on a non-gameplay level in FFIV, but in TAY, he's a douchebag.

Second, you get five characters to control and for the most part they're All. The. Same. Three of them don't even have names, that's how interchangeable they are. "Monk A"? Fuckin' really? I don't even understand how it's possible for the character designs to be this poor. I've seen D&D players under the age of 12 do better.

Third, what was the point of the meteor sidequest? They go there, they discover the fate of the other group of monks (though I don't understand how the grave marker got there - who put it there?!? Is no-one the least bit curious about this?!?), but don't find or even look for a single clue as to what it actually is. They go all that way, then don't actually do anything. Why?

Fourth, we get a confrontation with Kain that is lifted almost directly from FFIV. Here's a free clue, when you have a character openly declaring "This isn't a repeat of what happened before! Really, it isn't!" - yes, it is, and who exactly are you trying to kid? It's almost insulting. He even beats them with the same lame trick that shouldn't even have worked once, let alone twice.

Fifth, the ship runs out of fuel? It clearly has sails. Both its sprite and the "on board" close-up view are totally unambiguous about this. Use them!

Sixth, I feel the fact that I even felt the need to type the word "Sixth" in a list such as this is worth pointing out as a complaint in its own right.

Seventh is the final "dungeon", the forest maze that drones on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and OH GOD KILL ME NOW. It also features way too high an encounter rate at way too low a level of actual challenge (just tape down the X button and you'll beat every encounter, usually before the enemy even takes an action). In the past, these guys have been amazing at calibrating the challenge level of their games, here it's like they're not even trying. You lose track of which way you're even going because every time you take a step there's another damned encounter, and none of them actually matter.


Anyway. The point is, have I seen this game at its worst and it takes a sudden and dramatic turn for the better somewhere, or should I just cut my losses by setting it aside in favour of one of my many other PSP RPGs? Right now I strongly lean toward the latter. So far, this is to FFIV what The Phantom Menace is to the original Star Wars movies.

12-30-2013, 11:28 AM
I think that you're wanting too much from what was originally a Wii chapter by chapter download game, just re-touched a couple of times on cellphone and PSP.

I thought that it was alright, FF 4's story was already pretty small and pretty much completed to begin with, so they would of had to go deep into the barrel get whatever a decent plot and character development they could get.

I enjoyed Yang's chapter, because I like Ursula. About the sexism, and the original game wasn't ? When Kain attacked Fabul, Rosa and Rydia were told go play " nurse " and Cecil was keen to kick them both off the Black Whale Airship, because they were " weak "

This game wasn't made to be the next Final Fantasy VII, it was made to spam money out of retro fans, and make the Final Fantasy IV PSP Collection bigger, it wasn't made to be deep or emotional, just a extra something for the massive FF IV fans and SE's wallets.

The Final Fantasy Phantom Menace ?, gee it wasn't that awful, Ursula and Ceodore were nice new recruits, it improved on Edward's character and gave Kain Highwind a much happier ending, because he was able to balance out his dark side and be more comfortable with who he is and his rough past.

01-11-2014, 07:31 AM
If I'm understanding correctly, your defence of TAY is (at least in part) that it's a nostalgia-driven cash grab and nothing more. With defenders like that, the game scarcely needs detractors!

In any case, I set TAY aside and am replaying FFV instead (which I don't think I ever quite finished, and never explored the job system in as much depth as I could have until now). I'm enjoying that MUCH more than I did TAY, even the relatively good parts of TAY that I got to! Whatever else it may be, TAY isn't for me, it would seem. After being the most excited about TAY out of all the things that came with the pile of old RPGs and strategy games I got with my PSP, it's turned out to be arguably the least interesting part of it.