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Forsaken Lover
03-03-2016, 04:09 AM
When discussing XIII elsewhere and some of its more irritating gameplay aspects, the topic of the frequent and nonsensical party split ups or limits was addressed. Another poster pointed out IX really wasn't any different.

And having just replayed it, I see his point. You use Steiner for, what, 10% of the first two disks? Maybe 15?
I WILL ESCAPE WITH YOU ALL!
NO WAIT, I WILL GO BACK WITH BEATRIX AND FREYA BECAUSE REASONS!

You are actually short a full party for the last half of Disk 1/first quarter of disk 2 unless you know about Quina. Speaking of him/her, I love how s/he just randomly leaves your party for the rest of Disk 2 once you get to the Mountain Path even though s/he's right smurfing there in Madain Sari.

People complain about how long it took XIII to "open up" or "give me complete control of my team." IX is no better in this regard.

Formalhaut
03-03-2016, 04:10 AM
Comparing IX to XIII is a bold move, sir.

Forsaken Lover
03-03-2016, 04:13 AM
I am a man of strong opinions and no life, which gives me ample time to argue them with people on the Internet.

Wolf Kanno
03-03-2016, 05:42 AM
VI also pulled the split party mechanic but it was more of a short diversion.

It works better in IX than XIII if only because IX's classes are hardwired in whereas XIII's is slightly more fluid with the paradigm system, making the issue of getting a new party member in IX a bigger deal than it was XIII. Getting Fang was not as game changing as getting Freya for instance because Freya offered something completely new and different in terms of abilities and role in your party whereas Fang is a bit less special since you already have people who can do the same roles as her with only a three stats and some abilities creating any kind of variation. Even latecomers like Amarant and Eiko offered new dynamics to the party whereas the different ways each of the characters utilize the Paradigm Roles in XIII are pretty subtle and often still made many characters second rate compared to better options within the party.

It's the same reason why the switching party mechanic worked better in FFIV and VI because the characters did change the way you play the game. The biggest game changer to enter your party was getting Snow back as the player had been denied the Sentinel class and gaining that job finally ended most of the cheap leader kill deaths in the game. Of anything, I would say XIII is closer to IV, where the limited party options were meant as a means to keep the player on their toes because you didn't always have the same options. IX is probably closer to VI where new character introduce new moves and playstyles that change up party dynamics and options.

charliepanayi
03-03-2016, 09:15 AM
I thought the splits in the party are very well explained. I think they are pretty clear on why Steiner decided to stick with Freya and Beatrix and fight with them. And Quina's absences are never unexplained, if you talk to one of the moogles in Madain Sari they say that Quina basically ran off/jumped into the ocean. Quina isn't just in Madain Sari all that time. Did you miss half the dialogue when playing the game or not bother talking to NPCs?

Plus, FFIX is just 10000000000000000000000 times better than FFXIII in general.

Forsaken Lover
03-03-2016, 10:32 AM
Steiner gives the most half-assed reasons for going back with Beatrix and Freya. He also leaves Garnet. the princess he is sown to protect, completely in the hands of a person he has vehemently disliked most of the game.

And Quina comes out of the water in the Eiko's Kitchen ATEs. He's then just standing there with one of the moogles for the rest of Disk 2. There's no reason s/he couldn't come with to the Iifa Tree either time.

Fynn
03-03-2016, 10:38 AM
The similarities are there, true

But XIII is terrible for a myriad of different reasons, IMO :p

Mirage
03-03-2016, 11:18 AM
I didn't mind the party splitups in FF13, or any other game, really. What I did mind was the refusal of the game to let me play with all the battle mechanics when i already had limited choices in party setup.

maybee
03-03-2016, 02:00 PM
FF IX has good characters though. FF IX isn't one big hallway of doom either as you have Alexandria to explore and head to the main show anytime you desire, and then Ice Cavern or train and even with Lindblum you can go outside with Zidane and level up a little. It also has a brilliant main story and main character that doesn't treat his main party like shit. Zidane is like the polar opposite of Lightning.

Fynn
03-03-2016, 02:02 PM
Not to mention it doesn't restrict you to the degree FFXIII does in its gameplay. Far from it. Even with set job, this game still feels like I have so much more control over the battles and my characters' development than XIII with its idiotic Crystarium locks.

Forsaken Lover
03-03-2016, 02:12 PM
Not really. You learn abilities off equipment so you are restricted until you get that equipment. I can no more learn Fira early with Vivi than I can with Hope.

The most you can do is level grind.

Fynn
03-03-2016, 02:14 PM
Yes, but at least you can level grind. You have that option. There is no fake difficulty by restricting your progress so that you just can't be leveled sufficiently to completely overpower the boss of you so wish

Forsaken Lover
03-03-2016, 02:17 PM
I didn't realize being forced to use your head was a bad thing.

maybee
03-03-2016, 02:20 PM
Yes, but at least you can level grind. You have that option. There is no fake difficulty by restricting your progress so that you just can't be leveled sufficiently to completely overpower the boss of you so wish

There's also options in the game where you have the choice to just openly level grind- example The Evil Forest has a massive spot where you can just take Zidane, Vivi & Steiner and just grind till you are comfortable with their levels. There's also the part where Garnet & Steiner travel back to Alexandria and the end of CD 1 and you have a choice to go straight to the Grotto and go to Burmecia or level up around the world map, and there's also the choice of adding Quina to your party or just leaving the Qu behind for now.

FREEDOM AND CHOICE

THINGS FF 13 DO NOT HAVE !

Fynn
03-03-2016, 02:32 PM
I didn't realize being forced to use your head was a bad thing.

Oh no, don't get me wrong. I had no problems with FFXIII whatsoever. My few game overs were when I accidentally stumbled into Adamantoises. The combat was easy and automatic, so I only wished I could make it go by faster

Forsaken Lover
03-03-2016, 03:06 PM
Uh huh. And IX was hold down X while you have Auto Haste and Auto Regen on.

I wish it was automatic, would have spared my thumb.

Fynn
03-03-2016, 03:07 PM
That's just, like, your opinion, man

Loony BoB
03-03-2016, 03:50 PM
Anyone arguing that IX (or pretty much any game where you can grind-to-win) is more difficult than XIII is absurd.

"Fake difficulty" is one of the silliest terms I've ever seen mentioned regarding gaming, especially when referring to a Final Fantasy game.

Having said all that, I don't agree that IX and XIV are very similar. They have similar aspects but I found the games markedly different.

Fynn
03-03-2016, 03:56 PM
I never said it was difficult. I just don't get how people can consider XIII challenging when there is one specific way to play it because the game doesn't give you the freedom to do otherwise. How can you call it strategizing when you have one strategy made available to you?

It's literally buff>break>attack>heal, rinse and repeat. You don't even get to choose how to go about the nuances of it - the game does that for you!

And I'm sorry, but halting level progression just to obscure how basic and dumb the game is underneath all the fluff is very much fake difficulty. In its purest form.

Loony BoB
03-03-2016, 04:29 PM
I never said it was difficult. I just don't get how people can consider XIII challenging when there is one specific way to play it because the game doesn't give you the freedom to do otherwise. How can you call it strategizing when you have one strategy made available to you?

It's literally buff>break>attack>heal, rinse and repeat. You don't even get to choose how to go about the nuances of it - the game does that for you!

And I'm sorry, but halting level progression just to obscure how basic and dumb the game is underneath all the fluff is very much fake difficulty. In its purest form.
Halting level progression is what stops it from, unlike other FF games, being a simple case of hold x, win game. Anyone who thinks that any of the non-MMO main numbered FF games are more difficult than FFXIII is being silly, because in the other games all you have to do is grind2win. I can understand people who criticise the series for having dumb/basic gameplay, but not the only game in the series that makes it more complicated than holding a single button while you browse the internet on your phone. :p In XIII, you react to the different attacks being thrown at you and the specific situations you are being faced with. In any other FF, you do nothing different other than "be overpowered, win." In a game where it is even vaguely turn based, the more strategy involved and the more limited the overpower-via-level-grind, the more difficult the game. There is more strategy involved in XIII than I-X or XII. It's as simple as that. :shrug: Nothing more, nothing less. You don't even get to worry about positioning, so it's all about what kind of attacks or defences you use at a certain time. In all the other games, it isn't really even about that, it's just about "what level are you?"

Fynn
03-03-2016, 04:33 PM
There is more strategy involved in XIII than I-X or XI. It's as simple as that.

Sorry, man, you've totally lost me on this one :p As someone who almost fell asleep during this game because it was so mind-numbingly easy for me, I don't think there is any argument to be made here. We just have completely conflicting ideas on what makes a game a challenge and what means of overcoming a challenge are satisfying.

Pumpkin
03-03-2016, 04:36 PM
I found XIII to be very challenging and I liked the strategy involved with the paradigms. The paradigm is my favourite thing about the game and I would like to see it implemented in other games.

There are some similarities between the games, as there are with most RPG's. To me though IX executed it much better. Better story, world, characters. More side-quests, more freedom, more to explore and do. More going at your own pace, towns to visit. It was fairly limiting in a lot of terms but the way things were executed was, to me, just better

Loony BoB
03-03-2016, 04:38 PM
They probably make you fall asleep because you can't sit there holding X while you do something that actually keeps you awake. :D Seriously, name which FFs you think require more strategy than XIII. Let's stick to bosses - we already know you hold X to win against every single trash mob in every single FF.

Pumpkin
03-03-2016, 04:40 PM
FFT requires more strategy :monster:

I agree that XIII's gameplay was more complex than a lot of the FF games, I find. As I was telling Karifean, I can play the others while holding down the attack button and doing homework. XIII I actually have to look up and do things

Loony BoB
03-03-2016, 04:41 PM
Oh, yeah, sorry, I should have added spinoffs alongside the MMOs. xD If you want a true challenge in FF, MMOs are the way to go.

Fynn
03-03-2016, 04:44 PM
Tactics is also challenging.

Loony BoB
03-03-2016, 04:46 PM
Read my previous post. xD Let me repeat (with clarification) the question...

Seriously, name which of the single player main series FF games you think require more strategy than XIII. Let's stick to bosses - we already know you hold X to win against every single trash mob in every single FF.

Fynn
03-03-2016, 04:54 PM
You did not ask me to name anything? I was just giving an example of a challenging spinoff, which you mentioned a post earlier, and I didn't say numbered FFs are challenging.

But okay, here we go.

Final Fantasy II: no traditional leveling system, you really had to plan what to develop as opposite stats actually decreased

Final Fantasy III: limited phoenix downs, job proficiencies, and super beefed up enemies with multiple turns meant you had to plan every move and grinding took forever, so not only was it difficult to overpower the bosses, but even if you were overleveled, you could easily get wiped in a turn or two

Final Fantasy IV: the DS version especially, many bosses have lethal counters and casting and recasting the slow spell on them and haste on you really made things difficult. There was also no means of casting those spells on a group without beating the game at least once and getting the omnicasting augment. Buffs were the most important thing in this game. Much more than levels. you could be level 99 and lose the final battle if you relied on press x to win

Final Fantasy XII: again, buffs and debuffs are incredibly important, and you had to really plan your gambits ahead if you wanted to utilize the party effectively. And you moved around on the map, so you can't tell me all you had to do to win here was press X. And don't get me started on gambits playing for you or just hacing everyone use attack and cure - over here, it's your choice to utilize both and you havre complete freedom to figure out your own strategies against anything. It's really so much more complex and strategic than XIII it's not even funny

Mirage
03-03-2016, 04:54 PM
I never said it was difficult. I just don't get how people can consider XIII challenging when there is one specific way to play it because the game doesn't give you the freedom to do otherwise. How can you call it strategizing when you have one strategy made available to you?

It's literally buff>break>attack>heal, rinse and repeat. You don't even get to choose how to go about the nuances of it - the game does that for you!

And I'm sorry, but halting level progression just to obscure how basic and dumb the game is underneath all the fluff is very much fake difficulty. In its purest form.
Halting level progression is what stops it from, unlike other FF games, being a simple case of hold x, win game. Anyone who thinks that any of the non-MMO main numbered FF games are more difficult than FFXIII is being silly, because in the other games all you have to do is grind2win. I can understand people who criticise the series for having dumb/basic gameplay, but not the only game in the series that makes it more complicated than holding a single button while you browse the internet on your phone. :p In XIII, you react to the different attacks being thrown at you and the specific situations you are being faced with. In any other FF, you do nothing different other than "be overpowered, win." In a game where it is even vaguely turn based, the more strategy involved and the more limited the overpower-via-level-grind, the more difficult the game. There is more strategy involved in XIII than I-X or XI. It's as simple as that. :shrug: Nothing more, nothing less. You don't even get to worry about positioning, so it's all about what kind of attacks or defences you use at a certain time. In all the other games, it isn't really even about that, it's just about "what level are you?"

more strategy than in ff11, ahahahahaha ahahaha haaa.

Loony BoB
03-03-2016, 04:59 PM
Final Fantasy II: no traditional leveling system, you really had to plan what to develop as opposite stats actually decreased
Other than equipping different things, I pressed X to win. Or spammed a skill to win, on occasion. The end boss was a bitch, but once I went back to my save and levelled up a bunch, he got wrecked.


Final Fantasy III: limited phoenix downs, job proficiencies, and super beefed up enemies with multiple turns meant you had to plan every move and grinding took forever, so not only was it difficult to overpower the bosses, but even if you were overleveled, you could easily get wiped in a turn or two

Final Fantasy IV: the DS version especially, many bosses have lethal counters and casting and recasting the slow spell on them and haste on you really made things difficult. There was also no means of casting those spells on a group without beating the game at least once and getting the omnicasting augment. Buffs were the most important thing in this game. Much more than levels. you could be level 99 and lose the final battle if you relied on press x to win
Admittedly I haven't played these in forever. But yeah, you can be max level in FFXIII and lose the final battle if you relied on press x to win, too. Super beefed up enemies are only super beefed up until you grind a weaker enemy long enough to be overpowered. "Grinding took forever" - so does FFXIII if you don't actually use your paradigms effectively.


Final Fantasy XII: again, buffs and debuffs are incredibly important, and you had to really plan your gambits ahead if you wanted to utilize the party effectively. And you moved around on the map, so you can't tell me all you had to do to win here was press X. And don't get me started on gambits playing for you or just hacing everyone use attack and cure - over here, it's your choice to utilize both and you havre complete freedom to figure out your own strategies against anything. It's really so much more complex and strategic than XIII it's not even funny
I basically pressed X to win for damned near everything in FFXII. Whenever I struggled on a fight I knew it was simply a case of having to do more grinding. Overpower, overpower, overpower. Admittedly I had to pay attention during some boss fights but certainly no more than I had to pay attention to some boss fights in FFXIII.

I set up like 10 gambits for the entire game. :shobon:


more strategy than in ff11, ahahahahaha ahahaha haaa.
Typo. xD Should have read XII, not XI. I'll fix. I've repeatedly said MMOs are where it is at for challenge in the main FF series.

Fynn
03-03-2016, 05:04 PM
Well, see, this is just my point - you and I fundamentally disagree on this matter. Which is exactly why I made a post saying you and I have completely different standards and I won't convince you XIII is super not strategic.

I think XIII is dumb and is the least fun I've had in decades, and requires as much strategy as preparing my morning muesli. I;ve had more fun and challenge in the games that I mentioned because I could combine the grinding and strategizing in any way I want to make it fun, which is something that can NEVER, EVER be said about XIII.

So if you were looking for a way to objectively prove XIII is more strategic or challenging than those, well, you failed, because there is nothing objective about how each of us experiences video games. And I'm honestly tired of having to explain myself to people. It's just my opinion, yours is just yours. And that's that. Nothing else to it

Loony BoB
03-03-2016, 05:15 PM
I'm trying to fathom what exactly it is that you enjoy. Do you enjoy level grinding? Do you feel over-leveling until you can simply destroy the opposition is a strategy? Do you feel that picking out the right gambits so you can basically let the game play for you is an enjoyable strategy?

Like, I'm no battle junkie, don't get me wrong, and I love Final Fantasy games despite how blatantly simple they are to beat with damned near zero strategy. But I really enjoyed XIII for actually making me think (outside of hold x until cure, cast haste, repeat) during battles. I enjoy that I couldn't hold x to win these fights, that I had to come up with the best paradigm sets for each fight, things like that. In other single player FF games, I enjoyed being ridiculously overpowered, but I never felt it was strategy at all, just... being overpowered.

Fynn
03-03-2016, 05:27 PM
I enjoy freedom. Freedom to enjoy the game at my own pace and figure out how to beat a boss.

FFXIII made me do the opposite of what to think. Once you see what the game wants you to do exactly, which is just repeat all the same paradigms over and over, there really is nothing else to it, especially since the game chooses commands for you way more quickly and accurately than you ever could.

And yes, FFXIII plays itself much more than XIII becausw of the simple fact that you had to set up how it plays. If you set it up so that it actually played itself - well, that's awesome because you created a reliable AI script all on your own!

So the freedom to actually play how you want is what's missing thanks to the lack of grinding. And ots not that I'm some compulsive grinder - it's just that getting progressively stronger is one of the most satisfying elements of an RPG. XIII completely took away that feeling by imposing some incredibly stupid barrier, killing any incentive to actually go out there and battle. I see it as only a means to mask how hollow the system is underneath. Because you'd still struggle in FFXII if you were overleveled and you didn't thing. If they let you overleveled in XIII, everything would fall apart because the game is super easy as it is. So in order to obscure that design flaw, to create the illusion that you can't press X to win, they have us level caps, making sure we don't disobey the game's benevolent creators. We can't have that now, can we. That's the essence of fake difficulty which I stand by and I will defend my right to use the term to the death.

Mister Adequate
03-03-2016, 10:00 PM
Okay putting ASIDE that none of you know what the word "strategic" means, I can totally see where FL is coming from with the OP - XIII is far from the first to split your party up for an extended period. IX did it of course, but so did VI and, perhaps the most of any FF, IV. I'm not entirely sure how much it factors into a game as such though, it's going to heavily depend on the characters in question, both in terms of utility and in terms of how much you like them. I love Sazh and Vanille both, so having a whole chapter with just them is fine with me. Lightning decking Snow repeatedly is hilarious and I'm always okay with them bickering. OTOH, I adore Freya and like Steiner a great deal, so taking them away from me for extended periods was annoying as hell. And I can't believe anyone would think a party that didn't include Palom and Porom is viable, let alone required.

But JRPGs have an inherent structure that has been set in stone since they first emerged, and it has never changed much; you go on a long, linear adventure for the first 50 hours, then the game opens up and you get access to bonus dungeons, can pursue sidequests, and collect the best gear, before you head to the final dungeon and finish up. There are certainly exceptions, but more or less the only variable is the number of hours to hit endgame. Some games it's 20, some it's 70+, most are in between.

This is inherently limiting compared to many games in the western canon, like the TES series, where you can break the entire world in half at level 1 and kill a god with a lockpick if you take enough drugs. A JRPG has pretty good knowledge about what level you'll be when you get to, say, Icicle Inn, and what equipment and spells you'll have. The game is tailored to those expectations. A game like Gothic would just let you wander across Icicle Inn and get fucking murdered by Elena so hard your game uninstalls itself. They just don't operate on the same assumptions. And that's okay! It's okay to have different approaches and give the player different things, I enjoy both subgenres a huge amount personally. But it does mean you kind of have to know what you're getting into, and that there are certain conventions which most games won't break out of. I mean, as much variation as there is between IX and XIII in battle systems, they're both still vastly closer to each other and all other single-player FFs than they are to TES, or to Baldur's Gate, etc..

Sefie1999AD
03-04-2016, 02:36 AM
Final Fantasy III: limited phoenix downs, job proficiencies, and super beefed up enemies with multiple turns meant you had to plan every move and grinding took forever, so not only was it difficult to overpower the bosses, but even if you were overleveled, you could easily get wiped in a turn or two

I still don't think FFIII is hard, it's just very grindy. I never noticed limited Phoenix Downs, as the battles are easy enough during the early parts of the game, and later you have Life spells, and I rarely had knocked out characters anyway. The random battles were also very short throughout the game, even the mobs in the final dungeon were over in 1-2 turns. Meanwhile, FFXIII's battle system meant you never had to worry about saving MP, but you could go all-out in every fight (and usually you had to, as even normal battles can kill you quickly in XIII), and near the end of the game, every battle was essentially a 5-minute mini-boss.

While FFIX is my favorite game in the series, and XIII is... well, nowhere in the Top 5, I still have to give credit to those things XIII did right. If you had trouble staying awake during the battles of FFXIII, how in the glorious grounds of grieving Gaia did you stay awake in FFIX, where battles have a 30-second camera pan intro, ATB is extremely slow even on the fastest speed and the animations are just very slow? :D


Final Fantasy XII: again, buffs and debuffs are incredibly important, and you had to really plan your gambits ahead if you wanted to utilize the party effectively. And you moved around on the map, so you can't tell me all you had to do to win here was press X. And don't get me started on gambits playing for you or just hacing everyone use attack and cure - over here, it's your choice to utilize both and you havre complete freedom to figure out your own strategies against anything. It's really so much more complex and strategic than XIII it's not even funny

My favorite approach, at least in FFXII: IZJS, is to set up gambits properly, then fight all the mobs by enabling fast-forward, and then rotate the left analog stick to win. I admit it's rare for me to use manual commands in FFXIII, at least until the postgame, but it's not like mashing only X for Auto-Battle wins you many battles. Part of the challenge comes from party member and paradigm planning, and the battles are about reacting to the events quickly and switching to another paradigm that fits better to the situation. I also remember fine-tuning the paradigm setups all the time, because different mobs in different areas require different job setup approaches.