View Full Version : The Problem is Choice! (of Party Members)

Forsaken Lover
06-09-2016, 08:55 PM
So I'm replaying FFVII and FFIX now with difficulty mods but it made me think o fsomething I never really considered before.

FFVIi gives you damn near your whole party pretty much from the start and you stick with it all game really.

FFIX of course loves to split your party up about as much as FFXIII does. You won't have access to your whole party or really be able to choose a party at all until Disk 3. Well, technically, you can choose a party at the ass-end of Disk 2.

And so the question. Do you care? Do you like that games like FFVII or X give you about half your party at the start of the game and just keeps adding new people? Or is it fine when you are split up and have to control multiple groups?

06-09-2016, 09:53 PM
I don't mind either way. When I have full choice I split my time between everyone so their levels and skills stay up. If the party splits then that's something I don't have to do.

06-09-2016, 10:09 PM
Ooo good question. I liked how FFXIII did it, as it made sense and developed the characters in pairs, allowing for richer development. Of course, Snow doesn't feature in chapters 4 - 6, and Fang is only introduced in chapter 7, but there's still half the story, so it didn't seem so bad and their characters were introduced through conversation earlier.

On the other hand, I did like how FFX and FFVII did it. It allows you to spend more time with your characters and there is more opportunity for them to contribute.

I know this isn't Final Fantasy (but I can't think of a good example within the series), but Mass Effect 2 did it poorly. You get half of your team in the second half of the game, but by that point there's not so many quests left for them to quip and comment on. You get your final teammate as an 'eleventh hour hero', and you barely get to spend time with them before the end of the game. It was one of ME2's few flaws, personally.

I suppose ultimately, I don't mind what way I get my characters, assuming:

- I get all of them by the half-way point of the game
- There's enough time for development and they can make a definite impact in my team
- Less importantly: their introduction into gameplay is seamless and they aren't useless/duplicating another playstyle.

06-10-2016, 10:37 AM
I'm playing FFII at the minute and I'm right at the end and Leon has just joined my party. Now, I don't mind the fact that he joined so late, I do mind the fact that he joined with about 1000HP and 5MP when the rest of my team are rocking 9999/999 stats. I've had to spend a decent amount of time just levelling him up so he's not fodder in the final dungeon.

I honestly don't mind either approach as long as it's done well. Just make sure if you're introducing characters late, they are suitably levelled for the job dammit. I don't want to experience the equivalent of wheeling in a paraplegic in a wheelchair as my fourth party member.

06-10-2016, 10:43 AM
Yeah, either can work if done properly. I liked how FFV or Bravely Default do it, as in you get a four-member party and stick with it through the game, as it really feels like the group gels well together. But I also think IV went about switching out party members pretty well, as everyone gets a solid amount of development. Of course, the fake-out deaths are lame, but that's pretty much the only gripe I have about that game's execution.

Wolf Kanno
06-10-2016, 07:39 PM
I kind of prefer when a game switches your party up over the "here's everyone, enjoy" route. Largely because it forces me to use characters I probably would never normally use. When I get everyone, and especially if the game uses a customization system that lets everyone be everything, I find I just stick to my faves. I've played FFVII and VIII half a dozen times, but I almost always resort to using my default party option regardless of how hard I try to branch out and "use everyone". The get everyone from the start only works on two occasions: if the the whole cast is equivalent to how many characters you can use, so for example, you can use four characters and there are only four playable characters to use; or if every character is heavily specialized, forcing you to have to use everyone at some point to make things easier.

06-10-2016, 09:31 PM
I like both depending on how it's done. I actually feel it's a bit more realistic and immersive when they split up because, let's face it, RPG heroes get in to some heavy stuff. People are going to leave, split up, etc. Get other things done, have important things come up, yada yada. I really like how IX did it and I felt it really added to the story telling for me personally. Like WK said, it also gives me an excuse to use and get to know certain characters I otherwise wouldn't pay much attention to. It can also help larger casts develop if they have their own focus in a smaller group.

I can also enjoy when they give you everyone and you keep them because you get to stick with them and watch them develop that way. You get to see them beginning to end and you never have to worry about your favourites being taken away. Like Formy though, I hate it when they give you late arrival characters and you don't get to see them grow as much or have as much time with them. So really it depends on how it's done.

06-13-2016, 06:01 AM
I think late-arrival party members can work well if they have been established as characters long before. Like how in Chrono Trigger Magus was already an established villain with a very heavy role in the story, or how in FFII Leon was with you. I the beginning and the also involved in the plot in other ways.

06-15-2016, 01:21 PM
Yeah, if the late-arrivals were already featured heavily in the plot, I don't mind it. Fang was referenced in a few chapters before her chapter 7 debut. Naoto gets a few appearances before joining in September (though I'd prefer if they joined sooner).