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Loony BoB
12-07-2016, 01:23 PM
I'm curious regarding the standard of a game that some people seem to expect. Some people seem to say "But it's a Final Fantasy game, it should be better than this" for certain games in the series, for example. Yet, at the same time, some of those people also say "If it wasn't a Final Fantasy game then I'd probably actually think it was pretty good." This makes me wonder if all games should be treated equal, and if they are treated equal. Also, how that affects payment for games. If you set the standard higher, does that mean you are more willing to spend more money on that game? Think of a game you were content with. Not amazed, but contented. Would you pay a higher price than you did if it was then going to have it's standards increased to become more generally regarded as amazing?

Personally, the best similarity I can think of for me is the Pokémon series. I don't buy the games these days because I feel they don't justify the price tag with enough 'new' stuff to warrant the price of a full game. More often than not the amount of work that goes into a Pokémon game... well, it generally seems like "Get the previous generation, throw in a new thing or two, add a new generation of Pokémon. Oh, and if they want to actually catch them all instead of trading, then definitely make them buy the game twice just for good measure." I can't stand this line of thinking. If I'm paying full price, I expect to be provided with a completely freshly created experience (a la Final Fantasy), or a generally amazing amount of razzle dazzle on display (a la Uncharted). Pokémon is generally a series based on "more of the same". We tend to get more 'new things' every few months in the bigger patches for FFXIV than we get in a full game of Pokémon, and this really annoys me. I've bought Pokémon games but never full price. Just eBay stuff for old generations. Especially when individual people make up new Pokémon for mods for free on a regular basis that are just as good as the official stuff.

Then you look at the VII Remake. When they said they're making it episodic because the cost of a single game won't cover the cost of making all the content they want to make, I was pretty happy. I would much prefer paying more than the price of a single game if it means that I'm going to get that much more effort put into the game. I'm just happy that kind of effort will be going into it.

So, what about you? What's your general viewpoint on this kinda stuff? Any good examples?

FFNut
12-07-2016, 01:58 PM
I don't think all games are equal. I expect more from a franchise and company that has made a name for themselves then I would from an indy game that looks interesting. It could be why I hated FF XIII. Though I think it would have been decent if it was under a different name, it felt like a shadow of what I expected out of a FF game.

Maybe I just expect to much from older companies. This may be something for me to think about.

Momiji
12-07-2016, 04:53 PM
They absolutely are not equal. Like FFNut said, some series that make a name for themselves are expected to hold to the standard of quality that they've been able to show in the past. That isn't to say that every game has to be a knockout home run masterpiece-- that's just not possible.

I'm really jaded when it comes to Final Fantasy (and that's a big reason why I haven't been around for the past few years). I played the entire series of the games (that were released by that point) through my adolescence and they were a HUGE part of my life. The stories captivated me, the characters entertained me, the music enchanted me, and the gameplay was fun enough to want to keep making them stronger. But the FFXII came along, and while I can't call it a BAD game, it didn't resonate with me much-- it felt very slow and I couldn't stay interested. But that's opinion. Then the the FFXIII trifecta came along and it took me YEARS to finally break down and buy just the first one, because I simply could not be assed to get it. It didn't appeal at all to me. The departure from what Final Fantasy felt like to me was just too much. Once I did pick it up, I did play about 70% of the way through it, trying to like it, but beyond the music and the graphics, I just wasn't feeling it much. It did not help that I found myself disliking over half of the cast too.

So, would Final Fantasy XV be a better game, in my eyes, if it didn't have the Final Fantasy label? I genuinely think it would be. In fact, I'd prefer it to be. FFXV so far, to me, feels so hollow, like it's trying to be something it isn't. It's such a massive departure from what made Final Fantasy what it has been for nearly 30 years. It doesn't feel like Final Fantasy to me. It feels like its own game with some Final Fantasy references injected into it. I'm not saying that changes are a bad thing-- they're necessary to keep players coming back. But in my eyes, the game is so far removed from what the series has made itself out to be that it just may as well not be a Final Fantasy game at all. And I'd be okay with that! If it didn't try to be something it wasn't and made a new name for itself instead, I'd be far more forgiving. It'd be a new IP that they would be working the kinks out of. That would be totally fine. But since they decided to say "Hey, this is the next big installment in one of the longest-running and most deeply loved RPG series in history", expectations are way higher-- especially since it's been trapped in development hell for so long. There's only so many excuses that can be made for it!

As far as prices go, the degree of standard I hold for a game definitely influences how much I'm willing to pay. I agree that Pokemon is more of the same ad nauseam, but I find myself getting each new release on release date, too. I feel that while every game hasn't been a hit (Generation 4 was completely unmemorable to me, I hated Black/White 2 and felt it was so unnecessary, and thought the story of XY was dumb), what matters to me in the games is the gameplay. Sure, it's samey, but it's a good kind of samey, I feel. It hits all of the nostalgia feelings while still feeling new each generation without being TOO different. And each generation has improved on what the game really sells itself on: interacting with other players. It used to be impossible to play or trade with anyone if you didn't have a link cable or if no one near you had the game. Now, the games have made it so much more accessible-- you can easily play with anyone LITERALLY AROUND THE WORLD, whether you know them or not-- and it's so much easier to play competitively too with all the new ways the game lets you breed and train your Pokemon to your liking. I also feel that for that reason, your point about "making them buy the game twice" is moot, because you're not expected to do that. The version system was flawed and forced commercialization, I agree, but only up until Generation 4, where it became far, FAR easier to interact with other people to collect the Pokemon you didn't have access to. While there's a point to be made that it's still overall unnecessary, it's a very, very small issue now, since only a very small number of Pokemon are exclusive to each version these days, relatively. It's an encouragement to interact with other players. It's not the BEST method of doing it, I feel, but it works. So for all of that, I'm willing to pay $39.99 every couple years. I'm cool with that. And it's because my standards for Pokemon aren't really that high-- I know what to expect when I'm buying the game, which is a tried-and-true formula with a new story, new environment, and new Pokemon to collect, while improving on the experience overall. I don't expect the game to blow me away or be Game of the Year material.

I do, however, have that standard for Final Fantasy, and that's why my general dissatisfaction with the series over the past decade has left a bad taste in my mouth. (Except FFXIV. FFXIV is great.)

Loony BoB
12-07-2016, 05:03 PM
Please correct me if I'm wrong on this, but from what I can read in your post...

- Game A and Game B cost the same.

- You expect Game A to be rather average based on historic entries in the series
- You expect Game B to be amazing based on historic entries in the series

- Game A is decent, when you forget the brand name
- Game B is decent, when you forget the brand name

- You are cool spending money on Game A each time because it did not meet your expectations
- You are not cool spending money on Game B each time because it did not meet your expectations

So despite them costing the same and both being about as good as each other, you have a bitter feeling towards the one you had higher expectations for and lose faith in that series, while you had low expectations for the other series and it met the lower expectations and therefore you will continue being a customer for them.

I dunno man, it just seems weird to me to hold games to such different standards despite spending the same amount on them. I mean, I guess it's like food for me. I don't care where the food is from so long as it tastes great. It could be from a gourmet chef and still taste like a McDonalds burger and so long as they both charged me the same amount, I'd be okay with that.

This isn't a criticism by the way, it's just something I'm trying to wrap my head around a little better because I don't understand it. xD

Fynn
12-07-2016, 05:03 PM
I... kind of disagree?

I don't wish to offend anyone this way, but as I am replaying all the FFs in order now (and expecially after my recent playthrough of VII), I really don't think there is any kind of golden standard that is anything other than simply our own nostalgia talking.

I mean, I still really like VII, it has some nice things about it, but now that I play it as an adult, I can see how terrible the whole second half of the game is with its incredibly long dungeons empty of any dialogue, and the idiotic huge materia quest that is just one massive plothole, and the whole thing really feels like heaps upon heaps of pointless padding. This game didn't need to be this long.At all.

So no, I really don't think games have to be "good enough" to be considered FF, because the game that made FF popular - VII - isn't really that good. It has really good moments, but the overall package is severely lacking. We all just played it at an age where everything seemed awesome. And now we're playing games at an age where we know more and have seen more, so all these new things seem less special because we didn't grow up with them.

Momiji
12-07-2016, 05:32 PM
Please correct me if I'm wrong on this, but from what I can read in your post...

- Game A and Game B cost the same.

- You expect Game A to be rather average based on historic entries in the series
- You expect Game B to be amazing based on historic entries in the series

- Game A is decent, when you forget the brand name
- Game B is decent, when you forget the brand name

- You are cool spending money on Game A each time because it did not meet your expectations
- You are not cool spending money on Game B each time because it did not meet your expectations

So despite them costing the same and both being about as good as each other, you have a bitter feeling towards the one you had higher expectations for and lose faith in that series, while you had low expectations for the other series and it met the lower expectations and therefore you will continue being a customer for them.

I dunno man, it just seems weird to me to hold games to such different standards despite spending the same amount on them. I mean, I guess it's like food for me. I don't care where the food is from so long as it tastes great. It could be from a gourmet chef and still taste like a McDonalds burger and so long as they both charged me the same amount, I'd be okay with that.

This isn't a criticism by the way, it's just something I'm trying to wrap my head around a little better because I don't understand it. xD


Indeed, there's a misunderstanding here.

Let's think of expectations and standards on a numerical scale, with 10 being FANTASTIC and 0 being absolute garbage.

If, in my eyes, Final Fantasy games have for the most part historically been in the 7-10 range, getting a Final Fantasy game that feels to me like a 4 does make me feel rather bitter. My standards were high and they weren't met, thus making it feel like it wasn't worth it.

On the other hand, if Pokemon games in my eyes have historically been in the 4-8 range, getting a Pokemon game that's a 4 feels par for the course. It feels like "well, I expected about as much.

In this example, I'd be rating both games as a 4, but I'm cooler with Pokemon being a 4 because my standards for it aren't as high. I'm a fan of the series and have been since gen 1, but by no means do I feel like it could ever be absolutely astounding in any aspect-- it's just fun.


For another example, I'll use the Dangan Ronpa series. I smurfing LOVE Dangan Ronpa. But are they good games? The stories are ridiculous and absurd and the characters are highly exaggerated tropes-- but that's all intentional. The gameplay isn't much to write home about. But I've consistently got the special edition of each game that has come out so far because I got so much enjoyment out of them anyway. My standard for the games aren't super high-- let's say they are solidly in the 5 range for me. I don't expect the games to be anything more than that, but they keep ending up being 6-8s with me after I play them. They've always exceeded my expectations, which keeps me coming back to pay more.

To use your food example: Pokemon and Dangan Ronpa are junk food. Tasty junk food. I don't expect them to be more than junk food, but I do enjoy them anyway. Final Fantasy, however, has always been a more substantial series in my eyes. I expect Final Fantasy to be a gourmet meal-- rich and fulfilling, while Pokemon or Dangan Ronpa is a box of donuts. If the gourmet meal ends up being a box of donuts that has a ~*~GOURMET~*~ label slapped on it when it just ends up being a box of donuts with sprinkles (I don't even like sprinkles!), it's hard to feel fulfilled. Meanwhile, Dangan Ronpa, while I expect a box of donuts, ends up being a box of JELLY filled donuts, the it's like, holy trout man, my expectations have been exceeded.

So let's bring it back to FFXV. I'm not super fond of it so far! It's in limbo between 3-6 to me right now. My standard for FF series is 7-10. It isn't meeting that standard, so I'm feeling dissatisfied. If it were, instead, not a part of the FF series, and instead [INSERT NEW SQUARE ENIX IP HERE: BRO SKYRIM EDITION], my standards would be different. I wouldn't have expected it to be as great as FF games have historically been in my eyes, and I may have felt differently.

One's perception of a series does color a lot of opinions when it comes to enjoyment of a game, I feel.

Does that make more sense?

Psychotic
12-07-2016, 05:46 PM
Why did Square call Final Fantasy XV that rather than, to borrow from Momiji, [INSERT NEW SQUARE ENIX IP HERE: BRO SKYRIM EDITION]? Brand recognition based on the success of previous entries in the series leading to greater commercial success. If you want to use that to drive sales of and interest in your game, you also have to accept the consequence of being held up against the previous games. Or rather, live by the sword, die by the sword.

Loony BoB
12-07-2016, 05:49 PM
Sounds like I wasn't too far off? :o Unless I'm still misunderstanding. xD But yeah, basically you thought both games were about as good quality-wise as each other, but you have OK feelings towards one while having negative feelings towards the other, based on pre-existing standards. It's a large chunk of why these days I try my hardest not to get caught up in hype. When I played VI through to finish the first time, it was after endless hype at EoFF and honestly I just felt... tired? Bored? I dunno. There were a lot of great things in that game but my expectations were to be dramatically amazed like I was in most new FF games I play. But I just wasn't and that annoyed me.

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I think it's important to lower your expectations as much as possible before going into a game, regardless of the anticipation you might have for it. It's tricky, I know. I just like basing my expectations based on money, I guess. If I pay full price for a game, I expect to be entertained to a decent level, and to experience something that feels somewhat new, so I'm not just paying for the same thing all over again. I remember when people criticised L4D2 for basically feeling like an expansion. That's me with every Pokémon game. xD But yeah. L4D2 I enjoyed despite paying full price because the only thing that they really could change were the maps and enemies - everything else was crucial to the formula. And I guess you can say the same for Pokémon, but the amount of work that goes into creating a Pokémon world just feels so much incredibly less than what you get out of a home console game or whatever.

Final Fantasy is a gold mine for me because I know that whatever I'm going to play, it's going to be new, and I can experience that new-ness from scratch. To have a solid number of games in the series held to such a high standard and still be coming up with new things every game, I love that. I love learning about each world and character. But I can understand if other people are more concerned with learning about new kinds of Pokémon and how new types can be mixed up better or something, I guess. I just feel like it's something that they could charge half price for and still be able to have insane profit from. People are suckers for them pocket monsters and they just don't seem very difficult to make compared with other things in home console games. I guess I wouldn't mind Pokémon so much if it just cost less. xD

Overall, though, I just rate each game for what it is. With Final Fantasy, I expect each game to be very different from the last one and the ones before, with a few common elements. Rag tag team of adventurers build up their strength and save the world, fixed characters, fixed personalities, chocobos, moogles, that kinda thing. Perhaps I'm just easily pleased beyond that. :D

One home console game that did disappoint me was Duke Nukem Forever, if anything. That game did not warrant me paying full price, but I did it. Oops.

I wonder, Momiji: Given your different expectation levels, would you be okay with paying more for one game than the other based on the standards you hold to each series? Would you have paid twice the price for a game you felt was 8/10 than a game you felt was 4/10?

Mirage
12-07-2016, 05:52 PM
Please correct me if I'm wrong on this, but from what I can read in your post...

- Game A and Game B cost the same.

- You expect Game A to be rather average based on historic entries in the series
- You expect Game B to be amazing based on historic entries in the series

- Game A is decent, when you forget the brand name
- Game B is decent, when you forget the brand name

- You are cool spending money on Game A each time because it did not meet your expectations
- You are not cool spending money on Game B each time because it did not meet your expectations

So despite them costing the same and both being about as good as each other, you have a bitter feeling towards the one you had higher expectations for and lose faith in that series, while you had low expectations for the other series and it met the lower expectations and therefore you will continue being a customer for them.

I dunno man, it just seems weird to me to hold games to such different standards despite spending the same amount on them. I mean, I guess it's like food for me. I don't care where the food is from so long as it tastes great. It could be from a gourmet chef and still taste like a McDonalds burger and so long as they both charged me the same amount, I'd be okay with that.

This isn't a criticism by the way, it's just something I'm trying to wrap my head around a little better because I don't understand it. xD

If a gourmet chef had over the course of 10 years served you food that is twice as good as mcdonalds for the same price as mcdonalds, then one day when you ordered something there it was just as good as mcdonalds, you wouldn't be disappointed? You wouldn't wonder what happened that caused this drop in quality? That's not even touching the dozens of other factors, such as preference for a certain game (or in this case, food). Perhaps the food made by this chef was one of the very few foods you actually liked, and now that it's dropped in quality, you have nowhere to go for good food at an affordable price anymore? I'm sure you'd be at least little bit annoyed if the only 20 pound meal you could get that you actually liked required you to wait until the next time you happened to be in for example new york, if your town previously had a place where you could get this quality for 20 pounds, but now the only places that offer that quality charge you over 50.

It might not even be about "objective quality", but personal preference. When you buy a game, you are taking a bit of a gamble. Will your 50 pounds get you something you enjoy, or will you start disliking it after just a few hours? Over time, you want your gambles to get you a bunch of games that are for you above average. Let's say you bought 10 games in 2016. you hated two of them, thought 6 were decent, and two were excellent. What if in 2017, all ten games were just decent, with no low or high points? none of the games really made you feel like soaking a ton of extra time into, and the entire gaming year was just a bit of a snoozefest. Would you get on a rollercoaster with no highs or low, just a straight line to the end of the track?

If your gaming year netted you more good games than on average, you had a good year in gaming. If several of the games you were betting on lifting the average were just... average, then clearly you had a worse gaming year than usual, and there might be a long time until you get to play something you think is really amazing again.

And I often choose to pay less for games I think aren't as good. It's called waiting for a steam sale :p. A game that i think will be just average won't make me buy the game at launch for its full price. I'll wait until it drops by 33-50% and then buy it. I only pay full price for games I feel pretty sure that I'll like. This is why I haven't gotten FF15 yet. In fact, I might just wait for the PC version of that so I can mod out all the product placement.

I think lowering your expectations for developers that you have traditionally liked is a bit... apologetic? If they were good before, why should I be fine with them dropping in quality? I'd rather just not reward them for a poor job, or reward them to a lesser degree than usual.

Fynn
12-07-2016, 06:08 PM
Lol, if Danganronpa is junk food to you, Momiji, then we have totally different ideas on what good standards are. Which basically deconstructs the whole thread because it just goes to show all of this is 100% subjective.

Mirage
12-07-2016, 06:14 PM
Danganronpa does look like junk food.

Loony BoB
12-07-2016, 06:15 PM
I guess to continue with the food thing, if I had a ten year wait I'd be questioning why other chefs weren't providing me with something equally awesome. Also, I'd recognise that tastes and trends and ingredients etc over the course of even a few years will change, just like chefs. With that in mind, I'd go in with hope more than expectation that the food might still be as good as it once was.

Even when going from one Pizza Hut to another i find the quality changes a fair bit. I accept that I like Pizza Hut pizza but that doesn't mean I will complain a huge deal if one pizza place uses more sauce than another.

But yeah, with any kind of creativity, expectations are the biggest reason for disappointment and I'm not fond of encouraging myself to be disappointed. Not every food will be the best, some art from an artist is better than others from the artist, etc.

I'd have been disappointed in XV if it had felt like a reskin of a previous FF, though, I guess. I'm not after the exact same food every time - if I wanted that I'd just play the old games again (which I do sometimes!).

Mirage
12-07-2016, 06:24 PM
I guess to continue with the food thing, if I had a ten year wait I'd be questioning why other chefs weren't providing me with something equally awesome. Also, I'd recognise that tastes and trends and ingredients etc over the course of even a few years will change, just like chefs. With that in mind, I'd go in with hope more than expectation that the food might still be as good as it once was.

Even when going from one Pizza Hut to another i find the quality changes a fair bit. I accept that I like Pizza Hut pizza but that doesn't mean I will complain a huge deal if one pizza place uses more sauce than another.

But yeah, with any kind of creativity, expectations are the biggest reason for disappointment and I'm not fond of encouraging myself to be disappointed. Not every food will be the best, some art from an artist is better than others from the artist, etc.

I'd have been disappointed in XV if it had felt like a reskin of a previous FF, though, I guess. I'm not after the exact same food every time - if I wanted that I'd just play the old games again (which I do sometimes!).

If I go to a sushi restaurant, I expect variations and improvements on sushi. If I go there and ask for them to recommend me something, I would be a bit disappointed if they gave me a steak, no matter how good the steak was.

Clearly, there should be variations and improvements in the final fantasy series too, and there always is. That doesn't mean it's impossible to make something that is a bit too different for many of the customers.

Likewise, I would think it was weird if I went to Burger King and was served medium-low quality sushi.

FFNut
12-07-2016, 08:13 PM
I found that XIII for myself was a letdown due to it breaking away from what FF really is. It could have been saved with captivating characters, and story. However it fell short there too for me. I hated the people who I controlled, and really didn't feel the need to identify with their struggle. It was just a one and done.

I found it connected with the masses more then the fans. Made itself easy, and never had me needing to figure out what's next. It would just bluntly tell you.

Coming from owning all all and playing all but XI up to that point, it fell short.

If if you took away the FF title on it my expectations would be different and I may have enjoyed it for what it was.

Mirage
12-07-2016, 08:23 PM
the combat system in 13 didn't disappoint me as much as the exploration and characters did. that combined with a convoluted story and cheaply implemented lore made the replay value pretty awful for me.
Oh, and one-dimensional character progression with what was essentially a very simplified sphere grid

Del Murder
12-07-2016, 08:26 PM
I'll expect more from the publishers I like. Bioware, Naughty Dog, SE, Nintendo, I expect high quality games from them. If they disappoint me it does affect my enjoyment of the game even if it is overall about the same quality or better than some indie game. Because expectations are a part of how human beings view things. However, that's not all of it and if a game is generally great by my standards I will play it if I can no matter where it came from. Also, my standards are different for different types of games. My standard for a 4 hour romp like Journey is much different than for an open world RPG. These big time publishers tend to make big time games so I have big time expectations.

I think this thread stems from the fact that you don't understand why some people don't want to play FFXV even though there is a consensus that it is a 'good' game. For me, open world RPGs are such a time sink that the game has to be more than good. Xenoblade Chronicles X is also considered good by critics but I played four hours of it and haven't since. It's just not good enough for me to get invested in it. For FFXV, it had to either be great on its own or have enough of the FF nostalgia feeling to compensate for its shortcomings. Nothing I have seen so far indicate that either of these are true, though I will say it's on the border!

The FF title definitely has meaning. When I see a game with that I have certain expectations of quality and the type of experience I'm about to have. That's why SE doesn't apply the FF label to everything they make (or used to). But at the end of the day, great is great. FFXV under the Brotrip Skyrim IP would have those same expectations but then again I probably wouldn't have even been interested in it at all. It is only the FF label that has me still interested so I don't think it's unfair to hold the game to the standard I set for that label.

Momiji
12-07-2016, 08:28 PM
Why did Square call Final Fantasy XV that rather than, to borrow from Momiji, [INSERT NEW SQUARE ENIX IP HERE: BRO SKYRIM EDITION]? Brand recognition based on the success of previous entries in the series leading to greater commercial success. If you want to use that to drive sales of and interest in your game, you also have to accept the consequence of being held up against the previous games. Or rather, live by the sword, die by the sword.

Mmhmm, that's what I'm trying to say.

Folks can say that nostalgia kind of clouds your perception of things, but I'm not entirely sure that I can fully agree with that. Nostalgia matters-- that's why brand name recognition is such a powerful tool. It was even a factor in why I bought FFXV in the first place, despite not being super interested in it to begin with, and hearing negative reviews on it. Because oh man, it's Final Fantasy! The series that was the highlight of my adolescence! The ones from the past were so good, that there's still a part of that kid I was that was so dearly hoping that it would resonate with me in the same way.



I wonder, Momiji: Given your different expectation levels, would you be okay with paying more for one game than the other based on the standards you hold to each series? Would you have paid twice the price for a game you felt was 8/10 than a game you felt was 4/10?

If you flip it around, sure. Games are already pretty pricy as they are! It's very rare for me to be enticed by something that costs more than MSRP. If there's a game that I know I would personally rate a 4, I'll wait for the price to drop to a point where I feel "yeah, I suppose I'll grab it". So yes, I'll pay twice as much for an 8 if it's at MSRP and the 4 is half that price (or lower).

It has to be pretty awesome (or be a package deal that comes with a lot of neat bonus stuff) to make me ever consider paying more than a game is worth.


Lol, if Danganronpa is junk food to you, Momiji, then we have totally different ideas on what good standards are. Which basically deconstructs the whole thread because it just goes to show all of this is 100% subjective.

The balance of personal subjective opinions and objective opinions is what we're trying to get to the core of in this thread, isn't it? :p

Don't get me wrong; I'm not saying anything particularly negative about the DR series. Subjectively, like I said, I rank it quite high! Objectively, though, it doesn't really do anything outstanding either-- it's just a very well done visual novel/mystery adventure game.


I think we're getting a little too caught up in the metaphors here, but I think the divide here, in my mind, between something that I would objectively rank a 10/"gourmet food" are games and series that contribute to defining a genre, and games that I would objectively rank a 5/"junk food" don't play a huge role in doing that-- and unfortunately, this is something where brand name recognition is a huge thing. It's kinda like... if you ask someone "hey, do you like RPGs?", a lot of people will think of the classic archetypes of the genre, so their mind will probably point toward long-standing series like Final Fantasy. Ask them about platformers, they'll probably think something like Mario. It's because those series have substantially contributed to what the genre is defined by-- and as such, it's kind of hard to not hold it as a standard to match other games up to in their respective genres. Meanwhile, I wouldn't take the phrase "junk food" negatively. A gigantic sundae with all your favorite toppings is totally delightful! But it's still junk food. Does that make sense?

Keeping that in mind, what is objective and what is subjective don't always match. I may not rank Pokemon or Dangan Ronpa super high on an objective scale, but subjectively, I like them a whole lot-- enough that I've picked pretty much all of their respective games out on release date (and in special edition form, regarding the latter!). I genuinely love those series! I just feel like it's okay to be able to critically look at games (or any media, for that matter) with both objective and subjective perspectives.

(for real let's talk about dangan ronpa i need more people to discuss it with)

Del Murder
12-07-2016, 08:29 PM
Why would anyone play a game they rate a 4/10? Go do something else.

Mirage
12-07-2016, 08:31 PM
maybe if it had one single redeeming feature that no other game offered

Fox
12-07-2016, 08:40 PM
If I go to a sushi restaurant, I expect variations and improvements on sushi. If I go there and ask for them to recommend me something, I would be a bit disappointed if they gave me a steak, no matter how good the steak was.



Perfect analogy, thank you.

Mirage has superbly expressed what I want to say, which is that expectations are not purely about quality. I don't expect Final Fantasy to be 'better' because the older games were really good. I expect it to give me a certain kind of experience. I expect it to have an interesting story. I expect it to have compelling, well developed characters. I expect it to have tactical, thoughtful gameplay. If I like those things, then I go to the games that give me that experience, which means I go to Final Fantasy.

Now, if Final Fantasy stops doing that... where do I go? What will offer me that experience? How can I experience the powerful stories and emotional character arcs? To borrow Mirage's metaphor: if what I want is Sushi, where can I eat if the sushi restaurants turn into Pizza Huts?

I'm not disappointed with Final Fantasy XV because it's a bad game. I'm disappointed because I wanted to watch football and it gave me ice hockey. I wanted sushi and it gave me steak. I wanted orange and I got lemon lime.

Momiji
12-07-2016, 08:49 PM
Why would anyone play a game they rate a 4/10? Go do something else.

It's a matter of objective vs. subjective again, which does cause some conflicting emotions. I wouldn't really want to play something I'd personally, subjectively rate that low, but if I feel that it objectively is a 4 while still enjoying it, that's fine.

Sometimes, it's pretty nice to just enjoy games even if you acknowledge that they're not absolutely stellar ones.

Del Murder
12-07-2016, 08:56 PM
I feel that it objectively is a 4
Heh.

FFNut
12-07-2016, 09:41 PM
I am going blind into XV. Haven't got it yet just due to money being a little tight. I have noticed I lowered my expectations though.

Karifean
12-07-2016, 11:36 PM
I feel the need to separate "expectations of quality" and "expectations of content type", because they're two very different things. Any premise can be done well or badly, and a good game can come from any concept/genre.

I have some expectations of quality based on two main factors: the reception of others and my own past experiences with the creator. I don't pay much attention to a generic score, but as soon as I hear someone talk about how great a game is for them personally, a certain expectation of quality is created in my mind. Like I expect this to be a game ambitious enough to possibly become someone's favorite game or at least rank among their favorites. That doesn't mean I will like it as much, but I will treat it as that kind of game. While games that are just a "fun time to have playing through it" I will treat differently as I play them. I did not go into ImoPara expecting a good game, for example.

Then there's expectations of content type, which mostly come from genre tags. If I play a game with the "mystery" tag, I expect to be engaged on some level on that level; I expect the game to have something you can figure out ahead of time if you pay attention to clues and such. What my expectations of content type is can very much change how much I can appreciate the game, because while I try to keep an open mind, it still takes me a bit of time to readjust if my expectations turn out to be false. I can think of a couple games I probably would have enjoyed more had I known what they were about from the start. Of course a classic example that fucks with this is games with a genre shift. But those are usually done in a subversive way which gives you that "hah, I see what you're doing and I love it" effect that overshadows any difficulties in that regard.

Overall though I've never been truly disappointed in a game. When I can't appreciate a game as much as I would've liked to I usually accept it's because I had faulty expectations of content type, and move on. Games where I had wrong expectations of quality I can generally still like for what they are without much issue (like Danganronpa, since it came up earlier =P with the exception of Nagito, they're very much pure fun games to me). And I'll probably be able to enjoy the game more when I replay it with a better idea of what it's about later on.

FinalxxSin
12-12-2016, 02:23 AM
I am always confused by what people talk about when they say "X and Y is Final Fantasy and feels like Final Fantasy". Imo, it's a giant misconception that a large chunk of the fanbase has from viewing the series in time periods, rather than the entire history. As technology has continued to evolve, there have been more radical differences between the titles. Does that mean you have to like every single FF related game? Nope, but keep in mind regardless of your viewpoint FFXV, and FFXI are just as much mainline games as the original Final Fantasy. That's what gives the series a charm and curse at the same time. It has a lot of flexibility and you'll never really know what you'll get. You may get a Charles Angels vibe from X-2, while having the opposite ultimate bromance in FFXV. I can't really say that I hold games on name sake to different standards. I play for enjoyment factor, hence why I stay away from certain genres most of the time. I'm able to enjoy the mainline FF games easier because I'm not trying to generate a mental check list of things a game absolutely has to do.

Momiji
12-14-2016, 03:27 AM
Being a "mainline" game does not automatically make it a good game-- that's kind of what I've been trying to say this whole time. I don't think that invalidates my opinion that it does not feel like the Final Fantasies of the past, because it seriously doesn't, to me. It really does feel like a completely different series with a few Final Fantasy references dotted in-- and I think that's seriously disappointing.

Take Bravely Default, for example-- it's not Final Fantasy and in fact it's its own series at this point, but it's got WAY more of a Final Fantasy feel to it (including the many references involved) despite it not having the series name, as it retains many elements of what has been the foundation of the Final Fantasy series for decades. And I like it!

It's got nothing to do with technology, really. The "radical" differences, I feel, are failed experiments to make the series something it isn't-- and it's only something that has happened in fairly recent history. Pretty much every "mainline" FF game has followed roughly the same formula for gameplay up until X-2, and then that's when the real differences began. FFXIII was painfully linear and the gameplay was simple to the point of being dull. FFXV isn't any better, imo, only the game is open to the point that a little linearity would actually be welcome--... and the gameplay continues to be simple to the point of being dull. What bits of strategy the older games had just doesn't really exist anymore when all you really need to do to win most battles is "hold circle and fly around at the mercy of the battrout camera". You're right, there is a lot of flexibility, but you can only flex things so much before they feel broken. It's rare for a broken toy to feel fun. It happens, but rarely. For me, the only game S-E has done in the mainline series in the past decade that I've genuinely loved is FFXIV, because there's so much time, effort, and love for the game and its players, and it just makes the whole package stellar.

I play for enjoyment factor, too-- and I enjoy looking critically at the media I consume. When I'm not enjoying something, I feel that it's not wrong at all to criticize it-- and just because FFXV is the long-awaited next entry in the "mainline" series, it's not immune to that criticism-- in fact, I'm going to be more critical of a title that they decide to say "yes, this game is one we deem worthy of the mainline title and the legacy behind it".

There are plenty of low quality games that I play for enjoyment too-- because they have other elements to them that retain my attention. FFXV just doesn't do any of that. It's kind of frustrating to feel somewhat pinned against the wall for having a negative opinion of it, too.

There really isn't a "mental checklist" here beyond what any player of any game can't immediately observe. When people play games, they're experiencing multiple forms of media at once, and I don't really believe that anyone can ignore all of those forms and still enjoy the game. There's the visual quality, the musical quality, the quality of the story and characters, and the quality of the gameplay itself. It's not like I'm scrutinizing every detail of the game and being all "OH IT DID THIS WRONG, WHAT A BAD GAME", it's all simple observations. "Sure, the game's pretty. It looks really nice! The music's okay, but there aren't many tracks that have really got my attention, which is disappointing to me since I've liked a LOT of Shimomura's stuff before this-- I find myself enjoying the FF soundtracks while in the car, but the car's an element of the game that I don't like, and you can only listen to the music while driving, and the driving is boring-- and it's kind of sad that I want to listen to the music from past games more than the game's actual music. The plot is kinda hollow and the forced realism of the story makes it so suspending disbelief is really hard. The characters feel one-dimensional and I don't feel any connection with them or concern for them. I don't feel immersed in the game, I just feel like I'm piloting this group of dudes as they do chores. And the combat gameplay frustrates me a lot, because encounters feel very few and far between-- and are very, very short anyway-- literally seconds long-- outside of story battles or hunting quests, but at the same time it's hard to care because as I mentioned, combat is simplified to "you can do other stuff for nifty graphical flair, but you can really just hold circle and get the same results the vast majority of the time. It is kind of sad that I've poured 10 hours into this game and the most fun I've had is putting 99 Fire/Ice/Lightning Energy into a Quintcast spell and doing 9999 damage to all enemies while Prompto catches on fire and screams in agony-- which is another thing, the AI bros die way too easily and I feel like I should have more control over how they behave. Ultimately, I'm just not having fun with it".

Even if I weren't holding it to higher standards due to its namesake, I still think I'd struggle to enjoy the game, but I think I'd be less critical of it, too. As I said, there's plenty of games that really aren't anything special that I actually love a lot-- because there's something I find genuinely fun about them, because when you boil it all down, that's really what matters most, and for FFXV, I'm just not feeling any sense of fun at all.

It's all subjective, but still.

FinalxxSin
12-14-2016, 04:10 AM
...
Nostalgia blinds your judgement. If you wish to discuss strategy, a majority of the games have boiled down to learning a very small handful of abilities and using them over and over again until the battle is accomplished. I didn't really read the rest of what you posted but I will say these two objective things:
1. The world does not revolve around you.
2. The FF series does not revolve around you.


Common sense remarks I know, but you should really take those into consideration. The simple reality is that the things you grew up on and love are probably not going to be the same things that people of the current generation are growing up on and playing. The mainline FF series is an ever evolving series that not only makes changes due to technology, but also people in general. There is no problem saying certain titles are your favorite. However, there is an issue if you try to push your favorites as objectively the best. We all have different standards and tastes. If FF for the whole entire ~30 years of it being around only kept one type of gamer in mind, the mainline series would have stagnated at this point if not sooner. You can look at COD as an outside example and see how well that series is holding up general reception wise, despite sales still being fairly good.

Momiji
12-14-2016, 05:04 AM
This is getting kind of unpleasant.

I'll be blunt: I'm getting frustrated at these notions (and it's not just you) that I'm apparently not allowed to dislike FFXV while other people like it-- as if it has some sort of immunity from negative views. Like, holy trout. The fact that I dislike the game and would like to discuss it shouldn't have any impact on whether or not other people like it, so why be so defensive of it? My opinions are my own, just as much as yours are your own. Both are valid.

And to say that I think the world revolves around me, and that the series revolves around me? Come on, now. That's really, really dense. And to say that I'm pushing my favorites as objectively the best is clearly telling me that you're not listening to me at all-- in fact, you admitted that you're not by saying you didn't even finish reading the post-- because I never said that. That's your fault, there, because I've said many times already that what I'm saying is my opinion. In fact, the very last thing I said in my last post was "it's all subjective". Don't read what I never said in a post you never finished reading to begin with. At least have the intellectual honesty to read what I said before you make your accusations, dude. You say "we all have different standards and tastes", so why do I have to keep defending mine from being dismissed with "oh, well you're just blinded by xyz factor" to have it be considered valid? That's the whole reason why I'm trying to speak up here.

I don't feel nostalgia "blinds" my judgment, because as I've said, nostalgia is a legitimate-- you know what, I'll just paste what I said instead of typing it all out again.


Folks can say that nostalgia kind of clouds your perception of things, but I'm not entirely sure that I can fully agree with that. Nostalgia matters-- that's why brand name recognition is such a powerful tool. It was even a factor in why I bought FFXV in the first place, despite not being super interested in it to begin with, and hearing negative reviews on it. Because oh man, it's Final Fantasy! The series that was the highlight of my adolescence! The ones from the past were so good, that there's still a part of that kid I was that was so dearly hoping that it would resonate with me in the same way.

Game series would not last anywhere near as long if nostalgia and brand name recognition weren't a factor-- and if it wasn't being utilized as a marketing tool to draw people back to their most prominent series, why does every game in the main series have the Final Fantasy [number] instead of a unique, more individualized title? People wouldn't be drawn to it based on past memories of the prior games in the series and would be instead drawn to it by it's individuality. Do you think it would sell as well, if it didn't draw in the people who are fans of the games before it in the series? I don't think it would.

I realize that the games I grew up on and love are not going to be the same as the current generation-- I was never unaware of that. I can still express my disappointment over how far it has strayed from what it used to be, because that's my opinion of it based on my feelings from the past as well as my feelings on it here and now. And again, like I said, even if nostalgia weren't a factor-- if this was an entirely new IP all together for Square-Enix, I still wouldn't care for it. I'd probably be less critical of it, perhaps, because it wouldn't be trying to cash in on name recognition of a series with a very strong legacy, but I still would not like it all that much.

None of this is dismissive of anyone else's opinions. People are free to love FFXV-- I'm glad they do. All I'm saying is that I'm actually pretty jealous of them, because I wish I could like it too. So many people are gushing with excitement over it, and I just don't feel that enthusiasm for it at all. It's making me wonder what I'm missing that is bringing so much excitement, but every time I try to fire up the game, I find myself feeling bored and unable to share that excitement.

Fynn
12-14-2016, 08:37 AM
Pretty much sums up how I feel about the XIII fiasco. We're all entitled to our dislikes. Everything is subjective.

Fox
12-14-2016, 09:08 AM
My goal is to make my own RPG the way it should be done and then when you all love it I will be able to prove that I had the correct opinion all along! :jess:

Until then though we all have to live with everyone else's views. Even if they don't like the FFVIII soundtrack very much.

Fynn
12-14-2016, 09:16 AM
:stare:

FinalxxSin
12-14-2016, 09:19 AM
...
I don't believe I mentioned anything about you having to like FFXV. If that's what you're getting out of my recent posts, then there's not much I can do there. I am completely fine with you disliking FFXV, or any title in the mainline series. However, if you want to really push the "this isn't Final Fantasy" argument that I've seen so many times over the years, you're not going to get anywhere with me. From FFI to FFXV, they all share one thing in common. Every single game is an RPG of some type. I'm pretty sure SquareSoft/SquareEnix never put out some declaration creed deeming what Final Fantasy is and isn't. The more you try and mentally box FF, the more disappointed you'll end up being in the long term more than likely.


Buying things on name sake/nostalgia in this series isn't the best move given how you know how different the games are. With access to the internet, you are able to do your research and come to a logical conclusion on rather or not you should give your time to something. I don't know you, but it seems to me that the older you got, the more close minded you became. I'd bet gil that when you were a kid you just wanted to play a game and enjoy it. As you got older, having less time to play games on top of having to spend money on them, on top of having experience from your past shut you off from something you'd otherwise may possibly enjoy. I'm not saying to blindly put your chips on faith, because that's asking to get burned. Perhaps you should try and enjoy a game for it is instead of disliking it for what it is not. Food for thought.
P.S. That doesn't mean a game is free of criticism.

Fox
12-14-2016, 09:34 AM
Buying things on name sake/nostalgia in this series isn't the best move given how you know how different the games are. With access to the internet, you are able to do your research and come to a logical conclusion on rather or not you should give your time to something. I don't know you, but it seems to me that the older you got, the more close minded you became. I'd bet gil that when you were a kid you just wanted to play a game and enjoy it. As you got older, having less time to play games on top of having to spend money on them, on top of having experience from your past shut you off from something you'd otherwise may possibly enjoy. I'm not saying to blindly put your chips on faith, because that's asking to get burned. Perhaps you should try and enjoy a game for it is instead of disliking it for what it is not. Food for thought.
P.S. That doesn't mean a game is free of criticism.

You know, I really don't think it's unreasonable to have certain expectations from a product because of the name given to it. If the next 'Star Wars' film is a zombie survival movie, they better have a damn good reason for making such a drastic change.

This argument that 'all the FF games are super different' appears a lot and you know what? Up until XII I don't see it at all. Up to IX they are all very similar structurally and mechanically, X streamlined things a bit and removed the ATB, and then XII (a game I love btw) they said "Hey, you know what's making trout-tons of cash? MMOs," and everything changed. So I think it is pretty fair to come out and say 'such and such isn't very Final Fantasy-like' because the changes in recent entries have been vastly more massive than what came before. Between the original Final Fantasy and Final Fantasy X, if you've enjoyed any game in the series I would have no hesitation recommending another one from that group. Because although they are very different experiences, they all still follow the basic formula. You know what you're getting into.

I'd never recommend XII though, even tough I loved it. Because it was an absolutely massive departure from the 'Final Fantasy' that had been established over 15 years. And then XIII was a massive departure from that. And then XV was a massive departure from that. You don't know what you're getting any more. What's the point of even having a brand if you're going to change it so completely every version that customers have no idea if they're going to like it?

Fynn
12-14-2016, 09:58 AM
Except how much of a departure each entry is really depends on your point of view because FF has redefined itself for a long time, alienating a lot of fans along the way as well. Even VI with its vaguely steampunk setting was off-putting to a small group of people who wanted the series to remain set in this DQ-like high fantasy setting. Then VII came in which added a whole horse of new fans while further dividing the existing fan base. Then VIII was polarizing because it wasn't like VII, then IX was polarizing because it brought back the old which new fans didn't get, then X was relatively successful but still some fans thought voice acting had nothing to do with FF, then XI was an MMO, and the rest is history. Honestly, the older games seem pretty even only because they've gotten the time to settle in the eyes of fans. Give XIII and XV time and they'll be the same, and once XVII comes out, people will be saying those were the last games that really "felt like Final Fantasy". You can really see this going on with FFXII right now. It's just that the "problem" of it being different is way more pronounced now because the series itself as well as the fan base are larger than ever, and the gaming community in general has a much more prominent voice.

Not saying you have to enjoy XV though :p Everyone is entitled to have their own ideal FF in their head and hope it gets released one day. I just think that there's really no such thing as a "series standard" that involves anything other than constantly challenging the formula in various ways.

FinalxxSin
12-14-2016, 10:16 AM
....
If the mainline FF series attempted to generate a title that wasn't an RPG, the flow of this conversation would certainly be different. I highly doubt that day is ever going to come. The changes back then were more subtle. However, the end results ended up being the same. For example, FFVII and FFVIII are still radically different from the first few installments despite sharing battle systems that have common ground with each other on some level. Just because a title is a far departure from other games doesn't mean you should avoid recommending it to somebody. You never know, the person might just be interested in an RPG like FFXII. That's why I tend to ask questions to see what type of themes, characters, settings, etc. a person is interested in. A lot of people always ask if they need to play the prior games to enjoy the current one. For the most part that answer has always been no. I can't answer the brand question, but I'll provide my viewpoint on it. What it basically boils down to is artistic vision being maintained. How each team of developers approach a game is going to be different. As Tabata mentioned in an interview months back, it's impossible to satisfy the wants and needs of every single person. What they try to focus on is what they feel is important. I can tell you right now, everybody is not going to share the same artistic vision. Not every person has the same vision of a fantasy. Even though the 15th number game has come out, there are still artistic visions that haven't been presented to us as the audience within the mainline series yet.


Hell, I could even see a mainline FF game taking advantage of VR if that ever did take off. Even then, I wouldn't look at it as something that isn't FF.

Fox
12-14-2016, 10:58 AM
Except how much of a departure each entry is really depends on your point of view because FF has redefined itself for a long time, alienating a lot of fans along the way as well.

Certainly I will admit to the definition of a 'Final Fantasy' game or a 'Star Wars film' or a 'Harry Potter novel' is open to everyone's own interpretation. When the first game was released, that was what Final Fantasy was. Then FFII came out with a different narrative and slightly different mechanics. So fans of the original had to ask themselves: "Am I OK with these changes? Does this work as a Final Fantasy game?" And if the answer is yes, then their definition has expanded. Repeat that for 10 games and yeah, you do end up with a fairly broad definition. And, like you say, you do lose some people on the way.


Honestly, the older games seem pretty even only because they've gotten the time to settle in the eyes of fans.

I don't think time is the reason. I think it's because the recent changes have been so much bigger that things that used to be a big deal now seem trivial. It seems silly to remember a time when FFVIII's Junction system was controversial because we don't even take turns or control all our party members in combat anymore! I think that XVII will only 'normalise' XV if it literally becomes an FPS.


If the mainline FF series attempted to generate a title that wasn't an RPG, the flow of this conversation would certainly be different. I highly doubt that day is ever going to come.

I think that kinda demonstrates my point. You are doing the same thing that I am, you just have a much broader definition of what is acceptable. Tell me, do you think Mass Effect would be a good 'Final Fantasy' game if it had that brand name? What about Divinity: Original Sin or Baldurs Gate or Skyrim? All RPGs. Are they all reasonable styles to have 'Final Fantasy XVI' put on them next time out?

To me, this is like taking a big room and filling it with people. You have tall people, short people, old, young, men, women, people of different races. Some of them have medical conditions. Some of them are missing limbs. They speak different languages and have different professions. This to me is what FFI to FFX feels like; a diverse collection of fundamentally similar creatures.

Now imagine you put an elephant in the room. If you try and tell me that's a human I'm going to struggle to accept that. Certainly I don't think it really fits in with the rest of the humans. It's too radical a departure. That's XV for me. As I said above, it makes the differences between VI, VII, VIII (which were already highly controversial at the time) look trivial by comparison, which makes it all the harder to accept. In my eyes there does come a point where you've stretched the definition of your brand so much it becomes meaningless to even use the label.

FinalxxSin
12-14-2016, 11:06 AM
....
To answer your first question, yes if the execution is done properly. As for the rest of it with the elephant thing, SE have already dedicated spin off title games for such instances. For example I am sure you know of Dissidia which is pretty much a fighting game more or less.

Fox
12-14-2016, 11:11 AM
....
To answer your first question, yes if the execution is done properly. As for the rest of it with the elephant thing, SE have already dedicated spin off title games for such instances. For example I am sure you know of Dissidia which is pretty much a fighting game more or less.

My point exactly! If XV were a spin off I would have absolutely no problem with it whatsoever. Spin offs have always been extremely varied, experimental and coming from a bunch of different genres. So my expectations for those are far broader. XV is just as much a departure from FFVII as Crisis Core is, in fact it's arguably more so. It definitely would fit much better as a spin-off. Arguably XII as well.

Fynn
12-14-2016, 11:22 AM
I don't think XII would work better as a spin-off since its battle system is a direct evolution of the ATB system and the game overall place much more closely to what previous FFs did than XIII. As for XV - from the very beginning, since it was announced as VS XIII, it was said that it would have an action battle system, so it made sense for it to retain that even after the change, especially since SE have been struggling with maintaining mainstream appeal after XIII. Which direction XVI will go is still up in the air, but I'm definitely way more open to varying battle systems in FF than before.

FinalxxSin
12-14-2016, 11:41 AM
....
I don't get your point, unless you are trying to express you are only accepting of certain types of RPGs to get a number attached to them. If I was to look at myself and have that type of mentality, I would be a hypocrite.

Fox
12-14-2016, 12:03 PM
....
I don't get your point, unless you are trying to express you are only accepting of certain types of RPGs to get a number attached to them. If I was to look at myself and have that type of mentality, I would be a hypocrite.

My point is that being a mainline entry carries certain expectations. Every time you go outside those expectations one of two things happens: 1) you don't consider it a good example of the series or 2) you accept it as part of the series and thus expand your definition.

My argument is that there comes a point where you've redefined your franchise so much there's no point having a franchise anymore.

"I liked Final Fantasy VIII. Will I like IX?" - Probably!
"I liked Final Fantasy VIII. Will I like XV?" - I have absolutely no idea!

Being part of a franchise creates expectations based on past form. That's not weird or unreasonable. Huge, sweeping, drastic changes to the formula are naturally going to disappoint people who have played the earlier games and have those expectations. Because if I like Final Fantasy games and Final Fantasy changes what it is so drastically, where can I go to play the kind of thing I want? I'm a big fan of Deus Ex as well, if the next game in that series comes out and it's just Cyberpunk DOOM then I'm going to be upset. There is a place in the world for a Cyberpunk DOOM but I'd like my Deus Ex to stay true to being Deus Ex thanks.

Spin-offs are great because you know going in, just by virtue of it being a spin off that it's going to break from what you're familiar with. That's the whole reason spin-offs exist - to allow you to create something in the same world/style of your main series without being restricted to its conventions.

Sephiroth
12-14-2016, 12:13 PM
But FF is known for constantly evolving. I do agree with you - totally and there is no doubt for me - that while this is said all the time, when it comes to certain aspects, the evolution never was all that extreme. But if you ask me, trying to tackle even those aspects to evolve or let's just simply call it "try it from another perspective" just opens up more possibilities for something. I was very skeptical about the combat system, even after Duscae. Guess what - I love it now. Would I want Turn-Based Combat? Yes, especially as I get it in Atelier RPGs back every year and I just love it. But first, it does not mean we will never get it back again and second, other things might surprise you as well.

I mean, you should not have this mentality for drugs or murder but still.

Fynn
12-14-2016, 12:16 PM
"I liked Final Fantasy VIII. Will I like IX?" - Probably!
"I liked Final Fantasy VIII. Will I like XV?" - I have absolutely no idea!

"I liked Final Fantasy III, will I like IV?" - Probably!
"I liked Final Fantasy III, will I like X?" - I have absolutely no idea!

Sephiroth
12-14-2016, 12:18 PM
"I liked Final Fantasy VIII. Will I like IX?" - Probably!
"I liked Final Fantasy VIII. Will I like XV?" - I have absolutely no idea!

"I liked Final Fantasy III, will I like IV?" - Probably!
"I liked Final Fantasy III, will I like X?" - I have absolutely no idea!


For me it is:

I liked Final Fantasy I will I like XV? => Yes, Final Fantasy never disappoints me, was the reason I became what I am, learned Japanese and become a Game Designer.

Fynn
12-14-2016, 12:20 PM
I mean, yeah, that's your personal answer, but that was more to illustrate that the leaps between the qualities of been games have been so significant even in the past that it's impossible to recommend any game in the series to anyone based on one game they like. Regardless of whether it's XV or X. Because I know a lot of people that like VIII and hate IX and vice versa.

Sephiroth
12-14-2016, 12:22 PM
I know what it was supposed to be. I just want to give an impression that not everyone is like that. Fox pointed out expectations. There are "expectations" in Final Fantasy for me that never are betrayed for the very reason that they are all in Square's products, even if manifested in another way a bit. And then of course we get the typical Sky comment.

Fox
12-14-2016, 12:30 PM
"I liked Final Fantasy VIII. Will I like IX?" - Probably!
"I liked Final Fantasy VIII. Will I like XV?" - I have absolutely no idea!

"I liked Final Fantasy III, will I like IV?" - Probably!
"I liked Final Fantasy III, will I like X?" - I have absolutely no idea!

I dunno, I think with the first 10 you can kinda go through them 1 by 1 and arrive at a recommendation.

If you like III you'll probably like IV.
If you like IV you'll probably like V.
If you like V you'll probably like VI.
If you like VI you'll probably like VII.
If you like VII you'll probably like VIII.
If you like IX you'll probably like IX.
If you like IX you'll probably like X.

So if you like III you'll probably like X. With some caveats, sure, but they still have the same blood. They're still built on the same pillars. But from there on things get difficult.

X > XI? Erm.
XI > XII? Uuuuuh.
XII > XIII? Ż\_(ツ)_/Ż

And so on. Suddenly the franchise starts become a mess of all different kinds of games, and I think it loses a lot of its identity in the process. Something being "like a Final Fantasy game" doesn't really mean anything anymore.

Fynn
12-14-2016, 12:35 PM
It's really not that simple, because people like different things about each FF and I really think it's impossible to assume what they'll like later on. I adore IX and really, really dislike X, while XII is my favorite. My wife liked VII and VIII but didn't really like IX. And then there's the whole crowd of people who abandoned ship when VII came out (that really isn't much because that's when the fandom actually exploded, but you get the picture).

It's not a new thing. And you can't really objectively quantify what constitutes good or bad change, because you can't really make sense of what people will like when it comes to the next game, because the reasons for liking the games are completely different.

The identity is there. Because the identity has always been flexible, as I've discovered doing my marathon. Remember how the series was all about having the D&D monsters and spell system? Or the Namingways?

Or, you know, the Crystals, Moogles, Chocobos, Nagas, Iron Giants, pretty boys, etc. Those things stick, so how is the identity lost?


What I;'m getting is, I really honestly hate XIII. I really do. I think it's a travesty that began the chain reaction leading to the severe damaging of FF's reputation. But I still won't say it's not an FF, and that's not because I feel the game plays like FF (it doesn't since never before were you so constrained in every aspect of gameplay) or because it has a good enough story (literal garbage, tbh). And yet I still think it's a Final Fantasy. It was conceived as a Final Fantasy from the getgo and has just enough to make you see it and go "yep, that's a Final Fantasy alright". And though I haven't played XV yet, judging by everything I've seen I can also go "yep".

Your enjoyment of a Final Fantasy doesn't determine the game's "identity" as a Final Fantasy game, is all I'm saying. You're free to dislike XV. But that's the direction FF went this time. maybe next time it'll be more agreeable for you.

FinalxxSin
12-14-2016, 12:37 PM
....
My recommendation to you then is to play the old games and ignore anything new that comes out that doesn't fall into the formula of the old games. A majority of other series out there have a more solid foundation and ground rules to abide by in comparison to mainline FF games. FF mainline games have a defined origin, but the foundation itself is change. I'm not talking about minor changes either. It comes with the territory of the this series in particular.

Fox
12-14-2016, 12:58 PM
OK, maybe I am being slightly unfair towards XV in particular here.

Maybe instead of suggesting XV shouldn't be part of the franchise, maybe a better way to say it is that the further away from what people expect of your series you go, the less of a good idea it is to include it in that series.

So would anyone who liked XV have enjoyed it any less if it were called something else? I would assume not; it would be the same game, after all.
But would people who disliked it have enjoyed it more if they weren't hoping for something similar to the other games in this series that they've been playing for 30 years? Probably. Certainly I would have.

Fynn
12-14-2016, 01:05 PM
It's important to remember that, just like XIII, XV would probably had not been made if it weren't labelled an FF because SE pours all the money into its cash cow. SE would not invest so much cash in a completely new IP nowadays in the hopes that it would sell better than any FF. And even if it did, way fewer people would play it. That's why it's pointless to really debate that - even if it had existed in that state, it would not have had the same reach.

Granted, it wouldn't have faced as much criticism as it did. But to be fair, any game that would get the title of "Final Fantasy XV" would be highly criticised by a number of people anyway due to the insane expectations built up for the next numbered title over the years, as well as all the hopes that it will rejuvenate the series after how XIII overstayed its welcome.

It was a no-win situation, and SE made the best that they could. By refining a concept that seemed popular enough and making it as modern as mainstream that they could while still aiming to preserve the Final Fantasy feel (and according to many a reviewer, both fan and critic, they succeeded). And it paid off, considering how much the game sold and that it's been generally very well received.

But that's still not indicative in the slightest of what the next installment will look like, because you can really never expect what the next one will be until it's actually out! So here's hoping it's more in line with yoru sensibilities next time, Fox ;)

Fox
12-14-2016, 01:16 PM
But that's still not indicative in the slightest of what the next installment will look like, because you can really never expect what the next one will be until it's actually out!

Well, therein lies my problem. Because there was a time when you could make a fairly decent guess. I mean, if IX had just come out I would have assumed X would have an ATB, and the setting/story would still be up in the air of course. But you know, we could have had a 'FFX speculation thread' and probably wouldn't have been a million miles off.

Now we have absolutely no clue. Will XVI be more FFX or Skyrim or Devil May Cry?


that they could while still aiming to preserve the Final Fantasy feel (and according to many a reviewer, both fan and critic, they succeeded).

I'd love for us to be able to figure out what makes something "feel like" Final Fantasy. I mean it's not the gameplay mechanics, it's not the style of the narrative, it's not the character archetypes. Are chocobos and musical cues enough?

Fynn
12-14-2016, 01:21 PM
It's something completely subjective because FF means different things for different people. But a lot of people feel that XV delivers, and a large group feels that it doesn't. That just further proves it. From the spoilers I read, though, I think you can really tell that Tabata is a big FFVI fan, so at least that's there.

FFNut
12-14-2016, 01:23 PM
I personally am going to go into FF XV with an open mind. For me the thing that killed XIII was the people in it, and the hand holding. I want to be able to mess up and explore a bit. The Static Light Warriors in FF1 had a better personality then in XIII.

It it may be I enjoy the D&D style game more as well. Look at Mass Effect, hated that but loved Dragon Age.

Del Murder
12-14-2016, 07:24 PM
Well obviously we need to do a survey now of which FF games people like and how correlated liking one game is with liking any of the future games. I'm sure the correlation between liking I and then II is a lot bigger than I and then XV. The real question would be if liking I and then III is the same as liking XIII and then XV. That may be the best quantitative way to measure incremental 'departure' from the series. :D

Fynn
12-14-2016, 07:46 PM
Not really, since XIII's and XV's departures were in completely opposite directions to each other.

FFNut
12-14-2016, 08:10 PM
I myself know I like an open world when it comes to a RPG. I like exploring and finding hidden eastereggs and passages that most wouldn't. I like hearing a clue from one villager and spending hours trying to find what it opens. XIII did away with a lot of that.

I liked XII a lot, the only complaints I had were that the loot was random, and the controls weren't inverted which is how I choose to play.

Though the gambit system wasn't perfect, it was easy enough to learn. Still felt like I had some control over the party.

XIII was a basic set it up, never worry about it again.

The he jump from XII to XIII was a major step down for the franchise in my opinion, kind of a dumbed down version of what a game could be.

Scotty_ffgamer
12-14-2016, 09:17 PM
II is kind of a black sheep that I feel like a lot of people don't like or are more indifferent to. It is a pretty big departure from I with more defined characters, a bigger focus on story, and a vastly different leveling system.

Then III kind of goes back to the roots by expanding on the jobs of I while not having as much focus on plot and characters.

IV was more story focused like II and seemed to follow the formula somewhat including character deaths rotating party members and the friend that betrays you but turns back to good.

V starts to blend the two mindsets. It doesn't take itself too seriously, but it has a pretty defined story and characters. Like I and III it is more gameplay focused though, and what is most remembered about it usually is its expansion of the job system from III.

VI is back to being more story focused with more streamlined leveling mechanics. It's big difference is that it is trying to be much more cinematic and kind of has a more futuristic setting.

I don't really feel like continuing this, but the point is that even back then, there were some major differences in focus for each game. People who like I very well might not like II. People who love IV might not like III. There are really multiple types of final fantasies. I can see the argument for xv not feeling like final fantasy because most people playing the series aren't looking for an action rpg. I don't think the name should effect the quality, but people in the mood for a good turn based or atb dog aren't going to have that itch scratched by xv. I get that. I just think that from the beginning, the series was pretty diverse in how it approached each game.

Del Murder
12-14-2016, 09:47 PM
Not really, since XIII's and XV's departures were in completely opposite directions to each other.
That's kind of the point. How much do these departures actually affect enjoyment of a game?

Fynn
12-14-2016, 10:04 PM
That completely depends on who you ask!

Del Murder
12-14-2016, 10:24 PM
That's why you get a random sample or at least understand the biases in your sample.

FinalxxSin
12-14-2016, 10:54 PM
Since Hironobu Sakaguchi can look at games like XV and XIV and deem both to be worthy of the name Final Fantasy, I don't see what the problem is. That is unless we're going to completely ignore the godfather's viewpoint.

Fox
12-14-2016, 11:01 PM
Since Hironobu Sakaguchi can look at games like XV and XIV and deem both to be worthy of the name Final Fantasy, I don't see what the problem is. That is unless we're going to completely ignore the godfather's viewpoint.

That's the plan. Just because I admire his work doesn't mean I agree with his opinion on everything. He also thought 'The Spirits Within' was worthy of the name Final Fantasy.

Scotty_ffgamer
12-14-2016, 11:28 PM
I feel like each game has been polarizing or and kind of a rotation of what kind of game it is. before, it was story focused or more gameplay focused. Jobs or no jobs. The PS era was kind of weird in that they were trying to be more realistic and were a bit more samey in a lot of ways. Then it kind of went back to the rotation, Although it was more a linear and non linear rotation. X was linear and with a more focused narrative at the forefront. Xi an MMO. Xii became more open and focused on exploration and such. Xiii was more linear with more of a narrative focus. Xiv was an MMO. XV is more open and focused on narrative.

Momiji
12-15-2016, 02:50 AM
Since Hironobu Sakaguchi can look at games like XV and XIV and deem both to be worthy of the name Final Fantasy, I don't see what the problem is. That is unless we're going to completely ignore the godfather's viewpoint.

Just because you acknowledge the viewpoint of someone else doesn't mean you have to agree with it by any means whatsoever. Death of the author and all that.

FinalxxSin
12-15-2016, 05:07 AM
....
I'll put it this way. I'm going to the value the viewpoint of a person that literally is the reason why we are having this circle conversation in the first place, over any outsiders viewpoint any day of the week including my own. This isn't even about agreeing or disagreeing at this point with me.

Momiji
12-15-2016, 05:47 AM
The fact that this conversation is even being had to begin with should be automatic indication that the viewpoint of the creator is not flawless, and should not be treated as such. But if you're going to dismiss any and all criticism just like that, then there's no conversation to be had. How disappointing.

But, don't forget that these "outsiders" you speak of are literally the reason why Square even survived to last this long to begin with. The reason that we're even able to have this conversation is because demand for the Final Fantasy series existed in the first place. Had it not, Final Fantasy would have been a one-off game by a company that went under thirty years ago. If the viewpoints of the consumers are not valued, they will be dissatisfied-- and dissatisfied consumers will be averse to supporting the company any further.

But I'm tired of trying to represent my perspective any further than this. All I really wanted was to agree to disagree and have my opinion be respected as valid, but there's no amicable resolution to be found here.

Loony BoB
12-16-2016, 01:41 PM
It's probably also worth noting that Final Fantasy games tend to be some of the best games out there for their time. For FFI-VI, they were 2D and effectively relied on a chessboard style of map which quite simply was about as good as you got for JRPGs at that time. Comparing FFI-VI to VII-XV is, to me, rather silly. To me, there are more similarities between VII and XV than there are between I and VII. The age of video games has changed notably, and if Final Fantasy were to stick to the old style of games, the series would quite probably never have survived as long as it has.

Also, "If you like ___, you'll probably like ___" stuff annoys me, because in my experience while they can have a very similar feel overall when you look at the games, I-VI are extremely variable in which ones you'll like. I adore FFV, while FFII is probably my least enjoyed in the entire series, and I feel FFI probably has the worst story in the entire series.

When thinking of Final Fantasy themes, one could argue that there are more "traditional" Final Fantasy things in FFXV than there are in FFI.

Fox
12-16-2016, 02:00 PM
It's funny, if I went back to FFI now I'd probably say the same thing about it that I do about XV: "Wow, did they just forget to write the story or something?" I would probably even call it a "bad Final Fantasy game," because that definition is subjective and does evolve over time, these things I do not dispute. FFI kinda gets a free pass on that one due to being the original and thus, at the time of its release, had no point of comparison.

You're also right to say that it is extremely variable in terms of which you like from that original group, despite being ostensibly similar games. That rather illustrates what I'm trying to say as well though; if even similar games can be so incredibly divisive, how mad do you have to be to do something completely unlike anything before it, like XI, XII and XV have done? That's just asking for trouble.

Loony BoB
12-16-2016, 02:12 PM
That goes back to my 2D vs. 3D thing. I almost (not quite) feel like I could say FFI-VI are one series, and FFVII-XV are another. I legit think every FF from FFVII onwards has more in common with every other FF from FFVII onwards than it does with FFI, FFII, FIII etc. The only exception to that might be FFIX. And that's purely on atmosphere grounds, not gameplay.

Mirage
12-16-2016, 03:51 PM
I have a hard time enjoying the NES games, even when they're freshened up on GBA, PS1 or PSP. I also don't really find FF4 very stellar (more like lunar, hah!). I like the ones from 5 to 8, find ff9 acceptable and 10 and 12 good. I was hyped as fuck for FF13 but it just fell flat. I really tried to like it, and i had absolutely no bad things to say about its setting, protagonist or whatever prior to playing it.

I don't think 1 and 5 are at all similar, other than very superficially. They're more different than 7 and 10.

Jinx
12-16-2016, 04:54 PM
You really shouldn't erase the quote you're quoting. Otherwise what's the point? xD It makes it hard to tell what exactly you're responding to.

Psychotic
12-16-2016, 05:45 PM
That goes back to my 2D vs. 3D thing. I almost (not quite) feel like I could say FFI-VI are one series, and FFVII-XV are another. I legit think every FF from FFVII onwards has more in common with every other FF from FFVII onwards than it does with FFI, FFII, FIII etc. The only exception to that might be FFIX. And that's purely on atmosphere grounds, not gameplay.I don't agree with you there, I think the PlayStation 1 era trio have more in common with the SNES trio than they do with any title from XI onwards.

Scruffington
12-16-2016, 06:10 PM
Since Hironobu Sakaguchi can look at games like XV and XIV and deem both to be worthy of the name Final Fantasy, I don't see what the problem is. That is unless we're going to completely ignore the godfather's viewpoint.

Funny you bring that up. Sakaguchi just did an interview where he stated he was literally brought onto the stage to endorse Final Fantasy XV. Square Enix wanted him to show his face one in awhile as the creator of the series, and Tabata asked him to endorse the game to encourage his development team.

It seems like an entirely PR-based endorsement.

Fynn
12-16-2016, 07:01 PM
Except before that Sakaguchi was consulted on a number of occasions.

Also, Sakaguchi is the guy that left the company for creative reasons. I think he's the last person to endorse something he doesn't believe is worth endorsing.

Fox
12-16-2016, 08:12 PM
It's also possible that he didn't have the whole picture. When they were consulting with him and courting an endorsement there were still many, many months until launch. A lot of his information about the game will have been what the team 'planned' to make before the inevitable impact of cuts in order to hit deadlines. All that extra story they're planning on patching in for example? That was probably all already included when they were pitching it to him.

Besides, I'm on board with FFXV on paper. Sure I have some big problems with the combat mechanics and the open world and the lack of depth in the RPG systems and so on, but there's nothing there that is fundamentally unfixable. When Tabata was telling me what FFXV was going to be in the Active Time Reports, I was totally onboard just as Sakaguchi was.

It's only now, having seen the actual, final implementation, that I can say it doesn't work as part of this series. I wonder if now, if they actually had him sit down and play through the final game, if he would get up on stage and endorse it again.

Fynn
12-16-2016, 08:14 PM
Again, to you, as many long-time fans have embraced it.

Mirage
12-16-2016, 08:14 PM
not fundamentally unfixable, but do you really think they'll patch the rpg mechanics at this point? i think SE wants to get this out of the way so they can finally focus on something else

And many long-time fans have called it the worst final fantasy ever made. A good friend of mine said it's worse than ff13, and he really disliked 13, but would admit that it had a few redeeming qualities. i probably don't know anyone who's played more rpgs than that guy.

Fox
12-16-2016, 08:20 PM
not fundamentally unfixable, but do you really think they'll patch the rpg mechanics at this point? i think SE wants to get this out of the way so they can finally focus on something else

Sorry, let me clarify a bit. What I mean is not "I think they will fix it," but rather that conceptually there is nothing fundamentally wrong; that a few design decisions being made differently, or maybe just having another year in the oven, could have solved my problems with a number of areas. Do I think they will make the changes required to be a game I accept? Absolutely not. But the underlying potential is there.

In many ways that is one of the reasons I'm so disappointed with the game. There is so much​ potential there which is just wasted.

Mirage
12-16-2016, 08:24 PM
I'd say that having a completely flat and uninteresting character progression system is a fundamental flaw, even if it can technically be fixed with a patch.

design choices can create fundamental flaws just as well as bugs can. In fact, i'd say poor design choices make fundamental flaws more often than programming issues.

Fynn
12-16-2016, 08:40 PM
Again, how flawed the actual system is really depends on who you ask. The same was true for FFVIII, FFX, FFXII, FFXIII...


Like, I was convinced the FFXIII character progression system was objectively terrible, but there were people who actually sincerely enjoyed it, so the problem was really that it just didn't fit into my sensibilities. And apparently your friend who has played many RPGs apparently has a specific taste (as we all do) that prevented him from enjoying both XIII and XV from a design perspective.


That's kind of the whole point that I've recently discovered, mainly as pertains to video games, but also writing literature. People will tell you there are good and bad ways to write, but in the end there's no one recipe on how to make a story work. Some of the best, most influential work has been stuff that has defined the established rules, and yet every online writing community just keeps trying to establish rules of "writing the right way". Same with games, really - so many people are saying stuff needs to be done one way or another, but in the end, everybody's personal experience with that game will differ and due to various variables, someone may consider a system you think is obnectively terrible - fun and complex.

Fox
12-16-2016, 08:48 PM
I'd say that having a completely flat and uninteresting character progression system is a fundamental flaw, even if it can technically be fixed with a patch.

design choices can create fundamental flaws just as well as bugs can. In fact, i'd say poor design choices make fundamental flaws more often than programming issues.

Oh, absolutely. And don't get me wrong, I have no desire to come to the game's defense :lol:. I just feel like with a few better decisions along the way it could have worked OK.

For example, on paper the Ascension Grid works OK. "Oh it's kinda like the sphere grid! Unlock stats and techniques for each character, seems reasonable." If you pitched that to me 10 months ago I would be onboard with it. But the reality of the finished product doesn't always hold up to that vision, and it's only when playing the final release where I realise "oh, there are only 3 stats and techniques to care about per character and big chunks of the grid are dedicated to magic and wait mode."

Mirage
12-16-2016, 09:26 PM
Again, how flawed the actual system is really depends on who you ask. The same was true for FFVIII, FFX, FFXII, FFXIII...


Like, I was convinced the FFXIII character progression system was objectively terrible, but there were people who actually sincerely enjoyed it, so the problem was really that it just didn't fit into my sensibilities. And apparently your friend who has played many RPGs apparently has a specific taste (as we all do) that prevented him from enjoying both XIII and XV from a design perspective.


That's kind of the whole point that I've recently discovered, mainly as pertains to video games, but also writing literature. People will tell you there are good and bad ways to write, but in the end there's no one recipe on how to make a story work. Some of the best, most influential work has been stuff that has defined the established rules, and yet every online writing community just keeps trying to establish rules of "writing the right way". Same with games, really - so many people are saying stuff needs to be done one way or another, but in the end, everybody's personal experience with that game will differ and due to various variables, someone may consider a system you think is obnectively terrible - fun and complex.

Having a progression system that was literally "press x to become stronger" and nothing else would be outside of established rules too. If you like that, you simply don't like rpgs. if you were writing a story, it'd be like pitching a book as a sci-fi when it in fact took place the 1800s with no fiction related to science, you would also be well outside of established rules. And you'd also be blatantly lying. There comes a point where you're simply not making the game/writing the book you're claiming to make/write. That's of course not saying that no one can like it, just that you're being very dishonest about what you're trying to sell. Surely there will be some part of the audience that is fine with both what they were promised and what they got, even if they were completely different things.

Bringing up FFX and FFXIII as examples is a good opportunity for me though. FFXIII essentially has a sphere grid with a fraction of the complexity of that of FFX, and coincidentally also just a fraction of player choice. FFXV continues the trend with only a fraction of the complexity of the crystarium, and again just a fraction of the player choice the crystarium gave you. This clearly looks like a trend that goes straight to my earlier (admittedly hyperbolic) "press x to get stronger". Who knows, maybe that's what we'll have in FF16?

FinalxxSin
12-16-2016, 11:59 PM
You really shouldn't erase the quote you're quoting. Otherwise what's the point? xD It makes it hard to tell what exactly you're responding to.
You know those arrows next to the user's name in the quote? Click on that and it should take you to the full quote. You're welcome.



Funny you bring that up. Sakaguchi just did an interview where he stated he was literally brought onto the stage to endorse Final Fantasy XV. Square Enix wanted him to show his face one in awhile as the creator of the series, and Tabata asked him to endorse the game to encourage his development team.

It seems like an entirely PR-based endorsement.
Far as I have read, Tabata and Sakaguchi have met/talked on multiple occasions. Also, since Sakaguchi isn't part of the company at this point, I see no reason with him being dishonest with his stance.



.......
"Press X" and something automatically happens. Isn't that what happens in a lot of the series anyway? You bring up player choice and making it out to be better in X than in FFXIII and FFXV, but that isn't necessarily true. The problem with X's system is that the sky is the limit. The fundamental uniqueness every character has in the beginning vanishes by time the end game is complete since all base stats can end up equal. That makes some characters objectively less useful outright, and no longer just a situational condition.


Now with FFXIII and FFXV, that is not possible. Therefore, each character maintains their uniqueness more in the large picture. With FFXV's situation specifically, Ignis for example is always going to be better using dagger than Noctis. The player choice given to the player in FFXV falls more outside of the Ascension grid. The grid is there to some degree just to enhance a person's play style. Noctis can equip various offensive gear at one time. How each person approaches that can be different. Also, each person has the choice to approach combat more aggressively or more cautiously. In short, the strategy and player choice is there. It is just being presented in a different manor.

Mirage
12-17-2016, 12:13 AM
it's true for most players for most of the game. In the end, they'll converge to the same in ffx, which is in my opinion a bit boring. Until then, however, there is a myriad of ways to play ffx. You could say the same about stat-maxing in most of the games. that doesn't mean the games don't require planning or thinking to achieve usable results though most of the game. In FF13, the game pretty much thinks for you almost the entire game, both in battle and outside of battle.

To answer your question, no, "press x to get stronger" isn't how ff5, 6, tactics, 7, 8, 9, 10, 10-2 11 or 12 does it. Even 13-2 improved in that regard over its predecessor.

Fox
12-17-2016, 12:21 AM
X kinda gets a pass in my book with converging stats on the sphere grid as that isn't a problem for the first, oh, 100 hours or so. It only becomes an issue if you're really going for all the end game content; dark aeons, monster arena and so forth. Technically FFVII had the same problem because you could just get master materia on everyone. I don't feel these drawbacks are really drawbacks for the majority of the game.

Mirage
12-17-2016, 12:29 AM
yeah, you can break the game by stat-maxing in dozens of games. it's just sort of a final challenge for people to go for. you'll be extremely OP in ff5 with all jobs mastered too, or in ff6 with all magic learned on every character, spamming quick every round

FFNut
12-17-2016, 12:51 AM
I haven't played XV yet so I can't comment. Decided to go mostly blind as to not spoil anything for me. Honestly it would have to be real trash if it was worse than XIII.

I do do see though that people would rather play an RPG that is either set in a far off land that is behind the times, or a futuristic setting such as Mass Effect. They have been kinda hitting today in their games such as XIII, and what I have seen of XV. Those will always be a tough sell for people as they don't get to escape their world and go into another.

That being said a great story that isn't to complex with tons of made up things, with little side stories can make up for this. Persona does a great job with that balance.

FinalxxSin
12-17-2016, 01:20 AM
....
Press X to get stronger. Press X to do something automatically. Both end up with the same end results in the aspect that something is being done on an automatic level. That really hasn't changed; the way it has been done just gets changed. FFXIII does almost all of the thinking during the time of the battle aspect? Oh, you must be another one of those people that used the auto-battle (which is optional and not optimal) then complained about it. That's a player generated problem. I didn't use it very much because it found it be crappy for what I wanted to do. It seems to me you're trying to make out older games to have more strategy than what they do in reality. FF mainline games aren't exactly known for being hardcore when it comes to requiring strategy and tactics. While optional content may provide exceptions, it certainly isn't the majority case for the entire game. Most content in these games can simply be overcame with overpowering characters in gear and/or level.

Mirage
12-17-2016, 10:10 AM
You missed the mark by thinking I'm only talking about the auto-selection of abilities. I am yet to have made assumptions about how you play your game, just by the way. Regardless, you're swinging and missing here. The combat, even auto-stacking in FF13 wasn't one of the things i really disliked about that game.

The very limited AI options means you're often just painting with very broad strokes, hoping the AI will make the decisions you want.

I haven't talked much about strategy and tactics of the "old" (not really *that* old, i'm including games up to the third most recent single player games, after all) games. I've been talking about progression systems that give you options, and that offer at least a little bit of depth to dig into.

Maybe i'm just weird, but I always prefer to overcome difficult enemies by exhausting the options given to me in character progression systems, figuring out good combinations and skills that give good synergy, rather than just brute forcing my way with 10 extra levels. Leveling up in an RPG is basically just gradually adjusting the game's difficulty, and keeping them at or below what the developers intend you to be at makes the game harder, assuming you can make up for the power deficiency with smarter playstyles that require more planning and better strategies.

The (advanced) sphere grid allowed me to customize my characters with lots of variety, with a path that usually easy to see as the intended one, but nothing stopped you from going somewhere else on it. Planning your route, asserting the advantages and disadvantages of going in a specific direction, and how this build would fit with the builds made on the other characters, that's what I think is fun. Likewise for the materia and junction systems. Figuring out the quirks of new, reasonably complex systems is one of my favourite parts of RPGs, and it's one of the few things that almost every final fantasy made in the last 20 years have had. If I understand every part of the character progression system within 1 hour of playing (like in 13), then something's gone wrong.

Thankfully, there are other games that offer this if SE decides to drop the ball permanently.

Wolf Kanno
12-17-2016, 08:32 PM
Ignoring the current debate since I don't feel like reading every comment at the moment, I'll simply stick to the original topic at hand. No, I don't necessarily believe all games are equal. Even if you were to boil it down to "did I have fun?" as the general starting line on good versus bad, we can still argue that the level of "fun" one may have is still subjective. People had fun playing FFX and XIII, it boggles my mind how you can do so, because I found both games to be boring experiences, but at the same time, I can't say my opinion is somehow an objective truth. I have fun playing older, usually nightmarish hard 8-bit titles, but some people consider them as fun as getting a root canal without anesthesia. I'm not going to argue they are wrong if the game does not have the features one derives their fun from. The best I can do is try to articulate where I'm coming from when I say X is good and Y is bad. Yet I know I'm talking the extremes and the original OP was talking more about a "good" game versus a "great" game and how branding affects our views on this matter.

Recently I've been going through FFXV and before that, I had finished up I am Setsuna. In my current mood, I would argue that I am Setsuna was the better game for me, but I would also state that had I am Setsuna been FFXV and FFXV was Brotrip: The Last of the Kings, that opinion may very well change. This is because brands do paint our perception of quality. Brands exist because they have a history of a certain quality and as that history grows, so does the expectations, even if that expectations is simply unreasonable due to looking at past glories through rose-tinted glasses, and frankly that 's just the unfortunate predicament that many long lasting game franchises have found themselves in.

I didn't go into I am Setsuna with any high expectations, while I was certainly excited for it, I didn't go in thinking it was going to be as good as the nostalgic games it apes, and frankly that expectation was met, but I still found a lot of things to enjoy about it because it hit most of the criteria I need to find a game engaging. Despite my best efforts, I went into FFXV with some form of expectation and it certainly surprised me more than Setsuna did. Yet for all of its merits, the game has certainly got a number of flaws as well. Course I could easily argue that even the "glory days" weren't short of their own faults, but nostalgia is a cruel mistress sometimes, and it sucks that good games have to be judged long after the fans have moved past their impressionable years. If I was fifteen, it would just be as likely for me to consider FFXV to be one of the greatest games ever made, but I'm hardly that age, I've been around the block too many times, I'm not as easily caught in wonderment like I was when the world was expanding around me in my formative years, and I'm old enough now to know what I like and dislike, and even brands can't necessarily change that opinion.

XV already had to deal with my opinions on things: how I feel about open world games, how I feel about ARPG combat, what I expect from characters and story. It was no different with I am Setsuna, but the difference here is that I went into Setsuna pretty certain it would under perform for me, and I was pleasantly surprised to see that assessment didn't always hold true. It's easier to be surprised when you are dealing with people you don't know. I've never played anything done by TRF's staff so I went in blind with just an opinion formulated from what I knew about the game. Final Fantasy and I have had a long history together, Tabata has been around long enough for me to have an idea of how works as a director, so of course I have certain things I look out for, and thus XV has a greater list of criteria to fulfill for me. It's just the nature of brands to build an expectation of a certain quality, and that quality doesn't necessarily extend to everything within the medium.

Does it suck when a good game is ostracized due to insurmountable expectations? Yes, and I've seen my fair share of great games denied their rightful glory due to fans and the unreasonable quality we hold them to. Hell, I myself have done it, and I'm sure I've missed out on some great games cause I couldn't look past my biases and stubbornness.

FinalxxSin
12-17-2016, 11:03 PM
...
The progression system that offer what you deem as depth aren't exactly as grand as you make them out to be when a lot of those things become less effective as time goes by. In some cases that depth becomes so limited, you have very limited options to work with. One thing I can give credit to with some of the newer single player games is that depth at least stayed consistent. For example, instead of fire being replaced by fira, which would then get replaced with Firaga, they all still had a purpose. Progression Systems aren't the bread and butter of all RPGs, not even in the mainline FF series.


I don't need to assume what you was getting at when you made that comment about a certain game doing a lot of thinking for the player. I've dealt with people on the internet long enough in that situation to be able to connect the dots. You aren't the first to make that type of comment, and you won't be the last.

Skyblade
12-18-2016, 06:07 PM
In the immortal words of Kuja: Well, now. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gAvxsuoU0I4)

It's a kind of hard question to answer. I mean, thinking critically, I am usually more harsh on games by AAA developers, as opposed to ones by indie devs or first time studios. Similarly, I will have a (slightly) higher expectation of a sequel, as I expect the developers to work out flaws and bugs from the first game when they make a second installment.

But, when I actually play the games... Nope. I enjoy what I enjoy, and I don't like what I don't like, and none of the rest of it matters.

That said, it's true that I look for certain particular things in Final Fantasy, and Square has been gradually excising those things as they've developed the series further and further. Which is why I've now reached a point where I didn't follow any of the pre-release hype for FFXV, barely noticed its release, and didn't care enough to buy it. As much love as I have for the series, I recognize now that Square has moved it and evolved it. It's just grown into something that I have no interest in. Square used to be the master of immersive worlds that I love to explore and adventure in, but that's just slowly been lost. Open world games rarely, if ever, capture that for me, because they always turn out too empty for me to care enough to explore and find the meat of the game. This is actually why world overmaps are fantastic things if you're on a journey of that scale. Because they skip the three thousand miles of empty prairie.

Final Fantasy XV may be a great game. It may even be as appealing a game as the older entries in the series that I used to love. But I don't trust the name Final Fantasy to deliver that type of experience anymore. At least, not enough to try it out. Maybe I'll buy it when it goes on sale someday. Maybe. More likely, other, more promising titles will show up that I'll funnel time and money towards. When it comes to Square, I'll probably just stick to the Bravely series (until they change that one enough for me to despise it as well).

At least there's still Persona.

Loony BoB
12-19-2016, 02:52 PM
I think a part of my original question is getting quite overlooked - if you do expect more out of certain games, does that mean you would be willing to spend more on them than you do other games? If you place higher standards on a game, do you still expect the same price at launch? I'm talking PS4/XBO physical purchases, I should probably clarify. Not Journey or Limbo or anything, but games that have traditionally all cost the same amount.

Psychotic
12-19-2016, 04:59 PM
I think a part of my original question is getting quite overlooked - if you do expect more out of certain games, does that mean you would be willing to spend more on them than you do other games? If you place higher standards on a game, do you still expect the same price at launch? I'm talking PS4/XBO physical purchases, I should probably clarify. Not Journey or Limbo or anything, but games that have traditionally all cost the same amount.I expect the same price at launch because that's how pricing works, but I won't get it at launch. All games eventually drop in price due to supply and demand. I got a brand new copy of FFXIII-2 for example for Ł15 or something like that because I waited until several months after launch.

There was a thread on the Order 1886 on here when it came out, and apparently it's 5 hours long or something? I said in the thread it sounded like a fun experience but not one I'd pay Ł45 for and I'd get it when the price dropped. I looked at Amazon and it's Ł19 or so now. Still waiting for a further drop before I buy it! I'm not in any rush :)

Del Murder
12-19-2016, 07:34 PM
Yeah, like Psy, I'll wait for the price to drop depending on the level of enjoyment I plan to get out of it. I'm perfectly fine paying $50 for the next Naughty Dog game even though they are traditionally shorter than, say, an open-world RPG because I know that those fewer hours will be jam packed with enjoyment based on the history of their brand. For something I'm not as sure about (I'm waiting on The Order as well!), I'll just wait for demand and supply and burst pricing models to work their way through the process before I buy it. I'm in no rush.

Wolf Kanno
12-19-2016, 10:01 PM
If you can guarantee the satisfaction level of a game for yourself, then I really don't see the financial hurdle being an issue, and that again just comes down to how well you know what you like. Persona 5 comes out next spring, and I've seen enough to feel it will be worth the purchase of when it first arrives. A game that has elements I don't care for but might be good, or something that sounds good but being worked on a developer I know next to nothing about, will tend to make me hold onto my purse strings a bit tighter. Whether a $70 game is worth the price of admission over a $30 one simply comes down to how well you know your tastes.

Skyblade
12-20-2016, 07:29 AM
I think a part of my original question is getting quite overlooked - if you do expect more out of certain games, does that mean you would be willing to spend more on them than you do other games? If you place higher standards on a game, do you still expect the same price at launch? I'm talking PS4/XBO physical purchases, I should probably clarify. Not Journey or Limbo or anything, but games that have traditionally all cost the same amount.

I am not only willing to pay more for games that I trust to deliver a particularly positive experience, but I frequently do pay more for them.

For example, I'm getting the "Take Your Heart" edition of Persona 5 because I am expecting a lot from that game.

Momiji
12-20-2016, 04:30 PM
I think a part of my original question is getting quite overlooked - if you do expect more out of certain games, does that mean you would be willing to spend more on them than you do other games? If you place higher standards on a game, do you still expect the same price at launch? I'm talking PS4/XBO physical purchases, I should probably clarify. Not Journey or Limbo or anything, but games that have traditionally all cost the same amount.

I am not only willing to pay more for games that I trust to deliver a particularly positive experience, but I frequently do pay more for them.

For example, I'm getting the "Take Your Heart" edition of Persona 5 because I am expecting a lot from that game.

Are you really paying more for the game, though? Generally when you buy special editions, you're paying for all the bonus collectible stuff that comes with it. (And I totally do that too if I'm a big enough fan).

But ultimately, my answer is still no, I'm not willing to pay more for a game if I have higher expectations for it. I expect to pay full price for it, and don't want to pay anywhere near as much for something I don't have the expectations of.

Skyblade
12-20-2016, 07:29 PM
I think a part of my original question is getting quite overlooked - if you do expect more out of certain games, does that mean you would be willing to spend more on them than you do other games? If you place higher standards on a game, do you still expect the same price at launch? I'm talking PS4/XBO physical purchases, I should probably clarify. Not Journey or Limbo or anything, but games that have traditionally all cost the same amount.

I am not only willing to pay more for games that I trust to deliver a particularly positive experience, but I frequently do pay more for them.

For example, I'm getting the "Take Your Heart" edition of Persona 5 because I am expecting a lot from that game.

Are you really paying more for the game, though? Generally when you buy special editions, you're paying for all the bonus collectible stuff that comes with it. (And I totally do that too if I'm a big enough fan).

But ultimately, my answer is still no, I'm not willing to pay more for a game if I have higher expectations for it. I expect to pay full price for it, and don't want to pay anywhere near as much for something I don't have the expectations of.

Is that extra content and collectibles sold at fair market value?

I mean, if a collector's edition comes with a figurine, items of similar quality are usually around ten dollars in cost.

If it comes with DLC, it's usually cosmetic stuff that, if sold separately, usually comes to five dollars at an absolute maximum.

Yet you usually pay around thirty dollars for these editions, more for some.

The mark up on the extras is usually pretty high.

I get my money's worth, I feel, sure. But a lot of the extra money is just that, it's extra profit for the developers.

Del Murder
12-20-2016, 08:04 PM
Yes, I also think that these 'special editions' are just ways for the publishers work along the supply/demand curve in order to get people who are willing to pay more for their product to pay more for it. In a 'perfect' economic market (from the business perspective) the consumer pays exactly what they are willing to pay for the product as long as the company is willing to sell it at that price. Obviously companies can't charge individual prices so they create these extras with high markup to get there. Discounted prices that shortly follow a game's release are another mechanism for this. This practice is nothing new in business. At least with the 'extras' the consumer is satisfied that the extra money they paid went for something that others who paid the normal price didn't get, even if there is a high markup on those extras.