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Thread: Missed Opportunities (FF Edition)

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    Memento Mori Site Contributor Wolf Kanno's Avatar
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    :monster: Missed Opportunities (FF Edition)

    Awhile back I did a thread about underutilized plot ideas that games squandered, and it got me thinking recently. What do you feel are some missed opportunities or ideas within the FF series? They can either be a subplot that didn't go anywhere or a game mechanic that you felt had more potential than what was seen in the game.

    Before we start, try to keep game bashing to a minimum. I don't need to read snarky comments about how a whole game was a missed opportunity because you didn't like the game. Defend your answers, don't just spout off opinions with little context. Thank you and enjoy.

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    The war in FFXII. No this isn't intended to be a snarky comment about how I didn't like the game, although it truly does make most of the game feel like a missed opportunity. In fact, there were several potential jumping off points (for example, a point where a holy place basically gets massacred - but I don't remember place names that well) in the game where I thought "oh, this is where things are going to take off" only to be disappointed because those points never really got followed up on and the game kept going in a different direction. I honestly think it would have been a much better game if the plot followed the war more closely instead of the story it did follow. Sorry if that hits you as FFXII bashing because you love it so much.

    FFX - Seymour as a villain didn't work so well partly because he was so unsuccessful that his later appearances just feel anticlimactic. Perhaps if he had actually managed to become Sin it would have been more interesting. Not sure. I like the game overall, so it's not a complaint on the game, but it sort of seemed like they didn't really know what to do with Seymour in the end.

    FFIX - No summonable Alexander in battle?

    FFVIII - There could be a little more detail on Ultimecia, her timeline, and what she's trying to do and why. The lack of information leads to ridiculous fan theories (i.e. Rinoa = Ultimecia), which are terrible but only exist to try to fill in the vacuum of Ultimecia's nonexistent backstory. She's a real human sorceress, not some abstact entity, and yet the info on where she came from is virtually as shallow as Zeromus. Also, why is Adel a Behemoth instead of a human sorceress (yes she is, don't start with me)? We need an origin story. Seems there's a theme of lack of villain detail in mine....

    FFVII - This isn't exactly a subplot or a gameplay mechanic, but it would have been cool if we could have seen more of Midgar. We really only see a fraction of the city. Very little of the plate beyond Shinra HQ itself, and only a few sectors out of 8 for the slums too.
    Last edited by Lord Golbez; 11-12-2018 at 04:11 AM.

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    Friendship *is* magic. MJN SEIFER's Avatar
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    Final Fantasy VII: What Lord Golbez said, show more of Midgar. When you get the key to get back in, it should allow you to gain access to Sectors 1 through 4, and maybe Sector 8, even though you partly go there - but then, you partly go to Sector 1 and Sector 4, but it's quick, and you don't see any of the town like places, or talk to anyone who lives there, or anything.

    Final Fantasy VIII: Do some more stuff with the other main characters, even if it's just optional. You really have to dig to find stuff about the characters in the main party who aren't Squall or Rinoa, and even then you don't get that much. Also some sub-games would have been nice if they could have incorporated it (they do all that stuff about T-Boards, and do nothing with them in gameplay.)

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    FFIV: Not having the balls to keep certain characters dead. Not that they all should have died, but i do belive parom porom, Yang and maybe Cid should have stayed dead, it just makes the game as a whole feel less serious, and when FFV the "light hearted" one is more sad and gets you more emotionally invested then its kinda not good. ofcourse FFIV was a bit early in the cycle so it isnt like a major issue and ill give it that at the time it was all fine lol.

    FFXIII: Making the paradigm system fully unlock too late.
    I honestly believe if they had made it that you could be any paradigm class earlier in the game than chapter 9 or whatever then more people would have liked the game a bit more, wouldnt fix peopels problems with the story or whatever but it could have fixed the gameplay, also the crystarium should have been a straight up sphere grid rip off instead of a straight line.

    FFT: Minor one but, i wish they used all 12 zodiac instead of just a few of them.

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    Newbie Administrator Loony BoB's Avatar
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    FFXIII: There are two major plot points in this game that annoy me in this game. Spoiler tag time.

    (SPOILER)So, firstly Sazh appears to kill himself but doesn't. I mean, I don't want him to kill himself, but oh my god can you imagine a playable character committing suicide in an modern FF game? It would be heartbreaking, devestating, especially as Sazh was so loved. It would drill home just how real the stresses being suffered by the character were. I know that it wouldn't make sense as he would want to live for the hope of seeing his son again but all the same, I feel like this was an opportunity for incredible drama in FFXIII that would have gone down in time aside that of Aeris' death.

    The second situation is that of Hope - when he goes through his stressful time on Pulse, it's often noticed that his l'Cie meter/gauge/thing is nearing extremes. We see everywhere people who turned into monsters or rocks or whatever, and it almost happens with a playable character but... oh it's fine, it's always fine for the playables, isn't it? I just really feel this, like the Sazh situation, could have been that moment for something going terrible for once. Watching Hope lose hope (no pun intended) and succumb to the curse would have really driven things home. I guess sometimes I just don't like to see a situation where everyone turns out okay. Game of Thrones gives us some good understanding of why terrible things happening can be good for story and, dare I say it because it shouldn't matter in a game, but... get people talking about drama, get some controversy in the game, get some IRL publicity for shock treatment.
    Bow before the mighty Javoo!

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    Master of Kittens Galuf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Loony BoB View Post
    FFXIII: There are two major plot points in this game that annoy me in this game. Spoiler tag time.

    (SPOILER)So, firstly Sazh appears to kill himself but doesn't. I mean, I don't want him to kill himself, but oh my god can you imagine a playable character committing suicide in an modern FF game? It would be heartbreaking, devestating, especially as Sazh was so loved. It would drill home just how real the stresses being suffered by the character were. I know that it wouldn't make sense as he would want to live for the hope of seeing his son again but all the same, I feel like this was an opportunity for incredible drama in FFXIII that would have gone down in time aside that of Aeris' death.

    The second situation is that of Hope - when he goes through his stressful time on Pulse, it's often noticed that his l'Cie meter/gauge/thing is nearing extremes. We see everywhere people who turned into monsters or rocks or whatever, and it almost happens with a playable character but... oh it's fine, it's always fine for the playables, isn't it? I just really feel this, like the Sazh situation, could have been that moment for something going terrible for once. Watching Hope lose hope (no pun intended) and succumb to the curse would have really driven things home. I guess sometimes I just don't like to see a situation where everyone turns out okay. Game of Thrones gives us some good understanding of why terrible things happening can be good for story and, dare I say it because it shouldn't matter in a game, but... get people talking about drama, get some controversy in the game, get some IRL publicity for shock treatment.
    I really agree with this, i do not understan controversy in games really so i wish more games with a serious tone and like wartime setting would just go all out. People are going to suffer mental issues, people will die, children even. I dont WANT real children or people to die or suffer mental issues but if your gonna make a game with a story you want to pass off as realistic or dark then just go all out, i dont understand why its so controversial its just a game and it serves the purpose of the story. ofcourse if it is unnecesary then don't do it but the examples you mentioned would have been amazing, sure main characters would have died but its happened before and these examples probably would have topped aeris and even Galuf imo.

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    Memento Mori Site Contributor Wolf Kanno's Avatar
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    I'll do this in parts because I'm short on time. Part II will come later.

    FFII: The easy one here is Leon and his whole subplot about being the Dark Knight and how it's implied he did so willingly. I know this game didn't have the best writing, but this plot angle has too much potential to not be explored in the games countless remakes/ports.

    FFIII: Two background plots really should be expanded on, namely the plot line about the Warriors of Darkness fighting off the invasion of Light in their world, as well as Xande's past. There is some cool ideas cooking in both these one note plot elements that it is a shame the series never expanded on them further. On the gameplay side of things, I wish there were more scenarios where you need to switch out your whole party into a class to succeed. Like the Goldor Mansion should have been built around using a team of Thieves, or have an enemy that requires a team of Bards to take down.

    FFIV: The Lunarians and Zemus should have been expanded on more. The DS version adds in some nice background for Golbez, but I feel like Zemus should have been expanded on more as well, especially in light of having him stand out better with his more popular cosmic chew toy. I feel the Lunarians were also a cool concept and while IX most likely gave me the expanded scenario I wanted, it would have been cool to see it in IV proper.

    FFVI: Expand on the idea of Magitech, I think it's the coolest concept from this game and it's so sad how underutilized it is. We could have had some interesting info dumps at the Magitech Research Facility, or the fact Relics are basically the War of the Magi era magitech. Hell one or two more scenarios where you get to use the Armor would have been appreciated as well. The other is a complaint others have given and I concur it should be rectified and that is personalizing some of the reunions in the Ruined World scenario. Would have been cool to get extra dialogue for recruiting Gau, Cyan, and Sabin if the other two were in the party, and stuff like that. Really build up the idea the party is a family. Also, I would have loved for more of the Espers to get story scenarios for them. I feel Relics are a neat concept but VI doesn't go far enough with them, there are so few really useful options that its not surprising that most players forget it's even there.

    FFVII: I could poke holes in some of the games bad plot points but this is about underutilized ideas, so the ones I'll settle on is the poor handling of the main concept of the early scenario which is summarized as "one man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter". AVALANCHE is a cool concept but not only does the terrorist angle lose all meaning once you realize Shin-Ra are card carrying Saturday morning villains completely removing any illusion of your party's justification but it's not really dwelled on much after the first half of the Midgard scenario. Talk about a missed opportunity. The second is Jenova herself, she's a pretty awesome idea but ultimately comes across as a Lavos expy who is used to hand wave most of Sephiroth's abilities and motive as opposed to being something more sinister. Lavos is a Lovecraftian horror, and while Jenova initially pushes that up to eleven in terms of body horror, she's largely a footnote who is overshadowed by the rest of the villainous cast. On the gameplay front, I wish VII offered more variety with Support Materia earlier in the game. It also needed to drop some of the armor and accessories because stuff like the elemental and added effect materia are trivialized by them. For a system often touted for its deep customization potential, most of that potential doesn't really open up until the second disc and even then, game balance goes out the window thanks to other factors leaving all the customization for bored people as opposed to being practical.

    FFVIII: Man where to begin? I think the nature of Garden and SeeD could have been gone into more. It was annoying how the concept of the idea doesn't mesh as well with the presentation. Child Soldiers using experimental powers that rip away their memories to fight in proxy wars until the day their true objective comes out of the shadow? Super neat, but instead the school is treated like a typical high school/boarding school and the Junction stuff is just an afterthought created for one cheap plot twist and to justify the gameplay mechanics in world. It should go without saying that the Amnesia plot twist is also a really poorly used idea that could have added a bunch of drama in this game. Adel and Seifer are also poorly handled and both have enough personality or background info to make them stand out on their own.

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    Memento Mori Site Contributor Wolf Kanno's Avatar
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    And now for Part 2...

    FFIX - I honestly only wish that Freya was expanded on, her story is actually really interesting but's shes treated as such an afterthought in the game that it's kind of cruel. Other than that, maybe spend more time really exploring Terra. Though it gets better expansion than IV's Lunarians they still could have done more to really explore them, I kind of feel IX sort of info dumps and runs about them.

    FFX - As many people know, I have some issues with FFX's story, but to keep this inline with the theme of the thread my choices would be Lulu's character development because she honestly has the most interesting backstory of the bunch and yet the game buries it under optional stuff. I've got listen to Wakka whine about his dead brother or Tidus and Yuna bemoaning living up to their parents legacy but the one cast member who has some legitimate baggage is the one who shuts up and only gives the most basic of details about it. My other option is the very nature of the drama the story could really have. I hate to keep bringing this game up, but I am Setsuna handled the overall feeling of sorrow that such a story should bring way better. It would have been more interesting to have Tidus understand from the get go about the Pilgrimage rather than the bumbling hiding and cheap shock value it brought. Hell it would have given Yuna a better opportunity to shine as well. Being up front about the journey would have made the story more interesting. The battle system was also a missed opportunity and should have been built around controlling turn order better. Something like Xenosaga's boost mechanics or Bravery Default's mechanics would have really made that gameplay sing. The Sphere Grid should have also been less hand holding.

    FFXII - The Occurians, I don't really know what it is about Square and having ancient possibly alien civilization controlling the main conflict from behind the scenes but three for three they tend to downplay them way too much and sadly, the Occurians might be the worst example. My next choices are the Judges themselves, considering how much they play into the marketing, it's a shame only a handful of them get any real characterization to them and they are one of the more interesting elements about Archades.

    FFXIII - Oiy... where to begin? Maybe the idea of the relationship between Humans and fal'Cie? I mean it just doesn't feel like a world where they've lived side by side. I mean you would think that for a society that was easily brainwashed into thinking everything from Pulse was toxic and evil that Sahz wouldn't really freak out about his son becoming a l'Cie. The concept of being a l'Cie is also pretty one-sided argument with everyone treating it as awful when frankly I don't feel the rules are that bad with the exception that the fal'Cie don't give you direct orders for some reason, thus increasing your likelihood of turning into a Cieth. It This segues into the idea that the puppet government and brainwashed sheep of Coccon is another plot thread the game hints at going somewhere with it and never really did. Also Cid's resistance is pretty one note and self contained to just his story and has no impact on anything, that was wasted opportunity there as well. Also the supporting villains were underplayed despite both being more interesting than the actual villains which is a shame. I'll also second the fact the game had several moments of interesting drama only to cop out at the last minute. The battle system also needed more to it. The concept is interesting but it would have been cooler if enemies worked more like the Eidolons and different job roles were needed to break the gauge instead of just focusing all of it on Ravager and Commando. The Crystarium would have been more interesting if the job roles had more statistical focus on you were limited more on which ones to raise, which would have created more of a real customization experience. The weapon crafting had potential, if only they had introduced it earlier, changed the leveling mechanics to something less tedious, and focused more on special armor bonus sets like we see in Dissidia and Suikoden IV, we could have a real nice system going for it.

    FFXIV - You made a new MMO based on FF and instead of either coming up with original races or utilizing all of the races seen so far in the franchise as a whole like Moogles, Bangaa, and Ronso; you instead decided to just revamp the XI races?

    FFXV - Kingsglaive should have been in the game proper as a playable experience. Especially if Lunafreya and Regis were the playable characters to follow. Not only could it have been a fun taste of power sequence but it would have given both of them much needed screen time and characterization. The story needed to play up the King's Tombs questline, maybe get more history about the previous kings and tie it into the world better. The timeframe between Chapter 13 and the final story chapter should have been Noctis being challenged by the former kings and earning the right to be the chosen one. Most of the villains are poorly utilized that are not named Ardyn. We should have had a chance to really explore Tenebrae considering how often it's talked about in all of the XV media. The mariachi outfit should have been available for the whole party, including guest party members and you should have changed their weapons to instruments, I want my smurfing Desperado parody.

    FFTactics - Honestly, the actual War of the Lions is way more interesting than the Lucavi plotline, I would have loved to have more emphasis be placed on that part of the narrative. I also feel like most of the story characters should have had a few more moments to shine in the plot after they join. Also the true nature of the Zodiac stones are hinted at being different than we thought but the game never explores it sadly.

    Tactics Advance - I feel like the story/special characters could have all been better utilized. They're too restrictive at times and too narrow in focus. I get that they were trying to avoid the complaints of how broken the ones in FFTactics were, but I felt the game went a bit too far. Also, why isn't Donad and Mewt playable? The post game scenario makes no sense to begin with based on the actual ending, so I don't see why we couldn't have made them playable in there as well.

    Tactics A2 - To be frank, many of the larger side story missions like the Four Lords or Frimelda's questline are better stories than the actual main plot. I would have gone with those instead. There are some cool scenarios in this game, just not the main one.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wolf Kanno View Post

    FFTactics - Also the true nature of the Zodiac stones are hinted at being different than we thought but the game never explores it sadly.
    I know exactly what you're talking about and it kind of just slipped my mind or I would have mentioned it myself. You're referring to the scene where someone gets brought back to life correct? It heavily implies that the stones exist for some other purpose than as tools of Lucavi, but as far as I recall it's pretty much the only scene that makes this implication.

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    Memento Mori Site Contributor Wolf Kanno's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Golbez View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Wolf Kanno View Post

    FFTactics - Also the true nature of the Zodiac stones are hinted at being different than we thought but the game never explores it sadly.
    I know exactly what you're talking about and it kind of just slipped my mind or I would have mentioned it myself. You're referring to the scene where someone gets brought back to life correct? It heavily implies that the stones exist for some other purpose than as tools of Lucavi, but as far as I recall it's pretty much the only scene that makes this implication.
    Yep, that's the scene. Though if anyone did research on Matsuno's body of works, you'll learn he rarely ever finishes his games before they just get released. Most of his games have either cut content or loose story threads.

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    That might explain why I mostly don't like Matsuno as a director. I loved FFT, but became increasingly bothered by the incomplete feeling that some of his games left me with (FFXII, but also Vagrant Story, though I still liked Vagrant Story). I don't know. It's possible that if FFXII hadn't been FFXII, I would have liked it more. There's something to be said for expectations and the effect that has on enjoyment. Conversely, I wonder if I would have liked FFT as much if it had been called FFVIII or Vagrant Story FFIX. In the latter case at least, I surely would have been disappointed.
    Last edited by Lord Golbez; 11-14-2018 at 09:29 PM.

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    Final Fantasy IV completely missed out on some character development of Rosa. Her bio says she's a skilled archer, but it is never shown in storyline, unlike other characters. During battles, Rosa rarely has time to fire any arrows because she's almost always having to heal the party. Late in the game, I often give up on the bows entirely because equipping a staff enhances her spell power. There aren't many, if any, battles where Rosa needs to use that archery skill. They could have made a dungeon where magic is unusable and enemies are weak to projectiles, just to show this ability.

    I get that Archer is her secondary job, but they could have done something with it. The only thing they did is give her the Aim command.

  13. #13

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    I doubt there are any battles where you need to use her archery skills, but then there probably aren't many battles where you must use any specific skills of any characters. There are enemies (usually flying enemies) that are extremely weak to bow attacks for whom it would generally be prudent to use Rosa's bow. I get far more use of Rosa's bow and Aim command then I do out of Rydia's whip (granted she has no special command for that). In fact, I generally don't even equip whips with Rydia, because it's not worth the sacrifice of magic power boost you can get by equipping certain rods. With the right rod you can do 9999 with Bahamut. With a whip equipped instead, you're probably doing 6K-7K. Either way you'll do around max damage with Meteo, but Meteo takes too long to cast, costs more MP than Bahamut, and Zeromus counters it (pretty sure Zeromus counters all Black Magic and maybe Holy too, but he doesn't counter summons). I guess that's also true of some staves for Rosa, but I find her curing sufficient with a bow equipped and it's nice to have it when up against enemies that are weak to it. Keep in mind too that arrows are consumable in FFIV, so it's nice to not have to rely on her bow for every turn. That said, I've often run out of my best arrows, so I know I get good use of her bow. Probably better to equip a staff for Zeromus though, sure. You certainly won't ever get a chance to use a bow in that battle. In fact, generally where you can switch out before a boss, you probably should.
    Last edited by Lord Golbez; 11-16-2018 at 05:08 AM.

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    Recognized Member Jessweeee♪'s Avatar
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    Would have liked to have seen more about the sorceress line in FFVIII, something to give that witches through time battle an extra punch.

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