Friday, October 06, 2006

FFXII demo: Lame Storytelling

Desperately trying to mash medieval and futuristic times together, we get a hodgepodge that results in uninteresting characters. From my experience since Final Fantasy 7, there's always been some fantastic persona that left you playing on in order to learn more about him or her. Even Final Fantasy 9, which I abhor, had Zidane and Vivi which were weird curiosities.

FFXII feels like a medieval story cliche with spaceships. In my opinion, this is a horrible, horrible thing. During my short time with FFXII...I actually had the thought that the game felt like 3rd person Oblivion with Star Wars and Lord of the Rings aspects.

The controls are problematic as well. FPS fans will HATE that X and Y camera control cannot be reversed. Menus cannot be navigated with the analog stick, and the d-pad cannot navigate your character. This leaves for a lot of frustration control-wise. The floppy Dual Shock 2 analogs will probably drive some gamers insane as well (especially when they find a lack of sensitivity adjustment).

Continue reading...

Not all is lost. My concern going in was that I wouldn't like the lack of random battles. Surprisingly, the new battle system is quite welcome, and I enjoy it. Active Time Battle still exists, so there is some time between your command and when it can be excuted. However, you are free to run around while waiting for your action bar to fill. That doesn't mean an enemy's attack will miss if you move out of the way though.

The graphics are fairly impressive for a PS2 game. Square-Enix did an outstanding job of getting rid of "flat-face" syndrome from Final Fantasy X. They give dimension in the right places on faces and clothing, and it makes a huge difference. Granted, it's still hard to look at all those jaggies and low-res textures after having experienced better. But credit is definitely due for the outcome of the game with the old hardware they had to work with.

I'm glad I demoed this game, because I see no reason to buy it on day one and pay full price for it. Final Fantasy has always been a great story experience from me. But if I dislike the environments and the characters, I already know I'll regret not spending that money elsewhere. I made this mistake with Enchanted Arms, and I'm not about to do it again.

Hopefully, FFXIII will not be in a non-medievalish setting so I can look forward to it. From the teasers, I shouldn't have anything to worry about.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

the camera control and the lack of a reverse option does suck. it reminds me of the control in shadow of the colossus, which i thought was "eh" at times also. i do like the new "3rd person" play though, it's almost as if you're playing a 1-player MMORPG (or something like FF11, which i have never tried..) the gambit system works quite well; as does the licenses. graphics look great and shows the dated PS2 can still hold it's own, but WHY did they not include any progressive display output?

2:25 PM  

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