2018/2/18: Playstation: Final Fantasy VII, Final Fantasy VIII

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VideoGameCritic
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Re: 2018/2/18: Playstation: Final Fantasy VII, Final Fantasy VIII

Postby VideoGameCritic » February 19th, 2018, 1:33 pm

I fixed the "single most talked about" line in the FFVII review.

Good feedback! If anybody wants to join the RPG crew to help write/shape these reviews please contact me.
It basically just gives you access to a private forum.

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ptdebate
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Re: 2018/2/18: Playstation: Final Fantasy VII, Final Fantasy VIII

Postby ptdebate » February 19th, 2018, 3:35 pm

ThePixelatedGenocide wrote:I don't know...VIII's review feels incomplete to me. It ably tackles the experimental gameplay..except for the part where the enemies level up as you do.


Let me stop you right there for just a moment. Remember that this is a review that has to fit within the Critic's format, and as written it is already at the limit of what will be tolerated on this site. The level scaling is not unique to FF8, so I skipped it. It does mean that the optimal strategy is to keep your level as low as possible while junctioning furiously, but that would be a grade-A spoiler and not something to be shared in the review. I am evaluating the game, not offering tips and tricks.

ThePixelatedGenocide wrote:And the detailed graphics come at the cost of a low resolution, even by PSOne standards. It's as often eye piercingly ugly as it is breath-takingly beautiful. And there's no mention of how you can break the game if you've got the patience for the lengthy summons and a walk-through FAQ. Not does it talk about the optimal way to break the game, through the single greatest mini-game to ever appear in an RPG. (Sorry, Blitzball fans, but Triple Triad is pure digital cocaine.)


The resolution, at 256x224, is exactly the same as every other PS1 game.

Again, if I'm telling readers how to "break" the game, I'm giving away hints. Also - if I must - actually using summons at all (except as a way to junction attributes) is not the recommended way to play the game. If you have to use summons in battle, you're doing it wrong.


ThePixelatedGenocide wrote:And while the review warns you about the villain swerve, the love story? How endearing is it, really? Two people find each other hot, and then she drags the world's sulkiest JRPG protagonist through the motions of a relationship, like she's giving a cat a bath.


This is certainly a matter of taste, but Squall has a very good reason for being sulky ***SPOILERS*** (re: his abandonment as a child, Ellone subplot) and having difficulty trusting people. Rinoa is like his polar opposite, she's warm and jocular, and trusts easily. Their interactions range from hilarious to heartwarming. The ending FMV is one of the greatest things I've ever seen in a game.

People had trouble with this aspect of FFVIII back when it released because the primary fanbase was teenage boys (myself included). The female fanbase almost unanimously loved it. I'd suggest giving it another shot as an adult.


ThePixelatedGenocide wrote:But it really feels like a bad fanfiction of itself. I can only wish we'd all played the game you experienced, instead of what was actually there.


Not sure what you meant by this. I've played FFVIII 3 times to completion and probably put in over 150 hours. I even watched the fan dub on YouTube. But I respect that you see the game differently.

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Retro STrife
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Re: 2018/2/18: Playstation: Final Fantasy VII, Final Fantasy VIII

Postby Retro STrife » February 19th, 2018, 4:39 pm

On the FF8 romance, I fall somewhere between ptdebate and PixelatedGenocide. To me, back when I played it in the late 90s, the romance aspect of the story was not all that interesting. But, the fact that there was a romance aspect to the story was what amazed me back then. Today, video games have gone full Hollywood in their story telling, so this stuff is commonplace. But back in the 90s, any love story in a game was extremely rare. I remember wondering back then why games never tried it. In the rare instance that it came up, a game might, at best, allude to a crush between characters, and a lot of times it was more for comedic effect or to provide a simple motivation for a guy wanting to rescue a female character. Never any depth to it. Then I played FF8, which was the first sincere attempt to tell a love story that I ever saw in video games. That impressed me back then, even if it didn't pull me in.

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Re: 2018/2/18: Playstation: Final Fantasy VII, Final Fantasy VIII

Postby ThePixelatedGenocide » February 20th, 2018, 9:42 pm

The story's subjective - there's a lot of creativity there, and some of the beats do land - but I called it a fanfiction of itself, because I've dated women who write fanfiction, and FFVIII includes many of the pitfalls amateur writers start with. The biggest one being that they really neglect to flesh out what makes so many people genuinely like/love/admire Squall despite the implosion that is his atrophied social skills. It's kind of like Twilight and 50 Shades, in that regard.

Seriously, imagine you were playing another character in the classroom, and all the teachers were singling out Mr. "...whatever." for special treatment while he existed in their general direction. And then he had a circle of friends being friends at him, a true and powerful fairy tale love being forced on him...

It's like the entire game world revolves around this human black hole. If you can't relate to him, and you're not attracted to him, there's just not a lot to actually chew on in the early going.

As for his tragic backstory - a lot of us had worse childhoods. Watching him use that as an excuse to be antisocial for hours on end is an exotic form of torture.

But onto the game mechanics, my criticism was more directed towards the way the game punishes you for not playing it in a very abstract, meta kind of a way, while doing nothing to prevent you from exploiting all it's systems and completely breaking the challenge. For some people, uncovering the great game underneath it all, will be a careful a balancing act. And while that's a fun challenge for those of us who've played way too many RPGs for our own good (I am going to take you up on your challenge to revisit it), it's also sentencing a lot of players to a dull, tedious grind, just because they used the options handed them in good faith.

It's almost like revisiting FF1 on the NES, where the INT stat does nothing, elemental weapons have no special effects, and casting status spells on the enemy can backfire due to a bug, and help them out.

People who are going to get into this game, may not have the time to waste.

But of course...all of this is subjective. And in the end, this is just your personal review, and my personal review of your review.

But even if we disagree on many things, thank you for taking the time to write these reviews in the first place. These games were sorely missed on the website.

On a more objective note, about the screen resolution, I'll just provide links. Hopefully you enjoy learning about these things as much as I do.

Final Fantasy 7-9:

http://forums.qhimm.com/index.php?topic=13241.0

The more common PSOne screen resolutions.

http://ngemu.com/threads/true-resolutio ... 224.59392/

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DrLitch
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Re: 2018/2/18: Playstation: Final Fantasy VII, Final Fantasy VIII

Postby DrLitch » February 21st, 2018, 1:36 am

I enjoyed reading the reviews having played these games to death back in the day (FF IX perhaps being my favorite of the PS1 trilogy). FF VII was a special game and, while my PS1 is long gone, I did manage to replay it on Steam fairly recently. I must say I do not believe it has aged all that well and my enthusiasm for it has been re-calibrated somewhat. Could be a lousy PC port or perhaps the Mandela effect. I hear a remake is planned for the PS4, you can bet your bottom dollar I will be buying it :D

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Re: 2018/2/18: Playstation: Final Fantasy VII, Final Fantasy VIII

Postby Alucard1191 » February 21st, 2018, 12:21 pm

I own(ed) both of these, but I think FF8 is one of many games that didn't make it out of San Diego when my house was foreclosed on. (Also on that list: Sonic Adventure and Virtua Cop 2)

I agree very much on the FF7 review, and mostly with the FF8 review. 8 is very experimental and different, but it is also more adult of a game overall. And as is mentioned, if you just go summon crazy it will really hurt you later in the game.

I don't think it is as strong of a game as 7. Getting through it was much more work for me. (Though I did get really addicted to the card game... like, really addicted.) The battle system, for the time, was also innovative. It started the whole "hit a shoulder button at the right moment to maximize damage" craze that many RPGs copied. And button mashing during the summons to increase damage was genuinely enjoyable as well.

I feel like this is the last alright Final Fantasy in my opinion. I never got into 9, it felt really childish, especially after playing 7 and 8, both which frankly start out very well and hook you right away. I played about 8 hours into 9 and never really enjoyed it. Maybe I would now as an adult... but I'm not overly interested in adding it to my collection. (Especially now that my PS2 is starting to get some disc read issues.)

Very nicely done reviews, glad to see them on the site.

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Retro STrife
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Re: 2018/2/18: Playstation: Final Fantasy VII, Final Fantasy VIII

Postby Retro STrife » March 7th, 2018, 5:43 pm

Discount alert... The downloadable version of FF7 is on sale on the PS4 right now, this week only, for $7.99. (Several other Square Enix games are on sale as well.) The PS4 version has upgraded graphics, the option to shut off random battles, and a few other nice features. While it also has some minor glitches, most reviews that I've read consider it the definitive version. If you've never tried FF7, now is a good time to buy.

I just bought it myself. While I played the game back in the late 90s, ptdebate's review inspired me to give it another go sometime soon.

EDIT: And now 2 hours in, and really digging it. Looking forward to getting back to it later tonight.


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