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So I just completed FFXIIIFollow

#27 Aug 02 2011 at 9:32 PM Rating: Decent
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Final battle was lame. Instant death moves that you just have to hope don't hit your party leader and make you restart the whole **** thing should not be in a game. Sure, you can avoid it if you read the strategy guide ahead of time and knew to pick up the silly crowns, but that sort of thing is also a problem with the game's design. Reliance on a game guide is something that SE has gotten particularly bad at. Explaining next to nothing in any sort of intuitive way practically forces you out of the game to find things out. That's just bad design.

Anyway, instead of using a good strategy you just have to depend on luck. Of course without that move that fight is stupidly easy, all you have to to do is tank and heal when you hit yellow and fight and chain when you're not.

Of course that pretty much sums up the whole game, which is why it got so **** boring. If there was at least something to explore instead of walking straight ahead to the next fight it would have broken up the monotony. I really miss the days of FF games with an over world map with lots of places to visit and lots of stuff to do.

The game was essentially one long hallway filled with boring repetitive fights. They tossed out everything that make RPGs interesting for me and replaced it with nothing. No quests, no exploration, no complex battle system to play around with. Just shiny graphics and whiny characters.

Edited, Aug 2nd 2011 11:33pm by Turin
#28 Aug 02 2011 at 10:02 PM Rating: Good
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Eske Esquire wrote:
Wow. I don't know what to tell you. If the FFXIII characters are realistic to you, then I have to wonder what your life is like.

The character development is ham-fisted. It lacks any realistic subtlety. Their personalities are all drawn from traditional anime cliches. They practically announce their character flaws with every sentence ("I HAVE TO BE THE HERO!!"). They start at such a low place, that all the game's work that's done to show them evolving only brings them back to near-neutral. They grapple with their personality flaws with all the tact of young high-schoolers (perhaps that's fine for Hope, but it sure isn't for anyone else), and the majority of the game is spent watching the clock, wondering when they'll have the revelatory moment that most people of reasonable intelligence would have reached much, much earlier. For most of the game, they are whiny, abrasive, or arbitrarily mean-spirited. It's painfully forced and unrealistic.

I really think that your standards are too low. I believe that video game characterization should be held to the same standard of film. Games like Mass Effect may succeed when compared to other games, but in truth, there's a lot of work still to be done. At the very least, we should have a realistic understanding of where the industry needs to develop (with the level of a good film being the goal). I look at a movie like, say, Doubt, and think that the industry has a long way to go before I consider anything to be a truly great characterization. But FFXIII doesn't just fall short compared to film, it falls short compared to the gaming industry.


It seems to me like you are determined to hate the game. The fact that the characters weren't really original has nothing to do with character development, so why are you offering that as a rebuttle?

SOME of their character development is done in the way you describe, but the vaaaast majority of it isn't. For instance, at the start of the game, Hope almost always stays silent in group conversations until he ends up blowing up, because they all seem to him to be forgetting the fact that they are l'cie (which of course isn't true, but he's determined to be displeased). By the end of the game, he's often taking part in the discussions, sometimes playing the referee, sometimes offering encouragement, and often giving his real opinion of the situation. That character growth is slow and subtle, but it's there and it's extremely realistic.

If you are just going to ignore the way the characters actually behave, fine. But don't just point to the breaking point events and use them to pretend like that's all the character development you get. Because it really, really isn't.

Does some character development happen from those? Of course. But it's easily the smallest portion, if you actually pay attention. Most characters have one or two of those events in the whole story. But throughout, they change WAY more than that allows for. For Hope, it's attacking Snow/seeing his father and confronting Alexander. But you see quite a bit of character development between/before/after those events that aren't directly linked to them (and are probably not actually discussed at all). It's slow, but if you are paying attention and not actively ignoring it, it's easily apparent.

Not to mention the way they interacted with each other was extremely well done.

Frankly, I feel like I saw more character development in the main cast than you could possibly see in a film. It was more like a novel, honestly.

No one ever said the characters were unique. But they were undoubtedly well done. If you don't like them or their archetypes, fine. I don't like some of them as well. But to deny the fact that they are well done by focusing only on a small aspect of their stories is ridiculous.
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#29 Aug 02 2011 at 10:09 PM Rating: Good
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Turin wrote:
Final battle was lame. Instant death moves that you just have to hope don't hit your party leader and make you restart the whole **** thing should not be in a game. Sure, you can avoid it if you read the strategy guide ahead of time and knew to pick up the silly crowns, but that sort of thing is also a problem with the game's design. Reliance on a game guide is something that SE has gotten particularly bad at. Explaining next to nothing in any sort of intuitive way practically forces you out of the game to find things out. That's just bad design.

Anyway, instead of using a good strategy you just have to depend on luck. Of course without that move that fight is stupidly easy, all you have to to do is tank and heal when you hit yellow and fight and chain when you're not.

Of course that pretty much sums up the whole game, which is why it got so **** boring. If there was at least something to explore instead of walking straight ahead to the next fight it would have broken up the monotony. I really miss the days of FF games with an over world map with lots of places to visit and lots of stuff to do.

The game was essentially one long hallway filled with boring repetitive fights. They tossed out everything that make RPGs interesting for me and replaced it with nothing. No quests, no exploration, no complex battle system to play around with. Just shiny graphics and whiny characters.


Do you even realize how illogical this is?

You are complaining that a boss uses a mechanic that you can't defend against unless you are prepared for it ahead of time. And it's in the same post where you complain about the fact that all battles boil down to the same concept of attacking until it's dead, with some healing.

So let me get this straight. You are angry that they didn't do enough to make the normal mobs hard and require unique strategies, but are angry that they DID do this for the final boss?
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#30 Aug 02 2011 at 10:26 PM Rating: Decent
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The problem is with requiring a strategy that's incredibly simple to execute (ie, wear the crown), but which you can't even know until you've already lost the fight once. That isn't fun. It's dull, pointless repetition. Make the fights require a strategy which is difficult to execute or conceive, so that there's some form of satisfaction from it, but which you can also execute within the fight. Prior knowledge shouldn't be part of any battle unless it's introduced within the game world.
#31 Aug 02 2011 at 11:00 PM Rating: Good
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As stated, I found little strategy was required in FFXIII, that is, until I started focusing on the high level marks and top tier turtles. If I stopped paying attention during any of these fights or wasn't prepared, my *** was quickly kicked.
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#32 Aug 02 2011 at 11:08 PM Rating: Good
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Majivo wrote:
The problem is with requiring a strategy that's incredibly simple to execute (ie, wear the crown), but which you can't even know until you've already lost the fight once. That isn't fun. It's dull, pointless repetition. Make the fights require a strategy which is difficult to execute or conceive, so that there's some form of satisfaction from it, but which you can also execute within the fight. Prior knowledge shouldn't be part of any battle unless it's introduced within the game world.
I completely disagree. If no fight required proper preparation, then the fight was too simple and the victory is less satisfying. In any RPG- offline or MMO- all the best fights were a series of trial and error (so long as there wasn't a ton of ******** to repeat between attempts). Due to FFXIII's "redo" system, I actually wish more fights would have abused that system by making boss fights so ridiculously difficult that you had no choice to try the fight, fail, adjust your strategy and retry.
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#33 Aug 02 2011 at 11:13 PM Rating: Good
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Majivo wrote:
The problem is with requiring a strategy that's incredibly simple to execute (ie, wear the crown), but which you can't even know until you've already lost the fight once. That isn't fun. It's dull, pointless repetition. Make the fights require a strategy which is difficult to execute or conceive, so that there's some form of satisfaction from it, but which you can also execute within the fight. Prior knowledge shouldn't be part of any battle unless it's introduced within the game world.

It's a flaw that unfortunately many rpgs have. There may be thought involved in setting up a strategy, but little involved in executing it. Essentially, the fight happens before the battle. When RPGs do this they become at best a puzzle game and at worst they become invisible coinblock hard.

Diablo is probably one of the best example. You can put a fair amount of thought into planning out your stats, skills, and equipment, but once that is down you're just mashing m1 over and over.
#34 Aug 03 2011 at 1:17 AM Rating: Good
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Allegory wrote:
Majivo wrote:
The problem is with requiring a strategy that's incredibly simple to execute (ie, wear the crown), but which you can't even know until you've already lost the fight once. That isn't fun. It's dull, pointless repetition. Make the fights require a strategy which is difficult to execute or conceive, so that there's some form of satisfaction from it, but which you can also execute within the fight. Prior knowledge shouldn't be part of any battle unless it's introduced within the game world.

It's a flaw that unfortunately many rpgs have. There may be thought involved in setting up a strategy, but little involved in executing it. Essentially, the fight happens before the battle. When RPGs do this they become at best a puzzle game and at worst they become invisible coinblock hard.

Diablo is probably one of the best example. You can put a fair amount of thought into planning out your stats, skills, and equipment, but once that is down you're just mashing m1 over and over.


It's pretty common in an RPG for the final boss to not be even remotely the hardest enemy in the game. Well, it's usually the most difficult of the storyline, required bosses. But that's about all. I feel like that was how it worked out in XIII. But I was also heavily leveled when I fought it, had opened up Comx3, had upgraded gear, etc.

Fighting the harder marks though? Definitely more than just choosing the right gear/paradigms. The hardest turtles? Hard even knowing the strategy perfectly.

And overall, the game was way more difficult than many of the past FF titles. FF7 and FF8 were loleasy. I dunno if 9 gets hard eventually. FFX was easy--hardest fight in the game is probably Yunalesca, and that's because I always refused to farm for Zombie/Death-proof gear (and this is assuming you are doing all fights with the appropriate number of skill levels).

FFXII had some legitimately hard fights, but I didn't really ever enjoy them (and rarely had any clue what was actually going on). FFIV has some hard fights, but it's a traditional "I hit really hard, so you need to cure a lot" kind of difficult--nothing about skill really.

Really, FFT is the only title in the series that provides a consistently difficult game. FFXIII is, imo, next in line (though it's a big margin). There are a bunch in the series that I haven't played though. I just know that I've gotten my *** handed to me way more in FFXIII than any other game, and you actually need to pay attention to the regular fights, because even they can F you up if you aren't paying attention.
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#35 Aug 03 2011 at 3:48 AM Rating: Decent
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Idiggory, I think you're nuts. I've seen people defend the game, but I think you're out on a limb by yourself with those claims.

There's is a lot more to characterization than representing growth. A lot more.

I assure you that I was not determined to hate the game. Far from it. But I can't grasp how you're spinning the game's glaring negatives into gleaming positives...the explanations strike me as very weak and insubstantial.

It's a bit like if you'd said to me; "Spice World has the greatest characterization of any movie I've ever watched. The way that the girls grapple with the demons of fame, and the people that want a piece of them, is totally believable. Over the course of the movie, they grow, and learn that what's important is their old friendships, not money or stardom."

Well...some of that description is semi-accurate, yes. But there are myriad other, more significant problems at work. One could gloss over those problems and talk the above points up to making great great characters, but I don't think many would really buy such rationale.

I guess one man's trash is another one's treasure, but...ehh...I dunno.

Edited, Aug 3rd 2011 5:49am by Eske

Edited, Aug 3rd 2011 6:12am by Eske
#36 Aug 03 2011 at 11:00 AM Rating: Good
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I sort of agree with idiggory.

XIII surprised me with how the characters grew, and (unusually for a FF game), we got to know them very closely and I actually felt emotionally attached to them.

My thoughts are this is down to it being so closed off - no open world map definitely contributed to this.

Compare it, to example, Mass Effect 2. A myriad of characters, who admittedly all have their own unique charms, but the ship just felt a little overrun at the end to me (not that I don't love it, mind). FFXIII took six core characters, made you think they were all ********, and slowly brought you round until the only one you disliked was Hope.

This does actually seem to be a common theme. I'm wondering if it was intentional, because he was still a spoilt whiny brat at the end. He just dropped the potential murderer tag.

I don't know if I'd play XIII through again, but that's probably because I know the story. There's not that much else to do. But that's fine by me.

And Eske, if you compare the character development in XIII to X (the first FF game with voice acting) it's pretty clear they've come a long, long way. If anything, I can connect more with the XIII team than characters in movies. XIII touched me a lot, lot more than any movies I've seen in recent years, I can tell you that much.

Back to Star Ocean. I forgot how tough this game is at the start...
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#37 Aug 03 2011 at 11:23 AM Rating: Good
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Likibiki wrote:
I sort of agree with idiggory.

XIII surprised me with how the characters grew, and (unusually for a FF game), we got to know them very closely and I actually felt emotionally attached to them.

My thoughts are this is down to it being so closed off - no open world map definitely contributed to this.

Compare it, to example, Mass Effect 2. A myriad of characters, who admittedly all have their own unique charms, but the ship just felt a little overrun at the end to me (not that I don't love it, mind). FFXIII took six core characters, made you think they were all @#%^s, and slowly brought you round until the only one you disliked was Hope.

This does actually seem to be a common theme. I'm wondering if it was intentional, because he was still a spoilt whiny brat at the end. He just dropped the potential murderer tag.

I don't know if I'd play XIII through again, but that's probably because I know the story. There's not that much else to do. But that's fine by me.

And Eske, if you compare the character development in XIII to X (the first FF game with voice acting) it's pretty clear they've come a long, long way. If anything, I can connect more with the XIII team than characters in movies. XIII touched me a lot, lot more than any movies I've seen in recent years, I can tell you that much.

Back to Star Ocean. I forgot how tough this game is at the start...


I'm not seeing it. I don't know why anyone would be "surprised at how they grew." Did they not grow in predictable, trite ways? Snow acts like a brash, cavalier egomaniac. His long-overdue revelation is that he was putting on an act to distract him from his doubts? Well, duh. Lightning is a jerk. Her long-overdue revelation is that she should lighten up? Yup. Hope is angsty because his mother was killed, and focuses his frustration on the wrong person. His long-overdue revelation is that he can't blame Snow? Yawn.

I knew how each characters storyline would play out within 2 minutes of their introduction. What's interesting about that? Where's the nuance? Where's the subtlety?

I'll say it again. You need more than to just show character growth for strong characterization.

I'm not sure what comparing it to FFX should prove. Certainly they've improved since then, but the rate of improvement doesn't stack up with the industry as a whole. Additionally, I think FFX's characterization was already behind the curve.


If XIII's characterization touched you more than any movies that you've seen in recent years, then you have to be watching poor movies. Watch Streep and Hoffman's characters in Doubt. Ledger's Joker in The Dark Knight. Di Caprio's character in The Departed. Daniel Day Lewis's Daniel Plainview in There Will Be Blood. That's great characterization...better than what you can get in any game, let alone FFXIII.

Edited, Aug 3rd 2011 1:25pm by Eske
#38 Aug 03 2011 at 1:11 PM Rating: Default
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I was comparing it to FFX because it was SE's first "real" Final Fantasy game (voice acting does, sadly, make that big of a difference). Compare Lightning to Yuna. Snow to Wakka. Vanille to Rikku.

And the way I saw it, the characters developed as follows:

Lightning: Went from self indulgent closed in rebel, to someone who can trust others and accept she's not always right.
Snow: Went from someone who was beyond obsessed with being the hero, to a normal guy who just wanted to protect his friends and family.
Vanille: Went from this weird bouncy girl to a surprisingly deep character with a lot of emotional inner turmoil, that was only really resolved at the very end of the game. I really liked Vanille.
Hope: Went from a spoilt brat who wanted to blame everyone else for all his problems, to a spoilt brat who wanted to blame everyone else for most of his problems. I didn't like Hope. But I used him for his awesome Synergist skills.
Sazh: Went from a cardboard cut-out stereotype to a deeply caring father figure. His general look ruined him from being a genuinely great character for me, though.
Fang: Went from being a quasi-evil ally, to, for me, Vanille's alter ego. Fang was someone who got sh*t done. I hated her at first but by the end she was my second favourite character.

So, yeah. Some good, some bad. Snow and Hope were the weakest, in my opinion.

Lightning and Sazh were too stereotyped.

Lots of people take an instant dislike to Vanille because of her initially perky demeanor. And never get past it.

And while the Dark Knight was a most excellent film, and Heath Ledger's Joker was good, I stand by my original comment simply because I was part of the story in XIII.

No matter how good a movie is, it can never draw me in as deeply as a good story-led game can for that reason and that reason alone. But then again, I'm one of those extremely rare people who hardly ever watches TV. I just get bored.

Moving on from all this slightly, if there are good story led games out there like XIII, what are they?

And by story-led I don't mean games like Mass Effect, Dragon Age, et al. They're far too open ended for my liking. And I don't have a PS3 so I can't play Heavy Rain :(
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#39 Aug 03 2011 at 1:19 PM Rating: Good
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Likibiki wrote:
And while the Dark Knight was a most excellent film, and Heath Ledger's Joker was good, I stand by my original comment simply because I was part of the story in XIII.

No matter how good a movie is, it can never draw me in as deeply as a good story-led game can for that reason and that reason alone. But then again, I'm one of those extremely rare people who hardly ever watches TV. I just get bored.

Moving on from all this slightly, if there are good story led games out there like XIII, what are they?

And by story-led I don't mean games like Mass Effect, Dragon Age, et al. They're far too open ended for my liking. And I don't have a PS3 so I can't play Heavy Rain :(


Aye, you could argue that immersion is easier in gaming than it is in film. I'd argue that that isn't a case for there being stronger characterization in games, however; it's a product of the medium.

Good narrative-led games? I can't give much time to thinking about it here at work. The Longest Journey, which I think I mentioned before, is probably the one that I've played that's most similar to a Heavy Rain type game. Strong narrative, pretty well developed characters, and linear storytelling. I quite enjoyed it. I don't think they ever finished the trilogy, though, IIRC.

I'll try to think of some more when I have some more time.

Edited, Aug 3rd 2011 3:19pm by Eske
#40 Aug 03 2011 at 1:29 PM Rating: Good
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I have the sequel to the Longest Journey. Dreamfall.

It's good, but not great. Clunky controls, baaaaaad voice acting, and you don't really get much help as to what you should be doing.

Then again, I didn't give it that much of a chance, because it's creepy as **** in places and I'm a total wuss when it comes to that kind of thing.

I forgot I even had that game. I think it even has the Longest Journey on the disc.
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#41 Aug 03 2011 at 1:58 PM Rating: Good
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Likibiki wrote:
Then again, I didn't give it that much of a chance, because it's creepy as **** in places and I'm a total wuss when it comes to that kind of thing.


Ah, I loved the creepy turn in Dreamfall. Really took me by surprise. I think it actually elicited a "What.....the......f*ck." out of me.

Edited, Aug 3rd 2011 3:58pm by Eske
#42 Aug 03 2011 at 6:55 PM Rating: Good
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I can't say I've ever found a character to grow in ways I didn't expect in any story I've ever read/seen. The only exception to this is when a character develops in a way that is truly random, and that just completely ruins it for me.

So I can't agree with you that this is a problem. Frankly, if I didn't expect their developments from a situation, then it's because they were poorly done or because I wasn't understanding their story.

If we are talking long-term only, then I still don't agree with you. I definitely didn't expect Vanille's character to go where it did early on, for example. Some were more predictable, like Hope and Lightning. But that's mostly because they went in the direction you wanted them to go in, not because they couldn't go elsewhere. Would anyone have really liked Lightning if she became more closed off? Of course not. Naturally there are certain things they are going to do, because the alternative is something that no one will enjoy (even if it isn't "predictable").

And the culmination of Fang's/Vanille's story was not something I expected, though it made perfect sense in the context of where their characters ended up (but wouldn't have made sense if I thought about it several chapters before).

My only point is that SE never ignored any of the emotional pulls on the characters, which is more than you can say for 99% of games/books/movies out there. Normally, the story is obsessed with only the emotional lines that are directly connected to the main plot. In an XIII context, that would really only be their individual storylines and the overarching one. But they definitely developed on top of that--all of them had slowly changing interactions with each other, with their personal connections with Pulse/Coccoon, with the enemies, etc.

You definitely don't see that in most other stories. Take FFX, for example. The way Tidus interacted with Wakka, Yuna, etc. was pretty much exactly the same from the time he meets them onward. There's really no personal development. His personal story gets development, as does his relationship with the two key characters, but you don't see anything above that--there's nothing to really signify that he, as a person, has grown from his experiences.

Yuna was really the only character that had any additional development in the whole game. And considering that is really only of the form "I should probably try and rely on myself more" it's still not really dynamic. Why didn't we see her relationship with Lulu advance, for instance? That's not something that is a problem in XIII, where each character slowly develops a relationship with the others that changes over time. And a good part of this is that, all things considered, Lightning isn't really a main character at all--she just happens to be the one with the deepest connection to the early events of the story. They are all realistically on equal footing as protagonists.

Feel free to find the characters boring if you want--I don't find Snow remotely interesting, for instance. But I absolutely can't agree with you that they lack extremely dynamic character development.
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#43 Aug 04 2011 at 2:38 AM Rating: Good
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Snow was annoying as ****, but he was pretty interesting. Developing from someone with a superiority complex
into someone a little more humble (ok, not much), who doesn't necessarily put himself first, was an
interesting transition.

I didn't really like him, and I'm glad he's not the lead in XIII-2 (apparently Serah is, which will be
interesting), and I didn't use Sentinel's so he was always last choice for me, but his story wasn't as
cut and dry as some people state.

idiggory again makes good points, and it's a shame to see people so dismissive of what SE tried to achieve.
I'm not saying they succeeded in all aspects, but it's unusual to see an RPG without an actual lead
character. I know I've never seen it before.
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#44 Aug 04 2011 at 7:51 AM Rating: Good
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You're losing track here: I was responding to you saying that you were "surprised at how they grew." The predictability of the characters is not my lynchpin of why they don't work.

To that end, though...I'm not necessarily looking for unpredictability in the overall narrative of the characters. I'm looking for interest and originality in the little things. Nuances in the characterization. Something to make you consider the themes being played with in a new way. Interest can be provoked in a lot of ways, really. FFXIII's subject matter could have achieved it, save for the damaging contrast between the (suggested) darker subject matter and the caricature-styled characters.

FFXIII's characters were predictable in all facets. The predictability is written into every single line they spoke. Certainly, one could expect that a closed off main character will eventually learn to open up (though a story where they didn't could be equally interesting). Its about how they do it, though. I don't think FFXIII brought anything new to the table. I've seen this character before. I've heard the lines before. I didn't have to think, and there was nothing to make me consider anything in a new way.

When I played FFXIII, I couldn't escape the thought: "I've outgrown these games." They're aimed at a younger audience...one who needs everything spelled out for them in big, bold letters and repeated ad infinitum.


PS: It bears repeating: what is the point of comparing FFXIII to other Final Fantasy games? Heck, to games in general? Books and film are where the standards of characterization have been set. Games just aren't doing it well enough yet.

Edited, Aug 4th 2011 9:56am by Eske
#45 Aug 04 2011 at 9:52 AM Rating: Decent
I am going to have to go with Idiggory on this one. FFXIII did not have the strongest story but it did have good characters. And I can say from 7 on, it properly has the most well done characters. 7 offered a great story but they mine's well of called Clouds ego trip. The characters, if they have any kind of development at all, only have it right as they join the team. And most of the time it's just storyline and not real character development. THIS IS THE CHARACTERS INSPIRATION, THIS INSPIRATION ALTHOUGH CONSTANTLY CHALLENGED THROUGH OUT THE GAME IS THE SOLE REASON WHY THEY WILL SPEND MONTHS FOLLOWING AROUND THE SAME PERSON THAT THEY'RE CONVINCED IS THE ONLY HOPE!

Yeesh at least in 8 they had selphie's and ivrine's unspoken relationship slowly developing in the background to give them some development. Vivi properly the only person with character development in 9. Dagger little moment of silence barely changed her personality at all, she just had a small crisis. Oye and in 10 it was just ok here back-ground on these characters. Here this is how the use to be, these are the tragedies in their life that's brought em here. Awesome eh?(Personality doesn't change at all.)

13 for all it's mediocre story-lines and predictable plot twists. The characters actually grow. Their view points change as they are around people with differing views. They start to react differently to similar situations as the story goes on. Maybe you don't see them as good characters becuase you do not define the characters in the ways that makes them well. You define them in their back story, you define them in their motivation, you define them in how much you like their over-all personality.

When none of that is what makes a character a well characterized character, is that their personality develops as they are put in situations. Their view points change according to what they experience. So yeah they might not be the most interesting characters final fantasy has to offer in terms of personality but they have the most to offer in development which makes them more enjoyable while going through the story they were going through.

Star ocean, in other news, for me is a masochistic series. I love to hate it, and hate that I love it. 3 and 4 both offer great aspects, fun thing coupled with crippling bad spots that make me so fustraited. 3 offered characters with great chemistry, fun game play challenging game-play and worth while unlockables.(I have to say WHY DON'T MORE RPGS OFFER ALTERNATIVE OUTFITS AS UNLOCKABLES! Really spices up the game when you go to play through again.) Bad notes is the worse plot twist in gaming that pushes all the amazing characters with great chemistry to the back ground. The fact that if you don't read any kind of online guide there's no mention of the fact You can't have every character in the game once you fill up the party after a certain point that's it, that's all you get. And just down right cheap monsters in the end dungeons and especially the additional areas after the game. Terrible crafting system that is just horrifying to use.

4 had meh characters but a better story. Great game-play(Again) but less variety in moves. Less challenging without the run out of mp and die concept. Easier to master chaining and crafting system. On the bad side the extra dungeons weren't as satisfying, the fact they set up one of them to be like a one shot or you have to run to the beginning to save dungeon then the only other dungeon is beat all 20 levels of this in one sitting or leave your system on. Cause if you leave to save you have to start over was not cool. Just felt more phony. And I really miss alternate costumes.XD
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#46 Aug 05 2011 at 9:27 PM Rating: Decent
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Eske Esquire wrote:
You're losing track here: I was responding to you saying that you were "surprised at how they grew." The predictability of the characters is not my lynchpin of why they don't work.

To that end, though...I'm not necessarily looking for unpredictability in the overall narrative of the characters. I'm looking for interest and originality in the little things. Nuances in the characterization. Something to make you consider the themes being played with in a new way. Interest can be provoked in a lot of ways, really. FFXIII's subject matter could have achieved it, save for the damaging contrast between the (suggested) darker subject matter and the caricature-styled characters.

FFXIII's characters were predictable in all facets. The predictability is written into every single line they spoke. Certainly, one could expect that a closed off main character will eventually learn to open up (though a story where they didn't could be equally interesting). Its about how they do it, though. I don't think FFXIII brought anything new to the table. I've seen this character before. I've heard the lines before. I didn't have to think, and there was nothing to make me consider anything in a new way.

When I played FFXIII, I couldn't escape the thought: "I've outgrown these games." They're aimed at a younger audience...one who needs everything spelled out for them in big, bold letters and repeated ad infinitum.


PS: It bears repeating: what is the point of comparing FFXIII to other Final Fantasy games? Heck, to games in general? Books and film are where the standards of characterization have been set. Games just aren't doing it well enough yet.


I don't think that's the issue. The problem is that you've hit the point where there aren't really new themes, new character types, etc. to be explored. I read a lot, and I primarily read classics. When most of what you read was written 100-500 years ago, it really hits home how much there isn't originality in modern plot lines, characters, etc. And it isn't the fault of modern writers--I'd be willing to bet this was true for those writers as well.

The problem is that humans are a finite sort of being. If you want to make a character someone can connect to, who is believable and who grows, your options are pretty limited in the grand scheme of things.

None of these characters were caricatures of a persona archetype. They just were that type of character--you've just seen it to much.

Know how I continue to enjoy literature, games and movies, even though I've long seen this trend? I focus on other things--the things that I can actually admire. A character artfully and skillfully growing over time is fascinating to me, and it truly is rare to see. Did I like Snow as a person? No. Can I name many characters he's extremely similar to? Yes. Did the writers succeed in really making him a part of the world they created? Definitely.

I mean, really. Take a character like Cloud. You could literally have taken him out of FF7 and placed him in a different game, just tweaking his back story a TINY bit, and he would have made just as much sense in that world. That's not true of any FFXIII character--all of them are intimately shaped by the world SE created, and the events that occurred within it. Few characters in FF history achieved that--Vivi did, imo, and maybe Yuna to an extent. The entire main cast of XIII did.

And that's truly an impressive feat. I can't express how much I hope that more games do that in the future.
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#47 Aug 06 2011 at 12:17 AM Rating: Good
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idiggory, King of Bards wrote:
None of these characters were caricatures of a persona archetype.


Smiley: dubious

Agree to disagree, I guess. I don't know a better way to put it than that you seem easily impressed to me. But I'll stop making it my quest to ruin your enjoyment of the game. Smiley: grin
#48 Aug 06 2011 at 11:48 AM Rating: Good
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Allegory wrote:
Majivo wrote:
The problem is with requiring a strategy that's incredibly simple to execute (ie, wear the crown), but which you can't even know until you've already lost the fight once. That isn't fun. It's dull, pointless repetition. Make the fights require a strategy which is difficult to execute or conceive, so that there's some form of satisfaction from it, but which you can also execute within the fight. Prior knowledge shouldn't be part of any battle unless it's introduced within the game world.

It's a flaw that unfortunately many rpgs have. There may be thought involved in setting up a strategy, but little involved in executing it. Essentially, the fight happens before the battle. When RPGs do this they become at best a puzzle game and at worst they become invisible coinblock hard.

Diablo is probably one of the best example. You can put a fair amount of thought into planning out your stats, skills, and equipment, but once that is down you're just mashing m1 over and over.


I've found that one of the few RPGs that sidesteps this problem is BG2(Tactics, Ascension). The bosses take both the right prep and execution to defeat, although there are tons of options in prep, it's not like you need specific items, skills or spell, rather you need to know the full capabilities of your resources and use them in such a way that breaks down the strategies generated by the bosses, which links are weak enough to sever(Which ones specifically, is dependent on what you party has available to it). And even playing well there are some brutal fights.
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#49 Aug 06 2011 at 1:03 PM Rating: Default
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Eske Esquire wrote:
idiggory, King of Bards wrote:
None of these characters were caricatures of a persona archetype.


Smiley: dubious

Agree to disagree, I guess. I don't know a better way to put it than that you seem easily impressed to me. But I'll stop making it my quest to ruin your enjoyment of the game. Smiley: grin


I think you are just refusing to look at the grand scheme of things and can't give up your first impression of the characters. You are so stuck in thinking about each one in terms of a single character trait that you can't see anything beyond it.

And that's sad, because all it does is keep you from enjoying the game as a whole.
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#50 Aug 06 2011 at 2:43 PM Rating: Good
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idiggory, King of Bards wrote:
I think you are just refusing to look at the grand scheme of things and can't give up your first impression of the characters. You are so stuck in thinking about each one in terms of a single character trait that you can't see anything beyond it.

And that's sad, because all it does is keep you from enjoying the game as a whole.


Nope, that's not it.
#51 Aug 06 2011 at 6:28 PM Rating: Decent
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Well, you've yet to provide a single piece of evidence to support your claim. I honestly don't even understand what it is you are objecting to.

*spoilers for the ending, if anyone didn't finish and cares*

I don't agree that the FFXIII characters were any more predictable (in act or development) than any other book, game or movie character I can think of. I'd actually say that for much of the story, I was legitimately curious about how things would turn out. And that's VERY rare--I can almost always spot the end early in a story (if they've actually established the plot threads, of course). Up until the very end of the game, I was curious what path the group was going to take. Were they going to defeat Orphan? Were they going to complete their focus, were they going to ignore it? Would they let themselves become Cieth? Etc. I think this game is actually the first one where I went into a final boss fight without any confidence in how it would turn out. And that's because they had firmly set up three plot threads with 5 out of the 6 characters--they were not willing to let themselves be slaves to the fal'cie, they were not willing to let the people suffer from the fal'cie, and they were not willing to let themselves becomes Cieth.

The writers created a situation in which there was substantial reason to support any of those outcomes, which actually let me be interested in the choices the characters made. I had a significant emotional reaction to seeing the group turn to cieth and to crystal.

Give me a character (from any media type) that you'd call dynamic. Also, interesting (another character or the same one). I want to see if I'd agree with your choices at all.
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