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Old 02-17-2010, 02:55 PM
Originally Posted by Darth Kenshin View Post
Yeah, I've come to realize that with Final Fantasy games, they're all worth playing, and I just have to make my own opinion. People complained about XII a lot too. I read people upset about the gambits, but I found that to be the best FF innovation since the job classes were introduced in III. People didn't like the lack of a true central character, but I loved that idea because in past games, when everything relies on one or two characters, it's impossible to enjoy the game if you don't like those characters (reason I think X is the worst the series). But with XII, even if you didn't like Vaan, does it really detract from the gaming experience? I've said this before, but I would actually argue that Ashe is the main character of XII, if I had to choose one.

As for stories, I always feel if you want a great story, you should read a book. Great stories are not really part of a great gaming experience. Video games are for fun, and while good stories certainly can add to that, it's not a necessity. Zelda games are about saving a princess, and they always are amazing. When a game has a great story (like Bioshock, Indigo Prophecy, or FFVI) it's just icing on the cake and can take a game from "great" to "transcendant". But I certainly don't need a great story to enjoy a game. As long as it's not a completely worthless story that doesn't engage me, I don't care. It doesn't have to be groundbreaking.

I always felt the key to RPGs is characters. That's what makes me care about the story: not the intricacies of the plot itself, but because I (hopefully) genuinely care about the fates of the characters. That's the reason I love IX and XII so much. The stories weren't all that deep, but the characters were interesting enough that I wanted to see see what happened to each of them.

And yeah, you're right about how fanboys are always overcritical of FF games. For those people who believe that media outlets are too kind to FF games, take a minute to look at Gamerankings scores for the FF games. Is there REALLY anything so outlandish about them? I can't find anything personally (except Tacticts being only an 83... that game was brilliant). I think in general, we have absurdly high expectations for FF games, and thankfully, there hasn't been a genuinely awful game. Are some better than others? Absolutely. But were any of them (sans Mystic Quest) truly bad games? I have a hard time believing they were.
I'll use Lost Odyssey as an example. The actual story in that game wasn't particularly new or completely engaging (not to say it was bad), but what kept me going was the great characters, particularly Kaim. Usually the "ZOMG I HAVE AMNESIA" cliche is irritating, but they pulled it off really well in that.

And hey, I happen to like Mystic Quest. XD It really shouldn't have been called Final Fantasy because it didn't have ANYTHING to do with the series, other than dealing with crystals.

And hell, even though X-2 has an awful story, I still find it a lot of fun to play. The battle system is fun as hell; I love how it's a throwback to the job system from V.
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