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Nemoide
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Re: Together Retro: Final Fantasy Spin-Offs

by Nemoide Thu Mar 01, 2018 12:17 am

I'm nowhere close to finishing Kingdom Hearts, I got as far as Agrabah and meeting Aladdin.
This game is kind of ridiculous and kind of a mess, but those are qualities regularly found in FF games. It's just bizarre to me to be seeing these Disney characters in a story that's presenting itself as some sort of meaningful allegory. The whole thing comes across as a bizarrely obvious attempt at marketing to tweens. Still, the game is engaging enough for me to want to keep playing and I aim to finish it! Combat can feel sloppy with the annoying camera and the hub-worlds are disappointingly barren of NPCs, but it doesn't feel bad enough for me to really want to trash it.
I own the second one and Re:Chain of Memories, but we'll see how long it takes before I get to them. Probably in a couple years!

I also played more Theatrhythm All-Star Carnival at my local arcade this month. I do feel like this game has more potential than the original Theatrhythm in terms of things to do/unlock. But I still don't really understand the mechanics of the series, like how important leveling up/stats/equipping items is and how to use that to strategize one's approach to the game. I'd rather play a "pure" rhythm game without any RPG mechanics.
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alienjesus
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Re: Together Retro: Final Fantasy Spin-Offs

by alienjesus Thu Mar 01, 2018 6:06 am

I finished the Agrabah level before I called it quits on Kingdom Hearts. It wasn't awful but I didn't feel compelled to play any more.

For the record I have played most of Chain of Memories before and find it to be a superior game, but I sold all of the first 3 games in the series once I called it quits as I didn't see the point playing through a continuous storyline where I skipped half the story.

I never got around to Vagrant Story in the end, due to a lack of time and a desire to make progress in other games I was already working on to clear the slate a bit. I didn't finish those either, but they're further along then they were :lol:
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marurun
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Re: Together Retro: Final Fantasy Spin-Offs

by marurun Thu Mar 01, 2018 10:26 am

Last night I made it to the final boss of Saga 2. I also made it to the last phase of the boss. I did this 3 times. I cannot beat the boss, and it may take hours of grinding to luck into the correct stat boosts for my esper and
my human. So I think I am done. It is clear they added additional forms to the last boss in this remake as compared to the original, and it seems pretty clear even a much beefier party would still struggle. I am really not sure what the point is of allowing you to get through the difficult final dungeon and then just crushing you at the boss. Seems to me if you are powerful enough to make it through the dungeon the boss should be attainable. Ah well.
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Sload Soap
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Re: Together Retro: Final Fantasy Spin-Offs

by Sload Soap Thu Mar 01, 2018 11:07 am

Well, I beat Dirge of Cerb but on my return to Crisis Core (which was much better) my battered old PSP gave out and I didn't really fancy buying a new one atm. Didn't get super far into it, at least not far enough to make a reasonable judgement other than it was promising.

I then tried Saga 3 or FFL3 but the translation patch I had was corrupted and I couldn't find a good translation/conversion to replace it. Which is a shame.
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Re: Together Retro: Final Fantasy Spin-Offs

by Exhuminator Thu Mar 01, 2018 11:08 am

marurun wrote:I am really not sure what the point is of allowing you to get through the difficult final dungeon and then just crushing you at the boss. Seems to me if you are powerful enough to make it through the dungeon the boss should be attainable.

Typical shit JRPG design 101 there. Sorry that happened to you. IMO you might as well have beaten the game, you made it to the very very end. Only to get trolled by a bitter bastard of a difficulty spike. I've been there man, many times.
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nullPointer
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Re: Together Retro: Final Fantasy Spin-Offs

by nullPointer Thu Mar 01, 2018 12:28 pm

Exhuminator wrote:Only to get trolled by a bitter bastard of a difficulty spike. I've been there man, many times.

This quote is ringing true with me right now as well, so here's my final post of the month regarding FF Tactics: War of the Lions. It turns out Chapter 4 introduces a huge difficulty spike. Do to the fact that all random encounters scale based on your party level, most of the ones I'm hitting now are nigh on impossible, or at least insomuch as I don't want to deal with permadeath BS at this point in the game. Seriously, I can't even bring my mages into battle anymore because they will be killed in 1-2 rounds. My melee fighters fare slightly better, but once they lose that back line mage support it's an uphill battle. Every enemy monster has the counter strike ability, and in almost every case the counter strike does more damage to my attackers than the attackers are inflicting in the first place.

I'm partially to blame here due to the fact that I'm pretty sure I over-leveled my characters which is what resulted in this insane difficulty spike. And I know many of you have just breezed through this game ... but honestly I've reached a point where I'm just not having fun with it anymore. I'd still really like to see where the story goes, and I'd like to unlock some of the hidden characters ... but if everything between those goalposts is an exercise in frustration I'm not even sure it's worth it.

Sigh ... I'm probably too stubborn to give up entirely, but I definitely need a break from this slog. I'm looking forward to a change of pace with the Ladies of the 80's. I'll carry over any further progress reports for FFT: WotL in the RPG Progress thread.

At any rate, I feel like I'm ending this month on a grumpy note, and maybe I am, but I wanted to thank Noise for the theme this month. It was a great way to explore a game that's been in my backlog forever. With the rate at which I move through the games in the main FF series, I'm not sure I ever would have gotten around to playing this one. Thanks again!
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Re: Together Retro: Final Fantasy Spin-Offs

by Ack Thu Mar 01, 2018 12:31 pm

Hey null, no shame in it. You fought hard and with honor.

And here's to noise! May he never cross another train track...unless I'm driving the train.
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Exhuminator
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Re: Together Retro: Final Fantasy Spin-Offs

by Exhuminator Thu Mar 01, 2018 1:41 pm

nullPointer wrote:I'm probably too stubborn to give up entirely, but I definitely need a break from this slog.

Sometimes that's all it takes, especially with long SRPGs.

I agree it sounds like you got screwed by the auto-leveling random battles. I'm pretty sure Matsuno and co. did that to discourage people from mindlessly grinding. Which proves to be counter-intuitive, considering you'd want to grind for JP to get the more exclusive classes. For what it's worth, if you manage to get a Calculator you will completely own the game. Calculators are absurdly overpowered god units.
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alienjesus
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Re: Together Retro: Final Fantasy Spin-Offs

by alienjesus Thu Mar 01, 2018 1:52 pm

Exhuminator wrote:
nullPointer wrote:I'm probably too stubborn to give up entirely, but I definitely need a break from this slog.

Sometimes that's all it takes, especially with long SRPGs.

I agree it sounds like you got screwed by the auto-leveling random battles. I'm pretty sure Matsuno and co. did that to discourage people from mindlessly grinding. Which proves to be counter-intuitive, considering you'd want to grind for JP to get the more exclusive classes. For what it's worth, if you manage to get a Calculator you will completely own the game. Calculators are absurdly overpowered god units.


I found Dancers to be pretty ridonkulous too - they're less broken than calculators, and they take more effort to get, but for most non-boss encounters they were basically decided the battle in the first 2 turns as the entire enemy team got hit with all the status effects ever and you ended up fighting a bunch of blind, silenced, poisoned frogs.
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Re: Together Retro: Final Fantasy Spin-Offs

by pierrot Thu Mar 01, 2018 8:28 pm

isiolia wrote:
pierrot wrote:I finished the story missions for the Wings of the Goddess expansion for FFXI, finally. It basically ended up just taking a complete dump on the continuity of the greater FFXI story, which kind of sucks. It makes me think of the Suikoden series, in a way; That is, in that the first three 'chapters' of the stories in the Suikoden series, and FFXI, establish a pretty well conceived, continuous narrative, that is almost completely undone by later entries, under different stewardship.


Not sure if it really undoes much. I agree that the base game plus RoTZ and CoP are pretty well integrated, and the later expansions really go all over the place. WoTG does do a decent job of fleshing out nation storyline backgrounds, even if the primary storyline is basically pulled out of nowhere. Objectively, it's simply a matter of "needing" to keep adding to a subscription based game instead of ending at a logical point and moving on.
Additionally, there was a stretch there where the ability to add additional zones/data was limited via the PS2. FFXI ran up against the storage allowed on the PS2 HDD, which is when it saw a particularly large amount of asset reuse - mini expansions, Abyssea, WoTG, Voidwatch, etc. When that got changed, allowing a larger size on disk, we wound up with almost all new assets across the board in SoA.
So, to a point, you could look at WoTG as kind of trying to do the most under limitations.

I've never had a problem with the majority of the expansion content in WotG (hell, if it weren't for Campaign Ops, I don't know if I would have ever hit 75 cap, back in the day). I don't think it compares favorably to CoP, in any respect, but I've never really looked at it with fervorous disdain, like a lot of the FFXI community seems to. That said, while I do like the look back at the Shadowreign Era, the latter part of the main story missions almost completely ruin it for me. (I don't know why I'm spoilering this; I guess just because it is story spoilers):
Specifically, I was pretty upset with the multiple timeline, junk, and describing events affecting these binary timelines, within (I assumed) a multitude of timelines. It's not really sensible. I wasn't even thinking all that deeply about the time traveling aspect until they threw it in my face with wanton disregard for any sort of logical conventions of time travel. The most galling point, for me, was the reveal that the main FFXI timeline is some figment of Altana's imagination. I guess it really comes down to how one views deities, but no amount of protesting by Cait Sith made me feel like the writers weren't just completely devaluing all of the foundational, and modern events in Vana'diel.

Anyway, I don't think it's really any secret that the overarching storyline kind of lost its way after CoP, but I had gone through a little more than the first chapter of the WotG missions back around when the expansion was released, and used to think that they were bringing back some normalcy to the story missions. It was just sort of disheartening to realize that they took things so far off the rails by the end of it.

isiolia wrote:I figure I'll turn my accounts back on sometime to at least do more of the anniversary content.

They're doing the Abjuration dial campaign again this month, if you were looking for any abjurations for minimal time spent. I'm hoping for another Triton legs, or Jovian Head/Body/Legs.


nullPointer wrote:
Exhuminator wrote:Only to get trolled by a bitter bastard of a difficulty spike. I've been there man, many times.

This quote is ringing true with me right now as well, so here's my final post of the month regarding FF Tactics: War of the Lions. It turns out Chapter 4 introduces a huge difficulty spike. Do to the fact that all random encounters scale based on your party level, most of the ones I'm hitting now are nigh on impossible, or at least insomuch as I don't want to deal with permadeath BS at this point in the game.

I know how you feel with this. With Tactics Ogre, when I hit about the last third of the game, I would save before moving on the map, and if I hit a random encounter (which was often), I would just reset. I played the Saturn version, so the nice part of that was being able to use the soft reset input on the controller. The downside was that there was a solid 2-3 minutes of time spent loading back into my save file. I still, personally, found that preferable to wasting time in random battles, even though the balance of time spent reloading, versus saved from skipping random battles, was probably a bit of a wash. I had something like 50 hours clocked in-game, too--.
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