Final Fantasy - Main Chat

No no no HOW AND WHY DID THEY INSERT THAT GOD FORSAKEN WALL MARKET THEME INTO THIS GAME

This made me laugh. My dad has been in absolute rage mode over this minigame (and most of the others) and finally beat the first round of it yesterday. I haven’t played the game myself, but my main takeaway is that it has a lot of moments and side quests that serve little purpose outside of padding an already insanely long game.

I am by no means a hater though. I’ve seen some moments that look truly magical, but I do hope the third part in this series is a more compact experience.

For me the original FF7 seemed to have some unique control scheme or minigame every other story beat. I’ll never forget the fact that one of the first things you do after THAT moment is control Cloud snowboarding down a mountain. I think Rebirth is in keeping with the spirit of the original with all the minigames so far (only at Junon)

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lol yeah, makes me think of this video:

I personally thought the minigames looked fun (I played the higher difficulty Brawler fights for my dad and enjoyed them), but I get why some people don’t like them, especially if you’ve got slow reflexes. I’m sure the next game won’t be as jam packed with them so I can see that one appealing to more people in that regard.

I have (embarrassingly) never finished the original FF7, I think I stopped just after the Cosmo Canyon bit, I’ll probably get back to it after I finish FF6.

I just got to this part with the gym yesterday and managed OK, but the last one with Jules was ridiculous, took me 30 mins to beat it but I did it although I was tearing my hair out at the pressure-sensitive sections, had 3 occasions where I was one away and was positive that I did it correctly and it didn’t register. Also if you have Tifa in a certain outfit the jiggle physics are quite something to behold!

Also I was in love with the Costa del Sol theme. Maybe it’s just me but I find playing this so incredibly relaxing (which is odd for a JRPG). Well apart from those crunches.

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Having recently completed The Witcher 3, I found myself drawn to the dark and mature storytelling of Final Fantasy XVI’s demo. The combat feels smooth, the story deep – it’s a captivating medieval RPG saga that’s calling my name. Time to bid farewell to reality and embrace this fantasy adventure!

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I loved the XVI demo, just wish the combat felt a bit more challenging in the main game. Still loved it though.

How is everyone getting on with Rebirth? I’m about 40hrs in which is massive for me, and I’m on Chapter 9 at Gongaga. Really loving it. Leelee even likes watching me play it, I can’t explain why but I find playing it very relaxing. Not the usual JRPG experience as I hardly ever feel that from them but I love it. The open world stuff is a bit crappy and the completionist in me makes me want to do a lot of it but I don’t mind it, normally spend one session getting a heap done and then there’s no more for a while.

Also I adore all the character relationships and how they’ve been treated, I mean really it could have been so easy to mess this aspect of the remakes up but it’s been so good. In particular though I love Cloud and Tifa’s relationship and how it has been dealt with.

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One of those perfect demos imo, pulls you into the story so perfectly and the extra challenge really gives you a taste of what the combat is all about.

I found some of the hunts reasonably challenging on the normal difficulty. I’d like to go back to it on Final Fantasy mode at some point-but I always say that about games I’ve beaten lol.

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I’m playing on Dynamic difficulty and can’t really tell what it’s doing. I know it’s supposed to scale enemies with you? So bosses have actually been getting a little more challenging as I’ve progressed which has felt weird as it feels a bit like my higher levelling and new abilities aren’t making much of a difference in comparison to older ones.

I´ve reached Costa Del Sol, but went back to Junon to do some cardgames and buy/win the good cards that I ignored before.
Really annoyed by the Fort Condor game now, which actually used to be fun in Yuffie´s Intergrade missions… Just to get a protorelic. Feels like there´s like 70% filler and 30% story in this game, but I don´t want to complain. Still love you, FF7.

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Finally finished Final Fantasy VII Rebirth. Hard to put thoughts into words following the credits given that there is so much going on, but I’ll try my best. Spoilers ahead for the end of the game.

Spoilers

So ultimately, I feel both extremely satisfied and extremely frustrated in equal measure. There is absolutely a 10/10 GOAT of a game tucked away in here, but it’s saddled with excessive bloat and crushingly, I’m on the side of the fence that feels that alterations to the story have been glaringly mishandled.

I finished Remake in 2020 hesitant, yet optimistic as to what direction the story would go in, but I do now wish that these games had simply been a beat-for-beat retelling of the original story. I can’t knock Square’s ambition, but ultimately, they’ve opted for Kingdom Hearts-esque nonsense that’s convoluted, confusing and superfluous. In particular, Aerith’s death is suffocated by the lack of clarity in what they’re trying to do. The confusion as to whether she’s actually dead or not whilst the game clumsily dances around the concept of the merging of the timelines is egregious, and by the time the game clarifies that Aerith is in fact dead (following multiple boss fights with multiple stages including cameos from Zack and Aerith’s spirit), the moment is lost and the gut wrenching sadness of her 1997 death is never recaptured. Part 3 will inevitably burrow down this multiple timeline rabbit hole further, but with the most captivating moment of the original being what it is in Rebirth, I can’t say that my enthusiasm for the story going forward has been heightened.

The game is also simply too long. Sure, some may find value in the dozens of mini-games and hundreds of collectibles padding out proceedings to over the 100 hour mark, but I can’t say that I find this bloat to enhance the game in any meaningful way. Finding lifesprings in order to discover lore on the region, and finding crystals to make a VR fight with a summon slightly easier is not fun, and the verticality of many of the locations and how mountainous they are make actually reaching these locations a nightmare. Gongaga is an absolutely shitshow of a labyrinthian nightmare, and the roundabout way you need to reach certain areas is not obvious and extremely frustrating. The protorelic quests are also massively annoying. Half of the mini-games are not fun (Fort Condor, Cactuar Crush and Gears & Gambits can absolutely get in the bin), and Chadley’s constant piping up every 10 seconds to reel off inane drivel at Cloud is irritating enough to rival Navi from Ocarina of Time. And sure, these are easily ignored, but aside from the threat of missing out on some pretty cool materia and/or accessories, there’s also an extremely cool optional super-boss locked behind the protorelic sidequests. Gilgamesh is genuinely one of the highlights of the game, and it kind of sucks that such brilliant content is locked behind something so monotonous and frustrating. Also; fuck the part where you have to play as Cait Sith in Shinra Manor. What an absolute chore.

Obviously there are many positives here. It’s easy to focus on the negatives because expectations are so high given how beloved both the 1997 original and 2020 remake were, and therefore it’s easy to lament on the fact that it wasn’t the 10/10 all-timer that I wanted it to be. Firstly, the relationships between the characters are great. With the exception of Cait Sith (fuck Cait Sith), every character provides something in value both from a storytelling and a gameplay perspective. I enjoyed the majority of interactions between them, the dialogue is mostly very good (albeit often cheesy) and the characters grow in an impactful, organic way. Aerith is great as expected, but Tifa, Barret and Red all have moments too. I expect Vincent will be excellent in the next game.

Secondly, the combat is super slick. It’s challenging (and I’m not ashamed to say that I eventually reduced the difficulty to easy, but I don’t hold that against the game), but there’s a wealth of components combined to really flesh out what you can do in combat. There’s real-time skill and reflexes required, but also an array of abilities that can damage, buff, stagger or heal, and each party member is unique in how they operate. There’s also a boatload of materia, armour (which can be enhanced) and accessories to play around with, so each character is somewhat customisable in terms of what specific role you want from them in combat.

Lastly, every area is fucking beautiful. The design team went to town on this game, because every lived-in locale is a joy to explore, and every explorable region (navigation issues aside) has its own unique look and stands out against the rest of the world. Kalm, Junon, Costa Del Sol, Gongaga, Cosmo Canyon, Nibelheim and the Temple of the Ancients are all some of the best designed areas in games I’ve ever seen, and the fact all of them reside in a single video game is nothing short of astonishing.

Also, Queen’s Blood rules. It’s the one mini-game I was happy to sink loads of time into. It’s surprisingly fleshed out, all things considered. There’s a lot of options in terms of how you can win a match, and therefore how you build your deck. Addictive as shit too. Put it right up with with Gwent and Triple Triad in terms of card based mini-games.

8/10

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