I'm not trying to change your mind about the game, obviously, but I just wanted to clarify my opinion, because SO3 really is the best recent example of why I now actively avoid anything that says "Square Enix" on the box.
SPOILER WARNING: SO3 ENTIRE GAME
I just can't find that particular twist believable. Doing it the other way around, a la Captain N or Tron, is bad enough, but when the characters come out, I just can't get past the questions. Like, I can accept that the user gets magical powers inside the computer in Tron, because it's a different universe under different laws of physics. But if the characters are coming FROM a universe with magic, going TO a universe without it, how do they keep their powers? Why can't the programmers just erase everything out of hand instead of going through the silly Executioner thing? If the SO universe is an MMORPG being played in this other universe, where are Faith & co.'s players in all this? Still controlling them?
My other major issues with the game were the way they crippled the item creation system, and the dumbing-down of the ally AI. In SO2, you typically controlled a melee fighter, and trusted your allies to do what was necessary. You only really had to take direct control of anyone else in emergencies. In SO3, you control one character, and trust your allies to get gang-raped by lizards. Doesn't matter what you're fighting, you know your allies are going to be killed by lizards every ten seconds.
Finally, SO2 had some of my favorite RPG characters ever -- Ashton, Leon, Chisato, Precis -- while SO3, um, didn't.
It was especially annoying when I was fighting Luther, and out of nowhere came these lizards...
2005-11-29 03:10 am (UTC)
No, the worst is when you're busy inventing something, and all of a sudden, lizards kill half your party.
2005-11-29 03:59 am (UTC)
He apparently doesn't feel like posting it, but Cyrus topped this one:
"Yeah, so it was creating a new save file, when these lizards suddenly..."
Couldn't you be looking at the game too literally?
For one, given the ending of the game I wonder whether the world was not just a computer simulation at all, but actually a parallel universe that was born from a computer simulation. Given that as a fundamental assumption, if magic resides in genes, it's conceivable that they could bring it with them when they traveled to another world, which perhaps shares the same physical laws that permit laws, but doesn't have the entry points to get to it.
It is a game to them. They could destroy it out of hand, but then you have all the people complaining about how they lost their items, and how they've been robbed, and all their connections are broken... in that case, it's entirely understandable that Lucifer, who is in control of the company, might not even think of erasing it because of the backlash. Until, of course, he's driven nuts by the fact that the people whose existance he refuses to admit kick his butt. (And he was easy, too - at least in the first form.) Since players weren't permitted to log in to the world while it was being destroyed, they could avoid destroying most of the things that really mattered, while using the Executioners to analyze and destroy anything that was contaminated - leaving the world more or less existent, but the 'viral' matter eliminated.
Fate and the others weren't PCs, they were NPCs. There were no players for them.
I personally disliked SO2's combat system and crafting, while SO3's didn't get in my way as badly. The AI wasn't as bad for me, I don't know why. Admittedly, Nel's stubborn refusal to heal me despite being set to 'heal me if I'm hurt' frustrated me, but it turned out to be a better strategy in dangerous boss battles to stand back and concentrate on healing anyways. After all, the other characters don't use items.
Well, I wrote a semi-lengthy response to this, but livejournal ate it, so this version is rather pissier than the one I posted before.
I maintain that the programmers could have just changed around some code, without doing the whole stupid Executioner thing. The programmers had unlimited power in the SO universe. They could have just frozen time for Fayt and co., then reset them to level 1. They could teleported them into space, a la SW Galaxies. They could have erased the offending parts of the game, what they sicced the Executioners on, and left the rest intact. The entire game is a massive idiot plot -- if the programmers knew how to, y'know, program, it never could have happened.
And the bit about standing back and concentrating on healing? Exactly why I liked SO2 better. In this one the computer is an idiot, so you're forced to spend your time keeping the computer alive, while it fights battles incompetently, stretching them out far past the point a human could have taken. In SO2, you could set an ally to heal, then take control of a caster or a fighter and actually play the damn game.
Finally, I refuse to believe that any Square RPG is meant to be taken any way other than completely literally. The symbolism is just too damn stupid otherwise.
And don't tell me SO3 isn't technically a Square RPG. It says Square on the cover, it's pompous, heavy-handed, and joyless, and you kill God at the end. Sounds like every game they've made since the PSX came out.
Okay, so this version was MUCH pissier. I'm actually mostly mad at livejournal. I had other things to say, but I don't feel like typing them out AGAIN.