||[Mar. 22nd, 2006|09:32 am]
I picked up Final Fantasy Tactics Advance again for my away from home gaming, and I finally hit plot. Like, real plot. Plot that matters. Which is making the game far more interesting to me.
I'm still finding it awkward to resolve a story about a bunch of kids that find a book that transforms their town into Ivalice, with the sad, war-torn opening of FFXII. All the races are there, good, I understand that, Judges, great, the name of the place, fine, but I'm still lost on how these two could possibly fit together.
FFTA has a PLOT!?
...yeah, I never made it that far. I guess I'm really just not much for SRPGs -- FFT and Disgaea are the only ones I liked, and I don't think I would have made it far enough in Disgaea to start liking it if not for the fact that I started with a Level 1200 Laharl.
Yes, more or less. There's crystals?
In defense of the genre of SRPGs, the genre is harmed by the fact that so many of them are bad. FFTA, in my opinion, falls into that category. The miss rate is too high, and in general the game just doesn't feel very balanced to me. Abilities are poorly explained, and the control system doesn't make intuitive sense and isn't easily discoverable. If it weren't for my curiosity and the fact this is a portable game, I wouldn't be playing it. For God's sake, Black Matrix Zero was an easier and more fun game, and it was originally based off of the most frustrating combat system I ever had the misfortune to encounter. (Though, admittedly, they did fix or patch a lot of the frustrating bits.)
"In defense of SRPGs, many of them are bad."
To quote Devin, "You want to make a wisdom check on that?" =P
ANYway, I agree with you heartily on FFTA's flaws. Also, I should point out that the only other SRPG I've played beside the ones listed here is the execrable Hoshigami, which had a vastly higher miss rate (if you hit from anywhere but directly behind, or are fewer than 3 levels above your target, you are virtually guaranteed to miss), no way to revive downed characters until 80% of the way through the game (and anyone down before that is gone forever), a plotline that branches depending on your ability to keep face characters alive, a combat system that punishes you brutally for moving toward the enemy, and an AI that cheats (as in, NEVER misses). So my view of the genre might be a bit skewed.
On a side note, I'm going to try to pick up Shadow Hearts this weekend. It'll be a while until I get to play it, but it's an excuse to unpack the PS2. That's right, I still haven't unpacked my PS2. Shows you what a *great* investment that was, don't it?
You're oversimplifying, and you know it. ^^ My intention was: do not judge the entire genre of SRPGs because it is difficult to get them right. It's easy to program an SRPG, relatively speaking - you're not expected to have great graphics and you don't even necessarily need a deep story. But balancing them so that they're fun and challenging instead of cheap and frustrating is difficult.
I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. Honestly, if you get into Shadow Hearts, it and it's sequel, Shadow Hearts II: Covenant, could justify the entire system for you. It's that good.
I know I oversimplified; I just thought it was funny.
I'm going to by Shadow Hearts, but I am *not* playing it until I at least finish Baten Kaitos, the Unfinishable Game of Doom.
See... I like it enough that I want to finish it, but not enough that I can play it straight through. And as soon as I switch to another game, I forget about it for three months, then come back to it and have no idea what I'm doing -- so I start over.
...But that means that you'll never get to SH. ^^;;