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Why leave something useless in a game?


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#1 Jonathan   Members   -  Reputation: 122

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Posted 08 May 2000 - 06:41 PM

It was mentioned by a couple people in the General forum that they didn''t like Final Fantasy 8, and I just wanted to cast my vote along with them here. I''m not sure about anyone else''s experience of the game, but I personally didn''t like it. So much in fact, that I still haven''t finished it. My big problem with it is that the fights never change. How did you get through the game? Me, I ended up just using those damn Guardian Forces through every fight. Once you had a decent one for each character in your party, there just wasn''t any point in using your weapons anymore. The GFs had no limits on when they could be summoned, or how often, as long as you kept them alive. They just became too strong. I got curious and tried to play without them for a little while. What happened, you ask? I got my arse kicked. The magic is weak, and so are the weapons, compared to the GFs. So you just get stuck using them, having to wait through minute long mini-movies between attacks. It got really really boring after a while. A battle with the cool old-school Behemoth took nearly 15 minutes to finish. Oh, and guess what? My characters never even got close to falling, because the GFs just kept taking all the damage. Where''s the balance in this? What happened? And with those super-powerful GFs kicking every creature''s ass you come across, why bother giving the characters weapons at all? My apologies for the rant Jonathan

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#2 SiCrane   Moderators   -  Reputation: 9392

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Posted 09 May 2000 - 12:49 AM

The game balance is that if you, the player, get dependent on summoning GFs, you''ll get smeared big time at the end of the game. The end boss has a nasty ability to destroy any GF as you summon it. Not to mention that your abilities are sealed in the end dungeon. i.e. You can''t use any commands other than "fight" unless you unlock them; you need to defeat a subboss inorder to get the "draw", "magic", etc. commands useable inside the last dungeon.

Also your rank doesn''t go up nearly as fast if you use GF constantly. Actually, I think your rank can go down if you do nothing but use GF. And considering the only way to get money is from your rank and selling things, that''s an important game balance consideration.

Once your characters are junctioned properly, hand-to-hand combat with the weapons becomes very powerful. So powerful, as a matter of fact, that from midway through Disc 2 on, I didn''t use a single summon. (Null. Nada. Zero. Zip. The GF animations would crash my playstation, so I didn''t have a choice.)

From a game development standpoint, the developers wanted the players to go through the game however they felt like. That is a magic heavy player would be just as viable as a combat monster or a summon-happy guy. However the success of the various strategies changes as you go through the game. The hand-to-hand only guy finds it very difficult at the beginning and it gets easier from there. The summoning guy finds it very easy at the beginning but finds the game literally impossible to beat. The casting happy individual probably finds the game equally hard throughout.

Also, it seemed to me that part of the theme of FFVIII was having incredible powers, but not letting the powers dominate you. That is maintaining your humanity by not taking the quick fix or the easy way out. Summoning GFs, in a way, brings this theme closer to the player, and I thought it was pretty slick the way they pulled it off.

#3 Jonathan   Members   -  Reputation: 122

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Posted 09 May 2000 - 07:57 AM

All I have to say is, wow, I missed all that?

Thank you. Now I want to play the game over again

Jonathan

P.S. - Is this the reason they tried to sell the strategy guide along with the game?

#4 Kylotan   Moderators   -  Reputation: 3329

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Posted 10 May 2000 - 01:10 AM

quote:
Original post by SiCrane

The game balance is that if you, the player, get dependent on summoning GFs, you''ll get smeared big time at the end of the game. The end boss has a nasty ability to destroy any GF as you summon it.


That sounds like bad game design to me. If you want someone to use other tools, you should encourage that throughout the game. Not make it way too easy to play a certain way and then, right at the end, say "no, that doesn''t work".

Personally I hate the FF combat systems with the mini-movies/animations, etc. They bore the hell out of me I''d rather just have a scrolling box of text saying "X hits Y for Z damage." Yes, I know I''m weird and not representative of the average buyer. Shame.

#5 SiCrane   Moderators   -  Reputation: 9392

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Posted 10 May 2000 - 10:58 AM

I''m not saying that having the end guy smear you was the only game balance tool they used. They do encourage you to use other methods throughout the game; it''s just the end guy who hits you on top of your head if you don''t listen.

So for those of you who haven''t played (or haven''t played all the way through), here''s a list of ways they steer you away from GFs during the game (incomplete because I haven''t touched the game since January). Again, there''s a monetary penalty for using GFs constantly, which should encourage you to use other methods throughout the game. And if you hadn''t noticed, GFs are slow. Which means that in any time trial scenario, using GFs just isn''t very viable. In my opinion, that whole speed thing was also a pretty good reason to look for alternate attack methods in and of itself. And if you use nothing but GFs you won''t end up using special attacks like mug and devour, which have very nice side benefits. Also, plot-wise they mention in more than a couple places that using GF''s is somehow dangerous. One specific example is that using GF''s tampers with your memory.

Oh and the reason that they try to sell the guide with the game is because they want to make more money.

#6 iwasbiggs   Members   -  Reputation: 122

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Posted 10 May 2000 - 08:30 PM

ditto to what sicrane said.

throughout the game squall and the party constantly warn each other that they don''t know what they will do if they become too dependant on GF''s.

I''m pretty sure at one point it flat out stated that using GF''s will slowly devour your brain, and without GF''s you''d be nothing. *hinthintnudgenudge*

#7 SonicSilcion   Members   -  Reputation: 122

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Posted 14 May 2000 - 03:24 AM

I''ve always tried using the odd-ball commands, just because of the fun results. Card is my favorite, as you can make stuff with them, not just have better playing cards. Plus enc[ounter]-none is extremely useful in time sensitive areas.

After having to use Knights of the Round a few dozen times in a row in 7, I got a little bit sick of summoning. The Boost ability thankfully alleviates some of the boredom.
My only complaint in 8 is that Odin just shows up whenever he darn well pleases. And it''s not because he doesn''t show up enough, but rater too often. Pretty annoying when you''re need to mug an item off a hard to encounter creature.

I think the weakness is having to draw so much magic so that it is actually useful. That sucks up way to much time. That and the whole junctioning routine:
Junction GFs, Juction magic, find better magic, trade magic between characters, re-junction better magic, find out that one character is extermely week, repeat.

Last thing; as anyone else seen a U.F.O with a cow in tow? I''m serious!

#8 Jonathan   Members   -  Reputation: 122

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Posted 14 May 2000 - 10:27 AM

I must admit, I''m playing back through the game to see if I can make it without a single summon, and I''m having some serious fun with it. Sure, most the battles are harder, but by paying attention to what I''ve been junctioning and the like, the battles stay interesting, rather then just seeing Quezacotl come through and whup some ass.

Oh, and I love having 100 Sleeps junctioned to an attack. That''s just fun

I''m just about off the first disc, and I haven''t seen a single summon animation yet. Sweet

Jonathan

#9 Mariorox   Members   -  Reputation: 122

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Posted 14 May 2000 - 04:10 PM

Johnathan has a point about putting in pointless items.

Question: Has anyone found a use for the Bubble Gun in Earthworm Jim 2? I have not found a use for it other than amaze young children(like the booklet says)

#10 Etnu   GDNet+   -  Reputation: 880

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Posted 14 May 2000 - 04:43 PM

Pointless items in games really do help further the plot because they increase the amount of time explorintg the world. In a quest to find what the hell you are supposed to do with at piece of dead fish, one may search the whole land over and discover things they would not otherwise. (also, in the case of Final Fantasy, VERY few "items" are useless - they usually do have a hidden purpose, but it is one that may be difficult to find unless you really look (or buy the strategy guides) i.e. - IN FF&, when you killed the weapons, you could trade in the items they dropped for some really good stuff at a little house - Most people would never find the little house, and would end up missing out on that part of the game.




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