Kurruptions Gaming Roundtable Discussions

kurruption

Active Member
Registered
Jun 23, 2005
2,635
0
36
36
Da Hood, Beeyatch
In an effort to revive the forums for the upteenth time *Stan how many is that?*, we have ourselves a new spin to an old classic. Once a week someone should toss in a subject, preferably gamingwise, and we all break out into an argument like we always do. There are some rules though.

1. No religious topics!
2. Cussing is not only allowed it's actually encouraged.
3. Have fun and try not to take it up the ass if you find yourself against spuds or myself
4. New topics each Monday, if I don't post it someone else can.
5. Throw something in no matter how mundane, remember there are no stupid questions, only stupid people.

So lets see how long we can have this going, so for the inauguration we shall have a discussion on the game everyone loves to hate. The first topic in Kurruptions Gaming Roundtable Discussions is..................................Final Fantasy 7.............................Flame On!
 

the_roach

Narrative Cosmotect
Registered
Oct 6, 2005
748
0
0
36
The Great Valley
First comment on this topic: Square waited too damn long to follow up on the FFVII world/franchise. And they're short one Hironobu Sakaguchi. What does all this entail? The gravity of FFVIIdom is definitely not the same as it was 8, 9, 10 years ago, so it's more than a little too late to spin off from it (Advent Children, Dirge of Cerberus, Crisis Core, etc)
 

kurruption

Active Member
Registered
Jun 23, 2005
2,635
0
36
36
Da Hood, Beeyatch
First of this proves my theory that if I build it they shall come! Now I can rant about this for days, but i'm at work and posting from a psp, so i will try to keep it short. Final Fantasy 7 is one of those games that defines a genre, sure there better rpgs, but when u think rpgs there is only pre-ff7 and post-ff7. The sheer amount of good and great jrpg's before and after solidifies the influence this game has had on the entire video game culture. jrpgs were a niche genre until ff7 changed that.
 

kurruption

Active Member
Registered
Jun 23, 2005
2,635
0
36
36
Da Hood, Beeyatch
Also, i believe the timing was good for the spinoffs, the quality so far reeks of a quick cash-in! Now the timing on a chrono trigger project? That sucks ass! Now how many posters have played ff7?
 

Maverick

I'm A Pimp, Bitch
Registered
Jul 10, 2005
1,816
0
0
40
The Steel City
www.myspace.com
Well I haven't much to say on this topic. I don't understand a lot of the fascination with RPGs, especially turned based ones. I love games with RPG elements, and some action RPGs interest me, but I could never get into traditional role playing games.
 

the_roach

Narrative Cosmotect
Registered
Oct 6, 2005
748
0
0
36
The Great Valley
The timing is good for waxing nostalgic. That to me implies that I wish I was young again and playing FFVII for the first time rather than the spinoff game I'm playing. :p

So, the timing isn't good to me as a huge fan of FFVII because I remember when FFVII first came out, it was just one of those perfect things in the world that pretty much shifts your perception not just about games, but many other things in life. Now, I'm not sure if that was a result of my being open to such events at that age (13-14) or if it was FFVII's influence, but that's beside the point. Anyway, 8-10 years have passed since then, and trying to bring that world back to life in its full glory is impossible for a few reasons.

1) No Hironobu Sakaguchi to mastermind things, to provide the overarching vision (even then, that doesn't guarantee success if he was involved).
2) A lot of the team members involved aren't around to help bring it back.
3) The team members that are involved with the spinoffs and were involved with FFVII, their lives and thoughts and influences have probably changed quite a bit in that 10 year span, so they're going to bring a different set of intangibles to the spin-offs. They're not of the same mindset.
4) Most importantly, the people who played and loved FFVII when it came out have changed. If the spinoffs this late aren't clouded by nostalgia, then they're outright going to be unreachable by those playing. Compare this with Star Wars. They made the first three Star Wars movies in what, a span of five years or so. Then Lucas waited forever to complete the whole thing. You see how differently regarded the episodes IV, V, and VI are compared to the I, II, and III? And Lucas was still heavily involved! People change too much over the years, and they bring different things to the table. Also, technology changes, and that influences things as well.

I wish FFVII was like other series that started around that time.. like Suikoden maybe, one that continued its world and storylines (haven't played it but I hear it does). It would have been a better deal than what we got in FF8 and FF9.
 

the_roach

Narrative Cosmotect
Registered
Oct 6, 2005
748
0
0
36
The Great Valley
Well I haven't much to say on this topic. I don't understand a lot of the fascination with RPGs, especially turned based ones. I love games with RPG elements, and some action RPGs interest me, but I could never get into traditional role playing games.
You had to start young, Mav. That's how I got into them. Being the abstract thing that they are, when you're young, you have a greater ability of filling in the gaps. I don't know what or how it is, but the mind had a way of making everything grander and more detailed than what visual or textual information the game conveyed -- in this case, turn-based JRPGs. But now I'm pretty burned out on them. I started getting burned out years ago, actually. They're basically dinosaurs now--clunky things that don't belong in the current era for natural reasons. Of course, now they're trying all sorts of things to freshen up the formulas.
 

kurruption

Active Member
Registered
Jun 23, 2005
2,635
0
36
36
Da Hood, Beeyatch
Since you compared FF7 to star wars, don't forget although the SW clone saga thing sucked but it indeed did alot of money and people ate it up. Same could be said for Final Fantasy 7. While FF fandom indeed has grown older, it's influence is still apparent as can be seen in the sheer amount of cosplayers, gaming mags, fansites and sale of merchandise. Final Fantasy 7 has grown to mythic or dare I say legendary status. As far as JRPG's they have gone back to their 16 bit status as a genre strictly for the hardcore, it's not that we haven't recieved a new killer app, just go to Persona 3 or Blue Dragon, but the sheer amount of gametime can put some people off. One more thing, don't count JRPG's out, one of the reasons the Xbox didn't thrive was the lack of the said genre, Microsoft has learned it's lesson, Blue Dragon, Eternal Sonata, Last Remnant and Sakaguchi's next Mistwalker project have displayed the fact that Microsoft isn't counting out JRPG's anymore.
 

the_roach

Narrative Cosmotect
Registered
Oct 6, 2005
748
0
0
36
The Great Valley
Well, I wasn't exactly comparing FF7 and Star Wars. I could have replaced Star Wars with any series of games or movies that started out awesome, and then a prequel/sequel was made years later that lost a ton of the appeal and magic that made the first one(s) awesome.

I hear Blue Dragon isn't all that great. Well, it may be pretty good relative to JRPG standards, but... I'd have to see it in action. The Word is that it's another baby-step product, a slight improvement in certain areas yet heavily colored by genre conventions. And I'm actually hopeful about Lost Odyssey, the Sakaguchi project you refer to and one that I predict will easily be a better game than Blue Dragon. My only gripe is... well... from the demo footage I saw a while back, there were random encounters. I figured that would be a device that JRPGS would evolve out of by now. As long as they keep that aspect constrained in some way, I can roll with it occasionally.

There's probably no arguing how popular and legendary FF7 is. My only gripe is that it could have been better for the fans if we got the spinoffs earlier. Maybe some of the spinoffs are decent or good games by themselves, but how many people do you think who have never played FF7 are going to go back and play it after playing the spinoffs? And how many people who loved FF7 back in the day are going to buy or get the spinoff games? I guess what I'm trying to say is, all in all, it would have been better to do this earlier (say, around 2000, 2001), both from a business and fan point of view, because that's after everyone had played FFVII and before they grew out games or RPGs or Life stepped in and made them a more casual gamer. :p
 

kurruption

Active Member
Registered
Jun 23, 2005
2,635
0
36
36
Da Hood, Beeyatch
i'm suprised by the quality of posts so far! As for the spinoffs u forget that jrpgs are the realm of the hardcore, people who tend to never move on. As far as blue dragon goes its more of a back to basics. It takes some time for the story to pick up, otherwise quite enjoyable.
 

silent_storm

true playa
Registered
May 5, 2006
841
0
0
30
The Bahamas
Blue Dragon's pretty good, I haven't played it very long so I don't really have much of an opinion on it yet.
But I think the best thing about it is that there are no random encounters.
 

kurruption

Active Member
Registered
Jun 23, 2005
2,635
0
36
36
Da Hood, Beeyatch
Random encounters are not as bad as fanboys say. What's bad is if they happen every two steps like Skies of Arcadia. What I don't like is if If I'm trying to level up and I have to keep looking for a damn field monster to kill. Grandia III had the best form of monster encounters in my humble opinion.
 

kurruption

Active Member
Registered
Jun 23, 2005
2,635
0
36
36
Da Hood, Beeyatch
Ok the first week was a success, let us see if we can keep it up. New topic time, and with the date at hand I think it's only appropriate...............................Halo series.....................Flame on!

Were do I begin, if you look up overrated in the dictionary you will find a picture of Master Chief. Sure the games are good, but they are not the second coming of christ like many make it out to be!
 

the_roach

Narrative Cosmotect
Registered
Oct 6, 2005
748
0
0
36
The Great Valley
I don't know. If you've seen any commercials for the "Believe" campaign, it sure sounds like he is the second coming of Jesus. :p

More on Halo from me later...
 

gillman

PC Editor
Staff member
Jul 19, 2005
371
2
18
38
Probably at Work
www.varms.net
No game does online multiplayer better, on a console.

I can think of a couple dozen that do single player better though. Also, the story sucks. I don't know why people keep giving them all these amazing praises about how awesome the story is, they do one thing right the entire time by making a couple of things "look interesting" and then just leave the rest up to people who write terrible books to try and explain. The idea of Halos was interesting but it had been done before.

The A.I. is pretty simple to get around if you know how to deal with it. Besides select levels that most of the characteristics that the characters were programed for, and thus act the same exact way through the rest of the game, it is easier to simply walk around all enemies and ignore them to stand and fight any given one of them.
 

the_roach

Narrative Cosmotect
Registered
Oct 6, 2005
748
0
0
36
The Great Valley
On Halo's Story: Of course Halo's story is not considered among the best examples among all of videogames. But It's my opinion that people generally place too much value in the details, the content of the story rather than how the story is conveyed--the storytelling. If you do that, then it's easy to say Halo's story isn't great or it's too derivative or not original enough. But if you consider the journey and all of its aspects, then there is a great richness there. You want details? Read a book. As far as stories for FPSs go, Halo is to me no better or worse than any FPS out there.

On Halo's artificial intelligence: gillman, I believe you're way off base in your assessment of this aspect of Halo. I don't think the enemies were programmed for a given stage and then given that same behavior throughout. The AI is way more natural and dynamic than this, which means that it was built from the bottom up so that the AI characters can adapt to any area. To me, the AI in Halo is among the smartest and most adaptive of any in all of videogames, especially if you play it on Legendary mode (another good game in this regard is the Brothers in Arms series). The awesome thing is variety of behaviors given to the different enemy units, from the Grunts, Elites, Brutes, etc., and the way they interact with each other (the presence of Elites providing the morale for the Grunts which makes them more dangerous for example). Also, the fallibility (lack of unrealistic omniscience) lends levels of realism and immersion that contribute to Halo's single-player awesomeness. I think you're erroneously placing blame on the game's design by saying that you can sneak past any encounter. I'd say easily more than 50% of potential encounters you can't sneak or otherwise move through without dying, unless you play it on easy or normal. Crank up the difficulty. But more importantly, the game is intentionally designed in such a way to give you that option, to either sneak or allow opposing forces to fight and be distracted away from your presence. Plenty of games employ a stealth option in their design and don't force you into every single engagement.
 

spudlyff8fan

Super Senior Staff
Registered
Jun 23, 2005
4,550
3
0
34
somewhere
Personally, I can't think of any non-license FPSs that have a deeper story. Half-Life doesn't even have a story. It has an opening sequence. Lotsa monsters. Then an ending movie. Half-Life 2 I haven't played enough to give an accurate summary. FEAR falls into the same category, but with movies at the end of each level. Condemned TRIES to have a story, and would've, but ended up not having it fleshed out or even completed because it was a launch title that was noticably rushed.

The only FPSs with bona fide stories I can think of are the likes of Goldeneye, Nightfire 007, Star Wars: Republic Commando and the like. And all of them still rely on established mythos and recurring themes from their source material. The fact of the matter is that very few people go into an FPS expecting a deep, sprawling story. And with very few exceptions, they walk away disappointed.

Halo 1/2 doesn't have a deep, epic story. It's pretty simple with a standard inexplicable invasion by the Covenant who worship the Forerunners, a mystical pre-historic species who were wiped out by the Flood, which results in the Spartan program, leading to the big MC (my nickname for the Master Chief) saving the day. Then the Elites split off from the rest of the Covenant because of the Brutes seizing power over them, leading to a genocide by the Brutes, while the rest of the Covenant attempt to activate a Halo, blinded by a falacious feeling of safety because of blinding from their religious beliefs. Simple, right? (It is).

Half Life 1 has an evil corporation who opens up an interdimensional rift, for some reason, that leads to the apocalypse. Then they freeze Gordon Freeman. Better known as the floating hands that hold your gun. Most of his character development comes from the instruction manual.

If you're looking for a story, with very few exceptions, you're not finding it outside the RPG. Notable exceptions being Metal Gear Solid, Starcraft, Warcraft and Mega Man (there are other exceptions, I just can't think of any atm). Outside of RPGs, the vast majority of games, Resident Evil comes to mind in particular, require you to piece together the stories yourself via in-game books and unlockables. You can complain about a game not having a story, or having an over-rated story. But really, the tier drop when it comes to stories is colossal between those top-level stories and everything else.

To put it simply, the rankings of stories go RPGs, MGS, etc>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>half of everything else>the other half of everything else

Next to fighting games, the FPS genre is easily the most-lacking genre for stories.

Single player is indeed done better in a lot of games. Halo's biggest weakness is easily in its "all alone" idea. It's you versus everyone else. But it doesn't give you that sense of loneliness and fear that Condemned, or even Metroid Prime gave you. It doesn't have that squad-based gameplay that lots of tactical shooters like Ghost Recon and R6 have. Halo would have this if the marines weren't just plain pussies. Other games, like Splinter Cell, make up for this with raw gameplay and sheer diversity between levels. Halo 2 also misses on this, outside the transition from a temple to a space station to a hilly forest back to a temple, then to a snow level (in all seriousness, every game needs a snow level).

What Halo DOES have is the sense that you kick an enormous amount of ass. The door opens in front of you, and then everyone runs for cover because they know what a badass you are. If it was one of those wimpy-ass marines back there, undoubtedly smeared across the walls, they'd just open up and he'd be dead. But no, it's you, so they run and hide. You go from place to place. You kill everyone. You jump on their ghost, crack em in the side of the head, steal it, run them over with it, then kill more people and they can't hope to stop you. Bring in a friend and do co-op and it's even better. You roll out like Brett Favre, dodge a warthog that got jacked by the Flood, then stick them with a plasma grenade and watch them light up (I'd say you roll out like McNabb, but then you'd throw it and it would land like 10 feet in front of them). It's not like Medal of Honor, where if you stand up at the wrong time, your head gets taken off, or Splinter Cell, where you fall five feet and die. It's the only good game around that you can just go head-to-head with a tidal wave of enemies, kill them all, then get complimented by that stereotypical black CO I don't remember the name of. Really, Halo is the only good non-realism-based shooter still around. So couple the appeal of being able to simply kick ass and the best online multiplayer of any shooter on a console (and I've heard people make strong cases that it beats out CSS and AA as well) and there's really no reason Halo shouldn't be widely beloved.

And bad AI? What game doesn't have AI that can be exploited? How many times have you jumped on top of a rock in Oblivion and whipped out a bow? Or find just that right angle behind a crate where they can't get a shot to hit you, but you can cap them, no problem? Or that hallway where you can bait-and-switch ten enemies to go through a doorway one-by-one? In all seriousness, you could take any video game ever and find a way to just dispatch the AI in an entirely unrealistic way.