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Positronic Brain

Out Of Warranty
(He/him)
I honestly disagree - I think that if the cast really had grown, they would have walked away instead of fighting. And we know they can't do that because violence is the only way you have to solve conflict in FFXIII - and the fact that the game doesn't acknowledge that (and instead tries to present the cast "defying fate" by doing exactly what the villain told them to do even knowing they might be dooming an entirecivilization without second thought) is why I find it flawed.

I like the game. I like some of the characters (Fang rules). I like the battle system. But the story sinks this game really low in my personal FF ranking.
 

Lokii

It's always time for burgers
(He/Him)
Staff member
Moderator
If they walked away they would have become powerful and dangerous Cie'th. Impossible situation.
 

R.R. Bigman

Coolest Guy
FFXIII was my first experience with the franchise and I did not care for it. It looked and sounded beautiful, and I ended up liking the puzzle-like nature of the combat. One positive thing about the game being a straight line with almost no freedom was that the party dynamics could be meticulously controlled, so you always were just as powerful as you needed to be. And since the party line-up was also completely out of your hands, you only had the characters you needed for that particular section or boss. That kind of all went away near the end when everybody is available at once, of course.

With all that said, I still came away hating the game as whole. Every new place had the feeling of being simply an area that was completed in time for shipping the game, rather than a real step of the journey for these people. It felt like a product more than a story. FFX has a lot more of these same problems than I believe some people want to admit, but having people to talk to, terrible mini-games to suffer through, and an eventual way to go back to areas to look for things helps a whole lot. You’re stuck in Pulse or the final area in the endgame, with all the locations of the first ten chapters being lost forever. It would be akin to every area before the Calm Lands being permanently inaccessible in FFX.
 

Peklo

Oh! Create!
(they/them, she/her)
They don't go back to prior locations because the entire game is about being on the run, tying the story's thematics to the rollercoaster setpiece design popular in the medium at large at the time that served as a large inspiration to its sensibilities. It's a game of pure momentum and narrow scope, which is why it feels so uniquely exhausting to play as you're only really ever doing three things: fighting battles, watching the story unfold, and pushing through the environments. I feel that as much as anyone but the difference is that I don't view it as a fault in the game but the realization of its narrative aims in a really beautifully organic way; I enjoy the adversity of it experientially. If the comparison to X is made, I think it should've followed a similar commitment: leaving Zanarkand especially after the point of no return final solace at the campfire feels hollow to the game's emotional texture, the acquisition of the airship as a fast-travel option in service of not much at all but the pretense of player freedom and the race for more content at the eleventh hour. I think they learned a lot from the first attempt at making a game in the series that upended the traditions of an abstracted world design and presentation in what to cut and what to highlight in the new baseline, and VII R as the successor to this design lineage by mostly the same leading creators can benefit from the lessons learned a decade ago.
 

Kazin

did i do all of that?
(he/him)
Alright, just beat Final Fantasy IV Pixel Remaster. Thoughts:

Good game, it gets better as it goes, especially when you have your final party and you start getting their final equipment in the final dungeon/summons for Rydia, but wow, is FFIV derivative (or, to be charitable, iterative) of FFIII in many ways. The final dungeon is an easier version of III's final dungeon and Eureka, in that there's weapons locked behind tough optional bosses, but you get a save point a few floors from the final boss as well as the ability to buy Phoenix Downs (and I think you can buy Ethers, but I didn't have to use those other than when I was getting Bahamut, and I could've got by without them, frankly). Also, hunting down the summons was done in FFIII already down to who several of the summons themselves even are. Basically, the main new thing IV brought to the table was the Active Time Battle system (which is not nothing, I love ATB and this game pioneered it, and that's to its credit) and being on more powerful hardware, giving us fantastic music (and better graphics, I suppose, though I prefer the style of the NES games, though none of that really applies to the Pixel Remakes as they're all fairly similar presentation-wise as mentioned upthread). All of which is to say I suppose III iterated/was derivative of I, so criticizing IV too hard wouldn't be fair, and I don't really intend to. It just has never been a favorite of mine, and this playthrough didn't make me think any differently.

Also re: Edge, I ran into the same situation as Peklo - Rosa was doing a ton of damage by the end with her Elven Bow and Artemis Arrow, which was... weird, but kinda neat (always love to see healers do some deeps, m i rite ff14 fans?), and Kain was outdamaging him too at least when he got the Holy Spear, and Rydia was doing boatloads of damage whenever she did a summon or casted a spell, so... Edge was still sorta dead weight. Fuma Shurikens did decent damage against Zeromus, but I only had 5, then he was doing 2nd least damage per turn after those were used up. Can you buy more Fuma Shurikens somewhere? I didn't find a shop that sold them, but then I didn't get the achievement for going to every map location, so I may very well have missed it.

I love the Pixel Remakes so far, honestly. They're a great way to play these games, even if they all trend easier than the original versions (and in many cases, earlier remakes). Cannot wait for V and VI!
 

Torzelbaum

????? LV 13 HP 292/ 292
(he, him, his)
Edge was still sorta dead weight. Fuma Shurikens did decent damage against Zeromus, but I only had 5, then he was doing 2nd least damage per turn after those were used up.
Did you have any spare late game melee weapons that you weren't using? Edge can chuck those for pretty good damage.
 

4-So

Spicy
I always play conservatively with casters, by natural inclination, so I rarely casted anything with Rydia except during boss fights. I lucked into a Dragon's Whisker while walking around in the Lunar Subterrane, making her fairly useful against the dragon-type enemies. But because I primarily used physical attacks with Rydia, Edge pulled his weight just fine, especially after getting the Masamune and Murasama. On the whole, I'd say he was keeping pace with Kain.

Having said that, I eventually got to the point where I killed off Kain and Edge both so that the other three could take a larger chunk of the experience after fights. It made the grinding to level 70 (for the achievement) a bit more manageable because by the time Rydia, Rosa, and Cecil were 70, they were overpowered enough to carry Edge and Kain the rest of the way.

Right now I have two achievements left (besides the 'all achievements' meta): Acquire the Adamant Armor and find all of the hidden (read: monster dropped) summon spells. Considering there is no way to buy sirens in this version, and that the drop rate does not appear to have been increased for the summons (despite what the patch notes say), I may have to pass on getting all of the achievements this time around. Thinking about how long it would likely take to grind for Pink Tail gives me heartburn.
 

Kazin

did i do all of that?
(he/him)
You can buy more Fuma Shuriken at Kokkol's smithy in the Underworld, but they're pricey (50k or something).

Ah, I missed that somehow - I got the Excalibur, but swore I talked to everyone there. Maybe they don't sell the Fuma Shurikens until after you get the sword, I didn't check. Good to know! I had a ton of cash at the end, so I could've bought a bunch of them haha

Did you have any spare late game melee weapons that you weren't using? Edge can chuck those for pretty good damage.
Yeah, though I was throwing regular Shurikens still while the battle ended, I figured those would probably do more damage than the other weapons, might be wrong, I suppose.
 

YangusKhan

does the Underpants Dance
(He/Him/His)
Edge was still sorta dead weight.

Kain was outdamaging him too at least when he got the Holy Spear
Hmmm. So, I suppose in my initial claim I was thinking about Edge in terms of having access to his best gear, which isn't guaranteed at all in the regular game (Power Shirt and Zeus Gauntlets + his endgame weapons). But even still, he should be hitting harder than Kain by the end, unless Kain is hitting a weakness. Rydia is definitely gonna pump out big numbers especially once she gets Flare, and in this version she's gonna reach that level much faster, so that makes sense.
 

Peklo

Oh! Create!
(they/them, she/her)
Edge is consistent but unremarkable. Kain in this version seems to occupy a place similar to the earliest versions of the game, where the length of time between a jump and crashing down was almost imperceptible to a regular attack, so in effect there's no reason to ever have him strike with the default command; the ostensible tradeoff just isn't there. With auto-battling being a sufficient strategy for the vast majority of encounters in the game, especially the melee-heavy later parts, and it remembering and defaulting to the last commands given per character, it just leads to him constantly pumping out high damage while staying mostly invulnerable throughout.
 
Edge is the jack of all trades master of none type character with some fun unique and situational abilities. He's probably not what anyone would design for themselves if they were making a party member in a FFV type system, but it's a good design for 5th party member in a game where the party is shaped by the narrative. (As the GBA remake demonstrates, pretty much anyone else would be a more useful 5th because they're specialists at one particular thing, but he's not there to be the most useful, he's there to be kind of Good Enough at a few different tasks.)
 

Torzelbaum

????? LV 13 HP 292/ 292
(he, him, his)
Yes. He is sort of like a red mage with dual wield and a not very good steal ability. (Was that changed for PR or is it the same as it was in the original?)
 
(Was that changed for PR or is it the same as it was in the original?)

Was what changed?

If you mean Steal not being very good: Steal basically never worked in the original FFIV either. I think FFV is the first game in the series with a Steal that's practical to use.
 

Peklo

Oh! Create!
(they/them, she/her)
Yeah. It fails often because of the level requirements dictating success rates, and as in III, the only thing to get with it are consumables that largely don't matter. Both of the respective 3D remakes added some desirable oddities to get with the command (Odin has useful things in both games), and IV on DS reworks Rubicante into closing his cloak if Edge attempts to steal from him (he carries nothing), preventing him from utilizing his strongest attacks.
 

Octopus Prime

Mysterious Contraption
(He/Him)
Yeah. It fails often because of the level requirements dictating success rates, and as in III, the only thing to get with it are consumables that largely don't matter. Both of the respective 3D remakes added some desirable oddities to get with the command (Odin has useful things in both games), and IV on DS reworks Rubicante into closing his cloak if Edge attempts to steal from him (he carries nothing), preventing him from utilizing his strongest attacks.
...huh

Did not know that
 

YangusKhan

does the Underpants Dance
(He/Him/His)
Because of how the damage formula works, Edge can do the most damage if you boost his Strength compared to everyone else (basically, any +Strength he gets counts double in the formula). He can also Steal most of the useful consumable items, if you know where to steal them from, but not in FF4 US because the item drop tables in that version are garbage. But he can steal things like Bacchus Wine, Silk Webs, Illusions (self-Blink), Sirens, Artemis Arrows (not important in PR but still), and all the elemental Fangs. This was before the series introduced the concept that Steal could/should get you unique items, so if that's your comparison point then you will be disappointed, but it is also not useless. Although with how frictionless FF4PR is, it might as well be.
 

Mightyblue

aggro table, shmaggro table
(He/Him/His)
IV PR down at around ~12 hours, nearly 100%. Only cheated by adding a shop mod that puts the rare exclusive drops (Rydia summons/pink tail/etc) in a few stores scattered around because lel screw grinding those for achievos.

Regular IV is pretty gentle as far as difficulty goes, and PR with it's doubled XP (or more) is even easier. I hit Zeromus in the mid 60s for everyone and I did no grinding, and ironically enough he was the only thing that threatened a wipe because of the screwy PR enemy AI. Eventually just put Rydia on item duty because those magic/summon counters are really not worth dealing with when the big Z has a bad habit of back to back Meteors and other party wide nonsense. Only missing the complete Bestiary and level-everyone-to-70 achievos, so I think I'm good for another year or two.
 

Regulus

Sir Knightbot
Regular IV is pretty gentle as far as difficulty goes, and PR with it's doubled XP (or more) is even easier.

Monster EXP is largely the same, as far as I can tell -- they actually cut the per-level EXP requirements in half. In practice, I don't think this affects the difficulty quite as much as you would think, due to the way the EXP curve works (and the fact that allies join/rejoin at fixed levels), but it still definitely makes a relatively easy game slightly easier.

I've seen a lot of people mention that monsters seem to get their turns less frequently in this version and I'm not entirely sure how true that is. I've been playing at the fastest battle speed and it's almost unmanageable sometimes.
 

YangusKhan

does the Underpants Dance
(He/Him/His)
I've seen a lot of people mention that monsters seem to get their turns less frequently in this version and I'm not entirely sure how true that is.
I distinctly remember my party getting 2 entire turns before an enemy did anything in the Magnetic Cave (and it was not a pre-emptive fight). I feel like that's basically impossible in the vanilla game unless you do some ridiculous grinding. Dunno how that compares to GBA/PSP though.
 
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Torzelbaum

????? LV 13 HP 292/ 292
(he, him, his)
For all of our time that they have wasted over the years the Cave Magnes enemies don't deserve to ever have a turn again.
 

Zef

Find Your Reason
(He/Him)
Was it the Magnetic Cave or the Sealed Cave where you'd get piles upon piles of Zubats that would Drain you for minutes on end for each of your characters' turns? I'd be thrilled if they fixed that for the Pixmaster.
 

YangusKhan

does the Underpants Dance
(He/Him/His)
Was it the Magnetic Cave or the Sealed Cave where you'd get piles upon piles of Zubats that would Drain you for minutes on end for each of your characters' turns? I'd be thrilled if they fixed that for the Pixmaster.
Both. And no, still potentially there in PR, but (see above) in my experience, it never happened to quite the same extent.
 

Peklo

Oh! Create!
(they/them, she/her)
The animations don't take as long, especially if you fast-forward through them, and whatever the specifics of the turn frequency under the hood in the remaster, it results in many enemy formations barely getting the chance to act before the battle's done. The Trap Doors never even targeted a party member, let alone sent them to the ninth dimension. There was nothing left of their ostensible design in how the game's internal workings handle the encounter.
 

4-So

Spicy
The Trapdoors targeted people in my playthrough but never got a chance to use ninth dimension because they died too quickly. The only time I actually saw ninth dimension was on the final Trapdoor, where I only attacked with Rydia (low damage output) so the Yellow Dragon would spawn. Otherwise, it would die before spawning the dragon. (That was the final bestiary entry I needed; I created a safety save my first time through the dungeon specifically for the purpose of grabbing the Yellow Dragon entry in the bestiary.)
 

Kazin

did i do all of that?
(he/him)
Making the trap doors not get any turns is an improvement imo, even if it makes the game way easier.

I really dislike FFIV lol
 

Mightyblue

aggro table, shmaggro table
(He/Him/His)
Yeah, if there's one actual misstep with these so far it's that the monster AI is just bad. Regular IV had it's issues with the way everything pegged off Cecil's AGI, but the ATB implementation here is just as bad (there's a real obvious system tick that happens regularly that halts everything, and apparently running is hardcoded as an interrupt check to the battle system because you can see the ATB bars stuttering to fill instead of their usual smooth flow). I shouldn't be eating two Big Bangs back to back if this was anything like the original, and it looks like there's no advanced logic to bosses like there should be; the big ticket scripting things are there for the Four Fiends/etc but everything else seems to be very basic and limited.
 
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