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FelixSH

(He/Him)
There are dozens of us! Dozens!
Similar to Peklo, I was pretty critical of FF IV in my thread, despite enjoying the game, myself. But that thread was an exception, and explicitely there for criticism of different kinds. Elsewise, I will not talk too much about me not getting that much out of it (I guess here is another exception). I feel a bit bad about it, considering how much people here love the game. And I still think it does some stuff really well (especially the combination of game mechanics and storytelling - having Tellah lose stat points, when leveling up, is genius).

There is a lot to like about this game, and I understand why people love it. But there are also people here, who don't get much out of it.

The trap doors, and the whole dungeon, were really obnoxious, though. Having someone die in every single fight makes me think of it, as the one bad dungeon in the game.
 

YangusKhan

does the Underpants Dance
(He/Him/His)
Having someone die in every single fight makes me think of it, as the one bad dungeon in the game.
There are two ways to avoid being sent to the Ninth Dimension: kill it/make it transform before it gets a second turn, or cast Wall/Reflect on the person it targets.
 

Mightyblue

aggro table, shmaggro table
(He/Him/His)
FF IV will always have a soft spot in my heart for introducing me to the concept that games can not only have narratives but also be focused on them as a wee lad, and that's not a small thing. But yeah, coming to it with more critical eyes it's honestly surprising how bare and short it is compared to its later sibs and how much of what is there is just hastily cribbed references and tropes.
 

conchobhar

What's Shenmue?
Similar to Peklo, I was pretty critical of FF IV in my thread, despite enjoying the game, myself. But that thread was an exception, and explicitely there for criticism of different kinds. Elsewise, I will not talk too much about me not getting that much out of it (I guess here is another exception). I feel a bit bad about it, considering how much people here love the game. And I still think it does some stuff really well (especially the combination of game mechanics and storytelling - having Tellah lose stat points, when leveling up, is genius).

There is a lot to like about this game, and I understand why people love it. But there are also people here, who don't get much out of it.
I'll admit that was a pretty glib post. I don't want to make a habit of ragging on FF4 or turning my dislike of it into my defining trait on these forums; I just saw an opportunity to make a crack and took it. Perhaps unwise.

I agree there's some really smart, interesting things going on in the game, especially how the gameplay and game mechanics are so entwined with the storytelling of the game.
 

Sprite

(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.
Oh, that’s what that quick freeze is. I was worried something was wrong with my computer.
 

Mightyblue

aggro table, shmaggro table
(He/Him/His)
Nah, it's a thing with a lot of shoddy ATB implementations; instead of assigning status checks/upkeep to the various actors' (PCs/monsters/etc) ticks, you just bundle it into a single tick that happens at regular intervals. In a well coded engine that's usually pretty seamless and doesn't cause too many hiccups, but for whatever reason anything that has to interrupt the ATB timers here is coded to stop everything until that interrupt is resolved (which is also probably why the ATB gauge stutters when you hold down the shoulders to run).

There's an obvious gap between the careful design choices of the non-mechanical elements and the almost slapdash mechanics implementations running throughout the whole PR series, and I'm starting to seriously wonder if S-E itself was only really involved for art/content decisions and left the actual 'game' design to whatever code-for-hire studios worked on these.
 
It's not that I dislike FF4, but I do have massive levels of apathy for it. I know for a lot of people who came across it when it was new/contemporary, it was probably a magical experience. As someone who came to it way after the fact, I don't have that nostalgia. And while I can appreciate on an intellectual level what this game did for its audience and its medium and the craft that went into it. I also can't really put myself into a young-me mindset as an adult to experience it like many of you guys had the benefit of. It's an old game, with a simple story and primitive visuals/audio. It just doesn't grab the same way that newer stuff that has more tools at its disposal to grab at players.
 

RT-55J

definitely not a robot
(He/Him)
I'm starting to seriously wonder if S-E itself was only really involved for art/content decisions and left the actual 'game' design to whatever code-for-hire studios worked on these.
IIRC the credits are pretty clear that these remasters are basically done by Tose, and those folks were pretty much responsible for all of the 2D ports of the FF series since the GBA era (IIRC, again), so it's not like they're strangers to reimplementing this stuff.

My guess, if anything, is that trying to release 6 remakes (practically) at once is a pretty hard thing to do right. I hate to imagine how much scrambling must be happening behind the scenes right now to get things in a releasable state for 5 & 6.
 

Sprite

(He/Him/His)
That tick freeze is the first thing that has really taken the shine off this project for me. None of the other problems bothered me, but I find this one very distracting. Here’s hoping they fix it.
 

Regulus

Sir Knightbot
but for whatever reason anything that has to interrupt the ATB timers here is coded to stop everything until that interrupt is resolved

Is this new? I'm pretty sure this has been a thing in pretty much every version that has a visible ATB bar. Possibly even the original. I think the most common culprit is "hidden" actions, where parts of the battle script are occurring without overtly alerting the player.
 

Mightyblue

aggro table, shmaggro table
(He/Him/His)
Is this new? I'm pretty sure this has been a thing in pretty much every version that has a visible ATB bar. Possibly even the original. I think the most common culprit is "hidden" actions, where parts of the battle script are occurring without overtly alerting the player.
Nope, but as I said above the better implementations hide it or space out the upkeep work so that you don't bring the game to a halt while it applies regen/poison ticks and so on.
 

Beowulf

Son of The Answer Man
(He/Him)
It's OK, we all have that one FF.
I mean, I adore FF4 because I got it in 6th grade and it was such a massive upgrade over the NES rpgs we got that it blew my mind. I...don't quite get everyone's overwhelming love for FF5. I didn't imprint on it early (I didn't play it until college) and it always felt too grindy and too dependent on missables and secrets. Personal preferences, yo!
 

4-So

Spicy
I mean, I adore FF4 because I got it in 6th grade and it was such a massive upgrade over the NES rpgs we got that it blew my mind. I...don't quite get everyone's overwhelming love for FF5. I didn't imprint on it early (I didn't play it until college) and it always felt too grindy and too dependent on missables and secrets. Personal preferences, yo!
I first played FF5 in the Final Fantasy Anthology set on PSX, tried playing through it a few times, but didn't actually succeed until a about three or four years ago playing the GBA version. There's a lot I like about it but I agree with the general sentiments; I find the game to be a bit of a slog with an OST that's a step down from FF4. I'll end up playing through the PR version (since I already bought it and all) but I'll almost certainly do it with a guide.
 

Mogri

Round and round I go
(he)
Staff member
Moderator
FF5 isn't at all grindy if you play Fiesta rules. The problem is that FF5 rewards staying in one or two jobs over the length of the game, which is at odds with what you generally want out of a job system.
 

YangusKhan

does the Underpants Dance
(He/Him/His)
FF5 isn't at all grindy if you play Fiesta rules. The problem is that FF5 rewards staying in one or two jobs over the length of the game, which is at odds with what you generally want out of a job system.
"Rewards you" is debatable, imo. The capstone ability for most jobs is just "Equip X" with the hidden bonuses of stat gains equal to that job (and then the permanent Freelancer passive bonus). I'd say that doesn't really apply to 95% of the game and only matters if you're trying to overpower the end-game with a bunch of Freelancers. Most of the game you're rewarded enough just mixing and matching job abilities learned at less-than-max job level. There are a few exceptions, of course.
 

Mogri

Round and round I go
(he)
Staff member
Moderator
It's not even about the capstones. It's about spreading yourself too thin. A third or fourth job does a character little good unless you're passing mastery to a Freelancer. Meanwhile, basically any given job is good enough to use for the entire game without it being a challenge run (given a minimum level of common sense).
 

Torzelbaum

????? LV 13 HP 292/ 292
(he, him, his)
FF5 isn't at all grindy if you play Fiesta rules. The problem is that FF5 rewards staying in one or two jobs over the length of the game, which is at odds with what you generally want out of a job system.
So is this something that FFT does better?
 

Mogri

Round and round I go
(he)
Staff member
Moderator
So is this something that FFT does better?
Well, I'm biased, obviously.

That said, they're different approaches. You could as easily say FF3 is worse than FF5 because it forces you into specific jobs as you could say FF3 is better than FF5 because you're free to pivot from job to job. The notable disadvantages of the FFT approach:
  • Equipment is chapter-locked. A Lancer will be barehanded until chapter 2.
  • A unit is very weak in a new job until you get an ability. Most jobs have at least one action ability that costs 100 JP or less, but a Bard or Dancer will have only the secondary ability set for the first battle or two.
  • Because you can learn abilities in any order, there's very little reason to grab some abilities (e.g. a Wizard doesn't really need four levels of Thunder/Fire/Blizzard).
  • There's no way to determine the prerequisites for a job before it's unlocked. You are unlikely to discover several of the jobs in a casual playthrough.
 

Purple

(She/Her)
10-2 I think honestly had the best take on the job system. You have buying abilities with AP all FFT style, which feels better than 5's slow grind, and then the compromise between "I only have this when I am this" and "if I play for 90 hours I can be a god among freelancers" is "I can equip a whole big set of jobs and switch between them mid-combat."

Bring that back it was excellent.
 

conchobhar

What's Shenmue?
10-2 I think honestly had the best take on the job system. You have buying abilities with AP all FFT style, which feels better than 5's slow grind, and then the compromise between "I only have this when I am this" and "if I play for 90 hours I can be a god among freelancers" is "I can equip a whole big set of jobs and switch between them mid-combat."

Bring that back it was excellent.
They did, it's Final Fantasy XIII
 

Lokii

It's always time for burgers
(He/Him)
Staff member
Moderator
I thought FF Dimensions had a really elegant take on 5’s job system. Too bad it’s locked to mobile.
 

Kirin

Summon for hire
(he/him)
They did, it's Final Fantasy XIII
Yeah, but there's only six jobs and you don't get to play dress-up.

(I do like XIII's system, though it clicked even better for me in XIII-2, and I can definitely see the through-line from X-2, but it did streamline away a bunch of the fun-weird-job-fluff frills.)
 

Torzelbaum

????? LV 13 HP 292/ 292
(he, him, his)
The notable disadvantages of the FFT approach:
  • Equipment is chapter-locked. A Lancer will be barehanded until chapter 2.
  • A unit is very weak in a new job until you get an ability. Most jobs have at least one action ability that costs 100 JP or less, but a Bard or Dancer will have only the secondary ability set for the first battle or two.
  • Because you can learn abilities in any order, there's very little reason to grab some abilities (e.g. a Wizard doesn't really need four levels of Thunder/Fire/Blizzard).
  • There's no way to determine the prerequisites for a job before it's unlocked. You are unlikely to discover several of the jobs in a casual playthrough
I can't really argue with your first point there. A character could use an Equip weapon type skill from another class but that's not really the best solution. FF5 usually allows most classes to use at least a couple of weapon types so I don't think this as much of an issue there. And now I'm trying to remember how weapon availability was handled in FFTA.

But for that 2nd point - a unit in a new job can equip a secondary ability to help them get started with learning abilities in a new job. So I guess that is sort of like the "job change sickness" from FF3 DS.

I also can't really argue with your 3rd point either. There are ways that could have been addressed in the design but those would fundamentally change a lot of how FFT works.

For that 4th point - I am trying to remember if the enemies play by the same rules as you when it comes to job unlocks. If they did then that could provide a clue to the player as to how to get someone into that job. I also forgot how the shops work - do they show all equipment even if a unit can't equip it? I am also trying to remember if FFTA provided any in-game information about how to unlock new jobs.
 

Mogri

Round and round I go
(he)
Staff member
Moderator
FFTA largely progression-locks equipment. You can break some of that sequence when you get access to Steal Weapon, but that's not until fairly late.

FFT shops show all of their equipment, and I think the help menu for equipment shows all of the job abbreviations for any piece of equipment. So that gives you a total number of jobs and a hint to their identity, but the job unlocks aren't especially intuitive in general (Monk -> Lancer?).
 
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