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RPG Backtrack: Episode 65 - Risky Gambits

JuMeSynJuMeSyn Code: KirinAdministrators
edited March 2012 in Latest Updates
There once was a place called Ivalice, that was filled with meanies and malice. Years it took to create, filling Square Enix's plate, but the result is one giant dish.
This is what I get for trying a limerick...
It's not what he's eating, but what's eating him that makes it ... sort of interesting.

Comments

  • JCServantJCServant Certified Polygameist RPGamer Staff
    edited February 2012
    And for those of you who aren't good at Limmericks, this podcast is about Final Fantasy XII. We also talk about Final Fantasy XII Revnent Wings, D&D Tactics for the PSP, and some bad games that came out two years ago that we'd rather forget. So get listening! We want your feedback :)
  • JuMeSynJuMeSyn Code: Kirin Administrators
    edited February 2012
    After actually seeing the finale of the game, I have to say the Star Wars series influences were undeniable in that climax - one in particular. All I needed was someone saying the entirely appropriate 'It's a trap!' to make clear how much is similar to the space battle of Endor.
    It's not what he's eating, but what's eating him that makes it ... sort of interesting.
  • Strawberry EggsStrawberry Eggs The Bemused Administrators
    edited February 2012
    Yeah, the original Devil Surivior had similar breast proportion for its female characters. Indeed, the only major characters with modest sizes are Haru and Midori. Comically, it looks like Haru's outfit doesn't fit her very well, as if it were made for one of the other characters. I also read a joke that the reason Midori's clothes fit her well is because she made them herself.

    Yes, I know that comment had nothing to do with Final Fantasy XII but...I never played it. :P
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  • ShayminShaymin The Gratitude Pokemon Full Members
    edited February 2012
    I've got to play FFXII at some point, hoping I'm more toward the Adrian end of the spectrum than the Nathan end.

    I had to rewind twice to catch this - did someone say the 10 million HP boss was the most in the game? Did Yiazmat not count since he's an optional mark?

    (Also, a boss with 50 million HP and a 7000 damage limit is - how you say - kind of a dick.)
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  • DarkRPGMasterDarkRPGMaster A Witness to Destruction Moderators
    edited February 2012
    Shaymin said:
    I've got to play FFXII at some point, hoping I'm more toward the Adrian end of the spectrum than the Nathan end.

    I had to rewind twice to catch this - did someone say the 10 million HP boss was the most in the game? Did Yiazmat not count since he's an optional mark?

    (Also, a boss with 50 million HP and a 7000 damage limit is - how you say - kind of a dick.)
    Not to mention that thing has a chance of inflicting instant death on your party with a physical attack, AND THERE'S NO WAY TO PREVENT IT FROM HAPPENING! I've never beaten him to this day, just due to the fact that he killed my entire party when he was down to his last 1/20th of his health. And then I found out about the glitch where you can get him stuck in the wall...something I haven't attempted to this day, but am willing to do just to put him behind me forever.
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  • omegabyteomegabyte He's just this guy, you know? RPGamer Staff
    edited February 2012
    Shaymin said:
    I've got to play FFXII at some point, hoping I'm more toward the Adrian end of the spectrum than the Nathan end.

    I had to rewind twice to catch this - did someone say the 10 million HP boss was the most in the game? Did Yiazmat not count since he's an optional mark?

    (Also, a boss with 50 million HP and a 7000 damage limit is - how you say - kind of a dick.)
    That's the one I was thinking of, actually, I just couldn't find him in my strategy guide at the time. I knew it was some obscene amount like that.
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  • JuMeSynJuMeSyn Code: Kirin Administrators
    edited February 2012
    That's funny, I could've sworn we had a bunch of people who felt strongly about this game one way or the other in the vicinity. Where'd they go?
    It's not what he's eating, but what's eating him that makes it ... sort of interesting.
  • DarkRPGMasterDarkRPGMaster A Witness to Destruction Moderators
    edited February 2012
    We had our fill of talking about it in the last thread.
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  • DravDrav A Serious Man Full Members
    edited February 2012
    Keep your podcast to an hour in length and I might actually be able to remember a few points that you brought up. By the two hour mark this stuff just becomes background noise.
  • JCServantJCServant Certified Polygameist RPGamer Staff
    edited February 2012
    ThroneofDravaris said:
    Keep your podcast to an hour in length and I might actually be able to remember a few points that you brought up. By the two hour mark this stuff just becomes background noise.
    Yeah, I used to think the show was a wee long. However, when I asked listeners a while back, they said they liked the length. I guess a number of them are listening on long drives, or at work. Being a work listener myself, I know I, personally, enjoy longer casts vs shorter ones. However, when it comes to videos, since I watch those at home while doing chores and the such, I abhor anything over 10 minutes. So, I understand you sentiment. In fact, we had actually fooled around with splitting the recordings into two seperate, shorter shows...usually with one show being the 'main event' and the 2nd show being our 'Blast From the Recent Past" and the such. It just didn't seem to go over well.

    So, now, we break the show into segments, usually by game (since we tend to cover anywhere from 2 to 5 games/show). Those breaks (usually with music transitions) give listeners a great stopping point. There's no reason you have to listen to the whole show at once. Just stop it at the end of the segment, and listen to the rest later. It's like you're getting 4 shows for one download! :)

    This has been the first show, in a while, where we spent so long talking about one game in particular (the conversation about FF12 went on, I believe, for nearly two hours). I could have pushed it faster, but, it's "Final Fantasy!" I'd be doing a disservice to the crew if I did. However, I did make sure to break it up, in editing, to about 30-45 minute segments. Then we had seperate segments for FF12 Advent Children, D&D Tactics and Blast from the Recent Past games.

    Anyway, that's our approach and thinkology towards the length of the show, right now. If enough people express a different opinion from what I've received in the past, we may revisit the format. Absolutely. I'm flexable.

    P.S. You think we're bad...I listen to a Pathfinder Podcast that goes on nearly six hours! hahahaha. Definately one to listen to in chunks.
  • LuptisLuptis New Member Full Members
    edited February 2012
    So its been awhile since I've played FFXII, but I think I agree with a lot of the things said here. I found the world itself to be way above anything I had seen in an FF before, it was huge with different countries and people. It didn't feel like each area was contrived for my party to wander through it on my journey to slay the ultimate evil. However I do somewhat agree with Nathan in that (probably due to me doing nearly every hunting quest) it felt very long and tedious at points. The gambit system was pretty fun overal and as you guys mention on some of the tougher fights I did have to go in and manually override them on some of the tougher fights(the hour long King Behemoth fight comes to mind). Not really a bad game, but lower on my list of Final Fantasy games.

    But on another note as you mentioned in this cast I'm gonna start something of a Backtrack "Backtrack" where I try to throw out something from one of the past shows I've been listening to. This one is from episode 9: Lunar, and while you hadn't take over yet Phil, I think Mr. Moehnke made his debut on this show. I'm a big fan of the Lunar games, which I picked up over 10 years ago back on my PlayStation, I had been playing Xenogears and the Final Fantasy games and the fact that it was just a plain old traditional RPG actually made it unique for me at the time. I really enjoyed the art direction, music, and the characters were all fun and likeable. I also think that Lunar 2 is one of the better sequels for any game, as I think it really expands upon the world from the first game while still having lots of little references.

    At the end of the cast the panel went around and stated their favorite character so I thought I'd wrap up my post by doing the same. I'd have to go with Lucia from Lunar 2, who I thought they didn't spend much time on. I like seeing characters really change over the course of a story, and not only does Lucia do this but its actually incorporated into the gameplay, which is not very common. When she first joins you she is basically a god, granted nearly all the power of the Goddess Althena. In the game this translates to her having more hit points than you will ever hope to have even at the end of the game and destroying the enemies you just struggled to handle alone. Then she loses all her power and is brought back to your level(being a divine being she actually is devoid of levels and stats). She is very wary of humans as she has never known them before and despite the fact that Hiro is helping her she doesn't understand why. Gameplay wise this means the never helps you cowers in the corner at buffing herself, if she just doesn't flat run away by herself. Eventually she warms up to the Hiro and will start to buff him as well. And by the end of the game, when she really feels she is a part of the party and wishes to help them with their struggles and not just accomplish her own mission, she will use all of the spells she has to aid and attack. I wish more games would have stuff like this as I think it really breaks down that disconnect some games have between their story and their gameplay.
  • JCServantJCServant Certified Polygameist RPGamer Staff
    edited February 2012
    Salutations, Luptis! Welcome to our boards!

    Hey, a Backtrack Backtrack is a great idea. It's something that's crossed my mind before! If you'd like, you can actually do that as a segment on ths show! All you have to do is email me an MP3 recording of your thoughts on the game. Alternatively, you can call our hotline and record your story quite easily over the phone lines (Details here) . I'm glad you like Lunar. It's one of my favorite JRPGs from the past (though I don't think I could play through it again...it was a bit slow). My wife and I still enjoy listening to music from the game.
  • XR2XR2 Member Full Members
    edited February 2012
    For Lunar, it's all about Ramus. ;)

    To make this more topical, I was spoiled by how well the characters were developed in lunar. They may have been more caricatured than recent FF characters, but they still felt more real and relate-able. The plot in FF12 just felt like a string of excuses to explore the world. I know it was kind of Ashe's story driving the plot, but it was never compelling.

    I loved the large world to explore, and the extra bits in every dungeon to go back and explore. If this were a PC game, and there was an editor, the world would make for a great setting for user created missions. But the main mission felt like the default mission from Neverwinter Nights, ie just enough to show you what's possible with the tools.

    Despite my initial misgivings, I did enjoy the gambit system. I'm glad that they are trying to address a key problem with random encounters. There are exceptions, but in many games, most enemies in random encounters fall in one or two hits. This results in all random encounters being pushovers, or allowing the monsters to hit just about as hard to be dangerous. In the latter case, it's possible to lose a battle thanks to one poorly timed critical hit or mistimed heal. The other option has been to drag out random encounters for far too long (See Xenosaga II). By automating most of the battle system, more blows can be traded in a reasonable amount of time, and the player is constantly involved watching for exceptions or unplanned occurrences that require adjustments. XIII was better than XII, but we couldn't have had the XIII battle system without first having XIIs.
  • reionprementereionpremente Member Full Members
    edited February 2012
    JuMeSyn said:
    That's funny, I could've sworn we had a bunch of people who felt strongly about this game one way or the other in the vicinity. Where'd they go?
    Whoops... wrong post. Sorry. =P
  • ToiletAndBowelsToiletAndBowels New Member Full Members
    edited February 2012
    I've been listening through old episodes of Backtrack and coming across the odd mention of The Dark Spire, have you guys featured it more fully in one of your episodes yet?
  • JCServantJCServant Certified Polygameist RPGamer Staff
    edited February 2012
    I believe Mike and I discussed it in detail on a "Blast from the Recent Past" section. (One day, I need to add the names of the games we cover in the secondary segments into the archive details).

    Long story short...it was the game that brought Mike and I together...because we were both playing it around the same time...and we both had similar challenges with it. It's super old school...to a fault. New Super Mario Bros and Pac-Man CE show how you can take old school ideas, polish them up for the 21st century and produce a very compelling experience. Dark Spire takes a lot of old school dungeon crawing, but doesn't polish up those areas which hold back the game experience. Getting through this game without an FAQ is an exercise in frustration, at best. Many things are super hidden, some classes and their qualifications are hidden...and, I mean, heck...the game doesn't even tell you how much damage a weapon does. When you buy a sword, you just have to HOPE it does more damage than that katana you were using.

    Mike and I helped each other get through the game...as painful as it was..... and supported each other emotionally through it.. each one affirming with the other that... yes...it was painful for at least one other human being...so we knew it wasn't just each one of us.

    So, Mike and I joke a lot about it (over and over again) .... while it has a lot of strengths offset those weaknesses to an extent (earning a 3/5 from myself in the end), it was a painful experience for all but the most hardcore old skool players. You can find out more by reading our reviews.

    Mike: http://www.rpgamer.com/games/other/nds/genmunotou/reviews/genmunotoustrev2.html
    Phil: http://www.rpgamer.com/games/other/nds/genmunotou/reviews/genmunotoustrev1.html
  • JuMeSynJuMeSyn Code: Kirin Administrators
    edited February 2012
    If you really must relive the experience of The Dark Spire, here's your episode. I saw the second ending but was in no mood to find the secret ????? floor for the third ending.
    It's not what he's eating, but what's eating him that makes it ... sort of interesting.
  • ToiletAndBowelsToiletAndBowels New Member Full Members
    edited March 2012
    Thanks, I started playing the Dark Spire through recently and I've got to the third level without it being as difficult as I was expecting however I just realised that I should have searched in every single of those seemingly empty rooms I went into as I'm missing keys and stuff.
  • JCServantJCServant Certified Polygameist RPGamer Staff
    edited March 2012
    It's really hard to play without a FAQ in hand.
  • ToiletAndBowelsToiletAndBowels New Member Full Members
    edited March 2012
    I had an FAQ, but I guess I just wasn't refering to it thoroughly enough. Being something of a masochist and being the age I am, I am really glad that there are developers out there making deliberately hard games that hark back to old classics, but at the same time the people who are going to appreciate such things are probably the people with less time for playing games, and less time & interest in checking every single wall for a secret entrance, and every weapon for it's damage dealing capabilities. As much as I enjoyed wandering about aimlessly in games when I was younger discovering secrets, hidden items, and just getting to grips with the peculiarities of whatever title, these days I just want to get on and play things because I have about 30 mins max/day for games. Like you said in the podcast this game really needed a manual & it's a shame that the size of modern game boxes don't allow for the vast manuals that came with a lot of games back in the 80s and 90s.

    Anyway, you guys should do an episode/feature about the best old manuals.
  • JCServantJCServant Certified Polygameist RPGamer Staff
    edited March 2012
    A couple of thoughts come to mind on this....

    You see, I'm OK with hard games (ala Megaman remakes) that harken back to the old days. However, good remakes know where to place the emphesis (The fun elements) and what to downplay (the totally frustrating things that weren't hard, just totally bad gameplay usually due to limitations or old school thinking).

    New Super Mario on the Wii is a good example, It's pretty hard in some areas, reminding me of the first SMB). But, it had save points...something NES Super Marios did not have.

    Dungeons with hidden goodies, and some hard gameplay...those were things we liked. But, I don't know of anyone who adored the fact that if you didn't find a very well hidden key you absoultely could not progress. I also don't know of anyone who was jumping up and down when it took 3 hours of grinding to gain one level because the boss on that floor would absolutely kill you if you weren't 10 levels higher than you are now.

    They did a great job capturing the atmosphere of games from that period...but some of those elements were best left in the past.
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