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For those who believe Final Fantasy isn't as good as it used to be, what do you think made the classics so great in comparison?

KiteGr

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Apr 27, 2011
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[Troll mode on]
The classics are so great thanks to not having voice-over.
[Troll mode off]
That might not be entirely incorrect...
As I said in my post in page 4, these games are made in Japan with Japanese writers. Like most cases where they have to translate and/or dub from Japanese, the end result ends up sounding dumbed down and childish, even when they actually bother to lip-synch the English cast. In the old days we where thankful to have a few polygons look remotely like humans, and having any voice-acting at all was a big bonus.
Now the wester games give amazing performances, when the Japanese counterpart get lost in translation.

So to answer to your troll.
Yes and No! The voice-acting is one of the aspects that cheapen the recent games, but at the same time, having no voice acting wouldn't make them any better.
What the old games had, that made you think they where better with no voice acting, was the low expectations and stylized visuals, so you where willing to overlook the bad acting/writing and cartoonish characters. That was an age where your own imagination dictated how the scene plays out beyond the basic graphics and text dialogue. ...it was like reading a book.

 
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FStubbs

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Aug 29, 2010
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One or more of the following:

  • The lowered graphics meant more of the game played in your head using your imagination to fill in the gaps.
    • As a corollary to this, for those who hate anime, the look of the earlier Final Fantasy games meant they could imagine these games as Western as they wanted them to be
  • Sakaguchi not directing the later Final Fantasy games
  • Final Fantasy moving more and more away from medieval fantasy type plots, culminating in whatever that boy band was supposed to be in FF15
  • Finally, starting with FF6 Final Fantasy got into a pattern of massively re-inventing the wheel every outing. Liking one Final Fantasy game was no longer as much of an indication on whether you'd like the next one. So fans of the original games are less likely to like later games (though they might like one or two as the pendulum randomly swings between installments)
  • Finally 2, one predictable way that pendulum is swinging is trying to appeal to Western audiences. But unless they go full wRPG with it, that will never work, and the result is a hybrid with no soul that fewer people like.
 
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That might not be entirely incorrect...
As I said in my post in page 4, these games are made in Japan with Japanese writers. Like most cases where they have to translate and/or dub from Japanese, the end result ends up sounding dumbed down and childish, even when they actually bother to lip-synch the English cast. In the old days we where thankful to have a few polygons look remotely like humans, and having any voice-acting at all was a big bonus.
Now the wester games give amazing performances, when the Japanese counterpart get lost in translation.

So to answer to your troll.
Yes and No! The voice-acting is one of the aspects that cheapen the recent games, but at the same time, having no voice acting wouldn't make them any better.
What the old games had, that made you think they where better with no voice acting, was the low expectations and stylized visuals, so you where willing to overlook the bad acting/writing and cartoonish characters. That was an age where your own imagination dictated how the scene plays out beyond the basic graphics and text dialogue. ...it was like reading a book.

I agree 100% to everything you wrote.
 
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Griffon

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Oct 28, 2017
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FF6 isn't as well written as you remember. The dialogues are very tropey, simplistic and dumb (even when retranslated), with voice acting it wouldn't be any better than the worst modern FF dialogues. That and the FF6 battle system is complete mess, a collage of random ideas that barely work together. It's a mess.

Weirdly, on the other end, Chrono Trigger and Seiken 3 did age much better.
In the case of Seiken 3, it's too bad the motion capture is so goofy in the Trials of Mana remake, because otherwise this game got it pitch perfect and it just works with the original script and maps.

So.... yes and no.
 
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rahuljx

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May 6, 2011
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Its a combination of things. I think Uematsu’s music was the soul of the classic games and a big part of the FF feel. The ambient music stuff doesn’t work for FF titles. Who can forget the mood the Terra theme creates with the 3 magitek armours advancing towards Narshe? It said everything about the FF6 setting.

Next the stories. FFX was the last good story of the offline games. The classic games had a lot of heart. Its kind of like how the new Star Wars movies just haven’t been able to recapture the magic of the original trilogy. The stories of the newer games had potential but were never really ever fully realised. I refused to buy the ffxv dlc just because of how pissed I was that they shipped such an unfinished story.

Lastly I do think FF games are spending too much time on reinventing the wheel every single game and perhaps therefore the final product suffers. FF4 to FF9, the best games in the series, had the ATB and then a different skill/magic system. Now every game has both a different battle system and skill system. I think they need to settle on 1 battle system for at least 3-4 games before switching. Also shocking they have never reused some of the battle systems for non ff games. Eg I loved the gambit system, not for an FF game but other new franchises should be designed around it.
 
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Amiga

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IMOO basics of an RPG are:

progression: leveling up, discovering skills. equipment.
these kept getting reduced and "streamlined" more and more since FF10. the best was FF6 because you can combine equipment and skills to stack combo attacks.

exploration:
plenty of the game/story was outside the main plot. this makes the world feel huge and alive. putting everything on the liner plot makes the extended world feel pointless and dead. 6 and 7 were the best at this.


story/characters:
this goes up and down from one game to another. in general the pacing has been consistently bad since 12. the games had good ideas but scripting them was awful. 15 would have been much better if all the character content was in the game. 50% of the character development was on several other media. who the $%# splits several parts from the middle of the game as DLC. just do epilogues like normal people.
AFAIK in 12 the main character was originally Basch, that's why you can find more of story revolves around him. Vaan was a tack on that disrupted the whole dynamic.


other note: Last Odyssey is one of the top5 FF games.
 
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Arachnid

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Jan 31, 2019
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Characters, story, turn based combat

Nothing ever really reached the heights of FF6 again for me.
 

carlosrox

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May 19, 2020
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Music first and foremost.

Then character/art style/setting.

FF16 looks more in line with what I want from the series. FF7, 8, 13, 15 = no thanks.
 

Sub Boss

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Mar 6, 2013
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imo its mostly a budget/writting problem, after FFX, VA and cinematics made the series overdramatic and cheesy, and Square continued using that game as 'inspiration.

come the HD generation and Square Enix made FFX again, but this time it didn't worked as well and was crazy expensive to develop. Versus XIII was also a failure as well as FFXIV at first, so they ended up making cheap sequels to XIII it was a mess.

Last gen they rebooted FFXV and made something most casual fans would enjoy, then delivered FFVII part1 and fixed FFXIV, KH3 also turned out well, not perfect by any means but a few steps forward fixing the FF brand.

This gen seems like they are serious, FFXVI, FFVIIP2, and other interesting projects should keep the brand relevant.

Its kinda similar to Capcom pn PS3Wii360,projects going from good to ok to hilariously bad, except Square Enix are slow as a snail so they will take longer to improve
 
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El Sueño

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Jan 19, 2020
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Turns.

I used to set the full attack of my party, then I sat, drank Coke and ate Doritos, meanwhile i watched the show that I wanted and analyzed the results.

Now everything is pushing x or square or something.
How can enjoy the show? How can i eat My Doritos? Where is the full experience?
 
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Kumomeme

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Mar 20, 2017
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  1. Consider hiring western writers. The dialogues of most characters tend to appear Anime-ish and Stereotyp-y. It would be easier to have a proper writer write human dialogue, and then translate that to Japanese. The characters will sound more like humans and less like... "characters", and from the Japanese's perspective, it'll appear as a translated Hollywood movie.

they probably no need to hire western writer to fix this problem but what they need is really good localization team. FFXIV for example has Koji Fox handle it and he collaborate with main japanese writer since beginning of development (not when everything is all finished). he involved in for game storyline, dialogue, lore, location name and all the way to the item name and description in game. even japanese localization team end up use his description since it was way 'interesting'. he even involve in writing quest, storyline and even soundtrack lyric. he even take inspiration from real world for character name and race accent in the game. in interview he stated that he basically sit right beside main planner. those who play FFXIV know whats its like in game dialogue, item or quest description, setting, character name, song lyric etc is. it is very western-ish compared to other FF before and after it (aside 12).


sure, FFXIV still has tons of anime-ish stuff in it but thats what type of game it is. also in the end, FF still a japanese game and we cant elliminate the japanese stuff in it completely. but atleast from what we see in FFXIV for example, the dialogue, character name, the setting, town, culture, lore, storyline and stuff we can see strong heavy western influence( with british accent too). Heavensward for example has strong influence of western medieval noble house, church, dragons, politicals, religion while Shadowbringers has influence from Utopia books. other than XIV, we have FF12, Tactics and other game by Yasumi Matsuno as another good example. even ARR/HW writer Kazutoyo Maehiro also has strong western influence. there is tons of japanese writer that has strong influence of western culture but what they need probably is good localization/translation and the team need to involve from beginning.
 
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