Graphics good, gameplay bad

by Melissa Caruthers 

"Graphics good, gameplay bad." (In defense of "The opinion not taken") Author: Melissa Caruthers ( I'd like to start by saying that when it comes to "Old School" and "New School" RPGamers, I consider myself to be a little bit of both.. I appreciate many of the classics as well as the new titles, but more importantly, above all else, I believe that a game should be fun. After all, you should be able to cherish whatever you can when ploping down your 40$ only to find out that you have purchased something that you have to force yourself to play. This is why I have a problem with many of the overhyped "benchmark" rpgs of the new and old. They weren't fun. Plain and simple.

On that note, I think it's time to tear into the editorial now.

I think that Final Fantasy VII was one of the greatest RPG's to ever grace my television set. And I also believe that Final Fantasy VI was one of the worst. Why you ask? Is it because I hate 2 Dimensional sprites and tiled backgrounds with a passion? Is it that I started off my RPGaming adventure with FFVII and have nothing else to build on? (My first RPG was Seiken Densetsu for the SNES) Is it because I absolutely hate the way those little characters jump back and forth during the battles, autistically mashing away at monsters with what appears to be a giant blue stick of sorts? No. It has to do with the fact that FFVI was a very boring game, with a horrible plot, pointless characters (and little development for the characters who actually serve purpose), childish themes, and a overall fun factor that is eqivilant to twirling around in my wheelchair counting the dots on my ceiling. I literally felt I needed psychoanylisis to determine if there was something wrong with me for being able to withstand playing through the entire game.

Let's start with the story (or lack therof). About half of the characters in the game are pointless. Gogo, Umaro, Gau, Strago, Mog and Relm all have nothing to do with the story. None of the characters have any motivation for joining your quest to save the world at all. And since there are so many characters, it takes away from the characters that are actually worth developing. The end result means that any form of character development in the game comes from about 3 scenes partaining to each character, most of which don't really tell you much. FF7 has a firm central plotline where every character is involved in the story. Not to mention the fact that the "main character" Terra, while being one of the few characters I was actually interested in, is just as unecessary as Gogo or any of the other fillers once the world of balance has been completed. The whole story has a childish theme to it. Comparing Kefka to Sephiroth is a joke (pun intended). Kefka was almost like a parody of the traditional RPG villan. And the nintendo censorship doesn't help the situation at all. 80% of the diolouge in this game can be taken right out of "The cat in the hat" from Dr. Seuss. Well, maybe that's a bit overstated, but I'm sure you get the point.

Ah, gameplay. FFVI's supposedly redeeming trait. Let's check it out.... Oooooo.... While none of the FF games are all that challenging, it is pretty rediculous to have relics which give you the ability to cast an ultima spell for the cost of one Mp, or the ability to attack 8 times in a row doing close to 80,000 HP worth of damage at max level. The truth is, the gameplay really isn't that different from any other Final Fantasy. You can teach any character in the game the same set of magic spells, just as in most other FF's. Games like FFIV and FFIX stand out because your characters aren't nearly complete clones of each other.

But there are some positives. The first half of the game actually flows pretty smoothly, with some exceptions. And the soundtrack, although pretty well done is nowhere near FFVII or FFV caliber.And the game had A LOT of potential. And I'm not saying that FFVII is without flaws, because there are many. But when you look at the total package of FFVI, it just doesn't deliver.

If I had a hat, it would most certainly go off Mr. Ralston. He was straightforward and to-the-point and expressed his opinion in the same way that anyone else would. I certainly wouldn't enjoy being critisized for it and I don't think anyone else disagrees with me on that. And all of the rebuttals to directed to him seem to focus on how new school games don't appreciate anything that doesn't have good graphics (I personally don't see how FFVII's graphics were good at all, but it had an earth-shattering story), and how insane it is to have your own opinion. I've never seen anyone who argued FFVII was good because of it's graphics and nothing else, so the only people really focusing on the graphics are the old schoolers. I've rarely seen anyone give a legitamite reason why FFVI is better than VII (I know I'll get flames for that) that didn't sound like "The story was to complicated. I hate thinking. It makes my head hurt." But then again, I might get lucky one day.

I guess that's my opinion.

Original Editorial : The Merits of Final Fantasy VI
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