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Over the past 4 years SquareSoft has produced many RPG's that have brought many great elements to games on the PlayStation. They have created amazing graphics, like in Final Fantasy 6, a new unique battle system, like in Parasite Eve and Vagrant Story, and amazing stories that enthrall the player, such as Xenogears and Final Fantasy Tactics. Even with the great additions to their games, SquareSoft has left out a very important factor to some of their new games, character balance.
SquareSoft has also proved that they can make their games too easy by allowing players to become god-like. However, this trend did not start on the PlayStation, rather it started on the SNES with Final Fantasy 6 (3 US), Secret of Evermore, and a few more games.
In Final Fantasy 6, you would play through the game without much difficulty until you reached the World of Ruin, where everything changed. If you went to the trouble of getting Gogo, you got the single most powerful character in the game. With Gogo's Mimic command, you could cast the most powerful spell in the game for free and if you happened to have someone with Gem Box and Economizer cast it twice, Gogo could as well. Also, the Gem Box and Economizer called for the most unbeatable combo in the history of any SquareSoft game. You could cast Ultima, then Quick. Now you get to cast 4 spells, so just cast Ultima, Ultima, Ultima, then Quick again. See the combo? With the Economizer, the enemy will surely die because you only use up 4 MP a turn.
Final Fantasy 5, one of the games brought to America for the first time through Final Fantasy Anthology proved to be quite overpowered. When you attained Dragoon, you could do a great amount of damage and take very little due to being in the air most of the time. Traveler and Mimic also proved to be very overpowered classes. Once you mastered every class, Traveler could do incredible damage with X-Attack. A Mimic with Summon, X-Magic, and enough MP to cast Bahamut could take care of most fights, considering you have everyone as a mimic and you cast Bahamut twice, then mimic it until the enemy died.
Final Fantasy 7, one of the first RPG's on the PlayStation console, proved to be overpowering as well. For starters, you could get the most powerful limit break in the game about 10 hours into the game before getting to the second disc. You just have to blow some money at the Golden Saucer in the Battle Arena and boom, you can buy Omnislash. With a little extra time, you can even get to use it. Also, the most powerful spell in the game, Knights of the Round, is far overpowering. Personally, I like the final boss to be a struggle, but no, with Knights of the Round, the final boss of the game died in one casting.
Final Fantasy 8 was probably the easiest game to become overpowered in. The entire game follows a Junction system, which allows you to equip spells onto yourself to increase your stats, such as HP, Strength, Agility, etc... Though it's not much on the first disc, you can draw 100 Berserk spells from an enemy, giving you a nice Strength boost. On disc 2, you could go to the Shumi Village and get the spell Ultima for 5000 gil. Though you only get about 5 per draw, you can wait it out and get up to 100 Ultima, which will boost your HP to nearly 9000 or any stat to 255, and you can do it at level 13!!! Also, the level your characters are directly impacts the strength of your opponents, so the weaker you are, the weaker your enemies are.
Getting away from the Final Fantasy series, Chrono Cross was another overpowered game. It featured a new battle system that could let you run from any battle, yes any battle. With this available, you could just run from the battle to heal yourself, then enter the battle again and try again. With this system, you don't even have to die, unless the boss is so incredibly powerful that you just can't win. Also, once you get the Mastermune, the most powerful weapon in the game, enemies, including the final boss, were not hard to beat at all.
Another overpowered game is Legend of Mana. For starters, once you create a Platinum weapon, which takes just a few hours, you become so overpowered that the rest of the game is a joke.
Secret of Evermore, a game released on SNES had, like most SS games, a god-like weapon. With the Horn Spear, you could pretty much kill any regular enemy with no trouble. Once you get the Cryo Shells for the Bazooka, you could use a Call Bead for Aura, which would give you the ability to kill the final boss with no trouble.
As you can see, most of the RPG's released by SquareSoft have overpowering parts to them. Most either consist of a spell or a weapon, but both can be obtained at a fairly low level. With the way SquareSoft keeps making their games easier, they might as well just get rid of the battle systems and just have the character walk around the world talking to people. If something doesn't change, we might actually play a game, like Final Fantasy 18, that is just a story with no difficulty. In my opinion, old SquareSoft games, like Final Fantasy, Chrono Trigger, and Final Fantasy 4 proved to have a great deal of difficulty to them. Chrono Trigger had an overpowering New Game+, but you had to beat the game first to use that.
As for the editorial, the best way to illustrate how the editorial lost points is to almost rebut it, by asking how many of these overpowering abilities were obtained without a FAQ or very lengthy searching/experience building. Most all of the author's examples are in this vein - yes, in FF5 a Mimic with X-Magic and Summon might be overpowered, but finding the Mimic class and gaining the necessary AP to use that skill combination would take an extremely long time - it's a reward of sorts.
Also Final Fantasy 6 having amazing graphics is very much to interpetation, simply cause he does not mention what it was compared with. Comparing a SNES graphic system to a PS2 one would raise a few eyebrows to say the least.
While the author does make a good point - many RPGs today are too easy - the actual arguments involved could have been improved. As such, this editorial gets a C.
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