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  3. This game is really good at setting mood (SPOILERS)

User Info: Gaming_Esquire

Gaming_Esquire
1 month ago#1
Have played several dozen times and it never ceases to amaze me how emotionally stirring this game can be. It does an incredible job creating a mood, a vibe. Especially for an old game, one that might be considered unpolished and rough around the edges to a modern gamer.

There are parts that just get me everytime, no matter how many times I play. There are legitimately tense/creapy moments like Jenova at Shina HQ, Gi Natak's face on the wall in Cosmo Canyon, Demon Wall. There are kinda depressing and melancholic vibes in Midgar. "Anxious Heart" is an apt title. There are emotionally stirring moments like the Seto bit... God that gives me chills every. Single. Time.

Then there are the sad bits. Man, the Barret/Dyne scenario is just great. The execution maybe could have been a bit smoother, but wow, it really is a nice piece of tragic theater. Remember the time and context we're talking here (97). Then of course Aerith's death scene. Its moving even after all this time. Games just haven't really come close to topping this moment for me. Have Yuffie and Tifa in your party for the best scene. Yuffie's reaction is just gut wrenching... it really pulls on my heartstrings. First of all it's not rushed. It's long! She gives the Wutai salute, then goes over to cloud and tries not to cry, but then she just totally breaks down. It's a realistic reaction for a teenager. This ninja who stole your s*** and is always sassing back and acting bored or funny and light hearted has the most emotional reaction out of any character in the party. She cries hard into cloud's chest and then tries to compose herself and then runs off crying. Tifa runs her hand through aerith's hair and under her cheek then runs off crying and/or holding back tears, it's just touching.

Sometimes when a part is coming up I've played so many times i just want to rush past it but it never fails to pull me in. I think the music is a huge, huge factor. Uematsu-san's pure musical genius is not possible to overstate. Oh my God his work on the series is just mindblowing but 7 is the high water mark for me. Every single track, even the throw away tracks, transcend time and space.

This game is so very good.
Xenogears Sound and Drama Project
https://youtu.be/Nf8x6GtqIas
(edited 1 month ago)

User Info: loseless

loseless
1 month ago#2
The thing is, the game is not unpolished nor does it have a rough finish. It was very well made a has a surprising amount of detail to it, more than most "modern" games have. It does not look impressive by today's standards, but the story-telling, detail and immersion are top of the line and that's what matters to the experience of enjoying it.

The one major problem 7 always had was the bad translation. And the newer versions have dealt with that, so, unless you are playing the PS1 version, you got the best of it.

FFs tended to be like that. And although some point to the PS3 and latter instalments as the beginning of the end, the up until then, the games were pretty much an accomplishment in game design. Granted I do not enjoy all of them nor feel like all creative decisions were successful, but that's just me. They still tend to fit the game and if people usually find them enjoyable, then they must have done more good than harm.

User Info: Gaming_Esquire

Gaming_Esquire
1 month ago#3
loseless posted...
The thing is, the game is not unpolished nor does it have a rough finish. It was very well made a has a surprising amount of detail to it, more than most "modern" games have. It does not look impressive by today's standards, but the story-telling, detail and immersion are top of the line and that's what matters to the experience of enjoying it.

The one major problem 7 always had was the bad translation. And the newer versions have dealt with that, so, unless you are playing the PS1 version, you got the best of it.


Soooo.... the translation was rough and unpolished originally, which was subsequently smoother out and polished.

Anyway, I primarily mean the translation/localization was a bit rough around the edges, and that modern games are sometimes thrown off by the Lego block arms and the three different kinds of character models (battle, field and cutscene). Some might find the prerendered background an issue too. Let's be clear, I'm not complaining. As one tiny little aspect of my post pointed out, some modern day gamers might be put off by it.

Now back to the main purpose of my post please... ;)
Xenogears Sound and Drama Project
https://youtu.be/Nf8x6GtqIas

User Info: Kigalas

Kigalas
1 month ago#4
Gaming_Esquire posted...
Now back to the main purpose of my post please... ;)

Gushing? I’ll never understand the love for it, probably because its supposed “greatness” has been shoved down my throat countless times. If it doesn’t hook you it’s pretty damn average with poor jrpg elements.
Playing: FFVII - Getting huge materia; DQV - Lofty peak; Rock Band 4 - Expert Guitar lvl 42, 787/1899 played, 671 5+ stars
Up next: FFX-2, DQVII

User Info: manmouse

manmouse
1 month ago#5
That’s something I love about these games with technological limitations.

If you wanted to show that there was a presence of sadness in the room, you can’t just zoom in on a few frowning faces.
Instead, you gotta think about the lighting and color scheme, the melody and harmony in the music and the timbre of the instruments involved, overall you have to communicate these emotions through creative means. And that makes way for some real artistry.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-b18HMqJW5A
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nt1-XWiMveY

User Info: BreakevenCloud

BreakevenCloud
1 month ago#6
manmouse posted...
That’s something I love about these games with technological limitations.

If you wanted to show that there was a presence of sadness in the room, you can’t just zoom in on a few frowning faces.
Instead, you gotta think about the lighting and color scheme, the melody and harmony in the music and the timbre of the instruments involved, overall you have to communicate these emotions through creative means. And that makes way for some real artistry.


This. I just finished a VI run and it’s still amazing how expressive they made those sprites.
Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem

User Info: loseless

loseless
1 month ago#7
There's a difference between visuals and aesthetics. Modern games have better graphics and more advanced visuals, but not better aesthetics per se.

The one remarkable thing from the PS1 FFs is that they have very defined and rich aesthetics. The backgrounds, the chromatic schemes, the themes, sound design, music compositions, etc. All fits a specific aesthetic.

The conjugation of all these factors can result in a beautiful game, even if the style doesn't agree with us.

Some examples:

Diablo II had a very dark atmosphere. The lack of colour and deep sound made for a very eerie experience and that was the goal. If the game had been made in the MMO style of the late 2000s it would have been rainbow-coloured with over the top sounds that wouldn't have allowed for the same experience.

Borderlands has a very strange design. The mixture of post-apocalyptic cartoonish style with a western feel make the game very unique and distinctive. The dark humour and willingness not to take itself very serious also contribute to a unique gameplay experience.

Kingdoms of Amalur is another peculiar game. The rich a beautiful environments, the ambient and sound design, and, primarily, the character models, combine in a clearly fantastical world that while somewhat grounded, coexists with highly fantastical elements.

I could go on and address games from Obsidian, Bethesda or Bioware, but you get the point.

Final Fantasy games have, since VI, been clearly marked by very defined aesthetic choices. From VII, where sci-fi meets tradition with a focus on the future and sustainability; VIII, mixing romance and duty with a contemporary world feeling closing on the dystopian at times; IX combining a romantic medieval feeling with a more humane and philosophical approach to story progression and characters. They were always crafted in a way that intended players to experience, to feel certain things during gameplay.

Technology only adds opportunities to do that, but better hardware dosn't mean that it will be easier to do. It is an art and technology doesn't make art "better", only easier to reproduce.

I could give examples about this until the cows come home, but address a few ones: the Star Wars prequels were universally criticized for using too much green screen and CGI, especially when the original movies were full of practical effects, models and shot in real locations. Even if the visuals are realistic, the human eye can catch CGI easily and it detracts from the experience, because nothing feels real.

One of the consequences of great graphics is that games have been paying less attention to the story telling elements, especially the overt ones. It is a symptom of a new generation of developers and videogames evolving from a niche market to a world-wide industry.

The EAs of the gaming world don't really care about providing unique experiences. They care only in creating a competitive multiplayer game that has micro-transactions, loot boxes and other features that make players spend way too much money on things that should have been included in the game to begin with. And this leaves little time for writing great stories, or adjusting parts of the game to reflect events in the story, or to re-record voice clips to better suit the moods of specific parts of the game.

Games are becoming more cinematic and if the RPGs in the 90s and early 00s were like books coming to life, nowadays, RPGs seem more like movies. The sad part is that they tend to be Michael Bay movies...

There will always be great games that strive to be works of art. But that's the exception. It always was. Sadly, the bar has been lowered and attention to detail is no longer a concern.

Even if I think FFVII is somewhat overrated and has been milked to death by Square, it still is a great gaming experience that was masterfully crafted as such and should be respected as much as any great painting.

User Info: the_quickness

the_quickness
1 month ago#8
It's all about the little things with this game.

There's the unfolding mystery. There's the red herrings. There's the stuff that stays a mystery that the game just drops off. Like who's Cloud's dad? You never know. Dads sometimes are just missing, life is like that, so that's the way it was in the game. Other stories would be like "His father was President Shinra and Rufus is secretly his brother BOOM YOUR MIND JUST GOT BLOWN, YOU'RE WELCOME", but they just decided to leave it be, instead.

You can't explore everything. You can't open a man's freezer without his permission. You don't get to see most of Midgar, but you don't have to; you feel like you've seen enough by the time you escape.

When Aeris dies, Sephiroth messes with you, as well. You have to be kept on the hook to keep playing the game, so you get an easy boss to fight. You nuke it, you vent your frustrations a little, and you feel like "okay, I'm back in." If he just took off, and you had no participation at all at that moment and just had to watch events unfold, the game would feel too unfair. Players would huff and puff like "What did I do all this for if my guys are just going to die anyway?" That one decision to give you a small victory in that moment, however hollow, was a brilliant one for the game designers.

I just flat out assumed you'd be able to bring her back. Chrono Trigger had spoiled me on that one. Maybe they'll make Aeris Resurrection DLC on the future remake games, but making her gone, truly gone, was the only way to really tug at the heart strings.

Gaming_Esquire posted...
Have played several dozen times and it never ceases to amaze me how emotionally stirring this game can be. It does an incredible job creating a mood, a vibe. Especially for an old game, one that might be considered unpolished and rough around the edges to a modern gamer.

There are parts that just get me everytime, no matter how many times I play. There are legitimately tense/creapy moments like Jenova at Shina HQ, Gi Natak's face on the wall in Cosmo Canyon, Demon Wall. There are kinda depressing and melancholic vibes in Midgar. "Anxious Heart" is an apt title. There are emotionally stirring moments like the Seto bit... God that gives me chills every. Single. Time.

and other stuff


One of these days, I'll find the ninjas who keep cutting onions every time I play the Seto scene... "I'm not going to cry this time... I'm not going to cry this time..."
Ashes to ashes, dust to dust, if you don't take it out and use it, it's going to rust. - best line from Highlander 2

User Info: MC_BatCommander

MC_BatCommander
1 month ago#9
I think Uematsu's OST does a huge service to the game's mood. Every track is memorable, and they are all perfectly used to enhance story beats throughout the game.
The Legend is True!

User Info: GoukiAkujiki

GoukiAkujiki
1 month ago#10
Other stories would be like "His father was President Shinra and Rufus is secretly his brother BOOM YOUR MIND JUST GOT BLOWN, YOU'RE WELCOME"

Lol this is so true. So many stories in multiple mediums have derived to plot twists for the sake of plot twists.

As for Aeris, this was my first RPG so I had nothing to compare it to. But I was 14 when the game came out and I got it on launch just because it was my “back to school” game, something I always got each year, bought it on the cool cover and that fact it was 3 discs which seemed so crazy then. But not being a kid helped me stay involved in the story and learn the game mechanics better, both were things I wasn’t used to.

I digressed, back to Aeris. I just assumed there was no way for a character of mine to die. So the scene never really impacted me at first, because it was just a cool cutscene in my mind. It wasn’t until I kept playing and was like, “where is she? When will I get her back?” etc. Then it sunk in that she was gone. So crazy to me back then.

But I honestly wasn’t really a fan of hers. When I was first playing I was all about the cool weapons and strong physical attacks. From the moment I used Aeris and saw her weak physical damage I didn’t care for her. And of course I didn’t get the front/back row thing so she seemed exceptionally weak lol.

Now I love everyone. Except Cait Sith.
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  3. This game is really good at setting mood (SPOILERS)