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I'm Sorry, But...

Posted: 27th July 2015 18:36

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I just hate this game!

I've tried to enjoy it, I've tried to get into it, but it is just so bad it drives me around the bend.

This isn't a troll post, it's just how I feel. Let me explain the things I hate most...

1) The music. Agh, the music is terrible. Especially that awful, droning battle theme that just goes on and on and on. I can't remember exactly how many times I've muted the volume just to shut that damn repetitive, whining dirge up, which considering just how difficult the battles are is plenty of times...

2) WHY is this game so hard?? Now, I'm up for a challenge, but this is just stupid. I have no objection to grinding in RPGs (hell I even enjoy it sometimes) but in this game the only effect grinding has is to give you even more difficult enemies in battle. Hardly an incentive to level up isn't it? And why are my party members just so weak? I'm pretty early into my latest (attempt) at a playthrough, and I have Cecil, Edward, Rosa and Lydia... NONE of whom are any use in battle! A child with nowhere near enough MP, a wimpy bard whose "abilities" in battle are useless, a woman who can cast some spells but is too weak, and a "dark knight" whose weapon is increasingly ineffective against many enemies. Even later on, my party is just pathetic. Weak members, ineffective "special abilities" and over-powered foes. Grr, I hate battles in this game.

3) The menu system. I realise this is an old game, but the menus are just so user-unfriendly it's a chore. And NO info anywhere! No info on weapon abilities, nothing to tell you anything apart from a weapon's base strength, it's all trial and error (and when you take into account this game's difficulty an error is often fatal). Now for clarification, I'm playing the PS1 port which I know isn't great, but the fact this is a game ported to the PS1 with no attempt to improve even this... Piss-poor from Square.

4) The story. Now, why am I going to Mt Hobs again? To meet someone, or to get something? Hmm, not sure, let's press on. Oh, another crystal needs saving from Golbez! Who's Golbez? Yes, the story is so rushed, and seems to leap from one scenario to another it's hard to keep up. Plus, there's nothing innovative at all, same old cliché piled upon same old cliché, yawn. Now I know many FF games are cliché-tastic, but they all did it better than this.

I know this game is well-loved by many, but I honestly cannot see the appeal.

Feel free to shoot me down in flames... pinch.gif

This post has been edited by OldComer on 27th July 2015 23:16
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Posted: 27th July 2015 20:23

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Fellow not-quite-FFIV-fan here lol.

The story is full of a bunch of somewhat-cliche "twists", which are probably most interesting the first time but I've always argued that they're relatively poor in terms of story coherence -- and some things feel like they're sort of just thrown together because they were there, rather than because of some sort of overarching setting design or setting justification. This can sometimes be a good thing, in small amounts, but I think FFIV overdid it.

That said, what version are you playing? I've only played FF II (US) (SNES). I notice that you're saying that it's pretty difficult so I assume it's not that one. The scripts of pretty much any other version should probably be better, though I'm not sure that beautifully animated cutscenes are the best way of handling some things.

Wait I just noticed that you said you're playing the PS1 version. I dunno about FFIV but I've heard that the PS1 versions of Chrono Trigger and FFVI had annoying load times, so that might be an issue.

Also yeah the basic battle theme does get a little annoying after a while. I think I had the lucky privilege of turboing through battles... I also think the SNES version of the music is slightly better, but whatever...

If I recall correctly, Cecil can generally hit stuff decently enough, though his being increasingly ineffective is sort of an important point story-wise. Rosa can definitely hit stuff if you give her a bow and arrows, though.

My experience has been that Edward usually can also hit stuff with his regular attack pretty reliably. He doesn't deal that much damage, but at least it's more reliable than Rydia, who misses most of her Fight commands.

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Posted: 27th July 2015 23:09

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You make a lot of good points, and perhaps I was a little harsh, but still, this game is difficultand very frustrating.

As for the story, I think that may have been the most unjustified part of my complaint; from what I've heard of this game's development Squaresoft had to cut some parts of the story to be able to fit everything in the game, which would explain some of the more jarring leaps in the story. Apparently many of the remakes (I think the GBA and DS version) included many of the parts of the story that were originally cut, making it much more coherent.

The remake(s) also addressed some of the issues surrounding menu designs, making them much clearer and user-friendly.

I think, of all the old FF games, this was the only one to be released in two different forms - a standard version and an "easytype", both of which were released in Japan, but as for the US it was (I believe) the easytype version that was released. That was a long time ago of course and I believe the version ported to PS1 was based on the standard version. That may explain some of the different difficulties we've experienced (that, or you may just be better and/or more patient at this game lol).

I know it's possible to equip Rosa with a bow and arrows, but the arrows are expended in battle, and having a limited supply of ammo is a pain, especially when it's the only way to make her an effective fighter. As for Edward, well I think he's useless in a fight (he may have an interesting-ish story and be a good character, but that's no use when his damage and hit rate are so low.

Everything I've heard about and experienced with this game tells me it was a real "nearly but not quite" from Square; the story could have been so much more epic, and even they seemed to realise this with their subsequent remakes on the GBA and DS; sadly I'm not sure I want to hunt around for old consoles and games, especially for a game I'm not overly keen on...

This post has been edited by OldComer on 27th July 2015 23:14
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Posted: 29th July 2015 03:08

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I felt the same way when I first played. I actually gave up on it after I lost Valvalis for the millionth time and tried VI instead, which I liked a lot better. My brother told me that I should get Rydia up to at least level 5 before doing anything with her, so I took her to level 10 and did the same with Edward and I had no prolems with them. As for the music... I dunno, I guess my brain just blocks it out pretty fast. I'm actually listening to the battle theme right now for... *switches tabs*... three and a half minutes and it's barely even registering in my head, so that my have something to do with my unlimited patience with grinding. But you know, you don't have to like it; bad plot twists and counter-intuitive battle tactics that change every two cutscenes aren't everyone's cup of tea.

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Posted: 31st July 2015 16:32

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I, personally, enjoyed the flip-flops in the plot, and the sudden spike or drop in difficulty, sometimes in mid-battle. It invests me emotionally in the outcome of the battle when key members suddenly disappear or turn up.

Some of the issues you speak of are often attributed to the slow pace of the game. FFIV was created in the era where you were forced to justify a $40 + price tag on a game with a mere 16 bit cartridge. This is counter acted in modern games with sidequests, and sidequests, and sidequests, and minigames. (Ugh! It took my 90 hours to try and complete Final Fantasy XII with those hunting sidequests, most of it was sitting there watching the cpu do its own thing after setting tactics)) They were forced to raise the difficulty and slow the pace of the game (causing the need to grind a little between boss fights).

I'll try and address the specific problems that were spoken of.

Edward starts out very weak, as is reflected in his personality. By the time you pass the Cave of the Antlion, he should be fairly competent going into Mt. Hobs.

Rosa should be a primary healer. Again, she starts out fairly weak, but eventually grows into her role as a White Mage.

With the exception of the DS version, the game is very generous with GP drops. Don't be afraid to spend it, especially on arrows for Rosa. (500 GP for 50, which is fairly easy to come by). Remember also: You sleep for free in Kaipo. Cecil should get a level or two by himself in the desert. The higher level Cecil is, the stronger his compatriots will be when they join the party.

Yang is powerful with some great abilities, such as gird.

Cecil is ineffective against undead, but is actually quite tough against all else at first. When he becomes a Paladin, he becomes absurdly powerful.

I love the story, the classic hero's journey, but I can't fault you for not liking it. I like the story much better than that of VIII or X, or even XII. Then again, if everyone agreed with me, life wouldn't be quite so much fun.

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Posted: 2nd August 2015 17:48

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I believe that we debated the merits of Final Fantasy IV in a CoNcast in the recent past, either in its own episode or in the Final Fantasy V episode, where we did some comparison and contrasting. I don't think you're wrong about the game getting a boost from nostalgia in a lot of circles; I'm certainly guilty of it.

That said, it hasn't stopped me from playing the game on at least five systems, and I've never stopped enjoying it. It's the very example of "to each his own," I think. Like chevleclair, I like the fact that it's a fairly straightforward path in terms of story, and that the twists and turns in the story lean toward the melodramatic. I also still love the way the environments are set up and how you proceed from one to another, and the music still really appeals to me, especially in the official Celtic Moon arrangements.

Quote (OldComer)
I think, of all the old FF games, this was the only one to be released in two different forms - a standard version and an "easytype", both of which were released in Japan, but as for the US it was (I believe) the easytype version that was released. That was a long time ago of course and I believe the version ported to PS1 was based on the standard version. That may explain some of the different difficulties we've experienced (that, or you may just be better and/or more patient at this game lol).


For what it's worth, the Easytype version actually wasn't released over here. There are actually kind of three versions with regard to the original SNES releases. The original Japanese release was one thing, and the American release was actually a slightly watered down version of the original Japanese. The Easytype version was actually easier and less complex than even the American release. TCRF is a good place to read more about that, but searching these forums will probably talk about it quite a bit as well. https://tcrf.net/Final_Fantasy_IV

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Posted: 2nd August 2015 22:28

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Quote (OldComer @ 27th July 2015 18:09)
As for the story, I think that may have been the most unjustified part of my complaint; from what I've heard of this game's development Squaresoft had to cut some parts of the story to be able to fit everything in the game, which would explain some of the more jarring leaps in the story.  Apparently many of the remakes (I think the GBA and DS version) included many of the parts of the story that were originally cut, making it much more coherent.


That would explain some things. I haven't played the other (non-SNES) versions so I don't know what they're like.

Quote (OldComer @ 27th July 2015 18:09)
As for Edward, well I think he's useless in a fight (he may have an interesting-ish story and be a good character, but that's no use when his damage and hit rate are so low.


I remember his hit rate being respectable enough that, despite his lower damage, he was a useful party member just for the extra Fight command.

Quote (chevleclair)
I, personally, enjoyed the flip-flops in the plot, and the sudden spike or drop in difficulty, sometimes in mid-battle. It invests me emotionally in the outcome of the battle when key members suddenly disappear or turn up.


I didn't like the way the plot twists sometimes seemed really arbitrary, though I appreciate that they tried to tell an interesting story with them. That said, the constantly-changing party composition was quite fun.

This post has been edited by Glenn Magus Harvey on 2nd August 2015 22:32

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Posted: 2nd August 2015 22:39

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Quote
For what it's worth, the Easytype version actually wasn't released over here. There are actually kind of three versions with regard to the original SNES releases. The original Japanese release was one thing, and the American release was actually a slightly watered down version of the original Japanese. The Easytype version was actually easier and less complex than even the American release. TCRF is a good place to read more about that, but searching these forums will probably talk about it quite a bit as well. https://tcrf.net/Final_Fantasy_IV


Oh, I didn't know that; I was under the impression it was only the easytype that was released in the US (I live in the UK, so FFIV wasn't released at all on the SNES). Thanks for the info.

I must say though, I have enjoyed the game more in the last day or two. I've just completed the Mount Ordeals mission and made Cecil a Paladin, and I thoroughly enjoyed it too. I had to grind a little to make Palom and Porom usable in a fight, but once I got Paladin Cecil - wow. Levelling up five times after the first battle never gets boring, and now the party feels much stronger.

So maybe I'm starting to appreciate the gameplay and story a little more, but the battle music still annoys me and the menus are as unhelpful as ever. But I am looking forward to what happens next, and it will be interesting to see what challenges lie in store.

FFIV may never be one of my absolute favourites but I think - for the first time since acquiring it - it's a game I can still enjoy.
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Posted: 3rd August 2015 02:18

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Cecil in FFIV is like the party's pillar -- very good attack power, tons of HP, gets the best heavy armor, and has a few white magic spells just for kicks. The spells are kinda useless but it's a nice touch. (I think two of them are non-calculation spells so it's actually better to spend his MP for those spells than Rosa's MP.)

He functions kinda like endgame Ness in Earthbound, in the sense that he sort of serves as the meatshield. More so than Ness, actually -- Ness is actually tank + healer, as opposed to tank + meatshield (because of Cecil's Cover ability).

This post has been edited by Glenn Magus Harvey on 3rd August 2015 02:40

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Posted: 27th January 2017 03:21

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Quote (Glenn Magus Harvey @ 2nd August 2015 20:18)
He functions kinda like endgame Ness in Earthbound, in the sense that he sort of serves as the meatshield. More so than Ness, actually -- Ness is actually tank + healer, as opposed to tank + meatshield (because of Cecil's Cover ability).

Well, as a Paladin, Cecil can be used as a healer in a pinch, of course - he gets the first two tiers of Cure over time. But in total fairness, I only recall ever using that side of him outside of battle just to save Rosa's MP and my healing items.

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Posted: 29th January 2017 07:08

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Quote (Rangers51 @ 26th January 2017 19:21)
Quote (Glenn Magus Harvey @ 2nd August 2015 20:18)
He functions kinda like endgame Ness in Earthbound, in the sense that he sort of serves as the meatshield.  More so than Ness, actually -- Ness is actually tank + healer, as opposed to tank + meatshield (because of Cecil's Cover ability).

Well, as a Paladin, Cecil can be used as a healer in a pinch, of course - he gets the first two tiers of Cure over time. But in total fairness, I only recall ever using that side of him outside of battle just to save Rosa's MP and my healing items.

I used Cecil a lot on the moon when I needed to heal and didn't want to waste Rosa's MP. Cure 2 is effective enough to get the job done. Also I totally understand why GMH says Cecil's a meatshield, his cover helps in a pinch when Rydia gets low.

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Posted: 29th January 2017 07:38

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My thought is that games like FF4 are easier to enjoy as a kid, because you don't typically have the perspective of having played games, read books, or seen movies with far more ingeniously tailored plots and characters.

On the other hand, I played it for the first time only a year or two ago and quite enjoyed it, though I also have a penchant for vastly overleveling before jumping into a major quest. I think I took Rydia to level 20 or so right after I got her before I went any further in the game. Needless to say I was roflstomping baddies for a good long while.

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Posted: 30th January 2017 09:50

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Final Fantasy IV cannot truly be understood until one has played Dragon Warrior (NES) and Final Fantasy (NES). Bonus points if you go the extra mile (I'm not kidding) and at least attempt to get through Phantasy Star (SMS).

Once you've digested those, you may do one of two things in our modern internet society:

1. Limit your perceptions to what was released in the USA at the time

or

2. Play the series in the order they were made.

If you want the experience of being an American kid getting into JRPGs in the 90's, I'd say choose #1. If you want to know how the series evolved, I'd say choose #2, but it will take longer and be frustrating: FF2 and FF3 on the NES are quite punishingly hard.

FF4, then, is a step back from all that; you complained in your OP about the characters having too weak an attack power; I hate to break it to you, but Cecil and Kain are dynamite compared to how you start any of the first 3 games in the series.

The LIGHT WARRIORS all start at level 1. They have no equipment whatsoever. They have 400 g. Frioniel & Co. (FF2) begin with some bare-bones equipment and an utter lack of any ability to kill the mood at a party. They are utterly powerless. So, too, with the Onion Knights of FF3, they start the game barely able to take down a group of Goblins.

FF4 gives you Cecil and Kain out of the gate, and they will largely destroy just about anything you see in the surrounding field of Baron's countryside. Enter the Mist Cave and you start seeing some encounters with monsters that take 2 hits more often. But that's kind of it.

If you level Lydia (Rydia?) a bit, she gets more MP and some useful magic, and frankly Tellah makes it somewhat easier to do so, because he has basically everything you need magic-wise. Therefore, do not let Tellah leave the party without Rydia getting some training in, would be my ProTip of the day.

Really, you are judging FF4 based on games that came after it. That's why it seems odd to you, I'm gonna bet.

By the way, the "EasyType" version wasn't really that much easier gameplay wise I don't think. It was called "EasyType" because there's not so much complicated foreign loanwords in it, as was in the original script. It's "EasyType" because the "Type" is "Easier." Literally, the type, the copy, the dialogue script, is easier for teenage Japanese people to read.

...See Tomato's Legends of Localization web page for further details.

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Posted: 30th January 2017 16:39

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Isn't that kind of the point, though? FF4 is much more interested in telling a story than any of the other games you quoted, and it doesn't make any sense to have Cecil and Kain as level 1 babies and also commanders of their respective forces within Baron. It's condescending to say that you can't truly understand a game and compare them to things that are unfair comparisons.

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Posted: 30th January 2017 17:10

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Quote (Neal @ 30th January 2017 11:39)
Isn't that kind of the point, though? FF4 is much more interested in telling a story than any of the other games you quoted, and it doesn't make any sense to have Cecil and Kain as level 1 babies and also commanders of their respective forces within Baron. It's condescending to say that you can't truly understand a game and compare them to things that are unfair comparisons.

Linear time is a thing, Neal...

I didn't mean to condescend...I merely said that judging the game based on what came after it is not as logical as judging it based on what came before.

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Posted: 5th February 2017 04:40

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Quote (OldComer @ 27th July 2015 13:36)





4) The story. Now, why am I going to Mt Hobs again? To meet someone, or to get something? Hmm, not sure, let's press on. Oh, another crystal needs saving from Golbez! Who's Golbez? Yes, the story is so rushed, and seems to leap from one scenario to another it's hard to keep up. Plus, there's nothing innovative at all, same old cliché piled upon same old cliché, yawn. Now I know many FF games are cliché-tastic, but they all did it better than this.

I know this game is well-loved by many, but I honestly cannot see the appeal.

Feel free to shoot me down in flames... pinch.gif

Quote


1) The music.  Agh, the music is terrible.  Especially that awful, droning battle theme that just goes on and on and on.  I can't remember exactly how many times I've muted the volume just to shut that damn repetitive, whining dirge up, which considering just how difficult the battles are is plenty of times...


I don't really agree with you here, but maybe that is nostalgia earbuds on my part. The simplistic 16-bit MIDIs of FF4 bring me back to a simpler time. A time where I could sit and play RPGs for hours and lose track of time. The music can be repetitive and the songs are usually no more than 50-60 seconds long with a couple of loops and I can see that being annoying.

Quote
2) WHY is this game so hard??  Now, I'm up for a challenge, but this is just stupid.  I have no objection to grinding in RPGs (hell I even enjoy it sometimes) but in this game the only effect grinding has is to give you even more difficult enemies in battle.  Hardly an incentive to level up isn't it?  And why are my party members just so weak?  I'm pretty early into my latest (attempt) at a playthrough, and I have Cecil, Edward, Rosa and Lydia...  NONE of whom are any use in battle!  A child with nowhere near enough MP, a wimpy bard whose "abilities" in battle are useless, a woman who can cast some spells but is too weak, and a "dark knight" whose weapon is increasingly ineffective against many enemies.  Even later on, my party is just pathetic.  Weak members, ineffective "special abilities" and over-powered foes.  Grr, I hate battles in this game.


You have to do a little level grinding I think. I love FF4 but I'll admit the grind can be frustrating. There are a couple places where you NEED Rosa to get the spells Float and Wall/Reflect. (Going into the Summoned Monster cave or the Sylph cave and then fighting Asura). If you played the game without too much grinding Rosa will have to grind up 4 or 5 levels to get all the way to Reflect. Can be annoying though when I play the newest (DS) version I seem to be that level earlier than I was on SNES.

Quote
3)  The menu system.  I realise this is an old game, but the menus are just so user-unfriendly it's a chore.  And NO info anywhere!  No info on weapon abilities, nothing to tell you anything apart from a weapon's base strength, it's all trial and error (and when you take into account this game's difficulty an error is often fatal).  Now for clarification, I'm playing the PS1 port which I know isn't great, but the fact this is a game ported to the PS1 with no attempt to improve even this...  Piss-poor from Square.


I will concede this point. The menus are pretty clunky and there are some awful translations in there. For example, if you have a 2-handed Sword "Avenger" and you try to equip a shield you will get a message box that says "To equip" which is supposed to be an error message saying something like "This weapon requires two hands".

Quote
4)  The story.  Now, why am I going to Mt Hobs again?  To meet someone, or to get something?  Hmm, not sure, let's press on.  Oh, another crystal needs saving from Golbez!  Who's Golbez?  Yes, the story is so rushed, and seems to leap from one scenario to another it's hard to keep up.  Plus, there's nothing innovative at all, same old cliché piled upon same old cliché, yawn.  Now I know many FF games are cliché-tastic, but they all did it better than this.


I don't agree here either. I will admit they are cliched today but I think by the standards of 1991 a game with the world size and story of FF4 was pretty groundbreaking.

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Posted: 6th February 2017 05:13

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Quote (Electricbassguy @ 4th February 2017 20:40)


I don't agree here either. I will admit they are cliched today but I think by the standards of 1991 a game with the world size and story of FF4 was pretty groundbreaking.

That's the thing, back when this came out in 1991, this wasn't a cliched story. It hadn't been done before and was fresh. The previous installment that came to the US was pretty weak in the story department, where the narrative didn't flow. FFI was about the ORBS, warriors of light, something something Garland/Chaos. IMO, there was lots of drama (is Kain on our side? will Cecil figure out his place?) and the flow/pacing was great. Is it now viewed as hackeneyed? Yep, because so many others have touched on similar notes. But before all them, there was FFIV.

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