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 What If Final Fantasy XIII Had A Different Name? Read more: http://www.cheatcc.com/extra/whatiffinalfantasyxiiiwouldhavehadadifferentname.html#ixzz1ngT9wrI3 Under Creative Commons License: Attribution Non-Commercial No Derivatives

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PostSubyek: What If Final Fantasy XIII Had A Different Name? Read more: http://www.cheatcc.com/extra/whatiffinalfantasyxiiiwouldhavehadadifferentname.html#ixzz1ngT9wrI3 Under Creative Commons License: Attribution Non-Commercial No Derivatives   Tue Feb 28, 2012 8:45 pm












Now that Final Fantasy XIII-2 is with us, the critics have rushed to
point out how much the developers paid attention to the complaints about
the original game. In the sequel, the linearity is toned down, there
are towns, and so on.


Oddly enough, though, XIII-2 scored a few points lower than its
predecessor on Metacritic. So perhaps Final Fantasy XIII didn't actually
need all the trappings of a typical Final Fantasy game. Perhaps what
Final Fantasy XIII needed was a different name.


Follow me into a hypothetical world for a second. Imagine that
instead of being called Final Fantasy XIII, the game had been presented
as a new IP two years ago. Maybe it would have been something completely
new, with all the references to Final Fantasy lore (chocobos, etc.)
removed. Maybe it would have been an RPG spin-off of a traditional
action game. Or maybe it would have been a new subgenre for Final
Fantasy, like Final Fantasy Tactics. But no matter how you envision it,
imagine for a bit that gamers encountered this game without the
expectation that it would play the way a numbered Final Fantasy entry
should.


What would we have thought then?





For sure, the linearity still would have divided RPG fans. There is
no getting around the fact that for most of the game you simply run
forward and get into fights. But I think that without the Final Fantasy
XIII name on the box, the upsides of linearity would have been much
clearer. Forcing players down a linear path allows the developer to pace
the game perfectly, and to create a plot that unfolds continuously and
makes sense. It also avoids putting the player in situations he's not
leveled up enough to handle. And in a linear game, you never have to
wander around trying to figure out where to go next. Basically, there
are reasons that so many great action games like Gears of War feature
almost no exploration, and all of those advantages can carry over to the
RPG genre.


Linearity also puts the battle system front and center—which is
exactly where FFXIII's battle system should be, as even some of the
game's harshest critics have admitted. The setup is simply a marvel.
Because you control only one character and the battles run in real time,
the fights always feel natural; you never feel like you're floating
above the fray, directing your party's actions like some kind of god.
But at the same time, the Paradigm system allows you to change the roles
that the other members of your party play (healer, tank, buffer, etc.).
In other words, you have to manage your party to win, but you never
have to micromanage it. What's more, your teammates' A.I. works
incredibly well, and you never have to worry about your party doing
things that are wildly inappropriate for the situation you face.






I'm not the most seasoned RPG player in the world, but I can honestly
say FFXIII features the most exciting battles I've ever seen in the
genre. This was thrown into stark relief for me when I got around to
playing Dragon Age: Origins—which is a great point of comparison,
because it's also an epic RPG from a highly respected developer that was
released about two years ago. Its Metacritic scores are actually a
little higher than FFXIII's.


Dragon Age's battles aren't technically turn-based—they play out in
an action-style format, with cooldown timers on special abilities—but
they're similar enough to look bad when compared with FFXIII's fights.
If you want the other members of your party to act reasonably when
you're not physically controlling them, you can't just change
Paradigms—instead, you have to program the A.I. with a bunch of
"if/then" statements that guide how they respond to various situations
("if health is below X percent, then take a potion"). And if you can't
get the A.I. to work correctly—and I couldn't—you have to frantically
switch between characters in the middle of battle, telling four people
at once when to attack and when to heal.





Don't even get me started on how much of a pain it is to manage your
inventory and get your characters equipped in Origins—and how much I
longed for FFXIII, which has excellent options for auto-equipping
characters, frequent opportunities to unload extra gear, and a deep
upgrade system for hardcore players. Quite frankly, after playing the
these games back-to-back, I cannot understand how Origins was the better
received of the two—unless the Final Fantasy name made people expect a
different product than what they got.


If Final Fantasy XIII had been released under a different name,
critics would have seen it for what it was: an amazing RPG with a great
battle system and an action game-style structure. Some people would have
liked it, and some would have wanted more exploration—but no one would
have pressured the developers to make sure the sequel conformed to the
standards of a completely different series. And maybe the game that's
today called Final Fantasy XIII-2 would be something else entirely: A
game that pushes the formula of Final Fantasy XIII forward, rather than
adding in a bunch of elements that don't quite fit.
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What If Final Fantasy XIII Had A Different Name? Read more: http://www.cheatcc.com/extra/whatiffinalfantasyxiiiwouldhavehadadifferentname.html#ixzz1ngT9wrI3 Under Creative Commons License: Attribution Non-Commercial No Derivatives
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