Wednesday, February 1, 2006

Phantasy Star 3

So, I guess I'm gonna be at school a lot of the time this semester anyway, and I need SOMETHING to do around here besides flame those silly denizens of FF.net, and BU has this odd policy of "No" to AIM and such. So maybe I be updating this thing more than previously thought.

So, I have been playing the Phantasy Star series lately, thanks to Anga, who rocks. I was very impressed with the first game's extremely novel basis and plot (I mean, considering how old-school it is...Alis is probably like the first woman protagonist in an RPG ever, and even now she STILL doesn't have much canonical company beyond Terra, Celes, Yuna, Virginia, and Marona). The second game had its moments (I am prone these days to randomly IMing Anga just to scream "NEIIIIIIIII!"). And the fourth one was really great. PSO I have yet to try, and I probably won't be interested in doing so for a while (Grandia 3, FF12, KH2, KotOR3, the new Zelda, and Xenosaga 3 all RPGs on the horizon, after all). So now I'm playing through Phantasy Star 3. I'm not close to finished yet, so I might be totally wrong on some things here, but...I don't think so, really. So anyways, yes, I'm playing Phantasy Star 3 now.

And I'm in What The Hell status. Like, this particular mode of What The Hell is almost as strong as the one I got while watching The Batman for one episode. This is possibly like the What The Hell that Stalin experienced when Hitler used their treaty as toilet paper.

This game sucks. Like, it sucks. It's not just a bad RPG. FF Mystic Quest is a bad RPG. Chrono Cross was a bad RPG. This is on the level of Final Fantasy 5. This game is on the level of Quest 64. This game is trying--failing, of course, for nothing can succeed, but trying--to compete with 7th Saga.

The graphics are awful. Now, anyone who knows me knows that I really don't care about graphics in an RPG. That's just stupid. But these are just shocking. They look less refined than the first game's, and that was on the fucking MASTER SYSTEM.

The music...no. I won't call it that. This does not qualify as music. This game's tracks are random sounds being strung together with all the fluidity and skill of a 4-year-old making a popcorn garland out of stale popcorn which he has already carefully chewed. This game cannot be played with the sound on. That is just how it is.

The battle system is pretty bad, although easily the least horrible thing about it. It's badly put together and boring. But for the first time in RPG history, it is badly constructed in the PLAYER'S favor. Levels are gained reasonably quickly, and you can reasonably easily get away with using inferior equipment for a good while before upgrading at a shop several towns down the line, which means the issue of money is not as big a problem as the stingy monsters would try to make it. But it's still boring and stupid. And fugly as anything. Not to mention that the backgrounds sometimes seem to move in physically unsound ways which kinda hurts my eyes if I pay attention to them.

Now, the important stuff in an RPG: Plot and characters. I really can't adequately describe how nonsensical the nearly nonexistant plot is. So instead I will describe a scene from the first 5 minutes of the game. Spoilers, I guess, though not really since it's part of the opening scene: You, the prince Rhys, are about to marry some girl you found on a beach or something. She doesn't know who the hell she is, and you don't seem to care. So, in the throne room of a castle which, incidentally, doesn't believe in having doors to cover the gaping holes in the wall that you use to walk in and out of it, you're all set to get married, when a demon flies in, tells you in the name of Laya that you can't marry her, and makes off with your would-be bride-to-be. Naturally, you are pissed, and vow to get her back by making war with the Layans for her. The king, who is your father, tells you no, because war is bad, so you switch tactics and say that you don't care and you'll go find her anyway, implying that it's okay if the military doesn't back you up.

Your father has you, heir to his throne and prince of the country, thrown in the dungeon. Which, incidentally, is where he keeps treasure chests containing 100 meseta (currency), and a knife.

I think that pretty accurately shows the brilliance of the story's writing.

The game is not TOTALLY off, I should note. I mean, I kinda enjoy having Wren in the party, even if he's not actually the same Wren from PS4, even if he looks just like him and has the same name and is an android. And I DO like the idea of the story taking place over multiple generations, like with Dragon Quest 5 or Fire Emblem 4. I'm in control of Rhys's son now (who, incidentally, looks so much cooler than Rhys that I'm almost shocked that he's in this game), which is kinda neat, or it would be if things weren't continuing to suck so terribly.

But anyways, back to my main point. And that, I think, was that I am a stupid masochist sometimes when it comes to finishing RPGs.

Next time on Arpy's oddly-named blog: I rant about a different game! Or the same one. Maybe. I'm not sure.

8 comments:

  1. At least the story sounds like it has more depth than the first: kill Lassic because he's bad and killed your brother. I haven't played the game, but will eventually.

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  2. Eeehh... I was interested in what you had to say, but when you list "Mystic Quest" and FF5 in the same tier of "bad" as you would Chrono Cross and Quest 64 it just takes all that character and credibility and just strips it away.

    Sorry, I think I'm done reading these articles. I'm really tired of people saying that Mystic Quest was an awful game just because it wasn't as good as FF4 or 6 by comparison. It was still better than 7 and 9-12 (haven't touched 13), and there's plenty of RPGs that I think are far worse, such as Legend of Mana and Chrono Cross.

    Also, thank you for confirming that PS3 made you feel "What the Hell", I thought I was the only one who felt that way after playing it.

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  3. Sorry, but FFMQ was a dumb, boring game. There was nothing worthwhile about its plot, and its characters were bland. I'll give you that Chrono Cross was worse, but that doesn't say all that much.

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  4. In response to Anonymous - or just in general, I think people need to understand that reviewers in general are stating opinions. I may like some games or aspects of games more than someone else. At least there are reasons being given, even if you don't necessarily agree with them - it's all about the writer's experience.

    Now, that said? I liked Phantasy Star III at the time. I played 2, and liked it more, but the stupid generational gimmick in #3 hooked me - and I played it. and beat it. Each way possible.

    Looking back on it, I sort of wonder how - because I have played it again since and abandoned it very quickly after. It does not hold up well because it really is not a good RPG game in retrospect. Clearly, I just lacked for games to play back then, or didn't know any better. :P

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  5. I know my comment is like oh only 6 years late here. I didnt think PS3 was scuch a bad game. But I do think it started out slow. Really the story didnt really get interesting to me to maybe mid way through the 2nd generation. Once you (Spoilers ahead) get out of the first area and realize your in a space colonly and not a meidevil plantet I really started likeing this game. And with the 4 different paths to pursue in the 3rd generation I found enough interest to play them all. The graphics were uninspired for the most part but the later levels did become more intersesting to look at. The first generation though. I kind of hated the game. But I have to say that it is not that bad. I mean surely I got more enjoyment by far out of this than say Dragon Quest one. I thought the gerneration idea was really neat for instance how some generations you would have Laya on your team as a fierce warrior, others thes a magic user and not as fiecrc, and another generation shes like a boss you have to fight. I dont know I think you were a little harsh. Then again I played this when it it was new, so I couldnt possibly see how someone could play this today or even 10 years ago and put up with the bad graphics and really boring start to the game. Mostly people would quit before it got interesting. Did you ever finish this?

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    Replies
    1. Hey, doesn't matter how old the rant is, if you comment, I'll notice, and appreciate it.

      I'll admit that the multi-generation idea is actually quite a good one, and sadly underutilized in the RPG world, but my GOD, man, the plot is so amazingly uninteresting and sunk within a game who in all aspects seems like it was written and coded by kindergartener who wanted to be doing something else that this one good point is just utterly lost.

      At any rate, I did, indeed, finish Phantasy Star 3 (I make it a point to finish every RPG I play, regardless of how awful), and I suppose you're right in that it gets better later on, but when it's that bad, that really doesn't mean much. I'm certainly glad (and impressed) that you could find redeeming entertainment value in this title, but I definitely did not.

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    2. The only other game that has generational characters that comes to mind it Tail of the Sun. That game has, from what I've seen, no redeeming qualities. The concept is interesting though: if your character dies you get to play as another one from the same tribe.

      As for Phantasy Star 3, I'm looking forward to seeing how the multiple generations is played out since I've heard so much about it.

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    3. Fire Emblem 4 is also a multi-generation story, too, and that one actually is quite decent. I wouldn't call it amazing, but the story's overall good, the characters are fair, and they use the generation idea well.

      I'm pretty sure I've played another RPG that takes place over multiple generations, but I can't for the life of me think of what it was.

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