Questions about this game

#1Farel13Posted 6/10/2012 10:45:47 PM
Hello there, I'm Farel, a novice video game reviewer. One of my big dreams/plans with my video review series was to one day do a retrospective on the whole entire SaGa series, which is a series that I'm quite fond of.

Already now I want to warn you people not to hold your breath for it yet... I'm a college student with no current filming conditions, busy learning for exams and also thinking of doing an internship in the summer... This also makes playing ALL THE GAMES quite hard and time consuming (even going beyond the fact that some games were never translated and I don't have every console at hand!).

That said, I don't plan on giving up on the games! I want to talk about them too, but other than a possible "first impression" of the gameboy games, I don't exactly have much to say, which is why I thought YOU guys could help me and answer some of my questions, because .. otherwise my video will look pretty poor.

I of course guarantee that any person who would help me, would be credited in the final end video and of course I'd inform the person once the video would be released (in a way selected by the person).

Sooooo here are my questions.
1) What can you say about the story/characters/graphics/music/gameplay of the game?
2) How does it stand in the modern vidoe game scene?
3) Is there something making it unique or perhaps similar to big famous titles?
4) This game was remade for the android and mobile phones (and as far as I know, the remakes were not translated into English), also it was not remade for the DS as the 2 sequels , Why is that?

Sincerely thank you everyone, I shall await answers!
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7th January 2012 - I defeated 10 Fatestone Saruin! AWESOME!!!
#2DamageIncPosted 6/11/2012 3:01:33 PM
I would love to speak to this! Would even be willing to do a Skype call or whatever to answer your questions. This is my favorite.game of all time and would love to help promote it in whatever way I can :)
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OMG YOU CAN UNEQUIP ITEMS
FRABJOUS DAY
#3zoogelioPosted 6/12/2012 2:56:22 AM
2. It really depends on how newer gamers perceive older games. The ones open to older games, not confined to the current gen by an obsession with graphics (and trophies/achievements) can rediscover it, though it seems like most Game Boy games outside of franchise games are off the radar. If they re-released these on 3DS on the virtual console, that would greatly help rediscovery.


3. Well, FFLI & II mostly divide the sentiments for best game in the Game Boy 'trilogy', though FFLI seems to have more fans (I favor FFLII). FFLI had more raw, unpolished gameplay (FFLII was far more polished) but it's appeal was the mystery of the Tower and the different worlds. Those different worlds also give the game a very distinct episodic feel (FFLII is the same)- a medieval episode involving castles & warring kings, an oceanic episode involving islands and a palace under the sea and a few riddles, an episode in the clouds involving rebels and a flying castle (which is the weak point of the game. It's extremely short, few encounters listed there. WoR gets 2x the encounters of other worlds, and Byakko's Castle is large and looks like it was designed t be a long slog up loaded with battles yet it has none), and a post-apocalyptic ruined world with motorbikes, subways, and hordes of vicious monsters. The game had a strong air of mystery to it and it really starts when you encounter Gen-Bu, insinuating there were others before you, then the worlds progressing technologically, the tower getting more advanced in design (steel girders in the top segment) and the weapons too (namely the guns, starting out with lowly Colts). The story is minimal though, it's more atmosphere than anything. FFLII is still episodic, but has more story to some of its episodes and a feel of story progression than FFLI has in its episodes. And of course, the gameplay is a big part of the allure to FFLI & II. It's fun and distinguishes itself from FF/DQ gameplay.

The game had some memorable things (SPOILERS)
- I'll avoid spoiling this, but several have contemplated the philosophical ramifications of the final battle. It's quite powerful the more you think about it. It has a more philosophical/theological angle than games that make the player feel ethically conflicted about going on and defeating the final boss (e.g. Secret of Mana, Link's Awakening).
- The there's also what you can do to the final boss with a chainsaw. How many other games can you do that to ___?
- The 4 Fiends (based on the Shijin of Japan) made for memorable fights back in the day, I guess akin to encountering Legendary Pokemon. The game does different things with each to make the encounters interesting instead of "oh look, another fiend at the end of the dungeon". The 1st is in a town and comes out of the blue, the 2nd keeps to himself (besides an inferred feud with an old man) and only comes when you solve a puzzle at the end of his dungeon, the 3rd you find yourself helping to put down rebels and talk with him a few times, wondering when are you going to fight him. The 4th is the most interesting. He comes to you, and quite viciously, hounding the party every few steps and he's invincible*; all you can do is run. That was seared into my memory playing it way back when as a kid.

*: Chainsaw cuts Su-Zaku to pieces, but he reconstitutes himself and fights you again in a few more steps.


4. SaGa I/FFL I was remade for the WonderSwan, a handheld that competed against Game Boy Color & Neo Geo Pocket Color. I think they never re-remade it (unlike FFI & FFII which got PSX then PSP remakes) because they were remaking it once and wanted to remake each game once before going back around again, like how Nintendo handled the Mario series (SMB1 remade for Game Boy Color, SMB2, SMB3, SMW remade for Game Boy Advance, SM64 for DS).
#4Farel13(Topic Creator)Posted 6/12/2012 5:03:09 AM
@ DamageInc: I contacted you via PM about this.

@ zoogelio: 2. I even played Pokemon on the original Gameboy, but I cannot deny that right now playing FFL hurts my ears terribly, it seems unpleasant. I'm not sure if it's the game itself or did I just get used to different things. I KNOW THIS CANNOT BE TAKEN AGAINST THE GAME! This was common for the gameboy! But... it makes me less wild about playing through all the way through...

Wow... yeah I heard of what the final boss battle is about and of course.... the chainsaw glitch. Someone told me about it. The axe returns in Romancing Saga Minstrel Song and I was requested to record a video of getting that axe and using it in the game to see what effect it has in that game.

Oh boy, are you.... experienced with Reviewing or something? This is really some top notch analytical info right there! I did not expect something like this

Thanks a lot man!

Just perhaps a new question, you don't mention FFL3 at all here, why would you say people remembered the first 2 much more fondly?
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7th January 2012 - I defeated 10 Fatestone Saruin! AWESOME!!!
#5Farel13(Topic Creator)Posted 6/12/2012 5:04:39 AM
Oh wait, you wrote replies on the other games too, nevermind, getting to read those now!
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7th January 2012 - I defeated 10 Fatestone Saruin! AWESOME!!!
#6zoogelioPosted 6/12/2012 10:26:17 PM
I forgot about the music. It may be the composer's inexperience with Game Boy hardware. MM2 for GB had some very horrible tinny sounds. I heard Game Boy had 2 sound channels vs. the 1 for the NES, so getting that wrong might lead to a kind of audial discordance (and without intending to follow the Schoenberg school of music). Also could be age. Kids and teenagers can hear certain pitches that most adults can't (a story went around about that a few years ago, having a sort of sonic repellant for groups of teens loitering around places) only maybe the reverse- certain pitches can be 'tolerable' to kids/teens but as one hits physical maturity (happens around 20 biologically), those pitches, tones, become intolerable. I'm just speculating on this though.


No, I'm not a reviewer. I have been told in the past that I'm apparently a really good writer and I'm able to write a Great Wall o' Text in a rather short time and pack it full of information (I have no need for filler). You should see a Legend of Zelda thread from 2010 here. I think I had 1 post that was so long I had to split it up between 4 posts and multiple posts that exceeded the character limit (but alas, I have yet to generate a post so long, it fills all 10 posts on a page, the elusive Tower of Babble). I remember some college papers, often I had to adjust the font et al to fit within the higher threshold for the required page count. The great irony was in K-12, English was not my strong suit and Literature... I read a lot of comic books as a kid and have/still do read *a lot* online, but books... I had little interest in most.
#7_KazPosted 6/14/2012 8:50:16 AM
Ah, I'm late to the party... ;_;

I've got a bunch of notes for some of the games I play, but I'm very lethargic about putting more effort to polish them up as a full-fledged review. That said:

What can you say about the story/characters/graphics/music/gameplay of the game?

In FFL1/SaGa1, your characters are fairly generic hot-blooded heroes. This does not change with the WSC remake. The plot is pretty common nowadays, an ominous Tower is at the center of the world, chaos is abound, and as your team climbs up, they discover some common links between each plane they visit, including hearing about the demon-king Ashura. If you play with less than a full party, lines of dialog are spoken by mysterious strangers or yourself.

One of the things missing in FFL that was in SaGa was the high-score table in the library of the Post-apocalypse City. Your party is determined to outlast these others in SaGa and discover the Tower's peak. In FFL, the table was replaced by an allusion to a villain above the evil Ashura. In fact, there are several small worlds bookending the large chapters that offer more perspectives about the Tower and life in general. You can draw parallels between FFL and Fallout; the story behind Fallout was that, in the face of nuclear annihilation, scientists created vaults that were little more than "themed shelters" to test human psychology. Some vaults had extra food, some had little food, some were 99% women, some 99% men, etc. Each mini-world in FFL was like that; one was paradise, one was torture, one was funny, one was tragic...
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Fighter: "Mr Pibb", "Dr Pepper".. I'm onto you..
Kaz Fact: Welcome to Version 2.0!
#8_KazPosted 6/14/2012 9:09:33 AM
The graphics at the time were highly detailed. The enemies used a rather complex shading pattern that, ultimately, made for a blurry look on the monochrome GB. (Their colorized versions look so much better on the WSC.) The map-sprites and animation was on par with the NES Final Fantasy at the time, so that was a good thing. Fights lacked backgrounds that, honestly, only FF1 and DW1 even bothered to provide.

The audio for this game was composed primarily by Nobuo Uematsu and Kenji Ito. I liked what Uematsu did with the audio. It's a little high pitched as zoogelio noted, but his experimentation with stereo was kicked up a notch by Ito in the sequel. For an entry title, this felt good. His work from Rad Racer shows as a lot of the faster tracks (Byakko's castle) still carry an 80s techno vibe. In fact, most of the tracks don't have very defined "instruments" in the GB sense, but some neat tempo tricks. If I had to guess, I would say it were four Harpsichords playing at various speeds instead of say, trying to synthesize a bass guitar or grand piano.

The gameplay is where I run into a big issue. Because it was an early game, FFL feels very rough around the edges. They amended a few of the issues in the WSC remake, but the GB original suffered from imbalanced classes, very limited inventory management, and obtuse grinding (despite not having an XP system). Mutants change so randomly, monsters require patience to map out transformations, and humans are the only straight-forward class (GP-based... lots and lots of GP). Plus, with only one save slot, there's not much room for error if you've saved after getting trapped in a room while low on HP.

Then again, the original Dragon Warrior and Final Fantasy games were up to their ears in similar glitches and players still managed.
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Fighter: "Mr Pibb", "Dr Pepper".. I'm onto you..
Kaz Fact: Welcome to Version 2.0!
#9_KazPosted 6/14/2012 9:29:33 AM
2) How does it stand in the modern game scene?

FFL does. It just... does.

The gameplay was unique for its era: class-choices on a handheld, meat-based monster classes, "multi-chapter" story-telling, and a rather controversial question-everything dialog. (Do you believe the fanatics who worship Ashura? Do you believe those being tortured will be rewarded? Do you think bad things will still happen to good people?)

That isn't to say that its faults are completely obscured: the mechanics are still jittery, the patchwork chapters feel just like that -- loosely tethered together, not to mention several gameplay bugs (from spells not working correctly to not being able to advance because you never talked to the MiB -- some of these weren't fixed in the WSC remake).

FFL is a bit of history. A small bit as the SaGa series, while stalwart in some corners in Japan, just aren't easily accessible to the masses.

3) Is there something making it unique or perhaps similar to big famous titles?

Short answer: No.
Bigger titles, save for a handful, tend to avoid moral debates. Fallout and Ogre Battle aside (which open alternate paths for such decisions), most games would have you play the beloved-by-all hero who no one stops when they barge into homes.

Long answer: zoogelio covered it. The pastiche worlds of FFL are its biggest draw and its biggest fault. As zoogelio stated, they provide mostly atmosphere and background rather than a character-driven plot. Because your heroes aren't established or tied to anyone they interact with for too long, it's as if you're flipping channels on a TV, switching from one drama to the next with some commercials in-between.

You won't forget biking under the Ruined City, or the war of the Sisters, or the intrigue and politics of Kings... but you also won't forgetting sloshing down endless streams of potions, suddenly losing Flare for ESP, or facing Warmach with no way out.

4) This game was not remade for the DS as the 2 sequels , Why?

I would imagine the WSC remake was "good enough" for a game of this popularity.

FFL is a little too basic to remake without changing what makes the game so unique. See the remakes of the original FF1 game for WSC, later PS, and then ports to the GBA. FFL1 was not as popular as FF1, which spawned a much larger series with more spin-offs.

Man, I love talking about this series. Can't wait to check out the threads on the other boards.
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Fighter: "Mr Pibb", "Dr Pepper".. I'm onto you..
Kaz Fact: Welcome to Version 2.0!
#10DragonAtmaPosted 6/14/2012 11:39:18 AM
FFL1 was, however, remade for the mobile phone; it was japanese-only, thoguh. http://www.square-enix.co.jp/mobile/sem/saga/ has some details, but keep in mind that it's japanese-only!
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Nagas on a plane! ^_^