I spent 100+ hours in the original, wasn't planning on getting this version, but it's one of my favourite games ever, so yeah. Excited for new licence boards and fast forward options. I'll tolerate Vaan and Penelo again for more Ivalice exploration, Gambit orchestration and political intrigue.
Here's the PS2 thread for those feeling nostalgic:
2. "this fucking game" In response to Reply # 0 Wed Jul-12-17 01:50 AM by bearfield
i love this fucking game
having only spent a few minutes with this remaster, here are my very preliminary thoughts
• not a huge fan of some of the re-orchestrations (they're a little showy) but the fact that you can switch on the fly, not missing a note with the selected track fading in as the other fades out, blows my mind. great stuff
• they really did a lot to clean this game up visually. i streamed a bit of IZJS (on which zodiac age is based) via pcsx2 on twitch in 2015 and i thought it looked really good just being rendered at a proper HD resolution. it looked a bit like this:
it looks fine emulated. the character models look ok but the textures are muddy. there's no real lighting model. it's rendering in 16:9 but the menus are still 4:3
but this remaster looks very impressive. everything is so clean. they even did work on the area transition sprites that were basically bad looking skyboxes placed close to zone exits. that's how deep they went on this thing
• there's still pop in. a little annoying. probably an engine limitation
• controls border on unresponsive. having just finished persona 5, going to this game and its massive input lag is not pleasant. but you get used to it. and it's not like you need to fly through menu options to pull out a victory
• having a doom style area map overlay at the click of the button is massively helpful
• digital foundry reports that there's no more "everyone stands around while the the spell animation finishes" weirdness. chaining spells is now a reality!
I had only played vanilla, so picking the license boards was definitely the same feeling. picking the second board stopped my game for like a week.
my advice to myself would be just to pick what you like. you can get around any so-called "bad" combination, and the problem I found with most of the guides is they coupled classes based on a lot of end-game weapons and bosses. and so you play 70 percent of the game waiting on that part of the board or weapon, when other jobs would've been more useful or fun in the interim.
thankfully, they just patched it last week where you can reset your entire board (previously just an Xbox/Switch option, but now on PC/PS4). so you can get that Yagyu/Dark Robes combo whenever.
60FPS - Ivalice will look better than ever with the game running at 60FPS.
Compatible with 21:9 ultra-wide monitors - Up to three HD monitors can be used for a potential 48(16x3):9 experience.
New Game Plus and New Game Minus - Post-game content modes are now accessible from the beginning of the game.
Three background music options – The original, re-orchestrated and soundtrack versions are now available from the beginning of the game.
Maximized License Points and Gil - New functionality added to grant players max License Points and Gil from the configuration screen.
Full controller support, Steam Trading Cards and more to optimize the PC player experience.
Fans that purchase the game through STEAM within the first week of launch will also receive a 20% discount, a three-track digital music compilation and a new STEAM Skin illustrated by famed FINAL FANTASY artist Isamu Kamikokuryo.
Price will be $50 on Steam.
A Collectors Edition for $150 for PC is also coming that can only be purchased from the Square Enix Online store.
7. "i honestly didn't think they would re-program for 60 fps" In response to Reply # 6
that's why i got the ps4 version. based on their previous PC ports, the most likely scenario in my mind was that the PC version would have better resolution and some cheat stuff (max LP/gil). they're really going above and beyond for this port
this release put *a lot* of love into it, as bearfield mentioned above, but those expansive touch-ups just reinforced how strong the bones of the original are. there are sequences that still take your breath away, 14 years later.
for those (like me) who've only played the original, the big (license classes) and small (overlap maps, 2x and 4x multiplier speeds) additions are much welcomed. I did a little more optimization than a decade ago -- back then I slapped on two gambits and just hacked/healed away -- but it's still fun just traveling and battling across Ivalice.
+ amazing remaster. the original was the best graphically impressive PS2 game ever, and this update really shines a light on that. 60 FPS on top of that (PC).
+ 4x is too much, but 2x is just right for getting across big maps with no teleport stone and grinding chains.
+ what a soundtrack! I prefer the re-orchestrated version, but I'd forgot how fantastic the music is here.
+ the license boards/class system makes everyone kind of useful in a way, which is better than the ultimate homogeneity of the original at endgame. I think locking the classes and esper skills makes people like me have a fear of missing out rather than an urge to experiment, so the recent update to reset your board entirely on all versions is perfect.
- I still don't get into the story. the cutscenes are well done, I just don't have much of a connection to it. which isn't a total loss -- I couldn't tell you what happened in Tactics, either, which is another classic. it just knocks down the game on my personal pedestal.
- the whole treasure chest spawning and diamond armlet situation is painful. zoning in and out for a chest to spawn, and then somehow having to know which chests give you the rare item with the diamond armlet (very few) versus which you should open without (most) is inane. I guess it was supposed to reward avid explorers but most people would miss this aspect on their own, and after you do find out about it, it becomes an unfun grind.
- I liked doing the hunts this time in tandem with the story. most are more challenging than bosses at that point in the game, and there is good loot for completing them.
- the endgame stuff is not for me. trying to get most of the best weapons added in the Zodiac versions is an absolute slog (I looked up the Mina dagger -- TF? 255 kills in that godforsaken Great Crystal location just to get the right monster to spawn, then more chains of a that monster for one shot at a rare drop?). trying to kill Omega XII sounds horrible to me, but a lot of MMORPG bullshit is along those lines, and I suppose heavy grinders enjoy it.
well, finished as much as I probably will ever finish.
Yiazmat and Omega XII done. I never attempted either in vanilla, so props to anyone who slugged through those with the damage cap and no wither break. shredding Yiazmat was fun with berserk/yagyu/black robes/germinas boots. Omega was easy with reverse, but JFC you still have to load 10 Youtubes and have five different tabs open with maps of Dha Vi Fuck Off Shaari to find the gotdamn thing. Great Crystal might be the most forsaken location in all of FF.
I played on active this time and it made me put more attention into gambits. normally berserk sucks in turn-based/ATB, but holy shit having your heavy hitters throw bacchus's wines on themselves while you decoy/reverse your white mage is fucking satisfying (the only good way to beat Zodiark). and resetting your license board is welcomed, since certain end-game job set-ups suck for 60% of the story, but now can be changed at liberty when it's time to go elite mark hunting.
revisiting this game so many years later reminded me why its legacy is so..."je ne sais quoi". the game mechanics have been refined in other titles over the last decade, the story is still polarizing at best, and the designed obtuseness is maddening (fuck a 5% chest spawn, every map has false exits, the bazaar is legitimately masochistic -- even when you beat Yiazmat and Omega, you have to play a stupid fucking Simon Says fishing game 30 times to get the OP sword reward).
but I still pumped 100 hours into it on PS2, then 100 more hours this time (despite not having the same leisure as an adult with a family). and it still grabbed me and annoyed me and made me pump my fist and pore over the best way to play it. it's an experience that stands the test of time.