Monster Hunter World Impressions, Nintendo News & MORE! – What’s Good Games Videocast (Ep. 38)

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This week on the show Andrea, Britt and Steimer discuss the GDC Awards 2018 SNAFU, how Nintendo Switch has dominated the Wii U, plus EA’s announcement of a new Battlefield game and the confirmation of Anthem’s delay to 2019. Plus, detailed impressions from Monster Hunter World, Sea of Thieves closed beta, Lost Sphear and more!

**DISCLAIMER: Some of the Nintendo news broke after our recording, so we didn’t touch on it! PLUS Red Dead Redemption 2 is releasing on October 26, 2018 mark your calendars!

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  • I just checked the manual for the original FF9. In the original, pushing Select displays the Help window, which tells you what each item and command does. I’m guessing this is still the case for the PS4 version. Also I’m guessing the Select button is keyed to the touchpad on the Dual Shock 4. Give it a shot and call me in the morning if it makes you sprout an extra arm or anything.
    As for the High Speed Mode, that is pretty screwed up. Expecting the player to have to babysit the toggle feels like lazy porting on Square Enix part. They did a far better job with this mode on the FF12 remaster where it’s mapped to L2 and doesn’t speed up cutscenes.

    It’s hard to play an old game that you have no familiarity with. I’ve played Final Fantasy since FF6, but I hear from veteran gamers that FF4 was amazing because that’s more or less where that specific style of Final Fantasy games started. That is the framework on which Final Fantasy 5 to 9 is built upon. Intrigued, I went and played it. To my modern eyes, it felt incredibly underwhelming.
    I understood that it did things that RPGs did not do at its time, but all I can see are the things that it lacked. Ultimately, I was better off reading about it from people who understood its significance than playing it without proper context.
    In your case, jumping into FF9 without a background in JRPGs or old school Final Fantasy could be an insurmountable task. It requires a certain amount of old school patience, the kind of patience we used to put up with travel by ship to cross oceans, and I fear subjecting you to that kind of experience will only sour your view of it.
    Although this version does include a couple of cheats that alleviates some of the issues, they go too far. The three cheats that side steps combat altogether changes this game from a JRPG to a walking simulator, and FF9’s story really isn’t strong enough to stand on its own. Skipping all the combat, or greatly diminishing its difficulty, creates a gap in our familiarity of the characters making it rather difficult for us to care about them. Games like these rely on us engaging with the characters to build up our relationship with them. Without it, we have an incomplete picture of them.
    The one built in cheat that should have turned all this around was the High Speed Mode. Final Fantasy IX was a PlayStation game, but it really should have been on the PlayStation 2. It’s most evident during enemy encounters. From the interminable time for battles to load up to characters taking their sweet time to actually act, you can almost hear the PSX struggling to keep up. It was a slog to get through the numerous battles in that game even then. Unfortunately it never occurred to Square that nobody wants to watch cutscenes on fast forward, a skipping option would have been better for that.

    So in conclusion, may I recommend Final Fantasy X? The combat is nice and fast without sacrificing too much in the strategy department. It’s also not that hard, except for maybe three bosses.

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