Continuing from the previous post, I am reminded of a convo I had with one of my coworkers about (as always) the dreaded hardcore. We were talking about this game.

Nintendo’s only real Final Fantasy game

Already not making love to critics, the Hardcore have easily fallen in love with this title. And considering that Sakaguchi (the one who cursed the minds of the youth of today with FF7 and started the rot of JRPG’s) made this game, it was going to get hardcore love no matter what.

This love can easily blind them to the faults of the game itself. For one, bad AI. There are so many times where I just wanted to strangle Lowell considering he’s just about the only character that can literally “heal” your enemies. How? Some enemies absorb certain types of magic. Ice element is the only one that gets absorbed, making Lowell that fucking prick who will fire away without even knowing what he’s trying to kill.

He’s stupid and his big ugly face is as dumb as a butt.

Oh Amma, I hate Lowell. Lowell is this game’s Sheva Alomar. But who cares about practically when he’s (supposed to be) funny? Anywho, the only way to prevent this is by using the game’s poorly implemented Command Mode which is the equivalent to RTB bars from Chrono Trigger to FF7. Yes, you need to fill a bar up before you can tell your idiots to stop attacking. Luckily, the amount of time it takes before you get a full bar is seemless. It does fill up rather quickly, but that doesn’t solve the problems of stupid AI. You have to tell Lowell not to use Ice magic everytime a battle starts. It wouldn’t be so bad if Lowell was actually… you know… a GOOD CHARACTER whose awesome power might put the team at risk, but no. He’s shit. Just like everyone that’s not named Yurick. Yurick is a bad mother fucker. His fire attacks are the most useful (when is fire NEVER useful?), and can turn enemy heal circles into death circles, killing enemies faster. Not to mention he actually KNOWS how to SURVIVE! Stupid bitches like Mirania will literally run into danger when you need that bitch to heal you. That Kracken fight alone will show you just how stupid she is. But Yurick? Oh no. He’s the real bad ass. Do you know any other character that has 2 Super Skills? One that actually rapes the final boss (Dagran btw)? I didn’t think so. Yurick is awesome.  He knows how to wreck shit and stay alive during the course of ass wrecking.  He’s just that mother fucking good. He’s no wuss, he’s smart enough to take cover and avoid enemies. His Super Moves are incredible and wtf I love this bastard!

It’s almost as if I’m turning homo.

Eitherway, when you discuss flawed AI with fans of this game (100% of any forum at least), you’ll get the usual crap ranging from “The game is too easy anyway! Why would you want good AI?” to “the developers intended for you to use the command system”. That last bit irks me to no end. Imagine that. The developers purposefully making something flawed to justify an in-game mechanic. You know the guys behind Sonic Heroes just had a helping hand with this title if that was the case.

Lets be clear on something. The developers can intend for a lot of bullshit in the game. They’re making it, so why the fuck shouldn’t they intend for something!? The problem I have is when these fanboys walk around shoving “developer intent” down my throat as if I’m supposed to like it just because the developers had this shit in mind? Capcom’s developers intended for you to “conserve your ink” when you desperately wanted to save your game. No one tolerated that shit even if the games were moderately successful (probably not even by that much). What happened? RE4 took that bullshit out.

Sega intended for people to fall in love with the Werehog. We didn’t tolerate that shit, but we LOVED the day stages. We get Colors and Generations based almost entirely on the day stages of Unleashed. And we had little problem with that.

This is how the game industry SHOULD operate! Not by us taking any kind of shit that developers throw at us. This is the entire mentality behind why devs can get away with charging people extra or content that’s locked on the disc. Because of assholes who believe “the developers intended it. Therefore, it is good”. Developer intent shouldn’t be an excuse to accept poor game design.

The devs intended for you to use the gathering system in the Last Story, but everyone complains about the game being repetitive. Well no shit! Turn on Gathering and you become overpowered. But the devs intended for that which makes it automatically “well designed”. Give me a fucking break. There’s a reason why a lot of people haven’t even bothered to warm up to the Last Story like they did with Xenoblade. You have several options for combat, even if the thing is on auto pilot half the time. Last Story? Turn on Gathering and hello free wins in spite of shitty AI!

The developers should intend for gamers to have FUN with their titles. Not for them to justify gameplay mechanics.