The galaxy is at peace

Peace reigns now that the last Metroid is in captivity, and this week’s Fun Club alternate selection, Super Metroid, is now live and ready for discussion. Pardon me for letting my biases show through, but this is basically one of the greatest video games ever made, so I expect nothing less than conversation to match. Yes, the pressure’s on.

Unfortunately, that galactic peace doesn’t extend to this website. Apparently a sure way to provoke tremendous anger is to slam Final Fantasy Tactics Advance. I didn’t realize the game actually had much of a fanbase, since everyone I know shares my opinion, i.e. that it’s a sloppy wreck of a game with a terrible interface, needlessly oblique gameplay and an uninspiring story. But fair enough; every game has its fans. People adore SaGa, so by comparison it’s easy to see why FFTA would have a following. Maybe I’ll make it into a Fun Club selection so I’ll have the excuse to give it another shot.

Meanwhile, VsRobot‘s weekly DVD column is online and ready to offer all sort of recommendations to those of you who don’t plan to spend your week soaking up Super Metroid or BioShock. Incidentally, I only had time to add about half of the prospective site contributors to the authorized list, so if you didn’t get a private message from me today — I should get back to you by next week.

14 thoughts on “The galaxy is at peace

  1. I love the original FFT dearly, but FFTA is a much more polished game. It’s far more user-friendly and fixes a multitude of flaws from the original. Jobs are more balanced. Magic is better and less cumbersome. Learning abilities is tied to completing missions rather than screwing around for hours on one map. Dispatch missions actually make sense.

    All of which isn’t to say that I don’t miss many aspects of FFT when I play FFTA, but the latter game gets far more hate than it deserves.

  2. More polished≠better. If “more user-friendly” equals “brain-dead easy,” then count me out.

    That said, I’m one of them there SaGa fans. Tee hee. I know there’s no defending Unlimited SaGa, but while recognizing that they have some pretty fundamental flaws, I still think the Frontier games are pretty darn cool. And the Gameboy entries are just plain great.

  3. I actually dislike FFTA because it’s more “balanced”. The FFIX-style skill system puts you on rails, compared to the freedom in FFT. Maybe it was a little bit messy, but it was so much more interesting. And it’s not like that kind of controlled development is terrible, it just feels so constricting when it has the FFT name on it. I also felt AP was earned too slowly, you’re stuck wearing the same lousy equipment for hours of random battles. So, I would say it’s more polished, but it’s also a lot more boring.

  4. I loved the story– we dealt with a boy questing his damndest to make sure his crippled brother could never walk again! So much more a cohesive story than FFT’s wait, what? The music–best on GBA.

    I do wish it was harder.

  5. I’ve never played Super Metroid, but I got it from a friend recently, so I’ll join in. It’s my first time with the game, though, which means I’ll probably go slooooooooowwwwwwer.

  6. While there’s no contest in my mind that FFT is the superior game, referring to FFTA as a “wreck of a game” sounds almost fanboy-ishly jaded.

    What exactly are you comparing FFTA to? The interface is less cumbersome than plenty of similar games, such as Front Mission or Tactics Orge (Let us Cling Together is still one of the best games of this genre, but interface-wise FFTA is downright streamlined in comparison). The charge of “oblique” is also strange, given that less straight-forward gameplay is often a good thing in a strategy game. And really, we all know how relative the concept of a “good plot” is, particularly in videogames.

    FFTA is among those turn-based strategy games that focus more on character customization than on field tactics (a la Advance Wars), but if you enjoy those type of games, I find it hard *not* to look past FFTA’s flaws and appreciate the game that is there.

  7. SaGa has a fan base? I thought I was the only one who liked those games. And hell, I only even like one of them.

  8. Super Metroid is one of the best games ever made. Not just ‘videogame’ game, but game period. It and Symphony of the Night exist as twins in a kind of nether-realm outside human reckoning where review scores are meaningless digits pasted unto paper or digitally sprayed across computer screens. They are perfect games in their own similar-but-different ways, and even the parts that frustrate or annoy me about them are like the seeds one must put up with in order to enjoy a succulent, ripe watermelon.

    Final Fantasy Tactics Advance isn’t worth discussing. It has not stood the test of what little time has passed in the manner of Super Metroid, Symphony, or hell even the original Tactics of Finalized Fantasy thereof. FFTA was like sweet relief for a Nintendo player base that would eat any kind of vaguely tactical, turn based, or real time journeying for relief from the terrible RPG hunger; in retrospect it was a terribly compromised, convoluted foodstuff, and we would have been better off with a direct sequel or playing Fire Emblem to death.

  9. I love SOTN, but come on, it’s not perfect. The last two bosses are way too easy and I say this as someone who cannot beat NES Castlevania. It’s still an awesome game though…

  10. I am in agreement with Don. I am looking forward to the DS version of Front Mission far more than the new Tactics Advance. I would love to see a new Tactics Ogre game as well, but Atlus has enough other cash cows in its stable.

  11. Super Metroid is just so damn beautiful. I wish I was not at work right now so I could play it. It’s also the best game ever made, according to EGM #150. It’s nice to have a cited source when in a videogame debate.

    I do understand the hate for FFTA. When a game starts with an HOUR LONG snowball fight, you know you’re in for a rough time.

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