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  1. Colin is offline
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    Posted On:
    9/05/2012 1:01pm

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Simon has the right of it.
    The story and characters were simply more mature than the rest of the series. They weren't caricatures of themselves like the previous games.
  2. P Marsh is offline

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    Posted On:
    9/05/2012 1:51pm


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    Quote Originally Posted by simonifrius View Post
    Really? I thought, for one, that the dialogue was beautifully written (even though there may have been the occasional unnecessary speech, IIRC). Second, the characters may have been more nuanced, less expressive (more mature) than previous installments, but there are clear differences.

    Vaan was a disillusioned punk with a lot of growing up to do. I saw that as the point of his character; he was a kid with little to no guidance or stake in this world, suddenly swept up in the core events of it. And he was learning to be a man from the very heroes of the world. I could empathize with that.

    Pennelo was very innocent, Basch had a strong sense of duty comingled with shame, Ashe was a grieving widow trying to redeem her kingdom...they all had their own quirks. I didn't find it bland at all. Except for Fran, who seemed like a recycled character.
    I know they were supposed to have different character traits but what I'm trying to say is that the writing and acting combined to where characters in FF12 were not good at expressing emotion and felt very subdued to me. Conversations came across very drab especially with Fran as she seemed to either suck all the fun out of the room or stop the roll dead. I remember Basch and Ahse both having very similar speaking styles when Ashe wasn't being angry and hearing those two together gave off a sense that there was never any urgency and everyone was kind of on the edge of wanting to take a nap.

    I know there were plenty of different character archetypes used in FF12 its just that the execution of the dialogue and the expression of those personalities fell short for everyone aside from Balthier IMO.
  3. Colin is offline
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    Posted On:
    9/05/2012 2:10pm

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    Quote Originally Posted by P Marsh View Post
    I remember Basch and Ahse both having very similar speaking styles
    They were both extremely depressed, and convinced their actions would end in failure.

    Quote Originally Posted by P Marsh View Post
    everyone was kind of on the edge of wanting to take a nap.
    What you're noticing here is that the drama was actually very realistic. You are simply accustomed to the comic book style acting that is prevalent in the genre, and indeed video games on a whole. There was a legitimate reason that happened - and it was largely to do with technological constraints. They couldn't previously show anguish with a facial expression with older technology, so to compensate, they (the entire fucking industry) created caricatures, so that people could infer the emotions of the characters.

    That's not necessary any more - and the character art is largely used to descry emotions - of course along with inflection and tonality. Basically, the emotional content simply seems muted to you because you're adjusted to shonen characteristics. FF12 is not a Shonen - it was specifically designed for a mature audience.
  4. P Marsh is offline

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    Posted On:
    9/05/2012 2:40pm


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    Quote Originally Posted by Colin View Post
    What you're noticing here is that the drama was actually very realistic. You are simply accustomed to the comic book style acting that is prevalent in the genre, and indeed video games on a whole. There was a legitimate reason that happened - and it was largely to do with technological constraints. They couldn't previously show anguish with a facial expression with older technology, so to compensate, they (the entire fucking industry) created caricatures, so that people could infer the emotions of the characters.

    That's not necessary any more - and the character art is largely used to descry emotions - of course along with inflection and tonality. Basically, the emotional content simply seems muted to you because you're adjusted to shonen characteristics. FF12 is not a Shonen - it was specifically designed for a mature audience.
    Bland does not necessarily constitute mature, FF10 was almost entirely a religious expression and thought experiment based in existentialism and nihilism and that didn't stop it from being one of the most colourful and emotionally expressive Final Fantasy games ever produced. Characters were extremely different both visually and vocally at all times compared to 12's cast that falls short on expression. Realism doesn't work well when its constantly being overshadowed by its own supporting set pieces filled with impossible creatures, fantastic spirits, and blinding laser shows every 20 minutes as FF games are wont to do.

    If the team was unable to portray emotion verbally due to a lack of physical expression and body language then they should have thought otherwise. Look at the absolute worst scene in FF10, I see plenty of facial expression in Titus and Yuna and that predates 12 by 2-5 years from in house. FF12 was one of the last releases on the PS2 which support games like MGS3, DMC3, and Square's own Kingdom Hearts, having more than enough power and technical know-how behind it to accomplish such goals.
  5. Colin is offline
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    Posted On:
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    Quote Originally Posted by P Marsh View Post
    Bland does not necessarily constitute mature.
    You call it bland - I call it subtle. The difference is our level of maturity. See what I did there?

    Quote Originally Posted by P Marsh View Post
    power and technical know-how behind it to accomplish such goals.
    I was merely giving you an explanation as to why the industry is overshadowed with caricatures.

    Quote Originally Posted by P Marsh View Post
    colourful and emotionally expressive
    That's called a caricature.

  6. P Marsh is offline

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    Posted On:
    9/05/2012 3:39pm


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    Quote Originally Posted by Colin View Post
    You call it bland - I call it subtle. The difference is our level of maturity. See what I did there?
    Why all the snark Colin? I don't need you trying to bust my balls and call me a child to try and invalidate my point. You may think it's being subtle but I see it as a lack of substance and execution. Bland expression lacking emotion isn't realistic and when the entire dialogue of the game is constantly "subtle" it means that there is no depth behind that subtlety, its just shallow.

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin View Post
    I was merely giving you an explanation as to why the industry is overshadowed with caricatures.
    No you made an excuse for the team behind FF12 failing when the team behind FF10 had succeeded earlier.


    Quote Originally Posted by Colin View Post
    That's called a caricature.
    Is all outward expression of emotion caricature to you or what? Or is "being subtle" the only proper form of expression in your opinion?
  7. Colin is offline
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    Posted On:
    9/05/2012 5:11pm

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    Quote Originally Posted by P Marsh View Post
    Why all the snark Colin? I don't need you trying to bust my balls and call me a child to try and invalidate my point.
    You shouldn't feel insulted - in an attempt to discredit my position, you made a non-sequitur. I merely responded with a turn of phrase. Your assertion rings like someone complaining that food doesn't have enough flavour without salt in it. That's only true from the perspective of those who take salt with every meal. Do you understand the point I'm trying to make here?

    Quote Originally Posted by P Marsh View Post
    You may think it's being subtle but I see it as a lack of substance and execution.
    And this is the part where I can legitimately call you emotionally unintelligent. It's not meant as an insult - it's frankly the only rational explanation.

    Quote Originally Posted by P Marsh View Post
    Is all outward expression of emotion caricature to you or what? Or is "being subtle" the only proper form of expression in your opinion?
    Do I really need to be your educator here?

    Emotional expression is like music. You need both major and minor chords - you need both spatial ambience, and dense arrangement - you need pianissimo AND fortissimo. It's all about contrast and dynamic range. You can't play at some extreme volume for 5 minutes without some gaps of air. Only by creating emphasis can your communication be meaningful.

    Remember - I'm the guy who likes both games, and you're the one who thinks one is garbage. You're trying to paint a picture that the characters are lifeless, and that's simply not reasonable - there are a variety of emotionally intense situations in the game, the characters just don't feel the need to shout at each other constantly.

    It seems like you're offended that the game you like more is the one aimed at a younger audience. How do you expect me to respond?
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    Posted On:
    9/05/2012 8:57pm


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    Quote Originally Posted by Colin View Post
    Emotional expression is like music. You need both major and minor chords - you need both spatial ambience, and dense arrangement - you need pianissimo AND fortissimo. It's all about contrast and dynamic range. You can't play at some extreme volume for 5 minutes without some gaps of air. Only by creating emphasis can your communication be meaningful.

    Remember - I'm the guy who likes both games, and you're the one who thinks one is garbage. You're trying to paint a picture that the characters are lifeless, and that's simply not reasonable - there are a variety of emotionally intense situations in the game, the characters just don't feel the need to shout at each other constantly.

    It seems like you're offended that the game you like more is the one aimed at a younger audience. How do you expect me to respond?
    Your misunderstanding my criticism. When I'm saying that the characters in FF12 aren't expressive enough I'm not intending that they are too quiet like you imply but rather that the dialogue constantly feels that it is being read to me and not spoken. For the vast majority of the cutscenes there is very little change in intonation making the dialogue often sound forced and unrealistic. The voice director seemed to have taken up monotone as the keystone of the project hoping the quasi-Victorian script will mask it. Vaan and Penello are a bit more "real" with their dialogue and also have higher quality expression making it seem that maybe the actors themselves just couldn't handle the more obtuse writing.

    My initial phrasing of my dislike of 12 I admit was harsh, it is by no means a bad game but it is sub par for what I have come to expect as the baseline for the standard of what Final Fantasy games were and it put me off the series until SquareEnix/Eidos decide to stop blowing all their cash on graphics and cinemas. While the move away from random encounters was welcome, the license system was just a watered down version of the sphere grid with a lesser quality interface among all my other criticisms.

    I'm not offended that media I enjoy may be marketed primarily children, hell Beauty and the Beast won an Oscar and the best animated film award is named the "PIXAR" award. You, however, seem to be dead set on the concept that the simple fact that if something is more "mature" than something else that innate maturity somehow instills a superiority upon it regardless of any sense of quality that there may be.
  9. Colin is offline
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    Posted On:
    9/05/2012 11:12pm

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    I've figured it out. You simply hate British accents, and/or have an unenjoyable time reading the inflection in them. You know, if you had said that in the first place, we might have gotten here sooner.

    About the licence chart though - how can you possibly have preferred the sphere grid? The chart gave you vastly more freedom.
  10. P Marsh is offline

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    Posted On:
    9/06/2012 12:00am


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    Quote Originally Posted by Colin View Post
    I've figured it out. You simply hate British accents, and/or have an unenjoyable time reading the inflection in them. You know, if you had said that in the first place, we might have gotten here sooner.

    About the licence chart though - how can you possibly have preferred the sphere grid? The chart gave you vastly more freedom.
    First there is a difference between bad period Thespian and British, I like Dr. Who just fine and Balthier was interesting in some scope but the voice acting is just flat for the most part. Ashe has obvious moments of anger and Vaan and Penello are bubblier than their counter parts but when viewed as a whole the delivery comes off as dull.

    And the licensing grid was poor because it was vague and did not offer any form of characterization. With the Sphere Grid I could see where every single ability was before I bought it and plan my routes to maximize my efficiency while retaining a similar amount of freedom to the license grid. Without a strategy guide or internet research I had no idea where spells, abilities, weapons, and summons were; the system was both copied and downgraded.

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