September 23, 2011

At one point, I was considering reworking my Rogue Galaxy review because while replaying it, I was thinking my 3 might have been a bit low and the game was more of a 5 or so. Well, that might still be the case, but finishing the game proved to be so painful that I just don't have the energy to care enough to do so.

Here's how it went (massive spoilers for those interested in the game):

1. You reach the game's final planet and find out about a huge threat.

2. Go through dungeon, kill boss.

3. Enter shrine dungeon where you have to take about eight paths so each character can have a revelation about themselves.

4. Enter final dungeon. This place is very long and repetitive, even by the standards of a game that specializes in long, repetitive dungeons.

5. Fight "final" boss. This is a two-part fight.

6. Enjoy game designers remembering that, before this boss was introduced, they had perfectly good adversaries, so they quickly appear to get assimilated into the new boss.

7. Eight-part fight against new final boss. Each part is one of your eight characters against part of it. Fortunately, I never died because if I had, I would have gone back to the very beginning of the entire thing.

8. 30-minute ending after all that.

Yeah...never going back to that one!

Most recent blog posts from Rob Hamilton...

SamildanachEmrys SamildanachEmrys - September 23, 2011 (05:07 PM)
That's a serious design oversight!
overdrive overdrive - September 23, 2011 (08:02 PM)
Sadly, I think this was part of how they wanted to tell the story to have the main adversaries disappear for three chapters or so and then pop up at the very end.

Mainly because they did strange things all game long as far as pacing and balancing their story. Like building up a rival to your main character through the seventh and eighth chapter, only to abruptly have him fail his mission, go insane and get killed by you in the ninth chapter.

And one chapter can be described as, "Uh, yeah...I know you're all excited about going to that new planet...but we kinda have this plot element about the main character and how he's the descendent of a mythological hero we gotta do something about, so we're not letting you go there until you find this desert town to get the 4-1-1 on all that!" I'm serious. The game was basically that blunt about it (without using "4-1-1").

Level-5 storytelling can be bizarrely entertaining at times. Like in Dark Cloud 2, where they build up Gaspard through most of the game as being a total jerk villain. And then in the final confrontation with him, there are about 2-3 flashback cutscenes thrown in to make his death tragic. Or his life confusing. Or both.
Suskie Suskie - September 23, 2011 (11:23 PM)
Yeah, I hate it when a game seems like it's going to end soon, and then stubbornly refuses to.

Did you ever play Baten Kaitos? I'm not exaggerating in the slightest when I say that after you beat the final boss, there is literally a FULL HOUR of cutscenes (and one surprise just-for-show battle) before the credits roll.
honestgamer honestgamer - September 24, 2011 (01:34 AM)
That pisses me off, too. I mean... c'mon! Some people only have time to play an hour or two, and if they spend an hour or so getting through to and defeating the boss, they're not ready to turn off the game before seeing the ending but they want to go to bed! If you're going to do that to a player, give them the chance to save after defeating the boss and ahead of the closing sequence.
overdrive overdrive - September 24, 2011 (03:01 AM)
Never played Batan Kaitos, but I know what you mean about games like that. This wasn't my first battle with ending fatigue ("NECRON WHO?!?!?!"; Wild Arms 3 died a bit after you finish off the Three Prophets and Siegfried and then have to set up the newly-introduced final boss). This one just hit me harder than usual. The thing is, story-wise, upon a second playthrough, it's really solid. Chapter 1 introduces things, then Chapter 2-3 together, 4, 5 and 6 both advance the plot and have a self-contained story that gets resolved. Well, 4 really doesn't, but the others do. 7 also is good for plot advancement.

But it all goes to hell in 8 because it's so damn long and so little gets resolved. You have to collect three dealies to unlock a portal, so you have to visit three different dungeons to get them (with two of them being average length by this game's standards (ie: long) and the third being fucking massive by about any standards (two eight-floor towers where with each one, you wind up crossing between them to the other a couple times). And there was a bonus, optional planet with its own self-contained quest and story.

Then when you get to Chapter 9, it just turns into a trainwreck. A teammate betrays you, he gets betrayed by the initial big bad, the evil doppleganger fails to unlock the portal, goes crazy and is killed. My head explodes. Things just get more convoluted and weird. A good, if cliched, story was being told until the acid kicked in.
SamildanachEmrys SamildanachEmrys - September 24, 2011 (03:38 AM)
Yeah, I hate it when a game seems like it's going to end soon, and then stubbornly refuses to.

Did you ever play Baten Kaitos? I'm not exaggerating in the slightest when I say that after you beat the final boss, there is literally a FULL HOUR of cutscenes (and one surprise just-for-show battle) before the credits roll.

...Metal Gear Solid 4. DEAR GOD, Metal Gear Solid 4. Friends were watching me play though it, and after about 25 minutes of ending cut scene we all started exchanging glances. By the time it finished, the 'ending' had gone on for over 90 minutes, if memory serves. And most of it is dialogue; nothing much really happens.
jerec jerec - September 24, 2011 (05:54 AM)
Did you see Return of the King in the cinema? I did. Made the mistake of getting a popcorn/drink combo.
JoeTheDestroyer JoeTheDestroyer - September 24, 2011 (09:56 AM)
I laugh looking back at watching Return of the King in the theaters. Every time it seemed like the film was going to end, the entire theater got up and shuffled out. Then the movie would continue, the entire crowd would let out one loud sigh of irritation, and everyone would file back to their seats. A buddy of mine yelled, "Wrap it up!"
SamildanachEmrys SamildanachEmrys - September 24, 2011 (11:43 AM)
Haha, yeah, it has that succession of fade-to-black moments. I waited until DVD, and even then I ended up shouting "oh come ON!" at the tv.
JoeTheDestroyer JoeTheDestroyer - September 24, 2011 (11:48 AM)
I loved that StarTropics did it... way back on the NES!

You know, I also loved that about StarTropics. I could show the ending to all my brothers and friends without having to re-fight the final boss. It was great, but everyone got sick of seeing it after about a week.
honestgamer honestgamer - September 24, 2011 (04:20 PM)
I saw it in theaters, but I'd read the book so I knew it wasn't ending yet. In fact, I didn't even notice it as an issue. The book took a really long time to end and I was waiting for certain events to transpire that were most memorable to me from the book. Of course, those never actually happened (at least in the theatrical version), so that was all that was on my mind when I left the theater. As I recall, there was no rumbling in the audience about things dragging on forever, no people starting to leave because they thought it was over but it wasn't.
SamildanachEmrys SamildanachEmrys - September 25, 2011 (01:57 AM)
I've never managed to force my way past the first book, so I didn't know what was coming.
JoeTheDestroyer JoeTheDestroyer - September 25, 2011 (02:01 AM)
Spokanites aren't quite so patient, Jason. Many of us have small bladders and even smaller attentions spans.

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