Monday, December 21, 2009

Dissidia Playing Log: Part 7

Hi, Space Monkees!

I've been playing Dissidia for awhile now, and I've been extremely unhappy with the storyline so far.  Of course, no matter how disappointed I've been with the plot in the past, not a single one of my complaints come anywhere near how absolutely furious I am over the complete and utter waste of a chapter that is Destiny Odyssey VII.  Before, it was just laughs, now its pain.  This chapter is little more than a soup of mental excriment and last-minute ideas.  Its almost as if the inspiration, "Final Fantasy VII", was just not a sufficent source of plot material.  So instead of using that game's excellent and classic plot, they instead went with several conversations on the meaning of fighting, and then they brought up that stupid rose motif again.

I am sick and bloody tired of hearing about that goddamn rose!  The first time they said it, I got a chuckle because of how silly the whole idea was:  your big goal in life is to plant a bunch of flowers?  But now its come up over and over again in every chapter.  By this point, its breaking me down into hysterical tears every time its comes back again.  Even the simplest of simple plots, pure good vs evil, is not this mind numbing!

I mean, why should Cloud Strife, of all people need to sit around contemplating his belly button about his reason to fight.  He's the last person in the world who needs motivation around here.  Let's review his life story:  Cloud was a lonely kid so he used heroic stories of Sephiroth as escapism, but then his childhood hero proceeded to burn down Cloud's village, kill his mother, injure his best friend, nearly kill his childhood love, succeed in killing his second love, take control of Cloud's mind to bring about the apocalypse, come back years later as a disease that infected both Cloud and his adopted children, and nearly kill him about a dozen times.  I mean, isn't that enough?  We don't need any more motivation, game!  Let's just cut to the action already!

But enough complaints, now I shall try to improve!  Here's how Destiny Odyssey VII should have gone.  Cloud is really pissed off at Sephy for all the awful shit that's happened to him.  So, just like in FFVII, Cloud spends the entire chapter in a mad furious dash after his foe.  But then, in maybe by the fourth section, Cloud finally confronts Sephiroth, but it turns out he's actually has been used as a puppet this entire time.  Cloud has a bit of emotional turmoil, which is solved from some cryptic comments from Cosmos or Golbez - doesn't matter what the advise is or who says it.  He then goes after Sephiroth, beats him, gets the Crystal.  Simple, simple, simple.  Basically just a replay of FFVII's story, only with the other games' characters hanging around.  This should have been the best chapter of the lot!  Instead its just worthless!

Who the Hell wrote this game?  I really do need to talk with the guy who wrote these lines, because there are a few conversations in this game that just don't make any sense at all.  Cloud and Sephiroth's big confrontation is a masterpiece of confusing dialogue.  There's not a line, not a single line that I could completely figure out.  I can't help but feel that this doesn't make any sense in the original Japanese either.

It doesn't help that any quality of the voice acting is ruined by the worst case of Lip Lock syndrome I've ever seen - even worse than "Final Fantasy X"!  Lip Lock is a way of dubbing foreign language works by making the English sentences fit the mouth motions of the original language, the other way is "Godzilla-style" where you just ignore it  alland have the characters speak with no relation to the motion of their mouths.  Done with skill, and you won't even notice it like "Final Fantasy XII" (even then, it wasn't perfect), done badly, and you get this.  There are some pauses in the dialogue here that are long enough to fit a Nimitz Class Aircraft Carrier through.  How did they mess up the dubbing so badly in this game?  They had nine months to localize this internationally.  Nine months!  You couldn't find a way to make the dialogue move more naturally?  You couldn't use that time to go back and reanimate the mouth motions to avoid this problem?  Remember, this is a handheld game; half the time I can't even see the mouths that clearly.  You lose a lot more than you gain.  And when you have awkward pauses on dialogue spoken on a character facing away from the the screen, then I get pissed.

Well anyway, let's move on to something that doesn't annoy me as much.  Umm... Cloud himself as a playable character!  He's okay, a nice brawler.  A little too easy to dodge though.  I really didn't get to try him out all that well since Destiny Odyssey VII is the easiest chapter in this entire game.  I think he could be more useful after some more moves are learned.  Onion Knight is still my boy!

I also played this chapter using the Command Style gameplay.  You see, Dissidia is an action game marketed towards a fanbase that plays RPGs.  So I guess Square Enix thought that maybe some players would be so weak at playing video games from using menus their entire lives that they couldn't control an action game.  (Square Enix does not view its players with very much respect.)  So instead of direct control of your character, you get a command window like in a turn-based RPG.  Yeah... I think that's the stupidest idea ever too.  But it was worth at least one try.  Its garbage, forget about it.  The computer does react surprisingly well to your commands.  It actually works a lot better than I thought it would.  But you still lose direct control, and the computer is a moron sometimes.  I lost to Sephiroth about six times because when I ordered Cloud to use an HP attack, he would just use it six miles away from his foe, leaving him wide open for a counterattack.  So unless you only have one hand to play with, I recommend using the normal gameplay.

So that's that...  I was warned that this game would only get worse, and it looks like it did.  At this point I have absolutely no hope for the last few chapters, but as long as the gameplay stays acceptable I can deal with a shitty storyline.  I'm going to finish this bitch, one way or another.

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