Tuesday, 10 March 2015

Final Fantasy Levelling Is Stupid

With Final Fantasy 15 sort of round the corner I wanted to take a moment about my frustration with the level systems of basically every Final Fantasy from 10 onwards.

This post was first inspired by a news article that my friend link me a long time ago that I have long since lost, if I find it again I'll update the post.  The post outlined some things about how characters would level up and it compared the system to Dark Souls.  There's nothing inherently wrong with this and it's hard to make judgement without knowing all the other systems that the game will have but it still made me think how dumb levels have gotten in Final Fantasy.

All the way up to Final Fantasy 9 each character was kind of locked into a class.  The exception to this rule was Final Fantasy 3 and 5 which had a job system but if you picked a Fighter you better damn well play that character like a Fighter.  Final Fantasy 7 and 8 had ambiguous classes but it was clear who was better at things like sword fighting and who was better at casting spells.

Then Final Fantasy X came along with what seemed like an interesting level up system.  It introduced the Sphere Grid, a giant collection of circles where each one represented a certain statistical boost or ability.  A lot of people disliked the sphere grid but I thought it was OK.  I still have a lot of questions regarding how it works in the context of the game world but I didn't mind it so much.

My problem with the sphere grid is that the idea of a characters class went completely out of the window in the end game.  Every character could just do everything by the end of the game and you didn't even have to work that hard to get to that point.  You could argue the same thing about Final Fantasy 7 but the work you have to put in to achieve that is STUPID high while in FFX in requires very little effort.

FFX-2 was a bit more job based but jobs could be changed on the fly in combat which kind of ruined the whole point of the job system.  FF12 had that stupid license board bullshit and 13 just knocked the turd right out of the bowl with the fucking Crystarium. 

I'm hoping that the class and level system in FF15 will be back on point.  Where a fighter is a fighter, a mage is a mage and a thief is a thief.  The ability to make your characters more versatile is welcome but don't just abandon their entire role in combat so that everyone can do everything.

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