Tag Archives: Final Fantasy XIII

Specialization in Role Playing Games – Throwback Thursday

We’ve been thinking a lot about World of Warcraft lately – more on that to come – but that had me looking back for related posts. I found this incredibly long essay about where games have gone with specialization of roles in role-playing games. Interesting to consider now a couple of years on – with D&D 5th Edition out and as a return to the older style of the game, and with Final Fantasy XV coming out and seemingly action-styled like Lightning Returns. Or to consider a game series like Dark Souls, which I have been playing a bit again lately, where with only one character to control – and the odds stacked heavily against you – you need to be ready for anything! If this all sounds interesting to you, I think my discussion holds up so give it a read! And just to warn again, it’s a long one!

This is a post idea I’ve had for a long time. My initial thought is this: lately I feel like there has been an increasing move towards specialization in characters in role playing games (RPGs). Meaning that before you often had characters who needed to be able to handle a multitude of situations, need to be able to heal and do damage and take a hit – all in one character, or all in each character.

However, that has been decreasing of late. Instead, we see the rise of roles like Tanking, Healer, and DPS. You see it in party-based online situations especially, and with the rise of MMORPGs, there’s a lot of this going on online and in big-name games people are putting a lot of time into. However, a further place you see this happening was in Dungeons and Dragons 4th Edition, which was built to in many ways play like an MMO.

So I will look a bit at both of those – MMOs and D&D 4th Edition – but what really has me thinking about this is that I now have an even better case study. the Final Fantasy games. In Final Fantasy XIII, they hit the most specialized that they ever have; however, in breaking away from that in Lightning Returns, they are moving back to a place where you have far more control over customizing your character. So have we hit the far extent of the trend? Are we moving back away from specialization? That’s the question I will close with!

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Science Fiction and Religion – The Apocalypse

Is there just an apocalypse waiting?

From Avengers #3 by Jonathan Hickman.

I love Hickman’s Avengers. I’ve written about that fact before, and especially one of the things I love about his Marvel work – and his other comics – is how he works with both science and mythology. In Avengers, especially, he works on larger, over-arching mythology for the whole Marvel Universe. Its origins… and its ending.

That ending was last summer’s big crossover event, Secret Wars. I reviewed that recently. But it was a lot of time and comics leading into it, not just one crossover and everything is over. The apocalypse did not happen suddenly, although it may have felt that way if you were reading other titles… or just reading about the whole thing in the press about it.

No, in reading the whole thing, the buildup and then the collapse, I got to thinking of two things. One is the obvious, I suppose: other apocalyptic literature. Religious especially, the sort that seeps out into shows like Supernatural or Buffy the Vampire Slayer. We were reading a lot of the book of Daniel recently at church, and it’s also just chock full of apocalyptic dreams and visions. So the end of the world: symbolism, signs, and things that are either super literal or completely metaphorical…

The second thing I was thinking of, however, was the Final Fantasy XIII series, wherein the world ends between Final Fantasy XIII-2 and Lightning Returns. In particular, at the end of XIII-2, time itself ends, and the power of death along with it… but as Mr. Fantastic might say, everything dies, and ever so slowly that world does too.

Taken all together, you get what I considered as the alternate title to this blog post: how to end the universe.

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Final Fantasy and Religion

Final Fantasy X : X-2 HD for PS3So Holly recently completed Final Fantasy X, and I watched her replay it most of the way through. One of the things that struck me most was the organized religion in the game. I had been trying to think of a way to do a Science Fiction and Religion post about Final Fantasy, and I think that focusing on X is the way to go.

So I am going to look at some of the big themes in the games – religious and not – and then am going to look at some of the specifics of the organized religion in Final Fantasy X – and what it all might mean, if anything. 

I’ll close out with a video about Final Fantasy and Religion that I’ve been wanting to include in a post at some point, to wrap it up with a bow! Minor Final Fantasy spoilers, and a bit more for X, after the jump!

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Specialization in Role Playing Games

This is a post idea I’ve had for a long time. My initial thought is this: lately I feel like there has been an increasing move towards specialization in characters in role playing games (RPGs). Meaning that before you often had characters who needed to be able to handle a multitude of situations, need to be able to heal and do damage and take a hit – all in one character, or all in each character.

However, that has been decreasing of late. Instead, we see the rise of roles like Tanking, Healer, and DPS. You see it in party-based online situations especially, and with the rise of MMORPGs, there’s a lot of this going on online and in big-name games people are putting a lot of time into. However, a further place you see this happening was in Dungeons and Dragons 4th Edition, which was built to in many ways play like an MMO.

So I will look a bit at both of those – MMOs and D&D 4th Edition – but what really has me thinking about this is that I now have an even better case study. the Final Fantasy games. In Final Fantasy XIII, they hit the most specialized that they ever have; however, in breaking away from that in Lightning Returns, they are moving back to a place where you have far more control over customizing your character. So have we hit the far extent of the trend? Are we moving back away from specialization? That’s the question I will close with!

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Lightning Returns in Another Light

So, as I have been seeing aspects of Lightning Returns, my brain has been turning to mashups of different plots with this, comparisons to other Final Fantasy games, and other things.

Helping my case, they seem to have dived right in to other games, with outfits and schema (the job system) based on other SquareEnix games – mostly other Final Fantasy games, but also Tomb Raider. So, thank you for helping my case.

And then, just to help a bit more, they built in screenshot-sharing functionality, through Twitter and/or Facebook. Is this going to be dangerous? Indubitably.  But it also makes these screenshots easy to find and share with others. So I took a few, found a few on their site, and many more from around Twitter, and thought I would share. My comparisons are perhaps tongue-in-cheek, but the screenshots show a game that is going to fascinating to experience once it arrives.

You can tell the screenshots in this post from social media because they have the copyright information embedded in them.

You can tell the screenshots in this post from social media because they have the copyright information embedded in them.

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