Ultimate Gamejustice (#1) | Page 313 | The Popjustice Forum

Ultimate Gamejustice (#1)

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by Animalia, Mar 1, 2018.

  1. RJF


    If I was voting these days Final Fantasy X would be a lot higher on my list. There is... not a single weakness in its storyline. It's air-tight. It's full of intrigue and twists and depth and logic and heart. People will eulogise that aspect better than I will I think. A civilisation suspended in stasis to be siphoned off of to maintain the status quo. Never-ending, always reverting to cycle, and resisting the ultimate change: the ending of things. The dream ends. Sin ends. The cycle ends. But endings allow other things to begin, and ironically it's the Eternal Calm, but not everything exists long enough to see it. The point in the story where things go completely sideways for the gang at Macalania Temple felt truly like a watershed moment for the series; the world we had come to love and enjoy was weaponised and against them, and the plot never stops galloping after that point. Everything before the confrontation with Seymour feels like a prologue, and from that moment under the frozen lake it's like the game grabs you by the hand and asks you to run. It's thrilling. From the lake to the desert to Evrae to weddings to the fayth to a lake again to mountains to dead cities is a perfect run of storytelling in games. The stakes just ratchet higher and higher; the characters are stripped down of pretense and facades and forced to show who they truly are and who they truly want to be: to live boldly, to reject harmful, rotted tradition, to destroy false hope and no longer live suspended in time. The plot is all about the importance of marching along with time, or perish as it recedes.

    Spira is the pinnacle of the franchise's world-building efforts; a world where they could set a dozen other games in it at different points in the world's history and future and still have loads to mine afterwards. It's painted so vividly as this wounded world frequently ravaged by rampaging titan and stricken by despair and terror as a result. How cities are barely in existence (and how the biggest city is the seat of the corrupt religion ruling the world) and how everyone in the settlements and villages you find is scared and wary and clinging to Yuna for hope and for leadership. How the terrain is so varied yet... logical and thrilling (The Calm Lands alone felt insane back in the day. Macalania Woods, Zanarkand in both in its forms, Djose, Inside Sin, THE FARPLANE). You end up imagining every other pilgrimage that has happened through the land; how far they got before giving up or guttering out, and surely that's a great mark of whether or not a world in a game is compelling or not: you end up wondering about things that happened nowhere near the adventure you're on.

    I said this last night but X does a marvellous job of taking the franchise's key, beloved tropes, distilling them into their pure form, and presenting them beautifully. There's nothing convuluted or difficult or perhaps even challenging in how X acts as an JRPG from a battle perspective, but it's just... so well conceived. It felt like (and in fact, kind of was) the last hurrah for this kind of classic, turn-based battle system and it went out with a bang. The concept is so simple but it still manages to be tricky and strategic in all the right places without feeling unfair, joyless, or alienating. The aeons take on the role and form they've always felt like they were growing towards through the main title games. If disembodied minor plot points in VIII, active players in the plot in IX, to actual living, breathing characters during gameplay and storyline, which makes the ending and their eventual sacrifice all the the more momentous as Yuna realises that they need to be vanquished along with Sin. The origins of Anima alone... oof. It makes ripping through them all the more harder.

    It's times like this I wish I wasn't just shooting from the hip and had something more... final (LOL) to say here, but it's definitely one of the best Final Fantasies by far and, in my opinion, the swan song for the franchise's golden era. But what a way to go out, with your best world ever, your tightest plot yet, and your most lingering, memorable ending ever. What. A. Game.
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2018
    mi|kshake, citoig, Robert and 25 others like this.
  2. thank you so much for this rate @Animalia

    we´ve finally reached zanarkand. i am kinda sad this rate is over.
    Robert, papatrick, evilsin and 9 others like this.
  3. RJF


    I DIDN'T EVEN SAY ANYTHING ABOUT THE CHARACTERS: they're all integral. Each of them have their moments of heroism and moments where you despise them, but it makes for the most close-knit, well rounded cast we've ever seen from the games.

    (Roxxxy voice: Except for Kamahri.)
  4. If there's ever a rate of rates, this one gets all my points.

    Seriously, this must have taken up so much of your time this year, @Animalia, and it hasn't gone unnoticed or underappreciated. This thread has been a bright spot in my day many times over.

    Also, many thanks for a new arsenal of hilarious GIFs I now have stored on my phone.
    Robert, papatrick, evilsin and 6 others like this.
  5. Final Fantasy X is the greatest game of all time. Well done everyone involved, and especially @Animalia.
  6. Final Fantasy X is truly a stunning game and I’m delighted to see it take the crown.

    I think that it’s easy to say that a thread like this is ‘just a bit of fun’ – and let me tell you, it has been a ride – but it’s clear to me that video games are so much more than that. The worlds that are so lovingly crafted, and those that we choose to escape to, matter to me in a way that’s nearly almost unrivalled and it’s been entirely affirming to read how much certain games resonate with you all and how they stay with us and influence us in similar and in different ways.

    @thevideogamecrewofPJ and, most importantly, @Animalia, thank you for giving me something to look forward to, to feel a part of, and to cherish.

    I hope we meet again on the Smash battlefield.

  7. RJF


    Score Appreciation Corner:

    And of course...

  8. Whew so, I won't bore you all with the big closing speech yet 'cause there's a good chunk left to come with everyone's summaries, the achievements and some more statistics-y goodness (plus my own commentary for the final three I ran out of time to finish oop), but let me just say thank you to everyone for taking part. Whether you voted or just tagged along for the ride, it's been a real joy to talk about something I love with so many like-minded people. An extra massive thank you to @kalonite too, who helped me out more than I can express with various photoshop woes, filling in a lot of a major holes in my video game knowledge and general moral support, love ya sis.

    So yeah, this isn't quite the end, but I hope you all won't mind too much if I take a wee bitsy of a step back for the Christmas holidays. I'll be around of course and should get some stuff done, but after not missing a day of this since March I'm low-key looking forward to a bit of a break nn.

  9. Ultimate Gamejustice X-2 is comin with that extra bonus stastic-y goodness!
    mi|kshake, stuaw, papatrick and 9 others like this.
  10. BTG



    This icon.

    The Hymn of the Fayth trickling down from the original Zanarkand and being repurposed into religious dogma... ugh, their minds.
    stuaw, kalonite, aaronhansome and 6 others like this.
  11. RJF


    Kingdom Hearts as it gets completely overshadowed by sharing its reveal time with the winner

    stuaw, Denemarken, evilsin and 12 others like this.
  12. I kinda forgot to mention my favourite song that's crept up with time; Wandering Flame is that palpable moment of sadness where realisation hits Tidus and breaks his sunny optimism as he witnesses the terror, destruction and sacrifice to Sin. It has a woozy melancholy that characterises its sequence beautifully, almost painting the grey, drained environment of Djose. It always makes me a lil emotional.

  13. Oh and @Animalia you're incredible and the sheer pace of this thing has been unmatched, alongside care and craft for every single elimination, no matter how questionable the choice. What an accomplishment. I wish you all the best for your impending hibernation (and what game are you gonna be playing? nn).
  14. also cant wait for the next rate once KH 3 is getting released <3
    soratami, Animalia and DominoDancing like this.
  15. Honestly just glad it wasn’t Kingdom Hearts that won ddd.

    Absolutely impeccably done @Animalia. The amount of effort, time and finesse you put into this rate is second to none. Truly outstanding. You deserve a well earned break!
  16. Yasss Yuna Queen of Video Games!

    Last edited: Dec 17, 2018
  17. I haven’t been here long but never have I seen such a well executed and always on time undertaking of this scale. With just how many ballots and how many games on the board I honestly can’t imagine how @Animalia did it.
    The entire rate portion is over and I’m still struggling to finish commentary from bloody APRIL, I don’t know how you managed to be so well organised but I live for it.
    You had a joke or a random obscure tweet for nearly every game even if you had never seen said game before what kind of talent.
    Thank you for a great experience and enjoy your break.

    Final Fantasy X was my front runner to win from before the rate started, however there were a lot of surprises and upsets to be had in this rate. For example Bayonetta and Bayonetta 2 flopped so hard I thought one of them would be top 15 minimum because it’s such an iconic MOMENT. But now it has me considering
    I had no idea my number 1 game Okami would be so high, nor did I think my last game Journey would be so high. Art truly is appreciated here.

    As much as I dislike that three Final Fantasies outranked FFVIII, I am surprised that X-2 wasn’t one of them since it seemed like that’s the midpoint between FFX and Kingdom Hearts, our top 2.

    Me every time another Fighting game gets eliminated, not realising so many Fighting game hunties are here. The taste.
  18. Eternal gratitude to @Animalia for creating the greatest thread of all time!!!

    Also what a deserving winner, especially for this forum. It wasn't on my list because I started playing it for the first time after I submitted my scores but there's no denying that it is one of the most iconic games of all time.
  19. FFX is a masterclass of the traditional JRPG and probably had a lot to do with killing the JRPG for so many years because it just couldn't be matched. The storytelling that rivals even the best of movies and novels has been talked about enough, but the pseudo open world, the countless side activities, and the somehow balanced combat are all incredible and a fine-tuning of what Square had been working towards for years.

    It's such a pleasure to playthrough, it's probably one of the first games that grinding wasn't incredibly painful in. While it's not my favorite/the greatest game of all time (I would've gone with something that revolutionized a genre like Super Mario 64, Ocarina of Time, or Half Life 2), FFX is absolutely a worthwhile winner. In retrospect, I should've rated it higher, but I don't think I fully appreciated the genius of it until I started replaying Persona 5 (the apex of the modern JRPG).
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