MAP Episode 95: Indefinitely Free-to-Play

Yoichi Wada has been shown who is the boss!
Saxton Hale weighs in on the topic of Final Fantasy XIV.

Download Link: Produced 2010.12.12

Begin celebrating the holiday with this Indefinitely-Free-To-Play podcast, chock full of cheery good news including Final Fantasy XIV INDUSTRY, criminal pursuit PROGRESS, and Emperor Kotick’s astonishing PROFIT. Plus, Ginia reveals a surprising secret!


  1. – I love Xenogears, even loved Disc 2 but the voice acting outside of battle was horrendous. No gem can be flawless I guess.

    – The existance of Lusipurr’s moral compass was a major plot twist this episode. Can’t wait for the season finale.

    – I just can’t sympathize with Wada, he’s an ass and I can’t wait for him to be replaced for someone that will bring back the good old days of Square… or even Enix. This is what you get for numbering a Final Fantasy that should just have been named Final Fantasy Online II, the failure just seems bigger when you screw up a numbered entry, even if its not really one.

  2. I’ll be honest, I’ve struggled to get any enjoyment out of both FF7 and Xenogears; so, while like you, I put them in the same category as each other, that category is much lower to me.

    I’ve tried to play both several times over the years and never made it more than about 15 hours into either one before I wanted to play something else.

  3. @Epyon: The voice acting is not very good, but it is also not the worst I’ve ever heard. Considering XG was the very first Square game to have an anime cutscene in it, that’s not bad for a beginner’s effort.

    Instead of due north, my moral compass always points due horrible.

    @Dan: Wha-a-a-a-t?

  4. the lead artist of FF XIV, akihiko yoshida, also did FFXII, Ogre Battle, Tactics Ogre, Vagrant Story, and FF Tactics. his art is fine it’s just that the graphics of the games he works on tend to not give his designs justice.

    -I don’t like FF7 either. if Xenogears is similar then I ain’t playin.

  5. just heard the part where the fucker stole from dying children at chrismas. god-fuckin-dammit.

  6. @Breaka: Weak.

    “A person who didn’t like Xenogears also didn’t like FF7. I don’t like FF7 either. Therefore I won’t like Xenogears.”

    Maybe you should at least learn something about the game before you decide to throw up your hands and stomp off. It’s nothing like FF7, except that both were made by the same company, and both are excellent games.

    Disappointing. Maybe we just won’t have site playthroughs anymore. The point is to bring people to games they’ve no experience with. If people are just going to refuse to try new things, there’s no point in having playthroughs at all.

  7. Final Fantasy VII and Xenogears are entirely different games in both mechanics and storytelling. I personally like Final Fantasy VII, however I find the plot and a couple of the characters to be rather obnoxious (mainly the main character of Cloud) while in Xenogears while there are annoying characters, there is a reason fro them to be so.

    @Breaka666 I suggest you at least give Xenogears a try, the graphics are a bit outdated but it was a game from 1998 for the Playstation, even Final Fantasy IX doesn’t have amazing graphics by today’s standards. I believe that if you try, the storyline and combat will draw you in and probably almost bring you to tears.

  8. oh calm down. I know enough, I’ve played Xenosaga and I’m uncertain about goin through similar shit. only MGS has more cutscenes. I figured since Dan compared the two they might be more similar than I thought they were.

  9. @Breaka: Xenosaga and Xenogears are completely different games. They have different storylines, different battles systems, different characters, and different arrangements. They were made by different companies, for different systems, at different times.

    I loathe the Xenosaga games. Xenogears, on the other hand, is a work of art.

    Once again, play the game or at least learn how it works before you discount it entirely on the basis of having played games that you think might be like it, but which probably (and in this case definitely) aren’t.

  10. well excuse me for thinking two jrpgs with sci fi elements published by square might be similar.

    but fine, I’ll admit I was hasty. I was wrong. I’ll learn more about it.

    I’ve heard the game has a shit ton of writing in it. is this true?

    is the writer the same dude from xenosaga?

    what is the battle system like? what would you compare it to?

    how is the plot? and when I say that I’m askin about plot holes, themes, complexity, and the general flow. scope and character development are relatively unimportant to me.

  11. @Breaka: The game is, like most RPGs of the time, fairly text-heavy. If you can’t play RPGs without having the characters read their lines via voice acting, you should avoid Xenogears. You should also avoid any RPGs prior to the PS2 era, and especially things like FF4, FF6, and Chrono Trigger–despite their universal acclaim.

    As for the writer, I don’t know what you mean? If you mean the translator, no. If you mean the person in charge of the script–no, I don’t think so. If you mean the author of the original story which Xenosaga later reimagined, yes. But then, we don’t blame C. S. Lewis for the failure of the Prince Caspian movie, do we?

    I can’t compare the Xenogears battle system to anything else as it doesn’t remind me of any other battle system.

    The character battle system is turn-based, uses martial arts combos, and your characters gain abilities and such through using similar combinations of attacks.

    Gear battles are also turn based, but different attacks use different amounts of fuel, more for a stronger attack, less for a weaker. There are also special powers for the gears based on your ability with combos. Unlike character battles, you only get one attack per turn.

    I am doing a poor job of explaining it because I have never played a game with a battle system like that in Xenogears. It’s quite tactical and often involves not using all your attacks in a turn so that you can save them up to release them in a huge burst of combos.

    The plot is tremendous, complex, and full of ‘Ah-ha!’ moments. The script itself is replete with puns–they are a constant thread. Character development is very good as well, even if you don’t care about things like having believeable characters that you are forced to deal with for 40 hours.

    Generally speaking I’d say that the Xenogears plot is one of my favourites, though it is complex, occasionally serious, and often rather sad. It is not a happy game. It is a game about personal struggles and destiny.

    I think rather than asking me to play the game for you, in words, you could just try playing it yourself. It is always features in reader polls as one of the best games ever made (that’s GAMES, not RPGs), and consequently is worthy of attention.

  12. Or you know what, nevermind. I can’t believe we’ve come to a point where I have to try to justify playing Xenogears to people. If someone had told me this twelve years ago, I would have laughed in their face.

    Don’t play it if you don’t want to. You’re not hurting anyone but yourself.

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