Editorial: Revisiting Games

Greetings, readers! Up-to-date Lusifans will recall that in last week’s TSM, our dictator benevolent leader talked about his experiences with revisiting Final Fantasy Tactics Advance and how significantly his opinion of the game has changed. This, in turn, got me thinking about some of the games I have revisited and how my opinions have changed, and generally for the better. So, without further ado, I would like to talk about a few of these games.

Remarkably, I even liked Tidus.
Final Fantasy X is a game I used to hate, but now like.

Perhaps the most significant experience I had revisiting a game was Final Fantasy X. As a kid, I hated FFX, and my opinion of the game stayed soured until early 2010, when I finally gave the game another try during my quest to play every main numbered Final Fantasy. On my replay, I absolutely loved the game, and eventually went out of my way to complete the game and all its sidequests, even the horrible butterfly minigame. My overall opinion on FFX has since become more moderate; it is still an excellent game but by no means the best in the series. I do have a number of issues with the story, especially its pacing, but the battle system is not really like any other Final Fantasy and I may be the only person on Earth who actually liked the Sphere Grid as a means of character progression. The complete turnaround of my opinion on Final Fantasy X has easily been the most surprising change in my gaming tastes; I fully expected to have difficulty even seeing the game through to the end, much less doing the incredibly long monster arena sidequest.

This brings me now to another game in the series, Final Fantasy IX. Those readers who are somehow not aware of my initial position on FFIX should know that it was always my least favorite of the PS1-era FF games for reasons that I have never really been able to pin down. I have been replaying the game recently, and found what I always suspected about FFIX – I like the game far more now than I did a few years ago when I first played it. Now that I finally have a bit of nostalgia built up for the non-FFVII games in the series and a heightened appreciation for character-driven storylines, I am finding FFIX to be significantly more enjoyable. My complaints about the game (namely its incredibly slow battle system) have not changed, and I still am torn on my overall opinion of the game, but I can certainly admit that regardless of my own personal opinion, Final Fantasy IX is an extremely well-made game. In particular, the pacing is good; unlike the other two PS1 games, the events of FFIX flow cohesively and the plot remains interesting throughout. Hopefully, by the time I finish this playthrough of FFIX, I will be able to finally figure out whether or not I like the game overall.

This game has some really horrendous dungeon design. So much frustration.
I doubt most readers have heard of Magi-Nation. This is probably for the best.

These two cases are probably the most extreme changes of opinion I have had playing games, though there are several games where my feelings are moderately different. I have gone from neutral to generally positive about the first Mario and Luigi game, for example, and my opinion of Final Fantasy VIII was lower after a replay. And while my opinion of the games are still high, I definitely noticed aspects of the second generation Pokemon games that I did not notice when I was playing the games for the first time at nine years old. The hardware limitations of the GBC cart were definitely felt in the Kanto sections of GSC, but my feelings about the second generation of Pokemon have not really changed much as a result. The only real significant lowering of my opinion on a game was Magi-Nation; while I like the Pokemon-esque battles, the dungeon design is absolutely terrible and the terrible GBC sound chip did not do good things for that game’s soundtrack.

Strangely, my opinion of games rarely seems to go down after replays. Instead, I find myself more forgiving of many games than I once was. I worry sometimes that my opinions get boosted too highly by my nostalgia, but I have recently decided that my reasons for liking something are irrelevant so long as I enjoy whatever it is I have chosen to experience. Still, I do find it odd that I rarely like a game less after replaying it; once I decide I like a game I apparently do not stop liking it except for a few cases. What about you, readers? Has replaying a game ever changed how you felt about it? Comment and discuss, readers!

9 comments

  1. I really disliked XII initially, but when I readjusted my expectations I realised that it is actually a fantastic game.

  2. I love the Sphere Grid too! X is an excellent game!

    (That’s my obligatory FFX fangirl comment done.)

  3. I also adore the sphere grid – which is substantially more addictive than the license board.

  4. I also like the Sphere Grid.
    FFX is a game that I liked a little less AND a little more when I played it again. The voice acting and writing and scene direction was even worse than my memory of it, but that helped me realize that the story itself isn’t bad like I thought it was. It was just poorly presented, so I had wrongly blamed the story for that. I also think the battle system is pretty great, although overshadowed by FFX-2’s battle system. I quite like FFX overall and I look forward to playing it in HD, it’s just overshadowed by many other Final Fantasys for me.

    FF8 is a game I tried really hard to like the first time I played it, actually liked a little bit the second time I played it and really did NOT like it every time I played it afterward.

    But you’re right, most games I replay, I usually end up liking more the second time. Except Twilight Princess. I like that game okay, but definitely a lot less after the novelty wore off. In contrast, I liked Wind Waker significantly more when I played it a second time. Probably because it’s a way better game.

  5. To my mind the FFX battle system is the high point of the entire series.

  6. It’s certainly a good battle system. It marks a bit of a turning point, actually. Every single Final Fantasy battle system has been at the worst, very good since then.

  7. Actually, my understanding was that FFXIV’s battle system was quite poor to begin with, and had to be redesigned.

  8. Oh sure, I’m talking about the single player Final Fantasys.

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