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Brandon Strader

FFX HD Remaster for PS3 and Vita

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I love when people complain that X-2 is "Final Fantasy Barbie Doll" when the costume changes are completely in line with past instances of the Job system (such as FF5 and FF3), and yet just because they're referred to as Dresspheres suddenly it's way too girly lol

And yeah, X-2's battle system is amazing.

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Let me rephrase the point about the frame-rate; it's somewhat of an achievement to let the simpler PS2 effects grind the rendering pipeline of a PS3 to a halt.

And...? My computer runs Skyrim on Ultra High at 60 FPS and yet Minecraft grinds it to a halt.

The PS3 also has completely different architecture than the PS2, which pretty much means that it'll be very, very hard to run a PS2 game with the same performance without completely gutting it. Which they wouldn't for a remaster.

Also, Naughty Dog is not only a first-party company with inside info, but also have programming gods. Seriously, read about Crash Bandicoot's development, it's amazing.

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I'd be happier if they'd release each game separately - I have no interest in Final Fantasy Barbie Doll, and would rather not be forced to buy it.

You're missing out on the most complex ATB combat system ever used in a Square jRPG by skipping FFX-2 -- the ways in which each attack chains to the next across characters and jobs is very, very slick...not to mention that each job has a different-length ATB bar and each action takes a different % of that bar, etc.

I admit the plot is sort of happy-go-lucky Charlie's Angels ish, but it also does a good job of exploring Spira post-Yevon once you get past the cheesiness. I would be totally down with an FFX-3 assuming that this collection sold well, incidentally.

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honestly, i feel like x-2 gets the same crap that xiii got. bad initial reviews led to people actively avoiding it when it wasn't really that bad.

i played it and enjoyed it. admittedly not as much as other games in the series, as it's super anime and not really my thing, but the battle system was fun, and viewing spira again was a positive.

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Also, Naughty Dog is not only a first-party company with inside info, but also have programming gods.

Actually, they have no more info than what all the other developers get through the SDK. The fact here is that Naughty Dog spent more time on hand-optimized assembly language rather than chucking it all at a C/C++ compiler with an optimize switch, and more importantly, they used the coprocessors to offload the graphics chip and get away with better visual effects. On the downside, the noisy PS3 fans got a hard workout, and since they didn't need to think about porting it to other platforms, due to their deal with Sony, they wouldn't need to compromise their implementation.

UNCHARTED 2: Among Thieves™ - Mastering the Cell (BTS #6)

It's not difficult to optimize something when your hardware is set in stone and you know your goals, but it's also a creative process in how you approach it, as the Crash Bandicoot link you posted was enjoying to read. It's just that, with all the third-party engines and multi-platform support, developers won't spend the time required working on the details. Anyway, Sony made the hardware for the PS3 deviate from the traditional approach with their cell architecture, which split a lot of developers.

@Annie: People see a score and assume it's a REVIEW. If someone still plays on that, they're aiming to misbehave. It was simply my impression, and I wasn't happy about the graphics. It's sloppy work, but WHY it was sloppy work doesn't matter. It's just a fact. I liked the music, now, that's an opinion. That said, the fact that you can't skip cut-scenes annoys me the most. It's like when they didn't implement an autorun option in the last FF7 PC release, not to mention their "screw it" attitude and ship FF8 PC with a general MIDI sound font (because DirectMusic was deprecated, I assume).

@DusK: I don't know why you bring up twitch games here. The 60 frames per second argument in this context is also about the game feeling smooth. It does manage 60 fps in many detailed environments, but s-s-sometimes it s-starts to stutter, especially the simple effects, and in Luka it seems consistently 30 fps or something, and Luka is basically 2D.

@prophetik music: You need to stop pouring gasoline on dying fires.

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are you telling me to stop goading you on, or something? usually that comes from other people, not the goadee :<

in relevant news, i was able to properly mod my gamesave to allow me to get past dark valefor with no in-game bonus afterwards besides being able to just get what i needed. the save editor i used was BruteForce, which is a pretty common one for PS3 games apparently (i've only ever used gibbed's gamesave editor for the X360, not any other consoles). it basically functions by decrypting the save file (which sony encrypts the same for every game), and then using a frontend for a hex editor to modify item totals, character items and stats, and other data. in this case, i copied a version of my save from my ps3 using a flash drive (no modding needed, any FAT drive would work), stored a copy in a safe location, then modified another one to 'max stats'. i fought and defeated dark valefor (incidentally, i still needed all five aeons to take his energy blast attack so my party wouldn't take 50k damage and die), then saved and (again) offloaded the save to my computer. while there wasn't a checkbox to change my character stats to what they were before, what i was able to do was use HxD's comparison feature to see the changes between the two. by comparing the hex values for some sections with my in-game stats on the original gamesave, i was able to nail down the general format that the game uses to store individual character's stats. for example, on offset 5610, you get yuna's current HP, her current mana, then her max hp and mana. after that is eight 2-digit hex characters representing her attack, defense, magic, mdefense, etc. in the same order as they appear in-game, top to bottom, left to right. after that (and this is something i missed originally), is the sphere-grid info. originally i changed those above stats, and the current HP showed as what it should, but everything else was still weird. well, SE stored your progress on the sphere grid as well as your current stats, and used the sphere grid info to modify and check the current stats data. once i also restored this data, i was able to do the same to the aeons (easier, since they have no sphere grid, and their numbers were just modifications of yuna's stats instead of having their own data). lastly, i used tidus's AP numbers before and after to find the equivalent record in-game, and subsequently located everyone's AP numbers (it's a cumulative number, not one for sphere level and one for what you have left) and restored those as well. during my research i also located the header for what determines where you 'spawn' in in-game, which is cool because apparently every save sphere has its own 4-digit hex code, and as a result if you know that code you can spawn a character anywhere in the game. this is nice because it means you can still spawn in macalania temple if you missed that treasure without fighting dark shiva, and since i think there's a save sphere in that temple, you don't need to go back out and fight her again after getting the treasure (which was my issue in besaid - i could spawn there but not leave).

i'd be happy to walk someone else through this if they want. it's a relatively complex process to decrypt and encrypt the game save, and it involves using a japanese analysis program that i literally had to look at a picture to learn how to use, but it's a process i can now do in my sleep since i did it 20+ times during this =) some people are into this kind of stuff, so i see no problem disseminating this info.

so, i took my team, made them perfect, (barely) beat the boss, and restored them to what they were before. this allowed me to get anima, and as a result the magus sisters. i'm pretty pleased with this =) haven't used Oblivion yet, but i'm looking forward to it. now i'm just debating if it's worth getting auron's ultimate weapon before moving on. i've got four out of the ten requirements for it already, but my physical attacks are only passing the damage limit if i'm hitting with a crit, so i don't know if it's worth it. i've only fully powered up yuna's nirvana, and i've got the upgraded version (without sigil) of wakka, lulu, and kimahri (for valefor, ifrot, ixion, and shiva's damage limit break), and rikku's (because i just have the godhand anyways). i'm planning on upgrading rikku's weapon completely, and then doing some work to get good armor, but after that i'm ready to beat sin and be done with the game, i think.

edit: don't know if i stated before, but i said that the reason i did this mod was because i was missing the besaid island treasure (which i forgot). in the original version, you could just go back and get it, but in this version there's a 'dark aeon' guarding the entrance to besaid. this has 800k EHP and stats in the 150s, can kill you in one hit almost no matter what without 20+ hours of grinding up spheres for the grid, and is the only dark aeon that actually prevents you from being able to do anything in the end-game (the others are all optional if you know who to avoid talking to). since this boss is both hilariously overpowered and poorly placed/not well thought-out, i wanted to beat it or get past it without affecting the difficulty of the rest of the game.

Edited by prophetik music

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@Annie: People see a score and assume it's a REVIEW. If someone still plays on that, they're aiming to misbehave.

You're right, I assumed you were giving a review. Review or not you were being pretentious. Who's misbehaving: the guy who acted arrogant, or the person calling him out on it?

i'd be happy to walk someone else through this if they want. it's a relatively complex process to decrypt and encrypt the game save, and it involves using a japanese analysis program that i literally had to look at a picture to learn how to use, but it's a process i can now do in my sleep since i did it 20+ times during this =) some people are into this kind of stuff, so i see no problem disseminating this info.

Actually I'm interested in this now, because I hate dodging lightning. I got the Onion Knight in my original FFX game, but every playthrough since I've skipped doing the lightning bullshit and decided to make my own weapon with the same abilities on it. Getting the stuff for that takes time, so if I can just cheat and get the Venus Sigil in my inventory that would be nice.

Maybe I can cheat to get the Sun Sigil too, since I hate doing that chocobo race thing with the birds, balls, and cheating bitch who doesn't get stunned long while hit. Hey, this is my sixth time playing through this game. I think cheating is acceptable.

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sure, i can talk you through it. the online resources i've found are :literally: terrible when it comes to explaining it (how hard is it to spell words correctly? seriously.) so once i get home, i'll nab the link with the records and shoot you a pm.

you do need to dodge one last bolt when you use the cheat, and i know you don't get the bolts along the way without setting each one individually, but if you just want the sigil it's easy enough.

as for the sun sigil i think that one's pretty easy, no thought required.

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I just want the two sigils in my inventory. I'm not very far in the game yet (Mushroom Rock) due to me playing a bunch of WoW lately before I let my subscription lapse for a while, and due to me being a mommy. Still if you still remember how to do it in a few weeks once I'm far enough in the game to have legitimately gotten the items, I'd appreciate the help then. I'd rather not drop them in my inventory and fuck my file up because they weren't supposed to be there yet.

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I'm really kind of bummed. I got the game and I want to play it so bad, but haven't had time. X_X

I don't know anything about Dark Aeons but you guys are freaking me out a bit. I think I might have to use a guide or something just to make sure I don't miss any of the content or mess myself up like Brad :lol: I don't want to try to haxor a save... I beat the game back in 2001 so eh, not too against using a guide to get errythang this run.

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I'm really kind of bummed. I got the game and I want to play it so bad, but haven't had time. X_X

I don't know anything about Dark Aeons but you guys are freaking me out a bit. I think I might have to use a guide or something just to make sure I don't miss any of the content or mess myself up like Brad :lol: I don't want to try to haxor a save... I beat the game back in 2001 so eh, not too against using a guide to get errythang this run.

Good luck with dodging lightning 200 times :evil:

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I'm really kind of bummed. I got the game and I want to play it so bad, but haven't had time. X_X

I don't know anything about Dark Aeons but you guys are freaking me out a bit. I think I might have to use a guide or something just to make sure I don't miss any of the content or mess myself up like Brad :lol: I don't want to try to haxor a save... I beat the game back in 2001 so eh, not too against using a guide to get errythang this run.

The biggest things to prevent yourself from ending up in Brad's situation: **Minor Spoilers for people who have not played the game at all**

1) Make absolutely certain to get the Destruction Sphere treasure from Besaid the very first time you are there. You MUST get it before leaving Macalania for the first time (yes, you can walk all the way back there, it just takes forever)

1a) Similarly, if you want it before Dark Valefor, collect the second Overdrive for Valefor before leaving Besaid also.

2) Get Yojimbo and finish the Cave of the Stolen Fayth events as you pass through the Calm Lands for the first time. This means that you must have at least 200,000 Gil (closer to 250k is better) when you arrive there; plan accordingly.

3) Get the Sun Crest IMMEDIATELY after beating Yunalesca.

As long as you do that, you'll be able to do everything else at your own pace.

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you don't need to worry about yojimbo, i discovered that you can get him without encountering shiva or whomever is in that cave. but yes, get the destruction spheres in macalania and besaid (it's not too hard), go back into besaid after leaving the first time and talk to the dog to get energy blast, and get the sun crest before leaving yunalesca.

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i sent you a mail.

Thanks! My WoW sub runs out in a week, so after that I'll probably plow through the game. I planned on waiting until I got the celestial mirror to try dropping sigils in my inventory. Like I said, I don't want to ruin my save data because I did something I shouldn't.

I'm really kind of bummed. I got the game and I want to play it so bad, but haven't had time. X_X

I don't know anything about Dark Aeons but you guys are freaking me out a bit. I think I might have to use a guide or something just to make sure I don't miss any of the content or mess myself up like Brad :lol: I don't want to try to haxor a save... I beat the game back in 2001 so eh, not too against using a guide to get errythang this run.

From what I've heard, the Dark Aeons are like some of the harder original creatures in the monster arena. Difficult, but possible to beat if you know the right strategy. I'm both excited and somewhat intimidated by them too. Then again if I can beat Ragu Ragula in Wild Arms games, I can beat these guys.

If you don't want to hack like some of us, that's respectable. If you don't want to waste time dodging lightning, you can always make Lulu's celestial weapon equivalent. You normally should get everything you need to make it from the monster arena, but if you decided to make triple overdrive and overdrive -> AP weapons for leveling purposes you'll have burnt up your Winning Formulas. It might take a bit of gil to bribe to get them, but you get so much crap to sell as you're making your way through the final dungeon it won't be too hard. It seems like kind of a ridiculous and roundabout way to get the weapon, but I still think it's easier than dodging lightning.

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annie, no, they're not that easy.

for example, dark valefor's supposed to be the joker easy one of the bunch. i attacked him with a team that had just steamrolled yunalesca. tidus went first, and did some damage, and then valefor hit an auto-protected wakka for 9999 damage. he died. a few more attacks and he used energy blast, which did 40k damage.

when i maxed everyone to full and had maxed aeons, i used aeons as shields and did 9999 damage with all my characters every hit and still almost didn't beat him (it came down to the last few turns of my characters). he has 800k HP, stats in the 150s (up until now you do'nt fight someone with an average stat over maybe 80) and requires you to get your character's stats pretty close as well.

my aeons were hitting for 99,999 per attack as well and they only ever got one attack in. i shielded an energy blast with bahamut and he was still one-shotted.

you need break hp limit, auto-phoenix, auto-protect, and some character casting auto-life, and high character stats from farming the arena.

and that's for the first one.

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SPOILERS, KINDA

now, if you want a megaboss that doesn't involve a ridiculous amount of leveling up, i'd definitely suggest the omega weapon. i spent probably three or four hours leveling up in there, and got roughly 500k gold and an epic amount of sphere levels running around in there.

do yourself a favor and don't go in there until you are close to doublecast, holy, flare, ultima, and have yuna already having learned dispel. if you've taken the time to power up nirvana (yuna's ultimate weapon, pretty easy to do), her using holy will oneshot the demonoliths (50k damage!). using a skill sphere to teach yuna doublecast, a few black magic spheres to teach her ultima/flare, and a white magic sphere to teach lulu holy and yuna auto-life (i'm using tidus as a time mage, so he followed a lot of yuna's grid and picked up auto-life while she was doing lulu's grid) means that you can chain four ultima spells in a total of two character turns. hasteaga beforehand leads to some enormous damage hits.

i went through and customized my weapons before heading in there, even though you get a ton of tetra (4x empty slots) armor and weapons in there. it's just so much easier. i gave 1 MP cost weapons to auron, lulu, kimahri, and tidus. this works well because it means free hasteaga all the time from tidus, auron/kimahri/wakka all know the buster and break abilities, and i can use threaten (which works quite a bit actually) on most enemy characters. nirvana has a 1mp cost for yuna already, and with doublecast and the high cost of the top-level spells (especially demi, i used that a ton) that's a no-brainer.

i'd suggest getting someone (likely tidus) first strike on their weapon. this is because great marlboros always seem to ambush you, and they basically can wipe your party with bad breath if you're not ready for them. first strike means that tidus can flee every single one of those battles.

note: always use steal on the chests you find with the lizards. often they're mimics, which are hard to beat, but give you 50k gold at least after the battle =) fighting a few of these really helps your wallet. additionally, if you're short on L3 lock spheres like i was, kill some demonoliths with overkills. they often drop them. return, teleport, and friend spheres are also dropped by various creatures. the caster that casts haste all the time drops L4 locks as well. i wound up with exactly enough L4s to get by, and only used a total of 2 L3 spheres since friend and return spheres work so much better.

oh, also, since this is the international version, they added a 9 to omega's HP (999,999hp total). you need auto-life since he can one-shot you with nova if you're not careful, but with that and lots of haste you're really under no threat if you've fought your way through the ruins to that point. the magus twins are great for this fight because they can fight for a while and often get in more than one overdrive.

edit: for my sphere grid, i got lulu and yuna to their L3 locks at the end of their primary sphere grid. then i used a friend sphere to teleport yuna to lulu (at flare), a white magic sphere to teach lulu holy, a return sphere to move her to holy (at the end of yuna's grid), and went from there. i used a return sphere (you get tons of teleport and returns if you're overkilling tonberrys, hence nirvana for the 10k+ damage) on tidus to get him near the L4 lock for auto-life, picked that up, and used a white magic sphere to get that to yuna. i used a return sphere also on kimahri to get him near ultima, picked that up, and used black magic spheres to give that to yuna and lulu. now, much earlier in the game, i opened a lock and had kimahri following wakka (K's grid sucks, wakka's gives him much more hp and damage). both got to the end of wakka's kit, so i had them friend sphere to the beginning of auron's kit and start getting the breaks. i did the opposite with auron - at the end of his, i had him jump to wakka and he's working backwards through wakka now. tidus is also working through auron's kit for the tons of hp and damage that he has early. i had rikku pick a lock and get into lulu's kit around the -ara spells - she's working through and just got to the -aga spells, albeit with much reduced magic power. note that i didn't do any leveling outside of working slowly through the omega ruins - this is just from being careful to not rush through any section, and fight every battle i could the entire way (also involving everyone in most battles). it's worth noting that nirvana really speeds up yuna's sphere grid gain, i got six spheres from omega weapon on her and 3 on everyone else.

Edited by prophetik music

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I may not have the remaster yet (need a PS3 first!) but I am playing through the original right now. Took your advice and putting Kimahri through Wakka's grid and it's working pretty well.

Also just got all the Al Bhed Primers (cheated to get Primer XVI by using a friend's save that was in the Omega Ruins to snag it, then loaded that save) and am about to fight Evrae.

Currently have everyone pretty much on their own grids, with the exception of Kimahri following Wakka's (which is funny since both of them are John DiMaggio), Rikku following Yuna's (she's about to get Holy, actually) and Yuna switching into Rikku's and then from there through Kimahri's to Lulu's.

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I sent Kimahri into Rikku's grid to get Steal and Use, with a detour into Yuna's grid just for the circle with Reflect and Dispel, and then down through Rikku's towards Holy. I let him sit at the L3 lock in front of Holy and build up levels until I got an L3 Key Sphere, then unlocked Holy and sent him to Auron's grid (Wakka's would also have been a good choice).

The point was to have him prepared to make the most of the Biran and Yenke fight on Mt. Gagazet. I beat Biran down until he cast Mighty Guard, learned that with Lancet, dispelled it from him, and used it immediately on myself. Then I did the same to Yenke to learn White Wind (think I also picked up another one or two; Doom, maybe?) Then, with easy healing and mighty guard up, I stole L3 key spheres from each of them for a while, then finished each of them with a single cast each of Holy.

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nice call on the L3 spheres. i was really stuck without them for a while, until i realized that the white spheres (teleport, friend, and return) mean that you kinda don't need any. i wound up using the one or two i got earlier in the game for good reasons, then just went around them the rest of the time. my main issue now is that i'm short on L4 spheres, but i don't think i'm really hurting for stuff to do at the moment.

running tidus through auron's grid at the start is one of the best ideas i think i've had, though. besides having a fourth character with breaks, it means that tidus (whose HP was below yuna's at that point) can pick up a thousand or more HP in, like, ten or fifteen sphere grids. it's awesome. he's basically a mage at this point on my team anyways, but he's doing pretty good physical damage regardless.

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Well I finished the Al Bhed Primers and got 99 Underdog's Secrets, and won a race in Remiem Temple with 3 chests open to get 30 Wings to Discovery.

And now we're just OP cause when you Mix two Underdog's Secrets's together, you get Sunburst, which always deals 19,998. And if you mix two Wings to Discovery together, you get Trio of 9999, which allows every party member to do 9999 damage with every attack, no matter what.

Which is hilarious cause we took out Defender X at the end of the Calm Lands in one usage of Fire Fury (level 1 spell to get more hits).

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