Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Eidolon Fights Are Stupid

So, I wasn't planning on talking about Final Fantasy XIII two nights in a row, certainly, but I have to have a bit of a rant and there's dick-all else happening so that's what's going on.  Since I really have to just put this out there and be angry about it so I can move along with the game, otherwise it's just going to fester and I'm going to shake my fist at folks and be angry for a good portion of the rest of the game.  I'm certainly not unique in complaining about the Eidolon fights, which, Eidolons are Final Fantasy XIII's version of summons, and I'm certainly not breaking new ground here, but that's not the point.  I'm specifically not really caring about whatever the rest of everyone says about the game having played it and only care about what I'm thinking about it as I play it.  And what I think about Eidolon fights is that they are, as says in the topic, stupid.  Incredibly so.

Let me sort of explain just -how- an Eidolon fight begins so that I can help illustrate the areas in which it is dumb because I am in fact this petty.  So, these come out around in different story points, all of them pre-determined as is the entirety of the first whole chunk of game I'm learning, and they're kind of out of nowhere.  Since I mean, I certainly didn't look at a bridge and go "Well.  That's where I have to fight Odin." even though yes, that bridge is where I had to fight Odin.  The battle starts and immediately, the Eidolon will then cast Doom on the party leader.  Final Fantasy XIII operates under the logic of "If the Leader falls, we are all fucked", so this is a very bad thing and in effect puts a very restrictive time limit on the battle.  So now with a time limit, you have to understand that you cannot defeat the Eidolon, but instead have to do certain things enough times within the time limit that will make the Eidolon 'Yield', meaning you'll be able to form a pact or whatever and enter Gestalt mode.

These yield conditions aren't generally difficult, at least, the first two weren't since it was basically "Block and do Chains" and "Do chains and heal" respectively, but it's the amount of times you have to actually do them versus the time it -takes- to do them versus the actual time that you have in the battle.  It's incomprehensible how this was thought of as a good idea since I had to play the Odin battle six times doing the exact same thing before it worked fast enough to win me the battle.  It is purely down to luck and not much else, since, well, there is not a whole hell of a lot that you can actually -do- for yourself at this point in the game.  Paradigm shift and auto-battle, or decide between the paltry few abilities you have accrued by this point which takes precious seconds you don't have.  Not really a hard decision to make, even if it's the one that apparently isn't fool-proof.

So, I'm spoiling things, but nobody even really cares at this point, so I'm certainly not going to and especially not when it comes to this pile.  Odin's yield conditions are the second ones above, or specifically they're listed as "Yields to those who create attack chains" and "Yields to those who heal the wounded".  Smack him around and heal.  Easy enough, right?  Right?  Hahahahahahahahahano.  Odin starts the battle, casts, and you'll want to definitely paradigm shift to Dual-Casters (Both Ravagers) before anything else.  Smack him with attacks whilst he rides up and pummels the fuck out of Hope (85% of the time) or Lightning (happened to me once) and switch to Double Dose (Both Medics).  Heal heal heal heal heal until he enters a defensive stance, Paradigm shift to Dual-Casters again, rinse, repeat.  This creates effective attack chains and allows you to heal to satisfy the conditions as well as generally not dying.  Because he likes murdering the hell out of your party and he don't even care.  This is the strategy I used six times.  This is the strategy that worked precisely one time out of the six.

There is something inherently wrong with that.

The issue generally lay with the fact that in his rampant dickery, Odin would launch Lightning up into the air, preventing her from doing jack-all.  Or the issue would lay in the scant few times that Odin just straight up killed Hope with a combo instead of almost killing him, losing me precious seconds as I threw a Phoenix Down down and he built his ATB back up.  And there was generally just issue with the Gestalt meter just not filling up because I don't even know.  The whole of it just resulted in me being incredibly frustrated (which wasn't helped by a switch to Sazh and Vanille as they had to sort out several parties of Bombs and Pulsework Soldiers directly afterwards) and a lot less forgiving to the system as a whole.  This is just a step closer to that precipice, I fear, to where I simply jump off the ledge, giving the game both fingers as I fall into the comforting arms of something sweeter and something more enjoyable.  But I'll soldier through, as I'm not completely turned off by my experience, and I'm still seeing little bits of potential.  I just want the game to let me chip away at everything preventing me from getting to that fun core.  Because I -want- to like it, damnit, I really do.

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