Did anybody else think that the cutscene in which they repeated the fortune teller's and the emperor's words over and over again in Shiro's mind was trying a bit too hard to dramatise something that was not dramatic at all?
When I bought Prophecies I knew nothing about the storyline; while playing, I thought the twists and epic nature of it (well, kinda) was enough that I didn't really have to pay attention to it at all. It was a basic save the world storyline that made sense (we are good guys, there is a bad guy who wants to rule all, we have to kill him) But the storyline in Factions grabbed my attention for the wrong reasons. It's just baaad. I was quite excited about the storyline because I wanted to see how they would do flashbacks showing the transformation of Shiro's character. But it turns out there was no such transformation. He was just one thing and then the next. All based on a random fortune teller's words?
I'm so glad when I cracked open that last fortune cookie and it said 'beware your graduation', I didn't assassinate my principal during his farewell speech or else I might have stolen his spirit, been stabbed in the back by a blue-haired assassin and screamed in such rage that my school turned to basalt.
Regardless of how little leeway the writers were given in order for them to conform to a particular direction of design, if I were in charge of them I'd have fired them already. I could have written a more engaging and plausible story when I was 16.