Review: Final Fantasy XIII

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Jaranja:

BlueHighwind:
"FF13 feels like a direct reaction to many fans' criticisms of Final Fantasy XII: It was too open-ended and sprawling; there wasn't enough focus on the story to carry things through; it was too easy to get lost, etc."

Who are these people? They sound ill of mind.

Me, I hated FFXII because it just wasn't a FF game any more.

OT: Why did you say the linearity was a bad thing to people that enjoy exploration? This is a FF game, people who don't like linearity shouldn't buy it.

Because linearity isn't a binary yes or no, there is no denying that Final Fantasy XIII level of linearity(at least for the first half) might turn off some fans of previous Final Fantasy games. Yes you are always playing the same story with the same characters, but in previous iterations you had the freedom to wander around and explore the world to various degrees.

Well I like the game but it certainly gives a WHOLE new meaning to the term linear... I mean the only way the game could be any more linear were if it were a line... (they cant all be winners) But in all seriousness the loss of an explorable world is kinda a game killer in a RPG...

I mean sure once you get to the open part it does make the game about 1 million times more enjoyable but the open part is still pretty damn small and short.. especially given its the only open world part of the entire game...

Oh and i agree with earlier posters Vanille's voice acting is pretty bad, its like she can't decide what accent she is supposed to be doing, at times she sounds English at others Australian and at some points she sounds sorta American...

The combat system... well yeah...

i personally hate it, not because its difficult (quite the opposite) but because its so restrictive. Even at the end of the game your characters only have about 3 abilities for each role, so its spam city. Oh and it IS spam city because the monsters have ridiculously high healths... the only purpose i can see of this is to make the game longer by dragging battles out... I mean yeah i want strong monsters to fight but whats the point of fighting a 1.5 million health monster around every corner... making every battle like 2 or 3 minutes (or according to the time thingie in the game 5 or 6). ON the note of the time thing has anyone ever actually gone OVER the time suggested, the time seems to be ridiculously over the top for each battle. and probably most importantly wth happened to the WHOLE team has to be wiped out to die.... I mean I remember times in RPG youth where the death of your main character in a battle would lose the battle but i thought we were past this... In all seriousness though what is a feasible reason for this (not game mechanics wise because its kinda obvious that if your main character dies you would have to control someone else and heaven forbid you could control more than one character in battle) do your ai characters store their brains in the main character in battle so when s/he dies they suddenly lose the ability to heal them..

I personally feel like the entire game has been dumbed down for whatever reason... I mean a 3 yr old could probably navigate the story by holding down the forwards arrow for long enough..

Okay i feel i may have gotten carried away so i'll summarise for those who DONT want to read blocks of text

Pluses

+story (well sort of anyway its not super but its not terrible)

+the open world part (what little there is)

Minuses

-LINEAR

-restrictive *auto* battle combat system (why not make ALL the battles automatic and determined by your skills/ attributes, that will make it even better!! {ps if you cant sense sarcasm the previous sentence is dripping it})

-the battle AI is SLIGHTLY retarded especially the medic "oh your hurt like 1% into yellow so i'll heal you once and ignore the fact that you have about 4 debuffs on you that will mean instant death from a single hit" Yes removing debuffs should be the lowest priority but not lower than healing my hangnail...

-LINEAR (i really wish i could post that bigger)

-Pointlessly long battles with normal common creatures... (spend half your battles sitting there watching your guys spam your most powerful attacks for like 40 seconds to take off 1% of the health of the baby duckling. No need to change paradigms or anything in most battles just sit there and hit x every 5 or 6 seconds

-Main character KO kills entire party, who are too retarded (apparently) to cast the raise spell when your not around to coddle them

-LINEAR

-Vanille's voice acting

-Names of the characters... Lightning, Snow, Vanille, Fang, Hope, Sahz... sorry but 2 'elemental names', a virtue, a flavour of ice cream (yeah i know its not but close enough), a terrible sickness and a tooth arent quite the best names you could have used... (and if anyone points our squall and cloud ill kick you, it seems that sky and cloud related names sound cool)

In terms of initial characters I found Sazh and Snow likeable right from the start for their sense of humor... hated Hope, Vanille, and especially Lightning. The thing about Snow, Hope, and Vanille is that they're clearly and seriously flawed and in need of change. It a bitter pill at first but the whole point is how awesome it is when they turn from negative characters to positive ones, having "good" characters become "more good" just isn't the same kind of uplifting experience as seeing the guys who get off to a false start in FF13 get their crap together. Also it might just be me but even though Vanille's cheer is annoying at first she can be cool in the more melodramatic moments as the story starts moving.

Personally I don't mind the straight-line approach to the game design... you're clearly playing a tactics/fighting game to get from cutscene to cutscene, but it's intense and fun and challenging and every story chapter is nice payoff for all the fun you had getting there. It's like carrot-and-stick, only with another carrot instead of the stick.

Slycne:

Jaranja:

BlueHighwind:
"FF13 feels like a direct reaction to many fans' criticisms of Final Fantasy XII: It was too open-ended and sprawling; there wasn't enough focus on the story to carry things through; it was too easy to get lost, etc."

Who are these people? They sound ill of mind.

Me, I hated FFXII because it just wasn't a FF game any more.

OT: Why did you say the linearity was a bad thing to people that enjoy exploration? This is a FF game, people who don't like linearity shouldn't buy it.

Because linearity isn't a binary yes or no, there is no denying that Final Fantasy XIII level of linearity(at least for the first half) might turn off some fans of previous Final Fantasy games. Yes you are always playing the same story with the same characters, but in previous iterations you had the freedom to wander around and explore the world to various degrees.

I haven't yet finished it but, doesn't it have the part near the end of the game where you can do various side missions, get ultimate weapons or anything like that?

Hurricane and Sleet will be in 15. Alongside Choco, Molar, and Despair.

I was with you until you called the Leona Lewis song stellar.

Terrible, horrible, awful review. How do you sleep at night?

Zombie Nixon:
I was with you until you called the Leona Lewis song stellar.

Terrible, horrible, awful review. How do you sleep at night?

I didn't say the Leona Lewis song was stellar. The soundtrack was stellar overall, even taking into account the Leona Lewis song :P

Ghostwise:
Hurricane and Sleet will be in 15. Alongside Choco, Molar, and Despair.

Oh and watch out for Tropical Storm!! (This is a reference to Nuklearpower.com's 8-bit theatre)

I wouldnt call the soundtrack stellar.. it's okay but very annoying after your been in the area for more than about 5 minutes

Dakeyras-Way:

Ghostwise:
Hurricane and Sleet will be in 15. Alongside Choco, Molar, and Despair.

Oh and watch out for Tropical Storm!! (This is a reference to Nuklearpower.com's 8-bit theatre)

I wouldnt call the soundtrack stellar.. it's okay but very annoying after your been in the area for more than about 5 minutes

Yeah....to be honest not a single tune in the game is memorable whatsoever. I couldn't hum a single tune off the entire soundtrack which is a little odd for a FF title if you ask me. It just all seems so generic.

ALL FF GAMES ARE LINEAR. Get that through your thick skulls.

Warachia:
ALL FF GAMES ARE LINEAR. Get that through your thick skulls.

And if linearity was a black and white issue your statement might have merit. This might come as a surprising reveal, but a grey scale exists between total freedom and walking down a a single hallway. XIII leans towards the single hallway, where as in the past Final Fantasy games have existed somewhere in the center leaning towards linear. If you can't see that then I would recommend examining the thickness of the your own skull first.

Warachia:
ALL FF GAMES ARE LINEAR. Get that through your thick skulls.

This game is extremely linear even by Final Fantasy standards. Get that through yours. :P

Even in FFX, arguably the most linear other than this, you could still explore; there were still towns, there were still different pathways to go down.

Well yeah they are linear story wise but most of them at least have explorable areas and the option to follow the story or do something else like explore that creepy building over there... the first 15-20 hours of the game there is literally a path ahead of you with the occasional fork which in most cases joins back on in about 30 meters allowing you to ambush a powerful group of enemies...

In FF7,8,9,10,12 well actually in pretty much all FF games you explore towns and go through different rooms and find secret areas all over the place... in this game there are about 3 or 4 optional areas total... the rest of the areas are straight line linear pathways to the next cutscene. I actually don't remember ever exploring anywhere except the open area part... which is as mentioned previously about 15-20 hours in and not very large anyway..

Besides Cloud and Lightning, I don't remember anyone else being named after weather effects... Snow doesn't count, because he licky boom boom down and all of that. And then you take into account that Lighting was designed by the staff to be a female Cloud then it makes sense.

Meh, if pacing's the only massive issue, I'm down with that. FF VII had a similar 20 hour startup sequence, but if that's the only issue, then I'm gonna love this game.

Great review.

John Funk:

Warachia:
ALL FF GAMES ARE LINEAR. Get that through your thick skulls.

This game is extremely linear even by Final Fantasy standards. Get that through yours. :P

Even in FFX, arguably the most linear other than this, you could still explore; there were still towns, there were still different pathways to go down.

And then there was X-2.

Oh GAWD that was horrible, and I chalk a pretty hefty hunk of it up to it being not linear enough. So far I'm liking X more, but I'm not through the halfway point with XIII yet, so we'll see.

I'm also waiting for them to turn off the real time battle system on these games again. I like having more control in that regard- the story can be a strait as a board for all I care.

Furrama:
Besides Cloud and Lightning, I don't remember anyone else being named after weather effects... Snow doesn't count, because he licky boom boom down and all of that. And then you take into account that Lighting was designed by the staff to be a female Cloud then it makes sense.

Squall for one

i might be wrong, but did you steal GT review line by line at some places???

Furrama:

I'm also waiting for them to turn off the real time battle system on these games again. I like having more control in that regard- the story can be a strait as a board for all I care.

It's not the Real-timeness that needs to be turned off its allowing you to actually do more than spam attack... I mean the RTB in FF VII-X were pretty good for control... (ie you could actually choose more than auto-attack)

I'm about 30 hours in and I've actually enjoyed almost every bit of the game so far. The linear portion doesn't hurt the game in the least IMO seeing as how Final Fantasy is played for its story first and foremost (Or so I would assume as thats what I always loved about the series). Not too far into the non-linear section but it seems pretty awesome as well, and I'm quite excited that some of the regular mobs actually require some thought to kill (i.e, Com/Rav/Rav the entire fight will get you killed). So far my only real gripe about the game is that if your main character dies you have to retry :/. It should wait till all of your characters are dead.

Slycne:

Warachia:
ALL FF GAMES ARE LINEAR. Get that through your thick skulls.

And if linearity was a black and white issue your statement might have merit. This might come as a surprising reveal, but a grey scale exists between total freedom and walking down a a single hallway. XIII leans towards the single hallway, where as in the past Final Fantasy games have existed somewhere in the center leaning towards linear. If you can't see that then I would recommend examining the thickness of the your own skull first.

I find it extremely sad that many cannot examine the old to understand the new. If you look at older FF games, (the ones I'm using are 1,2,4,5,7, and 9) they are just as linear, you can wander off the path to a hidden treasure chest, but that is all that is waiting for you. you cannot influence anything, aside from names, equipment and combat, and all of these ff games have mainly only 1 corridor you follow through to make it to the end of the stage. Those are past FF games, and I would like to know what you werwe expecting if not more of the same.

By the way, I do like FF games, but mainly for their storytelling and enviroments.

start game, mash x bottun. win game.
Ok i'm done.

Dakeyras-Way:

Furrama:
Besides Cloud and Lightning, I don't remember anyone else being named after weather effects... Snow doesn't count, because he licky boom boom down and all of that. And then you take into account that Lighting was designed by the staff to be a female Cloud then it makes sense.

Squall for one

Tidus for another kinda... ya know.. tide, water.

Dakeyras-Way:

Furrama:
Besides Cloud and Lightning, I don't remember anyone else being named after weather effects... Snow doesn't count, because he licky boom boom down and all of that. And then you take into account that Lighting was designed by the staff to be a female Cloud then it makes sense.

Squall for one

Oh yeah, Squall. For some reason I keep thinking that's a ground bird :D

John Funk:

Warachia:
ALL FF GAMES ARE LINEAR. Get that through your thick skulls.

This game is extremely linear even by Final Fantasy standards. Get that through yours. :P

Even in FFX, arguably the most linear other than this, you could still explore; there were still towns, there were still different pathways to go down.

When most of the dungeons are quite literally LINES I think calling the game "Agressively Linear" is fair.

Warachia:

Slycne:

Warachia:
ALL FF GAMES ARE LINEAR. Get that through your thick skulls.

And if linearity was a black and white issue your statement might have merit. This might come as a surprising reveal, but a grey scale exists between total freedom and walking down a a single hallway. XIII leans towards the single hallway, where as in the past Final Fantasy games have existed somewhere in the center leaning towards linear. If you can't see that then I would recommend examining the thickness of the your own skull first.

I find it extremely sad that many cannot examine the old to understand the new. If you look at older FF games, (the ones I'm using are 1,2,4,5,7, and 9) they are just as linear, you can wander off the path to a hidden treasure chest, but that is all that is waiting for you. you cannot influence anything, aside from names, equipment and combat, and all of these ff games have mainly only 1 corridor you follow through to make it to the end of the stage. Those are past FF games, and I would like to know what you werwe expecting if not more of the same.

By the way, I do like FF games, but mainly for their storytelling and enviroments.

*Jaw drops* BUH???

FFVII actually had a free world which you could run around and go into any kind of building that you could see (well just about) i mean you could go into towns and wander around for quite a while..

And as for your other examples they too had free worlds (ie the world map) where you could wander to your hearts desire.. If you wanted to walk all the way back to the first town for whatever reason you could!

John Funk:

Warachia:
ALL FF GAMES ARE LINEAR. Get that through your thick skulls.

This game is extremely linear even by Final Fantasy standards. Get that through yours. :P

Even in FFX, arguably the most linear other than this, you could still explore; there were still towns, there were still different pathways to go down.

but exploration was all you could do, even in past games you finished a crypt/level/dungeon/palace by following one corridor down one path, with only extra monster encounters and chests for you if you left the path. Sort of like the game The Path. You could not influence the story, change characters, or find alternate routes around game scenarios (other than there is a boulder in the way). This is why I do not understand why people expect FF13 to be anything BUT linear, and i do apologize if all you meant was that you wanted some form of exploration and I misheard.

John Funk:
Yeah, fights take longer but they're also safer.

Buffs and debuffs can actually REALLY boost your damage output/survivability. On the final bosses, stick DeProtect and DeShell on them, with Faith/Bravery/Haste/Protect/Shell/Vigilance on your guys? RAV/RAV/RAV gets them staggered in no time, then COM/RAV/COM (that was my setup with Light/Vanille/Sazh, respectively) once they're staggered to dish out the pain? It does a *ton* of damage. Then SEN/MED/MED if there's anything big incoming, MED/MED/MED to heal up, and MED/SAB/SYN or RAV/SAB/SYN to rebuff anything that's fallen off. That was pretty much my entire battle plan for the last few bosses.

Thing is, they're not that much longer. I've got a new set up of Sazh/Vanille/Lightning and my two main Paradigms now are my all-time favourite RAV/RAV/COM and SYN/MED/MED. I also have a SYN/SAB/COM and SYN/SAB/MED for bosses, but against the basic minions, I find the Saboteur a little pointless - if I get most enemies to their Stagger point, Lightning uses Launch and I can juggle them by staggering Sazh and Vanille's attacks to keep them in the air so they can't do any damage to me.

Of course, this also works on most bosses, but it's nice to have the debuffs in case they can fly :P

Dakeyras-Way:

Warachia:

Slycne:

Warachia:
ALL FF GAMES ARE LINEAR. Get that through your thick skulls.

And if linearity was a black and white issue your statement might have merit. This might come as a surprising reveal, but a grey scale exists between total freedom and walking down a a single hallway. XIII leans towards the single hallway, where as in the past Final Fantasy games have existed somewhere in the center leaning towards linear. If you can't see that then I would recommend examining the thickness of the your own skull first.

I find it extremely sad that many cannot examine the old to understand the new. If you look at older FF games, (the ones I'm using are 1,2,4,5,7, and 9) they are just as linear, you can wander off the path to a hidden treasure chest, but that is all that is waiting for you. you cannot influence anything, aside from names, equipment and combat, and all of these ff games have mainly only 1 corridor you follow through to make it to the end of the stage. Those are past FF games, and I would like to know what you werwe expecting if not more of the same.

By the way, I do like FF games, but mainly for their storytelling and enviroments.

*Jaw drops* BUH???

FFVII actually had a free world which you could run around and go into any kind of building that you could see (well just about) i mean you could go into towns and wander around for quite a while..

And as for your other examples they too had free worlds (ie the world map) where you could wander to your hearts desire.. If you wanted to walk all the way back to the first town for whatever reason you could!

Did running back to the first town affect story, characters, plot, or anything else? Did the extra exploration change any of the events that happened or were going to happen? If you can explore in a game, it doesn't mean that it doesn't have any linearity, it just means you press a fictional pause button while you run around doing things that have no effect on anything else. Every single event that could happen will happen regardless of what you do to try and stop it.

Warachia:

John Funk:

Warachia:
ALL FF GAMES ARE LINEAR. Get that through your thick skulls.

This game is extremely linear even by Final Fantasy standards. Get that through yours. :P

Even in FFX, arguably the most linear other than this, you could still explore; there were still towns, there were still different pathways to go down.

but exploration was all you could do, even in past games you finished a crypt/level/dungeon/palace by following one corridor down one path, with only extra monster encounters and chests for you if you left the path. Sort of like the game The Path. You could not influence the story, change characters, or find alternate routes around game scenarios (other than there is a boulder in the way). This is why I do not understand why people expect FF13 to be anything BUT linear, and i do apologize if all you meant was that you wanted some form of exploration and I misheard.

Okay now i understand what you mean... yes you are right most of the dungeons/crypt/levels or whatever were linear but they were linear events in a explorable world.. you could go here or there... in this game its basically linear event after linear event with no choice as to whether you want to continue the storyline and explore for a while... (except quite late in the game and the area to explore is rather small in comparison to some other FF games)

Warachia:

Dakeyras-Way:

Warachia:

Slycne:

Warachia:
ALL FF GAMES ARE LINEAR. Get that through your thick skulls.

And if linearity was a black and white issue your statement might have merit. This might come as a surprising reveal, but a grey scale exists between total freedom and walking down a a single hallway. XIII leans towards the single hallway, where as in the past Final Fantasy games have existed somewhere in the center leaning towards linear. If you can't see that then I would recommend examining the thickness of the your own skull first.

I find it extremely sad that many cannot examine the old to understand the new. If you look at older FF games, (the ones I'm using are 1,2,4,5,7, and 9) they are just as linear, you can wander off the path to a hidden treasure chest, but that is all that is waiting for you. you cannot influence anything, aside from names, equipment and combat, and all of these ff games have mainly only 1 corridor you follow through to make it to the end of the stage. Those are past FF games, and I would like to know what you werwe expecting if not more of the same.

By the way, I do like FF games, but mainly for their storytelling and enviroments.

*Jaw drops* BUH???

FFVII actually had a free world which you could run around and go into any kind of building that you could see (well just about) i mean you could go into towns and wander around for quite a while..

And as for your other examples they too had free worlds (ie the world map) where you could wander to your hearts desire.. If you wanted to walk all the way back to the first town for whatever reason you could!

Did running back to the first town affect story, characters, plot, or anything else? Did the extra exploration change any of the events that happened or were going to happen? If you can explore in a game, it doesn't mean that it doesn't have any linearity, it just means you press a fictional pause button while you run around doing things that have no effect on anything else. Every single event that could happen will happen regardless of what you do to try and stop it.

Well to put it simply Yes... In VII for example quite a few of the side quests gave you more information about your characters, gave them new abilities or spells. While yes you had little choice that would affect later events there were some... such as the date scene in FF VII where depending upon which characters you talked to throughout the game you could end up going on a date with someone other than Aeris

danpascooch:
I gotta say, overall the game is good, but it had one hell of a rocky start, about 2/5 of the way through

I really considered outright quitting the game.

Everyone I talk to back home has been saying the same thing they also say they are glad they stuck with it.

Dakeyras-Way:

Okay now i understand what you mean... yes you are right most of the dungeons/crypt/levels or whatever were linear but they were linear events in a explorable world.. you could go here or there... in this game its basically linear event after linear event with no choice as to whether you want to continue the storyline and explore for a while... (except quite late in the game and the area to explore is rather small in comparison to some other FF games)

funny, I never put in a final fantasy game, because I wanted exploration, I put in FF games for their storytelling, and enviroments (and in very rare cases, characters). I never considered not bieng able to explore a killer, even if it does suck a lot, and if you arrived for anything other than story then it's time to reevaluate what you want in an experience, because I can flat out garuntee that there is better combat and exploration on this console genaration (including but not limited to: Star ocean: the last hope, Enchanted Arms, Infinite Undiscovery, and Tales of Vesparia).

Bland contrived game with poor implementations...at least FF12 had something in the level layouts.. and FFX had the sphere grid...this has nothing...its a Frankenstein of a a game.... its no wonder its done poorly in japan....

edit
If I played a game for stories I'd watch a movie instead.....
/curmudgeon

Ok everyone a simple comparison

Linearity in and of itself isn't a bad thing. For example, pacing is generally much improved, but I think it's safe to safe Final Fantasy XIII is more linear then previous games in the series.

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