Zero Punctuation: Final Fantasy XIII

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Oh dear. I thought Yathzee reviewing this would be too much for him, as if he hasn't gone through enough!

An excellent episode with a level of humor not seen for a while, I'll definantly watch this many times over.

I do wonder why the character concepts were designed in this ridicolous way. On trailers and the like the setting of the game looks epic if not a bit strange, only for the good parts of the concept becoming dumbed down by a script and execution that seems to have been done by a little kid.

Unless ofcourse it's made for younger audiences. Then again I've seen things made for minors and still containing a level of depth that's rarily seen.

Swmystery:

Beauwight:

LionsFist:
Lets sum this up:

Those who already liked the series have played previous versions, were going to play this one, and were going to like it and persevere through it no matter what. Hence they are going to hate Yahtzee for his review.

Those who have never played it before, or stopped playing it long before this, will agree with the points Yahtzee is raising, and probably still never play it. Unless you're into masochism...

These people will not mix. Ever.

I disagree completely. I like the series, but disliked a couple of the games, planned to play XII, have enjoyed parts more and some parts less. I enjoy Yahtzee's reviews and I had high hopes for this one. But five hours is not enough in my opinion to generate a decent review--biting criticism or not. This game is a major release, on par with God of War III. I think the FF XIII review was subpar, not because of bashing the game, but that the bashing deserved more consideration: lesbian jokes, roller derby goblin jokes, Vanille's handsy summon jokes--all these I hoped for. Yes, Yahtzee has done short-term reviews of other games: The Witcher (a PC only release) and EVE and Conan (2 MMOs): these don't seem to be in the same level of release as the first FF game on this generation of consoles.

Plus, we're mixing right now, aren't we? :)

I must agree with Beau entirely. Not all FF fans are mindless unthinking apologists who defend the games where they really ought not to be defended. Yahtzee's review is poor simply because only playing the first five hours does not give you an accurate picture of the game in any sense- not its characters or plot, and you've barely had access to most of the battle system. It annoys me because it will put people off the game without just cause. If he'd wanted to filibuster about the JRPG genre for five minutes he could have easily done so elsewhere and not use it to ruin a review of what's actually a decent (not great, but solid) game. Yes, the man may have been busy, but he could easily have waited until he had more time to give the thing a proper look over. "I call it efficency" is not a workable defence. The whole reason he was able to tell people Heavy Rain got better over time was because he'd actually played that far, despite it making you far more detached from the game then FFXIII ever does.

As far as it getting good 20 hours in not being a good thing...I'd say it is, quite frankly. Just because some people don't have the patience to make it that far doesn't mean it's a point against the game. Most of the characters are likeable enough from the start...and those that aren't grow on you as they change and develop, a fact Yahtzee completly ignores because what he's done here is jugding an entire novel by its first few chapters. It might be funny in places, but it's useless to anyone who actually wants to use this as a hint about whether the game's any good or not.

I smell a FFFB.

Seems you miss the part where a "novel" or "game" by the length he played it should have hooked, which this game doesn't even attempt to do.

Pretty much this game plays with itself, with annoying characters, along a sub-par story that looks damn amazing.

I liked FF XIII overall but I can understand why people would really hate it.

I agree with Yahtzee that the combat involves the player as little as possible and that it is very badly designed. Always when I change a character's role to a medic and another to sentinel, who is there to direct attacks towards him/her, the medic will walk up and stand next to the sentinel getting hit as the sentinel is getting hit. That completely ruins the point of having a sentinel and medics should be staying well away from enemies. It's utterly stupid and really annoying. I don't know why you can't direct the character away from some thrashing enemy and instead watch them stupidly walk into them.

nicodeemus327:

Carnagath:
Let's face it, noone actually expected him to play up to chapter 11, did they...

I hoped he would. I'm sure he knew its a long game before it started it. If he doesn't have the time to play it for a proper review then why bother? All he's doing is jerking off the anti-Final fantasy crowd.

This.

Whether you think it is invalid to ask someone to play for more than 5 hours for a game to "get good" or not is irrelevant. it's a final fantasy game, what did you expect? People who enjoy the series know what to expect, and they either put up with it or actually enjoy it.

This review was lacklustre, and if he honestly didn't have the time to play it, he shouldn't have. There are other games he could've reviewed, and anyone who likes the series shouldn't need yahtzees nod of approval before buying it (we all knew that was never going to happen, anyway).

it seems wierd that people bitch about why they wouldt care about a game where you must play a while for it to get better, but they will suffer trough shitty tv-series like Lost and Prison Break for hours on hours, even though they admidt that its usualy pure shit.
yeah and i know that im automaticly branded as a fanboy for this, but this doesnt just count for JRPGs, many good games have this same issue.

I usually agree with most of what Yahtzee has to say, certainly as far as story-led games go, but I feel I've got to leap to the defence of this franchise a little bit.

Now I'll freely admit I love Final Fantasy (although I don't think they've made a truly great one since 2001, but anyway), and I think it's a great shame that Yahtzee thinks otherwise. However, I'm not here to say what bits of the games I think are brilliant and how he's so wrong blah blah, because we'll go round and round all day - everyone knows it's a game that polarises audiences. However, I do think there's an aspect to this debate, and to his slamming of the franchise staples, that he's overlooked. There's this common view that most Square Enix fans are half-blind idiots who'll lap up any old rubbish as long as it has spiky hair and big swords, and then tell the world how utterly brilliant it all is, to the accompanying sound of incredulous forehead-slapping from its critics. While these people think we're morons, in actuality, they just don't quite understand why we like the games. So:

The angsty drama, the complicated and unwieldy combat system, the ridiculous names, the separation of combat from gameplay, the over-the-top outfits (although I think Vaan's probably went a bit TOO far), the immensely slow pacing of the story... as FF fans we're not apologising for these things and trying to claim they either don't exist or that they're the finest examples of game design right across the board. Sure there would probably be smoother ways to make a battle system (if that's what you want), and more subtle ways of telling the story. But then it just wouldn't be Final Fantasy. We like the games BECAUSE of those things - they're as comfortable, familiar, and as much part of the franchise as Chocobos and Tonberries, and we'll always come to a new game in the series with an understanding of what it's going to be like, both in the gameplay and story elements.

So when the collected, smug FF haters go on about all of the game's various 'flaws'... yes, we know. We like it like that.

As far as it getting good 20 hours in not being a good thing...I'd say it is, quite frankly. Just because some people don't have the patience to make it that far doesn't mean it's a point against the game. Most of the characters are likeable enough from the start...and those that aren't grow on you as they change and develop, a fact Yahtzee completly ignores because what he's done here is jugding an entire novel by its first few chapters. It might be funny in places, but it's useless to anyone who actually wants to use this as a hint about whether the game's any good or not.

And there was I thinking games were about entertainment, and that we should applaud designers and directors who have the skill to weave narrative into games, rather than clunky storytelling and primitive delineation of plot ("here's a dry, prose summary, because we don't know how to do our jobs and produce stories that enthrall. Can I have your hard earned cash now, please?").

Darkefire:
Well done, Yahtzee. This is exactly why I couldn't stand Final Fantasy 7, I shouldn't have to play through a game for three or four hours before it gets good, it should start out good and get its tedious parts out in the middle when we're already committed.

Given what he said way back in his Condemned 2 review I am surprised that Yahtzee put up with the game for as long as he did. His review reminds me of a late night horror film I continued to watch in the hope it would get better--it never did.

That is my feeling toward the 'but it gets better later' crowd--why should I watemy time if they can't get it good from the beginning.

27 pages already? no need to go through it I can summerize 90%: "Yahtzee doesnt like JRPG's so he's opinon doesnt matter, Squareenix can do no wrong, im a fanboy wah wah wah."

Actually I cant belive Yahtzee lasted 5 hours, thats how I know he's completly unbiased. I only lasted 3.

FF13 worst FF of all time, i can name any other entry and it would be better.

I have to admit .. As much as i like the final fantasy range
Final fantasy 13 has seriously been dumbed down for those that have never played it before.
For the rest of us that have actually kept up with the combat and storyline
It just takes way too long to get to the open world.
I stopped at about 10 hours in and cannot be arse to go any further
I mean its probably gonna be one of those games that i play when im on holidays
Purely and simple for something to pass the time with ..
I mean i cant comment on the XBOX version of the game .. im only playing it on PS3 and its only one disc
And apparently its worse on XBOX ..
How the FRICKEN HELL can it be worse ..
I love FF games .. but i just cant stand this one ..
Im gonna agree with yahtzee on this ... It might have been worth it if there was so much linearity to the game ..

!! END RANT !!

Swmystery:

As far as it getting good 20 hours in not being a good thing...I'd say it is, quite frankly. Just because some people don't have the patience to make it that far doesn't mean it's a point against the game. Most of the characters are likeable enough from the start...and those that aren't grow on you as they change and develop, a fact Yahtzee completly ignores because what he's done here is jugding an entire novel by its first few chapters.

The difference here is it rarely takes 5 hours to read the first few chapters of a novel. I know the stereotype is that gamers are supposed to have more free time to "get into" a long game like FF, but I think it's fair to expect some sort of pay off after playing for longer than two feature-length movies. If you can't get into the meat of the plot by then, that's just bad editing and game design.

Gregor Hakha:

Zeni Geba:
F...... you for this review yahtzee, if you're a RPG hater then "STOP PLAYING" BI....CH. Final Fantasy XIII was a very good game .your review was like leasing to an idiot talk "trying to imitate Simon Cowell" just some wannabe game critic stick to what you do best review first-person shooting games "where the plot is always terrorist attached .go kill them " SHIT.And if you think you are good Enough to critic other people work try making a game as good as Final Fantasy XIII " the 3d that you call flashy and if you look at from the side its 2d that alone shows what an ignorant small minded and un educated BI....CH"

oh dear. did he hit one of your nerves?
you KNOW yahtzee hates this sort of game,and you knew he'd kick the shit out of it. so why watch it then get your knickers in twist over it?
oh,right,sorry. i forgot. the typical jrpg fan is an absolute cretin who wishes they lived in japan and praises anything that comes out of it. Japan could release a machine that grinds your dog into a pulp while brutally ramming you up the arse with a barbed,splintered piece of wood and you'd love it.
you watch anime all day long,clinging on to your pc desk in terror as you wonder if the main character will be able to overcome whatever's in their way,because you can't differentiate between cartoons and the real world,and you think the characters will somehow read your "helpful" advice in the comments page of the website. you play shitty games like this because you think you're as "awesome" as the characters in it,whereas picking up a real sword would wear you out in a second.

you don't have to be a game maker to say how shit another game is,especially if the game itself is bad.
what people like you need to realise is that because YOU (an unimportant speck among billions) like something,that doesn't make it a good thing.
some people like rape or pedophillia, that doesn't make those good things.
i am so sick of people like you. nintendo fans are just as bad.
"this game has shit graphics,boring,samey gameplay but the music is kind of good and my mum would only buy me the cheapest of the next gen consoles and because i like it that makes it good"

short version. fuck you.

ill replay on one thing only coz whatever you said is pointless if you think that the graphics is shit try making a 3 sec video that can come close to ff13 bitch.and if you cant shut the fuck up.unless you a real graphics designer you won't know

Thank you for it not turning to be a april fools present.
3 disks running a corridor... honestly, I don't blame you for quitting the game after 5 hours.

Primus1985:
27 pages already? no need to go through it I can summerize 90%: "Yahtzee doesnt like JRPG's so he's opinon doesnt matter, Squareenix can do no wrong, im a fanboy wah wah wah."

Actually I cant belive Yahtzee lasted 5 hours, thats how I know he's completly unbiased. I only lasted 3.

FF13 worst FF of all time, i can name any other entry and it would be better.

Actually, you've got it backwards. 90% of these comments are slobbering love for Yahtzee and people hating on a game just because Yahtzee hates it. This is pretty much par for the course for any forum thread regarding Yahtzee. But this one has reached critical mass due to the popularity of the game, the size of the fanbase and the incredibly half-assed review that makes me wonder if he even played for 5 minutes, much less 5 hours. As there wasn't a single aspect of his review that couldn't be derived from the instruction manual. Oh, and he also took several opportunities to plug his lame watering hole.

But did my eyes deceive me? Or did you actually call Ben "Yahtzee" Croshaw unbiased? I mean, you can't possibly mean that seriously. Yahtzee is about as unbiased, as Rosie O' Donnell is human. In all seriousness, making a completely biased review without even playing the game and then defending your weak attempt at criticism by calling your detractors "fanboys", is hardly what one would call eloquent retort. But then again, this is the internet and eloquence has never actually taken up residence in this god-forsaken place.

Shocking, he didn't like ffxiii.

Swmystery:
As far as it getting good 20 hours in not being a good thing...I'd say it is, quite frankly.

20 hours in order to get into a story is not acceptable. Not for a book or game. 5 hours should be quite acceptable to at least get a good grip on the story. FF XIII did not do this very well, at all, unless you read the datalogs, which is an extremely poor way to give story information for a game.

Swmystery:
Just because some people don't have the patience to make it that far doesn't mean it's a point against the game. Most of the characters are likeable enough from the start...and those that aren't grow on you as they change and develop, a fact Yahtzee completly ignores because what he's done here is jugding an entire novel by its first few chapters.

No. No no no no no no. No. The outro to this video, where he killed off Vanille about 5 different ways? Hell yes. Vanille, Snow, Fang, Lightning, Hope; all terrible, all the the way through the game. Sazh was the only good character in the game. I kept thinking as I was playing, "they'll get better, I'm sure they will." Next thing I know, lolcrystals, TEH END. Worst characters in any FF game.

Swmystery:
It might be funny in places, but it's useless to anyone who actually wants to use this as a hint about whether the game's any good or not.

I can partially agree here. Anyone who frequents here knows Yahtzee hates JRPGs, so it would be much better to go read the thousands of posts on other forums saying some of the same things Yahtzee does here.

This game was the worst in the FF franchise.

-----

P.S: Great video. Please kill Vanille in more ending shots.

Excising all fanboy back and forth: I think his review was good, not just as comedy, but about its review. I think it's refreshing to see someone tear FF down because this series, and Square as a whole, has been coasting for a long time on their massive egos.

I think it's completely fair for him to have only played 5 hours, because 5 hours is a LONG TIME TO BE PLAYING A VIDEO GAME, especially when it isn't even fun: Hell, it's more time than he put into Portal. It only even seems unfair because Square made their game a bloated freak. When you don't bother making your game good into 20 hours in, you run the risk that people are going to lose interest and stop playing before that point...but FFXIII treats itself as an obligation and the fans agree. How DARE you not keep playing this game? It's Final Fantasy! I don't care that it is utterly boring and uninteresting and that playing it for 5 hours has been torture, you must keep playing.

Not to mention that Square-Enix pretty much encapsulates everything that is wrong with JRPG storytelling: Bloated visions of epicness that confuse complexity and depth and don't even attempt to draw in the player, utterly awful pacing, and shallow stock characters...considering how much this series sells itself on story excusing crappy gameplay, you wonder why they'll never fix it.

And, for the record, I have liked JRPGs, particularly Grandia II...an actually good example of how to weave epic plot into a manageable and good storyline that grips you from the beginning; contrasted with Grandia III, in which Square-Enix took over the property, got rid of everything good, and then replaced everything with unfulfilled concepts of unmanageable epicness and turned it into a FFVII clone, a game whose awful story has been inexplicably copied.

Of course, many Final Fantasy fans seem to enjoy this stuff, so maybe it's an alien concept to me.

I say if Yahtzee doesn't like Turnbased stuff like Final Fantasy, he should try something like the Tales series, since that series plays more like a fighting game. But regardless it's still a JRPG so expect some whiny drama and long cut scenes...

Perhaps Final Fantasy XIV will feature Dissidia's combat controls. You know: walk up to the enemy and press X to punch him in the face.

I'm not alone! I thought I was the only person left from the old Final Fantasy Series. Seriously though, FF7 ruined the series quite spectacularly, as if the newer games weren't enough they actually are considering remaking FF7, the fools.

C'mon 1000 posts...

I will go as far to say that VII accidentally started to mess up the series and a lot of JRPGs in general because they started to use the game as a Rosetta Stone for everything post-PS1 era due to the fact that it's still the most successful JRPG in history. Yeah, Cloud was angsty but he also had a sense of humor, cared about at least one of his friends, and was fully aware of things beside himself (even if he was schizophrenic). Heck, I bet he wants to smack Lightning upside the head and tell her to get over herself. At this point Mr. Strife is probably knocking back shots with the guys while Tifa looks after the kids.

He pointed out everything that I hate about JRPG's. They are so annoying to me now, and I used to love the FF series.

I honestly don't understand the appeal with FF, the only ones i played were on the NES and SNES,and those were pretty fun,but all the other ones, will somebody please explain? Anyways, good review Yathzee, as a fellow non J-RPG'er this would have probably been my reaction too...

WhiteTiger225:

TheodoreLuke:
I only liked Crystal Chronicles and X-2.

I hated CC only because its like they were trying to use the MUCH better Secret of Mana system to try and con us mana fans into playing the FF series (And the fact it had a game ending glitch... which I got...)

BTW., you have some hot second lips that you play instruments with :D

What Glitch?

>:3

Good review.

I've never played any FF. I was thinking to give FFXIII a go to see what all the fuzz is about. But after reading in a couple of reviews that it only gets 'good' after at least 16 hours in, I decided not to. I don't have that much spare time. And don't want to go on holidays for playing a video game. If a game isn't 'good' after the first hour already, I don't see a point in keeping playing.

Maybe I'll try FFIV on DS later this year.

ForgottenPr0digy:
I'm tired of people saying Final Fantasy stop being good around VI

You know it to be true. The only reason FFVII became popular was because of FMV TECHNOLOGY. That, and essentially the disc-based medium contributed to the kind of linear-corridor dungeon creation we see in todays "Tetsuya Nomura's fashion show XIII".

I blame the Playstation for ruining the series.

I have become so bored of the Jarpeg (J-RPG for those critically non-humor attuned) staples. I believed that I grew to hating them. When I dissected the obvious parts of these staples, I found two games that I loved, but never really looked at them with comparison to these cliches: the crazy looks; turn based game play; lots of stats; items named ether (which should be spelled aether;) and a really dopey, lovey-dovy, friendship based, emotional plot.
If you didn't think of Pokemon when reading those staples of Jarpegs, look again. Every pokemon is just as crazy as an anime hair-doo. The characters don't fair any better. That turn based game play hasn't changed since the beginning. There is an item... named ether (again, aether.) Hell, the game is completely centric of friendship! How has this game survived while basically changing NOTHING! Don't get me wrong, I have a Pokewalker strapped to me right now and I caught a flying Pikachu, it's just that I over looked the horribleness when I found the game to be FUN. Weird, how that's all Jarpegs needed. All a game needs to be is fun, and I'll over look the worst.
Game developers... Square Enix... are you listening?

i love this dude he is fucking funny but i would like him to review final fantasy 9 i played that game and that game go back to the final fantasy game such as 6

I actually thought this one of his worst reviews. I know it's not meant to be serious but c'mon. He's only played 5 hours of the game for starters, which is pathetic in itself, since he managed to play Dragon Age: Origins for 25 hours without his eye sockets exploding.

Also, why does he have it for Xbox 360, I'm pretty sure he has a PS3, since he has reviewed PS3 Exclusives before. Shouldn't he review it for the console it was made for?

Almost almost every game is linear, that INCLUDES Final Fantasy, and they all open up towards the end, just like XIII, so I don't know why he's complaining about that. Footstep thing is true though >_>. If he actually bothered to play the game he would learn about the damn characters and a bit of their backgrounds.

XIII isn't really turn based and more takes off XIIs combat system. Yup, VI Was the best. It's hardly a badly designed interface, it's pretty damn simple, and the more ATB bars you unlock the quicker you get attacks back.

Along with his problem with Turn Based Combat, and now the transition, why doesn't he like XII, apart from the characters, the story in XII is quite far away from other FF's, the combat is very different, and some people even say it should be a spin off rather than main stream, and also, DA:O is basically a rip off of XII except that it sucks for a PS3/360 game *Yes, I know it's a PC port, but atleast try and make bearable graphics* and XII was actually good for a PS2 game.

I like his reviews normally, even if they are very biased but this one just took the biscuit of fail.

ArsenalMark:

Almost almost every game is linear, that INCLUDES Final Fantasy, and they all open up towards the end, just like XIII, so I don't know why he's complaining about that. Footstep thing is true though >_>. If he actually bothered to play the game he would learn about the damn characters and a bit of their backgrounds.

I think he's referring more to the way that FF doesn't "hide" its linearity like other recent games do. It's true that most games are nothing more than "running down a corridor" when you get down to it, but in FF it's just much more noticeable.

anyone else notice the similarities between the HOUR X from this review and the DAY X from five days a stranger?

boholikeu:

ArsenalMark:

Almost almost every game is linear, that INCLUDES Final Fantasy, and they all open up towards the end, just like XIII, so I don't know why he's complaining about that. Footstep thing is true though >_>. If he actually bothered to play the game he would learn about the damn characters and a bit of their backgrounds.

I think he's referring more to the way that FF doesn't "hide" its linearity like other recent games do. It's true that most games are nothing more than "running down a corridor" when you get down to it, but in FF it's just much more noticeable.

Doesn't help that little "map" on the corner of your screen is literally a fucking corridor. It makes me wonder why they bothered putting one in

I checked and yep, there's already erotic fanart of the FF13 characters

Yeah, well, no shit, Croshaw.

Considering FF13 was released about a week before Christmas in Japan, it's safe to assume what was going on in the past three months.

TheodoreLuke:

WhiteTiger225:

TheodoreLuke:
I only liked Crystal Chronicles and X-2.

I hated CC only because its like they were trying to use the MUCH better Secret of Mana system to try and con us mana fans into playing the FF series (And the fact it had a game ending glitch... which I got...)

BTW., you have some hot second lips that you play instruments with :D

What Glitch?

>:3

There is a glitch
well... game oversight.. where if you collect the two trees near you, you can be completely locked out from the other areas so you cannot continue.

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