View from the Road: The Lesson of Final Fantasy XIII

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ciortas1:

Veldt Falsetto:
I personally think the story worked amazingly well and all the characters react in a very human way, perhaps over the top for drama's sake but no more so than any film released in the last few years and at least the story dealt with something relatable and interesting.

And that is where you lost any credibility whatsoever when it comes to movies.

Nah, what films have you seen recently with drama that wasn't OTT, as a film student I havent seen all that many actors that seem at all human whilst acting, they aren't normal and don't tend to react in a normal human way

danpascooch:

Veldt Falsetto:

danpascooch:
I am a huge Final Fantasy fan, but the worst part about FFXIII is that they stripped all the best parts of Final Fantasy out of it!

Good story: GONE! (this is just my opinion, but I'd prefer a story where all the characters are not depressed over being devoured by a terminal illness the entire time, it's a little hard to enjoy the story when you're constantly being reminded "oh right, none of this matters because I'll be dead in like 3 days")

Exploration: GONE!

Sidequests: GONE!

(Exploration and sidequests came into play when 95% of the games main story and narrative was done, even then, it was just exploring small patches of grassy wilderness and taking "go kill this" quests from FUCKING STONES, seriously, who at Square came up with THAT one. I would have loved to visit an actual shop at an actual town and see some normal NPC's that weren't trying to throw me in jail so I can spend the last six days of my life before I become a monster in a jail cell! JUST ONCE! I never thought a game could make me miss traversing towns filled with mindless NPC's, but somehow FFXIII achieved that.)

Oh, and this isn't a main point, but from my experience, Final Fantasy has two great equipment systems:

1.) The materia system (FF7)
2.) The Job System (FF Tactics Advance 1&2, and FF9?)

They should stick with one of those.

The ONLY redeeming factor was that you were healed after each battle, but when talking about major issues like the above, that's nothing. It's like having your legs eaten off by wolves, and then given a lollypop, the candy does NOT make up for the fact that you just had your limbs ripped off by a pack of savage animals!

For basically the entire game I was waiting for that I'M OUT OF MIDGAR! WOOOOOOOO! moment where it stops being linear and you're free to explore a giant world and take on meaningful missions, and when it never came (not in any significant way, it only existed as a half-square mile of grassy plains populated by rocks that just felt tacked on), it just left me going "what the hell was that!?" when the game ended.

I kept wondering, why was the game so linear? Until I saw the article with the rediculous statement that: "A new FF7 would take 40 years to make". Assuming that is true, and that Square plans to release a new Final Fantasy every 5 years at the longest, that means that because of their graphical standards, they will never make a game with even ONE EIGHTH! of the content of FF7 ever again. (and that's not considering the fact that all of the groundwork for FFVII is completed, and balanced appropriately) I for one am not alright with that, JRPG's have been nearly killed by new Western RPGs, and if they try to cut the content down by 90% for the sake of graphics, they're screwed.

PS: I didn't think that restoration after battle hurt the "hardcore" aspect of the game, but only being able to control one character was stupid, and DID water it down.

Oh shush!

The story is your opinion yes but the reason the story was good is because it effects the whole game, to the NPCs you love to chat to mindlessly you are monsters who are going to kill them all, they aren't exactly gonna invite you in for a cup of tea and engage in pleasantries with you, no, they're gonna run away.
At the start of the game (the bit where you control Hope before going after Snow) you can talk to a bunch of NPCs but instead of having you talk to them and say nothing back you just overheard their conversations. I personally think the story worked amazingly well and all the characters (aside from Vanille (but she does develop into a more human character)) react in a very human way, perhaps over the top for drama's sake but no more so than any film released in the last few years and at least the story dealt with something relatable and interesting.

Yeah the exploration and sidequests were little (they weren't gone completely) but it's exactly the same as FFX in that regards, the next big console FF title will have huge open spaces and towns etc etc, it took them 5 years to make Crystal Tools engine, now that it's been made they can work more quickly with it and keep the same graphical quality.

Also a big NO to materia, it wasn't at all interesting and made every character such a blank canvas, they may as well be literal squares with limit breaks being the only thing to tell who is who

Also, it DOES use the job system it's just under a different name, the job system has just evolved from being the static 1 job forever as in FF1 and 3, then to the interchangable job system outside of battle as in FF5 then the dressphere system where you change your job in battle in FFX-2, it's just been stylised and improved upon in due time.

In reply to this:
[I am a huge Final Fantasy fan, but the worst part about FFXIII is that they stripped all the best parts of Final Fantasy out of it!]

Being the huge Final Fantasy fan that you are, I'd thought you'd know the best and only real element every Final Fantasy from 1 onwards has held, the fact that each and every single one has a completely different system in place, whether it's levelling, equipment, movement, battle systems every title in the franchise has a big change with each game and whatever it doesn't change, it evolves from something in the past that was similar and improves upon it.

Final Fantasy XIII is an excellent story with a great feel of urgency to it (my opinion) with the world map and Sphere Grid from FFX changed to fit with the theme of urgency of the game, the battle system of FFX-2, improved to make it that much more streamlined and interesting, a strange equipment upgrade system that doesnt quite work, and amazing presentation.

In FFX you eventually got an airship that you could fly around to previously visited locations, and could find secret and optional locations with, that is in fact very different.

As for the materia system, I thought it was the best, on the contrary, I felt that it didn't make each character a blank slate, I felt that it made each of them customizable to my playstyle, I love that level of choice.

My point about missing NPC's and towns was simply that, besides the very few parts where you're in a town, (and even then you only really see people in cutscenes) you were off in the wilderness or some shit. It made me feel like the world wasn't really alive, it totally trashed the immersion for me. For about 90% of the game it was just like: "Where the hell is civilization?" As far as I was concerned, at LEAST the first half of the game had no real purpose, and was completely interchangeable. It was basically like "walk through this floating city". "ok, now walk through this forest". "Alright, now through this junkyard". "Ok, now through this jungle" and when I was wondering why, the answer was always basically just "to get to the other side".

The presentation was nice, but that's about all there was, the gameplay was about as deep as an old-school Sonic game. It didn't feel like a Final Fantasy game, I didn't feel like I was immersed in an incredible adventure, I felt like I was a terminal cancer patient who was pissed off and wanted to get revenge on the world before I died, and that nothing I did mattered because (until the game was over and it was no longer relevant) I was constantly being reminded "yeah you just did something good, but it's not going to matter, you'll be dead real soon". The lack of purpose certainly wasn't fixed by doing sidequests for rocks based on a one paragraph backstory.

As a Final Fantasy fan, I know that all the games have different systems, but that doesn't mean I'm going to like a system that sucks just because it was different, and this system of "you have a terminal illness, now walk along these interchangeable linear paths for 40 or so hours" was definitely a huge fucking mistake.

When it came right down to it, the world didn't feel real, the bulk of the game was walking down linear paths with no real reason other than "well, we can't stay here". And it stripped the game of any sense of adventure or depth. The entire time I was well aware that I was playing a game, and was just waiting for it to "get good", but it never did.

Ok so you have a point about exploration and thinking back you're kinda right, until Palompolom the story is just travelling but you can't deny that during those chapters the characters gain a considerable amount of depth and as the story and drama in these games revolve around character development.
I am sticking behind the story though, even though it wasnt cheery it was especially moving at times and I at least felt a lot for every character by the end of the game
As much as the exploration is nothing I feel the rest of the game has a lot going for it

If you want to talk about full heal after battles, Chrono Cross.
With their magic system it made sense and made you work for it.

Veldt Falsetto:

danpascooch:

Veldt Falsetto:

danpascooch:
I am a huge Final Fantasy fan, but the worst part about FFXIII is that they stripped all the best parts of Final Fantasy out of it!

Good story: GONE! (this is just my opinion, but I'd prefer a story where all the characters are not depressed over being devoured by a terminal illness the entire time, it's a little hard to enjoy the story when you're constantly being reminded "oh right, none of this matters because I'll be dead in like 3 days")

Exploration: GONE!

Sidequests: GONE!

(Exploration and sidequests came into play when 95% of the games main story and narrative was done, even then, it was just exploring small patches of grassy wilderness and taking "go kill this" quests from FUCKING STONES, seriously, who at Square came up with THAT one. I would have loved to visit an actual shop at an actual town and see some normal NPC's that weren't trying to throw me in jail so I can spend the last six days of my life before I become a monster in a jail cell! JUST ONCE! I never thought a game could make me miss traversing towns filled with mindless NPC's, but somehow FFXIII achieved that.)

Oh, and this isn't a main point, but from my experience, Final Fantasy has two great equipment systems:

1.) The materia system (FF7)
2.) The Job System (FF Tactics Advance 1&2, and FF9?)

They should stick with one of those.

The ONLY redeeming factor was that you were healed after each battle, but when talking about major issues like the above, that's nothing. It's like having your legs eaten off by wolves, and then given a lollypop, the candy does NOT make up for the fact that you just had your limbs ripped off by a pack of savage animals!

For basically the entire game I was waiting for that I'M OUT OF MIDGAR! WOOOOOOOO! moment where it stops being linear and you're free to explore a giant world and take on meaningful missions, and when it never came (not in any significant way, it only existed as a half-square mile of grassy plains populated by rocks that just felt tacked on), it just left me going "what the hell was that!?" when the game ended.

I kept wondering, why was the game so linear? Until I saw the article with the rediculous statement that: "A new FF7 would take 40 years to make". Assuming that is true, and that Square plans to release a new Final Fantasy every 5 years at the longest, that means that because of their graphical standards, they will never make a game with even ONE EIGHTH! of the content of FF7 ever again. (and that's not considering the fact that all of the groundwork for FFVII is completed, and balanced appropriately) I for one am not alright with that, JRPG's have been nearly killed by new Western RPGs, and if they try to cut the content down by 90% for the sake of graphics, they're screwed.

PS: I didn't think that restoration after battle hurt the "hardcore" aspect of the game, but only being able to control one character was stupid, and DID water it down.

Oh shush!

The story is your opinion yes but the reason the story was good is because it effects the whole game, to the NPCs you love to chat to mindlessly you are monsters who are going to kill them all, they aren't exactly gonna invite you in for a cup of tea and engage in pleasantries with you, no, they're gonna run away.
At the start of the game (the bit where you control Hope before going after Snow) you can talk to a bunch of NPCs but instead of having you talk to them and say nothing back you just overheard their conversations. I personally think the story worked amazingly well and all the characters (aside from Vanille (but she does develop into a more human character)) react in a very human way, perhaps over the top for drama's sake but no more so than any film released in the last few years and at least the story dealt with something relatable and interesting.

Yeah the exploration and sidequests were little (they weren't gone completely) but it's exactly the same as FFX in that regards, the next big console FF title will have huge open spaces and towns etc etc, it took them 5 years to make Crystal Tools engine, now that it's been made they can work more quickly with it and keep the same graphical quality.

Also a big NO to materia, it wasn't at all interesting and made every character such a blank canvas, they may as well be literal squares with limit breaks being the only thing to tell who is who

Also, it DOES use the job system it's just under a different name, the job system has just evolved from being the static 1 job forever as in FF1 and 3, then to the interchangable job system outside of battle as in FF5 then the dressphere system where you change your job in battle in FFX-2, it's just been stylised and improved upon in due time.

In reply to this:
[I am a huge Final Fantasy fan, but the worst part about FFXIII is that they stripped all the best parts of Final Fantasy out of it!]

Being the huge Final Fantasy fan that you are, I'd thought you'd know the best and only real element every Final Fantasy from 1 onwards has held, the fact that each and every single one has a completely different system in place, whether it's levelling, equipment, movement, battle systems every title in the franchise has a big change with each game and whatever it doesn't change, it evolves from something in the past that was similar and improves upon it.

Final Fantasy XIII is an excellent story with a great feel of urgency to it (my opinion) with the world map and Sphere Grid from FFX changed to fit with the theme of urgency of the game, the battle system of FFX-2, improved to make it that much more streamlined and interesting, a strange equipment upgrade system that doesnt quite work, and amazing presentation.

In FFX you eventually got an airship that you could fly around to previously visited locations, and could find secret and optional locations with, that is in fact very different.

As for the materia system, I thought it was the best, on the contrary, I felt that it didn't make each character a blank slate, I felt that it made each of them customizable to my playstyle, I love that level of choice.

My point about missing NPC's and towns was simply that, besides the very few parts where you're in a town, (and even then you only really see people in cutscenes) you were off in the wilderness or some shit. It made me feel like the world wasn't really alive, it totally trashed the immersion for me. For about 90% of the game it was just like: "Where the hell is civilization?" As far as I was concerned, at LEAST the first half of the game had no real purpose, and was completely interchangeable. It was basically like "walk through this floating city". "ok, now walk through this forest". "Alright, now through this junkyard". "Ok, now through this jungle" and when I was wondering why, the answer was always basically just "to get to the other side".

The presentation was nice, but that's about all there was, the gameplay was about as deep as an old-school Sonic game. It didn't feel like a Final Fantasy game, I didn't feel like I was immersed in an incredible adventure, I felt like I was a terminal cancer patient who was pissed off and wanted to get revenge on the world before I died, and that nothing I did mattered because (until the game was over and it was no longer relevant) I was constantly being reminded "yeah you just did something good, but it's not going to matter, you'll be dead real soon". The lack of purpose certainly wasn't fixed by doing sidequests for rocks based on a one paragraph backstory.

As a Final Fantasy fan, I know that all the games have different systems, but that doesn't mean I'm going to like a system that sucks just because it was different, and this system of "you have a terminal illness, now walk along these interchangeable linear paths for 40 or so hours" was definitely a huge fucking mistake.

When it came right down to it, the world didn't feel real, the bulk of the game was walking down linear paths with no real reason other than "well, we can't stay here". And it stripped the game of any sense of adventure or depth. The entire time I was well aware that I was playing a game, and was just waiting for it to "get good", but it never did.

Ok so you have a point about exploration and thinking back you're kinda right, until Palompolom the story is just travelling but you can't deny that during those chapters the characters gain a considerable amount of depth and as the story and drama in these games revolve around character development.
I am sticking behind the story though, even though it wasnt cheery it was especially moving at times and I at least felt a lot for every character by the end of the game
As much as the exploration is nothing I feel the rest of the game has a lot going for it

I'm not saying the story was bad overall (compared to the average game), just bad by the standards of Final Fantasy.

I get that it can take a while to discern your purpose (like in FF7 it took until the end of Clouds story in Kalm to fully understand that the game was going to center around hunting down Sephiroth) but in FFXIII the entire game was either moving to new places because there's no point in staying put, or searching incredibly vague leads on a "cure" to the terminal illness the group has. It was just felt to much like depressing wandering instead of a meaningful and important adventure.

danpascooch:

Veldt Falsetto:

danpascooch:

Veldt Falsetto:

danpascooch:
I am a huge Final Fantasy fan, but the worst part about FFXIII is that they stripped all the best parts of Final Fantasy out of it!

Good story: GONE! (this is just my opinion, but I'd prefer a story where all the characters are not depressed over being devoured by a terminal illness the entire time, it's a little hard to enjoy the story when you're constantly being reminded "oh right, none of this matters because I'll be dead in like 3 days")

Exploration: GONE!

Sidequests: GONE!

(Exploration and sidequests came into play when 95% of the games main story and narrative was done, even then, it was just exploring small patches of grassy wilderness and taking "go kill this" quests from FUCKING STONES, seriously, who at Square came up with THAT one. I would have loved to visit an actual shop at an actual town and see some normal NPC's that weren't trying to throw me in jail so I can spend the last six days of my life before I become a monster in a jail cell! JUST ONCE! I never thought a game could make me miss traversing towns filled with mindless NPC's, but somehow FFXIII achieved that.)

Oh, and this isn't a main point, but from my experience, Final Fantasy has two great equipment systems:

1.) The materia system (FF7)
2.) The Job System (FF Tactics Advance 1&2, and FF9?)

They should stick with one of those.

The ONLY redeeming factor was that you were healed after each battle, but when talking about major issues like the above, that's nothing. It's like having your legs eaten off by wolves, and then given a lollypop, the candy does NOT make up for the fact that you just had your limbs ripped off by a pack of savage animals!

For basically the entire game I was waiting for that I'M OUT OF MIDGAR! WOOOOOOOO! moment where it stops being linear and you're free to explore a giant world and take on meaningful missions, and when it never came (not in any significant way, it only existed as a half-square mile of grassy plains populated by rocks that just felt tacked on), it just left me going "what the hell was that!?" when the game ended.

I kept wondering, why was the game so linear? Until I saw the article with the rediculous statement that: "A new FF7 would take 40 years to make". Assuming that is true, and that Square plans to release a new Final Fantasy every 5 years at the longest, that means that because of their graphical standards, they will never make a game with even ONE EIGHTH! of the content of FF7 ever again. (and that's not considering the fact that all of the groundwork for FFVII is completed, and balanced appropriately) I for one am not alright with that, JRPG's have been nearly killed by new Western RPGs, and if they try to cut the content down by 90% for the sake of graphics, they're screwed.

PS: I didn't think that restoration after battle hurt the "hardcore" aspect of the game, but only being able to control one character was stupid, and DID water it down.

Oh shush!

The story is your opinion yes but the reason the story was good is because it effects the whole game, to the NPCs you love to chat to mindlessly you are monsters who are going to kill them all, they aren't exactly gonna invite you in for a cup of tea and engage in pleasantries with you, no, they're gonna run away.
At the start of the game (the bit where you control Hope before going after Snow) you can talk to a bunch of NPCs but instead of having you talk to them and say nothing back you just overheard their conversations. I personally think the story worked amazingly well and all the characters (aside from Vanille (but she does develop into a more human character)) react in a very human way, perhaps over the top for drama's sake but no more so than any film released in the last few years and at least the story dealt with something relatable and interesting.

Yeah the exploration and sidequests were little (they weren't gone completely) but it's exactly the same as FFX in that regards, the next big console FF title will have huge open spaces and towns etc etc, it took them 5 years to make Crystal Tools engine, now that it's been made they can work more quickly with it and keep the same graphical quality.

Also a big NO to materia, it wasn't at all interesting and made every character such a blank canvas, they may as well be literal squares with limit breaks being the only thing to tell who is who

Also, it DOES use the job system it's just under a different name, the job system has just evolved from being the static 1 job forever as in FF1 and 3, then to the interchangable job system outside of battle as in FF5 then the dressphere system where you change your job in battle in FFX-2, it's just been stylised and improved upon in due time.

In reply to this:
[I am a huge Final Fantasy fan, but the worst part about FFXIII is that they stripped all the best parts of Final Fantasy out of it!]

Being the huge Final Fantasy fan that you are, I'd thought you'd know the best and only real element every Final Fantasy from 1 onwards has held, the fact that each and every single one has a completely different system in place, whether it's levelling, equipment, movement, battle systems every title in the franchise has a big change with each game and whatever it doesn't change, it evolves from something in the past that was similar and improves upon it.

Final Fantasy XIII is an excellent story with a great feel of urgency to it (my opinion) with the world map and Sphere Grid from FFX changed to fit with the theme of urgency of the game, the battle system of FFX-2, improved to make it that much more streamlined and interesting, a strange equipment upgrade system that doesnt quite work, and amazing presentation.

In FFX you eventually got an airship that you could fly around to previously visited locations, and could find secret and optional locations with, that is in fact very different.

As for the materia system, I thought it was the best, on the contrary, I felt that it didn't make each character a blank slate, I felt that it made each of them customizable to my playstyle, I love that level of choice.

My point about missing NPC's and towns was simply that, besides the very few parts where you're in a town, (and even then you only really see people in cutscenes) you were off in the wilderness or some shit. It made me feel like the world wasn't really alive, it totally trashed the immersion for me. For about 90% of the game it was just like: "Where the hell is civilization?" As far as I was concerned, at LEAST the first half of the game had no real purpose, and was completely interchangeable. It was basically like "walk through this floating city". "ok, now walk through this forest". "Alright, now through this junkyard". "Ok, now through this jungle" and when I was wondering why, the answer was always basically just "to get to the other side".

The presentation was nice, but that's about all there was, the gameplay was about as deep as an old-school Sonic game. It didn't feel like a Final Fantasy game, I didn't feel like I was immersed in an incredible adventure, I felt like I was a terminal cancer patient who was pissed off and wanted to get revenge on the world before I died, and that nothing I did mattered because (until the game was over and it was no longer relevant) I was constantly being reminded "yeah you just did something good, but it's not going to matter, you'll be dead real soon". The lack of purpose certainly wasn't fixed by doing sidequests for rocks based on a one paragraph backstory.

As a Final Fantasy fan, I know that all the games have different systems, but that doesn't mean I'm going to like a system that sucks just because it was different, and this system of "you have a terminal illness, now walk along these interchangeable linear paths for 40 or so hours" was definitely a huge fucking mistake.

When it came right down to it, the world didn't feel real, the bulk of the game was walking down linear paths with no real reason other than "well, we can't stay here". And it stripped the game of any sense of adventure or depth. The entire time I was well aware that I was playing a game, and was just waiting for it to "get good", but it never did.

Ok so you have a point about exploration and thinking back you're kinda right, until Palompolom the story is just travelling but you can't deny that during those chapters the characters gain a considerable amount of depth and as the story and drama in these games revolve around character development.
I am sticking behind the story though, even though it wasnt cheery it was especially moving at times and I at least felt a lot for every character by the end of the game
As much as the exploration is nothing I feel the rest of the game has a lot going for it

I'm not saying the story was bad overall (compared to the average game), just bad by the standards of Final Fantasy.

I get that it can take a while to discern your purpose (like in FF7 it took until the end of Clouds story in Kalm to fully understand that the game was going to center around hunting down Sephiroth) but in FFXIII the entire game was either moving to new places because there's no point in staying put, or searching incredibly vague leads on a "cure" to the terminal illness the group has. It was just felt to much like depressing wandering instead of a meaningful and important adventure.

I dunno, I think Sazh and Vanille's story was depressing wandering, they didn't have a purpose or a reason to fight until the Nautilus chapter, Lightning and Hope have a purpose and to me it just felt like travelling to Palompolum until the story picked up again, it wasn't so much wandering as it was Lightning feeling sorry for Hope and trying to look after him and get him out of trouble

So yeah the bit inbetween the mountains and Palompolum feels a bit like wandering aimlessly in some linear direction but to be fair one group IS actually doing that and the other is...trying to reach somewhere kinda unreachable.

I think the purpose for each character is apparant from certain different points near the start, they are all pretty personal adventures though not necessarily going places physically but emotionally, Hope, Sazh and Vanille are better examples than Snow and Lightning who take an action approach because the three I mentioned are actually going through a lot, whether it's losing a friend, a son or a mother they have a huge emotional journey to go through.

Considering the general theme of the game (aside from incurable disease) is loss, it's not surprising that it's a tad depressing

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