Are the Final Fantasy XIII games actually any good?

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Seeing as it's been a few years since the release of these games(maybe only a year for the second, I haven't kept track though), I feel now is the best time to ask people that actually appreciate JRPGs whether or not the Final Fantasy XIII games were worth anything. I myself played about 5 hours of the first game, and while I loved the look of it, that was all I felt like I was getting. However, I am older now and can somewhat appreciate the(while somewhat aging) battle system often used in Square games. I know they are long games, and so it makes me wonder if the first 5 hours of it are like the first 5 levels in Phantasy Star Online, grueling and tormenting. I thought the story was interesting and I actually did want to see what was happening, but I just couldn't get myself to play enough at the time and slowly let others' opinions dominate my thoughts on the game and caused me to sell it. I am, however, in a JRPG hungry mood at the moment, and am just wondering if this was actually some gem I simply passed up because a few vocal others disliked it, or if I should stick with the decision I made and find a better JRPG to play.

for XIII the first 5 hours repeat for the next 15 when the game finally opens up in Jurassic Park from there on out its actually fun... unfortunately that fun only last an extra 5 hours as the game ends :( unless you want to go after all the side quest, which I suggest you do as they are somewhat challenging. The story is good but buried in the menus and walls of text

XIII-2 is fun but the story takes forever to make sense, and the ending sucks since you need to buy the DLC to get it >:(

I'd recommend both games if and ONLY if, you like Lightning and the way the world looks, cause most people that dislike one or the other can't stand the game

Final Fantasy XIII is a good game but if the first 5 hours didn't pull you in, the rest won't either. I would barely call it an JRPG and even SE said it wasn't a JRPG, if memory serves. People say XIII gets better later in the game when it opens up, I disagree, I think that is when the grindfest begins and backtracking to do quests isn't fun. IMO, Final Fantasy XIII is a good game with a fast paced battle system. It lacks towns, new equipment (it has a crappy upgrade system), NPC's and a decent leveling system. The level system is similar to Final Fantasy X's sphere grid but more limiting. The story is fine but SE didn't tell it well.

Final Fantasy XIII-2 was even worse. The company that brought us Chrono Trigger managed to screw up time travel in this game. The story is told even worse in this game than it was in the original and the whole game is set up like a wannabe WRPG with boring sidequests taking up most of the gameplay.

I finished XIII 3 times and never finished XIII-2.

I personally enjoyed both XIII and XIII-2. Part of it was probably because they were actually my first FF games. HOWEVER, I do know that it's not everyone's cup of tea.

Crono1973:
Final Fantasy XIII is a good game but if the first 5 hours didn't pull you in, the rest won't either. I would barely call it an JRPG and even SE said it wasn't a JRPG, if memory serves. People say XIII gets better later in the game when it opens up, I disagree, I think that is when the grindfest begins and backtracking to do quests isn't fun. IMO, Final Fantasy XIII is a good game with a fast paced battle system. It lacks towns, new equipment (it has a crappy upgrade system), NPC's and a decent leveling system. The level system is similar to Final Fantasy X's sphere grid but more limiting. The story is fine but SE didn't tell it well.

Final Fantasy XIII-2 was even worse. The company that brought us Chrono Trigger managed to screw up time travel in this game. The story is told even worse in this game than it was in the original and the whole game is set up like a wannabe WRPG with boring sidequests taking up most of the gameplay.

I finished XIII 3 times and never finished XIII-2.

This is right - if the first few hours didn't get you, I'd probably recommend playing something else. Tales of Vesperia, maybe?

In my honest opinion , FFXIII is decent at worst , and FFXIII-2 is terrible at best .

FFXIII being linear made sense given the story . The environments are beautiful , the gameplay is fast paced and fun , the story is cool , Hope sucks , music is alright , Vanilles voice actor should be fired , and the ending was good .

FFXIII-2. Tried to copy Chrono trigger , story makes absolutely no sense , confuses itself with pokemon and/or SMT , Spat all over the ending of the first game , combat is fun , leveling system is stupid , character models look silly , has a halarious jump animation for Serah . And is boring to death . Oh and you have to buy the ending .

In conclusion , if you like jrpgs buy FFXIII , if you hate jrpgs avoid both , if you like Square-enic buy both . If you are looking for a fun , easy, nonsensical game to turn off your brain and smash your head with a hammer , buy FFXIII-2 .

I personally couldn't finish XIII-2 but i managed to finish X-2 , which was slightly less terrible.

I enjoyed Final Fantasy XIII, but I certainly won't be replaying it constantly like I did with VII, VIII, X, and X-2. Those opening hours, before you crew gets together and you actually have full control over everything, were a chore to get through. Throw in the fact that most of the fights are doable on standard leveling--just fighting the enemies in your way, not going to look for trouble--until a certain boss who will mop the floor with you unless you've leveled up a lot, and the game is one of the weaker in the series. If you did enjoy the story, as you say you did, then I do suggest picking it back up and going on. It just takes a while for the story to start to shine, and it's because the story keeps jumping from Lightening and Hope, to Snow, to Snow and Fang, to Sazh and Vanille. It gets confusing, but once they all finally join up together it gets better.

I personally think Final Fantasy XIII-2 is the better game, though I am apparently in the minority. I found the story much easier to follow, the characters were more likeable, and the game had a more "Final Fantasy" feel to it. The best thing I can come up with is, "Did you like X-2?" Many people hated X-2, and XIII-2 feels a lot like that. I also liked this game because it was nice to know that not everyone DIED at the end of XIII. There were some serious problems for the people at the end of that game, but XIII-2 resolves them. Of course, it ends on a true cliffhanger, and if you play it, you may as well accept the fact that you will be playing Lightning Returns.

Eh.

If you have no exposure to the other Final Fantasy games, then yeah, sure.

But they're not good Final Fantasy games, and it's actually pretty interesting why that's so, considering XIII is basically an amalgam of VII-X.

I'd go into it, but it's 2:30 in the morning, I've made so many posts on the subject already in the past, I could probably just point to the "Best of" compilation I made last time.

There are better JRPGs you could play instead. Especially if you have a Playstation 2, or a Playstation Vita which recently got Persona 4 Golden, a re-release of one of the most awesome JRPGs ever.

I can't honestly say FFXIII is a 'good' game: its overly linear, the story takes a long time to get going and loses its way towards the end and the battle system is rather clunky. However, I still really enjoyed it. This was mostly because, despite the gameplay and plot issues, I found the world Square Enix created for the game to be fantastically deep and complex. They still made mistakes in delivering this (there are endless walls of text to get through to fully appreciate the world and lore, so you might as well just trawl through the Final Fantasy wikia) but it doesn't stop FFXIII being one of my favourite FFs (after IX, X and VII), solely on the merits of its setting.

FFXIII-2 has better gameplay but again, I can't call it a 'good' game. The battle system is well refined and the game is far less linear, but the story is pretty terrible and the main characters' motivations are all over the place. They start off not knowing anything about time travel, but suddenly start making ridiculous conclusions out of no where and running off across the timeline on what is barely even a hunch. There is also far too little Lightning in the game (the opening cinematic is by far the most you see of her) which is a shame as she has become one of my favourite all time FF characters. Needless to say, I'm optimistic about Lightning Returns FFXIII.

If you're a reasonably hardcore FF fan, give these games a chance as you might find something you like about them. If you're simply looking for a good JRPG, these games aren't worth your money - get hold of a copy of Persona 4, Chrono Trigger or an older FF game (IX and X are my favs).

how come if the final fantasy 13 games are not awesome but are just decent they got such awesome reviews .
i see a lot of 100/100, 9.5/10 etc scores on metacritic by well known and popular review sites ?
theres only one negative review by destructoid for 13 but for 13-2 pretty much every site givee it amazing scores ? whats the deal with that ?

To me FFXIII can be enjoyable if you're willing to want to love it. But there are a lot of other games and JRPGs out there which you can love without making a concerted effort to do so, so I don't know if I'd ever actually recommend the game to someone else.

There are lots of individual good sparks. Apart from the insta-death, I have good memories of the last boss fight, that was when the combat system really came together for me. And a lot of the storylines are really good, and even the worst of them have interesting ideas behind it. And the lore and setting had potential too.

It's just all the little details conspiring against it. The stories are fractured and don't feel connected by the gameplay the way they did in say 10. Nothing in the game or story actually really focuses on the setting. Vanille, Hope and Snow's voice acting isn't bad as such but it can make the characters sound a lot blander than they really are. The combat takes forever before they give you enough people and enough control to really make substantial input in battles...etc

It's not a good game, but it is possible to enjoy it

No, not in any respect, for a second of gameplay, or story, or cutscene... other than the pretty graphics and Sazh, there isn;t a second of either of these games that's enjoyable... linear to the point of oppression, filled with a nonsensical, and seemingly, purposefully confusing plot, full of plot convenience and holes, in a world that makes little to know sense, with gameplay that's like flying a kite, that is to say you have the least amount of control possible, as to how the tide of battle pulls out, the only times it doesn;t feel like you're just doing what the computer overlord hasn;t chosen for you, is when you feel like you're breaking the game... not to mention the characters, my god... it's filled with smug assholes, giggling mental patients that are connected to reality the same way the 80's were connected to culture... and fucking hope... the single most unlikable thing to ever exist in any medium, and the worst part is that he's the one we're meant to sympathize with... and that's not even getting into the details...<.<

I think it really comes down to what types of games you normally play and what you normally look for in a game. While this may be a bit of a generalization, if you are more like a typical Japanese gamer you'll enjoy XIII while if you are more like a typical American gamer you won't. After all, XIII has become THE most popular Final Fantasy game in Japan while essentially being the opposite in America and to a lesser extent Europe. And I can see why too: the game has many tropes and traits that many Western gamers aren't too fond of but is very popular in the East.

Honestly, I say give it a try if you're a fan of Final Fantasy or just JRPGs in general. The first 5 hours are the most boring and hardest to get through, but slow starts are essentially a staple of the Final Fantasy series.

They have really nice graphics and decent art direction. The battle system is like an audio-visual blowjob for people with ADD. There is little else to note about them. If you like really pretty things, you like numbers going up and changing colour and you have a lot of time to waste then yeah play it.

Final Fantasy 13 was a HUGE disappointment after all the hype it was getting until release, I found the characters pretty generic and bland (except Sazh, one of my favorite characters in the entire series, his development was extraordinary) The gameplay was un-involving, having most battles won by mashing the A/X button because auto attack selects the best possible moves for each paradigm. The leveling and crafting systems were jokes, the story has a great premise, but the narrative itself isn't too interesting. The music, mythology and graphics are stellar! The game has some great cutscenes though.

Final Fantasy 13-2 was a great improvement for me, I was skeptical at first, but after playing it, I can say It was thoroughly enjoyable, the combat was faster, the Serah/Noel duo was refreshing and with no romance involved, it was a breath of fresh air! The music kicks so many levels of ass and while the story was criticized, I found it simple and fun to go through. The crystarium was redone and is vastly improved, no more crafting and brings back a traditional system of "find stronger weapon, equip it"

Because of FF13-2, I am actually excited for Lightning Returns, which after the disappointment of 13, is saying a lot!

No, they are awful, terrible battle system, one huge corridor, annoying characters and they keep churning the pap out refusing to make a proper bloody game. Think they are on part 3 now and threatening to include "real time" elements, the reason Majora's Mask is not as good a Ocarina of Time. Stop ruining my love of RPGs and Final Fantasy you arses! Grr..

I've played pretty much every "main" Final Fantasy in the series and up until this day, FF XIII is the only where I haven't finished the final dungeon. It also took me 3 years to actually get there, because I couldn't stand playing the game more than 2 hours a week.

Because I just stopped caring.

The Good:

- It has good graphics, a bit too random with the colors and the shininess, but at least it's not an Unreal game 90% of the games look the same.

- Just like every FF game, it has the balls to try something new, even if it is a fail.

The Bad:

- The characters, remember those likable, deep, but also funny characters like Vivi Ornitier, Barret Wallace, Kain Highwind or Celes Chere? Yeah, none of that. Instead we have a guy constantly moping about his girlfriend, Hope and Vanille taking on the monicker of two of the worst child characters in any game ever and little Chocobo bird being the most enjoyable character of all.

- The story, or better yet, the setup of the story. Too much bullshit terms and not enough time taken to let the player take in the bizarre world. You get terms like Cieth, l'Cie and Fal Cie thrown at you from the start, there's some bullshit politics going on and I don't see how anyone could care less. Compare this to the way FF IX's setting was expanded, it's unbelievable that both games were made by the same company. I guess the idea of being chosen, marked and then resented by all others could've been an interesting element to discuss discrimination - but it doesn't go anywhere. It's really just the laziest form of: "Hey, we need these six characters to go on a quest together somehow. Oh, I know, let's just let some bullshit demi-god entity mark 'em all! Genius!"

- The flow, a recurring critique is that the game is too linear. This is a flawed critique, many FF titles have been lineair and did just fine. The problem with FF XIII is that it offers no variation. There are no mini-games, there are no lively cities or villages, you can't go slumming from shop to shop, there is only the dungeon and the cutscene.

- The combat, while beautiful and fluent, is pretty damn hollow. You can only control one character, you cannot program the behavior of other characters and you cannot switch in battle. In other words, everything FF XII did right, FF XIII did wrong. They do have this cute reverse-Chrono Cross concept where you can already use certain moves based on how much your ATB-meter is filled up. However, in the end, you'll just end up smashing the auto-attack button, the real trick is to set up the right paradigms before battle and press the R1 button on the right time. And it's so easy to fuck up in battle because the balance has gone to shit, that you literally get spawned right before said battle if you die.

- The upgrades, the crystarium system is a dumbed down version of the sphere grid or license board. With "dumbed down", I mean there is no freedom whatsoever. There wouldn't have been any difference if they had just opted for an old school class system in which a profession just learns new abilities as you use the profession in battle. Think FF IV, V or VI (without the added depth of Espers). Furthermore, it is possible to upgrade your weapons, but doing that is tedious as all hell and pretty much has you grinding for certain items the way FF VIII had you grinding for Magic.

---

So, yeah, I don't know if the FF XIII games are any good, because I only played the first one and it left such a bad taste in my mouth that I stopped buying them. The story, setting and characters are a mess, the combat is flawed and there's never really any change of pace. It's beautiful, sure, but even then, I doubt the environments will have big enough an impact that they'll stick with you. Same for the music! Damn, talk about forgettable, the music is also something that is just "there". I mean, sure, you can hear the money, you know it's music with a budget - but they don't linger. FF music is supposed to get stuck in your head.

I thought XIII was ok I enjoyed it enough to platinum it anyway. Trouble is the entire damn game is a tutorial it opens up a bit after about the 20 hours mark (In a great looking field) but it never truly opens up properly until post game where after X and XII (which was awful until endgame stuff) its the best FF game made but is it worth getting to that part well if you hate it then probably not.

Combat is painfully dull for a long time consisting of just pressing auto battle or attack or fight as its called in the other FF games but once you start chaining together your own commands to keep enemies juggled or dodge attacks and destroy groups as the enemies move about it gets interesting. To defeat everyone especially with a 5 star rating you will have to have the correct paradigms set and know where they are instantly as you will be doing a lot of swapping its a great blend of startegy and dexterity IMO eventually, its just a shame that this is not needed throughout most of the game.

XIII-2 I have got but havent played yet (lack of time) so dont know about that one.

Really there are better JRPGS to play than XIII to be fair just sticking to this gen there is Lost Odyssey on 360 which is good and The Last Story and Xenoblade Chronicles on the Wii which are fantastic especially Xenoblade Chronicles which is one of the finest games of all time imo.

People like to sing the praises of Persona 4 on these forums I have noticed and while I agree as it is awesome its definitely not for everyone its also crushingly linear (more so than XIII) the graphics arent great even for a PS2 game and the combat is ok but hardly inspired stuff. Story and Character wise however it is fantastic if you imagine a visual novel crossed with some gameplay elements you wont go far wrong just be prepared to read a lot and do nothing else for long stretches except maybe walk a bit and start up the next conversation.

FF game wise I would play VII,VI,IV and X they are the best imo but VIII and IX were ok V, XIII is passable I,III and XII are not very good and II should be avoided at all costs unless you like broken grindtastic games that offer very little in anyway.

Final Fantasy XIII is... functional at best and 'boring as fuck' at worst. A majority of the game takes place in boring corridors with scripted fights, the open-looking environments actually really small if you attempt to explore; the story and characters are both dull and half-hearted (out of the entire cast, Lightning and Sazh were the only ones I cared about), with most of the story given to you in big text dumps or chains of cutscenes.

The combat is fairly... solid, if a little dull - outside boss fights you'll just be mashing 'Auto-battle', as having even one healer in the party will cause them to spam healing abilities the moment your hp drops 1 point. Early fights are very rail-roady, but late-game fights get a little interesting - whether or not you feel 20+ hours of boring battles is worth the wait is up to you, however.

For positives, the game is really pretty and has some fantastic music - not enough to make the game 'good', but enough to make it bearable. Once the game opens up it's much nicer too, as you get to explore around and finish side quests instead of being forced down various corridors.

Can't tell you much about FFXIII-2 except the fact that the ending is complete bullshit and the music is FUCKING awful. Never touched the game, since I lost all interest in the FFXIII series halfway through the first installment.

All in all - not a gem you've missed, really. Not a horrible train-wreck of a game, but it's slow, unchallenging and boring for a majority of the game, only opening up near the end. If you've got good endurance you could probably play it through, but the same result could be given by a quick look on Youtube. My advice? Get Lost Odyssey (360), Xenoblade Chronicles (Wii) or Last Story (Wii) - all much better games with far more interesting battle systems, stories and worlds.

I didn't hate it. That's probably the best I could say about XIII. It was boring, sure and the majority of the characters were unlikeable, but it wasn't without it's awesome moments. The entire scene at the beginning of Chapter 12[1], the conflict with Rosche was pretty cool and the music was sublime.

XIII-2 by comparison, is far better. Characterisation is much better, and easier to follow thanks to having only two main characters, one of whom were really enjoyable[2] The story is less linear too, with all that time travelling shit. I wasn't a fan of that though as it felt less like a world to inhabit as it did small zones. I understand why they did it that way though, it was an experiment, but I hope not to see any more games structured like that. Caius was a good villain even if he was a borderline paedophile[3]. The music, as always, was near perfect. The J-Pop tracks may annoy some, but the likes of Heart of Chaos and Noel's Theme is enough to make me forget them.

Lightning Returns[4] seems interesting, and I'll probably buy it, just to have some closure. I absolutely hate Lightning's new outfit though, it looks like they're combining her first outfit and her second. They...don't mix well, and get rid of the stupid sunglasses. As far as gameplay is concerned, I get the feeling it's going to be a dumbed down version of Versus XIII[5]. The biggest saving grace for this game is that Noel is coming back, and looks to be in conflict with Lightning. [6]

[1] Oh yeah, it's done in chapters now.
[2] Noel. He is my favourite character in the whole XIII trilogy so far.
[3] Seriously, why did they have to make Yeul so young? At least they could've shown an older Yeul in a flashback or something, right? STOP PUTTING KIDS IN THESE GAMES, and as a love interest? What!?
[4] Crappy title, would have preferred something Latin.
[5] Hahaha, remember that's a thing that people were looking forward to about 8 years ago.
[6] I just wanted to make another footnote here just because.

SHort answer: No

Long answer: NOOOOOOOOOOOOO

Longer answer: I watched my friend play 13 for over 10 hours while I played my PC, and it didnt even seem remotely entertaining.

krazykidd:
In my honest opinion , FFXIII is decent at worst , and FFXIII-2 is terrible at best .

FFXIII being linear made sense given the story . The environments are beautiful , the gameplay is fast paced and fun , the story is cool , Hope sucks , music is alright , Vanilles voice actor should be fired , and the ending was good .

FFXIII-2. Tried to copy Chrono trigger , story makes absolutely no sense , confuses itself with pokemon and/or SMT , Spat all over the ending of the first game , combat is fun , leveling system is stupid , character models look silly , has a halarious jump animation for Serah . And is boring to death . Oh and you have to buy the ending .

In conclusion , if you like jrpgs buy FFXIII , if you hate jrpgs avoid both , if you like Square-enic buy both . If you are looking for a fun , easy, nonsensical game to turn off your brain and smash your head with a hammer , buy FFXIII-2 .

I personally couldn't finish XIII-2 but i managed to finish X-2 , which was slightly less terrible.

Those are exactly my sentiments. XIII gets way more flak than it deserves. It does take a bit too long to get started properly, but at its core it's a fun an fast-paced game. But XIII-2 is indeed a bit of a chaotic train wreck. It has a couple of good things, but most of it is just confusing nonsense. Maybe I'll force myself to finish XIII-2 one day, but not likely.

I've played through the entire thing.

It has some interesting parts like the strategic beat'em up battle system and the artstyle but it manages to squander all of it with amazingly stupid game design decisions and the worst script I have ever seen.
In competent hands, this could've been a great game but alas.

In my opinion, it is possible to have quite a bit of fun with FFXIII, but the first thirty to thirty-five hours can be pretty wearying due to the linearity. They can still be enjoyable, sure, for the plot and tightly focused battles, but for the most part you have about as much effect on things as you would on a TV show. After that though, once you are able to freely use all six characters at your whim and explore the later areas of the game at will, it is really fun. It is a true pity the majority of the game wasn't handled in the manner of the later hours.

Final Fantasy XIII-2 on the other hand is awesome. You have far more freedom from the get go, there are a bunch of optional areas, and you can often decide where to go first at any one time. Additionally, the monster taming system is great fun. You have two normal human characters, and the third slot is filled with a monster. Virtually every non-boss enemy can be tamed and used in battle. I cannot emphasise what a great addition this is to the game. So damn fun.

So, in summary, give the first game a miss, but pick up FFXIII-2. :)

Both are awful. I have now saved you $60+.

Thank me later.

shrekfan246:

But they're not good Final Fantasy games, and it's actually pretty interesting why that's so, considering XIII is basically an amalgam of VII-X.

Not really...

for a start, X didn't pelt you with AN ENTIRE CAST of stupid, depressing characters. Seriously, having to play as Hope and Lightning, two of the mopiest characters in XIII was so painful. At least in X you only ever played as Tidus and Wakka, or Yuna and Lulu at any point in time. And if there was mopiness? It was kept short and concentrated into one predicament in the game. It wasn't dragged out stupidly long like Hope's hatred for Snow because he couldn't save her from falling off a bridge. Even when Tidus bitched about Jecht it was quickly resolved, hell one section where he complains the game even turns it into a minigame so you can learn the Jecht Shot.

Also, VII-X had combat that involved the player. You were able to switch out party members at will and actually choose what attacks they used. You didn't just sit there and spam quick casting while occasionally changing paradigms.

Also, VII-X actually rewarded you for exploration, there were puzzles and rewards for taking different routes, and it wasn't just reduced to "run from here to here, if you see a little indent on the minimap there's an item there".

Some enemies have instakill moves.
I'm alright with that.

Those moves hit a random party member.
I'm alright with that.

If your main character dies, you lose the battle. For some reason your party members can't ress (like in every other FF before)
I'm NOT alright with this.

This made some battles just a matter of chance.

And yes, there was a tank "class" but that never seemed to stop some bosses from doing this.

Another point I disliked was the constant idea that I was being hunted. That's because I was.
But this left me tired.
In older FF games, towns were a moment of rest, a little pit-stop. Not here, no way.

And, I hate to say this, as Yathzee said, Hope is this scared boy at first. And justly so, he was a normal kid that just saw some aweful things happen.
But as soon as he's a playable character, he literally pulls a boomerang out of his ass, and fights just as well as the others. Right after that, he's back to being a scared child again.

I wanted to like it, I really did, but there was one point I just said "No, no more, I will not take this bullshit on top of everything else."
That was the point where the game probably thought I wasn't fast enough in killing some boss, and gave me a doom counter on my characters.
No, this was not a summon battle, this was a boss fight, and for no reason it just casted doom on me. Giving me a time limit on a boss. WHY!?

I didn't like any FF since IX. I tried the demo for FF XII-2 or some such nonsense and was like: "wha... what is going on here! Stop with the colors and epileptic seizures already". But to be honest I'm getting ready to scream at kids to get off my lawn, age wise, so it might be just that.

Well I enjoyed both of them anyway. I mean, there are better JRPGs out there, but I didn't find them nearly as terrible as everyone makes them out to be.

Loved 'em - cleaned out the achievements for both.
FFXIII - Don't let anyone discourage you with "mash x/a" battle system comments: that's complete trash in regards to any remotely significant fight. The 70+ side mission hunts will test your skill with the system and force you to adapt. Anyone here can try to button mash the final side mission and see how far they get.

Anyway...the next big issue (maybe) is the linearity, which personally I didn't have a problem with. I mean what difference would a few towns full of non-interactive npcs really make anyway? I would see that as poor attempts to stretch out gameplay. Better to just get on with what's important - the story, like in all FF games. Speaking of which I know the story is convoluted and complicated etc but it's very interesting as well. The game builds emotion steadily, much in thanks to Sazh's story as others have pointed out. The rest of the cast..yeah I can see why people might find them irritating but bloody hell did Vanille grow on me. Hope too eventually.

FFXIII-2 - Quite different to the first game. All I will say about 2 is I hope you like Pokemon :)
Hope you decide to get these games man.

FF13 and 13-2 are good games. Not the best Final Fantasy games but still really good.

FF13 is a technological masterpiece and the music was really good. The initial linearity may put you off though. It does get better after around 20 hours or so. The characters are awful though, Snow and Hope being the main offenders. The gameplay is really fast (and good!) and anyone that says it's just "press A to win" is crazy. The game did begin to wear on me near the end though.

13-2's story is a bit messy but it does make sense within it's context. The music is great but Square don't get points for that anymore. The dynamic between Noel and Serah was really good and it also had one of the best villains in all of the FF games- Caius. He wasn't even intentionally evil, just extremeley motivated. They fleshed out all the main characters and Hope finally stops being a whiny bitch. It has like 13 different endings. 13-2 also has Pokemon built into it so there's that:-P

I played 13-2 before 13 but I only slightly enjoyed 13-2 more. They're both around 60 hours long. They're not 60$ anymore so they're definitely worth the price.

Now to dismiss a few things:

Don't listen to anyone that even mentions FF 7, 9 or 12. Fianl Fantasy has always tried new things and is different with each iteration. Deal with it.
The only reason 13-2 has DLC is because dumbasses complained that 13 didn't have any.
It's not press A to win.
A lot of the people that hate 13 are westerners; Japanese peeps love the FNC games. Look at Japanese reviewers for Japanese games eg. Fasimitsu
The Westerners that you see so often on the internet yapping about FF13 are a small minority with really loud voices.

FF13 should've been an action game. The turn based battles were completely at odds with everything else about the game.

The story was inconsistent. Some good ideas, but was too confusing, badly told, and some of the characters, particularly the main character, Lightning, and that blonde kid, were some of the worst characters in any video game I've played.

Honestly, I wouldn't go out of your way to play the original. And the second game I couldn't even be bothered to play the demo to the end.

I found XIII to be beyond bad in every way except for visuals. The story was bad, the music was mediocre at best and that is such a shame due to the high quality of music the FF series has had in the past but then Nobuo Uematsu stoped composing for the series after X so that is the reason for the drop and the characters, dear god the characters.

Lightning was dull, Hope was beyond inoying (I have never wanted a kid to die in a game before XIII), Vanille should have had her mouth taped shut after the first time she opened it and Snow, what can I say about Snow?

Snow was the biggest douche whoever did douche in douche land. He is a super douche. He was such a douche that all the other douches made him king douche. If you took all the douches both real and fictional and combined them to create an ultamate, mega, super god douche, Snow would still be the bigger douche.

Due to these problems I never finished it. I stopped at Grand pulse and looking back I have no idea how I forced myself to get that far. I never bothered to try XIII-2 as I did not enjoy the world the games were set in.

But there is no right answer to this question. It is all a matter of opinion.

And having talked about this kangaroo piss of a game I now want to play something good so I am off to play Final Fantasy IX.

You know what man just play the game yourself and make your own opinion because on the internet FF13 has gotten some undue hate just because its more linear than past jrpgs. Yes that's more linear and that's probably its only real fault everything else is people just blowing out of proportion and nitpicking every single little thing to make it sound like that game is some sort of unplayable mess. When it clearly isn't the case its an average to above average jrpg that is well worth the 15-20 dollar asking price right now. Haven't played part 2 so can't comment on that.

edit: It's also a victim of its own hype

Most people I've talked to hate them, but I like them. You've been given plenty of reasons to try or not to try them already, so I guess my post is kinda pointless. =(

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