…Oh yes i went there
So, Final Fantasy XIII, it was meant to be the glorious next gen re birth of the franchise which has been sleep walking from terrible pillar to shitty post since FF VIII which on almost every level sucked balls (at least in my opinion) the combat was far too convoluted, the magic system was way waaay too complicated, the story was stupid to name only a few things, but i digress the series has been slowly losing it’s reputation as one of the powerhouses of the JRPG Kingdom and FF XIII could almost be an itemized list of how square enix has lost its way.
….I have to admit it now or I may never do, i would class this game as a guilty pleasure for me as i might be one of the few who seemingly ploughed 100+ hours into this “Thing” so there had to be something redeemable about it right? To play it to that length? Either that or im just batshit insane.
It can’t have been the combat system that made me keep coming back to it because it was the most uninvolving combat system ever devised, while you still have the option to stack up the attacks you want in the normal “queue” there is also the option to auto attack….. Effectively taking all strategy and effort out of the game you can just press auto attack every time for every fight, who thought that implementing an auto attack was a good idea? Beat the game while effectively pressing one button the whole time and maybe heal every once in a while. Theres absolutely no skill or at least any management skill required and in a JRPG that’s mind blowingly stupid, trying to make a 20+ hour game for the casual audience? even though casual games in essence are made to pick up and play for a few minutes at a time, a level here, a level there and so on. NOT a 20+ hour marathon.
It could have been the games visuals which were very pretty (as you can see from my crysis review/thoughts) i am somewhat of a sucker for a pretty graphics, but here that doesn’t really save it as especially in the xbox 360 version (which i had) the video cut scenes were butt ugly, looking like you were watching it through an old tv and then when it transitioned back into the game the effect could be quite jarring. However i’m leaning towards that being one of the reasons i stuck with the game because it looked nice im ashamed to admit.
Maybe it was the well told deep storyline?…….. I’m kidding, it was shit you only had the vaguest idea what was going on at times and the other times you were completely clueless because the game does not explain itself very well, at all! For instance the opening cinematic when Sazh and Lightning are on a train and they start talking about, The Purge? Fal’Cie? Thinking back it was all gibberish at the time, yet i let it wash over me and probably gave it too much slack thinking it’s ok they’ll explain it, which they did but you have to look for the information because a lot of the back story and bits of lore are stored in the menu system under the “Data Log” option which stores a lot of story information that you would have thought is quite important but never mentioned out loud by the characters in the game, to quote Yahtzee Croshaw “The story moves along at the pace of an asthmatic ant pushing a brick through a desert”. I think as i mentioned before i cut the game slack because i kept saying to myself they’ll explain it all soon, so in effect i was kidding myself but i was determined to get something out of the game at the time.
So how about the Oscar award-winning voice acting? No, just no.
The intricate level design? Again No! Linear, dull corridors should never ever be in an RPG let alone a JRPG, it defeats the point of the genre where you effectively make your character and your story and it’s certainly something you don’t expect from a final fantasy game, you only have to look at FF7 that wouldn’t have been the game we all know and love if it was just a succession of linear corridors.
Last but not least the unforgettable boss battles….. Yeah that’s it im tapped out lol
To be honest i can’t think for the life of me why i put so much time into this god for saken excuse for an RPG but i did, i nearly 100% the bastard things achievements and that’s not something i say lightly or with any pride at all!
So all in all please forgive me gaming community, a community I’m very proud to belong too, I know not what I did! (slightly misquoting but you get the point).
Thank you for reading