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Guest Impressions: Final Fantasy XIII

Final_Fantasy_XIII_Large By Rachel Fogg

:DISCLAIMER-This is simply my humble impression of the JP final build, nothing more or less, things may be altered in the Widerelease of XIII. I don’t know. Game was completed with assistance with my friend.:

Hello Ladies and Gentlemen,
I recall about a week ago, I said I was going over to a friend’s place to OFFICIALLY play FFXIII. Well, I went, saw and played about…4 hours of the game.

Lemme first say I completely went into this with a clean slate, after WEEKS of rummaging through pages after pages of reviews/impressions most notably from Tim Rogers of Kotaku :waves:. I wanted to go into the game almost as if I never read a thing about it.
So was the game like expectations? Or worse? The answer is….well…neither.
Lemme explain, XIII flat out, isn’t a Final Fantasy, I don’t know what the hell it is, granted I can’t speak a lick of Japanese but the melodrama was so THICK you could choke a bitch. Melodrama is present in every FF of course, but for XIII; they went above the call of duty. Just almost every frikken spoken dialog was delivered unabashedly hammed, especially Snow. The JP voice acting cast was passable at best (As reported by my very fluent Japanese speaking friend).
The story, well….fuck, there’s a sense of urgency but not really….it’s more on the lines of ‘Let’s do this…’ and eventually a story will come together. My friend started the game with me at…Chapter 5 or something, I don’t recall, but that’s the great thing… you don’t HAVE to know shit because SE BRILLIANTLY made sure to keep the plot borderline vague.

FFXIII_Hope_VanilleI hate Hope, I hate him….so much, him and Vanille both of them are WASTES OF SPACE. They’re Loli and Shota bait….just..awful. Sazh is the ONLY redeeming character in the lot; I pray when the game comes stateside that they send this thing to a script doctor…
Gameplay…:snicker: what gameplay? Oh you mean the cutscenes where I pick a button or Optima Change? Fuufuuuuuu….why can’t I CONTROL MY CHARACTER?! There’s nothing worse then watching my character move around side to side up in down and eat an attack. I died a fuck lot, I’ll tell you this, the attacks and stuff are AWESOME, but it’s like watching, you don’t really feel involved, I didn’t feel a sense of relief upon winning a tough fight…just ‘meh’ and the rating thing didn’t help. I didn’t feel like I could change how I played, it was as if SE wanted me to play like this and HEAVEN HELP ME if I tried to think for myself.
So is it Linear? Fuck yes…extremely linear, assembly line linear. What sucks the most the ‘Towns’ are like static, you don’t really have a ‘Town’ it’s just set up on a line, you…see them but that’s it. You can’t talk to a soul, you run pass them and hear their discussions. You shop via save terminals but that’s it.

Ff13-odingestaltHere’s the thing…Coccon is suppose to be this BIG OLE WORLD filled with people…where are they? Where’s the government that’s like chasing me down or something? I’m supposed to save this world and people but I don’t feel that they are there. Basically, there’s like 5 people and a yak and SE wants me to believe that with this sparse amount of people that Cocoon or whatever was built? BS…it’s lazy…oh yeah…no backtracking either, so I can assume that the world disappears or something when you leave it.
Since I only played the JP version with my lack of understanding the language maybe I might have done something wrong or played it wrong…something. All I can tell you is I didn’t enjoy myself AT ALL in the 4 hours that I’ve played it. And I TRIED, I fucking wanted to but I couldn’t care for anything in the game, music was good, graphics were wonderful but it’s a mess….a big pretty mess. I even tried to play it AGAIN and a little longer and still nothing. I was a little depressed.
Oh and my friend completed the game while I was there…knowing what I know in that..if you can call it a ending. Yeah….no.

final-fantasy-xiii-20070920024847351
So to sum up everything, if you’ve NEVER played a FF, this is the RPG for you, go nuts, XIII to me isn’t a FF….oh it’s a game but it’s not a FF. It’s a game with the logo, Chocobo and Cactaur thrown in.
It’s like SE moved the goal posts when they made XII and instead of moving them back to more familiar ‘safe’ territory, they said ‘Fuck your momma!!’ then fucking moved them to 6 lanes of traffic as a boulder of molten lava rolls toward you and you’re wearing ice skates soaked in butter for XIII. It’s ballsy and I can respect that.
While appreciate them trying something more new and drastic with XIII, I wish they had more….focus with this one…XIII suffers from a ‘Brutal Legend’ syndrome where it appears as if there was NO ONE on the team pulling the reins in….now there’s people who love the game, I can see it but I know for MYSELF that I won’t be one of them..
So yeah, that’s it and for those of you thinking that I went in jaded, I can assure you I went in hopeful…beyond hopeful, damn near giddy for the experience.
When it comes stateside…I will wait till the price drops. That’s the only way SE will get my money for this entry.
All eyes on vXIII.
:sigh:
Also note that I WILL play the ENG version of XIII to give a more…in depth review. Thank you!

2 Comments

  1. Congrats on the article Rachel. Pretty much everything I’ve heard since it’s Japanese release has made me less interested in XIII and so I’m putting my money towards titles that I think are more worthwhile, like WKC and Yakuza 3.

    I have to disagree about SE moving the goal posts further after XII, to me it feels more like in response to the negative reaction that XII got they went in the opposite direction altogether. Instead of being open they’re now incredibly linear, they returned to the more cyberpunk setting and they seem much more intent on having a main character whereas XII didn’t really have one (although I’ve heard that Lightning isn’t always the most central character only being able to control one person in battle seems to be a part of this).

    Which is a pity because although I thought XII had its issues I also thought it was fantastic, incredibly ambitious and really seemed to be the way forward for the series.

    I hope that Versus XIII still lives up to my hype for it. The darker tone and Shakespeare inspiritation is still the most interesting thing I’ve seen from SE in ages (on consoles at least, I suppose TWEWY wasn’t that long ago).

    PS I find it funny that along with the loli and shota the ability system is advanced by collecting CP which is also an abbreviation for something else: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CP#Other

  2. jayc4life says:

    Wow, no punches pulled here, eh?

    It’s still a Day One for me (because I don’t want to be spoilerized by friends who’ll also Day One it), but right now with all the negativity surrounding it I’m really skeptical about it. Bar has definitely been lowered, and if it plays like a game that only has about ~80 Metascore (not that I usually go by them ratings anyway) it wouldn’t surprise me in the slightest now.