I know this month is comedy month and thus I bring you, what I consider to be gaming joke of the year: Final Fantasy XIII (Very late, I know). You will either love this game or hate this game, and I as an old-school RPG and Final Fantasy gamer can honestly say, this game disappointed me a bit, it did not live up to the hype and I can know a few reasons why it could not have been as good as it should have been, but needless to say the greatest make the most out of nothing and to Square-Enix and Kitase-san, so you hear from someone who pre-ordered the game “I, Lionel Heart, am disappointed in the product, the sham, produced you called Final Fantasy XIII.” I am not just saying this for the sake of grabbing attention, no. I have a method to my madness and, hopefully without giving away too much, here it is.
1) Characters –> Were these lot of character more fucked up than the set from Final Fantasy VIII or what! These characters had no continuity in personality, there was no real leader, everyone was interrupting each other and there was just a lot of bizarre interaction between characters.
–> Lightning a.k.a Claire Farron: This 5’10” beauty has the body, the legs, the looks but not the personality, sounds like my good friend Squall Leonhart. She goes from warpath-city destroying-people killing-back against the wall-emo to cradle robber (“Call me Light” WTF :S) to loving sister-in-law (“When this is over, you will not break her heart” She threatened to kill both Snow and her sister, Serah, before the beginning of the game, talk about love!). That’s a chick who needs to see a shrink.
–> Sazh Katzroy: Chicken-Shit-Stereotypical-Black-Guy just about sums this character up. Guns: Check; Afro: Check; Runs from danger: Check; Sounds like a pussy when someone is going to whoop his ass: Check. This fun loving father loses, and I use that term lightly as the boy is still alive just under maximum security, his son before the game even starts, so this guy is going to be down in the dumps but hey this guy likes to take care of the kids.
–> Snow Villiers: The fangirl Yaoi fantasy of Zell Dincht and Irvine Kinneas came to fruition. Cocky, brash, “No Obligations, Rules, or Authority”, toque wearing, fist fighting, leader wannabe, with a cool character design; is like coal wrapped up in gold wrapping paper on Christmas, it still sucks!
–> Hope Esthiem: Two Words: Maturing Tidus
–> Oerba Dia Vaniile: Red-head version of Rikku(Final Fantasy X), Yuffie Kisaragi (Final Fantasy VII) and Selphie Tilmitt (Final Fantasy VIII) all in one. She is that spaz, that random and that loli.
–> Oerba Yun Fang: The last party member you acquire and probably the most sane, balanced and lovable of the bunch. With her pseudo-lesbian moments with Vanille she spices up the story, a little.
2) Gameplay –> No airship, no world map, someone kill me please. Monster encounters are not so random as you can see the enemy and evade or preempt them but still holds some feel from Final Fantasy XII. Generally smooth but lacks the bells and whistles that makes a Final Fantasy game stand out.
3) Battle System –> I liked the new battle system a little bit of old and little bit of new. Bringing back the old ATB charge and job classes mixed with leader only control and multi-atb charge, the stronger the attack the longer you wait like in Final Fantasy X-2, but you get to chain weaker attacks. I think it will be one of those you either love it or hate it.
4) Visuals/Graphics –> On a scale of 1 to 10: IT’S OVER NINE THOUSAND! Visual eyegasm, I personally did not feel worthy enough to watch the opening sequence until I played the game when I realized why the opening was so good. If you want a game for visuals a la Assassin’s Creed then this is your game, visual masterpiece of the year.
5) Story/Replay Factor –> Very friggin’ linear, almost no curvature to this game whatsoever and the best RPGs have the best curves. Other than the slight need for grinding, a few secrets here and there, and mark killing there really is not much outside the story. This is just an action movie, no major substance.
6) Music/Soundtrack –> This was really good, much better than I had expected it to be considering I am still having a hard time with reality and Final Fantasy without Nobuo Uematsu-san.
My overall reaction, for a game that was supposed to be a breakout for the Playstation 3, I feel like I got robbed and for people who bought the Xbox 360 version you got jacked. The first Final Fantasy game on a next-generation console is always revolutionary, Final Fantasy VII games us 3D, the ATB system and Sephiroth; Final Fantasy X gave us in game speech, THOSE MOTHERFUCKERS SPOKE!!!!! (Auron and that grizzled badass voice to go along with the rest of his badassness) But Final Fantasy XIII was just disappointing in that sense other than graphics there was no real oomph, just hype; and for the guys with the 3 disc version I feel bad for you because to my recollection there has only been 1, I repeat 1 3-disc game(not collection or remake), Final Fantasy VII, I think that says it all.
I know people will say I am a 360 hater when I say this, not that I actually give a fuck, but I personally think the DVD limitation of the 360 held this game back a lot even if they were double layered and done with max compression that works out to 30GB maximum capacity. There was no installation for the Playstation 3 version, Devil May Cry 4, multi-platform, had that feature and that was a half-assed action game, Metal Gear Solid 4, Playstation 3 exclusive, had it and in contrast that game was just fucking epic. Porting games from one hardware to another is another thing, especially when these guys were working on it for 2 years prior to Microsoft buying into the project. Finally had I got this game in January, I would still bash this game but have less shit to talk to Square and it’s delayed release because the 360 version was not ready and Microsoft could not, would not, did not want a staggered North American release.
Underlying premise the game is shit because Square could not take advantage of the Blu-Ray with so many god damn cutscenes and not enough additional content. When Kojima-sama can say in a interview the Blu-Ray did not have enough space to do what he wanted with Metal Gear Solid 4 and Final Fantasy XIII cannot fill a Blu-Ray, that is when Square-Enix should be disappointed in itself.
I have heard some good things about Final Fantasy Versus XIII which should be out later this year, hopefully I will have more positive things to say about that game…. actually I can guarantee I will have more positive things to say about that game because in a recent interview Nomura-san said they got the airship working on the world map, music to my ears!
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