Now I’ll admit that my passion for RPGs has dwindled with age, but Final Fantast XIII is seriously lacking almost any redeeming qualities. FFXIII is another one of those games I wish I didn’t have to force myself to play in order to justify a wasted sixty dollars. The game is riddled with an inane
fighting system, painfully stock characters, American laughable voice acting, never ending
walks through repetitive grounds and a story line I couldn’t care less for.
Plot: In nine out of ten games, I really don’t care about the plot. However, I feel as though RPG’s should maintain a certain standard of story telling that will keep the minds of its players remotely engaged. Unfortunately, FF XIII does no such thing. Everyone is off doing their own thing and rarely moving together in a group. It’s somewhat like an episode of Lost when they go off into each characters story. From what I’ve played thus far, the characters move in teams of two, the one kid’s mother dies, another character’s girlfriend gets turned into a crystal and the heroine seems to be mad at world. Very intriguing stuff indeed. Well, maybe the fighting system is good right?
Fighting: Negatory. It’s not quite turn based, and it’s not quite an open system either (a la Tales Series). You basically punch in commands and wait for a fight meter to fill up before you can attack a selected enemy. Simply put, this is irritating. If you keep pressing “A,” you’ll more than likely win the battle without even looking at your screen. Although this quite handy when reaching for a beer, it does not provide solid gameplay.
The fighting system does however incorporate a “paradigm” system that allows you to change your characters’ fighting styles mid-battle. This can be used to harness different powers (healing, offensive or defensive) depending on the battle’s current situation. If only one of your characters is getting pummeled, you can switch someone’s role to “medic” which will keep the victim afloat for the duration of the battle while others attack. In addition, you can also have all of your characters attacking all-out to overwhelm enemies quickly. The paradigm system is definitely a small beam of light in an otherwise redundant fighting system.
Characters: Token black guy? check. “Damn, that is whack!” Rebellious anti-hero chick? Check. Little punk kid that complains about everything? Check. That annoying girl with the high-pitched voice that heals everyone? Check. Blond haired guy that’s too cool for school? CHECK! How about we try some innovative new characters for the next title in the series? Maybe I wouldn’t be complaining so much if the battle sequence had been a tad better. Case in point: Tales of Vesperia. Tales executed the same tried lineup of characters and yet I played the hell out of that game until the very end glued to the very edge of my seat.
Linearity: Probably the most irritating thing about this game is that there is no open world feel to it at all. If there are any side missions, I sure as hell haven’t found them yet. The backgrounds are reminiscent of the original Halo and are also just as repetitive. Players will find themselves walking back and forth along the same paths multiple times. Good shit.
I understand that I did not organize my thoughts at all for this rant, but it does seem to reflect the subject matter quite well wouldn’t you say? I’m about halfway through disc two and ready to throw in the towel on this one. If you haven’t tried FFXIII yet, you are not missing out on much. Don’t let the major critics fool you; this game is in no way, shape or form anything above a 7. This rating system, which is supposedly unbiased, should not take into account the previous success of a given title. Would you give Apple an 8.5/10 for their iPad? Hell no. Their track record, popularity and previous successes should not hinder a critic’s rating scale in the slightest bit. The iPad is a sack of shit and so is this game.