41 of 48 people found the following review helpful
A bland, repetitive game with good presentation,
This review is from: Final Fantasy XIII (PS3) (Video Game)
This 13th episode delivers, right from the start, incredible production values in the form of costume, weapon and vehicle design, well orchestrated musics, and graphically polished cinematics and menus. Simple tutorials introduce the new combat system to the player step by step, making the game easy to learn for the least experienced gamers, and without being an annoyance to the most experienced.
The innovative combat system makes battles much more dynamic and interesting in general : even though it's still turn based, it feels like real time because there is nearly always something going on and characters change formations by themselves during combat. An interesting mechanic called "Paradigms" allow you to change your character's role during a combat, which you will find yourself doing a lot for more efficiency. This, coupled with the new "chain" system, which encourages you to focus on one enemy at a time with the right types of attacks, makes battles that are fun to figure out, play and watch. You can also customize each character by upgrading any of their 6 available roles (healer, guardian, physical attacker, magical attacker, enhancer, crippler).
Good, but what about the story, the narration, the feel and atmosphere of the game, which is the most important element of a role playing / adventure game that Final Fantasy games are ?
Unfortunately, this game is a real failure in this department. Right from the start, cut scenes feel like they're out from a bad action/drama movie, using and reusing the most ridiculous clichés. Most of the characters lack an interesting personality, background and motive for their actions. The English voice acting is insufficient, and the dialogs dumb. Even the musics, that Final Fantasy fans have come to expect a lot from, fail to create fascinating atmospheres like some of the previous games did.
What doesn't help is that outside of combat, the game has little to offer in terms of gameplay. Here is what you will do and keep doing when playing Final Fantasy XIII : you will walk down a linear, repetitive path blocked by enemies. From time to time, you will find a bonus item in a futurist-looking chest hidden on the side. Every few fights is followed by a cutscene. And that's it. Once you've reached the end of the path, you'll just find a different path with new looks and some new enemies, but it will always be as linear, with the same chests, the same repetitiveness and inability to do anything but fight your way to the destination. Where are the previous games adventure moments, where you could explore a city to find something out, or even just interactive story telling moments where you would hang out with other characters somewhere and choose who you want to talk to ? Where are the beautifully crafted environments that were so much more than a repetitive path to a destination ?
I found myself keep playing anyway because I still enjoyed the battles and the general presentation quality, even though that one gets worse and worse as you progress through the game. But eventually, it becomes obvious Square Enix made it so you have to play a lot of battles, and made them as long as possible, to give the game a longer play time and hide it's shallowness. After you realize even the story barely develops at all through the whole game, you're left wondering why they would possibly make this much, much worse game than Final Fantasy VII or VI despite all the modern technological assets to make a game look and feel great.
Tracked by 5 customers
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Showing 1-10 of 15 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 5 Sep 2010 17:23:53 BDT
Andre Marques says:
In reply to an earlier post on 10 Sep 2010 10:32:14 BDT
Sp Dickens says:
Spot on. Most disappointing Final Fantasy game I have ever played.
Posted on 12 Sep 2010 19:54:43 BDT
Absolutely nailed it. A shame not a single 'professional' reviewer had the guts to ignore the hype and write a review like this.
Posted on 29 Sep 2010 10:18:29 BDT
Mr. Wai C. Kan says:
Been a Final Fantasy fan since the early days and especially after FF6 which got me hooked.
This is the ONLY FF game where I gave up midway and didn't finish because it was so frustratingly disappointing.
Recently gone back to old classics such as Vagrant Story and currently Front Mission 3. Now THOSE are REAL games!!!!!!
Posted on 9 Oct 2010 23:25:29 BDT
Mark Reilly says:
As if that's not bad enough, I even found the battle system horrendous. In the end, the ONLY good thing I could say about the game was it's looks. All looks and no substance, the gaming world's answer to Avatar. It just isn't a Final Fantasy, simply trading under its name. It did at least make me race back to VII.
In reply to an earlier post on 10 Oct 2010 12:02:43 BDT
"the gaming world's answer to Avatar"
I agree to this comparison very much, I remember actually telling my sister after 2 hours into the game : "i feel like i'm watching a better designed version of avatar". Which from me means I see stuff that looks pretty but feels terribly bland, boring, uninteresting.
Posted on 29 Oct 2010 21:59:02 BDT
nick mizen says:
Hit the nail on the head there really.
I've only recently started playing it again after giving up from (i hesitate to say it but....) boredom. I didn't play it for about 5 months... and I'm only really playing it now because I've told myself "it's final fantasy. you should at least finish it" and things like that.
Things I would add -
character development is poor beyond belief. Worst yet. There is practically no user involvement. It's like the fighting. Just press X.
The battle system - pretty dreadful when compared to other FFs. I rather enjoyed the immediate, no load screen type combat from FF12... so this feels very slow and clunky... and you really have little involvement in things beyond swapping paradigms to heal every now n then etc.
The story (character wise) in FF12 wasn't great, but this is worse. I couldnt give a stuff about Sazh or his stupid kid... and Hope... well.. I HOPE he dies. And I'm soooo fed up with hearing the words l'cie and falcie. it's gibberish!! and dull. where is the sinister sephiroth style badguy? There is that guy who is boss of psicorps or whatever it is, but... blah. Maybe i should give it more time or something... but... meh.
Your main point though was exact. You walk, you fight, you walk you fight. Thats it. there is no puzzle element, no interaction with anyone or anything. gah!
a disappointment. beautiful though.
Posted on 26 Nov 2010 09:13:58 GMT
I couldn't agree more: a big disappointment. I would rather have poorer presentation and more story depth - the game is extremely shallow, especially after the likes of FF7 (which is the one that got me hooked). Like others, I just gave up after a short while through boredom. Such a shame.
In reply to an earlier post on 10 Jan 2011 11:55:21 GMT
R. Martin says:
i agree enix well and truely ruined the franchise
In reply to an earlier post on 20 Feb 2011 16:01:29 GMT
Bertie Buggerington says:
I played it, finished it and enjoyed it...but it is definitely lacking compared to VII, VIII, IX, X, X-2 and XII - all of which make me want to return again and again. Dumbed down for the masses I feel.
Hopefully they'll make up for it after the forthcoming online only instalment (which I have little interest in). Is XV in production...do we know anything about it?