Friday, April 30, 2010

I haven't played FF13.

I know: I suck, right? But with no Playstation 3 or XBox 360 it's a little hard. And with no job/money getting $360 to play Square-Enix's latest masterpiece is a little difficult. But enough about my sorry ass.

Final Fantasy XIII is it good or bad? Would I enjoy playing it? I've seen reviews and write-ups on it both good and bad. Pat from Socksmakepeoplesexy.net has written up an entire series retrospective and his take on FF13 went up a few days ago. Pat's take on it was that Final Fantasy is finished and will never again have whatever it was that made playing Final Fantasy III on our SNESs growing up so amazing. Pat made it most of the way through before quitting in disgust at the extreme linearity and watching the rest on Youtube. He also did a mini-podcast type thing with another SMPS.net guy here that's pretty interesting discussing it.

Yahtzee reviewed it in a hilarious episode of Zero Punctuation. Well, its first five hours anyway. To say he didn't like it would be ignoring the long string of profanities he hurls at it. He fucking despised it.

Gamespot, IGN, and other large corporate gaming sites that I generally don't trust have all given it near perfect scores. Shocking, I know. I'm sure access and conflicts of interest were in no way involved.

What I'm curious about though is a number of things I've heard about FF13 sound...familiar. (Note: Spoilers of FF13 and SMT games follow.) It's hardly a secret that I've bought and played most of the PS2 Shin Megami Tensei games. They're fun, interesting, and, well, different from most other RPGs out there. I guess to be blunt about it what I'm wondering is: Did Square-Enix ape SMT with FF13?

I hear in FF13 you only control the main character in combat and if he/she falls its Game Over. This is the case in every one of the SMT games. Well, except for the only controlling the MC, that's only in Persona 3: FES.

I hear in FF13 the highly annoying little boy named Hope vows revenge against the strange-looking older male character Snow for killing his mother. Like in Persona 3: FES when Ken wants revenge on Shinji who accidentally killed Ken's mother.

I hear in FF13 that most of the story is presented in cutscenes between dungeon The Tube-crawling. Just like in Nocturne, DDS1, and DDS2.

I know that every game out there is going to be borrowing some elements and that SMT didn't invent the things I mentioned. (You can find the "revenge for patricide" trope in Hamlet...it's not exactly new.) But seemingly yanking a bunch of stuff out of your competitor's good games and then apparently not knowing how to pull them off is pretty sad.

Did anybody that has experience with both notice the same thing on their own? I haven't played FF13. I don't think Pat or Yahtzee have played the SMT games.

Hmm.

4 comments:

  1. "I didn't complete Final Fantasy XIII."
    With this Comment the first review is bullshit. He dosent even finish the Game and have the fun to go wild in Gran Pulse after you beat the Game. FFXIII is a god Game and the Tube running from Chapter 1 to 10 fits in with the Story very well. Soldiers etc hunt you so you fuck of and run, just away from them.
    After you beat the Game you get the last Paragrid unlocked and after this just go out and play in Gran Pulse and do the 64 Missions which are really fun ( i love Monster hunts).

    It is a really good Game but dont see it as a typical FF. You will enjoy it more and yes the Story can be VERY confusing :p.

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  2. Takes wayy too much time for just a single player game. Just keep playing FFXI and you'lle actually have something to show besides your own self-satisfaction. FFXIII isn't that good at all.

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  3. I think what has hurt XIII so much is the fact that the game was evolving and then XIII goes backwards with everything.

    The story and presentation was good. The graphics were amazing, as expected.

    The battle system was horrible. FFXII had the Gambit system and, while it had some issues, it was a step in the right direction when you couldn't directly control supporting characters.

    The only type of control you had in XIII was via the Paradigm Shift, which you couldn't even manipulate until later in the game. You did get the ability to edit your Paradigms and create custom ones, but don't make the mistake of changing party members because all of your custom Paradigms are erased when you do.

    In addition to this, your character roles just didn't make sense. In previous FF games (not including Tactics), your characters were fairly defined in their roles. You're given the ability to change roles in this one, but that only adds to the confusion because none of the characters perform in a worthwhile manner outside of their main role. However, since you can't change characters mid-battle like FFX, and you're stuck with this backwards Paradigm Shift, you are more or less required to develop the other roles for your characters. You can also go through the pain of starting a fight and realizing you have the wrong setup, then choosing to retry while you change party members and recreate your paradigms for every battle you go through. Take your pick; both options suck.

    The linearity of the game was also pointless. Despite the deal of being fugitives, removing every aspect of exploration in an RPG was just a stupid move. You basically get to see an area, watch a cutscene, and then leave. No backtracking or the ability to visit previous reached areas...ever.

    I can go on and on about this game. People mention how great Gran Pulse is, but it's basically the Calm Lands done in HD. Hell, the area even has the "scar" that Sin made in FFX. The monster hunting is nice, but it comes so late in the game that you just want to finish and get it over with. The endgame+ is nice, but it's pretty sad that you have to get a large part of enjoyment from the game after you finish it the first time.

    Despite all of this, I enjoy FFXIII as a game. Just not as an entry in the Final Fantasy series.

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  4. That apparently the only sidequest was monster hunts is rather disheartening. I have plenty of games sitting in the backlog I could play, so I'm really not into the whole 100% completionist thing anymore.

    I liked FFXII, but had roughly zero interest in doing the Hunts. I killed the required Red Mandragora, got eaten by Nidhogg (or some other dragon I tried to kill), and spent a few hours trying to find some monster in that sometimes flooded area before saying "fuck it" and just continuing the story. I don't particularly enjoy NM camping in FFXI, and doing it in an offline MMO-like game is even less appealing.

    I was rather off-put by the 12's bestiary too. It's like you've got all this cool backstory in the Espers (which I completely failed to realize are the same ones in FF:Tactics and *ick* FF:Tactics Advance) and it's only found in an article in the bestiary. There was a little in-game about Belias, but after that it was like "Hey, here's an Esper! Let's fight it. I guess."

    If/when I ever have some money I'll probably pick up FF13 and see it for myself.

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