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The Anti-Existence
03-20-2012, 03:11 AM
I just completed FFXIII the other day after about 50 hours.

Firstly, let me start off with the positive because I don't want people to think I'm an unreasonable hater.

i liked the party in this game. In fact I liked them more than the party in FFXII even though I consider XII a much better game. The first half of XIII that focuses mainly on establishing and developing the characters ended up being my favorite part of the game.

My favorite character was Snow. He acted goofy but he was easily the most relate-able character for me. I would do anything for the woman I love after all.

Sure he said some dumb stuff but people are forgetting this is Final Fantasy. As long as he didn't hand the villain the tools to becoming all-powerful or destroying the world, he did better than most.

My other favorite characters were Hope and Vanille. Vanille's development from your typical giggly all-happy character was nice. Same with Hope's manning up after moping for so long. I'd be lying if I said his constant waffling about avenging his mother wasn't tiresome but he got a lot better in my opinion. I also thought they had an excellent dynamic for the early part of the game and wish they got more interaction later on.

Sazh was easily the "coolest" character. he had the funniest lines and definitely came off as the sanest guy in the group.

Lightning was alright. i initially hated her due but she grew out of her bitchiness so I was okay with her.

Fang never did anything for me. She looks good but as a character...not really anything.

Now to the negative... This game's pacing is atrocious. Especially towards the beginning with it's a nonstop cycle of little cutscenes and then a bunch of action. I get the feeling they were trying to make up for FFXII's open-endednes with the extreme linearity but the levels were so bland and stretched out that the effect was largely the same ie. losing track of the story in all the gameplay. I felt suffocated by the way the game just dragged you along.

Speaking of the story, I never cared about it. The fal'Cie and the mythology/world held no interest for me. I played the game just for the characters. I think it's mainly the fact the game has pretty much zero in the way of world-building. With no real towns or open exploration, this was inevitable.

Between seeing almost none of the world at large and the pacing, I just had to quit teh game several times because I was overwhelmed and wanted to relax.

On the brighter side I thought the Sunleth Waterscape was gorgeous. In terms of atmosphere and setting I think Eden Under Siege was the peak of the game's levels. I know I liked it the most of anything in the game.

Now back to the negatives. I mentioned I liked this game's party more than FFXII's. The reason I love FFXII to begin with is not because of the playable cast. it's because of the side-characters and villains. FFXII gives us many scenes of the Archadians just talking to one another. It's nice having villains who are still interesting characters in their own right.

FFXIII had three real villains. (I don't count Cid):

-Jihl was absolute garbage. Worst character in the game and her un-mourned two second death was well-deserved.

-Barthandalus provided probably the best boss fights in the game but as a character...I never really felt anything. For one thing there was no real threat from him since he had no interest in harming the party. He may have wanted to destroy Cocoon but for most of the game he made no steps towards that end. In fact, we see almost zero from Bart for something like 25+ hours and the characters don't mention him either. This really hurt any presence he may have established.

I get the game was going for a more tragic "death seeker" approach. Being a fal'Cie is a horrible, unending existence. But it doesn't touch on that enough. Bart just comes off as very unoriginal mwahahahahaha godlike being type.

It doesn't help that I was forever confused about the exact nature of the fal'Cie. I mean, these were supposed to be godlike beings right...? And yet our heroes overpower one and use it for local transportation.... In addition many of them don't seem to have personalities or brains at all.

-Yaag Rosch was the best villain in the game for me. His motivations are established in his very first scene. He is a man doing his duty even though it is a lamentable one. He comes across as...well, human. Something Jihl never did. I rather liked the party's final confrontations with him. (even though his death scene was pretty dumb.)

The ending of the game was pretty bland and reeks of plot devices. Fang and Vanille doing what they did was totally random. I did think it was sweet to see everyone reunited though.

Now for gameplay. This is where the game really killed me and why I probably will never play it again. There probably are a lot of valid criticisms to throw out here but honestly, I just didn't like it. That's all I can say. It had me interested for a while but towards the end, everything just got repetitive and dull.

I mean, isn't one of the old criticisms of XII that "it plays itself"? In XII you at least set up the Gambits which means you are completely in control of what everyone does and when. In XIII your other two party members are completely AI-controlled and you can even choose Auto-battle. It sounds like the "it plays itself" critique fits this game more.

I will also say the Crysterium stuff is way too linear. You might as well just have levels and learn abilities as you level up.

I also hated the Eidolons in this game. They're arguably even more useless than in XII. (only they don't come with great music in XIII) The stupid "Gestalt" thing was a huge pain in the ass. It's the reason I got stuck on Sazh's eidolon for an incredibly long time.

The gameplay almost kept me from finishing this game. By the time I reached Orphan's Cradle I was just so sick of it.

And now for music. This game's score was quite good. I'll list the tracks that stand out most for me:

1.
Final Fantasy XIII - Barthandelus Battle Music [HD] - YouTube ([Only registered and activated users can see links])

2.
Final Fantasy XIII Soundtrack - Serah's Theme *English* - YouTube ([Only registered and activated users can see links])

3.
Blinded by Light (Final Fantasy XIII Battle Theme) - YouTube ([Only registered and activated users can see links])

4.
Final Fantasy XIII: Sunleth Waterscape - YouTube ([Only registered and activated users can see links])

5.
Final Fantasy XIII Original Soundtrack - 3.22 - Will to Fight - YouTube ([Only registered and activated users can see links])

Also I had no problem with "My Hands" once I actually rally listened to it.

So my thoughts on the game? Decent. I probably won't ever play it again.

Although I am fickle. Give me a year or two and I may be back.

Addendum:

I was wondering why so many said the game's ending shoots the "defying destiny" theme in the foot.
Apparently it's because a god made Vanille and Fang turn into that shit and save Cocon.

Stupid me, I thought they meant the Maker. I was using what the game told me.

Only there is no fucking Maker/God. Everything our main villain expositioned to us was worthless because it was all wrong. Humans and fal'Cie were made by two completely different beings with neither of them receiving any real mention in the game's many cutscenes.

Way to go game. Your story just sunk to downright terrible levels.

Nostalgia gamer
03-20-2012, 07:59 AM
I just completed FFXIII the other day after about 50 hours.

Firstly, let me start off with the positive because I don't want people to think I'm an unreasonable hater.
Way to go game. Your story just sunk to downright terrible levels.

Bravo!! very nice review.
The music in some areas was really good.I particularly liked the violin piece a lot that plays when you are going to an area with malboros.Its the big quest with all the branches.

Final Fantasy XIII OST: Disc 4 - Sulyya Springs - YouTube ([Only registered and activated users can see links]) This is sulyya springs piece.To me,it is one of the nicest pieces of music in the game.
Final Fantasy XIII OST: Disc 2 - The Gapra Whitewood - YouTube ([Only registered and activated users can see links]) Gapra whitewood is my second favorite piece in FFXIII.
Final Fantasy XIII OST: Disc 4 - Fang's Theme - YouTube ([Only registered and activated users can see links]) Would be my third,because its such a funny song to hear during the moment it first sounds.You first hear it when you are flying to save both sazh and vanille.What i find freaking hilarious is how happy this song is.Its like:OH NO!! you are flying in the air and the ship has high defenses,but then it changes its tune to:Don't worry,we got parachutes.Enjoy the flight in the air.

Final Fantasy XIII - Barthandelus Battle Music [HD] - YouTube ([Only registered and activated users can see links]) Barthandalus theme is along my top songs list of boss themes now.Its probably my favorite FFXIII song,along with sulyya springs and gapra whitewood.IT has that very official feeling of a final boss.And i also really like the theme also for fighting orphan,because it has that epic feeling of a fight in conan.

I can't decide right now which i like more,but i think i like kuja's theme a little more.I felt though that kuja's theme was a bit too good for him.

I like kuja's theme more actually.Still too damm good for him.

Clear Spectre
03-29-2012, 07:08 PM
I thought this game was great visual wise, it was such a beautiful looking game that if I hadn't started on XIII-2 I'd say it would of been 100% the most gorgeous game graphics wise to date. As far as Anti not being able to get Lightning at first, I immediately understood her and really can actually relate to her in some ways. I actually understood the story and what they were trying to get at throughout the game, tho at the ending honestly it was like me tossing my hands up in the air and saying " WTF?! " lol. It didn't seem like a deserving ending to me at all.. but in all honesty I'm glad this game gave birth to XIII-2.

As far as music goes, I agree that Barthandelus Battle Music is an epic track. I also like Will To Fight alot. Final Fantasy XIII OST: Disc 4 - Fabula Nova Crystallis - YouTube ([Only registered and activated users can see links]), and Final Fantasy XIII OST: Disc 4 - Dust to Dust - YouTube ([Only registered and activated users can see links]) are cool mellow tracks, though I'm not into mellow stuff much. You two left out : Final Fantasy XIII OST: Disc 2 - Blinded by Light - YouTube ([Only registered and activated users can see links]), Final Fantasy XIII OST: Disc 1 - Saber's Edge - YouTube ([Only registered and activated users can see links]),[/URL][URL="[Only registered and activated users can see links]"] ([Only registered and activated users can see links]) ..that I liked also, along with others on the OST.

Character's wise my favorites prolly were Snow, Lightning, Vanille, and Sazh. Hope was fine as a character too but I think they could of rendered him to look a bit better, I thought his look was kinda dull.

Nostalgia gamer
03-30-2012, 01:29 AM
[QUOTE=Clear Spectre;1957726][COLOR="#696969"]I thought this game was great visual wise, it was such a beautiful looking game that if I hadn't started on XIII-2 I'd say it would of been 100% the most gorgeous game graphics wise to date. As far as Anti not being able to get Lightning at first, I immediately understood her and really can actually relate to her in some ways. I actually understood the story and what they were trying to get at throughout the game, tho at the ending honestly it was like me tossing my hands up in the air and saying " WTF?! " lol. It didn't seem like a deserving ending to me at all.. but in all honesty I'm glad this game gave birth to XIII-2.

Vanille reminded me so much of selphie,that i actively disliked her.At first i didn't know why i disliked her so much,but i realized that it was because she reminded me a lot of selphie.
When you put her next to characters like dumbass snow and winy baby hope,and drama queen lightning during the second half,it makes her livelyness,along with fang,a lot more welcoming.
Personally,i didn't like any of the characters in this game except for maybe a little of sazh.

Clear Spectre
03-30-2012, 04:18 PM
Vanille reminded me so much of selphie,that i actively disliked her.At first i didn't know why i disliked her so much,but i realized that it was because she reminded me a lot of selphie.
When you put her next to characters like dumbass snow and winy baby hope,and drama queen lightning during the second half,it makes her livelyness,along with fang,a lot more welcoming.
Personally,i didn't like any of the characters in this game except for maybe a little of sazh.

Lol, yeah I can see your point on Vanille. At first she was annoying to me also, but she grew on me. Fang at first I thought was badass, but I grew not to like her. I still consider her the hottest member tho. I think she is gorgeous, my second would be Lightning, then Serah in her FFXIII-2 costume. Snow, I'll agree kinda had his moments where he whines, but it builds onto his character into 2 which I why I had faith in his character, otherwise I wouldn't like him as much. He reminds me of a cross breed between Seifer and Zell. I think Hope was legit as a character with what he was going through at his age, I can't see a reason to really hate on him IMO, but in both games I think his outfits kinda suck. Lol.

Nostalgia gamer
03-31-2012, 03:21 AM
I don't care,i found characters in other games far far less annoying than hope,and when tragedy struck,they weren't nearly as melodramatic.
The ryu from the second breath of fire wasn't melodramatic.Sure he cried as a baby,but he was a baby.Then again:Characters in japanese rpgs tend to be very very melodramatic.They are designed mostly for early teens,because i think that older people would be kind of annoyed by the teenage angst.Thats not to say there isn't fun to be had,but i felt that the characters were not interesting,and some were down right annoying.I have seen people who hate lightning cause she was a bitch at the beginning,and a female version of cloud.I can somewhat understand being a bitch early in the game though,because she is a soldier,and thinks like a military:Cold uncaring,and tries to get the job done.Heck,i can understand if cloud were to do that,but he was just doing it because he is a whiny bitch.I could see the wheels turning in lightnings head.How she was thinking like a soldier,and not about her companions and what is necesarily the best course of action.Heck,i think at one point she gets scolded for it? But there is a good reason:She wanders off and doesn't include anyone else in the team.Squall was also sort of like that,but in a different way.Squall was more introverted personality.He was shy and kept to himself.His dialogue sometimes in the early scenes were his thoughts,and he always kept those to himself. Going back to FFXIII,i was more interested in sazh,because i could understand his loss,but even then i wasn't too interested.

Sheechiibii
05-09-2012, 10:29 AM
I have loved every FF game since VII(bar XI since it's an MMO and I haven't played it) some more than others but I liked them all so much I continue to go back and play them again often. I'll never go back and replay XIII, that's pretty certain. I'll go over a few points that I frequently see debated.

Some people say that the world map was just as linear in FFX but that's not right, XIII is so much worse, in X at any point in the game you could make your way back to Besaid if you wanted(up until Macalania Temple and by then your airship's just around the corner) and when you got the airship you could revisit anywhere you wanted. XIII sweeps you past some beautiful open scenery, some really lovely places but you can never do anything, you can't go anywhere, you can't see those places again. I got my hopes up when they arrived at Eden only to have them crushed straight after, the only place you can revisit is Pulse which is just a field with nothing in it and a more linear halls with pretty pictures in the background that you wish you could get to but you can't.

Some say that the Weapons in VIII were just as bad as in XIII, well no, I have to say they were worse, you could go the whole game without upgrading a weapon once in VIII and not miss it. But the Junctioning system by which you upgraded your characters was so good and so free it completely made up for not having a detailed weapon system. In XIII you can pretty much only level one weapon up since the first time you get a new weapon the first one is already much better than it and you have no way of knowing if the new weapon would end up stronger. The levelling system is just as linear as the map, no freedom in either case which sucks.

Which brings me to my next point. The levelling system. Some people compare it to X. It's absolutely nothing like X. Yes, it has sphere things connected by lines that light up once you've been over them but that's where the similarities end. It's completely linear, you go where you're told to, it's pretty much just a staircase with a couple of things to collect on the way. So freaking boring it's unbelievable. And yes, eventually (just before the end of the game) you're allowed to expand but then it just ends up that everyone is exactly the same. Plus what's the point of changing their role when the role they're in at the beginning is always the one they're most suited to? At that point in the game, no point at all. X's sphere grid was amazing, my favourite levelling system of all the FF's I've played. So good, especially since you could choose between two sphere grids, the beginner one and the expert one, which let you do whatever you wanted right from the beginning - it was a godsend, you could literally make Lulu into a powerhouse and have her little doll do more damage than Auron, same with Yuna. And at any lv sphere you could switch them onto a different route, you could have four Mages in your party if you like Mages, or three white Mages and nothing else but fighters. You could have someone who was just nothing but magic and new both white and black. I can't even go into how much XIII is nothing like this whatsoever.

And I did find the game very easy. I never put in any effort to level up or anything since the game did everything for itself anyway, it was like watching a really boring movie with battles in between. Battles where all you needed to do was mash X. The only boss that was hard was Barthandelus the third time you fought him. Nothing else was challenging at all. The last boss was such a waste of time I could hardly comprehend it. There might as well not have been a final boss. I mean, where was the hateful antagonist that all the FF's have? Sephiroth? Seifer? Kuja? Seymour? Vayne? Barthandelus I guess was meant to be that hateful villain but I honestly felt no hatred towards him at all...what was it he did? I mean...they spent the entire game doing nothing but giving you cut-scene after cut-scene and what was it for...

Too much cut-scenes and by the end of the game I wondered what all that story was even for because I still felt nothing for any of the characters. Why? Why?! I always get into the FF stories and get to like the characters. I should have cared about what happened at the end but I didn't, I really couldn't have cared less to be honest. So what were all those really long 'story' filled cut-scenes where there surely should have been character development as well as plot development? I must have missed it because to me the characters were exactly the same all the way through, they may as well have still been strangers by the end for all the connection I felt between them. These were people who shared nothing but the company of each other through the whole game, where was the connection, the friendship, the camaraderie? This sucked extremely badly, even more so because there was nothing in the game to make up for it.

I like a good story and that's why I like FF, I may not have liked some things in previous games but the story always makes up for it, and if it didn't(found XII a little boring) then the game-play, world map, levelling system, makes up for it. Not in this case. Both the story and the rest of the game were equally bad.

Yes, the graphics are beautiful but more often than not it was just frustrating that you could see all this huge world but can't go anywhere in it. The characters were pretty but did I care? No...I go back to play VII, VIII and IX all the time and their graphics suck in comparison, but it doesn't matter, because for me what makes a game good is the story first and foremost and the game-play.

This is the worst Final Fantasy for me. There is nothing good in this game whatsoever, no world to travel, no characters to connect to, no villain to want to kill, a weapons system that is utterly pointless, a levelling system that is abysmal, a battle system that does everything for you, no side-quests, no npc's. This game is not a FF.

Xx..xX

Lazerith
05-12-2012, 03:32 PM
Final Fantasy XIII-2 is a much better game than XIII. Though, after playing XIII-2 I somewhat want to play XIII again, but I know that I won't like it as much.

As far as FF in general goes, the series died after X. They did, however, make some fantastic remakes and prequel/sequels to earlier titles, but those aren't part of the after-X series. In my opinion, X-2 was horrid, XI didn't count, XII's gameplay and music was okay but every main character except Bosch annoyed the hell out of me, XIII was a bit of a disappointment and had some characters that also annoyed the hell out of me.

It was XIII-2 that made me remember how much I love the Final Fantasy games. As time progresses, I will play XIII-2 some more because I know there will eventually be some really good DLC fights. If they bring Shinryu, the four fiends, the elemental fiends, Kaiser dragon, Phantom train, and even main characters or villains from previous Final Fantasy games, I will end up spending money on them and taking the time to build up a really good monster for each role.