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Nostalgia gamer
09-19-2013, 04:26 PM
Seriously, the story isn't that great.

I don't see whats that great about it.During the game, most of the time you are just running away from the pulse guards.
The story of serah isn't interesting, and none of them have redeemable qualities.

The gameplay is terrible.It plays itself, and caps itself so you can't have options.It doesn't even offer any options for multiple ways to learn magic.dragon age origins has better options for magic, because you can choose to be a master of nature magic, or a master of fire, or ice.In FFXIII its the same thing as previous games.You learn a spell, you use it.Why even have lower level magic? why not have lower level magic disappear when you have fire2? fire1 becomes useless and obsolete.Make fire1 viable at level 99, and ice1 and bolt1.Make all spells useful at level 99 and hard fights so you have to use strategy.Make more customization and power to your character, instead of taking things out.Also:Please give us back the options that we don't automatically lose if one character dies please.I hate that shit so much.Also:Don't heal us after battle, make us use potions instead, so we have to actually think ahead of time before going to a dungeon, like:Oh we are going into a dungeon full of undead things who cast death and paralyze.Better bring lots of remedies to cure paralysis, and pheonix downs.NOPE!! your ailments are instantly cured.

Add sidequests to do along your main quest.

Isley Of The North
09-20-2013, 02:59 PM
None of the previous games require "Lolthinking"

Nostalgia gamer
09-20-2013, 03:17 PM
None of the previous games require "Lolthinking"

Well:In ff1 you had some strategy, so i reject that.FF4 for an example on the ps1 was a bit harder.in ff1, if you didn't get antidotes, you would die horribly, so yes there is strategy.

Its way more strategy than FFXIII which doesn't even allow you to use any of the characters except 1.

Isley Of The North
09-20-2013, 03:52 PM
If you never fought any of the superbosses in XIII then please shut up.

Darth Revan
09-20-2013, 04:29 PM
@Nostaliga gamer : While I personally do hate XIII (Which I think is pretty much well documented here in another thread in this subforum), be aware you will come under fire from other members here who do like it. Personally, there's only one review of this game I actually do agree with, 110%:

Zero Punctuation Reviews Final Fantasy XIII ([Only registered and activated users can see links])

@Isley Of The North : It's all about personal opinion... Nostalgia gamer feels the way they do about FFXIII and has raised points which (in their opinion) are justified. Be a bit more tolerant of that fact next time you respond to a post here please. Oh, and in response to your post:


None of the previous games require "Lolthinking"

I'm sorry, but Final Fantasy Tactics, begs to differ... you HAD to 'think' and use strategy in that game. So your comment about the 'previous' games is flawed. Indeed if one was to take into consideration Final Fantasy XI Online and Final Fantasy XIV A Realm Reborn, as these are three prime examples where one does have to use the grey matter between their ears to get anywhere in the game. Even in the remaining numbered FF titles, while they may follow a somewhat linear path, one still did have to take the time and consider their position for certain fights etc (what spells to use at a given time, items to have on hand etc).

Olde
09-25-2013, 12:15 AM
Ooooooooooooookay, Nostalgia gamer, while I agree with you, I don't really get the point of this thread. We've already argued this game's merits and faults into the ground here ([Only registered and activated users can see links]). Your criticisms aren't anything that haven't been stated there before. And besides, WHO likes FFXIII so much? Every review I've ever read/seen of it rates it at least as sub-par, if not terrible.

For what it's worth, here's my opinion (again): FFXIII is not a game. It really isn't. It's a CG-movie interspersed with sections where you hold the analog stick forward, press the X button (and occasionally switch roles) during combat to watch the main characters beat up bad guys, go to the Crystarium menu and hold down the X button to level up your shit, and save your progress at a save point. That's it. Now, a real game is something you play, where the player actually has input, can actually influence how the game goes, and the outcomes change depending on various things that the player brings to the table. With FFXIII, all that's required is that the player stay conscious enough to hold down the forward analog stick and either repeatedly press X during battle sequences or hold X down in the Crystarium. Believe me, this piece of shit is much better watched as a movie on YouTube than actually "played"...and the sad thing is, the story isn't even that good to begin with. It's a mediocre, stereotypical "team of young heroes whose fates are thrust upon them have to save the world from an evil power-hungry man-god who wants to destroy everything for some stupid reason and the heroes have to save it by learning the power of love and friendship" story. The ending contradicts the whole point of the story, the "Focus being a hazy image" is idiotic and nonsensical, information is told through text boxes rather than shown through exposition, the battle system is total crap, there's no strategy involved in battle or in leveling up characters/weapons, I could go on and on (and look, I didn't even pull the linearity card!).

If you want to see my personal favorite reviews of this game, look no further than Zero Punctuation (cited by Darth Revan), as well as this ([Only registered and activated users can see links]) and this ([Only registered and activated users can see links]).

Nostalgia gamer
09-25-2013, 03:01 AM
Ooooooooooooookay, Nostalgia gamer, while I agree with you, I don't really get the point of this thread. We've already argued this game's merits and faults into the ground here ([Only registered and activated users can see links]). Your criticisms aren't anything that haven't been stated there before. And besides, WHO likes FFXIII so much? Every review I've ever read/seen of it rates it at least as sub-par, if not terrible.

For what it's worth, here's my opinion (again): FFXIII is not a game. It really isn't. It's a CG-movie interspersed with sections where you hold the analog stick forward, press the X button (and occasionally switch roles) during combat to watch the main characters beat up bad guys, go to the Crystarium menu and hold down the X button to level up your shit, and save your progress at a save point. That's it. Now, a real game is something you play, where the player actually has input, can actually influence how the game goes, and the outcomes change depending on various things that the player brings to the table. With FFXIII, all that's required is that the player stay conscious enough to hold down the forward analog stick and either repeatedly press X during battle sequences or hold X down in the Crystarium. Believe me, this piece of shit is much better watched as a movie on YouTube than actually "played"...and the sad thing is, the story isn't even that good to begin with. It's a mediocre, stereotypical "team of young heroes whose fates are thrust upon them have to save the world from an evil power-hungry man-god who wants to destroy everything for some stupid reason and the heroes have to save it by learning the power of love and friendship" story. The ending contradicts the whole point of the story, the "Focus being a hazy image" is idiotic and nonsensical, information is told through text boxes rather than shown through exposition, the battle system is total crap, there's no strategy involved in battle or in leveling up characters/weapons, I could go on and on (and look, I didn't even pull the linearity card!).

If you want to see my personal favorite reviews of this game, look no further than Zero Punctuation (cited by Darth Revan), as well as this ([Only registered and activated users can see links]) and this ([Only registered and activated users can see links]).

On another forum, there were people overrating FFXIII by saying it has a better story than even ff6, when its characters are terrible.Another one is what you mentioned about the cyrstarium.I personally don't like the crystarium either.I want a bit more customization.I argued that ff tactics had customization and allowed you more room for strategy, but FFXIII is about dumbing it down.

Don't even get me started on those crappy quests.Its 60 fetch quests that are quite easy and that is it.At least FFXII had a lot more quests.And you want to talk about linear grindy games? This game is worse than ultima 3 in the big grind.ultima 3 was tedious, well FFXIII is even worse.Farming orichalcum or whatever it was called, and platinum bars is about as boring as it gets.Gone are the days where you have rare hunts and rare drops.Chrono trigger is a much better game than FFXIII, and i mean a lot better.

Don't get me started on the horrible characters.

I liked the villain, but i don't care for any of the characters.

I would give FFXIII a 4 or 5 out of 10.

Olde
09-25-2013, 08:40 PM
On another forum, there were people overrating FFXIII by saying it has a better story than even ff6, when its characters are terrible.

So you have a problem with the posts on another forum altogether and then spill your frustration about it here? Sounds to me like you should be directing your criticisms toward that forum. This just seems like a very misdirected and unprompted thread. Not that there's anything wrong with it, but I fail to see the point.

Personally, I think you have to not let other people work you up so much. So other forum members said they liked XIII's characters and story over VI's. Who cares? You're not going to change anybody's minds. And besides, they might just be trolls, so I say just ignore them.

Nostalgia gamer
09-26-2013, 03:20 AM
I just don't get the love this game has.What really bugs me, is that fans are that ignorant? they take away gameplay by making it an interactive movie and that is alright? The game is mostly a linear pathway and that is fine? and the characters don't change all that much and that is fine?

squeenix had to come out with XIII-2 to just fix the problems FFXIII had, like shops and towns and more variation.

Sheechiibii
09-26-2013, 04:10 AM
Some people like different types of games to the ones you like. That's not wrong. I think XIII is absolute rubbish, but I certainly wouldn't say people who like it are ignorant. They just like something I don't. You have to remember that it's only your opinion that the gameplay and story and characters aren't well done, other people will look at the same things a lot differently.

Nostalgia gamer
09-26-2013, 04:29 AM
Some people like different types of games to the ones you like. That's not wrong. I think XIII is absolute rubbish, but I certainly wouldn't say people who like it are ignorant. They just like something I don't. You have to remember that it's only your opinion that the gameplay and story and characters aren't well done, other people will look at the same things a lot differently.

But its something that takes away from gameplay more than adds, which is why i complain about it.Like:FF tactics has more than one way to win a fight.In ff6 there is a ton more ways to win a fight than FFXIII, even ff7.FF7 has the materia system and adds lots of ways to kill sephiroth.FF8 has some strategies itself, but not as many as ff7 ff tactics or ff6.

What way do you have to win in FFXIII? 1 way:You spam your highest level spells and try not to die by healing and resurrecting your characters.How does that merit a high score?
A game should add lots of replayability and lots of customization.

Sheechiibii
09-26-2013, 04:56 AM
It's your opinion that a game should add lots of re-playability and customization. I like that stuff to, but not everyone does and it's not wrong for them to have a different opinion. Maybe they find it has re-playability because of the story? I think most people who do like the game like it for the story.

Nostalgia gamer
09-26-2013, 07:43 AM
It's your opinion that a game should add lots of re-playability and customization. I like that stuff to, but not everyone does and it's not wrong for them to have a different opinion. Maybe they find it has re-playability because of the story? I think most people who do like the game like it for the story.

The story is lackluster though.Characters like hope make me never want to play another final fantasy ever again.He is probably the most annoying character i have ever come across in final fantasy.More than the sephiroth cloud fanboys, more than cait sith and quina, and more so than tidus.I can bear all these characters, but hope's prepubescent grating voice, and his annoying whiny emo character makes me wish i could kill him.

Vanille i can handle, but she is a replica of selphie in a lot of ways, and that irritates me.
Snow not only has a dumb name, but his character at the beginning is quite irritating because of how arrogant he is.It just irritates me just how so sure of himself he is, that he is willing to jump head first into a crocodiles mouth without thinking.

Sheechiibii
09-26-2013, 09:08 AM
But it's your opinion that they're lackluster. Others have a different opinion, and that's a good thing. If we all liked the same things there'd be no variation in the world. I can't defend FFXIII's characters or story because frankly it's the worst game I've ever played and I didn't like any of the characters or the storyline. But I don't think people who did enjoy it are wrong, and I loved the sequel. It's all up to personal preference is what I'm saying. You can't be wrong for liking something or disliking something.

Nostalgia gamer
09-27-2013, 02:55 AM
But it's your opinion that they're lackluster. Others have a different opinion, and that's a good thing. If we all liked the same things there'd be no variation in the world. I can't defend FFXIII's characters or story because frankly it's the worst game I've ever played and I didn't like any of the characters or the storyline. But I don't think people who did enjoy it are wrong, and I loved the sequel. It's all up to personal preference is what I'm saying. You can't be wrong for liking something or disliking something.

Sure they are allowed to like something, but i question how they can like something that takes away so much.If you are a fan of ff789, then you would remember the gameplay and story and exploration.Its just that if we let games like FFXIII continue on to lower quality, the series will cease to exist this way.I do care about the series, because i grew up on it, and i don't want to dislike an ff game.I tried to like FFXIII, i really did, but the game didn't grow on me.

The reason i don't trust kids, is because kids lack experience.For anyone new to a final fantasy, this would be a new experience to them, but not a great example of final fantasy at its best.You have to remember that this was also about exploration and immersion, and the game is more about cutscenes and graphics show than it is about gameplay or immersion.You aren't even allowed to stray the path during the first 5 chapters, and forced to walk in a straight line.

I can forgive some games, because they give you actual options, but FFXIII gives me none.It also abandons its roots mostly and become a sort of pariah or black sheep of the series.FFVIII was that way because it was different, but at least it gave you more options for an rpg.Chrono trigger ds has cutscenes, but there are only a couple, so it doesn't break the immersion.

You might as well have one 1.000-1.000 cube box which is empty, because you can't really interact with the land.No matter how much you pretty it up, it won't make up for the lack of gameplay or immersion.

Videogames need gameplay as a first and story second, because without gameplay you have a movie, and i really don't think game directors are on level with movie directors, at least not the japanese ones.

Books can get away with having all character development and story, because its a book, but not everything can get away with the same things.

Movies for an example are very expensive, and you often can't fill the movies with all the characters, because it would simply be too long, expensive.Books contain a huge amount of detail in their pages, and its hard to translate that into movies.

Sheechiibii
09-27-2013, 08:57 AM
It's one bad game in amongst a lot of good games. I wouldn't say it's dragging the series down until this is a common thing. I loved FFXIII-2, I actually enjoyed it more than FFVII (which isn't one of my most favoured games in the series). I have no reason to believe that we won't get more great FF games, just on the basis of one bad one. Not all the people who like XIII are new to the FF series, many have played a lot of the other games, and still like XIII. Every FF game is different, that's one of the great things about the series. You don't have to forgive FFXIII - I certainly don't. But you also don't have to put others down for liking it.

There's no need to tell me how bad XIII is, I know. I played it once all the way through, and then actually tried to play it again to give it another chance a few years later, but couldn't stand it. But I'm not right for disliking it any more than someone else is wrong for liking it. We all have different opinions, and some people like XIII and that's fine. I don't think it's detrimental to the series at all. Until there are more games being made like XIII I can't agree that it's taking away from the franchise. People loathed FFVIII when it came out, it was infamous as being absolute garbage, yet I love it, and a lot of other people love it. The FF series does something different with every new title, new story, new gameplay, new characters. Some people love some of the games more than others, none of them are right or wrong for that.

Vrykolas
09-27-2013, 09:46 PM
NG:
The thing I find confusing is your insistence on bashing this game and pointing out the problems you see in it, when a well received sequel exists that corrected most of the things you're complaining about. I mean, how much more is there to say? If the game annoys you so much, either try the sequel to see if they took such criticisms on board, or leave it alone. You claim to hate the game, but you write more about this game than anyone on this entire forum! If people were endlessly posting threads about how much they loved it and anyone who thought otherwise were morons, then I could understand. But they aren't, so what's the point here? I don't like FF10 but I don't start dozens of threads on the FF board saying 'I still hate FF10 for these reasons I gave in the other half a dozen threads where I was complaining about it'.

You don't like it, and you're entitled to your opinion. So long as you realize that its only your opinion and not fact, no matter how often you say it or how you phrase it, I think we all get it and are fine with that. So let's move on, eh?

On a wider note, I take real issue with the statement 'Games need gameplay first and story second' in this context. I couldn't give a damn how most RPGs play - I play them for the story and characters. If an RPG's system is good then that's great, but if it isn't then I really don't care in the slightest. I've played through the Shin Megami Tensei games, with their relentless encounter rates that put you into battle after a couple of steps, that also have the 'leader dies, games over' mechanic, and have regular enemies with instant death spells etc etc). But I played them and enjoyed them, because I loved the strange atmosphere and stories of those games.

But if an RPG has a bad story and characters, then it doesn't matter how good the gameplay is - I'm out (or at least will trudge through the game on mental autopilot, taking little interest in anything). Tales of Graces has the best battle system of the Tales series, but it also has the least interesting world, with the most annoying characters and the worst story. Ergo, its my least favorite by far of the Tales series.

I find it fanciful in the extreme that anyone would claim people played FF7, 8 and 9 for their gameplay (FF8 particularly - I love that game, but I really, really don't love its system). And come on, exploration in FF7, 8 and 9? The only time you can explore is towards the end, when you have the airships. Up until then, you either can't explore, or are free to roam small sections of the World Map that have no locations of interest. Case in point - Final Fantasy 7. Until you get to at least the section with the Tiny Bronco, you can visit precisely one side location - Fort Condor. Where can you go in Final Fantasy 9 before you get the ship - to a couple of one screen 'closed gatehouse' locations that might have a chest with a potion or something. Big thrills!

Olde
09-27-2013, 11:45 PM
You don't like it, and you're entitled to your opinion. So long as you realize that its only your opinion and not fact, no matter how often you say it or how you phrase it, I think we all get it and are fine with that. So let's move on, eh?

Seconded.


On a wider note, I take real issue with the statement 'Games need gameplay first and story second' in this context. I couldn't give a damn how most RPGs play - I play them for the story and characters. If an RPG's system is good then that's great, but if it isn't then I really don't care in the slightest. But if an RPG has a bad story and characters, then it doesn't matter how good the gameplay is - I'm out (or at least will trudge through the game on mental autopilot, taking little interest in anything).

That's interesting, because for me personally, if the gameplay is lousy or even if I just can't get into it, I can't play the game. It matters as much if not more than the story. Now, I wouldn't say that I necessarily play games with terrible stories just because I like the gameplay, but it's a really important factor for me. When you think about it, those are the portions that ostensibly have the most input from the player. Unless it's one of a very small handful of RPGs, the story is set in stone and you're basically either there being immersed in it and having it revealed to you, or (as in FF13) you're just along for the ride. I don't think I've ever been blown away by a story in terms of plot, but I get invested in a plot because of the characters, and part of getting in touch with the characters is playing their role, and that's done through the gameplay. I can't conceive of playing any series whose gameplay I can't get into. That's the reason I gave up on FF13; conversely, it's the reason I played through FFX-2 multiple times, the gameplay was just that good in my opinion, even though the story was ass.


I find it fanciful in the extreme that anyone would claim people played FF7, 8 and 9 for their gameplay (FF8 particularly - I love that game, but I really, really don't love its system).

:'( I thought we were friends...lol


And come on, exploration in FF7, 8 and 9? The only time you can explore is towards the end, when you have the airships. Up until then, you either can't explore, or are free to roam small sections of the World Map that have no locations of interest. Case in point - Final Fantasy 7. Until you get to at least the section with the Tiny Bronco, you can visit precisely one side location - Fort Condor. Where can you go in Final Fantasy 9 before you get the ship - to a couple of one screen 'closed gatehouse' locations that might have a chest with a potion or something. Big thrills!

It's been ages since I've played FF9, but I will say that you're given comparably much more freedom from the get-go with FF7 and 8. For me, a lot of it had to do with being able to go level up on whatever enemies I wanted, to explore the terrain, and to get immersed in the world. These, for me, are crucially important in conveying a sense of scope, environment, and urgency. Freedom of movement not only puts the player in control (giving him/her a sense of input) and allows the player to revisit old places to get more insight into the world, exploring different parts, and having fun doing different things. Couldn't you go back to the Gold Saucer in FF7 before the Tiny Bronco? My memory's fuzzy. In any case, FF13 doesn't do any of those things. Not even close. Not only does it not give you anything to do besides go forward in the Hallway, it doesn't give you a reason to care about Coccoon; you might as well see it blow up. In fact, you might actually be inclined to advocate its destruction, given that regular people are like complicit Germans in the 1930s and 40s, who refused to stand up for Jews and actually felt it was a good thing to send them to their deaths as they were forcibly led onto trains. What I mean is that you're given no reason to be on either the side of Lightning & co. or the regular brainwashed masses.

One just has no idea who these characters are, or, equally importantly, where the characters are, as we have no reference point of what Cocoon actually is (and even now I don't really know what it is) because the environments are sporadic, random, disjointed, and fail to invest one in the story. So even forgetting about the gameplay, FF13 fails to deliver in even the most basic of story elements: immersion. You'd agree, Vrykolas, that we need to get invested in the characters, environment, and story. If you don't know why Cocoon is worth saving/destroying, why continue with the story at all? So this is a very convoluted way of getting around to my point, that I disagree with what you're saying about FF7, 8, and 9. In those games, you had the freedom to take your characters to different places and the game immersed you in the world. Speaking not only for myself, but also for the myriad of fans these games have garnered, players got invested in the worlds, the characters, the stories. Now, 7, 8, or 9 might not have as much freedom as other RPGs, and I'm sure you can immediately think of many that have more. But I think we would agree that there's much more immersion in them than in 13.

So in keeping with Vrykolas's and Sheechiibii's theme, I'll just say that everybody has a slightly different take on it. From what I've heard, FF13 was meant to appeal to Japanese gamers, who obviously come from a very different culture and have very different expectations from a game and from a story. So I suppose it wasn't entirely conceived of as needing to appeal to a Western sense of narrative. It also has some hallmarks of current trends in gaming (the "Retry" option invariably functions as a "Respawn," etc.) probably to appeal to a younger crowd. If it's not your cup of tea, then it's not your cup of tea. And it certainly isn't mine. So Nostalgia gamer, while we might not necessarily agree with why someone thinks it's a good game, we can't change their opinions about it. All we can do is show them our evidence and speak for ourselves.

Nostalgia gamer
09-28-2013, 02:16 AM
It's been ages since I've played FF9, but I will say that you're given comparably much more freedom from the get-go with FF7 and 8. For me, a lot of it had to do with being able to go level up on whatever enemies I wanted, to explore the terrain, and to get immersed in the world. These, for me, are crucially important in conveying a sense of scope, environment, and urgency. Freedom of movement not only puts the player in control (giving him/her a sense of input) and allows the player to revisit old places to get more insight into the world, exploring different parts, and having fun doing different things. Couldn't you go back to the Gold Saucer in FF7 before the Tiny Bronco? My memory's fuzzy. In any case, FF13 doesn't do any of those things. Not even close. Not only does it not give you anything to do besides go forward in the Hallway, it doesn't give you a reason to care about Coccoon; you might as well see it blow up. In fact, you might actually be inclined to advocate its destruction, given that regular people are like complicit Germans in the 1930s and 40s, who refused to stand up for Jews and actually felt it was a good thing to send them to their deaths as they were forcibly led onto trains. What I mean is that you're given no reason to be on either the side of Lightning & co. or the regular brainwashed masses.

One just has no idea who these characters are, or, equally importantly, where the characters are, as we have no reference point of what Cocoon actually is (and even now I don't really know what it is) because the environments are sporadic, random, disjointed, and fail to invest one in the story. So even forgetting about the gameplay, FF13 fails to deliver in even the most basic of story elements: immersion. You'd agree, Vrykolas, that we need to get invested in the characters, environment, and story. If you don't know why Cocoon is worth saving/destroying, why continue with the story at all? So this is a very convoluted way of getting around to my point, that I disagree with what you're saying about FF7, 8, and 9. In those games, you had the freedom to take your characters to different places and the game immersed you in the world. Speaking not only for myself, but also for the myriad of fans these games have garnered, players got invested in the worlds, the characters, the stories. Now, 7, 8, or 9 might not have as much freedom as other RPGs, and I'm sure you can immediately think of many that have more. But I think we would agree that there's much more immersion in them than in 13.

So in keeping with Vrykolas's and Sheechiibii's theme, I'll just say that everybody has a slightly different take on it. From what I've heard, FF13 was meant to appeal to Japanese gamers, who obviously come from a very different culture and have very different expectations from a game and from a story. So I suppose it wasn't entirely conceived of as needing to appeal to a Western sense of narrative. It also has some hallmarks of current trends in gaming (the "Retry" option invariably functions as a "Respawn," etc.) probably to appeal to a younger crowd. If it's not your cup of tea, then it's not your cup of tea. And it certainly isn't mine. So Nostalgia gamer, while we might not necessarily agree with why someone thinks it's a good game, we can't change their opinions about it. All we can do is show them our evidence and speak for ourselves.[/QUOTE]

This last part you mentioned olde, that is what i was talking about.Part of a great game is adventure of being able to immerse yourself in the story by slowly absorbing the story.It not only makes the story better in the way its developed, it gives a sense of freedom.
The thing is:Rpgs aren't books.You do need lots of gameplay, and even if ff games are more about story than gameplay, i imagine it is also hard to balance that out.I heard that FFXII story isn't so good either, but it concentrates more on gameplay aspect.I liked a lot of the snes games because the story was focused and it still had time for gameplay, like lufia.The story is nothing to ride home about, because it was about as simplistic as it gets.I like a complex story too when its focused.Focus isn't FFXIII's problem, rather the characters.I could follow FFXIII just fine.Its the characters which don't seem to change from the psx and snes era and seem still like arch types.I don't see any real risks being taken in the characters.

On the other hand:I do love parasite eve, and it is very linear, but man that game was amazing.It was because of the story and character though.

Sheechiibii
09-28-2013, 06:13 AM
"You do need lots of gameplay" - yes, you do. But not everyone does. Vrykolas doesn't place as much worth on gameplay as story, but Olde does. I'm kind of in the middle, if a game has a great story and characters, then even if the gameplay isn't good I'll still love it (Enchanted Arms), on the other hand if the story is lacking but the gameplay is great I'll still love it (FFXII). But I think if I had to chose I'd chose story every time. Basically, it's not a requirement for games to have lots of gameplay, it's not something they need to be successful, because not every gamer will care about the gameplay if they're given a story they really enjoy.

Nostalgia gamer
09-28-2013, 06:51 AM
"You do need lots of gameplay" - yes, you do. But not everyone does. Vrykolas doesn't place as much worth on gameplay as story, but Olde does. I'm kind of in the middle, if a game has a great story and characters, then even if the gameplay isn't good I'll still love it (Enchanted Arms), on the other hand if the story is lacking but the gameplay is great I'll still love it (FFXII). But I think if I had to chose I'd chose story every time. Basically, it's not a requirement for games to have lots of gameplay, it's not something they need to be successful, because not every gamer will care about the gameplay if they're given a story they really enjoy.

I too am in between, but i just haven't found a story that really blows me away in ff series lately.The game that to me had the best character development in a jrpg recent, is from myst walker's lost odyssey.The character development was brilliant for kaim, and made me want to skip all other aspects just to eagerly read the next flashback.It had real effect on me like no other final fantasy of recent, with exception of jecht in FFX who i grew to respect, and yuna and braska.Something about jecht really brought home to me, because i can imagine people like jecht existing.That very macho type tough guy who is good at heart, but a bit of a fool and rough on his son.

With FFXIII though, i didn't feel anything click at all.I couldn't get myself to care about anyone in FFXIII.I almost liked cid for a while, because i saw cid was subjected to rule from the fal'cie king, and he was a l'cie, but he kept on attacking the heroes over and over, and that seemed dumb to me.Cid should have run away.And that is why FFXIII never did anything for me.The gameplay and story and characters didn't do anything for me, so in the end:What is left? the music? graphics? The big enemies are well designed btw.I did like the design of the really huge enemies and fighting them, and that is why i generally don't like FFXIII, and many others as well.There are some though who like the gameplay aspect.I suppose in an environment where you have to repeatedly fight the same enemies in turn base, it would have made a bigger difference, but ff6 is fast paced as well as ff7.I do like the fast pace of ff6 and ff7, and FF4 adds auto attack mode to for all the random battles, but it hardly matters, because you won't really fight much aside from a few enemies for leveling and questing.

MrMuta
09-28-2013, 11:39 AM
I don't get why you're so against people having their own opinion? You hate FFXIII, congrats, so do most people. And if this was just a thread about why you hate it so much then that would be fine. But instead you're criticising people because they enjoy a game that you do not.

Everyone is entitled to their own opinion and if you can't handle that on a FORUM site, then you're going to be finding yourself upset and wound up quite often.

EDIT: Also this part "I almost liked cid for a while, because i saw cid was subjected to rule from the fal'cie king, and he was a l'cie, but he kept on attacking the heroes over and over, and that seemed dumb to me.Cid should have run away." Either makes you look like a massive troll, or you simply didn't understand the game.

Nostalgia gamer
09-28-2013, 05:57 PM
I understood the game perfectly fine, i just thought it was a lousy game and don't understand the massive amount of praise it gets.Its another ff7, except worse since all the previous games were better games overall.

MrMuta
09-28-2013, 06:07 PM
I understood the game perfectly fine, i just thought it was a lousy game and don't understand the massive amount of praise it gets.Its another ff7, except worse since all the previous games were better games overall.

Then you should understand why it was not possible for Cid Raines to just run away...

I still don't know where you're getting this information that FFXIII is highly praised, even comparing it to FFVII. FFXIII has been almost universally panned by Final Fantasy fans and is often referred to as the worst game so far in the franchise. A few people actually enjoying the game is not a "massive amount of praise."

Nostalgia gamer
09-28-2013, 06:19 PM
Look there are some games i can understand some of the praise.FFX, ff8, ff9.Sure there are things i don't like about ff8, and there are things that piss me off.

FFXIII i cannot understand for the life of me what people see in it.There are many rpgs that offer more in terms of story,gameplay and replay value.Heck, i'm playing right now etrian odyssey, and think its an interesting and enjoyable game.And lost odyssey has better characters than FFXIII and better gameplay, and its gameplay is still flawed.What pisses me off the most, is the linear gameplay and characters.I paid 60 bucks to see if this game is any good, and that is one heck of an investment.It wasn't worth it.

FFXIII-2? i only played the demo, and it seemed ok but i'm not taking a risk anymore.Fuck final fantasy.I'm waiting many years till i can see trailers and gameplay footage after its over, and if i don't like it, i'm not buying it ever, and that is why it enrages me so much.it pains me to see the series go downhill.The handheld remakes seem ok, but i don't trust the console games from squeenix.

I didn't mean to turn this into an insult fest towards FFXIII fans, its just that my reaction to people calling this game best game ever or better than ff6.I just don't understand how people can like those shallow dull characters.

MrMuta
09-28-2013, 06:33 PM
They are all valid points for your dislike towards the game. But other people may actually have enjoyed those elements, everyone is different. Some people may have found the linear style easier to focus. Some people might have found the metamorphosis each character went through endearing. I played XIII and although it isn't the best Final Fantasy game in my opinion, I still enjoyed it, and have even replayed it. That's just my own view on it.

However I still do not understand where you are getting the idea that people hail this game as being the best ever. I think in fact I'm the only one in this thread who has had a positive thing to say about Final Fantasy XIII.

Vrykolas
09-28-2013, 07:19 PM
I just can't think of any RPGs that I've played *because* of the gameplay. That's not to say that there aren't any RPGs with gameplay I enjoy (FFX-2 is a good example as Olde says, and the Star Ocean games would be others). But the idea that I would play them just for that gameplay, if I didn't like the stories and characters (which I did, very much so)...? JRPGs particularly are so full of story, and lengthy cut scenes, that you would have to be extremely patient and *really* into that gameplay!

And again, what is this freedom in FF9, that you supposedly get? After Evil Forest, you get to roam the world map, but there are no locations to go to, other the one you have to, to get the game moving again. There are no side quests or side dungeons at this point, and though the game eventually opens out a bit when you get the Blue Narcissus, the apparent freedom is a false dawn, as the number of new locations (and particularly side quest locations for the purposes of this argument) that it allows you to access is very small. In FF7, you can go back to the Gold Saucer... and do what? Despite its apparent size, there is actually very little to do there - you don't have access to your own chocobos to raise and race at that point, Speed Square is a terrible mini-game with awful prizes, and the Battle Arena is only really feasible once you can win outright (otherwise the amount of GPS you get is a pittance). And that is highly improbably without a Ribbon, which I don't believe you have at that point.

Let's not confuse 'Can you go anywhere else at all' with 'Can you go somewhere and achieve something meaningful, or at least experience new story, dialogue, see new sights etc'. FF7 doesn't have any secret dungeons (The Gelnika I suppose, but that is only 4 rooms big), and outside of the WEAPONS (which are obviously end game stuff), and the various Lvl 4 Limit Breaks and Ultimate Weapons (practically all of which are only available on Disc 2 at the earliest), there is very little side stuff to do, very few completely optional places to go, and again only later in the game. You *can* go to Fort Condor and Gold Saucer, but when there is basically nothing to at that point, its really tit for tat to say that constitutes a significant amount of extra freedom and content than FF13, isn't it?

As I have always said (and this is the last time I am going to have this conversation), FF13 makes its design choices based on artistic decisions, using them to tell the story. And that doesn't sit well with people who just want to enjoy a game. I have never said that FF13 doesn't make some unfortunate choices in terms of being a user friendly and welcoming gaming experience - my point was always that most of these things were intentional design choices with a specific purpose. The game works as it was intended to, the question has always been (for me) over how wise those artistic decisions were, when most of them are severely limiting the gamer and his/her freedom. That's how it was supposed to work, but it doesn't make it any easier to play. Olde is right when he says that (at least until the latter chapters of the game), this is barely a game at all for much of its running time.

The game is intentionally linear and then massively open to make an artistic point about a restrictive society versus a free one. It locks the important aspects of the team (ability to choose the leader and choose party composition) because it wants to wait until the team actually are acting and considering themselves a team in game (which doesn't happen until Chapter 9). The game eschews towns, side quests and traditional shops to show the idea that you are on the run, have a time bomb inside you that could kill you at any moment, so you have no time for dawdling with side quests. And the shops are to show the e-commerce nature of modern times, with the human face to face interaction being lost, and everyone being strangers to each other.

The game purposefully holds back its depiction of the world, and the character's relations to others in society, so it can focus on the question of personal reactions to imminent death, and make choices on the fate of the world based on your fears for yourself and those close to you - again, because the game is implying that the modern information age culture encourages us to be strangers to each other, and not really know each other.By stripping that away, the game is able to get at the motivating factors that would really be concerning you in such a situation (your own life, and the lives of your family). When you open something out to say 'But we will be sacrificing the whole world', it becomes harder to take it seriously (indeed many western gamers have that exact reaction to Snow, in a 'Get Over Yourself' kind of way). By keeping the focus on the characters, the game is saying 'In this situation, your connection to the world would be entirely secondary to your immediate concerns of life and limb for you and yours - that is what you would base your decision to obey or fight on'.

Worthy artistic goals, and it interested me greatly. Purely speaking for myself, I would have preferred some more visually visceral reminders of what fate was awaiting them (i.e I would have liked to see some physical changes based on the brand counting down to Ciethhood, and I obviously would have preferred the Cieth to look more genuinely horrifying and have them really sell the whole 'Its an endless hell of an existence' angle, because I feel the whole issue with the brands is allowed to drift into almost an academic discussion than the real, motivating force it is supposed to be. But still, I was really into the unusual way this game was working, what it was trying to say and how it was doing it. As someone who wonders about the direction society is going in, I guess I'm the kind of artsy armchair philosopher saddo that the game is aiming at :D

But yes, obviously it was equally frustrating to those who just wanted to play a damn game! Who wanted to say to the designer 'Look pal, shove you art up your backside and let me PLAY!!!'

And its not like I give the game a free pass on everything. The 'party must strike a pose the first time they change paradigms) is very odd, and there seems to be no good reason for it. It might not even be so bad, if the game wasn't still running, and you were still taking damage as it happened! And however laudable your artistic goals, making the player wait until 20+ hours in, to unlock the game's battle system to the point where you can actually start to enjoy it properly, is far too long. I don't personally agree that the game's system is a bad one, and if you look at the critic's reviews, most of them liked the system too, even if they didn't like the game as a whole. I just wish it opened up earlier, and gave you more fights like the one against Cid, that actually require to know how to play properly. Too much of the game can be completed by just setting 'Relentless Assault' and all out attacking.

But I would also say that this is true of most games. Lots of trash mobs you beat in your sleep (you can actually automate combat 100% in some games and the they literally play themselves), and the occasional boss where you actually need to pay attention. I would also point out that 'Squad Leader dies - Game Over' is present in games ranging from Shin Megami Tensei to Mass Effect 2, and those games don't anywhere near the levels of shit from people howling that it shouldn't be in the game. It is also not alone in terms of 'You can only control one character, and the rest act on their own' as games like Persona 3 and again Mass Effect also operate this way. And regenerating health is and has been the standard for years now - games like Skyrim, Mass Effect etc employ it, and the latter even allows health regen in combat, not just after it.

So in closing, I have always said that FF13 is not for everyone. They took a big risk making a game that was really quite anti-gamer for the most part, for the sake of an artistically minded story and method of storytelling. Particularly because this is not some niche title, but a big, hotly anticipated installment in a franchise. There are certain expectations that both the hardcore and mainstream gamers will want out of it, and a game which is deliberately artsy and waits until its latter stages to actually deliver purely as a game, as a gaming experience that is fun to play, is treading on very thin ice. I would still argue (and most of the critics would agree if you look them over) that it eventually does deliver, but it waits *far* too long, and front loads the game with an experience that many just don't have the patience or will to go through. I like it, but I'm 'A Man Who Likes This Sort Of Thing'. And I can absolutely understand why many others didn't.

So there you have it. That's why I like (love is perhaps too strong a word, though I do love the sequel), this game. And if you don't agree, then that's fine. But its my opinion, and I'm entitled to it, just as you are to yours NG. I do feel that Square Enix was probably guilty of selling an arthouse film in the guide of a summer blockbuster, but at the end of the day, I enjoyed it.

Nostalgia gamer
09-29-2013, 02:14 AM
I personally feel that when square and enix fused and square was bought off, the series went downhill a little, and the story isn't as good as previous games.You call it art, i call it generic in style of characters, because they really are rehashes of previous games.

The auto battle was a very big risk, but it isn't the auto battle which is the biggest issue, but rather the commands you issue to it.You can't tell your individual characters what spells to cast or when, leading to death a lot of times because your team doesn't always respond the way you want them to.Sometimes the auto battle doesn't hurt, but other times it really does because you can't fully control your characters or what they do, and there are a few enemies with really cheap insta kill moves.Most of the time, i found the game to be very easy because i am very experienced as it is.

Another thing which aggravates me so much, is the drop rate of platinum bars.Why is that item that maxes your level out more common than platinum bars, when on wiki it says that its rarer? 1 out of 5 i get platinum and 4 out of 5 i get that catalyst item.

I also want to comment on the music:I personally feel that leona lewis wasn't as good as nobuo uematsu.Her piece was a sort of pop beat music.Something to do with listening to a rainbow, and the other pieces weren't by her.The ones that weren't hers were better pieces in my opinion.There really isn't much else to say but to agree to disagree vrykolas, since we are both unable to come to an agreement.I personally feel this title is the weakest in the series.

Sheechiibii
09-29-2013, 07:28 AM
You can't really say the series has gone downhill if you stop playing the games as soon as one comes out that you dislike. I hated XIII too, but once XIII-2 was cheap as chips (I got it for like 3) I thought 'why not'? It seemed unfair of me to judge the game before I'd even played it, and I was really pleasantly surprised. And FFXII was an amazing game too, I don't know if you've played it. So I really disagree that Final Fantasy has gone downhill since Square merged with Enix. I've seen nothing to indicate that. A bad game does not a bad series make :)

Nobody is saying you shouldn't think it's the weakest in the series, I think so too. All that's being said really is that just because you think it's bad, doesn't mean people who think it's good are wrong or ignorant. I don't understand how others can like it either, but I don't have to.

Nostalgia gamer
09-29-2013, 08:27 AM
You can't really say the series has gone downhill if you stop playing the games as soon as one comes out that you dislike. I hated XIII too, but once XIII-2 was cheap as chips (I got it for like 3) I thought 'why not'? It seemed unfair of me to judge the game before I'd even played it, and I was really pleasantly surprised. And FFXII was an amazing game too, I don't know if you've played it. So I really disagree that Final Fantasy has gone downhill since Square merged with Enix. I've seen nothing to indicate that. A bad game does not a bad series make :)

Nobody is saying you shouldn't think it's the weakest in the series, I think so too. All that's being said really is that just because you think it's bad, doesn't mean people who think it's good are wrong or ignorant. I don't understand how others can like it either, but I don't have to.

I have been with the series the whole time, but i didn't play FFX-2 or FFXII and didn't comment on them.I did play FFXI though, but not much.

It is the weakest in the series, and in my opinion the worse example for an ff game.I didn't stop either with FFX, and i disliked it.It took me many years to finaly get into it enough to care to beat it, and then i skipped XII, so i said:Hey i'm going to give the series another chance, so i bought FFXIII and said:I'l test my luck.I am tempted to buy XII, but i'm not sure about it.I also played revenant wings which is the ds remake, and i didn't like it.I think i have more than enough experience with the final fantasy series to have a good grasp of its history of production.We all may agree or disagree on some games, but you cannot deny my knowledge of the series.

Sheechiibii
09-29-2013, 08:40 AM
So...you think the series has gone downhill since the merger, yet you've only actually played one of the main games they've made since? I'm sorry but that just doesn't seem like something you can make an accurate judgement on, if you've played one out of four games. Also, Reverent Wings isn't the a remake of XII, it's the spin-off sequel, like DoC was for FFVII.

Nostalgia gamer
09-29-2013, 12:16 PM
So...you think the series has gone downhill since the merger, yet you've only actually played one of the main games they've made since? I'm sorry but that just doesn't seem like something you can make an accurate judgement on, if you've played one out of four games. Also, Reverent Wings isn't the a remake of XII, it's the spin-off sequel, like DoC was for FFVII.

5 games actually.

FFX was after the merge.
Revenant wings was too
crisis core was as well.
dissidia was as well
Dungeon siege demo
FFXIII-2 demo


Oh shit i forgot a few others on the handhelds.

Chrono trigger ds
FF4 ds
Etrian odyssey.

I played lots of games.I haven't played the world ends with you yet.I'l try it out some time to see what its like.

Sheechiibii
09-29-2013, 12:39 PM
The merger happened in 2003, X was released in 2001, well before the companied merged. X-2 was the first game released after, which you haven't played. I said 'main games' in the series. That would be X-2, XII, XIII and XIII-2 - the numbered titles. You have played one of four in the series since the merger, yet you say the series has gone downhill since? I stand by what I said, I don't think you can make an accurate claim that it's gone downhill when you've only played one of four games.

MrMuta
09-29-2013, 12:45 PM
I won't link to it as it's very long so will feel like a double post. But Vrykolas' post sums the entire situation up perfectly. It is exactly the direction the creators wanted but whether it paid off or not is simply down to you. This open world style of previous games is nothing more than illusion. When you finally get out into the world map in FFVII, where can you go? Kalm and the Chocobo Ranch. Both are places you need to go anyway. Sure by disc 3 the entire world is open, but the exact same is true of chapter 11 in FFXIII. FFXIII in fact has more places for you to roam around. The only thing that is missing is NPC interaction, instead replaced by Cie'th stones.

Sheechiibii
09-29-2013, 01:37 PM
Sure by disc 3 the entire world is open, but the exact same is true of chapter 11 in FFXIII. FFXIII in fact has more places for you to roam around. The only thing that is missing is NPC interaction, instead replaced by Cie'th stones.

That's not true. Nearly all of the locations you go in the game you can never go back to.

MrMuta
09-29-2013, 02:30 PM
That's not true. Nearly all of the locations you go in the game you can never go back to.

You cannot return to the areas of Cocoon from the beginning for storyline reasons. Which reverts us back to the do you want gameplay over storyline question? Sure, they could have just ignored the whole fugitive thing and given you the ability to return and happily roam around Cocoon, but that would have been stupid. Then people wouldn't have moaned about the linearity, they would have moaned about the plot holes. The fact is Pulse is huge and their is plenty for you to do there. The sidequests may be different and not as immersive as previous titles' but they were sidequests nonetheless.

Nostalgia gamer
09-29-2013, 02:40 PM
actually, i believe the decline started before the merge in 1997 with ff7.The series began to become mainstream.Back then it was still making good games, but they had more popularity than ever, and with a taste for it, wanted to spread out more to gain more people to buy, regardless if they have never played a game before.This especially with anime.The big oversized swords started in ff7, and anime hairstyles and the anime style stories and characters.

Sheechiibii
09-29-2013, 02:48 PM
Okay, so say the series went downhill since FFVII, not since the merger if that's what you mean. I personally didn't like VII that much, VIII and X are my favourites in the series, then XII and IX with the rest coming after that. If all the games were like VII and previous, Final Fantasy would definitely not be my favourite game series.

MrMuta: what storyline reasons? Because they're on the run? Because the authorities are searching for them? The exact same thing happened in FFX, and you could still return to all the place you'd been before, you could still go anywhere in the world you wanted, and a few extra places. It worked for X did it not? In fact, in XIII nobody knew what they looked like other than the officials, but in X everyone in Spira knew what Yuna and co looked like. It would not have been a plot hole to allow the player to go where they'd been before, not in the least, all they would have needed was a link to the airship or more of those gates at the end. There is pretty much nothing at all to do on pulse barring the stone missions, it's pretty to look at but that's about it.

Nostalgia gamer
09-29-2013, 03:03 PM
Thing about the 90's is, there were still a lot of great games coming out still.I haven't played etrian odyssey fully yet, but i'm currently playing it and think its a good game, so maybe for all i know, the games i will like will be hand helds.
I was a big fan of parasite eve as well when it came out, and thought it was a great game, but i think i derailed this topic long enough, and cannot keep going off topic.

The topic is about FFXIII and why some people give it so much praise.It really puzzles me why it gets praise for its downfalls.

So far, what i've gathered is that for some, these things i view as flaws, are good things to others, like auto attack and hope's character development and the slow process of developing characters and story, which also puzzles me.The story is pretty simple actually if you think about it.Its explaining in cutscenes how everyone got on the train at the beginning and what lead to those events up to them becoming a l'ecie.Most of those events are revealed in the first few chapters, and nothing too interesting happens after that.We never learn much about hopes mom or why we should care about her.Sera we have a bit more information, like she's lightning's sister, and snow was dating her and lightning at first doesn't approve because she becomes a crystal, and snow was the only person, so that ties together snow and lightning.It seems actually that snow gets quite a bit of action, as he seems to be the second character with most development early on, because you got the hope thing and lightning, and vanille doesn't reveal anything till really late, and sazh has a simple story that could have been interesting.

The issue is of course, i can't begin to care about any of the characters.They don't seem to have much secondary characters.Each character sticks to its arch type personality:

Hope the whining bitch who tries to be strong.
Lightning the tough girl becomes a little more chatty later.
Vanille is always likes elphie smiling
Sazh is always happy and smiling
Snow is mostly just overly confident and gets himself into trouble for being cocky.
Fang is always the same.
I personally feel most of the characters never really change, if not at all.I personally didn't feel the burden of being a l'cie believable at all, because vanille was happy the whole time, and was fang.We hardly know anything about them either, aside from their small backstory which is very short, so it doesn't give you nearly enough to care about them.To me, they all feel like cardboard cut outs.

MrMuta
09-29-2013, 03:05 PM
NG: You just don't seem to be able to fathom that people have different tastes. The fact is whether you admit it or not, you have enjoyed some of the games post FFVI. You wouldn't join a forum just to discuss games pre-1994. You can hate the games all you want, but other people don't. FFVII gets a lot of hate now for some reason, but lots of people love it. And contrary to your beliefs most people hate FFXIII with a passion, but some people still love that too. Everything you are saying hasn't been said before and isn't going to dissuade those who did enjoy it into not enjoying it.

Sheechiibii: Annoyingly enough FFX is the game I haven't played for the longest period, not having played it since it's release. It is next on the list of replays though. So therefore I cannot comment on the exploration or linearity aspects of the game, I can only comment on FFXIII. Due to the geography of Cocoon and lack of an airship (something that was quite annoying) it would simply be too awkward to go all the way back to places you've passed by. Imagine trying to get back to the big frozen lake (is it called Bresha?) from the Archylte Steppe. It would be a nightmare and would take absolutely hours, plus would be pointless anyway.

The fact is most of the mistakes they made with FFXIII, which they even admitted to, they fixed for the sequel. More exploration. More NPC interaction. More classical sidequests (collect so much of X item etc.) So most of this is a moot point. Everyone knows FFXIII was not successful and did not live up to it's predecessors. Some people still enjoy it and some don't, that's just life. There has already been a much improved sequel and the trilogy will be completed soon by a game which I hope sees the improvements continue. People need to just accept it was a failure and move on. There is plenty in FF's future to be excited about.

Nostalgia gamer
09-29-2013, 03:18 PM
FF7 is very overrated, but its not a bad game.It is enjoyable.There are some who exaggerate the shortcomings and others who put it on a pedestal.FF7 gets a lot of hate because of the rabid fanbase and it is put on a pedestal for things that were done in some previous games, while ignoring the holes in the execution, such as how sephiroth became a villain, and because people's favorite characters:Sephiroth and cloud are also over marketed and overrated as they are unjustly put on a pedestal above all other ff games.FFXIII is rightly criticized, but i wonder how much of the FFXIII-2 things i heard are true.I mean i know there are quick time events, because i played the demo, but i heard you had to buy the dlc to see the ending, which is obserd

MrMuta
09-29-2013, 03:27 PM
The fact is FFVII probably is overrated, but it is still a great game. It means so much to many people because it was their first RPG, it introduced them to that genre, forever changing their outlook on gaming. Obviously you are not one of them so you don't understand the hype as much. Which is fair enough. But you're saying things like it's not explained how Sephiroth became a villain? Yes it is. In fact it is almost overly explained in an hour long flashback sequence.

As for Sephiroth and Cloud being over marketed, well you're not going to like the answer to that one. It's because they're popular. They are really popular. Final Fantasy is still quite a niche franchise, but most average gamers know who Cloud and/or Sephiroth is. Ask them about Terra, Locke, Bartz, Cecil etc. they won't have a clue. I can understand why you don't like FFVII or FFXIII. But if you don't understand why myself and others do, well, there isn't much I can say. The facts and opinions are all out there. You either get it or you don't.

Sheechiibii
09-29-2013, 03:44 PM
I disagree with saying "they fixed it in the sequel" as if that makes the original game better. I loved XIII-2, I thought it was a great game, it expanded the world, the characters were interesting and made me like them, the story was good and the gameplay was sweet, and there were so many options. Did it make me like XIII any more than I did before? Not one bit, not even slightly. Fixing things in a sequel makes the sequel good, but it does nothing to make the first game any better than it was before. All it's faults still exist, whether they are in the sequel or not.

MrMuta
09-29-2013, 03:57 PM
I'm not saying it makes the original any better at all. As I have repeatedly said (but everyone seems unable to see) most people don't like FFXIII. It was a massive flop and is closer to being universally hated than any other Final Fantasy title. However NG is saying things like how the series is getting worse and worse since the merger, which I fully disagree with. One blip is not a deterioration. FFXIII wasn't good. But FFXIII-2 was. So my point is that people should be reassured that SE still know how to make a great game. I'm not saying that the sequel being good makes it's predecessor good. I'm saying the fact that XIII-2 was good shows that the errors made in XIII were a one off.

Sheechiibii
09-29-2013, 04:04 PM
Sorry, I thought when you said "this is a moot point" that you were talking about the criticism XIII gets. That's exactly what I was saying earlier in the thread, that XIII might not be a good game, but there are others that are great, and one bad game doesn't make a bad series.

MrMuta
09-29-2013, 04:16 PM
That's fine. No I just mean it's almost accepted as fact now that FFXIII wasn't good, or at least not as good as games that came before it. But considering they've made great games since, there is no reason to believe this is the end for Final Fantasy.

Vrykolas
09-29-2013, 08:49 PM
Sheechiibii:
You are not on the run in FFX - for most of the game you are on the Pilgrimage and are actually considered honored visitors and heroes. There is a brief time when you are declared enemies by Seymour, but that passes very quickly. Also, not all lands attribute any authority to Bevelle and the Church of Yevon (like the Al-Bhed), so they could care less that you are enemies of that state.

And besides, in FF10 you aren't infected with a life threatening virus (so to speak) that is going to kill you unless you act. They don't have time to be spending on side stuff, because their brands could progress at any moment. And with serah and Dajh captured, they are hardly free to go messing about, are they? Plus, Cocoon is vastly more technologically advanced than Spira (which is a purposefully non tech reliant society), and the Sanctum is a much more organized and pervasive military force than Yevon. The Sanctum have authority over *all* of Cocoon, unlike Yevon which has a smaller sphere of inluence over Spira, and their cutting edge technology and resources means that the FF13's party's faces and details can be sent to every region and force instantly. This therefore limits and constricts the FF13's party's movements an infinite amount more than the FFx party had to contend with. Add in that the public actively support hunting down L'Cie and just want a quiet life by making sure they get captured.

So we can see why it makes no sense to put in side missions in the main story while they are on Cocoon. When they reach Pulse, the pressure is off slightly and the team have both grown together and come to accept that they might die (and indeed very likely *will* die). By then, they've resolved to live their lives as best they can and not be constantly fretting, so they're willing to go along with Snow's request to help the Cieth on Pulse.

There is a reason for why FF13 works as it does. You may not like it (and you're certainly not alone in that), but they didn't make it this way 'just because'. The guys at Square Enix didn't sit round a table and say 'Hey guys, check this idea - we won't put in any side quests until 25+ hours in... for no reason! How about that for an idea?!' Because anyone saying it like that would be scissor kicked in half by his superiors. The writer clearly came up with his vision and sold them on the various mechanics to make that vision happen. Similarly he didn't say 'I've got a great idea - we won't let them pick their party members, or choose who to play as until the last chapters of the game. Am I brilliant or what?!'

Because that would be like someone pitching a FPS and saying 'Yeah, we're not going to let them swap weapons or reload for the first 30 hours - we think it'll be a real popular move...' You'd never get out of the room alive, after a pitch like that.

It happened this way because the guy had a vision of what he wanted to do, and a specific way of telling that story. And in risk averse times, I applaud him for at least trying something different. It doesn't make that game any more user friendly, and it pissed a lot of people off who were expecting a different experience than they got. But I'm always on the lookout for something out of the ordinary, and this certainly wasn't the way I thought a new FF game would be made. I mean, I liked it anyway, but the 'I can't believe Square actually agreed to let him do it like this' factor, was a source of unexpected pleasure to me.

Its not for everyone, and that's understandable. But some people do like it (and hey, the Japs loved it too, so maybe I should change my name to Vrykolas-san...)

Olde
09-29-2013, 11:39 PM
There is a reason for why FF13 works as it does. You may not like it (and you're certainly not alone in that), but they didn't make it this way 'just because'. The guys at Square Enix didn't sit round a table and say 'Hey guys, check this idea - we won't put in any side quests until 25+ hours in... for no reason! How about that for an idea?!' Because anyone saying it like that would be scissor kicked in half by his superiors. The writer clearly came up with his vision and sold them on the various mechanics to make that vision happen. Similarly he didn't say 'I've got a great idea - we won't let them pick their party members, or choose who to play as until the last chapters of the game. Am I brilliant or what?!'

You seem to be saying that the artistic vision came first, which was followed by the gameplay/process, but I have my doubts. I remember FFXII receiving criticism for its MMO style of open-world exploration, as the player is able to backtrack anywhere after a relatively short time. It also had a ton of side quests, and I'm not saying they were great, but there were a ton of them. This was somewhat similar to FFX-2, the majority of which consisted in side content. So I think that director Toriyama and producer Kitase really took to heart the criticism that was aimed at the previous installments' superfluity of side content. For that reason, they streamlined the plot and gameplay, eliminated towns and shops, and directed it as an escape story. It was probably relatively linear in concept from the start. So I have to disagree with you when you say that nobody pitched this as a game that was intended to be as narrow as it was.

Now, you're talking about the intensely restrictive aspects, and of course, the way you put it nobody would accept these drawbacks. But you're confusing the issue: a streamlined, linear, narrative-driven story is not the same thing as one in which the side quests don't occur for 25+ hours (and really, side quests? There's only one, monster hunting, because although there are multiple hunts, the quests are all identical: go here and kill the monsters). You can have a game that tells a story in a streamlined way but that also makes the player feel like they're in control.

And this speaks to why gameplay is so important to me: the player should feel like he or she has some reason to be there. If I can beat the game while watching a TV show, with the controller in my hands as I repeatedly tap the X button and hold the analog stick forward, then there's no reason for me to be there. I might as well watch the game beat the enemies for me. Because the combat and the game map are the places where the player feels in control of the character and the story. If the only way to go is forward, then the player doesn't have any input, and I might as well not be there. The same thing goes for combat. If the only thing to do in combat is tap the X button, I might as well not be there.

It's the exact same thing with the story. If 80% of the game is having the characters aimlessly wander around hallways and talk about the same things over and over again, that doesn't invest the player with the story. Now, the game can be open-world or linear-as-hell and still captivate the player, and I'm not saying that linear = bad. Most stories are told in a linear order. But in my opinion FF13 really doesn't do anything for investing the player in what's going on, as it throws them into a world without any background or context and eliminates any free will or choice that the player might want to exercise. The linearity crosses the line from "focused" to "crippling." You're literally running down a hallway to watch the next cutscene to get to the next hallway to get to the next cutscene ad infinitum. And if that's all there is, why not just make it a movie? Vrykolas, even with all your defense that this is an artistic creation and that linearity is the best way to achieve its intended aim, even you have to admit that the linearity serves only for its detriment. You can have an exciting, enjoyable chase plot, and I'm not saying that FF13 couldn't ever work. It definitely could have been much better, and it definitely had potential. But the execution kills it. The linearity in conception isn't the problem, it's the execution.

I couldn't finish the game; I found it unbearable. I did, however, watch the rest of the game's cutscenes on YouTube, which led me to the conclusion that it works much better as a movie than as a game. It really should have been a movie; I know it's too long, and Final Fantasy movies fail as a rule, but that's actually this story's ideal medium. And they could have released it in installments, or put it under a different title than Final Fantasy. But they knew that the video game market is where the big bucks are, so they made it a video game. And this is what happens when you interrupt a movie with segments where you push the characters forward: not a good game.

Nostalgia gamer
09-30-2013, 04:49 AM
FF7 is very overrated, but this topic is about FFXIII, so i won't answer to that.What i will say, is that FFXIII,although that the graphics look good, you can't really interact with the world, so immersion is non existent.You might as well have an empty cube.Sure it looks pretty and the enemies are well designed, but i have a feeling that the graphics and characters graphics came before the story.

Sheechiibii
09-30-2013, 04:57 AM
Sheechiibii:
You are not on the run in FFX - for most of the game you are on the Pilgrimage and are actually considered honored visitors and heroes. There is a brief time when you are declared enemies by Seymour, but that passes very quickly. Also, not all lands attribute any authority to Bevelle and the Church of Yevon (like the Al-Bhed), so they could care less that you are enemies of that state.

And besides, in FF10 you aren't infected with a life threatening virus (so to speak) that is going to kill you unless you act. They don't have time to be spending on side stuff, because their brands could progress at any moment. And with serah and Dajh captured, they are hardly free to go messing about, are they? Plus, Cocoon is vastly more technologically advanced than Spira (which is a purposefully non tech reliant society), and the Sanctum is a much more organized and pervasive military force than Yevon. The Sanctum have authority over *all* of Cocoon, unlike Yevon which has a smaller sphere of inluence over Spira, and their cutting edge technology and resources means that the FF13's party's faces and details can be sent to every region and force instantly. This therefore limits and constricts the FF13's party's movements an infinite amount more than the FFx party had to contend with. Add in that the public actively support hunting down L'Cie and just want a quiet life by making sure they get captured.

So we can see why it makes no sense to put in side missions in the main story while they are on Cocoon. When they reach Pulse, the pressure is off slightly and the team have both grown together and come to accept that they might die (and indeed very likely *will* die). By then, they've resolved to live their lives as best they can and not be constantly fretting, so they're willing to go along with Snow's request to help the Cieth on Pulse.

After the capture in Bevelle you're an enemy for the rest of the game. You can still go pretty much anywhere, it just means fighting monks etc. You say they don't have time to do any side stuff, but if that was truely the case then the cieth stones wouldn't be included either. There's either a reason for no side missions or there isn't. I wasn't saying there should be side missions while you're on cocoon, I said you should have had the freedom to go back to places you'd been before and discover new things, like you can do in pretty much every other game in this series. Yevon was not a smaller influence on Spira, they were in complete control. The only place they weren't in control was in the desert, which gets completely destroyed by these people you seem to be trying to say don't have the technology to be a threat. So either you can go places that are under the control of Yevon, or you can hang around in the desert or other completely deserted places.

MrMuta
09-30-2013, 10:37 AM
Olde: I know it's slightly nitpicky, but there is actually the sidequest where you put Bhakti back together. I know it's hardly a broad range, but there is one or two differences from go here and kill that. Also as much as I understand your point about it being overly simplified, it still comes down to a matter of taste. You're saying that if your only options are to go forward and press X then it is not worth playing, but that is just your opinion. I still enjoy playing Super Mario which is just go forward and jump, I enjoyed playing Sonic which was just go forward and jump. I understand it is a big departure from the series' previous style, but it is still one that will have appealed to some people. For every person who found it too boring and easy, there would be someone who had previously found FF games too complicated and would have enjoyed it.

NG: I don't understand your point as you were the one who brought up FFVII, not me. The fact is you clearly have a problem with FFVII and FFXIII and that's fine, just don't expect everyone to agree with you. Even if FFXIII was the worst game in history, there would still be someone who would like it. Just like there are people who like crappy movies. Everyone's taste is different.

Nostalgia gamer
09-30-2013, 11:26 AM
Olde: I know it's slightly nitpicky, but there is actually the sidequest where you put Bhakti back together. I know it's hardly a broad range, but there is one or two differences from go here and kill that. Also as much as I understand your point about it being overly simplified, it still comes down to a matter of taste. You're saying that if your only options are to go forward and press X then it is not worth playing, but that is just your opinion. I still enjoy playing Super Mario which is just go forward and jump, I enjoyed playing Sonic which was just go forward and jump. I understand it is a big departure from the series' previous style, but it is still one that will have appealed to some people. For every person who found it too boring and easy, there would be someone who had previously found FF games too complicated and would have enjoyed it.

NG: I don't understand your point as you were the one who brought up FFVII, not me. The fact is you clearly have a problem with FFVII and FFXIII and that's fine, just don't expect everyone to agree with you. Even if FFXIII was the worst game in history, there would still be someone who would like it. Just like there are people who like crappy movies. Everyone's taste is different.

I know i did, but as an example.I also talk about FFVIII and FFX as well.
I don't talk much about ff4 though, because i figure its been talked about a lot already.Some crappy movies are still entertaining, because they are so bad.An example of a game for me like this, is FFVIII.It is so damn cheesy, that i actually replay it just to laugh at the cheesy scenes and i get entertainment out of it more than the gameplay itself.FFVIII is one of those games i play just to watch the videos.There are probably people out there though who will disagree with me, although at least i get entertainment out of it.You get what you put into the game.I honestly tried to like FFXIII.If they enjoy it, fine, but don't expect me to agree on it being better than the previous games.

I also want to comment on something about XIII-2 that bothers me:The quick time events.

Also:I didn't know there was anymore quests other than the 60 fetch quests.Where do you get the quest?

MrMuta
09-30-2013, 11:42 AM
No one is expecting to you to like it. You're the one who has a problem with people who like the game and "don't understand" how they can. I don't know what else there is to say as myself and others have put forward the points for possible reasons for liking the game. Nobody is saying they are reasons for you to like it, we are giving reasons others like it

The quick time events were for people who complained about the battle system being too basic and boring.

And I don't know what fetch quests are, sorry.

Vrykolas
09-30-2013, 08:17 PM
Olde:
You missed my point I think. I was pointing out that this was the way they chose to do it - I didn't say that I thought it was the best way to do it. In fact I'm pretty sure I said I thought it *wasn't* the best way, precisely because it was so gamer unfriendly and more like a movie than a game. I did say that I found it interesting, and could enjoy it on those terms, because I just like something that is out of the ordinary, and at least in terms of artistic vision, this is a viable and interesting way to do it. Purely in an academic 'Oh, so that's how you're doing it' kind of way.

But as I also said, it doesn't make it easier to play, nor was it particularly appropriate for a game which was anticipated by such a large audience, who expected something very different. I can respect and be approving of a game that doesn't work in the usual way, because that's the kind of thing I like. But I was very clear that I thought this kind of approach in this game was almost certainly not the correct one. That whilst it interests me, due to my lack of interest in gameplay and my 'Ah, I've seen all this before - show me something NEW!' kind of attitude, I fully realize that there is a time and place for everything. This game, the Final Fantasy title, it implies a certain experience that this game had no interest in delivering, certainly not in the way that most would be expecting it to.

I'm always pleased when something defied my expectations and is completely different. I may not always like the product, but I like the surprise, because we have so few of those in the industry now. In this case, I *did* like the product, and I very much liked the surprise. So it was win-win for me. And we'll have to agree to disagree on the 'Did they make the plot to match the gameplay'. I suggest to you that a desire for a more contained story driven experience than FF12 (at least at first), gave rise to the director's initial vision. There is simply no way that the game would be made in this kind of user unfriendly way (whatever you think of them, its suicidal to do even one of such things like no exp for the first 2 levels, no party select until 20 hours in, no choice of which character to play, no side quests etc etc).

There is literally no chance at all IMO, that they thought all that was the best idea gameplay wise and molded the story to fit that. It was the other way around. I have no proof obviously, seeing as how I don't work for Square, but other than 'Everyone went temporarily insane' there's just no way they thought those gameplay decisions were so amazing that they needed an appropriate story to support them. Whereas the idea of a game whose gameplay reacts to and develops based on the story and characters, whose world is molded to tell the story of the narrative through your interaction (or forced non-interaction, followed by massive freedom of interaction) makes perfect sense.

Its still a bizarre thing to do, and again its a case of self indulgent arthouse noodling, that was packaged in a summer blockbuster box and sold to people in a way that is ethically rather dubious (because *nobody* thought they were getting a game like this when they bought it). The best example I can give (if you go back this far) is when Radiohead released Kid A. Until then, they were a good but obviously alternative indie rock group, and were massive because of that. So when their new album came out, everyone rushed to buy it... and found it was some kind of ultra bizarre, highly experimental, completely non commercial friendly electronica, with only about 1 and a half proper actual songs.

But before we get lost in exploring the intricacies of experimental music, and start talking about Fourtet and the let, I'll wrap this up by simply saying that this thread is about 'Why does anyone likes this game?' I have never defended the game as something that people should like, or that people are wrong not to like. If you look, I've been very clear about that. I said why *I* liked it.



Sheechiibii
They are being hunted everywhere on Cocoon - they aren't on Pulse. Surely you can see the difference? On Cocoon, they are literally being hunted with every step. What side quests would be possible? 'Hey, aren't you the guys from the news who are dangerous Pulse monsters come to infect and kill us all? Could you find 10 Phoenix Downs for me?'

Not very likely, no?

Plus, the revelation that they have the brands is fresh. Like anyone who is told they have a terminal illness, there is period where they must adjust, as the natural reaction is to think 'I could die at any time from this thing?' Until you realize that even if that is the case, you have to live your life. Away from the bustle of the people chasing them, on a Planet where nobody knows who they are, they have time to come with terms with their situation and accept that they just have to try and go on like normal - because what other choice is there? Run at full speed everywhere, to save every last second? The threat to immediate wellbeing is lessened on Pulse, making it more of a case of where their minds are at. That is what informs their decisions to help the Cieth.



As to FFX, again its not as black and white as you're painting it. Yevon's control is more an honorific than an actual reality. Just because many of the regions are signed up in principle, doesn't mean that the Yevon leadership and forces have immediate and total control everywhere. Its a low tech society, with much more primitive communication and transport. Yevon can't desseminate the word about the group to everywhere at the touch of a button (most places just flat out either don't know or don't care). With no media screens blasting their images to all regions (do they think get much TV and radio on Mt Gagazet?!) They don't have a large and organized air force to scour the land like the Sanctum, and unlike FF13 where fear of Pulse L'Cie is absolute, their accusations against Yuna and co are much harder for the people to swallow (basically everyone who meets Yuna loves her as their Summoner - so the people take no notice of the charges).

Plus Seymour is basically acting on his own authority. You say you are enemies of them for the rest of the game, but that doesn't really manifest. Its clear that it is only him and his supporters that are your enemy. The various regions and even the other Maesters don't share his views. He's forced to recruit the rest of the Guado to see his plans through, because he knows he won't get the support from Yevon.

In FF13, the Sanctum and the public are of one mind - the L'Cie need to found, captured or killed. The Sanctum have ground and air forces, with the most advanced military and information technology that money can buy, all devoted to finding and stopping them. They have the public on their side, and despite divisions between PSICOM and the Guardian Corps, they still both believe the L'Cie need to be stopped. That is a far greater threat than the FFX team face - where the wishes of the leadership, and their ability to make it happen on the ground are nothing like absolute. Their reach exceeds their grasp to coin an old phrase. Short of sending troops and agents to each specific area, they have no practical or precise control over any region outside of Bevelle (and even if they have soldiers in a place, it doesn't follow they have the means to contact them, give the vital details of the party, and whip up public support to aid in the search).

So the suggestion that there could be side quests on Cocoon makes no sense to me at all. The whole place is on alert, of one mind, dedicated to finding and capturing/killing them. There is nowhere they can go that can't be instantly notified and brought up to speed. They can be chased and overtaken wherever they choose to go, and once word gets out on the news, they literally aren't safe anywhere. Whereas in FFX, you can go somewhere and most people still won't know you from Adam. And even if they do, you have Yuna and Auron with you, who are celebrities in their own ways.

Look at it this way - Robin Hood and his Merry Men evaded the Sheriff of Nottingham by just hiding in a wood. In those times, that was enough to be safe. But if they tried doing it these days, they'd be facing helicopters with infrared scanners, satellite imagery, search teams could be called in from all regions, and communicate and co-ordinate instantly with each other. So whilst at first glance the situations of the party from FFX and FFXIII may seem similar, its obvious that they aren't at all.

Olde
09-30-2013, 08:52 PM
I know it's slightly nitpicky, but there is actually the sidequest where you put Bhakti back together. I know it's hardly a broad range, but there is one or two differences from go here and kill that.

Okay, two. Two kinds of sidequests in the place where FF13 supposedly "opens up." And tell me, is that really so different from 'go here, kill this'? It's a fetch quest, it boils down to going someplace and picking something up. Does that really count as a different quest from a mark quest? And in any case, what do you accomplish? You get a robot that rewards you for the number of steps you take (wow) and for owning every item, accessory, and weapon in the game. It that's not laziness, I don't know what is. At least FF12 had lots of different things to get in the Sky Pirate's Den.


Also as much as I understand your point about it being overly simplified, it still comes down to a matter of taste. You're saying that if your only options are to go forward and press X then it is not worth playing, but that is just your opinion. I still enjoy playing Super Mario which is just go forward and jump, I enjoyed playing Sonic which was just go forward and jump. I understand it is a big departure from the series' previous style, but it is still one that will have appealed to some people. For every person who found it too boring and easy, there would be someone who had previously found FF games too complicated and would have enjoyed it.

I too enjoy Super Mario and Sonic games. There's a difference between those games, though. You're not really supposed to think about where Sonic and Mario are. The environments are just backdrops. You don't expect to be able to explore the Mushroom Kingdom in Super Mario Bros. In FF13, you're playing a (supposedly) human character who lives in a supposedly real environment that is isn't just theoretically an environment, but an actual place that could be explored. The environment shouldn't be a mere backdrop in a Final Fantasy game, because, well, the story is trying to be immersive, so why shouldn't the environment be? Furthermore, there's actual challenge in the level design of Mario and Sonic. The levels are different, memorable, and require some skill to get through; it's not just a corridor with pretty wallpaper. There are obstacles in the way that you have to navigate around and interact with. Because of that, I wouldn't say those games are just about going forward to the end. That's like saying The Odyssey is about a guy coming home. Whoopdie-shit, why make a story about that? Because there's a ton of obstacles in the way; Odysseus has to overcome trials of the gods to come back to Ithaca. The same principle holds true with Sonic and Mario; they don't just go down a linear corridor to the end. Where would the fun be in that?

Which gets me to FF13. First of all, there aren't any physical obstacles in FF13. There's no thinking involved like there is with Mario and Sonic. I'm not saying those are deep intellectual games, but in FF13 you don't even have to press a button to jump over wreckage or pits. You literally just follow a hallway and your characters jump over or climb anything in their way when you approach. Which means there are zero environmental obstacles. So what is in the characters' way? Battles. Tedious, boring, easily won battles that, for the majority of the time, only require you to be conscious enough to mash the X button and to be not brain-dead enough to know when to switch paradigms. Really, there just isn't a lot strategy (I will say, however, that the battle system is borderline crippled, but that's another story, and I've spewed my hate about that before). That gives us no environmental obstacles and very little battle challenge.

So when you say FF13 is like Mario or Sonic, I can't agree. It's nothing like them. The gameplay is completely different; for instance, there are actually things to be pay attention to in Mario and Sonic. Here's another side of it: you never really explore the backstories of Mario or Sonic. Mario is a plumber whose mission is to rescue Princess Peach and defeat Bowser. Mario doesn't have a sister who's marrying some guy he doesn't like who ends up getting her turned into a ticking time-bomb who has to complete a mission that's totally unclear to her. Final Fantasy has operatic storylines. You're supposed to think about, appreciate, connect with, and care about the characters, their interactions, developments, motives, etc. There's a level of depth to them (well, there's supposed to be, anyway). Mario's only lines are "Whoo-hoo!" and "It's-a-me! Mario!" Mario is an accessible game that's fun to play. So it's excusable that there's less world interaction. Linear, yes. Fun, hell yes. Final Fantasy's story calls for immersion. If Toriyama and Kitase want me to take their story seriously, I'm willing to do that if it's compelling, if it makes sense, and if it's immersive. And to me it fails on all three counts.

And look, I'm not saying people shouldn't like this game. What do I care if someone thinks that FF13 is the greatest thing since sliced bread? I'm just telling you why it makes much more sense for this to have been a movie, not a video game.


They are being hunted everywhere on Cocoon - they aren't on Pulse. Surely you can see the difference? On Cocoon, they are literally being hunted with every step. What side quests would be possible? 'Hey, aren't you the guys from the news who are dangerous Pulse monsters come to infect and kill us all? Could you find 10 Phoenix Downs for me?'

Not very likely, no?

So the suggestion that there could be side quests on Cocoon makes no sense to me at all. The whole place is on alert, of one mind, dedicated to finding and capturing/killing them. There is nowhere they can go that can't be instantly notified and brought up to speed. They can be chased and overtaken wherever they choose to go, and once word gets out on the news, they literally aren't safe anywhere.

I'm not saying they should be doing favors for a PSICOM member or do a fetch quest for someone who wants them out of Cocoon as soon as humanly possible. But remember how many places you go to that aren't populated at all: Lake Bresha, Vile Peaks, Gapra Whitewood, Sunleth Waterscape, etc. Why couldn't there be dissenters (maybe even L'Cie themselves?) who don't care for the edicts of Eden? Or maybe there could be people who don't have access to technology for some reason or another and who welcome the party with hospitality. Just because they're on the run doesn't mean they automatically can't talk to anyone during the course of the rest of the game.

Oh, and by the way, nobody could recognize Sazh and Vanille as L'Cie in Nautilus because they weren't broadcasted on TV. So they could have done any number of side quests there. It had the potential for minigames and side quests (no, I'm not counting that stupid chocobo thing you have to do) and instead was a huge let-down. Again, I'm not saying break the atmosphere completely and make Sazh and Vanille lose their minds with wack-a-mole or whatever. But basically all they do in Nautilus is mope around. I get it, they're depressed. But the game is depressing me by its complete neglect for anything fun.

Vrykolas
09-30-2013, 09:31 PM
But would you talk to people, on the off-chance that they will support you? If you're on the run, then you avoid contact, because you know that everyone could be getting your info over the wires at any minute? The whole basis of that society is that L'Cie are feared, and Pulse is a terrible threat. The populace is already on edge because of the Euride Gorge terrorist attack, and the Purge at Bodhum - they are in no mood for hearing what L'Cie have to say for themselves. Anyone who is caught associating with L'Cie is purged.

That doesn't mean that nobody is willing to help. Hope's dad berates the party for thinking he would turn on his son for any reason, no matter what the news tells him. And when they decide to return, they think 'Look, maybe people will turn on us, but if we try to make our case, then maybe someone will listen'. And through their actions helping people during the 'Pulse INvasion', they are able to start changing people's attitudes (including Rosch of all people). But at the start of the game, this is all theory - even if you thought some people might help you, how would you know who to trust and whether it was safe to talk to someone? This has *just* happened to them, they have just been saddled with a death sentence, and given a new role as terrorists and enemies of the state. Their loved ones are being held captive, and they have people who on right on their heels after their blood.

This is not the time to be playing basketball on the Gold Saucer or collecting issues of Occult Fan magazine, I would suggest.

As for Sazh and Vanille at Nautillus, that is the lowest point that both characters reach - they go to the City intending to forget their troubles, but their conversation just before they board makes it obvious that this won't be possible. Vanille is already planning to leave Sazh and try to find Fang before the end comes. Sazh has already made up his mind to turn himself in to PSICOM, so he can see his son again, before he dies.

That would be the absolute most inappropriate time to give you a bunch of side missions! What you're saying is not wrong - that having them mope around is not fun for the gamer. But it *is* appropriate. The game is making the right decisions artistically, to tell the story, but it is absolutely making the wrong decisions to satisfy a gamer. Which has been both out points - we agree on this. But you see that as proof that the game is wrong to do this, and should be 'more of an actual game', whereas I'm perfectly happy to accept it as a piece of art and take it on those terms. I agree its the wrong thing to do in terms of making a game, of making something that people are supposed to play and want to interact with.

And I fully accept why people are disappointed. But I can only speak for myself, and though I know this is all wrong with my head, I love how different an experience it is, and the way its is telling its story, with my heart. All the arguments of 'But its not a game!' (at least at this point - it is later on), pale next to the fact (in my case) that I like it. If I'm getting an experience I like, that I find fascinating in the way it is presented, then I couldn't care less if it resembles a game, a movie or whatever. The game eventually opened out, so I could also enjoy it in gameplay terms. But I was so into the experience that I perfectly happy to go along with the restrictions and artistic decisions up to that point.

Because it made sense to me - if they'd put in these kinds of low interaction, linear corridors and severely restricted features until the later stages, for no reason that was supported by the narrative, then damn right I would have had a problem! But it did have a narrative basis to do these things, and it sold me on its way of doing things. So when I finally did see the team grow together and reunite as a proper team in Chapter 9, I cheered when the team select unlocked, because it made perfect sense for it to do so at that point. The same when I reached Pulse and you saw those huge sweeping vista as you arrived, and when you first enter the main area, and see how *huge* it is, with those massive adamantoises stomping past, and Titan looming in the background. I literally spent ages just running about, cackling to myself with wild abandon at the freedom I felt.

I know, I know... 'What an arty sap this guy is!' I hear you cry (amongst other things - but is that kind of language really appropriate in a family forum? :D.)

But that's how I felt. You just don't see companies taking risks like this for the sake of art anymore. So they have my mark for doing it.

Olde
09-30-2013, 11:01 PM
But I was so into the experience...it sold me on its way of doing things.

This is what it comes down to. It didn't sell me on it. I completely understand why you agree with the points made for the story. It's just that I personally was not sold. They didn't succeed in convincing me to sacrifice the elements of gameplay that I felt were essential in order to see how the story played out.

In regard to your first point, there was technically no good time to play minigames during the course of the game, not ever. Even on Gran Pulse, the party was closer than ever to turning into Cie'th, so they should have just stuck to finishing their focus asap. But I want to suggest this scenario; it's a hyperbole, but bear with me: you're playing a guy running down a narrow, seemingly endless hallway, being pursued by police. If you stop to do anything, you're caught. All you have to do is hold the analog stick forward for 25 hours, after which time the hallway gets slightly wider so you can move left and right, but you still have to move forward. After another 10 hours, the police give up and you win. Your argument that the game's restrictions match the artistic vision is like that to me. Sure, it makes sense to not do minigames when you're a fugitive, but, in my very humble and personal opinion, a good game that does not make. The restrictions felt artificial to me, like they preceded the conception of the story and that they only existed to hinder your independence and autonomy. By the way, and this is a minor point, I didn't think that when it opened up, you were actually given much more freedom. There's still nobody to talk to (Cie'th stones just give you missions). It's very isolated even with all the monsters roaming around, and you don't get a sense of how other people see the world, except as raging mad lunatics on a witch hunt in Cocoon. I didn't like that.

Sheechiibii
10-01-2013, 04:14 AM
Sorry, but pretty much all the FF games are on a strict time limit story-wise. It's never a good time for the party to go do side games or quests. Was it a good time in VIII when an evil sorceress was going to destroy the world if she found Ellone before you defeated her? Was it a good time in IX when an evil alien was going to take over the world and kill everyone on it if you didn't stop him in time? Is it inappropriate to go do side missions while these things are happening? Yep, probably, but we can choose to do them anyway. XIII is the only one that hasn't let you do anything other than the main storyline. How are you supposed to care about this world and the people in it when you have no interaction at all with them?

Nostalgia gamer
10-01-2013, 06:39 AM
Sorry, but pretty much all the FF games are on a strict time limit story-wise. It's never a good time for the party to go do side games or quests. Was it a good time in VIII when an evil sorceress was going to destroy the world if she found Ellone before you defeated her? Was it a good time in IX when an evil alien was going to take over the world and kill everyone on it if you didn't stop him in time? Is it inappropriate to go do side missions while these things are happening? Yep, probably, but we can choose to do them anyway. XIII is the only one that hasn't let you do anything other than the main storyline. How are you supposed to care about this world and the people in it when you have no interaction at all with them?

There is another kind of strict limitation:Creating your own character and choosing your dialogue to choose the outcome and your character's personality.Jrpgs usually don't to this either.You know what i mean.Is there a jrpg where you can choose what kind of person you are? only thing that had multiple paths in terms of endings i've seen, are in other genres within japanese game designs.

Sheechiibii
10-01-2013, 06:53 AM
I like games that don't let you create your own character or choose their dialogue, I much prefer them over games where you choose who your character is and what they look like. I prefer a great story with great characters over the ability to have options in conversations. I like characters that I can get to know and love, not blank canvases.

MrMuta
10-01-2013, 08:31 AM
I'm with Vrykolas. I understand why they did the things they did and felt that it helped the storyline, which is often ultimately the biggest selling point of a Final Fantasy. Would people still have been moved by FFVII as much if Aeris didn't die? Not really. Would they have still played it if you didn't get to ride a motorbike? Probably. I can understand other people's views to a degree at what they felt was wrong with the game, but a lot of these problems are caused by your own pre-conceived notions. Where in the development period did they say there would be an abundance of towns or a wide variety of side quests? They didn't. You simply assumed so, just because some of the predecessors did. Final Fantasy isn't like most series, they aren't all linked or follow any continuity, they are all individual.

If you chose to assume that certain aspects would be in the game even with no evidence and no word from the developers that it would be, then that is your own fault. I wouldn't buy a Tomb Raider game then complain that I wasn't allowed to roam around her mansion or swim in her pool just because I was able to in a game made fifteen years ago.

Sheechiibii
10-01-2013, 09:12 AM
I didn't assume or expect anything from the game, other than thinking it would be enjoyable. I didn't assume there'd be heaps of towns etc, and to be honest that's not even a big factor for me. It's everything added together that makes the game so horrible. It's not that there are no towns. It's that there are no towns, no npcs, no sidequests, no world to explore, no hidden locations, lack of variation for character growth, weapons development, battle style, no likeable characters, a story they didn't make me care about. Basically, it had absolutely nothing going for it, and I think whenever someone buys a game, they buy it because they expect it to have at least something going for it.

Nostalgia gamer
10-01-2013, 09:21 AM
I'm with Vrykolas. I understand why they did the things they did and felt that it helped the storyline, which is often ultimately the biggest selling point of a Final Fantasy. Would people still have been moved by FFVII as much if Aeris didn't die? Not really. Would they have still played it if you didn't get to ride a motorbike? Probably. I can understand other people's views to a degree at what they felt was wrong with the game, but a lot of these problems are caused by your own pre-conceived notions. Where in the development period did they say there would be an abundance of towns or a wide variety of side quests? They didn't. You simply assumed so, just because some of the predecessors did. Final Fantasy isn't like most series, they aren't all linked or follow any continuity, they are all individual.

If you chose to assume that certain aspects would be in the game even with no evidence and no word from the developers that it would be, then that is your own fault. I wouldn't buy a Tomb Raider game then complain that I wasn't allowed to roam around her mansion or swim in her pool just because I was able to in a game made fifteen years ago.

1:Someone being moved or not by aeris death has nothing to do with FFXIII.She hardly had the relation that tifa had with cloud.
2:You are blaming him because of other people's opinions? what that makes no sense.So you are saying others hate FFXIII because of him?
3:Good games try to add more things, not take them out.If you take out more than you add new things, that is a bad thing.Yes i am defending vrykolas on this.
4:Having gameplay has nothing to do with continuity, because it is something individual series add to make their series different from the rest and keep it interesting and fresh.If you don't give people a reason to replay your game, nobody will want to.On the other hand, other games add a ton of stuff which adds replay value.
5:What you are saying about the mansion and being able to explore the map is apples and oranges.Some games take place in different areas, and some amount of linearity in platform games and shooters is usually expected, but less so in rpgs.

Some games simply sacrifice too much gameplay, and the story ends up not being worth it.FFX/FFXIII

How do i know this? because i played it and experience it myself.And because of the complaints it gets about its story.I think creating characters with real problems and real struggles really adds to the immersion.It also helps to have some characters with some likeable qualities.It gets really old if characters bitch all the time and don't do anything else, and you don't get new gameplay features for your sacrifice.So far, i haven't found a game story that comes even close to rivaling lord of the rings books or the lovecraft books.The reason also it wouldn't work, is because you have to balance gameplay and story, and all text wouldn't work in a videogame very well.Its not a novel.Balance is the best type of games.Same goes for movies.A videogame isn't the same type of media, so it won't work well.Cutscenes are a supplement to the story to add immersion to the story.Cutscenes aren't supposed to be the only thing in a videogame.

MrMuta
10-01-2013, 09:24 AM
I didn't assume or expect anything from the game, other than thinking it would be enjoyable. I didn't assume there'd be heaps of towns etc, and to be honest that's not even a big factor for me. It's everything added together that makes the game so horrible. It's not that there are no towns. It's that there are no towns, no npcs, no sidequests, no world to explore, no hidden locations, lack of variation for character growth, weapons development, battle style, no likeable characters, a story they didn't make me care about. Basically, it had absolutely nothing going for it, and I think whenever someone buys a game, they buy it because they expect it to have at least something going for it.

Have you even played the game? Because it certainly doesn't sound like it. It has more weapons and weapon development than any other non-online Final Fantasy, it has a huge world to explore on Pulse and there are plenty of places you don't have to go to, which is what I assume is meant by "hidden locations." As for the other points. Likeable characters and you not caring about the story is just your own opinion. I enjoyed the story and as annoying as I found Hope and Snow to be at the beginning, I grew to like all the characters (especially Vanille) by the time the game finished.

It's fine for you to have an opinion as each of us on here all do, but don't try and pass off your opinion as fact.

EDIT: To NG, sorry I can't even understand what you're saying. Not trying to be awkward but I just really don't know what you're on about.

Nostalgia gamer
10-01-2013, 09:41 AM
I'm responding to what you said to vrykolas, because it makes no sense.

Sheechiibii
10-01-2013, 09:47 AM
I've played it twice. The first time I played it all the second time I couldn't stand to play even half of it. The weapons development consists of keeping the first weapon you get and upgrading it whenever you have the parts. That's not variety. It has no world to explore. It has corridors with pretty pictures on the walls and a field. Seeing pretty graphics of a world is not the same as having that world to explore. Yes, it's my opinion, I never said it was anything other than that. Where did I ever say my opinion was fact? But to say the reason I disliked it is my own fault for expecting too much? What? For expecting something other than garbage? Yeah no. The game is what it is, some people will like that and others won't, and if someone doesn't like it, that's not their fault for expecting too much.

MrMuta
10-01-2013, 10:03 AM
NG: What I said makes no sense? Let's start with the fact you've responded in numbered form, even though my point was made in numbered form, so that makes no sense. You don't use spaces or structure sentences so I can't even read it which makes it even harder, but I will try and discern what you're saying.

1. My references to FFVII were merely a comparison, I never said there was a direct link. Like when you referenced Cloud and Sephiroth remember? Remember when you refused to be drawn on it anymore because I proved you wrong?

2. Blaming who? Maybe try reading again, there's no blame in there.

3. So you think a great game would be something which just adds and adds and adds. Well that's just moronic. You can't have every aspect of every game in one single title, it would makes things overly complex and confusing.

4. I really have no idea what you mean by this one. However I've replayed it. I enjoyed it, you didn't. Deal with it.

5. Not at all. You expected something out of the game that was never promised. Square-Enix never said the title would have an open world, lots of sidequests, or lots of towns and NPCs. You merely assumed it. Which is why I made my point about Tomb Raider. You are complaining because a game was lacking something it never claimed to have, simply because an older title had it.

Sheechiibii: Like I said, your view on the story is an opinion. However you stating there is no weapon development is a fact, an incorrect fact. Just because you did not enjoy the style of weapon development, does not mean it wasn't there. The same way that you view some of the maze like areas on Pulse as just corridors with pretty pictures, doesn't mean they are not very much areas available to explore.

I find the whole corridor argument and this growing phrase playable movie simply bizarre. Because I hate to break it to you, but all Final Fantasy games have been that. When you leave Midgar for the first time in FFVII, it doesn't matter if you randomly go left for no reason, because you're going to have to go right at some point to continue the story. In FFVIII when you first exit Balamb Garden, it doesn't matter if you wander around in the fields for hours, because you're still going to have to go fight Ifrit.

Freedom in Final Fantasy is merely an illusion, you have no real impact on the outcome of the game. Previous titles simply gave you the option to wander around timewasting, whereas with FFXIII they attempted to streamline everything. However as I've already mentioned they clearly saw this as a failed experiment themselves and reverted back to type with the sequel, so I feel no need to continue discussing this.

Back to the topic, NG is complaining about people liking FFXIII and questioning why they would. We have given you reasons why they would. You do not have to agree with them, but that's that. There is nothing else I or anyone else can say about the matter now, so I won't be commenting again.

Have a nice day everyone :)

Sheechiibii
10-01-2013, 10:20 AM
That list I stated that the game doesn't have, those are things it didn't have for me, not for everyone, I said right from my first response on here that everyone has different opinions on the same thing. What I see as lacking someone else might not. The same goes for the weapon development, I thought it was pointless and non-existent, you thought otherwise. I don't have to understand how you can find something an explorable world and you don't have to understand why I find it to be nothing but corridors with pretty pictures. That's the point I tried to make to NG back when I first replied. None of us are right or wrong for liking or disliking something, and it's nobodies fault if a game doesn't turn out good for them.

The freedom might be an illusion, but it's an illusion that allows the player to feel immersed in the world. It gives the player a break from the story for a while, gives them a choice, gives them a world to explore. If you don't feel like you're in the world of Final Fantasy XIII, then why would you care what happens to it? The discussion about XIII, not XIII-2, so whether or not they changed things in the sequel seems kind of irrelevant when it comes to criticism about the game.

Nostalgia gamer
10-01-2013, 02:45 PM
FFXIII is garbage, hate to break it to you.Previous games at least gave you the illusion of freedom of choice, while FFXIII gives none of that.

1. My references to FFVII were merely a comparison, I never said there was a direct link. Like when you referenced Cloud and Sephiroth remember? Remember when you refused to be drawn on it anymore because I proved you wrong?

2. Blaming who? Maybe try reading again, there's no blame in there.

You said it was his fault that people are criticizing FFXIII.You clearly didn't make yourself clear.

3. So you think a great game would be something which just adds and adds and adds. Well that's just moronic. You can't have every aspect of every game in one single title, it would makes things overly complex and confusing.

Yes i think a game shouldn't take out too much, because that is a bad thing.Videogames are meant to be fun.If a game isn't fun, it fails to be anything.Gta is fun for people because they like to run around and steal cars and murder prostitutes.If you were to take that out, people would be angry probably, because that is part of the fun.Exploration and story is a big part of rpgs, take that out and you have nothing.FFXIII isn't even an rpg.Rpg definition is roleplaying.

the acting out or performance of a particular role, either consciously (as a technique in psychotherapy or training) or unconsciously, in accordance with the perceived expectations of society with regard to a person's behavior in a particular context.
2.
participation in a role-playing game.

Translate roleplaying to
Use over time for: roleplaying

Hence FFXIII doesn't give you any of that, so its not an rpg.Its a shitty soap opera. movie

4. I really have no idea what you mean by this one. However I've replayed it. I enjoyed it, you didn't. Deal with it.

You now sound like a fanboy.Enjoy your emo characters and lackluster gameplay.

5. Not at all. You expected something out of the game that was never promised. Square-Enix never said the title would have an open world, lots of sidequests, or lots of towns and NPCs. You merely assumed it. Which is why I made my point about Tomb Raider. You are complaining because a game was lacking something it never claimed to have, simply because an older title had it.

A gamer is supposed to expect something, not bend over and be their bitch.The customer is usually right.Actually:Squeenix should bend over for us rather than us to them, because if it wasn't for us, they would make no money.If they want to compete with american rpgs, they have to have something compelling, or they flop and go out of business.Completely ignoring the problem won't make it go away or make things better, because squeenix will just repeat the same mistake unless we put our foot down.If you love the series, sometimes you have to put your foot down for things you care about.

Vrykolas
10-01-2013, 10:24 PM
Olde:
I understand that the gaming experience was severely compromised. Its not like I played this game going 'Mmm HMM, Linear corridors, no exploration, that's the ticket!' But I understood why they were doing it (eventually - I admit I was perplexed/bemused on the early levels, when you don't even earn Exp - at all - until Chapter 3). But once I realized that this was to use another music reference 'a concept album' of a game, then I was totally fine with it.

Like we discussed before, I just don't care about gameplay anymore, really. I've been playing games a long, long time and I haven't been able to play games purely for their gameplay for years and years now. It doesn't mean I don't get any enjoyment from the gameplay in various games - its just that to interest me, it has to have something more. Be that a compelling story, atmosphere, or just *something*, anything that isn't the same old experience, that you didn't even really need to open the box and play the game to know exactly what it was going to deliver. When I play something like the Tales games for example, which are well written and funny and charming, but are essentially all the same, I sort of enter autopilot. Just as I do with games ranging from Halo 4, through Gears of War 3 and Mass Effect 3 etc. Its not that games aren't good in their own way, but they are offering such a safe, 'seen it all before' experience. So the games I gravitate towards are things like Killer7, Deadly Premonition etc that are just different - where I feel whether they were the best made games in terms of technique or not, it was an experience that woke me from my torpor, and said 'You're expecting that, were you?'

So that in essence is why I like the guy who is writing the FF13 series. With each new game, he gives me something I didn't think I was going to get. He's a risk taker - and he was before he did FF13, because he also did FFX-2. That game made big changes to Yuna's character particularly, and to a certain extent to Rikku as well. He made a game which incorporated the element of choice (i.e that if you did certain tasks in the early acts, it would alter how the later acts played out in the various plot threads). He produced what really quite a subdued main plot, preferring instead to give you freedom to explore all kinds of side missions, and there were all sorts of neat little touches (the Al Bhed language which you can slowly learn etc). He was also doing a direct sequel which at that point, Final Fantasy didn't really do.

It was light in tone, funny and with camp humour everywhere, so it felt almost surreal at times. In just about every regard, the game was different than what you thought it would be (Final Fantasy having a reputation by this point for big, sweeping epics etc). But he wanted to do a 'Charlie's Angels' concept, and limited the party to just 3 people, ignoring the common wisdom that gamers like as many characters as you can give them. And now we learn in Lightning Returns, you will only be able to control 1 character - Lightning herself. It sounds crazy, to not even have a party at all in a Final Fantasy game. And it could be the biggest train wreck ever, but at least it shows him shaking things up.


As to the whole issue of other games allowing to do side stuff even when you're being chased etc. Yes, but that always drives me up the wall! In FFX, even when you're on the run and supposed to be laying low from Yevon, you can go to Luca... and play Blitzball! Oh, of course... because that's the obvious thing to do, isn't it? On the run from the authorities, so they go and take part in the most high profile activity that you can do on that world! This kind of incongruity always honks me off - like in Mass Effect 3 for example, where the Quarians need you to take out the Geth Dreadnought, where if you talk to Tali, she's all like 'Shit's going down - we need to go over and take that thing out like yesterday or the fleet is screwed! Let's go NOW!'

But you can happily go off, trucking about the galaxy, do every other side mission ever, and only then go to the place - and there's no penalty. There's no 'Where the Hell have you *been*?! We asked you to come months ago, and now our whole fleet's been totally destroyed! You'd better have a good explanation.'

'Well... see, there was this guy on the Citadel, and he was giving this clerk a hard time over a refund. I mean the guy wouldn't let it go... I felt it was my duty to step in. Then we went to the Casino, hung out watching vids at my place... oh, and I bought a new Melee Stunner mod for my pistol, see? Its not we were wasting time or anything...'

But no, instead it doesn't matter at all. Its like no time has passed at all. The real joke being that these kinds of main missions are labelled 'Priority'. I mean, what was the word Priority mean to you? It means do it first or very soon, right? And yet if you do Priority missions first (you know, try and role play in a role playing game), then it locks side quests and you miss content - for absolutely no benefit. So the game actually *requires* you to do this kind of immersion breaking nonsense where you get told that you absolutely must do something right now or the shit's going to hit the fan, but in actuality you can and should put it off until you've done all the other side stuff, no matter how trivial.

I'm not a fool - I know that video games have to work like this, to give a satisfying gaming experience. I know that you just have to take it with a pinch of salt that most of what you do in any video game cannot possibly actually be what happened. Unless we believe that our characters in Skyrim for example, are actually carrying 10 suits of armour, 3000 arrows, 5 swords, 6 two handed Axes, about 56 potions, and a full library of books. That our chests at home can hold infinite amounts of stuff, even stuff that plainly couldn't fit in there even if it was empty. That we can't actually changed clothes whilst jumping mid-air, that our character hasn't really killed thousands and thousands and thousands of people - by himself.

Because there has to be some abstraction. Otherwise all games would be like Bushido Blade for example, where you'd die after being once by a bullet or sword or whatever - because that's what would in fact happen. People don't magically have the ability to take assault rifle bursts to the head and just be alright in a few seconds by ducking behind a wall. And even in FF13, the bottomless inventory is still in effect. But for the most part, FF13 was able to keep me immersed, because the realities of the narrative were being supported by the game's system and structure (by not giving side quests, locking the team based mechanics until they actually are a team, keeping non-combatants like Hope out of the fighting until he must fight etc etc etc).

Would I want all games to be like that, all the time? Of course not - but it does kill the immersion for me, when I run into 'Oh, this is a video game, because that's how video games work' moments. Like the new Tomb Raider for example, where Lara Croft is instantly the greatest survivalist ever. That sort of thing really breaks the illusion, and whilst I absolutely understand why Video games must work this way, its always nice to see people trying a little bit new or experimental. Again, I don't think FF13 was at all the right place or time to do it in terms of delivering a product that people can access and enjoy in the way they expected and wanted to. But neither can I deny that right place and time or not, I really was into it, and this kind of thing is precisely why I stick with gaming - to find those games that are different.

Anyway, I think I've said my piece adequately, so I have little more to add, beyond saying a few final words about the brands on Pulse and why its okay for them to do the Cieth stone stuff. The thing is that Brands are genetically encoded to punish a lack of focus (and Focus). They are given to L'Cie along with a specific task that must be accomplished. Because the only alternative is Death, the idea is that if the L'Cie's only likely source of purpose and determination will be to fulfull their focus. Because what else could they be mentally resolved to do - brands cannot be removed is the common wisdom. They can't kill the Fal'Cie who gave it to them (because that was Anima and it is already dead).

So they can to quote the Quanari Arishok from Dragon Age 2 'Accept and Succeed or Deny and Die'. A brand is designed to punish sorrow, indecision and general lack of purpose, because it means the L'Cie in question is not accepting the only option they have - to complete their Focus. The team are able to stave off the progression of their brands on Pulse by Taking A Third Option. They choose to believe what Snow has been saying from the start, that they will find a way to Save Cocoon and get rid of their brands. Nobody has (apparently anyway) done this before, and taking such an attitude in tantamount to suicide, as it will eventually lead to them not completing their Focus.

But they have chosen to believe it. They set their sights on Pulse, on Oerba etc. resolving to believe until their last breath, until the very last hope they have is gone, that they will somehow beat this thing. Liken it a cancer patient who refuses to give in, and believes against all medical advise that they *will* live somehow. The brands are slowed, because they now have purpose and a definite goal - it doesn't matter if people say 'That's crazy - all this will accomplish is your death'. (And Fang has a problem accepting it, but her Brand is stunted anyway, so she's able to hold that sceptical view). But the others are holding onto that belief, and that purpose saves them from becoming Cieth.

Its a way of stopping the brands that few others would ever be able to manage. Because all the lore, all the odds seem to suggest that this attitude is no solution. That is doesn't matter what they do, they cannot remove those brands and they *must* do as they are told. But in choosing to absolutely believe that cannot be true, they find a way to beat the brands. So on Pulse, their determination and purpose (i,e that Oerba will, *must* hold the answers they seek), allows them the freedom to relax a bit and just say 'We're betting the farm on this, if it works then it works, if it doesn't... well, let's just assume it will work'.

Its like these days when everyone suddenly doesn't have the time to do stuff, according to them. That any complication or obstacle in something causes them to abandon it entirely, because 'I don't have the time'. And its such a cheap answer, because you always find the time to do the things that matter to you, no matter how much 'the facts' may say otherwise. Once they are resolved to trust this last chance, they can find the time to help out the Cieth. Because if you're going to believe you have a chance on something like this, you need to be all in. Either you believe you'll survive and are *going* to beat this thing, or you don't.

Like I said, if something matters enough to us, we find the time from somewhere.

Anyway, I've said my piece on why I like the game, so I'll just be running along.

Nostalgia gamer
10-02-2013, 01:32 AM
Vrykolas ok so you like story more than gameplay so tell me:How do you feel about the story and characters in FFXIII?

You talk about breaking immersion, so how do you feel about all those overly long cutscenes?

Olde
10-03-2013, 11:26 AM
5. Not at all. You expected something out of the game that was never promised. Square-Enix never said the title would have an open world, lots of sidequests, or lots of towns and NPCs. You merely assumed it. Which is why I made my point about Tomb Raider. You are complaining because a game was lacking something it never claimed to have, simply because an older title had it.

Not just an older title, all the older titles. It's like a new Harry Potter book without wizardry; instead, it's a story about Harry's personal life in England, his interactions with women, a coming-of-age story where he's learning who he is and reconciling conflicting emotions during adolescence. That could presumably be a good story, I'm not saying it couldn't. But it wouldn't be "Harry Potter." Of course, Square-Enix never overtly said "We'll definitely have lots of side content!" But over time, aspects that get developed within a series become understood as integral to that series. It's not just convention, it's intrinsic to the content. Say I debut a a new song to you, and all it has is an intro and a single, four-line verse. Oh, did you expect a chorus, another verse, maybe a bridge, and an outro? Stupid listener, I said all there needed to be said in that one verse. What did you expect? The same principle applies. Technically, there is nothing saying that Square-Enix has to have side quests. But that's like a Mortal Kombat game not having Scorpion or Sub-Zero; at a certain point, you have to ask, why bother? Why bother making a game at all if you're going down a linear corridor and mashing a button for combat? Why not just make a movie?


Freedom in Final Fantasy is merely an illusion, you have no real impact on the outcome of the game.

In regard to your statement that freedom in Final Fantasy is an illusion, I beg to differ. I'm thinking specifically of FFVIII. For instance, you have the choice of going to the city of Balamb before you go on your first mission. This is entirely optional, but it gives you a better idea of the world around you. You get opinions of people, a frame of reference for the world and its inhabitants. Several events take place off-screen in FFVIII, and you're only way of knowing them is by talking to optional people. I really thought that that was an effective use of immersing the player with the game world. You do have a level of freedom in exploring the world, engaging in non-game-critical dialogues, in getting immersed in the environment and learning about current events and ways in which people think about the world.

Now, you say, "you have no impact on the outcome of the game." Let's say you're right. I would in fact agree that the story of all previous Final Fantasies end the same way regardless of who plays it. But I would respond to you as a player with the question, what does the medium of a video game do for you? Why would a game designer make a game at all if the only point is to see how the writers made the story end? Why not make it a movie, a novel, a screenplay, a comic? I really do want to know how you would answer this. Because the point is, just because the player doesn't have the ability to rewrite cutscenes as he or she wants, that doesn't mean we should throw the baby out with the bathwater. We don't have to sacrifice nearly all levels of freedom just because you're watching a story unfold.

Jakah
12-31-2013, 04:31 AM
My two bits. All I cared about for the FFXIII series was the music.
Hamauzu <3

Steviesims2059
02-09-2014, 07:19 AM
Well its so much better than ff 7 and ff 10

Sheechiibii
02-09-2014, 11:31 AM
Well its so much better than ff 7 and ff 10

Mind explaining a bit about why you think so?

Steviesims2059
02-09-2014, 11:46 AM
Well i hated the story of ff7 1 guy trying to destroy the world and in the end only 1 guy can kill him and ff10 failed all around i love the story line to ff13

Vrykolas
02-09-2014, 07:05 PM
It was one guy with an extremely big rock from space, to be fair...

Schlubalybub
02-21-2014, 04:30 AM
Seriously, the story isn't that great.

OK, it's not the best storyline in the world, but I found it enjoyable enough.


I don't see whats that great about it.During the game, most of the time you are just running away from the pulse guards.

Yes, and the story of them growing as people.


The story of serah isn't interesting, and none of them have redeemable qualities.

The story of Serah isn't the most important part of the game, but it was kinda interesting to me. I feel that they all have redeemable qualities in one way or another


The gameplay is terrible.It plays itself, and caps itself so you can't have options.It doesn't even offer any options for multiple ways to learn magic.dragon age origins has better options for magic, because you can choose to be a master of nature magic, or a master of fire, or ice.In FFXIII its the same thing as previous games.You learn a spell, you use it.Why even have lower level magic? why not have lower level magic disappear when you have fire2? fire1 becomes useless and obsolete.Make fire1 viable at level 99, and ice1 and bolt1.Make all spells useful at level 99 and hard fights so you have to use strategy.Make more customization and power to your character, instead of taking things out.Also:Please give us back the options that we don't automatically lose if one character dies please.I hate that shit so much.Also:Don't heal us after battle, make us use potions instead, so we have to actually think ahead of time before going to a dungeon, like:Oh we are going into a dungeon full of undead things who cast death and paralyze.Better bring lots of remedies to cure paralysis, and pheonix downs.NOPE!! your ailments are instantly cured.

Add sidequests to do along your main quest.

It caps itself so you don't have gamebreaking characters too early in the storyline- mainly because some of the fights explain things about the characters and NPCs. It annoyed me too, in places, but I don't think that it was that big a deal.

I don't really understand what you are talking about with the magic. Fire 1 magic viable at level 99? This hasn't really been the case in any FF game, that I remember. In all the FF games I've moved onto the higher level magic when I've been trained up enough to use them.

I don't see the problem with being healed up after each battle, it's just a new way of doing things.

Overall, it's not the best game I've ever played, but in my opinion, a lot of what you've said is just nitpicking. You don't like the game. Others do.

I dislike the way that some people who hate certain games give their opinions as fact. It would be nice to walk into a debate, rather than a lecture.

I don't think that it is the best game in the world, but I certainly don't believe that it is the travesty that you have made it out to be. I found a lot of it fairly enjoyable

Vrykolas
02-22-2014, 10:29 PM
The level caps thing just adds to the level of restriction in the first half of the game. It seems worse than it is, because the game is also restricting you in so many other ways at this time (the straight linear maps, the lack of any side quests, towns or NPCs to talk to etc etc). As I've said many times, I am fine with all of this because I think it was purposefully designed this way, and makes sense in terms of the story. But as I've also said, it still chafes on a lot of people, and its obvious to see why. If you have no say in where you can go, what you can do, and even how you can develop your character outside of some very strict limits, then it is going to frustrate many people (as indeed it absolutely has). When the game is also severely restricting your options in battle until at least the end of Ch. 9, then this also adds to the frustration.

These problems do eventually get resolved when you reach Pulse, but a fair comment that many have made, is should the game require you to wait that long? Its hardly an insignificant amount of time we are talking about - its at least half the game's running time! The game is extremely inflexible for a modern RPG which generally promote customization and freedom of choice in what you do, where you go, how your characters look and what classes you spec them as etc etc. In this game, you have to wait ages before any of that is remotely possible, and you never get much chance to do anything but follow the main story.

So even when you get to Pulse, there is no respite narratively speaking. The game requires the characters to be isolated and without help or advice from others for it to work. So there are no towns or villages, you get no chance to speak to the people of Pulse etc. Because the story requires your characters to always be alone and slowly 'dying' (in a way) from their brands. Gameplay wise, Pulse offers enormous freedom and respite, but in terms of narrative, its as restrictive as ever. Again, I got on board with all of this, but I understand why it annoys people.

Final Fantasy 13 is simply a very polarizing game, because it does awkward things you just don't see in big name RPGs, that make the experience a strange and often inaccessible one if you can't accept the way the game is telling its story and presenting its experience. Its basically the exact opposite of how modern RPGs are made and runs completely contrary to how modern gamers like to consume their RPGs. I applaud them for taking the risk, and I enjoyed it on its own terms, because I have grave issues with modern gaming anyway.

But the fact is that lots of people paid money for this product in reasonable expectation of one thing, and were given another thing entirely. That angered them, and I can understand that. Bioware did a similar thing with Dragon Age 2. This is just a classic example of how gamers always complain that the industry is risk averse, and doesn't take enough chances, yet pans both games (FF13 and DA2) when they do exactly that. But again, this is people's money we are talking about, and its only fair that when they get a product that doesn't satisfy the demands they have of it, are well within their rights to complain about that.

KujiSephBallad
02-23-2014, 05:42 AM
Then here comes Lightning Returns: FFXIII which fixes a lot of those problems. The maps, lack of side quests...basically what people were complaining about the last two games. I like the pre-emptive strike in this game more than the first two.

They actually also went back graphically with the scenery too it looks like a PS2 game more than a PS3 one...they also put songs from other Final Fantasy's in it if you go to Yusnaan and stand near those one man band apparatus wearing guys. (in front of the station: Final Fantasy theme, Biggs and Wedge [after you finish their side quest ark]: Terra's theme (FFVI, not Kingdom Hearts), and Tour Guide [near the archway that leads to Augurs Quarter]: Battle on the Big Bridge)

I have to add: New Game+ mode creates a game breaking character because it doesn't reset the gained attributes from quests. Though regular New Game mode makes you basically start a first playthrough all over again.

Schlubalybub
02-25-2014, 02:27 AM
To be fair...Battle on the Big Bridge has been a running theme throughout the series. And the Final Fantasy theme has been in every game in one version or another. OK, it may be missing from a couple, I can't remember, but honestly, I believe that only one of those that you mentioned (Terra's Theme) is a legitimate complaint- the other two are running themes throughout the entire series.

KujiSephBallad
02-27-2014, 01:58 AM
To be fair...Battle on the Big Bridge has been a running theme throughout the series. And the Final Fantasy theme has been in every game in one version or another. OK, it may be missing from a couple, I can't remember, but honestly, I believe that only one of those that you mentioned (Terra's Theme) is a legitimate complaint- the other two are running themes throughout the entire series.
I wasn't complaining...Final Fantasy was a running theme until XIII (until now in any XIII there was no form of that song...or if you want me to mention another one, Prelude)...and I see your point with Battle on the Big Bridge because it was used in the dlc Colosseum stage with Gilgamesh in it. (though with this version of Battle on the Big Bridge it seems like they kind of reverted to the original version for the one man band contraption wearing tour guide version)

Son of Kalas
05-27-2014, 01:00 AM
None of the previous games require "Lolthinking"

someone never played ffx

---------- Post added at 01:00 AM ---------- Previous post was at 12:59 AM ----------

to be fair it kinda sorta ripped off tales of phantasia

Nostalgia gamer
06-03-2014, 04:26 PM
Well its so much better than ff 7 and ff 10

You must be a fanboy of ff6 or ff9 or ff8?
You are a terrible troll terrible, go back to your den.

I may have commented and complained about ff7 and FFX, but both games are far far better than FFXIII in terms of gameplay,ff7 more so than FFX and FFXIII, and i think the story in ff7 is better than the 2 in progression and cohesion, and thats saying alot since ff7 has problems, like the movie contradicts the ending of ff7 game, and there is a lack of explanation as to sephiroth being evil.

As for FFXIII:I still hated the characters and thought they acted like idiots.I didn't like their progression of personality or the story overall.The lack of immersion was worse overall as it hurt the game.Maybe as vrykolas said they were trying to make it realistic, but then why couldn't you hide out in a rebel hideout in some mountain and actually talk to them and learn? In ff6 when you were on the run, you had a hideout in the mountains and talked.Surely some people must be sympathizers for the freedom fighter cause.

Couldn't you have like:A rebel hideout with a stash of weapons? someone selling illegal weapons or something like a black market?

Vrykolas
06-03-2014, 06:54 PM
But that *does* happen... Snow and Fang meet up with the Cavalry who *are* resistance fighters! And Cid does tell them more about what is going on. As to why they don't go looking for rebels... would that honestly be a wise plan? They are constantly being chased, are on borrowed time from their brands, and you want them to go ambling off looking for resistance fighters who may not even exist?!

And you're still obsessing over the lack of shopkeepers?! There is no way to sensibly have weapons available for purchase in games like this. Most games just shrug their shoulders and admit it, inventing ridiculous scenarios to facilitate it (like that guy from RE4 who shows up with his trenchcoat full of weapons, or Bodahn Feddic in Dragon Age Origins who magically appears whenever you set camp - in the exact same camp site, no matter where you are!) I still don't understand the fascination with having some generic NPC shopkeeper say 'What'll it'll be?' (if he even says that much) - why does it matter if the game has that? The whole e-commerce thing works far better for the game, with its warning of where our society is headed - i.e a place where people have little contact with each other, and thus the bonds between us are that much less.

Back on the issue of the wisdom of the character's actions, what more could they have done? The Sanctum and the Fal'Cie have absolute information control and population control. The Fal'Cie govern all the major functions of Cocoon, making it a paradise - the people don't have to worry about failed crops, or energy shortages or anything like that. The Fal'Cie do it all for them and blanket the media with propaganda. The people are happy as clams to live in Cocoon because its a safe, luxurious life. Any idle fancies they might have about wanting greater independence and self determination are suppressed by thoughts of how the Fal'Cie also keep them safe from Pulse. They don't like troublemakers disturbing this idyllic existance and believe that such people must have brought the trouble on themselves - so they don't help out. As you say, there must be freedom fighters because there is always some resistance to authority no matter how absolute it is, and the Cavalry are proof of that. The problem is that they have been infiltrated at their highest level.

Even if they hadn't infiltrated the Cavalry, Barthandelus is still holding all the cards.The Sanctum have the support of the people, control of the media, control of all law enforcement and military personnel, thousands of men, airships, vehicles, and the near supernatural powers and ageless wisdom of the Fal'Cie. Next to that, what do the party have? They barely know each other, some of them are non-combatants with hardly any battle experience, they have no influence amongst the higher ups of society, and 2 of them are even from Pulse - so would be enemies of the state, even without all the Purge. The only thing they have going for them is their L'Cie powers, which they are still new to, and don't fully understand or accept. They have just learned they are doomed to die if they don't obey their focus, and are being hounded day and night by everyone on Cocoon. They have no easy access to safe shelter, food, water etc, and have to be very careful about where they sleep. who they are seen by, and must try to use every second wisely given their brands.

To coin an old phrase 'I'd like to see you do better'. Lecturing the characters on not doing the right thing straightaway, makes you seem like one of those guys on office training weekends, who earn the immediate irritation of their co-workers with their' 'I know best - do as I say, you simpletons!' attitude. You may very well be right, but not taking into account and understanding people's personal motives and feelings will get you absolutely nowhere with them. Which is exactly why Lightning has to come crawling back cap in hand to the others when she finally realizes what a complete jerk she has been through the first half of the game.

And yes, the characters don't have their act together at first, but that's far more realistic than most games where people are just completely fine and composed no matter what happens (in real life, very few people can just shake off stress and trauma in a couple of minutes or hours - to coin another old saying 'Most people live a life of quiet desperation'). Some people cope with stress better than others sure, but most video game heroes must be clinical sociopaths to act the way they do in the situations they find themselves in. How often have you stopped in a game and remembered that a character's family member was recently killed, but you had completely forgot, because the game goes out of its way not to dwell on it. The character should be devastated, yet they will hardly ever show any signs of discomfort, and may not even ever mention it again! It happens all the time, and it never makes any sense. Its the same basic premise as why characters in TV shows never show remorse for close friends and family who die, after the episode it occurs in. Because people don't want to see them moping about all the time. Its understandable from an entertainment standpoint, but narratively this kind of thing lacks any credibility at all. Again, would I want to see characters moping about like that all the time - hell no! But it interests me when a game does allow that pain and grief to be worked through at the proper, natural pace. It will drive most people insane, because they just want cool, badass, fun, carefree heroes, but I find such an approach refreshing.

The characters have personal reasons to do the things they do. They might not be the most efficient survival oriented actions, but if you ignore the things most important to you, then what's the point of living at all? Sure, Snow could have just left Sera's crystal body and escaped with the others, but that is something he would never ever do. Sazh could have kept on running, but he just wanted to see his son again, and he didn't care if that meant he died. Fang wants to save Vanille and given that she most Pulsians, absolutely hates the people of Cocoon, she has no problem with seeing Cocoon destroyed. Cid could have kept on resisting, but he was beaten down spiritually by constantly being used and tricked into thinking he had a will of his own.

You dismiss the character's motives, and constantly berate them for not doing 'the sensible, logical thing'. But they aren't robots, and survival alone isn't enough, if you lose everything you care about in the process. All I'm saying is, its probably best if you don't apply for a job with the Samaritans...

And as for FF7... how dare you even mention the film :D That... thing was made years later as a blatant cash grab. Like all the rest of the FF7 spin-off material (Dirge of Cerberus, Crisis Core etc etc), it is treated with very little credibility or canonicity by most of the fans. The game itself is the only thing that truly counts. If they made an official sequel, that would be different, but until then.

Star Magician
07-29-2014, 08:48 AM
If it looks like a person, walks like a person, talks like a person, it better be a person. Not some robotic, cut-and-paste, do-the-right-thing-only 'hero' that already infests enough of our media these days, let alone JRPG's. My god, am I ever sick of playing as the same emotionally-confused, ditzy, do-gooder 17-year-old male protagonist every god damn time I start up a new JRPG.

Final Fantasy XIII was a breath of fresh air, in my eyes. I finally finished the game last week, and I was quite pleased with how much I enjoyed out of the mere $10 I spent on the game. I was able to follow the story just fine, unlike what some people claim. In fact, all of my biggest gripes with the game are gameplay mechanics (trial and error combat is a no-no, just sayin'), but when I first started the game last August, I would've agreed with the naysayers. The characters weren't very likable, with the exception of Sazh, and the first few chapters felt like a giant tutorial littered with hallways and cutscenes. But the characters grew on me after I picked it back up and made some real progress because they develop naturally, like a real person would do in the same situation. Their emotions were so much more real than most other game characters (from my experience at least), which is a bar that needs to be set even higher for the entire industry.

To be fair, though, the villains were extremely lacking in everything that made the protagonists feel like real humans, perhaps with the exception of Rosch. His final scene was one of the most moving scenes in the game, despite the somewhat melodramatic direction.

Those who hate on this game, but haven't played it all the way through, need to do so. I really wish the industry would take this game as an example on how to create better, more interesting human characters, but the irrational reaction, I fear, can only lead to more of the same. Those 17-year-old headaches we've been putting up with for years and years on end, for example...

Mercenary Raven
08-11-2014, 03:13 AM
But they aren't robots, and survival alone isn't enough, if you lose everything you care about in the process.This is a perfect description of why I enjoyed this game. They weren't robots! They whined, they bitched, they moaned, and they did stupid stuff. Growing up some more (it's been four years since I've been here btw) I've made my own share of mistakes and I've acted on impulses that would be deemed pretty stupid, but it's because I'm human, not because I"m stupid or unstable or melodramatic. They lose sight of the long-term effects when the shot-term is right in front of them.

Vrykolas
08-11-2014, 07:09 AM
Hey guys.

Agreed and agreed. The issue that seems to be lost on many people is that character development means that a character must have their views, actions and motives challenged and interrogated by the events they face. If the characters begin fully developed, able to easily overcome every obstacle and make the right choice all the time, then where is the room for such development? We learn by doing, by making right and wrong choices and seeing the consequences.

Many of the characters of FF13 start off with undesirable traits. Only by going through the ordeal laid out before them, do they grow and develop. By surviving and learning what it takes to get through, they learn about themselves, who they are, who they want to be. They each learn that certain traits and views are counter productive and slowly discard them. Other traits they learn are not necessarily positive, but are intrinsically a part of who they are, and give them strength such that its better to hold onto them. Its not simply a case of 'Start flawed, become better, end perfect'. But like you would expect with heroes, they generally come out as better, stronger and more worthy people for their actions over the game.

Contrast this with many WRPGs, where you start good, learn you are destined to be even better, and end up as the greatest person ever. I know which storytelling approach out of these 2, that I consider to be the more mature and interesting.


And hey, props to Star Magician for exercising free will and making up his own mind on FF13, despite the best efforts of the internet to block any attempt at enjoying this game! But hey, don't stop now! FF13-2 is a great game (the best of the trilogy IMO) and its there waiting - waiting for you!

Darth Revan
08-11-2014, 07:18 AM
I recently sat down and played not just XIII, but the entire trilogy, one after the other. I had hoped I would be in the same situation I was with FFIX and GTAV for example (Played the game when they came out, hated it, put it aside... then come back to it some time later and actually enjoy it). Sadly, my initial views of the trilogy are the same as they were back when they came out.

For the record... I DID play through all three games, 100%. Didn't like it... but I did. Speaking only for myself, I can safely say (and based off of my OWN playthrough) that I honestly hate these games. Everything I've said in the past, I stand by... and no, I'm not going to repeat myself. Unlikable characters (some standouts... Hope and Vanille are two prime examples of pure idiocy...), mediocre music, far too damn linear.... ugh...

For those who like the trilogy, good for you. For those who hate it, again... good for you. At least I can say, I've actually HAVE played them (and yes, still have them in my FF Collection), honestly TRIED to like them... but again... terrible damn games.

At least Yoshi P is restoring my lost faith in SE with what his team is doing with Final Fantasy XIV A Realm Reborn...

Vrykolas
08-11-2014, 10:15 PM
You know, a more suspicious man than me, might ask to see his opponent's hand at a time like this... I'd be happy to admit if I was wrong, but still I'd rather not have to go there. Still, maybe we should keep that in mind as we post?

Olde
08-28-2014, 09:36 PM
Many of the characters of FF13 start off with undesirable traits. Only by going through the ordeal laid out before them, do they grow and develop. By surviving and learning what it takes to get through, they learn about themselves, who they are, who they want to be. They each learn that certain traits and views are counter productive and slowly discard them. Other traits they learn are not necessarily positive, but are intrinsically a part of who they are, and give them strength such that its better to hold onto them. Its not simply a case of 'Start flawed, become better, end perfect'. But like you would expect with heroes, they generally come out as better, stronger and more worthy people for their actions over the game.

Contrast this with many WRPGs, where you start good, learn you are destined to be even better, and end up as the greatest person ever. I know which storytelling approach out of these 2, that I consider to be the more mature and interesting.

Yes and yes. The WRPG model is essentially where you start out as a noble warrior who is the "chosen one" destined to greatness. JRPGs actually have character growth where you have to overcome your flaws. And I totally agree with you, if only personal preference, in that the JRPG has a better character arc.

Where I completely disagree with you is the presumption that this happens in FFXIII. Granted, you're supposed to believe that Lightning and Hope overcome their resentment toward Snow. You're supposed to believe that Sazh overcomes his anger toward Vanille. But their "overcoming" is limited to a kind of surrender; what I mean by that is they give up their feelings because it's necessary for the plot to move forward. It's just hand-waved away to keep the group together. I honestly never felt that the characters were struggling with their inner demons, and when the game tried to make you think that they were, poof, out pops an eidolon for obligatory boss fight! And once you beat it, the character has somehow overcame his/her inner demons! They turned what could have been a very compelling, deep psychological and moving experience into a completely unrealistic, trite, blunt-force "metaphor" personified in a boss fight, if you can even call it a metaphor at that point.

My point is that the idiots at S-E weren't able to resolve any actual character tensions except through cliches and tropes that the genre is known for. As you play through the game, yes you sort of gain more insight into the characters, but they largely say the same exact shit they've said in each previous chapter. They just sort of learn to play nice because S-E decided they had to eventually come together to form a party of six. The whole thing was very artificial to me.

Vrykolas
08-29-2014, 12:29 AM
I bring you greetings from the people of my planet, Olde! :D

Well, I can't speak to what you felt about it - only you know that. All I can do is explain what I saw as I was playing, and why/how it worked for me. But this is always going to be a subjective thing. Trying to nail down who is definitively right and wrong about something like this, is impossible. What I'm saying is that this is just an academic rebuttal if you will, its not any kind of 'See, you're wrong and I'm right - Admit It!!!' nonsense.

Anyway, the first thing I'll say is that saying its artificial feels outrageously unfair to me. Its the only game I know of that has attempted to bring the party together naturally, over a period of sustained storytelling. In other games, you just get your characters chucked together and that's that - they're working together. And often we don't really know how the various characters feel about each other, because the game doesn't think its important. This game does think its important, and it doesn't believe that just because these people were all branded, that they'd automatically start trusting each other. That they'd instantly start clicking as a combat unit (because again, in most games your team have the various systems unlocked immediately, despite them not knowing how each other fights, or whether they feel comfortable taking the other guy's orders etc etc). FF13 unlocks the systems when the narrative has established this to be the case.

To me, that feels completely organic, and is a very bold thing to do in a video game at that. If you think its artificial... then I obviously don't understand what that word means, as well as I thought I did. And even if was, then its still a hundred times more involved and organic than any other RPG out there. (And don't give that look like I'm some kind of crazed fanboy - I have my problems with this game, which I've expounded on at length, but this is one area I do feel it gets right, and deserves to be praised for). Its the very height of artificiality to have characters just join your group 'because' (or at least do so on the flimsiest of reasons like 'We've been chased out of town, so... now I'll join up with you guys and go wherever you go, do whatever you do because hey, I wasn't doing anything else for the next year...) And of course the game has them instantly fit in to the group dynamic and have everyone find their groove - I'm sure drill instructor the world over would kill to find such social chameleon soldiers, able to instantly adapt to any unit! Trust takes time, unit cohesion takes time - this game shows the group growing and developing with each other and as a unit - it doesn't get less artificial than that IMO.

As for the character's connections... well, again if you didn't feel it, then its no good me or anyone saying 'Yes they did come to have a connection'. Because it obviously didn't work for you. I can explain why it worked for me, but otherwise, we're at an impasse. I did feel the connections growing and developing bwtween the characters, so equally nobody can tell me 'No they didn't' because that was not my experience of it. I just think that its unfair to knock this game's character development, given all that it does to have the characters go through trials and modify their beliefs, or at least come to accept their flaws as a integral part of themselves (Fang does not become less hot headed or stubbornly self reliant for example, but she at least realizes that it often works against her and works on trying to trust others more). In most games, character development is rationed out as 'Here we are in X nation, where we will explore the character of Y, and have him/her learn A Valuable Moral Lesson. Just like that - in the space of a few hours (if that), a character's flaw will be examined and then resolved. This game at least takes a more long term approach, and makes it an on-going process for all the characters as they journey together. Because to work as a team, they first need to sort out their own hang-ups. Other games do it the other way round - they join the party, are fine, then have a huge meltdown emotional problem, solve it and are fine again (and probably are barely mentioned by name in the game again unless they are one of the leads, because 'they've had their bit'.

To take your specific example of Snow, the characters generally begin by thinking him a rather ridiculous figure, whose endless optimism is ignoring hard facts etc etc. But he wins them over with the fact that he genuinely is willing to put his life on the line for the people he cares about - and he cares about basically everyone, as his connection with Yaag Rosch shows getting through to him in a way the others don't, and the fact that he's the one who convinces the party to spare the soldier they meet on their return to Coccoon etc. Lightning is forced to admit to herself when they have a quiet moment at Hope's father's house, that if they had followed her example and suggestions, Serah would be lost to them for good, and Hope, (as well as Vanille and Sazh) would almost certainly be dead. Because mentally and emotionally, she had given up in a way that Snow hadn't. The game never suggests that Snow's attitude isn't a fairly naive and unpopular one (in these jaded times - where we want everyone to be 'cool' all the time, and heroes aren't in vogue - its pretty all antiheroes all the time, these days). But when the party hits a real wall in Chapter... 9, is it, when they speak to Barthendelous and he explains that their basic premise up to that point was wrong, and that they've just been doing what he wanted them to do - that's when the importance of faith that Snow represents becomes so important to them. I'm obviously not talking about religious faith with the party specifically, but rather faith that they'll find a way somehow, that they have the ability and strength of will and character to do the right thing.

Its at that point that they really notice how much they miss having someone with that unshakable belief, that real zest for life and (what modern people would consider) rather hokey optimistic and never say die views etc etc. Most of the time up to this point,they've treated it much as many people playing the game did, which is to say 'Do you even hear the nonsense you're saying - have some self awareness and cut out this hokey bull, for crying out loud!' And the game actively encourages you to think it, as the characters freely mock him for these views. But when they really are down, realizing the scale of the problem facing them (that Barthandelous is way out of their league, and he's much smarter than them too, being already 5 steps ahead in everything they've done), they find they could do with a bit of his optimism. Because to return to the whole faith issue, its when we are at out lowest points that we find the need to cast out and see if there's something to grab on to - something that tells us that things will be okay somehow. Take the way that great disasters in the real world like 9/11 for example, often bring people back to church for a time, encourage them to say prayers for the departed which they never normally would think of doing, watch the official funeral proceedings, or simply want to go out and be more sociable in general as an affirmation of life and shared community etc etc.

But of course, Snow's faith has been shaken too. So when he can no longer provide that comforting strength that comes from his iron cast belief that they *will* save Coccoon and they *will* save Serah etc, the party start to realize what a pillar of strength they have (temporarily) lost, and start working to return the favour and lift him up. Even Fang who is the most cynical of all the characters says 'Snow - nothing from you?!' at this point, because this kind of bombshell moment is when he usually pipes up and tells them not to worry. Its the way of life - when things are going good, you don't really hear this kind of message because it has no relevance to you. But in bad times, we like to hear people tell us with certainty in their voices, that things will get better. Because if they truly believe it, then we can start to believe it. And they needed that kind of lift, because beforehand they only had a very self destructive despair to draw on. Lightning and Hope both believed the worst was upon them, and that there was nothing to be done. Lightning thought her sister was gone forever, and that there was no point in anything after Anima died, cursing them and refusing to release Serah. So she goes kamikaze and nearly ends up getting the whole group killed (something she realizes and laments as her greatest mistake in FF13-2). Hope thinks he doesn't have the strength to survive, that his father will hate him and cast him out to society rather than have a filthy L'Cie in his house, and ultimately believes that only his hatred of Snow can sustain him - that even if he dies as he believes he will, it will be okay as long as he takes Snow with him.

Snow meanwhile believes they will overcome the brands, save Coccoon, rescue Serah and everything will be okay. By his actions, staying to dig Serah out of the ice, he puts in a motion a series of events that give the party a fighting chance (as it gives them a connection to the Cavalry, and Cid's resources, as well as allowing him and Fang to save the day in Palumpolum). His attitude of just continuing to try his hardest, eventually rubs off on the characters. Because its not like their defeatist attitudes got them anywhere, was it? They wandered about in the wilderness, making up little defeatist missions for themselves which they eventually discarded, because they were the wrong choices. Snow is the heart of the group, the Ray Stanz of the group if you will - he is hopelessly naive, and he's certainly no great speaker or planner, but he doesn't let life get to him. He takes the hits, then he moves on. And that's the attitude you need in life. Sooner or later we all learn that life is hard - it can kick us where it hurts at any time, and for as long as it pleases. But if we allow ourselves to think like that, that there's no point to anything and that as soon as things go bad, we should just give up, then where are we? In a dark place, that's for sure. The game (over the course of the trilogy) never makes excuses for how corny and cringeworthy some of Snow's beliefs are, nor how irritatingly self absorbed they are, that he thinks he'll always overcome etc etc. In FF13-2, Noel takes an instant dislike to him, because Noel is a sensible and practical young man who doesn't go in for all this nonsense. But eventually he gets over it and works with him, because things get *real* bad at the end of 13-2. And in that situation, what choice do you have but to believe you can turn it around? Because otherwise, you'd just curl up and die.

So yeah, it works for me, and I'm someone who really cares about this kind of stuff. I.e - I wouldn't say it if I didn't mean it, because my feelings on this subject (of character, their interactions, how much everyone gets to say and do, whether they are important throughout or just allowed to fade in the face of the demands of the overarching story or if certain characters are designated favorites who start to swallow up screen time, of story, the depth and creativity of storytelling etc). All of these things mean too much to me, to be anything less than 100% honest but critical. I have many issues with the game, but in terms of creating characters who grow and develop naturally, of giving me a party that come together and learn to work with each other, who learn to fight effectively despite several of them not being warriors at all, I feel this game does a great and very underrated job.

It may not be as good a *game* or as good an all round experience as other RPGs. There are tons of better RPGs than this game, RPGs which give you a greater sense of empowerment or tell a more moment to moment thrilling and epic story etc. I have no problem admitting that (though again, I think 13-2 does achieve that). But very few have interested and intrigued me like Final Fantasy 13, especially in this day and age. Because at least its different, and (as regards this specific point we're talking about) it tells its story in a way that other RPGs don't. It takes its time with its characters in an age where everything is moving too fast and is too shallow, it builds up proper connections between characters and giving them the appropriate reactions to painful stimuli, not just the socially acceptable and gamer approved ones (something along the lines of 'Bah - this guy feels sad?! What a poof! Oh, will these people stop moping -their loved ones died hours ago...')

I make no secret that I find the majority of modern storytelling utterly vacuous and meaningless, interested in nothing but how 'cool' and topical it is. I have no problem with style when it contributes to substance (the better entries in the Persona series for example), but style on its own with nothing underneath is pointless beyond belief. I feel like this game had something to say, that it always stayed faithful to the truth of the situation it had established for its characters, and that it told its story properly, without compromising itself and lowering itself to the level of modern storytelling.

Olde
08-29-2014, 06:17 PM
Hey Vrykolas, greetings right back at ya. ;)

If it works for you, so much the better. I would have to play the game again to give you concrete examples of dialogue, but what I can tell you is that the relationships don't work for me. And no, you do understand what artificial means, but let me try to give you a couple of examples. At the beginning, Hope wants to do something to punish Snow; blinded by frustration over Snow's inability to save his mother, he is joined by...Vanille? What on earth does Vanille have to do with the situation at all? And yet she gets on the speeder with him and tells him to punch it, Chewey! I just didn't get it. It was a similar case with Sazh and Lightning; why did they team up? In fact, Lightning made it perfectly clear that she basically didn't want anything to do with him. I felt it was the same thing when Sazh and Vanille teamed up, and Lightning and Hope teamed up. I mean, didn't Lightning basically tell Hope to screw off? She's a military-trained soldier teaming up with a kid who hasn't reached puberty yet, it just seems too convenient, too artificial, too stale, not real enough.

Let's also take the example of Hope coming to terms with his mother's death. He all-out attacks Snow on a building and probably would get a good slice in on him, except a rocket conveniently knocks the two off the building, where Snow conveniently manages to grab his body, and conveniently survives the fall, plus having enough strength to carry Hope to his father's house? Give me a break. Wouldn't it have been stronger if the two had to fight their differences and resolve the obvious tension with dialogue, rather than some implausibly convenient (read: artificial) circumstance?

There is actually a staggering number of convenient events in FFXIII that just makes the story break down for me. I know that it's kind of a running theme in the Final Fantasy series, and that you're not supposed to take it completely seriously, but, at least from my understanding, FFXIII actually does want you to think of these characters as real human beings. You're supposed to think of them realistically, as though they were real people who actually lived. Of course, it doesn't make any sense when considered this way. How does a Fal'cie randomly appear in Palumpolum? Why does Serah jump off the speeder onto the Fal'cie, only to turn around and try to get back on while getting sucked by gray goo from a stargate portal? Why doesn't Hope (or anyone, really) feel anything emotionally for any of the dozens, eventually hundreds, of people they've killed? A game that asks you to think of characters as living breathing people but to suspend your disbelief at other things is quite a failure imo.

But to get back to the topic, I just don't feel like the characters really cohered or resolved their differences. Fang especially always seemed to me like she never fit in, and again I say it was a matter of convenience to include her in order to give the player a sixth party member. But I think the real turning point comes in Palumpolum; Lightning, Snow, and Hope meet back up and say hey, we're all out for the same goal and we don't know what it is but might as well stick together because we're friends till the end! I read a great review ([Only registered and activated users can see links]) of XIII that explained Lightning's character to a T for me: "For the first half of the story her interactions with people are restricted to telling them to fuck off, hitting them in the face, or putting a sword through them. And then, of course, her heart grows three sizes and she transforms into a bland background voice who occasionally speaks up to announce the group's next destination within The Tube."


Lightning has every reason to hate Snow, because he's obviously a knucklehead who simply has a lot of luck (read: plot convenience). He's just a scruffy, unemployed, homeless, idiotic knuckle dragger who resolves everything by saying "don't worry!" and putting his fist through anything that stands in his way. That is not reality, you can't fight your way over your problems. It's a fantasy. And yeah, I realize it's Final FANTASY, but if you're saying

Same thing with Barthandelus and Orphan. I thought it would've been a really interesting game if you didn't have the obviously evil big bad guy and the obviously evil final boss who's even worse than the bad guy (pretty much every FF game I'm familiar with has such a character scheme for the antagonists. VII: Jenova/Sephiroth. VIII: Edea/Ultimecia. IX: Kuja/Necron. X: Seymour/Yu Yevon. XII: Vayne/Venat; that alone is such a stock formula as to have become tiresome). But yeah, consider if Barthandelus hadn't even been a part of the game, and the party had to figure things out on their own without some old white guy oddly reminiscent of the the Pope laughing maniacally in their faces and rubbing their noses in the fact that he's been using them for his master plan. It's just so black-and-white, this good vs. evil dichotomy.

I must preface this by saying I never played XIII-2 or Lightning Returns, but I have to say that Serah's character annoyed the piss out of me. Everywhere they went, Snow was always like "I'll get Serah back, I will because I have to," which doesn't make any sense logically. Lightning eventually decides that Snow's character is noble because he's doing all this work to get her back, which is basically pointless seeing as she's turned into crystal. But honestly I didn't see what was so great about Serah. She basically has no personality in XIII, she's a complete blank slate who loves Snow for...no apparent reason. And he loves her for...no apparent reason. In fact, I actually find it interesting that while Hope "gets over" the loss of his mother, neither Lightning nor Snow can get over the loss their sister/fiancee. Kind of ridiculous, isn't it? I mean, people are dying by their hands left and right, yet one person who's effectively a blank slate is so important to them that they risk everything to try and get her back, even though they know they can't pull it off.

To put a cap to this discussion of artificiality, all I will say is just look at the ending. I was so furious over the ending, just absolutely livid. If you tell me with a straight face that that ending was not artificial, I don't know what to tell you. Basically Square-Enix is telling us that everything will be sunshine and rainbows and strawberry gumdrops if all you do is wish really really hard! Fuck that ending.

Vrykolas
08-30-2014, 01:02 AM
I'm not sure I really understand what the problem is with Hope and Vanille teaming up. She's the sort who wants to help out - he was someone who was in distress, and he was nearby. One of Hope's main beefs with the party early on, is that he and his mother were completely innocent bystanders. They were the definition of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. As to a specific personal reason why, Vanille sees that Hope has something he needs to say to Snow, needs to get it out of his system. She's been living under the same sort of pressure in her life (i.e she wants to tell Fang that she really doesn't want to fight against Cocoon, but can't muster the courage).

And Lightning *doesn't* team up with Sazh and Hope - she tries continually to ditch them! Sazh has to literally grab hold of her and physically restrain her from leaving him behind at the start. By appealing to her duty as a soldier to help people, he at least gets her to grudgingly allow him to tag along, but its the very lowest possible sort of connection. She barely acknowledges his presence at all, and later on in the Vile Peaks doesn't hesitate to leave them when they fall behind. Same with Hope - if he wasn't trying to make conversation and insisting he can keep up, then she would have left him. And hey, she *does* leave him, but that's when she comes to her senses somewhat. The point is that this isn't who Lightning really is. This is just grief and anxiety over Serah talking - normally she *would* be the kind of people who would help others out. Whilst she's never really been a great people person, this particularly cold and distant Lightning of the start of the game, is something that her old friends and comrades (her superior Amador and her old squad mates Blitz Squadron, don't associate with her at all.

Is it honestly so hard for you to accept that a character would help those in need? I don't see how this is supposed to be artificial. People are being massacred - innocent people. You shouldn't *need* a reason to help people under those circumstances, and especially not civilians and children! One of my biggest problems with Lightning was how she left the others to their fate. It was considered so controversial for a hero, that they actually had to address it in FF13-2, making a whole side quest around the guilt she feels over the act, and how Sazh forgives her.

Snow and Hope couldn't possibly fight. Hope may be young, but he's not stupid - there's no way he could take Snow in a fair fight. Snow's a grown man in superb physical shape, and Hope a skinny young kid with no martial training. If he attacks Snow, it will have to be a surprise attack. Any thought of honorable combat is just frankly absurd given the disparity in strength. There's simply no way Hope could win. You say its artificial for them to be attacked, but they were under *constant* attack in Palumpolum. Now if this happened in a place they had secured and was deemed safe, then it would seem very artificial. But they were in the middle of a warzone (Rosch has ordered his troops to engage and shoot on sight the moment they even think they spot a L'Cie, and has specifically ordered them to disregard any thought of collateral damage - i.e nowhere within the city limits is remotely safe, as Rosch is willing and has the authority to burn the whole town if he deems it necessary). Hope is seizing his opportunity when it comes along- who knows when or if he'd be alone with Snow again, and with the other off guard. Both parts of the equation are fine.

I just don't accept these convenient happenings that you mention. Convenient is when the characters are in danger and just so happen to find the thing they need lying around, or they are being attacked and one of the people in the party knows the exact weakness of the rare monster they are fighting, because he just so happened to see one once etc etc.All story telling must rely on some kind of motivating factor, or there would be no story. Just calling these things contrivances, is grossly unfair. Its only the same contrivance that brings any characters of different walks of life together in any story. Go out and walk pretty much any chick flick rom-com (but don't really of course!) and you'll 99% of them are 'hunky guy who's improbably single happens to get run over by equally improbably single woman - they fall in love, or meet at bus stop when both are late for appointment and never usually even take bus etc etc. Those are contrivances. The A-Team always being locked up by the villains in garages full of scrap metal and cutting torches so they could make a battlewagon every week is a contrivance. Lt. Columbo instantly knowing who the murderer is in every episode and following that person around pestering them with questions until they confess. That is a contrivance. Storytelling is full of them, and yes this game will have some but you're making a mountain out of a molehill IMO.

Because let's see:

!) How does a Fal'cie randomly appear in Palumpolum.
Um... it doesn't, does it? Unless you meant the one that turned up in Bodhum maybe? If we're talking about Anima, then the reason its there is because debris from Pulse's attack during the war of transgression were used to repair damage from Ragnarok's first attack. The hanging edge etc are desolate no-go zones, because whilst Fang's initial transformation didn't destroy Cocoon, it did do extreme amounts of damage that the Fal'Cie have been struggling to repair. Thus they used salvage for the raw reconstruction materials. Some of those were housing Anima's temple - but its implied that Barthandelous knew all of this anyway, and specifically intended for this to happen. He does after all, know what Serah's focus was, despite her being a Pulse L'Cie and him being a Sanctum Fal'Cie. The story makes it clear that though the characters may think they are acting on free will, they have actually been moving in accordance with what Barthandelous expected them to do. And I still don't see how any of it is supposed to be convenient - it had to had up somewhere, and if it hadn't surfaced there, we'd simply have a different set of characters.

Unless I don't know what convenient means either! I mean is say Serah had actually met either Fang or Vanille (somehow - don't ask me how), and *then* it had shown up at Bodhum, then that would be very convenient. Or if any of the characters had met up beforehand, and they happened to get involved (besides Serah, Lightning and Snow obviously, since they are from Bodhum). If Sazh or Hope just knew them from somewhere, or if Vanille looked like his long last daughter or something. Those kinds of things are what I think of when I'm thinking of lazy and convenient 'Checkov's Gun' style writing.

Serah trying to get back on the bike.
Well... wouldn't you?! She had to get off the bike, because Snow was losing control of it, having just been clipped by PSICOM gunfire. He drops her off quick, so he has room to work and try and get it properly under control, maybe draw them off. His bike is just a civilian thing - its been souped up by Macqui at the NORA workshop, but its still not military issue, and PSICOM has all sorts of velocycles and jetpack troops/drones etc at its disposal. The bike was obviously a better choice than trying to flee on foot, but its still not really going to be tough with that level of pursuit. Serah isn't in a proper seat - she's hanging on for dear life, as he tries to execute escape rolls and sweeps. Its a sound plan to drop her off, and try and take out some of the pursuers, then pick her back up. He doesn't have a lot of time to find a safe spot, and the Vestige is the only structure in the area where PSICOM are chasing them to (as they've locked down Bodhum for the Purge, and its a rural community with nothing else around really).

When Anima attacks, is it not obvious that you would try and get away? Danger of possibly being shot down in the skies, or swallowed up into the creepy temple by the even more creepy tentacles? Its not really a choice, is it? Remember at this point, Snow and Serah really didn't know much of anything about the Fal'Cie. The game establishes that no human has been turned into a L'Cie by a Sanctum Fal'Cie in living memory (since the war of transgression), and nobody has heard anything of Pulse, its people or Fal'Cie since then either. It just gets blitzed constantly over the media that they are evil and corrupt - stay away! Serah didn't know when she first entered the ruins that a Fal'Cie was in there, and even after the branding, she and Snow had no idea that Anima would try and kidnap her. (In fact, Anima is worried that the PSICOM forces will attack it, and is summoning its L'Cie back to see to its own defence).

I just don't see how this is convenient. Snow lives on the beach - its where his bike is kept. PSICOM control the town, so they have to fly away from the town, and the Vestige is also by the beach. I don't see how any of this doesn't track. If Snow's bike was shown to be on the opposite end of town from the beach and Vestige, then yes it would be odd and very convenient for them to be chased there. But they're right next to it! This game is pretty good about showing that if military special ops chase you and engage your vessel, you'll lose. Snow and Serah are outclassed by the hardware PSICOM are using, just as Sazh is later shot down by PSICOM's pursuit craft in the Vile Peaks. They don't pull the old 'Hero pilot pulls out the ultra fly moves to lose da man'. The only time they evade such craft is when Barthandelous personally takes control and helps them evade Rosch, who had them bang to rights as they left the Palamecia.

Why doesn't Hope (or anyone, really) feel anything emotionally for any of the dozens, eventually hundreds, of people they've killed?
If we're only talking PSICOM, then its hard to imagine Lightning, Fang, Snow or Sazh really feeling much sympathy for killing people who were trying to kill them. As for Vanille and Hope, they do frequently express great distress at what is happening (Vanille's whole motivation is that she doesn't want to hurt people anymore, and was planning to return to Pulse on the Purge train and become a C'ieth in penance for what she'd already done. The adrenalin of trying to get away with your life, and shock of losing your mother etc means that Hope is already dealing with so much emotional trauma that killing people is just one more thing to add to the pile of deeply scarring events he is facing. He does have a nervous breakdown on Pulse after all. Ultimately, the decision they come to at the end of the Pulse section, is that despite people on Coccon believing them to be villains, and despite it being what Barthendelous apparently wants, they will try and reason with whoever they can, because it isn't in fact people's fault - they are just doing what the authorities claim is necessary. So when they arrive, they do try and placate individual soldiers, and save citizens. Many still attack, and survival instincts demand you demand yourself, but in the end, even Rosch understands that they are only defending themselves from aggression - not causing it themselves.

There's already so much processing and chewing over what is going on, that I doubt people would thank you for trying to add more. This is one point that I do somewhat agree on however (I stand by what I say above,but I've made the point myself that surely the decision on whether or not to destroy Cocoon would be influenced by the fact they know - or should know, unless they live under rocks - people on Coccon, have lives there, and hey - isn't it like the norm to not think destroying the world is even an option. I mean unless you're Ming the Merciless...)

But this is hardly unique to Final Fantasy (and I don't mean to excuse them for this, but bear with me) - I was on the Bioware social forums just yesterday commenting how Commander Shepard in Mass Effect 2, makes the decision to join Cerberus, and investigate colonist disappearances, with absolutely no evidence whatsoever that the Reapers are involved. So Shepard who is 30 or so at the time of the game, and who has been in the Alliance military for 10+ years, built up a career, has friends, family (at least in the Spacer origin), colleagues, a home, a life and an important new role as Humanoty's first Spectre, just throws all of that away to work with a terrorist organisation, out in the back end of nowhere (people who had specifically gone out there because they didn't want to be under regular jurisdiction. So because TIM says 'Its the Reapers... honest', Shepard drops his whole life, and everything he's worked for to get where he is, and place his friends and family in the impossible position of seeing him work with terrorists (imagine the headlines in real life - 'Storming' Norman Schwartzkopff, hero of the Gulf War, joins ISIS!'

But yes, this is something I had issue with, because it strikes at the concern I have that heroes in RPGs or all kinds, west and east, are isolated by day to day society to the point where they no longer even feel like people who live and are bound by the realities of the the world they supposedly inhabit. They don't have expenses, they can just go wherever they want, change the local political, military, economic landscape with their choices or actions, then blow out of town before any of the consequences kick in. By deciding to destroy Orphan, they are taking a unilateral decision that will affect millions of people. By removing the Fal'Cie from power, they are changing the whole way that life as people know it, functions (because the Fal'Cie control food production, power generation etc). But this strikes at another age old problem - that the latter half of basically all RPGs are rushed and narratively suspect compared to the first half, because the game's plot is accelerated to get the game finished. The earlier stages are setting the scene, so they usually make more sense and are more carefully thought out in most RPGs. The later half is 'We tippity tap the magic button, we clickety click the plot switch, we cha-chunka chunka the oscillating dimension thrombosis compensator and hey presto - we're on the moon, in another universe fighting God - in a wrestling match for the fate of the universe!'




But to get back to the topic, I just don't feel like the characters really cohered or resolved their differences. Fang especially always seemed to me like she never fit in, and again I say it was a matter of convenience to include her in order to give the player a sixth party member. But I think the real turning point comes in Palumpolum; Lightning, Snow, and Hope meet back up and say hey, we're all out for the same goal and we don't know what it is but might as well stick together because we're friends till the end! I read a great review of XIII that explained Lightning's character to a T for me: "For the first half of the story her interactions with people are restricted to telling them to fuck off, hitting them in the face, or putting a sword through them. And then, of course, her heart grows three sizes and she transforms into a bland background voice who occasionally speaks up to announce the group's next destination within The Tube."I still don't see where convenient comes into this, but we have some agreement on this.

You can't fight your way out of all problems, but you *can* fight your way out a fight! Like Snow and NORA do at the hanging edge. You know, when PSICOM try to massacre everyone, because Lightning crashes the train and leaves everyone to fricking die! Snow and NORA help out, and try to save people (and do), whereas our 'heroine' walks off, trying to ditch the one survivor she does find. I just don't understand people who try to defend Lightning's actions in the first half of this game - they are indefensible. She lives the people in the hanging edge to be massacred when caused it, she leaves Sazh, Hope and Vanille to almost certain death in the Vile Peaks. And she herself admits in FF13-2 that these actions were her greatest mistakes - stains on her honor, that she feels she has to atone for. And saying Snow is just lucky... chip on your shoulder much? He saves as many people as he can in the hanging edge, he saves the people of palum polum even though they think he's the enemy (as PSICOM were rounding the crowd up to be purged, but they didn't know that), he tells the party to go easy on the soldiers when they return to Cocoon, taking out only those who won't back down. His actions impress people like Cid Raines and Yaag Rosch, enough that both attempt to follow his example and defy their orders, and their fate. He tries to help people and set a good example of how to behave with decency in difficult situations, and keep on going instead of giving up. If I was in a foxhole in the middle of shells going off all around me, I'd want someone like him there more than I would some doomy brooder, whose only comments is that we're all screwed, all going to die and be horribly blown up, so why not just get it over with and throw ourselves on the enemy bayonets in a 2 versus 20.000 suicide charge. I wouldn't care if he didn't have all the answers - just hearing someone talk like we're going to go out of this alive and with all our limbs still attached would be plenty good enough for me to be going on with. Its called Esprit de Corps, and it matters.

Barthandelous is not human, nor is it made clear if he is even capable of being good or evil in the truest sense. He commits extreme acts precisely because he knows they will motivate the characters, but he does save them several times too. If he's cruel, its because he wants them to do something and knows that emotional creatures like humans will react angrily. Its suits his purpose. If anything, he seems more exasperated than evil. He just wants them to do the 'decent' thing and put this excuse for a world out of its misery. I'm not saying I agree with him, but he believes it. His actions will destroy all life, but with the intention of having everyone reborn into a better, fairer life. Its not the same as wanting to rule the universe or own the rights to the energy in the Promised land etc etc. It may what we would deem to be a monstrously evil and insane plan, but he isn't doing it for power or glory or status. He really just wants to die, and his mandated role by the creator God doesn't allow him to deviate from his role in sheparding humanity - he cannot kill himself, but he can shepard them towards a very specific and destructive fate.

As for similarities, I've spoken of this many times. You're thinking too small in saying the FF games reuse this - *all* RPGs, west and east use this. They all have the same basic stories and recurring principles. Writers may come from different countries, and have different cultures, but life and death, issues with the family, the father figure etc are universal. The things you describe recur in all RPGs - name any JRPG or WRPG and you have the same tropes. Mass Effect is about a guy (Saren( trying to bring about the end of life as we know it, remaking it new and better under the Reapers. Star Ocean sees a crazed creator/programmer unleash a virus of divine beings to sweep in and purge the galaxy and reality he created, so he can start again, Persona 3 has a guy wanting to unleash the darkness in Tartarus to destroy the world and remake it in a new one, Persona 4 has a god enveloping the world in fog, making a new world to replace the unfair old one etc etc etc.

'There are no new stories' goes the saying, and its true. We basically just play the same story over and over and over again. Some malovolent force wants to remake the world in a new, fairer, better image and needs to use brute force and cruelty to do it. Our heroes rise up, say people don't really want that, and they'll demonstrate the power of Man's Will To Live, by beating the boss back to Bethlehem or wherever he came from. They put a slightly different spin on it each time of course, but you can always see the same basic framework. Companies are loath to change a system when they know it works - Bethesda have been making the same game for years now, sometimes calling it Fallout, other times Elder Scrolls, and with different numbers after the name, but its all the same thing with slightly jazzier graphics. Boware have made exactly the same WRPG for decades now, to the point where you can codify the character archtypes and plot beats in their games, and see it is in fact the same game with different skins for the characters.

This is not a revelation. The Souls series is doing the exact same thing right now - they've made 3 identical games with the same gameplay and story, and people love it. It happens. Final Fantasy specifically is a series in name only. The games share no common world, characters etc. Saying they are part of the same series because they share themes and tropes ignores the fact that those same tropes, and character archtypes appear in all the other JRPGs, whether SE is involved or not. The reason they share the Final Fantasy name is simple - money. JRPGs sell next to no copies, and are extremely expensive to make (hence the reason why there aren't very many of them at all anymore). Final Fantasy games however do sell, and regularly top the charts. The FF games could be their own named JRPG - its next to impossible to judge a game's 'Final Fantasyness' because they don't have any real unifying principles that can't be found in every other JRPG going. All the franchise name really means is 'Will get a bigger budget and staff, because its the company breadwinner' and 'Will sell millions more copies than if it was released unchanged but without the name Final Fantasy'.

Hope's mother is dead, and he has enough to deal with just staying alive, and worrying about becoming a mindless beast. He doesn't get over it, but he does have no choice but to put it from his mind for periods of time. Its either that or die, but it still isn't easy for him (nor should it be). Snow and Lightning don't get over Serah's death, because she isn't dead! There's still the chance she could be saved. Lightning can't deal (initally) with the idea that its a hope in vain, that its too much to hope for, too far fetched to the point where she considers her sister dead. But that's just the heat of the moment and extreme trauma talking. When she comes to her senses, she realizes (with Snow and Fang's help), that until Serah actually is dead, she needs to fight like there's no tomorrow, Its just that simple. And I can't say I disagree with any of that.

And as to the ending - lol! You misunderstand me completely, if you think I'd defend something like that. My point throughout this whole thread is that I will defend the things that this game does right (and it does a lot right, and in interesting ways IMO). What I won't stand for is the internet's usual over simplification and tribal posturing. A game is either 'The greatest game ever, and there's nothing better - ever!' or its 'The worst piece of garbage ever - ruined 4EVA, characters, story, art, music, gameplay, all so bad I nearly choked and died on my own vomit! F**k everything to with this game - all of it!'

We hear this kind of nonsense all the time. 'FF6- its so awesome, last good game Square did, Kefka's so ace, characters so amazing etc etc etc' or 'Dragon Age 2 is the worst game I've ever played in my life. Gameplay, story, characters all suck all the time', people who post on forums saying things like 'Before I say anything, I just want to say that Bethesda are the most amazing company ever, and make the greatest ever games. All their games are masterpieces, so anything I say bad about Fallout 3/Skyrim/whatever in this post, know that I still think there's 3000% better than anyone else's games etc etc'

Its retarded, and frankly its utterly embarassing. My kingdom for the day when people discuss games sensibly, and stop being so tribal and petty. Hey, I love Bioware's games, I like playing and exploring Bethesda's worlds, and yes, I love Final Fantasy. But that doesn't mean that I divide my time up into 'Whose side am I on now?' and neither do I consider there to be pretty much any games that I 100% despise or 100% love. My desire in defending this game is just the latest attempt to present a measured view. Games have good bits and bad bits, not that you would know it to look at the internet. Oh, this company are in the doghouse, so we must hate them and all their games from the blacklisted franchises. We don't just dislike those games - we *hate* them completely, everything about them.

Oh sorry, did I yawn there? Change the record people - this is what gives internet forums a bad name. People refusing to understand the whole concept of give and take, and just playing things with a open mind and not letting the media or the desire to be with the in-crowd, to be with the majority verdict and be 'right'. It gives this ridiculous image of the industry being full of perfect games and utterly appalling games. Whereas the truth is, if people just dropped their egos, they'd find that there is much to love in all kinds of games, so long as you don't go in with your mind made up, and nailing your colours to the opposition's mast (and the companies themselves are usually perfectly friendly with each other, don't consider themselves to be in direct competition at all). I'm just tired of the stupid posturing of the internet - this insistence that games be labelled as amazing or rubbish, that companies are the most amazing and the gamer's friends or evil, soulless, corporate monsters full of cutthroats who wake up each morning saying 'How can I screw over the average gamer and steal more of his money today?'

I just want some sanity in gaming discussions. I'm fed up of people just dismissing any criticisms of popular games as 'being negative' and dismissing any defence of unpopular games as 'fanboyism'. Final Fantasy is an old series - its lineage brings prestige, great sales, but also great baggage and a great big target on its belly for people looking to push their various agendas (pro Japan, Pro Western developers, pro Bioware, pro Bethesda, Anti-JRPG, pro 16-bit, pro whatever his name was who used to do the Final Fantasy games etc'). Despite claims to the contrary, discussion is almost never on the merits and demerits of the actual games. Its just 'We are anti this game, for this, this and this reason, so we will now proceed to complain about everything - *everything* in service of that end). Or vice versa - its truly wearing either way.

So when I look at games like Final Fantasy 13, Dragon Age 2 etc, I just despair of this industry and the way people discuss games. Because these are not bad games! I'm not saying everyone has to love or even like them, but the accusation that they are 100% rubbish, that there is nothing *at all* about them that people like, is just infantile and demeans us all that we can't move past such nonsense. I accept that these games (like most games) have problems, and that not everyone likes the same things. But the idea that people would be getting so angry, and be so dismissive, talking like they're examples of the worst games is foolish. You have people continually pulling out the opinion card. And hey, there's no greater advocate for people's right to their opinion than me. But too often, that is used as an excuse to attack companies and franchises that they just want to take a pop at.

This game is not perfect, but I just want it to get a fair shake. If people play it and they genuinely don't like it free from promoting some agenda or other, then fair enough - they gave it a shot at least. And just as I think there is plenty to admire here, there is plenty to criticize too. I'm willing to say when a game I like does something wrong, and that's a sight more than most on the internet will do. So basically, if it feels like I've pushed back or trying to shut down all your criticisms out of hand, I hope you'll see that isn't what I'm trying to do. I've explained where I think you're being unfair, I've agreed where I think you have a point. If I seem particularly strident in praising aspects of the game, its a symptom of the internet's usual modus operandi - i.e that if you give any ground, it will not be reciprocated, and people will just banging the 'this game sucks, because it just does and *everyone* knows it etc etc.

As should be obvious by now, I have little patience for the internet and its ways. If a person is willing to engage in open and fair debate (whether we agree or not), then I'm totally your man. But as soon as it gets to the 'everything about this sucks - its the company's fault, they've never been the same since their founder was fired, just because he swallowed 250 pounds of cocaine and strangled his mother with an electric eel' levels of nonsense and conspiracy theories/developer/original writer worship and just all that kind of rubbish. I'm only interested in what people think about each specific game, and making each game gets a fair hearing, and people hear both sides of every argument. So if you feel I'm coming back at you over everything, that's what I'm doing it. Its not personal see, jus' fessional is all'

And with that, I think my work here is done. If you have time and spot them in a bargain bin, then I recommend at least 13-2. Its just a fantastic game, that one *is* in my top 3 Final Fantasy games. Lightning Returns is a bit more dubious in terms of quality IMO. It has its moments, but if you've ever played Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia, just go back and play that again, because it essentially robs the whole story and characters of that game (and OoE is better IMO).

Terramax
10-11-2014, 11:38 AM
To add my two cents into the conversation, for the 0.2 people who care, I managed around 15 hours before giving up.

What gets me is how much I wanted to enjoy this game and how much potential the story had going for it.

Was I the only one that picked up on the underlying Nazi concentration camp vibe at the start of the game? Why wasn't this elaborated on more? They could have done so much with it!

And I genuinely liked some of the characters in this game. I think the black dude is quite possibly the best written, acted, and most identifiable character in any Final Fantasy I've played, and I feel bad about myself that I wasn't able to pursue further to see how his story ended. I'm sure he gets his kid back, but maybe I'll never know.

I liked Vanille too, or however you spell her name. The only person who did like her.

But I didn't like that whiny bitch Hope, and Lighting must go down as one of the worst main characters in video game history. Why exactly did they choose the most miserable character to be the main protagonist? It's not as if Cloud from-- oh, wait...

And I've still no idea what the main story is about. I tried reading all the pre-written overviews. Hell, I've even searched the net on a few occasions for 'Final Fantasy XIII Plot for Dummies' but couldn't find anything that put the plot into simple terms. Perhaps I'm a dumb guy, but if so I don't like a game that likes to tell me I'm dumb.

The combat was just ridiculous, and I can't believe the game passed through all the quality checks before being released. I swear all the main boss battles were just trial and errors. You couldn't choose what magic you wanted to learn first. It was ultimately trial and error gameplay with every fight until you figured out which one particular selection for all the characters worked.

Some might argue that the series has always had these faults, but really they haven't. They have always given the ability to make choices, take the game at your own pace, and even participate in side stories, quests, mini games, or perhaps just dick about a bit whenever you feel like it. You simply couldn't do any of this for the first 15 hours I played through.

Strangely, I've got the urge to give this game another try. I wonder if it's worth importing an EU copy to where I'm living right now (Japan).

Vrykolas
10-12-2014, 05:04 AM
Cloud is not a miserable character. I honestly don't know where people get that from - he's arrogant and macho, which grates on Barret (which is ironic considering). He becomes more serious as FF7 progresses, but that's to be expected given where his personal goes. For the first half of the game though, he's a self confident, swaggering sort of guy. Lightning is by contrast near permanently sullen, and yes I agree that is extremely tiresome.

As for the combat... well each to their own. I didn't find it trial and error, because the game takes about a hundred hours making absolutely sure you know how to play it. If anything, they needed to let you off the leash sooner. The roles are all very clear about what they do and what you should use them for. I'm not throwing around any 'Git gud!' nonsense, but the game really does hold your hand for a very long time drilling it into you. The Barthendelous boss fight is a roadblock for many, because despite them complaining about the game locking too many features, they clearly weren't actually bothering to learn, and were just mashing X. That doesn't work as the game goes on, and most people it seems, found that out the hard way.

And the story isn't hard to follow after the first 3-4 hours (where lots of important information is hidden away in the datalog). But your situation is nevertheless a common one, and not for any lack of intelligence on your part. Its because the game does string out the story beats for so long that its easy to forget what is going on. With the way the narrative is constantly bouncing about from one group to the next, it can make things very disorienting. When the party finally join up properly in Chapters 9 and 10, you can speak to the characters at the start of the Fifth Ark (as in approach them and talk to them outside of cutscenes). Hope in particular has some very useful dialogue that breaks it all down in easy to understand terms. He basically cuts through all the flowery language and just gives the 'This is what the hell is going on, why we should care, what we should do and how we should do it'. Its incredibly handy.

Its an awkward game, there's no denying that. At least you gave it a chance, which is more than most people it seems. I may not agree with everything you say, but I can understand how it would leave that impression.

Nostalgia gamer
10-12-2014, 08:29 AM
I have a complaint about FFXIII, it is where snow raises his gun to the air in the public and shouts:I AM A PULSE LE CIE!!
I AM GOING TO KILL YOU ALL!! some of the tactics he uses like saying:GO guns blazing isn't brilliant.Scaring people who are convinced that le cie are evil.Going around and shooting in the air isn't exactly a good way to do that.Also:Even when barthandalus revealed that he wanted the team to kill him to bring orphan out was pretty dumb as well.

---------- Post added at 09:29 AM ---------- Previous post was at 09:23 AM ----------

I am not going to read those huge walls of texts.Ugh.

Vrykolas
10-13-2014, 05:48 AM
But the people were about to be killed, because Rosch had ordered his men to level whole parts of the city if they even suspected that a L'Cie was there (and actually has to threaten his men to make them carry out such an extreme order). Now that Snow and Hope had been detected, that whole area would be swarming with Sanctum troops indiscriminately gunning down anyone who got in the line of fire - they had to get the people out of there as quickly as possible.

They wouldn't have just gone because he asked them, and people trust the Sanctum so they wouldn't believe it if they were told what was about to happen. Snow did the only thing he could to get people moving - scare them. And real life has sadly proven time and again that this is the most reliable way of getting people to co-operate, because people ignore most warnings and don't take notice - but threaten them, frighten them, force them in a very up close and physical way and *then* they take notice. To take a real life example, compare it with when there are huge floods or volcanic eruptions etc scheduled to hit areas, and guaranteed to kill anyone there at the time. You'd think everyone would get the hell out of dodge, but there are *always* people who shrug off such warnings and stay in their homes. They just won't have it that they are in any danger, and only try to flee when the disaster actually hits, or are forcibly moved out by government and NGO agents for their own safety (and some still won't unless said forces are willing to literally restrain them and carry them from their property).

Plus, you're being highly selective in singling that instance out. During the same passage of time, Snow makes a creditable attempt to de-escalate the situation, by offering to negotiate with Rosch. He is willing to risk being gunned down with no chance of escape at Hope's house, in an attempt to show that they mean no harm, and that when they aren't actively being attacked and hunted, they are absolutely not the enemies here, and not the menaces that the Sanctum make them out to be. Rosch isn't yet willing to hear this argument, but the honourable intention behind it takes root, and eventually he comes around and accepts Snow's viewpoint later in the game.

So painting Snow as this rabble rousing anarchist who doesn't have any care in what he does is extremely unfair. Every situation is different. Some *demand* action to save lives, but some demand compromise. As with Rosch and with Cid, Snow is willing to hear people out if they agree to stop shooting. He is far more sensible and practical than most people give him credit for, which Lightning eventually realizes.

ffxiiifanatic
11-15-2014, 11:03 PM
I like FFXIII a lot. This game was my first final fantasy video game. The graphics were for the first time HD so FFX/FFX-2 HD Remastered possibly wouldn't be in HD. The concept of healing with potions after battles was not implemented because the difficulty of monsters before a boss monster and you might not know when that is. It 's better to start off with as much as HP in a battle as you can. Square Enix was trying to be helpful. I can't change your opinion but after reading this, I hope you might hate the game a little less. Besides you could try the sequels, FFXIII-2 and Lightning Returns.

Nostalgia gamer
12-02-2014, 04:43 AM
I don't know how old you are FFXiiiiofanatic, and you said its your first ff.

I started a long long time ago, and have lots of experience.From my perspective as a ff fan, this game made me hate se, why?

It misses out on many things from classic games that i loved or liked.Take for an example:FF legends 1-3:Its innovative but its fun too.You can turn into monsters and have mutants who learn spells and resistances.There is strategy and such.Its just plain interesting.The story isn't great by any means so far, but the gameplay is fun.

I Think keeping it simple is good, as well as keeping the gameplay enjoyable.FFXIII does none of these for me at all:I hate the gameplay and i hated the story more.I couldn't stand any of the characters.I might bare the gameplay if i loved the characters.I wasn't crazy about the gameplay in dragon age origins, but i really enjoyed the characters.I have mixed feelings for ff9, and yet i really like a lot of bits about it.FF tactics is frustratingly hard at times, and yet the story is told in such a way, that it just breathes atmosphere.

You never get a feeling of being inside the game because of slowly seen cutscenes and reading.Instead:everything is in the cutscenes, and or you get a huge boring atlas that i don't care about.In my opinion:FFXIII is no ff7 or ff6 or ff tactics, and in gameplay:it is no FFX.

At least FFX offered variety of gameplay instead of taking it away.Even the leveling system is linear.To me, all these things take away from the feeling.I don't want to have that feeling that i'm taken out of the world, but rather:The story so involving of the player, that the player is immersed into the story, and yes i think FFXIII is worse than FF8 in most ways.FF8 was annoying, and had a stupid story, but the idea of triple triad was interesting.I just wasn't digging anything of it.

Olde mentioned something that strikes true to home:

Something about the bitching and moaning of the characters just doesn't seem like it feel like an interesting character, its more like:[Only registered and activated users can see links] and not in an interesting way.
Being a crybaby doesn't equate to being a good character either, it just is annoying.Take for an example:The nostalgia critic was talking about some super hero movies and how some get overly melodramatic and crying.In some instances:YES!! its true.

[Only registered and activated users can see links] He is an anti hero in the very sense.He is very damaged goods, and fights with his own despair.
He does not whine about it continuously, so as you can see:Whining all the time doesn't make a good character, and hope does a lot of it.Sure you could say he wanted revenge, bla bla bla, but what i saw was a one dimensional cry baby.People whined about tidus being annoying, but he didn't annoy me like the way hope did.I want to go and kick his teeth in repeatedly, and tell him to grow some balls and shut the fuck up.He's 14 years old, not 5.He cries a bit much for a 14 year old.

Even lightning gets kind of emo during the last chapter, but she was ok at least during the first half.

And cloud strife isn't emo.He's more of an asshole and a poser.At least he isn't emo.

I did try out the last game, and i was a little more interested in lightning returns than the others.I like the fact you have various weapons and jobs and can switch between them, like a sort of real time fighter rpg.

ffxiiifanatic
12-08-2014, 08:59 PM
I am 13 years old. My opinion is my opinion. You are entitled to your own opinion. If I didn't remember that, who knows what I would have done out of rage. FF13 is different from any other final fantasy, that I agree.

However, I would like to say that for me the storyline was emotional because I could relate to the characters. With Fang, who wouldn't want to protect their loved ones? Like Lightning, who wouldn't blame themself if something happened to their loved ones? Didn't Cloud blame himself for Aerith's death? Lightning blamed herself for Serah becoming a crystal and possibly being never able to go to college, never do any jobs and never marry her love. Hope is a 14 year old but he lost his mother, technically he's allowed to mourn for her and cry. I lost my mother, father, aunt, uncle and 3 siblings when I was 7. I understand how Hope feels because I kept on crying and even tried suicide so much. FYI, my parents bought this when they were still alive. FFX's sphere grid is what FF13's leveling system is based on so theoretically speaking, the crystarium is linear. If you want to, listen to Zephyrsonic on YouTube about how much he enjoyed the game, even though some parts he felt were annoying like how fast the enemies spawned in Orphan's Cradle. Hope stops whining that much after his Eidolon battle on Pulse. He was the one who kept on making speeches like reasonable words.

During Chapter 12, the cutscene after fighting some sacrifices, Hope says that Barthandelus is testing them. He's waiting for them to break and then it's focus time. Snow compliments "Wait for us to break and slip on the leash."
Before the last battle, he says,"If we have the power to destroy Cocoon, then we have the power to save it." and when Snow found out their real focus from Dysley, he started brooding.

Lightning is not an emo in the last chapter. She is more of an optimist and she is the one to make an inspirational speech in the cutscene mentioned before which provokes the fal'Cie Orphan and shows that she will do anything to save Cocoon and Serah. She was sort of an emo in the beginning with Serah taken by the fal'Cie and turned to crystal.

I know that Tidus wasn't annoying.

I just tend to mainly look at the storyline and people's emotions instead of a certain element that a series is known for. If one of your favorite games was criticized by someone you know, you would defend it right? That is simply what I'm doing.

I'm glad though that you are at least interested in Lightning Returns. I am a bit stuck though because I just finished the fight with Caius and I am doing as much of the Sazh main quest but I'm on Day 8 and my stats aren't that good so I don't think I can get to the fight with Bhunivelze at this rate.

Vrykolas
12-08-2014, 10:04 PM
If you can beat Caius, then you should be able to beat Bhunivelze. He's tough - maybe even the toughest final boss in FF, but you don't need to be superhuman to beat him. My character was pretty hard, but I know I missed a lot of quests. There's an optional set of trials right before the final boss that aren't too tough, and you get given a supremely powerful weapon and shield that makes the fight a whole lot easier. If you really, really can't do it, then there's crystal that resets the game, resers all the quests and bosses to be beaten again, but keeps your stats (basically New Game+ lite). With your stats, you'll cruise back through the game, and put up all the stat increases again, making you super powered to beat Bhun.

But it shouldn't come to that. By beating Caius, you've shown that you have the basic skills to beat the game. I'm not going to lie - it is surprisingly tough, but I'm sure you'll manage it. I don't consider myself an expert at this game by any means, but I made it through without needing to reset.

And don't mind Nostalgia Gamer - he's never understood the concept of opinions. He thinks his opinions are facts and despite many people trying to explain to him how wrong and aggravating that is, none of us have succeeded yet. If you think you can convince him that just because he thinks something it doesn't make it true, then please be my guest. I wouldn't hold my breath though - I've never known anyone as stubborn as he is. He responded to basically every person who's ever come on this forum praising FF13 - he's like a sort of forum boss battle with infinite HP, but no ATK.

Just ignore him if he keeps trolling (he originally gave the game 7/10 and when that didn't garner the appropriate outrage, he dropped it to 0/10 - the next day). That's the kind of person he is. If people don't like the game, then that's fine - but he insists he's right, and ignores all counter points to his arguments.

ffxiiifanatic
12-09-2014, 07:53 AM
I was listening to Alice Nine Rainbows when I saw this message. I got 0 stars and a score of one when I beat Caius. I'm scared that I can't beat the Dead Dunes Quest in time. I'm on day 8 and have gotten at least til the 12th day but I'm mainly focusing on the main quest with Sazh and then go onto to Dead Dunes. I also want to get Day 14 however I only have 65 stars(at the most) from sidequests. Please Help. I was only able to beat a Reaver with Army of One and I want to know how to get the weapon they have but like the one the omega has. On the original FFXIII, I am close to the Proudclad battle, so I am ginding for CP and money. On FFXIII-2, I am on Academia 500 AF but I don't understand it at all.

Vrykolas
12-09-2014, 10:58 PM
I presume you're not playing them all simutaneously, unless you're some kind of Octopus. Anything's possible I guess, and hey I don't discriminate against sea based organisms... :D

Anyway, you should have plenty of time (and The Wildlands and Dead Dunes are so full of enemies that you can just spam Chronostasis indefinately really). So time isn't an issue. You've beaten Caius and he's the toughest of the regular bosses (least HP I guess, but his attacks are just relentlessly brutal). Anyway, I'm going to assume you've beaten Noel and Snow. So that just leaves Parandus - the boss is originally called Grendel, but from Day 8 onwards he morphs into the tougher version called Parandus). He's actually quite tough due to his sheer stats, but the Dead Dunes is full of quests to buff yourself up, and if you spam Chronostasis, you'll easily have enough time to fully explore it.

Seriously, don't worry about the time limit. I also fought Parandus on Day 8, and Sazh's mission is quick and easy, being just a short collection mission. The toughest fights you'll be encountering around this time are the various Eaters (Chocobo and Earth Eaters). There is one that invades the Chocobo farm in the Wildlands, and if you leave it until the later days, it gets absolutely crazy strong. If you haven't killed it yet, I recommend going there right now to get it over with before it becomes even stronger.

As to the weapon... Its hard for me to give detailed technical advice, because its been nearly a year since I played this game. If you mean the Flesh Render (big glowing Behemoth sword with auto regen), I think you need to kill the Behemoth Last One (i.e kill lots of them until the glowing one shows up - the Wildlands being the place for that.) So long as you can find a way to kill Reavers, they give you lots of points to keep using Chronostasis, so time won't be an issue. Killing them is an issue though, yes? That's not an easy one, except to say that they are very tough enemies, so there's no need to panic if you're having trouble (I always had trouble against the Cyclopses). The same basic rules for fighting Behemoths in all 3 games apply - try to ambush them, and use defuffs to make sure they don't get a chance to stand up and regen. Easy to say, harder to do. Always remember that Debuffs may seem useless, but they really do help. If you aren't using them, then you need to start incorporating them.

As for the final day... well, I got it and I didn't do all the quests, so you don't have to worry about needing 100% completion or anything. I missed a bunch of the board quests in each zone, failed a quest in Luxerion (some girl ran into the Warrens and the cultists killed her before I could get there) and I didn't kill any of the super bosses. But I did do a lot of quests. You get a huge amount of juice for the plant just by killing the bosses. Killing a boss is worth dozens of side quests. Can't really be more specific - just keep doing all the quests you find, unless they seem like too much of a hassle. The game won't punish you if you miss a few quests here and there.

On FF 13-2, I assume you have the Hover Jump ability? You pretty much need it to complete that level. If you don't have it, its at the Casino. Get a bunch of fragments and the woman in the hut on the left will give you the Hover Jump (or whatever its called) as one of the rewards. I obviously can't explain the whole thing, but one thing I do remember is that the set of platforms leading to the goal, you have to go on the left hand side. The top right platform has some unique enemies that you only need to bother about if you want the Monster Professor fragment. Best to make sure you're fully prepared before finishing that level - Caius is unbelivably tough to beat.

Sorry I can't be more help. Its a while since I played the games (planning to go through them all again over Christmas). As a final note, I should say that Lightning Returns is probably the hardest of the 3 games. Tough bosses, just the one character and the timer hanging over your head make it a demanding game. There's no shame if you're finding it tough. 13-2 is the easiest (but the final boss is really brutal). The age old wisdom applies - if you get into trouble, then grind for levels!

Nostalgia gamer
12-10-2014, 05:40 AM
Hope kept on whining though, even till late in the game.Only difference, is by the end he finally grew some balls and stopped crying a little, but there was no character development in my opinion.He was awful.
The others had a bit more variety, but hope in my opinion is one of the worse characters i have ever seen.People complain about cloud being emo because he cried, and edward cause he cried during the death of his loved one, but i would take edward a million times over hope.Edward was a sissy, which is fine, because we never had a sissy male character who was a wimp in the hero team i think.Villains, yes(Kefka) but heroes? no.

Heck, locke's development of lost ones was better done than any of the love in FFXIII.we get a cutscene showing what happened, and regrets.Its more human.In FFXIII, hope spends most of the time jus crying about how his parents were killed.He kind of has the personality of an angsty teen rebelling against his parents, and not in a good way.

Vanille is bland and forgettable, and it isn't until late in the game where we get much backstory, as is fang.At least snow has a personality at the start, but we don't see much of vanille aside from the happy go lucky personality of both fang and vanille.
Snow is overly confident, and makes mistakes.He acts out of emotion and is irrational, like banging the crystal.
Sazh tries to cover his emotions, but deep down he is worried about his son.He tries to kill vanille because she was involved in his son becoming a le'cie, and he was too cowardly and tries to kill himself and he couldn't.After that part, he is no longer developed.

I can't think of anything positive to say about FFXIII, except maybe it looks pretty.Even the crystal thing you pointed out, is a hollow version of the FFX crystarium, offering zero options.It is a linear linear hallway of a crystal.Watch spoony's review:He is accurate about it.I wish there were more unique abilities that could differentiate characters.

Isley Of The North
12-18-2014, 01:26 AM
How many yrs has this clown been whining about XIII?

AbelsArk2006
12-21-2014, 09:57 PM
I remember people said the EXACT SAME THING when FFXII came out and just now people are coming to their senses, realizing that it wasn't "that bad". I'm not saying FFXIII was as good as FFXII and i'm not saying it wasn't. Just that the general consensus is that "Everything after 7/8 or 10 sucks". Give it a few years and people'll come around to XIII. Mark my words.

Sheechiibii
12-22-2014, 08:23 AM
It's already been more than a few years. It's been five. And people still hate FFXIII.

ffxiiifanatic
12-22-2014, 11:12 AM
In Japan and other non American countries, Final Fantasy XIII sold over 1.7 million copies in 2009. In January 2013, 6.6 million copies worldwide. Admit it you are nothing but a Hater to Final Fantasy XIII. Nothing you say will make me change my opinion and remember some people actually love the game. Like Zephyrsonic, Aljhary Hassan, Splitplaythru, Shou of Alice Nine visual kei band and many more. Oh yeah, if you ask who Shou is, I suggest going onto youtube and looking up "Alice Nine Channel July 2012". One of the episodes talks about final fantasy.

Sheechiibii
12-22-2014, 11:41 AM
Of course some people love the game, and some hate it. That's the thing about people having different preferences and opinions. Don't forget in order to have either opinion you first need to have played the game, so in those 6.6 million copies that were sold, many people would not have enjoyed the game at all, so sales stats are meaningless when it comes to judging how many people liked or did not like the game.

Darth Revan
12-22-2014, 11:48 AM
When XIII was first released, I got the CE and Guidebook... and regretted it. Watch Zero Punctuation's review of it (Here : Zero Punctuation - Final Fantasy XIII ([Only registered and activated users can see links])). I had exactly the same gripes with it as Yahtzee. However, after XIII-3 came out, I decided to give it another try to see if my opinion of it changed (This method worked for myself with GTAV (but not for Saints Row IV))... and my opinion didn't change... will it did to a degree : I added XIII-2 and XIII-3 to my dislike/hate pile (only keep them for completionist sake for my FF Collection).

To me, the XIII trilogy is one of the worst of the FF series so far (JUST MY OPINION). Of course that may change when Type - 0 and XV come out next year (or might not). Still.. to those that like/love it, continue on and don't let others sway you otherwise. To those who dislike/hate it, again... continue and don't let the opinions of others deter you. There is no such thing as a 100% universally accepted perfect game, as it will never exist due to each individual's own opinion.

Vrykolas
12-24-2014, 05:59 PM
Yep, its just opinions. But there are ways of expressing those opinions, and to have people instantly jump up and down on you telling 'No, you're completely wrong - its rubbish!' over and over and over, refusing to even entertain the notion of give and take in an argument, making huge generalizations and just flat out getting details wreng and refusing to accept it... it gets old.

And can we please stop bringing up Zero Punctuation? He's funny yes, but the whole point of his site is to hate everything and point out the obvious flaws in games that other people are too afraid to do. He has freely admitted that he can't really say nice things about most games, because people don't like it when he does that - its not what they come to him for. He still plays the same media game as most other sites, just in a more acceptable way. He took a lot of heat for disliking The Last of Us for example, to the point where he spent weeks after trashing obvious targets like Ride to Hell Retribution to try and get back on his fans' good side (and even admitted that).

Lastly, he like many other western reviewers simply hates JRPGs, and trashes even the good ones like Valkyria Chronicles etc. The only JRPG I can remember him liking at all was Dark Souls, and that was years after the fact when it had become popular in the west already. He's never been much for any of the FF games, and doesn't review most JRPGs at all. He only reviewed FF13 and its sequels, because they are big enough that he is expected to have an opinion on them, and his (primarily western) fans will enjoy watching him beat those games up.

As has been stated many times, Final Fantasy is a series in name only. The games should all really be seperate titles, but they sell more if you slap the name Final Fantasy on the cover. But it also attracts the attention of non JRPG fans who insist on taking the opportunity afforded by a big name JRPG to remind everyone how much they hates JRPGs. And it encourages the usual nonsensical wars between series fans over whether its 'better' than the previous installments, when in actuality the games have such different systems and modern technology has turned them into different kinds of experiences, that its all but meaningless to do any such comparisons anymore.

What I'm getting at is that the title Final Fantasy is like a target. Its a magnetic one at that - it attracts people's cash, but it also attracts their firepower. The only opinions I actually care about are those from series fans (hence my presence here). Opinions from people like Yahtzee, as amusing as they are, are pointless. He is a person who doesn't like this sort of thing anyway, has a fanbase who actively demand he trash these kinds of games, and basically is in no way equipped to tell any series fan anything about these games, as the only thing he'll reveal is his own predjudice and ignorance of them. The same as if I decided to go around offering opinions on Forza Motorsport or Call of Dity etc. I think they suck, but I hate those kinds of games anyway, so what the hell qualifies me to say anything about them?

Darth Revan
12-24-2014, 06:49 PM
I'll stop bringing up zero punctuation when this thread finally dies and stops being revived. His posts are reviews for games he has played etc. Would you demand that other similar shows not be brought up? Angry Joe Show for one? (Hey I agree with his review of The Last of Us... it's garbage). For the record, Yahtzee DID like JRPG's, but fell out of favor with them around FFVII (I met him a few years ago and actually asked him if he hates JRPG's and/or RPG's in general... How they have changed in one aspect, yet haven't in another amongst other things; pandering to one mindset etc etc etc is what he hates). Saying that opinions from people like Yahtzee 'are pointless'... sorry, but I call you out on that Vrykolas. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion whether we agree with it or not.

No offense, but your post attacking people like Yahtzee smacks of a bigoted one minded approach of "If you don't like what I like, then you are wrong so fuck off and I'll make fun of you" thing.

If Neg was still here, I'd recommend closing this thread as it's gotten way out of hand and just needs to die.