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Thread: Final Fantasy XIII - Free-roam

  1. #1
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    Final Fantasy XIII - Free-roam

    I have been reading a couple of threads and searching online, but still confused about free roam. Is there any point in Final Fantasy XIII where you can free roam (freely explore the world, travel the map and find spheres) like in Final Fantasy X-2? After beating the game can u still keep going on like FFX-2? Looking forward to hear from your end.

    Thanks in advance.
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  2. #2
    Neg
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    In Chapter 11 you're able to explore a much larger area than which you are allowed to up until that point. You're free to take hunt missions as they become available, but it's not THAT big of an area and it's still pretty linear. Plus, often the missions open up in prescribed ways.

    After you clear the game you're allowed to return to the area from Ch. 11 and complete all of the missions.

    You get a BIT of freedom, but it isn't much, at all. XIII is a linear experience, from start to finish. You're just....tricked, into believing that you have some choice via the contrast effect.

    Smoke and mirrors.

  3. #3
    I'm a princess now! Raidenex's Avatar
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    Most FF games are the same linear experience - in fact, FF13 probably has more side-missions that Final Fantasy VII, just condensed in a smaller area.

    I think FF13's main problem is that it comes directly after FF12, which raised the bar when it came to free-roaming and side-missions.

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    Neg
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    Preaching to the choir. I am a Xenosaga fan, after all.

    The linearity doesn't bother me, but no point in not being brutally honest about it when people ask.

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    Grand Shriner Scryer's Avatar
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    I think FF13's main problem is that it comes directly after FF12, which raised the bar when it came to free-roaming and side-missions.
    True but I think that FF12's storyline didn't realize its full potential which could have made it an excellent game.

    For me FF13 and FF12 are pretty much opposite of each other; one's linear, the other isn't as linear; one has a more realized story, the other never really fulfilled its potential.

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    I'm a princess now! Raidenex's Avatar
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    FF12's storyline did exactly what it tried to do - create an epic storyline about the rise and fall of kingdoms. The entire Ivalice series of games have encompassed some of the best epic medieval fantasy storytelling that Square Enix has ever offered.

    The problem is that Final Fantasy's fan base prefers anime archetypes and obvious villains rather than political intrigue.

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    Grand Shriner Scryer's Avatar
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    You are right in that XII was an epic storyline.

    But with the two sleeping factions (Rozarria and the Rebellion forces led by Ondore) that make up an important part of the story and with the main character being forgotten about mid-way through the game, I can't help but feel that we were cheated out of a game that could've been amazing.

    I have already talked about my feelings on XII in regards to the storyline in my review thread.

    I hope that SE attempts another epic storyline final fantasy but I just hope that they do it right next time.

  8. #8
    Sewer Diver Smarty's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scryer View Post
    You are right in that XII was an epic storyline.

    But with the two sleeping factions (Rozarria and the Rebellion forces led by Ondore) that make up an important part of the story and with the main character being forgotten about mid-way through the game, I can't help but feel that we were cheated out of a game that could've been amazing.

    I have already talked about my feelings on XII in regards to the storyline in my review thread.

    I hope that SE attempts another epic storyline final fantasy but I just hope that they do it right next time.
    I agree. FFXII was the most ambitious of all, and succeeded only partially. There was potential for true brilliance.

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    FF12 never quite got to the heights that the first half of the game suggested it could reach (or at least wasn't able to stay there for sustained periods).

    But the change of director caused no small amount of chaos on that score, and it can't have been easy coming in to finish up another man's story, perhaps without knowing at all, how he intended to finish it!

    But I agree with Raidenex, that the free roaming and side questing has never been better than in FF12. I think the fact that the world just looks and feel so right and so interesting (it manages to feel realistic and fanatasical), helps a lot with this.

    Compared to that, FF13 is telling a much tighter, much more focused and time sensitive story. Although you can technically tackle the hunts during the main game, it's really only possible with the final Crystarium upgrade.

    I.e the side quests and free roaming of FF13 are largely post game content.

  10. #10
    Grand Shriner
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    I knew I should of not got this game, it's just a filppin movie. Thats 14 hours of my time wasted.

  11. #11
    Lord of Curry Dragoncurry's Avatar
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    Who cares if it's linear. FF10 was linear and it was sick. I said it before and I'll say it again, until FF13 gives us a world to love, free - roaming will be meaningless. To be able to run around more freely in an empty world is never going to top a linear game that has a fleshed out world.

    The people of Gaea.
    The people of Baron.
    The people of Midgar.
    The people of Spira.
    The people of Ivalice.
    The individuals of the galaxy in Mass Effect
    The individuals in Dragon Age

    They make the game as much as the main characters or any story, free roam or no. So don't expect chapter 11's free roam to save the game, it won't. Pulse is just as empty of personality. I tried talking to that brachiosaurus but it shit on my face when I brought up the weather.

  12. #12
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    Your characters are outsiders in FF13, and cannot interact with people because of who they are. The more they interact with anyone on Coccoon, the more likely it is they would be discovered.

    The story is built on the fact that they cannot turn to anyone but each other for help on what to do. If they could just go around speaking to everyone, then any pretence that they are on the run and are being hunted, would evaporate.

    RPGs have always trodden on thin ice when it comes to time sensitive stories versus free roaming. It hardly ever makes any sense that you could just stop pursuing the main story and go off exploring. All too often, RPGs tell you 'This is happening right now - get over there quick or else', but whether you go straight there, or complete every side quest in the whole game, the event doesn't progress until you get there.

    It kills the immersion, but people accept it, because they don't like to be railroaded and do like exploring and doing side quests. And in the case of many WRPGs, the main story is the least interesting thing in the game, so it barely matters to people anyway. How many people are waiting to play Skyrim so they can do the main story? The better question will probably be 'Will anyone even bother to do the main story in that game?'

    For better or worse, JRPGs are focused on their main stories, and FF13 is fairly unique in that it decides not to let you just drop everything in the midst of an ongoing story and do whatever you want, until you decide you're ready to be on the run and in danger again.

    I'm not saying they didn't make any mistakes in FF13, but its not as easy to fix this stuff as you might think. The main story only works if the party feel alienated from the people around them (they are being asked to kill the whole planet, after all). So we need at least the suggestion that the party might actually go through with it - which we wouldn't have, if they met all kinds of NPCs that they formed friendships with etc.

  13. #13
    Grand Shriner
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    Who says you have to talk to people to be able to explore?

  14. #14
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    When you are on the run, it is customary to run in the opposite direction of the people you are trying to escape. Or if you decide to tackle your problem head on, you head straight for them.

    What you wouldn't do, is wander off and start randomly exploring the local countryside and towns for a bit! Because *when* you get caught, its a bit late to think 'Oh yeah, maybe I should have tried to get away...'

    They're on the lam - they don't have time for sightseeing!

  15. #15
    Lord of Curry Dragoncurry's Avatar
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    I agree, but consider this scenario. Your party wears disguises as they move through populated cities. As they are discovered, they begin to run and people start running from you. There is a faction of die hard anti-L'cie followers and a faction of L'cie supporters (given this has happened before). With that you already have depths to the people of Cocoon. One that doesn't have them herded like sheep and one where you move through ghost towns.

    A perfect example is when Sahz and Vanille move through the park-like place. The people were all static, placeholders one without any motivations to help or attack your party members. The L'cie symbols could be hidden easily enough.

    Again, I am not advocating for a free roam environment but one where the world matters. And the fact that an area existed where Sahz and Vanille could have but did not interact with people from Cocoon shows that the idea has a possibility to exist but it wasn't thought through. Linear games are fine, FFX shows that.
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