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Thread: People like FFXIII so much WHY GOD WHY? its the biggest betrayal ever to ff fans

  1. #76
    Onion Kid
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    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

  2. #77
    Grand Shriner
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    It was one guy with an extremely big rock from space, to be fair...

  3. #78
    Shriner Schlubalybub's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nostalgia gamer View Post
    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.Alsoon'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

  4. #79
    Grand Shriner
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    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.

  5. #80
    Grand Shriner
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    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.

  6. #81
    Shriner Schlubalybub's Avatar
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    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.

  7. #82
    Grand Shriner
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    Quote Originally Posted by Schlubalybub View Post
    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)

  8. #83
    Grand Shriner Son of Kalas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Isley Of The North View Post
    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

  9. #84
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steviesims2059 View Post
    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?

  10. #85
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    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 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.
    Last edited by Vrykolas; 06-03-2014 at 08:25 PM.

  11. #86
    I am real super sand! Star Magician's Avatar
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    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...
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  12. #87
    you know my username and my avatar arent related Mercenary Raven's Avatar
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    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.
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  13. #88
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    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!

  14. #89
    jen' jari iv tave sith Darth Revan's Avatar
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    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...


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  15. #90
    Grand Shriner
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    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?

  16. #91
    RIP FFShrine: 2001-2010 Olde's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vrykolas View Post
    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.
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    Oh, now i get it...

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  17. #92
    Grand Shriner
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    I bring you greetings from the people of my planet, Olde!

    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.

  18. #93
    RIP FFShrine: 2001-2010 Olde's Avatar
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    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 [Hidden link. Register to 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.

  19. #94
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    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).

  20. #95
    Shriner
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    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).

  21. #96
    Grand Shriner
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    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.

  22. #97
    Grand Shriner
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    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.

  23. #98
    Grand Shriner
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    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.
    Last edited by Vrykolas; 10-13-2014 at 06:36 AM.

  24. #99
    Onion Kid
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    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.

  25. #100
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    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:[Hidden link. Register to 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.

    [Hidden link. Register to 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.
    Last edited by Nostalgia gamer; 12-02-2014 at 06:18 PM.

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