Sunday, March 21, 2010
The thirteenth time
Finally beat Final Fantasy XIII (64 hours of play time), and I'm not really certain of what to say. This instalment is so similar to Final Fantasy X it's unbelievable.
First off the world is similar, the fashion is similar, the battle system is similar to the one in X2... I could just keep going. However as much like X, XIII is by no means as good as X. How do I put this, it's like they didn't put enough effort into the proper development of the story.
Honestly there's a massive conflict. The protagonists are great, strong, and very well fleshed out. However the purpose driving them over all is very poor, and even now I'm puzzled for as to why they had to do what they did. Sure they have their own individual reasons of starting the fight, but not all of them have a good one at the end of the game. That's not the only problem either.
Directly linked to the lack of overall motivation is the fact that it is devoid a properly defined antagonist. There are a few larger bad guys here and there. Yet the one you fight in the end is never given enough screen time to feel like he fills those big bad guy shoes sufficiently. Aside from that the world design is done in a way that make you feel like your the only one in it. No real towns, social hubs, and the full lack of a traditional mini-game makes the world feel desolate. You can also throw in bad pacing, awkwardly timed character emotions, and a slew of special terminology that can only be understood after reading the in-game encyclopaedia; and you have yourself a game that just doesn't come off right.
The only problem with all that is how the combat system is very well done, and fun. I don't know why but it hits a lot of keys in the right ways. If you've ever played FF X-2 then you know the VERY basic idea of how the battle system works and looks. However all the problems and timing issues have been removed. Proper strategy makes a difference, and thinking before the battle is just as important as having fast reaction time during combat.
It's a give and take scenario really.
++ The main characters are VERY well defined, yet lack proper opposition and a unified reason to continue their quest.
++ The game looks fantastic, but lacks NPCs to populate it, and feels empty as a result.
++ The story is poorly paced with many puzzlingly awkward moments, yet it has some very good and rock solid gameplay.
Though I think it has more cons than pros the gameplay is what really masters since it IS a GAME. So In the end I think that I'm pleased with my purchase, and just hope that the nest one is... somehow better.
Written by William Strife at 2:03:00 AM