Final Fantasy XIII

16 05 2010

Firstly, I am well out of date with Final Fantasy’s. Last one I played was IX and it was so bad I got to about the 2nd disc and stopped playing it. Of course I loved VII (and VIII for all its changes) but it felt like it went downshill from there. FFX I never played but I saw someone else play it and it looked godawful – all I remember was that surfer dude with the annoying voice. Jesus, that’s why I preferred it when there wasn’t enough disk-space for voice acting and you could flick through the subtitles cos quite honesty Square – you can’t write dialogue for shit. After the dialogue what’s the next least impressive thing about a Final Fantasy game? The main characters. Why do they continually make HUGE games when they have forgotten to give any of their characters personality? Now VII & VIII was an exception as you felt emotion to each one but since the graphics have got better and more realistic the characters and story have become less and less real and almost mechanical.

Second of all Square Enix you may want to read a novel or watch the Wire or something to see how you develop characters. You don’t just signpost every single character arc in the first act! All we’re doing then is waiting for the characters to realise what we realised from the first time they opened their fucking mouth. I mean seriously, I’m 13 hours in right now and NOTHING of worth has happened. Imagine a TV show which ran for 13 episodes and NOTHING happened?! (make your own joke about a TV show you don’t like here). In fact reading the summary of the story from the menu screen is like reading a different book entirely! It hardly collaborates at all with what I’d been doing.

I don’t even think I can summarise what has happened in order to give you a spoiler. Let’s try; blokey girl and black guy with an afro have fight with guards to escape a train they intentionally got on (that doesn’t make sense. HO!). We meet Snow and a lot of resistance fighters who say the word “hero” a lot. In the midst of all this huge massacre Snow decides now’s a good time to go get his girlfriend who is actually the sister of the blokey girl.

Actually fuck it I can’t be arsed but let’s be honest that isn’t a hook for edge of the seat tension. It has no direction nor focus and the only structure it does have is you keep having not-so-random battle encounters. Previously the battles would just happen as you walked around a World Map and that was FINE. It made it all random and you never knew who you’d get to fight. Final Fantasy XIII is pish. There is no World Map so you just end up walking around lovely locations that you can do NOTHING in apart from see bad guys wandering around. It is tunnel exploring. No deviation allowed – just follow linear path with no real goal apart from waiting for a CGI sequence to ruin your gameplaying experience. When you come into contact with them you fight them in a turn based battle sequence. So there is no surprise or run away function if you can’t be bothered you just have to fight them or die.

So far, that is all that has happened. And I would be willing to bet out of the 13 hours I have played 6 of those hours may well have been sitting watching cut scenes in where nearly every single one that features Snow he says “Sarah!!!” in one of the only 3 ways he can emote much in the same was that actress for East Enders can say “Ricky”.

Also, consider having a main character I’d consider having sex with.

Don’t have a female main character who possesses no female qualities. Lightning is at least the first playable transgender game character (that I can think of). But she is such a bloke it doesn’t counter properly with the other main character Snow who is just a man’s man and ends up being a bit of a queen. If any of that was deliberate it would be amazingly noble and interesting. A game where the female was more a man than the man was. But no, it’s just terribly ill-advised.

I am 17 hours in now and my enthusiasm has dried up, I just cannot force myself through. It’s no good people saying “oh yeah but when you get 25+ hours in it opens out”. I cannot bear another single minute of this shit. It’s like someone cutting off your cock, handing it back to you and saying “well at least you can make a flute out of it”.

I hate it so much that I booted up Final Fantasy VIII on the PSP and it was a gazillion times better than XIII and the CGI looked about as good. So really fuck this game.