Crazy stormy night and the clocks go ahead, too… I almost prefer the clock going back these days.

Yes, please do bring back the RPG feel

It's bound to be a topic that rages long and burns brightly amongst the role-playing aficionados. While Final Fantasy XIII remains a fantastic game, I maintain that it simply doesn't feel like a Final Fantasy title or, for that matter, an RPG. Those who have read that review know my thoughts on the matter and I will always stand by them. I still love the game, but man, I really am looking forward to the time when Square-Enix brings back those missing elements . They keep saying they simply didn't have the time to produce high-definition towns, and this lack of time (and a lack of knowledge in regards to PS3 development) resulted in a loss of many recognizable features. However, they say that now they've worked past the initial difficulties, those towns we all miss will indeed return at some point in the future. Now, I wouldn't be so convinced of this claim if FFXIII didn't clearly show a significant drop in review scores when compared to the rest of the franchise. I think the critical average is around 8.3 or something like that, which is a good full point lower than we've come to expect.

Like I said in the review, if FFXIII didn't hold the "Final Fantasy" name, it'd be a whole different story. But the question is, are they willing to return to what some will now call the "older" style? They left turn-based behind; maybe they'll leave towns and world maps and other things behind, too. That's what I'm worried about…just gimme back FF, damnit. That's all.

You just gotta love Prince of Persia

With the possible exception of Warrior Within , this is one of the most critically acclaimed franchises of the past seven or eight years. So while we've already moved past a few of the biggest releases of 2010, I really think you should pay close attention to The Forgotten Sands . It may be different than the latest PoP but we're talking about a return to the Sands of Time style, and that remains my favorite entry in the series. That video is fantastic in my eyes; it may not represent a visual leap forward, but it's guaranteed to be highly polished and a ton of fun to play. I've often wondered why these games were never the blockbusters I expected them to be…I keep thinking it's because the game involves a combination of action/adventure elements that might throw the uninitiated. People want to stick to what they know. But the good news is, the new Prince won't have to battle FFXIII or GoWIII or something like that, so I'm hoping for a warm gamer reception.

Personal gaming update

Right now, it's all about FFXIII. I'll finish it before I start GoWIII, and that's saying something. I'm still not the biggest fan of that very automated combat system, but the story keeps getting better, and in general, the production is just amazingly refined. Anybody who appreciates design and development effort will appreciate at least some parts of FFXIII, and I also imagine it'll bring in some new fans, too. It's nothing like past installments and it manages to cater to that twitch-gamer crowd, too. In that way, I suppose we have to say it's a pretty damn good accomplishment…even though the long-time followers are going, "uh…what about us? Doesn't our loyalty count for anything?" But perhaps the best way to bypass that war is just to admit that FFXIII is indeed a great game, and that's that.

Obviously, Kratos is up next and after that, I don't think I'll be getting anything new until Red Dead Redemption and The Forgotten Sands in May. Then there appears to be a bit of a break…maybe up until Gran Turismo 5 at the end of the year. But who knows? Maybe that "massive sequel" will shed new light on the issue of upcoming releases…

Subscribe
Notify of
122 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
TheHighlander
TheHighlander
10 years ago

I'm thinking that the surprise sequel is Resistance 3. Insomniac are due for a new game later this year having dropped Ratchet and Clank last autumn, this autumn will be ripe for a Resistance sequel.

Regarding Final Fantasy XIII, Once I can properly separate it from the Final Fantasy name in my head I may try it via rental. However SE needs to put back all the elements it claims were too hard to do. Quite why turn based combat was removed is beyond me. I don't care if they have to write two separate modes for combat, turn based needs to return. It seems to me that the original point of turn based combat was to hide the fact that the hardware of game console couldn't generate great graphics in real time, so the various attack sequences were pre-rendered, and turn based combat evolved around the use of such 'set pieces' in combat. However it also more closely parallels the turn based nature of role playing games where you use dice, pencils and character sheets. Turn based brings a whole raft of strategic decision making that doesn't exist in a real time combat system. OK, so FFXIII takes things further by automating a lot of the system. Um, what's the point of building the system if you then turn around and automate it? Anyway, for the next FF game, perhaps the folks at SE could be persuaded to bring back turn based play as an option.

As for my personal gaming update. Star Ocean 4 is so unplayable on my systems that I am returning the disk to Square Enix for a replacement in the hope that the disc is faulty. SE will not recognize that there is an issue, despite gamers reporting the exact same problems in forums around the net. *sigh*

I'm working my way through WKC slowly. I'm enjoying it. I don't have as much time on the PS3 as usual right now, so I am falling behind. Of course I'm also playing a bit of Uncharted 2 online with the new maps as well…


Last edited by TheHighlander on 3/13/2010 9:49:15 PM

OtisFeelgood
OtisFeelgood
10 years ago

Same here, I'm thinking it's R3.

Kowhoho
Kowhoho
10 years ago

I'm really hoping it turns out to be R3. I'm terribly excited to see if I was right about what will happen after the ending of R2. ūüėõ

totozero18
totozero18
10 years ago

R3 (with optional move support)
Off Topic: Dynasty Warriors 7 with move would be teh awesome

shadowscorpio
shadowscorpio
10 years ago

@ TheHighlander

Really? My version of Star Ocean 4 runs fine on my slim.

TheHighlander
TheHighlander
10 years ago

@shadowscorpio

Yeah, a small number of the discs appear to be faulty somehow. For some players (and it seems to be on any system) the game locks horribly when entering battle. You can still use the PS button to quit the game, but the game itself will not go any further than showing the enemy onscreen, the party never appears. It seems that the planet ROAK is the worst offender, so there may be specific regions on the disc that are not properly formed during manufacture. Either way, it would be nice of SE to at least recognize that there is an issue common to a number of gamers instead of ignoring it.

Jawknee
Jawknee
10 years ago

For some reason i can't imagine Square patching anything. Almost like they would have to admit they screwed up which i also can't seem them doing.

Scarecrow
Scarecrow
10 years ago

Looking forward to the secret exclusive announcement

Please let it be Demon's Souls 2!

When it comes to FFXIII, I think I've said it too many times already. Just really wanna move away from FFXIII and see new trailers for FFXV

eLLeJuss
eLLeJuss
10 years ago

Why FFXV. We still waiting on versus. And also the diretor of FF is thinking of making an FFXiii-2.

darxed
darxed
10 years ago

I think a lot of people got annoyed with XIII because of the console wars, which I think we gamers shouldn't be too concerned with in the first place, leave that to the fanboys. I like to appreciate the games for what they are, for what the development team worked their butts off and not for the bussiness decisions the publisher(s) and the console manufactures made. You sound like a big FF fan, sooo why not at least rent it and try it out?

Scarecrow
Scarecrow
10 years ago

@darxed,

I've explained this already……
There are things about this game which Ben points out in his review which lower the quality of this game.

The very fact that it feels nothing like an rpg is something I can't get over.

Then there's the character designs ( have never liked any character design in this game except for Lightning)

There's no towns

You can't switch party leaders 'till they let you run around in the Grand Pulse (60% of the game already completed…)

There was a "whole game's worth of content cut"

I will NOT reward a company for being lazy, GREEDY, and for ruining what I love 'bout rpgs. Specifically FF.

I would never be able to get past the fact that I'm playing a "ruined" FF.

Now, that's just me. If others love it, hey good for them :3

(Hopefully I won't have to explain this again……………………….)

johnld
johnld
10 years ago

@darxed
Its not about the console wars that annoy people/fans about final fantasy XIII. If you've been reading posts here and bens article, its more about final fantasy XIII is not a "final fantasy" game. as far as i'm concerned, its an amazing game but final fantasy in name only.

MyWorstNightmar
MyWorstNightmar
10 years ago

Scarecrow, did you buy the game?

Scarecrow
Scarecrow
10 years ago

I'll rent it later in the Summer if I get bored

SnipeySnake
SnipeySnake
10 years ago

What if it had another name, made by someone else, and wasn't in the rpg genre?

LimitedVertigo
LimitedVertigo
10 years ago

Scarecrow have you bought FFXIII yet?

wakkaoaka
wakkaoaka
10 years ago

http://www.gametrailers.com/game/gran-turismo-5/11148 mmmm i think we all know gt5 is going to make christmas extra merry.

OtisFeelgood
OtisFeelgood
10 years ago

Good read. My gaming update – I'm about 35 hours into FF13. I'm trying to finish it before Tuesday or else it's taking a backseat to God of War 3.

darxed
darxed
10 years ago

"But perhaps the best way to bypass that war is just to admit that FFXIII is indeed a great game, and that's that"… That's the line I've been saying to anyone I know that critics FFXIII… I totally agree with what you said in your review that had the game not been called Final Fantasy It would have scored a point higher in reviews (Hell, edge would have probably gave it a 10, as long as the 360 version would have been superior, but that's another story). Even though I respect your opinion, I'm still waiting to play the game before I jump on this "great but not Final Fantasy" train everybody seem to be in.. I don't know, I remeber hearing the exact same complaint about FFVII back in the day, just because It had a futuristic setting, but to me what makes a Final Fantasy is it's story and character development, which, again to me, is what makes a good game great, and what makes a bad game at least playable, even if it's gameplay annoys you out of your mind. Now, since everyone around here seems to be liking the story so far in XIII, I think sooner or later people will como to accept it as a valuable addition to the franchise…

chedison
chedison
10 years ago

THANKYOU.

I also find the shining factor of FF games is the storyline, and specifically the development of the entire cast of characters. Not just the "hero" and the "princess." One of the things I love about this game is the majority of the characters hate/mildly dislike each other. But they have to learn to work together because their lives depend on it.

Riku994
Riku994
10 years ago

I stopped reading when you dissed Warrior Within… I'm sorry, but what was so wrong with that game?it was a PoP just like any other, and I quite enjoyed my escapes from the Dahaka to the music of Godsmack. I also enjoyed kicking the Dahaka's butt with the water sword.

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
10 years ago

I said with the "possible exception" of Warrior Within. Some people just don't like it. ūüôā

NeoHumpty
NeoHumpty
10 years ago

I'm about 20 hours into FF, and I only wish they wouldn't have called it XIII. SE has had experiments in the past, but they usually weren't part of the numeral games. They should have called it "Final Fantasy: Focus".

But, I never liked XII nearly as much as I am liking this entry…as similar as they may be.

hellish_devil
hellish_devil
10 years ago

About to finish Valkyria Chronicles!!! (I'm on chapter 16 right NOW)

Kowhoho
Kowhoho
10 years ago

Savor it! I had a good cry during the credits.

johnld
johnld
10 years ago

ummm…..so what the hell are you doing here? hahaha, finish the game and join all of us waiting for a proper sequel on the ps3, not the one for psp.

Kowhoho
Kowhoho
10 years ago

I see no reason not to support the PSP version. It looks to be a shining addition to the platform. I know I'm getting it, eventually!

Beamboom
Beamboom
10 years ago

Way to go, Kowhoho! The PSP need more support, not less. It's still an awsome handheld.

chedison
chedison
10 years ago

is that game worth buying?

Kowhoho
Kowhoho
10 years ago

Hell to the yeah, Cheddy!

hellish_devil
hellish_devil
10 years ago

I'd pay 100$ for it. It's amazing, right guys?


Last edited by hellish_devil on 3/14/2010 6:55:11 PM

chedison
chedison
10 years ago

Honestly wasn't even on my radar until i read the comment haha. One of the games that came out before I got my ps3. Guess I'll just have to check it out then!

Milonakis
Milonakis
10 years ago

Playing me some more heavy rain and then GOW III.

Milonakis
Milonakis
10 years ago

howd i get a thumbs down for this?

frylock25
frylock25
10 years ago

well im not sure why you would have gotten a thumbs down for that. maybe they were afraid of manbearpig. maybe al gore thumbed you down. or maybe they were just a d-bag xbot.

spiderboi
spiderboi
10 years ago

Cheers on Heavy Rain. Such a fine gripping storyline. No other gave me such a hold other than MGS and Uncharted 2.

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
10 years ago

At least the battle system beats that automated pile of poop from XII.


Last edited by WorldEndsWithMe on 3/13/2010 10:47:02 PM

darxed
darxed
10 years ago

Actually the gambit system grew on me, what never grew on me was the convoluted/cliched pile of poop the story was… and every character besides Balthier and Ashe… especially Vaan… gotta hate the Vaan… The characters annoyed me so much I ended up rooting for Vayne most of the game, still sad to this day he didn't won… I mean, what's so bad about humanity dictating it's own fate? go Vayne free us all!


Last edited by darxed on 3/13/2010 11:15:20 PM

Scarecrow
Scarecrow
10 years ago

So you don't like Dragon Age I take it?

And I disagree with darxed. FFXII had one of the most mature stories in FF since VI.

Finally not something about a princess/important female and a blonde guy. It was more about war, propaganda, and each character's predicament pinning them against one goal.

I think Gameinformer's review of FFXII really does it justice. Ironically IGN's review of it is my fave (really great review). That was before IGN turned into crap.

LimitedVertigo
LimitedVertigo
10 years ago

You're crazy World. FFXII allowed you to control what EVERYONE did. FXIII only let's you control one character while simply choosing a VERY broad action scheme for the rest of your party.

Vivi_Gamer
Vivi_Gamer
10 years ago

Hmmmm from what i remember from XII was'nt Ashe a princess….

FFXIII's gameplay isnt much different from XII later on in the game. You can switch your party members how you see fit, in XII you only controlled 1 member at a time at least with XIII you can change what your team strategy during battle.

LimitedVertigo
LimitedVertigo
10 years ago

FFXIII's battle system offers less control over what your party does than FFXII's. In XII I can not only choose to make someone a medic but chose EXACTLY what I want them to do and when to do it. With XIII all I can do is make them a medic.


Last edited by LimitedVertigo on 3/14/2010 10:34:40 AM

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
10 years ago

Loved dragon age, it worked for that, not for FF. While yo COULD control what everyone did in XII, there was no need to. Just set it and forget was the name of the game. The only reason one would intercede in the autobattle was to cure people who weren't doing it fast enough themselves.

The ability to run around during the battle means nothing as you still get hit no matter the distance you run.


Last edited by WorldEndsWithMe on 3/14/2010 1:22:59 PM

LimitedVertigo
LimitedVertigo
10 years ago

World what I'm getting at is in XII you have the ability to determine exactly what your party does before/during battle, you have absolute choice in what your party does depending on a rather deep selection of variables.

In XIII the only choice you're given is determining what style of play your party will do.

I'll take the complex decision making in XII over the quick pacing, L1/X gameplay in XIII.


Last edited by LimitedVertigo on 3/14/2010 1:42:33 PM

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
10 years ago

I understand LV, and totally agree, I was merely replying to the other's comments.

darxed
darxed
10 years ago

@ Scarecrow
Well Ashe was a princess/important female character (I think she was the only important character from you party anyway) and two of the guys were blonde, right? and I don't think the story was that bad, it was just unfinished, it promised a lot for like half of the game and then it just stopped. My main issue with XII was the characters as I said before, Hadn't it been for Balthier I don't think I would have finished the game…

Jawknee
Jawknee
10 years ago

FFXII also gave you the option to turn off the Gambits at anytime allowing you even more manual control over your party.

FFXIII's battle system has potential to be a great system, but the restrictions are holding it back. Big time. Whats the point of each character having their own summons when you can only use the party leader's once in each battle? It's stupid that they at least won't allow us to change party leaders in the middle of a battle. Even XII allowed for that.


Last edited by Jawknee on 3/14/2010 5:56:41 PM

Shams
Shams
10 years ago

Man, Ben, if Arnold's copy of GOWIII is in your possession as we speak, and knowing how much you like GOW and you haven't played it, yet, then FF13 must really be THAT good. But really, you haven't taken even a peek, yet?


Last edited by Shams on 3/13/2010 11:13:33 PM

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
10 years ago

Arnold has GoWIII; I don't.

WolfCrimson
WolfCrimson
10 years ago

D'you know what's bothering me the most? That I can be like Arnold right now and get GoW3 (they don't respect street release dates where I live, which is good), but I don't have any money. I went to the local videogame store and held GoW3 IN MY HANDS, but I couldn't buy it. So close, yet so far.