This really needs to be said.

The Final Fantasy XIII debate will continue to rage but in truth, all the arguments can be settled with one observation:

If this game had been called anything but "Final Fantasy," it would've been lauded to high heaven. I'll bet every penny I have – and will ever earn – that the average critic score would go up by as much as a half a point, and everyone would be fawning all over this amazing new IP. Think about it. Can you imagine if it had really been a new IP? The acclaim would've flowed.

I suppose people might still complain at the extreme linearity during the first 20 hours and the various combat issues (leader dies = game over, inability to use other characters in battle, Auto Battle feels like "RPG Lite," etc.), but…well, would they? Are we not always making comparisons to past installments in the series? How often are we really measuring FFXIII against other RPGs and other titles in general? I will freely admit that the reason I was a little disappointed with FFXIII is because it was a Final Fantasy and my expectations were through the roof. Those expectations were also very specific; they were extremely defined.

I've said it before and I'll say it again- FFXIII is a great game. It just isn't a great Final Fantasy , at least in terms of what the fans expected and desired. Therefore, logically speaking, wouldn't it be safe to say that if FFXIII had held the name of a new IP, that the majority of the Square Enix hate would disappear overnight? Well, that might be a little extreme but even so…my point stands.

Related Game(s): Final Fantasy XIII

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FxTales
FxTales
9 years ago

There's a certain expectation when it comes to a franchise, especially one that's been around for so long. When the decision is made for it to go in a slightly different direction for no legitimate reason it's going to ruffle the feathers of long time followers.

It was a decent game, but for me it didn't come with that wash of Final Fantasy feeling.

Riku994
Riku994
9 years ago

This is all too true.

Phoenix
Phoenix
9 years ago

As much as I respect ben's opinion, I do have to disagree with him on this 1. XIII is really only a decent RPG, and it's only decent simply cause it's only 1 of a few rpgs we've had this gen. So really, compare it to other series of RPGs from the past, XIII cant even come close to being considered on the same level as most.

I love me some Final Fantasy, and I was shocked to see them kill this 1, however XIII, despite not being what I was expecting from it, is still a bad RPG to its core, with bad level design, bad characters, bad combat system, a not so great story, and having to wait HOURS before you can even start to really play the game. Did it hurt its score being called a Final Fantasy? no doubt, but this game still should have gotten only decent rating at best.

DeathOfChaos
DeathOfChaos
9 years ago

FFX is where it started to go downhill, though, lol.

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
9 years ago

No. Having to predict what a foolish AI will do in an auto-battle is not an evolution forward from choosing what everyone does. It is a step back because your strategy becomes more simplified and macromanaged. Death with the leader is a step back. Regenerating health is a step back for an RPG. Having the same attack scheme aimed at gaining a stagger instead of using a unique comprehensive plan to win against each individual enemy is a step back.

And no, FFXIII and X don't have the same number of towns because XIII doesn't have any that could be called such and no, X is not nearly as linear. It isn't a series of straight lines, it's a series of explorable areas.

LimitedVertigo
LimitedVertigo
9 years ago

DeathOfChaos,

WTF!?

AnonymousPoster
AnonymousPoster
9 years ago

The point at which I became completely fed up with the battle system was during a battle when I needed my support characters to cast buff physical/magic defense immediately, yet the AI consistently chose to cast every spell in the world EXCEPT those. While I could have chosen to be the spell caster myself, that would have left the damage dealing, once again, to the completely incompetent AI, so that I would be making zero progress due to that. So, leave the spell casting to the AI: I'm screwed. Do the spell casting myself: I'm screwed. No matter what: I'm screwed.

Taking direct control away from the player was the worst decision they've ever made in the history of Final Fantasy.

Arvis
Arvis
9 years ago

"FFX … had as many towns and cities as XIII does."

This is just patently false. Try not lying next time and your logic will be more persuasive.

-Arvis

Underdog15
Underdog15
9 years ago

yeah… either you didn't play either of them or at least one of them. FFXIII had *NO* towns. FFX had a few, the largest and most memorable being Luca.

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
9 years ago

Utter BS.

They weren't "thinking outside the box." They flat out admitted they simply couldn't render all the towns in HD so they couldn't put them in. THAT was BS, too, but they said it.

Yes, technically, there are town and city areas in FFXIII. But as they completely blend into the fabric of the game; i.e., you're forced into the town and forced out of the town, and typically don't have much choice (until you get to Gran Pulse and locate the transport portals), people got a little annoyed.

FFX allowed you to backtrack throughout. And when it gave you control of the airship, it gave you full access to every location.

And because you brought it up, the battle system wasn't an "evolution." It was a DEvolution. We have no control of other characters in battle. The Paradigm System is strategic but it's mostly all based around AI. And when I can quite simply hammer on the X button, choosing Auto Battle, and win 99% of the encounters I'm in, that is NOT complex. It's not an RPG. I set up the strategy, yes, but I do that in all other RPGs, too, and I can also have full control in battle.

They wrenched control away from gamers for the sake of faster, twitchier gameplay. In no way is it better and in no way is it an evolution. And that's that.


Last edited by Ben Dutka PSXE on 8/17/2011 12:35:18 PM

Underdog15
Underdog15
9 years ago

Ruta,
your view isn't popular because it's wrong. If you played all the past FF's, went straight through linearly without backtracking ever, and only ever used "attack attack attack", how much did you have to hang back and grind out levels in past FF's to even keep up?!?!

No strategy in past FF's? Are you kidding me? Look at FFXII, for a more recent comparison. I guarantee you, that with your strategy, the boss you barely manage to beat at level 50, I could handle with ease at level 35. I guarantee it. It sounds to me like your only "strategy" in these games is to level up. You clearly have no knowledge on how to get the most out of each character. -Did you even use all the characters available to you?

As for the towns, your definition of "town" is too forgiving. The "towns" in FFXIII are no different than dungeons. There is no difference in that game. Just because the pretty, pre-rendered backdrops are of a city, doesn't mean it qualifies as a town. At least not by the definition I am seeking.

When I say, "town", I'm referring to a safe haven in the world where people live. You can walk up to these people and interact with them. They might give you quests or information. You can go to the armor shop, magic shop, or item shop. etc. etc. etc. You explore these towns, discover people… etc. Naut. was nothing more than a dungeon with non-responsive NPC and pretty backdrop to make it seem like a town. I don't know about you, but I've never visited a city built in a straight line.

I mean… come on… there is ONE… —ONE— area in all of FFXIII that looks -kind of- like a town… but you have one, and only one objective. You go from point A to point B. And when it's done? You never visit it again. I can't believe you would use that "town" as an indication you should check towns off your list.

Lastly, somehow referring to people with higher standards as "elitist" is both elitist, as it turns out, and unfair. Why can't people expect the 13th installment in an extremely well known series to live up to the expectations of the first 12? That's just silly to suggest people should do otherwise.

As for FFvXIII, no. I don't believe people will be upset with it. You know why? It's not *supposed* to be a new Final Fantasy. It's a spin off and people are expecting it to be an action RPG. When FFXIII came out, people expected it to be a jRPG called Final Fantasy that stays true to the depth and complexity of past entries. You can't blame them for being disappointed when it didn't do just that. Especially with all the behind the scenes media we hear from their developers.

LimitedVertigo
LimitedVertigo
9 years ago

::adding Ruta to the ignore list::

I suggest you all do the same. It's one thing to be mistaken, it's another to lie/be wrong and refuse to admit it.

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
9 years ago

Sorry Ruta, you're just dead flat wrong. It's not opinion when what you're saying can be proven incorrect by citing obvious facts.

Now you're saying certain things don't matter because YOU don't care about them and they don't affect you?

Yeah, forget it.

shadowscorpio
shadowscorpio
9 years ago

@ Underdog15

What a beautiful way to close the argument. Accurate and very true as it relates to Final Fantasy 13.

rm2kmidi
rm2kmidi
9 years ago

I agree with you Ruta. The battle system was more engaging than previous iterations of the series. It took the cumbersome system that FF12 had and streamlined it. It's all about big-picture strategy and not about control down to each minute detail.

One small complaint. JRPG isn't a genre. Console RPG's made in Japan are the same genre as console RPG's made anywhere else and they make all kinds of RPGs in Japan. Sorry, pet peeve.

Underdog15
Underdog15
9 years ago

jRPG is not a genre, yes. It is a sub-genre. It doesn't pertain to "any game made in Japan". The other sub-genres include wRPG, sRPG, and actionRPG.

Not sure why that's a pet peeve. You just don't want to stick to labels things already have.

I'm not sure how FFXIII is even remotely similar to FFXII. It's not similar at all. And it definitely isn't "streamlined". How can it be streamlined?!?! The screen changes and loads when you get into a battle in FFXIII. That's not streamlined. Big picture strategy? lol… FFXII had big picture strategy. It was easier to only control one character, but you could actually build a real strategy with gambits. And if you needed them to do something unique, you could override a command with input of your own… lol, sir. l o l.


Last edited by Underdog15 on 8/18/2011 9:58:30 AM

Arvis
Arvis
9 years ago

"lol, sir. l o l."

In my mind, I totally read that in Stephen Fry's voice. Epic.

-Arvis

shadowscorpio
shadowscorpio
9 years ago

Ruta, the critisizm is warranted. Just like there are many people who did not like FF13 there were many who did. I hope you're not saying that those who liked it are right and those who did not are wrong or vice versa for that matter.

Everyone is entitled to feel the way they want. Yourself included but everyone's opininon is warranted whether or not people agree with it or not. Thats the kind of site this is. Your comment sounds like you're saying those who do not agree with your view are wrong and that sounds a little bias to me.

Underdog15
Underdog15
9 years ago

lol Ruta. You are terribly difficult to take seriously. I'm not even sure you're being 100% honest with us here. That much is evident.

If you aren't willing read my complete thoughts, I'm not sure how you feel you are somehow able to make a complete argument to counter what I have said. At least 6 other people whole-heartedly agreed with what I had to say. Is that alone not enough to warrant a read?

Since you are completely incapable of addressing any of my arguments, I'm afraid I must self-proclaim myself the winner of this argument.

Of course, I stopped reading your comment immediately after I read about how you refuse to read mine… I was going to give you the time of day, but quite frankly, you didn't deserve my attention to begin with. You can't even form a complete and whole argument, let alone hold an attention span long enough to understand the entirety of why I made the intro statements I made.

You, sir, are an atrocity when it comes to 2-way discussion. It's probably why you're either still single or are currently in a relationship that will inevitably fail.

And it will fail.

Dancemachine55
Dancemachine55
9 years ago

Call me crazy, but I still haven't played through the whole game. The first hour of it just didn't grab me and hold me like FF's VII, VIII and X did. Got a long way through FF XII, but I just didn't get any further than the first hour of XIII.

Now that I'm playing Ocarina of Time 3D (first time playing a whole Zelda game from start to finish now), FF XIII has to once more go on the waiting list.

Teddie9
Teddie9
9 years ago

don't worry I couldn't bring myself to finish it either.

DeathOfChaos
DeathOfChaos
9 years ago

This is what I said about it from the very moment I started playing it, lol. Glad someone agrees, lol. Terrible Final Fantasy, worst of the series even, but a good game in general. =]

LimitedVertigo
LimitedVertigo
9 years ago

I'd say XI or XIV.

VampDeLeon
VampDeLeon
9 years ago

I think XII still holds that title as the dullest

Neo_Aeon666
Neo_Aeon666
9 years ago

@ VampDeLeon I agree even though XII had a much better battle system and the prettiest ps2 graphics I found it's story to be the dullest too. Only politics of a world I didn't care about and no love interest. Plus the main character was a kid pain in the butt XD


Last edited by Neo_Aeon666 on 8/17/2011 9:16:53 AM

LimitedVertigo
LimitedVertigo
9 years ago

I loved XII. It was a nice break from the norm to not have to be saving the entire planet and having the typical romance. I thought it had interesting characters and offered plenty of exploring and fighting. I think it also holds up well with time, I find myself going back to play it above all other FF games.

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
9 years ago

XII was fantastic. It may be my least favorite from a story standpoint (hate anything related to politics), but the gameplay was awesome.

Neo_Aeon666
Neo_Aeon666
9 years ago

Yeah like I said the battle system was really good and it looked very nice for a ps2 game. Guess I am just a sucker for cliched romance stories hahaha. In all the other FFs I played there was some goal or main love interest hidden somewhere. Because of this even if I loved the battle system the story didn't keep me going.


Last edited by Neo_Aeon666 on 8/17/2011 11:45:00 AM

Underdog15
Underdog15
9 years ago

You hate anything related to politics, Ben?

Surly FFT is the exception! ;p

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
9 years ago

It is. But that's so heavily rooted in gameplay – even more so than FFXII – I really hardly notice. ūüôā

shadowscorpio
shadowscorpio
9 years ago

FF 12 was, at least I believe, an awesome Final Fantasy. The depth of exploration was incredible and it wasn't even an MMO. After long hours of complex hunting I finally discovered how to make every monster and boss reveal itself and defeated everyone. Plenty of sidequests, and leveling along with gil and items from battle were all a well implented system.

SE gets a thumbs up from me on this one. I loved the voice acting but will admit it was a departure from past FFs when it comes to the story which I didn't entirely mind but do understand that it wasn't chosure for Final Fantasy. So I get that some people didn't like the story much.

rm2kmidi
rm2kmidi
9 years ago

@LimitedVertigo FFXI is by no means the worst. Don't hate on it just because its an MMO. FF14 was rushed to market, so as a product it sucks; but I don't know if today it is the concept they envisioned.

Cloudface
Cloudface
9 years ago

FF 12 suffered because they created a character for the sole purpose of appealing to a teen demographic: Vaan. Basch was originally going to be the main character of the game. If you look more into his back-story, it is both quite awesome and quite tragic. I think the reason people think that FF 12's story is so lacking is simply because of the way it was presented. The dialogue was very lofty and impersonal, there wasn't a bunch of weepy, tear-inducing music, and there was an old man's voice interjecting at various points in the game reading out of his journal…which sounded like he was reading out of ye Olde-English history textbook.

The presentation of it and having a lame character like Vaan be the main character (when every other character in the game is 1,000 times more awesome than he is…except maybe Penelo) is what prevented it from being, in my opinion, the best Final Fantasy to date.

Voice acting was also superb compared to Final Fantasy Linear…uh…I mean Final Fantasy X. Every character's voice looked like it should be coming out of the character it was coming out of.

And yeah, gameplay and side-quests aplenty. FF XII is a completionist's dream.

It would have been a completely satisfying game if they would have delved further into the backstories of Basch, Balthier, Fran, and Ashe instead of making us guess it by context clues.

shadowscorpio
shadowscorpio
9 years ago

Very good points Cloud. In fact, amonst the protagonists and antagonists, Vaan and Penelo were the lamest characters. All the adult characters kicked ass in my opinion. I did enjoy how a lot of the story did involve Basch's situation but I agree, they could've dove deeper into the adult character's stories and at least made Vaan and Penelo love interests.

Hokie
Hokie
9 years ago

I've thought this for a while. Sure there were mechanic issues, but I don't think they would have been as dramatically called out if there hadn't been 12 previous titles that didn't have them…

Temjin001
Temjin001
9 years ago

I think so, too, Ben.

Similarly, I think Splinter Cell Conviction was a good game, just not a faithful follow up to a long running franchise.

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
9 years ago

I think most people would agree with this, and I don't think it is a flaw in the way publications and journalists rate the game just because this is so. You can't score every game is if it exists in a vacuum because it doesn't.

The game take huge steps back in every way except production values.

On an interesting note, I read Square-Enix may be looking to re-brand themselves by dropping the "Enix" Not a bad idea since they died as soon as they absorbed Enix.

LimitedVertigo
LimitedVertigo
9 years ago

I miss SquareSoft

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
9 years ago

EVERYBODY DOES.

Dante399
Dante399
9 years ago

@Ruta So you're saying that there is no real Final Fantasy coming in the future as we know it because Sakaguchi had left Squaresoft? He created FF for god's sake! I believe he should go back to Square and leave M$ coz they won't be taking him anywhere.

Dreno
Dreno
9 years ago

I've said it before, and I'll say it again, my ideal of a Final Fantasy, let alone the rpg genre match that of the rest of the FF lovers and rpg lovers of psxe. I would wager that 9 out of 10 times I would agree with anyone on this site about what a FF should be and what an rpg should be.

That being said, I havnt played FFxiii, so I can't really give an opinion. I've been looking for a copy for my ps3, but the wally-world in my city doesn't have it except for the 360, and I don't own one of those anymore. So, as soon as I get my hands on a copy of 13, I'm sure ill be just as dissapointed as the rest of the FF lovers here, and will be able to throw my opinion in the mix.

But, I kind of hope I like it. I'm gonna take some advice from ben, and look at this game like its not a FF. Maybe then, ill see what s-e hoped FF fans would see.

kylemac6
kylemac6
9 years ago

try amazon

VampDeLeon
VampDeLeon
9 years ago

or ebay :p

DazeOfWar
DazeOfWar
9 years ago

They could have called it what ever they wanted and I still would have not made it through the boring game. I played through the first 20 hrs all the way to the open area and just gave up. They story just didn't pull me in and never got better in my opinion. I hoped for it to get better but nothing happened for me.

Since I didn't enjoy XIII I definitely won't be putting my money and time into XIII-2. If they did an HD collection of X, X-2, and XII I they would get my money but that's about it.

LimitedVertigo
LimitedVertigo
9 years ago

FFXIII isn't just a mediocre FF game it's a mediocre RPG. Sure it's not a bad game and I did enjoy most of what it had to offer but compared to other RPGs it's very RPG-Lite.

Had it been an IP I would have thought SE was adding too many western elements to their games.

dmiitrie
dmiitrie
9 years ago

I'm sure that this is true for a lot of people, Ben, buy I disagree entirely. I'll admit that it has great production values, but I don't just say it's a bad FF, it's a bad game.

I only played for a couple of hours, but I got so frustrated with the lack of control that I just couldn't put any more time into. I don't care what they would or could have called the game, anything with those mechanics won't get more than a few hours of my time. In fact, the Final Fantasy on the cover probably made me spend more time playing than I otherwise would have.

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
9 years ago

A couple hours isn't enough to formulate an accurate opinion of such a huge game. Sorry.

dmiitrie
dmiitrie
9 years ago

You may be right. And, to be honest, I'll probably give it a second try at some point. But the problems I have with it (ie, not being able to control your party, game over if the party leader dies, etc) don't change, unless I've been horribly misinformed.

And in all honesty, I really don't see how it gets such a free pass except for it's name. I've heard time and time again (from people on this site and elsewher) that the game doesn't get good until the 20 hour mark. It's possible that they've all been speaking in hyperbole, but how is 20 hours of mediocre gameplay acceptable?

I understand that some things start slow, so I try to give a game some time before I pass judgement. But with every other game I've ever played (including damn near every Square game since '91), I've been able to tell if the game was good or bad with 2-3 hours. So what is it about this game that makes it deserve more than that?


Last edited by dmiitrie on 8/17/2011 1:57:46 AM

Lawless SXE
Lawless SXE
9 years ago

It's not just the open world and whatnot, but the Paradigm system. The first twenty hours is to get you used to it, then you are free to use it in anyway you want. If you don't like the system, the game will never work for you, but if you can find and enjoy the depth and strategy within it, then it is well worth your while. But yeah, give it at least ten before giving up.

Stabs88
Stabs88
9 years ago

@lawless

100% agree. You are correct sir