Kotaku: Final Fantasy XIII Impressions: 15 Years Later, 25 Hours In

Kotaku writes:

"Well, I've played twenty-five hours of Final Fantasy XIII in the past few days, and the one thing I can say with confidence is that I sure have played twenty-five hours of Final Fantasy XIII in a few days.

I suppose I'm not "qualified" to write a "review" because I haven't finished the game, and that something enormous enough to change my opinion of the game completely might spring up in the final three seconds of the end credits. I'm neither a pessimist, an optimist, nor a realist when I say that I'm guessing this isn't going to happen. I'm just being me. For god's sake, if the first twenty-five hours of your entertainment experience are not at least 90% indicative of its overall value, then you're doing at least one thing terribly wrong."

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Chris3993280d ago

Once you get past the author's personal preamble and into the meat of the preview, it tells you a lot about the game.

Sounds like a bit of a mixed bag. My JRPG fever will cause me to purchase this game though, regardless of the reviews or how much I try to resist.

2010 is the year of CHRONIC JRPG addiction.

GameGambits3280d ago

I hope he gets to Chapter 11 around the 40 hour mark. Once he does he'll have his mind blown as the game changes entirely. So while him saying if you can't get a handle on what the game is like after 25 hours would be right for almost any other game...this is the one game that demands about 40 hours for you to realize the BIG meat of it.

raztad3280d ago (Edited 3280d ago )

What I find ironic is that the console Kotaku worships is, most likely, to blame for those 40 hours of extreme linearity. Seems clear SE went through the painful process of fitting so much content in just a few a dvds and that chimera is the result.


Bro, I dont care about FF that much, all I've played from that series is the FFVII spinoff on the PSP, and curiously enough it has a lot of side quests. Still linear, as most JRPG are, but not just a straight line.

However, it strikes me as very weird the way FFXIII is setup. Super linear and then a new different and more open game (read zlatko comment in the other thread), and just wondering why. Thats all.

Baka-akaB3280d ago (Edited 3280d ago )

Sigh it's always linear , nothing to do with the 360 or the disc...
Stop looking at FF for your odd rpg fix .


Not so much a critic about you , but directed at people even aware of that , and yet who keeps using the argument .

Crisis core is different and the "oddity" here , as a spin off . Like FFX-2 (and trust me it pains me to even compare crisis to that garbage) it is structured alot around missions .

It is again actually quite common for FF games to proceed like Zlatko described in the other thread .

A linear progression for the first part (10 to 20 hours) since it establish and lay the plot before you non stop for hours , then you catch a break , and can do many stuff on the side .

Take ffiX , basically you were fleeing and being chased for the plot's purpose for quite some time , then the plot shift toward something else , and a new goal , and then you can explore a bit and do side stuff .

Nothing new here imo . Some people here do know that , but blindly repeat it's "linear" like a catchphrase and something negative .

FFXII tried to be more open , people didnt like it (unlike some like me) . And yet wont stop moaning about wrpg or linearity .

lordgodalming3280d ago (Edited 3280d ago )

Nice article. The guy presents his opinion (with support!) and lets readers decide for themselves.

And can we please quit blaming Microsoft for all the evils in the world. Square may not be the same company it was in the 90s, but that is not Microsoft's fault. Straight-line simplicity can accommodate a closely controlled story (which this certainly is), and that is no different than Final Fantasy X or even VI-IX, in all honesty (you can't even form your own battle groups in FFVI and FFIX until about 12 hours in!).

Square tried to give us OPEN WORLD in FFXII, and everyone griped that the characters weren't developed and the story was boring. Square are reaching back to the most successful FF's (VII and X), which were heavily story-based, and this is the result.

Edit: If people hate FFXIII this badly, wait until the FFVII remake!

Pozzle3280d ago (Edited 3280d ago )

Only a few comments in, and already the 360 is being blamed for FFXIII's bad points. Square Enix have said time and time again that they made FFXIII on PS3 first THEN moved it to 360. Maybe it's not the 360's fault fault for making the first few hours linear... maybe it's SQUARE'S fault for making the first few hours linear. I imagine that's much more likely. It's a design choice, not a design flaw.

And, hey, it isn't the first linear FF game. FFX was an amazing game and it was pretty much a straight path from start to finish. Even when you got the airship, you still only had the choice of moving backwards or forwards.

Linearity isn't neccessarily a bad thing. If the story, gameplay and characters are amazing, then I'm fine with the first 10-20 hours being linear.

Baka-akaB3280d ago (Edited 3280d ago )

Well their beloved FF7 doesnt even let you out of Midgard for many hours .

You are stuck on Academy business , or in flashbacks in-between , for many hours at first in FF8 ...

Like i said you're getting pursued in FFIX for a long time till you reach some big city , and with a haunted foret , crashes and many woes in between .

FFX is a straight line too for most of it .

FFXII being inspired by the FFXI mmo , is far more open , yet you'll be for a while in some big succession of dungeons and temples at first .

And it is the least appreciated FF , according to most opinions on forums at least .

Any franchise , after a disliked episode would go back to some sort of roots . That's what FFXIII is doing , while retaining some deemed good gameplay features from XII .

So i can understand someone new , right from the start disliking the idea ... but if your a fan be it before or post ff7 , it shouldnt be new for you or a problem . At least not outright , without even trying the game , and just reading a few review ...

Venomish3280d ago

no, you should reach chapter 11 after around 25 hrs
i just reached it and the game is finally fun

raztad3280d ago (Edited 3280d ago )

Ok. Lets suppose, the space limitations of the xbox are not related to FFXIII structure. Still hard to believe though.

Why the Kotaku guy is complaining then? because nobody seems to be enjoying the linearity. Should I believe SE is trying to catch the western market with a pretty old gameplay style? this Kotaku guy doesnt sound like falling in love with the game. I' m sure he will enjoy a lot more the second part.

It's one out of two. SE needed to make the game linear for a while or SE decided to "appeal" the western market making the game linear.

Pozzle3280d ago (Edited 3280d ago )

Or maybe Square genuinely thought people would enjoy the linearity.
Maybe they thought they were making a game that people would love from start to finish.
Or maybe they're simply not used to using new hardware.
Or maybe they're just lazy.

There are many possible reasons for the game's linearity. Saying that it's the 360's fault is just placing blame on something that may not have had an impact on the game's linearity at all. In the end, it's entirely Square's fault if fans don't enjoy the game. If that was the case, then they simply created a crap game.

but even if the 360's limitations DID have an impact on FFXIII, that doesn't mean the game is automatially crappy. It's like painting a picture with half a paint set... If the painting ends up looking like crap, it's not the paint set's fault. It's the painter's fault. You can still create a beautiful picture even without a full paint set.

lordgodalming3280d ago (Edited 3280d ago )

You're right to say that Square made a choice with linearity. You may not like it, and that's okay. Lots of people already don't like it. But 1.5 or however many million games in a week is enough to show that people are still buying what Square is selling. And they are selling Final Fantasy. If you don't like FFXIII, no problemo. There are loads of other good games coming out in the next three months. Merry Christmas (unless you celebrate another holiday, and in that case, have a good [your holiday]).

@below: lolwut? You'll probably want finish 9th grade Business class before you play the stock market, champ.

tplarkin73280d ago

They keep thriving on FFVII nostalgia which is dying. I predict a buyout by an American company within 12 months.

Baka-akaB3280d ago (Edited 3280d ago )


Sorry but who is that "nobody" guy ? So far all we have are quicksnap opinions , some from guys not even fan of the genre admitely , and Kotaku , hardly a site i ever trusted .

in most japanese forums i've visited , i've seen no fuss or much negativity around the game . Not so much complain from the actual demo target .

i'm weary of the argument , i dont need kotaku to love it , hell they are among the last people who's opinion i'd ever care about . I care more about the comments section of n4g , wich isnt really saying much .

11 titles so far proves that this is the formula Square uses , with mostly variations of gameplay and stories . So yeah it's easy to proves and affirms that any space issues didnt make the game linear ... only square's formulaic decision to do what its fans want ... not what the "west and journalists" wants (purposely exagerating here) .

it's actually quite ok to not like it . I just dont like the fake surprised look , from so called journalists , toward a stapple of the serie .

Besides it will remain that way as long as FF keeps selling , and suffer no actual backslash from it .

Those "darn FFXIII is linear" sounds as weird and ludicrous to me as "oh gee street fighter isnt a free roaming beat them all !"

Wakka_3280d ago

LMAO! The game has been in development for 5 years, and they probably decided to make a 360 version two or three years into development. They had the linearity planned from the start.

Bodyboarder_VGamer3280d ago (Edited 3280d ago )

Hey Waka, Alan Wake have been in development for many years now and it wasn't until recently that the game's sandbox aspect got scraped. Probably because of the space limitation that the DVD9 provides a sandbox style game wouldn't work.

The same could have happened with FFXIII. In many previews have been stated that FFX was linear but nowhere near at the same level as FFXIII. Every level in FFXIII is one long Hallway of Death; Wired said. At the end of every hallway there's always a boss fight, a chest or a cut-scene. On top of that you can't even select your own party until more than 25 hours through the game. But what I find really strange is Square's approach with the game's pace. Knowing that the entire game would fit on only one blu-ray why it was designed so conveniently for multiple discs? A FF game like XII would have have been impossible in multiple discs because of its free roaming nature but it still was very linear like your usual jrpg and it was very easy to find your way. No matter how you want to see it, FFXIII went backwards... This new entry is only pushing graphics and story-telling but fail for everything else and that includes the crappy battle system(gameplay). Incredibly enough Square managed to make a button masher turn based jrpg.

Anyway, FFvsXIII will dictate if Square took the cheap way with FFXIII because of the X360 or if all the conspiracy theories had some truth behind it. Square is already saying that FFvsXIII it's looking so much better than FFXIII(graphically)... More dev time maybe? Gears of War 2 came later after the first and they both looked the same so that's no an excuse. The same with Halo 3 ODST, L4D2 etc.

Marceles3280d ago

I'm on Chapter 12 now and once you get 5 ATB bars with each character and a bunch of spells to work with, the game is incredibly entertaining.

Cold 20003280d ago (Edited 3280d ago )

That was a very good review and that has me even more pumped for the game...not that I can get anymore pumped lol.

we won3280d ago (Edited 3280d ago )

I know you come up with some wild theories and all out attacks on the 360 but even this remark about the 360 causing the linear style of the game takes the cake.

The game was designed this way so PS3 could maintain visual fidelity. PS3's games that look good are linear with corridor level design(not actual corridors "NECESSARILY") but level design that looks like this: They're easy to paint without taxing PS3's memory issues. This is why games like UC2, and killzone 2 look the way they do.

The linear level design in FF13 started with PS3. I'm amazed that someone such as yourself doing so much damage control has so many bubbles.

yojoe263280d ago

I feel like I just finished reading an article written by Edgar Allen Poe on LSD while I drink a Red Bull and eat Opium. Having said that I did think it was a good read and an excellent review in a strange, maniacal sort of way. Just makes me all the more excited for this monster game that I have been waiting for nearly five years now.

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TheHardware3280d ago

"She isn't annoying or brooding at all! And she just keeps punching Snow in the face every time he says something dumb. You go girl!"

That made me shoot milk, out of my nose.....and I wasnt even drinking milk...lmao

lordgodalming3278d ago

Don't know how you got a disagree for that excellent (if old-school) South Park reference. +bub

Godmars2903280d ago (Edited 3280d ago )

Honestly, MS had FF's father make them two JRPGs and they were never put through a microscope like this.

Its just that with literally *EVERYTHING* about the game being leaked - and criticized - at this point its going to be almost pointless to play the game once its comes to the States.

Myze3280d ago

It's not like people are forcing everyone to read the information about the game. This review is actually really good: funny in parts, well written and gives good, objective information without providing many spoilers.

kewlkat0073280d ago (Edited 3280d ago )

The Final Fantasy series is a 20 year+ series that happens to have a boatload of followers that wait for the CORE game every 4 years or so and each and every one of them is BIG news regardless.

The fans will always compare them to the others because everyone have been playing the CORE games over the years. So the Final Fantasy series is not a regular Xbox JRPG(whichever ones) you wanna throw in there. Looking at the Sales alone tells you Final Fantasy is in it's own league. Some/Plenty that hold this franchise close, will be very vocal about it.

Plus the series originated on Nintendo, so stop acting like Sony owns the franchise or something. Now I didn't like XII as much and hoping this one is good.

Sh!t, plenty Xbox 360 owners(new & old to the series) will be criticizing as well, one it comes out. The game is multiplat. Stop whining.

Godmars2903280d ago

Key words are "many spoilers" Myze. When FF7 hit it took months to learn about the Honey Bee much less what happens to Aeris. Most people still don't the deal with Tidus from FF10, and yet now with FFXIII still only out in JP you can find the ending movie on GT.

People just don't respect games anymore. Much less fellow gamers.

kewlkat0073280d ago (Edited 3280d ago )

We have Youtube/Blogs/Google and all sorts of information gateways for users to voice their opinions, as well as "spoil" it for others, like you I say.

Just try not to read them articles. It's not that hard. You know the game is coming and you seen a preview, then do not click anything relating to it. JRPgs is my favorite genre and spends most times on those types of games. So I know what your talking about spoiling it.

I actually just picked up Last I know it was $20 bucks couldn't pass it up. Anyhow blame "those + information technology" for ruining it for others.

Myze3280d ago

@3.3 If you followed FF7 anywhere near as much as I did (unhealthy level at the time), you would know that's not true about what you are saying. In terms of internet info, yes, FF7 was far less exposed, but there were multiple 20+ page previews of FF7 over a year before it was released (in Japan)revealing quite a lot about pretty much everything that happened for the first 15 hours of the game, which is about what is shown on FFXIII (Gamefan being the main magazine that covered 7).

That being said though, again, you don't have to watch/read anything about the game before it's released. Just because it's easier for people to provide information early, doesn't mean it's difficult to avoid. This review doesn't provide anymore info about the game than reviews did in the past of previous FF's. It's not like it's shouting major spoilers *Hope and Snow are the same person!!* (btw, I made that up). The main difference is that it's a "review" of the JP version of the game (first 25 hours anyway), which is much easier to find now than it used to be.

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Ninji3280d ago

There are better JRPGs in Feb. not to mention God of War 3 in March which will already overshadow this mediocre RPG.

3280d ago
chrisulloa3280d ago

I forgot God of War 3 was a JRPG, but thanks for reminding me LOL

xaviertooth3280d ago

Don't buy it? why? because it's currently out on the PS3 and not yet on 360? i bet you when the 360 version comes out, you will say buy it. but i doubt the bots will buy it, remember they only buy halo and gears on it.

Aleusia3280d ago

Dont play games from Japan, they think they are too "girly" and "emo" and only girls play such games when we all know this is not true at all. But apparently any dude who is not a shaved head military figure is emo somehow, not sure how that works out but they believe it.

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Son_Lee3280d ago

I have no doubts about this game. I know I'm going to love it. Why? Same reasons I hated XII and the comment above. Due to non-linearity, I thought XII had no characters worthy of being there (no matter how much I love Balthier and Ashe), and the story was a heap of broken mess and completely uninteresting imo. I'm legitimately excited for XIII's story and I already love most of the characters, at least all the main ones. Reading that prequel novel only heightened my interest, so I can't wait for March 9.

Baka-akaB3280d ago

i know i'm the minority and so be always disagreed with , but i quite liked FFXII , not only obviously for it's gameplay that at least many found interesting ...

But even its story and characters . it was a nice get away from the usual sap and cheap romance , and more focused on politics , trahisons , etc ...

Stuff common in every other matsuno games , such as Final fantasy tactics , Tactics Ogre , or Vagrant story to an extent . Of course (and sadly) , be it lack of inspirations or too much issues and interferences with SE , matsuno's effort this time paled compared to previous work .

And to be honest i found the judges very cool .

At last , i loved the fact that the game was less centered onto One precise hero (and his woman) , but more about the group itself .
I also liked that for once , in a rather long time , the cheap emo looking hero wasnt as whiny and emo as usual .

it was refreshing to me , with the last "cool" hero being Zidane , with him being an optimistic swashbuckler ... and not some poster boy for emo and jrock bands ... nor a nosy whiny kid like tidus .

But i can understand most people's grip about the game . And doubt FFXIII wouldnt be better and more polished story wise .

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