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The Original Final Fantasy XIII and the Elements of Story Telling

Final Fantasy XIII-2 has launched and has received good scores. Recently the Final Fantasy franchise has been suffering and for many people who grew up on the classic titles, it’s a painful thing. Final Fantasy XIII was exceptionally painful for many fans. While gorgeous, the game suffered for boring systems and a broken story telling structure; the very reason people loved Final Fantasy while growing up with it. Now with Final Fantasy XIII-2 the curve seems to finally be climbing. To me, Final Fantasy X-III is the ‘Sonic Colors’ for it’s own franchise. In general this game will be dismissed by the masses but slowly people will notice the improvements and if they continue on to the next title, Final Fantasy could be back in the public eye as it once was.
In this Article, I’d like to go over what the original Final Fantasy XIII did wrong. Originally posted in my blog before Gamer Talk existed, below you can find ‘ Final Fantasy and Elements of Story Telling’.

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Godmars2902100d ago

I will always insist that the game's skewed production schedule, the move from PS2 to PS3, then the inclusion of the 360, caused the game to turn out like it did. Which was disappointing to many.

HarryMasonHerpderp2099d ago (Edited 2099d ago )

not to mention the pressure of trying to
appeal to the western market,which ironically
made it less appealing to most of us.
It really seemed to have had an identity crisis.
Like it was trying to gain new fans but alienating
the old ones.

iamtehpwn2099d ago (Edited 2099d ago )

I think Toriyama once admitted that the biggest problem with Final Fantasy XIII was that the entire time it was being developed, the team didn't share a unified vision of what the game should be like. I think that's the first time that's ever happened to Final Fantasy because the teams are usually so good at uniting behind one Vision.

But like GodMars said, the switch between technology and writing the Crystal Tools engine really took it's toll on the finished XIII product in some noticeable ways if you think about it hard enough.

EDIT:
I found the article where he said it:
http://www.wired.com/gameli...

“Even at a late stage of development, we did not agree on key elements of the game, which stemmed from the lack of a cohesive vision, the lack of finalized specs, and the remaining problems with communication between departments,”

Godmars2902099d ago

And again some finger pointing has to be done as Wada. Pretty sure many in the dev team weren't happy with his 11th hour multiplatform announcement.

Then again it was proabbly his insistent hands off approach which made FFXIV the mess it was.

Fire the bastard already!

Nozzle2099d ago

"Final Fantasy XIII-2 has launched and has received good scores"

No...FF13-2 got worse scores then FF13, thats not a good thing, it showed you that it really didn't improve anything despite the BS lies that Sqaure said.

"Now with Final Fantasy XIII-2 the curve seems to finally be climbing"

lol....climbing

It hasn't even climbed the first step yet, it's still on a stand still.

"To me, Final Fantasy X-III is the ‘Sonic Colors’ for it’s own franchise. "

Why do people keep saying Sonic Colors was good, it was alright but it still didn't put Sonic back on peoples Radar, I think Sonic Generations was the one which made people think "Oh wow...Sonic is back" more then Sonic Colours.

Jeez, I hate when people try and defend FF13/FF13-2 and Squares decision behind the drastic change they took with FF. They were bad FF games, it's nothing something you can really defend.

What can you really say to defend it...

Oh it had good characters......nope
Oh it had a good battle system......nope
Oh the character development was great......nope
Oh I love the transformer style summons......nope
Oh I loved the linear paths......nope
Oh the story was the best......nope

See what I mean....you just can't. Fair enough people can enjoy it but to try and defend it, it's just not possible

Capt-FuzzyPants2099d ago (Edited 2099d ago )

Actually most of the reviews say it DID improve on a lot of things people complained about for the original, but for some reason it still got lower scores. So if anything, that proves how unreliable the actual numbers are.

And all of the stuff you said "nope" to are opinions. I like some of the characters, not all, but some. I like the battle system. I like the character developement. The transformer style summons are a little odd, but they fit the world well and I didn't think they were that big of a deal. They got rid of the linearity in 13-2, and in 13 once you got into the Archylte Steppe it got less linear and gave us some options on what to do. I like the stories too. Are they "the best" no. I don't think anyone thinks they are the best. But the people who took the time to understand what was going on and paid attention to everything generally like the story.

Hicken2099d ago

^This.

Not the best, not the worst. Some parts and characters really shined, but others could have used more polish. In the end, for people willing to give them a chance, both XIII and XIII-2 are good games.

@Nozzle: The scores are about the same in some places, better in others, and worse in others. As Capt said, though, nearly every review said XIII-2 was better than XIII, yet for some reason the reviewers still saw fit to give it lower scores.

If you think Square-Enix lied about things changing, then you either haven't played them, or you yourself are lying... or you're somehow blind to the changes.

The story, while executed poorly in some places, is still excellent, in my opinion. It relied a little too much on things that didn't directly happen on-screen, but it was still good. The characters were great. Sazh is one of my favorites of ANY RPG, not just FF.

Pairing drastically different characters up the way they did at the start was an ingenious way of letting you get to know the characters, provide a way for them to develop, and also advance the story. The more I think on that, the more amazing it becomes to me.

The battle system was unique. People complained about spamming X to get through battles, and that would have gotten you killed a hundred times over in XIII. I haven't had that difficulty just yet in XIII-2, but I'm sure it's there.

The linearity of XIII was not a problem for me. It fit with the story perfectly. The fact that there was one way to go- coupled with the emphasis on how you were being hunted by your entire world for most of the game- really drove home just how ostracized and cut off the fal'Cie were from everything and everyone. I never felt the loss of exploration or lack of an open world took away from that; in fact, making it more open would have ruined that feeling and sense of urgency in your actions. You wouldn't have felt driven to move on.

Dislike what you want, but if you stopped being a close-minded dummy about it and looked at the game for what it was, you'd see XIII had quite a few bright spots.

As for me, I find that I'm actually not enjoying XIII-2 as much as XIII. I don't dislike it at all, but the impression of the characters' emotions upon me isn't done nearly as well as in XIII.

Still, unlike a lot of fools, I'm reserving my judgement until I've completed the game. Do I acknowledge what's improved or so far gotten worse? Sure.

But at least I can say I've played em, too.

no_more_heroes2099d ago (Edited 2099d ago )

@Capt-FuzzyPants

"But the people who took the time to understand what was going on and paid attention to everything generally like the story."

The problem most people (from what I could tell) had with the story was that to understand it fully you had to read everything in the Datalog. But I have a question:

Would people have preferred they show more of the story visually and have multiple 10+ minute cutscenes to explain everything, or put some of it in text form, in the background, that you can go and read anytime you want?

@Hicken

"I haven't had that difficulty just yet in XIII-2, but I'm sure it's there."

Oh, trust me, its there. How far do you reach?

Skateboard2099d ago

Half of what you said is true and the other half is all OPINION.

Ranma12099d ago

I agree with you 1000%

Outside_ofthe_Box2099d ago (Edited 2099d ago )

I hate when people defend it too and then bash a promising game like Versus13 lol.

FF 13/13-2 should have been its own game without the FF title in it. That way I would have never bought the game and the people that love it can love it peace without any argument because nobody would care for it as it wouldn't have tainted the beloved Final Fantasy Franchise to begin with.

+ Show (1) more replyLast reply 2099d ago
A LIVING LEGEND2099d ago (Edited 2099d ago )

11 hours in you are thrown into the remnants of another game for 20 hours.
You switch roles more often.Various opportunities to revisit areas already explored arise.
31 hours in you abandon all hope.....as yet another pointless piece of dark matter falls from yet another pointless creature in this tiresome little mess

GCFOX2098d ago

I think we can all agree that was want Final Fantasy to improve. You guys are right, 13-2 di get weaker scores as a game but everyone agrees many systems did improve. I think that game mechanics did improve in general but I also think the ending was a huge slap to the face for the audience who is watching hoping for one of their favorite franchises grow.

Thank you for the comments everyone. I feel like a lot was well said.