Have We Been Too Harsh on Final Fantasy XIII?

Perhaps one of the most difficult challenges that a video game developer can have is keeping its fan-base happy; gamers are a skeptical bunch that don’t tend to react well to change. It is this mentality that makes the task of developing for a long-running, fanatically loved franchise one of the most difficult in the industry. As developers try to find ways to keep the franchise new and exciting they are effectively walking a tight-rope; all it takes is just one wrong step and the series’ reputation is damaged inexorably. Square Enix has had to learn this lesson the hard way after the thirteenth major installment in its long-running and critically-acclaimed Final Fantasy series left many of the series’ fans feeling disenchanted with the franchise. Despite receiving decent critical reception, there is simply no denying that some of the series’ fervor has been dampened in the wake of Final Fantasy XIII, so much so that its direct sequel is one of the worst-selling Final Fantasy titles...

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booni33834d ago

Great piece, I read it in full. The vitriol surrounding the game is alarming, but I bought FFXIII launch day. Personally, it was/is one of the best looking games available, the combat is fun and the soundtrack was stellar.

In spite of all that production value, I hated the linearity and the whole constrained feeling the game had. I personally didn't like any of the characters and there was very little to do compared to my favorite FF games. It's good for what it was but not on the level of my faves. I just bought XIII-2 last week as it apparently corrects a lot of my gripes with the first one, but I haven't played it yet.

Furthermore, seeing Lightning get three games while Versus XIII is pretty much nonexistent would leave a sour taste in anyone's mouth.

Blackdeath_6633834d ago

i just lost interest, 60th hour of game play felt exactly like the 3rd hour of game play just a change of scenery and monsters. i can't even remember what the story was. sure the game was beautiful but i didn't feel the game was going to get any better and it didn't.

ILive3834d ago

It is one of the best looking games this gen, and I enjoyed it a lot. Its one of those games you have to be patient with. I thought it was amazing, and will stand as one of the best looking games ever made. Many have definitely been too harsh on it.

deep_fried_bum_cake3834d ago

Definitely too harsh. As you say there was things about it which were bad like the linearity (I can't say it bothered me but I understand why people hated it) and some of the characters like Snow, Hope and Vanille who were eye clawingly annoying, but there was also a lot about it that was good.

Visually it was one of the best looking games of the time, the soundtrack was not something you could get sick of listening to (though some people were very vocal about their hate for it) and the story was good.

I know people (a lot) will disagree with me in saying that the story was good but it was. Not as good as some previous FFs but still good. What really annoyed me was that people continually used the argument that they had to use the codex to understand what was going on. That is nonsense, they either don't think coherently or didn't pay attention to (or finish) the story. One thing that the game did really well was explain everything in the story as it went on.

The combat I can't comment on as although I liked it I understand that people didn't like the limitations that constant combat brought.

user55757083833d ago

i think people were too easy on FFXIII. true the graphics and soundtrack were great but beyond that there wasnt much.

the first 20 hours of the game was basically a tutorial. autobattle ruined the battle system by picking the best commands for you. the game just catered to the noob generation of casual gamers that developers seem to try and appeal to these days,which is something that difficulty settings could have fixed

honestly i didnt read up on the story...because a good game will tell the story through its scenes and not through a bunch of text in the menus that most people aren't going to take the time to read. it just comes off as lazy

Lazy is really the word here. you have an established AAA title developer and they give us a game with no depth. they hand us the most shallow battle system, the easiest final fantasy i have ever played, a complete lack of side quests and horrible character development.

I think the real reason people are mad is because we all know squarenix is capable of much better and if they keep shoving mediocre games down our throats then people are going to move towards all the other AAA titles that other companies make. Its time for them to step it up and make something great.

cleft53834d ago

I like FF13 and I liked the different direction FF13-2 went in. The complaints of the game being to linear still boggles me. At it's core most jrpg are linear. Yes you can certainly do a ton of side quest at the start for some of them, but ultimately the story itself is linear.

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-Gespenst-3834d ago

The visuals, the art direction and the soundtrack are probably the best I've seen this gen- or at least, they're my favourite.

But I understand the problems people had with it's story, characters, and gameplay. Nevertheless, I don't think it's nearly as bad as people say.

Consumers are getting a little bit too entitled if you ask me.

porkChop3834d ago (Edited 3834d ago )

I don't think consumers are "too" entitled as part of it is justified. Companies are competing for our dollar. We tell them what we want, they compete against each other trying to provide the products that we want. Then we buy whatever product we feel is better suited for us as consumers. That's the nature of business, that's how it works.

The market doesn't want RPGs where you literally spend 6 hours walking in a straight line. That just isn't exciting. It also doesn't want boring, poorly designed gameplay and combat. You either do full turn based, or you do full real-time. Mixing them together never works well and it's time that Square Enix realized that.

Older FF games were great. They were grand adventures, with lots of diverse characters, interesting plots and twists, interesting locations, smart gameplay, and huge overworlds that we could explore. That's what the majority of FF fans want. Square Enix is refusing to even TRY giving that to us.

They just keep giving excuses like they say it would take too long, cost too much, and they've even said it's impossible. Lost Odyssey, Tales of Vesperia, and Ni no Kuni all prove them wrong.

Lord_Sloth3834d ago (Edited 3834d ago )

I don't hate FFXIII. I hate how much Square's trying to force it, parading it about as the face of FF even to the point of neglecting VersusXIII by taking Nomura's budget to appease Toriyama.

no_more_heroes3834d ago

This piece is exactly my opinion of this game. TBH I was more pissed about how impossible it was to get gil than anything else. I especially loved fighting through/preparing for the Faultwarrens and reaching and beating Attacus.

I definitely enjoyed XIII, as plot hole filled and cheesily dramatic as it was.

Guess I'm just one of those people who like to focus on the positives of my gaming experiences before anything else.

ILive3834d ago (Edited 3834d ago )

You can certainly tell square put in effort, only for people to ignore the effort by complaining about its linearity and how "its not a final fantasy game." The best thing to do is to be patient, let it open, and you will have a blast, for its a highly strategic game. For some reason, complaining has become an acceptable thing this gen. But i will continue to find the best out of a game, while being aware of its faults, despite any expectations. That is what gaming is about...having fun.

King-Prodigy-X3834d ago (Edited 3834d ago )

No we haven't. We need to be more harsh so SE can get the point we want new FF's and not endless FF XIII sequels.

dumahim3834d ago

Agreed. And it's worth watching all of Spoony's videos about the game to show just how bad the game really was.