FF XIII: Reinventing the wheel or a design miss?

VGArabia: No one can argue with the fact that FF XIII is one of the most anticipated games this generation. But since the game was released in Japan, criticisms have had started to pop up on the internet regarding some aspects of the game. FF XIII new design ideas in reinventing the JRPGs genre are the same points that will bother the most devoted fans of the series. We take a look at both of the good side and the bad side of those points.

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Sangria3220d ago (Edited 3220d ago )

For people having played Final Fantasy XIII, is this a linearity a la Final Fantasy X (where most of the game is pretty linear until the end where you could go everywhere you want)?
And how does this Crystalium system works, if there's no XP to gain?
Square already deleted the XP system in Crisis Core, where your evolution was only due to chance with a roulette system.

But somehow, I was that much interested by Final Fantasy XIII and this article just frozen my envy even more. I'm no longer sure I will get it after all. It seems much more restricted with much less replay value than other FF games, and this under an universe a bit too girl-oriented (like FFX-2).

immortal843220d ago (Edited 3220d ago )

Yes, there is no xp to gain or leveling up. You will get points to spent to make your character stronger, just like sphere grid in FFX. Again, the only way to make your character stronger is by using the Crystalium System.

Cold 20003220d ago (Edited 3220d ago )

I play JRPG's for the story, characters and other words:EMOTION!!!

With FF13 it looks like SE have done everything to enhance all that while cutting all the lengthy exploration, bla bla in villages and sometimes tiring leveling up.

If chatting to villagers, neverending exploration, weak story, object collecting is your thing too bad for you. You can always go back to FF12 or WRPGS like Fallout or Oblivion. Not saying that they are bad, just a different style.

I am personally glad that SE took the direction they took with FF13 because FF12 in my opinion was just a snore fest.

Saaking3220d ago

I haven't played it so I couldn't say for sure, but some people say it's great and others say that it's not as good as previous FFs. I say we just wait for it to come out and try it out and then make a decision.

CrazzyMan3220d ago (Edited 3220d ago )

I liked FFXII, i liked FFX. I`m sure, that i will like FFXIII.
Probably because i`m just a FF fan.
Well, actually, back then, FF7 was my first real RPG, and since then i love JRPG.
FF game just can`t be bad. It always about QUALITY, BIG world and just EPIC experience.

I can understand all this hate, about FFXIII, since it could be a BETTER game, but even worst FF game is better, than most other jrpgs.
Looking forward to play FFXIII.
Other people can skip this game, but this is their loss. I`m going to enjoy this EPIC experience! =)

RememberThe3573220d ago

If your a avid JRPG fan, then you might want to stay away. I'm not, not this sounds pretty cool. I would prefer the combat to be more strategic like it is in turn-based combat but I like that they're doing something different and I think I'm getting a little bit more interested.

It seems like all the talk of FF13 being for the masses and FFvs13 being for the real fans is truer then I gave it credit for.

Like I said before, this is looking to be a good but not mind blowing game. That is left for FFvs13 :)

A Cupcake for Gabe3220d ago (Edited 3220d ago )

Of all the user reviews I have read. This game has been called both awesome to mediocre or disappointment.

I am going to get it probably. But I am getting more excited for versusXIII, since majority of people who said they played FFXIII, aren't calling it better than any other FF game. I hear it's short, linear, and not at all immersive. I'll just hope, when it arrives it is anything but those things.

disagrees: can you tell me why? or if you just haven't read the user reviews yet

DW3220d ago

.. I have been desparately searching for side quests and other missions I havent found any ...

[[[ SPOILER ]]]]

There is one quest where you have to hunt for Sazh's chocobo To (well it's really his Son's Chocobo but that's a long story) ... and you get items for it .... I'll stop there

point is ... there hasn't been anyone requesting you to search for anything for them, nor have I found another game yet ... though when I think about when I imported FF XII, I didn't find the fishing game till well after I had done several other missions and was able to teleport everywhere ... more later.

iamtehpwn3220d ago (Edited 3220d ago )

Its JUST Like Final Fantasy X. This is actually the exact same people who did Final Fantasy X (most of the people behind FF7 and 8 work with Nomura now on Versus XIII).

It starts out Extremely linear, then the game grows and opens up, and then, much like FFX, toward the end, you have giant world to explore and do missions, etc.

EDIT: My fellow Importers, did it also EXTREMELY bother you to hear the lack of traditional victory fanfare after every battle? Honestly, this was the only big disappoint to me. I didn't even feel like I won a Final Fantasy battle.

GameGambits3219d ago (Edited 3219d ago )

As someone who has beat the story and is now 83 hours of play time with jigatons more to go to reach's pretty much a tie between this and FFIX for my favorite FF game of all time.

The game is challenging, rewarding, fun, deep, and will please all FF/RPG fans who complete it.

Yeah it was a bit of a mistake to make the first 10 chapters 100% linear, but you won't give 2 craps about that once you hit Chapter 11 and onward. The first 10 chapters for some have taken 25 hours to bust through, but I'm at 80 some hours now. That's small chump change compared to how much open content I've been cruising through.

It's def. in the same vain of FF10 in many ways, but improved for the better in MANY ways.

Don't miss out on this one and don't believe the confusion/hate on the net. It WILL be worth every red cent when you get to play it. :)

Edit: @ Guy below me.

If you go further into that thread I made. I start to talk about Ch11 and onwards, and that those impressions were made BEFORE I started Ch11 and progressed the game. Seriously, I never expected the game to be this good and turn the 180 it did. I should go do a full update on that thread tomorrow, but I had been holding off to give my final word on the game till I platinumed it. Really though...I'm going towards a Platinum on it, and I'm not a trophy whore or an achivement junkie. I rarely do that except for games I really like. I really like FF13.

Check out that thread tomorrow I'll update my impressions and how things vastly change in the games last 3 hours + end game content. It's absurd how different the game becomes... but in a VERY good way. :)

camachoreloaded88063219d ago

I just happened to stumble on this, I assume it's your impressions of the game.

So either your opinion of the game turned a full 180, or you're just a troll screwing around.

Reveal your true self, stranger.

caladbolg7773219d ago (Edited 3219d ago )

I'll probably wait a month or two before I pick up FF13. I pre-ordered FF12, which ended up being a mistake. XII certainly didn't warrant the $50-some-odd I paid for it. Undeniably, early reviews of FF13 from "major" publications are going to be sugar-coated. But like I said, I'll give it a month or two to get a feel for what people are saying about it, and then and ONLY then will I consider picking it up...

... used.

FamilyGuy3219d ago

If you liked 10 you'll LOVE 13. If you thought 10-2 was okay or better, this game will cause multiple orgasms.

Noctis Aftermath3219d ago

It is really such a shame that the game doesn't open up until near the end, i like to take breaks from the main story and do side quests every now and again, i'm sure i will enjoy this but it will be one of my least favorite FF to date, i obviously have not played it yet so it is just speculation at this point.

camachoreloaded88063219d ago

Wow, that's amazing that your opinion completely changed. Your initial impressions were probably the most negative I had seen so far, but I'm glad to hear that you ended up enjoying it a lot. Thanks for the impressions on the thread (I won't lie, I'm very biased and I probably wouldn't have thanked you for anything if your first opinion of the game remained negative haha).

I know I shouldn't let reviews affect me too much, whether they be negative or positive, but I can't help it. If a review of a game I'm anticipating is negative, I can't help but be concerned. I just hope that the majority of people will approve of it, considering that the development team spent such a long time on it.

Pozzle3219d ago

I'd direct you to the comments section of this article (WARNING! THERE ARE SPOILERS):

The gamer review in the above link has some pretty informative opinions on the game...

"Yes, the field maps are linear. Incredibly. Even so, you will still find split paths and if you want to find all the treasure, you'll navigate every path. And yes, they do exist only as a path to the next cutscene for story progression. But so many other RPGs are like this, so using it as a detraction makes little sense to me. The field construction is very traditional to Japanese RPGs.

Now, the battle system. I am enjoying this system immensely. Every battle is a test. My favourite chain building combo of Ruin-Ruin-Attack doesn't work on every enemy - just a lot of them. Trying to break some of them is an absolute waste of time, just stock the Attack command to full ATB and smash it. When it comes to Optima, you really need to think through your combinations. I went into a battle and I really wanted two Blasters. But I didn't have that Optima set up, so I couldn't break any of the enemies. I came out of that battle with a low ranking, let me tell you. Choosing your performance is a Catch-22. If you do poorly in battle, you'll get items like potions and such and extra CP. If you do well, you get some really good materials to upgrade your equipment with, but you won't get as much CP. I've had to throw some battles just to get CP. The entire system has you on your feet the whole time. If it doesn't, you're not using it to its full potential. If you don't cancel a combo in order to line up a different attack for the sake of a good boost to the chain gauge, you need to shut off the game and evaluate your decision to play it, because you're not getting the most out of the system.

Character growth is a bit confusing at first, but it eventually becomes second nature to open up the Crystarium menu every now and then and move about the discs. Abilities are few and far between, though, so don't think that you'll be able to create a super character so very quickly. CP cost to progress through the discs fluctuates extremely and once you spend your CP, it's not coming back. A nice touch is that the construction of each role's disc varies from character to character. A character - can't remember who, had Water on the first level of the Blaster disc, whereas... I think it was Sazh - or maybe Lightning - didn't get it until the second disc. Sazh started out with Fire, Lightning started out with Thunder. You can complete a disc as little or as much as you want. And the team intended for that, certain characters do better with certain roles. That's why I've whored Lightning on her Attacker discs and completely neglected the Healer disc. That said, in order to make the most of a character's stats, you'll want to progress through each and every disc.

There is a downside to Crystarium and that's the fact that it is just like the Sphere Grid in that you have to progress with completely linearity. You can't start on one side of the Blaster disc, for example, pick up Aero and then decide you want the HP+30 opposite from it. You'll have to earn that HP+30 by picking up every other node along the way.

I'm still playing with weapon growth. The help bar doesn't actually describe the affects of any of the materials. It's a very finicky system. You might put some materials on a weapon and get EXP+1.25 on all other materials. Then the next one might bump it up to +1.75. Choose the wrong material, and you're back at +1.25. I ate through all my materials upgrading the weapons for Lightning, Hope and Sazh. All of them. And the weapons are each only on level 4."

GrandDragon3219d ago

The Article contradicts its self.

First it says there are no NPC and then goes on to criticise the NPC for being "repetitive"??!

You cant talk to the NPC in this game, THEY talk to simply run close to them and they turn towards you and speak like all other RPG games.

Seriously has this guy ever played any other FF game?

GrandDragon3219d ago

"There is next to no strategy or skill involved, just keep pushing or mashing the attack button mixed with some magic attacks and you will be fine. Seriously."


What a load of BS, this game REQUIRES strategy!! You need to constantly switch between Optima, and find ways to break the Enemy, and then find ways to string attacks to juggle the enemy in the air!! You need to plan your Optima's for each character before hand to suit the bosses difficulty. Casting enhancers and switching Optimas for healing is ALL part of the strategy...seriously whoever wrote this probably didn understand the ATB mechanism in the first pace.

vhero3219d ago

This is the first game in the series that truly worrys me I have been a huge fan of the series for many years and always pick up a copy of the latest game on release day. However the linear respect of this game is starting to make me think twice about the purchase considering how many other RPG's are out around the same time. FF was always known for open world RPG's with lots to do and tons of side quests etc. FFVII was the best for this with 2 secret (sorta) characters and ultimate weapons etc.. This game has none of that so re-playability is gonna die with it. Star Ocean and White Knight Chronicles are Higher on my list in 2010.

mfwahwah3219d ago


WHAT? Story and talking to villagers are one in the same, man! You go around the world and see the perspectives of various townsfolk and see how everything that has happened and is happening affects people!

I remember playing FFVII as a kid and talking to some lady who looks at the ground all the time because people drop things. Then after a part of Midgar falls, or w/e it was, she always looks up. I love a good story, but I also love a full and immersive world in my RPGs.

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Godmars2903220d ago

FFXIII is hampered by being multiplatform. It can neither reinvent the wheel nor miss it.

immortal843220d ago

It's all about design choices. That's it.

Cold 20003220d ago (Edited 3220d ago )

Dont even bother. He WANTS to believe its because of the 360. SE simply listened to complaints and did with FF13 the opposite of what they did FF12.

Even if its CLEAR its a DESIGN decision, he will still stick to "its the 360's fault" talk.

Lost Odyssey had towns, was more open world than what FF13 seems to be and was 40 hours long just for the main quest and it's on the 360...

You see its just a different approach.

ClownBelt3220d ago


Hey, yours an assumption as well.

immortal843220d ago (Edited 3220d ago )

Yes, I know. I'm with you that Square has listened to gamers feedbacks, but what's your opinion on removing towns from the game? No one has complained about that I guess?

Cold 20003220d ago (Edited 3220d ago )

Well the thing is I dont understand how can the game have "no towns" at all, I've read a couple of reviews already and I still dont exactly see how can that be possible...

I just tell myself that SE must have filled in the void somehow. I dont know with what or how. I know that you cant just spend 25hours fighting. I'm going to have to see by myself with my own eyes and make my own opinion.

Anyways I dont think we need a 1000 towns, most JRPG's have 4 or 5 huge towns and a whole bunch of other not so important towns.

I'll just have to wait and experience it by myself.

immortal843220d ago (Edited 3220d ago )

FF XIII will be a great game. I will buy the game and play it. But to tell you the truth, I'm more excited for Mistwalker next RPG than FF XIII. I loved Lost Odyssey. It is the best JRPG this generation in my opinion.

Godmars2903220d ago

If there are notable differences between the 360 version and the PS3 version, or worse, the Western and JP PS3 versions so it matches the 360 version, then yeah, it sort of does. Especially, and here I'm assuming that neither you nor Cold2000 know enough Japanese or just haven't bothered to import it, then the only version you're talking about is the multiplatform one.

As for the current JP-only version and the subject in question there's been too much complaining about the 39/40 reviewed title to say it reinvents the wheel or even does it well. Much like Lost Odyssey was only ever called a mature re-visit to FF4 and not the FFXIII-killer many in the 360 camp hope it would be.

kingdavid3219d ago

godmars, if there would be any differences (and thats a big if) it would only be in graphics and sound.

Who the hell plays a jrpg for the sound or graphics? Noone.

A true JRPG is all about the gameplay and its story. being multiplatform or not is totally irelevant...

vhero3219d ago (Edited 3219d ago )

wow immortal84 you really think Mistwalker have the best JRPG's this gen? I strongly disagree with you but I guess to each his own. Mistwalker hasn't made a profit in any of their games so far and if it wasn't for MS footing the bill they would have gone bust. Of course MS are no longer trying to break Japan so they are no longer footing Mistwalkers bills. Thats why they have left MS now and moved to DS games.

mfwahwah3219d ago


Bleh, I hit disagree instead of agree.

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alaa3220d ago

is going to be a good game. But the real question is: Will it match the quality of previous games in the series?

Godmars2903220d ago

No, the question is weather or not Versus will be equal if not better than FFXIII. Since no one's attacking the story, calling it convoluted anyway, as if prior FFs weren't, then it comes down to the differences between two games in the series that will be in the same console generation.

ShinGundam3219d ago

In terms of gameplay ,yes but they dropped the ball in terms of
World interactivity , level designs and end-game content .

I want FF13:international or DLCs :\

Gandalf3220d ago

It's overall a good game. Gameplay wise it's fun and graphics are good, but it's extremely linear. Story is about average. They tried to overreach too far on their story to try to make it more complex but failed to do so.

Godmars2903220d ago

And you know this how? By actually playing it the required 40+ hours, or is your opinion simply been formed by largely biased overly repeated hearsay?

Game looks good, comes from a well established publisher, so I'm willing to wait till I've got my own hands on it to form and real opinions. That being said, with the game not following the established trend of being on one platform only, I have concerns. Especially when it seems that the judgment of Square's leadership seems leaning more towards profit than quality.

Still I'm only concerned. Need more proof than someone simply calling me a butthurt fanboy. Like having the game in my hands.

Gandalf3220d ago

Yeah, I beat the game, and the big plot twist, that happens in every JRPG, falls flat. It had moments but failed to live up to predecessors. Comparing this game to past game plots is like comparing Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 to Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare. Overall, MW had a better story than MW2. MW2 had moments but plagued with plot holes.

caladbolg7773219d ago (Edited 3219d ago )

Now that FF13 guaranteed a multiplatform release in America, I'm curious as to whether XBOX-only review sites or PS3-only review sites will grade the game higher.

My guess is that XBOX-only/oriented review sites will be rating FF13 higher than PS3-only/oriented ones. If not for anything other than expectations. As far as quality JRPGs go for the 360, they are few and far between. And although the PS3 isn't GUSHING with JRPGs just yet this generation, the type of gamer gravitating toward PS3-oriented review sites, I'd assume, are probably more JRPG-friendly than those hovering XBOX sites.

You tell me though. Admittedly, I'm not much of a console gamer at all anymore. Post-PS2 I've moved on and consider myself a PC gamer more than anything else. Maybe I've lost touch with the console-gaming crowd and I've got the roles reversed?

kewlkat0073220d ago (Edited 3220d ago )

This looks like an old-school JRPG. nothing is being re-invented here(like most games today) and I'm fine with that.

Every Final Fantasy games have had different characters and such while you can compare this to some of the old ones, you gotta understand SQUARE-ENIX is NOT!! SQUARESOFT. Some of the biggest personal that made the older games charming are no longer there so things/times have changed.

Lets move on and judge Square-Enix to others of today's JRPG makers that also deserve credit, or a second look. Not many tradition JRPGs have been out on next-gen and the closest to Final Fantasy will have to be Lost Odyssey. Go figure.

iamtehpwn3220d ago

It's Very reinvented. It's Just some of the reinventions are questionable to some what people. It's kind of funny how the majority of the people who are complaining about the game have never even played it. I have my Ps3 Japanese copy. You guys do not have to worry about this one. It's on par with Final Fantasy X.

Son_Lee3219d ago


On par with FFX? I'm glad you said that because I watched a boss battle (trying to avoid spoilers but still get somewhat a sense of the gameplay) and it looks amazing to say the least. Bosses have a LOT of HP. This I like. I hear this is the hardest FF as well. FFX and FFVIII were no walks in the park, and I think that's due to the leveling system. I think Crystalium looks like a doctored up Sphere Grid, which is in no way a bad thing. Anyway, my point is after watching that boss battle, I'm convinced that at least most of the changes are for the better. People need to check their nostalgia at the door.

iamtehpwn3219d ago

You still have to have Final Fantasy strategy, and you have Optimas to deal with. Honestly, sometimes, it'll feel like you're almost playing Kingdom Hearts trying to not only assign optimas fast, but quickly assign attacks.

The game is REALLY fun, and there are people are KEEP trying to ruin this game for everyone. It's REALLY REALLY REALLY NOT that bad. Think about people making up crap to make Uncharted 2 seem bad in some conceivable way? It's the same deal here.

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