Final Fantasy XIII
Posted by D on November 23, 2010
I have just completed this after spending months picking at it. I did the story and completed all the missions. I have learnt some things, some things about myself, some things about the game.
Things I have learnt:
1) I will put up with a surprisingly amount of bullshit.
2) The dialogue writing in Final Fantasy games is still as crappy as it always has been
3) The narrative was utterly, utterly awful. Roughly you are compelled by the evil bad guy to destroy a thing/it/he-she/whatever which will DESTROY EVERYONE FOR THE GOOD OF EVERYONE but instead you decide to kill the evil bad guy. But then you have to destroy the thing/it/he-she/whatever anyway even though it’s done nothing to you or anyone else and you’ve never seen it before. But once it’s destroyed no one actually dies for completely magical bullshit reasons. God fucking damn it.
4) The pacing of the story is beyond bizarre. You’re more than halfway through before you learn who the bad guy is and have any grasp of what’s going on, that’s 25hours of game time with no discernible plot beyond “run down this corridor and kill those monster”. It’s probably only in the closing handful of hours that you find out that you have to destroy the thing/it/he-she/whatever and that makes little sense then and little sense when you get there.
5) The combat though weirdly disconnected and disembodied is actually really good
6) The game never ever explains much about the combat mechanics, if you ever want to understand what is actually going on and get good at it you’ll have to go elsewhere. Although now that I think about it I suspect you’re supposed to also shell out for the official guide.
7) There was surprisingly little level grinding for a JRPG, I probably did about 4 hours across the 75 hours I spent with it. Although this also begs the question: did those 4 hours actually bring anything to the game? It’s not like I’d have found the game too short if they weren’t there. Why can’t RPGs be laid out so that grinding isn’t necessary?
8) I’m never playing a FF game again in fact I’m never playing a game that is 20+ hours ever again. I’ve never yet played a story driven game whose story can hold up much beyond 12 hours so I’m checking out of that nonsense (note also: this will go out the window when Kingdom Hearts 3D is released).
9) The best bit of the game is after the plot, tooling around clearing up the missions, that was actually fun. Is it worth playing the game for 50hrs to get there?
10) Unlike other FF games where the story really feels like it plays out on a grand/global scale this one never feels like it’s about anyone other than the 6 main characters, in spite of the dialogue and narrative repeatedly trying to tell us about all the people in peril. I think this is because there is no dinky overworld map that you can cruise around in a hyper-fast airship.