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Old 09-02-2010, 03:53 PM   #1
coyls3
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Post Please Rate This Review: Final Fantasy XIII second opinion

I'm Starting to Think I Had My Final Fantasy Eight Years Ago

HIGH Finally getting my hands on a new Final Fantasy.

LOW Realizing that the game I was playing only looked like Final Fantasy.

WTF Who ever green-lighted Vanelle's voice acting should retire.


After reading Trent's review of Final Fantasy XIII, I think it's safe to say that we have two differing opinions about the game. I say this with the utmost respect and in no way am I trying to discredit his review. On the contrary, I agree with a lot of the points he made. Like Trent, I too feel that the battle system is the best in the series, and I am also in agreement with the linear, more streamlined, approach. However, here is how our opinions differ. While Trent views Final Fantasy XIII as a step in the right direction for the genre, I see it as the slaughtering of a great franchise.

Final Fantasy has been my favorite game series for a long time. Serving as gamer comfort food, they have always been my go to games for memorable stories and characters, masterfully composed sound tracks, and fully realised worlds I could be sucked into. Final Fantasy XIII offers none of this. Those heartfelt melodies that inspired many fan made music videos on YouTube, gone. They have been replaced by songs that add little meaning to the situation in which they are used. Fully realised world that is easy to be sucked into, nope. For the most part, Final Fantasy XIII is completely devoid of atmosphere. My party's surroundings was mostly static with little to no ambiance, and usually consisted of corridors and narrow pathways. It was not until I reached the 30 hour mark that I came upon a place that was open and teeming with wildlife, but even that proved to be little more than a giant field; then it was back to the tunnels and corridors.

Then there is the story. The story is the part I was the most disappointed with. It's not that I didn't understand it, I was fully aware of what was going on; thanks to the in-game encyclopedia. It's that I did not care. I wanted to care; hell, I tried my damnedest to care, but it was as if the game was trying to keep me from caring. Unlike previous Final Fantasy games, I was unable to attach myself to any of the characters emotionally. I contribute this mostly to the fact that the game splits the party up early on, and then bounces the player from group to group every few hours. Anytime I was even remotely close to connecting with a character, the game would pull me away. What bit of time I did have with a group was usually filled with overly melodramatic dialog and shallow one-dimensional character personalities. The only character I found the least bit interesting was a man named Sazh, who was fighting to save his son. Unfortunately, like I said earlier, every time I would start to connect, the game pulled me away.*

Now, I am a gamer that places emphasis on atmosphere and story, especially in role-playing games, but a player who does not may be able to overlook these things. However, I do not see them being able to get over the tediousness of the gameplay. In the introduction of this review, I stated that I liked the idea of a more streamlined approach to the gameplay for the same reasons that Trent did. I stand by that statement. However, if a game is linear, then it needs variety. This is something that Final Fantasy XIII is severely lacking. Most of my time with the game can be summed up like this: two to three hours of killing random enemies, random boss fight, cut-scene, then repeat. Then once I reached the “open” part of the game, there were side quests that consisted of nothing more than hunt down a specific enemy and kill it. It felt like I was playing a severely dumbed down version of Demons' Souls with a Final Fantasy covering.

Now, I feel that I need to mention that I did not complete the game. I put a little over 40 hours into it before finally reaching the point where I lost all willingness to continue. As a gamer, I found Final Fantasy XIII to be below average, dull, and unable to offer anything to players not already a fan of the franchise. As a die-hard Final Fantasy fan, I am enraged after witnessing something I love so much being gutted before my eyes. If Trent is right, and this becomes the new style for JRPGs, then I do not want any part of it.

3/10

Disclosures: This game was obtained via [retail store] and reviewed on the [PlayStation 3]. Approximately 40 hours of play was devoted to single-player modes (completed 0 times) and there are no multiplayer modes.

Parents: The game is rated “T” for “Teen for mild language, suggestive themes, violence.

Deaf and Hard of Hearing: The game has subtitles.

Last edited by coyls3; 12-08-2010 at 04:24 PM.
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Old 09-03-2010, 09:09 AM   #2
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Re: Please Rate This Review: Final Fantasy XIII second opinion

starting off as citing your disagreement with Trent Fingland's review makes this sound more like a response than a review...
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Old 09-03-2010, 10:51 AM   #3
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Re: Please Rate This Review: Final Fantasy XIII second opinion

Green light from me.
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Old 09-17-2010, 06:20 PM   #4
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Re: Please Rate This Review: Final Fantasy XIII second opinion

I have been gaming all my life and this is weirdly my first FF game and I'm 42 hours in and still going. I can see where you are coming from with your criticism of the story and characters, but I think you are being a bit harsh. The story is intriguing enough for me to want to see how it ends and I only want 4 from 6 of the main characters to die a slow and painful death 8-)

Given the positives about the game that you accept I think 3/10 is way too low a score, but maybe that is due to how highly you rate the previous games.

I am going to try one of the earlier ones as a result of your review (and many other similar ones). Which would you recommend given that I'm only going back as far as PS2?

Cheers

Andy
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Old 09-17-2010, 09:41 PM   #5
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Re: Please Rate This Review: Final Fantasy XIII second opinion

Quote:
Originally Posted by fl1pper View Post
I have been gaming all my life and this is weirdly my first FF game and I'm 42 hours in and still going. I can see where you are coming from with your criticism of the story and characters, but I think you are being a bit harsh. The story is intriguing enough for me to want to see how it ends and I only want 4 from 6 of the main characters to die a slow and painful death 8-)

Given the positives about the game that you accept I think 3/10 is way too low a score, but maybe that is due to how highly you rate the previous games.

I am going to try one of the earlier ones as a result of your review (and many other similar ones). Which would you recommend given that I'm only going back as far as PS2?

Cheers

Andy
Final Fantasy X is the only one I would recommend on the PS2, and it's actually one of my favorite games of all-time.

About the 3/10, at this site 5 is the average as opposed to 7.5 at sites like gamespot. So 3/10 here means below average, but would mean terrible at other sites.
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Old 09-18-2010, 03:01 PM   #6
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Re: Please Rate This Review: Final Fantasy XIII second opinion

Ok, I'll give FF X a go once I finish XIII.

Thanks for explaining the numbers, but I still think 3 is too low.
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Old 09-28-2010, 03:15 AM   #7
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Re: Please Rate This Review: Final Fantasy XIII second opinion

Not surprisingly, different Final Fantasy games have different fans, so a difference in opinion is to be expected. After all, I'm one of the few who thinks FFVIII was a great game, so I'm used to opposing opinions. There's some really important information that I'm missing though. Since you're referring to previous FF games, you're expecting the reader to know about them. It's a reasonable enough assumption, but it would help to know which FF games you played, which ones you liked or disliked, and why.

Because right now, I'm looking at some of your complaints about the game and thinking, "That's what people said about Final Fantasy X, and I liked that aspect of it." I'd need either a more detailed description of the game contents and how it plays, or more concrete reference points.
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Old 10-17-2010, 12:41 AM   #8
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Re: Please Rate This Review: Final Fantasy XIII second opinion

Warning: James Arnold Taylor (a.k.a. Tidus, a.k.a. Meg Ryan in uneven cargo pants) manages to single-handedly ruin every scene he's in. But you might still enjoy FFX.
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Old 10-17-2010, 07:32 PM   #9
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Re: Please Rate This Review: Final Fantasy XIII second opinion

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Warning: James Arnold Taylor (a.k.a. Tidus, a.k.a. Meg Ryan in uneven cargo pants) manages to single-handedly ruin every scene he's in. But you might still enjoy FFX.
But yet nowhere near the annoyance level of Vanille
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Old 11-06-2010, 04:39 PM   #10
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Re: Please Rate This Review: Final Fantasy XIII second opinion

You didn't even finish the game ? Then you can't really review and score it as a whole title. This is more like your impressions of the game, and I don't take your opinion of the game away from you. It is definitely not for everybody. But, I don't think you can score this a 3 without even finished it, you missed a somethings.
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Old 11-06-2010, 05:34 PM   #11
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Re: Please Rate This Review: Final Fantasy XIII second opinion

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You didn't even finish the game ? Then you can't really review and score it as a whole title. This is more like your impressions of the game, and I don't take your opinion of the game away from you. It is definitely not for everybody. But, I don't think you can score this a 3 without even finished it, you missed a somethings.
I put over 40 HOURS into it. I made it to Grand Pulse, the part where some people claim the game got good, and continued on for another 10 hours before stopping (I stopped shortly after getting Alexander).

There is no possible way that anything from the last few hours of the game could ever make up for the: repetitive game play, lack of atmosphere, bad character writing, excruciatingly bad voice acting, and horrible pacing. Not even if the ending was the best ending in video game history.

The bottom line is this, If a game takes more than 40 hours to get good, then it's a bad game; and you don't have to see the credits roll everytime to know that.
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Old 11-06-2010, 06:09 PM   #12
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Re: Please Rate This Review: Final Fantasy XIII second opinion

Dude it's okay! Lol I'm not going to argue with you and your opinion. Chill. Your impressions are good, I'm not defending the game at all.
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Old 11-06-2010, 08:07 PM   #13
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Re: Please Rate This Review: Final Fantasy XIII second opinion

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Dude it's okay! Lol I'm not going to argue with you and your opinion. Chill. Your impressions are good, I'm not defending the game at all.
My reply might have came out wrong, I didn't mean for it to sound like I was worked up or anything.

I was just saying that you don't necessarily have to finish a game to know weather or not the game is bad.

about the 3/10, I know it seems low, but 5 is average at this site. 4 is just below average. For me, a 4-5 score would be a game that is not so bad that you can't finish, but doesn't have anything special about it.

I gave FFXIII a 3 because if I wasn't a Final fantasy fan, there is no way I would have stuck with it as long as I did. Throw that in with the problems I mention in the review and comments; and then compare FFXIII with other games from the series and genre; and I feel that a 3 is an appropriate score. That might be just me though.
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Old 11-11-2010, 06:55 PM   #14
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Re: Please Rate This Review: Final Fantasy XIII second opinion

Coyls, I think you make some good points about the game's shortcomings. The beginning the game was extremely linear to a point that damaged the gameplay experience, and I actually think the battle system was a bit weak. However, I do think some of your criticisms are unwarranted. I don't remember any "J-Pop" songs in the game; yes, some of them have a vocalist or latin choir, by nothing abhorrently pop-like.

Also, I thought the characters were actually quite good. Snow's obsession with being the hero was annoying, but I felt that the characters were realistic in a lot of ways. I won't explain all of them, but Vanille seems to be the biggest target of, well, everyone for her personality and voice. I think the way she acts (bubbly, overly-optimistic) if you understand it as a coping mechanism deal with all the guilt she has for transforming Sazh's son into a l'cie. It's just a facade to not deal with the consequences of her actions. Part her facade crumbles when she finally confesses to Sazh what she did to his son, and all she can do is wish for death over the guilt. Of course, she's not all fake, and part of her personality is being that happy-go-lucky person, but she uses that to some extent mask pain and deflect negative emotions. She's by no means "character of the year," but I think too many people discount her just because of her voice.

Despite my disagreement with your points, I liked your review from a technical writing standpoint, and can appreciate your point-of-view. I really do think the game picks up near the end, and would encourage you to complete the game if just for the ending, which I personally found to be the highlight of the game.

3 stars!

Cheers!
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Old 12-08-2010, 04:14 PM   #15
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Re: Please Rate This Review: Final Fantasy XIII second opinion

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robin Ashe View Post
Not surprisingly, different Final Fantasy games have different fans, so a difference in opinion is to be expected. After all, I'm one of the few who thinks FFVIII was a great game, so I'm used to opposing opinions. There's some really important information that I'm missing though. Since you're referring to previous FF games, you're expecting the reader to know about them. It's a reasonable enough assumption, but it would help to know which FF games you played, which ones you liked or disliked, and why.
At the beginning of the second paragraph I stated that I was a fan of the series because of the composed music, characters and stories, and the immersive game worlds. I then explained that FFXIII was was lacking in these areas. I get what you're trying to say, but I feel that was enough point of reference.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robin Ashe View Post
Because right now, I'm looking at some of your complaints about the game and thinking, "That's what people said about Final Fantasy X, and I liked that aspect of it." I'd need either a more detailed description of the game contents and how it plays, or more concrete reference points.
This is a second opinion. The nuts and bolts of how the game plays were already discussed in Trent's review.

Thanks for the feed back.
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