Congrats Brad, Excellent review.. At last a realistic grade for

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#1 Posted by Astras (973 posts) -

At last someone in the industry has actually played final fantasy 13 before reviewing it. You can tell that some of the other gaming sites havn't played the game from the reviews I have seen, they just dont have time to play the game, and then they bottle it because of the significance of the title and usually settle with giving a big game around 4 - 5 out of 5 or 90%+ and talking a load of tosh.
 
I think Brad has truely reviewed this game and has outlined the games faults and described exactly how I felt when I played this game. I am just glad that the guy that has got the balls to review it properly works at giant bomb!
 
Excellent review brad!!

#2 Posted by NekuSakuraba (7241 posts) -

I disagree with his review, I think it should have been 4 stars easily.  
 
But that is how reviews work, its their opinion.

#3 Posted by dbz1995 (4790 posts) -

Brad's a great reviewer. Don't count him out.

#4 Posted by NekuSakuraba (7241 posts) -

Just out of curiosity why do you dislike the game so much?

#5 Edited by Astras (973 posts) -
@NekuSakuraba:
The new engine design promoting graphics/cutscenes over mechanics/gameplay which i feel was the story of where most of the budget went with this game.
#6 Edited by NekuSakuraba (7241 posts) -
@Astras said:

" @NekuSakuraba: The new engine design promoting graphics/cutscenes over mechanics/gameplay which i feel was the story of where most of the budget went with this game. "

Really? I know the graphics were too much focused on but I had so much freaking fun with the battle system, 
 
Oh well, different strokes for different folks.
#7 Posted by Gizmo (5389 posts) -

I'm just glad Brad will be able to play some other games. Must have been awfully boring up until the last few chapters.

#8 Posted by Jost1 (2077 posts) -

The game is solid and I would maybe have given 4 stars myself but every point Brad makes is 100% valid.
 
13 ultimately suffers because Square apparently decided to listen to all the whiners who complained about 12. 12 was an amazing game that was too good for JRPG fans.

#9 Posted by FirePrince (1763 posts) -

I played the game for 30 minutes at a friend's house,the combat is quite fun,but I can't imagine myself doing that for 50+ hours.
#10 Posted by bonbolapti (1612 posts) -

It's an easy two. Three I could allow, but four would be pushing it. :D

#11 Posted by gunslingerNZ (1903 posts) -
@Astras:  I'm pretty sure most reviewers for the big sites finished the game before reviewing it. I think Brad just took so long because he sorta sucks when it comes to games, harsh but true.
#12 Posted by Semition (731 posts) -

Pretty much what I expected from Brad after listening to him talk on the Bombcast.

#13 Posted by jmrwacko (2443 posts) -

It's a little weird that Brad reviewed FFXIII. I don't think of him as an RPG guy. Actually, I don't think of Brad as necessarily being an expert in any genre, although it's fun to watch him die over and over in shooter quicklooks.

#14 Posted by Meteora (5787 posts) -

I think his review is a fair judgement of the game. It probably would have gotten 3.5 if there were half stars on GiantBomb's review. And really, a review is a review. Most of the time its a opinion, not a fact.

#15 Edited by hai2u (322 posts) -

squeenix needs to learn about middle ground and not make games that are at complete opposite extremes of each other. FFX12 had great gameplay, side quests, so much extra stuff to do but the story and chars were pretty bland which was where most of the fan criticism came from. Then they go and make the complete opposite game of that in FFX13 with all the focus on story and characters, not much optional content and again ppl complain. Learn ur damn lesson square and make a game that is good or at least competent in both areas, don't spend 90% of ur resources in one aspect or the other, and there wouldn't be as many whiners. 

#16 Posted by s7evn (1072 posts) -

Took him a couple weeks but at least he did his job by playing the whole game and gave and honest review of it.

#17 Posted by Video_Game_King (36272 posts) -

Wait, "realistic review?" What the hell do you mean by that? How can one opinion be more real than another if they developed under the same circumstances? Granted, a lot of people publish their reviews before they've finished the game (Yahtzee being the only one I know of, so far), but it sounds like you're writing off the opinions of many who gave the game four starts. I hope you're not.

#18 Posted by Aeterna (1118 posts) -
@gunslingerNZ said:
" @Astras:  I'm pretty sure most reviewers for the big sites finished the game before reviewing it. I think Brad just took so long because he sorta sucks when it comes to games, harsh but true. "
 
Or that many big sites get a review  copy ahead of time so they can release reviews when the game's just out.... 
#19 Posted by damswedon (3191 posts) -

Shouldn't this at least be in the Final Fantasy XIII board.
And shouldn't this at least be in the comments in the review.
Finally Chapter 11 is a piece of shit, that goes against everything the rest of the game is about.

#20 Posted by Scooper (7881 posts) -

He's a fantastic reviewer and I enjoy reading his reviews alot but this took a little longer to get up to be very useful as purchasing advice in my opinion.

#21 Posted by Astras (973 posts) -
@Scooper:  Yep well it's a huge responsibility I think reviewing a game this big, especially when your not a huge recent game JRPG fan.. he made sure he didn't mess it up!
#22 Edited by xyzygy (9993 posts) -

I highly highly disagree with the review, but whatever. It's what he thought of the game. I personally think the game is worth five stars and a lot of his arguments about the game were very minor to me, or things that I like. Like his complaint about how the character development is too complex... I love that it was complex. 
 
Whatevs. :D 
 
Dismissing others review as not being realistic is ludicrous, though.

#23 Posted by gunslingerNZ (1903 posts) -
@Aeterna:  I thought Giant Bomb did actually get review copies of games now? I know they still buy a lot of games themselves but I figured they were big enough now to get that sort of treatment from publishers.
#24 Posted by Video_Game_King (36272 posts) -
@xyzygy said:
Dismissing others review as not being realistic is ludicrous, though.
Depends on the circumstances, though; if you review a game after only playing the first few hours (unfortunately, a common practice), then you shouldn't write a review that will be understood within the entire context of the game.
#25 Posted by luce (4045 posts) -

I never agree with Giantbomb reviews but i'm glad they actually put some effort in making sure their opinion is a well thought out one.

#26 Posted by Hailinel (24809 posts) -

Personally, I didn't agree with it that much, mainly because reading the review made me question how much of Final Fantasy X he played.

#27 Edited by Kefkaesque (200 posts) -

I've heard the game doesn't get good for about twenty hours.
 
I don't care if it becomes the greatest game ever after that point. If you're asking me to slap down 60$ for an entertainment product and THEN ask me to play it for 20 hours before it becomes fun, I don't see how it could possibly be higher than 3 stars.

#28 Posted by xyzygy (9993 posts) -
@Video_Game_King said:
" @xyzygy said:
Dismissing others review as not being realistic is ludicrous, though.
Depends on the circumstances, though; if you review a game after only playing the first few hours (unfortunately, a common practice), then you shouldn't write a review that will be understood within the entire context of the game. "
Oh I totally understand, I guess that what I meant was acting as though this is the only realistic review on the game. 
 
@Hailinel said:
" Personally, I didn't agree with it that much, mainly because reading the review made me question how much of Final Fantasy X he played. "
I thought the exact same thing.
#29 Posted by Video_Game_King (36272 posts) -
@Kefkaesque: 
 
Simple: it gradually gets better. Everything before their hilariously spectacular failure is crap, then it becomes OK, and then, 8 hours in, when you mount a giant robot and start stomping on enemies like your mean older brother when you were playing with Legos, THEN it becomes awesome. You just have to get through some crap first, something a lot of good....everythings have done.
#30 Edited by Jeust (10650 posts) -
@Kefkaesque said:
"I don't care if it becomes the greatest game ever after that point. If you're asking me to slap down 60$ for an entertainment product and THEN ask me to play it for 20 hours before it becomes fun, I don't see how it could possible be higher than 3 stars. "
And they call it entertainment!
#31 Posted by Cornman89 (1579 posts) -
I don't know why we're having a thread to congratulate Brad for finishing a video game, but whatevs.
 
@Hailinel said:
" Personally, I didn't agree with it that much, mainly because reading the review made me question how much of Final Fantasy X he played. "
Hmm? What does FFX have to do with it?
#32 Posted by Hailinel (24809 posts) -
@Cornman89 said:
" I don't know why we're having a thread to congratulate Brad for finishing a video game, but whatevs.
 
@Hailinel said:
" Personally, I didn't agree with it that much, mainly because reading the review made me question how much of Final Fantasy X he played. "
Hmm? What does FFX have to do with it? "
Final Fantasy X was a straight line from start to finish.
#33 Posted by wefwefasdf (6729 posts) -
@NekuSakuraba said:
" I disagree with his review, I think it should have been 4 stars easily.   But that is how reviews work, its their opinion. "
You say you dislike the review but only mention how many stars it got. Hmm...
#34 Edited by InfiniteStateMachine (215 posts) -

havent read the review yet but from listening to the podcasts leading up to the review he changed me from "never going to play FFXIII" to "maybe will play FFXIII some day"
 
I dont know why square hates world maps :(
 
 
will check out the review now
 
 
EDIT: I think I would borderline buy this game just to see the amazing environments......

#35 Posted by MethodManFTW (52 posts) -

I am a final fantasy fan boy...
 
and I totally agree with his review.

#36 Posted by Yummylee (21652 posts) -

I got tired of FF after IX anywhoo. But even still, yeah it was a very well written review and one that I found interesting to read even by Brad's standards.
#37 Posted by BlackIrish05 (348 posts) -

Brad is a great reviewer, I believe one of the best in the buisness, and his opinion is definetly valid.  I am actually really enjoying the slow pace though, as I'm able to get comfortable with each new thing for a good amount of time before it being expanded on.
#38 Posted by Cornman89 (1579 posts) -
@Hailinel said:
" @Cornman89 said:
" I don't know why we're having a thread to congratulate Brad for finishing a video game, but whatevs.
 
@Hailinel said:
" Personally, I didn't agree with it that much, mainly because reading the review made me question how much of Final Fantasy X he played. "
Hmm? What does FFX have to do with it? "
Final Fantasy X was a straight line from start to finish. "
Ah.
 
Okay. I see where you're coming from now, though I don't necessarily agree with the sentiment. Personally, I'd call the two games comparable in terms of structure and world-building, but by no means identical, so the sudden backlash against XIII doesn't seem very contradictory.
#39 Posted by Video_Game_King (36272 posts) -
@Cornman89 said:
the sudden backlash against XIII doesn't seem very contradictory.
Actually, yea, it is contradictory. Not in terms of X, but in terms of XII. I've seen quite a few people blasting XIII for being overly cinematic and non-interactive, but only once have I seen somebody do that for the previous game. I'll leave it at that.
#40 Posted by muffinmcmuffin (23 posts) -

I loved the part of this game where I ran in a straight line and spammed the x-button for fifteen hours. A++++, would throw in the trash again.

#41 Posted by valleyshrew (34 posts) -

 I think 3/5 is the perfect score for the game even though you can fairly argue it deserves a 4 or a 5. You shouldn't rate a final fantasy game the same as other game series because it would be uninformative for them all just to get 10/10. We know what to expect from a FF by now, if it fails our expectations regardless of how unfair they are, it should be getting a low review. I dont think reviews are as important to FF as they are for other series, so there's no need to give a great score in fairness to the developers. It's my 4th favourite ps3 game, out of over 100 that I have completed, yet I would give it 6/10 because it is by far my least favourite final fantasy game and is missing the thing I most love about final fantasy which is a world with an immersive society. FFXII did a decent job at entertaining me, I loved the archades missions, I loved rabanastre, bhujerba, ba'gamnan's side enemy character etc. There truly was a memorable character to the world of Ivalice. A lot of people rag on it because of the gameplay, but I liked it, it was streamlined and perfectly designed for what I enjoy.

I cant think of a single thing I loved about ffxiii, there is nothing that it excels at. They all have their failures like 8 has bad battles, 12 has poor characters, etc. but there's always something to love, 8 and 12 had fantastic societies to explore. XIII didnt. Pulse looked totally different in the cutscenes with dense forests and luscious grass and a roaring river, what we played was a desolate boring ugly area with flat grass textures and small stagnant lakes and the vast majority of enemies pop in at close range making it hard to appreciate what was supposed to be a vast wilderness. The design of ffxiii's worlds was a failure to me, they should stick with medium sized areas and put more detail and interesting design into them. I bet a large number of you think cocoon was the surface of the moon thing, but it was inside it! The game doesn't relate this to us at all. There's supposed to be millions of gods and all that, we just read about all these cool things that they could have showed us somehow.

I don't understand people loving ffxiii gameplay so much when XII was almost unanimously hated, because I played xiii before most and was anticipating people really hating on the gameplay even more than they did with XII. It is like they take XII, but take away the gambits and replace it with AI, so you have much less input and spend most of your time just overseeing battles with paradigms and autobattle. Paradigms reduce the whole system to 6 different spells, and summons are just reserved for bosses. They should either just go to an action system like kingdom hearts, or stick with full on strategy like every other FF. XII was comprehensive, it offered 5 different battle speeds, you controlled every character in battle (strategically with gambits, and one at a time with movement, a really fantastic system I have few complaints about) and in my mind, XIII is XII and XII is XIII, because XII is the step ahead in terms of battles. It doesn't transition to a low quality battle screen for example. Honestly I dont think people look at the backgrounds in the battle screens, the environment is very low quality (go load up nautilus park and look at the moving rollercoaster that turns into a low quality 2d texture during battles) and the battle graphics (fire etc.) are really really not advanced graphically, they are just cheap overlays like they've always been. I think the graphics are fine yes and I dont want to seem too nitpicky but it's just because they are being lauded as the best and it's almost like they're still evolving the nes game engine and using sprites. Imagine in mw2 if you throw a grenade at someone and it's just an explosion overlay while the character does the same robotic jerk back movement as when you shoot him. There's no physics engine. The scene constantly transitions if you are doing something different. Even to ride a chocobo you wait for a transition to load that shows you jumping on it where all the enemies have disappeared that were right beside you. Get off and another transition and the chocobo disappears from the map. This sort of thing is what was expected in the past but now seems primitive.

Graphically they've just got higher polygon characters and better water effects, XII still looks almost as good. FFXIII's battles, there is honestly about 100 complaints I have and I'm not going to list them all. Random battles in ff have always been just a way to make you challenged slightly and force you to have to heal up and prepare for bosses (xiii doesnt have that purpose), they're rarely interesting themselves, only the bosses are ever fun to fight, and the bosses in FFXIII did not have anything special. I can remember the first boss of lost odyssey a lot more from 3 years ago than any boss in FF, because it was a pretty cool boss that required strategy. The enemy design in XIII is pretty poor, nothing has any character, the whole world is lifeless, few of the enemies have eyes, and those are just 2d textures. The tonberry's are fantastic, the chocobos are fantastic, the ochu is fantastic, and those are the only ones I like.

I've said before that the battles are tedious, and people have said in reply that it's the fastest paced battle system yet and that I'm an idiot. But there's so little interaction in the battles, and some of them do go on for a long time just repeating the same 2 or 3 steps for 20 minutes, and the only config option is for a slower speed! Then the end game grind is a nightmare devoid of fun that I am forcing myself through. XII had botting grinding, which you may say was lame but I thought it was unbelievably genius and I was very grateful for it. The crystarium and equipment system in XIII is a huge failure. It takes 3 hours to fully level up the crystarium based on my extrapolations from levelling just one role, when it is basically just a replacement of the automatic 1-99 levelling of the past. The sphere grid/license board etc. were inarguably more interesting than the crystarium, and the equipment was really poorly implemented. I've played through twice without levelling up any equipment, and done the first 60 missions now too. It barely makes a difference when in the past it was exciting to save up and buy some new weapons, you just get them from treasure orbs.

I will get loads of hate for this, but I think XIII is a lot like 6. Ok the character design is completely different and there's no towns, but it was mostly a simple dungeon crawler too. I dont think before 7 that the FF games were very interesting. I played 6 for the first time a few months ago & completed it in 20 hours. There were no minigames, no interesting missions, practically no sidequests, the towns werent developed properly, there was no variety in gameplay, there is no depth at all to the characters who only have a few lines of dialogue each, you really can only like those games if you enjoy the strategy of battles and dungeon crawling, which I really dont (sorry). I thought the zelda series was over-rated but it's much more fun than the old FF's. It is blind nostalgia that has 6 the most snobbishly accoladed FF. And people say the love for 7 is just nostalgia but it has the most diverse world, by FAR the most gameplay variety, interesting characters with lots of backstory and plot (each one has a lengthy history and town, like Nanaki in cosmo canyon with bugenhagen and seto, from the slums in midgar to costa del sol to chocobo farm to wutai, it really felt like this was a deep living cultural world of adventure better than any movie), and the most developed mythology and plot complexity with shinra, the turks, the ancients, jenova, hojo, zack, avalanche, life force, etc. X comes close I guess, and XIII has mythology too but not so much plot and characters.

You can say XIII is like watching a long movie for the most part, you cannot possibly say the same about VII. Every bit of story almost has interaction, even the flashbacks as illogical as that is. There's a bike chase in both VII and XIII (start of chapter 13 in Eden), in VII you get to control it and yes its primitive but its fun. XIII has nothing like that, the developers forget they are making a game and people lose interest with long cutscenes. There's a FFVII making of video, and Sakaguchi says that after FFIV they did research and found that players like to be involved more interactively with the game so they considered this in designing VII. Then they've slowly forgotten it since.

I'm sure I would have liked X a lot less if they took out blitzball and towns, but basically that's what XIII is, only with a worse story and characters. There's no cool badasses like Auron & Kimahri. There's no loveable, light hearted like wakka and rikku (vanille fails, sorry). I like lightning and sazh but there isnt much to them. I really feel like the characters have little personality, that Hope is just a cliche to show a bit of character growth, serah and snows love is just forced on us with no appreciation for it. Hope's mums death should have been a tragic moment, but I didn't care at all. We dont know anything about hopes past. The game is full of flashbacks in which we learn almost nothing about the characters. Sazh for example, we never see his dead wife or anything he did in the past. Now compare with Cid from VII where we see him in rocket town with shera on the failed space mission. That sort of thing is necessary to make us care about him then it means so much when we help him do a succesful mission. I cared a lot for the characters in heavy rain, mass effect & GTAIV, that it moved me when bad things happened, but I didn't care at all for those in FFXIII. I think the current team at square enix have lost sight of the art of good game design somewhat. Either you create fun or strategical gameplay like a nintendo game, or an emotional story with likeable characters and a varied world, or you can do both like FF used to be. FFXIII is so primitive at those 2 things.

#42 Posted by Baillie (4173 posts) -

What was the point in him even reviewing the game? It's been out on the shelves too long for it to really matter.

#43 Posted by Brunchies (2484 posts) -
@Baillie: People who finished the game probably want to hear Brads opinion of the game. 
#44 Posted by Brodehouse (9950 posts) -

I would give it 4 out of 5, because 45 hours were really good, and 10 sucked.  From chapter 5 until the end, that game finally gets some momentum and begins exploring the combat.

#45 Posted by Brodehouse (9950 posts) -
@InfiniteStateMachine:  I think world maps are stupid in the extreme.  What they are is essentially a way to artificially lengthen a game by enforcing a long slog through random encounters or pointless traversal.  You rarely if ever explore a world map, because for plot reasons, most of them have nothing available except the next town in the story.  If you wander around and maybe even sequence break into a town you're not supposed to check out yet,  you wind up in a town that has nothing for you to do.
 
A dungeon/wilderness area requires exploration to find the way to the end, and if designed well, has interesting set pieces and character to it.  A trek through a world map will have little other than random encounters.
#46 Posted by sgt_waffles (75 posts) -

I think his review is spot on.  And as blaring as the game's shortcomings are, I still can't stop playing it.  It deserves a 3 star review, but I keep playing it like it's the best game out right now. 

#47 Posted by InfiniteStateMachine (215 posts) -
@Brodehouse: FF3/FF6 had a world map with a lot of optional side quests you could choose to take or not to take. In the second portion of the game you could probably not do 80% of the available quests. That just so happens to be that last FF I genuinely loved too. 
#48 Posted by Xanth93 (485 posts) -
@sgt_waffles said:
" I think his review is spot on.  And as blaring as the game's shortcomings are, I still can't stop playing it.  It deserves a 3 star review, but I keep playing it like it's the best game out right now.  "
This. It's disappointing that it only deserves 3 stars (4 can be argued), but I have clocked in about 35 hours and haven't stopped playing. Whenever I play lately, it's mainly been Final Fantasy XIII.
#49 Edited by ClownDetective (142 posts) -

I think Brad took the easy option of giving this game 3 stars. It's obvious from the review he loves it. But this game is getting a lot of hate from people who never finished it, came to it with preconceived ideas, or just use it as another excuse to bash jrpgs.  
 
It seems more like he's writing with an awareness of what most people will think, rather than his own personal experience.  Which is a shame, because I think most people who game to the game without prejudice and played enough of it to judge have loved it. I certainly did.

#50 Posted by c1337us (5751 posts) -

Yes congradulations on having an opinion. Well done sir. I did enjoy reading the review though.

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