My impressions

#1 Edited by BomberDude (50 posts) -

Seeing how a lot of people have had mixed opinions on this game I decided to throw in my own 2 cents and post my impressions here 
 
How is everyone else finding the game?

#2 Posted by Addfwyn (1947 posts) -

Pretty fair criticisms and positives, good writeup, don't really have much else to say about it :P. 
 
Though a few things in retrospective that would have been nice (albeit not necessary at all) would have been a bit more intresting info on the enemy intel on the datalogue.  Like, a little blurb/description about them "Flanitors are used by Sanctum officials to clean the more dangerous areas of the ship that human personnel would otherwise not want to tread.  As a result, they are equipped with a variety of emergency restorative nanites that can be used as triage in combat situations as well".  That kind of thing. 
 
But that's just little details.

#3 Posted by BomberDude (50 posts) -

I agree, that would have been an interesting addition to the game. I gotta say I really do like the datalog -- I'm about 18 or so hours into the game now and I'd say by this point, probably almost an hour of that gameplay time is time I have spent reading over the datalog because it's updating all the time. The saved enemy intel is really useful, I honestly can't remember if this was in other Final Fantasy games? I really love how they have info on all the characters and events, it is incredibly useful if I wasn't paying attention or somebody in my house starts talking to me mid-cutscene and I miss something. Plus, I found certain aspects of the story a bit confusing, especially at the begining of the game and the datalog really helps explain things.

#4 Posted by valleyshrew (34 posts) -

If anything I think the game is way too easy, they really hold your hand and tell you exactly how to do everything. Dieing is not a big deal at all so I prefer trying to be fast and get 5 stars and the CP and loot bonus from that and ignoring healing as long as I can, if I die then I can just restart. I'm on my second playthrough and wish there was a hard mode where the game was tuned a bit to be more like previous games, not having a save point every 20 seconds, take away the autobattle spell (and then take away a bit of the time disadvantage of selecting spells), take away the minimap (press select to do this, it actually feels less linear, but because of the invisible walls and way treasures are tucked into tiny dead ends you'll turn it back on after a minute), take away the huge overpowered nature of pre-emptive strikes (a battle goes from taking 60 seconds to taking 10 seconds at times, so you spend a lot of time trying to slowly sneak up on enemies and not wanting to waste shrouds on it, not a good gameplay addition really), make eidolons not automatically heal all your characters and take away their status effects, allow you to switch party leader with R2.
 
I think the main problem with FFXIII is it feels more like a psp spin off than the full quality and depth of a main FF game, aside from graphically. Mostly because instead of a world there's just a few tracks and one dull open field area, and the only gameplay is battes, and there's the smallest number of characters and summons and locations etc. The story is the main concentration but it's extremely linear, you pretty much know the plot of the game at the start, only a couple of deviations worth remembering, heavy rain it is not. Main FF's have always been a specific way with a world and exploration and puzzles and minigames and lots of characters and a certain type of pacing where it's not one long frantic chase. It's worth playing for the story and the voice acting (even vanille, she's meant to sound a bit fake) but I think the gameplay is really not the way to go for the series, either have active moving battles like kingdom hearts, or have the traditional turn based control all the characters of old.  FFXIII merges them and they've taken away the fun of controlling a character and doing moves that dissidia had, and the depth of strategy of turn based combat is also largely taken away because there's really only about 8 things you will do. Autobattle x6 for each of the paradigms, then summoning and items. All the variety of spells get merged into those 6 paradigms and you barely notice that there's different spells and will rarely select abilities. Trust me there's not much to the combat and playing a second time is a bit painful.
 
There's very little to interact with in the world, the switches and treasures etc. feel so fake. The jump segments are stupid and over the top, leave Lightning jumping with her anti-grav device and maybe have other characters climb behind or just have manual jumping. The camera is pretty bad, I wish every game could just copy mgs4's perfect 3rd person camera and not the annoying camera turning to follow your characters position most other games do (playstation Home is the worst example of this, give the user full control damnit!), I'd like to look around at characters faces while I'm running on the straight tracks but the camera is blocked to a 45 degree angle behind them unless you stand still. There's little to customise, wouldn't be hard to program lots more options like for the camera: allow us to zoom out during battles to see everything; a static zoomed out battle camera option (camera moves way too much in battles); a fast battle speed instead of slow and normal; an option to use other songs from the soundtrack during battles as the battle theme becomes extremely annoying; speed up crystarium levelling button. Ok I'll stop now as I could go on all day.
 
Most disappointing game ever? Yes. Worst FF main series entry in playstation era? Yes. But one of my top 5 favourite ps3 games? Yes, because it's my favourite series and it certainly has always offered far far more than other games, and it's too much work now for 3d HD graphics with the full content the old ff games offered so you have to be forgiving a bit.

#5 Posted by ZenaxPure (2569 posts) -
@BomberDude said:
" I honestly can't remember if this was in other Final Fantasy games? "
FF12 had a datalog for some things such as enemy intel but it didn't have near 90% of the stuff 13 has, other than that I don't think any other games had anything of the sort.
#6 Posted by BomberDude (50 posts) -
@valleyshrew said:
" If anything I think the game is way too easy, they really hold your hand and tell you exactly how to do everything. Dieing is not a big deal at all so I prefer trying to be fast and get 5 stars and the CP and loot bonus from that and ignoring healing as long as I can, if I die then I can just restart. I'm on my second playthrough and wish there was a hard mode where the game was tuned a bit to be more like previous games, not having a save point every 20 seconds, take away the autobattle spell (and then take away a bit of the time disadvantage of selecting spells), take away the minimap (press select to do this, it actually feels less linear, but because of the invisible walls and way treasures are tucked into tiny dead ends you'll turn it back on after a minute), take away the huge overpowered nature of pre-emptive strikes (a battle goes from taking 60 seconds to taking 10 seconds at times, so you spend a lot of time trying to slowly sneak up on enemies and not wanting to waste shrouds on it, not a good gameplay addition really), make eidolons not automatically heal all your characters and take away their status effects, allow you to switch party leader with R2. I think the main problem with FFXIII is it feels more like a psp spin off than the full quality and depth of a main FF game, aside from graphically. Mostly because instead of a world there's just a few tracks and one dull open field area, and the only gameplay is battes, and there's the smallest number of characters and summons and locations etc. The story is the main concentration but it's extremely linear, you pretty much know the plot of the game at the start, only a couple of deviations worth remembering, heavy rain it is not. Main FF's have always been a specific way with a world and exploration and puzzles and minigames and lots of characters and a certain type of pacing where it's not one long frantic chase. It's worth playing for the story and the voice acting (even vanille, she's meant to sound a bit fake) but I think the gameplay is really not the way to go for the series, either have active moving battles like kingdom hearts, or have the traditional turn based control all the characters of old.  FFXIII merges them and they've taken away the fun of controlling a character and doing moves that dissidia had, and the depth of strategy of turn based combat is also largely taken away because there's really only about 8 things you will do. Autobattle x6 for each of the paradigms, then summoning and items. All the variety of spells get merged into those 6 paradigms and you barely notice that there's different spells and will rarely select abilities. Trust me there's not much to the combat and playing a second time is a bit painful. There's very little to interact with in the world, the switches and treasures etc. feel so fake. The jump segments are stupid and over the top, leave Lightning jumping with her anti-grav device and maybe have other characters climb behind or just have manual jumping. The camera is pretty bad, I wish every game could just copy mgs4's perfect 3rd person camera and not the annoying camera turning to follow your characters position most other games do (playstation Home is the worst example of this, give the user full control damnit!), I'd like to look around at characters faces while I'm running on the straight tracks but the camera is blocked to a 45 degree angle behind them unless you stand still. There's little to customise, wouldn't be hard to program lots more options like for the camera: allow us to zoom out during battles to see everything; a static zoomed out battle camera option (camera moves way too much in battles); a fast battle speed instead of slow and normal; an option to use other songs from the soundtrack during battles as the battle theme becomes extremely annoying; speed up crystarium levelling button. Ok I'll stop now as I could go on all day.  Most disappointing game ever? Yes. Worst FF main series entry in playstation era? Yes. But one of my top 5 favourite ps3 games? Yes, because it's my favourite series and it certainly has always offered far far more than other games, and it's too much work now for 3d HD graphics with the full content the old ff games offered so you have to be forgiving a bit. "
 
I kinda disagree with you about this game being 'too easy'. I guess it is quite straight forward and they do hold your hand a bit but I have died quite a few times and often had to rethink my strategy. Like I said in my blog post though, I feel the difficulty is really well balenced -- You get game over when your party leader dies however you are able to retry the battle rather than spawning from your last save point. 
 
The ability to switch your party leader would be great I think. In fact I loved how in FFX you could quickly and easily switch any of your party members in and out of battle -- They really should have implented that in this game. Although you are very very right about how linear this game really is, this still feels like a real quality FF game to me however I really, really miss the end battle fan fare music XD I'm towards the end of chapter 7 now I think and a few side quests would be real nice at this point but I'm really enjoying just progressing through the story.
 
Mmm ... I can see where your coming from with a lot of your points, especially the camera which is God awful in my opinion. I must say though, the battle system is one aspect of this game that I really love; I'm having loads of fun with it and it is relatively simple. Each to his own I guess though XP
#7 Posted by Periscope (40 posts) -

I have died a few times, but so far I wouldn't say the game is all that challenging.  
 
Obviously this is just my opinion, but I think the fact that I've been able to 5-star the majority of the non-boss battles by spamming the "auto-chain" button says a lot.  I know that you CAN choose the abilities yourself, and I do so if I see one attack works better than what the AI chooses, but outside of boss fights there doesn't seem to be much point to it.  The battle system feels more like paradigm management than actual fighting.
 
Maybe this will change later on, I've read that the difficulty takes a big leap towards the end of the game.
 
I've always been a Final Fantasy fan, and I really want to like this game, but something's not clicking with me.
 
Anyway, if you're interested you can see my impressions of the first 15 or so hours here

#8 Posted by BomberDude (50 posts) -
@Periscope said:
" I have died a few times, but so far I wouldn't say the game is all that challenging.  
 
Obviously this is just my opinion, but I think the fact that I've been able to 5-star the majority of the non-boss battles by spamming the "auto-chain" button says a lot.  I know that you CAN choose the abilities yourself, and I do so if I see one attack works better than what the AI chooses, but outside of boss fights there doesn't seem to be much point to it.  The battle system feels more like paradigm management than actual fighting.
 
Maybe this will change later on, I've read that the difficulty takes a big leap towards the end of the game.
 
I've always been a Final Fantasy fan, and I really want to like this game, but something's not clicking with me.
 
Anyway, if you're interested you can see my impressions of the first 15 or so hours here "
 
As a Final Fantasy game I guess this really hasn't 'clicked' for me either -- but as an RPG adventure game in it's own right, I'm really starting to enjoy it more and more
#9 Posted by KirosNessus (1 posts) -

first i want to say that i am a huge FF fan, and that the following may seem extremely critical (and it is) it needs to be said: 
 
THIS GAME IS A MAJOR DISAPPOINTMENT!!! If Square wants to make a movie there is a format and device to use for it call a DVD and DVD player... or even blue ray if you want to be fancy. after the 5th time watching a cut scene just to have it end, walk 30ft, and watch another i was extremely annoyed. the characters are all very transparent and stereotypical. i whole heartedly agree that this game is to bloody easy. some people say it is really challenging and to those people i have some advice... Push the A...( or X button depending on your system ) repeatedly, this works for most battles. and the ones it doesn't work for are really easy to figure out. i don't like that you have very limited items to equip your party with, you only get one summon with some characters and you end up useing the same abilities a thousand times!! not to mention i feel absolutely no connection to any character in the game!! in FF7 i cried when Aries died and i was pissed and wanted more than ever to kill  Sephiroth, but there is no moment like that where you are drawn in emotionally. the plot in FF XIII hits you like a train and you get no chance to recover. all the bad guys are faceless organizations for the majority of the game. I'm half way through disk 2 and i'm still not sure if cocoon is a city, a region, or a nation. and finally a turn based strategy game only works if you can actually control your team, and if strategy matters. with the "this is kinda what i want you to do" paradigm system you are left feeling like you are pulling the weight of the entire team. which like people keep saying is balanced by the fact the all you have to do is button mash to win.  and if that isn't bad you can anticipate every boss fight by the equipment you pick up on the way. oh i have 2 characters in my party and i picked up 2 rings back to back that give resistance to lightning 30%. i wonder whats about to happen??
 
All in all this is not a bad game... But it is a horrible Final Fantasy game.
 
 we need the following: open world, side quests,  1 main character, the ability to pick your party... and to control them! and a face to the bad guy!!

#10 Posted by BomberDude (50 posts) -
@KirosNessus said:
" first i want to say that i am a huge FF fan, and that the following may seem extremely critical (and it is) it needs to be said:   THIS GAME IS A MAJOR DISAPPOINTMENT!!! If Square wants to make a movie there is a format and device to use for it call a DVD and DVD player... or even blue ray if you want to be fancy. after the 5th time watching a cut scene just to have it end, walk 30ft, and watch another i was extremely annoyed. the characters are all very transparent and stereotypical. i whole heartedly agree that this game is to bloody easy. some people say it is really challenging and to those people i have some advice... Push the A...( or X button depending on your system ) repeatedly, this works for most battles. and the ones it doesn't work for are really easy to figure out. i don't like that you have very limited items to equip your party with, you only get one summon with some characters and you end up useing the same abilities a thousand times!! not to mention i feel absolutely no connection to any character in the game!! in FF7 i cried when Aries died and i was pissed and wanted more than ever to kill  Sephiroth, but there is no moment like that where you are drawn in emotionally. the plot in FF XIII hits you like a train and you get no chance to recover. all the bad guys are faceless organizations for the majority of the game. I'm half way through disk 2 and i'm still not sure if cocoon is a city, a region, or a nation. and finally a turn based strategy game only works if you can actually control your team, and if strategy matters. with the "this is kinda what i want you to do" paradigm system you are left feeling like you are pulling the weight of the entire team. which like people keep saying is balanced by the fact the all you have to do is button mash to win.  and if that isn't bad you can anticipate every boss fight by the equipment you pick up on the way. oh i have 2 characters in my party and i picked up 2 rings back to back that give resistance to lightning 30%. i wonder whats about to happen?? All in all this is not a bad game... But it is a horrible Final Fantasy game.  we need the following: open world, side quests,  1 main character, the ability to pick your party... and to control them! and a face to the bad guy!! "
I honestly must say I disagree with most of what you are saying. I can't see how you can call this game 'too bloody easy'? It ain't as difficult as a lot of people are making it out to be but I'm finding it quite a bit more challenging than FFVII though I guess the fact that you can retry battles makes up for it. In terms of the story line, I care very little for the plot in any Final Fantasy game or most RPG's to be honest but this story has picked up a lot at the point I'm at and I can safely say that I much prefer it to the God awful story in FFVII. Try reading the datalog if you're having trouble understanding certain plot elements, I find it extremely useful.
 
As I said before, each to his own -- of course there are going to be plenty of conflicting opinons on any game, especially Final Fantasy. By the way, I know I kinda just bashed FFVII a little but I actually did really like that game.
#11 Posted by ZenaxPure (2569 posts) -
@KirosNessus said:
"we need the following: open world, side quests,  1 main character, the ability to pick your party... and to control them! and a face to the bad guy!! "
See, this type of comment is what causes me to lose faith in humanity day and day. Everyone bitches for something different and every time it is given to them (this expands beyond the Final Fantasy franchise) they bitch and moan because it's not the same thing as the last game they played.
#12 Posted by tool709 (1 posts) -

I totally agree with Kirosnessus this supposed to be game is NOT a game I't's a movie . But don't get me wrong I'm a huge fan of FF too and I've seen them all . I'm so glad I didn't buy this crap . It's seems like square enix is trying to make some money on this one and is it me or this phenomenon of EASY games is spreading ? The fact is here more and more people are playing there is no place for hardcore gamers anymore so I'm really disappointed with my classics nowadays .  Want to pay 60 dollars for a movie ? Then go buy FFXlll !!! Square enix rules ...

#13 Posted by KuwabaraTheMan (155 posts) -
@tool709 said:
" I totally agree with Kirosnessus this supposed to be game is NOT a game I't's a movie . But don't get me wrong I'm a huge fan of FF too and I've seen them all . I'm so glad I didn't buy this crap . It's seems like square enix is trying to make some money on this one and is it me or this phenomenon of EASY games is spreading ? The fact is here more and more people are playing there is no place for hardcore gamers anymore so I'm really disappointed with my classics nowadays .  Want to pay 60 dollars for a movie ? Then go buy FFXlll !!! Square enix rules ... "
So, you didn't buy the game but you apparently know all about it?
 
This game is hardly easy at all, and it definitely is a game, not a movie. Yes, there are a lot of cutscenes, but most of them aren't all that long. I've spent far more time in the battle system than I have doing anything else. This game might not be Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne, but it's definitely a very challenging game, and a very well designed one. This is probably the most challenging Final Fantasy title in at least 15 years.
#14 Posted by BomberDude (50 posts) -

Plus, you can skip the cutscenes you know? Just press start then press select if that's how you wanna play the game. In fact you can skip the cutscenes and STILL keep up with the story by reading the datalog. The difficulty in this game is a matter of opinion but I don't see how anyone can think it's easier than previous FF games. If you've played FFX, that game was pretty damn easy as was FFVII and FFIX. In fact there hasn't really been a Final Fantasy game that is terribly hard since before FFVII in my opinion. With that said, I don't see any of the FF games as being too 'easy' either and this game certainly isn't.
 
And this game is defintely NOT a movie in any way, shape or form. I dunno if you've played MGS4 or Heavy Rain (both of which are great games I might add) but they have far more cutscenes than this game. In fact I have yet to see a cutscene in this game which really goes over 10 minutes if I remember correctly. There is easily 35-40 hours of pure gameplay to be found just from finishing the story line alone. If you wanna go into the side stuff, then the playtime could definitely hit triple figures.

#15 Posted by Rockdalf (1293 posts) -
@KuwabaraTheMan said:
" @tool709 said:
" I totally agree with Kirosnessus this supposed to be game is NOT a game I't's a movie . But don't get me wrong I'm a huge fan of FF too and I've seen them all . I'm so glad I didn't buy this crap . It's seems like square enix is trying to make some money on this one and is it me or this phenomenon of EASY games is spreading ? The fact is here more and more people are playing there is no place for hardcore gamers anymore so I'm really disappointed with my classics nowadays .  Want to pay 60 dollars for a movie ? Then go buy FFXlll !!! Square enix rules ... "
So, you didn't buy the game but you apparently know all about it?
No you're confusing him for his puppet, look at the names and post counts.
 
This person obviously doesn't know what they're talking about.  You can't complain about the game giving you gear you'll need right before a boss battle, that's practically a freaking trope of RPGs in general.  In fact, I'm certain your beloved VII uses it all the same.  Let's not even go toward storytelling, or perhaps you enjoyed fighting mutated houses in Midgar?  Not only to mention you're comparing a shock that happened at the end of VII to your confused observations of the first half of a game you've admitted you've already cast opinion on.
 
 And if you're halfway through Disc 2 and haven't figured out what the hell is going on (i.e. what Cocoon is) donate your copy to someone who enjoys these kind of games.  Do I enjoy the combat system of XIII?  Hell no!  Do I want a ATB system from previous FF games?  Absolutely.  But if you've enjoyed all the FFs up to this point, you'd know as well as I do that Square pushes the bar with every game and throws something completely different at us.  Some people will like it, some will hate it, many will be in between.  I would be saddened if they actually gave us the same combat system as previous games and threw a new plot over it, this is something fans of the series come to expect. 
 
And the sad part is, I actually liked FF VII and I have to tear it apart every time I enter a forum about it, because there are always a hundred people who obviously don't know what they're talking about, screaming at the top of their lungs how it's the best game ever and others pale in comparison.  Please, do us all a favor and let Aerith die!
 
/soapbox

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