FFXIII the antiFF Game
For a bunch of gamers Final Fantasy is more that a franchise and the launch of a Final Fantasy game is a memorable event. Many people are looking forward for the next FF since we all discover this series with the awesome piece of art that was FFVII.
The next game in the series was FFX. This game was the beginning of the change in the franchise. FFX is linear more linear than the 3 other titles. But at the end FFX was a great game thanks to the incredible story, the characters and the new summoning system.
Then square make its first terrible mistake FFX-2. This game is a total mess. I remember feeling insulted by square. The game is not only a pure shi** but it also destroys all the FFX story and characters. FFX-2 was a parody of FFX and is the first FF that I was unable to complete. In fact the game suddenly fly through my window.
FFXII is not a total crap like FFX-2 but simply is not at level of the other ones. A reeeally boring game with a battle system that stinks. But after all FXII was a final fantasy, it have story, exploration, progression, etc.
FFXIII is the first non FF game. No one of the elements that defines a final fantasy game are present on this title.
The game is linear to extreme making that the player does not get involved in the story. I've finished Heavy Rain before begining to play FFXIII and HR is by far more interactive that FFXIII. The games feels like a succession of FMV scenes with little minigames that consist in pushing forward the stick and click X in the battles.
Yes, the battles are horrible. You don't have real control of the characters and your options are very few. At the end as I said you end up pressing X and L1 occasionally. This completely destroys the tactical feeling that defines the role-playing game battles, and doing it also destroys the satisfaction of the victory.
The development of characters is inexistent, a mere illusion. You, again, only have to maintain X and get upgrades. No tactical element at all.
Some characters are frustrating and irritating. Many people think that Squall of FFVIII was a bat character, well, it is a nobel price in comparison with the stupidity of some of the FFXIII plot.
Exploration? there is no such a thing in FFXIII. You can't even explore the scenario in which you are!!! because when you try you discover that is only a great and straight tube.
Technically the game is good but this game is a perfect example that this aspect is nothing if the other ones stinks.
As a final insult to the spanish gamers (yes, i'm writing from Barcelona, spain) the subtitles are a total non-sense and in some moments they have nothing to do with the real speech!. I'm writing this from an university and there is and entire faculty here of translation and interpretation with more that 300 students. By the name of God hire someone competent!!!!!
Resuming: no explarion, no character development, no tactical battle system, bad characters. What makes this game a final fantasy?? the answer is NOTHING.
So, If you are looking for a final fantasy game stay away from this title, and by away I mean kilometers at least. On the other hand if you are 13 years old and never played a Final Fantasy or a RPG, you perhaps can enjoy this title.
Stay away from FFXIII and play Dragon age if you are looking for a real RPG. For the final fantasy fans we only have the hope that square change its mind and fire Motomu Toriyama.
UPDATE: Here is an extract of an interview of Strategy informer to Daniel Erickson head of scriptwritters of Bioware and working on SW:TOR now. I'm not very wrong if experts of industry defend my point of view.
Strategy Informer: The main staple of The Old Republic has always been its story, but I'd argue that without good game play to support it, there is a lack of incentive to want to find out that story. I use Final Fantasy 13 as an example here: excellent story, but sometimes the grind or the linear game play made me struggle in wanting to see it through. What are your thoughts on that?
Daniel Erickson: Well, before I address the main point I just want to take a slightly more controversial route: You can put a 'J' in front of it, but it's not an RPG. You don't make any choices, you don't create a character, you don't live your character... I don't know what those are - adventure games maybe? But they're not RPG's.