Excellent review, Brad.
Only rented this game, got about 4 hours into it. Don't think I have the commitment to get to the great part's. Hope people who buy it enjoys it.
It's a very marmite game, simple as that. Really enjoying it despite being in the so called mundane first 20 hours of the game.
" After so many epic Western RPG releases over the last decade, I could never bring myself to playing a JRPG again. They just seem so primitive. "
Hmmm. I disagree with your review but I can totally see where you are coming from. As for the score, I feel three stars is too little, its a more solid game than that. But that's your opinion and I have mine. It's an honest review and that's all I want from a review. I personally feel though it is not a classic FF game, or perhaps JRPG even. Just like Mass Effect 2 it's a very streamlined game, even more so because it lacks the freedom you have there. Still Uncharted 2 is a linear game and that gets top scores. The question then, is if a RPG is allowed to be linear and straight lined. I feel that it is, sure I might like such an "open world go with your airship everywhere", but I don't resent the game for it. I don't feel that it MUST have freedom. Just like not every sports game need to give you the ability to pick and manage your own team. As for the combat system, you state it is difficult, if you experience this than it is so. However I feel that you aren't able to pick choices that make the game impossible for you, harder yes, I myself have made same very bad choices in upgrading weapons and characters. Still is the system any harder than the e.g. Persona fusing? It isn't. To get the best Persona's you'll need a FAQ as well. Yes getting the best results requires experimenting, picking varies combinations of weapons and accessories. The combinations aren't that obscure either, at least not the ones I have encountered: Putting health related items together, ATB increasing, protective items they all will end up in a better combination. It is not difficult to learn, it's hard to master. Isn't that the point of gaming? Have we become so lazy that if the game doesn't lay it all out for us we throw our hands in the air and go "Aaah difficult, my brains, I must use them."? If so then perhaps Square-Enix's choices weren't so bad after all. Still the fact that you still get a tutorial 20 hours in, is a bad design choice and undefendable. They totally underestimated the skill of gamers here in pressing buttons. As a final point I do wonder if you would have enjoyed it more had there not been the pressure of a review hanging over you. (That's not to say the review would be different, just your enjoyment.)
Bummer Brad, I thought you where going to grace it with a 4/5. I'm loving it!
" @warpedzappa said: " After so many epic Western RPG releases over the last decade, I could never bring myself to playing a JRPG again. They just seem so primitive. "Agreed. Japanese devs need to either play some WRPGs and learn about what positive aspects to take, or otherwise just send someone over to ask other developers for advice. "
Good review. I agree with you pretty much on every point, yet the linearity never really bothered me. It didn't feel like they fleshed out the weapon/accessory upgrade system at all. I bought the strategy guide, and there are charts and graphs about what are the most effective items to use in upgrading, and their multiplier degradation values, and the potential and abilities of every weapon. Then there are all of the hidden abilities with selecting certain combinations of items. I felt in the dark until I bought the guide. I thought all of that was really sloppily implemented. I still liked it a lot, and I'm definitely interested where they go from here.
Like 5 years in development and it's getting 'meh' reviews. Square-Enix really need to rethink their formula. Also nice review, Brad.
Completely fair review! I veer more torwards 4 stars myself but I can't deny the points that Brad puts forth. The game is WAY too long, the pacing is structured in a very odd manner, and the item customisation is needlessly arcane. Still, I wouldn't have put in 51 hours if I didn't enjoy the damn thing. But 12 is still the best one from the 2000s.
LOL 3 stars i have noticed brad's dislike to eastern games and his very pro western game attitude. I think the expierence of the game is still worth having and sud be atleast 4 stars.
I think the 360 version should of got 3/5 and the ps3 4/5. like bayonetta but switched around.
Agree with most of the review, but feel it was more of a 4 because of all the endgame stuff after the final boss, thats when it turns into a real FF game and gets really fun. However some of these comments are pretty silly, people complain JRPGs need to change in order to be better, but FF13 DID change and people hate it for it. They changed the JRPG formula and people are upset its not like the old games... they can't win.
looks like im sticking to Mass effect and Dragon age d(^_^)
Great job Brad :P I <3 you.
Everything you said brad is basically everything I was feeling when playing this game. I was a Nes generation gamer also so I know what u mean, FFXIII just doesn't stand up against these. Thank god someone had the balls to give it a proper review!
strange, finally a good review by giantbomb.
Nice one Brad. It may have taken you a while but that was a damn fine review. Still unsure if I will pick this up when it goes cheap, especially since I don't own the PS3 in my house and will have to be using the 360. Kind of a lapsed FF fan nowadays.
Boring game looks boring.
Wow. Really amazing review, Brad. Good job.
However some of these comments are pretty silly, people complain JRPGs need to change in order to be better, but FF13 DID change and people hate it for it. They changed the JRPG formula and people are upset its not like the old games... they can't win. "
I want a video review!
I'm thankful for this review. I understand that the game is good... after HOURS and HOURS, but I think too many people are looking at it with rose tinted glasses. As a long time fan of the series, I think this one is way too much of a slow burn for it's own good.
Well written Brad, maybe some people wont make the same mistake as me and buy this game.
Is this review late? Did this game come out long ago? Huh. I didn't know that because I really don't care.
FF13 is out? =O
Great review. I have been waiting for your opinion on this game since I respect all the opinions of the critics on Giantbomb more than anyone else's. I'm 30 hours into FF13, and I think this review confirms that maybe its time to stop. I had no desire to keep going, and it sounds like the game isn't going to change that.
Well the review coming out this late just proves how stupidly long the game actually is.
" Brad's obsession with the fucking resolution of the cut-scenes really puts me off. I've got both consoles, but achievements > shitty cut-scenes. "
" Brad does not appreciate great games. "
good stuff brad, a fair review, i'm really enjoying it but you backed up your points well.
" In B4 all the people with anime avatars. "
Great review Brad.
Spot on , Brad. But let me ask something: is it really that bad for a game to be long (or of slow development) ? I think some games that get positive reviews are too short to be considered even full-release-games...
I personally love the game, but can see where people are coming from with their criticism, its justified. Just make sure you've tried it first, theres nothing worse than those who post their 'opinions' when they clearly have no experience about what they're talking about.
You back up all your points Brad, and they reflect how I felt about the game. It's a great game, but there are issues. I'm glad you gave it a proper review. This game really is a 3-4 star game, as disappointing as it is for me to say it.
I felt the same way with Lost Odyssey. About an hour into the game, it's like "What the fuck am I supposed to do?" I couldn't stick it out & put it away. I don't see how someone can stick out 30 hours of game play before finally getting to the nitty gritty. It must have been incredibly frustrating & why it had a star knocked off it in the review. I don't care what anybody says, I'll play the 360 version if I play this game at all. I NEED my s-ranks (or at least a hefty load of achievement points).
I'm about to say something that I'm 100% sure everyone here will disagree with, but it's my honest opinion. A little backstory: I've beaten every FF game with the exception of FF2. I'm 21 years old so I didn't grow up on the SNES games but rather on FF6-10. I've played essentially every BioWare RPG and I'm actually a huge Baldur's Gate fan, plus I'm working on a third playthrough in Dragon Age. So, here goes. Final Fantasy XIII is without a doubt the best RPG I have ever played. I remember thinking, at one point in the game, FFXIII puts all the other attempts to tell a story in an RPG to absolute shame. Hate me if you will but I found it necessary to share another honest opinion.
Does it matter? If you want to get FFXIII, you'll have it by now. Unless you love Brad SO MUCH that it ALL falls on his shoulders.
" I don't wish to be rude but what good is a review of this game this long after it's released. Who does this review serve? "
I agree with the review. The only thing I'll say is that I actually enjoyed the slow rollout of the battle system in this one. In almost every previous installment I've played, I ended up starting over about half way through because it took that long to fully figure out the battle system and by that point I had irreparably fucked over my party. I'm definitely less concerned about that in this game since it gives you more time to figure out each aspect of it before moving on and getting more complex. Also the story recap while you load the game up is amazing and should be in every video game.
I haven't truly liked a FF since VI and since Brad, you said you were of similar opinion on the bombcast, I stand by this review. Not going to be buying this one.
100% agree and if you don't agree well...have fun with FF13
One word Disappointing