#1 Edited by pplus0440 (260 posts) -

*Spoilers ahead*

Well I noticed all the hate on the FFXIII-2 trailer which bothered me because of everyone's love and respect for ME:2. I'm going to say first of all I mostly play game's for the story and often find myself bored or annoyed with the actual game part of a game as it is blocking me from progressing the story. That being said I am rather shocked that people generally dislike FFXIII and love ME2. Here's how I see it.

ME:2 Your story is somewhat unique as you can 'decide' things which affect your story. The details of your story are affected but at the end of the day we all arrive at the same place. This is fun and good for me. However, learning about the characters in the game I found extremely boring and hard to force myself to do. For example you walk up to Miranda. "Lawson, how are you?"...pause.."good to see you commander" pause....'How are things going?' pause....'well my father is a really rich man who made me in a lab..' 10 minutes later and 2 choices of response you now know Miranda's life story, how she feels about everything she just told you, are BFFs. Now all that's left is to do her mission, have sex, and call it a game. Lawson was a good character no doubt and she is the best example ME:2 has to offer as far as development goes. The others have decent stories though I found myself extremely bored listening to most of the characters share the life stories and emotions simply because I asked them 'how are you doing?'

FFXIII: This game is Lightning's story which by itself means the story will be presented differently. You don't decide if Lightning is going to be a dick or a nice person Lightning already is Lightning. You really see the whole thing from Lightning's perspective even as you leave her to go move other characters thru the game, well atleast I did. Starting out I was annoyed with most of the cast, thought Vanille was annoying, wanted to punch Snow in the face for being such an idiot, wondered why the hell Sazh insisted on following me around. The game starts off with a bang and sets you up for what you are going to spend the next 60 hours doing, which is finding Lightning's sister while the 1984ish police state attempts to maintain control. The whole game's story however is really grounded what happened a few weeks prior to the game's start in the 13 days leading up to a festival that all of the cast happened to attend before they knew each other. The story is told as you progress thru very linear (grr) levels and rewards with cut scenes and cinematics. As the characters interact with each other the begin to realize how connected they actually are. Soon I began to find myself attached to these guys and surprise Lightning does too. The voice acting was fantastic in FFXIII as well which really helps bring out the complexity of scenes. In particular the akwardness of Lightning finally opening up to Snow and trying to tell him she's ok with him marrying her sister in the magnificent cut scene close to the finish of the game. To finish it off FF brilliantly has the storyline in general tell you about Lightning herself. The theme of the game is about being closing your emotions off to people around you and having courage to put it all out there. I could spend a long time analyzing the game's story but that's off topic.

The characters in ME:2 just aren't as interesting in my opinion because all of the interact with you the same. You want to know their life story? Ask them and they will tell you right away? Want to get in bed with them? Complete their bonus mission. Both games do a pretty good job at telling you what's going on as you are progressing thru the game it's just when you want to find out more about the people you're progressing with that ME:2 falls short. I'd love to hear people who played thru both games opinions on both. I realize FF has melodrama but it's not bad when you are playing thru the game and the lines are put into context. Here's a few video's to illustrate my point. If anyone can find a great moment in Mass Effect 2's story to share that would be great but I don't really remember a stand out point.

http://youtu.be/usmWqG3I87M

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oJW5tvaEIgc&feature=colike

#2 Edited by Baillie (4163 posts) -

You can use the editor to put in the videos, dude, or use a html tag i think.

I'll read this back.

Alright, Miranda being the best subject matter? I disagree. I much preferred Thane and Tali's stories. Both of them are fantastic characters.

#3 Edited by Adus (68 posts) -

As someone who generally enjoyed FFXIII, I still felt the story was incredibly weak. The problem is that the characters are just not making decisions for themselves. Nothing they were doing was interesting. Nothing they did mattered. The villain was not compelling in any way, either. A lot of the dialogue was very tough to get through as well, especially the scene where Lightning and Hope discuss the meanings of their names.

Even as I type this I'm just having a hard time understanding what even happened in that game or why. Especially at the end.

Mass Effect 2 has its share of poor writing as well. Take pretty much any romance dialogue as an example. Additionally the story wasn't really moved forward in any meaningful way from the first, which was full of interesting revelations. The story moved sideways at best, and the Collectors weren't the most threatening enemy. Where ME2 did succeed was making memorable party members and giving you a fairly immersive Sci-fi world. The freedom you're given in ME is key to such immersion, and in FFXIII when you're just following a straight path, literally, it's easy to get bored and distracted. Having those interesting characters is what draws most people in. The characters in FFXIII were pretty flat and/or annoying, with Sazh being the only one really likable at all. How can we care about what happens to them if we don't like them?

Actually I did appreciate Lightning in the sense that it's always nice to see a strong female lead character who isn't oversexualized or defined by their relationship with a man, but for a character that's supposed to be the lead she felt rather inconsequential.

#4 Posted by project343 (2823 posts) -

You're comparing terrible-yet-linearly-presented writing to fantastic-and-entirely-open-ended writing.

Unfortunately there are limitations to being able to experience a story unfold in any manner of ways in any manner of orders. And you're ignoring this fact in your analysis. Your core argument against Mass Effect is easily one of the biggest narrative weaknesses of the BioWare game design: every relationship unfolds in the same way. But stop and think about how diverse and wonderfully affecting each and every Mass Effect party member is. You adore some, you detest some. And when you detest the character, you don't hate them out of disagreement, not out of poor character conception. Now consider the fact that BioWare has managed to pull off such fantastic execution within the limitations of their open-ended design. That's remarkable, if you ask me.

I'll say that I got through most of Final Fantasy XIII--not all of it. I hated almost every narrative step of that game up until Gran Pulse. Then I flat out gave up. The game beat me. I did the videogame equivalent to walking out of a theatre early in disgust.

That said, the journey was filled with arguably (and I say arguably because you apparently think otherwise) some of the worst voice acting in a high budget game this generation, and some of the most offensively annoying characters coming out of Square Enix. I'll say that the only character that didn't offend me was Sazh. I found some part of his narrative arc endearing. Most of the plot twists were typical 'oh boy, here's wacky Japan doing the wacky Japan thing.' And eyerolls. There were a ton of those.

If you ask me, the only redeemable aspect of Final Fantasy XIII is the eventually-unravelled combat system. It's sort of brilliant. And I'm saying this as someone who typically detests turn-based combat.

#5 Edited by Mikemcn (6988 posts) -

Mass Effect is greater than Final Fantasy in every concievable way because it isn't filled with Anime Bullshit. That's my comparison.

#6 Posted by Simplexity (1382 posts) -

I found both ME2 and FF13 dreadfully boring story wise.

#7 Edited by SoldierG654342 (1765 posts) -

You're comparing rotten apples to oranges.

#8 Posted by Jazzycola (662 posts) -

Look hey you enjoyed FFXIII good for you.

Honestly, though I didn't feel like any of the characters in FFXIII were the "character that you were supposed to be seeing through their eyes". FF13 felt like I jumped from one character to another without any real reason. I remember one part in the game about 15 hours in that made me transfer control from Snow and the little kid(don't remember his name) to Lightning and the dude with the chocobo in his hair because of one freaking jump or obstacle in the way of either ones path. It's horrible pacing to have 2 different parties go through the exact same predicament in order to give you some hands on with each character. Also the dialogue in FF13 amounted to this... Lightning saying to Snow "Hey I'm going to find my sister, you better not get in my way because you caused this in the first place" Snow to Lightning "Well I love her and imma marry her" Skip forward a few hours Snow eventually finds his paths cross Lightning's again and repeat. And that goes on for nearly 30 hours until they finally decide to join forces to beat this Fal-cie Priest dude that can transform into an owl? This all adds up to 30+ hours of filler and tutorials.

That said I have nothing against FFXIII-2 or any other sequel to it. Square's gotta make that money and repair the Final Fantasy image.

#9 Edited by Afroman269 (7387 posts) -

I enjoyed the characters in ME 2 a lot more. From what I've played of FF 13, the plot is boring, the characters are not memorable in any way. Shit, that whole game is forgettable and is only redeemable because of its nice combat system.

#10 Edited by deathstriker666 (1337 posts) -

Mass Effect's universe is just full of generic sci-fi archtypes and hollow, dull characters. As for the races, you've got the sexy blue ladies over here, then the 2 dinosaur lookin' races, the bug-eyed highly intelligent martians, racist 4 eyes, biblical Jellyfish, fish face people, evil robotic squids, etc. Though I did find the whole genophage/genocide one of the few interesting aspects about the Krogans and salarians.

Miranda is a bitch, Ashley is racist, Wrex is a badass, and everyone else is boring and uninteresting. Mass Effect 2 falls into the "good game, horribly generic story and characters like every other shooter" category.

Never played any of the Final Fantasy games.