Yup, there’s no doubting that this game in itself is controversial. While FFXIII has a large fan-base, it arguably has haters which seem to be just as large. While some believe the haters are a very (very, very, very) vocal minority, I believe that the ratio of fans to haters are 1:1, 50/50…whatever, depending on which sequel the haters fluctuate, but I’m talking/writing/ranting about the first one! The one that started it all! The one where Lightning is actually the main heroine! Final Fantasy XIII!
Now because everyone seems to forget about the good parts in ‘good vs bad’ arguments. I’m going to start with the bad first! Ennnnjoy!
- The linearity:
Okay, okay I’m pretty sure e v e r y b o d y knew that this would be one of the main points to the “Final fantasy XIII sucks!” argument. Now I’m pretty sure if Final fantasy XIII had a different title and was a stand-alone game from a company other than Square, this game would not be receiving as much criticism in the linearity department. The main reason FFXIII gets slammed for this game play style is because linearity is not a game-play style that us Final fantasy fans are used to when compared to previous titles in the series.
Final fantasy VI – X are regarded as being some of the greatest titles in the series, and do you know what they have in common? Each game has the option to free roam or explore each game’s respective world. Whether it’s selecting the area to revisit or manually flying there in your own airship, players could go back to towns or continents and talk to npcs, complete side-quests, fight secret bosses, collect items, play fun mini-games…etc It is these aspects of the game that really immersed players into each game. Now while FFXIII does have less prominent aspects of what is mentioned above, it’s just not the same. There is basically no world exploration as the game takes our hands and pulls us through the game forcefully, running in a straight line and while the landscapes are beautiful, the one or two towns/cities that we pass through have no exploration value and are basically urban scenery.
- Lightning’s character:
So you’re probably thinking…
…but look at it this way. You gotta give it to her, Lightning isn’t the usual stereotypical female protagonist…and she’s a heck-ova-lot better main protagonist design-wise than the ‘X-2 Yuna’ (although that’s debatable) but the biggest gripe about her character isn’t her visual design or the way she is but rather why is she the way she is?Yes, Lightning is supposed to be the ‘female Cloud’ character, hence her visual design, the fact that she’s a soldier, her affinity with weapons and her aloof persona. But if you think about it, the fact that Lightning’s whole character design is based off another character is a pretty shallow concept in itself. Lightning’s character is a mere shell of Cloud’s, she has both his visual and personality traits but depth-wise Cloud is on a whole other level. Now you’re probably thinking “hurr Cloud biased…!” but believe me, I’m not.Throughout the course of FFVII Cloud’s character is explored thoroughly, his hopes and dreams, why he fights, how he became who he is and why he descended into a downward spiral which caused his sullen aloofness throughout Advent Children. Cloud’s being constantly shifts and changes throughout the course of FFVII, from a naive hopeful to a selfish hothead to an optimist to a depressed wreck and then to a brighter individual who learns to trust and depend a bit more on his friends. Now compare this to Lightning’s character, does Lightning go through struggles towards the end of FFXIII? You bet! But do these struggles highlight Lightning’s character development throughout the game? Not…really. Lightning is fighting the L’cie curse, in hopes of saving her sister. That’s her struggle along with Snow’s but where do we get to witness her internal struggle? Everything that happens to her before and after that is not really explained. Why did Lightning choose to become a soldier? Why did she disapprove of Snow and her sisters relationship? If Serah is the only family Lightning has left, why does she shut her out? What significance did Hope’s dependency on her cause her to change? Character-wise there are too many things left unexplained about the central character of the FFXIII universe.
Personally…I don’t find the combat system in this game to be that bad. Not amazing, but definitely not bad. People seem to hate the ‘auto battle’ feature during combat which is basically: press this button, now your turn is done. I honestly never used it, in my opinion it’s obviously more satisfying entering your own commands and destroying bosses that way than using the auto-command which kinda held your hand throughout the fight (or that could just be me). Now many complain because this feature made battles ‘too easy’ or not challenging enough. To people that say this, I want to tell them “how about not using the auto-battle feature then?” because although it’s there you don’t have to use it, you can enter your own commands just as easily and in the way that you’re used to.
- No mini-games/fun side-quests:
I was pretty shocked to discover the lack of side-quests and the fact that there were NO fun mini-games :(. I don’t know about you, but if there was one thing I loved about the FF series was playing mini-games…ooooh boy. Snowboarding, chocobo breeding (got a stable full of gold ones) chocobo racing and driving that crazy motorcycle in FFVII was awesome, FFVIII’s card game ‘Triple Triad’ has to be one of my favorite minigames ever, FFX had blitzball which was also really fun (especially when you recruit broken players coughwedgecough muahaha) but what did FFXIII have…? Nothing 😦 It’s a shame as I would have been awesome to snowboard or make a chocobo farm with Lightning though.
The side-quests weren’t bad or anything just….meh. Nothing we haven’t seen before…hunt a mark, get an item (I found FFXII did it a lot better though) the side quests did not really offer anything in terms of immersion or game play, it was kind of just…there.
- The Music:Now when I’m talking about music I’m talking about the BGM (back ground music), the main theme…everything! In general, just to clarify. Depending on the player this may or may not be a bad thing. However even most haters seem to agree that the music in this game was pretty great. Soft soothing melodies, adrenaline pumping battle themes and beautifully set orchestral-esque pieces, this game does not disappoint in the music department. Listed below are some of the best pieces for your ears pleasure:
- The graphics
No one can deny this, not even the most hatery-of-haters can deny how visually stunning Final fantasy 13 was when it first came out on PS3. I was especially blown away at how seemlessly the cutscenes merged with the battle scenes and cinematic scenes. I remember waaay back…around 10 years ago now when I first played Final fantasy 8, I’d drop everything when a cinematic cutscene appeared so I could witness Squall and the cast of Final fantasy 8 in its not-HD-but-kinda-HD-at-the-time cinematic glory. I didn’t have to do this for Final fantasy 13 because of how fluid and nice everything was.
- Lightning’s visual design
The main, story-centered female heroine has pink hair, yet she still manages to look like a baddass? Lightning is the perfect mix of baddass with just the right amount of femininity and sex appeal to at least look awesome.
Let’s leave it at that! 😀
I’m glad that I’m talking about Lightning from the first game…after Toriyama gave her bigger boobs and a less proportional figure…oh god that Yuna costume…that maid costume…make it stop…MAKE IT STOP——-
(lmao, like you didn’t see this coming)
Yeah, yeah I’m talking about this guy (lol). Of course every Jrpg has to have their own Shinji Ikari character every few games. He’s whiney, he’s angsty, clingy and just plain nooby. If he spent half the time not whining or making snide passive-aggressive shots against Snow and used more of that time to harden-the-fck-up, we’d have a less annoying character. To be fair though, he did lose his mother and he is pretty young and he does get a LOT better in the sequel (he’s actually pretty cool in the sequel) it doesn’t disguise the fact that other characters in the series have dealt with similar losses and did not make me feel like strangling them. I think Rydia from Final fantasy 4 is a great example of this and didn’t spend 1/8 of the time hating on Cecil, compared to Hope hating on Snow even though Snow didn’t actually do anything wrong. Now I don’t hate the guy, but I do think a lot more could have been done from him through less boohooing and more pewpewing.
- Vanile’s VOICE:
So apparently her voice is supposed to sound Australian…even her voice actress is Australian. So why is it that I (someone who was born and has lived in Australia for all 21 years of my life) had no idea that she was meant to be portraying a Australian accent? Probably because most Australians sound nothing like that xD Not really a big deal though,
hollywood butchers the Aussie accent in a far far far faaar worse manner.Fang’s voice (although I didn’t realize her accent was meant to be Australian too) was better but I didn’t particularly dislike either of their voices. I just thought it was mildly annoying that I felt like I couldn’t perceive the accent of my own country puahaha!
THE VERDICT: Final fantasy XIII wasn’t a bad game, it just didn’t live up to it’s title this time around, due to it lacking many things that previous entries in the series did a lot better. I think we can agree that if this game was a stand-alone title from another lesser known gaming company, than it wouldn’t have had such a bad reaction from the public. I, myself didn’t dislike the game, but I did think it could’ve been a lot better.
So anyway! I hope you enjoyed this rant, I purposefully left a lot of stuff out because I wanted to keep it brief-ishhh. I’m sure I could’ve turned this into a 10 page essay if I wanted to though xD This rant was designed to lift a little of the hate off XIII, even though it isn’t as great as many of the other titles in the series…it’s still a pretty alright game nonetheless, I don’t regret buying or playing it. Agree? Disagree? Let me know in the comments! No flaming though, we kupos don’t like that kinda shit mmkay?
I’m also sorry that I haven’t updated this site in a while, I’ve been up to my neck in Uni assignments, I currently have the flu and I still have 2 more exams left next week! However I should be on my break soon, so hopefully that’ll mean faster updates and more rants xD