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Final Fantasy XIII
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Posted 11/28/13
So I'm posting this to get this rant off my chest. THIS IS JUST MY OPINION.

With the recent article about the low performance of Final Fantasy XIII-3: Lightening Returns, I wanted to say that it's rather frustrating the series is getting so much flak about being a bad game. Yes, Enix does need to wake up a little from the long nap they've been taking, however, I believe they're starting to do this with the XIII series, XIV, and the upcoming XV.

I'm of the opinion that the reason Square Enix has had so much trouble over the past few years is that they've been focusing more on the visual aspect of their games and less on the story. That's why we have games like X where the characters were flat, X-2 where it was barbie dress up meets Charlie's Angels, XI whose problems I am unaware of and XII where (IMO) the story and side quests were grossly unbalanced leaving you with not enough story and too much free time to run around and TRY to level grind.

XIII I think is Enix's attempt at getting back to their roots of good game play and wonderful story telling. The reason I believe this are somewhat simple.

Character Development: Hope goes from being this vengeful, distraught, emo little brat into a young adult who actually learns from his environment and considers what others tell him and the facts presented to him. Because of this, he ends being the smart, resourceful, well spoken young man we see in XIII-2.

Snow and Lightening. These two HATE each other at the start of the game. Well, more accurately, Lightening hates Snow and blames him for Serah becoming and L'Cie. Through everything that happens in XIII, these two seem to work out their differences and as Lightening comes to know Snow better, she actually learns to trust him and approves of the relationship.

Snow stays pretty much the same throughout the game but you see him have these internal conflicts about their purpose as L'Cie and his beloved Serah. His inner strength comes shining through, however, shortly after the mid point of the game.

And all of that's just in the first game! There's a lot more character development than just these three examples and they continue that trend throughout the sequel.

Serah and Noel grow tremendously while still remaining true to themselves. The battle system is the same from the first game and the writers keep throwing in these little curve balls and bits and bobs that are just amazing. Caius has a fantastic throw away line that gives you a hint about the ending of the game and THEY STICK TO IT.

That's another thing. They build this mythos about the Farseers, state that Serah is one and STAY TRUE TO IT. They don't state the facts and then ignore them like they didn't exist.

To wrap it up, I believe that Enix is going in the right direction with the XIII series (so long as they stop at Lightening Returns) in that it feels like they're getting back to their roots of good game play balanced with a wonderful story. We'll see how XIII-3 fairs out here in the west but I for one love the series and can't wait to get my hands on the third game.
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22 / M / Canada
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Posted 11/28/13 , edited 11/28/13
I wasn't really a big fan of the FFXIII and FFXIII-2 in all honesty. The story was good, but it's a game, not a movie, so you can't use story as an excuse for bad gameplay. I did, on the other hand, really enjoy FFXIV and it's large variety of classes, which will only be increasing as they incorporate classes and jobs from other Final Fantasy games. I'm really looking forward to Lightning Returns as well as FFXV, which I've already pre-ordered.
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Posted 11/28/13
Personally I liked the story and character development in Final Fantasy XIII. I think the main complaint with that game was just there wasn't much of any side missions or exploration, it was very linear. The combat wasn't that bad in my opinion. I mean, I played Mass Effect where the combat was horrendous, but the story was great. I liked to think that FFXIII is in the same boat abit.

The point I'm trying to make is that FFXIII is an RPG, so I'm primarily going to play it for its story, which I thoroughly enjoyed. However with it being a game, I can see why people don't like it because it lacks in certain areas.

I'm looking forward toward FFXIII-3. Going to play FFXIII-2 before then for the first time (didn't buy it until it was cheaper because I was upset at the character direction it took overall). Additionally, FFXV is looking like a sweet game. I really can't wait to play it.
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29 / M / U.S.A.
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Posted 11/28/13
Well I gotta say, I'm really enjoying the Final Fantasy XIII series. I'm eagerly awaiting XIII-3, so I can finish the story. I'm dying to know what happens.
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Posted 11/29/13
I'm pretty fond of The Lightning Saga so far myself and can't wait to get my hands on Lightning Returns after watching some streams.
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Posted 11/29/13
Very true, however, it's a step towards what the Final Fantasy series was before. Spartan-052 makes a good point in that the first game was very linear and there was little room for exploration beyond the hunt system. XIII-2 improves on this as they expand on the hunt system and add in extra areas that you can explore for other items and other story pieces. It's much better than they've been putting out. I think they're finding their balance again.
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Posted 12/3/13
I have no qualms about FFXIII-2 per se. I think it's a nice game. But having said that, here are some things that I was not too happy about:

1.) Noel's Theme. (Don't ask me why, but the first time I heard the lyrics, I thought the girl singer was singing in Japanese but then I suddenly realized that she was actually saying "Long ago when I was just a boy~" in English. Which just weirded me out.)

2.) The slot machine mini game on the casino. Maaaaan I played for hours, but I just couldn't reach the quota to get the trophy!

But all in all, I think it was a nice game.
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Posted 12/3/13

addchibineko wrote:

X-2 where it was barbie dress up meets Charlie's Angels,


But I legitimately liked 10-2
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Posted 12/3/13
Personally, I liked the Battle system in FFXIII but really hated the goddddaamn CHARACTERS especially Vanille and Hope. story was decent but imo soo many CHEESY LINES. ruins the overall experience.

Pros:
Good Battle System
Amazing Graphics
Lightning was an overall okay character

Cons:
CHEESY LINES
HORRIBLE CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT
CHARACTERS THEMSELVES
and lets not forget how LINEAR THE GAME WAS


Then everything got worse when they released FFXIII-2

-graphics were dumb-downed
-horrible horrible story (seriously TIME TRAVEL!?)
-annoying characters
-cinematic actions scenes (geez this is a final fantasy game not GOD OF WAR)
-oh did i mention how HORRIBLE the story was?

seriously, i dont even wanna know whats gonna happen in FFXIII-3 or whatever they call it
but come on, changing costumes during battle scenes now????. wow! how original and not so FAN-SERVICED.

over for this series.
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Posted 12/4/13
I had no qualms with X/X-2, nor have I had any qualms with XIII. I loved the storyline, which is why I primarily play a roleplaying game. If I wanted a game full of sidequests and lots of places to adventure, I wouldn'tve bothered with Final Fantasy in general. The biggest issue is that nearly every Final Fantasy fan keeps trying to compare the newer Final Fantasy games to FF7. That is a no-go. Don't do it. The fact is, these games are not going to be anything like FF7. The reason for this being is because quite simply, they all have a different storyline. Sequels aside, Each Final Fantasy game has different characters and a different storyline. The gameplay isn't always going to be the same. Learn to accept a game for its value. Focus not on how it compares to another game, but rather focus on what you liked about it, what you didn't like and what you think could be improved upon. Don't set outrageous expectations for a game, for example, don't expect it to be like FF7. Don't expect the main character to be like Cloud. Don't expect the Villain to be like Sephiroth. Most importantly, don't expect the game to be anything like the previous ones. Things are constantly changing.

I loved 13's Storyline, it had me hooked on the game and I was really disappointed when 13-2 came out because it felt like they didn't really put much effort into it. The whole "Time Travel" thing was never really a good storyline to go with. I mean, sure it was enjoyable but there are too many variables and it really throws the storyline out of whack. The Storyline needs to be consistent. But when you start throwing in variables like paradoxes and what-not, that's when the story starts to veer off-course. 13 had a much more stable and consistent storyline. I loved the combat system and while it did take some getting used to, it was far better than the combat system of X. Infact, it was very reminiscent of 12's Gambit system. With the difference being that the Gambits would make everything automatic. 13's combat was similar to that, only everything was manual instead and relied solely on your observations. I loved the storyline of 13, it really left me wanting something similar to it. I never cared much for side quests in games so I never felt like the game was too linear. I loved the cinematic effects as well because it helps to immerse me in the game and that's what I expect, to feel immersion when I'm playing a game. I don't want it to feel like it was "Just a game". I want it to feel like it was an experience I enjoyed.

12 was another game I thoroughly enjoyed. I loved the storyline and I loved most of the characters. I found Vaan to be a terrible main character, though. Despite this, the storyline was great. I had no problems with the gameplay, infact I even found the gambits system to be useful as too many times would I not notice my health was running low. I also loved how the battles were set up. I found the random encounters annoying in X and it ruined the immersion for me. I actually loved 12 and really got into its storyline and gameplay. I found it a refreshing light hearted welcome from the grim storyline of X where the world is on the brink of Annihilation.
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Posted 12/4/13
I couldn't really get into 12 unfortunately. It looked like a very pretty game and looked like it would be fun but IMO there wasn't enough compelling story to support the amount of side quests. The characters did intrigue me and yeah, Vaan was kind of annoying and overly idealistic but *Shrug*. I do agree with you, RenegadeVictim, in that the fanbase always compares the newer games coming out to the older games and the newer games aren't going to be like the older ones. Game play is going to be different, character and story development is always different, there's always something new the developers are going to try.

I am of the opinion that the decline of the franchise is because Enix was trying to keep up with the graphics the games around them had and this led to a distraction from the story and game play development that the franchise is known for. With the next few games they have planned they're trying to get back to that which was why I'm so happy about the twist ending of XIII-2. While some could see it coming, I didn't and didn't realize it until I remembered something Caius had said. Yes, the time travel aspect was a little cheesy but I think they explained it well enough that I, personally, could look past it and accept the game for what it was and enjoy playing it.
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Posted 12/4/13 , edited 12/4/13
Like some others have said, most people didn't have a problem with the story. The story was really good and well written.

The main complaints stem from the linear gameplay and battle mechanics. To me, XIII felt like I was playing a COD game skinned with JRPG characters. It was an endless push down a very long hallway.

I have yet to play XIII-2 yet. Waiting until I see it for $10 before I pick it up.
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Posted 12/4/13 , edited 12/4/13
I may be one of the few, but I don't like XIII's story, characters, setting and design. I do like the battle system.

I was almost done with XIII but then just stopped playing. Tried XIII-2's demo but the things I didn't like about the first are of course present there too. I'm interested in Lightning Returns and I really enjoyed the demo but I have no clue what's going on and am not willing to go through the first two games so I think I'll pass.

XII is my overall favorite in the series, I can't find anything I don't like about it. Followed by IV, VI, and VII. To sum up how I feel about the FF series, I've had enough of Nomura's designs and styles. FFXV hyped me up, but came to realize it's very "Nomura". What I want in the main series again is something set in Ivalice.
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Posted 12/4/13
I think XIII would have got a whole lot less flak had they simply accepted that people didn't like it and moved on instead of trying to continue the story. The huge delay of 'the Final Fantasy formerly known as VersusXIII' didn't help either. I've always been a fan of Final Fantasy but XIII was a huge letdown for me and XIII-2 got bad fast. I had decided not to bother with XIII-3 but I'll probably pick it up anyway 'cause I'm a sucker!


addchibineko wrote:

I'm of the opinion that the reason Square Enix has had so much trouble over the past few years is that they've been focusing more on the visual aspect of their games and less on the story. That's why we have games like X where the characters were flat, X-2 where it was barbie dress up meets Charlie's Angels, XI whose problems I am unaware of and XII where (IMO) the story and side quests were grossly unbalanced leaving you with not enough story and too much free time to run around and TRY to level grind.

I personally loved X and X-2 had one of the best ATB systems in the series hidden beneath the fanservice. Skipped XI and I think you're right about XII though the same could be said of XIII: I was nowhere near the end of the crystarium at the end of the story and there seemed to be a pretty big difficulty spike in the hunts (which I detested for the most part - boring old go here kill this, rinse, repeat). I also find it funny that you call X-2 "barbie dress up", when XIII-3 is just that a second time around.
I'll agree that Squenix do seem to have been putting too much stock in the visuals and too little in story but I absolutely think that XIII etc. are the main offenders here. XIII-2 was a train wreck of a story. XIII was better but why did they have to hide it away like that? Hopefully XIII-3 is better than expected (seems unlikely). As for XV, it has far too much to live up to now. I can't see it working out well. :(
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Posted 12/8/13 , edited 12/8/13
I beat Final Fantasy XIII. I didn't like the combat system because some monsters just breaks it apart ( Yes! Those HUGE dinosaur looking monsters! ) I have bought Final Fantasy XIII-2 and pre-order Final Fantasy XIII-3 ( To get Cloud'sbluster sword and suit! ) Now since Square-Enix doing a remake of Tomb Raider for next-gen consoles. I wonder will the Final Fantasy XIII series will follow?
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