Hello fellow D-toider, the name's Lewis. Nice to meet you. I hail from the very hot state of Mississippi. I'm 26, and cut my gaming teeth on the Gameboy, NES, and Super NES.
I've been playing games for as long as I can remember. Even before I got my own systems, I would go over to my cousin's house as often as possible to play his stuff. I love RPG's and fighting games with a passion, but there aren't many genres that I don't play from time to time. Sports, adventure, puzzle, racing...they're all good.
I can never decide whether Chrono Trigger or Zelda: A Link to the Past is my all-time favorite game. That's a decision no one should ever have to make. My favorite game series are Final Fantasy, Metal Gear, Resident Evil, and Soul Blade/Calibur. Hours and hours and hours of my life have gone into those franchises over the years. Square Enix is my favorite company in the game business, but I try to keep my fanboyism at a tolerable level. There's nothing more annoying than a retard who thinks that their favorite company/game/console is beyond reproach. Dog-like loyalty takes very little intelligence.
I currently have a Xbox 360, 3DS, DS Lite, PSP, Wii, PS3, Saturn, SNES, and a Dreamcast. I'm a firm believer that the more consoles you have, the better off you are. My favorite systems that I've ever owned were my SNES and my PSone. I have entirely too many fond memories of days spent with those two.
My non-gaming interests include watching tons of movies (my favorite hobby), sports, reading, and lots of Community, Lost, House, M.D., Mad Men, Futurama, Fringe, Bones, Dexter, Party Down, and The Office. Yes, my taste in tv shows is indeed fantastic.
Ten more game-related facts about me:
1. FFVI (and Tactics) > IV > XII > VIII > X > XIII > IX > VII > V > III > I > II > XI
2. I wish kids today could grow up playing the same games that I did. I love Mass Effect, but it's no replacement for Super Mario World or Earthbound.
3. I don't really play games on the PC, but I hope to make that jump one day.
4. I have a one (almost 2!) year old daughter who already shows signs of loving video games.
5. I haven't met a RTS yet that I could get into, but I still think I could love the genre, given the right gateway game.
6. Silent Hill is my favorite video game movie. I love the first three games as well.
7. I want new Parasite Eve, Chrono Trigger, Jade Empire, and Breath of Fire games very badly.
8. Fancy graphics are nice, but I never let a lack of eye candy keep me from enjoying a good game.
9. I've never finished Super Metroid, but I plan to someday.
10. My very first system was a Gameboy and my first game was Cool Spot.
I'm going to go ahead and throw my opinion out there. FFXIII is "different". There's a specific kind of FF fan who has no tolerance for any FF that is different, and they can't look past that fact to see the well-crafted game, underneath.
This kind of fan generally hates FFXII and FFVIII, holds up VII or IX as the pinnacle of the series, and may have played any pre-VII Final Fantasy after the Playstation generation had begun, if at all. I'm not mentioning any of those points as a negative, because everyone has a right to their preferences. In a series as expansive as Final Fantasy, there are bound to be some games that connect or repulse each of us to different degrees. If someone tried to get me to play FFXI again, I'd try my hardest to smash their eyeballs into a paste in the back of their skulls.
But back to my main point. FFXIII is undeniably very different from the games that came before it. It IS linear. But being linear isn't automatically a negative thing. It's a feature, not a flaw, albeit a feature that won't appeal to everyone's personal taste. I personally am loving the game so far. The characters are wonderful (even Hope is beginning to make me want to murder him slightly less), the battle system is beyond addictive, and the music is top-notch. Would I like all the games to follow to be exactly like XIII? No. And they won't be. There are a lot of things you could accuse Square Enix of, but playing it safe with the FF-brand is not one of them. So if you hate FFXIII, that's perfectly ok. You're not wrong for your distaste. But I'm a pretty open-minded gamer, and other than FFXI, I've found a lot to love in every main FF release. Yes, even FFX-2 and FFII. It's a bit annoying to see people across the Internet who apparently believe that if a game doesn't hit every box on their checklist of what "X" game should be, it's automatically shit. There's a difference between a "bad" game and a game that's not for you. It's not a difficult distinction to make.