Final Fantasy XIII
is the only video game I have ever returned to a store. Yes, it was that bad, and I absolutely hated it. Square Enix, why are you releasing a sequel to a game that was generally resented by even Final Fantasyís most hardcore fans? It just doesnít make sense.
When I was younger, the release of a Final Fantasy game always seemed like a special occasion. New entries in the franchise came out every few years and gamers everywhere were certain each Final Fantasy title would offer quality, narrative driven gaming. Now it feels like a new Final Fantasy title comes out every few months and, most of the time, these new games arenít even good.
In my mind, there always seemed to be a rivalry between the Final Fantasy and Zelda series. Iím not sure if this was a reality in the larger gaming community, but it was the case in my circle of friends. Zelda fans would scoff at Final Fantasyís tactical turn based battles using the term Ďoutdated.í Final Fantasy fans, on the other hand, would view Zeldaís action-oriented gameplay as overly simple and state that the story line was sparse on details.
The Super Nintendoís under-appreciated Final Fantasy VI
(Final Fantasy III
in the U.S.) remains my favourite in the franchise. Itís engrossing story, stylish graphics, and general atmosphere set the stage for Final Fantasy VII
, a title many people feel is the pinacle of the series.
Although I havenít played every game in the series (I have played most), I know that the franchise has certain elements that draw me into its colourful world. Exploration, character development, compelling story telling (although contrived and stereotypical) and beautiful graphics are what make Final Fantasy appeal to me. When it comes to more recent Final Fantasy titles, itís sometimes hard to look past characterís androgynous designs, carefully constructed bangs, and strange clothing. But deep down, most Final Fantasy titles are genuinely enjoyable games, chock full of great experiences and entertainment. This was not the case with Final Fantasy XIII
Sometimes it's hard to look past the beautifully crafed hair and see the video game underneath.
Final Fantasy XIII
is one of the worst RPGís Iíve ever played. The plot makes little sense and is non-existant for the majority of the game (I gave up after approximately 24 hours of playing). Also, the Paradigm battle system is ridiculous and basically fights the gameís battles for you. Half of why I enjoy Final Fantasyís turnbased battle system is because they allow me to be extremely tactical and the Paradigm system ruined this. There are also no non-player characters (NPCís) to interact with, no towns to explore and there is generally nothing exciting to do at all.
Final Fantasy XIII
amounts to nothing more than a beautiful looking, terribly designed on-rails RPG. The game basically plays like this: you walk down a long graphically stunning coridor, fighting enemy after enemy. I know that the gameís world opened up considerably approximately 25 hours in, but there was no incentive to stick with Final Fantasy XIII
for that long. Anyone I know that purchased the game gave up long before the 20 hour mark.
What Final Fantasy XIII
did, was destroy everything that made the Final Fantasy franchise so appealing.
Then Square Enix released another Final Fantasy title, this time it was an MMORPG for the PC, Final Fantasy XIV
. Iíve never played the game, but from what Iíve read, I gather that itís unfinished, absolutely terrible and filled with glitches. I have heard that the game has drastically improved since its initial release, but why put out an unfinished video game in the first place?
My point is this; why should I care about a sequel to a terrible video game? Why not start over and create Final Fantasy XV
? Maybe then Iíd pay attention to Squareís barrage of press releases. Itís not like Final Fantasy XIIIís
characters are compelling or interesting, and I donít think there are many fans out there actually asking for a sequel.
Apparently XIII-2 features a plot that revolves around time travel and a lot of exploration, but it also brings back an overly simple battle system and unimaginitive characters. This isnít enough to win me back. I used to be a loyal fan of the franchise, but after Final Fantasy XIII
? I donít think I can ever trust Square Enix again.
Iíll wait to see review scores.