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10:48 AM on 03.12.2010

FF13 - A Tech Demo Unworthy of Its Name? Also, 3 Blur Codes.

I drove to Gamestop for the 12am launch. I waited online, got my copy and proceeded to play for hours until the early morning. I played many hours the next day, and the day after that.

Then I sold it.

Gamers seem to be divided on FF13. Most can agree on its shortcomings, but many still find it acceptable or worthy to stand next to other great FF games, like FFX and FFIX. I think it's one of the worst in the series.

My issue with Final Fantasy 13 is a body of small issues that come together to make a game that's a chore to play. Here's a few of them:

Environments are one-pathed. Ok, we knew this would be a linear FF. We knew there weren't going to be towns to explore. But nothing prepared me for having to simply walk in a straight line for the first hour of the game. Thereafter, Square Enix tries their best to dress up environments to make it appear like you can explore, but it's impossible to get lost. You go straight, or occasionally have a fork in the road that ends quickly and leads to an item. It's boring.

Battles are just ok. The battle system took a risk and it's fun. It also gets old pretty fast. I can't control anyone but myself and it's more fast paced, which I liked at first...but in actuality, I have to juggle different paradigms and hope characters do what's most efficient. It doesn't help that I can't manage who's in my party...even when I have additional people in my party that I can edit stats for in the menu. This is the strongest part of the game, it's just not a battle system for everyone. I prefer X-2's way of doing things here. The whole paradigm thing is cool, but it ends up just being different, and not better as I hoped.

The story isn't interesting. The game starts without really explaining what's going on...which brings another point, that the game relies too much on the datalog to explain the story rather than through narrative. Either way, without spoiling it for anyone, the story is very generic, odd, silly and simply boring. It doesn't help that it progresses at a glacial pace.

Every. Character. Sucks. There is no perfect JRPG, or Final Fantasy, cast (although FF9 comes damn close). The problem here is no one is enjoyable. Sure, Lightning is badass, but she's quiet, boring and a bitch. Snow is your typical, "No! I love her. Let's do this because I love her!" hero. Hope is pathetic, Vanille is the oddest character I've come across (and nominee for worst victim of localization in a Japanese videogame) and it takes too long to get better or make you care about any of them. Sazh is the best character, but that's just by contrast. Standalone, he sucks, too. I'll take a second to randomly mention that I have 3 Blur codes up for grabs, and that I'll PM you a code if you leave a comment simply telling me what you think; whether I'm an idiot and FF13 is the greatest game ever made, that Vanille is a breakout star and deserves a spinoff, whatever.

Above all, the game takes too long to progress, and when it does, it's unraveling a story that is very weak and shockingly lame. The highlight of this game is the battle system, but that's not for everyone, and even if it is, I know I don't want to sink tens of hours into a JRPG solely for battles. I know Square Enix put a great deal of time and energy into developing this game technically, to have a beautiful next gen FF game. Hopefully next time, they won't forget about the story, characters, or progression for the game.   read

11:53 AM on 09.05.2008

money isn't the issue, it's time and quality

I just came across a comment here on dtoid that I come across often almost everywhere I
go. The wording varies slightly, but it's always the same general idea. It goes a little
something like this:

[quote]I have all 3 consoles so I'm better than you. You are poor for not having all three
consoles, and the only people who care about sales figures are people who want to
reassure themselves since they cannot afford all 3 consoles. lulz Just buy all 3 consoles and
don't care about 360 vs. PS3 vs. Wii.[/quote]

No. There are two reasons why this ever popular logic is wrong. First of all, sales
figures and comparing exclusives is just as enjoyable to follow as any other gaming
information, and it's not done for reassurance (all the time). If you care to go into it, seeing
if Sony's bold move of adding Blu Ray and launching at "599 US Dollars" actually paid off in
the face of Microsoft's early launch with less value is just interesting. That's all.
Watching as Wii dominates the charts because it's doing everything right to appeal to non
gamers while doing many things wrong to hardcore is just as entertaining. The online is
messy, the graphics aren't up to par, many of the games have low quality standards but it's
winning, and the other two guys are running around trying to figure out what the hell it is
they can do to secure second place. Add more casual appeal? Steal the other guy's games?
Develop more in house titles? Add more value to the console and market it as more than
just games? "What the hell should we do!?"

Sorry, but that's fun.

Second, it's not about money. When I hear "just buy all consoles and be done with it"
mentioned during a civilized discussion over which console is the better choice for a person,
it annoys me. I had all three consoles last gen. Guess what? I barely touched my
Gamecube or Xbox. It was mostly about the PS2. Having all the consoles served as more of
a distraction than anything because who really has the time? I can go buy a PS3
right now, but I know I don't have the time to play it's games, my 360's games, my PSP
and my Wii, and I honestly don't see the point in buying another console if I'm not going to
use it.

So many games have gone multi platform and Microsoft and Sony have both stepped up
their exclusives' quality that for the first time, a customer looking considering one of the
two can pick a console that suits their gaming interests best and not really be missing out
on much. There is simply no settling for less between these two for gamers. That's
something great, especially for the person who is busy with college, work or whatever the
case may be.

So enough with this logic? It may be about the money for some people, but overall, it's a
weak attempt at making a point since it's more about time and what works for the
individual person.   read

10:39 AM on 09.05.2008

why i can't wait for fable 2

Yeah, the Fable 1 hype machine pulled me in. I threw my 50 bucks at the out of place
Gamestop cashier for my copy day 1. I admit it. I also admit I didn't have more than average
fun with it. It couldn't compare to the overlooked Pirates of the Carribean (which was actually
Sea Dogs 2 with vague PotC references tacked on in the last months of development), which
was my main console RPG.

So here we are. Fable 2 is coming. Wasn't really interested. Then I learn about the multiplayer
orbs and think it's awesome. Considered buying it eventually.

Then I saw this.

I am now sold for day 1.   read

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