I was very skeptical from the beginning of why to get FF13 or not. But I always gave SquareEnix the benefit of the doubt until the game is released at least. Unfortunately, this time the doubt has run faster than the NA release of the game. Here are some facts about the game (without spoilers) which was exactly what I was expecting but someone from Japan playing the game and made this comments:
The whole game is completely linear until halfway through [approximately 20 hours].
There are hardly any towns.
The party is always fixed. The whole game just repeats the movie-battle sequence over and over [In fact the progression is closer to movie-run-battle-run-movie-boss-movie-run-battle…].
There are rather a lot of movies.
Moving around is like a long marathon.
The whole game system is just a clone of FF10.
You can’t flee battles [You can’t avoid most battles either as there is no sneaking past enemies, including weak ones].
Your party is completely healed after each battle.
If the main character in your party dies it is game over [There are only ever 3 characters in battle, often less, and often fixed].
The best tactic is almost always endlessly attacking. There is next to no strategy or skill involved.
The summons’ transformation scenes are a joke [i.e. Odin turning into a horse].
The story is rubbish… [Spoilers omitted, but complaints centre on Snow’s constant and cringe inducing insistence that he is a hero and will “protect” whatever it is the antagonists are menacing this time]
Shopping is only done at “online” shops on save points, with no proper shops to be found.
However, this doesn’t matter as you hardly ever get any money [and you can never buy anything more powerful than what you already looted].
There have been next to no changes from the demo.
The status screen displays no real information.
There are only 8 items usable in combat [For that matter, there are hardly any weapons or accessories, and the “crafting” system mostly consists of spending drops to upgrade their 2 stats].
There are no levels.
This is sad, not to mention that I liked Spirits Within because of the CG, but I agree with people why it failed so hard story wise and the reason is very simple. SquareEnix, please stop making Final Fantasy into Final Sci-Fi.
10 was the only passable one out of the SciFi versions of FF you have made, but you keep making the same mistakes over and over again. Final Fantasy means Fantasy, what people have loved for 9 straight series over and over and over again with no fail in any of them. 8 was close by some people I have heard, but honestly I loved it. It was a story about Love and never loosing hope for your loved one. I loved it. But then the big switch: X came and X-2. I couldn't understand this world but its fine, just as I liked Spirits Within many liked X, but I couldn't fall in love with the characters. I tried but couldn't.
Thank you Gods at SE that created FF11, it kept me busy for almost 5 complete years in wasting my life and just addicted to becoming more powerful, making more friends, and overcoming all the almost-impossible challenges it offered. You really took my soul on this one. Then you released FF12, the same effect happened once more. While 12 had a great story and incredible old English voice acting, something was missing, I guess I can never tell what it was but there was something missing.
Now we jump to the present and I understand SquareEnix wants to expand to the Western and European market, but they need to learn to stick to their secret recipe and thats sticking to what worked in all their titles from 1-9, 11, tactics 1. Stay away from making Sci Fi Mazinkaiser Robot-Summonings that transform into Vehicles Transformers-like and making it all ludicrous. Just watching the summons makes me laugh at how bizarre this game has gotten, the cut scenes, while being rendering JAW DROPPING beauty of animations and all that, the story looks rather silly. I find the Fro guy with the little chocobo cute but now I cant take him serious after seeing this title:
I mean are they like long lost brothers or something? They are identical, wimpy, bird on the head and gay. It doesnt stop there, who is supposed to be the super macho-camacho bad ass guy? lets pull him up!
ARGHHHHHHH MY EYES!!!! wtf is that!?!?! Is that the guy who is supposed to be the punch type person or martial arts or ... I cant even tell. He looks like a rejected boy band member or someone far worse I hoped to never see in anything related to FF..
BAAAAHHHHH!!! MY EYES AGAIN!!! THEY BLEED WITH ACID!!! oh lord... how could you have let this happened! I mean how can the badass character of FF look anything like Justin??? wtf... I mean he must at LEAST have a bad ass name! what is his name?.... lets see here.... "snow" ... ...
So I think im just going to stop here. The game visuals are awesome and all, great if you love 3D or anything related to it (which I am so I know and appreciate all the renders SE have made in this game). But the one thing that kept me really odd about it was... everything. I mean come on... a DYKEBike? Nothing against Dikes out there but... man... summoning a DikeBike to my rescue just doesn't cut it...
ugh and with Justin Snow Timberlake riding it just makes it even worse.
And the last thing that really drew the last drop of me getting it was the no JP voice version with subtitles. I don't like movies that are imported from another language into dubbing, its never the same and sometimes you get lost in translation because certain things wont make sense in English. And especially for the Japanese language.
I'll just wait couple of months for this title to get on the discount bins for like $19.99 cuz I sure enjoy the visuals. Good thing Square Enix ix about to release FF14 this coming year cuz I know they wont fail there from everything they have shown so far. And I hope 13 Versus makes up for what 13 Normal failed.