Monday, July 19, 2010

Final Fantasy Smackdown: XIII

So anyways since I'm on my own now and have moved to I figured I should probably start with something grand or something in order to do like some big celebration.

Then I said screw it I'm lazy, let's just review all XIII of the main games in the Final Fantasy series and make fun of them.

So without further ado let's start with Final Fantasy XIII.

Final Fantasy XIII is unique in a couple of ways. For starters it's the first game in the series available for two different video game systems. The fan base was less than pleased. Apparently not having to own one video specific video game system to play the games you like is a bad thing.

That or all the PS3 owners were pissed they wasted $300-$700 on a system before the game came out and realized they could have bought the cheaper system and still played it. Who knows?

But anyways let's talk about the game itself.

Well like any decent JRPG the game starts up as slowly as freaking possible. Like the first hour or two might as well be one long cut scene, or heck they could have just given you a DVD with the game and said it was the prequel.

Now some of you may be going

"Wait not so fast! The game starts with a combat encounter, and then plenty more."

Well, this is true. Except, you have no spells, no skills and gain no experience from these first battles. In short, the battle is nothing but pressing x whenever you get the option. For a few hours, it's just cut scenes, walk down a narrow corridor, press x, more cut scenes. This is largely where the criticism comes from for the game and well, it's entirely justified.

I don't really care if it's just the introduction. Heck, because it's the introduction it is unacceptable. It doesn't matter if it's a game, a movie a book or anything. The introduction is honestly the most important part? Why? Because that's when you get your player hooked and want to finish the game. If your introduction is boring, we have no reason to assume the rest of the game won't be just as bad. Granted a lot of the time that's a case, and this is a trend that's been going on that needs to be stopped.

There are a lot of games that are actually pretty decent, who just have introductions where for the first hour or three the game is just really boring. I complained about Kingdom Hearts 2 awhile back under my other alias The Fuzzy Gamer, and it's the same problem here. Before you can get to the actual game they make you sit through a pile of crap. I seriously feel like the game is trying to haze new gamers. They treat it like "Only after you sit through this will we let you play the actual game" and then expect us to buy it. And well, I'm saying right now. Stop it. Stop what you are doing. Just let us have fun and enjoy the game from the start. A grand opening cut scene to set the stage and show how much trouble the world is in works fine. However, when you proceeds to just drag on with game play that's less than stellar it's just. WHY!? Who possibly thought it was a good idea to design games like this?

So anyways Ted we have the game mostly complete, but I'm worried it might start out a little fast with putting a battle up front.

Oh I know! Let's change the battle so you don't gain any experience, you just press x over and over again, and oh I know! Let's make all the corridor a single line without any chance to explore.

Actually that no chance to explore thing goes on until like the third to last chapter of the game, and then you gain exactly one side quest. Also, it's a pain in the butt of running back and forth between stone statues and random targets. Yeah not fun.

So anyways, the game eventually let's you start playing for real when you get the paradigm options. Then the battles become slightly more complicated as you have to press the l buttons every now and then to make sure you're using the right strategy of pressing x when you get the chance. The weird thing, is the game actually manages to be challenging from time despite being so simple. The Odin battle is probably a pain for anyone who's giving it a shot. The summon battles are weird to begin with though.

Each summon has infinite HP, so instead of trying to slay it you have to impress it without dieing. Sometimes this is easy, sometimes it isn't. Either way it certainly is nice to have to do something other than just beat stuff down.

Sometimes though, the game difficulty well, I wouldn't call it difficult as much as a just plain screw you. The worst offender is the final boss believe it or not. I play Atlus games, I believe the final boss should be hard but. The issue that comes is that the boss can use an instant death attack with a 50% chance of working. Coincidentally, if your party leader dies, it's instant game over, and you have to start the boss fight over. Meaning, at anytime there's a chance the boss could just screw you over. Oh right and sometimes he poisons you and immediately goes into a cut scene to attack you where he reduces you automatically to low HP and you die from the poison before you regain control of your character.

There's designing a hard boss, and there's being a dick.

This game is being a dick.

So yeah, the game play is... mediocre at best.

Let's move on to the story. The story is fairly lackluster, and mostly is your typical pre-destination vs making your own destiny debate. However that's largely because the focus of the story isn't on the events that's happening but the characters. So! Let's meet them!

First off we have Lightning, who is kinda the same depressing protagonist that appears in most newer FF games, except she has boobs. Gets depressed a lot but acts like a jerk to avoid showing it. The fans were pleased. Now stop drawing that fan art of Cloud.

No seriously, stop.

Snow. He's a hero. Not the hero just a hero. Gets depressed over his failings.

Hope. His mom died so he can live, is naturally pressed.

Sazh. He's a black man with a chocofro. Gets depressed over his son.

Vanille. She smiles a lot. Is secretly depressed.

Fang. Kicks ass.

So those are the characters and yeah, can't you tell we're going to have fun?

Actually we kinda do. Something very strange happened in the game.

The characters.

They... got... developed.

There was actual character development, they weren't the same emo twats at the end of the game that they started as! Okay, maybe this game isn't so bad after all.

So honestly as you've probably guessed by now from the amount of complaining I've done I actually liked the game.

Wait what?

Yeah, I can't think of a single logical reason as to why, bu I for some reason enjoy the game even though I have almost nothing but bad things to say about it. I don't know, maybe I just enjoyed playing a PS3 game where I could actually see what was happening on the screen without turning my TV's brightness level up to the maximum setting and melting the skin off my face, but for some reason some part of me kept playing the game.

Something must be wrong with it.

So I guess if you're a fan of the series and don't mind the combat not being that engaging, go ahead and give it a try.

But stop when you get to the final boss.

No seriously.

The ending just plain sucks. If you have to kill the final boss, quit after the fight..... The ending is just one long deus ex machina sequence, and then the game abruptly quits without any explanation or conclusion.

No seriously, we could have at least gotten a flash forward or something to years later to show that society was still alive and stuff.

Ugh why do I play this game?

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