if ffxiii would have been pulse only people would have loved it and compared it to ffx. but because of the cocoon part a lot of people hate it. to me ffxiii is over all better than ffx allthough i didn't like a lot of the cocoon chapters as well.
FFX was linear, yes, but it had side content, exploration, minigames, secrets, and blitzball. FFXIII might have well have been on rails for all the freedom it gave you. While yes, Gran Pulse had a bit of exploration, it was still basically a flower, 90% of it linear, one spot that kinda branches out,t hen back to the stamen which is linear.
And people hated XIII for reasons other than its linearity. they hated the flat, two dimensional characters, they hated the poorly told story and how 90% of the plot had to be read from an encyclopedia, the conceptually flawed battle system, the boring character and item customization, etc. Strict linearity was NOT the only reason people hated XIII.
X, on the other hand, gets hated for a few different reasons, such as the lack of a world map, terrible voice acting, and annoying characters. All valid reasons to criticise, but not nearly as bad as 'broken gameplay' or poorly told story". Take Wakka for example, one of the most hated characters in all of gaming actually had one of the deepest and most nuanced character arcs ever. People hated Squall for the same reasons, started out closeminded, annoying, and generally unlikeable, only to basically turn everything around as the plot progressed. Squall was SUPPOSED to be hated at first. Wakka and Tidus were SUPPOSED To be hated. IT's called character development.
sorry but to me the gameplay wasn't broken, the story wasn't poorly told and the party characters definitly weren't flat either. if you would compare cast and story to for example something like xenogears i'd understand your complaints but compared to ffx i can't, sorry. and when it comes to freedom: better 2 interesting options than 10 boring ones.
Sorry to interject here, I couldn't resist. Gameplay is broken. Ravager + Healer + Commando = Win on every normal enemy (Lower Level). Ravagerx2 + Commando = Win on every normal enemy (Higher levels). It got so bad with me button mashing X (Or A on the 360) that I literally started watching T.V. shows while fighting enemies because it became so monotonous and long. Story telling is horrible. Everything important is in the datalogs (Seriously they put the entire war of Transgression and the real motives for Bartandalus in there). The dialog in the game is horrible. The characters keep spouting the same non-sense throughout the entire game. Zazh is the only character that doesn't, but then again he and Vanille are the only characters with actual character development. Characters are your typical Japanese archtype anime characters and again; there's very little character development. FFX is very "open" compared to FFXIIII, at least one game lets you go back to almost any point; plus there's quite a fair amount of side quests in FFX(Compared with any FF game). Can't say the same for the FFXIII.
ok i admit there is some kind of button mashing that can get annoying because i've used an autofire controller to skip that problem too. but that's nothing why i would say the gameplay is broken in general. they just should have added autofire or an autoattack option to mak it more convenient. your
"Ravager + Healer + Commando = Win on every normal enemy (Lower Level). Ravagerx2 + Commando = Win on every normal enemy (Higher levels)"
statment is definitly not true. you certainly don't win endgame(boss)battles without switching to other setups as well. Maybe you use these setups the most but that does not mean the others are completely useless. when i think back to ffx, i used tidus, rikku and wakka the most. does that mean the other characters were completely broken because this party was the most effective?
as for the story: the content is in there. you just had to listen closely and read. if you want everything in cinematics prepare to pay way more than 60$ because so far jrpgs haven't reached cod or gta sales.
and if characters in ffxiii talk nonsense about le cie, fal cie and saving the world during the game then characters in ffx talk nonsense about sin, the calm and saving the world too.