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Forums - Gaming Discussion - Revisiting Final Fantasy 13

Final Fantasy 13.  It is the best of games and the worst of games.  Here is my experience with it.

Final Fantasy used to be my favorite series of games.  I would always buy the games day 1 and then just do nothing else in my life but work and then come home to play the games until I'd thoroughly beaten them including all endgame content.  So I bought Final Fantasy 13 and came home excitedly to play it.  The game looked stunningly gorgeous.  But I felt it kind of sucked (at first).  I only liked some of the characters, but the worst part is just walking down a hallway and fighting stuff that has no challenge.  There are no towns, and really nothing to interact with.  The story is only so-so and harder to follow the deeper in you get.  I kept playing out of spite.  I spent my $60 and I was going to get my money's worth damn it!  So I kept playing, and my wife and I would just make fun of it.

Then around 20-25 hours in, the game actually started getting good.  And when I got to Gran Pulse the game became amazing!  It turns out in the end I played 100+ hours of the game.  I think I played all of the optional content.  The game seriously left me wanting more.  

If I could somehow remove the first 20 hours of FF13, then it would probably be my favorite game on the PS3.  The last 80 hours of the game are that good.  But I've only played through the game once.  The first 20ish hours are just too painful.  I might actually play it again at some point, but I'm not really looking forward to it.

The sequels: FF13-2 and Lighting Returns are also seriously fun but seriously flawed games, but for different reasons.  I remember enjoying them both a lot, but at the same time Final Fantasy is not my favorite series anymore and it mostly has to do with the FF13 series.  I just don't trust Square-Enix to do a good enough job anymore.  They still make good games, but Final Fantasy is just not on the same amazing level that it used to be.

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Otter said:

I understood the story the first time round without these but it leaves a very bad taste in ones mouth without all the necessary world building. Comparably every final fantasy before this sewed every ounce of the world into playable and story segments.

Although FFXIII is a masterpiece compared to the aweful story telling FFXV which relies on entirely separate pieces of media like the CG film and anime to build its world. 

The problem I have with the story is the bad writing the actions of the villains make no damn sense they want you to complete a task then try to stop you but want you to succeed as well as the incredibly wtf moment of all this madness about showing their chosen a cryptic message when they can speak the bloody languages of the beings they're meddling with and the clowns can't seem to figure out how so many people are failing their tasks it's literally comical.

Ultr said:
Runa216 said:

The story isn't 'confusing', it's just very, VERY poorly told, requiring you to look up datalogs and studying the in-game encyclopedia to understand 90% of what's happening. You shouldn't have to do homework for a game, especially not a JRPG. Dark souls gets away with it becuase the point of Dark Souls is atmosphere and gameplay, but Final Fantasy's story has always been super important. 

hmmm maybe, I was so into the world that I read every single datalog and encyclopedia entry... maybe thats why I enjoyed it more. I cant disagree with you there as you are right about that, the game should not force you to read all that to understand it.

I once listend to a reviewer saying the same thing about FF15 that he didnt like the game but once he read everything from books, movies, all kind of datalogs he started to appreciate the rich world that they aparently built

I think that's what frustrates me the most about it. Reading the Datalogs and backstory and supplementary material makes it clear that they put a LOT of effort into making a truly great world, one that has limitless potential for stories and characters and the like...but then forgot to incorporate any of it into the actual plot of the game. there's a great STORY to the world, but the plot of the game forgets any of it and none of it feels natural. It's remarkably shoddy storytelling, which is something you should never, EVER have in a JRPG. 

Like I said, stuff like Dark Souls can get away with having all the backstory and lore hidden away becuase part of the experience is around the idea that you're some nobody, an undead who doesn't fully understand what's going on. It suits the narrative if you just wanna go kill bosses and make your way through the world. Hell, I beat Bloodborne three times before I even realized there was an actual story and I loved it even before then! 

But Final Fantasy? Naw, you need the story to be well told and good. If the story fails, it doesn't matter how good the gameplay is. That's why I'm so torn on FFXV. The world building and character interactions were all mint...but the actual story was garbage. The relationship between the four mains was some of the best in any FF game, but the linear part of the game was lacking in every way, leaving a VERY sour taste in my mouth. I personally liked the gameplay, but I totally get why someone might not, since it's pretty simplified. 

I'm getting off topic, though. XIII fails. It looks pretty and it sounds pretty, but the gameplay and the story fail miserably (And personally I couldn't stand the art direction, finding it boringly generic; reminded me more of Halo than a FANTASY game. Sterile and empty and boring and generic.)

My Console Library:

PS5, Switch

PS4, PS3, PS2, PS1, WiiU, Wii, GCN, N64 SNES, XBO, 360

3DS, DS, GBA, Vita, PSP, Android

Top 6 this generation: 
Bloodborne, Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, God of War, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Dark Souls III, Red Dead Redemption II, Rock Band 4