^FF13 had great character development, actually: you might not like the characters (I still want to kill Hope), but I thought they were among the most fleshed out in the entire series. And if you want to call these characters out for being "emo" I advise playing some of the older ones (namely FF8) again; not a new thing for Final Fantasy.
Hell, the severe linearity isn't even entirely a new thing: FF10 wasn't as bad, but there was a lot of running in straight lines there, too. Not to excuse it (it was my main complaint about 10, as well), but it's not a new affront to the series, either.
The plot, yeah, that was mediocre even by the series standard. Still, though, this game does not compare that unfavorably to the earlier entries: it's not the series' worst game (FF2 is a mess, even in the remakes. If you want to stick with the modern ones, FF12). --- Either the worst great player or the best horrible player you'll ever meet. Playing: Resonance of Fate, Fifa 11
Death_By_Smiley posted... It'll be the best game ever. --- People for the Death Penalty confuse me. What if Jesus was sentenced to death? Wait...what? ---West Virginia University---
Not that it'll mean anything to a troll like yourself, but one of the very first things that the designers confirmed about Final Fantasy XIII-2 was that it was going to be much more open-ended, with far more towns and NPCs, than FF13. Be a good little boy and do your homework next time.