Review by matty549
"Final" Fantasy indeed
Although I can't claim to have beaten this game, after 50 hours logged into the FFXIII clock I can safely say that my life is too short to continue. For the record, I am a huge fan of the Final Fantasy series, which is why this game frustrates me so much. Although graphically impressive, there is absolutely nothing notable about Final Fantasy 13.
Probably my biggest issue with FFXIII is the storyline. No matter how hard the game insists a certain character is important (take Raines for example), it is just really hard to care. Outside of the main cast, none of the non playable characters are introduced properly or given a chance to develop a personality. This problem is probably caused by the general lack of storyline focus outside of the main cast of characters. This is not to say that the main characters are interesting, as they are generic as can be. There are no towns, no shops, and no random people walking around. It was an intentional decision, although it leaves the FFXIII world feeling very empty.
Character development is another substantial issue. If you wanted to teach lightning to be a synergist (for example), you are generally out of luck. Later on in the game, any character can be any class, but its only an illusion of freedom. To succeed in this game, you have to develop your characters down the obvious path that was intended for them. When combined with the linear map design, it is very apparent that there is always one and only one best way to do things. The Crystallarium might as well be removed from the game, given that it is effectively the Sphere grid from Final Fantasy X without the freedom to diverge among different paths.
There is no ability to be creative with your characters, which I feel hurts the battle system greatly. If you lose, its not a big deal. There is no penalty for dying, so you can effortlessly grind through the game without any real challenge. At no point did I feel a sense of accomplishment by completing a section of FFXIII. Progress is nothing more than a reflection of the amount of time a player is willing to tap x and cast libra for a given period of time.
Final Fantasy 13 is historic in that it is the only Final Fantasy game that I will not be able to finish. Personally, these have been 50 of the most boring hours of my life. If this is the trend that I can expect Square-Enix to take this series in the future, then yes this really is the Final fantasy for me.
Rating: 2.0 - Poor
Product Release: Final Fantasy XIII (US, 03/09/10)
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