Review by ruballin
This is the Worst FF Game
Well, first thing is first. Before we begin, we should address the elephant in the room: this game is, without exaggeration, the worst Final Fantasy to-date (excluding the MMO FF's).
Sounds harsh? Well sometimes, the truth hurts. And the truth of the matter is that this game is seriously lacking in quality gameplay. That's my foremost, biggest, and most ultimately devastating gripe with this game. But before you label me a simple hater, I first want to mention that not only have I played every FF, but I've loved all of them (except FFVIII... I found the "drawing" system to be very monotonous). I WANTED to love FFXIII. I EXPECTED to love FFXIII. But ultimately, that just wasn't possible.
However, there are even things that I LOVE about FFXIII. I love the graphics; they're amazing! I actually really enjoyed the characters; for the first time, FF characters seemed to really come alive. Sure, some of the characters like Snow were a little cliche, but all things considered this was definitely the high mark for character development in a FF game.
Sadly, those are about the only two things I loved. And in a way, those are really the two least important criteria for me. If I wanted great graphics I'd play an FPS, not an RPG. The great characters are cool, but FF has done more with less in the past. Characters are really just prop pieces for the story.
...so on to the story then. Really, I just didn't find the story exciting. There were no "OMG shocking revelation!" type moments that I recall, and there was never any real suspense. You never felt like the fate of anything important was hanging in the balance. I just never got into it.
But all of that would have been forgivable if the gameplay had been good. And that's where FFXIII really just falls flat on its face. This is LITERALLY how combat works:
Spam "x" until the break meter fills up. Now hit R2. Spam "x" until the meter goes down. Now hit R2 again. Repeat.
If you're fighting a boss, you might just need to have a healing paradigm, in which case the only other relevant meter other than break would be health.
And that's it. That's literally the combat. for 35 hours or however long the game took, over and over again. You could train a monkey to play this game, and I'm almost not joking. YOU DON'T NEED TO EVEN THINK. THE GAME CHOOSES THE PROPER SPELLS/ATTACKS FOR YOU. It's not just an idiot-proof combat system, it's a child-proof combat system, and it's been dumbed down into oblivion.
I just don't know how, for the life of me, anybody could actually enjoy this combat. On the other hand, based on the popularity of "grinding" in MMO's, it's obvious that there is an enormous percentage of people out there who have no problem pressing the same 2 or 3 buttons over and over again to get the little reward, like trained Pavlov's dogs.
But for those of us who don't fall into that category, I cannot recommend this game.
Rating: 2.0 - Poor
Product Release: Final Fantasy XIII (US, 03/09/10)
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