Review by jpeg069

"Is this what Final Fantasy has become? /snore"

I'm a huge fan of FF games. I have completed and fully enjoyed every game including remake versions with the only exception being 13. When I discuss the series with people, there is usually one or two FF games which they have found lacking in some way. For me, it is not hard to find the magic in each game and that each have their own special qualities. So when 13 arrived, expectations were quite high and so was the hype/suspense.

FF13 failed to deliver on many levels.

Story / Scenarios (1/10)
It's just boring. I actually skipped a few cut scenes because it was a back and forth dialogue with no real substance. It was basically the opposite of "gripping" whatever that is. None of the characters felt important or seemed interesting. There's just so much room left for character development. Think of Tidus and Yuna swimming in a moon-lit lake, or Aeris' death, or even Gilgamesh's cameo in 12. There are absolutely no elements like this at all in 13.

Gameplay / Battle (2/10)
Battle system is weak. I liked the fact that you have be quick and make decisions fast. But for the most part, the whole system is dumbed-down and allows for easy victories with no real strategy. I liked the Odin fight and receiving the Growth Egg from Neochu was probably the most excitement I experienced in 13. No replay value in this one, sorry.

Music (3/10)
I was not expecting much in this category, without Uematsu. From what I read, he's worked on 14, though. So just as above, none of the music is really special in 13 (and I am a musician so I know about this stuff!). FF6 had the best score for my taste and its hard to live up to those expectations. Even if most of the melodies were short, they were perfect and fitting to the situation. Every other game in the series had at least one song bringing emotion and feeling with it, but not 13 or even 12 sorry.

Graphics (7/10)
I've intentionally left this for last and the graphics ARE impressive at times, its not enough to make up for the rest of the game. As another reviewer mentioned, the cut scene action is sometimes too quick and it is hard to figure out what just happened. Another downside is that enemy models are reused often. I'm not sure of the total enemy count in 13, but it seems lower than previous games. I'm going on a new hunt! Oh wait, its the same mob in a different area.

General (3/10)
FF has always been about conflict, change, shocks, humor and exploration (the basic principals for good storytelling). There are not much of these qualities in 13. In fact, the whole game world is so small and confining, its difficult to call it a Final Fantasy. I enjoyed Gran Pulse for the most part, but can't justify the rest of the game for it. I hope that SE decides to return to its roots so that us long-time fans will continue to enjoy/support the series. Its sad that both SquareSoft and Enix games were higher in quality before the merge.

I should mention that I played FF13 from start to finish on an Epson Projector with HDMI which fills up my whole wall, decent Logitech 5.1 speakers and wireless controller. It still sucked. I've gotten a lot more enjoyment out of other games with my setup.

Reviewer's Rating:   1.5 - Bad

Originally Posted: 04/07/10

Game Release: Final Fantasy XIII (US, 03/09/10)

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