gamers (76%) found this review helpful
First off, I did beat the game, put in a total of 80+ hours and even 5-starred about 1/3 of the missions before I just quit. The constant grinding got to me, and worse, it felt like constant grinding.
Okay, the first thing Square Enix did wrong with this game is commit one of the ultimate sins in storytelling. Very rarely can you toss a reader/gamer into a story mid-story and in mid-action and NOT lose interest. Check out any book on how-to-write or storytelling, and you'll see this listed as one of the worst mistakes a storyteller can make. It's often a fatal flaw. Not saying it can't be done, just that it's rarely done well, and SE doesn't do it well.
I didn't have so much a complaint about the paradigms or even the linear parts of the story, tho I must admit, one of the things I love best about jrpgs and rpgs in general is being able to explore outside the main storyline. Honestly tho, the paradigms to me, if you set them up right, felt a lot like turn-based to me, you still basically were deciding what each and every character did.
The one thing I think really ruined the combat system is how unforgiving it was to anyone that didn't toe the time limit. I tend to be methodical and slow in fighting, I get the job done, but I'm not fast about getting it done. More than once I had doom cast on me during a boss fight as a result. As a result, I grew frustrated because in the end, it wasn't tactics that ruled the day, but speed that became the utmost important. It was during the missions later that I realized, your tactics aren't graded at all, just your speed. The faster you kill something, the more likely you are to 5-star, period.
Still, I enjoyed the game, but I wish the developers had concentrated more on gameplay rather than CGI. As a graphic artist, I love CGI, but I don't play video games for CGI, I play them for good gameplay and characters I care about. And maybe that's why jrpgs are slowly dying, not for lack of fans, but lack of good storytelling.
gamers (77%) found this review helpful
It's simple really - Visuals are top notch and by far the standard now
- Voice overs are good but what they say is stupid
- Characters are whiny babies
- Game play is horrific, No open world, no open movement during battles, all you need to know is how to push X.
- The whole game is linear, even when leveling up characters.
Let me begin this like everybody else has by saying that I've been playing FF since I was in elementary school in the early 90's. For my birthday in 3rd grade I went and got FF3 (VI), if that's any indication. I grew up with Square games as a part of my childhood, and hold them very dear to me. So naturally, I was beyond excited when FFXIII arrived and expected an epic journey that transcended space and time and introduced you to a cast of characters that you'll remember forever. This game. Is beyond. Disappointing.
Characters/Story: Hands down the worst I have ever encountered. And yes, I managed to grasp the pointless, theme-less story and understand it thoroughly, it was just bad. The characters are probably what ultimately ruined the game for me, and made me unable to see past its inherent faults. Hope and Snow are by far the worst. So freaking pointlessly dramatic, I could hardly stand it. "Your hero is here..." and all of that. "Soap Opera" is a massive understatement here. They throw you into this dramatic love story without any reason to care about any of the characters and their struggles at all. DO NOT PLAY THIS GAME IN FRONT OF OTHERS; YOU WILL BE EMBARRASSED AND MORTIFIED BEYOND WORDS. So, so, so corny. I enjoy drama. FFX had drama and love and did it (most often) with TACT and a sense of purpose and meaning. None of that epic Square story-telling sensibility here whatsoever.
The music is awful and chaotic and is relatively melody-less. It sounds like it was written by an amateur. Similar to the way the script was written by amateurs. You will not be downloading the soundtrack and have fond memories of the OST like virtually every other Square game. The battle music is just... so. so. bad. Embarrassing.
Gameplay is an afterthought when you realize none of the characters even approach likeable and the story is meaningless. Battles are nothing but auto-battle button mashing.
I don't await the next FF with excitement. It's all a sequel or MMO. Awful.