24 Dec

While all of us on the Western edge of the globe wait with baited breath for Square Enix’s latest Final Fantasy epic, but reports and reviews from the other side of the world market are striking notes on both sides of the aisle. While famed Japanese gaming magazine Famitsu awarded the title a near perfect 39/40 score, a lot of negative thoughts are seeped through the internet cracks, bemoaning several key points in the game with understandable malice. The main deterrent seems to be the game’s near breathless linearity, one site even sporting an abbreviated map of the game’s first six hours to prove its point. A summary of more FFXIII critique (both fan and professional alike) and the aforementioned map can be found after the jump.

A selection of complaints floating across post-release reaction forums:

The whole game is completely linear until halfway through [approximately 20 hours].

There are hardly any towns.

The party is always fixed. The whole game just repeats the movie-battle sequence over and over [In fact the progression is closer to movie-run-battle-run-movie-boss-movie-run-battle…].

There are rather a lot of movies.

Moving around is like a long marathon.

The whole game system is just a clone of FF10.

You can’t flee battles [You can’t avoid most battles either as there is no sneaking past enemies, including weak ones].

Your party is completely healed after each battle.

If the main character in your party dies it is game over [There are only ever 3 characters in battle, often less, and often fixed].

The best tactic is almost always endlessly attacking. There is next to no strategy or skill involved.

The summons’ transformation scenes are a joke [i.e. Odin turning into a horse].

The story is rubbish… [Spoilers omitted, but complaints centre on Snow’s constant and cringe inducing insistence that he is a hero and will “protect” whatever it is the antagonists are menacing this time]

Shopping is only done at “online” shops on save points, with no proper shops to be found.

However, this doesn’t matter as you hardly ever get any money [and you can never buy anything more powerful than what you already looted].

There have been next to no changes from the demo.

The status screen displays no real information.

There are only 8 items usable in combat [For that matter, there are hardly any weapons or accessories, and the “crafting” system mostly consists of spending drops to upgrade their 2 stats].

There are no levels.

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13 thoughts on “Final Fantasy XIII Nets Some Pretty Heavy Criticism”

  1. Most of these points compare FF XIII to previous FF games, which is always a bit dodgy. I am convinced this game will be a great experience, and I don’t really see linearity as a weak point in a JRPG… way to many of those fall apart when they give the player the choice of furthering the story at his or her own pace… I like it when a RPG has a story that keeps it driving forward.

  2. No no no no no no no no no!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Christ I hope it’s just a bunch of butthurt people who are sore about the price of the imported version. Or a bunch of non JRPG fans.

    Party healed after every battle? I don’t believe that. No fleeing? I don’t believe that either. Clone of FFX’s system? Shit I’m fine with that.

    1. It is the Japanese People, not importers. 2ch, is a flurry with this. Oh this is only outrage one, there is a bigger one then it linearity, and it is pretty interesting at their outrage.

      Have you ever played Baten Kaitos: Origins, your party is healed after every battle, and I was fine with that.

  3. I like a lot of things on that list…

    -Party Healed after battle… sweet, just like Chronocross. Finally, a JRPG system that requires more skill than level grinding!
    -Linear Story… what’s new? This is what we expect out of modern JRPGs. I like it, generally better stories.
    -Fixed Party… I hate having to choose what party members to go with since, I want them all to be equally good.

    1. Yeah I am cool with that, after playing FFXII and being able to choose your party, and leaving out Vaan cause he is annoying to the bitter end.

      The party system and the healing takes straight from Baten Kaitos: Origins, you only have 3 characters and are completely healed after every battle, different than the original where you could have 6 characters and you had to heal after the battles.

  4. Well no amount of negative press will prevent me from getting this game. As for the Linear story….that’s just fine and dandy. I hope that there are a few side quests, though. But a largely linear story is fine by me.

    1. I think it was only the first half that was linear, then it opens up.

      I have to wonder, did these people realize that you start out in a city on a train system? The linearity is to be expected. I also heard that at the half way point you can do more stuff, that should be expected especially if you go to the over world, and not in the train system. People should learn to look at a game entirely and see how that would make sense for the game before basing it.

    2. I don’t think they mean linearity as the dynamics of the narrative but rather as a general lack of free roaming and a world map, etcetera. Like you, there’s little to prevent me from buying the game, but the lack of towns point kinda freaked me out.

  5. I must say that I think most of the criticism directed toward Final Fantasy XIII is well founded. This, mind you, coming from a devoted FF fan (enjoying the role for more than 10 years, thank you very much). I’m a European studying in Japan and here I bought a PS3 for many reasons, but mostly for FFXIII. After finishing the game, I myself was disappointed to a certain degree, but not enough to feel sorry for buying it.
    So what’s wrong with the game? The battle system I liked, even though it is almost literally based on non-stop pounding of the opponent. Everybody has complaints when a new Final Fantasy comes out, but it is a well known fact that each part of the series requires time for a player to get used to the battle system.
    However, it is not the battle aspect that I dislike. It is the way story is being told. You know? That special something that is the core essence of every Final Fantasy made until XI (XII I didn’t play, and as I hear it, XI almost has none). From the very beginning to the very end there is not a single character for whom I felt compassion. The one I liked was Fang, but she can never compare to Auron, Yuna, Zidane, Tidus, Squall, Wakka, Quistis, Rinoa, Cloud, Aeris, Terra… Oh. And speaking of characters, I was waiting until the game’s very end to find out why the hell is Lightning the main character, but the answer never came. Honestly, there is no justified reason whatsoever!
    It is true. The game is linear, and perhaps that is an understatement. In parts until X the games were linear, but as my people says “You couldn’t see the forest because of all the trees’’. In FFXIII the linearity is in plain sight.
    I have some other complaints.
    1) The music score. There are nice compositions like the “Blaze Edge” that really make the atmosphere going, but most of the other compositions are either melancholic or simply unattractive. Either way, the absence of Uematsu is immediately recognized.
    2) The diversity of the enemies… Or to put it more correctly, the lack of it. So far I feel like I can show the number of the enemy species with the fingers on my hands. The gelatinous creatures, Behemoths, robots that become completely immobile when “broken”, flying fel beast-like lizards, armored lizards, wolves with protrusions on their backs, tiny penguin-like creatures… Now I can`t think of other enemies, except for the ones limited in secluded areas.
    3) The pathetic dialogues. Ok, maybe it`s just my lack of knowledge of Japanese language that`s complaining about that aspect, but I think the characters talk way too much about the things that are driving them forward and stuff… As someone mentioned on this page, Snow was really getting on my nerves with his “Let’s protect her!’’, or “It’s hero time!’’. Pure cheesiness! That`s the biggest difference between X and XIII. In the earlier game there was discovery, reminiscing, friendship, love that required no words… But not much of that here. It’s just stupid.
    4) This last thing is splitting hairs, I admit. Graphics are really amazing, but one thing that bugs me is why are there no character reflections in water and buildings that have reflexive surfaces??? Was it so damn hard to make that extra effect? Even games on PSX had that effect! Jeez!
    I think Square-Enix deserves all the criticism it gets because they had a lot of time to create a fine piece of gaming experience worthy of all the previous installments, for us, loyal fans.

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