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> Final Fantasy XIII, Your thoughts?
Ethereal Blade
post Apr 21 2012, 03:17 AM
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These forums were shut down before Final Fantasy XIII was released, and so I make this topic. I realize with so few members this may not get very far, but no harm in trying right?smile.gif To put it simply, I'm quite curious to know everyone's opinion on this game. The good and/or the bad. The impression I got (feel free to correct me) was that this game received a lot of mixed reception from fans similar to Final Fantasy XII.

Did you ever play it or not? What it what you expected? Did you like the new battle system? The story? Characters? The typical stuff-- feel free to share any thoughts.

I'm not going to put spoilers in my post, but I would expect them in this sort of topic... maybe avoid this topic if you haven't played and are planning on playing it?

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I have mostly had a sort of love-hate relationship with this game until recently. Before the game was released, I was looking forward to it; not hyped like I was for FFXII, but pretty excited nonetheless. I remember playing it for the first time and really getting into the battle system. Well... after getting the hang of it anyway. It was so fast-paced and flashy it was hard for me to keep up at first. Not to mention if your leader gets KO'd, it's over. Lots of game overs screens in front of my face... at least there was always retry.

Battle system was great, but there were quite a few other things that really brought the experience down for me:

No returning to previous locations
- I missed returning to old places and discovering new things that could only be found later.
How linear it was (excluding chapter 11)
- I know FFX was similar in this aspect, but it felt more obvious in this one to me. I think maybe this combined with my previous point makes it more apparent.
Weapon Upgrade System
- Wasn't really necessary to complete the game, but was quite tedious. It wasn't that easy to farm good components to use or sell, and enemies didn't drop gil making it even more difficult to upgrade.


What I liked:

Battle System
- Mentioned this already but loved it. Paradigm system was a neat approach that had similarities to the job system of past FF games. I felt like it was well implemented and every role had a meaningful purpose. Did not like the leader KO = game over, but I guess I'll let that slide.
Characters
Mostly. The villains feel really weak in this game, BUT I like the party okay for the most part. I'll touch more on this later. I think that Sazh is perhaps one of the best written FF characters (maybe saying too much; maybe I should say I thought he was the best written character in this game).

About a week after I beat the game for the first time, I started to realize how disappointed I was with it. It is opposite to FFXII in many aspects I feel, so I couldn't help but feel disappointed. However, I've played it again since then and I've come to appreciate it for what it is, rather than what it isn't. I still have mixed feelings on the story, but the battle system makes up for a lot of it.

I could say more, but I think this post is long enough already, so I will probably save it for another post if more people respond.
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Xiitharn
post Apr 21 2012, 06:37 AM
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Thanks for making this topic, I thought about making one too actually, but you got to it before I did tongue.gif

I have to agree with you about the linearity of XIII, I for one hated it. I didn't complete the game; I got about halfway before I decided I'd had enough. In my opinion, I felt that SE tried too hard to make a game with a very emotionally involved storyline. There was too much personal drama spread around...it felt very forced. They took a risk,I think, by going so linear with the storyline, and I don't think it paid off. Final fantasy is ABOUT exploration and discovery, not just mindlessly following directions that eventually got lost among various characters cries for attention.

On the bright side, it made me appreciate XII much much more. And as much as the game was beautifully done, with all the voice actors and animation, it still lacked the classic FF feel. I didn't like the battle system either, XII's is still my favorite because it was so versatile and XIII was...the complete opposite of that.

Oh, and I won't be touching XIII-2 with a ten foot pole.


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Nick
post Apr 21 2012, 10:04 AM
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I didn't even finish XIII. Hell I probably didn't even finish the tutorial. First FF game I ever lost patience with and thought "fuck this". Traded it in.


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Dark Yuna
post Apr 21 2012, 01:08 PM
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For me, the battle system was quite good. I lean more towards having more tactical battles and more player input (not like active time events or whatever, just not having an 'auto-battle' option). So switching paradigms constantly often felt like I was kept on my toes a bit. The fact that the game was over if your leader died was a little silly and a tad annoying, but I can't stress enough the value of that 'retry' option, instead of being forced back to your last save. There were some good, challenging fights to be found around chapter 11 (I think), with the hunting missions and such but the main game didn't seem to supply many challenging encounters, which was a little disappointing to tell the truth.

The linearity of the game was a big issue for me, as it seems it was for many others too. Each area seemed to just be a glorified straight line until you hit around chapter 11. Having monster hunts as the only real form of side-quests was also a let-down, as I'm rather fond of fun and interesting side-quests, often more so than I am of the main story (e.g. in games like The Elder Scrolls). Thankfully this was changed (somewhat) in XIII-2, though I would have liked to see some more variation in XIII in terms of side-quests and post-end-game content.

I liked the characters in the party, especially Lightning and Sazh, though Snow and Hope really got on my nerves a bit. Something about Snow's obsession with 'playing the hero' reminded me of Balthier in XII, though it didn't really gel with me in the same way. Hope, while understandably upset throughout the game, did make me eventually think 'Oh just shut up, please'. Vanille and Fang were quite interesting but I felt that they could have been developed a lot more. One thing I did like, though, was how each character was related to the next in some way or another.

The story itself wasn't bad but didn't really stand out against previous FF games, in my opinion. I kinda feel that the linearity of the gameplay made the story feel less like an adventure, partly due the lack of a world map. While not really crucial to the game or story in any particular way, it just feels to me that having a map of the world and walking on it (e.g. VII) or choosing locations on it (e.g. X) made you realise the scope of the journey and that ties in with how I feel about the story. If I don't feel that there is much of an 'adventure', then sadly this seems to generate a rather disappointed feel in the story.

Also, grinding for weapon components/materials for upgrades. I didn't feel this was really necessary in order to beat the game. I didn't go for the related achievement/trophy for getting every item purely because of the amount of grinding involved to get just one 'ultimate' weapon. It seemed like a rather tedious addition to the game. The crystarium, however, was quite good though it did feel very similar to the Sphere Grid from FFX in some respects, just with a prettier interface and separate 'strands' for each role rather than having them all interlinked.

I've probably forgotten something but I've just realised that I've written more in this post than I have in the lab report I am supposed to be writing instead, so I shall leave this as it is smile.gif



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(Phoenix)
post Apr 21 2012, 04:00 PM
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I got more hyped for XIII than I did for XII (which is saying a lot). Ultimately the game fell flat compared to how much I'd over-hyped it, but in the end I still felt that it was decent and received a lot more hate than it should.

The biggest problem with it for me was the ridiculously over the top drama filled dialogue. From the moment the game starts people are flipping the fuck out over everything and it never really ends until the game is over. It made it hard for me to like any of the characters (Hope being a great example). Snow and Sazh had their good moments though, Snow was cool whenever Serah wasn't involved in the conversation and Sazh was fairly cool headed before that whole thing with his son and Vanille.

From a gameplay perspective I thought it had some great idea's but fell short in a few areas. The first being that it took WAAAAAY too long for the battle system to fully open up. The second being that midway through the game the battle system felt fairly repetetive - go into battle, find the best paradigm set up, switch as appropriate. That was pretty much the flow to every battle. Still, it was an experiment and this whole series is about experimenting so I'm fine with that.

The two areas of this game that were awesome were the visuals (not necessarily in terms of texture, but the imagination that went into designing the locations and scenes) and the music. I'd been hoping for Masashi Hamazu to get his chance in the spotlight after FFX and I think he did a really good job.

In all it was an ok game, not my favourite Final Fantasy or anywhere near to it to be honest, but I got 70+ hours out of it and that makes it worth the money IMO.
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Ethereal Blade
post Apr 21 2012, 10:25 PM
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First, just want to say thanks to you guys for responding to this thread. Like I mentioned before I realized this topic might not go anywhere, but you guys have some pretty thorough answers.

Some other random thoughts that weren't in my opening post:

- I thought Jihl Nabaat had the potential to be a way better character; good character design, waste of a character imo. The same could be said for Yaag Rosch.

- Of the playable characters, Hope was the one who really annoying me during my first playthrough. His situation was understandable, but the way the game handled it wasn't the greatest I thought (My reactions started to get similar to what Dark Yuna mentioned, lol). Snow got to me a little bit too, but to a lesser extent and really only at the start of the game.

- A few of you guys mentioned the over the top/forced drama. I agree and this goes along with my previous point.

- I thought the Sunleth Waterscape was easily the best looking area of the game. The waterfalls and the view over the cliff side were stunning. A shame you can't revisit the place later.

- Despite the fact that it takes forever for the battle system to completely open up like (Phoenix) mentioned, I enjoy the first half of the game more than the second.

- Also I agree with (Phoenix) about the "people are flipping the fuck out over everything and it never really ends until the game is over." There was never any downtime, ever. Don't get me wrong I like when stuff happens, but it was very over the top most of the time. I think the lack of towns or resting spots for the party, with the linearity/no exploration contribute heavily to this.

- Retry option for battles was probably one of my favorite things they added, I would love for them to keep this feature in future games. I think with this feature, challenge can be kept while allowing for more experimentation and strategy in the gameplay (since you don't have to fear losing a lot of progress after a game over, you may want to try methods that they normally wouldn't want to risk).

- This game had monster hunts, something that was similar to FFXII in a way, and I liked that. However I think it was handled much better in FFXII. You had to wait all the way until chapter 11 to get to them, and then they were all spread across about 3 different areas since you couldn't go back any of the pre-chapter 11 areas.

Again, battle system was a lot of fun, but a good portion of the story and linearity ruins part of the experience for me. I still like the game a good deal, and the fact I was willing to play it more than once shows that.
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fat_moogle
post Apr 22 2012, 11:32 PM
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QUOTE((Phoenix) @ Apr 21 2012, 05:00 PM) *

I got more hyped for XIII than I did for XII

Same here - a lot more hyped. FFXIII may not have been the best game in the Final Fantasy franchise, but it was decent enough. Alright I admit it, in no way did it live up to the hype, but I enjoyed the game more than FFXII. I even completed it twice, in comparison to the zero times that I completed FFXII. That's got to say something.

Unlike many I did actually enjoy the story, although it did get a bit tiresome at some times. The battle system was fun, and I liked the paradigm shifting. However I wasn't a fan of the leveling up system (which they made even more tedious in FFXIII-2). I also missed equiping armour, and being able to buy weapons (ugh, the FFXIII weapon upgrade system bad.gif ).


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Fox
post Apr 23 2012, 05:42 PM
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FOX'S IN DEPTH ANALYSIS OF FINAL FANTASY XIII

s'alright. Story was lame. Characters sucked (mainly). Gameplay was fun. Nowhere near as good as most FF games, still a decent game on its own.

Hope I didn't go on too much!


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Snake
post Apr 26 2012, 01:52 AM
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I completed Final Fantasy XIII, but I was left with mixed reactions. There were some things I liked, and some things I didn't like. The graphics at times were pretty great, and at other times they were just nothing special. The characters were okay, with Vanille and Sazh being the standouts. The battles, they grew to annoy me. Sometimes you would fight the same enemies, and it just became too dull for my tastes. Xiitharn brings up a good point. She states that Final Fantasy XIII made her appreciate Final Fantasy XII more so than before. I actually agree with that statement. I miss engaging with enemies right then and there, instead of having to constantly have that fade to fight an enemy in Final Fantasy XIII (I can't explain myself correctly here, but I guess you know what I mean). I also miss how the world in Final Fantasy XII felt alive, because in Final Fantasy XIII the world felt dead. I almost, almost, was tempted to buy Final Fantasy XIII-2, but Katya's impressions kept me from doing so. I'll just wait for the next great Final Fantasy to come out, whenever that happens.
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Ethereal Blade
post Apr 26 2012, 02:46 AM
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^ Since you mention XIII-2... I thought it fixed a lot of problems that FFXIII suffered from, but then introduced new problems of it's own. I personally thought the story was a mess, but maybe I just don't like the way it handled time traveling. I typically don't like time travel in stories anyway though (Chrono Trigger is an exception). I can easily pick out things I enjoyed about it, but overall I thought it was weaker than FFXIII.

I've got to agree with you about Sazh and Vanille. They were my favorites. I mentioned earlier in this thread that I liked the first half of the game better than the second half; in particular it was the chapters dealing with these two together (chapters 6 and 8).
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Snake
post Apr 26 2012, 04:01 PM
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Yeah, that's the reason I'm not going to play FFXIII-2. The fixing of the problems FFXIII almost made me want to get the game, but hearing about it's new problems kept me away. S-E really could have done something amazing with FFXIII-2, especially since they used the assets/engine from the previous game. A lot of potential just squandered for a quick buck. Though, if I remember correctly, the game wound up not selling that great anyways.
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fat_moogle
post Apr 26 2012, 08:28 PM
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FFXIII-2.

The game has many haters, and to be honest, I can see why. XIII seems to be the game that has split the FF fan base, maybe even more so than XII. It may have sold well but it came off the back of a HUGE hype train...almost half a decade after it's initial showing.

Personally I bought the game on release day, and I enjoyed it for what it was. However I do agree with Ethereal Blade; it did introduce problems of it's own. Square gave with one hand, and took away with the other.

The main problem with FFXIII-2 is that it just isn't needed, and ends up giving no closure. AT ALL. Also, they say that fans asked for a FFXIII sequel. Did they? I think Square Enix were deluded when they gave that comment.

Also...

...the DLC for FFXIII-2 is starting to get ridiculous. But I'm still going to buy some of it.

I guess I'm part of the problem.


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Ethereal Blade
post Apr 26 2012, 10:04 PM
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QUOTE(fat_moogle @ Apr 26 2012, 03:28 PM) *

The main problem with FFXIII-2 is that it just isn't needed, and ends up giving no closure. AT ALL. Also, they say that fans asked for a FFXIII sequel. Did they? I think Square Enix were deluded when they gave that comment.

Also...

...the DLC for FFXIII-2 is starting to get ridiculous. But I'm still going to buy some of it.

I guess I'm part of the problem.

My main problem with the game. Without giving spoilers, I was shocked at how they did the ending, and then... they just left it unfinished. I couldn't believe it. I feel like XIII-3 is inevitable now, and I think that's ridiculous. If it ends up being a good game though, then that's fine (IMO, I think they will have to work pretty hard to make up for XIII-2's story).

Knowing me, I'd still buy it, especially if they keep the battle system the same (the main reason why I still enjoyed XIII-2 a decent amount). And so I guess I am also part of the problem. I've also been getting some of DLC. I enjoy the coliseum fights, but those costumes, which I don't even care for most of them, are like $3 a piece last I checked.
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fat_moogle
post Apr 26 2012, 11:02 PM
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I'm not going to lie here; I'd also buy FFXIII-3. However, I'm hoping that Square Enix are just going to release a downloadable episode that clears things up, rather than spending large amounts of money creating a full game that will undoubtedly sell even less than FFXIII-2. Fingers crossed that Requiem of the Goddess is going to fill the plot hole, but I doubt it. *sigh*

You mention the coliseum fights. I've purchased the Lightning & Amador pack, as well as the Ultros & Typhon fight (which I've yet to complete). I didn't bother downloading the Sazh scenario, as I don't really like Serendipity and those DLC games looked pretty boring. Sazh deserved so much better than this.

The next DLC I will be purchasing is Snows scenario, which comes out on the 15th May. I'm interested in finding out the details about the mission (saying no more) that he was on, because that was a pretty large plot hole in itself.

& yea, I'd never pay for costumes. I pre-ordered FFXIII-2 so that I got Serah's Summoners Garb and Noels Red thing (so ugly) but I'd never pay extra for them as they don't actually add anything to the game. I wonder how much money they will charge for each of the Mog DLC costumes that have just been announced?! I hope nobody buys them!


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Ethereal Blade
post Apr 27 2012, 12:51 AM
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^ I only have the Lightning & Amodor fight right now, which I thought was surprisingly easy. To be fair, my characters do have the crystarium maxed. I've been behind on the DLC lately, but I know there was a Jihl Nabaat fight released, as well as the Ultros & Typhon fight. Do you know how they compare difficulty-wise to the Lightning & Amodor one?

Also, I wasn't really aware of the Snow senario... do we know if it as actual battling in it? I was so disappointed that the Sazh DLC didn't... I got it mainly because he was my favorite character from XIII, but since it was just minigame oriented I didn't really like it. I agree that Sazh deserved better.




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fat_moogle
post Apr 30 2012, 03:35 PM
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I've only attempted the Ultros fight twice, and I died both times. Ultros on his own is easy, but Typhon comes along and blasts you with status effects that cripple your characters with status effects. In that respect it seems more difficult than the Lightning fight (which I too found easy), but I could just be approaching the fight with the wrong paradigms.


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