Shedding The Cocoon: Final Fantasy XIII Review

Talk about other Final Fantasy games and Square Enix-related topics.
User avatar
Ex-SOLDIER
Posts: 8

Shedding The Cocoon: Final Fantasy XIII Review

Post#1 » Sun May 13, 2012 9:34 pm

So as most of the veteran members know and none of the new members do, I really threw in the towel with the new FF games after VIII. I first played VII and it quickly became (and remains) my favourite game of all time. As far as VIII went, despite the mixed opinions, I found myself falling on the positive side of things, and it too has earned a place in my top 10 games. From there however, my interest faded. I wasn't even able to finish IX, and I think I got about 2 hours in to X before I turned it off and never went back. From there my journey took me to the older FF titles. Starting with Dawn of Souls, I found myself enjoying the first FF but hating II. III I've only played recently and am enjoying it, but only as a distraction. IV I managed to play the whole way through, as I did V and both of those games I acknowledge as brilliant games. However as much as I enjoyed them, I don't have the desire to ever play them again. And so I found myself having sampled all of the FF games (other than VI), and my ideas had been solidified: "Post-VIII, I don't want anything to do with it"

So there I was, wandering through JB Hifi (For those non-aussies, thats a chain store that specialises in music, movies, games, TV's etc. Entertainment based things) with my girlfriend, when she suggested that I should buy a new game. For the past few months my time has been divided between wandering the wilds of Skyrim, and learning the system and combos of Street Fighter X Tekken. Deciding that I could use something to break that duo up a bit, I had a browse of the games, and came up empty handed. As I was about to leave I wandered past a pre-owned section and found a copy of Final Fantasy XIII for $24 (Which in Australia is like about a quarter of the original price). Strange thing was though, it said 'Pre-Owned', but it was still factory sealed. Realising that it must be some sort of sign to find a pre-owned game that hasn't been played, I figured that it may as well be worth a shot, and the purchase was made.

Which brings me to this post. I've had the game 3 days now, and I've played it a fair bit. Having such a jaded opinion of the post-VIII games I think has made me look at this game with a strong sense of cynicism, as well made me really look in to the bits of the game that annoy me. But this has also made me find quite a few things I do enjoy. So my plan is, as I play through the game further, I'll be posting periodic reviews on a single element of the game, roughly once a week (or more, depending on how in to it I get). Each post will cover something such as "Storyline" or "Graphics" and "Aesthetics" etc.

Consider this an introduction post, and hopefully some of you will enjoy reading the ramblings of a Post-VIII Cynic.
Image

User avatar
Keefy
Posts: 42
Location: Sector 6 slums

Re: Shedding The Cocoon: Final Fantasy XIII Review

Post#2 » Fri May 25, 2012 11:11 pm

I love rambling reviews, and like to provide a good few myself! With that in mind, let's go!

First off, let's run through some Final Fantasies.

VII: We are of one mind.

VIII: We are of two very different minds. I couldn't bear 8. I might have one day accepted the junction system, but I will never accept the characters. For me, and it's a matter of discussion between Final Fantasy fans, I love the melodrama and what is commonly referred to as the "angsty" side of Final Fantasy. I still do, and am disappointed when my expectations are not met. However I differentiate between the melodrama of VII, IX and X, and the outright absurd-angst and romance of VIII. It plays like a parody to me, and I find it quite insulting, and general prefer to refuse to acknowledge its existance.

IX: Had a lot going for it, in my eyes. I didn't care for the setting, and I didn't like the cutesy-ness of the world, but I felt that many of the characters were strong and the weaker characters were ignorable. I also believe quite strongly that in terms of combat FFIX was the strongest of all the FFs I have played in terms of its battle mechanic and character balance. Having to balance a party and, heaven forbid, having characters who are not interchangeable on the battlefield was great. Story wasn't as strong as the others around it, but it was still an acceptable romp and well worth a go.

X: FFX has a threshold you have to cross, and I sympathise that you quit because I almost didn't make it myself. Tidus and his ilk are, for those first few hours, bloody insufferable and almost seem to prod you to press the power button. Having just said that, I'll now state that I think that FFX's characters are at least on a par with VII's and perhaps even shade it. The story, for the most part, is second only to VII and there is a real beauty in there. It's also great because the happy-go-lucky boyancy of the first few hours is a shield against the moutain of misery it provides. On the downside, FFX marked the start of the "hand-holding" combat, and a system inferior to VII and IX turned out to be but the tip of a terrible Square-Enix iceburg of non-involvement.

XI: I didn't play it, as it was online. I've served my mmo time, and consider myself rehabilitated and hopefully not a serial offender.

XII: This was where the Final Fantasies lost me. The combat was, to my mind, the worst incarnation I have played, and the story seemed weak and distant from me. I could have looked past these faults, were it not for a) The longest and most boring penultimate dungeon of all time, followed by the shortest final dungeon ever, and 2) Absolutely terrible characterisation. Actually, that's not even correct. FFXII doesn't have bad characterisation - it has an outright absence. I said it best last time when I said that the characters are completely flat in terms of their characterisation - though that could equally describe their affect.

XIII: I didn't play. I heard horrible things about it that put me off, before my resolve weakened and I tried to gather some support for it in order to convince myself. When Anguipes, here, said that it wasn't the worst Final Fantasy, I had found my support. When I finished reading her post and realised she was including Dirge of Cerebus, I quickly lost it.

RAMBLERAMBLERAMBLE

One other thing. You say you've played every Final Fantasy apart from VI? That's a serious weakness in an otherwise rich CV for Final Fantasy discussion, my friend. The battlegrounds of internet need* Final Fantasy VII fans to continue in the discussions of which is the greatest Final Fantasy with those stubborn remaining VI fans, and the only way you can hope to fight is if you've played it. Also, it's very good (though not, to my mind, as good as IX or X - but I've set out my stall of what I like and little of that existed before VII) and well worth a play, particularly if you still have time for the SNES FFs.




*Disclaimer: Utterly, utterly false


Oh, and if anyone hasn't seen it yet, I must link to my favourite FFXIII review (and indeed, my favourite reviewer generally).

CONTAINS STRONG LANGUAGE AND ADULT THEMES

http://youtu.be/KmnAL60mfSg

User avatar
Dimma
Posts: 47
Location: Sweden

Re: Shedding The Cocoon: Final Fantasy XIII Review

Post#3 » Fri Jun 08, 2012 9:34 pm

Exy, did you by any chance prefer the sci-fi style of VII and VIII over the saga style of IX, looking at the design and graphics mostly?

I think that's what made me prefer VII and VIII and never even tried IX. And I kinda couldn't take seriously that: Zidane appears with the tail of a monkey... or is it a lion's tail? (Feel free to fill in, anyone, if you know this important bit of info = )

Ex-SOLDIER wrote:Realising that it must be some sort of sign to find a pre-owned game that hasn't been played, I figured that it may as well be worth a shot, and the purchase was made.

LOL @ that sign, it was sorta good reason ^_^ although I have a feeling somebody read a review before their pre-ordered game came with the post... and got so discouraged by the review they passed on the game.

User avatar
Keefy
Posts: 42
Location: Sector 6 slums

Re: Shedding The Cocoon: Final Fantasy XIII Review

Post#4 » Sun Jun 10, 2012 3:12 pm

It's things like Zidane's tail, and the bloody hippo characters that really cheapened FFIX for me, too. There is a really good game in there, but those things grate from start to finish.

FFIX shot itself in the foot with a lot of its design elements.

User avatar
Ex-SOLDIER
Posts: 8

Re: Shedding The Cocoon: Final Fantasy XIII Review

Post#5 » Tue Jun 19, 2012 4:58 am

It was a combination of things. The art style and general look of IX was definetly part of it. I ended up not caring about the characters or the story. It just gave me nothing to keep me interested. Also, part one of my review coming in the next two days. 9 chapters in to FFXIII, I think I can start reviewing now.
Image

User avatar
Keefy
Posts: 42
Location: Sector 6 slums

Re: Shedding The Cocoon: Final Fantasy XIII Review

Post#6 » Wed Jun 20, 2012 9:33 pm

Personally, I liked a lot of the characters. I had a lot of time for Vivi. Garnet had her moments. Zidane was okay, at least a gargantuan improvement upon his predecessor. Steiner was a plot device that worked well. I don't recall being irritated by Eiko. Freya's design I found off-putting. Quena was appalling. I can't remember the Red thief bloke at all.

Characterisation probably wasn't a strength of IX, the more I think of it (although it was light-years ahead of VIII and XII, for very different reasons). Still, from the games I've played, only VII and X can sit comfortably above it in this regard, and that's probably because the characterisation is so good in those.

I've said it before, but X's characters, story and world, with IX's combat mechanic = Better than VII

User avatar
Dimma
Posts: 47
Location: Sweden

Re: Shedding The Cocoon: Final Fantasy XIII Review

Post#7 » Sat Jun 23, 2012 5:00 pm

I love "characterisation" and I did think FFXIII had shallow characters. I didn't feel involved and stopped after 10 hours or so (stopped mostly because of getting "stopped" by the non-sense battle system =)

I wish I could make up good characters myself, and write stories about them, but I have no imagination like that. I guess that's why I like games with good characters so much.

Return to “Square Enix Discussion”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest