Last Updated on November 17, 2017 by Zachary Brictson
A new take on the ever controversial Final Fantasy XIII
This Friday’s spotlight is on Final Fantasy XIII, the 2010 Square Enix JRPG released on PS3, 360, and later ported to PC.
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I’m so sad that FFXIII is so incredibly flawed and hard to share. It has such amazing highs but such low, low lows. I wish the battle system trusted the players to explore it further upfront. The battle system re-opens up once you get to give characters the three off classes. If I could easily form teams of 3 Ravagers or 3 Commandos early on, I imagine it would allow for more flexibility in the design of the game and make finding those perfect boss-destroying strategies more rewarding. It has some of my FAVORITE moments in JRPG combat.
I didn’t find the ending impactful at all, honestly. Just like with FFX, I understand the core of the character drama that DRIVES the end, but none of the world rules that dictate how the plot works ever feel consistent of holistic. Really shatters my suspension of disbelief in half. Like, Fal’Cie only hazily conveying Focuses when at least one of them can speak human language effortlessly? Etc. I get the metaphorical resonances as far as like, fate, duty, nationalism, but the game assumes you aren’t going to ask many questions about the laws of the universe while steeped neck deep in it. Just like in FFX (why does dying matter, again, if you can just permeate the barrier between living and dead easily? What do dreams… ACTUALLY mean? etc.) I wouldn’t nitpick about lore/plot details if they didn’t drive the story so much.
Since the story is a character-centric thriller at its core, I don’t think the elaborate world set up helps AT ALL. If they realized it’s a somewhat traditional FF story about an empire and a ravaged, rural country fighting a nihilistic god figure, I imagine it’d be more enjoyable for more people.
Still, I itch to replay it alllll the time. But, of course, I don’t want to play the first 20 hours. Argh.
Yeah those vague fantasy rulesets in stories are a definite turn off. But I think I just took the drama as straightforward enough to appreciate the themes at work. Of course when the sequels continued everything, the little logic that was there was completely eliminated.
And yeah haha — having a saved game file at the moment the game opens up helps a lot for repeat playthroughs.
It can’t be that hard to share. The game has sold millions and received positive reviews. The Final Fantasy subreddit has quite a few admirers of this game.