So today, I was surfing around Wired.com when I came across their article on Final Fantasy XIII. As most people know, FFXIII has been one of the most anticipated RPGs this year. People have been waiting for this game for years and when it finally came out, Squeenix fanboys everywhere came.
Sure, it looks like Squeenix put a lot of effort into it as there is a lot of flash and bang and shiny graphics but when it comes down to it... how does it play?
And thus the Wired.com link up there.
I don't have a PS3 and won't be able to play this game for myself so I can't judge for sure if the article is true but if it is, I'm sorely disappointed. The impression that article left on me about the newest installment to one of the pioneers of the JRPG genre... is that everything went down the toilet.
With the shiny graphics came a battle system that seems confusing to say the least and... this:
"Every level is one long Hallway of Death, and you run down its interminable length, never moving left or right, always running forward. There is always only one thing to do next, and it is always either fight a short battle or watch a long movie."
I frowned at this and what came to mind were the long twisting tunnels of dungeons past. I remembered the DS remake of Final Fantasy 3 where you would get rewards for completing the map for one particular floor of the dungeon. Then there was the thought of wandering aimlessly around the dungeon in search for treasure chests and thankful you had another battle for the experience points. Now, it seems you're trapped in a death tube and forced to fight until you watch the next cinematic. Seventeen hours into the game, Chris Kohler (said article's writer) has said there hasn't been anything noteworthy happening at all. It's all movie and battle. No fancy equipment, sidequests or the like.
Then, there's the naming choices. I've seen Square choose a few good ones in my time (Luneth was a nice name, same with Cecil and I rather liked Zidane) but... this cast is going too far.
A world called Pulse?
I'm betting FFXIV will have a character named.. oh I dunno... Paper... or Stone... or... some other inanimate object.
Take away the shiny graphics and it seems that FFXIII isn't worth all the hype. If this is what's going to happen to one of the most beloved JRPG franchises ever in the history of gaming... then I may as well quit while I'm ahead.