Final Fantasy XIII

I suppose this could be a new feature, “games I spent too much time slowly playing through and should have reviewed but kind of forgot to, so thought I’d better write something about them just for the sake of it”. So here isn’t a review of Final Fantasy XIII – but rather some unordered words (you’re lucky you missed my whole diatribe about Mass Effect 2, which is probably one of the best RPGs ever by the way, in the unlikely event you haven’t raped it silly yourself).

So, Final Fantasy XIII then! Final Fagtasy more like! Nah, not really. But when did Final Fantasy games become this monotonous? I remember Final Fantasy VII and VIII being well paced storytelling epics – and no, it’s not just nostalgia, as I replayed Final Fantasy VII on the PSP last year. So, at what point did Final Fantasy games turn into a series of utterly mundane battles interspersed with occasional soppy bullshit plot? I’m guessing it was around FFX. That seems to be the point at which things got tampon-happy. Final Fantasy XII seemed to be an enjoyable break from the norm, taking some points from the MMORPG book in combat at least, but Final Fantasy XIII seems back on track to make me hate Square Enix.

This may sound like a barking, incoherent rant (and it is really, so don’t confuse it for a critique of the entire game), but it comes from frustration. Because everyone keeps telling me how great Final Fantasy XIII is “after the first 15 or so hours”. I hear comments like “the last 10 hours are great!”. Oh really? It’s taken me a month to get 10 hours in so far. Partly because I’ve got better things to do, but largely because the experience so far has been so bloody painfully boring. Usually I can push through the boredom in the knowledge of some kind of plot and nice FMV, but the introduction plot and character dialogue here makes me want to stab all the big-haired freaks.

Next month I might make it 20 hours in, and I might really start enjoying it. Seriously though, what kind of game design is that? 15+ hours of shite plot, completely linear “adventuring” (literally down a straight bloody path) and semi-automated battles. Who designs something like that? A cunt, that’s who.

I might be exaggerating, but playing Final Fantasy XIII just a month after Mass Effect 2 really does show it up for… whatever it is. You want to play one of the best, most detailed, cinematic role playing games ever made? Go play Mass Effect 2.