The Final Fantasy XIII casts are outside. Sazh is running away. Lightning orders Hope, Snow, Vanille and Fang to find him. They all meetup and have a battle with the main villain, who is…
I missed out on beating Final Fantasy XII for the PlayStation 2. I phased out all of my games for that system to the PlayStation 3. And even then, I had other matters. To make up for lost time, I decided to give Final Fantasy XIII a try. I once remarked that Final Fantasy XIII didn’t feel like a Final Fantasy. At the time, neither did Final Fantasy XIII.
It had a very cinematic feel to it, like all of the Final Fantasy games. But something was missing. I listened to the title screen. Where’s the prologue? Where’s the crystal melody? Well, Final Fantasy V didn’t have it either, until the end. Final Fantasy XIII didn’t have it anywhere throughout the game. Or the series.
This was confusing. This was a Final Fantasy game, right? Now, of course, this game marked the first in the Fabula Nova Crystallis series. I guess they were trying to set a new course for Final Fantasy. But I think fans of the series would have appreciated a musical nod from past series. Especially if you were going to add tropes from other series.
A cocky ex-soldier and a man with a gun board a train to fight an evil entity? That’s the set up to Final Fantasy VII. Said ex-soldier has a gunblade? That’s from Final Fantasy VIII. Does religion control the world? Final Fantasy X. Of course, they have Chocobos, Cactuars, and a Tonberry. But you don’t see those until much later in the game.
You do meet six unlikable…unlikable characters. Lightning’s cold. Sazh’s a borderline stereotypical minstrel character. Snow’s an idiot. Hope whines. Vanille’s annoying. Fang may just be the only one who seems cool. You don’t meet her until later in the game. And they punish her massively.
The tutorials for this game are extensive but almost intrusive. Let me play the game. But the game is so fast and hectic, I can’t keep up. It’s OK. I have two other teammates just in case something happens to me. But if I die, it’s game over? Why? Why are my friends letting me die? Throw a phoenix down on me, quick! Why? How can it…end like this? At least I can retry.
Yeah, we didn’t have towns in this game. This was markedly differencing from Final Fantasy XII’s Rabanastre, which seemed overwhelmingly massive to me. But we couldn’t speak to anyone in Final Fantasy XIII. I bet it had to do with the theme of the game of being on the run. Don’t want anyone to know we’re L’Cie, now do we? But really how are they going to know? Unless someone shouts it at the top of their lungs while firing a machine gun, no one cares.
Let me buy something in a shop rather than online. Oh, I can customize weapons like in Final Fantasy VIII. That’s cool. I could go to a junk shop in Final Fantasy VIII. C’mon Final Fantasy XIII, let me pay with cash. No one knows what we look like. C’mon let’s do it.
Wow cool, I can jump! Woot! I’ve been wanting to do this in a Final Fantasy game since Final Fantasy VII. Way awesome! And this is a big place to explore. This ice cavern reminds me of the one in Final Fantasy IX. I remember all of the twists and turns to getting treasure chest. And now I can jump!
Wait, why can’t I go over there? Can I jump on this thing? No? How about here? Oh wait, I can only jump when the game allows it? OK, I’ll just look at everything, I guess. I don’t have time to explore but I can take the scenic route out in the open. They’ll never spot me. Gotta keep it low key and all.
There’s so many flashbacks. I like the character development, but I don’t feel that the characters are developing. I want to play the game, they need to lay down on a couch. I can’t listen to their problems. I want to defeat Barthandelus from…wait. What’s he trying to do? What’s their focus? They don’t even know. I don’t know. I better read the datalog. The datalog doesn’t have their focus, but it has all this other information I don’t need to know.
Towns, exploration and shops? You don’t get that until Final Fantasy XIII-2 and Lightning Returns. Battle combat system? You don’t get that until Final Fantasy XIII-2. More Lightning? You don’t get that until Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII. A new saga in the Nova Fabula Crystallis series? Never.