Is it really that confusing?
Many of those who truly don’t know what’s going on in Final Fantasy XIII’s story didn’t care. It’s too bad in this case. The story isn’t straightforward on purpose – it’s actually a thinking man’s Final Fantasy. Knowing about the l’Cie, Fal’Cie, Cie’th, etc is a mental exercise. From then on, it just makes sense.
Weirdly enough, Japanese developers thought Westerners would appreciate this type of gameplay. Yet we can see if all over the Final Fantasy fan forums when people express their distaste for the game.
What gamers want are simple to understand stories, and I can understand this. But their phrasing and aversion to Final Fantasy XIII come off as anti-intellectual. When the developers read what gamers write about Final Fantasy XIII’s Datalog, they won’t help but think:
“OK, we’ll make sure they understand that the square peg goes into the square hole”.
That’s when we start to get simple versions of Final Fantasy games. Interactive movies with incomplete stories.
Why is gaming in the state it’s in? Because many gamers are in a weird rush toward mediocrity and are adamant to have developers satisfy their laziness. The developers then take this feedback and give us what we want. It’s a lose-lose situation, pandering to whoever these gamers happen to be.
We can help by not repeating the rabble. The criticism should match the flaws. Don’t give them the impression you’re waiting to passively absorb a story. That’s why we get “interactive movies” because players want stories force-fed to them.
If we want to voice we opinion, we have to think:
“How can I make this better?”
This also means paying attention to the story to make sure we can find the inconsistencies for ourselves. And when we do that, we might not find Final Fantasy XIII to be so confusing after all.