Why do so many fans of Final Fantasy criticize Final Fantasy XIII’s story? It might have something to do with the timing and delivery of the lines.
Usually in a comedy,
the use of rhythm, tempo, and pausing to enhance comedy and humour. The pacing of the delivery of a joke can have a strong impact on its comedic effect, even altering its meaning; the same can also be true of more physical comedy such as slapstick.
You can test this with famous sitcoms. Removing the laugh track from Seinfeld and Big Bang Theory will create a strange silence. The silence is for the laugh track, and for the audience to “get” the joke. But you speed up the scene, you know know where to place the joke. Of course, without the laugh track, the scene isn’t too funny anymore. It’s just there…and awkward.
Final Fantasy XIII uses timing in the same way, only something’s not right. You can tell from the scenes and dialogue, the characters have a wide range of emotions. None of them are humorous.
But the timing of the dialogue makes it seem like the whole thing sounds like a joke. Final Fantasy XIII is like a sitcom. You can see this below with Lightning’s birthday scene.
Obviously, this scene is dramatic. But the timing is off. The dramatic tension isn’t always there. And when it is, it gives off these weird “pregnant pauses” that make the scene laughable. Adding the laughing track after each line doesn’t cheapen the lines. It makes sense of them. Had the timing been dramatic, the laugh track wouldn’t have fit.
This has nothing to do with the voice actors. They each do a perfect job voicing the lines. The voice direction isn’t it either. It’s the pacing of the game itself. This is why most people think of the game as overly melodramatic. The timing doesn’t match what’s conveyed, the emotions seem out of place.
This makes the scene funnier to me. Final Fantasy XIII becomes an unintentional absurdist comedy because you don’t expect it. But the whole game is like this.
Video Credit: © Square Enix
Music Credit: Seinfeld Theme Song