The Shared Vision Of Final Fantasy XIII

By Ishaan . October 14, 2010 . 6:26pm

ffxiii_screenshot

 

When Final Fantasy XIII released earlier this year, it was met with some of the most divided opinions in the history of the series. Some criticized the game’s linearity. Others found that the linearity helped make the game more approachable. Some criticized the characters. Others found them more real than those of past Final Fantasies.

 

But Square Enix have their own ideas as to what went wrong and what went right with FFXIII, and game creators Motomu Toriyama and Akihiko Maeda discuss this in the latest issue of Game Developer magazine.

 

Something people often tend to forget is that game development is a team effort. No game is designed by one person. The end product is often the result of a shared vision. Square, however, argue that perhaps Final Fantasy XIII never had a shared vision.

 

They begin by discussing the game’s debut trailer at E3 2006, by which point, they admit, no playable content had actually been developed:

 

"I felt that this trailer set the bar for the quality we were aiming to achieve, in terms of battle speed and cutscene imagery, and believed that this sentiment was shared by the rest of the team.

 

However, it became clear that, at the time, there were actually very few members who saw the trailer as a representation of what we wanted to achieve with Final Fantasy XIII. This lack of a shared vision became the root of many conflicts that arose later in development."

 

Gamasutra have a nice, informative summary of the Final Fantasy XIII post-mortem, which you can read on their site. It goes on to talk about technical difficulties, a failure to implement feedback from overseas gamers in a timely manner and even the game’s demo and what Square Enix learnt from it.



Video game stories from other sites on the web. These links leave Siliconera.

  • http://tristsantithesis.tumblr.com/ Tsunayoshi Sawada

    Wow for them to have took so long to get a unified idea together, the final product turned out pretty well. I hope they take what they learned and apply it to Final Fantasy Versus XIII well. They can take their time with that.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1472407455 Charles Lupula

      Finally, someone else who actually appreciates XIII.

      • http://tristsantithesis.tumblr.com/ Tsunayoshi Sawada

        Of the Final Fantasy games, It was the ones whose story I actually embraced and enjoyed the most. And the action was so fast paced to me, that I enjoyed battling for the sake of battling in it. Fun game indeed

      • http://twitter.com/Cyn3x Justin

        Hey i loved playing it, Problem is ppl dislike change, and when something changes they go balistic

  • MrRobbyM

    The comments following that link are all pretty much right.

  • Yusaku_Matsuda70s

    Well, here’s hoping Nomura has better luck unifying his team’s vision for Versus.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Tommy-Lee/518924335 Tommy Lee

      Well he is the Director for that project so he actually has a chance to. Here’s hoping that Hajime Tabata for the same thing with Agito.

  • Ereek

    Something people often tend to forget is that game development is a team effort.

    I see a lot of this in comments on pretty much every website.

    Still, very interesting.

  • WonderSteve

    At least we don’t have a Final Fantasy with Keiji Inafune’s vision yet…thank god..

  • godmars

    The dev team wanted to make the best game possible, Wada wanted to make something playable on the 360 so it could generate the most money. That’s why the game suffered. If vsXIII remains exclusive, doesn’t have to be compromised by being multiplatform when little of its gameplay has been shown, this will probably be proven true.

    I’m not saying this as “A Fanboy” but as a fan.

    • WonderSteve

      I really don’t think going multiplatform was the cause of the problems in FFXIII. Many issues were gameplay design related. Another problem is, Square no longer has a “monopoly” on the graphics department. I remember FFVIII’s CG made my jaw drop, especially the Squall and Rinoa’s dancing scene. Look at FFXIII, most major titles these days look just as good or better.

      • godmars

        Square first became prominent by doing amazing graphic effects on the SNES. Things no other RPG makers at the time were even trying to do. Yes they pretty much repeated this process during the PS1 and PS2 eras, but frankly they stopped trying with the merger when Wada took over.

        They also never made excuses, like being unable to include towns “because they were too hard” or mixing prom shots.

        Their standards have just dropped.

        • Yusaku_Matsuda70s

          Imho, there are no better looking SNES RPGs than FFVI and Chrono Trigger.

          • Ereek

            What is Bahamut Lagoon?

            Screens just don’t do it justice.

          • Yusaku_Matsuda70s

            Ahh what. That’s not localized. I have no way of knowing. You cheated. XD

          • godmars

            That’s another problem Square had that I can’t blame on Wada: not experimenting – acknowledging? – their Western fanbase. It took them forever to bring over Front Mission, while they never even considered titles like Bahamut Lagoon. They were at the forefront of JRPGs, with letters in magazines begging them to bring one title or another over, and they ignored that fanbase to the extent FFIV came over as FFII on the SNES. It took them years to properly number it much less bring over the two intervening games.

            Its really a question of weather they’re purposely, willfully, clueless of their fans.

    • ThunderGod_Cid

      I completely agree.
      The 50+ hours of content they HAD cut in order to “streamline” the experience can attest to that. Seeing how what was left ate up 4 discs on the 360….

  • Happy Gamer

    I felt the combat was very refreshing at the same time, very boring. I know im contradicting myself. I think they should have kept some of the older spell system and the importance of magic, managing characters etc.

    This game felt more like a devil may cry/god of war type game with larger RPG esque aspects, which wasn’t a bad thing. But at the time I bought final fantasy, i was SoOoOOo000oo thirsty for a good, maybe not even awesome but solid final fantasy RPG game. I was a bit disappointed but was this a bad game? not really. it was a very bad final fantasy game though.

    If it was called something else, would it have been as popular and less criticized? I think so.

    I guess my little wish was that it retained some of the more RPG fundamentals with the awesome combat, and some exploration.

    I hope I don’t get bashed for this but Of all the 360 games or this generation included, I enjoyed Mistwalker’s RPGs much more so than SE’s.

    Tales games were great too!

    • Aoshi00

      When I was reading your post, my mind was going “Lost Odyssey Lost Odyssey” then I see we seem to share the same opinion :) Well, just like LO being FF11, let’s treat Last Story as FF14 then :) Yep, we could still count on the Gooch and Tales.

      • Happy Gamer

        LOL yes! Loved that game! had to play thru twice tho kuz of RROD -_- but i was not bored. Plus I could install by that time…man it was so worth it…battle loads made the game twice as fun second time around.

        Oh I dunno if you remember me asking this question about we should game I’ll bring the beer and you asked where I lived…U said Jersey.

        I’m in Florida LOL way down south. Going to New York next thursday on business :)

        We should def play some games online tho PS3/XBOX/PSP via adhoc party etc. I’m pretty open to all sorts of games hence my user name…I just enjoy games.

        to add to a bit of off topic RPG, Blue dragon which I got way after it came out…2009 I think was a super surprise for me. It was extremely fun. Bad memories tied to it tho broke up with gf in long relationship. Didn’t game till this year after that…lol its like u eating chicken u get sick, altho not kuz of chicken but u don’t like it for a long time.

        • Aoshi00

          yea, I’m replaying Blue Dragon now w/ install too, much faster, maybe I should do that w/ LO. So that’s where you are, I haven’t been to FL since I was a kid. Both my PSN and Live ID are Aoshi00 (I think it’s capital a, not sure if it’s case sensitive), feel free to add me if you like man. Bad break-up eh, sry to hear that, bad business.. I know how one would associate many things w/ one’s ex.. but not video games lol.

  • Happy Gamer

    I just read the interview thing and i see why the game seems so rushed and medicore in terms of gameplay. I actually sympathize with the developers now. In a creative process it is devastating when things are uncoordinated. I think this is why groups of people who always work together to make a game make great games in the industry. Not sure if it is the fact but the game seems to have been sort of tossed into the huge company called square enix and tossed around then when deadlines came, put together.

    Leaving behind gaming aspects, work, business etc. is no joke. To even finish the game at this amount of quality I salute Square Enix. Honestly though, I feel why Sakaguchi era was a bit more coherent with the games.

    I may be too optimistic but perhaps SE needs to be coordinated by someone who just loves making games and getting people to motivate and agree with each other. Although not a perfect company, I have faith and expectations from nintendo for this reason, Miyamoto seems like one heck of a fun loving guy.

    • godmars

      And I have to insert another “Wada’s fault” here. Either that or it was the team’s lead poor leadship.

      I can’t just see how the 2006 target render hadn’t created team cohesion. That the choice to go with a multiplatform game engine from an exclusive one hadn’t come from an outside, disruptive, influence. Just the change in engines should suggest in-fighting which could only have splintered FFXIII’s development which only came together again with the demo which was made after the tittle went multiplatform.

  • Aoshi00

    So that explains it, most of the time the S-E team were like a squirrel on the road, didn’t know whether to run right or left when a car is coming.. it’s kind of sad, and a stark contrast when you compare to some western developers who seem to have a very clear vision, like Ninja Theory w/ Enslaved, you can just tell the team is proud of their product and achieved everything they’ve set out to do (beat the game, awesome), w/ S-E and FF13, it’s mostly regrets, “wanted to do this and that, but couldn’t or didn’t do it”. And the result, the game was half ass in every aspect.. yea, it has good graphics, but many games have good graphics these days, look at Star Craft 2′s cutscenes. Anybody could make good CG these days, but Pixar is successful because it uses CG as a tool to tell good stories. Bottom line is it still sold well because of the established FF brand, so I guess all is still well. Incidentally I heard FF14 bombed royally as well, though a MMO doesn’t really concern me. As one commenter on the article said, FF is pretty much the new Sonic, just running the series into the ground w/ the last 4 games.. wonder if 13 Versus would do something about that. In comparison, Sakaguchi’s last several games were actually fun and you could see the director being true to his “vision”, and Last Story would seem to continue that trend (sales is probably another matter sadly..)

  • idofgrahf

    After 2 crappy Final fantasy’s (XII and XIII) as well as a slew of mediocre games (omfg front mission evolved was craptacular), I have become disillusioned enough to wait for any square enix game to be bargain bin price before I even consider picking one up. If this is the best square can do with a game that has been in development for five years, I’m actually speechless. As for the whole vision thing, sounds like an excuse more than anything else.

    • MrRobbyM

      (I sure hope this dosen’t start a whole FFXII hate section) but I don’t think FFXII was bad as much as it was just different. Sure Vaan was bad, but that was the only part that bothered me. FFXII is different, FFXIII is just bad.

      • http://twitter.com/Ale598 Ale598

        Nothing in Final Fantasy is good or bad, but thinking makes it so.

        • MrRobbyM

          Dohohohohohohohoho.

      • Aoshi00

        I feel the same too. Back then I didn’t like 12 and hated the MMO-like gameplay. But later I tried tackling it again I kind of liked it, the world was just so big and well thought out. Then I played 13, disliked 13 quite much and I felt I liked 12 more than 13. Though I couldn’t completely like 12 either because of its battle system and very very long dungeons. I agree though, FF12 was different and 13 was just bad.

        • MrRobbyM

          Exactly! I just wish we got the international edition :/

          • Aoshi00

            If I cared about the game a tad more, I wouldn’t mind importing the Int’l edition for the new novel and achievements :) But it only has Eng. voice acting though, w/ Eng. and Jpn subtitles. I actually prefer the Eng. dub for 13, just like 12 because the voice acting was just so good.

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Tommy-Lee/518924335 Tommy Lee
          • Aoshi00

            Doh! Oh right, silly me, he did say 13 was a bad game lol, I was wondering why Int’l ver. Yea, would’ve been cool if we get Zodiac. It would be cool if they put 12 on PS3 w/ trophies and I would play it again, though I was alrdy playing it upscaled on the PS3 w/ dual shock 3..

          • MrRobbyM

            Yep, what Tommy said >_<

          • Aoshi00

            My bad :).. Our ver was better than the Jpn original though, we had 16:9 sidescreen instead of 4:3. I guess one day we would get Int’l Zodiac on PS3 like Ico and GoW.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1472407455 Charles Lupula

        FFXII is awful, actually. Calling it “bad” doesn’t describe how bad it actually is.

      • hadjimurad

        i’m going to say that XII was not just different, but good! the battle system was amazing i thought, and i loved the ivalice setting. my main gripe with XII is that the pacing was screwed up at about the 3/4 point. i remember going from big tower to big tower without having any story, then right at the end getting like an hour of cutscenes and tons of info to tie everything in. so far, i have liked it more than XIII, but i haven’t finished XIII yet.

        • Aoshi00

          I didn’t like 12 at first, but it was after playing 13 that made me appreciate how epic 12 was, because 13 was so barebone. I actually haven’t finished 12 though, only played up to the part where I beat Cid in the lab I think then got to the town after that (yep, towns which 13 didn’t have). I am not a big MMO fan admittedly, but the battle system actually worked very well for 12, the long dungeons w/ few savepoints just felt a little daunting to me, the high ranked mobs were pretty crazy too :(…So I guess I did like it but I felt it was rather difficult at times if one doesn’t play it right.

          • hadjimurad

            i actually went at midnight and bought XII, SE and SE guide…but, it just sat on my shelf… forever. i got really bummed by all the reviews and comments. but i ended up really loving the world of XII and even the characters. like you said, there was a grand scale. the battle system was very cool for me because all the effort was in putting together your weapons/armor, licenses, and gambits. i actually liked feeling like that strategic overlord, especially since i’m a below average action player.

          • Aoshi00

            Same here, I actually imported it (again at almost $90) and got quite far, the cave right before Arcadia, but I was totally stuck because it was hard to earn gil to buy the right equipment and I didn’t max out their quickening to get the 3 MP bars for each character, so I had a hard time fighting that ghost boss and I just gave up, not to mention I did die quite a few times being chased my monsters much more powerful than me (reminded me of the bad experience in XI…) Then the US ver came, I bought the collector edition from Gamestop on day 1, I just played a little bit of the beginning to see what the Eng. voice acting was like and again shelved it. I really appreciate everything about the game much later, it was just too hard for me at first until my friend gave me a couple of pointers, like chaining some monsters in an area to get good stuffs to sell. The scale was indeed very grand and so much attention was paid to every detail, the world was Ivalice was really alive w/ tons and tons of NPCs each have a lot to say about Ivalice’s current state and history (unlike FFXIII, no towns, no relevant NPCs, don’t see how people were OK w/ that). I need to go back to finish 12 one day, my old Phat’s fan is a little loud so I don’t feel like using it…

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Tien-Ron/100001474007360 Tien Ron

    i played final fantasy 13 and played all the other final fantasies and i found nothing was wrong with it really TOO many people out there get super excited and have high standards when it comes to final fantasy and it’s a shame ….working as a team is a very important thing i but i feel SE was always known for good ghapics and amazing storyline but i didn;t mine the story in ff13 but i felt the ghapics where the main thing pulling the game ….i liked the battle system but i felt i didn;t have to do much expect just press the auto button but i fell that it’s SE’s fault for hyping the game and showing it off too much

  • keriaku

    This is the best article I’ve seen for Final Fantasy 13 since it’s been created.

  • cmurph666

    I know you’re all going to hate me for saying so, but Final Fantasy just doesn’t do it for me any more.

    FFX was the last really good game in the series.

    IMO, FFX-2, FFXI, FFXII, FFXIII and now FFXIV just aren’t that good. That’s a whole mess of strike outs for me.

    Sure they’re all extremely pretty to look at but they just don’t have that epic story telling feel that the earlier FF games had.

    I want to have that feeling back that I had when I played the earlier games. I want to be drawn in and immersed into their world and experience every little emotion that the characters feel. That’s how it used to be for me…

    I don’t know what it is but that feeling just isn’t there when I play these newer Final Fantasy games. :(

    • Aoshi00

      Same here, X was the last FF that I felt completely immersed in, I beat it in a week in college, couldn’t stop, just like I finished Enslaved in days now. Toriyama kind of mucked up the sequel w/ X-2 (and now 13 not surprisingly), 11 & 14 are both online (Gametrailers & CAG both said that 14 is a royal mess), and 12 was basically an MMO like 11 except w/ single player. So the last 5 FFs did nothing for me either, it’s hard for me to get excited about the upcoming 13VS and portable Agito (which is like a spinoff like Tactics), because I feel I shouldn’t expect anything from it in order not to be disappointed. People said FF13 was too hyped, it’s true, but isn’t it sad now FF fans like us have to set our expectation low? On the other hand, I was excited about all the Mistwalker games before they were released, and every single one of them was so fun and blew me away, be it Blue Dragon, Lost Odyssey, Archaic Sealed Heat, and the upcoming Last Story, just like the old FFs. So clearly something is missing here. I guess it’s mainly S-E growing Western and the fact they are too greedy. FF13 was a mess and very incomplete yet it still made a ton of money, so to S-E, it still succeeded, so not sure if they learned their lesson yet. I take it back, they did rush out garbage like 14 again..

    • mach

      Sounds like you’re problem has more to do with getting older than anything else. I’ll agree that FFXII had story issues that made it hard to sympathize with characters, but in terms of pacing and exposition XIII is pretty much identical to X. Assuming it’s not just about disliking certain types of characters (which I can totally understand) there’s no reason you couldn’t “experience every little emotion” of the characters in XIII if you could do it with the ones in X.

      That sense of epicness just wears off from everything as you get older.

      • Aoshi00

        I highly doubt it’s age, I could play X again and I’m sure I would still like it, I did replay it a couple of years back. Spira in X gave me a sense of wonder which Cocoon did not have, I remember fondly of Besaid, Luca, Moonfow, Guadosalem, and countless exotic locales while not remembering any from XIII at all, maybe except Oerba, why, because that’s like the only thing you could call a town, I guess I liked Snow’s place too on the Beach, that made that game having 2 towns, yep 2. Linear has nothing to do w/ it, there’s interesting linear like FFX, Bioshock, or Enslaved w/ a deep narrative where you can’t put your controller down, while there’s boring linear that makes you feel like a hamster, I felt like that for a great chunk of FF13. Yep, the party was hunted by Sanctum like rats, but they could’ve added towns or more places to explore in flashback, like I want to control Serah or Lightning to move around when they were celebrating her birthday, etc. Just more scenarios incorporated into the game instead of me having to read a separate book to compliment the incomplete experience that I got from the game. Also the townspeople’s one-liners don’t help convey the world to the player either, like “I’m cold”, “I’m scared”, usually you soak in a world by what the inhabitants say to you, you feel like this is a living world, vast and believable. It was not the 360′s fault believe me, they just went w/ audio for everyone single person, so the result is no one has anything meaningful to say. Instead, we needed to read the datalog like the summaries of Prof. Layton, which is kind of sad and half baked.I won’t elaborate on why I loved X and disappointed by 13 though because people would label me as an “irrational” 13 basher, I’ve said enough times ever since I spent $90 importing it (took me 3 months to finish it because I really didn’t care about the game). Like many said, it was not entirely bad, I did enjoy some aspects of it, but the cons far outweighed the pros for me, and this is probably one of my least favorite FFs, beating FF12, which I didn’t think was possible.I can say for sure I didn’t outgrow Jpn RPGs because I’ve played Blue Dragon, Lost Odyssey, Archaic Sealed Heat, Xenoblade in the last few years and I still enjoyed every bit they had to offer. FF13, not so much. Hopefully they would do something about Versus, but again, I’m keeping my hopes down (since people keep saying we expected too much out of FF, supposed to be the best S-E franchise). After X-2, 11, 12, 13, 14, I will definitely wait for reviews from Jpn gamers before importing Versus next time to avoid getting burned yet again. Personally, I think S-E is on a Sega Sonic streak w/ FF.P.S. to me the XIII chars “in the game” were quite forgettable, but after reading the novel, it shone a new light on them and I was able to like them more on my 2nd US ver playthru. after getting their backstories. The game could’ve been much much better, in terms of combat, char development, pacing, world presentation, as it stands, it was a mediocre game that wasn’t very well realized (squandering Hamauzu’s soundtrack so to speak), hence my dislike for the game.

    • RupanIII

      Same here man, though I wasn’t crazy about X either. A new FF used to be an -event- .. now it’s just like, ugh, how are they messing up the formula this time? They’ve seemed lost and unsure what to do with the series (aside from milking VII for maximum monies) ever since Sakaguchi left, imo, trying to ape Western trends under the guise of innovation.

      I know what you mean about being drawn into the games. The towns, NPCs, aesthetics, those rich pre-rendered backgrounds etc.. used to all be so ambient and engaging. Now they’ve lost all that charm. But hey, they’re HD and they sell like hot-cakes, so who cares!

      I dunno as it’s just about getting older and not being an adolescent anymore. I still replay the older FFs and I can also still get really engaged in new games. I had a lot of issues with MGS4, but it was still epic and managed to draw me in, in large part because although the gameplay was changed considerably, Kojima still acknowledged and respected the history of the series. You get little sense of that in new FFs, imo. When FFVII came out, it was totally new. Super powerful new console, big changes in the series and graphics, but despite all that it felt like a Final Fantasy. I mean there were people who thought zomg this is a bad change! but the major consensus was that it was amazing. Anyway I’m starting to ramble.. I guess what I’m getting at is, with the power of today’s consoles, seems like wasted potential to me.

  • http://twitter.com/Xuiz enorka miho

    Well, the company got too big.. And they got too greedy… I guess what the miscommunication that really happens in SE is that, some staff(Nomura group) try to preserve the originality while some(Wada group) wanted something new so they can get more revenue.. They then try to please everyone and end up being lost… Still FFXIII isin’t all that bad but they just lack the life essence.. In which its normally portrayed in different town with different events and people in it that affects the character’s growth… Plus, they do too much advertising.. And people expect too much from them. They should stop after finishing FF versus and made a come back years later… People love the nostalgic feel.. lol…

    • http://twitter.com/sonofgodzilla Monsieur Désespoir

      I don’t think Nomura is that much of a knight in shining armour regarding this notion of “preserving the originality”.

      Nomura has a very specific agenda of what he wants to do in a game and I think the association with Final Fantasy has helped him realise that agenda to a degree. However, I didn’t think that makes him the franchise’s last, best hope. Let’s not forget that if the series is currently in a ditch, it’s partly because Nomura helped *dig* that ditch.

  • http://thrust-the-sky.deviantart.com/ WildArms

    all i think they screwed in ff13 is the fact that there arent towns, and some parts of the story (dialogues between characters) are way too cheesy, not even FF10 was THAT cheesy, and a big part of the world was waiting for FF10 as well, so is not the fault of… making a game targeted for the world

    • Aoshi00

      I can’t think of a recent good RPG that has no towns in it.. S-E kept saying the streamlined linearity was for intended to cater western fans, that’s bull, how about Mass Effect 1/2, Fallout 3, Fable 3, Lost Odyssey, Xenoblade, they all have a huge world and a lot towns, to gather info and for player to soak up the world setting and get to know the people and culture that inhabit in it. When I got to Oerba at almost nearly the end of the game, I told myself this is what’s missing, or the beach at Snow’s hometown, or even Hope’s home. I agree, the lines were cheesy. When I played the Jpn ver, I couldn’t believe how uninterested I was in everything, the so called journey (Enslaved was the complete opposite, couldn’t put down the controller and had an epic ending, in contrast to 13′s anti-climatic ending), the chars’ personalities were paper thin. The Episode Zero prequel novel was quite good though, it would’ve been nice if those stories were in the game, would’ve fleshed out and made me care about the chars much more.

      • http://thrust-the-sky.deviantart.com/ WildArms

        Yeah the chars just werent complete… compared to the excelent work they did with FF7,8,9 and 10, where every character was so unique and complete… i hope versus is good xD and agito =0

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1472407455 Charles Lupula

    You know, I actually enjoyed Final Fantasy XIII, a lot. I never used auto-battle, I think it had the best story and characters in the series, and the graphics and music were impressive. Still, it’s not my favorite in the series (even though it is a HUGE improvement over XII).Still, it could have been so much better. I honestly think the move to making it multi-platform did a lot of harm to the game. The focus on trying to please the West was a huge mistake. People don’t buy Final Fantasy games expecting anything but a JRPG. And honestly, I don’t think the move to 360 helped them at all, anyway. The only 360 owners I know who have it (which is a whopping 2, as opposed to every PS3 owner I know, who owns it) had intended on buying PS3′s for the game, until the 360 port was announced.As for the towns, there actually were towns in the game, but I don’t understand why they went with audio from the townspeople, instead of text. I am guessing that’s more of that “The West won’t like it” type of crap. The townspeople weren’t even subtitled when they spoke, which was an inexplicable move.Graphically, I think had they stuck with the PS3, they would’ve had no problem sticking with the trailer-level graphics for the battle system, but having to fit everything onto the 360 threw all that out the window.This is also why I am afraid that a multi-platform move with severely hurt FFVersusXIII. With the amount of stuff they had to cut and the focus on pleasing Western gamers, they would just ruin what would’ve been a pure and wonderful experience.FFXIII is nowhere near as bad as people make it out to be. In fact, it’s still pretty damn good (it’s probably my second favorite in the series, after X). But if they hadn’t focused so much on the West, it could’ve been perfect.

    • http://tristsantithesis.tumblr.com/ Tsunayoshi Sawada

      I wholeheartedly agree!

    • mach

      What are you talking about. The townspeople WERE subtitled. You just had to turn it on in the menu (like you did with cut scene subtitles).

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1472407455 Charles Lupula

        Are you sure? Maybe I’m just totally blind, but I remember LOOKING for a subtitle option for them when I got to that first town with the chocobos. Couldn’t find one.

        • mach

          It was definitely there. I turned it on in the first 5 minutes of game play.

    • http://twitter.com/Xuiz enorka miho

      i definitely agree with you… no porting and no massive western gamers pleasing crap… FFXIII would have been another great game that live up to the FF legacy… plus i reckon the western gamers pleasing strategy an the group of people that they’d done their research on were of the wrong group.. they must have looked in to those group of people who are crazy for shooting games or jrpg haters… That won’t work.. Haters will always be haters..

    • neocatzon

      they think about westerner, well that’s means they take global market seriously (that’s good).
      But, they think too much and here’s your argument lies. They missed the points, we want JRPG.
      If only there’s a way to tell them what we really want.. I wish they make survey just like aksys did

    • Kamion

      I agree. I also enjoyed FF13 for what it was. At least enough to play the Japanese Version until I got my Platinum Trophy. I even considered replaying it in English but then decided against it because I already played everything the game has to offer.

      About the NPCs having voice, but not being subtitled: They are subtitled. I guess you’ll have to enable that in the US version but the JP-Version has it enabled from the beginning (I don’t even know if you can disable that) since everything is subbed in Japan.
      And I actually liked that everything is voiced. Less Kanji-reading for me.

      FF12 is also not as bad as most (including you?) make it out to be. It’s actually one of my favourite FF-Titles, apart from the abysmal characters (excluding Ashe, she was fine). The battle system was genius and genuine fun.

      And yes, please Squenix, do not port FFv13. Please.

  • mach

    I still say this game gets an almost obscene amount of undeserved hate, especially since no one has been able to articulate why they think it’s so bad, except for saying stuff like “It’s different!” or “It’s too linear” (even though EVERY FF game sans XII was just as linear).

    As for the whole lack of town thing, that never bothered me one bit. Like people have said, there were a few town areas already, but even if there weren’t, I still would’ve enjoyed the game. Moreover, I think that if there were more towns, the people who hate the game would still hate it. Really, how would including 7 or so areas that serve no purpose other than to look pretty make the game better. Every function of the traditional town was unnecessary or streamlined for FFXIII.

    People say the lack of towns makes the world seem less real, but that’s ridiculous. Would it be at all realistic for a bunch of perceived terrorists living in a police state with constant surveillance to stop off at Palumpolum and go shopping? No. The world building aspect of towns is far too overstressed by certain nostalgic fans. FFXII had towns, but aside from looking amazing and adding atmosphere, they didn’t contribute anything meaningful to the game. The ONLY thing that was different was that you could talk to people, but FFXIII had that in plenty of sections anyway. Even if you ignore the encyclopedia, (which curiously was considered a good thing in XII but a bad thing in XIII), the game tells you plenty about Cocoon’s society and culture without having to plop you in a town so you can invade people’s homes and stay at a hotel while your on the run from the totalitarian government. IMHO, including more towns would actually detract from the game’s sense of immersion.

    In terms of story, again, I don’t see what the problem was. The characters are actually some of the most fleshed-out, dynamic ones in the entire series. They start out flawed and actually grow into strong, interesting people as the story progresses. Whether the dialogue is cheesy is a matter of taste, but if you’re playing a JRPG, you know what you’re getting into in that respect. FFXIII had far better dialogue than games like Blue Dragon, Ar Tonelico, or anything from Tri-Ace. The ONLY issue I had was that the game doesn’t explain the origin of the Fal’Cie, but it’s become apparent that their origin will be revealed in either Versus or Agito, so it’s not that big a deal anymore.

    I think a lot of what people feel is missing from FFXIII has more to do with them growing up than it does with the game lacking some fundamental feature that the SNES or PS games had.

    • http://bluehighwind.blogspot.com/ BlueHighwind

      FFXII’s towns were incredibly important. It was only in these places where you could find Hunts and the Petitioners. If you want to stop racing around Ivalice looking for Nethicite and fighting the Empire for a few hours, you could walk into the Towns, ask around, and eventually find a sidequest or two – even beyond the Hunt system.

      More importantly, FFXII’s towns have an amazing atmospheric effect on the game. They feel real – people walk by you and don’t want to talk, there’s plenty of behavior on sight here. The thing a town does is show you the people you’re supposed to be saving. There’s a thriving world here that the villain wants to destroy. You don’t wan to let him. I’m not sure in FFXIII that I’d want to save a world that actively hates me and is nothing but a series of tubes.

      • ShinGundam

        FF12′s cities weren’t really interesting or that important, I didn’t like it that much because scale is always off and a lot of zoning and branching paths :

      • mach

        All the stuff with hunts didn’t HAVE to be in the towns though. They could have put in a menu or do like FFXIII and put the missions on the field. The immersion factor was nice, but again, a town isn’t necessary to achieve that. The fact that you can get sidequests in towns doesn’t mean towns are necessary for that. The atmospheric effect can also be achieved in other ways, and in FFXIII, having a town where characters can stop off and rest despite ostensibly being on the run from the all-seeing government and fated to die within a strict amount of time… well it would DETRACT from the game’s atmosphere. There is nothing special about an RPG town that makes it more immersive than any other area of the game could be. Towns originally existed just so you could have a place to buy equipment and recover HP. The rest is just window dressing that can be placed anywhere in the game.Also, what you’re not getting is that for the characters of FFXIII, the defeating the bad guy isn’t about saving the world at all. Each one has their own motivation for fighting that has nothing to do with the people of cocoon. For Lightning it’s about revenge, for Snow and Sazh, it’s about making a last ditch attempt to rescue someone, and for Vanille and Fang, it’s about protecting each other and overcoming guilt. The fact that FFXIII moves beyond the whole “Let’s save the world because that’s what the heroes do” mentality is a good thing.Maybe it just comes down to the different reasons people play RPGs in the first place. It sounds like you’re more concerned with there being a reason for you as a person to save the world and beat the bad guy, whereas I’m the type of person who thinks of it from the characters’ perspective. That’s why FFXII bugged me so much. There was absolutely no reason for anyone besides Ashe to be fighting after a certain point. In the end, everyone but her was just tagging along to beat the bad guy. It’s really just a matter of preference, but it does seem like the perspective you might be looking for is more suited for WRPGs than JRPGs.

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1472407455 Charles Lupula

          I don’t think I could have said it better, myself.

  • http://bluehighwind.blogspot.com/ BlueHighwind

    This doesn’t confirm anything other than what I thought before. This is a complete embarrassment for Square Enix. You’d think a company that has been making these games for decades know how to make a game. Apparently you don’t. Here’s how you make a RPG: start with the gameplay. Decide “I want to do so and so with this game’s battle system.” Then code it in, see if it works. Then you release a trailer, with a clear outline of where this game’s development is going to go. Don’t you DARE release a trailer before you even have that figured out. Don’t you DARE make an announcement before you have that down. At least have SOMETHING tangible, at least have an idea where you’re going. This game was Vaporware for years, and for no good reason.(Also, if FFXIII’s actual gameplay was ANYTHING like the first trailers, it would have been the greatest game ever made. Just saying.)And look what you got. Crap. Perhaps the worst Final Fantasy game yet. This company still makes good games: Dragon Quest IX, Kingdom Hearts, etc. But get your friggin act together, man.

  • ThunderGod_Cid

    I demand a XIII remake/re-coded/remix/re-whatever…..on the 3DS or PSP2.

    *Seeing how it’ll take about a decade for Square-Enix to make 1 HD game, and factoring in the much shorter development time on a portable console; it would be the easiest way for them to redeem that game.

    • http://tristsantithesis.tumblr.com/ Tsunayoshi Sawada

      OMG not this again, lol!. What is up with people and remakes and such. They need to focus on always working on new games, not revisting old ones and what not. FFXIII was well enough to stand on its own without any of that stuff.

  • joesz

    I wanted to state that final fantasy 13 was the best for me(in the whole series as of now),But I hesitated saying it,for the sake of not being killed by the FFF13 mob.

    • http://tristsantithesis.tumblr.com/ Tsunayoshi Sawada

      heh

  • Roses4Aria

    Personally I think that FFXIII gets a lot of flack that it doesn’t deserve. No, it wasn’t perfect and it was far from the best in the series (I’d be hard pressed to choose between VII, VIII, and X for that honor) but I enjoyed it at least as much as IX and thought it was a step up from XII. Of course, I realize that’s a matter of opinion, but it honestly astonishes me when I hear people go on and on about how terrible the game was. Believe me, I’ve played terrible games and XIII is nowhere near that bad.

    I’m not one who believes that SE can do no wrong, and I agree that the game’s linearity and rather abrupt and anticlimactic ending were offputting. But it did other things right. The characters–while not as memorable as some others in the FF series–were mostly likeable with very human and real flaws. (Not to mention that we finally got an awesome kick *ss heroine in Lightning!) IMO, the battle system was fun and engaging. I loved that you could make it as hard or as easy as you wanted by inputting commands manually or using autobattle. And playing through the chapters in Palum Polum and the Archlyte Steppe with their sweeping vistas and that haunting background music on an HD TV was just a fun experience for me. I’m not typically a mini game/side quest kind of person as I’m usually more about getting from place to place in order to progress the story, but for the first time I actually found myself wanting to explore and participate in some of the mark hunts. (Though I can understand the frustration of those who wanted the chance to branch out and explore even more, and it’s a shame they didn’t offer that opportunity in more places besides the steppe. I can’t tell you how badly I wanted to venture into some of those buildings and other areas in Palum Polum!)

    To be honest, I think the biggest part of the problem came from the long wait for it to come out. Too many fans had too long to obsess over it and anticipate it and the expectations went up with every day that passed. By the time the game finally came out there was no way it could have met all of those high expectations.

  • KHSoraKeyBlade

    I spent way to much time on FF13 and the only thing that annoyed me about it was how the boss fights were really long. And well I’ll admit I was fairly rubbish at them. But I did buy this first day and didn’t regret paying the odd €55 for it.

    Well I can say now that I’m looking forward to both Versus and Agito.

    • http://tristsantithesis.tumblr.com/ Tsunayoshi Sawada

      If the boss felts were “way too long” then you were doing it wrong. Did you finish any of the boss within the target time? Even the final boss, he had a target time of only 8 minutes for me and I made it. The bosses should havent lasted no more than 12 minutes I think was the maximum Ive ever had for the target time.

      • KHSoraKeyBlade

        Well no I remember the earlier bosses being no trouble, but after the tower in Chapter 11 the bosses I felt were too hard. I still think it was a good game but I was just simply bad at it

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