Author Topic: Final Fantasy XIII (& XIII-2)  (Read 27032 times)

Offline beo

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Re: Final Fantasy XIII
« Reply #80 on: Monday, March 08, 2010, 05:28:52 AM »
got my copy a little bit early and have just started it up - thought i'd just give a quick opinion on the 360 version visuals.

resolution looks fine. i'm playing this about 5 feet away from a 37" full-HD set, and it looks good. the drop in resolution is not something i would have noticed if it hadn't been pointed out. the fmv sections look good too. when there's a lot of motion, it looses some crispness, but it's not something i'd point out as a real flaw.

the thing that does look bad, however, is the hair. it looks grainy, as if it needs an alpha blended transparency, or something. really pulls you out of the "is this fmv, or realtime?" double take. it's not a major issue, but it's slightly irritating all the same.

ok. i will now play more than the first 20 minutes and give some further impressions in a bit...

Offline Pugnate

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Re: Final Fantasy XIII
« Reply #81 on: Monday, March 08, 2010, 06:55:20 AM »
I just came home with the game. It is actually the most expensive regular edition game I've ever purchased, at $78, which is just insane. I am not sure why it was so expensive... perhaps because it came from the UK rather than Hong Kong.

Anyway, I will give it a go in a few hours.

edit:

Had a bit of time, so played for 15 minutes.

The game really does look incredible. The art is brilliant... it is some weird but cool futuristic setting... looks stunning with a great blend of sexalicious colors that almost have this gunmetal tinge to them. It is easily the best looking game I've played on the PS3, even better than the God of War demo and probably better than most PC games I've played. The CGI is like something out of a movie.

The gameplay I can tell I will enjoy a lot...

From what I've played so far, the gameplay is nothing like standard Final Fantasy fare. It has been till now quite simplistic, which probably suits me fine considering the last FF game I played was FF8, and it was on the PC.

For now, I am able to only control the main character, and my sidekick is AI controlled.

Will report more in a couple of hours.
« Last Edit: Monday, March 08, 2010, 11:06:22 AM by Pugnate »

Offline iPPi

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Re: Final Fantasy XIII
« Reply #82 on: Monday, March 08, 2010, 05:30:13 PM »
My copy shipped but will probably arrive at the end of the week or early next week. 

Offline MysterD

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Re: Final Fantasy XIII
« Reply #83 on: Tuesday, March 09, 2010, 02:48:08 PM »

Offline sirean_syan

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Re: Final Fantasy XIII
« Reply #84 on: Tuesday, March 09, 2010, 06:41:31 PM »
I came across this review somewhere along the way in the past couple days. It's pretty long as these things go, but there's a short version which I imagine doesn't ramble and rant so much.

http://www.actionbutton.net/?p=630

I've never heard of this site and I imagine it's a start up that took the opportunity of a huge game to try and make a name for itself, but it's an interesting article. Basically they make the game sound like a giant collage of artistic masturbation slapped together into a game and seems like a valid point from what I've seen.

Square is getting a ton of backlash for this game. It'll be worth seeing if, despite that, they still come out ahead and with enough goodwill to continue the series without becoming something of a joke like Dynasty Warriors. I get the impression that they were told they can do no wrong and that they single-handedly put Sony on the gaming map with FFVII for so long that they fell into some sort of self-insulating bubble. That bubble has finally collapsed on itself and Square seems worse off than they were a decade ago.

Offline MysterD

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Re: Final Fantasy XIII
« Reply #85 on: Tuesday, March 09, 2010, 06:44:03 PM »
8.9 from IGN for PS3 and X360.
Video review.
Written review.

GameZone
GameZone -> 8.5 (out of 10)
« Last Edit: Tuesday, March 09, 2010, 08:31:51 PM by MysterD »

Offline MysterD

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Re: Final Fantasy XIII
« Reply #86 on: Tuesday, March 09, 2010, 07:20:20 PM »
http://www.actionbutton.net/?p=630


Quote from: ActionButton.Net
Eventually, the game gives you the world, and it looks nice, like a game you’d like to play, if only you had the time. Waiting 28 hours to finally let you choose your party / leader / job is like dating a girl for nine years before trusting her with the key to your apartment. During the time you spend with this game, you will utter sentences like “Hm. He has a pretty uncomplicated Blaster Crystarium.”
Holy crap - 28 hours until the game actually opens up its gameworld and battle system?  :o
 
I can understand games like DAO and KOTOR that mix things up now and again by say forcing party members into your party for story reasons for a short period of time (usually a few quests); or say letting you unlock areas as you go along or reach a certain character level...but, geez...FF13 sounds maddening w/ going from one extreme to another.

...Why does it sound like FF13 is two different games here?  :o

EDIT:
I also got this impression w/ the IGN review.

Quote from: IGN
The first 25 to 30 hours of the game are so linear, they might as well be on rails. Dungeons are nothing more than a series of pathways through various environments, with occasional detours hiding a floating treasure chest. This linearity wasn't particularly bothersome for me because I was enjoying the story and battles along the way, but this will be a huge blow to Final Fantasy veterans.

It's important to note that the game does open up quite a bit in Chapter 11 (out of 13), giving players the freedom to explore several huge environments and undertake tons of side missions. For some, this will be a classic case of "too little, too late." Exacerbating this issue is the fact that players are unable to select their party leader and party members before Chapter 10.

EDIT #2:
Now, this is REALLY interesting to me, which was embedded somewhere within that rant-city ActionButton.Net review.

Remember, Square Enix has no plans for DLC.

If they think there's enough content for another full FF game - geez, there must be a shit-ton of content there - maybe this cut-content will wind up taken and polished into some sort of a FFXIII-2? Especially if FF13 itself is successful?
Who the heck knows....Just a thought...


Offline sirean_syan

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Re: Final Fantasy XIII
« Reply #87 on: Tuesday, March 09, 2010, 08:12:12 PM »
The point in the article is a good one. If there's that much "spare" content, it just shows that Square threw crap together without a thought of an overall feel/story/world.

Offline gpw11

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Re: Final Fantasy XIII
« Reply #88 on: Tuesday, March 09, 2010, 11:34:57 PM »
I came across this review somewhere along the way in the past couple days. It's pretty long as these things go, but there's a short version which I imagine doesn't ramble and rant so much.

http://www.actionbutton.net/?p=630

I've never heard of this site and I imagine it's a start up that took the opportunity of a huge game to try and make a name for itself, but it's an interesting article. Basically they make the game sound like a giant collage of artistic masturbation slapped together into a game and seems like a valid point from what I've seen.

Square is getting a ton of backlash for this game. It'll be worth seeing if, despite that, they still come out ahead and with enough goodwill to continue the series without becoming something of a joke like Dynasty Warriors. I get the impression that they were told they can do no wrong and that they single-handedly put Sony on the gaming map with FFVII for so long that they fell into some sort of self-insulating bubble. That bubble has finally collapsed on itself and Square seems worse off than they were a decade ago.

Holy fuck.  No offence, but I sincerely tried to read that and just couldn't. The writing blew, which is amazing because you could feel how hard they were trying to be unique and cleaver rather than just shitty.  Also, the formatting...what the fuck is up with the formatting?   There could be good points there, but....just damn. I gave up after the fourth micro paragraph in a row was still talking about Final Fantasy XII.

Offline Quemaqua

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Re: Final Fantasy XIII
« Reply #89 on: Tuesday, March 09, 2010, 11:50:50 PM »
I actually really liked it.  Not perfect, but it was still pretty good.  Just don't try to read it all at once.

天才的な閃きと平均以下のテクニックやな。 課長有野

Offline gpw11

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Re: Final Fantasy XIII
« Reply #90 on: Tuesday, March 09, 2010, 11:56:16 PM »
It just seemed all over the place and hard to read. To be fair, I could just be really tired.

Offline TheOtherBelmont

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Re: Final Fantasy XIII
« Reply #91 on: Wednesday, March 10, 2010, 01:29:46 AM »
Well I put my first 6 hours into it so far and I'm liking it so far.  Yeah the areas are a little more linear than previous games but its still fun.  I'm really liking Paradigm Shift.  It's pretty cool to be able to change you and your party member's roles on the fly.  It seems like a refined, simplified version of the gambit system from FFXII.  The story started off with lots of action and hasn't let up too much so far.  I'll post more detailed impressions later.

Offline Cobra951

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Re: Final Fantasy XIII
« Reply #92 on: Wednesday, March 10, 2010, 10:05:48 AM »
I read the short version.  Scathing, to be sure.  Part of the writer's problem is that he is using too many similes, trying to be clever, I suppose.

Quote
You walk a tightrope for thirty hours before the game groans, gives in, and says, “Okay, you can have fun now“. Waiting thirty hours before letting you choose your own party leader is like dating a girl for nine years before trusting her with a key to your apartment.

It adds too much bulk to the article, though that particular point seems to be universal across reviews.

I guess it's too early to get players here to give me an answer to my question.  Are the negative reviews way off, or are the big commercial game publications afraid to downvote a Final Fantasy game?  It must be one or the other, because a game as bad as this review portrays couldn't possibly get honest high marks from experienced professional reviewers.

Offline beo

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Re: Final Fantasy XIII
« Reply #93 on: Wednesday, March 10, 2010, 02:29:43 PM »
i can see where the negative feedback is coming from, but i don't really agree with it. would you rate a racing simulation game down because you can't use nitrous, blow up other players, or any number of other things that are not part of the games intention? i think some people wanted this to be another game entirely. i'm not a rabid ff fanboy by any means, i wasn't a big fan of x-2, or xii - but this one i'm really digging.

yes, there's little freedom. yes, the game opens up slowly. no, this is not an open world game. but to counter that, throughout the hand holding and linear path, there is a fantastic story, with beautiful visuals and a superb battle system.

after reading some of the reviews, i was ready to be disappointed. pleasantly i am not. in fact, 15 hours in, i am completely loving it.


Offline K-man

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Re: Final Fantasy XIII
« Reply #95 on: Wednesday, March 10, 2010, 02:56:37 PM »
Shipped, not sold.

Offline MysterD

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Re: Final Fantasy XIII
« Reply #96 on: Wednesday, March 10, 2010, 03:12:10 PM »

Offline iPPi

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Re: Final Fantasy XIII
« Reply #97 on: Wednesday, March 10, 2010, 06:03:14 PM »
All the negative criticism is because of the preconception that this game must follow the same design path and gameplay style of the previous Final Fantasy games.  It's as if people want to play FFVII or XII again, but in HD.  The fact of the matter though is that it isn't your typical Final Fantasy game and people can't seem to wrap their heads around that concept.  If you wanted FFVII or XII again then maybe you should just replay those instead.

Nearly all the reviews state that the game is fun, but was disappointed because it isn't open world like the previous Final Fantasy games.  All the FF games tell a self contained story that doesn't overlap with the other games (generally speaking).  I just don't see why people keep comparing it to the previous games.  If it didn't have the Final Fantasy title, I wonder how the reception of this game would have been.

And while everybody is hating on it, I log into PSN and every single friend online is playing FFXIII.

Offline Quemaqua

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Re: Final Fantasy XIII
« Reply #98 on: Wednesday, March 10, 2010, 06:45:41 PM »
Same thing happened a lot with XII too, though, remember.  "Omg, it isn't FFVII2, kill it with fire".  I made a lot of the same arguments in favor of that one that some people are making now for XIII.  I don't know if I'd like it or not, but yeah, sometimes design shouldn't be stunted.  That's why we got Silent Hill: Shattered Memories, it's why we got Legend of Mana.  Some people just can't accept creativity or deviation from standard procedure.

天才的な閃きと平均以下のテクニックやな。 課長有野

Offline beo

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Re: Final Fantasy XIII
« Reply #99 on: Thursday, March 11, 2010, 01:56:32 PM »
If it didn't have the Final Fantasy title, I wonder how the reception of this game would have been.

that is a really good point. frankly, after playing it for 20+ hours, i'm quite convinced that a lot of reviewers just didn't "get" this one.

Offline MysterD

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Re: Final Fantasy XIII
« Reply #100 on: Saturday, March 13, 2010, 10:58:31 AM »

Offline Pugnate

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Re: Final Fantasy XIII
« Reply #101 on: Saturday, March 13, 2010, 03:14:43 PM »
Just to get things out of the way, I am really enjoying the game, and find it to be superb looking -- especially the CGI --, though some of the textures can be inconsistent in terms of quality. The combat system is pretty unique, and definitely has some depth, and is fairly entertaining on the whole. The storytelling has been good as well... and I find it to have that weirdly complex quality that you can expect from some of the better futuristic-fantasy themed manga. The soundtrack is also quite superb, and I have found many of the characters to be endearing.

Having said that, the game is LINEAR AS FUCK. It is literally a narrow point A to point B game. Just to give you an idea... think of the last two Modern Warfare games... now imagine a game more on the rails than those...

Here is the thing. When you define a game's genre, you think of the things that that game does particularly well.

You would never call games like Half-life or Call of Duty RPGs, but you would certainly call those games first person action games, because that is the defining characteristic of those titles.

A game like Call of Duty is linear as hell, but we don't care, because it offers stellar twitch based action, and takes advantage of the linearity to employ some great set pieces.

What is it that FF13 excels at? Is the action good enough to carry the game on its own?

The game I'd like to compare Final Fantasy 13 to is Mass Effect 2.

Mass Effect 1 was a pretty hardcore RPG, with open maps etc.

Mass Effect 2 was a total turnaround. It didn't have an inventory system, it had no stats building, and the character skills were kept to only five. The game was also quite linear. While the 'town' areas were quite open, there was never any action to be found within. You couldn't simply walk from the towns in ME2 to the actiony areas like you would in ME1, and instead had to load those areas through the NPC conversation choices. The actiony areas were on-the-rails map-less areas similar to those in first person shooters like Half-life or Call of Duty.

And while there was some concern voiced over Mass Effect 2's trimming of the RPG fat, the game was overall critically acclaimed despite being a HUGE departure from Mass Effect 1.

Why is that? Why did the critics love Mass Effect 2, yet generally find FF13 to be disappointing?

The difference is that Mass Effect 2 excelled at the third person action elements to the point where it was as good if not better than most action games. It was story driven, yes, but it was a story driven action game, and not quite an RPG. ME2 may have gotten dramatically linear as compared to its predecessor, but it used that linearity to put together some of the most memorable and breathtakingly awesome setpieces I have come across in a game. Had the action in ME2 been terrible, or as average as that of its predecessor, the game would have been panned by the critics, because it didn’t excel as an RPG.


In the end you judge ME2 as an action game, because that's only user controlled aspect where it offers depth. The fact that it does it better than most action games is beside the point.

Final Fantasy 13, is not an action game in the slightest. It is still an RPG, and that's why I can understand why the linearity is disappointing to so many. Its action and storytelling are very very good, but are they good enough to define the game on their own? It depends on the person, really. That's why the scores are so all over the place.

Not every RPG has to be an open world affair like Oblivion, but RPGs need some sense of exploration. Even a game like Diablo was basically all dungeon crawling, but it always had a sense of exploration and what not. Its action was always given much needed breaks with periods interacting with the NPCs in the towns etc.

Final Fantasy games always have had some sense of exploration. They've always had towns, while I haven't encountered any in this yet!

I really do like FF13. I think the action stuff is pretty fun, and the mechanics are fairly deep... and I am a sucker for the storytelling... but I just can't give it a full recommendation.

I remember reading that the developers of the game took inspiration from the linearity of Call of Duty.

I think the developers were pretty stupid. It is like a family car having the fuel consumption of a muscle car, yet not justifying it with that level of power.

The developers of FF13 did talk a lot about using the linearity to employ better storytelling and greater set pieces, but I haven't seen any. In fact, I haven't seen much justification of FF13's course of direction. There is nothing the developers couldn't have done, that they did with FF13, had the same game been more open. There are tons of little scripted cut-scenes that are very good and push the story nicely, but they could have been inter-weaved in a more traditional RPG quite easily.

Anyway, I bet it sounds like I dislike the game, which I don't. I am really pleased with it, because I am enjoying the strengths of it, but I am just saying that I can see why people are disappointed.


Offline iPPi

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Re: Final Fantasy XIII
« Reply #102 on: Saturday, March 13, 2010, 06:00:07 PM »
I've put in about 2 hours with it and agree with what you're saying.  The pathways are so narrow that it really feels almost on rails.  It is still a fun game from what I've played so far though.  I'll have more to say about it when I've put in some more time into it.

Offline K-man

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Re: Final Fantasy XIII
« Reply #103 on: Saturday, March 13, 2010, 07:03:28 PM »
While probably a lot shorter than what is in FF 13, Midgar in FF VII was pretty straightforward and linear.  You spend the first few hours of the game there and are pretty much directed where to go.

Offline Quemaqua

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Re: Final Fantasy XIII
« Reply #104 on: Saturday, March 13, 2010, 11:54:01 PM »
This is true.  It didn't open up until a bit later.  I'm not really sure that I've got a problem with the linearity of this one.  I don't think "open world" was really that great a strength of series in all cases.  Though I did like how FFXII handled things quite a lot.

天才的な閃きと平均以下のテクニックやな。 課長有野

Offline Pugnate

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Re: Final Fantasy XIII
« Reply #105 on: Sunday, March 14, 2010, 03:07:55 AM »
From what I saw of previous FF games, they were never open world, but there was some sense of exploration.

I have to say, I am really enjoying FF13. Your party members will often chat with each other as they run, and they do so in a very natural way, and not in the obviously scripted Bioware manner. The only disadvantage is that you can often miss these bits of conversations if you run too far ahead.

There are also a lot of little small cutscenes that break in every fifteen minutes or so, that help weave the story.

The visuals continue to impress. There are some really beautifully imaginative sights in this game.

Offline beo

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Re: Final Fantasy XIII
« Reply #106 on: Sunday, March 14, 2010, 06:37:43 AM »
something that hasn't really been mentioned here is just how fantastic the soundtrack is. always a strong point in final fantasy games, but i feel that they've really brought it up a notch in this one. it's really quite superb.

also, just to note, the game does open up to exploration and side missions later on.

Offline Quemaqua

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Re: Final Fantasy XIII
« Reply #107 on: Sunday, March 14, 2010, 08:46:38 AM »
Who did the OST for this one?

天才的な閃きと平均以下のテクニックやな。 課長有野

Offline MysterD

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Re: Final Fantasy XIII
« Reply #108 on: Sunday, March 14, 2010, 09:13:13 AM »
Who did the OST for this one?
Masashi Hamauzu.

EDIT:
More info on FF13's music.
Quote
Final Fantasy X's co-composer and Dirge of Cerberus's composer Masashi Hamauzu scored the game.[71] 

The score features orchestral recordings by the Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra,[72]  (which were orchestrated by Yoshihisa Hirano) though there is also synthetic tracks implemented by Keiji Kawamori.

Offline K-man

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Re: Final Fantasy XIII
« Reply #109 on: Sunday, March 14, 2010, 09:51:47 AM »
I've never played the game, and really haven't read a ton about it.  Honestly it wasn't even on my radar until it came out.  But I take it most people's complaints about the game is that it doesn't stick with the conventional Final Fantasy formula?


Offline Pugnate

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Re: Final Fantasy XIII
« Reply #110 on: Sunday, March 14, 2010, 10:00:45 AM »
Well... not really. I don't think it is as simple as that.

Offline Quemaqua

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Re: Final Fantasy XIII
« Reply #111 on: Sunday, March 14, 2010, 10:03:12 AM »
I've heard a lot of varied complaints.  For all the linearity and focus on story, I've read a lot of stuff about people calling it kind of soulless and mechanical.  Really pretty but no substance, I guess.  That seems to me to be fairly subjective as not everyone agrees, but I think that's one of the big ones.  Maybe the game just feels a little over-produced?

天才的な閃きと平均以下のテクニックやな。 課長有野

Offline Pugnate

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Re: Final Fantasy XIII
« Reply #112 on: Sunday, March 14, 2010, 10:17:42 AM »
IGN's video review:

http://ps3.ign.com/dor/objects/826843/final-fantasy-xiii/videos/ff13_vdr_030810.html

something that hasn't really been mentioned here is just how fantastic the soundtrack is. always a strong point in final fantasy games, but i feel that they've really brought it up a notch in this one. it's really quite superb.


Yea I mentioned that. Agree with everything you say.

I find the game to have plenty of soul myself. Every time I play, it really draws me in. I want to see what happens next, and I like the world and its characters.

Something I find interesting is how it uses flashbacks to create back story, a bit like Lost.

Offline iPPi

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Re: Final Fantasy XIII
« Reply #113 on: Wednesday, March 17, 2010, 10:26:58 PM »
Got Lightning's Eidolon.  First hard fight... got destroyed multiple times and on my successful attempt I only had like 20 left on the counter before I could successfully claim it. 

It's an interesting game and is most definitely flawed, and these flaws are big enough to prevent the game from being a truly remarkable experience, but the game is still fun.

Offline Pugnate

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Re: Final Fantasy XIII
« Reply #114 on: Wednesday, March 17, 2010, 11:41:48 PM »
I kept getting beaten on that till I checked for tips on the interwebs.

After that the battle was ridiculously easy. I just took the defensive stance and kept absorbing and won without issue. I am not 100% sure how I was supposed to figure that out... but yea.

Offline TheOtherBelmont

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Re: Final Fantasy XIII
« Reply #115 on: Thursday, March 18, 2010, 12:55:27 AM »
I am not 100% sure how I was supposed to figure that out... but yea.

Use Librascopes or the Libra skill and hit R1 and it will tell you how to defeat the Eidolon pretty easily.  That goes for bosses and harder enemies as well.

Offline PyroMenace

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Re: Final Fantasy XIII
« Reply #116 on: Thursday, March 18, 2010, 01:59:53 AM »

Offline Pugnate

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Re: Final Fantasy XIII
« Reply #117 on: Thursday, March 18, 2010, 02:04:24 AM »
Yea I kept casting the Libra, but forgot about pressing R1 afterwards.

Offline beo

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Re: Final Fantasy XIII
« Reply #118 on: Thursday, March 18, 2010, 04:04:42 AM »
Completed it last night with 42% of the mark missions done. Just so you guys know, it's almost totally impossible to complete some of the later mark missions until you're done with the story.

Offline iPPi

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Re: Final Fantasy XIII
« Reply #119 on: Saturday, March 20, 2010, 11:19:09 PM »
Square Enix made another mistake with this game that I've noticed since I started playing but couldn't figure out how to fix it until now.  Apparently, Square decided to make Dolby Digital the precedent audio codec to use instead of DTS (if you look at the box, it is clearly stated that DTS and Dolby Digital are both supported).  It's a completely illogical decision.  Apparently you have to deselect Dolby Digital support within the audio settings of your PS3 (not in game, but on the XMB) in order for DTS to kick in.  That is retarded.  Most games that support DTS select automatically (Uncharted, Uncharted 2, Heavy Rain, Dragon Age Origins, etc.)

Ranting aside, I'm starting to enjoy this game quite a bit.  The story is starting to pick up and events are getting interesting.