(Iâm really sorry for my English. Iâm just a guy with a limited vocabulary. Itâs my first time writing a review/essay on anything so please bear with me.)
Before I start this review/essay, please keep in mind that this is just my personal opinion and Iâm not, by any means, trying to be offensive to anybody or on any party whatsoever. Why am I writing this? Because as a fan of the series, I really felt that SquareEnix let me down and I think I have the right to speak my mind. So here it is.
Last 2007, when I first saw the new trailer of Final Fantasy XIII, I canât believe my eyes because of the sheer brilliance of its graphics and that trailer alone left my imagination run wild. Knowing that the people behind FFVII and FFX are the ones handling the FFXIII project is enough for that little kid inside me jump for joy. I canât wait for the release! For me, itâs like a blessing from above! At long last, they will finally release the next chapter to one of the best, if not, the best game Iâve ever played my whole life which is the Final Fantasy series. I didnât own a PS3 back then cause we cannot afford it. The thought alone of playing Final Fantasy XIII is enough reason for me to buy an expensive PS3.
Iâve been playing Final Fantasy since 1997. Iâve played Final Fantasy VII, VIII, IX and X. and finished all of them with a huge satisfaction in my heart. This essay comes as a burden to me because I love the series so much and this is the first time Iâm commenting something very unsatisfactory about it and where it is heading.
On the first week of the release of Final Fantasy XIII, Iâve bought it immediately even if I didnât have enough money. I have to borrow money from a friend, whom I havenât paid yet, but I donât care anymore; I just wanted to play the game. Iâve been waiting for years now and, at long last, the time has come.
The first few minutes of the game were a treat! The graphics were amazing, more amazing than a seeing a giraffe for the first time. You can really say that SquareEnix didnât hold back on the production quality on this one. Itâs one the best looking graphics that a game could ever accomplish.
But then, things started to get a bit dodgy. At first, I thought that the linearity of the game was very part of the story. I didnât really believe the reviews on the net because as I said before, Iâm a huge Final Fantasy fan, and closed my mind on anything the critics are saying. I didnât mind the linearity of the game if itâs in the first few minutes but itâs not. Iâm about in the middle of the game and itâs still linear. Final Fantasy is famous for being a hardcore RPG to the bones, where I can roam around towns, find something peculiar and sell it to the nearest shop, or go out of town and find a huge snake (Anaconda donât have anything on this one) in the nearest lake just to find out that no matter what I do, I cannot defeat it.
Should I say that they sacrificed the RPG element of the game just to satisfy their story? Yes. I know that story is important and experimentation is part of the âchangeâ theyâre trying to achieve, but I really think that if the developers just stepped back and look at it a bit, they could really do much better. â1 for linearity.
Another thing got me uninterested is the lack of Overdrive/Limit Break. Iâll admit I started to play final fantasy because of the Idea of the Overdrive/Limit Break. Every time I get the chance to overdrive, my eyes lit up and it brought a grin of satisfaction across my face. When I level up, Iâm really looking forward to what my next overdrive will be. I know they do crazy damage (which can ruin the challenge of the game sometimes) and can be repetitive at times, but câmon guys! Itâs an Overdrive! That is where the fun factor really is! Renzokuken, Omni Slash, Knights of the Round (ok this one is a summon but it kicks ass!) crazy insane combos that will render your opponents speechless. I donât know about you guys but I play games to escape reality and what better way to escape reality than to unleash a main course dish of hot steaming overdrive to make your opponents cry tears of blood. For me, this is what Final Fantasy is all about. A Final Fantasy is supposed to be fun to play but instead, I felt obligated to finish Final Fantasy XIII because itâs a Final Fantasy. Now thatâs just sad SquareEnix. Now I'm really not a big fan of shooters or any other genres in that matter, like I said, I'm a big fan of RPGs, so with this notion, I got so bored in playing FFXIII the 2nd time around and borrowed my friendâs Uncharted 2 instead, and guess what? I had a blast playing it.
I know that SquareEnix is âtryingâ to appeal, not only to the fans of the series (and the genre as a whole), but to a whole new broader audience as well, so theyâve experimented and came up with a whole new concept for FFXIII. Now, change is a good thing but it will only be good if itâs for the betterment of the one concern. If this is the way they âthinkâ they will appeal to other audiences then count me out of this crap. This is not the right way to go SquareEnix and you know that! The best thing you can do is to go back to your roots and do what you do best and that is to make the best damn RPG there is! You donât need an average Joe to tell you this, your better than that! Be wise and go the opposite direction!
If all you care about is money then Iâm betting that your company will not last for another 10 years or so. Your fans have been with you all these years and they will never go anywhere. So please do your company a favor and be yourself already!