yurodivuie (yurodivuie) wrote,

Bullet point review of FFXIII: (tldr: conflicted, may play again)

I will say this about the game, without putting in any real spoilers for people currently playing.
  • The quality is fantastic.
  • The story is horrible and excellent.  There are wonderful threads to the story, but the overarching meta-story of "what are we doing right now?" always sucks, with the exception of the prison break.
  • Bad dialogue: when you're in the middle of the interminable final stage slog and one of the characters says "will this ever end?".  It's a bad idea to remind the players that it's a really freaking long stage without any plot development and really long normal fights, let alone boss fights.  It's been mentioned in other reviews, but it bears a hell of a lot of repeating.
  • The long tunnel from FFX was not fun.  It is still not fun.  On the other hand, globe-spanning shopping trips from FFXII are also a problem.  But this is not the solution.
  • The fight system is brilliant and horrible.  I wish, at some point, instead of pressing auto attack, it would do it for me, and let me interrupt if I felt like it. That, or give me a gambit system that I could alter mid-battle.
  • The advancement system is fun, but pointless in most cases.  For example, whenever I reached a point where I my advancement options were expanded (big boss fight), I had pretty much exhausted the advancement options I already had.  So what's the point, if my big boss fight is always going to be with basically a preset capped out character?  Well, that's the point: you can't screw up your characters or make them really fancy.  The boss fight is almost preset.
  • At least, at the end, I had this: I had emotions for most of the characters, which is something I never got out of FFXII.  I though I knew them all pretty well.  I never knew who the heck those people were in FFXII.  Also, I didn't actively hate all but one character (Auron), as I did in FFX.  There are no earth-shattering twists where characters turn out to be dreams of some weird God or secret amnesia victims with implanted memories or repression or whatever (mad props to Crisis Core, for making cloud's origin less stupid).  There is one amnesia victim, but she says it from the start, and it turns out kind of cool.

It is grimly flawed and excellent.  I have the desire to play it again, more slowly, just to see some of the plot pieces and settings again.  Even when I was bored to tears with the metaplot and frustrated with the endless, pointless fights at some points, I could always look around and say "this place is really pretty.  Like, really awesome just to look at.  Stunningly beautiful."  And the ending made my wife cry.  But she's pregnant; I think she also cried when she lost the cap to the pen on the fridge.
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