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RTTP RTTP: Final Fantasy XIII

Komatsu

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So, as I was having a blast playing through FFX on my trusty PS2, I decided to take advantage of the fact the mrs is away this weekend to go back to a game I was not very impressed with when it first came out: Final Fantasy XIII. The fact that the XSX is backwards compatible with it and that it is XB1X-enhanced (4k, steady FPS, upscaled cutscenes, etc.) kind of clinched the deal. I popped the old disc into my tower of power and took it for a spin.

The game is gorgeous, particularly so in 4K.



In-game screenshot taken by E EteRnal PAL at RE:





That said....

I am not sure I am going to be able to last more than a couple of hours.

The dialogue is aggressively stupid and infantile ("Isn't that what heroes do?"), the nonsensical mumbo-jumbo terms are even more confusing than I remembered (fal'cie, l'cie, etc) and the game world is not that compelling.

The new ATB battle system is fun and dynamic, but not nearly as fun as FFXII's gambit system or the conditional-time battles of FFX.

That said, I kind of want to push through it this time and finish it as I've been thinking of playing XIII-2 and Lightning Returns, the only FF titles I have never touched.

So, is it worth, GAF? Does it get better? Back in 2010 I dropped out after about 8h.
 

Exentryk

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Not a fan of XIII. XIII-2 is more fun with its monster capture and building. LR has nice combat too. The story is crap in all of them. Gotta turn off your mind and enjoy the gameplay.
 
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Nevan

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I used to hate this game, but then I took an arr.... but then I actually finished the whole trilogy and I really liked it. lake Bresha is one of my top fave places in the game. I really wish this game got the 4k treatment like Xbox did. I'd love the trilogy on Ps4 Pro/Ps5.
 
Oct 2, 2019
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So, as I was having a blast playing through FFX on my trusty PS2, I decided to take advantage of the fact the mrs is away this weekend to go back to a game I was not very impressed with when it first came out: Final Fantasy XIII. The fact that the XSX is backwards compatible with it and that it is XB1X-enhanced (4k, steady FPS, upscaled cutscenes, etc.) kind of clinched the deal. I popped the old disc into my tower of power and took it for a spin.

The game is gorgeous, particularly so in 4K.



In-game screenshot taken by E EteRnal PAL at RE:





That said....

I am not sure I am going to be able to last more than a couple of hours.

The dialogue is aggressively stupid and infantile ("Isn't that what heroes do?"), the nonsensical mumbo-jumbo terms are even more confusing than I remembered (fal'cie, l'cie, etc) and the game world is not that compelling.

The new ATB battle system is fun and dynamic, but not nearly as fun as FFXII's gambit system or the conditional-time battles of FFX.

That said, I kind of want to push through it this time and finish it as I've been thinking of playing XIII-2 and Lightning Returns, the only FF titles I have never touched.

So, is it worth, GAF? Does it get better? Back in 2010 I dropped out after about 8h.
Stick with it.
 

Pantz

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Did the same a while back. Never finished it when it first came out, then came back to it 10 years later or so on the Xbox One X. It's like the game was made from the start to eventually be played properly on 4K TV's. It also helped that there's been so many open world games that the linearity was refreshing in a way.

Stick with it if you can, even if just for the visuals and the music, it looks really beautiful all the way through. They put so much detail even into the simplest of hallways.

If you have HDR it looks really nice with Auto-HDR on XSX too.
 

Pidull

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I've tried to beat this game 3 times, but the combat is so mind-numbingly boring and the story so poorly put together (the premise has potential) that I have failed every time. Nothing like burying 60+ hours into this game and never beating it.
 
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Ixion

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FF13 is beautiful to look at and listen to, and the battle system isn't bad. But as others have said, a linear game needs a good story and good pacing/variety. FFX has that. FF13 has incredibly tripe and melodramatic writing that just grates on you and grates on you....and then the gameplay is 100% battle-jog-battle-jog-battle-jog-battle. That also grates on you.

So no it doesn't get better, but there are of course some cool moments and scenes later on since it is a big budget Final Fantasy game. People sometimes say the game hits its stride once you get to the open Pulse area, but that didn't solve anything for me since you still get the exact same gameplay options as before (jogging and battles) but just in an open space.
 
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YukiOnna

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Can't say FF13 is a great game. But I will always vouch for its sequel (XIII-2) being one, very entertaining FF setting/story wise and gameplay. I'd say finish it just for that.
 
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Monado Blade

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I've restarted FFXIII several times now and I always ALWAYS stop when the game opens up about 13 hours in. I don't know why... it's like that's where I'm done. I was enjoying the game up to that point, and then I just stop and had my fill. Funny thing is that's where a lot of people say the game actually STARTS being fun 😅
 

Fictive

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Looks great... this will always be the most iconic part of old build FF13:


Other than that, the music is the most enjoyable part of the game with Pulse L’Cie and the Vestige being top notch tracks. Dust to Dust and Sulyya Springs are relaxing as well.
 
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TheContact

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My thoughts on 13:
+Awesome battle system. Between x and 13 I’d have trouble coming up with a winner.
+Amazing graphics especially for the time
+Good music

-absolute dog shit story told incredibly poorly
-game feature mechanics locked behind progression gates way too deep into the story
-no towns
-constant linear hallways done in a shitty way
 

Armorian

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My thoughts on 13:
+Awesome battle system. Between x and 13 I’d have trouble coming up with a winner.
+Amazing graphics especially for the time
+Good music

-absolute dog shit story told incredibly poorly
-game feature mechanics locked behind progression gates way too deep into the story
-no towns
-constant linear hallways done in a shitty way

Spot on. Once game opes up on pulse I just wanted to finish the damn thing
 
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Pidull

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I've restarted FFXIII several times now and I always ALWAYS stop when the game opens up about 13 hours in. I don't know why... it's like that's where I'm done. I was enjoying the game up to that point, and then I just stop and had my fill. Funny thing is that's where a lot of people say the game actually STARTS being fun 😅
Yeah that's what I kept trying to convince myself, but It got less interesting for me at that point every time. 😂
 

Kumomeme

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  • the game almost has non world building. they just dump datalog so player could read themself lmao
  • lightning is protagonist, but the story not really revolves around her
  • linear on rail, lack of player agency
  • no town lmao this is one of biggest 'sins'. imagine a pokemon game but no town.

    that said, XIII-2 is way better since it developed based on XIII flaw and people feedback. it fix most of the issue. probably reception could be different if XIII is more like XIII-2 in term of content like world building and towns.


    i love the combat system by the way. music is breathtaking for sure. Archyle Steppe atmosphere is awesome.
 
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YukiOnna

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  • the game almost has non world building. they just dump datalog so player could read themself lmao
  • lightning is protagonist, but the story not really revolves around her
  • linear on rail, lack of player agency
  • no town lmao this is one of biggest 'sins'. imagine a pokemon game but no town.

    that said, XIII-2 is way better since it developed based on XIII flaw and people feedback. it fix most of the issue. probably reception could be different if XIII is more like XIII-2 in term of content like world building and towns.


    i love the combat system by the way. music is breathtaking for sure. Archyle Steppe atmosphere is awesome.
Think what also helps is that XIII-2 went all in on the FNC lore than the weird no exposition style in XIII. I may not like the direction it took in LR, but XIII-2 set things up well and had fun with it.
 

Ixion

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XII is the last good (single-player) Final Fantasy and I do not think that will ever change

I have to disagree with you and say that FF7 Remake feels like FF13 but with the flaws corrected. FF7R has the same overall "action movie" feel as FF13, but it brings back the towns and gameplay variety while also having much more solid writing that makes the characters more relatable and less melodramatic. Not to mention it has a great action-RPG battle system that fits much better for that type of RPG. FF7R still has some pacing issues and some story issues here and there, but generally it hits the mark, whereas FF13 didn't.

So in a way I'm glad that FF13 happened, since the devs learned from their mistakes and now have a solid formula figured out with the FF7R series, which should only get better with the sequels. The one aspect I'd say FF13 did better than FF7R is the environment variety given the Midgar focused nature of Part 1, so I'm hoping Part 2 takes advantage of the different locales you're supposed to explore.
 
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Nevan

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If it should ever be ported/remastered, I hope for a sort of "expert Sphere grid" for the Crystarium. I want that thing fully unlocked or at least 90 percent of it right out the gate after being branded.
 
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Lady Bird

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Much like FFX's Calm Lands, FFXIII has a large area to explore somewhere around ~70% of the game (at Chapter 11), which makes the game significantly better. Besides the open field, it has a few side locations to explore, plenty of optional bosses, good rewards to find or earn, some of the best farming spots in the game, chocobo sidequests and plenty of different enemies of varying power.

It's at that point when you get to ask yourself: "How do I beat those monsters? How do I get access to that treasure chest at the middle of the lake or over the hill if I can't walk there? How do I go through to that path?", and the answer is, in good RPG fashion, to explore, explore, explore.

It's a drastic shift in game design, and even the director behind that map was a different person than the main director. It's also the only thing that FF13 has over FF7:remake, as the is significantly better than FF13 at offering a linear, cinematic gameplay experience.

But it takes a while to get there.
 
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Kumomeme

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What is the story and overworld like? In FF XIII
its futuristic world where human live in sphere shape like city called Cocoon. the world outside that considered unhabitabed full of wild life called Pulse. the world govern by lot of god called Fal'cie, where selected human who given task will has special brand on body called I'cie, that also given additional power like magic. once the task fullfilled, the human turned into crystal.

that is about FFXIII. originally FFXIII and Versus 13 is part of Fabula Nova Crystallies mythology which is would use similliar element but not necessary same game.

 
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Hudo

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I liked it and Lightning Returns. Didn't care much for FF XIII-2, though. I never understood why the FF XIII trilogy is so hated. FF XIII is a far better game than FF XV, IMHO (far better as in more fun).
Now that I think about it, FF XV is the only FF that left me disappointed.
 

Kumomeme

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I liked it and Lightning Returns. Didn't care much for FF XIII-2, though. I never understood why the FF XIII trilogy is so hated. FF XIII is a far better game than FF XV, IMHO (far better as in more fun).
Now that I think about it, FF XV is the only FF that left me disappointed.
personally one of things XV done better is being better game than XIII.
XIII doesnt even has town. story not even revolves around main protagonist. it even almost no world building.
 
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Zog

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I liked it and Lightning Returns. Didn't care much for FF XIII-2, though. I never understood why the FF XIII trilogy is so hated. FF XIII is a far better game than FF XV, IMHO (far better as in more fun).
Now that I think about it, FF XV is the only FF that left me disappointed.
When people started hating it, there was no FF15 to compare it to.
 

Hudo

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personally one of things XV done better is being better game than XIII.
XIII doesnt even has town. story not even revolves around main protagonist. it even almost no world building.
Didn't really need a town, though. It was something new for FF and I think they pulled it off quite well. At least FF 13 has somewhat of a coherent story and isn't just an unfinished jigsaw puzzle of concepts like FF 15 is. There are so many plot holes in FF 15 that you can't help but wonder if even the script in its initial form, from when Nomura was still in charge, was more than just bits of ideas on sticky notes.

When people started hating it, there was no FF15 to compare it to.
People usually hate every new entry in a franchise, though. I think a lot of the hate for FF 13 originated from some hardcore fans who thought that releasing it on Xbox is some sort of a "betrayal". Even to this day, (some) people think that third-party developers are somehow beholden to support only one platform, which is probably the most idiotic thing coming out of the console warz™ mentality.
 

sublimit

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I have the trilogy but i have only played XIII and that i haven't even finished. Lately i've been toying with the idea to give XIII (and its sequels) another serious chance because strangely i'm starting to miss XIII's world (and its beautiful soundtrack) and the linearity doesn't seem to bother me anymore. At least on paper. I'm also currently replaying FFX and i'm having a blast and i'm really appreciating its linearity and its pace. Of course i might start hating the game again (FFXIII) once i start it. I agree with the OP that the dialogues and characters felt very annoying at least back when i first played it. But who knows maybe now i might appreciate the story and characters more than i did 10 years ago. (Or hate them even more. :p)
But for now i feel kinda nostalgic about it and i would love to find the time to return to it.
 
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Lady Bird

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People usually hate every new entry in a franchise, though.
That's because FFs from 12 to 15 all suffered from really troublesome productions. 12 had its main director/ writer leave mid-production, 13's team only got a grasp of what the game was gonna be like after the demo 1 year before release, 14 was so bad at release it had to be remade into 2.0, and versus 13 was in development hell until it became 15. All of them felt, in some way or another, incomplete and/ or unpolished. It was a really bad era for Square Enix.

In contrast, FF14 2.0+ and FF7:R have more positive acclaim.
 

Hudo

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That's because FFs from 12 to 15 all suffered from really troublesome productions. 12 had its main director/ writer leave mid-production, 13's team only got a grasp of what the game was gonna be like after the demo 1 year before release, 14 was so bad at release it had to be remade into 2.0, and versus 13 was in development hell until it became 15. All of them felt, in some way or another, incomplete and/ or unpolished. It was a really bad era for Square Enix.

In contrast, FF14 2.0+ and FF7:R have more positive acclaim.
Yeah, I hope that Yoshi-P can finally deliver a mainline FF without any major fuck up during development. I have fairly high hopes for FF 16 (I also dig the setting).
 
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Kumomeme

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That's because FFs from 12 to 15 all suffered from really troublesome productions. 12 had its main director/ writer leave mid-production, 13's team only got a grasp of what the game was gonna be like after the demo 1 year before release, 14 was so bad at release it had to be remade into 2.0, and versus 13 was in development hell until it became 15. All of them felt, in some way or another, incomplete and/ or unpolished. It was a really bad era for Square Enix.

In contrast, FF14 2.0+ and FF7:R have more positive acclaim.
all is due to problematic Crystal Tools engine. square that time like lot other japanese studio struggled technology wise to developed HD game. imagine if the engine is good, or they use UE3 instead. XIII might not be barebones linear, no town game. Versus 13 is happening. we might get KH3 way earlier during ps3 era. we probably already get KH4. FFXIV 1.0 might be less a mess but we wont get current XIV.
 
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oSoLucky

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I think FF13 is a great JRPG, but will be judged much more harshly coming form a series as great as that one. If they let you pick you party from the start (especially got rid of those god-awful Sazh-Vanille sequences where it's impossible to stagger anything with Sazh's slow ass fire rate) and didn't gate the combat system so heavily, over 1/2 of the criticisms would be null and void. The complete lack of secrets beyond more optional bosses was absolutely awful. I still think it's a great game. I platinumed it on 2 separate accounts. No regrets.



Hope is only redeemed by his older self later in the series. Worst character in 13-1 easily.
 
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oSoLucky

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I think FF13 is a great JRPG, but will be judged much more harshly coming form a series as great as that one. If they let you pick you party from the start (especially got rid of those god-awful Sazh-Vanille sequences where it's impossible to stagger anything with Sazh's slow ass fire rate) and didn't gate the combat system so heavily, over 1/2 of the criticisms would be null and void. The complete lack of secrets beyond more optional bosses was absolutely awful. I still think it's a great game. I platinumed it on 2 separate accounts. No regrets.



Hope is only redeemed by his older self later in the series. Worst character in 13-1 easily.
 

Fbh

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I wanted to like this game so much but just couldn't. Though overall it's probably still better than XV, the combat is better, it has better boss battles, and stupid as the story might be it does at least feel somewhat compelling and complete.


What is the story and overworld like? In FF XIII

The world is interesting and has some great concepts. But the actual story is told incredibly poorly with mostly unlikable characters and Saturday morning cartoon dialog.
The playable world is aggressively linear, 90% of the game is just one big hallway with some occasional optional side corridor that leads to a chest or something. There's also virtually no towns and hardly any NPC's. Late into the game you reach a single big area where there's actually a semblance of exploration and also some sidequests. Though, again, there's no town or characters to interact with an most sidequests here are plot-less given to you by a floating stone.
 
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peronmls

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What a series. The first game is really polished and rich in story but after that gets turned into an reused asset fest. Game play gets only a little bit better after each installment.
 
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cireza

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The FF XIII games on One X/Series X look like current gen games. They are incredible.

Why not skip XIII and play directly XIII-2 or Lightning Returns ? I started with Lightning Returns, it is by far my favorite of the three.
 

Cornbread78

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I've been pacing myself through it lately on my SerX as well and I'm really enjoying the updated look and the music, so much great music...

I mean, here are some shots from my current playthrough:





Amazing battle theme:

Saber’s Edge:





I mean, it is linear af, but who cares if the battle system is good, the characters are interesting, the menu's are the best looking in any JRPG ever, and it's a beautiful game. It's been about 10 years since my first playthrough and I'm enjoying myself more now than my first playthrough..... If I am going to complain about anything right now, Lightning's legs are too skinny....
 

Kagey K

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I just restarted this game last week, and I'm having more fun than I did the first go around.

On Series X it's a beautiful game and doesn't look like a 360 era game at all thanks to all the work Square/MS did.
 

SantaC

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So, as I was having a blast playing through FFX on my trusty PS2, I decided to take advantage of the fact the mrs is away this weekend to go back to a game I was not very impressed with when it first came out: Final Fantasy XIII. The fact that the XSX is backwards compatible with it and that it is XB1X-enhanced (4k, steady FPS, upscaled cutscenes, etc.) kind of clinched the deal. I popped the old disc into my tower of power and took it for a spin.

The game is gorgeous, particularly so in 4K.



In-game screenshot taken by E EteRnal PAL at RE:





That said....

I am not sure I am going to be able to last more than a couple of hours.

The dialogue is aggressively stupid and infantile ("Isn't that what heroes do?"), the nonsensical mumbo-jumbo terms are even more confusing than I remembered (fal'cie, l'cie, etc) and the game world is not that compelling.

The new ATB battle system is fun and dynamic, but not nearly as fun as FFXII's gambit system or the conditional-time battles of FFX.

That said, I kind of want to push through it this time and finish it as I've been thinking of playing XIII-2 and Lightning Returns, the only FF titles I have never touched.

So, is it worth, GAF? Does it get better? Back in 2010 I dropped out after about 8h.
Lightning returns is the best one. Dont listen to the naysayers.
 
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