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RTTP RTTP: Final Fantasy XIII

Cornbread78

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I just got XIII off of eBay for $1.50 last week. Excited to play through it on my Series X.
Nice, I scored mine there for like 5, XIII-2 for 6.50 and LR for 9.

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.
Same here. It looks so damn good on my SeX
 
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Captain Toad

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I always think of XIII as a spiritual successor to X. Both follow that same linear style traversal.

I found XIII superior to X in most ways, especially that OST. I think X is the most overrated game in the franchise.
 

SantaC

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My pc screens from 2014
 
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Cornbread78

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I always think of XIII as a spiritual successor to X. Both follow that same linear style traversal.

I found XIII superior to X in most ways, especially that OST. I think X is the most overrated game in the franchise.

Meh, Story, tone, ambiance and most importantly, emotional impact are much stronger in X. The tone in X-2 is an amazing match to Yuna's emotions..
 

Komatsu

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So I am about five hours in. Maybe it's just because I am no longer a twentysomething, but the dialogue is absolutely cringe-inducing. To call it Sunday morning catoon-level would be do to cartoons a disservice. Snow is annoying and Vanille is simply an embarrassment.

Game looks absolutely fantastic - possibly one of the best look X-enhanced BC titles. Battle system is great, but I still think FFX's CTB system takes the cake as the best one in the entire franchise. And as many have noted, the soundtrack is great. Hamauzu, responsible for some of the best tracks in X ("Besaid", etc) does great here.

What Final Fantasy post-XII lacks is a coherent creative vision. XII suffered from this as well, but Matsuno was involved long enough to imprint it with some of his style. XV is a good example of this failing: a half-arsed open world, a final act on rails, disjointed story sections, etc.
 
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Cutty Flam

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the dialogue is absolutely cringe-inducing. To call it Sunday morning catoon-level would be do to cartoons a disservice. Snow is annoying and Vanille is simply an embarrassment.
That’s one of the worst things in gaming, when the developers flop like that. There were some moments in The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword involving a main character that were so cringe that I was nearly sweating I was so embarrassed...

Would you say FF XIII is a must play given the things it does right?
 

Ixion

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What Final Fantasy post-XII lacks is a coherent creative vision. XII suffered from this as well, but Matsuno was involved long enough to imprint it with some of his style. XV is a good example of this failing: a half-arsed open world, a final act on rails, disjointed story sections, etc.

On the contrary, I'd say FF13 had a really cool overall concept based on Cocoon and Pulse. That overall concept was created by Nojima, but he didn't actually handle the writing like he did for 7, 8, 10, and 7R. It's the writing and dialogue in FF13 that completely squanders the potential of that concept. And of course the technical issues that made them de-prioritize having NPCs and a livelier world.

That’s one of the worst things in gaming, when the developers flop like that. There were some moments in The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword involving a main character that were so cringe that I was nearly sweating I was so embarrassed...

Would you say FF XIII is a must play given the things it does right?

FF2 and FF13 are generally considered the two worst games in the series, but obviously every game in the series has its upside. While FF13 overall is a bad game in my opinion (or mediocre at best), it does provide a top-notch audio/visual experience as you can see from the screenshots. The menus, music and sound effects are great too. The battle system often gets praise, but the problem is that battles are literally the entire game, and in my opinion the battle system isn't nearly good enough to carry the entire gameplay experience. It does get formulaic for the most part after a while.

So personally I definitely wouldn't consider it a must-play, but if you're interested in the series then I would say it's certainly worth a try. Some people just really love the battle system and music for example, and that's enough to really enjoy the game. And while the story told in the game is lackluster, the lore explained in the menus is kind of interesting.
 
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Whitecrow

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I always think of XIII as a spiritual successor to X. Both follow that same linear style traversal.

I found XIII superior to X in most ways, especially that OST. I think X is the most overrated game in the franchise.
XIII is not even close to X, doenst matter how you spin it.
Well, the only explanation possible is you being a masochist. That's the only way XIII can be better than X.
 

Cutty Flam

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And while the story told in the game is lackluster, the lore explained in the menus is kind of interesting.
That’s excellent. Does the lore generally carry on to the next game and others in Final Fantasy, even if only a little? I know that each game is essentially its own, but can the events that took place in FF VII be known by a wise NPC in say in FF XIII for example? Or is it that every game’s setting takes place in a different world, at a completely different time in the FF ‘universe’ usually?
 

Majukun

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one of the worst game i've ever played, no hyperbole, probably THE worst that isn't jst plain technically broken
 
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mango drank

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So I am about five hours in. Maybe it's just because I am no longer a twentysomething, but the dialogue is absolutely cringe-inducing. To call it Sunday morning catoon-level would be do to cartoons a disservice. Snow is annoying and Vanille is simply an embarrassment.
One of my enduring memories of playing FFXIII, 11 years ago, is peeking behind me every once in a while during cutscenes to make sure none of my family was passing by and judging me for playing what must have seemed to them some kind of animu game made for special children.
 

Ixion

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That’s excellent. Does the lore generally carry on to the next game and others in Final Fantasy, even if only a little? I know that each game is essentially its own, but can the events that took place in FF VII be known by a wise NPC in say in FF XIII for example? Or is it that every game’s setting takes place in a different world, at a completely different time in the FF ‘universe’ usually?

None of the main installments have anything to do with each other besides a half jokingly included easter egg in FFX-2 that connects the worlds of FF7 and FFX, but that's it.

In regards to FFXIII though, it does have two sequels in FFXIII-2 and FFXIII: Lightning Returns, so the FFXIII universe is explored more in those games. Personally, I only played FFXIII-2, but didn't finish it. The gameplay is definitely much improved in FFXIII-2 as it's now non-linear and actually has NPCs and cities/towns, but I thought the story/writing was still pretty bad. FFXIII: Lightning Returns is also non-linear, but I don't really know much more about it. It got pretty mediocre reviews, and I never finished FFXIII-2, so I've basically ignored it. But that game seems to have its share of fans, so I'll let others speak to that one.
 
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Komatsu

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On the contrary, I'd say FF13 had a really cool overall concept based on Cocoon and Pulse. That overall concept was created by Nojima, but he didn't actually handle the writing like he did for 7, 8, 10, and 7R. It's the writing and dialogue in FF13 that completely squanders the potential of that concept. And of course the technical issues that made them de-prioritize having NPCs and a livelier world.

I meant gameplay-wise, an area where Nojima had no influence whatsoever. The whiplash between what we saw on XII, to XIII, to XIII-2 to XV - with its open world grafted onto what clearly was originally an on-rails experience - shows that they not sure which way to go. Now, after XV, it seems like the franchise has basically left turn-based combat behind for good.
 

Kagey K

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I meant gameplay-wise, an area where Nojima had no influence whatsoever. The whiplash between what we saw on XII, to XIII, to XIII-2 to XV - with its open world grafted onto what clearly was originally an on-rails experience - shows that they not sure which way to go. Now, after XV, it seems like the franchise has basically left turn-based combat behind for good.
In the day and age where people are autoing, and skipping animations and cut scenes in Gacha games on the regular, making a full turn based console RPG that keeps the user engaged is going to be a near impossible task.

Mobile could have been the saviour of turn based RPGs and instead it chopped all the joy out of it and then killed it.
 
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If you don't like it now. I'm not sure why you'd like it later. It doesn't really change all that much.

That said, I've never really understood the hate and like the game a lot.

People complain about the story and while it's not the best. I'm never found it to be some abomination. The ending peters out and there are plenty of aspects of it that go nowhere. But I find many elements of it interesting. A twist on the crystal mythos where being chosen is bad. Regular people with "everyday" issues caught up in the machinations of gods. Having a destiny that honestly sucks and fighting against the gods that really also want to be over with their own roles. It doesn't play out the best, but the themes were interesting, for better than most of the moe shit jrpgs of that console era.

And honestly, I don't understand the jrpg fandom. I'm playing Ys 9 right now and I like it. But the impressions I've read of this story and Falcom's other stuff from fans is that the story is good. But I can't stand it most of the time. It's full of trite bullshit. Things that no grown adult could find compelling. "Oh here's this cat girl(who's adopted because it's Japan!) who wants to help the poor and do her own thing. So she opens a flower shop! Here's a gruff dude who wants to fight everybody. It's all lame anime shit and Ys 9 is still somehow better than the previous games when it comes to characters and story. So I've never understood what was so bad about XIII's writing and story compared to JRPGs and games in general. It's not amazing, but hardly something that offends me as a jrpg player. I liked the more "grounded" and more regular people part of the cast and wish there was more interconnected drama between them. Everyone had a clear arc and the cast felt equally developed.

The battle system is fun with maybe being a little too focused on being aggressive and fast. I remember people complaining about the summons casting death during those battles. If that ever happens to you, well that's how I knew you weren't playing the game well. Having all the jobs and sometimes characteristics of the enemies play into the break gauge was really fun. Yeah Auto battle makes this too easy and I always hold that they shouldn't have had it. I bet if they didn't people would then find it hard. As it is though, nothing is more fun than that quick shift to healing, buffing, or whatever, to quickly going back to the attack. It's actually a really fun and active battle system. I think that the battle system is even fun when you have two characters only and have to figure out what's best to kill fast. You'll surely realize sab is quite useful when it's just Vannile and Szah.

Maybe not the best FF, but not the worst.
 
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Komatsu

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And honestly, I don't understand the jrpg fandom. I'm playing Ys 9 right now and I like it. But the impressions I've read of this story and Falcom's other stuff from fans is that the story is good. But I can't stand it most of the time. It's full of trite bullshit. Things that no grown adult could find compelling. "Oh here's this cat girl(who's adopted because it's Japan!) who wants to help the poor and do her own thing. So she opens a flower shop! Here's a gruff dude who wants to fight everybody. It's all lame anime shit and Ys 9 is still somehow better than the previous games when it comes to characters and story. So I've never understood what was so bad about XIII's writing and story compared to JRPGs and games in general.

Yours is a thoughtful post and one with which I do not necessarily disagree - some level of triteness is to be expected in most JRPGs unless the screenwriter is named Yasumi Matsuno or Masami Kato. That said, there are levels of triteness and cringe which go beyond what is usually expected of the genre,.

Kazushige Nojima overall concept and the Fabula Nova Crystallis mythos are interesting, but the game itself has the worst dialogue in the series, worse still than what we can find in the old NES FFs with bare-bones plots or in V, where the villain is a magic evil tree (LOL) that wants to destroy the world for the evilz. Case in point... Within the first two hours, Snow screams:

"I will be a hero!"
"Serah, your hero is here!"
"I am a hero!"

It is grotesquely asinine, to say nothing of magic pixie dreamgirl Vanille, all giddy and genki while perusing the innards of an eldricht abomination god.

Compare it, for example, with the somber and melancholy monologue that Nojima wrote for Tidus once he sees Yuna sending the dead for the first time. Or the easy camaraderie and realistically adolescent banter of the cadets at Balamb Garden. Or the first 40 mins of FF7, possibly one of the high marks of electronic gaming as a narrative medium.

Final Fantasy ain't Shakespeare or Wordsworth, sure, but it was at one point a franchise from which you could play a game as an adult and not feel your brain dripping out of your ear. I sincerely don't know what they were thinking in 2009.
 
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Kumomeme

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the lore explained in the menus is kind of interesting.
this is actually very 'lazy' or the devs infact, or probably has no time to implement proper world building story/section due to problematic crystal tools. one of big 'crime' of FFXIII is almost none world-building. all the lore information is keep in datalog menu, asking player to spend time read all those long list of essay by themself or they just wont understand the game is. basically like the devs just didnt bother to properly presented the world towards player

world building is crucial aspect. the game has cool concept but no use if it not delivered properly.
 
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Komatsu

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About 5h in now - been playing this along with Ys IX and Bravely Default 2 - and the game does get marginally better dialogue-wise as you leave the intro...

That said, I think the visuals alone will keep me going. This looks absolutely amazing in 4K.
 

n0razi

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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.


So basically it turns into FFXV at Chapter 11, got it.
 

Areiz

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So basically it turns into FFXV at Chapter 11, got it.
LOL
Actually the only open area in ffxiii is grand pulse. And it is a empty and flat place to explore for just one chapter. On the other hand FF15 it has a full open world to explore, with city's, dungeons, hunting quest and minigames in the first half and a second half of the game more linear and focused on the plot. Ff15 is a greatly more enjoyable game overall than final corridor xiii...
 

SlimeGooGoo

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Worst Final Fantasy alongside X-2 (though at least X-2 had a nice job system)

The characters are horrible and annoying, except for the dude with a chocobo in the hair.
Corridor after corridor after corridor, battles take too long, story is convoluted and boring,

Lost Odyssey was the true Final Fantasy 13.
Final Fantasy never recovered from this mess of a game.
 

JeloSWE

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I love the:
  • Graphics, both esthetically and it technically impressive
  • Music, especially the battle theme which is one of my all-time favorite battle songs.
  • Battle system with the stagger meter, I loved it so much.
Didn't like or could be better:
  • Character and dialogues weren't that good, often talking and acting naively. I really disliked Hope, Lighting is not bad but english voice cast is making here sound too stoic/depressed for me. Best and most likable character is arch Sazh.
  • Incomprehensible world building with confusing l'Cie names unless you read the log, which I didn't bother with and never will in any game.
  • The battle system takes way to long to open up so you can start getting creative with party paradigm, game is 80-90% done at that point.
When I played though it the first time I didn't mind the linearity of the game but the town/hubs aren't developed which was a big missed opportunity. And the battle system could have opened up more earlier in the game. I kept playing because of the incredible graphics, music, battle system and exploring new locations.

I finished 13-2, it was pretty good. Never finished 13-3 due to it being so dull looking with it's emphasis on black and white checker board patterns and different battle system.

I would still recommend anyone to give 13 a try.
 

SkylineRKR

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XIII is not even close to X, doenst matter how you spin it.
Well, the only explanation possible is you being a masochist. That's the only way XIII can be better than X.

X does everything better. I don't get the comparisons either. FFX lets you travel to old areas, and open up some previously locked stuff or finding hidden items. It has actual towns. Storyline also infinitely better than that mess that was XIII. The cast of X is also better, there isn't one character in XIII thats as good as Auron. Even X-2 is better, it has a better ATB battle system and job system for instance.
 
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Valentino

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I actually......really like the game. It was my first FF so I thought thought the whimsy nature of the characters and the orgasm noises from vanille were what you JRPG nerds were in to. So I assumed there wasn't anything "off" with how the characters were presented. It actually stumps me how phenomenal it still looks. Is there a slight chance it would get a remaster like X and XII?