Bit Socket JRPG Month – I Love Final Fantasy XIII

As much as he might try, Scott can’t stop Joe from this one. Final Fantasy XIII must be one of the most unpopular JRPGs in a long time. It’s held up as an example of the genre losing its way. It’s linear, it’s simplified, it’s got some of the world’s most annoying characters.

Joe loves it though.

He knows why you don’t like it, but here he is, making his case for why he fell in love with Final Fantasy XIII.

Did Final Fantasy XIII let you down? Let us know in the comments below!

Enjoy the video, and Keep Bit Socketin’


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One response to “Bit Socket JRPG Month – I Love Final Fantasy XIII”

  1. Leon avatar

    See, I agree with many of your points, and can almost see why you might like the game. In many ways I’m happy for you – but then my worry that X was the last “true” Final Fantasy title for me kind of overrides that. Sure, FFXV looks amazing, but it’s a totally different type of gameplay compared to what came before.

    Initially, it took me a long time to work out what it was that I didn’t enjoy about XIII. I just knew that I wasn’t having fun. The combat wasnt as exhilarating as I had felt before, and the world just didnt grip me. I think, over time I’ve been able to analyse what it was about the game I didn’t enjoy.

    It’s easy to just say “Auto-Battle” and lack of micro-management was the cause of my dislike, and initially I thought that was what it was. Yet, how could I have enjoyed Final Fantasy XII with it’s perhaps even more automated combat?

    The problem for me was how messy and unecessary much of the combat was. There were numbers flying all over the screen, so fast that they were all but meaningless to me. The stagger system meant that combat was also much longer than in previous entries, while at the same time being more automated. Almost every enemy required the exact same strategy, albeit with occasional use of buffs/debuffs where needed.

    Magic was my other big issue. Firstly, giving the Commando role a non-elemental magic basically meant that they were good to throw magic at every enemy. This is the equivalent of the “Knight” or “Fighter” class – the all out physical, non-magic class. And they have magic that works on everything.

    As for elemental magic, the lack of an MP system and no micromanagement meant that I was basically unaware what I was casting all of the time, because it didn’t matter. Sure, there were different elemental strikes and magic, but when it all runs without any sort of planning, there’s really no need to notice. If the game basically just had party-wide commands of “Attack, Stagger, Defend, Heal, Debuff and Buff”, you’ve basically summed up the entirity of the Paradigm system with no more need for supposed complexities that aren’t really there.
    As much as I disliked FFXIII’s combat (my biggest problem with the game), I can’t help feeling that I might have enjoyed it with some tweaking and more imagination. I loved the way that Lightning used her Gunblade as a gun in that helicopter battle, and I feel the game would have been much more exciting if only magic and certain weapons could affect flying units, for instance. But it only happened in that one battle.

    Now lets compare this to Final Fantasy X. Each character has a specific role, and you can only have half of them on screen at once. Sure, the sphere grid opens things up by endgame, but Tidus and Wakka are best against speed type enemies, Kimahri and Auron against armoured, and Yuna and Lulu against magic. However, Wakka and Auron also have access to (different) debuffs, Yuna is a healer AND summoner, and they all have a good variety of Limit Breaks that function in different ways, and with varying effects. Which characters you use really matters depending on the situation, and every character feels unique. And you have to think about which magic you use, as you are in control and also have MP limits to consider.

    One thing that FFXIII really lacked for me was stuff to find. Most FF games have secret summons, ultimate weapons, new Limit Breaks to unlock, and a lot more besides. The only thing FFXIII offered (on Pulse) was more battles, which I never liked to begin with. Not quite as good as getting Odin in FFVIII, Chocobo Treasure Hunting in FFIX or getting the Celestial weapons in FFX.
    Oh, and the story. t was all good while they were running around Coccoon. And the ending wasn’t too bad. I quite liked most of the cast, though many people didn’t. But the trip to Pulse served no real purpose at all, and made no sense in the story at all. That’s where the game really fell apart for me.

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