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Final Fantasy 13 Story Recap and Review (SPOILER ALERT)

March 30, 2010 9 comments

Why do we play final fantasy or RPG’s in general?  To grind hours of our lives away, do we play for the gameplay, not really, (it has to be good and playable) but it could be mediocre and we still play through.  The main reason we play is to Role Play through some characters in an alternate type of world usually with a very compelling story.

Final Fantasy 13 did not deliver on this, I don’t give a crap if the battle system was their best to date,  or the graphics were the best, cause their only as good as the year they were developed meaning everyone will shit themselves for next Final Fantasy 15’s graphics.

Now let’s get into the meat of my beef, (again spoilers)

Characters,

Lighting– A complete bitch to everyone, who seems to have no emotion what so ever, many take her as a cloud rip off.  But at least Cloud had reasons behind his problems, my only logical reasoning is that this game started during her time of the month and lasted the entire duration of the game.

Vanille–  She is so F@$# annoying, I can’t help but think of a bad sex disease when I hear her name.  She tries to act nice but when Hopes mom just dies she basically tells him to cheer up and then says  ciao and leaves him, literally 5 mins after his mom just died.

Snow– What the hell is with Final Fantasy Names, its like they just go through a dictionary.  He’s  a complete douche bag, who’s full of himself even though he has no quality to be proud of, he’s the Colin Ferrell  of the group with his ski cap and douche bag goatee.

Sezh–  Token Black guy, actually this guy was pry the best mainly because he was supposed to be comic relief.  Even he seems lame compared to other characters throughout the franchise.

Fang– Another chick that is really annoying like Lightening.  Except she has a staff instead of a sword so you know she’s completely different.

Hope–  All these other characters pale in comparison to Hope.  How many of you like Tidus from FF10, I know a lot of people bitched about him.  How about Vaan from FF12  you hate that guy I know I did.  Well Hope is even worse than either of them.  I swear to god Square if you make another whining bitch for a character like this I will swear off the entire Franchise.  They didn’t even change his look, blond hair with the same style get some originality.

There are even more non player characters that are just as bad.

Dialogue

Terrible dialogue though out the entire series, sure they may sprinkle some moments here and there, but majority of it sounds like it was written by 11 year old boy who’s never read a book and only watched a few cartoons and has dyslexia.

You may have heard of some line such as this “Mom’s are Tough” well that was basically the icing on the whole shit sandwich you are about to eat, (and if you think icing on any sandwich sounds gross than you will completely understand)

Plot

Basically the government is Purging (killing) a bunch of people because they think they are L’cith (Servants , AKA Lepers) because they were touched by Fal’Cith (Gods).  The Fal’Cith are fighting a war against one another from Pulse (The world) and Cocoon (giant ship above the world).  So the fractions are Fal Cith of Pulse and the Fal Cith of Cocoon at ends.

If you get touch and turned into a L’cith or servant you are given a Focus (goal) if you don’t complete this focus you turn into the undead, if you do complete this focus you get turned into crystals which you may wish you were dead.  Either way you might as well kill yourself.  They also don’t give them many details on their focus except a cryptic vision that could mean anything or nothing depending on how the writers sway.

Snow’s underage girlfriend and Lightings Sister, Serah (not a typo) gets turned into L’cith.  He fights the government to stop the purge, Lighting is trying to going to the Fal’cith headquarters to get her.  Hope is dragged in by Snow’s army and blames him for his moms death, (not the army that was trying to kill them).  Sezh joins Lighting quest cause he’s upset his son was turned L’cith.  Vanille joins Hope and Snow.

They all meet up in Fal cith meet Serah, a speech about saving cocoon than she’s turned into a Crystal for filling her focus which was to bring them together.  The fal cith get them.

The group get turned into L’Cith and can now use magic, the government what’s them dead because they are racists, any logic they try to thrown into to explain this never is really explored.  Except the government says hate these people and somehow everyone just says “ok yeah”.  Even though they themselves could get turned into L’cith just as easily.

The group splits up, Vanille and Sezh – Hope and Lighting,-  Snow meets up with Fang another L’cith.

Sezh finds out his son was turned L’cith from Vanille trys to kill her. He can’t, tries to kill himself, which they try to make you think that he has but an hour later shows them he’s not dead.  Big Surpise.

Lighting gives Hope a knife (that her sister gave her on her birthday) to kill Snow, (why her sister would give Lighting a knife when she already has a sword gun thing, beats me).  Hope whines about missing his mommy, lighting bitches that she can’t be his mommy.

Snow finds the Crystal form of Serah trys to dig her out of more crystal and gets caught by Fang.  Is order to hunt other L’cith. With some army group with Cid Raines and some other guys that don’t matter.

Sezh and Vanille were captured, everyone comes to rescue them  they go to the flying airship meet Dynsly the cocoon President he’s a Fal’cith kills his entire officer including an annoying bitch that they only showed a few time before so she never become a threat like it seemed to foresee in the cut scenes.

After a lot of character development with free love and talk about hope, you find out the grand duke or whatever was a Fal Cith who wants you to kill Orphan (another god) so that the Maker (God of Gods) will come back.  By making Ragnarök to come to life and bring about Cocoons destruction.  Some how this will the Maker want to come back, all I know is if I was the Maker I would be so ashamed of the people that I would never want to come back.

Apparently Fang and Vanille are Pulse L’cith from like 100 years ago who were supposed to bring Ragnarök and failed.  Now they have to do it again. They go to Pulse because (Square had to have a open world otherwise the entire game would have been the most linear RPG ever).  They see stone Zombie L’cth says if they don’t full their focus they get turned into stones thing like this, which they use to run their side missions. A few hours they see another one than say  something that recants their previous statement and says it holds old memories which they access to loosely explain something about the plot that later will get thrown away at the end.

Back to cocoon they are greeted with army after they crash a race.  They convince the army that they aren’t the ones at fault. Than go after Dynsly or whatever the main Fal’cith is.

The end boss is a complete Emo who basically wants to die, (even though he fights you) than they do a spiel about saving cocoon even though killing Orphan is what the Fal’cith wanted out of them in the first place.  All the groups except Fang and Vanille get turned into the Zombie like L’cith, wait they get turned back somehow than talking about love and peace and more.  Hope says that the “Fal Cith has no power and they are just smoke and mirrors”  (Even though they made them have magic, killed 1000’s if not 10,000s of people in a blink of an eye. yeah just smoke and mirrors, I’m sure your mom isn’t really dead either after falling from that building.) Than after the heart warming speech and some weapon posing they fight Orphan.

So Orphan dies, than for no reason Vanille and Fang become Ragnarok and save cocoon (How? Doesn’t make sense but than again if you got to this point nothing does).  Serah and Sezh kid come back and Snow plans for his wedding with Serah. Vanille and Fang are shown as crystals after doing their focus. (even though everyone else was a crystal but got decrystalized they didn”t?  Whatever).   A song is played and everything is a happy ending, cue credits.  I just saved you 60 dollars and 50 – 80 hours of your life.

I know a few may think I simplified it, but it really wasn’t all that complex they just made it seem that way by making up new words and never explaining them.

Final Thoughts

The story sounds like it could be good, just it’s bogged down with unlikable characters, clones from other final fantasy characters, including a Sephiroth clone.  Terrible dialogue that is either not needed adds nothing to the story or characters development.  It’s delivery is just God awful, they took what really is a simple story and made it hard to understand and at times makes you scratch your head.  They are constantly making characters do things that make no sense or seem out of character, even for a game where the characters seem out of place is a feat all it’s own.

It seems they spent more time on the graphics and doing cut scenes with CG than actually have anything make sense, they had 3 years to develop a good story and this was the best they came up with,  this seems like the Michael Bay of the Final Fantasy.  This doesn’t please the hardcore RPG fan, doesn’t make it easy to understand for the newbie RPG fan, and the non RPG fan will just assume play and FPS instead of watching long winded talks and CG cut scenes that could have been cut out and not take anything away form the story.

I could grip for hours on this but, if you still feel like seeing for yourself go to youtube I am sure someone has it posted already.

I expected more out of Square Enix.  Lately they have had a lack luster of game quality coming out, Crystal Bearers anyone.  I know they could do better and have.  FF 4 After Years was good.   I hear they are already developing the next software engine for the new FF, now how about developing better writers along with that.

****** Update Last remarks

It’s been a few hours since I saw the end and wrote this and I am still fuming over this story it was just so bad.  I am not new to RPGs so my review isn’t a knock on them.  In fact I played RPGS since I was single digit age, starting with Dragon Quest, and Final Fantasy 6 was one that made me really get into RPGs and I never looked back.  I am also a big Japanese Anime fan so this is no way of me ripping on Japan way of story telling in general.

But let’s be honest anyone who could find this a gripping story or even coherent well they are just pry in disbelief on how bad it is must and have a batter wife syndrome.  This does not deserve a tripple A rating.

I’ve seen Michael Bay Movies with better scripts than this.

I’ve seen US Manga movies with more coherent stories.   Even MD Geist and Wicked City.

I watched Porns with more believable characters than this had.

Heroes after season 1 had better direction and more likeable characters.

I read hentai comics with more heart and were better in their story.

DC’s retcon of their universe each decade made more sense than this story.

Spider-man clone saga was better in delivery.

This game make Suda 51 stories seem transparent and easy to understand.

Phantasy Star Universe had better less cliche characters.

I’ve seen lifetime movies that made wife beating husbands look better than this group of characters.

God help me, Twilight has more appeal than this game.

I used to think FF8 was one of the worst Final Fantasy games, one that I never even felt like playing again after one playthrough which was over a decade ago, but somehow Square out did themselves with this craptrastic one.  I know alot of people like the game play (which is importatnt) but whats the point if it helps you get from point A to point B if point B is just crap.  All I can say is never just assume a game will be great from a company just because it’s a franchise and they are well known for being great and I would be cautious on getting the next Final Fantasy Game.  All we can do is hope and pray that they clean up their act and get some quality control.

Ok I think I vented enough.  If you still don’t believe me get the game than, nothing will stop you.

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Final Fantasy XIII – Ending Thoughts

Don't listen to those other kids. You have your charm points FFXIII.

I’ve finally surmounted the obstacle of FFXIII and I suppose it’s time I weigh in in the debate. Going into this game I was already aware that this isn’t a traditional Final Fantasy game as the original FF team left after FFX and formed Mistwalker Studios (Blue Dragon, Lost Odyssey). I went into the game as just any other RPG with a much larger budget. There have been numerous reviews of the game already with both positive and mostly negative responses. I’m just going to break it down into the various elements.

Characters – I, for one, had no issue with the characters at all. I felt they were all just unique enough. They were interesting without being so crazily designed as to be completely unrelatable. Lightning was the shining beacon of the characters and it was really nice to see a strong female lead in a game that didn’t call out “I’m a woman look at me” the whole time. Lightning was instead a smart, strong, composed character with some flaws like being stubborn and reckless, and she also happened to be female. Kudos to Squeenix for letting her exist. The character that most people seemed to have a problem with was Hope because they felt he was overly whiny. The issue with this, though, is that this is only in the first segment of the game. Hope builds and develops as a character over the length of the story and it’s rare to see any character in a game develop past the personality they start out with. By the end of the game Hope is one of the first people ready to charge in and stand up for himself.

Story – Like most other people who played the game, I really only have a light grasp of what was actually going on in the story. Even the characters in the game seemed to have no idea where they were going or why they were doing what they were doing. The game did provide a handy little glossary that helped explain who was what and why they were at each juncture, but if your story needs cheat sheets to get people to understand what’s going on then there’s a problem.

Graphics – No one can complain about the graphics. The only complaint I normally would have is that they use in game graphics for almost every cutscene, but they made up for this by still giving us a decent number of FMV sequences. And boy were they beautiful. While the characters still look like CG, which i’m completely fine with, the lighting and colors were photo realistic if not more so.

Music – This was the first mainstream Final Fantasy to not have Nobou Uematsu involved, and instead was composed by his apprentice Masashi Hamauzu. This was due to the fact that Nobou was engaged in composing all the music for FFXIV. Masashi’s score worked wonders at first and his battle theme was magnificent, but after so much time in the game passes you find the music forgettable simply due to the fact that you don’t really revisit places that much to re-hear music enough. It all ends up with an almost ambient atmosphere about it.

Gameplay – Here’s the bread and butter of what went right and what went wrong with FFXIII. There are classes of sorts in the game and they work accordingly. You have the magic damage, physical damage, tank, buffer, and debuffer. Part of the problem in the game is that you don’t get access to all of these jobs in your party until late in the game. There is a job change system during battle, but you can’t adjust it individually. Instead you have to set up a series of “Paradigms” that are a collection of jobs for the whole party like Caster/Tank/Medic and so on. This proves to be annoying and troublesome because you can only have 6 or 7 of them at a time and you often use all of them. Then you have to re-do them between fights because they don’t work for each fight.
The game is also incredibly difficult at times, but it seems more that it’s done just for the sake of being difficult. This ends up making each fight time consuming and annoying as you have to constantly switch paradigms to heal between attacks and then switch back just for a chance to do any damage. Another issue with difficulty for difficulty’s sake are boss fights that run on timers, mobs that constantly stun/juggle you, and an end boss encounter that casts death randomly. The last part wouldn’t be an issue as much except for the fact that if your player character dies the game is over. The other party members can be revived, but not your character. This is just a terrible practice. Because of the automated system that the game presents, this necessity of job changes and waiting for your partners to perform the right maneuvers proves to become more of an annoyance than anything.
Another aspect of the difficulty that is a huge problem in the game is the item system. It’s just so awful that it’s practically useless for anyone but die-hards. Each character gets 5-6 weapons that they can level up and each has their own strengths/weaknesses. The way it works is that you take components you find from mobs through the game and spend them on the weapon you wish to upgrade. As you do this you earn xp for the weapon and increase a multiplier to a certain point based on the number of components you used at a time. Then when your multiplier is high enough you use a different type of component that increases the xp even more by utilizing the multiplier. When it reaches a certain point it maxes out (a hidden number that is different for each weapon btw so you can easily waste materials by overshooting the cap) and then you use another component to transform the weapon into one of two more weapons till you end up with the final max version. This would almost be fine except for the fact that there’s really only a few worthwhile components and the best way to get them is to buy them because you need mass quantities. Here’s the catch, you’re going to be broke through the whole game. The ONLY way to make money is to sell components you collect from mobs, but what if you need said components later on? Or what if you sell something that turned out to be a good multiplier? Sure you can use a guide to determine which is which to sell all but the few you need, but you should never NEED a guide in any game. On top of the fact that you go broke so easy from simply upgrading one weapon one time, you also have the choice of upgrading each and every accessory to different levels. It honestly feels like they intended to have some way to make gil, like from mob drops that increase in amount as the game progresses, and simply forgot to enable that feature. You can beat the game without upgrading anything, but it’s just infuriating to have a feature and not be able to use it.
Speaking of features that are a pain, let’s look at the Crystarium system. It’s basically a dumbed down version of the sphere grid, but now it’s the ONLY method of getting stronger. That means that any boost to hp, strength, or magic is all done through here. There is no “boost defense” or “boost speed.” It’s all magic, strength, hp, abilities. It’s also incredibly hard to navigate because your cursor is locked on the track and can only move forward and back. It’s also unnecessarily in 3D so it just makes it feel confusing and disorienting. I found myself constantly having to move the camera and traverse entire levels just to see if I missed a spot that I could gain.
A big complaint people have is the linearity of the game. I, for one, am completely ok with that. While it is different from some RPG’s, most games have a linear path in the disguise of freedom. Very rarely do you get to explore the entire world in any game nowadays. Usually there are invisible barriers and the like. While you do get to backtrack if you want, I don’t really consider that as an “open world.” The problem with the extreme linearity of the game though is that you don’t have your full party till about 25-30 hours in. This is a serious problem because, for me, that’s half the game. Worse yet is the separation of characters that causes fights to last longer because you don’t have a full party or the correct jobs or the fact that pairing the light hearted character and the comedy character = boooooring.

So at the end of things, was it a bad game? Not really. Did it have frustrations? Yes, and many of them. Do I regret playing it? Not at all.

5yphon’s Trailers of the Week!

March 28, 2010 Leave a comment

Besides the afore mentioned Scott Pilgrim vs The World, there really isnt much out there this week…

I HATE anything subtitled.  But this looks entertaining.  In a Red Dawn 2 kinda way.

Yeah.  I’ve seen Troll 2.  Twice.  I wish I could get that time back.  It was AWFUL.  Movies like that are best watched with other hecklers.

Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World Trailer

For those who haven’t yet heard, Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World is based on a fantastically creative and original graphic novel series by Bryan Lee O’Malley. The story focuses around young musician Scott Pilgrim and his epic battles with the seven evil ex-boyfriends of the girl he has fallen in love with. The comic is incredibly witty and full of more references to gaming and comics than the best of parody stories. You really need to give this series a shot and hopefully the movie will inspire a new generation to fall in love with this wonderful series.

Newer Super Mario Brothers Wii

March 25, 2010 1 comment

Remember how everyone wanted to have a level editor in super Mario brothers ever since the third game came out twenty years ago.  Than when Smash Brothers had a level editor everyone just assumed the NSMB would have it built in to make it the most freakin awesome game ever, (well I thought they might).  When it was released by than I knew it didn’t have it, but guess what?  Now it does.

All you need is the software from this place http://rvlution.net/reggie/ and bam you have your own Super Mario Level Editor.  You can even use your own Mario game, no burnt copy so Big N can’t get mad at the programmers for making this.

Big N could have done this themselves and create an online user base to make it easier but the fact that one exists out there at all is quite impressive.  The user base at the site is still small (it was release only a week ago), but they do have some levels you can download if you are too lazy to build your own.

So-Ra-No-Wo-To: Impressions

At first impressions, So-Ra-No-Wo-To seems like your standard moeblob type show.  That is, just a group of girls hanging around and not particularly doing anything important.  Mainly there’s just a series of scenes of them doing cute and silly things without much substance behind it.  It’s akin to a slice-of-life style show, but even they have dramatic moments at times.  Now, I said that this was my first impression of the show.  There’s a lot more to this series than what exists on the surface level.

Perhaps the first thing you’ll notice in the very first episode is the spectacular detail to the backgrounds and scenery.  The overall art in the show is really well done and there are many breathtaking moments based on camera work and visuals.  The show also has a military focus from the get go, but it feels very lax.  Almost like they just wanted an excuse to have them in military uniforms.  This detail actually becomes much more key as the story progresses and we see more of the war that happened and is still possibly going on.  Episode seven in particular is a detailed story that shows us what the war was like from the perspective of the captain when she was on the front lines. It’s very dark, dramatic, and gives you a new perspective on the captain who suffers from post traumatic stress disorder.  It takes the captain’s light hearted and motherly attitude and puts it in a whole new light as we see the events that lead her to have such a personality.  We also find out, as the episodes play out, that the series actually is post apocalyptic and takes place far into mankinds future where the seas are nearly devoid of life and civilization only exists as a desert wasteland nearby that is full of destroyed ruins.

While only on episode eight, I see a lot of potential for this show and recommend that you try and watch at least up to episode seven to really see what this show has to offer.
Categories: Anime Tags: , ,

To Aru Kagaku No Railgun – Ending Thoughts

Overall I liked the entirety of the show. It was a collection of short stories featuring out favorite super powered characters fighting crime or simply just hanging out.  The series maintained a fairly light hearted atmosphere throughout that helped keep the show fun to watch.  The ending was good and wrapped up the main story localized to the Railgun spinoff show. The issue I have is that it still didn’t wrap up the overall main story that started in the “A Certain Magical Index” show.  I’m usually left wanting more by “and things continued on the same” endings. The novels are still going on though, so maybe we’ll see another series someday.  Especially considering the plot of the current novel entails Russia invading Academy City and World War III starting.

Also I don’t think I understand the logic of her Railgun being made stronger with more energy. Once she’s fired the object she has no way to increase its speed similar to real railguns.  Still, it looked awesome and I suppose that’s what counts.

Categories: Anime Tags: ,
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