PS3 Reviews: Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII Review

Members Login: Register | Why sign up? | Forgot Password?

Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII Review

More Game Info (Print This Article)

Graphics:

 

5.6

Gameplay:

 

6.2

Sound:

 

6.0

Control:

 

5.5

Replay Value:

 

5.9

Overall Rating:       5.8

 

 

Online Gameplay:

Not Rated

Publisher:

Square Enix

Developer:

Square Enix

Number Of Players:

1

Genre:

Action/RPG

Release Date:

February 11, 2014

It’s heartbreaking to see a Final Fantasy game with a Metascore of about 67. It really is. I take no pleasure in seeing a legendary franchise continue its depressing fall from grace. Square Enix has opted to ditch the legions of fans acquired during the first quarter-century of Final Fantasy greatness, an ill-advised sacrifice for the sake of new fans. The approach defies all logic, as I’ve said many times. But the real crime here? Oh, it has nothing to do with watered-down RPG elements, but everything to do with the following fact:

Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII just isn’t a very good game.

Perhaps it’s most disheartening to see a full-fledged entry (not a spin-off, mind you) that’s missing the earmarks of a masterful FF installment. One of those trademark traits has always been the graphical presentation, which, historically, often sets a new high watermark for visuals. Unfortunately, despite some beautifully designed and choreographed CGI, Lightning Returns disappoints in the gameplay department. Muddy, fuzzy textures, too many drab environments, and a general design concept that falls well shy of franchise – and fan – expectations. Well, at least the animations and character designs are slick.

The stirring soundtrack could save the audio, if it weren’t for layer upon layer of generic sound effects and a merely average voice cast. As other high-profile productions in this industry continue to excel in the area of acting, Final Fantasy has been left behind. This cast is competent but lacks the professional polish we’ve enjoyed in so many Western titles; in brief, to compare the performances in Lightning Returns to titles like The Last Of Us, Beyond: Two Souls and Grand Theft Auto V is borderline laughable. The score is good, if not great, but the rest of the sound is subpar.

Lightning is back and this time, she has a score to settle. Well, she has a vague score to settle with some, and an even vaguer score to settle with the powers that be. Things get all the more complicated because she is one of the “powers that be.” As a goddess of the realm – of sorts – she has 13 days to save the world from complete eradication. Some people have simply accepted the inevitability of this catastrophe and have opted for either apathy or irrational celebration. Lightning doesn’t believe humanity is beyond saving, however, so her quest begins with the dedication of a protector and savior.

It’s a stirring storyline, to be sure. It might even be captivating if the plot had any semblance of cohesiveness or, in some comical cases, coherence. It doesn’t help that the characters in this trilogy were never well defined to begin with, and now they’ve tossed them into this giant, incomprehensible melting pot filled with loose ends and inconsistencies. What a freakin’ mess. And you know, I would even accept convoluted if the characters were at least likeable or interesting but sadly, that’s not the case. Lightning isn’t sympathetic or believable, and the rest of the cast suffers from standard Japanese clichés that serve no purpose.

Once you’ve stopped trying to make heads or tails of the disjointed story, you can focus on the gameplay. At the very least, it does require some of your attention, and you can get involved in the deeper aspects of combat. Lightning is all by herself (although guests will join her from time to time), and she’s quite the diverse heroine. She can change costumes to switch classes in the midst of battle, which reminds one of the Dress Spheres in Final Fantasy X-2. Frustratingly, the combat mechanic in an 11-year-old game is more intricate and rewarding than what we find in Lightning Returns.

Lightning does have access to multiple outfits, and you can switch at any time with a quick press of the R1 or L1 button. When playing as each Schemata, be it Black Mage, Savior, or Dragoon, there’s a certain amount of AP you can spend before you run out. When your AP drains, just switch to another Schemata and repeat the process. There are four abilities, one mapped to each of the face buttons of the controller, and that’s all you can use in battle. Having only four usable skills for each Schemata is utterly ridiculous; even straight-up action games put more abilities at your fingertips. Yes, switching classes gives you access to more skills, but it doesn’t amount to much.

The problem is that because they’ve watered down and supposedly “streamlined” the experience, you’re left with the unthinkable in Final Fantasy: Button mashing. You don’t have to jam away at buttons and in fact, it’s probably a bad idea when facing tough foes. However, this doesn’t change the fact that you can finish most battles in the game simply by pressing random face buttons until your AP runs out, switching Schemata, and repeating the process. Enemies do have strengths and weaknesses but really, you rarely even have to look at the commands you’ve selected. This mechanic is stripped down and, let’s just say it, dumbed down.

The only good news is that if you want to dive into the nuts and bolts off the battlefield, you can. This is the only aspect of the game that feels like role-playing. The Schematas are fully customizable and thankfully, Lightning has multiple slots for various pieces of equipment. You can spend a lot of time tinkering with each Schemata, and it’s a recommended practice if you plan to tackle some optional adversaries. It can be lots of fun to determine the absolute best “loadout” for your favorite Schematas, even if it doesn’t always drastically impact your combat potential. In short, micromanagers like me can become absorbed.

Doesn’t last long, though. Too many facets of the gameplay seem unnecessarily tacked on, such as Lightning’s ability to jump and interact with certain parts of the environment. We just don’t need it at all. Movement is stiff and unresponsive; it’s painfully obvious that these developers have no experience with making action-based games. The bottom line is this— you can make it more action-y if you want. I consider it a sacrilegious move but that’s personal. If you wanted to implement more action for the sake of the “twitch” crowd, you at least had to make it worthwhile. That’s not what happened here.

As for that combat system, there is depth to be found if you search for it. But you’ve got to stick around long enough to find it and even when you do, it’s a mere shadow of the depth we’ve seen in the past. I liked the brighter, more open areas, but my feelings toward the battles and the story never changed much. Then there’s the 13-day limit, which is another entirely unnecessary element that only serves as an annoying reminder. It’s not as restrictive or in-your-face as you might think, and there are ways to extend that limit, but to have any time limit of any kind in what’s supposed to be a role-playing game (albeit action/role-playing) is completely absurd.

Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII has its moments. There are some really good scenes, a few of the tougher battles are mildly interesting, and you can find plenty of micromanagement and complexity in the preparation for battle. Setting up your Schematas can be lots of fun, for example. However, the story is just a bunch of barely understandable gibberish, the characters feel tired and overdone, and the “streamlining” of the combat is only the equivalent of dumbing-down. Nothing more. If you’re a hardcore franchise fan, you might have to play it simply because you’ve played every FF title ever made. Well, I’ve completed ever FF since IV and I will not be finishing Lightning Returns.

What’s that tell you?

The Good: Some gorgeous CGI. A pretty good score with glimpses of past brilliance. Schematas are a great concept. 13-day time limit isn’t as bad as it sounds.

The Bad: Disappointing in-game graphics. Mediocre voice performances. Action elements, like jumping, serve no purpose. Combat is definitely watered down. Story has potential, but ends up being nonsensical.

The Ugly: “So sad…I’m done with Final Fantasy for now.”

2/12/2014 Ben Dutka

Put this on your webpage or blog:
Email this to a friend
Follow PSX Extreme on Twitter

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share on Google Share on MySpace Share on Delicious Share on Digg Share on Google Buzz Share via E-Mail Share via Tumblr Share via Posterous

Comments (60 posts)

kraygen
Wednesday, February 12, 2014 @ 10:47:56 PM
Reply

Sadly this is what I expected after playing the demo. The demo felt like a weak attempt at an action game with Final Fantasy thrown into the title in an attempt to sell more copies.

I'll probably buy it at the $5 mark, simply due to my weird obsession with collecting things, ff games included, I'll play it, but doubt I'll finish it either.

Agree with this comment 1 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

MRSUCCESS
Wednesday, February 12, 2014 @ 10:54:28 PM
Reply

What does that tell me?

That I shouldn't even bother playing the demo that I installed and never played. People, save your money for something else or just keep it in your account.

Agree with this comment 1 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

WorldEndsWithMe
Wednesday, February 12, 2014 @ 11:02:48 PM
Reply

What's worse is everyone with a brain is also saying that the ending is terrible, and a lot of people are playing these just to have some closure on this whole disastrous endeavor. That was why I planned to get it eventually.

I almost feel bad for the rabid Lightning fans that are out there defending this tripe with all their free time. Almost.

Good riddance to XIII, I hope these awful scores are followed by awful sales numbers and the message of truth finally gets through to the bumbling buffoons at Square Enix.

Agree with this comment 10 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Draguss
Wednesday, February 12, 2014 @ 11:06:54 PM
Reply

Now let us leave this blight upon the series behind and turn with excitement to the upcoming taste of old glory. And let us look with hope towards the future, because even if it may never be the same again, the possibility exists, however small, that it might once again become a great franchise.

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

WorldEndsWithMe
Wednesday, February 12, 2014 @ 11:08:33 PM

Yeah, after FXV (whose sales will probably suffer from the effect this game will have on the market) I'm sure everyone including myself will get all excited about the possibilities for XVI to be a return.

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Wednesday, February 12, 2014 @ 11:27:23 PM

I'll probably always have hope.

But no matter how bad sales get and how low scores get, Square Enix never seems to get the hint. It's infuriatingly frustrating.

Agree with this comment 3 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Akuma07
Sunday, February 16, 2014 @ 10:22:37 PM

The Japanese are a curious people......

Capcom are the same.

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Zemus101
Wednesday, February 12, 2014 @ 11:37:59 PM
Reply

Anyone remember when adding Sabin's Blitz commands or FFVII's motorcycle mini-game was a welcome way to "action" up the ...well... action? Yeah... Can't wait for FFX/X-2 Remaster!

Speaking of which, would you be doing a review of FFX/X-2?

Last edited by Zemus101 on 2/12/2014 11:42:43 PM

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Thursday, February 13, 2014 @ 12:36:11 AM

Yeah, I'll definitely do a review for FFX/X-2 HD.

And I also remember when that was considered very "action-y" for Final Fantasy. Oh, how far we've come...or fallen...whatever. :(

Agree with this comment 2 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Zemus101
Thursday, February 13, 2014 @ 2:23:06 AM

Terrific! I look forward to reading it.

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

MrAnonymity
Thursday, February 13, 2014 @ 3:18:42 AM

Let us not forget that this is not the first stab in the action realm for a Final Fantasy game. However, I personally feel that Crisis Core not only did a better job, but was actually memorable and, well, worth playing. Multiple times through.

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Underdog15
Thursday, February 13, 2014 @ 7:41:23 AM

The other difference is that LR isn't meant to be a spinoff, like Crisis Core or Dirge of Cerberus. It's a necessary sequel to finish the story from before.

Agree with this comment 2 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Thursday, February 13, 2014 @ 10:56:25 AM

Yeah, that's the big difference. Crisis Core was a spin-off, and it was also GOOD.

Agree with this comment 3 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

xenris
Thursday, February 13, 2014 @ 3:08:19 PM

Crisi core was excellent. Loved that game and yes it was a spin off so they were allowed to try something different.

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Zemus101
Thursday, February 13, 2014 @ 8:29:03 PM

I also loved Crisis Core. Square has always been pretty great when it came to action games. Or at least, action focused RPGs. Parasite Eve comes to mind. The first one anyways. I skipped the second one. Did anyone play The 3rd Birthday on PSP? My PSP died before that one came out.

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

darxed
Wednesday, February 12, 2014 @ 11:57:05 PM
Reply

My birthday is coming up in a few days, and my wife surprised me today with a copy of this game. She knows how much of a FF fan I am, so she thought It made the perfect gift. I'm gonna try to enjoy It as much as I can, although It breaks my heart to see "Disappointing in-game graphics. Mediocre voice performances" and worst of all "nonsensical story" In a FF review.

Speaking of metacritic, there are a few positive reviews, especially from people that liked the other two games (which I did), so maybe I'll like It? who knows.

Anyways, here's hoping for the FFX remasters, FFXV and Persona 5 to surprise every JRPG fan, but in a good way.

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Thursday, February 13, 2014 @ 12:37:06 AM

You might like it. But I enjoyed XIII and XIII-2 (put over 100 hours into each) and I hate Lightning Returns.

Still, there are others who do enjoy it. And it was very thoughtful of your wife, so you should at least try! :)

Agree with this comment 3 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

darxed
Thursday, February 13, 2014 @ 9:01:35 AM

Yeah, My wife rocks, she's no gamer, but she understands it's something important to me.

@Ben: Yeah, I'm hoping to like it (haven't had time to play it yet) since I really liked most of the characters and most of the story of the past two games, which I know is not the case with you. Anyways, great job with the review, I know It shouldn't have been easy to do it, given how much you love the franchise.

Seriously SE, If you're gonna put the FF name on a game, the least you can do is maintain the franchise's standards... I mean, I didn't like FFXII because the setting and chars didn't resonate with me, but I could appreciate the quality and production values of the game (as I think was the case with a lot of people with FFVIII and FFXIII), but to release a FF game with mediocre graphics, voice acting and story?

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

darxed
Thursday, February 13, 2014 @ 12:30:49 AM
Reply

Also, for any people (like me) that wan't to make sense of the story, here's a good recap of the first two games, and where LR starts.

www.neoseeker.com/forums/53144/t1724032-an-in-depth-look-at-final-fantasy-xiiis-story/

It'd have been nice if people that have played and even platinumed both games (like me, again) didn't have to search online for explanations of the story. If you look at that post, you can see some of the brilliance of the background of past FFs.

Really, SE, so much wasted potential and opportunities... sigh.

BTW: Love this comment from the OP of the link:
"But now I fully respect XIII and XIII-2 as good games, but for some reason the meat of what should have been told was taken from the sandwich."

Last edited by darxed on 2/13/2014 12:37:22 AM

Agree with this comment 1 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Broady
Thursday, February 13, 2014 @ 4:03:33 AM

thanks for the link - did enjoy xiii, even though it was a bit linear, got fed up with xiii-2, that much so I can't remember if I finished it, sure that I did but didn't stick in the memory like some of the great ff's from the past.
Kind of want to get lr:ffxiii just to finish the story, but will wait til it's in the bargain bin

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Underdog15
Thursday, February 13, 2014 @ 1:12:40 AM
Reply

It's not like Ben is making this up, either. Most reviewers are saying the same things, and this isn't the lowest score I've seen.

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Thursday, February 13, 2014 @ 1:47:35 AM

Okay, I'm pretty sure I've never "made anything up" in a review. :)

Agree with this comment 5 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Underdog15
Thursday, February 13, 2014 @ 7:42:06 AM

Except that time when y.... I mean, when you said that th..... yeah, ok you're right.

I was just half expecting "MORE OF TEH FF ARTICLES, RLY!?!" type of mentality at some point.

Last edited by Underdog15 on 2/13/2014 7:43:04 AM

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Beamboom
Thursday, February 13, 2014 @ 8:57:22 AM

Okay, I'm pretty sure nobody has ever criticized Ben for publishing *reviews* of FF titles, Underdog. :)

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

darxed
Thursday, February 13, 2014 @ 10:26:00 AM

Yeah, Ben has never been unprofessional with a review in the ten years I've been coming to this site, so I don't see him starting now. He may have some strong opinions about stuff in the comments and editorials, but the reviews have always evaluated the games as they are.

That's why I always roll my eyes at the "Reviews are subjective, therefore opinion" argument... This site is proof that if you're professional enough, you can separate them both as much as you want.

Agree with this comment 3 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Thursday, February 13, 2014 @ 10:58:40 AM

Thanks. It's a point I always try to make when it comes to reviews.

You can't help but have at least SOME opinion but the key is to step back and forget about yourself for a minute. My opinion always factors into every review, as there are always subjective elements to any game. But it NEVER totally dictates a score.

If it did here, the game would get a 3. LOL

Agree with this comment 5 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Underdog15
Thursday, February 13, 2014 @ 2:14:44 PM

@Beam
They could, and it would be just as heinous. That's kinda my point, man. lol

@darxed
Yeah. My other thing learned, thanks to the internet, is that an opinion isn't a right you have to never have to change your point of view. It isn't something you are entitled to. What I'm describing is ignorance. Because yeah... you can be as ignorant as you want to be without having to challenge your thoughts.

An opinion is based on something real. Good reviewers... yeah... use a combination of objectivity and some opinion. But that doesn't mean the opinion is baseless. It's based on reality thanks, in large part, due to their experience and expertise in the industry.

That's how I see it.

Last edited by Underdog15 on 2/13/2014 2:18:44 PM

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Vivi_Gamer
Thursday, February 13, 2014 @ 3:47:21 AM
Reply

So I presume by the review that means that the classes only have 4 attacks each through out the game? How far did you get Ben? And did it still feel like button mashing until the ability points of that class ran out forcing you to switch and move onto the next class. See the paradigm system was all about reacting to the opponents, not just having a limit of attacks before having to switch to the next class, this sounds like where I will have problems with the battle system. Also, does the game enforce you to pause the game to heal later on in the game? I imagine you don't have space to heal in a class with just 12 commands...

Also, did you see them generic candy-cane poles in every environment like I feared, or did they change the aesthetic for the environment?

I've got it preordered and it'll be arriving tomorrow, I won't be playing it for a while as I still want to replay XIII-2 before I start it.

Agree with this comment 0 up, 1 down Disagree with this comment

Lawless SXE
Thursday, February 13, 2014 @ 4:11:05 AM

So far, I've found that the Schemata system is very reflective of the Paradigm system in what you say. Each enemy has their weaknesses and each Garb has only four attacks, so you do have to be aware of what attacks are mapped where so that you can respond to the needs of the battle when it comes time to switch. The only real difference from the Paradigm system is the limiting of the number of abilities. Otherwise it's pretty much exactly the same.

And healing, so far, is only done through Potions, which requires you to pause the game to select, and Curaga, which is an EP ability (basically a battle aid technique. Another is Overclock, which slows time for enemies and allows you to just launch attacks without worrying about the AP Bar until the effect wears off), which basically happens instantly upon being activated. Can't speak for the candy canes, though.

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Vivi_Gamer
Thursday, February 13, 2014 @ 4:36:37 AM

I see thanks for you response :)

Also another question. Is the costume assigned to the specfic class? Can I select say Ravanger and then select the costume for it. I ask this because I don't really want to be playing as the Ligthning in the dominatrix costume presented on the cover... it just looks silly.

Also, I hear that Ligthing has no level or Cyrstarium system, she gains experience by completing missions. How balanced is the game with sidequests and the main story... side quests should be optional but I am gathering that this game requires you do spread out and manage them to get experience... am I right on that?

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Lawless SXE
Thursday, February 13, 2014 @ 5:02:18 AM

There is no Class system, per se. The Garbs each have their own different statistics and you basically map your attacks based on the native strengths of the costume, which you can buff with your equipment and adornment options. And no, you can ditch that outfit as soon as you get your fourth, which really doesn't take very long. Also, you can customise the colours, which is kind of a fun feature, if entirely superfluous.

And yeah, no levelling, no Crystarium.

On a side note, I actually think that the way the character development is set up is absolutely horrible. I do not like having that character development taken away, but some others may like it.

There are a LOT of sidequests. Or at least it seems that way. The main missions present you with better buffs and whatnot than the side missions, but the latter are definitely worth taking some time to do. In a sense it does require you to do those side missions, but I don't think that it's strictly necessary if you just want to complete the campaign. I'm not all that far into though, so I could be completely wrong on that.

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Thursday, February 13, 2014 @ 11:08:55 AM

No, of course each class doesn't just get 4 attacks. But you only have access to four attacks per Schemata in battle, because Square Enix just HAD to map them to the face buttons...quite possibly the dumbest move ever.

Agree with this comment 1 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Lawless SXE
Thursday, February 13, 2014 @ 4:05:32 AM
Reply

I've played about four hours so far, and I have to say that, although there are valid points you bring forward Ben, I don't agree with several. Though your experience with FF far outstrips my own. One is the time limit, which I feel actually enhances the experience by creating a sense of urgency. Having it tick away while you're running around these environments inspires, in me, a very visceral feeling that there is no way in hell that I am going to be able to complete every objective; and perhaps not even a majority. If feels urgent, which is something that pretty much every game - regardless of how high the stakes are supposed to be - fails at.

Next is that combat system. I know full well that if I tried to just button mash at the point that I'm at now, I would have been decimated on multiple occasions already. It may change as Lightning gets more powerful; but I've found that managing the abilities, trying to stagger enemies and Guard against their attacks, as well as being mindful of your current Schema and what you should change to next is a considerably more engaging experience than was found in either of the earlier XIII games. I do agree that it feels as though there is a lack of options, though.

From what I've seen of the narrative so far, I disagree with the lack of cohesion and coherence too. I mean, it's far better than either of the earlier games in the way that it goes about explaining things without requiring you to spend hours and hours trawling through the Datalog. Lightning is definitely a stiff, though.

Agree with this comment 1 up, 1 down Disagree with this comment

WorldEndsWithMe
Thursday, February 13, 2014 @ 8:11:23 AM

What difficulty are you at? That probably makes the strengths and weaknesses in the battles matter a lot more.

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

darxed
Thursday, February 13, 2014 @ 9:05:58 AM

Well I hope I have the same reaction as you when I play It. I really liked the chars and the story in the firs two games, and was really looking forward to the story's conclusion.

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

WorldEndsWithMe
Thursday, February 13, 2014 @ 10:03:26 AM

Darxed, the game tries to shoehorn you into the Easy difficulty, but don't feel like you have to accept that if you want the challenge.

Agree with this comment 1 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Thursday, February 13, 2014 @ 11:11:47 AM

I have a feeling that very few FF fans want a "sense of urgency" and the constant feeling that they'll never be able to complete everything because of a time limit. It's just idiotic for any role-playing game.

What you're talking about concerning combat is basically just what we do in any action game with some deeper elements. You could've just described Darksiders II, for instance. The bottom line is that you're not talking about role-playing depth; you're talking about real-time action strategy. And it's not even that good because it's just repetitive.

The story is a mess, Lawless. You'll see. It catches you up on what happened before, but that's not a narrative. That's just rehashing the past. The NEW narrative, written for this game, is a complete mess.

Agree with this comment 1 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

darxed
Thursday, February 13, 2014 @ 11:56:32 AM

@World

Yeah, I've read about that in the import reviews, and I'm not going to do that, especially since I've read that hard mode (which you unlock only by beating the game in normal) gives you much more freedom and customization, one reviewer even said that it made it "a better game".

So my plan is to complete it on normal as fast as I can, then fully explore it on hard.

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Underdog15
Thursday, February 13, 2014 @ 2:20:00 PM

I'm not afraid of an occasional game over screen. I'm a gamer of the late 80's and 90's!

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Lawless SXE
Thursday, February 13, 2014 @ 4:01:01 PM

World,
Playing on Normal and the game never tried to advise me take the Easy route. Just asked if I was sure in the choice, which is what most games do.

Ben,
I get what you're saying with the time limit in terms of RPGs with a wide expanse of content, but I feel that it is an idea that could work wonders for the main quest of something like Skyrim because of the way the game tried to impress upon you the threat of Alduin, only to allow you to picking flowers for fifty hours. You would still have the freedom to explore, but it would be tempered by what you can actually do, but you would have complete freedom after than main quest is finished. It's certainly not necessary, but it could prove beneficial to the focus of both game and player (perhaps it would tempt Bethesda into writing better storylines, too). But that's a wide diversion. It certainly isn't necessary, but it's an added layer that you have to contend with.

You're right on the combat system being more action-based strategy than RPG strategy. I will say that I haven't played Darksiders, but it is considerably more complex than GoW or DMC or pretty much any other action/adventure game that I've played to date. Though it is getting repetitive due to facing off against the same enemies time and again.

And I'll trust you on the narrative for now. I'd only just gotten into the Forsaken Graveyard in Luxerion when I turned it off last night, so that should give you an idea of where I am. So far though, it all makes sense with what Lightning is and the opposing religious sects, and why Yusnaan is always partying and why the world is only four areas across. Internal continuity of course; trying to connect it with anything real isn't going to work.

I'm surprised you haven't had anything to say on the the way that the growth of Lightning's statistics is removed from the player's hands and the method of gaining new attacks and abilities from enemy drops, rather than any kind of development or bartering system. Thoughts on those?

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Thursday, February 13, 2014 @ 5:22:31 PM

You might like Darksiders II. It's real-time action, like God of War, but with the full depth of an RPG; i.e., equipment, skill tree, levels/experience, etc.

I don't really have much to say about Lightning's advancement via enemy drops, because it's just yet another thing they took away from the player. It makes it almost random, so we have one less thing to think about. This entire thing is an act of watering down every possible facet of the gameplay.

The story gets all twisted toward the end. I didn't completely finish it because I heard the ending was atrociously bad, and I was just plain bored with the combat by then.

Last edited by Ben Dutka PSXE on 2/13/2014 5:22:57 PM

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Knightzane
Thursday, February 13, 2014 @ 5:07:31 AM
Reply

A friend is forcing me to watch him play it all the way through. Not looking forward to it.

I will say, evil Serah looks adorable. Lumina, and I'm going to go ahead and guess and say they are two different people because of reasons.

I watched the ending on youtubes and I must say... Its dumb. Like, FF13-3 ending dumb. Congrats to Toriyama for a fantastic ending to a fantastic saga that no one asked for. The man shouldn't have taken such a major love interest in Lightning so this series wouldn't have happened.

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Lunar_Miyuki
Thursday, February 13, 2014 @ 6:11:50 AM
Reply

on the time limit that is one of the biggest problems i have because i actually like to talk to every NPC in a RPG i like to see if theirs any hidden jokes and i do enjoy reading a story or listening to a story anybody remember Maechan FFX probably spelled his name wrong remember his long stories? i found those interesting

time limits in RPGS don't fit unless its for a specific story mission like FF8 Ifrit cavern or FF7 escaping the Mako re actor side missions are perfectly fine with time limits

but the entire game no thanks its the reason i didn't enjoy the Legend of Zelda Majoras Mask as much as the rest of the Zelda games

as for no leveling thats a cop out for any RPG

the story well tell me when they get an actual story that flows and not flooding all over the place

Agree with this comment 1 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

JSHidaka
Thursday, February 13, 2014 @ 6:34:13 AM
Reply

I will buy the game, and I will judge if is good or not after playing it.

Agree with this comment 1 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Underdog15
Thursday, February 13, 2014 @ 7:44:49 AM

If it isn't a sure thing, wouldn't it make more sense to be patient for the guaranteed 2 week price drop?

Agree with this comment 1 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

JackC8
Thursday, February 13, 2014 @ 7:46:30 AM
Reply

Here's what confuses me: I played XIII twice, spent 200 hours with it and platinumed it. It had the most boring battle system I've ever seen in my life. I just spammed a couple of paradigms on 99.9% of the enemies throughout the game. No strategy whatsoever was required until the late post-game grinding for platinum. And that story was incomprehensible as well. It wasn't really that complicated at it's core, but it was buried under so much drama queen dialogue and Fal'Cie L'Cie nonsense that it took me two playthroughs to finally make sense of it.

Yet that was a really REALLY great game and now this one is terrible. Even though it sounds extremely similar.

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

WorldEndsWithMe
Thursday, February 13, 2014 @ 10:04:12 AM

They aren't similar at all.

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Thursday, February 13, 2014 @ 11:12:12 AM

Not even remotely similar, Jack.

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

darxed
Thursday, February 13, 2014 @ 11:59:59 AM

Yeah, It's reaaaaaaally hard to get the story from these games. If you want a quick recap of the background story for XIII and XIII-2 here it is:

www.neoseeker.com/forums/53144/t1724032-an-in-depth-look-at-final-fantasy-xiiis-story/

I found it to be quite good and It actually explains a LOT of the thing going on in the games.

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Underdog15
Thursday, February 13, 2014 @ 2:25:02 PM

I found the story very straightforward,

HOWEVER, that's only because I read all that journal stuff which filled in the incredible number of holes simply playing left behind. That was a complaint I had, as well, though.

I also didn't find it as complicated as some claimed. But it was prettier and it was better overall. It was no 9+ scoring game, in my opinion (I did a user review here), but it was good enough that I don't hate myself for playing it. I've never gone back to it, like I -STILL- do with old FF games, nor do I think I ever will.

No doubt, it's not as great as the franchise used to be, but based on what I saw in the demo, it's a completely different kettle of fish.

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

WorldEndsWithMe
Thursday, February 13, 2014 @ 3:11:38 PM

So underdog... why DID Lightning suddenly get sucked away from the original ending to XIII and turn into a Goddess, and why is the world coming to an end now WAYYY in the future long after all those characters should be dead and why is Lightning their savior?

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Underdog15
Thursday, February 13, 2014 @ 8:15:18 PM

Oh, XIII-2 is very convoluted. The stretch of imagination to justify further titles is laughable at best. I was responding to his description of XIII. I didn't realize Jack also meant to add XIII-2 into what he was saying.

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

xenris
Thursday, February 13, 2014 @ 10:30:13 AM
Reply

Its a blessing and a shame to see this game get terrible reviews. I hope it sells very poorly as well, so that square maybe will finally get the hint.

They make something so critically praised like Bravely default which is old school in nature, and then they don't think to try that on a console. It blows my mind, literally blows it to bits.

Agree with this comment 1 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

WorldEndsWithMe
Thursday, February 13, 2014 @ 3:12:20 PM

Yeah I don't LIKE wishing ill upon game makers but it's really best to do so in this case.

Agree with this comment 1 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

FatherSun
Thursday, February 13, 2014 @ 10:48:45 AM
Reply

WOW!

It seems the only score SE is looking for is the one with a $ in front of it. Which will also be low if these reviews have anything to say about it.

Such fall from grace! They should just go on hiatus with the FF series and come back with a vengeance! 5 years should be enough. Maybe 7.

Agree with this comment 2 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

cLoudou
Thursday, February 13, 2014 @ 1:34:48 PM
Reply

Ugh...too bad I already bought it. I'm actually enjoying the combat a bit even though it's kind of button mashy.

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

PC_Max
Thursday, February 13, 2014 @ 3:28:34 PM
Reply

Another series I was never a fan of, but too bad for those that are.

Some series need to be put to rest for a while with maybe a revamp down the road if it demands it. What I find interesting is some fans want more or the same thing, others want something new or different and in the end , no one is really satisfied anyway.

Keep playing!

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

WorldEndsWithMe
Thursday, February 13, 2014 @ 7:22:13 PM

nah, nobody worth having as a fan wants this.

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

WorldEndsWithMe
Thursday, February 13, 2014 @ 7:32:54 PM
Reply

Best user review on Metacritic: 0/10:

"This game is the reason I have cancer. Final Fantasy 13 was okay. Final Fantasy 13-2 was meh. This game, is a disgrace. It's a sign that Square Enix has fallen off their throne as RPG king. They no longer have the capacity to make semi-decent characters, plot and wrap it neatly in a game. This game is a laggy, bug ridden, MESS. Additionally, the plot is fanficiton gone wrong and the ending is why children in Africa are starving. This game just proves how you can slap a brand name on a piece of **** and people will still buy and love it. Disgusting. When will Final Fantasy fans wake up?
On the plus side, Lightning has a bunch of great costumes. Have fun paying $60 for a dress up game since that's the only feature that works."

Agree with this comment 2 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Shauneepeak
Sunday, February 16, 2014 @ 4:21:31 AM
Reply

Mean while in Japan it has a 37 from Famitsu......

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Leave a Comment

Please login or register to leave a comment.

Our Poll

Got the Wii U?
Yep, had mine since day one.
Yeah; I just recently picked it up.
No, but I might get one soon...
No, and I don't ever want one.

Previous Poll Results