Beware the Ides of March.
Ok, so Final Fantasy XIII was not actually released on the Ides of March (March 15), but its March 9 release date is close enough for me to imbue upon it the same connotation. Like Caesar after his Senators were done with him, Final Fantasy fans like me are left a broken and bloody corpse at the feet of Square Enix, having been lured in by false loyalty and ultimately betrayed.
Too dramatic? I agree. And now for something completely different.
This game sucks.
In all fairness, I have to put one thing out there before I begin my rant, that being I have not finished the game. For many, this will discredit everything I have to say about the game. “You can’t complain about a game you haven’t even finished.” For a long time, I agreed. I told myself I would not utter a word one way or another about the game until I finished it. But you know what? I can complain about this game even though I haven’t finished it. I can, I will, and here is why.
I have read somewhere in the neighborhood of 50 reviews for this game. User reviews, magazine reviews, etc. The majority of the user reviews I have read were “good” reviews, that is, those in which the user rated the game as “good” or better. I noticed that 95% of them had one statement in common: “It gets really good after about 20 hours.” Not only did most user reviews state this, but I have heard this from the mouths of every person I know that has played this game (to whom I have talked). Just wait 20 hours then it opens up! The story really takes off after 20 hours. You have more control after 20 hours. You can actually start playing the game after 20 hours…
My response to this is simply: What the @#$!? 20 hours before the game gets interesting? 20 hours before it stops thinking for me? 20 hours before I can finally do something besides run in a straight line down some corridor or path fighting enemies that are just standing there like zombies waiting for me to run up and “fight” them? 20 hours before I actually get to play something that in some small way resembles a Final Fantasy game? I did not wait 3 years and pay $60 for 20 hours of mashing X over and over until the game decides it is going to get interesting. The fact that the designers of this game (who also designed Final Fantasy X2, oh boy) consciously subjected the loyal fans of the Final Fantasy franchise to this horrific excuse of a “game” makes me hurt inside.
At this point, I don’t care how interesting the game gets after this magical 20 hour mark…It sucks now, and has sucked for the 14 hours of game play I have put into it. The combat system is a joke and the character customization is a dull rip off of the sphere grid from FFX. Even if you get to do more with these features after the prophesied 20 hour mark, they still suck. Getting to play with them more isn’t going to make me like them. Game Over if the character you are controlling dies? WHAT THE @#$!?????
All that aside, this game is visually beautiful. It has some of the best graphics I have ever seen in a console game. The characters look realistic, the spell effects are awesome, the scenery is detailed (though inaccessible, grr). It is obvious that a lot of work went into the visual aspect of this game. So much so, in fact, that it seems everything else went by the wayside. It is as if they hoped to distract us with all the pretty colors enough so that we wouldn’t notice that the rest of the game sucks.
In summary, this game is a disappointment in my opinion. I vowed to keep my opinions at bay until I finished the game, but I could hold them no longer, simply because it infuriates me that they expect us to wait 20 hours before – supposedly – getting to actually play the game.