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Final Fantasy XIII Spoiler Thread

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  • shoptrollshoptroll Have towel will travel Full Members
    edited November 2010
    Wheels wrote: »
    So Final Fantasy 4, which is super linear with even less exploration, given that maps are smaller and not 3D

    His point is complaining about the "tunnel" grind. 3D graphics does not equal exploration. The maps are certainly smaller (and less visually impressive nowadays) but there were definitely branching paths and dead ends and stuff. That's gameplay exploration. Not just freelooking around with the thumb stick and going "oooo shiny". FFIV does have several optional bosses and quests you can undertake throughout the game. It's not on the same scale as later games but it's no worse than some of the PSX games.

    Note: I haven't played FFXIII but I think you guys have different definitions of linearity here. Or are arguing about the linearity of different aspects of the game. Or something.
    So long & thanks for all the fish!
  • WheelsWheels RPGamer Staff RPGamer Staff
    edited November 2010
    Uh ... what FFIV have you been playing? I like the FFIV that has the world map, and dungeons with dead-ends and lots of little nooks and crannies to search for treasure chests. I like the FFIV where you have towns to explore, NPCs to interact with, and a development system which was not simply lifted directly from FFX. I don't know what FFIV you've been playing, but it appears that you've been missing out if you somehow think that XIII was the series high point in terms of exploration.

    I've been playing the FFIV with an incredibly linear structure, no choice in character advancement or party, NPCs that have nothing interesting to say, boring dungeons with treasure chests never far off the beaten track, and run of the mill "go to new town, get new gear" type of weapon/armor upgrading that plagues many JRPGs.
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  • MacstormMacstorm Ysy St. Administrators
    edited November 2010
    Greetings personal preferences. Nice to meet you. Some people like hunts, some like flying around a world exploring things. Both were optional and both appeal to a different group, it seems. I, for one, like the exploration offered in Final Fantasy XII. Just to throw another hat into the ring. :)
    Wheels wrote: »
    I've been playing the FFIV with an incredibly linear structure, no choice in character advancement or party, NPCs that have nothing interesting to say, boring dungeons with treasure chests never far off the beaten track, and run of the mill "go to new town, get new gear" type of weapon/armor upgrading that plagues many JRPGs.
    Sounds a lot like FFXIII.
    "The universe is already mad. Anything else would be redundant."
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  • WheelsWheels RPGamer Staff RPGamer Staff
    edited November 2010
    shoptroll wrote: »
    Note: I haven't played FFXIII but I think you guys have different definitions of linearity here. Or are arguing about the linearity of different aspects of the game. Or something.

    Exactly, there are actually plenty of little side paths and optional chests to grab, often blocked by more powerful enemies and the like. I'll take that over what little exploration FFIV has to offer.
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  • MacstormMacstorm Ysy St. Administrators
    edited November 2010
    Person #1) This apple is better, it's red and delicious.
    Person #2) No, it's too round. I like this orange better, it's sweeter.
    Person #1) Nah, I'll take apples. Oranges are too sphere-like.

    (Summary)
    "The universe is already mad. Anything else would be redundant."
    Twitter @FinalMacstorm
  • WheelsWheels RPGamer Staff RPGamer Staff
    edited November 2010
    Macstorm wrote: »
    Person #1) This apple is better, it's red and delicious.
    Person #2) No, it's too round. I like this orange better, it's sweeter.
    Person #1) Nah, I'll take apples. Oranges are too sphere-like.

    (Summary)

    I'm not really complaining about personal preference here, I'm complaining about people saying things about FFXIII that aren't really true.
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  • MacstormMacstorm Ysy St. Administrators
    edited November 2010
    I'll be honest, I haven't read back all the way. But from what I read, it was more a complaint about which game is more linear when both are. The variations in the "non-linear" sections are not really that different. Not saying which is better, but it's more like comparing apples to oranges and complaining that the other is too round.
    "The universe is already mad. Anything else would be redundant."
    Twitter @FinalMacstorm
  • shoptrollshoptroll Have towel will travel Full Members
    edited November 2010
    Wheels wrote: »
    I'm not really complaining about personal preference here, I'm complaining about people saying things about FFXIII that aren't really true.

    Conversely, people are saying you're saying things about FFIV that aren't really true. You say tomahto, they say tomayto.

    *waves to personal preferences, everyone's favorite horse to flog*
    So long & thanks for all the fish!
  • WheelsWheels RPGamer Staff RPGamer Staff
    edited November 2010
    shoptroll wrote: »
    Conversely, people are saying you're saying things about FFIV that aren't really true. You say tomahto, they say tomayto.

    *waves to personal preferences, everyone's favorite horse to flog*

    FFIV is very linear, this is not something that can really be argued about.
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  • SiliconNooBSiliconNooB Member Full Members
    edited November 2010
    Well if you want to view the FFXIII experience purely in terms of the Pulse gameplay, then that would nullify many of the criticisms of linearity. The fact that it is buried 30 hours in however, means that it is not going to be many people's experience of the game, as sitting through 30 hours of the most linear mind-numbing tedium is more than I could bear. If the entire game was like Pulse, then I would be much more favourably disposed towards it. Unfortunately Pulse is just a flash in the pan to FFXIII's overwhelmingly predominant tunnel run ...

    FFXIII is very linear, this is not something that can really be argued about.
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  • WheelsWheels RPGamer Staff RPGamer Staff
    edited November 2010
    Well if you want to view the FFXIII experience purely in terms of the Pulse gameplay, then that would nullify many of the criticisms of linearity. The fact that it is buried 30 hours in however, means that it is not going to be many people's experience of the game, as sitting through 30 hours of the most linear mind-numbing tedium is more than I could bear. If the entire game was like Pulse, then I would be much more favourably disposed towards it.

    FFXIII is very linear, this is not something that can really be argued about.

    It's shorter than 30 hours in for most people, and I'd say only the first 3 hours of the pre-pulse experience is boring or mind-numbing. The game takes longer to build up because you need that time to learn the ins and outs of the battle system, but it's not like it's a 30 hour tutorial with no choice in character development or anything. It''s slow to get going, that's a fair criticism. Saying the game is nothing but walking down tunnels between fights is not a fair criticism. It's a very linear game sure....in terms of exploration only.
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  • SiliconNooBSiliconNooB Member Full Members
    edited November 2010
    It's shorter than 30 hours in for most people, and I'd say only the first 3 hours of the pre-pulse experience is boring or mind-numbing. The game takes longer to build up because you need that time to learn the ins and outs of the battle system, but it's not like it's a 30 hour tutorial with no choice in character development or anything. It''s slow to get going, that's a fair criticism. Saying the game is nothing but walking down tunnels between fights is not a fair criticism. It's a very linear game sure....in terms of exploration only.

    I've played the first 20 hours, which was the most mind-numbingly boring video game experience of by life. The full combat system really could have been unveiled within the first half hour of the game, there was no reason to pad it out into a ten hour tease, other than to vainly hope it would help disguise FFXIIIs repetitive gameplay. And let's not forget that the game has the delightful habit of artificially limiting character development until you pass arbitrarily defined milestones, making one question why they even bothered awarding EXP in the first place when the XIII team clearly wanted to determine character parameters themselves ...

    When 50 hours of a 60 hour game is spent running in a straight line down a tunnel getting in fights, I think that is a very fair criticism to make indeed.
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  • shoptrollshoptroll Have towel will travel Full Members
    edited November 2010
    And let's not forget that the game has the delightful habit of artificially limiting character development until you pass arbitrarily defined milestones

    To be fair, they did that in Chrono Cross too, and you had roughly zilch for character customization in that game.
    So long & thanks for all the fish!
  • SiliconNooBSiliconNooB Member Full Members
    edited November 2010
    You'll not find me an ardent supporter of curbed character growth in CC either.
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  • WheelsWheels RPGamer Staff RPGamer Staff
    edited November 2010
    When 50 hours of a 60 hour game is spent running in a straight line down a tunnel getting in fights, I think that is a very fair criticism to make indeed.

    Sure, it would be, if that were true, which it's not.

    so have you only played the first 20 hours? Is that what you're bringing to this discussion?
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  • SiliconNooBSiliconNooB Member Full Members
    edited November 2010
    Forgive me for accepting the accounts of far more credible sources than yourself.
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  • MacstormMacstorm Ysy St. Administrators
    edited November 2010
    Yeah, I think this debate has run its course. FFIV and FFXIII are both linear and want defines the non-linear sections seems to be the only debate.
    "The universe is already mad. Anything else would be redundant."
    Twitter @FinalMacstorm
  • WheelsWheels RPGamer Staff RPGamer Staff
    edited November 2010
    Forgive me for accepting the accounts of far more credible sources than yourself.

    Great, personal attacks, thanks.

    I was just under the impression that I was arguing with someone who actually has actually played the entirety of the game in question.

    I'll move on to talking to people who have actually played the best 2/3rds of the game.
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  • flamethrowerflamethrower Member Full Members
    edited November 2010
    I'm playing FF13 now. Where is the game time clock? Anyone know if the game clock runs when the game is paused?
    I am on Ch 9 now...so it feels like I am almost there (to Gran Pulse I mean). I haven't kept very good track but I would say 15 hours thus far.

    I kept running into fights before max level, then avoiding them thereafter (because there's little point). I also tended to avoid fights where I knew the exp reward was low, and thus not worth my time fighting.

    And how many item levels do weapons have? You need a ridiculous quantity of items to get any weapon to its max level.

    For battle, I like the look of the launch attack...it's effective because it stops the enemy from attacking. I like its look because it has a camera effect to go with it (zoom out and pan down). Do any other techs in the game have this? The rest of them look rather mundane.
  • shoptrollshoptroll Have towel will travel Full Members
    edited November 2010
    Macstorm wrote: »
    Yeah, I think this debate has run its course. FFIV and FFXIII are both linear and want defines the non-linear sections seems to be the only debate.

    ^ What he said. Everyone should take a deep breath and get some fresh air or something.
    So long & thanks for all the fish!
  • WheelsWheels RPGamer Staff RPGamer Staff
    edited November 2010
    shoptroll wrote: »
    To be fair, they did that in Chrono Cross too, and you had roughly zilch for character customization in that game.

    Complaining about the curbed character growth is fair, though I didn't see it as an issue. If you're going to limit power leveling, I prefer something like Lost Odyssey, where enemies in an area just give you less xp after awhile.

    I'm playing FF13 now. Where is the game time clock? Anyone know if the game clock runs when the game is paused?
    I am on Ch 9 now...so it feels like I am almost there (to Gran Pulse I mean). I haven't kept very good track but I would say 15 hours thus far.

    I kept running into fights before max level, then avoiding them thereafter (because there's little point). I also tended to avoid fights where I knew the exp reward was low, and thus not worth my time fighting.

    And how many item levels do weapons have? You need a ridiculous quantity of items to get any weapon to its max level.

    For battle, I like the look of the launch attack...it's effective because it stops the enemy from attacking. I like its look because it has a camera effect to go with it (zoom out and pan down). Do any other techs in the game have this? The rest of them look rather mundane.

    The game timer should show when saving/loading a save (in the details for that save)

    I'm not sure if the max level for weapons is the same all around, but seems to be around 20, and then you can turn it into a different weapon using a catalyst.

    Some spells have the same effect as launch
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  • SiliconNooBSiliconNooB Member Full Members
    edited November 2010
    Great, personal attacks, thanks.

    No, I'm not trying to attack you, just pointing out that when a number of acquaintances have vouched that the latter portion is just like the first portion (with the exception of Pulse), then I'm going to take their word ahead of someone who claims that FFIV is more linear than FFXIII, seeing as that is characteristic of a lack of sound judgement.
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  • WheelsWheels RPGamer Staff RPGamer Staff
    edited November 2010
    No, I'm not trying to attack you, just pointing out that when a number of acquaintances have vouched that the latter portion is just like the first portion (with the exception of Pulse), then I'm going to take their word ahead of someone who claims that FFIV is more linear than FFXIII, seeing as that is characteristic of a lack of sound judgement.

    That's what it came off as.

    The pulse portion is most of the latter section of the game, chapter 12 is relatively short, and light on cut-scenes (except for the insane one to start it off) and has some great level design to it, with a good number of little side paths with treasure, and then chapter 13 is very short, no real cut-scenes until the final boss, the big thing being you can warp to both pulse and the chapter 12 areas, finishing up whatever you'd like. So yes, the post pulse areas are similar to the early parts of the game, but that's ignoring the fact that pulse is a giant section of the game.

    My point about FFIV was about linearity in terms of exploration + character development combined.
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  • NimNim _ Full Members
    edited November 2010
    Read the interview I posted. It is really telling why the game ended up the way it did. (Like it or not.)

    Other than that, there is no point in discussing this any further. Comparing FF13 with FF4 doesn't make any sense to me. For its time it was great.
  • SiliconNooBSiliconNooB Member Full Members
    edited November 2010
    That's what it came off as.

    Apologies.

    If the entirety of XIII were Pulse than I would not think it a linear game at all, but since the Pulse section is only about ten hours (until you beat the game and unlock more), it really doesn't counterbalance the overwhelming linearity of the majority of the game. Really FFXIII should have been almost entirely set in Pulse, it would have created a much better experience.
    My point about FFIV was about linearity in terms of exploration + character development combined.

    In terms of exploration FFIV is way more non-linear (Pulse not withstanding), dungeons required exploration to advance, and even more exploration to find all the treasure. I really hope that SE never decide to revisit this approach to map design, it's just so uninvolving.
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  • TwinBahamutTwinBahamut Staff Healer RPGamer Staff
    edited November 2010
    So, I finally saw the end of Final Fantasy XIII a few days ago, so I may as well offer my own opinion on the game.

    All told, Final Fantasy XIII is a game I have very mixed opinions on. I rather liked a lot of the game's story elements, with the way it twists around many classic Final Fantasy elements into something very unique. The basic idea behind the struggle of people of Cocoon who have been urned into Pulse l'Cie was very interesting to me, and a lot of the story scenes that built upon that were very good. I liked a lot of the characters, even if a few of them got rather annoying at times (particularly Vanille and Fang). The music in the game was consistently fantastic, but that was a given with that composer at the helm (I loved his work on SaGa Frontier 2).

    The battle system was certainly fresh and exciting, with a lot of real strategy required and a good level of challenge (set Crystarium levels based on the plot helped a lot with this, in my opinion). The fact that every character had a totally unique ability set helped the game a lot, even if I would have preferred to see a wider variety of combat abilities. It certainly helped when I stopped thinking of the roles as classes and started thinking of them being AI controls more akin to gambits from FFXII. Major boss battles, including the final boss battle, were actually a lot more interesting and better built than they have been for quite a long time in the series.

    With all of that said... I think I came to hate the game. I don't think it is irredeemably bad like FFXII was, but I would rank it much lower than many other Final Fantasy games. The game's particular brand of linearity is poisonous to the game in a truly terrible way. There is no sense of exploration, no ability to control your own pace, no ability to backtrack, no one to talk to, no minigames or sidequests to do, and has basically no thought required. For all the strong elements in the story, FFXIII falls into the worst trap laid out by the "travelogue" style of RPG design that FFX helped to establish: most of the game is just spent going somewhere, waiting for some plot event to suddenly jump into the protagonists' laps without them actually doing anything of note. The worst part about this in FFXIII is that the characters are not even going anywhere in particular, they are just wandering aimlessly most of the time. This structure worked in FFX because it was built upon the idea of a pilgrimage, with a very clear goal to the journey from the very beginning, but FFXIII doesn't have anything like that. It is just a mass of random environments the characters walk through until they run into an arbitrary plot scene. It's horrible.

    Okay, so now I get to talk about Pulse... Yeah, Pulse fixes a number of the complaints I made above, but in many ways I liked the early part of the game in Cocoon far more than Pulse. Pulse was a nightmare at times. It promises openness and actual sidequests, but most of that is little more than an illusion placed on top of an experience which is just as linear and toxic as the gameplay in Cocoon. The environments are just as arbitrary, and despite the promise of Oerba the characters are just as aimless. Unlike Cocoon, though, it's a total plot void, with nothing but a handful of minor character interaction scenes occurring at total random across hours and hours of gameplay. And despite the cool mood of Oerba offering some promise at the end of that long, irritating journey, in the end nothing happens at all. The only thing that happens at Oerba is Barthandalus showing up, and the characters basically admitting that they were wasting their time with the whole Pulse thing before they go back to Cocoon. That was an incredibly terrible letdown for me.

    Oh, yeah, I may as well mention that the return to Cocoon was pretty bad itself. It dragged on far too long, and the writing seemed to take an even worse nosedive than before for that stretch of the game (up to and including the ending). Also, I hated the pointless and overcomplicated weapon upgrade system (you can beat the game without even using it), and the shops were useless to the point of being not worth including.

    Still, at the very least, the Faultwarrens are kind of cool. I like the Faultwarrens, and a lot of the rest of the optional "postgame you can do before you beat the game" stuff found on Pulse. It doesn't make up for the linearity of the plot journey through Pulse, but it does add a few drops of fun to the late game.
  • MacstormMacstorm Ysy St. Administrators
    edited November 2010
    You lost me at "irredeemably bad like FFXII was." LIES, I SAY! ;)
    "The universe is already mad. Anything else would be redundant."
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  • WheelsWheels RPGamer Staff RPGamer Staff
    edited November 2010
    Apologies.

    If the entirety of XIII were Pulse than I would not think it a linear game at all, but since the Pulse section is only about ten hours (until you beat the game and unlock more), it really doesn't counterbalance the overwhelming linearity of the majority of the game. Really FFXIII should have been almost entirely set in Pulse, it would have created a much better experience.



    In terms of exploration FFIV is way more non-linear (Pulse not withstanding), dungeons required exploration to advance, and even more exploration to find all the treasure. I really hope that SE never decide to revisit this approach to map design, it's just so uninvolving.

    Many of the maps, mostly in the later side of the game sure, actually have a lot of little side trails and such with treasure on them. Exploration isn't required sure, but is that so bad? Most people will look for all the treasure. There's a lot of extra loot to find.

    Pulse is more than 10 hours generally, and more stuff unlocks as soon as you can go back there in chapter 13.

    Macstorm wrote: »
    You lost me at "irredeemably bad like FFXII was." LIES, I SAY! ;)

    Indeed, FFXII was fantastic

    Twin- they are wandering around randomly for only a small portion of the game, and then it's with good reason-they've been branded have no freaking idea what to do.
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  • TwinBahamutTwinBahamut Staff Healer RPGamer Staff
    edited November 2010
    Macstorm wrote: »
    You lost me at "irredeemably bad like FFXII was." LIES, I SAY! ;)
    What can I say? For me, it really was a terrible game. I can go on and list all the many different things I didn't like about the game, but all of that pales before the one cardinal sin it committed as a game: it was boring. The game simply turned into a dull grindfest that was clearly not going to properly balance the effort it took to level up and raise funds with an appropriate amount of enjoyable plot scenes and fun battles.

    For all of FFXIII's flaws, it at least never degenerated into that sorry state, so it is still better than FFXII. For me at least.

    Who knows? Maybe one day I'll go back to FFXII, try something very different with it, and actually encounter a fun game experience. I just know that the my natural playstyle didn't work with that game at all.
  • SiliconNooBSiliconNooB Member Full Members
    edited November 2010
    Exploration isn't required sure, but is that so bad?

    It is in a game singularly lacking in exploration and environmental interaction.

    At any rate I think we can all agree that FFXII was the better game.
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