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Final Fantasy XIII Spoiler Thread

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  • SiliconNooBSiliconNooB Member Full Members
    edited October 2010
    Japanese developers building their games around the concept of western appeal will see the greater part of their output consigned to mediocrity, as no matter how well hard they try, they will never be as successful at it as western developers are by default. I think they need to be mindful to design their games so that the mechanics aren't needlessly frustrating to western gamers, and they need a good localization team (and western VA director) who they will entrust to rewrite characters and concepts which don't translate well into our culture, but as far as the character of the game goes I think that has to remain distinctively Japanese, else there will be no reason to buy Japanese games in place of western games.
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  • SpartakusSpartakus One Knight Stand Full Members
    edited November 2010
    FFXIII is critized for being too Western now? Most non-japanophiles critize it for being too Japanese. Humanity is inconsistent. :hehe:

    There's nothing wrong with the game objectively speaking; it does what it's trying to do excellently, namely being a linear, more or less on rails storybook where your job is to walk from A to B and fight the battles. It's entirely legitimate to make a game like that, a lot of people enjoy it and I loved every minute. If you're looking for exploration, sidequesting, creating your own character builds and the like, then FFXIII is the wrong place to look, but that isn't the game's fault.

    It's always like this with FF though. They change the formula so much between every game most people have some installments they enjoy and some they can't stand playing. It's understandable many are disappointed with FFXIII if they played the earlier installments and expected it to be more of the same, but for better or worse that's not how FF works. The series is a real bag of mixed flavours.
  • NimNim _ Full Members
    edited November 2010
    The only problem is that the developers adimitted the game had a development hell. They kept taking too much time. Then we have excuses like hd towns are difficult etc. While I did not hate the game, at several times it felt unfinished in the story department, inlncistent graphics and to me it felt like they didn't know what they wanted. The first hours were abysmal from a gameplay perspective, but it did get better later on. I still haven't finished it, but I plan to in the future.

    I liked FF1 FF3-FF12(did not play FF11) FFT, FFTA, FF7CC, FFX-2, so me not liking a game in the series is unusual. FF2 and FFMQ being my lest favorites and now FF13 joins them.
  • QuinQuin ne cede malis RPGamer Staff
    edited November 2010
    nim22ama wrote: »
    Then we have excuses like hd towns are difficult etc

    Have you got the interview where this was brought up? I'd like to read that.
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  • NimNim _ Full Members
    edited November 2010
    http://www.gamasutra.com/php-bin/news_index.php?story=27619

    Here is one interview. There are others, but this was the one I remember on such a short notice.
  • WheelsWheels RPGamer Staff RPGamer Staff
    edited November 2010
    nim22ama wrote: »
    http://www.gamasutra.com/php-bin/news_index.php?story=27619

    Here is one interview. There are others, but this was the one I remember on such a short notice.

    In my opinion, the reasons why there are no towns are completely irrelevant. The big question would be, is the game designed to deal with not having them? To that, I would say the answer is a big YES. While there's nothing in the game that really mimics the "down time" that towns could often provide, I think this is a pretty minor complaint. Most of the game there is a tremendous sense of isolation that I really enjoyed.
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  • NimNim _ Full Members
    edited November 2010
    At times I felt the game was good, but it had some dull moments. The game not having towns was not a big problem, because I knew that before buying the game. My beef were inconsistent graphics, bad story, unlikable characters, no interesting antagonist and then we have the not so good first 5 hours. I did enjoy the combat system, the music and graphics(design of enviroments) wich are the reasons I keep playing this. but FFXIII was never my most wanted FNC game anyway.
  • WheelsWheels RPGamer Staff RPGamer Staff
    edited November 2010
    Inconsistent graphics? what do you mean?
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  • NimNim _ Full Members
    edited November 2010
    At times it looked superb and then I would see square/pointy shoulders and knees like in the PS2 days. Grass textures that weren't great and at some occasions other textures that were not the best.
  • WheelsWheels RPGamer Staff RPGamer Staff
    edited November 2010
    nim22ama wrote: »
    At times it looked superb and then I would see square/pointy shoulders and knees like in the PS2 days. Grass textures that weren't great and at some occasions other textures that were not the best.

    I never saw any of this, PS3 or 360 version?
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  • NimNim _ Full Members
    edited November 2010
    PS3 version. The pointy shoulders and knees were only visible during some cutscenes, but they were very easy to see for me and I did not even intend to look for them. I just could not miss tvem. What surprised me is that it is most noticeable on Lightning.
  • SiliconNooBSiliconNooB Member Full Members
    edited November 2010
    Wheels wrote: »
    I never saw any of this, PS3 or 360 version?

    Some of the geometry was incredibly crude, this was because of the high number of polygons used to construct the characters faces. Environment geometry appeared to improve as the game went on, with Hanged Edge being the worst offender.
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  • WheelsWheels RPGamer Staff RPGamer Staff
    edited November 2010
    Some of the geometry was incredibly crude, this was because of the high number of polygons used to construct the characters faces. Environment geometry appeared to improve as the game went on, with Hanged Edge being the worst offender.

    hmnn, never really noticed it.
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  • SiliconNooBSiliconNooB Member Full Members
    edited November 2010
    Look at some of the rocks, they're very angular, with a lot of flat surfaces.
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  • SpartakusSpartakus One Knight Stand Full Members
    edited November 2010
    Supposedly the 360 version looks slightly poorer, but I only played the PS3 version and it looked great as far as I can see. Then again I don't consciously try to spot graphical flaws so a lot might have passed me by unnoticed, which is just as well.

    About the towns, I can see why they were missed - towns are pleasant breaks from the action and exploration - but I can't see what they could have added to a game like FFXIII. It's a game themed around being on the run from persecution, so strolling about pedestrian-like and talking to NPCs doesn't fit with the scheme. Then again I guess JRPGs have never been logical so why start now.

    I think we shouldn't get too conservative and stuck in our ways though; once you start saying a game of a particular genre has to have this and that, you'll end up with a lot of really similar games. I'm all for towns and exploration in JRPGs, but whether or not to include it must be up to the developers, and one choice should be as legitimate as the other. It worked well for a game like FFXIII - provided it's your thing - but it wouldn't have worked for any of the earlier installments.
  • DravDrav A Serious Man Full Members
    edited November 2010
    Wheels wrote: »
    In my opinion, the reasons why there are no towns are completely irrelevant. The big question would be, is the game designed to deal with not having them? To that, I would say the answer is a big YES. While there's nothing in the game that really mimics the "down time" that towns could often provide, I think this is a pretty minor complaint. Most of the game there is a tremendous sense of isolation that I really enjoyed.
    I think that if a game is going to focus on story telling, it's important to present the player with a believable game world rather than just a roller-coaster. This was one of my main problems with Bioshock; as much as it tried to draw me into its world it was so painfully linear (both in terms of level design and its plethora of scripted events) that it was impossible to forget I was just playing a video game.
  • SiliconNooBSiliconNooB Member Full Members
    edited November 2010
    once you start saying a game of a particular genre has to have this and that, you'll end up with a lot of really similar games. I'm all for towns and exploration in JRPGs, but whether or not to include it must be up to the developers, and one choice should be as legitimate as the other.

    It must also be up to the developers to create an enjoyable game. Vagrant Story had no towns, and that was just fine. One must however question the wisdom of removing towns from a game design that is essentially a non-interactive one way tunnel run full of shockingly mediocre dialogue. Town exploration and interaction would have provided some much needed diversity to the lacklustre one-note gameplay.
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  • Alex FullerAlex Fuller Managing Editor RPGamer Staff
    edited November 2010
    Spartakus wrote: »
    Supposedly the 360 version looks slightly poorer, but I only played the PS3 version and it looked great as far as I can see. Then again I don't consciously try to spot graphical flaws so a lot might have passed me by unnoticed, which is just as well.

    There was one or two bits where it did get like the equivalent of saving an image as a JPEG using MS Paint, but on the whole the detail level was still excellent. I wasn't a particular fan the actual world as a whole, was just never particularly interested in it. It could be that wandering around towns talking to the randoms allows me to immerse myself more in it (I like to spend a lot of time in games doing that). However, I can understand how being able to do that wouldn't work with the storyline and theme they were going with.
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  • SiliconNooBSiliconNooB Member Full Members
    edited November 2010
    My understanding is that the major differences between both versions was in resolution and video encoding. If you played both versions on an SD telley then the differences wouldn't be too noticeable (aside from video artifacting), if you play it on a HD TV though then the differences will be apparent.
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  • SpartakusSpartakus One Knight Stand Full Members
    edited November 2010
    It must also be up to the developers to create an enjoyable game. Vagrant Story had no towns, and that was just fine. One must however question the wisdom of removing towns from a game design that is essentially a non-interactive one way tunnel run full of shockingly mediocre dialogue. Town exploration and interaction would have provided some much needed diversity to the lacklustre one-note gameplay.

    You're mixing objective observation with taste-dependent opinion. FFXIII is like an on rails JRPG where you simply go in a straight line from A to B and fight the battles, and if that's not your thing then no wonder you don't enjoy the game, but that's not the same as the game being bad. Want towns and exploration? Well that's a different game. Apples and oranges.

    I've played all the FFs and I enjoyed XIII a great deal; the focused gameplay and fast-paced progression sat well with me, it was different - as each FF always is - but in a way fitting to that kind of story and setting. The battle system in particular is probably my favourite in the whole series, it just never got boring. Mind you, this is not an objective verdict but simply how I experienced it based on my preferences. I haven't been able to get into Vagrant Story, but I can easily see it's a good game.
  • NimNim _ Full Members
    edited November 2010
    http://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/30640/Exclusive_Behind_The_Scenes_of_Square_Enixs_Final_Fantasy_XIII.php

    I can't get the link to work, copy/paste and it will work. This is a month old, but an interesting read.
  • SiliconNooBSiliconNooB Member Full Members
    edited November 2010
    You're mixing objective observation with taste-dependent opinion. FFXIII is like an on rails JRPG where you simply go in a straight line from A to B and fight the battles, and if that's not your thing then no wonder you don't enjoy the game, but that's not the same as the game being bad. Want towns and exploration? Well that's a different game. Apples and oranges.

    Lazy game design is always a bad thing, objectively speaking. If you're the type of gamer looking for a minimum of environmental interaction then I can see how XIII might hold a certain allure, yet for gamers looking for anything more robust than a brisk succession of enemy encounters, the slick battle system is not sufficient to carry the dead albatross of the overall experience. I have no complaints in terms of controls or battle-system, the game certainly wasn't broken, but a linear path with zero deviations really isn't the right choice for a 60+ hour long game.

    Bottom line: The game was mired in development hell until quite recently, and it shows.
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  • ClixClix Former Listmaster Full Members
    edited November 2010
    As I've said before somewhere, FFXIII's key issue is its length. The mainstream, linear, fast-paced design should have NEVER been used for a game that's over thirty hours long. This is only accentuated by chapter ten, where enemies start to take longer and longer to kill for no real reward. The final three chapters come to a halt in pacing and drag on well beyond their stay. If there was something else to do, that'd be a different matter. But, FFXIII chose a story of isolation and action.... and then did not deliver it in the pacing department. Had the game been the same but just twenty-five hours long, then I'd consider it a good game. Instead, it's fifty hours long, and the last twenty or so hours drained me of life to the point that I was only happy I had beaten the game because that meant I was finally free.
  • WheelsWheels RPGamer Staff RPGamer Staff
    edited November 2010
    Lazy game design is always a bad thing, objectively speaking. If you're the type of gamer looking for a minimum of environmental interaction then I can see how XIII might hold a certain allure, yet for gamers looking for anything more robust than a brisk succession of enemy encounters, the slick battle system is not sufficient to carry the dead albatross of the overall experience. I have no complaints in terms of controls or battle-system, the game certainly wasn't broken, but a linear path with zero deviations really isn't the right choice for a 60+ hour long game.

    Bottom line: The game was mired in development hell until quite recently, and it shows.

    Not really. The game engine is fantastic, better than a plethora of games that weren't in "development hell". There's plenty of deviations off the beaten path later in the game. Granted, it's basically hunting down monsters, but this plays to the game's biggest strength- the battle system. Like many great Final Fantasies, the deviation from the beaten path comes in wide open options (to an extent) for weapon and character advancement, choice of paradigms, choice of battle team, etc. People are getting a nasty habit of greatly over exaggerating this game's fault, and I don't get why.

    Final Fantasy games have been very linear for pretty much their entire history, I simply do not understand why people are beating this point to death.
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  • Alex FullerAlex Fuller Managing Editor RPGamer Staff
    edited November 2010
    Wheels wrote: »
    Final Fantasy games have been very linear for pretty much their entire history, I simply do not understand why people are beating this point to death.

    *beats the Personal Opinion Horse some more*

    The thing is that while the storylines always were very linear, they always was a degree of artificial freedom in doing some other things. These are things I don't recall being able to do in the first 2 discs (of 3) but could in some way before: Wander around the world (maybe look for hidden places), Go back to a prevously visited place, Talk to townspeople, Explore dungeons for treasure or items, Personal airship (doesn't really count).

    Small and artifical freedoms and yes completely unnecessary for some, but also very important for others who like that sort of thing. While you can say it does appear in the end (I don't know that it does personally), if you say 'do this for 30 hours THEN you get all this neat stuff you originally wanted' people are generally not going to look upon that too favourably.
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  • SiliconNooBSiliconNooB Member Full Members
    edited November 2010
    Not really. The game engine is fantastic, better than a plethora of games that weren't in "development hell". There's plenty of deviations off the beaten path later in the game. Granted, it's basically hunting down monsters, but this plays to the game's biggest strength- the battle system. Like many great Final Fantasies, the deviation from the beaten path comes in wide open options (to an extent) for weapon and character advancement, choice of paradigms, choice of battle team, etc. People are getting a nasty habit of greatly over exaggerating this game's fault, and I don't get why.

    Final Fantasy games have been very linear for pretty much their entire history, I simply do not understand why people are beating this point to death.


    When I said design, I was not speaking in a graphical sense (it looks stunning) but rather in terms of game design. FFXIII is a one way uninteractive tunnel with nothing to do but run forward and fight, it is true that if you play the game for approximately 30 hours then the game opens up for about 10+ hours in the middle, but that's a rather big hurdle to leap wouldn't you say?

    Further, it is rather disingenuous to claim that this is no more linear that any other FF games. Previous games in the series (and many JRPGs in general) have had linear objectives for progressing while taking place within large environments which allow for much in the way of exploration, XIII on the other hand has linear map design (similar to FFX), it's a very different kind of linearity to the rest of the series, and it is fundamentally dishonest to portray it's design as being equal to the majority of past instalments when it's really quite different.

    This sort of design was found to be problematic for a good many people who played FFX, yet at least it had towns with NPCs to talk to, and the occasional mini-game. With XIII there is none of these distractions, and the game feels sterile and monotonous. I'm inclined to agree with Clix, the game could have been much more tolerable if there was 5-7 hours of the tunnel crawl, followed by 10 hours of Pulse and then another 5 hours of tunnel crawling. 30 hours of uninterrupted tunnel crawling on the other hand is beyond mind numbing, and frankly I'll be glad to never have to look at the game again.

    I'm just hoping that the other XIII projects are able to make up for everything that XIII was lacking in.
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  • WheelsWheels RPGamer Staff RPGamer Staff
    edited November 2010
    When I said design, I was not speaking in a graphical sense (it looks stunning) but rather in terms of game design. FFXIII is a one way uninteractive tunnel with nothing to do but run forward and fight

    So Final Fantasy 4, which is super linear with even less exploration, given that maps are smaller and not 3D, completely linear with character development, and lacking the side quests that FFXIII has, has no weapon upgrading besides buying the latest weapon or the occasional weapon in a chest, is just as bad, is what you're saying?

    or are you going to tell me that it has better game design because you can fly around an air ship and go back to a previous town where there is absolutely nothing to do?

    Small and artifical freedoms and yes completely unnecessary for some, but also very important for others who like that sort of thing. While you can say it does appear in the end (I don't know that it does personally), if you say 'do this for 30 hours THEN you get all this neat stuff you originally wanted' people are generally not going to look upon that too favourably.

    That's completely fine, I just have an issue with the lack of artificial freedoms being "bad game design". There's plenty of freedom to be had in the game with it's mechanics, and plenty of exploration to do later on pulse. For comparison- many tactical RPGs are incredibly linear, but we're still fans of them because of where they aren't linear-game mechanics. It's nice when we get both, but that doesn't always happen.
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  • ClixClix Former Listmaster Full Members
    edited November 2010
    ...Did you play FFIV? There are three optional dungeons that expand on different characters' subplots, namely Rhydia. The best weapon in the game has to be forged by completing some of these subplots. Odin? Leviathan? Sylph? Bahamut? Yes, the character building is beyond linear, the worst in the series bar none. However, the rest of the game had things to do, far more than FFXIII.
  • SiliconNooBSiliconNooB Member Full Members
    edited November 2010
    So Final Fantasy 4, which is super linear with even less exploration, given that maps are smaller and not 3D, completely linear with character development, and lacking the side quests that FFXIII has, has no weapon upgrading besides buying the latest weapon or the occasional weapon in a chest, is just as bad, is what you're saying?

    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.
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  • WheelsWheels RPGamer Staff RPGamer Staff
    edited November 2010
    Clix wrote: »
    ...Did you play FFIV? There are three optional dungeons that expand on different characters' subplots, namely Rhydia. The best weapon in the game has to be forged by completing some of these subplots. Odin? Leviathan? Sylph? Bahamut? Yes, the character building is beyond linear, the worst in the series bar none. However, the rest of the game had things to do, far more than FFXIII.

    None of these optional things are anywhere near as long or as interesting as the hunts I've seen in FFXIII, nor are they far off the beaten track, not to mention the dungeons where as linear as the rest of the game.
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