Well, I’ve done a lot of these posts talking about the things I like, but now I thought I would join the choir of people bitching about things on the internet. Look, I’m a die-hard fan of Final Fantasy. A lot of their games have been inventive, smart, unique and had stories that one could get into. You cared about what they were making. We were all burned by XIII. The completely linear nature of a Final Fantasy game was a betrayal to the genre and to what it represented. But we at least respected elements of it. The same, however, cannot be said for XIII-2. This game is, by far, the stupidest and most boring fantasy game that we have ever played. And even though many of you won’t care, here is what killed this game, almost from the starting point.
10. Almost NO Lightning!
The reason a lot of us keep playing XIII is because of Lightning. She’s hot, she’s cool, she’s got a kick-ass voice. She is most definitely one of the most badass of the Final Fantasy heroes, and if she isn’t in Kingdom Hearts III, somebody is getting punched in the vag. But seriously, you see Lightning a lot, and you get to play her at the very beginning, but we didn’t want to play as her dim-witted little sister. We wanted to play as Lightning! I kind of like Noel, don’t get me wrong (when he isn’t speaking), but having so little of her in this game is bullshit. Right from the starting line, this game fails.
9. Less Explorable Area than XIII
Oh yeah, I went there. I will give XIII credit for what they did have. The areas in that game were gorgeous and they were interesting. You really liked those places. That’s why so many fans were pissed off that you had to just leave them and could never go back. They were gorgeous! Let us stay there, you idiots! Let us explore! Give us side-quests! In this game, you have so many time-zones that are just the same area with a different date attached. Granted, some of the places do look nice, like Academia, but you have so little to do there that you don’t care what you are looking at. And this ties into the #1 selection, but we’ll get there when we get there.
8. Time Travel is Bullshit!
When I heard how this game was going to work, using time travel to go all over the place, my first thought was that this was to give the fans of XIII’s areas a chance to go back and explore them. That’s pretty clever. I wouldn’t be bitching on here if that was the case, because that would be a nice way to save face. Instead, we are getting all new places, which aren’t especially interesting to look at, and unlocking them can be such a pain in the ass, with so little payoff! This segment of the game was boring, and clearly just made to expand playing time.
7. Dumbed-down Crystarium
Another thing that I’ll give credit to XIII for was the way you leveled up. The Crystarium was a pretty unique engine, and you had to devote time and energy to building it. Getting stronger was an effort, and you had to work at it. That’s pretty cool. In this game, they make leveling up so unbelievably easy that within a few worlds, you are a God. And each new place they send you to makes leveling up that much easier because you get so much more CP each place. Sometimes being a God can be fun, like after you beat a game and you want to lay some pwnage onto enemies who you had trouble with before, but here, it is so unbelievably easy that it takes all the fun out of any potential challenge.
6. Pointless Monsters you can control/No third character
This was another element that was thrown in to make playing longer, and you can so clearly tell. What makes it worse is that these monsters are obviously filling in for not having a third character. What’s worse than that is that leveling them up is a pain in the ass, and they have such varying health bars that some monsters, like the ones who are a medic, can be a complete anchor to your in a fight, especially since you don’t start out with a Medic role in your party, which is also so stupid. Instead of having all these monsters, they should have just given us another character, or maybe made the monsters more even, or level up better. Ironically, your characters level up like gods, and monsters can be a lead ball around your ankle.
5. Characters OBVIOUSLY shoe-horned in!
Now look, I have some love for a lot of the case of XIII. I love Lightning, liked Hope (when he had vengeance on the brain), liked Sazh, Liked Fang, tolerated Vanille, and hated with a bitter passion Snow. But in this game, they just threw characters into situations just so they could have them in the game. That kind of laziness bugs me. It bugs me so much because this is Final Fantasy. Even if you don’t like the games, you have to admit that they do try to make characters who fit with the story. Even in XII they did that! In this game, they aren’t even trying. They just throw a character into a situation, and think that we are stupid enough to buy it. The lack of respect for fans and their intelligence just annoys the living shit out of me.
4. Side-quests OBVIOUSLY made to prolong play time
Now look, in some ways, that is what all side-quests are, but here’s the thing – they shouldn’t blatantly feel like that is what they are doing. In Batman: Arkham City, the side-quests felt just as relevant as the main story. Now, that is a total exception to the way they normally are, but in other games, the side quests do seem to have a point, or at least get you cool stuff, like unique equipment or what have you. The whole reason players play side-quests is so that we can feel more enriched and feel accomplished. You don’t get that from XIII-2. You merely feel like you are just doing more stuff, like it is adding time to your gameplay time clock. That should never been how side-quests in any game are handled.
3. Characters are not developed AT ALL!
Say what you will for some of the melodramatic moments from XIII, at least they did take time to develop character and to make you care about them. This game literally does nothing to advance the plot. When I first saw Serah taking off to go on an adventure with Noel, this other guy, I thought to myself “ah yeah, you’re going to the route of her starting to fall for him, right? It’s a bit cliche, but I hate Snow, so I’m all for it.” They didn’t even do that. They did nothing to make these character seem 3-dimensional. You literally don’t care about anything that is happening while it is happening.
2. All the Pointless DLC
More and more games it seems are taking the strategy of trying to fix their problems with DLC. Batman: Arkham City is the only game that I have seen that isn’t just shoe-horning something in. Harley Quinn’s Revenge is an addition to the story, a new playable character, new situations and new settings. It adds to the story. In this game, they just threw shit in there in order to make the player spend more money and more time trying to suffer through this game. Really, not one thing is worth the money you’ll spend on it, not one.
This brings me to my #1 reason why this game sucked, which just pisses me off –
Why did they make this game? It’s not the game anybody wanted. It’s not the game anybody cared about. It’s starting to seem to me like Square Enix doesn’t even care about the Final Fantasy series anymore. The game we are all waiting for, Final Fantasy Versus XIII has been pretty much declared vaporware by everybody. It isn’t going to be at E3 this year, it hasn’t gone anywhere since 2006 when it was announced. We have been waiting six years, and most players have just given up. If it doesn’t come out either this year or next, it’s never coming at all. Square Enix has fucked up a lot of their potential with these pointless games. Instead they could have released Versus XIII by now, or be working on a remake of VII, which would be the biggest cash-cow that Square Enix has seen in years. This game was pointless, completely and utterly pointless. It was a waste of time to make, and a waste of time and money to play.
Learn something, Square Enix, or just give up.