Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Insincere hate.

It is rare for a character in a Square RPG to be completely unlikable. There have quite a few that have been boring, uninteresting, emo, spikey haired, spikey haired and emo, but Lightning in Final Fantasy XIII is the first one I have run across that I hope dies a painful death as quickly as possible. In an effort at making her ‘real’ Square has made an emotionless bee-otch whose egotistical detachment from the rest of the party is just plain ugly. I understand what they are trying to do: no one in the party gets along right now, they have split up into three different groups, at least one actually wants to kill another, and all this will build up to some sappy moment at the three quarters mark where everyone is brought back together in a post averted tragedy love fest. It will be difficult to watch (and I will fall for it, because I always do) but there has to be a better way to do it than making me hate one of the primary characters.

To be honest, I hate two of the characters, Tenille is nothing more than Rikku on a heavy dose of pain killers cut with meth; she grates on the nerves during every appearance.

Yet I keep playing. There have been no choices to make so far, just hallways of varying shape and size that are sometimes so bright they are difficult to look at. Leveling up offers little variety either; I have decided what each characters focus is going to be and there will be little chance to vary that until the new game plus areas which I won’t play anyway. What is here, though, is polished to such a degree that it is irresistible to anyone who enjoys killing things with a menu and commands. Battles can be so visually hectic that I focus entirely on the players HP levels, ready to switch paradigms at a moments notice, snatching characters from death while maintaining combos is a beautiful thing. I like Final Fantasy XIII, warts and all, because I have always liked Final Fantasy’s. Being a fan of JRPG’s blinds me to most things that annoy everyone else, and I do not think this is a bad thing.

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