Thursday, May 13, 2010

Yes, but was it any good?

Final Fantasy XIII ended right at bed time last night, which was convinient. The last few bosses were actually easier than the monsters that surrounded them, which makes me wonder why I spent so much time killing them for XP. The final opponent has the same out of left field feel at Fate from Final Fantasy X, but in a game that has made little to no sense for forty hours I would expect no less. I am a sucker for Square endings, so when the crystalized child and girlfriend showed up it brought up a relectant smile, but as the credits rolled I was forced to ask myself: was it really any good? Even asking teh question betrays the answer. RPG's like Skies of Arcadia, Nocturne and Shadow Hearts Covenant left me with a feeling of accomplishment, satisfaction with what happened in the plot, and the Shadows Heart's case, a manly tear or two. XIII has the same kind of bitter sweet ending, with two of the characters not making it through to the end, but one of them I had been wishing death upon since first meeting her and the other was so boring I hardly noticed her passing. I didn't care about their sacrifice, even if it did save the whole world. I would have settled for just not listening to them talk anymore.

While this is hardly an endorsement, XIII was not a bad game. It is just not a great game, and certainly not up to what I expect from Square. As Final Fantasy's have moved on their stories have made less and less sense. For example:

VII - Cloud wants to kill Sephiroth, loses girlfriend to lack of phoenix down, finds out he is the same thing as Sephiroth, kills him.

VIII - a group of zany kids finght a big evil queen bent on destroying world, plus a bunch of other stuff I don't remember.

IX - Zidane 'kidnaps' giant headed princess, goes on adventures, defies (and kills) fate, has a happy ending.

X - Tidus has existential crisis, realizes that he doesn't really exist, kills own father with assistance of Auron (who also doesn't exist), Yuna gets emo.

X-2 - Yuna ditches robes for hot pants, yet refuses to have lesbian sex with Payne and Rikku, Tidus still isn't real

XII - um, big evil corporation? bunny girl? judges?

XIII - city in the sky threatened by mechanical gods? underworld full of monsters you can't fight until after the end of the game? I have no idea.

I can't wait for Final Fantasy XIV - shit happens, kill it, level up while doing so. It was not a waste of 40 hours, but it was not my favorite 40 hours of gaming either.

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