Final Fantasy XIII: A Concession

This isn't the first time I've run at the mouth about Final Fantasy XIII, and my opinions weren't exactly favorable. I stand by what I said, and to this day will probably never finish it even though I stopped mere moments away from the final boss. The battle system, as visually frenetic as it was, bored me to tears. I miss the days when you had to spend hours excavating the secrets in a labyrinthine Final Fantasy system. I remember spending hours swapping Final Fantasy X battle tips with friends over beer. I made that game my bitch - I even beat that lightning dodging minigame. Yes, I dodged 200 lightning bolts in a row. It took several hours, and a LOT of deep breathing, but I really wanted the Onion Knight. When I finally dodged that last bolt, there was hollering and dancing and general carrying on, and I think that was the moment I finally convinced my roommates I was completely bats. I didn't have any of those moments in FFXIII.

However, there is something FFXIII brings to the table that is a good step towards our inevitable legitimacy. It makes the JRPG genre accessible. Would your average person spend hours peppered with near-rage-quit moments trying to dodge lightning 200 times? Nope. That particular brand of crazy will always be our territory. Likewise, some people may be frightened by the dozens of spells, status effects, and combat abilities generally present in an RPG. So FFXIII has the characters do that automatically, and the player can feel like they're kicking ass without all the memorizing elemental weaknesses and such. And that's something I can get behind, even though I think the game is boring.

Something that's not accessible about Final Fantasy XIII, though? The story. What a confusing mess that was. Eventually I just gave up and watched the cutscenes without really paying attention to the dialog. That's not doing our medium any favors. If you're going to spend all the time and money necessary to produce all those cutscenes, why saddle all that work with a story that makes absolutely no sense? Perhaps the developers did think the story made sense, but I get the feeling that's because they wrote the in-game encyclopedia. Of course it makes perfect sense... as long as you read these thousands of words of text! Not a good way to go about it. I have nothing against the in-game codex in general, but it should definitely not be a mandatory read.

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favorable. I stand by what I said, and to this day will probably never finish it even though I stopped mere moments away from the final boss. The battle system, as visually frenetic as it was, bored me to tears. I miss the days when you had to spend hours excavating the secrets in a labyrinthine Final Fantasy system." data-share-imageurl="">

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