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Forums > Submission Feedback > zippdementia's Final Fantasy XIII review

This thread is in response to a review for Final Fantasy XIII on the PlayStation 3. You are encouraged to view the review in a new window before reading this thread.

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Author: randxian
Posted: March 20, 2010 (09:01 AM)
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B-r-r-r-r-rum! Open up, gamers! Here comes the airplane!”

LOL!

This looks like one of your better works. Really enjoyed all the clever and subtle jabs at the game's story (or lack thereof).

It really sucks not having RPG staples since as towns, NPCs, and the like. I don't think I would enjoy this game at all.


I CAN HAS CHEEZBURGER?


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Author: zippdementia
Posted: March 20, 2010 (01:02 PM)
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Thanks for the feedback, Randxian!


Note to gamers: when someone shoots you in the face, they aren't "gay." They are "psychopathic."


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Author: aschultz
Posted: March 23, 2010 (04:01 PM)
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Hi Zipp. Given that I fisked this review of yours, you may be able to assume your other one "made it." I found your and Genj's reviews interesting, but I had suggestions for both. Lots of times I write these critiques more for myself, to get myself going on my own writing, so let me know if you don't really need/want it.

====

Fisking your FF13 review here. It's what I like to do when I'm bored at work.

"Is pretty amazing" <- maybe it's what sequels SHOULD do, or mentions that right away. I'm not a big fan of a big bold sentence capped off by "pretty amazing" which can be subjective. I say, it's amazing or it isn't. No waffling!

In my opinion, the abbreviated XIII for Final Fantasy XIII saves that much more text. I think it's a good idea. I don't know what others think. It might even be worth a mini thread.

2nd paragraph I don't like the 4th wall stuff. I've soured increasingly on dialogue that doesn't need to be there--well, not after the first draft, anyway--and I think that there has to be another way to say it. "Too bad they forgot to innovate with other aspects. The story bits are unfortunately less clever combinations of previous installments." Or "They cut other aspects to get this in, and that wasn't cool."

I like the contrast of nobody knowing what they're doing with the A-to-B-to-C game-line. Maybe use some of your irony/sarcasm which is really good at its best to knock that down? It seems you left a chance begging. To me that's the time to use irony or go in for humor, when something's at such cross purposes, but instead you end with apathetic...apathy...lazy -- and while "saying yawn makes people yawn" is an urban legend, seeing these inactive words had me dozing a bit. Also, I feel you may be spoon-feeding readers the spoon-feeding example.

Also "gone are" etc gets a tad pretentious after a while (see what I did there?)

When I think of dialogue for my own writing I picture someone I hate saying it. If I grudgingly picture "Damn, he's got a point there" then I realize it's pretty good. Maybe this exercise will work for you, or others. Or maybe our ears are completely different.

I also found your comment about the story being a focus interesting--I mean, on the one hand, combat's better, but on the other hand, story's what they seem to have put most of their technological magic into. It seems like they polished a turd here and that's useful to get to. Perhaps they've come to the end of the line of what they can do with it?

Also "There are..." could be cut down to "So many plot twists, like an NPC who betrays you after you meet him twice, aren't more believeable with the full string orchestra in the background." It seems like you're trying a bit too hard to show you are trying to be open minded about how FF13 will be implausible and repetitive even for non FF fans.

Maybe you could have a point counter point pair of paragraphs where you compare Stuff Glommed Together In Combat vs Stuff Glommed Together In Plot--one that works and the other that doesn't.

"in that it adds" is also a bit wordy, though I think this paragraph is good. You may be hedging on your original assumption that it's a really good game if it's just the combat, so perhaps it's better to go along the lines of "Improved combat mechanics sacrifice enemy diversity" or something. The Octopus example is good, but again, I think "even when to shift jobs gets old" may serve a purpose at least as well at the end. I think the reference to Rydia is good too, though again the paragraph suffers from bulkiness at least to a non FF fan. "We've been there before. Tell everyone to attack and have Rydia cast Fire 3." Or maybe you can discuss if leveling up too easily allows a rut.

This means that the complaints about XIII promising more than it gives seem like an afterthought--I'd be interested in hearing more examples, if there really are any. What would you have liked to see? If the end bit is creative, then why not make a better transition to the final paragraph? I like the comment about invisible walls. I think we can assume they'd be there. However, it may be dangling the final interesting bit from the reader until the end--too far below the complaints--which is much the same as what the game does.


My principal said, 'Emo, Emo, Emo.'
I said 'I'm the one in the middle, you lousy drunk!'
-- Emo Phillips


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Author: zippdementia
Posted: March 23, 2010 (05:31 PM)
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Wow, now this is what I call feedback! Thanks for all of this, ascuhltz! I'm gonna take some time to look this over. Chances are I won't make changes to the current review, but I always take your advice to heart for future projects.

Thanks again!


Note to gamers: when someone shoots you in the face, they aren't "gay." They are "psychopathic."


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Author: fleinn
Posted: March 25, 2010 (07:06 PM)
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"Being betrayed by an NPC you’ve met maybe twice in the game doesn’t carry much weight to it, despite the full string orchestra playing in the background."

Hahahaha. :D Brilliant.

I'm missing a... fake intro-line of some sort, I think. Something that makes the review seem as if it opens normally.


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Author: zippdementia
Posted: March 25, 2010 (10:36 PM)
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I just kinda leapt right in, yeah.

Glad to hear you laughed. The story really is bad and I'm glad I'm not the only one here who thinks that. It means sanity and taste still reigns on the site.


Note to gamers: when someone shoots you in the face, they aren't "gay." They are "psychopathic."


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Author: honestgamer (Mod)
Posted: March 25, 2010 (10:39 PM)
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Nah, the story kicks ass and is difficult to reasonably fault except perhaps in the form of a complaint of its lack of linearity. The characters are what's bad. There's a massive difference.


"Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought." - John F. Kennedy on reality

"What if everything you see is more than what you see--the person next to you is a warrior and the space that appears empty is a secret door to another world? What if something appears that shouldn't? You either dismiss it, or you accept that there is much more to the world than you think. Perhaps it really is a doorway, and if you choose to go inside, you'll find many unexpected things." - Shigeru Miyamoto


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Author: Suskie
Posted: March 25, 2010 (11:31 PM)
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That's a strange thing to say about a game in which 90% of the exposition is comprised of the six characters you loathe so much stopping in their tracks and talking about themselves, amongst themselves.


You exist because we allow it. And you will end because we demand it.


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Author: honestgamer (Mod)
Posted: March 25, 2010 (11:34 PM)
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If you tuned out what the characters were talking about to the point where you honestly believe that their discussions had no value except to explore their characters, then you obviously missed out on most of the plot. A small percentage of the dialog was about personal fears and dreams and such. The bulk of the conversations were spent establishing the paramaters of a thoroughly fascinating world and culture, in between the more blatant bits of exposition that moved things along toward an intriguing conclusion.

As with so many other portions of the game, the story was freaking awesome but it didn't slap you in the face and demand that you pay attention to it. It's definitely a new way for a Final Fantasy game to tell a story and that's really what most of the complaints that I see leveled against it appear to boil down to. One could reasonably make the argument that Square-Enix should have dumbed down the plot and set it on a more linear path to make its contents more obvious to the masses. I wouldn't argue that. Suggesting that the plot is bad because it requires some involvement from the player--emotional and otherwise--though, that's just crazy. This isn't a movie, after all. It's a video game.


"Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought." - John F. Kennedy on reality

"What if everything you see is more than what you see--the person next to you is a warrior and the space that appears empty is a secret door to another world? What if something appears that shouldn't? You either dismiss it, or you accept that there is much more to the world than you think. Perhaps it really is a doorway, and if you choose to go inside, you'll find many unexpected things." - Shigeru Miyamoto


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Author: Suskie
Posted: March 25, 2010 (11:49 PM)
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I vaguely remember you mentioning something about how you look for an intriguing setting in a good story, and to that end I can understand where you're coming from. FFXIII has a fascinating setting. But come on: This is an extremely character-driven plot. The bulk of our knowledge is learned either through conversations between the six main characters or through flashbacks of the six main characters. Even when they were casting their feelings aside and developing the narrative, they were doing so through their own experiences. So while you obviously found a way to enjoy this story without liking the characters, I don't know how you did it.

Reading over the plot summary in my roommate's guide made the story sound very cool, but that's only half of it. The story needs to be presented well, and FFXIII doesn't do that. Fracturing the narrative and gambling so much on the players' emotional connection to the lousy cast of characters didn't work out.

But hey! That's just me.


You exist because we allow it. And you will end because we demand it.


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Author: zippdementia
Posted: March 26, 2010 (10:38 AM)
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I have to agree with Suskie here. I also think that it's hard to claim that the story doesn't demand your attention when a game is as linear as FFXIII is. The only thing you can do in the game is beat some battles and then move in a straight line down the environment. At the end of that environment you are shown a cutscene. Sometimes you will have segments of this that actually don't have battles, but are just walks between two different sets of scenes. That, to me, is the sign of a story driven game.


Note to gamers: when someone shoots you in the face, they aren't "gay." They are "psychopathic."


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