Ok.. Final Fantasy XIII

Eh? EHH? Mine’s preordered for the 360. I’m pretty excited, it’s been a while since I’ve played me some Final Fantasy.

The supply’ll be so massive I’ll just get it once I’ve had a chance to look at some comparison screens. I want to make sure the 360 version doesn’t take a hit when it comes to details.

Well if I had a PS3 I’d buy it for that for sure… Joystiq posted some comparison screens a few weeks back, you should try googling that. It just seems to me that the production ended up being too expensive for it to be an exclusive title, and thusly they may have just thrown together the 360 version as an after thought. I sure hope not, but it’s possible.

My understanding is that they had to compress the content for it to fit properly on DVDs and that led to a loss of resolution, but I’ll believe it when I see it. Joystiq has shots of the 360 version, but no side by sides. The only side by side thing that happened turned out to be a controversial series of doctored photos. We’re going to have to wait for it to come out I think.

Unfortunately, from what I’ve been hearing, XIII was as divisive as XII was.

(Note: Spoilered for all the babies out there who don’t want to know a damn thing about what they’re getting.) There was a lot of bitching over the fact that this game is more on-rails than even X was. To the point that you’re effectively running down glorified corridors right up until this game’s version of the Calm Lands where all the side quests and hunts are. The game is very much a character driven plot more than anything else. And from what I’ve heard, the battle system is a rough mix of X2 and XII’s battle system. The game does a good job automating most of your party’s actions and most of the strategy found in the game is with effective use of Optima Changes (or whatever they’re calling it in the US version) which effectively lets you switch skill sets on the fly. The upside to all this hands off playing is that battles go by as fast as Lightning. Also you’re healed after every fight, so that you can go all in without worrying to much about the consequences. If you Game Over you can choose to pick that particular battle right backup again, or return to the nearest save point.

Off course all these changes to the FF “Formula” will likely piss off half of the people who play this, ergo I suspect that the price for the game will plummet as fast as XII’s did.

At least the disk changing of this game shouldn’t piss people off like how SO4’s disk swapping did.

Man fuck SO4’s disc swapping. Oh hey here’s a teleporter to every other planet, except they’re on a different disc. And if you want to do item creation, you have to do it on disc 3, but you have to gather materials on disc 2. Argh. Also you have to swap discs to refresh all the mining/gathering spawn points (except the ones in Sanctuary). Why not just put the damn teleporter on the Calnus and put the Calnus on both discs?

Wow, I hate Star Ocean so I never tried the fourth. But this saddens me! Hopefully they’ll be better about that for the flag ship series. As for the purported linearity (is that a word?) of the game, I don’t believe everything on the internet, especially about games nobodys really played yet. X was pretty linear to a point, eventually it opened up and you could explore the areas at your conveinence. I do kind of miss the world maps, but I think they’ve ditched it to try something new in terms of how you experience combat, because NOBODY liked random encounters.

X remains my favorite in the series. XII would’ve won though if it had had an actual story and character development. I’m not phased by the linearity as long they put up a good show and its fun to play. I like the idea of the resetting battles, especially if it spices things up a bit and knocks the challenge up a notch.

Getting it for the PS3, mostly because it’s the one hooked to the HDTV. And by god, I don’t want to paste my face to the TV just to read what each fucking item does.

What is up with that! I hate that shit.

The crisp graphics of Infocom did not present us with such challenges.

Yeah, I’m gonna get it for my PS3. I find myself playing it more than my 360 lately.

THIS! I abhor that shit.

Man fuck SO4’s tiny text. I played through the entire game and not once did I know how much HP or MP my characters had because it was so unreadable. All I knew is it turned yellow or red when bad things happened, and that’s all I needed to know. Oh hey not everyone can afford a 50 inch TV oh well let’s make the font unreadably small anyway. Plus someone had the genius idea to put white text on yellow backgrounds.

Lets march down to Washington and issue a formal complaint about this!

Final Fantasy XIII strips away so much of what we’ve come to expect of a Japanese RPG that it puts forward a strong case for not being considered as one at all. Yes, it’s true that the first half of the game funnels players through one long, winding path, but that overarching linearity is just one of many stark design decisions taken by a game that’s ruthless in its jettisoning of some of Final Fantasy’s most treasured traits.

Its funny how selective the memory of so many people is. JRPGs are usually extremely linear and scripted. If something isn’t what a small clique wants it to be, of course its not a JRPG! Grow up. Get over it. Going in a shop is not something that is either a treasured trait or a defining characteristic of a JRPG.

I don’t know about you people, but when I buy a game, I don’t buy it to only re-purchase something I already have.

That being said, here is a comparison video between the 360 and PS3 versions.

http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/digitalfoundry-final-fantasy-xiii-face-off

The 360 version’s is still pretty good, the rumored loss of resolution has been exaggerated. Its there, but its a subtle difference. My gf couldn’t even see it. If you look closely, you see the edges are sometimes just a bit less smooth and the textures are just a little less clear. I’m not certain its something players will really notice once the action starts rolling.

The thing is, is it’s sounding like FFXIII is linear to the point of being practically on-rails. At least with most other JRPGs that are fairly linear still allow for some elbow room. There’s complaints of practically no sidequests or minigames. I still don’t really like the idea of a lack of a world map, which has been the norm over the last few years, but at least there’s enough other content to spend my time.

Have you tried FFX? There are tons of similar games that fit this same description. None of this is new :P.

Here’s some pretty gnarly screenshot comparisons. The article that was linked to, I feel, doesn’t show much of a difference.

http://gamerlimit.com/forums/showthread.php?3528-FF13-Screenshot-Comparisons-(PS3-360)

Besides when you try to provide your game with non-linearity everyone then complains that they have no loving idea as to where to go to next, hence why the SaGa series only has a small following out in the states.