Monday, April 29, 2019

FFXIII play journal: part 2

Image result for Final Fantasy XIII chapter 11

FFXIII play journal:

Alright, I got there.  Chapter 11, where things become less linear.  There is a large overworld and you can go scampering around in it.

However, it's really no more than a series of optional fetch-quests.  Go here, get a mission to kill this monster, find monster, kill it.  There are, I think 64 of these misisons, and according to various online resources, you can easily spend 25 more hours at this area.

Well, I've already put 25 hours into this game, so I decided not to hang around in Chapter 11.  It's a shame, because if this choice had come 15 hours earlier, I may have wanted to fart around a bit and get to know the characters and combat systems.  It is a shame that it comes so late in the game, as it is freeing to be able to wander around for the first time.

So, after a handful of hours completing missions, I decided to venture on.  The game does not stop you from moving on, though the difficulty has gone up for the battles, both big and small.  Various online guides suggest either grinding to level up, or crafting to power up or just very careful use of the battle system.  I'm hoping I can get by with #3.

So, the final area for chapter 11 is a tower that feels like the first proper dungeon in the game.  there's movement back and forth and around, instead of just forward, forward, forward.  So even skipping most of the big open area, I'm enjoying the tower.

Image result for Final Fantasy XIII chapter 13
FFXIII play journal:  final entry

Well, I did it, I beat FF XIII.  I don't really want to talk about it. 

I'm only half joking.  The fact is that I found it fairly exhausting by the end.  As I might have imagined, completing a 35 hour game felt very long.  It's been a long time since I've played through an RPG, and this one just wasn't that rewarding. 

I really loved the battle system, the graphics and creature design were both very cool.  But the plot and characters, at their very best were 'just okay' and at their worst were really annoying.  While I do think the game is gorgeous, I didn't particularly care for the aesthetic or character design.  Just not my style. 

Ultimately, I fall on the same side as most who have played the game.  It was oppressively linear, and they wait way too long to give you a little freedom of movement.  The pacing of the game just wasn't good, and that's a serious problem when you have to play for 35 hours to get to the end.   The sad irony is that I enjoyed the battle system so much, I would be tempted to go back to Chapter 11 and do a bunch of missions.  But in order for that to be really appealing, I think Chapter 11 would need to be about 10-12 hours deep, instead of 24.   Oh well. 

It is very frustrating to think back on this game because it's full of missed opportunities.  The first 6 hours or so made up of simplistic fighting and annoying storytelling and character moments.  Then it settles into a good groove for a while, the characters start to come together and I like them more.  But then stretches on too long and becomes repetitive.  The story just sort of settles into the characters being met by different enemies and deciding to press on. 


well, looking back at this a couple weeks later, and I realize how far FFXIII is in my rearview mirror already.  It was a fairly absorbing experience while I was playing it, but I think I was all too ready to leave it behind.  I think I had to play the game as much and as often as possible in order to have any chance of getting through to the end, and that experience left me burned out.  I'm moving much more slowly through my current game, Hyper Light Drifter.  I'm not feeling obsessed, I'm just enjoying myself.  That's a nice place to be.  

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