Actually it’s not Final Fantasy XIII I wanted to play. What I really wanted was
FF: Boyband Edition Final Fantasy XV. But since I didn’t quite want it enough to buy a PS3/XBOne for, I had to settle for the next best thing, FFXIII on PC. All in all it’s not such a bad trade-off. I had a rough beginning and almost quit a few times early on, but I think I’m in it for the long haul now, hence this brief progress report.
Status: 8 hours and some minutes in, somewhere in chapter 3? 4? Right after Lightning and Hope fight Odin and then finally, finally take a break. I was tired just watching them run and run and run and run and run almost non-stop from the beginning of the game. Run, fight, talk, run, fight, talk, run run fight fight, come on guys, stop to breathe already! Eat something! Drink something! Go to the bathroom! I know they’re video game characters, and I’m all for action-packed beginnings but 8 straight hours of non-stop running is too much even for me. That was one reason I almost dropped FFXIII early. I couldn’t play for more than 30 minutes at a go before mentally burning out.
The other reason was the horrible battle system, at least at the start. I hesitate to even call it a battle system, because it was just a matter of spamming the auto-attack option until the enemies died and you automatically got a 5-star rating. For doing what? Beats me. Luckily a few hours in someone realized “Whoa, this is terrible!” and added in some stuff about Paradigms (sort of like classes but not quite) and a pseudo-sphere grid thingy called a Crystarium. Paradigms I don’t care too much about, but I’m a huge sucker for upgrade systems where you use points to boost your skills and stats and stuff, so I’m happy there. These two additions haven’t quite made everything hunky-dory yet, but hopefully once I get some more skills and classes and paradigms under my belt – and maybe upgrade some of my weapons and accessories and stuff, things will pick up even further.
Final Fantasy games tend to be 50 hours long at a minimum, so 8 hours is barely scratching the surface. That’s why I’ll save any major complaints for the next report, whenever I get round to it. …Oh, but I can’t resist just a little one: I need more battles! And more boss battles!
And also I need the characters to get all their talking out of the way at the start of a dungeon and just let me get on with fighting. It’s annoying to fight a bit then get some pointless flashback, then a little more fighting, another cutscene or flashback, run a few more steps, cutscene, REALLY ruins the pace of the game. Do you mind? I’m trying to get stronger here! FFXIII is probably going to end up like Xenoblade/The Last Story/Arc Rise Fantasia/other similar games where I just suffer through the story to get to the battles. I’m already flirting with the idea of skipping all the cutscenes and reading the story on Wikipedia later.
Incidentally, this isn’t my first brush with Final Fantasy XIII. I watched someone play the first 15minutes several years ago and immediately concluded it wasn’t for me. And I think I was plenty right in that assessment and wouldn’t have enjoyed it if I had played it any earlier. FF is just something I have to be in the mood for, and now that I am in the mood, chances are high that I’ll see this through till the end. And if I like it, that opens the way for me to play XIII-2 and Lightning Returns. Win-win for everyone. So don’t mess up, Lightning & the gang!