[Rant] Yes, We Know You Want Versus XIII

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Final Fantasy XIII Screenshot

Just shhh...

It would be a challenge to find a gamer who legitimately hates Final Fantasy VII, however, ask nearly any fan what their opinion of the newest installments is and you’ll probably get a reaction of utter disdain. Now I have not played every single entry, but I have played most of them between IV and XIII-2, and I see people completely brush off the newest games with barely batting an eyelash because of something someone else said. Defending FFXIII is not the easiest thing in the world, but I would much rather hear complaints from a person who has actually played through the entire game.

As you might hear many people ask:

Why does Square-Enix keep making these XIII games?

I am not about to say that XIII is better than VII, because it is far from it, but it is seldom given credit where credit is due. Honestly, it is a difficult game to defend, but if I had to point out what separates it from the herd of these J-RPG titles, it’s the combat system. Say what you will about the story, the characters, whatever, but, by the time you reach the end of the game, that combat system really shines. That’s also a big flaw and why so many people got turned off by the game, because the first half of the game is more like an interactive movie, akin to Metal Gear Solid 4. However, halfway through the game, it actually shows its potential, throwing the options at you that you only wished you had since the beginning.

That was a very bad move on the creators’ part, because it’s no good making a great game if you are going to lose the player before it actually gets good, but some braved through it all and it is kind of rewarding. Also, you cannot deny that the environments and music were just absolutely gorgeous, but that comes standard with a Square-Enix game anyway. Yet, at the sum of its parts, it was not a shining example of pride for the company, but it was worth another try.

Giant Cactuar in Final Fantasy XIII-2

For glory. For Giant Cactuar.

Try again they did with Final Fantasy XIII-2, which was a vastly significant improvement over its predecessor. While the story only got more convoluted, they listened to a good number of complaints, in terms of gameplay, creating a game that just sucks you in. It was the game that they should have made in the first place, but I don’t mind if it takes several tries to get there and neither do they, according to the massive sales they produced with having sold 9.6 million copies with the first two games combined by July 2012. The director of the games, Motomu Toriyama, has referred to the faults in the development process:

With a large-scale development team, we didn’t use our time well– How do you communicate to everyone in the department what the drive of the game is?

As a result, the playtesting phase took place very late in the development process, which is another reason for so many faults slipping between the cracks. Square’s intentions to fix what went wrong were not entirely for naught.

Personally, while playing through XIII, I wasn’t having a great time, but I wasn’t having an awful time either. On the other hand, there were moments throughout XIII-2 when I was legitimately enjoying myself, bringing a nostalgic sort of enjoyment from those days of playing VII. Also, the music is very bold for a Final Fantasy game, but still awesome. This is exactly why I am often disappointed by people who cannot bring it upon themselves to give this game a chance. Despite being a good game, all some people want is a remake of Final Fantasy VII and for Final Fantasy Versus XIII to come out already.

Sigh.

Here, I would like to clarify that XIII and XIII-2 are actually not the reasonVersus XIII has been delayed for over 4 years now. The misconception is that Square-Enix is not the gargantuan company that it is and that there is just one team working on everything, when in actuality, there are two entirely different development teams working on both series, only under the same name and mythology. Also, I don’t think I need to tell you how unconventionally expensive a full current or next gen remake of VII would be, which can read all about in one of our previous features here. If you’re still throwing those two complaints out there, reconsider them.

If you have always been a fan of Final Fantasy games and have not tried XIII and/or XIII-2 because of what other people say on the internet, you’re depriving yourself of something for the wrong reasons. Let it amount to your own preference instead of the opinions of a stranger with a keyboard. It’s always nice to keep an open mind as well. Video games are about having a good time, so why not let yourself have a good time? If you don’t like them after playing them, at least you will know why. You don’t have anything to lose in taking a chance on any video game, regardless of the series. Just close your eyes and jump in. Isn’t that the reason we love video games so much in the first place?

Sunleth Waterscape in FFXIII

Sometimes it's nice to just enjoy the view.

For more on recent Final Fantasy sales figures, click here.

For more information on the development of Final Fantasy XIII, click here.

For examples of the fans I am referring to, check out the comment section here and pretty much any other article on the internet about Final Fantasy.

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About Author

(Senior Writer)

Andres Ruiz is an English major at Florida International University, but that's not nearly as fun as writing for Twinfinite. Some of his favorite series include The Legend of Zelda, Tekken, Katamari, and Bayonetta. When he's not writing about or playing games, he's probably bothering his lazy dog or trying to grow a beard. Someday...

  • Kamille

    of-course FFvs has been delayed because of these 3 pieces of garbage. Nomura is the director and art designer of FFvs if you didn’t know, which mean that without him work on FFvs can’t move forward but he’s been very busy doing art for these 3 games. On top of it not only Nomura has been busy doing art design but his Team (the Kingdom Hearts Team) has been busy too helping to sped up the development of the garbage FF13 series.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Andres-Ruiz/1349119083 Andres Ruiz

      Not exactly. Tetsuya Nomura only did character design for the XIII games, which hardly takes that long in comparison to the rest of the process. There is a separate team working on both separate games because they wanted them to be different, with XIII being more RPG style and Versus being more Action RPG like Kingdom Hearts. The Kingdom Hearts team is working on Versus. If there’s any game that delayed Versus, it would probably be all the Kingdom Hearts games that have been released. Motomu Toriyama is the director of the XIII games. They’ve got their own teams doing their own thing. It’s just all under one division and mythology of the games.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Andres-Ruiz/1349119083 Andres Ruiz

      Not exactly. Tetsuya Nomura only did character design for the XIII games, which hardly takes that long in comparison to the rest of the process. There is a separate team working on both separate games because they wanted them to be different, with XIII being more RPG style and Versus being more Action RPG like Kingdom Hearts. The Kingdom Hearts team is working on Versus. If there’s any game that delayed Versus, it would probably be all the Kingdom Hearts games that have been released. Motomu Toriyama is the director of the XIII games. They’ve got their own teams doing their own thing. It’s just all under one division and mythology of the games.

      • SiliconNooB

        People were definitely pulled from the VSXIII team in order to work on the original XIII game, but I don’t know whether the same thing happened with XIII-2. I would imagine not, given the fact that SE had Tri-Ace helping out on that one.

  • http://www.facebook.com/timelord25 William Gallifrey

    Although I believe hate is a strong word to use, I’m one of the only people I know that does dislike FFVII. Without going into too much detail, it just wasn’t my thing. As far as FFXIII goes, I think that if you put the linearity of the majority of the game aside, it actually isn’t that bad. Now, FFXIII-2… it may come off as strange, especially for one that has beaten nearly every FF game, but it’s become one of my favorites of the series (alongside VI, V, IX, XII, Dirge of Cerberus, and Tactics). Huge improvement from XIII, obviously, but… not only the storyline but the time travelling aspect (very similar to the way Radiant Historia is set up) as well as being able to collect, train/upgrade, and use monsters in your party – yeah it’s just an immensely fun game. Not to mention, that ending is one of the greatest moments I’ve ever experienced in a FF game and has me hyped for “Lightning Returns” more than I’ve been for any FF title in the past 10 years.

    That aside, great article. I agree with a lot of what you said.

  • http://www.facebook.com/fayt.huanchongsien Fayt Huan Chong Sien

    I actually like both Final Fantasy XIII and XIII-2, both were flawed but decent RPG games. I think the main reason most of those that dislike it was because they changed the formula (It’s already indicated with Final Fantasy XII), I for one welcome change and I sill believe the franchise just need time to progress and make things better and I won’t abandon new additions to the series just because ‘IT’S JUST NOT THE SAME!!!’ rants, change is needed to every franchise for better or for worse… Square Enix on the other hand is on the fast track of becoming the new CAPCOM, that will suck…

  • SiliconNooB

    FFXIII was a poor game. The fact that the battle system becomes good about half way through is not enough to save it given the colossal length of the game. The game left a really bad taste in my mouth.

    I played FFXIII-2, and it was much improved. Because everything was unlocked from the get-go, the battle-system was immediately enjoyable. The gameplay and activities contained in all the little hub-worlds were also kind of fun. That said, I stopped playing about twenty hours into it after I’d had my fill of gameplay, as I was forced to concede that there was just no way that I could conceivably convince myself to care about the characters or the world of FFXIII.

    Honestly, if any FF fan has not yet touched the XIII series, I would give them a 30% of quite liking the series [for the gameplay alone], or a 70% chance of utterly despising the series [for all the other things that it gets so very wrong].

    I regret trying to give the XIII games a go, and won’t be buying XIII-3.

    I Wish that SE would stop wasting their time with this rubbish and bring over Type-0 and Bravely Default instead.

  • Jason

    This game can’t possibly live up to the age-long waiting hype (like with so many PS exclusive games nowadays) and nobody around me lists this game in their must-have list anymore. If this game isn’t multiplatform by now, I doubt it will even generate the sales to break even, especially with the already tarnished XIII series and the next generation lurking around the door.

  • http://www.facebook.com/gavinalanpowell Gavin Powell

    my money is on verses and last guardian is now developed for ps4 and will be more or less on or near the release of the console.

    only explanation that makes sense to why these games have disappeared

  • Joel Monteiro

    FF XIII’s biggest problems are the amateurish, uninspired and convoluted story and the characters without a personality. It’s by far the worst in the series.

  • Runa Merone

    The combat is probably the game’s worst feature. It is fundamentally flawed on multiple levels, requires very little skill or interactivity, and the one game breaking bug that has no excuse for existing is that whole “lightning dies, game over” thing. That issue could be fixed over a weekend, yet it’s still in the game, and 90% of the issues in gameplay can be converged on that one point. Eliminate that point and the combat is tolerable, but still leagues shallower than Final Fantasy XII.

    XIII-2 fixed it, and it wasn’t so bad, but what it fixed in gameplay (tweaked combat, less linear), was matched with how bad the story and characters were, and the lack of a third party member.

    Final Fantasy XIII is a bad game, and NOT because the story was poorly told or the characters shallow; it wasn’t a bad game because it was linear, that’s just a matter of preference. It’s BAD because the battle system is fundamentally flawed.

  • ff13istrash

    FF13 is trash end of. There is no defending it. The game is a LINEAR turd. What kind JRPG is that? 13-2 is trash too. What kind of FF game more importantly a JRPG ends in “to be continued”? Lightning returns looks like more trash. Squre Enix just needs to move on. Lightning is getting tireing.