For those of you haven’t heard, Final Fantasy XIII is getting a direct sequel. A lot of people aren’t too happy about this, unfortunately. Final Fantasy XIII must have done well enough for it to garnish a sequel, but the game has fallen to plenty of criticism. Some things that have been said about it include that it’s too linear, the game doesn’t start quickly enough, the battle system walks itself; and the characters aren’t likable. Does that mean that Final Fantasy XIII-2 is doomed to repeat the same mistakes?
Final Fantasy XIII-2 Teaser – Click here for video!
That being said, I’d like to hear people give the game a chance. Final Fantasy XIII is far from the greatest game in the series, but it’s a better game than people give credit. Whether many want to define it as such or not, it is a JRPG. Many of us have been complaining that JRPGs have been stale and innovation is a hard thing to come by. Final Fantasy XIII bravely went in new directions — as many Final Fantasy titles have done thus far. XIII may have not hit the target, but XIII-2 is an opportunity to improve upon the strides that XIII made.
I’d like to remember all the best parts about Final Fantasy XIII: the amazing scenery, the beautifully animated characters, the amazing voice work; the bold new role dynamics, the amazingly fast paced battle sequences; and the overall ambition that this project took on. The presentation of this game is undeniably fantastic. For those of you on the Xbox, please excuse the bland textures — the game looks much better on PS3. Though, I know Final Fantasy XIII was beautiful to just about everyone who saw it. The battles were something new as well. Finding a way to have turn based strategy that is seamless is quite the task, and they took it on the best way they could. With the advent of paradigms — a fancy word for roles — the player is allowed the opportunity to control a cast of characters in real time. This project was a large one and a risky one at that. Beyond the weight of the franchise, this title was it’s own endeavor.
To be fair, there are many things wrong with Final Fantasy XIII. The biggest issue I held with XIII was the linearity of the progression. Walking through hallways for 25 hours was not a lot of fun. Even though the environments were large, it was merely an illusion realized by the claustrophobic nature of the “dungeons”. The linearity doesn’t stop at the world: the leveling up of the characters was largely predetermined — save a few single branches along the crystalirium. The battles were innovative, but it took too long to get to the good part. Even then, the good part was cheapened once the games strategies were perfected. It was then realized that you aren’t battling at all, you are coaching. Finally, the characters, as mentioned, are unlikable to many. To say they are unlikable is a subjective statement, but it’s an opinion held by many.
Many people take issue in having so many Final Fantasy XIII spin offs as it were, and now they are even more disenchanted by Final Fantasy XIII-2. That may be unfair. It’s as though people forget that a sequel can be its own project entirely. Final Fantasy XIII-2 is an opportunity to improve upon XIII’s short comings and just like any game in development, it has the potential to be anything. All we have at the moment is a minute long clip. Even at that, the majority of the trailer features of footage from a Final Fantasy XIII cutscene with only a half a minute of new footage. Considering the trailer itself, it looks like it’s going to be a different game with different dynamics — that armor, speech, and mysterious yin yang relationship speaks waves without really giving anything away. I strongly suggest that no one place their bets just yet.
So, what do you guys think?