|megpie71 (megpie71) wrote,|
@ 2010-05-22 21:25:00
|Current location:||Not in front of the Xbox|
|Current music:||FFXIII theme in my head.|
|Entry tags:||games, games:ffxiii, gaming addict, squeenix nut|
FFXIII - I've seen "The End"
So, I've made the massive effort and completed the main storyline of FFXIII, thus bringing my total number of finished games to 6. As per usual, I've been scribbling various notes as I go, so they're under the cut (for those who don't want to be spoiled.
This is pretty much straight from my notes, so excuse the rather repetitive nature of things:
* There's strong echoes of the start of FF7 in the opening and in the subsequent battles.
* Okay, Vanille is the genki girl, Hope is positively misnamed, and Snow is definitely a hero in the Tidus mould.
* Hope, I believe you and a certain Mr Strife need to have a discussion re: sourcing dialogue materia.
* Looks as though they borrowed some of the drawings of Omega to get the shape of the Pulse Fal'cie. The general shape, at least.
* Ah, ominous chanting; a Squeenix special.
* Characterisation notes - Lightning is Cloud cast female and vaguely sane; Hope is teen!Cloud (right down to the "which fish was that you slapped me with?" demeanour); Snow is a combination of perky!Seifer and Tidus-as-wrestling-jock; Vanille is Aerith playing Yuffie (but without the klepto tendencies). Lightning also has a dash of Squall mixed in there with the whole "how the fsck did this happen to me again?" and "I don't have anger management problems; I just save it up for when there's something nearby that needs hitting" tendencies. Serah strikes me as Aerith crossed with Yuna crossed with Rinoa, but without any of the self-preservation tendencies of the aforementioned ladies.
* There are a lot of pre-loved plot elements in the storyline of FFXIII. Things like the rebel group which runs a cafe to obtain funding (shades of AVALANCHE); the military/ex-military team leader with a rotten past (Lightning, we have a Mr Strife on line one, and a Mr Leonhart on line two; both of them would like to discuss copyright issues regarding backstory); the futuristic fun park city (Golden Saucer, anyone?); the villain who wants to destroy the world in order to save it (FF7, FFX, FFXII, and I'm sure there's others);
* Meg's list of bastard fights (the ones where I had to take a couple of goes just to be able to survive the battle, never mind about things like getting high marks for them) - Odin (you need a dual-ravager paradigm in the list to do any good); the Skytank; Brunhilta (need to switch between the All-Out, Symbiote and War & Peace paradigms approx every 10s to survive it, and throw in the occasional bit of Dual Casting to help out here and there); Barthandelus mk I (a Right Bastard Fight, took 6 goes to get through it after I started keeping track of how many times I went up against him); Barthandelus Mk II (17 tries to kill the swine, definitely a Right Bastard Fight); Behemoth King + 3 Orobons (the walking fish keep sapping everyone something chronic, while the Behemoth takes forever to stagger once he's on his hind legs); Humbabas (right whatsits to sneak up on, and they have the bad habit of getting up on their hind legs and healing just as I've almost got them staggered); Vernal Harvesters (these are just nasty pasties on their own, but they're much simpler when they're distracted by something else - just whittle 'em down to their last 10% of HP, then switch targets to whatever they were attacking); Proudclad V2 (it kept catching me with stray shots even when I was healing as fast as I could); Orphan mk I (evil, evil thing); Orphan mk II (it has this lovely little trick called Temporal [Something] which basically resets it's stagger gauge, and it generally pulls this out at about the 450% mark, just as you're about to stagger the swine and get some actual *damage* in).
* The owl which is flitting around here and there is presumably plot-relevant.
* As mentioned earlier, Yun Fang has an Australian accent in the European translation. Presumably they decided to get someone from Down Under to voice a character from the lowerworld.
* Okay, so they've paired Snow with Yun Fang, Lightning with the tragically-misnamed Hope, and Sazh is left shepherding Vanille around. This means they have the self-proclaimed Hero (yes, he'd insist on the capital) with the clearly-apparent cynic; the bounciest young character is making the eldest feel at least five times older than he previously did; and the two halves of Cloud Strife's personality are busy avoiding talking to each other about important things, such as whether revenge is reasonable, or even practical under the circumstances.
* I get the feeling when Lightning meets up with Yun Fang, they're going to loathe each other on sight.
* Notes for next run-through - Upgrade only the weapons being used regularly by the characters.
* There's some interesting weapon design in this game. Just about all the weapons used have a hinge of some sort in the middle of them (the only ones which don't are Sazh's guns, and Snow's fists... and I could make an argument for elbows as hinges in Snow's case). I presume they're all designed to ensure that any stress placed on the hinge joint as part of the standard use of the weapon is exerted in such a direction as to lock the hinge, but I get the strong suspicion this is still a potential weak spot.
* Vanille's accent wanders about the place like a drunk cow, starting in Chapter 6, and onwards. Okay, so she's from Gran Pulse, but couldn't they have asked her to pick an accent and stick with it?
* One problem I have with this particular bunch of characters is that they tend to be handed a load of obvious exposition from the Evil Overlord (aka Barthandelus) and they believe it. Hello, he's the antagonist, guys. It's in his best interests to lie to you. Repeatedly.
* On the vexed and vexing topic of pairings (as so beloved of the fan community), I can see Hope having something of a crush on Vanille (whether it's reciprocated is anyone's guess). There's the potential for a pairing up of Lightning and Fang, and of course Snow and Serah is canon. At the very least, Lightning and Fang have a good friendship building (shared experiences and shared exasperation at having to deal with Snow for longer than about 5 minutes at a time).
* It surely has to be hard for Fang and Vanille to realise that their home has vanished while they were "sleeping".
* Okay, the multi-eidolon battle at the beginning of chapter 12 is tres cool. However, it's starting to look as though Vanille is the designated distressed damsel (she's hiding in her eidolon and squeaking a lot). If she sprains her ankle somewhere in the whole mess, I shall be cross.
* Given the amount of civilians wandering about aimlessly in chapter 12, I suspect the three members of the party not involved in fighting monsters are doing crowd control.
* Orphan is definitely a SquareEnix villain: phenomenal power levels - check; suicidal aspirations - check; homicidal ditto - check; Nietzschian ranting - check; plays mind games at pro level - check; multiple forms - check, check, check, check and check.
Overall, I was reasonably happy with the game, although I'm not fond of the "okay, you've finished the main plot, now you can spend another sixty or so hours maxing out your characters if you want to" play style. Particularly since the subsequent time ignores some rather significant plot elements. Now, if it were an honest continuation, following on from the storyline, I'd be happier, but as it is the storyline is just suspended in mid-air, and you're supposed to carry on as though the end didn't happen. It's a useful style of play for people like me, who like being completeists, but I think it worked better in Dissidia.
But that's a minor point. Overall, the game was a lot of fun, full of plot as per usual for Squeenix. To be honest, the plot is the thing I love best about Squeenix RPGs - while there's a lot of fights happening, there's a lot of story happening as well, so the game is more than just a series of fights strung together with a rather thin storyline holding the whole thing together. The unfolding of the storyline (and the multiple time periods this involved) was quite a major feature of the game. The battle system was different (another Square Enix regularity - the battle system seems to change with every new FF game) although to be honest my favourite of the versions I've tried is still the one from FFXII, where the battles were much more integrated into the landscape. It's a good game, well worth the money I spent on it.
 Kingdom Hearts I and II; FF7; FF7: Dirge of Cerberus; Final Fantasy: Dissidia; and now FFXIII.
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