Final Fantasy XIII wasn’t a bad game. Neither was Final Fantasy XIII-2. And neither is the conclusion to the Final Fantasy XIII saga, Lightning Returns. Don’t just take my word for it, though; plenty of critics agree.
In one of the last issues of the sadly defunct GamePro magazine, my former colleague AJ Glasser gave FFXIII four stars out of five. 1up.com gave the game an A- rating. Eurogamer gave it 8/10. And, despite a couple of outliers, the overall consensus at the time of release was that Final Fantasy XIII was a good game — not a perfect one, by any means — but a good one. The same was true for Final Fantasy XIII-2, which scored slightly lower on average, and while I’ll admit Lightning Returns reviews were somewhat more mixed — not everyone enjoyed the game’s peculiar mechanics and structure — there were still a lot of comments about how interesting it was, despite its flaws.
Which is why it’s so baffling that I find a lot of the online discourse surrounding this particular part of Final Fantasy’s history so overwhelmingly negative.
Continue reading From the Archives: It’s Time to Admit Final Fantasy XIII Wasn’t Actually That Bad
Yesterday, I found myself a bit frustrated by yet another example of Twitter’s never-ending focus on negativity and cynicism. In other words, it was a Thursday.
The tweet that frustrated me a bit probably didn’t have any ill intentions behind it, but its question to the community of what games you “hate but are highly praised by the general audience” almost inevitably became, to the community, an excuse to bash on predictable, popular things. So I decided to flip things around and post a tweet of my own with a more positive angle.
“What’s a game you love that is not well-regarded by the general audience and/or Metacritic?” I asked. Let’s see what people said.
Continue reading Your Favourite Overlooked and Underappreciated Games
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Final Fantasy XV’s predecessor Final Fantasy XIII, despite attaining widespread plaudits on its original release, has become fashionable to bash in recent years.
The main justification for this is pretty much always the “20 hour tutorial” argument, criticising the fact that the game gradually introduces its various character classes and other gameplay concepts over the course of a very linear, narrative-heavy section that lasts approximately 20 hours.
Once this part of the game is complete, the experience opens up into a much more freeform affair with sidequests and optional battles aplenty, and at the same time the progression system also removes all restrictions, allowing you to develop all of the game’s playable characters as you see fit.
Apparently aware of this increasingly frequent criticism, Square Enix opted to make Final Fantasy XV the complete opposite of Final Fantasy XIII in terms of structure, in the process completely turning the standard JRPG formula on its head.
Continue reading Final Fantasy XV: Inverting the Formula