Criticism of blockbuster RPG Final Fantasy XIII has rapidly mounted, with the initial observation that the game is almost comically linear giving way to a litany of further dissatisfactions, many quite unavoidable even for the game’s many staunch defenders.
A digest of criticism from 2ch:
The whole game is completely linear until halfway through [approximately 20 hours].
There are hardly any towns.
The party is always fixed. The whole game just repeats the movie-battle sequence over and over [In fact the progression is closer to movie-run-battle-run-movie-boss-movie-run-battle…].
There are rather a lot of movies.
Moving around is like a long marathon.
The whole game system is just a clone of FF10.
You can’t flee battles [You can’t avoid most battles either as there is no sneaking past enemies, including weak ones].
Your party is completely healed after each battle.
If the main character in your party dies it is game over [There are only ever 3 characters in battle, often less, and often fixed].
The best tactic is almost always endlessly attacking. There is next to no strategy or skill involved.
The summons’ transformation scenes are a joke [i.e. Odin turning into a horse].
The story is rubbish… [Spoilers omitted, but complaints centre on Snow’s constant and cringe inducing insistence that he is a hero and will “protect” whatever it is the antagonists are menacing this time]
Shopping is only done at “online” shops on save points, with no proper shops to be found.
However, this doesn’t matter as you hardly ever get any money [and you can never buy anything more powerful than what you already looted].
There have been next to no changes from the demo.
The status screen displays no real information.
There are only 8 items usable in combat [For that matter, there are hardly any weapons or accessories, and the “crafting” system mostly consists of spending drops to upgrade their 2 stats].
There are no levels.
With all their advertising money, just how was it they failed even to get Famitsu to give full points?
Some of these criticisms are exaggerated or require further qualification, but on the whole they are fair, and any review which does not dwell long and hard on some of these design choices is certainly suspect.
It already seems clear the game is far from the dramatic step forward it was supposed to be, though whether these issues make the whole game “bad” is certainly open to question. However, it does seem something went very wrong with the game’s development all the same…