Final Fantasy XIII: “Biggest Swindle in Gaming History”


Divisive RPG Final Fantasy XIII has received its most damning print review to date, being awarded a pathetic 40% by an overseas rag evidently free of the need to toady up to Square’s advertising department. The game is a “swindle” and a “joke” it is said, and many who have played the game will likely sympathise with the criticisms made.

The game received the following score:

System: 1/10 “Such a crude system barely warrants being called an RPG at all.”

Scenario: 2/10 “An epic tear jerker.”

Graphics: 9/10 “Top marks here.”

Sound: 7/10 “Mostly quality.”

Enthusiasm: 1/10 “As if you could play this for 100 hours! I could put up with 8.”

Total: 4/10 “To think it got this bad…”

Criticisms include:

The game is complete linearity until the open areas near the end. You can’t even backtrack.

Of all the RPGs I’ve played in recent years, this is the first which has been so linear that it’s little more than riding an amusement park ride.

I had heard the opinion that “It’s amazing once you get to Chapter 11,” but why should you spend 20 or 30 hours on a game to get to the only enjoyable part? Just how do they intend to make me play this? Do they think I’m some kind of masochist?

He goes on to deride the gameplay for having become a button mashing puzzle game with no real strategy or RPG elements and a plethora of annoying features, saying the game as a whole is little more than a “digital novel” of sorts.

For such a game to approach 2 million copies sold must be due solely to the strength of the Final Fantasy brand, he opines, calling it in closing the “biggest swindle in gaming history” and the “biggest joke of 2009.”

The review, in Chinese:


Final Fantasy has never been so divisive and polarising; even Square Enix’s CEO seems somewhat sheepish about the title… Hardly the reception the supposed crowning masterpiece of the series should be receiving?

Leave a Comment


  • Anonymous says:

    Been playin it the past two weeks, it was extremely linear for the first 45 hours or so for me, but also fairly challenging, you need to be really on the ball to survive many of the battles, even against normal enemies. However this does make sense when you consider the plot to the game. They (the main characters) are on the run from the big bads of the story, it wouldn’t make much sense for them to stop and smell the roses now would it? I think the developers main objectives with this game were to experiment with the new systems graphical and audio capabilities and to attempt to break away from the traditional final fantasy elements. Unfortunately that means their going to alienate a lot of players. Oh well. So far I have to the say the appearance, sounds, battle system, plot and acting are all top notch. As for the rest of it, oh well, it is what it is and it is pretty fun to play.

    • Anonymous says:

      Yeah well if they want to experiment with new stuff then they can do so – but using a really established “old” name to package it in is a very bad idea as long as this name stands for something different. Final Fantasy is (except for it’s nearly MMORPG-like attitude towards grinding) a game set with the good ones (you) the bad guys (some times they aren’t even as obvious (X)), interessting skillsystems (X, XII), lots of magic and the irreplacable summons. Well you have summons but hey they are kind of boring I’d say. If I wanted to play something linear I’d maybe play…
      well I’m kind of hard pressed here. Diablo wasn’t linear, Oblivion is neither and I don’t want to start about Fallout 3 and Morrowind. Hell I even know RTS-Campaigns that are not linear (Starcraft II comes to mind, or Earth 2150).
      Basically I can’t think of a single RPG that’s that linear. Also there’s probably more then 1 way to run away…
      Designing cities was to difficult? Uhm, ok. Where exactely is the problem? If I think about Rabanastre there wasn’t much to see anyway but it was nice running around.
      I mean I could start with the Imperial Capital of Oblivion, hell even Balmora had more interaction then the whole of Rabanastre.
      I better leave it at that…

  • I haven’t played the game all the way through, just the beginning. I think it’s fair to say that there are points that I agree with and disagree with on this. For example, I thought that the story from what I had seen was pretty emotional and strong, and complemented the linearity of the gameplay. I also really enjoyed the battle system. I do agree it’s not open-ended or such a large RPG system in comparison to others that I have played, but to me, it felt fresh and I think it’s commendable that S-E have taken the approach they did with the game. I for one really liked it and can’t wait for the English release 🙂

  • Having bought thousands of Hong Kong gaming magazines since I was young,I can tell you that 99.99% of the comments made on Japanese games are fair and nothing to do with the “Japanese hate” bullshit. Gamers from Hong Kong are not stupid and do appreciate good Japanese games like any other people,and if it’s a bad game,authors will just tell you it’s bad,really has nothing to do with racial hate,that I can assure you. People from mainland China however,may have the above issue since they seem less rational.

  • The game is pretty bad worse than FF10 and mabye as bad as FF8…. its a shame they do not know what they are doing …then again the last best FF game was 9 story aside…… if 12 didn’t poss on the skill system and made skills,limit breaks and equipment so damn generic and boring the level design was great(well ok it was good enough)…if they bothered to work on the game itself………

  • I am a HK-Chinese as well. I visited HK just a few weeks ago and really noticed the huge changes within popular culture from a few years ago. I’d have to agree that most HK-Chinese (at least, the newer generations) don’t hate the Japanese at all, but they instead embrace it.

  • I’m not really a Final Fantasy fan, but I thought the game was fun. The story was interesting (better than 10 & 12 at least) and it was the first Final Fantasy I played to the end for a while. Anyway, why would you buy a Final Fantasy if you don’t like seeing CG movies? They’ve been like that for the last few games…

    Regarding the button mashing… Yes, until the end mission battles it’s pretty much like that. But SE games have been like that lately (*cough* Kingdom Hearts 2 *cough*).

    Definitely too long time until you can run on the free fields, though. They’re also too few.

    Do think the game deserves about 7/10, though.

  • The other thing people seem to eb forgetting is, this game was in development for WAY too long. We were getting teased with screenshots and FMV teasers for over 3 years, and THIS is all we have to show for it? Even if the game isn’t as bad as people are saying, there’s no way it could even come CLOSE to living up to the anticipation it had built up. Could this be the Daikatana of JRPGs?

  • I am a HK-Chinese, and this review is absolutely done by HK Magazine.

    In terms of game taste, most so-called CORE gamers in HK is more on Japanese games, well, in other word, WE are feed by Japanese (RPGs).

  • One thing that I learned about reviews: they are fun to read and thats all it is to me. I dont take reviews lightly because some of the worst reviewed games are the best games that I have ever played.

    Just be entertained by the reviews, but plz dont take them so seriously. Everyone hs different prefrences and maybe the worst reviewed games are the ones you would like, but you wont buy because of bad reviews. A lot of games that I buy are through instinct and not based on the reviews.

    • This is the same person but I forgot to add this.

      Comming from someone that is half chinese and born in Taiwan, dont take everything chinese or japanese reviews to seriously. They flame (criticize) about everything no matter how flawless something is. They will always find something wrong with it. But then again, the Japanese and the Chinese take their games very seriously, thus why they criticize. Just something to think about. Some of the criticism about this game is just stupid Like:

      WTF… Final Fantasy has always been linear. How is that a criticism. The scenarios has always been the same as the past Final Fantasies. In many cases, I wonder if this guy is just making shit up or if hes actually reviewing the game on flaws that are intentionally put in there because its Final Fantasy.

  • who gives a shit if its linear? how is the game paced? i mean shit… modern warfare 2 is linear as hell but its fucking action packed and hella fun to go through. granted its like 5 hours but… its the best 5 hours of gaming around. so what if games are linear. i’m glad they made changes.

  • Meh, still gonna buy the game, and enjoy it. Plus, I can’t wait for Versus to be in development. It seems to have something better going for it, even if it isn’t following the FF-formula.

    Besides, it is hard to get an objective viewpoint about this game. There are either people who foam at the mouth for Final Fantasy, or they hate the entire series to death. No in-between, real gamers giving a real gamer’s opinion.

  • The reviewer’s…well, rather vicious language suggests a bias. And really, the fact that sankaku found an obscure hong kong review site to agree with its obvious dislike of ff13 is also showing a rather childish bias. As many respectable Japanese and English review sites as there are that have gotten ahold of this, and so far sankaku’s only showed the ravings of the internet (which I wouldn’t trust as far as I could throw it) and this guy, who obviously has an axe to grind. Grow up, guys.

  • sadly this piece of shit will sell like crazy in the west, despite the fact we have had for-warning of how terrible this game is. Nothing will stop the FF fanfaggots from lining SquareEnix’s pockets.

    • (Psst, I know a whole bunch of people on forums etc. who have played the Japanese import and love it to bits!)

      I get the feeling FFXIII is a love/hate game for the FF fanbase, like XII was. Only instead of world-driven plot and battle system being the controversial areas, this time it is extreme linearity and lack of towns to explore.

      Personally, I like one set path through a dull dungeon. I play Final Fantasy for the story and battle system, so I’m perfectly happy to bear with a single set path. I seem to recall the “dungeon crawling” element of FFX was the same for much of the game.

  • From what I’ve been hearing from people who have been the game, the game is a huge let down. I’ll have to play it for myself but seeing how it resembles FFX in a lot of ways, I’m sure I’m going to have to force myself to beat it.

      • well, this is Final Fantasy- a commercially successful franchise.

        It would take an idiot to not realize that they care about raking in the profits rather than making their fans happy, thus they haven’t done anything to improve the lot of their games. They expect that doing something that worked a few times will keep working over time and not get old.

        So the potential that you’re wasting your money on a Final Fantasy game is absurdly high.

        But then again, in any video games, I personally find the probability that I am wasting my money and time I could be using to advance myself to be very high.

    • And a good thing to!

      I look forward to playing the English release so I can discover first hand what these people are on about. If it is poor, I hope it gets the criticism it deserves for being poor.

      I’m a huge Final Fantasy fan, but I’m able to accept and criticise failings if and when they are there. This is what stoic fanboys need to learn to do as well. Because if they keep saying “No it’s awesome really!” even in the face of a game that is perhaps actually quite poor, the franchise will never improve!

      So a message to all fanboys: If you love your franchise as much as you claim, stop mindlessly defending it! Otherwise you’ll eventually just end up with crap.

  • I have FF13, however I do admit that the game lacked luster compared to all its earlier releases. Usually when I get a FF game, i’ll play through it constantly til completion. But with this release, I’m just playing like at most twice a week and taking breaks inbetween, the rest of the time spent playing other games instead.

  • Isn’t possible to sankaku to post, for a change, something about a review telling good things about the FF XIII? I mean… toady up or not, I suppose they give some argument about why this FF would not be as bad as it has been said, so it would be good to see all sides of this discussion about the game.

  • Ironically, it will never be admitted, but we should all obviously know why the game is so linear with no back tracking. Because one version can’t be better than the other, and the version holding it back is on 3 DVDs.

    No matter how much they want to play the PR bullshit game, bringing this game to the 360 on DVD and not planning ahead to properly work around the DVD medium’s limits has pulled this game’s quality down. Not in graphics or sound mind you, but in gameplay, the most important part everyone seems to forget.

    • Wrong way round, graphics and sound are what HAS been sacrificed for the Xbox. The 360 version has more highly compressed audio and CGI. The native resolution is also lower on the 360 I think.

      There are also plenty of RPGs with multiple discs on the 360 that do allow backtracking and a larger degree of freedom: Lost Odyssey and Star Ocean: TLH are the two I have sitting on my shelf.

        • ChaosAngelZero says:

          Anon 17:58: You’re basing your assumptions on basically nothing. Square Enix never showed anything, any footage of the game at all, that isn’t already in the game, save maybe for the promised graphical quality in the original E3 2006, but we know it was a fully pre-rendered FMV anyways.

          There’s literally no proof of any contents of the game’s “original version” being cut for the retail one.

          Next time you want to discuss, bring some stuff to the table so we can actually discuss something rather than just run around in circles.

        • Original starter of this line of discussion here. Basically those games you mentioned on the 360 were built around the idea of DVD’s originally. FFX III was not.

          Instead the 360 version was started half way through the development (I’m taking this from the day the 360 version was announced from the time of the original announcement and release). So the game had to be completely retooled, but they couldn’t get it rebuilt from the ground up.

          So now we have something that was probably meticulously torn apart and put back together and a deadline, and the game itself will never reach the same level of quality that was intended. This is all because SE got greedy for pay off money and didn’t realize until it was too late that they had lost more money and reputation for doing so.

          So, in the end, if they had not fucked around with the 360 for FF XIII (Or just released two different versions without detracting from the original PS3 versions intentions) then this whole mess of a game could have been avoided.

        • I looked it up again and I can’t find the native resolution thing anywhere, so I was wrong on that one. Must have picked it up from a rumour or forum post or something.

          Just compressed video and audio then. Which makes sense, you can save so much disc space without losing too much quality just by compressing. Ever seen a compressed .AVI file next to an uncompressed one? You lose minuscule amounts of quality for a huge size reduction.


      I actually give a damn about the characters and the plot. It’s not “save the princess, crystal, pokemon, etc.”

      You have androgynous-looking leads for the sake of the 16-year-old girls who will masturbate over them and effeminate Japanese boys who cannot grow facial hair.

  • ChaosAngelZero says:

    I’m currently wondering about Final Fantasy XV… the old Squaresoft managed to release three “main” games in each platform (first trilogy on the Famicom, second one on Super Famicom, third one on PlayStation and fourth one on PlayStation 2), and I get it that Versus XIII isn’t a main title, regardless of the fact that it’ll also be released on PlayStation 3, pretty much like X-2… will Square Enix, in their current shape, be able to keep on this tradition of sorts, not to mention that all those consoles where pretty much the undisputed kings of the hill in their respective hardware generations, which the PS3 most definitely isn’t?

    It’s kind of a “gamer gamble”, a mere pastime. I guess they won’t, it’ll be kicked forward to the next gen.

  • lol. How can these guys be a serious reviewer, they even said they didn’t make it more than 8 hours into the game. Here’s an idea, if you’re going to call a game crap play the whole thing first, lol. This is like watching the first ten minutes of an action movie and saying it sucks because the action part didn’t start until fifteen minutes in. This review = untrustworthy. Having played the game I can personally say this review is a bunch of BS.

  • Gantz_Playboy says:

    Who cares it's got cute girls in it. I remember hearing all this buzz about the "Durge of Cerberus" from a friend and then he played it, finished it and was all dejected their wasn't "More to it"- He was all into "Kingdom Hearts 2" and stuff…plays alot of "Warcraft". He'll be first in-line for this just cause it's a "FF" title.
    BTW…I'm loving the New names & Avatars…I wonder why they don't go on the forums much. DeathCrunch? FappingTime?- lol. I love the look on KOETA's avatar- very amusing. I smell a 2nd Renisaence for Sancom.

    • he can’t think for himself. He lets advertisements and hype make decisions for him. I bet he’d deny it, because all those ads say “You’re special, you’re smart and can think for yourself. Buy this game, because you’re intelligent, aren’t you?”

    • I bet there’s a female singer Square hired to sing about something that has nothing to do with the story.

      If I hear that goddamn chocobo theme song again…

      It’s all about Yasunori Mitsuda, although he’s getting old too, too much Celtic stuff.

      Hmm… Maybe they should hire Kōichi Sugiyama. That guy’s compositions for Dragon Quest makes Uematsu and Mitsuda look like punks.

  • I think what people should realize is, regardless of what is said, FFXIII is gonna sell n sell huge in the west and europe but, I believe, with so many bad reviews and complaints, we all can’t be ignorant of it, so if you wanna just play the game for palying sakes fine but if you’re the kind of person that prefers a good game all together then I don’t think you’ll end up playing this. I knew SE had lost it since FFXII, damn that game sucked ass.

  • At least with this linearity and no backtracking it would be easy to adapt the game to fit Xbox360 DVD…. …. ….
    Do you think what I’m thinking? 🙂

    anyway on a more serious note, to those who have played it (and I mean playing it till at least very near the end), do you think the linearity + no backtracking on the first half of the game was necessary for the story progression or they (Square Enix) can at least incorporate backtracking? Are there other off limit places after certain event just for the sake to make it off limit?
    And what about the CG movie (the non real time one) allocation? Is the CG movie spread out evenly through out the game or is it mostly in the beginning/end/middle? I think you can basically predict where they’re going to cut the game to fit into 3 DVD by dividing the movie into 3 parts (since most of the space were occupied by the movies). It by no means an accurate measurement but until the game is released on 360 we can only speculate about it 🙂

    • ChaosAngelZero says:

      Remember VII, VIII and IX? Remember how the former came in three discs and the latter two in four? Remember how the full motion video cutscenes were interspersed along the games’ progression? Remember how it didn’t affect the game’s in the slightest to span through multiple discs, and how two of them were the most important titles in the whole series, from a sales and popularity standpoint, besides X?

      Well, there’s your answer.

      • I am not agreeing with “Frans”, but FF VII, VIII and IX was 2 generations ago and the multiple disk issue did affect the game. it just wasn’t obvious because you had no other FF title in that generation with which to hake a comparison. After 2 generations, you expect there to be progress regarding multiple disks games, not excuses about how it worked just fine and no one complained 2 generations ago. back then there was no choice, but now there is. Compare those 3 games to final fantasy X or XII in terms of pacing and exploration and you will see a difference.

        • ChaosAngelZero says:

          If we take pacing as the measuring rod, X and XII are entirely different things in relation to the PS1 titles, and even between themselves, not even comparable. The PS1 titles had actual overworlds, X and XII are just big-ass, static maps.

          To make a better comparison: I don’t see any difference in pacing between, say, Xenosaga Episode I and Episodes II and III. And guess what: the first episode came in only one disc, while the other two came in two discs, each.

          You see that, as far as JRPGs are concerned, disc spanning is not an issue, at all?

  • *faggot mode ON*

    fuck him dumbshit he doesnt know shit, i luv tear jerkers they awesome and i luv this so called linearity, at least its not gay like dragon age where you sometimes end up not where you wanted to be. ppl buy ff and love it and screw you bitch ololololol

    *faggot mode OFF*

  • I think people should atleast give the game a chance, I’m sure more than half of you haven’t even played the game. The only thinkg I don’t understand is why is everyone hating on the fact it’s so linear? as I recall FFX was incredibly linear aswell.

  • I played it and it was fun in summary. The linearity (?) made it kind of boring/uninteresting from time to time.
    it is not good enough to recieve a place in the line o final fantasy games though. A bit more “back to the roots” would be apreciatable . Except for the graphics ^^

  • What’s wrong with FF13 being a digital graphic novel? MGS series has evolved into a long ass movie broken up by bits of gameplay, and people claim it’s the best.

    I hope one day games will simply have an option “Press A to skip the boring gameplay and give me the next cutscene!” so people can stop pretending to enjoy the game and just sit back to enjoy the story/movie.

  • There’s a reason why ff 6,7 and 9 are talked about as some of the greatest games of all time. Whatever this is… it’s terrible. Reviews are meant to rate a game against other titles int he genre… this one didn’t cut it.

    Square is gone… let it go.

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  • LOL!!!! This is hilarious!!! He wrote a review after just playing it for 8 hours?! If i assumed that it takes 100 hours to complete the game, that’s like 8% complete. WTF?! MW2 has like what, 7 hours gameplay. This is like spending 30 min on it and saying that it sucks or that it rocks…
    well… maybe i should actually finish reading the article before i start craping…

        • Hey, uncharted was boring to me for the 1st few hours too. yeah, the graphics were great, the jungle, the rocks, the ruins….. but looking at the same thing and doing the same thing was quite boring…. BUT, i still played through to the end to find that it starts to pick up in excitement…
          SquareEnix have it hard… When they make it big, people complain that it’s too big… When it’s smaller, people complain that it’s too small…. shesh, just play the goddamn game… And if you don’t like it, or make one urself. THEN you’ll know how hard it is to actually make one….

  • Let’s hope that one day the FFFF(Final Fantasy Fanboy Faggots) will wake up from their dream and companies will stop making crap games that tries to mimic off the latest FF. Games have been going downhill since FFVII and this nonsense has to stop. Now.

  • They call it a crude gameplay system yet its easily the hardest FF game out there. I found myself swapping my team members and optimal drive sets up just for certain types of regular enemies!

    Linearity is cool, why do people want to backtrack? Backtracking is a lazy game design to allow developers to recycle the same areas. FF13 has you walking through the most amazing scenario constantly, its always fresh and new.

    I’m convinced artefag hates this game and it just posting any negative BS he can find.

    Those chinks can’t even understand japanese so why the hell are they expected to appreciate the story.

  • I agree, this game is terrible. I’ve only clocked a 100+ hours into it with a lot more still to come,

    terrible game.

    Those chinks can’t even understand japanese, they’re just bitter that no one is willing to localise games into chinese for their sad smoggy country

  • I lol’d that graphics and sound got a good score while everything else did bad. This just goes to show that squinex is only marketing this game to young gamers who only care about how pretty a game is and not about how fun it is.

  • huh. I guess now I understand why people said “If I wanted to read a book, I’m not going to play a video game.”

    Progression of your entertainment:

    0.You sitting alone and daydreaming.
    1.Reading a book by yourself.
    2.Someone telling/reading to you a story.
    3.Illustrating to you a story
    4.A movie/cartoon/any moving images
    5. A video game that plays itself, and you just watch.
    6.Video game requiring participation (percentage may vary as to how much participation and in what way a person participates, which is probably the issue with final fantasy 13- accusation is that it is too close to #5, a video game that plays itself.)

    I can understand that video games need to have some substances as to why you’re not just killing so and so out of necessity.

    But it is also lacking in substance as a video game if it is too close to being a movie.

    • That’s messed up.

      3)Visual Media (cinema, anime..)
      4)Interactive Media (videogames)
      5)Direct Interaction (with other people, see D&D)

      Hybrids (like visual novels) exist.
      The best RPGs seem to incorporate the first 4 points to various degrees at different moments. This was the easiest to achieve on the PSX. (clear difference between FMV and games etc.)

      FF13 is supposedly too close to 3 and SE seems to fail to notice how better graphics make the game becomes duller as players get used to them and aren’t surprised anymore.

      But that’s a far more complex topic than what we can expect here…check the first page of Sankaku Complex, heh.

  • I finished the game yesterday, and I did enjoy it. It’s not the best game ever, it’s not even close; but it was certainly good fun and amazing to look at.

    Yes, it’s linear, so what? I don’t give a damn as long as its got a storyline to keep me interested. The battle system really isn’t that bad either, it just gets a little repetitive with too many small battles. The boss battles can be pretty epic though…

  • a former square loyalist here. (no, I hate Square Enix. I loved Square.)

    But I guess everything fell apart around the time that Square made that advent children movie. I was fed up with how Final Fantasy had that “You have to buy the whole damn collection, or you fail as a human being.” angle. I just wanted to play a good game like how I wanted to read a good book. I didn’t want a goddamn keychain or cellphone game.

    Maybe it’s just us who were teenagers/college students in the 90’s who liked good final fantasy games that in retrospect really sucked and never really improved. So we feel like we have to move on somehow and demand that these people who followed a temporarily successful formula change with our tastes. (Maybe they’ll start to pander to the young, impressionable minds, not the old basement-dwellers who think they’re entitled to be heard because of their loyalty and expectations, regardless of their minority status in the market demographics.)

      • Tch… Every single FF story was ridiculous…

        VI was the best and VIII and VII were the follow ups for the position….. All the others mediocre at best.

        Seriously…. Have you even played FFIX and FFX?
        How about the oh so non attention grabbing FFXII?

        So what are you trying to prove here? FF Franchise had an amazing story??

        • You think it wasn’t. Points is – for some it was.

          Game mechanics are good but with a crap story it’s hard to start playing. Every time. You can’t play non-stop after all.

          Mario is an RPG now? Wow!

          So, first you say “high standards for a story that was never there….” then you say “6-8”. Make your damn mind kid.

          The only one who whined here is you, my green kid troll friend.

        • My point is…. Everyone’s setting high standards for a story that was never there….

          Clearly they were just blinded by fun gameplay and that’s a fact. REMEMBER! This is a GAME. Your satisfaction can be focused on fun game mechanics even with a crappy story.

          Let’s look outside of the box… Check Mario… Tell me if there’s a damn story to it. But why do people play it? COZ it’s FUN!!

          To finish my statement VI-VIII’s story where the only FF’s worthy of any amount of praise. Slap yourself with a dick at how awkward the story is in FFX and how dumbfuckingly silly the ending in FFIX is… Still I played them. Hence go back to the 3rd paragraph….

          Now up to you if you want to delude yourself from the spectacularly mediocre FF story you dream of.

          Good day whiner…

        • I’ve played 1 to 10 + T and TA (partially X-2). What’s _your_ point here? You didn’t like any story in FF? Why did you played then? They had good stories. FF8 was not one of them. Your problem is?

          // Posting anonymously as this site does not seem to show all the comments in Opera when there are many of them. Any Sankaku developers here? Probably bug in Opera but still it’s annoying.

  • This site is the only place I see such negative reaction towards final fantasy 13. I have read all of the negative stuff so far and I don’t see how it’s so different from previous final fantasy games…it’s like people are purposely trying to hype it down when it probably isn’t even that bad.

    • ChaosAngelZero says:

      The “negative reactions” all come from different sources, Artefact just compiles them here. You’re talking as if this place was the very source of everything FFXIII-bashing, which it isn’t. Hell, he also compiles PSPgo and 360 technical failure/ “beta” games here, he’s not making them up or anything.


      Top three reviews:
      — [b]Great, but boring[/b] 3/5 (451 of 553 people found the following review helpful)
      — [b]Bad excuse of a game[/b] 2/5 (1,591 of 2,087 people found the following review helpful)
      — [b]I had low expectations, but the result was even worse…[/b] 2/5 (42 of 55 people found the following review helpful)

      For comparison (Persona 4)
      — Awesome game
      — Never played Persona before… but it was a ton of fun
      — Perfect game

    • Previous, as in which one?

      If you mean 12…I have to say, 12’s a lot better. At least it had exploration, and mobs, and side quests, and people to TALK to. You can’t talk to people in this game aside from occasional story event ones. They do have this nifty auto-talk system, but for most of the game I kept wondering if I missed, or if any are important; don’t think any of it was.

      Even 6 had more stuff to do then 13, that’s the feeling I’ve been getting. I’m right at Chapter 11 and aside from these side mission mobs, there’s really not much else to do by grind (and grinding is tedious in this game, even normal enemies can take some 15 minutes if you don’t do it right and have the luck for it).

      It’s not bad…but if your argument is based on that it’s no different from the previous final fantasy’s…well, that’s a really flawed argument.

        • misappropriation of time, giving the graphics more attention rather than actual gameplay. The story is mediocre, but the graphics are stunning. It’s a rushjob overall, as a video game, not as a movie.

          As a movie? It’s aiming for Avatar, if not on par with it.

          Avatar’s another story. That’s more geared towards the furry fandom than here at Sankaku.

        • ChaosAngelZero says:

          It was announced in E3 2006, more than three years ago, with a pre-rendered piece of FMV that actually showed how the battle mechanics worked (or at least looked like), and you dare call it a rush job?!

          Man, what the hell…

  • Quote: Graphics: 9/10 “Full marks here.”

    …Full marks would be 10/10 here, Mr. Chinese reviewer sir ¬¬.

    And 1/10 for system? The majority of news I’ve heard regarding that so far has been reasonably positive – lack of proper shops aside. This review may not be afraid to wind up the SE marketing department, but it still stinks of a review written to make a point rather than be a fair reflection of the game.

  • Kinny Riddle says:

    Wow, the guy really hates FFXIII, lol.

    I’ve taken the liberty to translate some of the other funny remarks not translated by Arte:

    The story: “The story is the usual rebellion vs evil empire stuff, while this is expected from the FF franchise, there’s not much for the player to actually “play”. You walk a long time, and then comes lengthy cutscenes, after battling few monsters, you have yet more cutscenes. And these cutscenes contain all sorts pompous jargon conceived to make the game look as though its interesting.

    The premise basically follows the same mode as FFVIII and FFX2: an idol-like style, with pretentious plot, pretentious dialog and pretentious characters, it’s obvious that this game was aimed for people used to watching Japanese Doramas. But who would seriously bother to memorize all these flashy jargon anyway?”

    Concerning the repetitive battle modes: “You might as well add an auto-pilot mode and call it “Dummy Plug” mode.”

    “This is a visual novel, a puzzle game, a button smashing game, you can even call this a Front Mission-like turn-based tactical game, but this is NOT an RPG.”

    “Sound 7/10 – Of which 5 points is by virtue of Sakamoto Maaya being in the cast.”

  • That review sucks ass. I have FF13 and it isn’t bad so far (10 hours in).

    “Crude system barely warrants being calls an RPG.”How is the battle system any worse than other JRPGs? (Or did I misconstrue?) It’s just the same formula but polished. In fact what defines an RPG’s battle system? Tales, Fallout, FF those are all RPG’s with different systems.

    “Scenario……….” Does this reviewer even understand the story? While it may not be the best storyline in all of RPG history it does not deserve a 1, a 7 or 8 in my opinion.

    The reviewer can’t even count, he says it gets full marks for graphics yet it gets a 9 out of 10? Full marks are 10 out of 10, kid.

    Enthusiasm what does that have to do with anything? All it shows is after x<8 hours he got bored with it, so he stopped caring for many wonderful aspects of the game. In fact, the reviewer probably was not enthused when he saw how the system was not "worthy" of being an RPG so he created a shitty, biased review to quench his undying RPG fanfag desires.

  • Another article on Sankaku bashing Final Fantasy?
    I’m shocked.


    In all seriousness, this review is obviously exaggerated — as were all the other articles bashing this game.

    It might not be the best, but I’m sure it’s a whole lot better than what Sankaku is trying to make it seem.

    Still buying it.

    • X was an awful game. Linear. Incredibly lame final boss / ending. Next to no difficulty. What planet are you from. Planet fan boy? Must be a young fanboy too, no mention of epic ff4 and ff6…

  • Everyone is free to have their own opinion, but it’s difficult to take seriously someone’s review of a game when they haven’t even finished a third of it.

    This is contingent on the translation of the review, but the guy refuses to play to chapter 11, and there are some 30+ chapters in the game, and yet he claims to have seen what’s near the end. I think this guy just wanted to jump on the bandwagon of ragging on Square.

    • Do you realize how stupid it is to say “it gets good at chapter 11” when that’s probably a good 15 hours, at least, into the game?

      I can understand games having slow or rough starts, but that’s a good third of the game in! For a game company that has had years to work on this and millions of dollars in its budget, it’s absurd that someone has to even make that excuse.

      And it’s fans making that it excuse. They’ve played through it and they can’t even think of something that’s good until a third of the game in?

      This one Chinese review doesn’t even matter. When diehard fans have to say that you have to WAIT UNTIL IT GETS GOOD at a certain point, and that point is more than 15-20 hours in, then there’s a red flag going up.

      The reactions aren’t harsh because people are jumping on the bandwagon. It’s because we all had our hopes crushed! SquareEnix should be capable of something MUCH better than this!

      But, no. We have to wait until Chapter 11.

      • are you aware of how stupid it is to claim you have any idea of how the game will end up by only playing that much? 15 hours is barely scratching a jrpg and if you’re any kind of fan of them, you know that.
        are you aware of how stupid it is to constantly be listening to reviewers that basically admit they’re not playing a significant amount of the game, and acting like they’re on to some gospel.

        the funny thing though is how there has been a CONSISTENT trend amongst the reviews of FFXIII

        ppl that hate it have consistently been ppl that didn’t play much further than a ~10 hours.
        read Sankaku’s list for example, then find someone that has actually finished the game, they can tell you most of not all that BS stopped being true after the first 7-8 hours.
        yet people like you eat up their words and make up lame excuses to just accept what these guys say with no thought about how far they really got into it.
        for example = let me tell you right now, if a person says FFXIII has no character customization or other such rpg elements, and they’re claming they’ve played it all, THEY ARE LYING. FFXIII probably has the most actual customization to the characters or any FF of the last 10 years short of FFXII.
        but most of you repeat the claim that “FFXIII isn’t an rpg, its had all the rpg taken out!”
        why would you repeat that when its so untrue. oh thats right, its because you all parrot a list of “problems” that came out the day the game was released by a guy that probably hadn’t even played that far.

        the flip side of this consistency is that people that actually have gone on to play a significant amount pretty much across the board say the game is pretty good.

        meanwhile the best counter to that consistency you can come up with is “why should we even bother to play that far?!”
        why do you even bother to play a game thats going to be 60 hours long if you think you’re going to sample the full meat of the entire game in the first 10 hours?
        “well if S-E makes the first 10 hours so bad it drives everyone off then what does it matter?!”
        thats where the bandwagon comes in. this chinese guy himself just parrots the same BS thats been on the internet for days.
        the first 10 hours aren’t perfect, no. S-E dragged out the intro material a little too long no doubt. but so bad as to say the whole game is crap because of it? not even close.

        but how many of you simply accept that that is the case simply because of crap you’ve read?
        and why do you think this guy’s any different?
        just because he’s writing a review? it seems like many of you are quite actively writing crap “reviews” of FFXIII even though none of you have even played it.

        • but it’s not even about strategy, I know how to make things go faster, and I can juggle around fine to break the target enemy, my point is that it’s not very engaging. You don’t see much of any difference between you doing it yourself and you not doing it either. Enemies that you can kill instantly usually die instantly even without your assistence, and enemies that don’t, well, they usually don’t that quick either. There’s also cheap crap like Behemoths changing forms and fully healing themselves, for no reason but to lengthen the battle (because, seriously, by that time there’s no way even with all the power ups should it take you down).

          It’s just not very well planned out when you can achieve the same results with or without you participating. You say it like I didn’t know how to strategize, but a lot of the strategize’s moot when you play the game.

        • well that’s why your taking a long time with the battles. battles involves strategies. from what you’ve said your just pressing x over and over to finish a battle and it takes a longer time. when you involve strategies into the mix, the time it takes to finish a battle would be considerably shorten with many lasting only seconds.

        • well, it doesn’t feel fun, and I got 29 hours clocked, mid-Chapter 11.

          You know those types of games that look boring for other people, but fun for the player? To me ff13’s the complete opposite, it looks goddamn amazing if I ignore the fact that I’m not doing anything but press x to get auto-planned out each battle phase for my character (well, i tried deciding on my own, but that got a bit difficult now that I have 10 spells and attacks all cluttered together). Everything looks great, but it doesn’t feel engaging.

          I do know there are some ridiculous mobs in 11, though, but I don’t know, I think I’ll just grind till I feel like playing them.

  • What ever happened to people being able to enjoy anything less than perfect. My favorite game of all time is Gauntlet: Dark Legacy. You people are never happy. I feel sorry for you.

    Every time a game has a good review they are paid off. Every time a game has a bad review they are wrong. People are different. Grow up.

    • Are you joking?

      “Every time a game has a good review they are paid off. Every time a game has a bad review they are wrong. People are different. Grow up.”

      That sort of black and white statement couldn’t be right in a million years!

      And where the fuck do you get off telling us to grow up and assuming we can’t like something “less than perfect”?

      We’re not talking about a lack of perfection! We’re talking about a game franchise with the highest budgets, some of the most experienced people in the business, and the biggest names in gaming somehow managing to make a game that is nearly the opposite of a game, that is against several forms of common sense, and has more oversights than should be possible given the MILLIONS of dollars that goes into it.

      We’re aloud to be a little disappointed when a game this big manages to be screwed up this bad!

      I’m not even a Final Fantasy fan! I was looking forward to 13 as my chance to finally LIKE this series! Just seeing the MAPS and how linear they are show me how much they dropped the ball.

      We’re “never happy”? Sure, keep telling yourself that. I’ll be in my corner enjoying the 20 JRPGs I own and want to play more of. I’ll try not to cry that none of them are so perfect while you’re feeling so sorry for me.

      • “We’re talking about a game franchise with the highest budgets, some of the most experienced people in the business, and the biggest names in gaming somehow managing to make a game that is nearly the opposite of a game”

        no what we’re talking about a huge community of parrots that will repeat each other because they feed off each other and make each other think they’d dined some secret truth.
        this alone tells me you haven’t played the game
        you have no real idea about the game
        and you’re probably never going to try to know anything about the game

        you’ll simply eat up what you’ve been told by people jumping on the bandwagon, without a critical thought to be found.

        i would feel sorry for you because you’re missing out on an rpg that actually does a lot of things right, that teh parrots will never get to find out because its just easier to be parrot.

        and btw, to anyone that tried to throw out the tired “FANBOY ALERT” BS
        how many of you can claim you’ve even seen more than a few trailers?

        • “and btw, to anyone that tried to throw out the tired “FANBOY ALERT” BS
          how many of you can claim you’ve even seen more than a few trailers?”

          Not many. We’re not that stupid.

        • bah, crappy typos i’d better correct before smartasses think they’re on to something.

          -they’ve divined some secret truth
          -to anyone that tries to throw out the tired “FANBOY ALERT” BS

  • It begs the question: Has there EVER been “role-playing” in a JRPG?

    The answer is NO, except in rare cases.

    Characters are predefined, plot and story are pre-written, and the player has no meaningful way to influence the story.

    In fact, JRPGs are as close to ACTUAL role-playing games as Modern Warfare 2 or Quake are, which is to say, not close at all.

    That’s not a bad thing! It seems that Square Enix decided to cut out the middleman, the boring fat that is the towns, the pointlessly open spaces, the overworld and all the crap of running around not knowing what to do.

    Based on what I’ve read so far, its seems FFXIII fully acknowledges – FINALLY – that the JRPG – most JRPGs – are about the player shuttling characters from pretty cutscene to pretty cutscene while getting to know – and master – a complicated battle and character progression system.

    In fact, the most positive reactions to FFXIII I’ve read are coming from English-speakers who realized a long time ago that JRPGs have always been, at heart, a linear thrill-ride, and appreciate that fact.

    FFXIII is in a damned-if-you-do-damned if you don’t situation here. Japanese fans derided FFXII for being too open and not linear enough, and now when FFXIII takes the opposite approach, they deride it again. Games this big cannot hope but to polarize opinion, especially when it comes to genres as mired in convention as the JRPG.

    • Cut that crap, they give you a role and a setting, it has a plot and game mechanics, it’s a RPG. You’re just another anally retentive wRPG fan.

      If you’ve ever been to an Gencon and joined a game made for the event, or ever bought an RPG adventure book, you would know that pre-set characters and linear stories are somewhat common in pen&paper RPG, let alone consoles and pcs.

      • so by this logic, every other game out there is an RPG, whether you want to argue that or not, because they all give you a role and a setting, a plot and a game mechanic. Half-life, Halo, Gears Of War would all then be considered RPGs, no?

        Of course you’d be retarded to expect a RPG in this time and age to give you unlimited choices, but as a “Role Playing Game” you should have some control over the direction of the story, instead of sitting through countless cutscenes like watching an anime.

        Then again, I do enjoy some JRPGs. I just wouldn’t consider them RPG, nor would I play them with that expectation

      • I don’t really like any of them besides VI. I’m mostly into Elder Scrolls and assorted roguelikes.

        But I’m not gonna mutilate genre terms. Role-playing stands as what it is, whether you create the character or not.

    • /facepalm

      I hope to every god in the pantheon that you are going for some form of sarcasm because otherwise your comments are painful to read.

      If it’s not meant to be humorous, then your logic is made of LOL. You try to paint your opinions as being very gracious, but you’re patronizing every JRPG in existence and basically saying that FF13 is the end-all-be-all JRPG and the ultimate example of the formula. Please tell me it’s sarcasm.

      FF13 is looking to be one of the worst JRPGs ever, failing to bring to the table any of the strengths of the JRPG type and bringing to the forefront all of its potential faults. Yes, JRPGs can be very linear, however they usually have at least some possible deviations for later playthroughs, have deep mechanics that actually allow for strategy, and maps that aren’t stricter than those in rail shooters.

      Also, you’re highly western logic about there never being “role-playing” in JRPGs is so typically western that it HURTS. I hear that argument every week from WRPG fanboys and it’s the most annoying thing. If you want to get technical, ALL games are “role-playing” games because you are taking on the role of a character as you play them. Your perception/definition of “role-playing” is affected by what you started with, but all “role-playing” or “RPG” is, in the end, is a label and nobody is confused by the liens between Western RPGs, Japanese RPG, and RPG “elements”.

      The characters are pre-defined and the story is pre-written, but the experience is deeper than most “role-playing” games which have to rely on more generic language, settings, triggers, and events in order to react to broader types of actions. The player may not directly influence everything, but the story drives them forward and they have fun getting to the next part of the story. Some Western RPGs are so focused on “role-playing” in the sense you are trumpeting that there is barely a story at all and the world being influenced by them is the focus instead of crafting an experience with an actual goal and story.

      I really hope there’s sarcasm under your statements, like talking about cutting out the “middleman”. Boring towns? ANY role-playing game, east or west, can have boring towns. Western RPGs have had some of the dullest, most pointlessly open spaces I’ve ever seen.

      God, I hope you were kidding…

    • I agree, its like saying Project gotham is a real racing game and Mario Kart is not. They could not be more diffent. But its still a racing game no matter how much a person may disagree.

      I will take in a step even further. Having predefined expectation of what a game in a genre is supposed to be will only hurt it and stifle any creativity that could have been. I blame the fans for this. Not the developers. Not even the marketers. In the end, we are the brainless zombies who buys this shit up. I will buy this game, I will probably like this game(I am very easily pleased,as long as its something new) and hope that people quit whining about how it didnt meet their impossible to uphold expectations.

    • Addendum: Did you know what JRPGs were called before they were called “RPGs” (to capitalize on the popularity of Dungeons and Dragons)?

      They were called “Adventure games.” That was the same name applied to point-and-click titles like Myst, Monkey Island and whatever.

      Keep that in mind the next time you pick one up expecting “role-playing.”

    • well, actually, as far as I’m concerned, SO4 was more “fun” than 13. If you ignore the fact that both stories gave me headaches and desires to turn the console off (note: I don’t hate either, though I am quite disappointed; played both FF12 and SO3), in terms of gameplay SO4’s still much more engaging than 13’s. I won’t say it as harsh as the review in the article, but it really is just repeating the same patterns once you figure them out, and there’s no penalty for dying either, so I either luck out or just figure out another combination of jobs.

      THere’s also the problem of movement. Moving in 13 feels stiff, it looks nice, the characters have these cute movements when they walk, but when you try running or head towards a certain location, it feels hard to direct and they repeat that stoic motion. I think the worst part of it, though, is the fact that you can’t move your character in battle, even though moving would have provided a certain degree of strategy to the battle system (distance, attack range, etc. have factor in; but you can’t move so it’s like you’re betting on luck that somehow your other character blocks the enemy flying at you so its attack misses you).

      Well, it’s not too bad of a game if you drop all expectations and just play it as it is. But I’d have to agree with the “Biggest Swindle in Gaming History”. If I knew it was going to be so…limited, I would have brought Bayonetta instead, probably. And I don’t even want to buy Bayonetta because of framerate issues.

  • omnomnomnom says:

    expecting something like this with the name of “Final Fantasy” in it… who won’t get mad?!

    and it’s more of a platformer than RPG… all they have is supreme graphics… no more…

  • That review is total bullshit. I enjoyed the game alot it’s far from perfect but it is also FAR from a 4/10. In fact the rating on the graphics is the only justice in this review. A total joke.

    • You know, you should reserve that sort of opinion for after you play the game itself.

      You might end up actually fooling yourself into thinking you like a game that isn’t any good just so you can evade the sensation of disappointment (though it won’t remove that unconscious sensation of being cheated deep within your subconscious if it occurs).

      Seriously, the best way to approach is to underhype…


      Not hyped up/Game is good: Pleasant surprise
      Not hyped up/Game is bad: Smug satisfaction
      Hyped up/Game is good: All is well
      Hyped up/Game is bad: Suicide

    • TehBoringOne says:

      The chance that this will be badly received by RPG fans seems high to me. I was told by a cousin in Japan that likes more or less the same games I do, that this game is terribly bad in terms of actually letting you try different things.

      As a FF fan, I think I’ll avoid this one completely on the grounds that there are several interesting games coming and the recession is not lifting soon…

      I also want an HDTV…

    • Actually, knowing how most game reviewing in the states is nothing but lip service anyway, it’ll get a 9/10, with all of it’s flaws being deemed unimportant since it looks pretty.

      Expect for it to be just like in Japan; game review rags praise it/ fans fricken hate it.

    • DeathCrunch says:

      I’m not sure how much you can trust this though.

      The only reason you’re seeing this single review that’s been dug up from god knows where is because it’s been a whole 12 hours since this site moaned or had a pathetic attention seeking whine about either Final Fantasy or Haruhi.
      If they didn’t it seams they’d just expire from pure retardation.

        • “The Chinese have very good reasons to hate japanese people. And most do, quite furiously.”

          I am Chinese, and I don’t hate the Japanese any more than I hate anyone else. Likewise, I do not know a single Chinese person that I have interacted with who “furiously” hates Japanese. Even the older generation from what I gather hardly care about them, as we have other issues to worry about. To give a proper perspective, my family is from Beijing.

          Please stop this silly racial hate mongering by saying people from one country hates another, especially when there is absolutely no proof that what you say is true.

        • something a lot of people have a misunderstanding… for the unreasonable hate against Japanese, as a person from Hong Kong speaking fluent Cantonese and English, i can tell u it’s not in the gaming population. Most of it stays in the GRANDPA generation who actually fought in WW2 against the Japanese. The next 2 generations are strangely confused with their own identity between being a “true” Chinese/British or hating either/or both of them, while trying to embrace everything the world has to offer.
          We Hong kong pps here are TOO lost to actually collectively hate anyone, as well as too cocky from previous successes to truly love and admire anything else.

          now about the believability of this article, for SURE they’re not paid, and it never was an issue cuz there’s around 20+ game mags in Hk for sale. The competition is just too high for anyone in the right minds to write sth after paid, not to mention if there will be any company being stupid enough to pay one since game mags rn’t trusted in general in HK anyway since we’re used to trying it “full demos” at a cheap price.(yes i AM talking bout pirated copies)
          with ps3 games, esp. single player, we’ll likely share and trade off fairly soon after we’re done as a work around.

          But the article does have a point: Y play a game that u don’t even get ur basics until 8hrs into it?(and nowhere in this article did he say he ONLY played 8hrs.)

          Tho 100hrs+ of game play is common for jrpgs, never has it been that it shouldn’t be FUN until several hrs into the game, or almost up until the 1/3 mark.

          sidenote:The 649HKD is referring to the retail price of the game not the mag. and that’s around 85USD,which is no wonder y it’s worth the bash, when games are generally at the 360HKD-520HKD in general.

      • Kinny Riddle says:

        That review’s from a Hong Kong gaming magazine, and HK gamers tend to buy the genuine stuff rather than pirated ones, so don’t automatically slander the review just because it’s written in Chinese, mate.

        • Most of you posting have not played the game. I have and the review does hold true. It really does take 10 chapters of running in a “straight line” to get some freedom in chapter 11, then right after that you go back to running into a straight line for 12-13. There are no towns, no airship but frankly that is fine because there is NO WHERE to go anyway. The story itself isn’t even that interesting. The graphics are really pretty though.

        • just because americans enjoy many japanese games, it doesnt mean we are otakus or wannabe japanese. also there are many japanese games that got shitty scores here. just look at many jrpgs or anime games. this is just ONE chinese review. that doesnt mean the whole country is bashing. bashing a video game because of racism is down right ridiculous

        • 21:06

          So you discount everything but audio and visual because it has a high mark? That sounds rather.. fanboyish of you. Why don’t you try looking at other game reviews and discount all the other with low marks too. I am sure you’ll have a verdict similar to Famitsu.

        • Actually Chinese gamers would be far closer to Japanese gamers when it comes to appreciating Japanese games because most themes and ideas are drawn from asian mythology, imagery and sensibilities.
          Whereas western gamers (esp from the US) have their own way of viewing games based on their upbringing and literature.
          Also doesn’t hurt the fact that Chinese and Japanese live a stone’s throw away and most Chinese ports of Japanese games are released far sooner than in the west, not to mention that Japanese is a popular second language in Taiwan and to a lesser extent HK, and that anime and drama are aired on national TV as normal programs instead of being stuffed in an “ethnic” slot…list goes on.

        • What nonsense are you guys spouting?
          Most of the games out there are Japanese, don’t say Chinese reviewers play games and yet bear hatred towards Japanese games, because that doesn’t make any sense at all…

          Just imagine you being a Chinese gamer.
          Even so IF you’re right about racism, they wouldn’t bash any game that’s just Japanese.
          And to give you another advantage, IF it’s true that they bash every Japanese game, it doesn’t take away the fact that they bash this game harder than the other Japanese games.

        • It IS because the Chinese have a dislike towards the Japanese that their reviews can be so brutally honest, unlike fat white otaku who wish they were Japanese and always suck up to them.

        • @19:25
          that is either a HK or TaiWan review, and i have to say there has been hatred towards Japanese, but it has been faded… it seems young generation chinese embrace japanese rather than despise, if u really have lived there for a period of time, u wud not have said that. Not to say I trust the review, cause i generally dont, because story gameplay linear or not linear are just opinions. The only thing that i trust in that review are graphics and audio, which had a high rating. So I am gonna buy this game when it comes out in UK and judge it for myself.

        • yeah that’s reasonable because the chinese don’t have an unreasonable hate for the japanese…. oh wait most of them do. I won’t go into details but anyone who has lived there for any amount of time can testify to that.
          That aside reviews in general are less usefull than most people think. I personally have loved every FF game I have ever played and that is enough to give this one a chance.