I’m about 8.5 hours into FFXIII. Does it get any better? Like at all?

I’ve mentioned before that my formal Final Fantasy days stopped with FFX-2. I had picked up FFXII, but given that I was playing the 2006 game on a 32″ TV nearly a decade later, I had firmly crossed the unfortunate obsolescence line. Playing FFXIII on PC however, is a different story.

It’s a very pretty game. It is also horribly, terribly boring.

I mean, so far, right? But I don’t think I’m going to make it. By all rights, I should have stopped playing four hours ago in tandem with my New Years resolution to stop playing unfun games. But this is the first actively unfun Final Fantasy that I’ve played. I keep thinking there is something I’m missing. Is there more than autoattacking and changing “paradigms” and getting punished for doing so in the post-battle score?

I dunno. Maybe I left the genre behind sometime in the last 10 years. Maybe the genre left me behind. Maybe there was some significant brain drain going on at Square Enix HQ. Maybe MMOs ruined normal (j)RPGs for me.

I just don’t know. If you’ve played it, let me know if it gets better. I’m at the beginning of Chapter 5 if that makes a difference. If things pick up, I’m willing to muscle through. If things do not… well, I can use the 59 GB space for other things.

Posted on June 29, 2016, in Commentary, Impressions and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. You have now played 5 hours more than I could stand. If things haven’t gotten better by now, I can’t imagine it’s going to anytime soon. I wish I knew what went wrong with this Final Fantasy, but I just can’t quite put my finger on it, leading me to believe it’s more than one thing. There’s a certain RPG “uncanny valley” about it. But I’m not going to go back and play it to find out.


    • For me, the abstracting all shops/upgrades/etc to the Save Points is a big part. And the corridors. And the autoattacking. And the lack of items. And the lack of XP. And how the one measure of progression – the crystal sphere grid thing – is so incredibly linear and unrewarding.

      So… pretty much everything thus far.


  2. Except in very specific situations, you will spend most of your time auto-attacking and swapping paradigms, yes. There’s more strategy to it than that though. Swapping paradigm every 2 (or was it 3?) action bars actually resets the action bar to full instead so it becomes a bonus instead of a penalty, and later on you will have to time the swaps to deal with some situations.
    I agree though that the game starts extremely slow, and unless you get invested in the story it’s hard to keep playing to reach the better parts.


    • I feel relatively invested in the story, which is pretty much the main reason I am still playing at this point. Or only reason, really. I’m just not sure it is enough anymore.


  3. I loved the combat, but everything else was frustratingly dull, uninspired, and boring.


  4. The game will stay pretty much the same until chapter 10 (I think?) where it stops being so much of a Corridor RPG, and you get some pretty interesting fights that make the combat system shine. Until then, the pretty much the only thing going for it is the story, so if it isn’t enough to keep you hooked, nothing will.


    • Hmm. It’s good to know that things get better later on. Not sure I’ll slog through another five chapters to get there, but at least it’s something.


  5. It gets better, and then tons better at the last few hours of the game, where switching paradigms very actively is actually mandatory to beat the fights. Later on even the charaters become (dare I say it) somewhat likeable.

    I agree it starts out as very meh, but it’s decent by the end. Not stellar, mind you, but salvageable.


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