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.
In the midterm period inbetween steady access to the internet, I decided now was as good a time as any to actually get around to playing some of the PlayStation games I own but never bothered turn on. My first choice? As the title suggests: Final Fantasy XII.
All I can say is… yikes.
To say that I was a Squaresoft fanboy growing up is an understatement of the decade(s). Indeed, Final Fantasy 7 remains my #2 game of all time – and that is despite having first played FF6 on the SNES when it came out. While the “back to the roots” FF9 nearly derailed my fanboism outright, FFX quickly set things back on the right track. Sadly, when I heard that FFXI was going to be an online-only MMO, I pretty much cut ties with the company; I stayed long enough to pick up FFX-2, but that had the dubious distinction of being the only FF game I ever sold back to a video game shop for store credit (after beating it, of course). Looking back, I think my lack of engagement with the series had more to do with college and life changes than feelings of “betrayal,” but regardless FFX-2 was the last FF game I played.
Now, I’m not saying anything necessarily about the gameplay of FFXII. To be honest, in the 30 minutes I’ve been “playing” I haven’t seen all that much of it. And if I recall correctly, FFXII was widely criticized as being non-interactive. But a more pressing concern right now is how awful the game looks on my TV. The default view is double-letterboxed such that it easily loses 15″ off the TV screen. And even then the pixelation is horrendous.
I technically bought FF7 on a Steam sale a while back (because, you know, FF7) and it’s entirely possible I will encounter similar graphical issues. But to an extent I almost see this as an existential threat to older games. Or, rather, older games that were straddling the cutting-edge for their time. Things that seemed ground-breaking for its time in comparison to more sprite-based games have looped around into barely-playable nonsense graphics in less than 10 years.
It kinda makes you wonder though, whether or not this will be a recurring issue as time goes by or if it was a specific moment in computer graphics history. Personally, I’m leaning towards the latter. After all, the original Crysis has held up exceptionally well and even the original Far Cry wasn’t that bad. But have you tried playing KotOR lately? I muscled through that a few years ago, and it left me sore with the effort. It wasn’t even the graphics really, but little things like not being able to pan the camera upwards. It’s Star Wars and you got huge alien cities and you can’t look much farther than the main character’s low-polygon ass.