Surprisingly Good Things About Final Fantasy XIII

nerdy sideI had a video game night last Friday where I played a marathon round of Final Fantasy XIII. It wasn’t until the wee hours of Saturday morning that I put the controller down and called it a day. I have to confess, Final Fantasy XIII is just as bad as I expected it to be, yet I couldn’t put it down. Clearly I have an unhealthy obsession with this series. If the words ‘Final Fantasy’ are on a game, I automatically want it.


There are some things I surprisingly liked about the game, starting with Lightning. The second she angrily said “I’m not a soldier anymore” I was having Final Fantasy VII flashbacks (will that game ever die? 1997 was a long time ago). I did not want to play game with a female cloud simply because I wanted something new and I didn’t think Final Fantasy VII was all that great.

Turns out, she’s rather dynamic, if you look past her cold-hearted attitude and the fact her voice never has a hint of emotion in it. Now that I’ve played the game a little longer, I’m starting to understand which insults mean she’s afraid vs. which ones mean she’s hurt. When she’s happy, she just says nothing.

Okay, so it would be nice to get a little more personality out of Lightning, but I don’t hate her. That’s a surprise.

I also love Sazh as he shows how the series has grown up. Sazh is an older man and got involved with the events of the game to help his son. It’s refreshing to have a character whose not just out for revenge or to save their dear loved one. This is a father , fighting for the well-being of his child. The little baby chocobo that he carries with him adds some lovely humor as well. Also, who doesn’t love a chocobo?

Source: PhotoBoats Wallpaper Share
Source: PhotoBoats Wallpaper Share

The last thing I’m really enjoying in this game is the battle system. At first, I hated it. After a while, it grew on me. Maybe it’s the fact there is no other gameplay to speak of in the whole game (unless you count walking forward as gameplay). I mean, there really is nothing else to do. No towns to explore. No mini games.

I haven’t even seen a moogle, yet. WTF Square Enix?



40 thoughts on “Surprisingly Good Things About Final Fantasy XIII”

  1. Weird. I thought Final Fantasy VIII had a character named Rinoa and Squall…not Lightening! It was one of my favorite of the Square Soft game series. Is this the same game?

    1. Oh man, you’re comment confuses me on so many levels, I checked my post twice for typos. VIII does indeed feature Rinoa and Squall. It is also much better than XIII which is in the same series but not the same game.

      Also, SquareSoft is dead. They merged with another company after losing so much money in the movie Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within (I think). They then became Square Enix… A company with no understanding of what it takes to create a true Final Fantasy game.

      Sorry, that was a little rambly. VIII was great. That game has my favorite opening in the series.

      1. Oh, I know about Square Enix and, yeah, they’re ridiculous. So, oops, read that wrong. 13 not 8. LOL! I’m so old school but I think 8 was my favorite.

        1. It’s okay. Your comment just really threw me for a loop. 9 is my favorite, followed closely by 6. 8 is in 4th place for me, but the top five or so of my favorite Final Fantasy titles are really close in terms of how much I love them. For all I know, 1,2 and 4 should be higher on the list, but their stories didn’t stick with me. I’ll have to pick up my trusty GameBoy Advanced and play through them again one of these days.

  2. Sazh is still is just a revenge story. He’s still likely one of the more like able characters from XIII.

    I’m one of those guys who feels like VII is great, and gets a terrible wrap due to Advent Children, which was a terrible terrible film. But I digress, XIII was way too melodramatic. The characters seem more like concept art first than character ideas/motivation. Snow had a coolish personality but the lack of chemistry between him and Sarah, and the fact Snow looks like he’s close to 40, and Sarah close to 14, really creeped me out.

    1. I’m sure he is a revenge story, I just thought his character was unique. He shows that the series is growing up. We no longer have a group of just teenagers gallivanting around. Sazh is a father and he is motivated, from what I can tell so far, by his son. I relate to him differently than I do, say, Hope, who is just to childish for me to care about.

      VII wasn’t a bad game, don’t get me wrong. I just don’t think it’s the best game of the series. I wish I could find more memorabilia for games like IX or VI. I’m tired of everything being for VII.

      I’m holding off on my official review of XIII until I finish (but I already know it’s not going to be in my top 5 favorites). Snow and Sarah are kind of creepy. How old are they supposed to be anyway?

      1. Quickly googling has told me that Snow is 21, and Serah 18. That on paper isn’t creepy, but in FF13 Serah looks (and from what I played, acts) like she’s 16. Her character becomes more developed in FFXIII-2, but in XIII she just comes off as whiney. I can’t complain TOO much, cause I stopped playing midway.

        But yeah, VII gets a lot of attention for good or for worse. Hated Advent Children, Dirge of Cerberus was… Blah. Really the only thing that needed to be made was Crisis Core (a very solid game in its own right). VII has it’s flaws, but everyone seems to focus on the byproducts of all the stuff that has come after. But anyways, that’s a blog post for another time.

        I take it you’re going to tackle XIII-2 and XIII-3, right? I’m interested in how you feel Lightning evolves throughout.

        1. Snow is okay, I guess. Serah is just… I don’t know… too teen-bopy for me. Same as Vanille.

          I did enjoy Advent Children, but only because I enjoyed VII. I think The Spirits Within was a much better movie. It’s too bad it was so poorly received. Dirge of Cerberus was what destroyed my respect for Square and the Final Fantasy franchise. Vincent was my favorite VII character and I couldn’t wait for the game. I bought it the day it came out at full price only to be immediately disappointed. That’s one of the reasons I waited so long on XIII. I can’t trust the franchise enough to spend $60 on a game anymore.

          Yes…. I have an unhealthy obsession and will probably play XIII-2 and XIII-3 unless something is so bad that I just can’t bare to. XIII-3 look horrendous, though. Have you seen all the different outfits they’re going to have Lightning wear? I have a feeling it’s going to be X-2 all over again.

          1. I MUCH rather prefer Spirits Within over Advent Children any day. I think the problem with Spirits Within was that it was marketed like a Final Fantasy… When it wasn’t. It was, however, a decent CG SciFi.

            You know, I actually don’t mind different outfits. Part of the reason I enjoyed Bravely Default is because most of the outfits. Some of them in XIII-3 are ridiculous, others are interesting. I think I’m more offended than anything that they changed Lightning’s bust size to increase her sex appeal.

            1. It’s not the changing outfits that bugs me as much as the outfits themselves. I mean, I know that many video games feature scantily clad women, but I feel like those are rather rare in Final Fantasy games. I feel like they’ve resorted to dressing Light in a bikini just to sell the game at this point. Not to mention they don’t fit her personality at all.

  3. FFXIII was better than FFXIII-2…
    The moogles are more in the online versions.. off-line we see more chocobos..

    I just bought an Xbox One for the upcoming FF15, i don’t know if you heard but it’s going to be more action than rpg..

    1. Really? And here I had heard XIII-2 was a little better than XIII…. great.

      Does FFXV (formerly FFXIII Versus) have a release date yet. I probably won’t play it until the Playstation 5 comes out… so I can buy a used PS4 and play the game. I’ve got a lot of catching up to do in the video game world as I just bought my PS3 last fall.

      1. Release Date: TBA 2014
        At first it was supposed to be PS4 only they decided they will port it to XBOne that retarded the date cause they want to put them out at the same time..

        1. At first is was going to be on the PS3… as Versus. I have a friend who bought a PS3 just for that and has been very disappointed. SquareSoft was so good with their games. We didn’t have to wait years after they announced a game to get it.

          I want to believe XV will be a good game, but I don’t have a lot of confidence in Square Enix. They could make buck if they just keep remaking the greats from the 90s.

      2. That sux, he/she should have waited for a PS4.
        If you sell a PS3 in good condition you can get 1/2 the price of a PS4 right now.. maybe more with lots of games…

        Yeah squaresoft and square-enix are too different things, the games are different too.. and that’s true now they announces games years in advance and they change stuff in the middle of it..

        I don’t know if your heard about that too, Sony sold back all their titles and shares they had in square-enix to square-enix.

        The heads of Square thinks it’s going to help them, but if they keep making bad decisions, i think it’s going to end badly.
        Personally i think it’s good only for the fact that now FF is not bound Only by Sony/Playstations..

        Since it’s square-enix, they have been trying stuff and changing the fundamental grounds that FF was made on..

        I hope FFVX is going to be good, I’m sure the graphics will be amazing but i hope the story will be interesting enough for me to play 100’s hours at least..

        I’m still waiting for the day they will make a game with a story as good as FFVII and a battle system as good as FFVIII.

        1. I always buy games and systems used because I don’t have a ton of money. So, I just got my PS3 last fall and am perfectly happy playing through all the games I wanted on that system for now.

          SquareSoft became Square Enix in a merger. And with that, Final Fantasy was doomed. It’s so sad.

          I did hear about Sony dropping SquareEnix stock, but I hear it was just because they are downsizing.

          I really don’t know if we’ll get another great final fantasy. They’re focusing on the graphics, music and art, which is fine, but where’s the gameplay? That’s why IX is my all time favorite. There were so many tiny games in there. The trading card game was awesome. Everything was awesome. I vote for a story like VI with the gameplay of IX. I didn’t really care for VIII’s battle system with having to drawn out the magic. Otherwise… I just miss the old battle system. I guess this new stuff is good, too though. I feel like such an old fart saying that.

  4. Hmm… I’m really not liking the recent Final Fantasies. The last one I liked was XII, but even that was nothing compared to IX.

    1. Yeah, I enjoyed XII, but it wasn’t great. The last really good Final Fantasy game was X. I hope the series can bounce back.

        1. I pretend X-2 is a game of fan-fiction. I know the end of X was bittersweet, but it was beautiful. X-2 just spits on that whole game.

  5. It’s very doubtful that Final Fantasy XV would be out any time before the end of 2015 at the earliest. I just hope they put enough time into the game to make it at least stand up to the older games.

    XIII was enjoyable, but not for the reasons I had anticipated. The story was unfortunately lacklustre and disappointing. The game play on the other hand, was actually quite enjoyable, albeit too easy for the most part.

    1. Yeah according to Gamespot and IGN if we are lucky for the end of 2014 probably for Christmas, if not sometimes in 2015. Anyway there is tones of cool games coming out in 2014 for XBOne so I’m kinda glad it wont come out soon.. Gear of War, Halo in 2014, Wolfenstein and Doom soon, but right now I’m playing a lot of Titan Fall.. it’s better than i though it would be…

    2. I have nothing but doubt for XV. I want it to be great, but has Square Enix produced anything remarkable for the Final Fantasy franchise?

  6. Ahhh FF.

    I’m about to hit up titan extreme at some point this weekend. I’m scared.

    But I do have to say that I’m hanging for FFXV. I’m not sure how much more they’ll expand FFXIV at this point. They keep releasing harder primals and more gear but I dare say at some point they’re going to stop and I’ll have to start again with FFXV 😀

    So glad you had a good time re-visiting the older ones. I’m planning a FFX party sometime after my exams. Which will include pizza, pj’s and not moving off the couch!!

    1. I bought the HD remake of X and haven’t had the chance to play it. Since I got my PS3 last year I’ve bought so many games. I’m sure I’ll get to it sometimes this year.

      1. I am going to grab the ps4 and hope they make it for that too as well as Kingdom hearts Lol I don’t see the need to own all 3 Ps consoles for one game 😦

    1. Thanks for posting that. I skimmed it this morning, but I’m going to have to give it a good read. I know a lot about the early history of the company, but I don’t know a lot about all the changes that have happened over the past decade.

    1. I have not. I’m not a big fan of MMORPGs, so I haven’t played XIV or XI. I’m actually a little pissed that they have a roman numeral. I’d be fine with them as a Final fantasy spin off, but they don’t carry the spirit of true Final Fantasy games (in my opinion).

  7. I don’t think XIII is that bad. I really enjoyed the story. I have no issues with how linear it is, which seems to be the huge complaint from fellow hardcore fans. Well, that and Lightning’s personality. To each their own though. XIII-2 isn’t that bad either. I devoted several hundred of hours dedicated to each game. Lightning returns? I haven’t been able to touch it. Just no interest, it automatically rubbed me wrong.

    Of course, I have to stop playing FFXIV…

    1. I think the reason why so many people didn’t like XIII is because it lacks the feel of Final Fantasy games. It’s a decent enough of a game, but it pales in the face of almost every other Final Fantasy game ever created.

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