I’m sure anyone who’s bothered to look up some initial reactions to this game will know that (vocal) Japanese gamers have criticized it for being too linear and not playing like an RPG. Somehow, promoting that thought quickly became the “cool thing” to do by people who haven’t even played the game themselves. Well I wasn’t the least bit fazed by those concerns and was intent on finding out first-hand if it’s even a problem.

Coming from someone who’s played a majority of the Final Fantasies dating back to the early 90s, I found that XIII really isn’t any different from the PlayStation 2 iterations. Ever since the franchise shifted towards fully-rendered 3D worlds, every area has been much more confined, but it never hampered the epic tale-like experience. In comparison to the older Final Fantasies with vast open areas, yes there is significantly less space you can venture off to, but it’s not exactly like you walked over to the edges of a huge map when there was nothing there to begin with. It’s just the impression of a vast world that’s lost to a certain degree, but I find it’s related to what I mentioned before — the stories are just that much shorter now since they focus on the delivery rather than the length.

Be that as it may, even the earlier Final Fantasies were linear when you think about it. You get to one part of the game and there’s only one place you can go to advance the story. Since going 3D, they just removed the needless wandering that may happen when a player gets lost and is unsure of where to go next. While some may argue that that’s part of the RPG exploration experience, I question if they’re just saying that because that’s what they were introduced to first and have it ingrained into their minds as some unwritten rule. I’m in the same boat, but not a purist in that regard. Because let’s be honest, how is wasting time and not knowing where to go next fun? When I was younger, I didn’t mind because I had all the time in the world on my hands to waste away on every game. They weren’t exactly cheap either, and as a poor kid, each game would have to last as long as possible even if it meant monotonous, repetitive gameplay to extend its longevity.

Times have changed though, and games have long since shifted from being overly tedious and difficult so that everyone can experience a game from start to finish. Now if hardcore gamers are complaining about the difficulty being lost because the developers took away the frustration from the gameplay experience, they should probably be vetoing for the return of limited lives/continues and no save feature. Why stop there when you can add pits again and spikes that kill you instantly in one shot. Those were the games I grew up with, so if you fall into the category of younger generation gamers, your definition of a “hard game” is already very, very different from mine. You have to couple the above with very restricted controls to know where I’m coming from.


The immediate reaction of course is that games are catered to the casual gamer nowadays, and while I somewhat agree since I’m technically not one, can you really blame the developers for wanting players to experience the entire game they spent tons of time creating? If they want to add difficulty, they add a setting that really puts the player to the test. However, a difficulty setting in an RPG isn’t really something you see (though I wouldn’t be opposed to one), so it’s often supplemented with optional content that you can challenge yourself with.

This is present in Final Fantasy VII with the addition of Ruby and Emerald Weapon in the North American release (they weren’t in the Japanese one), in X with the monster arena, X-2 with the 100 floor dungeon, XII with the 4-6 hour Mark Hunt boss fights, and now in XIII with the Cie’th missions (similar to XII’s hunts). I enjoyed the challenge of finishing all of XII’s hunts and unlocking everything in the Bazaar, so if I had to choose, I’d rather invest time in something like that than simply having more open areas to wander around aimlessly. In FFXIII, there are still various optional paths that lead to dead-ends with treasure, except they don’t stray 30+ minutes worth of random encounters off the main path, but more like 2 or 3 minutes. A nice addition is the target marker on your map guiding you where to go, so you know when you’re on an optional path towards treasure and can go there first without reaching where the story progresses, only to have to backtrack right after.

Now where I agree with the statement that this doesn’t feel like an RPG is the fact that each chapter you go through in XIII feels more like a stage than a zone. The reason I say that is because you can’t go back to any of these areas once you’ve completed them, which obviously limits what’s available to you at the end of the game. To offset that, Square Enix created the most ridiculously huge open area I’ve seen in any 3D Final Fantasy to date, Gran Pulse, as the endgame open area for all your exploration and side quests needs. In short, the Gran Pulse makes FFX’s Calm Lands seem like a small field in comparison. Well you might be wondering why not have every zone that size then, to which I’ll tell you it’s because of how much bigger the game would be.

To give you an idea, I was around the 48 hour mark when I arrived at Gran Pulse. When I finally decided to move on with only half of the 64 Cie’th missions done, I was already at the 76 hour mark. That’s 28 hours of me exploring, backtracking, and doing optional stuff in one zone. Can you imagine how long this game would be if all 13 chapters were like that? A 300 hour Final Fantasy? I don’t think that’s happening this decade with the already long development time frames these games require. From a gameplay standpoint, thank god they added teleportation stones in Gran Pulse because even a Chocobo doesn’t cut it for getting around. Objectively-speaking though, the Gran Pulse isn’t available until chapter 11 (of 13), so it does make three-quarters of the game feel like dungeons you can never revisit. But along the same lines as above, I can’t really see anyone venturing back to the “lowbie areas” in any RPG except for nostalgia sake.


That said, another valid point is that there are no shops, since all the shopping and weapon/accessory crafting happen at save points (which are extremely abundant in this game). There are however two very large cities you come across over the course of the game, the capital of commerce Palumpolum and the maritime resort Nautilus, except you’re not there to shop but progress the story. I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve grown so accustomed to stopping off at towns and resting up at inns in RPGs, so their absence here is quite a change. When you think about towns though, they’re just a time sink to make you explore for a bit and talk to NPCs for additional story, the latter of which you may skip a lot of. Taking a step back and looking at the bigger picture, I simply see that as the old tried-and-true way of storytelling in RPGs when the gaming medium was much more restrictive.

Straying from the accepted norm, Final Fantasy XIII doesn’t rely on adding hours to your playtime by making you take in story that way, but gives you the full-blown experience and hours from actually playing the storyline set in front of you. I found that this made the actual story more enjoyable, rather than having me spend long uneventful pauses (i.e. “main story downtime”) by preoccupying myself with many optional things along the way. Instead, the optional stuff is left near the end much like FFX, X-2, and XII, after you’ve stayed on the roller coaster ride of story for a fair amount of time. The main reason I play RPGs is for the story, so I actually preferred this format of “story, story, story, story, optional stuff, story” over the traditional “story, optional stuff, story, optional stuff, story, etc.” which really disrupts the flow. Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide whether this is a “problem” and if it ruins your idea of an RPG experience. Personally, I didn’t have any qualms with it. In fact, I started questioning why I was being held up doing missions in Gran Pulse when the story was getting really good. There’s plenty of time to do optional stuff later, so I went and finished the game first.

For tradition sake, I did find it a bit disappointing how you never get your own airship to keep, even though there are at least three or four your party ends up riding on over the course of the game. To travel between the areas of chapters 11 to 13, you use teleporters in the last area of the game. Those, in conjunction with the ones in Gran Pulse give you the exact same effect as an airship in X, X-2, and XII, but for tradition-sake alone, I’ll admit it’s a bit odd not getting your own airship for a change. Mind you that’s just a personal sentiment towards some unwritten Final Fantasy tradition, much like it would feel odd not having a Cid in one of the games. On a slightly related note, while there isn’t anything indicating that this sectioning off of chapters was a game design decision for the Xbox 360 version’s sake, I can see it helping with the multi-DVD format they have to release the game on.


In the game’s defense, the story actually branches off as you progress to mix things up, with you playing as a different set of characters for each chapter, alternating between the two groups until they finally meet up again. During this time, your inventory is shared, but any weapons/accessories equipped by the other group are unavailable unless you unequipped them. You could do that before the end of each chapter, but it really isn’t necessary when you come across new items in the next chapter. In any case, I found that being able to play different branches of the story a refreshing way to convey it from two different perspectives, which isn’t something any Final Fantasy has done until now. Ironically enough, the story actually breaks away from the linearity by having you play two paths concurrently, yet the game is so heavily criticized about maps only flowing in one direction. I guess some people like walking around in big circles (in which they should listen to the characters as the prominent theme is to press on towards a brighter future and never look back).

I consider myself someone who has pretty old gaming roots, but I’m not tied down by them by any means. I’m open to changes when it comes to anything and will acknowledge when one is made for the better. I didn’t mind the progression of XIII one bit, as most RPGs are pretty linear when you get down to the core of it. I play them for the one-time, complete experience, and will do so again if I want that experience again. I don’t want to have to start a new game and try other routes just to see everything. I had to do with FFX-2 to get the best ending and raced through the New Game+ because it was a chore. That’s not the type of replay value I want from an RPG — I’d much rather get all the story in one playthrough with more optional content at the end, which is the format Final Fantasy XIII follows.

Now if you consider yourself someone who can decide on your own what you like and don’t like, or even a remote fan of the franchise, I recommend checking out the game for yourself if you’re on the fence about it. I’m willing to bet you won’t even care about all the negativity that has been spread from people who haven’t even played it to completion (or at all), because you’ll be too busy enjoying it yourself. Don’t forget that the most vocal people, on the Internet or elsewhere, are always the ones that have bad things to say. Negativity seems to attract attention after all.


* Screencaps taken from the title screen’s opening sequence, which is primarily a compilation of the cutscenes in the game. Yes, these are prerendered, but the game itself doesn’t look drastically worse by any means.

Watch it in motion, featuring the FFXIII Prelude theme ▼


  1. Gran Pulse is indeed huge. I wonder how many hours I need to put into it… I’ve played probably 5-7 hours and I’ve only gone through the first 14 missions or so. And since I’m rather underleveled, I’ll probably have to grind for crystal points. x.x

    I wasn’t really bothered with the linear paths in the first half of the game. At least I never felt lost, haha.

    Oh, and I actually like the shops being in the save points themselves. It saves me the hassle of finding the shop just to buy one exclusive item.

    Finally, I agree that anyone who’s sitting on the fence about whether or not they should play the game should just try it. It’s a different experience than what you would expect after hearing all the negative comments.

  2. I have to really say, your blogs are quite in-depth and always amazing to read. I never really comment much. But I have to say that reading through this blog and hearing about your opinion on FFXIII has to be one of the best. Most people will just say a very simple/broad sentence and just leave it with that.

  3. hmm… would you say this is a game with high replay value?

    like take for example Dragon Age Origins where you started off from different points which effected the story in some way… is it like that? or do you start from 1 point o.o each time and learn something new if you replay it again and look at the minor details you may have missed?

  4. rainnydaiis, Freya:
    Thanks for the feedback! I’m happy to hear you enjoy reading my walls of text. =)

    It’s one story, meant to be told one way. You don’t ever run the risk of missing something and feel like you should go back to a previous save, try something else, only to realize you have way too many possibilities and have to play the game multiple times to see everything (in a very segregated manner no less).

    In terms of actually wanting to play the game again for the same experience, yes I would say there’s replay value there because it’s fun and never feels like a grind unless you’re strictly going for PSN trophies. You can really mix it up with your party’s composition and playstyle in the very dynamic battle system. I have a lot of fun with that.

  5. I really enjoyed your review of the game divine. Has me quite well hyped!

    I can’t call myself a hardcore gamer by any means. Casual epitomizes me and I love jRPGs as a genre in general. But from what i’ve heard and seen, FFXIII is really a game that epitomizes what a lot of us want from a good RPG. A great story and fun battles. While I would never say the classics are “bad games” per say, for those of us who have other matters of life to attend to, games like this are just what we look for to keep us hooked on our fandom. Thanks for the great review.

  6. :O you have the same tv as me divine. awesome, then I know FFXIII will be a good play. thanks for the review, definitely has opened up a big discussion idea on RPG-gameplays. For me, I don’t mind either about the new kind of style this has brought up.
    Just the idea of repetition has me question it. Is it repetitive at all or are the turn base fighting/animation so amazing and numerous that you don’t mind/care or even know about it and just keep playing?

  7. Rei:
    I’m surprised you can make out my TV in such a dark picture. =)

    That’s the one in my room, a 40″ Samsung LN-T4065F. It’s a few years old now. I have a newer 52″ Samsung LN52B610 in the living room though.

    As for the battles, it’s actually all active time, meaning everything happens concurrently and the enemies don’t wait for you. It’s not turn-based like FFX was, but you can slow down the speed of it in the options if you find it’s too fast. However, I think the speed is what makes it fun. It’s fast-paced, the camera keeps panning around during the fight (you can control it with the right analog as well), and it gets pretty chaotic at times, in a good way.

    Dynamic, engaging, somewhat challenging, and not mindless is how I’d best describe the new battle system. For those reasons, I didn’t find it repetitive at all and actually wanted to get into fights.

  8. Wooo hurray! I’ve accidentally stumbled across a few spoilers over the past month and a half, which kind of sucks. I just hope I can forget about everything until March 9 arrives. =)

    *starts reading*

    Lightning XIII
  9. To be honest I don’t know how anyone can get so excited about JRPGs anymore, especially when you look at what the WRPGs are coming out with. The choices, dialog, action, story, universes are just miles ahead of anything Japan is coming out with. Final Fantasy looks gorgeous, but it just seems like the same old same old, you don’t really roleplay, you just go through a story with skill trees.

    I feel like JRPGs never try anything different or innovative.

  10. An interesting read. I find that games these days seem too far focused on the “sandbox”; which isn’t a sandbox at all, just a large amount of repetitious average quality content, with a highly contrictive playstyle.

    I much prefer a linear experience that is highly polished the entire way through; to something that offers the illusion of “choice”.

  11. Well, I thought about importing the Japanese version, since I understand enough japanese to get the gist of a story. But I’m currently playing through Tales of Graces and I have exams starting next week, which will end on Feb 23, so the Western Release Date is so much better for me… That, and I can really live with the dub this time around. It’s not bad.

    I don’t know how to feel about not having towns. It probably makes sense with the story (with the Lower World and Cocoon and what not) and the linear paths. But if there’s enough optional content in the end… I probably won’t mind.

    The other thing I heard is that the battle system isn’t as immersive as older ones, since a lot of stuff is predetermined and auto-battle, since everything is fast paced. From watching videos I figured that the Break-Mechanic and stuff is still kind of deep…

    I really hope to have fun with that… I’ve been kind of disappointed with the genre lately… And I do mean the stories as well. Tales of Vesperia was just weak apart from the characters :-(… And let’s not talk about Star Ocean 4… How I wish to go back to the good old days sometimes. But maybe this game will do something right for me. Give me a great story without being too much of a grind.

  12. havn’t played the game yet, but when you say how refreshing it is for the story to be at two places at once with the 2 separate parties, is that like FF9 towards the end of disc1 ? always thought it was fantastic how the game can cover 2 fronts with separate parties that way

  13. Each to his own, I suppose. I didn’t really mind the linearity in the beginning, but at around the 10-hour mark the game just began to get really tedious. I really love the battle system, but enemies with ridiculously high HP and break rates but don’t require deep strategy to beat made me lose interest a bit.(Vanille + Sazh against Barbaroi without advantage encount? Oh gosh.) That and the fact that FF13 plays like battle -> cutscene -> battle -> cutscene. It left out tons of traditional RPG elements that I really enjoyed, so I eventually abandoned it in favor of playing Tales of Vesperia – my favorite RPG as of now.

    I’m not of the ones that think FF13 is the WORST GAME EVA/NO TOWNZ, it is a good game on its own – graphics and battle system being the highlights, and when I eventually finish it maybe my opinion will improve – if what I heard about Gran Pulse and its hugeness is true. But as of now…FF13 is just lacking something that can keep me hooked.:/

  14. Here’s an interesting view on FFXIII I’ve found:

    “We’ve all heard the Icarus myth, correct? The dupe tries to fly too high with his wings of wax and feathers before getting too close to the sun and having his wax melt and his feathers fall off. Moral of the story; don’t try to fly too high, correct? A brilliant man once re-read this myth as: “perhaps the moral isn’t to not try and fly too high, but rather; forget the wax and feathers and do a better job on the wings”. Kitase’s team, in their attempt to fly above the stratosphere of RPG standards, decided to forget the wax and feathers and, for the most part, did a better job on the wings.” -DrewFields88

  15. Seems like its the hip thing to do now. Complain how hard stuff is. Its probably brought upon by the blogging community no doubt. One blog says something, people will see it as fact. Kids nowadays complain over the simplest thing. “Oh you cheater you killed me in MW2 I’m the best there is how can you kill me.” kind of crap.

    I say we take all these people and dump em in like…rural Philippines or the island of Saipan (both places I grew up in) with no computer, no game system, and no cell phone. Its how I grew up, wonder how many will survive.

    Jusuchin (Military Otkau)
  16. I totally agree with you, Divine! Trollers, flamers, western-RPG maniacs say FFXIII is a failure, a game for weeboo, fanboy… but they’ve never touched the game even once! I really hate this kind of player and they’re everywhere, even in my forum. I don’t care though, still play the game if I like, and to be honest, I’m a hardcore gamer myself (at time, not at skill lol).

    But several years ago I got into the university, since then I’ve never have as much time as before. Now, one day I only have around 2-3 hours for entertainment, most of it I use for anime, game, music, book or to do something I like. Even though, I still buy a lot of game, almost all the games that were released ’till the day I buy, and I play all/almost all of them, but I only finish 1/50 games I buy, it must be the game that I really really like. I remember that the last PC game I finished was COD4, and for PS2 were MGS3 and SotC (PS2 is the only console I have), the rest of the games I played to know/experience the graphic, sound, gameplay and to know how good the game is. Even the gameplay of the game suck, but with good graphic or pretty girl (really important! lol) I still play it, but most important is the STORY and it’s FUN playing the game. And I just can stand with players that just play games to criticize for find the bugs/bad points of the game then trolling on forums.

    I’ve been reading your blog for 3 years and check it several times everyday, it’s fun reading it and I like that sometimes you have really good, in-depth post like this. Keep it up!

  17. A comments:

    Totally agree, the negative comments generate the most publicity. That’s why when people are down, like Tiger Woods and John Terry, everyone jumps on the bandwagon to crucify them.

    Linearity is part of FF. If you think about it, every single FF has quite a bit of linearity to it. What makes FF great is actually its storyline and game mechanics, such as the battles. If someone wanted a more non-linear game, I would recommend Morrowind and Oblivion; those are really non-linear.

    And as someone above posted, it’s better to play through a quality game that has quite a bit of linearity rather than a open-world game that is average. Ultimately as gamers, the experience counts. So to me it doesn’t matter whether it’s linear or not; give me an awesome experience to remember the game by, and that’s enough.

  18. This is why I like the FF series. It’s always trying to switch things up, do new things, and not afraid to do so. I just wish I could understand Japanese so I could play it. I hope the english version isn’t bad voice acting.

  19. Question: Is it like FFXII, where you go to a place, see a cut-scene, told to go to another point, see another cut-scene.

    I understand that this is the premise of RPGs, but FFXII was very pronounced in doing that. Nothing much interesting happens along the way. Distractions, one might say.

    FFVII had the Gold Saucer, FFVIII had Triple Triad, FFIX had “character paths”, FFX had blitzball and monster hunting.

    The beauty about a FF game is I am always game for another playthrough, even though I would have done everything already. FFXII was the first one where once I did everything, I dun wanna touch it anymore.

    Reading your review gave me some hope for FFXIII, or maybe I have to wait to see the reactions to FF Versus XIII.

  20. THANK YOU! When I first heard the complaints about Final Fantasy XIII being too linear, I was wondering “Wait, what Final Fantasy games are not linear?” In fact, in most games, you’re alwaysd going from point a to point b without much choice. The most a game gives you choice is in multiple endings or choices of responses (like the bioware games).

    Side missions are, well, on the side and aren’t taking away that much from the linear nature of the game.

    If a game was truly non-linear, they would allow you to devise your own plan to defeat the big boss- or maybe not even defeat him at all.

    I think that the fans were just commenting on the maps being linear, which is, frankly, who the hell cares. Just because a game like Final Fantasy XII has levels with many floors and whatnot is just a straight line twisted and curved. In the end it’s just running around in crazy directions before you have to finish the game like you’re told.

  21. The Vanille thing is a classic bit of the Japanese actual mispronouncing the name. Sort of like how Giga Drill Break sounds like GIGA DORIRU BRAIKA in Japanese. Her name is Vanille, which is pronounced Van-eel, but it’s pronounced Van-ee-la in Japanese (only going off of what I heard in the trailers).

    As for the linearity:
    1. This is a story driven game, the game just flows better being linear.
    2. I recall FF10 being really linear in the beginning. And that was a good game. Why complain? IN fact, parts in FF12 where you had to arbitarly run to the next plot point slowed the story, I’d rather just have the game take me where I need to go, maybe drop me in a town every once in a while.

    Also, yes there are spoilers in there >_< Minor ones, but some which kinda annoyed me. (Because everyone knew what Gran Pulse was?)

  22. Is there at least as much “wandering” to be done as in X? FFX on the ps2 was somewhat linear as well but imo there was just enough exploring and puzzle solving to be done to make that unimportant.

  23. I read somewhere there that you can’t go back to previous chapter’s areas? I like straying off path occasionally, but sometimes the story takes me in and I skip any sidequests along the way, thinking I can go back later. Can I still do this on this game?

  24. I for one will probably welcome the linearity of it all. I have a backlog of 27 JRPG’s to complet currently that are all 30hours+ ganes and that’s without doing the optional things. Hopefully i’ll be able to stay playing FF13 without switching to a different game like i have with the others due to wide open spaces to explore where it feels like i’m getting nowhere slowly.

  25. Actually,like you said Divine when I play RPGs I really love near the endgame to backtrack to the first area of the games to kick the ass with one attack of those enemies that were such a pain when you first fought them. So yeah most of the time being able to go back to previous areas is totally useless except for rpg with a lot of towns when you can talk to the npc and trigger sidequests and all this stuff but since there is almost no towns in FF13 then it would be useless to be able to backtrack. It doesn’t really bother me that all sidequest are on the last stage but I guess I prefer when sidequest are only accessible at the endgame but at previous areas like in FF 10 where you go back to previous areas to fight the dark summons.

    That reminds me of an RPG I played back on dreamcast: Grandia 2; at the end of the game you have only the last area and the town near it to explore plus the bonus stage. I remember how I raged first because I couldn’t visit the other towns anymore and the fact that I was a real noob back then who thought you get an airship in every RPG to travel anywhere on the map at the end lol.But then Grandia batlle system is so great and funny I didn’t cared anymore. It seems it is the case with FF13 too considering how you talk about battles.

  26. Actually, there were times when you split into two groups, of course, it wasn’t for so long along the storyline. I think it happened specially in FF3. There were many times where you split into groups, along the storyline itself. I don’t seem a change here, not a improve nor a negative factor either. Even if it’s across the whole storyline which is actually new… the storyline itself isn’t that long, so… it’s not remarkable.

    Still, i’m looking forward to play this game. I didn’t mind that “is different from the classic FF” thing from the fans. FF was, is… and (i hope) it will always be a great franchise.

  27. Personally, I like linear – but I must admit that that bias is hard to fully transferred over to the FF series. Or at least, the last few FF series. Yes, the graphics has improved and the babes are hotter, but I feel like I’m no longer at the helm of the hero’s actions anymore. In all honesty, FFVIII was the last game that exuded the classical ‘Final Fantasy’ feeling for me. I felt that I was in charge of the party’s destiny and I was the driving force behind the main character’s choices. FFX tickled that feeling a little, but didn’t fully awaken it. Both XI and XII couldn’t even get me to feel like I was immersed fully in that world. Hell, I stopped playing XI after a month and it took me a year and a half to play through XII.

    I guess I just feel like I’m watching a movie played out infront of me, where the chore – and what’s really how it feels – of getting the actors from one scene to the next, while battling monsters just so it’ll feel like a game, is all I do. Instead of being completely absorbed into the game and the world it lives in.

    Seriously, every FF game I’ve played up to FFIX, I’ve dreamt about within the initial few days of gameplay.

  28. Holy crap! Big Boss ranking in MGS4! That’s hardcore. Nice spoiler free review. I’m pretty interested in checking out FFXIII to see how true is it about being too linear. 🙂

    Orbital Ring
  29. classic advice.. Don’t knock it till you try it….on another note i hope Jaalin is joking..
    but its true what a lot of people are saying..the gaming industry is in a state of decadence, putting out titles slowly like their effing movies and only delivering slick visuals that take up most their resources thus providing the gamer with an end result of a FU@KING 4 1/2 hour game!! come on motherf@ckers, YOU KNOW THAT AINT RIGHT!?!?! DONT YOU?!?! its good to keep the classics close by in a airtight storage container, ya dig?

    BROOKLYN otaku
  30. jaalin:
    Stop trolling and disappearing without a word for that matter! I had to blog about the K-ON OVA in your absence, plus all the screenshots from your K-ON posts are still missing. Re-upload please? =P

    As for FFXIII (which I know you’re playing and saying you don’t like), the battle system does default to the auto-command a lot, but if you manually input commands and cancel them with X/O (depending on your PS3’s locale) or execute them early with Triangle, you can kill stuff much more efficiently. Plus, using the Optima Change effectively, going for Breaks, and scanning the enemies with Libra (so the AI acts according) is all part of the user-input fun in lieu of simply picking the commands themselves.

    I don’t want to get your expectations out of line, so I wouldn’t necessarily call the Break System “deep”, but it does require a bit of thought which prevents the fights from being mindless. It promotes prioritizing which enemy to kill first in most cases, but at times you have to decide if spamming area effect abilities makes more sense. Also, you have to decide if you need a tank (i.e. Defender) when there are a lot of enemies. (Yes, there’s dedicated tanking in Final Fantasy!)

    You can only control you party leader’s actions directly however, with your two party members acting in accordance to the Role they’re in. Their AI works similarly to FFXII’s Gambit System, except it’s much smarter and doesn’t require you to set it up with a bunch of programmatic IF statements beforehand.

    I can’t take credit for these since I didn’t record the videos myself, but the HD PVR I was planning to buy to get this level of quality is the Hauppauge HD PVR. It’s one of the few affordable options out there for recording PS3 in 720p and 1080i.

    Unfortunately, the NA/EU versions will be English only. As I mentioned in my other post, they’re taking the time to re-do all the lip-syncing to match the English dialogue (cutscenes as well from what I’ve seen).

    Sorry to burst your bubble, but there are no mini-game type stuff here like you’ve mentioned. I have to say I didn’t particularly enjoy how much of a grind FFX and X-2’s Blitz Ball games were, though I did enjoy FFVII’s Golden Saucer motorcycle game a lot since I was pretty good at it.

    I’m not going to deny that it’s a lot of advancing in each area and seeing more of the story, many of which are in-game scenes (as opposed to prerendered cutscenes). However, I found that those were the best parts, since I play RPGs for the story. In some cases, I just wanted to get through the fighting quickly so I could see more of it.

    I gather that anyone who finds the game somewhat repetitive and is just picking it apart based on the format, either don’t really understand the story (i.e. imported with little-to-no understanding of Japanese) or simply don’t care for it (in which case I question why they’re playing an RPG to begin with). If someone’s only playing it for 10% story and 90% gameplay, then they probably need to get their expectations more inline with the genre.

  31. jrpgs do an excellent job in telling a story and providing a cinematic feel. i agree that ff13 felt a little closed off, but it did an admirable job in pushing the story along. by giving you the option for exploration it allowed people (like me) who were more interested in the story to bypass all this and just continue.
    wrpgs are great at immersion and have deeper rpg elements, but they definitely do not have the same strength in story telling because scripted events are rare. even when events unfold in these games they do not have the sense of scale or impact as a more linear game would.

    the only thing i found really disappointing about ff13 was the lack of minigames, i miss the golden saucer. haha

  32. @ Divine: Thanks, that was a great review. I think you’ve managed to quell any remaining doubts I have about the game. I was pretty skeptical about those online reviews to begin with- there’s no way a game that was in development by a leading developer for a good 2-3 years can possibly be as bad as they say it is. Plus, it’s FINAL FANTASY, we’re talking about here, not some cash cow movie game. When the NA version is released this March I’m pretty sure I’ll really enjoy it. Apparently some people here have been complaining about the battle system. Although from what I’ve heard they don’t like it because it abandons the equipment centric system of previous games- which I don’t really mind because one thing I did not like about FFX and FFXII was how your party was so reliant on external factors like equipment and equipment mods to survive. I actually preferred the system in the older FFs (like FFVIII)where the power was with the characters. Your character’s abilities and Espers were what made or broke your party, not a sword that takes an annoying 20+ hours to create. And you could combine the abilities for some wicked combination effects! What do you think?

    On another note, I’d also like to commend the amazing quality of the pre-rendered cutscenes. I’d say that in terms of graphical quality, they’re at least as good as Avatar- if not better!

  33. Gorgeous pics you’ve got there. I’m quite envious I still have to wait until March…
    and I personally don’t really care about linear-ness. So long as the gameplay and the terrain are not as ‘linear’ (which seems to mean boring to many people), then I’m fine. I’d rather that than have millions of possible places to go and making it almost a necessity to have a guide.

  34. So it’s one chapter another huh…it does feel like like MGS4 with the shopping and thing.
    Honestly, it’s true that ever since games have been shifted for 3D, things have gotten more linear. What do you expect? I sincerely don’t want to run like in Calm Land(FFX) and encounter monsters in every 4 steps. However, I could understand that people don’t have the same feeling.
    The only thing that I feel really disappointed is about your airship (That really sucks for not having Cid, it’s like a tradition in every FF, but oh well…) and even in FFX, you can’t explore the map and discover new things. I was really into this kind of stuffs.
    As for gameplay, I can’t say much since I wasn’t able to experience it but for a lot of reviews, it seems fun.

    I would really miss the towns,talk with NPCs,rest,shops,wander in house and get items in their room (FF6,7,8,9) and press O or X everytime you wander around because you might find something.
    But as you said, things have now changed and you might experience the fun of it and look up the good sides. Besides, it is all about story in FF and music since it can make huge impact.(I really hope it’s going to be good though).

    I really appreciate your review for this game. It is the best I’ve read so far and I really have a better look for FFXIII (because of all the haters). It’s been a long time I haven’t post something this long and I am glad to post it. =)

    *Oh, I’ve read your post that you replied to me. Thanks a lot.
    If FF is all about story, which FF’s story did you find the best?

  35. Thank goodness I know Japanese and was actually able to play the game for myself to address concerns of the linearity and all that. Had I not been able to do that, I probably would have skipped it and missed out on such a great title.

    I’m so glad you’re helping to spread the word against the unjustified haters and keeping people wanting this game!

  36. touhou:
    The load times aren’t an issue at all. I was quite impressed actually, as the game doesn’t require you to install anything to the hard drive to improve them. The longest load times are when you load from a save file, but they give you a summary of the part of the story you’re on while you wait. Even then, they’re not that long of a wait. Maybe 30 secs?

    Just wanted to clarify that Cid is here and is an important part of the story. He just doesn’t give you an airship to keep. =P

    As for the stories of other Final Fantasies, I mentioned in my other post that I really liked FFX’s. I was immersed in the whole pilgrimage adventure, the mystery surrounding the Zanarkand that Tidus knew, and all the religious stuff in Spira. My favorite part of it all was the twists, which were really good shockers.

    However, I still think FFVI is one of the most epic Final Fantasies ever (if not the most epic), simply because of the sheer number of characters, their respective subplots, and how the story was sooooo long (in a good way). I gather that a lot of people who felt FFVII was really good never played VI.

  37. AznSoulBoy:
    Omni doesn’t have a PS3 so he hasn’t played the game. I don’t think he has a 360 either actually. That’s why he was insisting that I post about it. He says he plans to play it though… someday.

    It’s a Javascript called HighSlide, except we’re using a much more limited WordPress plugin version of it.

  38. Now if hardcore gamers are complaining about the difficulty being lost because the developers took away the frustration from the gameplay experience, they should probably be vetoing for the return of limited lives/continues and no save feature. … if you fall into the category of younger generation gamers, your definition of a “hard game” is already very, very different from mine.

    I fully agree with Divine.

    gaming in the past was different. detail level and video quality were not so important and with just a few pixels you could have a lot of fun. many games were played out of the ROM cartridge without possibility of making a save and you had to finish a game with a limited number of lives without turning your hardware off. Imagine yourself playing for 8 hours being just minutes from finishing the game without a save and loosing a last life… that WAS really intimidating, frustrating and discouraging.

    I grew up playing on atari 2600, later on C64, Atari 65XE and NES and so on.
    Examples of hard games of the past:
    The Fantastic Adventures of Dizzy – just 3 lives and no save for many hours of gameplay.
    Tomb Rider 1-3, hours of running around looking for a freakin’ key or something.
    Hero Hawk on Supervision, a console no one seems to know.

    Ishar trilogy is a classic RPG type. other interesting RPG’s are Baldur’s Gate or Never winter Nights.

    so, people are complaining about FFXIII being linear… All FF games are linear as I remember. The first and last moments are always the same. You always fight the same mid and last bosses, you have to change CD’s at the same points no matter how many times you have played the game and how. story development is always the same. most of the games are linear.

    there are just few RPGs that have little linearity in them like:
    Morrowind, Oblivion, Gothic 3, Two Worlds or Fallout 3. some games like Fable are linear but very flexible.

  39. @bluth =
    my problem with comments like this is they’re a big red flag that says “I never played western rpgs before this gen”

    the reality is there’s pretty little this gen that western devs have done that are doing anything “different or innovative”, unless you count making their rpgs play like shooters to draw in the larger shooter crowd (and even that isn’t new or innovative, as you’ll find wrpgs doing that as far back as the 90s when FFVII was making so many westerners think the Japanese had created RPGs)

    or actually dumbing down their systems, as few of whats come out recently has actually had the rp mechanic depth of the old stuff. as Bioware themselves have said = ME2 is a streamlined ME1, which was a streamlined KOTOR 1, which other than being in the Star Wars setting was mechanically a streamlined NWN, and so on and so forth.

    does that make wrpgs bad? no.
    i’ve actually got a wrpg background that extends to… before the quintessential concept of jrpgs existed. i enjoy them as much as i enjoy jrpgs and have for over 20 years

    but thats the deal here, wrpgs and jrpgs are completely different lineages of rpgs.

    they very intentionally diverged long ago to satisfy different desires.
    does that mean you have to like both? of course not.

    but what it means is wrpgs have done nothing innovative over jrpgs. they evolved from their own lineage, one that simply many console gamers didn’t believe existed. how many times do you hear the claim that Final Fantasy 7 “proved that westerners would play rpgs”? yet classics of wrpg-dom like Baldur’s Gate and Fallout 1 came out right about that same time, but for PC gamers only. and that doesn’t even count the many classics that preceded those 2; such as Ultima, Wizardry, or the SSI D&D titles.

    if you never heard of wrpgs and what they were doing until now, thats fine, new fans keep a genre alive (which is probably the biggest hurdle for jrpgs as these hardcore traditionalists defining what should and shouldn’t be in jrpgs is starting to ossify teh genre against new entrants).
    but don’t act like they’re doing anything newer than jrpgs, as they’ve been doing what they’ve been doing for decades. much of their innovation is an illusion for the unfamiliar.

  40. Ky0_Sama:
    Sorry, I didn’t mean to ignore your question. I merely overlooked it with so many people to respond to.

    I’d say there’s about as much wandering as FFX, though it feels like there isn’t because there aren’t nearly as many screen transitions. There’s a lot less “zoning” (which is a good thing) and I suspect it’s due to the PS3 being capable of rendering much larger areas at a time.

    I actually forgot about those mini-puzzles from FFX until you brought them up, but FFXIII doesn’t have anything like that. Hmm, those probably would’ve been a nice little addition now that you mention it.

  41. Hmm, I heard this game blows, but whatever’s :).
    I haven’t liked FF since after 8 came out (7 being the last decent one I think).
    FFX just turned me off forever, then there was XI, I don’t like that game at all…
    Had to many buddies transform into retards over that game.

    I can see that they still have the same crappy char design.
    Looks like it has some decent graphics though.

    I’m glad square don’t send me promo’s anymore.
    Yeah I’m a hater lol :D.

    I guess as long as it gives people something to do it’s all good.
    As long as it’s not to the extreme of ffxi or wow.
    Duh…, no using the network until 50hrs from now, even though I’m not really using it, I must sit here staring at the screen waiting for a party.
    God I hate those games,.

    I would of never even rented this game to be onest.
    But it is nice to see another game I guess.
    All good.

    I heard there’s money to be made by importing this game…
    With it selling for $15 in japan and such.
    Shame no one can play it without a modded system though, otherwise I’de be doing just that.

  42. The only point of concern with your review is the fact you use your playtime as “excuse” for not having all the areas as big as the Calm Lands II. Well, I’ve read many and many reports of people beating the game at the 40 hr mark. Even taking a look at most “speedruns” it seems like a decent time to beat it, with no rushing whatsoever.

    So yeah, it seems FFXIII it’s quite enjoyable, since you’ve spent lots of time to make it to Grand Pulse, yet it’s not a valid point, sort of.

  43. Paracelsus:
    If you strip the game down to its core and not read anything, then yeah, you can probably beat it fairly quickly even if it’s not a speed run.

    It’s the player’s prerogative if they want to do that (maybe because they can’t read anything), but I feel you lose a lot of the enjoyable experience that way. Having to go read up about what’s going on and using a walkthrough that lets you know what’s coming, to me, takes out a lot of the fun. I admittedly took longer than most because I took the time to read everything, which let me “discover” the game on my own. This is where most of my personal enjoyment came from.

    In regards to your concern, the point I was trying to illustrate is that you need time to explore large areas and developers need time to create them. It had nothing to do with my enjoyment of the game. I merely used my playtime to give an idea how much time you can spend doing optional content in Gran Pulse, and not as THE reason why there aren’t more areas like it. The actually justification for that is how long it would take from a game development standpoint, when the game itself on a thorough first-time playthrough is easily in the 80-100 hour range.

  44. Well with FF XIII out (or soon to be out) at least that will hopefully bring some light to FF Versus XIII which has barely gotten any attention.

    And you really haven’t played through FF IX yet? You really should one day, especially if you’re a fan of the older games. At least that seems to be the case with the people who love it.

  45. I’ve been reading this wonderful blog for I think 4 years now, and I never felt the urge to comment until today.

    Divine, I respect that you put out a well reasoned argument out there but I have to disagree about some things. I’ll admit to being a hardcore gamer going back to the 80’s. I’ve beaten every game in the series, some of them 3+ times over (I hate FF8 with a passion, but I still beat it 5 times). Before I get started, let me say that I wasn’t a huge fan of 8, 10, 10-2, or 12, but I do think they were still impressive games and I look forward to 13. I don’t think you are wrong- everyone is entitled to their opinion. But my “values” on the series are pretty different.

    For me, the best thing about the final fantasy series was the atmosphere and adventure it provided. I really liked exploring dungeons for hidden treasures, false walls, etc. I liked going all over the towns talking to people (which was usually worthless, but sometimes gave some nice information) and looking for items. 9 was a really fun game for me because it put a really high value on environment interaction. And last, I really liked hitting an open world map which at least created the illusion of a big world out there with vast possibilities. When 7 came out, the most exciting moment in the game was finally leaving Midgar and seeing that 3D world map for the first time. I couldn’t wait to see what future consoles could do with a world map (you could have very large, very detailed, very fun/cool world maps with today’s technology). I was crushed (and pissed) when ff10 opted out of a real world map, and one of my hopes for 13 was that it might restore this feature. I’m very saddened that (apparently) it wasn’t.

    As far as “wandering,” getting lost, and wasting time- I know what you mean. I’ve had that experience in numerous RPGs, and it really sucks (Grandia, BoF 3&4 spring to mind). I 100% agree with you on that point. That type of issue seems to be the signature of mediocre RPGs. However, it seems like the well made RPGs, like FF4, FF6, FF7, DQ3, DQ4 and Chrono Trigger never gave me that problem at all. Since Square/Enix takes so much time making their games, I’m sure they play test and iron out those issues without too much trouble. They have a good past track record with avoiding that problem, at least on the Square side.

    I get that I’m an “old” fan, and to make $, they need to appeal to a new fanbase. I get that. I’ve accepted that. But I really can’t agree that these changes are a good thing. I’d rather they just give the series a new name, because its starting to resemble the original run of final fantasy less and less. I want 3D world maps, airships, a battle system that at least has traditional roots (like 6, 7 or 9, maybe 10), and some well thought out non-linearity (like how 6 did it). The 3rd game in each FF “arc” is usually the “throwback” game, so I’m holding out hope that FF15 will finally get us back to that FF6-FF7 feel. I’ll probably be disappointed though.

  46. Umaro:
    FFIX is the one Final Fantasy that I missed out on that I wish I hadn’t, because like you’ve said, it went back to the old school roots. I like how it had lots of equipment slots again, as just having an accessory slot is no fun when you can collect matching sets with a weapon/shield, helmet, armor, gloves, boots, AND accessories.

    Aside from the NES’ FF2 and 3 (or their remakes), VIII is the only other game in the franchise I didn’t play, but I honestly don’t care for it having watched my brother play it back in the day. He comes from the same old school background as me when it comes to FF, so I heard about all the good things about FFIX from him when he was playing that.

    Speaking of which, I actually have a copy of FFIX here so could get into it right now if I wanted.

    Thanks for the input. I’m glad to hear I made you feel the urge to speak out, as I was hoping to spark some good discussion from our readers. =)

    I agree that the open world feel is a great thing when it’s done well and doesn’t lead to needless wandering. Yes FFXIII doesn’t provide that, much like all the PS2 Final Fantasies didn’t, but I guess the thought I’m trying to convey is that if you don’t let that sway your opinion before even giving the game a chance, you’ll probably find that it’s still a good game in the franchise. It may not be your favorite, but it’s still fun to play, go through, and experience for yourself.

    Much like yourself though, and as Umaro pointed out with FFIX, I’d like to see a Final Fantasy go back to its roots every now and then. However, I don’t strongly oppose sequels straying from them and trying to cater to a new/different crowd with a different format. Lately, I find that I don’t really mind how some games play like a movie.

    Metal Gear Solid 4 did, but the balance between story and gameplay was pretty off. A lot of people hated it because of that, but I enjoyed it a lot having played all the other MGS titles (including the ridiculously hard original Metal Gear on NES). I hear Uncharted’s like that as well, but people like how it’s heavily focused on story and just quickly get through the shooting to see the next part. In comparison, FFXIII has a good balance of the two, but gives up 3D world maps to that end.

    So with that said, give it a chance… ? =)

  47. Good points… except many of the Japanese who HAVE played the game have said the game is SHIT. If you can read Japanese go to amazon.jp. So yes, many people who have had a chance to play the game think it’s shit. It’s not just people jumping on the band wagon of hate. At least I don’t buy into hype and slick marketing to make my judgments of whether “a game deserves a chance.” I mean, just because I never tasted shit before doesn’t mean it will tastes like shit. It might taste like chicken. After all, it really is impossible to form an opinion based on something like a review. Facts and arguments have no points because everyone has different taste. What a crock.

    Linear RPG’s are not fun. Period. No wait, linear RPG’s are not fun once you have actually played a decent RPG (Mass Effect). Then you realize what you are actually missing.

  48. @tokenblackguy: Heh, anyone who didn’t play or bought FFXIII could have given the game crappy reviews on amazon; it’s not a valid site that reflects the quality of games. Heck, didn’t Dragon Quest IX conjured up much heated reviews and hate too on amazon? And look how successful the game has been since its debut into the Japanese market. Plus, I’ve heard that the 2chan trolls have spammed amazon and posted negative things about FFXIII before the game’s release. Sorry, but before you say “the majority of people who have played the game have said the game is crap,” at least try to provide proper evidences before spouting out nonsense and degrading a game in which you haven’t even played.

    Lightning XIII
  49. Caved in and bought the game (won’t have as much time in March and I know enough Japanese to understand everything. I just can’t read all of the summaries when loading the game but whatever). Just finished Chapter 4.

    I’m amazed. I really got into it without having any expectations but I was blown away until now. The battle system is fun (though not as engaging as I thought), the story is great. I don’t like Vanille and Hope as much but well.

    The break mechanic really is not that deep or anything. It’s just a lot of switching from ATK BLA to BLA BLA (for breaking) back to ATK BLA for damage (or, if healing is necessary ATK HLR or something. It’s still fun and Enhancer and Jammer also have their place in there (I only really use those for boss fights though… and some of the longer normal fights which start to emerge now).
    I really like Optima Switching ;)…

    The shops are kinda useless though. I almost never bought something, all the weapons I use have been found and upgraded :/…

  50. What is the deal on permanently missable items in this game? Considering you can’t back to older chapters, does it become a big deal? I know that a lot of the Final Fantasy games had some random item drops, treasure chests hidden at the corner of the screen, etc. that were pretty easy to miss. Does this game have anything like that, or will you find everything if you do a decent amount of searching?

    The problem I always have when play rpgs is going for the 100% complete game. Because there are missable things, I usually end up playing twice: once for the story without any help, and once for the 100% with some hints about hidden things. I just don’t like doing it this way, because it kind of dissuades me from exploring by myself the first time around because I know I’ll be playing it again. On the other hand, if I try to get everything on the first playthrough, I get annoyed when I realize I have to play it again because I missed stuff. 🙁

  51. Kamion:
    If you know what you’re doing (and it sounds like you do), you probably won’t run into too much difficulty until later on. For now, probably only bosses will test you a bit as you go for 5 Star battle report ratings (for a better chance on item drops). The character growth up until chapter 10 is pretty linear, but from 11 to 13, it’s an exponential increase (as are the enemies).

    The other thing about the Optima Change system that’s a little less apparent is the passive bonus your character gets while in a specific Role, plus the small bonus they provide the party. This passive bonus gets noticeably larger as you level up the Role itself. Later on, it can be helpful to use The Great Wall (DEF, DEF, DEF) to significantly reduce damage from enemies’ area effect abilities.

    Also, Attackers give a bonus to physical and magical attack power, so it’s helpful to go full out Kerberos (ATK, ATK, ATK) when an enemy breaks. Keep in mind that Attackers don’t assist one another and focus on the same enemy though, making this only really effective when there’s only one enemy left.

    That’s where the shops really come in here. They let you buy anything you may have missed picking up, including all the weapons. So there’s no Zodiac Spear from FFXII to miss here if that’s what you’re concerned about.

    Now if you’re going for PSN trophies (Xbox Live achievements), you can potentially “miss” an accessory by either selling it or disassembling it for raw materials before upgrading it to a newer item (which is what you would’ve missed). Even then, you usually still have options, unless you sold/disassembled everything you didn’t think you’d use. If you don’t do that, it’s never an issue and you don’t need a guide to make sure you don’t miss anything.

    I completely agree that permanently missable items and forcing players to go through a second time for a “complete run” is not fun, so I’m quite happy I didn’t have to do that in FFXIII.

  52. It was incredibly linear compared to the 2nd part of FF6, after which the entire series started to breakdown. Heh.

    Besides that though, the entire FF series is just outdated and increasingly obsolete compared to other RPG types.

  53. Nice review, I’ll be pre-ordering the game soon, and maybe splashing out over a new console or borrowing one from a friend! See how it goes! Still haven’t fully completed FF12 and its secret hunts yet! Wonder if I’ll get time to do that in a month, being occupied with World of warcraft doesn’t help….

    Ryoko Lam
  54. Ryoko Lam:
    WoW, the ultimate unending time sink.

    The Japanese version definitely doesn’t have English subtitles, and I’m not aware of any version released in Asia that does for that matter. For instance, the Chinese market just gets the Japanese version, but with an extra leaflet inside that explains the controls in Chinese.

  55. Damn that was a nice post Divine. I was really looking forward to this and you just made feeling stronger. Besides the pics are just amazing to look at. I mean damn this is going to be a beautiful Final Fantasy. I’m more for story than looks, but can’t deny when a game looks nicely. You make good points here. Is too bad about the airship thing though. Good times flying those.

  56. Sorry, but I personally don’t buy it (in more ways than one :p). The only FF game that I played was FF7, which was decent enough, but I didn’t find it really appealing story or gameplay-wise.

    JRPGs in general appear to follow the same pattern: Highly repetitive combat which apparently has only gotten worse since the last time I played one, broken only by cutscenes of ever increasing length. Moreso, nearly all of them break a very important aspect of an RPG – immersion. I never quite understood why the combat system just yanks you from the current environment into a different one – why can’t the battles happen in the same world that you are running around in? What if you you hypothetically want to fight more than one group at the same time?

    Next up is gameplay. I want good gameplay that has multiple levels of difficulty (to suit all types of players). The storyline should ultimately be SECONDARY to the gameplay. If I get storyline bashed into my face repeatedly, and gameplay as an afterthought, I’d watch a movie. Or anime. My $60 can buy a lot of movies. And anime. Mmmm, anime… Er, where was I? Oh yes, the gameplay. All I’m saying is that I don’t want a single button masher, but a thought out combat system where a player will not get bored after the second fight, and remains challenged (if they desire to be) throughout the game.

    To that end, some of the best RPGs that I have played to date came from only two companies: Bioware and Bethesda. I think that while Bioware in particular is evolving towards what RPG perfection should be (Mass Effect trilogy especially), JRPG makers are devolving the RPG into a seething blob of eyecandy and dumbed down gameplay. Mmm, seething blobs…er, I’ll take my leave now.

  57. I completely agree with your review,divine. Late in December last when the Japanese version of the game was released, the Net was flooded with negative reviews bashing out the game for its blatant linearity,lack of towns and shops,impossibility to return back to previously explored areas and so on. >.<

    That has not bothered me a bit as a faithful Final Fantasy fan and I decided that I'd judge by the game by myself. My satisfaction of the game is more or less the same as in your blog except that I'll add one thing: The little use of the rumbling effect.

    During the days of the PS & PS2, it used to rumble like hell during summoning,battles or situations like an earthquake,a character blocking a sword with a shield or a character firing bullets with a rifle. It adds so much to the experience.

    My guess is that maybe Sony is partly guilty of this. As I may recall, development for FFXIII started well before the PS3 was released and at that time, Sony planned to use a gamepad with only the Six-Axis capability and no rumbling effect,which is not the case anymore. Square-Enix problably started development with that in mind and by the time Sony announced rumbling capabilities for the DualShock 3,the development was already in an advanted stage and could implement it all over the game owing to time constraints.

    However Hideo Kojima managed to do it for MGS4.


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