Picked up Final Fantasy XIII last week. I’m wishing now I had skipped it. I got sucked in by memories of older Final Fantasy games, I want Final Fantasy games to be good. Childhood memories and all that. Turns out, Final Fantasy XIII wants to turn that shit into lies.

I have to say, about the only thing the game had going for it was that it was pretty. The problem with that, I’m pretty sure the developers didn’t want people to play the game, they wanted to make a movie. Half the time it feels like you’re just killing time between cut scenes. You’ll have a section where one cut scene will end, you’ll move your character up a set of stairs to another cut scene. I get it, you can make pretty hair and pretty water. Yes, the clothing moves very nicely. Guess what, I want to play a game. I don’t want to watch a movie right now.

The game play is rigid as all hell. You can only go where the game wants. Your path is drawn out on the mini map and you have no-say in where you’re going. You can always tell where a hidden orb is, it’s in the small branch that appears in the map and then dead-ends. It’s laughable when the character says “We can just follow the lights”. Yea, no shit, I can’t go anywhere other then following the lights.

The story is convoluted and didn’t feel very solid to me (at least to the point in the game where I got.) The conflicts between the characters was more grating then interesting. The magnitude of backstory is almost staggering, but, a great time to put in more cut scenes to fill-in that backstory.

One of the things I really liked about the old Final Fantasy games was the turn based combat. You could plan out your battles, pick the moves you want, refresh your memory on spells. It gave you a lot more control. The new time based combat quickly turns into a hit the auto-generated sequence instead of putting thought into what’s going on.

But, the straw, the straw that broke the camels back and then kicked him in the face. The timed battles. You have a max amount of time to earn the respect of a boss. I played one of the timed battles about twenty times. I read the walkthroughs on the internet. I played a few more times. Congrats Square Enix, you created a point in the game that I can’t fucking get past. It’s a dead end. The game is now more frustration then fun. At that point, it’s going back to the store to get traded in. I’m going to go play Bioshock 2.

To sum it up, if you see Final Fantasy XIII on the shelves, skip it. It isn’t worth the money. It isn’t worth the time. Sorry Square Enix, you’ve destroyed a once loved franchise.

Thanks for that.