Scatter Storming. Issue #023

ss023Wow, Riddles is fail. I stayed up extra late for the mother fucker because he promised he’d be around at a certain time so we could do those IMpressions that I promised last night. Now I just look like an asshole! Granted, midnight typically isn’t late for me, but it has been recently, and Riddles knew that, so don’t hold back your hate.

Obviously this is a Final Fantasy issue, so there’s no need to hesitate.

I don’t find Vanille that annoying -
I needed to get this out of the way right off the top. I mean, I agree with Riddles that she sounds like she’s perpetually having sex, but that’s not so bad, right? And when compared to Rikku, Vanille is a godsend. At least Squeenix isn’t obsessed with giving terrible hooks to these characters. Remember Rikku’s unforgivable “Yunie, y’know?”. Goddammit, it makes me want to kill babies just thinking about it. Anyway, Vanille’s far from my favourite, but she’s not so bad.

Dude, the battle system is fucking awesome –
Excepting recently when I’ve been killing it a bit more easily, the battle system is consistently engaging and fun. I noticed something that I think is the reason why I love it so much. In a game like FF9, the battle system itself is pretty boring really. Now, it never really bored me because I enjoyed seeing the payoff from my leveling and the decisions I made with equipment and abilities and such. The battles were payoff for working the backend. The fantastic thing about FFXIII is that not only is there still that noticeable difference in battle for tinkering with the backend, but the battles themselves take quick reactions and deep strategy to master. It’s a beautiful balance. If you power-up the wrong roles or don’t construct a key paradigm, you’ll find yourself fucked in battle. However, if you made fantastic choices in the menu systems but make a few grave errors in battle, you won’t survive either. The result is easily the most engaging and satisfying battle system ever created. Pogo came to watch me play for a bit, and I took 10 seconds to try and explain something without pausing, and I was very quickly slaughtered. No longer are battles part of a larger grind to manage overall HP and MP until the next inn, but rather individual efforts. It brings you into the moment and makes the game perpetually exciting.

vanilleYeah, there’s something missing -
Although I’m enjoying the cast and story, and immensely enjoying the battle, paradigm, and crystalium systems, I have to mirror what everybody else is saying in that there does just seem to be something missing. And I’m actually okay with the linearity and lack of towns, but there isn’t even a sense of different cultures. It’s fine that there’s only humans, but Final Fantasy has been so great at representing diversity, and while Cocoon has a rich culture, I’m surprised and disappointed to not have more insight. Also, while I say I don’t miss towns, I do miss what they represent: gathering information. While I’m enjoying the datapad, or whatever it’s called, I do miss picking up that sort of insight from the scattered comments of NPCs. They also provide quirk and personality to the world. So although I’m thoroughly enjoying the game, I am missing that extra layer of depth.

The music’s a mixed bag -
While it’s not a soundtrack I’d import the sheet music for, I’ve been very impressed with a lot of the music. It can be moody, unique, and very effective. Yet once in a while, there’s a track that comes on and I have to mute and unmute the sound to make sure it’s actually coming from the game. I think it’s Sazh’s theme, actually, because it usually props up when he’s diving into his past. Bad, bad choice.

That’s enough for me! Back to the game!

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6 Responses to “Scatter Storming. Issue #023”

  1. SiliconNooB says:

    Yeah the thing I’m lamenting about XIII is it’s singular pace. Forget towns, if one out of every six sections of Map were a non-combat zone populated by a smattering of NPCs and a couple of cutscenes, then I think I would be enjoying this much more.

    The older FF’s just worked for me because the the combat/exploration sections would satisfy my need for gameplay, while the town sections would be where I really became immersed in the game world (SE replace this aspect with a digital encyclopaedia D:). Given the frequency with which SE have traditionally changed up the pacing in their FF games with the implementation of well implemented mini-games and occasional gameplay tweaks (such as the FFX swimming sections), it’s quite jarring to play XIII with it’s one unchanging pace, no puzzles, no towns, scant NPCs, scant mini-games, no stopping to smell the roses.

    I’m not immersed in the world of XIII, and it doesn’t even feel like a Final Fantasy game to me.

    -Vanille is intolerable. Her writing is probably no worse than Rikku’s, and I’m sure a persuasive case could be made for her dialogue actually being better than Rikku’s (though character hooks are something that has never worried me in themselves). What ruins Vanille is her voice acting, which is horrid.

  2. Ethos says:

    See, I can imagine Vanille’s voice is worse for you since you’re Australian. Doesn’t irk me so much because although I can tell it’s off, I’m not familiar enough with the accent to let it really get to me.

  3. SiliconNooB says:

    Oh, BTW *rolls up a newspaper and hits Oliver over the head*.

  4. SiliconNooB says:

    The thought had occurred to me, but it goes further than that, there’s all her squeaking and orgasming … it just frustrates me.

  5. 7thCircle says:

    Glad to hear a confirmation that the battle system is great. I read that in a couple reviews of questionable origins and hoped it was true. The battle and character development systems are almost always the most important thing to me in a traditional JRPG. I can stomach an awful plot (I should probably say I *expect* an awful plot when it comes to JRPGs), and I can live with linearity, but if I have to spend 95% of a game killing stuff, I want that to be fun.

  6. SiliconNooB says:

    This is definitely one of the best battle systems of the series, I’d put it neck and neck with the one from FFX vying for equal first place (though both cleave to polar opposite game design philosophies). I personally prefer the one from FFX, but I wouldn’t hold it above XIII’s.

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