We’re too western for Final Fantasy XIII

With the release now only weeks away, reviews of Final Fantasy XIII are trickling onto the net but it looks like us westerners aren’t as mouth-foamingly hyped for the game as our Japanese counterparts. Gaming mag GamesMaster scored a decent 81% whereas PSM3 felt 70% was more appropriate. The Official PlayStation Magazine trumped them both giving it 9/10 and were suitably pleased with all it had to offer. Yoshinor Kitase produced the game and had a few words to say about the varied scores:

“We try not to listen to the critics too much. Most of the criticisms have come because the first half of the game is very linear. But we’ve got a story to tell, and it’s important the player can engage with the characters and the world they inhabit before letting them loose…” he said to Xbox World 360.

Linearity in a game is not always a bad thing if it’s used properly. Director Motomu Toriyama supported Kitase’s comments saying: “We think many reviewers are looking at Final Fantasy XIII from a western point of view. When you look at most Western RPGs, they just dump you in a big open world [ooh bitchy!], and let you do whatever you like… [It] becomes very difficult to tell a compelling story when you’re given that much freedom.”

Um really? I’m sure BioWare would have a few things to say about such a generalising comment. Both Mass Effect 2 and Dragon Age were driven by a deep and compelling story and allowed the gamer to approach the situation however they saw fit. I’ve had numerous conversations with a friend about how our experiences with ME2 differed dramatically yet resulted in a similar conclusion. In fact, the last Final Fantasy XIII trailer on Xbox Live actually dampened my excitement for the game as the anime cliches and over-acting became all the more apparent after spending so much time with BioWare’s way of story telling. It begs the question of whether Japanese RPGs have become a parody of themselves after all these years.

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One thought on “We’re too western for Final Fantasy XIII

  1. Pingback: Avatar ‘inspired’ by Final Fantasy XIII « Back For Two Seconds

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