Bracing for Impact

Final Fantasy XIII

It's coming

Final Fantasy XIII, a game that was 1st shown 4 years ago and has had an insanely long develop time, will finally be upon us in North America in a matter of weeks.  Will this game be worth all the time a money Square Enix put into it or will it just fall to the wayside like so many JRPGs this generation?

I must admit my own excitement for the game has been subdued since I initially saw it.  With all the poor quality JRPGs I’ve spent 60 bucks each these past few years, it’s hard to get into another one 100%.  And it’s depressing to watch this genre of game have such a fast downfall.  JRPG’s, during the 32-bit era, were exactly what I wanted from a game. They were long, complex and colorful experiences that required a lot of investment from the player.  Keep in mind this was during my high school years and was a nerd with no job, so I poured all my leisure time in these games.

I’ve continued to follow this genre right up until Lost Odyssey and Tales of Vesperia for the Xbox 360, neither which I beat or thought were all that great.  Is it just my tastes in games changing with the times or were these just poor releases on Japan’s part?  I’m not too sure, but what I am sure about is that my love for the RPG certainly hasn’t faltered.  I’ve latched on to Western RPGs in a big way this generation with Fallout 3, Oblivion, Mass Effect, and Dragon Age.  It just seems like Bioware and Bethesda can do no wrong in the past couple of years and many of the eastern developers can’t even get a decent game out.

Despite all of this I will be buying Final Fantasy XIII.  I put well over 100 hours into Final Fantasy XII and have enough confidence that Square will not let their flagship franchise become irrelevant and mediocre.  Will it coming out just around the corner news about how the game plays has been steady and I haven’t missed much.  A lot of the early criticisms seem to be for it’s linearity and I’m not sure how I feel about this.  On the one had Final Fantasy X was extremely linear and I played and love it, but with massive free world that XII offered I’m not sure if I can go back.  I guess what I really want in a current gen Final Fantasy game is a Final Fantasy XII-2.

I’m sure I’ll enjoy Final Fantasy XIII even if it’s just for the visual eye candy the game will dish out en mass.  The thing I’m most worried about, however, is the music.  Out of all the trailers and gameplay videos I haven’t heard one song that catches my attention.  If you ask me what is one of the immediate things I think of when you ask me about Final Fantasy I would definitely say the music and with this not really catching me is disturbing.

Only time will tell if this game will live up to it’s predecessors or will continue the downward trend of the JRPG.  I’m sure I’ll have more thoughts on it when the game ships in 2 weeks.

On a side note, I recently purchased Borderlands and that game has me hooked on “one more quest” pretty bad.  Hopefully I have some deeper impressions later as well.

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