I don’t think of myself as a violent person, but the world would genuinely be a better place if whoever’s responsible for the writing in Final Fantasy XIII and XIII-2 was run over by a car. Maybe that’s harsh, but they’re wasting everyone’s time with the never-ending psuedo-philosophical nonsense and random acts of magic that they insist on drowning their otherwise boring universe in. Worse, they’re effectively killing what was one of my favorite series growing up, with some of my favorite gaming memories involving Final Fantasy 6 and 8. Every time I play through one of these “Fabula Nova Crystallis” games (as the games using this half-baked mythology are designated), it’s like some annoying person too daft to hold a pencil much less use one to write is spitting on my childhood memories. Point is, these games are so reliant on random acts of magic by deities who are never explained or seen, as well as half-baked plot developments that make no sense whatsoever and exist solely as Shyamalan-like twists at the expense of narrative coherency, that charging for these games is highway robbery, or perhaps some kind of war crime. Between the atrocious, incoherent, amateurish writing and the haughty response those involved took to the widespread criticism of the game, this is unacceptable; writing isn’t as hard as these games make it look, and that’s why I truly and honestly hope that the person behind this game’s writing either quits, is fired, or gets hit by a car for the sake of future games. Whoever’s been in charge of writing for these games is clearly incompetent at their job and needs to go away.
This game is that bad. Yet again, you’re not given enough information to actually understand character motivations or critical plot developments unless you go Wiki-hopping or purchase supplementary reading material set in the same universe (which is no doubt a ploy to milk customers of even more money). Yet again, combat is a clumsy, unfocused mess of mechanics with huge difficulty spikes and patches of frustrating tedium. Yet again, magic occurs at convenient moments, most notably in a sequence where some characters from the first game who are in a crystal sleep project themselves into the playable character’s dream to save her, because apparently it’s possible to not only be aware of things happening outside your own time, but actually invade people’s dreams. Is anything not possible in this universe? It really leaves you feeling nothing during ugly plot developments, knowing that a random twist could and most likely will end up saving the day.
Worthless. Absolutely worthless. I’ve seen a lot of series that I enjoy devolve into parodies of themselves (Mass Effect, Dragon Age, Soul Calibur, Metal Gear Solid, and many more) and yet it’s never hurt quite as badly as seeing the Final Fantasy series change from having consistently high levels of writing and character development to sporting some of the worst in the entire industry.