Feeds
55%
Final Fantasy XIII-2

Final Fantasy XIII-2

Terminal illness

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Review Is it just me who remembers Final Fantasy III – actually, that’s FF VI if you’re Japanese – the mercurial tale of the evil Kefka and heroes Sabin, Edgar, Terra, et al? I recall the brilliant use of magical espers, its line-up of amazingly distinct fighters – Sabin even channelling Street Fighter-style special moves in a clever bid to keep the players on their toes – and all wrapped up in a genuinely touching fairy-tale.

Final Fantasy XIII-2

The golden shot

That was Final Fantasy at its best; reliant on strong storytelling and dynamic combat in order to grip the user. Back when a few boxes of text said more than a hundred hours of pre-rendered CGI ever could, and when a pixellated tear rolling down the cheek of a 2D sprite would convey the kind of emotion that Final Fantasy XIII-2 constantly strives for, but never comes close to achieving.

Now, I’m aware that putting out a retro-styled game in this day and age might not be smart move if Square Enix expects sales, but FF XIII-2’s over-reliance on pre-rendered cutscenes is simply impossible to ignore.

Final Fantasy XIII-2

Upshot fantasy

Take the game’s initial video that I stupidly sat through, an impressive 20 minute battle scene featuring FF XIII’s heroine, Lightning, clashing swords with a typically anime-esque bad guy to a soaring orchestral score.

The trouble is, that once you watch it and press start, the damned thing plays out again, albeit this time complete with the character’s voices – that’s 40 minutes of my life gone with barely a button pushed, whatever happened to user input? Worse follows, as the player is placed in the unfeasibly slender frame of Serah, sister of Lightning, and she who spent the vast majority of the first game mercifully frozen in crystal.

Final Fantasy XIII-2

Purple gaze

Very nearly every line of dialogue Serah utters, whether during playable sections or within the confines of CGI, is supercharged with emotion – but emotion directed at whom exactly? Certainly not an audience who have been given not one reason to care as to whether Serah, her friends or her world lives or dies. Much like a frustrated actor working with a poor director, I’m left asking: Where’s my motivation here?

Intelligent flash storage arrays

Next page: Can I get a rewind?

More from The Register

next story
Xperia Z3: Crikey, Sony – ANOTHER flagship phondleslab?
The Fourth Amendment... and it IS better
Don't wait for that big iPad, order a NEXUS 9 instead, industry little bird says
Google said to debut next big slab, Android L ahead of Apple event
Microsoft to enter the STRUGGLE of the HUMAN WRIST
It's not just a thumb war, it's total digit war
Back to the ... drawing board: 'Hoverboard' will disappoint Marty McFly wannabes
Buzzing board (and some future apps) leave a lot to be desired
Ex-US Navy fighter pilot MIT prof: Drones beat humans - I should know
'Missy' Cummings on UAVs, smartcars and dying from boredom
A drone of one's own: Reg buyers' guide for UAV fanciers
Hardware: Check. Software: Huh? Licence: Licence...?
The Apple launch AS IT HAPPENED: Totally SERIOUS coverage, not for haters
Fandroids, Windows Phone fringe-oids – you wouldn't understand
Apple SILENCES Bose, YANKS headphones from stores
The, er, Beats go on after noise-cancelling spat
prev story

Whitepapers

Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.