Since its launch in December of last year in Japan, Final Fantasy XIII has drawn a lot of “mixed” press. Japanese magazine Famitsu gave it 39/40, RPGFan gave it 85%, Action Button gave it 2/4 and a lot of people on blogs and messageboards across the internet are giving it a lot of flak. Me? I’m still going to buy it as soon as it hits shelves. Why? I’ll give you 3 good reasons.
First off, I absolutely hate spoilers. I don’t think I’d be able to hack playing a Final Fantasy a few months after my friends and them having to keep mum about what happens, just in case I go all medieval on their asses. While a good portion of other games, I wouldn’t mind the wait, and having stuff ruined on me (partly by my own curiosity (see: Bioshock) ). But for a game series that’s often heralded for its excellent storytelling and plot, I don’t think I’d be able to hack it.
Second of all, it’s in the name. As I mentioned there a second ago, Final Fantasy, as a game series, has a solid reputation of great games, and I’m sure this one will be no different. Whilst I’ve heard a few scant details of the storyline, and I’m not too fazed by it, the story at large is still a mystery to me, and I want to keep it that way. But not only that, the gameplay’s usually polished as well and everything just has that knack of clicking into place. And before you say it, yes, I did like Final Fantasy 12, up until the part where right at the end before going to the last area to defeat the end-boss, there isn’t a save point in between. That was a bad design choice, but I can live with that.
Third of all, and probably the most important one: the hype. Exactly what this post is based of, the most important reason why I want to get it is to see whether it’s hating is justified. It’s part of the fun of gaming if you ask me. You see a game that was expected to do really well for itself getting a pasting, but somehow, the poor scores just say “Hey wait a second, this can’t be right?” and it triggers some sort of intrigue mechanism that makes you want to check it out, the same way that we buy out-of-the-blue games that unexpectedly pull high ratings and reviews, because we want to see did they deserve the praise.
So if you see me approaching a games store on March 9th with a look of intent on my face, don’t try and stop me and tell me I’m making a bad decision. There is no wrong answer to this one, it’ll be an experience unlike any other, and I certainly won’t be kicking myself for getting it.
[UPDATE AND BUMP - 5th March 2010] – EDGE Magazine gave it a score of 5/10. In comparison, Bionic Commando – a game I have and enjoyed that absolutely TANKED at sales – got 6/10. All credibility for print media has now been lost, and my point has been proven right. Congratulations guys, well played.
[UPDATE - 16th June 2010] – After playing it myself, I’m actually inclined to agree with EDGE. Bravo on pointing out my poor foresight.