Lightning Returns: FFXIII screenshots and extended Jump Festa trailer

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Perfo

Thirteen flew over the cuckoo's nest
Aug 22, 2010
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Having Caiuss on a throne somewhere would go really against his character. He was in the whole fight simply to free Yuel, not to rule over some world.
Mh, maybe I remember wrong but together with freeing Yuel I thought his idea of the world was one free from the chains of Gods. Infact at the ending of XIII-2 he seems pretty proud of what he has achieved and with Yuel ready to take a step forward in that direction. I could be wrong though, at this point I think no one really knows what Toriyama will do with his character. Some crazy shit that's for sure, and that'll make me happy :)

Also can't wait to see Light dead to save the world. FINALLY! lol

btw, new awesome cameo incoming?

Yoshida seems to hope so:

 

Perfo

Thirteen flew over the cuckoo's nest
Aug 22, 2010
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Uh Perfo... I fail to see how that's Yoshida 'hoping so.' More like him just being nice to a fan.
Though I'm sure he'd like to create a sort-of-successfull and widely recognized character like Lightning for his A Realm Reborn or any other project he'll work for in future :)

(Yeah, I'm in supporter-mode again! Though I dislike Light as is in XIII-2 and probably will end up hating her as in LR. She was so perfect in XIII... then all ruined. From my favorite FF character ever, to one of the most pointless being). Gotta stick with Toriyama's worlds anyway, afterall is the only one giving me games to play in the series from 2009.
 

Grivenger

Matsuno's Goebbels
Feb 26, 2006
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Toriyama is well-known for his excellence at satisfying his fans. His stories and gameplay visions hit right in the spot, and no one leaves them without thinking "Toriyama has perfected the Final Fantasy experience!". Revolutionary ideas like giving a Charlie's Angel feel and theme and scrapping the focus on storytelling to the anticipated sequel of a heavily story-driven game, retconning FFXIII's ending, scraping the world building and creating new rules out of nowhere, anti-climatic events, bare-bones character development and thematic lines repeated and stretched for hours, huge focus on subplots while the main plots are left to walls of text from the villain's mouth and the datalog, and of course, the sudden Deus Ex Machinas that pop up out of nowhere and magically fix everything because.

The dialogue in the trailer is pure poetic Beauty, and I'm absolutely sure that people will leave very satisfied with a well-crafted, profissionally-written conclusion.
 
Jan 27, 2010
5,435
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Toriyama is well-known for his excellence at satisfying his fans. His stories and gameplay visions hit right in the spot, and no one leaves them without thinking "Toriyama has perfected the Final Fantasy experience!". Revolutionary ideas like giving a Charlie's Angel feel and theme and scrapping the focus on storytelling to the anticipated sequel of a heavily story-driven game, retconning FFXIII's ending, scraping the world building and creating new rules out of nowhere, anti-climatic events, bare-bones character development and thematic lines repeated and stretched for hours, huge focus on subplots while the main plots are left to walls of text from the villain's mouth and the datalog, and of course, the sudden Deus Ex Machinas that pop up out of nowhere and magically fix everything because.

The dialogue in the trailer is pure poetic Beauty, and I'm absolutely sure that people will leave very satisfied with a well-crafted, profissionally-written conclusion.
Welllll he didn't exactly recon FF13's ending. It still happened, at least according to Serah. Chaos just stepped in and ruined it.
 

Kagari

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Nov 28, 2007
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Though I'm sure he'd like to create a sort-of-successfull and widely recognized character like Lightning for his A Realm Reborn or any other project he'll work for in future :)

(Yeah, I'm in supporter-mode again! Though I dislike Light as is in XIII-2 and probably will end up hating her as in LR. She was so perfect in XIII... then all ruined. From my favorite FF character ever, to one of the most pointless being). Gotta stick with Toriyama's worlds anyway, afterall is the only one giving me games to play in the series from 2009.
I'm sure ARR will have its own important story characters much like XIV 1.x did.

Toriyama hasn't been the only one releasing games if you look at handheld releases, which for the most part have been fantastic. I wish you'd stop saying that there's been nothing else - perhaps on console, but even then there's been stuff like Nier - but handheld games have been plenty good since 2009.

Toriyama is well-known for his excellence at satisfying his fans. His stories and gameplay visions hit right in the spot, and no one leaves them without thinking "Toriyama has perfected the Final Fantasy experience!". Revolutionary ideas like giving a Charlie's Angel feel and theme and scrapping the focus on storytelling to the anticipated sequel of a heavily story-driven game, retconning FFXIII's ending, scraping the world building and creating new rules out of nowhere, anti-climatic events, bare-bones character development and thematic lines repeated and stretched for hours, huge focus on subplots while the main plots are left to walls of text from the villain's mouth and the datalog, and of course, the sudden Deus Ex Machinas that pop up out of nowhere and magically fix everything because.

The dialogue in the trailer is pure poetic Beauty, and I'm absolutely sure that people will leave very satisfied with a well-crafted, profissionally-written conclusion.
You really are my favorite poster :)
 

Perfo

Thirteen flew over the cuckoo's nest
Aug 22, 2010
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I'm sure ARR will have its own important story characters much like XIV 1.x did.
Never heard of any particular character from that game. They didn't have the same impact on the community probably or else we would be talking about those I guess.

Toriyama hasn't been the only one releasing games if you look at handheld releases, which for the most part have been fantastic. I wish you'd stop saying that there's been nothing else - perhaps on console, but even then there's been stuff like Nier - but handheld games have been plenty good since 2009.
I'm speaking only of home console games of course, S-E's output on portables have been great so far and costant. Though I'll not consider NieR good enough to be put close to XIII and XIII-2. Thus Toriyama's my only saviour in regards to console gaming.
 
Aug 4, 2007
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Revolutionary ideas like giving a Charlie's Angel feel and theme
Heh. Its probably the eggnog, but I have this disturbing image of him working late at night when everyone else is gone home, listening to Lady Marmalade on an ipod and singing "Hey sista, go sista, soul sista, flow sista" to some Lighting shrine he's made there. I mean, Chocolina looks like it walked off the set of that video, right? Moca Chocolina ya ya.
 
Sep 13, 2011
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Never heard of any particular character from that game. They didn't have the same impact on the community probably or else we would be talking about those I guess.
Lightning's impact wasn't that positive, contrary to what you believe. Just because she's shoved up our asses with every game doesn't mean she's wanted. She is recognized though, I guess.
 

Dark Schala

Eloquent Princess
Mar 2, 2010
20,614
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The Land of Bagged Milk
FF12 was the most Aeana-friendly FF in terms of men. Big fan of Balthier, Basch, and Vossler. Yoshida gets me.
Huh, I guess we can have a similar taste in men from time to time. Who would've thought.

Femmeworth said:
The Kitase guarantee, eh?
I wouldn't put much stock into that at present.

Need to pick this apart very briefly because I'm cooking.

Lightning uses “Styles” in battle. Each Style consists of a certain weapon, shield, accessories, and abilities.
This is a good. Styles are essentially your paradigms, and the weapon, shield, accessory, ability might contribute certain attacks. Whether or not more than one active/passive skills come with each portion of the armour remains to be seen. I'd like to hope so. Customization of said stuff in the vein of FFX or something would be kind of nice, I guess.

The battle system name has not yet been determined. Right now, they’re calling it the “Amazing ATB” battle system. Rest assured, it’s tentative.
...Nothing about any of the battle footage seemed amazing to me. Thank goodness it's tentative because I'd like to see hubris bite them in the ass if they kept the name.

Half of the game’s monsters are new.
...I'd have a chuckle to myself if by "new" they mean new monster names but they're palette swaps with stat multipliers. But I'll give them credit if the monsters are indeed new.

I wouldn't mind modified versions of the Undying if they aren't gimped like they were in FF13-2. Because man, that was a huge disappointment. Good that we got to fight Zenobia, but bad that they gimped some of my favourite Undying monsters. Went from loving Attacus to wondering why the hell it was so easy to kill a palette swap of him in the sequel.

Black haze will appear in specific areas at certain times. The new area will become monster territory.
Crystal Bearers? ~_^

Toriyama is well-known for his excellence at satisfying his fans. His stories and gameplay visions hit right in the spot, and no one leaves them without thinking "Toriyama has perfected the Final Fantasy experience!". Revolutionary ideas like giving a Charlie's Angel feel and theme and scrapping the focus on storytelling to the anticipated sequel of a heavily story-driven game, retconning FFXIII's ending, scraping the world building and creating new rules out of nowhere, anti-climatic events, bare-bones character development and thematic lines repeated and stretched for hours, huge focus on subplots while the main plots are left to walls of text from the villain's mouth and the datalog, and of course, the sudden Deus Ex Machinas that pop up out of nowhere and magically fix everything because.

The dialogue in the trailer is pure poetic Beauty, and I'm absolutely sure that people will leave very satisfied with a well-crafted, profissionally-written conclusion.
Daaaaaaaaaamn.

I love the bolded. This is honestly one of my biggest issues with the FF13 games. Don't tell me. Show me. Video games are medium where you can use many facets to tell your narrative. If you aren't taking proper advantage of that, then why bother telling your story with the medium in the first place? Write a book instead. You put so much thought and effort into facial animations (and shit, put the same amount of thought in character animations and movement so they can finally be meaningful enough to tell your story as opposed to giving me reams of text and dialogue to understand it because you don't need all of that conversation to say what you mean as actions may speak louder than words), so use them. Use them to tell your story like you did before. That's why I loved FF's animations in the past. You didn't need dialogue to tell me what was going on. Characters animating told me what was going on and I could have interpreted what they were doing to tell the story myself. I don't get it.
 
Oct 14, 2011
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Toriyama is well-known for his excellence at satisfying his fans. His stories and gameplay visions hit right in the spot, and no one leaves them without thinking "Toriyama has perfected the Final Fantasy experience!". Revolutionary ideas like giving a Charlie's Angel feel and theme and scrapping the focus on storytelling to the anticipated sequel of a heavily story-driven game, retconning FFXIII's ending, scraping the world building and creating new rules out of nowhere, anti-climatic events, bare-bones character development and thematic lines repeated and stretched for hours, huge focus on subplots while the main plots are left to walls of text from the villain's mouth and the datalog, and of course, the sudden Deus Ex Machinas that pop up out of nowhere and magically fix everything because.

The dialogue in the trailer is pure poetic Beauty, and I'm absolutely sure that people will leave very satisfied with a well-crafted, profissionally-written conclusion.


Beautiful, I could not have said it any better myself.
 
May 14, 2012
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The dialogue in the trailer is pure poetic Beauty, and I'm absolutely sure that people will leave very satisfied with a well-crafted, profissionally-written conclusion.
Do you actually hate any of the dialogue in this extremely short trailer, or do you just keep piling on things to hate because of pure momentum?

Hope's lines were fine. Lightning had like, two lines. They were both fine. What are you talking about?


is well-known for his excellence at satisfying his fans. His stories and gameplay visions hit right in the spot, and no one leaves them without thinking "Toriyama has perfected the Final Fantasy experience!".
His fans probably do like his stuff and feel satisfied with 3 games. That's why they're fans. His critics are never going to be satisfied. Even then, he puts in quite a bit of effort into trying to appease them too: NPCs, sidequests, non-linearity, several mini-games, dialogue choices, multiple endings, multiple collectible party members, can switch leader in battle, can switch leader after dying, full control over movement and positioning in LR. I probably forgot a few, but now he's taken out auto-battle completely, and LR has a more open world than ever. I'm sure his fans are looking forward to it. His critics will seemingly never acknowledge a single positive thing he's ever done.

Revolutionary ideas like giving a Charlie's Angel feel and theme and scrapping the focus on storytelling to the anticipated sequel of a heavily story-driven game,
He tried to cut some of the old baggage from JRPGs, and streamline it in an attempt to appeal to a wider console audience. It's the same thing Bethesda and Bioware did this gen. They limited options and streamlined it compared to older offerings, and made the combat as much into action as they could, each in their own unique way. Nothing about that is weird, or out of the ordinary at all this gen.

He didn't scrap the focus on storytelling. The whole focus of XIII was storytelling over gameplay. The focus of XIII-2 is gameplay. The focus of XIII-3 is the world changing and evolving. XIII was linear so you didn't miss any of the story. It had tons of cutscenes and character development, and focused on the cast a lot more than FFXII did. What are you talking about here?

As far as Charlie's Angels, I liked X-2. It was something different. Seemed more like a JPOP idol thing than Charlie's Angels. And he tied the fashion aspect of it into a really robust job system, and fun battle system. I don't see the big problem here.

The ending wasn't retconned. The whole point of the entire adventure in XIII-2 is that Serah is screaming in her village, "it isn't retconned, why don't you guys believe me?" She's saying that it's an illusion, and she remembers the original ending with Lightning surviving. The whole adventure starts when Noel believes her. The whole story is based on it not being retconned. This is literally the beginning of the game.

scraping the world building and creating new rules out of nowhere,
It's not out of nowhere. XIII, XIII-2, and LR's events were all built up ever since the mythology of FNC was first created. Yeul's prophecies were in XIII also.

And what does scraping world-building even mean? LR is all about the evolving world of Novus Partus. They literally put it up on fucking power-point slides: "World Driven."

anti-climatic events,
Like the ending to XIII-2? That was pretty climactic. What are you talking about?

bare-bones character development
Each character goes through a character arc that transforms who they are over the course of their journey. The group starts at each other's throats and splinter off into pairs. Each group finds a way to overcome their demons and find some kind of peace and support within the group, and then when they all meet, they're different people. Hope grows up, Lightning finds compassion, Snow realizes his faults, Sazh starts to overcome his grief over Dajh, Fang and Vanille change from destroyers of Cocoon to its saviors. Each character hits a low point in the series when their faults are highlighted, and they have to battle their Eidolon. Then they overcome them. All the scenes that people call "melodramatic garbage" are character development scenes, and there's a ton of them.

Serah certainly grows a lot as a character throughout XIII-2. Noel has an interesting transformation as well as his
memory starts to fade, and he grapples with the temptations of the chaos dreamworld
. Hope changes a ton in XIII-2 as well.

and thematic lines repeated and stretched for hours,
That's like all RPGs. Apparently it still wasn't repeated enough. I can't tell you how many people I see comment that they don't know any of the story of XIII because they can't learn 3 new vocabulary words and pay attention.

huge focus on subplots
Sounds good to me.

while the main plots are left to walls of text from the villain's mouth and the datalog,
The villain in XIII could have been handled better, I agree. The villain in XIII-2 certainly got a ton more focus though. And the only stuff about the main plot that was really left to the datalog was some aspects of the mythology. The main plot was pretty straightforward, and you could catch it all in the normal game and cutscenes. Lots of people did.

and of course, the sudden Deus Ex Machinas that pop up out of nowhere and magically fix everything because.
The ending to XIII is a little DEM for sure, but I still liked it. It definitely didn't fix everything.
Two of the main characters basically died at the end of XIII, and Cocoon wasn't saved either. It just was prevented from entirely destroying Pulse also. And don't get me started on XIII-2. The two main characters basically die, the villain wins and the world is on the verge of ending. Hardly "magically fixing everything."
XIII-2's ending is almost the exact opposite of a DEM. It was foreshadowed for most of the game, and the player was unable to change it or prevent it.

The fact that posts like this get praised so much is really the main thing wrong with every FF discussion here. Most of this isn't even factual. It's just bitching about Toriyama theories you guys made up and convinced yourselves they're actually true.
 
There are some new details that have been added to the "source" Gematsu got its stuff from:
-To travel between places quickly you can use the monorail system, or just go walking.
-Things are connected in a typical open-world-like fashion.
-They're working on expanding the world right now.
-They began by laying out each map and now each is going through various adjustments.
-Regarding each continent, they're doing each one by one and now they're having fun figuring out how to connect them.
-In Final Fantasy XIII, each day had 26 hours, but since shit happened the time of each day has diminished to 24.
Then there's some thing I don't really think I understand correctly so somebody else can try translating it:
 時間によって閉まる門があって強い敵と戦ってると戦闘終了後門がしまってたり戦闘中も時間がながれるか
Now...
-The game ends in 13 days, as we all know, but whether you can go beyond 13 days or not is a secret. If you play skillfully you can clear the game in about 2 or 4 days.
-Because of that there are many different ways to get to the ending.
-While the ending doesn't really change, the things that happen before like events and such do, which makes multiple playthroughs fun.
-Battles are controlled via pushing buttons, this way you don't have to pay attention to menu selections but you do have to keep a close watch over your ATB bar.

...
The more I think about it the more it seems like they're drawing inspiration from FFCCTCB.
TCB had new events on subsequent playthroughs, the whole black haze thing, a sole playable character whose clothes/accessories you could customize, the monorail thing...
 
Nov 16, 2010
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Toriyama is well-known for his excellence at satisfying his fans. His stories and gameplay visions hit right in the spot, and no one leaves them without thinking "Toriyama has perfected the Final Fantasy experience!". Revolutionary ideas like giving a Charlie's Angel feel and theme and scrapping the focus on storytelling to the anticipated sequel of a heavily story-driven game, retconning FFXIII's ending, scraping the world building and creating new rules out of nowhere, anti-climatic events, bare-bones character development and thematic lines repeated and stretched for hours, huge focus on subplots while the main plots are left to walls of text from the villain's mouth and the datalog, and of course, the sudden Deus Ex Machinas that pop up out of nowhere and magically fix everything because.

The dialogue in the trailer is pure poetic Beauty, and I'm absolutely sure that people will leave very satisfied with a well-crafted, profissionally-written conclusion.
That...was beautiful.

The fact that posts like this get praised so much is really the main thing wrong with every FF discussion here. Most of this isn't even factual. It's just bitching about Toriyama theories you guys made up and convinced yourselves they're actually true.
Nope. His post is very factual.

If anything, your essay like post trying to extrapolate so much information is worse. Character arc? Ha. FFXIII's character arcs are essentially two or three scenes. It's a fourty hour game. It's thin development which is stretched endlessly. For example, Lightning's character development amounts to monologuing. That's how shit it is. Ending is a little deus ex machina? A little? It is deus ex machina. Not just a little. Two characters dying doesn't change that. You like the game, yes. Nothing wrong with his post though. It's a very succinct summary of the failure that is FFXIII.
 

Grivenger

Matsuno's Goebbels
Feb 26, 2006
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1. The dialogue in the trailer was typical Toriyama/ Watanabe "quality". The forced, obvious puns with Light, the uninspired religious tones, the over-reliance on monologues to express world-building that could very well be better expressed through the actions and behaviour of the characters and the citizens, and especially monologues that are devoid of any personality and character traits, filled instead with cliché metaphors to "look deep". The dialogue in LR's trailer is bad poetry, devoid of life, and gets way too monotonous at telling the story, so in other words, it's also bad storytelling. It's respectively pretentious and unexciting - but of course, there's always a minority that enjoys it, and this happens with everything else, no one can change that.

2. Let's not call all the critics mindless. When an artist - any artist gets extremely criticized and the best argument is that "lol critics are blinded/ they will never like it", I wonder, is that artist just but a poor victim? (Probably not). It's normal for an artist to put a lot of effort at appealing to unfavoured criticism. But while some try to understand the importance, the meaning or the essence behind what the consumers want, others simply make a list out of all suggestions and throw it into their next product. This was never good game design, it leads to an unfocused game for the sake of fan-service. The key here is the execution - what those elements bring to the table, and more importantly, what holes do they create when they are removed? Toriyama never grasped this, or else he would have compensated the removal of those elements with new ones for the original FFXIII, nor understood that people like them for several reasons, and not simply because "they exist" (because that's not enough for people to like them). Also, art/ design is generally ungrateful - some put a lot of effort into something and never achieve anything for a long time, without understanding why that is the case, while others have a talent or quickly grasp how things work, and get better results in less time. It happens. Doesn't makes Toriyama any better.

3. Was talking about FFX-2 when I meant he scrapped the focus on story-telling. And Toriyama himself said that in interviews when reacting to the negative reception of FFX-2's story.

For the record, I also enjoy FFX-2 decently, after accepting what it is. But it could and should have its own IP. My main point in the last post was about Toriyama understanding what the FF fans want from the series (which he barely does). When you decide to create a sequel for a game with a tight and focused story, the people that will buy it are those who enjoyed what the former game was, and want more of it, and see what happens next. Taking Yuna, whom people see as dedicated, focused and conservative/ shy but respectful character, that is more mature than the normal for her age, and giving her a Charlie's Angels-esque new attitude, with Rikku-like dialogue and extremely childish-dumb sentences typical of a teenager that never had serious responsabiltiy in her hands, is not exactly a good decision (and before you come in and explain why it makes sense that she opened up, the problem is - like everything Toriyama, not the idea but the absurd execution). And deciding on purpose to make a bare-bones story for the sequel of FFX is not any better. It's as if The Dark Knight, Lord of the Rings: Two Towers or Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back also followed similar routes. They could even turn out to be decent regardless, but it's not a proper way to treat and satisfy the followers of the original product.

4. FFXIII's ending was retconned because there was literally nothing in the original game that implied what happened to Lightning. Nothing. It's as clear as day that Toriyama only got this idea after FFXIII was done and out. No dialogue in the sequel can argue against that, because that's a band-aid fix - it was never implied, foreshadowed or anything in the original game.

About the characters, yes, their development is extremely shallow. It basically feels like a rough draft, with very little behind that.
Hope grows up (accepts reality) by realizing the obvious, and then becomes a motivational-speech robot generator. And with a forced retcon to his arch after its conclusion, for the sake of an Eidolon. The entire Lightning's arch conclusions can basically be summed in two simple things: she became a little less bitchy than she was at the beginning, and she changed her entire philosophy about the fal'cie suddenly, only to completely contradict it/ ignore it later. Sazh was interesting, but his desperate motivations for boarding the train completely contradict the behaviour he had since then. Snow realizes something only to forget and completely ignore it right after, with no consequences. His "development" - whatever little was there, could very well not be there, because his attitude in the beginning is his attitude for the entire game, and it gives him the results he wanted. Especially dreadful writing here. Fangs is another bare-bones character with some small but relevant development at the end. Vanille is probably the only character in the entire game with a rich(er) character arch.

But if consider character development not only the archs - but everything about those characters, it only gets worse. Not only for the dialogue and the stretched "development", but the characters in FFXIII almost never show any personality or unique character traits outside of the skeleton of their character archs. What I mean by this is, they are dictated by their (single) archs, and hardly anything more than what their archs demand them to be.

And because examples are sometimes the best way to make a point, let's look at some other FF characters. FFVIII, maybe? Yeah, that game was seriously lacking in char. develop. too, but let's look at, say, Squall? How many archs did he have? The one with his sister, that made him strong as a rock. The one with Rinoa, that opens him up. At least two, right? Oh, and the one related to his responsabilities for his mission, that reaches its climax when he accepts the leadership of the Garden, but still continues after then. Three? And all those archs cross and interact with each other in a logically manner. And they are presented through the story naturally, not in one-two sudden cutscenes that drastically change his philosophy of life as it happened with Lightning. Squall's a complex character (web or archs instead or one or two simple archs loosely tied together) who also gets more natural development because it's not condensed in 2-4 cutscenes with sudden changes (although one can argue that Squall's change in attitude in the beginning of disk 3 was also a bit sudden, it certainly makes perfect sense due to the context).

I could probably give more examples. Let's say, Cloud? Oh, he has a lot of story juice too. One of his character archs is related with his past, Tifa, the promise and how he got the job. He had another arch about mess with Zack/ Sephiroth/ experiments that lead to his iconic Cloud/ Sephiroth relationship arch (and this one is complex too, because it's in reality several archs tied into one: zack's arch with sephiroth, ill cloud's arch, present cloud/ sephiroth interaction)... And then we have his arch with Aerith, and finally a sub-arch for Barret and the planet. If I'm not forgetting anything. To put it bluntly, Cloud has probably as many character archs as the entire cast of FFXIII, and most (all?) of his are more fleshed out, too. It only makes FFXIII look pitiful in comparison.

Finally, blaming the people because the writers not only couldn't bother to explain their made-up words properly, but also because they made them sound way too similar to each other, is not a good idea. The primary role of the writer is to communicate. If they can't properly communicate, if thing are more confusing than they should, then it is the writer's fault.
 
Apr 21, 2009
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The fact that posts like this get praised so much is really the main thing wrong with every FF discussion here. Most of this isn't even factual. It's just bitching about Toriyama theories you guys made up and convinced yourselves they're actually true.
He did a good enough job of explaining himself in the post above, but man I can't believe anyone thinks this. My mind cannot comprehend anyone being perfectly fine with this direction.
 
Nov 16, 2010
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About the characters, yes, their development is extremely shallow. It basically feels like a rough draft, with very little behind that.
Hope grows up (accepts reality) by realizing the obvious, and then becomes a motivational-speech robot generator. And with a forced retcon to his arch after its concluded, for the sake of an Eidolon. The entire Lightning's arch conclusions can basically be summed in two simple things: she became a little less bitchy than she was at the beginning, and she changed her entire philosophy about the fal'cie suddenly, only to completely contradict it/ ignore it later. Sazh was interesting, but his desperate motivations for boarding the train completely contradict the behaviour he had since then. Snow realizes something only to forget and completely ignore it right after, with no consequences. His "development" - whatever little was there, could very well not be there, because his attitude in the beginning is his attitude for the entire game, and it gives him the results he wanted. Especially dreadful writing here. Fangs is another bare-bones character with some small but relevant development at the end. Vanille is probably the only character in the entire game with a rich(er) character arch.

But if consider character development only only the archs - but everything about those characters, it only gets worse. Not only for the dialogue and the stretched "development", but the characters in FFXIII almost never show any personality or unique character traits outside of the skeleton of their character archs. What I mean by this is, they are dictated by their (single) archs, and hardly anything more than what their archs demand them to be.

And because examples are sometimes the best way to make a point, let's look at some other FF characters. FFVIII, maybe? Yeah, that game was seriously lacking in char. develop. too, but let's look at, say, Squall? How many archs did he have? The one with his sister, that made him strong as stone. The one with Rinoa, that opens him up. At least two, right? Oh, and the one related to his responsabilities for his mission, that gets tis proper conclusing when he accepts the leadership of the Garden. Three? And all those archs cross and interact with each other in a logically manner. And they are presented through the story naturally, not in one-two sudden cutscenes that drastically change his philosophy of life as it happened with Lightning. That's a complex character.

I could probably give more examples. Let's say, Cloud? Oh, he has a lot of story juice too. His arch with his past, Tifa, the promise and how he got the job. His past mess with Zack/ Sephiroth/ experiments that lead to his iconic Cloud/ Sephiroth relationship arch (and this one is complex too, because it's in reality several archs tied into one: zack's arch with sephiroth, ill cloud, present cloud with sephiroth). And then we have his arch with Aerith, and finally a sub-arch for Barret and the planet. If I'm not forgetting anything. To put it bluntly, Cloud has probably as many character archs as the entire cast of FFXIII, and most (all?) of his are more fleshed out, too. It only makes FFXIII look pitiful in comparison.

Finally, blaming the people because the writers not only couldn't bother to explain their made-up words properly, but also because they made them sound way too similar, is not a good idea. The primary role of the writer is to communicate. If they can't properly communicate, it is their fault.
Another great post.

Just going to point out this particular part of it. Just like you said, previous main characters in FF tended to have a lot more focus in terms of characters arcs. Cloud for example who has several and is probably the most complex character in the series. FFXIII's cast had arcs that amounted to what you'd see in secondary characters in earlier FF games. For example, Vincent in FFVII has a character arc just as strong as anyone in FFXIII, and he's an optional character in the game! Part of his development is done through optional scenes. But it's also handled with more subtlety and the execution doesn't feel so amateurish.

It's why it all feels so shallow in FFXIII. We're given such a long game, but the characters are one dimensional and feel artificial. There isn't enough material there. It's just the same stuff regurgitated.
 
Nov 16, 2010
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Once again, quite unfortunate how he was butchered in Crisis Core and Advent Children, into this, quiet, squall-type. They even got him a terrible voice actor in english..
Yeah, it's quite the disconnect. He's more awkward in FFVII than anything else, but still confident and well spoken. Whereas, it seems they later confused that awkwardness (which he'd inevitably feel considering he's adjusting to being normal again) with being the shy, quiet type. It's like they regressed him to his childhood personality rather than the one he had when he finally got his bearings again after the lifestream. I think AC could be chalked up to him suffering from depression considering both him and his adopted son are about to die (he does show a slight sign of cockiness in the final fight), but they haven't quite nailed the same feel with him in the rest of the compilation. It's like two different people. The english robot who voices him doesn't help.
 
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Yeah, it's quite the disconnect. He's more awkward in FFVII than anything else, but still confident and well spoken. Whereas, it seems they later confused that awkwardness (which he'd inevitably feel considering he's adjusting to being normal again) with being the shy, quiet type. It's like they regressed him to his childhood personality rather than the one he had when he finally got his bearings again after the lifestream. I think AC could be chalked up to him suffering from depression considering both him and his adopted son are about to die (he does show a slight sign of cockiness in the final fight), but they haven't quite nailed the same feel with him in the rest of the compilation. It's like two different people. The english robot who voices him doesn't help.
Absolutely.

I love FF7, but I cannot stand all the "fanservice" compilation games they did.

I ask myself, just what fans were they servicing when they did those? Because it damn sure wasn't me.
 

Kagari

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I could probably give more examples. Let's say, Cloud? Oh, he has a lot of story juice too. One of his character archs is related with his past, Tifa, the promise and how he got the job. He had another arch about mess with Zack/ Sephiroth/ experiments that lead to his iconic Cloud/ Sephiroth relationship arch (and this one is complex too, because it's in reality several archs tied into one: zack's arch with sephiroth, ill cloud's arch, present cloud/ sephiroth interaction)... And then we have his arch with Aerith, and finally a sub-arch for Barret and the planet. If I'm not forgetting anything. To put it bluntly, Cloud has probably as many character archs as the entire cast of FFXIII, and most (all?) of his are more fleshed out, too. It only makes FFXIII look pitiful in comparison.

Finally, blaming the people because the writers not only couldn't bother to explain their made-up words properly, but also because they made them sound way too similar to each other, is not a good idea. The primary role of the writer is to communicate. If they can't properly communicate, if thing are more confusing than they should, then it is the writer's fault.
Kind of crazy when you spell it out like that. I haven't touched FFXIII since 2009 so I've put most of it out my mind... but you're right about the earlier games focusing more on the individual character arcs... and really, that's what made them excel. I love playing the PS1 era games especially because they have characters that grow and cause me to care about them through their struggles, their happiness and ultimately their fates. FFXIII simply lacked those sort of emotional connections on any level.
 

Grivenger

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I appreciate FFXII's and FFXIII's attempts at focusing on the whole/ most of the cast instead of two or three characters. Afterall, it worked with FFVI.

With FFXII, well, it was implied that entire character archs for Vaan/ Penelo/ Sky Pirates were scrapped and the whole thing was incomplete. But Matsuno made it work with Vagrant Story, even though FFT and TO focused on fewer characters like what Nojima usually does.

With FFXIII, it was just beyond Toriyama's skills. Toriyama gave us the illusion that all characters were equally developed/ important by giving a lot of screen time to each of them, and having most of them cross and conclude in climax scenes in chapter 7-8, and it was certainly a cool idea. I even appreciated those chapters the most out of the entire story. But ultimately, there's a lot more to building a (character-driven) story than just crossing archs and climaxes, and a lot more to character development than simple archs and screen time. It felt like as if Toriyama/ Watanabe (?) were taking their first steps in learning how to write a solid story, by focusing on doing a few things right, while everything else falling apart.
 
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Wasn't FF13 first reveal trailer just lightning? and no one else? maybe they should have gone with that in the first place, because the group ranged from annoying to extremely annoying through the game
 
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This thread is interesting because you really see the two sides of the current FF fanbase. Those who hate Toriyama with a passion and hope every FF connected to him fails and hurts the series and those who while not LOVING Toriyama, accepts each game, faults and all.

For the record, I agree with Shinto's evaluation than Grivenger.
For example, what people seem to misunderstand about Hope's arc was that his 'backtracking' was actually the result of two things: his brand accelerating and a week of futility in Pulse. He's also just a kid. Does any real kid, no matter how positive he tries to portray himself as, really stay true to this optimism when faced with an increasingly bleak situation? And Lightning changed more than you give her credit for: she grew from being an overprotecting b*tch to caring (and training) Hope and accepting Snow for what he is and Serah for her choices.
Toriyama is not a good writer but I do think his characters are able to shine somewhat despite the limitations.

Whatever LR ends up being in the end, I would wager this will be Toriyama's last FF game from a critical point of view. However, the FF13 series is at what...9 million shipped? I doubt SE as a company is THAT distressed over his input in the series.

But hey, one polarizing game is going to sink this series, right?

I would be far more concerned by how poor the game market is in Japan when FF13-2 was the highest selling PS3 game and RPG (is MH classified as an RPG???) last year and did not break a million. I do not know what kind of RPG can really save it now....
 

Dark Schala

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If I had a Simon Cowell gif where he looks at the American Idol contestant in adoration, I'd post it, because Grivenger's made some damn fine posts in this thread addressing my concerns with the FFXIII games's storytelling. I can't say a lot of those concepts better myself. Hope's arc was probably the one that was related to the player the best, but then they had to scale back his development because they forgot to give him his transformer in Chapter 7, which made little sense. But a lot of the stuff in Chapter 11 in terms of pacing and scene ordering made little sense.

btw, Goli, I think that thing you couldn't translate might have been talking about... stronger monsters?

Goli said:
-Battles are controlled via pushing buttons, this way you don't have to pay attention to menu selections but you do have to keep a close watch over your ATB bar.
oooooooh battles where you press buttons to make things happen. :p

ATB bar just seems like it's MP or TP now. Certain actions take up certain "time" or "action points".

Goli said:
The more I think about it the more it seems like they're drawing inspiration from FFCCTCB.
TCB had new events on subsequent playthroughs, the whole black haze thing, a sole playable character whose clothes/accessories you could customize, the monorail thing...
That's what I thought too. Lots of Crystal Bearers stuff in this. Crystal Bearers had a very likeable protagonist in Layle, but some of its gameplay wasn't very refined. The camera was wonky and some of the physics were wonky. If they could possibly refine that style and add things to make it more palatable to FF mainline players, then maybe it might be better off, but it seems like LR is going to be an amalgamation of concepts. This may or may not be a good thing for cohesion.

Um. I do think the Majora's Mask-esque concept of NPCs changing where they are at different time frames (and hopefully per diem) is fine. I would like to see more of that stuff in more games, and if it's executed here well, then I have little qualms.
 
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Wasn't FF13 first reveal trailer just lightning? and no one else? maybe they should have gone with that in the first place, because the group ranged from annoying to extremely annoying through the game
No way, that would mean Sazh wouldn't have been in it, and Sazh is far and away the only likeable character in the entire cast.

ATB bar just seems like it's MP or TP now. Certain actions take up certain "time" or "action points".
Speaking of the original FFXIII reveal, wasn't this how the battle system was in the original FFXIII reveal?

And Grivenger is on point, I don't have anything to add there. It's a sad day when a Final Fantasy cast fails to live up to FFVIII's lofty heights.
 

Grivenger

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For the record, I agree with Shinto's evaluation than Grivenger.
For example, what people seem to misunderstand about Hope's arc was that his 'backtracking' was actually the result of two things: his brand accelerating and a week of futility in Pulse. He's also just a kid. Does any real kid, no matter how positive he tries to portray himself as, really stay true to this optimism when faced with an increasingly bleak situation? And Lightning changed more than you give her credit for: she grew from being an overprotecting b*tch to caring (and training) Hope and accepting Snow for what he is and Serah for her choices.
Toriyama is not a good writer but I do think his characters are able to shine somewhat despite the limitations.

Whatever LR ends up being in the end, I would wager this will be Toriyama's last FF game from a critical point of view. However, the FF13 series is at what...9 million shipped? I doubt SE as a company is THAT distressed over his input in the series.

But hey, one polarizing game is going to sink this series, right?
Well, it's pretty much what I said about Lightning, but maybe I simplified a little bit when I said that she starts as a bitchy character and becomes less bitchy. Or did I? She gets nicer to the party around her. So does Cloud right within the first hour of the game with the members of the Avalanche. Funny enough, that's also when Cloud starts to accept his reality, even though at a much smaller scale than what he must accept later on. :p And clouds shows more personality and attitude during Midgar than Lightning in the entire game, especially when we consider Cloud's inicial relationship with Avalanche, and then when he gets nicer with them, and then with Tifa, and then with Aerith. And we barely know Cloud's true facet at this point of the game. Lightning really isn't much of a character.

EDIT: How many of those shipped numbers are actually sold? Around 5M for FFXIII + (less than) 2 for XIII-2? Around 6.5-7M? Isn't that, like, half of FFX+FFX-2?
 

Dark Schala

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But hey, one polarizing game is going to sink this series, right?
To your credit, every FF game is polarizing and this phenomenon isn't new.

FF14 might have a better chance at sinking the series in terms of the MMO universe.

But there could be concern for having more FF13 games where players keep dropping out or lose interest after every new installment due to disenchantment with the game design or the characters involved. This has been happening for a while before FF13, but they tend to use the FF brand name a lot and attach it to a lot of other games which may or may not be that great. Brand dilution is a lot like chemical dilution--it loses a lot its potential with every use or dilution. If you have a bad dilution, then the stuff won't work as well and people probably won't buy it (plus your results are going to be shit). If you dilute just right, then you can use it for analysis and send it for consumer purchase.

I feel as though, since anecdotally, I haven't seen a lot of people talking about FF lately which is plain weird to me, people might be disenchanted with the FF13 games in general since they'd probably want something new (or a new batch of solution which could have a better chance of passing QC). You know what I'm saying?

I think some people just want to move on at this point. Either they weren't enamoured with the FF13 universe the first or second times and just want something new in terms of Final Fantasy to attach themselves to, or they just... want a new numbered Final Fantasy.

Like... look at this thread. Look at any GAF Final Fantasy thread. Look at how huge they can get with people who don't usually post in FF threads checking new news out and seeing whether or not they'll play the game or discussing what they like or what they didn't like about the other FF13 games. They just want their version of Final Fantasy back. FF13 might not be their vision of Final Fantasy so they might want tabula rasa--a clean slate Final Fantasy to see whether or not SE will appeal to their senses this time.

I don't think people hate Final Fantasy. Going by how big these threads can get and how people discuss other FFs in said threads, they like it. They like the series a lot. They just want to move on from FF13 because they want to return to a series that they had fallen in love with.

Granted, some posters might be incredibly passionate to the point of calling SE to fail for reasons unknown, but then you have a fraction of other posters who just want to return to FF. FF13 is not that FF that they want to return to, and they feel like they've been waiting to return for a while. And they're just getting frustrated and impatient and thus feel the need to vent often.

Speaking of the original FFXIII reveal, wasn't this how the battle system was in the original FFXIII reveal?
Indeed, this system looks like they want to meet FF13's target render's battle system.
 
I was going through the staff comments from the latest Famitsu and Yoshihisa Hashimoto (the former Sega dev that's now working on SE) says basically what Dark Schala said.
The answer to "What is/what makes Final Fantasy?" varies from person to person. For some people, Final Fantasy XIII is Final Fantasy, and Final Fantasy II isn't, while for others, the opposite applies.
Also, in those comments, Toriyama says the part he likes the most about working on FF games is the world building... which is very telling about his work in general if you think about it, as Grivenger says, they're all full of potential badly executed.
 
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I was going through the staff comments from the latest Famitsu and Yoshihisa Hashimoto (the former Sega dev that's now working on SE) says basically what Dark Schala said.
The answer to "What is/what makes Final Fantasy?" varies from person to person. For some people, Final Fantasy XIII is Final Fantasy, and Final Fantasy II isn't, while for others, the opposite applies.
Also, in those comments, Toriyama says the part he likes the most about working on FF games is the world building... which is very telling about his work in general if you think about it, as Grivenger says, they're all full of potential badly executed.
Has someone translated that article yet?
 
Feb 14, 2005
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Kind of crazy when you spell it out like that. I haven't touched FFXIII since 2009 so I've put most of it out my mind... but you're right about the earlier games focusing more on the individual character arcs... and really, that's what made them excel. I love playing the PS1 era games especially because they have characters that grow and cause me to care about them through their struggles, their happiness and ultimately their fates. FFXIII simply lacked those sort of emotional connections on any level.
Personally, I think FF8 lacked the kind of individual arcs that 7 did and it's one of the reason I dislike the same so much. At the point in the story where the group has a revelation of their past, it doesn't do much with individual characters and just treats it as a group arc.
 
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Before I get started on the other post, I just wanted to clarify what the score was on the first post before we move on.

1.
The dialogue in the trailer is pure poetic Beauty, and I'm absolutely sure that people will leave very satisfied with a well-crafted, profissionally-written conclusion.
You addressed this one.

2.
is well-known for his excellence at satisfying his fans. His stories and gameplay visions hit right in the spot, and no one leaves them without thinking "Toriyama has perfected the Final Fantasy experience!".
No rebuttal from you on this one.

3.
Revolutionary ideas like giving a Charlie's Angel feel and theme and scrapping the focus on storytelling to the anticipated sequel of a heavily story-driven game,
You addressed this one.

4. You addressed this one.

5.
scraping the world building and creating new rules out of nowhere,
No rebuttal from you on this one.

6.
anti-climatic events,
No rebuttal from you on this one.

7.
bare-bones character development
You addressed this one.

8.
and thematic lines repeated and stretched for hours,
Similar to your comments on character development, so we'll group these together.

9.
huge focus on subplots
No rebuttal from you on this one. You actually argue in favor of sub-plots in your follow up post, which is a complete reversal.

10.
while the main plots are left to walls of text from the villain's mouth and the datalog,
No rebuttal from you on this one.

11.
and of course, the sudden Deus Ex Machinas that pop up out of nowhere and magically fix everything because.
No rebuttal from you on this one.

-------------------------------------------------------

Okay, moving on to the second post.

1. The dialogue in the trailer was typical Toriyama/ Watanabe "quality". The forced, obvious puns with Light, the uninspired religious tones, the over-reliance on monologues to express world-building that could very well be better expressed through the actions and behaviour of the characters and the citizens, and especially monologues that are devoid of any personality and character traits, filled instead with cliché metaphors to "look deep". The dialogue in LR's trailer is bad poetry, devoid of life, and gets way too monotonous at telling the story, so in other words, it's also bad storytelling. It's respectively pretentious and unexciting - but of course, there's always a minority that enjoys it, and this happens with everything else, no one can change that.
Most of what you're talking about here is two words, "divine light." Hope says the town is deeply religious and driven by strict devotion to their god.

Hope: "Luxerion, the divine city of light and prayer. The residents are taught the ways of salvation and faith. This city is built on the people's belief in their god. However, even in this metropolis lies darkness, untouchable by divine light. That is, those who disregard the teachings of god."

I think Lux is "light" in latin, the city of light. They've been there for centuries in a weird state of immortality. The city has somewhat gone crazy. There is an odd surreal feel to it all, with strange paintings and pictures around and an unusual art design. I just don't think it's that big of a deal if they speak religious terms. To them light and darkness have taken on religious significance. This really feels like it's dialogue entirely fitting to the story.

Let's not forget that their entire world is literally being swallowed by darkness. I think worshiping light makes complete sense.

And really, we're debating like, 3-5 sentences in this trailer and trying to use it to talk about all the dialogue in the game. It's kind of ridiculous. The dialogue seems fine.

2. Let's not call all the critics mindless. When an artist - any artist gets extremely criticized and the best argument is that "lol critics are blinded/ they will never like it", I wonder, is that artist just but a poor victim? (Probably not). It's normal for an artist to put a lot of effort at appealing to unfavoured criticism. But while some try to understand the importance, the meaning or the essence behind what the consumers want, others simply make a list out of all suggestions and throw it into their next product.
You guys started it, and the critics always do in every one of these threads. If you write a bitterly sarcastic post that shits on everything Toriyama has ever done, or will do; basically saying that anyone who likes it at all is out of their minds, then why are you shocked when you get a sharp response from someone who disagrees? If you're asking for all the critics to not be insulted, maybe you guys could start by not insulting the fans of XIII all the time?

This was never good game design, it leads to an unfocused game for the sake of fan-service. The key here is the execution - what those elements bring to the table, and more importantly, what holes do they create when they are removed? Toriyama never grasped this, or else he would have compensated the removal of those elements with new ones for the original FFXIII, nor understood that people like them for several reasons, and not simply because "they exist" (because that's not enough for people to like them). Also, art/ design is generally ungrateful - some put a lot of effort into something and never achieve anything for a long time, without understanding why that is the case, while others have a talent or quickly grasp how things work, and get better results in less time. It happens. Doesn't makes Toriyama any better.
Okay, this is a different point. An unfocused game for the sake of fan-service? I'm trying to understand what you mean here, but honestly, I'm not really following. I don't know what you're talking about with art design being ungrateful either. Some kind of art philosophy point I'm not really getting, so expand on it a bit if you want me to respond please.

3. Was talking about FFX-2 when I meant he scrapped the focus on story-telling. And Toriyama himself said that in interviews when reacting to the negative reception of FFX-2's story.

For the record, I also enjoy FFX-2 decently, after accepting what it is. But it could and should have its own IP. My main point in the last post was about Toriyama understanding what the FF fans want from the series (which he barely does). When you decide to create a sequel for a game with a tight and focused story, the people that will buy it are those who enjoyed what the former game was, and want more of it, and see what happens next. Taking Yuna, whom people see as dedicated, focused and conservative/ shy but respectful character, that is more mature than the normal for her age, and giving her a Charlie's Angels-esque new attitude, with Rikku-like dialogue and extremely childish-dumb sentences typical of a teenager that never had serious responsabiltiy in her hands, is not exactly a good decision (and before you come in and explain why it makes sense that she opened up, the problem is - like everything Toriyama, not the idea but the absurd execution). And deciding on purpose to make a bare-bones story for the sequel of FFX is not any better. It's as if The Dark Knight, Lord of the Rings: Two Towers or Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back also followed similar routes. They could even turn out to be decent regardless, but it's not a proper way to treat and satisfy the followers of the original product.
If you don't have any real issues with X-2, I'm going to just move on from this point too since we're talking about XIII anyway. X-2 isn't my favorite game in the series either, but I enjoyed it. It was definitely an interesting experiment. Let's call this one a draw and just move on.

4. FFXIII's ending was retconned because there was literally nothing in the original game that implied what happened to Lightning. Nothing. It's as clear as day that Toriyama only got this idea after FFXIII was done and out. No dialogue in the sequel can argue against that, because that's a band-aid fix - it was never implied, foreshadowed or anything in the original game.
I disagree. In my opinion it follows the logic of the universe, and the rules and plot of XIII pretty closely if you think about it. The plot of Barthandelus was to crash Cocoon into Pulse so the flood of the dead would open up the door to the unseen world, which he believed (incorrectly) to be a paradise for the gods.

He nearly succeeded. All the Fal'cie on Cocoon perished, some people definitely did not survive the crash, and Cocoon came hurtling down and nearly destroyed Pulse, as we all know. Cocoon wasn't really saved either. It's now encased in crystal, and mostly uninhabitable.

So even though Fang and Vanille averted that huge trauma, major damage was still done. Is that enough to create a tiny little rip in the fabric of reality? I'd say that's not really a huge stretch, by any means. A tiny little rip opened up to unseen realm, and enough chaos spilled out to disrupt the timeline. Etro seized this opportunity to call on Lightning before she was entirely swallowed by Chaos, to grant her powers, and to explain the dire situation they're all in. From Valhalla she could see all of time, and she saw for herself the extinction of the human race, and everything she'd ever known and loved.

It's definitely a little abrupt for her to then pledge allegiance to Etro after her constant struggle against the fal'cie. I get that. But Etro is a real god, and literally the creator of all of humanity, the creator of souls, the one who sent them Eidolons when they were in danger. And saving humanity isn't really a big change for Lightning.

So, I don't agree that none of it was set up. It all fits in my opinion.

About the characters, yes, their development is extremely shallow. It basically feels like a rough draft, with very little behind that.
Hope grows up (accepts reality) by realizing the obvious, and then becomes a motivational-speech robot generator. And with a forced retcon to his arch after its conclusion, for the sake of an Eidolon. The entire Lightning's arch conclusions can basically be summed in two simple things: she became a little less bitchy than she was at the beginning, and she changed her entire philosophy about the fal'cie suddenly, only to completely contradict it/ ignore it later. Sazh was interesting, but his desperate motivations for boarding the train completely contradict the behaviour he had since then. Snow realizes something only to forget and completely ignore it right after, with no consequences. His "development" - whatever little was there, could very well not be there, because his attitude in the beginning is his attitude for the entire game, and it gives him the results he wanted. Especially dreadful writing here. Fangs is another bare-bones character with some small but relevant development at the end. Vanille is probably the only character in the entire game with a rich(er) character arch.

But if consider character development not only the archs - but everything about those characters, it only gets worse. Not only for the dialogue and the stretched "development", but the characters in FFXIII almost never show any personality or unique character traits outside of the skeleton of their character archs. What I mean by this is, they are dictated by their (single) archs, and hardly anything more than what their archs demand them to be.

And because examples are sometimes the best way to make a point, let's look at some other FF characters. FFVIII, maybe? Yeah, that game was seriously lacking in char. develop. too, but let's look at, say, Squall? How many archs did he have? The one with his sister, that made him strong as a rock. The one with Rinoa, that opens him up. At least two, right? Oh, and the one related to his responsabilities for his mission, that reaches its climax when he accepts the leadership of the Garden, but still continues after then. Three? And all those archs cross and interact with each other in a logically manner. And they are presented through the story naturally, not in one-two sudden cutscenes that drastically change his philosophy of life as it happened with Lightning. Squall's a complex character (web or archs instead or one or two simple archs loosely tied together) who also gets more natural development because it's not condensed in 2-4 cutscenes with sudden changes (although one can argue that Squall's change in attitude in the beginning of disk 3 was also a bit sudden, it certainly makes perfect sense due to the context).

I could probably give more examples. Let's say, Cloud? Oh, he has a lot of story juice too. One of his character archs is related with his past, Tifa, the promise and how he got the job. He had another arch about mess with Zack/ Sephiroth/ experiments that lead to his iconic Cloud/ Sephiroth relationship arch (and this one is complex too, because it's in reality several archs tied into one: zack's arch with sephiroth, ill cloud's arch, present cloud/ sephiroth interaction)... And then we have his arch with Aerith, and finally a sub-arch for Barret and the planet. If I'm not forgetting anything. To put it bluntly, Cloud has probably as many character archs as the entire cast of FFXIII, and most (all?) of his are more fleshed out, too. It only makes FFXIII look pitiful in comparison.
Okay, this is really your only real point here. So when I said that:

Most of this isn't even factual. It's just bitching about Toriyama theories you guys made up and convinced yourselves they're actually true.
I was basically right. You've latched on to just the character development part of your post, which was 4 words, and expanded on it. On all the rest, I don't think you really have any points.

I already said the vision behind XIII was streamlining the game, and making it more action-oriented. There aren't really a lot of side quests in XIII. The game also really only takes place over a series of 2, maybe 4 days in their world? It really flies by. They're on the run, and they're fugitives. They have a brand on their body that will kill them if they even delay, or get upset. There's just not going to be as much time spent sitting around and doing random side quests and character development stuff.

The PS1 games spend more time on the main characters, but they're really completely different games, and they're going for totally different things. The world of FFVII and FFVIII isn't as well developed as FNC is, and they spent more time on the broader picture than the individual characters.

I don't want to argue the entirety of FFVII and FFVIII either. I wasn't really that impressed with Cloud or Squall, personally.

Squall is really similar to Lightning. He's bitchy for a lot of the game, and then changes, much like Lightning, because of the influence of someone else. More time is spent on it than with Lightning, but I just don't think any of it is even that interesting in VIII.

Cloud, I just don't want to get into it. I can't stand Cloud, and I always find it odd how people try to act like the following games and movies don't count when they're written by the same person. People actually seem to believe that they understand Cloud more than the people who created him, and that they somehow misunderstood and got it wrong. The cognitive dissonance in that is astounding.

As you said, XIII tries to at least make everyone significant as a character, and I think they do a pretty good job of succeeding. Most of the cast of XIII could have been the main character if they wanted. I never pegged Serah as main character material, but they totally changed my mind in XIII-2. I've seen more than a few people who want a whole game starring Noel now. The cast is really pretty interesting in my opinion, much more so than XII. FFX had a pretty great cast, with Tidus, Auron, Rikku, and Yuna all having a lot of significance. Lulu, Kimahri and Wakka were basically just bodyguards without anything to offer to the story, and that's more true of the PS1 games than anything else. A lot of the party members have one idea to them, and not much else. They spend more time on the main character, and that's about it. Looking at FFVI's character arcs, each character is basically defined by one idea and one plot line as well.

I really don't see the need to single out XIII as especially egregious in the character department when so many other FF games have weaker casting.

Finally, blaming the people because the writers not only couldn't bother to explain their made-up words properly, but also because they made them sound way too similar to each other, is not a good idea. The primary role of the writer is to communicate. If they can't properly communicate, if thing are more confusing than they should, then it is the writer's fault.
I disagree. People wanted to hate it before it even came out. If you can't really wrap your head around 3 words that are explained in the story, and the datalog, I just don't think you're really trying to give it a chance. Some parts of it probably could have been explained better. I think they do a better job of it in XIII-2 in that area with the NPCs and optional dialogue stuff. But I still didn't think it was that bad. I was able to follow it.

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At the end of the day, I just don't think you have any really damning points, no matter who agrees with you. I don't mind intellectual debates though, and if you want to get into dissecting things, that would be much better than the constant shit-train these threads always descend into.

I think I had a lot of legitimate rebuttals that you didn't address at all. If you like the characters more in FFVII and VIII, that's entirely your right. I really, honestly don't feel the same way at all. Your original post exaggerated a lot of stuff, and there's really no need for it. We have better discussions when we try to leave out the toxic attitude and try to be rational and fair.
 
Dec 11, 2008
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Personally, I think FF8 lacked the kind of individual arcs that 7 did and it's one of the reason I dislike the same so much. At the point in the story where the group has a revelation of their past, it doesn't do much with individual characters and just treats it as a group arc.
Oh come on, Zell's hotdog obsession arc was one of the greatest. It almost ended up killing him in the ending too.
 
Sep 23, 2011
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Toriyama is well-known for his excellence at satisfying his fans. His stories and gameplay visions hit right in the spot, and no one leaves them without thinking "Toriyama has perfected the Final Fantasy experience!". Revolutionary ideas like giving a Charlie's Angel feel and theme and scrapping the focus on storytelling to the anticipated sequel of a heavily story-driven game, retconning FFXIII's ending, scraping the world building and creating new rules out of nowhere, anti-climatic events, bare-bones character development and thematic lines repeated and stretched for hours, huge focus on subplots while the main plots are left to walls of text from the villain's mouth and the datalog, and of course, the sudden Deus Ex Machinas that pop up out of nowhere and magically fix everything because.

The dialogue in the trailer is pure poetic Beauty, and I'm absolutely sure that people will leave very satisfied with a well-crafted, profissionally-written conclusion.


I lol-ed. Tears in my eyes lol-ed.
 
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