Archive for January, 2014

Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII Demo or What’s This?

Posted in Hands On, The Latest with tags , , , on January 23, 2014 by Rabidgames

As we all know, Final Fantasy XIII was a (glorified by some, lamented by many) corridor movie with interactive cutscenes and incredibly annoying characters. Final Fantasy XIII-2 added some RPG back into the mix, which could have almost convinced Rabidgames, if it just wasn’t for the incredibly annoying characters still talking and running and just being there to annoy us.

And now, we have the way too long title Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII, also to be known as FF XIII-3, or rather FF13-3 from now on. At first sight, it looked rather dull; The incredibly bland Lightning has 13 days to save the FF universe in a world that looks like Assassin’s Creed leftovers and a battle system borrowed from Crisis Core.

The first thing you are told in the demo is the use of “Outerworld” messages … okay, we’re talking about Final Fantasy here, and yet, some multiplayer component have to be implemented … sigh.

The demo of FF13-3 highlights one blatant point: The graphics are shit. They would have been alright on a PS2, yes, but 8 years later? Come on, guys, we all know you can do better than that! The cinematics look as good as ever, but the in-game graphics … some of them are simply horrible, some are average: empty streets devoid of life, ugly textures, it seems half-baked. Oh, and we get to see some of the incredibly annoying characters again, obviously …

To be fair, the battle system is pretty much alright. You spend energy from your ATB gauge and you can switch through jobs, all in real time. Since each job has its own ATB gauge, you can experiment freely. Sadly, you also switch costumes all the time, which brings back those Final Fantasy X-2 memories … In the demo of FF13-3, the battles are the same as before: Button mashing for the win. After some battle tutorials, some chasing and an obligatory boss battle, the demo is over.

Rabidgames won’t return soon: Okay, there was nothing to be seen of the open world, and while the battle system could turn out to be fun, the characters and conversations were all pretty much JRPG standard, and NPCs now are mere vessels for messages from other players. FF13-3 might be worth picking up for a tenner, but judging from the demo, it is not good enough to justify full price. Well, there’s always hope for Final Fantasy XV …