Final Fantasy XIII flops in Hong Kong

 

Could one of 2010s biggest titles be set to disappoint?

Some things always triumph, and their success is an almost guaranteed. Phil Taylor will always win the PDC Darts World Championship; Ferrari will always be competitive in F1; Valve always make great games and Morecambe and Wise will forever be funny. These things will never change, and you can always count on them.

Another ‘winner’ that can be added to that list is the Final Fantasy series. Ever since the original Final Fantasy was released way back in 1987, every sequel that followed has been outstanding and successful. Even if you’re not a huge fan of the gameplay or story of the series (like myself), you can never doubt the overall quality of the games themselves. They are excellent.

But the shock news that has recently emerged is that the newest game in the series, Final Fantasy XIII (13), isn’t up to the same standard. Actually, that’s an understatement. From what’s been said by a Hong Kong gaming magazine, it’s not even close. Here is a brief translation of what they had to say on the matter:

“Of all the RPGs I’ve played in recent years, this is the first which has been so linear that it’s little more than riding an amusement park ride. I had heard the opinion that “It’s amazing once you get to Chapter 11,” but why should you spend 20 or 30 hours on a game to get to the only enjoyable part? Just how do they intend to make me play this?

“The biggest swindle in gaming history, 4/10”

Of course, this could just be the ramblings of a lazy reviewer who wants to make a name for himself (though we don’t know his name, so it hasn’t worked in that respect).  FFXIII has already sold approaching 2 million copies in Japan, so it can’t be that bad. And the recent previews from UK sites have been generally positive, citing the excellent visuals and progressive gameplay. That said, this is not the news we were expecting, and it casts serious doubts regarding the quality of such an anticipated title. There’s no such thing as a guaranteed success in the world of games, and every title has to fight tooth and nail for gamers willing to spend their hard-earned cash.

They say form is temporary and class is permanent, and in the case of the Final Fantasy series, that has never rung truer. The titles may have had peaks and drops, but they’ve never been bad, and this is likely to be the case with Final Fantasy XIII. It may be a poor game when compared to the other FF titles, and it may even be the worst FF title. But even average FF games are good, such as Final Fantasy X-2.

But until we get our hands on a copy in March, we’ll just have to wait and see.

Scott Tierney

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