MarzGurl Reviews Final Fantasy XIII - Episode 1

(106 votes, average 4.47 out of 5)
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  • YotaruVegeta
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    Marzgurl is doing FF XIII also? It'll be interesting to watch this and Spoony back to back.
  • Masque
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    Shhhhhhh!... Don't mention his name lest ye summon the ban hammer!
  • LikaLaruku
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    I hear that SE apologized twice for Final Fantasy 14 MMO & that Final Fantasy: All the Bravest got on Wikipedia's "List of video games notable for negative reception" page.

    My least favorite is X2.

    The Spirits Within movie had a good ending, & Advent Children was pure eyecandy, but the Final Fantasy Unlimted anime series had one of the worst endings I've ever seen.

    I'd like to see some 8 or 16 bit demakes of FF7 & up.
  • War Dragon
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    Great review can't wait for part two.
  • Mara999
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    I have never really indulged myself in the FF-games as I never got to play any of the early ones and later on with better graphics the visual style became rather unappealing to me. This extensive background of the entire franchise gives me a better understanding of it and now I can see better why people seem so upset about the latest installments.
  • Spider-Matt
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    Final Fantasy X was the last FANTASTIC game from the series, in my opinion.
    Though I will admit, I do have a soft spot for X-2.
  • ChiyoYaiden  - You're on your own about FFX2 but...
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    I also liked FFX. I don't think it is nearly as bad as people have made it out to be.
  • DMaster  - Agreed there.
    You-know-who was WAY off on a lot of points with that game. Looking back, it's definitely not a [i]great[/i] game, but it's a lot more engaging then he made it out to be.

    Not to mention, several details wrong.
  • TooMuchFreeTime  - you-know-who's review
    I like the game, at the time I even LOVED it (I had an early teen crush on Tidus bad :P)...but while he DID get some details flat out wrong I still found myself at least not disagreeing with most of what he said.
  • Xenobears  - Agreed
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    FFX was actually a good game. The combat was easy to learn but not mind-numbingly boring because it actively encouraged players to change out party members and learn enemy weaknesses and types. Aside from Tidus' grating personality, the characters were mostly engaging, even endearing to some extent. I even liked the sphere grid, unlike he-who-must-not-be-named, because it gave players more freedom in determining how characters would power up, at least after you got a few key spheres and teleport spheres. The summon monsters were especially good, feeling less like alternate versions of basic spells (as they kind of were in FFVII, for example, Ifrit was basically Fire2-all) and instead being powerful party members in their own right (in fact, the FFX version of Bahamut is one of my personal favorite iterations of that monster/summon).

    Now, FFX-2... umm... well... I liked that they tried to bring back the job system, even if they felt the bizarre need to disguise it by calling them dress-spheres instead of Job Classes.
  • Lena Andreia  - Audio cues!
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    Marz, I'm so glad to hear you mention the audio cues. I don't think enough attention is paid to them when most people talk about this game. I've been a fan of the series since 1991, and this game was unrecognizable to me as a Final Fantasy. Heck, the setting itself was unrecognizable as anything of substance. Half the time I couldn't tell what the hell I was looking at.

    Ah, then there's the lovely corridor. I compared it to being on the "It's a Small World Ride". You see this huge world, but can't leave the track. It's a world of fabulous map paintings!

    The music was about as insipid as It's a Small World too. >___> Full of ear worms. And not the good kind. These are the Ceti Eel variety that eat into your brain and try to make you pliable and gullible enough to buy XIII-2.

    Oh, and Toriyama claims he tried to make the game appealing to western audiences? That's HILARIOUS. I remember reading an interview after it came out here--he was responding to the negative reaction American fans were having to the game. His response was something along the lines of "Well, they're Americans, and this is a Japanese game, so they just didn't get it." What an ass.

    My husband and I have taken to referring to the director of FFXIII (Toriyama) as the Michael Bay of RPGs. All flash and no substance. The man is a walking disaster. I don't know how you feel about the Parasite Eve series, but stay away from Third Birthday. STAY AWAY.
  • Guild Navigator
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    Bought this game for $7 during last year's Black Friday. Played about an hour of it. I still want my $7 back...

    And Marzgul should've reiterated that FF:TSW costed a whopping 167 millions to produce and advertise and only made something like 35 million in the US. That's one of the worst flops of the 2000s. Even Michael Cimino went "Ouch!"
  • Tina_Branford
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    The battle system for this game was vey fun.
    But not enough to be the only thing going for it for like 40 hours.

    I don't think is AS HORRIBLE as many make it be. I just think is plain and simple... VERY boring.

    Nothing ever really happens... they make you belive something is going on but as the story progresses, you realize nothing is REALLY happening.

    Though I thought Skyward Sword was worse than this.

    XIII Wouldn't be as hated as it is if it wasn't called "Final Fantasy". Skyward Sword wouldn't be as liked if it wasn't called "Zelda".

    I won't play XIII again, and won't play the two sequels. But I don't like to hate the game just because everyone hates it. As I said, the battle system is fun, and if I think of it as not really a game in the Final Fantasy family, it's just a little dungeon crawler game with a few fun parts. Just wish it wasn't called "Final Fantasy", and that it was much shorter. I heard XIII-2 has more open spaces and sidequests... but I think the games lack a really powerful story.

    Anyway... I just thought it was a VERY BORING game. It's the longest corridor in the history of humanity :'C.

    Whenever a Final Fantasy XV happens, I hope it works totally diferent... maybe even a more traditional battle system and exploration would be better. Just saying...

    Oh and... as sidenote... to any gamer out there... Try a battle in FF XIII, mute the TV, and from your PC, play ANY battle theme from... I don't know, VI, VII, VIII or any of the old school games. You'll be surprised how much more it starts to suddenly feel like Final Fantasy for just a second, just because of the music, and don't forget your fanfare at the end of the battle. It's a rather weird experience. Try it out!
  • Futago
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    Well being boring is probably the worst thing a game can be.
    The combat system is a pretty polarising issue, I personaly hate the combat system. The game is basically playing itself with you only pressing the x button and occasionally doing a paradigm shift. It is a very fastpaced system I give it that and with more control over what you can do it would have been a very fun battlesystem.
    And mentioning the paradigm shift system, I hate it when every character can basically do everything, they don't have any roles/jobs, it takes a lot of strategy away. I mean even the other FFs that did this at least had each character be better at one thing than the other statwise. And so you could form each character into a specific role to your liking, not so much in XIII. The game is linear even in its characterprogression. This is one of the reasons why FFIX is my favourite, the characters have designated roles that even play to their personality.
    One thing that I heard about Motomu Toriyama is that his favourite genre are FPS and that FFXIII is more FPS than RPG, that sums it up perfectly I think.
  • IffySAM
    I think it's perfectly appropriate for an anime reviewer to cover the recent FFs, since they're so linear and so indebted to their graphics, characters and story to the detriment of player choice, meaningful strategy and unpredictability that they feel more like interactive movies than they do actual games. XIII clearly WANTS to be a anime-trope-filled story first and a game second. You're probably more qualified to review it than poor Noah is. At the very least, you're probably more likely to look at it from the angle the designers intended. These are NOT for fans of the old FF games. Or old games in general.
  • MistwalkerKilyK  - I agree
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    I must say this is the very fist FFXIII review I watch that contains a whole thought idea of what the game was, comparing it with the rest of the series, saying something I always thought too (that FFXIII really didn't seem to belong with the rest of the games, something that --to me at least-- was rectified with FFXIII-2), and also sharing my opinion about the lack of the classic Final Fantasy music, an aspect which no other reviewer of this game seemed to touch this thoroughly (and I'm talking about IGN, GameTrailers, ScrewAttack, RPG Fan, and, hell, even the recent Spoony review of this game).

    Though I happen to like this game (...even if only a 'little' compared to the rest of the series), I must add that I feel content with your review of this game. I feel that finally someone represents and share my own view of the title. So, and needlessness to say, from now on consider me your fan.

    I'm looking forward to Part 2.

    And yeah, I liked FFXIII-2 a lot. To me, it did feel like a Final Fantasy, even with the music still missing.
  • Furrama
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    Man, those opening lines about liking something/not liking something was perfect. Wow.

    I think I'll like this video series more than... those of he-who-must-not-be-named. Listening to actual researched information and history and from someone who actually likes the series and has a amiable history with it will be far more valuable than just bashing on it. That sort of thing might be entertaining, but it's cheap.

    X was my favorite, I'd be interested to see which FF was Marzgurl's favorite and why.
  • snthss
    Final Corridor Simulator :D.

    Will you release new episodes of this series weekly?
  • Hagard
    Spoony spoony spoony, there some one had to say it but this is a really good review 5 stars.
  • whoknows
    I'm glad you weren't mindlessly hating on FFXIII like people typically do. I'm glad you didn't say the typical uninformed or closed minded things like the game plays itself. You gave thought out reasons for your thoughts, which is the opposite of what the typical XIII hater does.

    How I personally feel about the game is:

    I personally love the soundtrack in XIII, so the lack of the typical music doesn't bother me at all. It's a soundtrack I find myself listening to regularly. For me it already gives me that warm fuzzy nostalgic feeling even though the game really isn't that old.

    I can see why people want towns in the games, but I personally didn't really mind they weren't there. For me they were just there to find out where to go next and buy equipment/items. I was always mainly interested in the story though and didn't to a lot of side things.

    NPC's in XIII, well the few of them there are say the typical useless stuff the vast majority of NPC's usually say in RPG's. Very few ever have something useful to say.

    The straight lines are fine with me. I like the flow of the game due to that, because as I said before I'm mainly in it for the story. This also lets them make some amazing looking environments you go through. A typical dungeon in Final Fantasy is usually pretty ugly and boring, but in XIII the game looks amazing and you can see a lot of creativity put into the environments.

    Most RPG's are linear though, when you think about it. There's only one way to finish the game. If you don't go to a specific place or talk to a specific person you aren't progressing any further. Previous Final Fantasy games just gave the illusion of freedom.

    Lastly I'll just say I love the battle system. I didn't mind doing extra battles just because I enjoyed the paradigm system so much.
  • Sylveria
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    Can't wait to see this rest of this. It's nice to see someone on Channel Awesome actually examining the game looking at the many, many flaws and how little it actually relates to its namesake series, unlike some of the contributors on BT who think Square Enix can do no wrong.
  • pkingdom
    I wouldn't say they think it can do no wrong, but I would say they were WAY too light on FF13-2, especially after their reactions to some other games' DLC uses. I'm hoping Marz talks about 13-2...
  • DMaster
    Er...aside from maybe the former Game Heroes, who fell into THAT category?
  • dragonfly82
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    Excellent review,
    it's very unusual to see a review with so much background and history info compared to a mindless rant and unecessary nitpicking.
    (Sorry Spoony...)

    I can't believe I bought this game at full price and on opening day, worst 60 bucks I have ever spent.

    (Completely agree on the Music, those tracks are a must on any FF game)
  • Babinro  - Fantastic!
    This was both informative and hilarious!

    I'm actually a big Spooney fan and found your take on the game to be far superior. I can't wait for part 2 and hope you consider more game reviews in the future!
  • Fantomn33t
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    Xenoblade Chronicles needs moar love :(
  • Velgar  - A very sound voice of reason
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    I'm not one to do much of begging, but please use whatever bits and pieces you have of public-figurehead powers to sway the SquareEnix back to old Square-times.
    And please address the fact that seemingly every Final Fantasy that has had "realistic" character has been among the weakest of the series. Meaning FF8, 10, 10-2 and so on. And by all means compared to 10+, FF8 was absolutely fantastic. For the reasons MarzGurl stated in her review.
    But more alien characters, less "realistic" human, except for the cut-scenes. Please.
    Yes, it could be called inventing the wheel again, but people are even to this day buying "new-style", "hip" or otherwise "different wheel like heck. What we have with these games is SQUARE. Try putting that in a car called Final Fantasy and see how far you'll go.
  • YotaruVegeta
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    I think that FF XII was excellent.
  • Psxpert2011
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    Hello Marzgirl,
    It's good to see you give your two cents about the Final Fantasy franchise, the majority of gamers are hating out of ignorance and not because "it's bad" or "it's not like old school RPG".

    What is up with your outfit girl!? You spicy more recently! :P
  • Souledge94  - wow this is so orginal
    another video like this for ff13 what a shock. Jeez I wish people would just get over it and if they have such a huge problem with it go play the old ones. I mean those still exist ya know. I personally enjoyed ff13 with the only negative being the linear maps. Besides that imo in a list of ff battle systems its up there. Yes iv played other ff games and yes this feels like a final fantasy game.
  • Detis  - What an original comeback excuse...
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    Seriously that is the weakest excuse to tell anyone who is a fan of any franchise. "Oh you don't like the new game? Go play the old game over and over since you liked it so much."

    Look telling people to 'get over it' shows you're not a fan nor understand what it means to have a franchise change for the worse. Not just change. Every Final Fantasy game has had some kind of change a different system, story, characters etc. But they all had a general feeling to keeping what a FF game was or it's ideals.

    It's not just 'Oh noes this FF game is bad or not as good as the previous ones.' It's "Well they made these changes to this game, will it get worse for the next game? What I enjoyed about the franchise go away and make what I grew up with or had respect for go in such a vastly different direction just become a bunch of games that unfortunately aren't really what I experienced before.

    This is the same effect with the Resident Evil fans of the old games, and dealing with 4 5 6. Did the franchise need a change? Sure why not? But do the new games FEEL or retain what was great about all the previous games or does it feel like a totally different game that just happens to have the franchise name on it? That's why there's such a divide and especially with RE6 it became this 3 cut pie of old school, new school and something in the middle all executed poorly as seen by the general public.

    Games change, a franchise will change and there's a risk to keep a franchise 'fresh' but what is 'fresh' if the latest entry is nothing like it's predecessors it's just might as well be it's own IP if they're gonna change it so vastly.

    Hell Lost Odyssey felt more like a FF when it wasn't related to FF at all even without the music, but that's my opinion.

    TLDR: Simply saying 'get over it' or 'go back to your old games' holds no value or really care to understand exactly why people have a problem with a game or new entry of a franchise. They don't want a game to be exactly like before it but like it. 7 8 9 are all vastly different in combat systems, story and progress, but each had it's own feel and general likings of what a FF is. Even X has a feeling of FF and oh boy was that game different.


    Note: As far as linear goes, if you want to just have a story and skip the towns, the npcs and what not, really might as well play Heavy Rain or Indigo Prophecy with the small gameplay. The whole town thing is to give atmosphere and give direction at the pace of the player. There is always gonna be an illusion of 'freedom' in nearly any game, it's more about the immersion in the end I believe.
  • Souledge94  - comback
    "Look telling people to 'get over it' shows you're not a fan nor understand what it means to have a franchise change for the worse"

    Really? "im not a fan" or "I dont understand". I cant compare RE change to FF change cause imo FF games now and days still feel like FF games. It has the magic,summons,fantastical elements,crazy outfits,monsters and so forth. I get people are mad about no towns or ships. You can debate about story,characters and music till the cows come home but as far as what makes a FF game like I listed above it still pretty much there. Its just if you like the excution or not. RE went from survival horror to michal bay action thats a huge difference. FF not so much.
  • Detis
    avatar
    I'll take back the you're not a fan or don't understand, that's not fair as a comment.

    But that doesn't change your attitude to people who fear that the FF franchise may indeed turn into what happened to RE. Has that happened yet? That can be debated. But going from FFX that had that linear stuff, to FFXII which was more open in general, bigger places and pretty much went the 'single player mmo' gameplay, FFXIII pretty much took it a step further, and there's backlash. It's very mixed attitude to the game.

    -shrug-
  • DMaster
    Either way, MarzGurl's just sharing her opinion, and doesn't want anyone to fall sway to the notion of Reviews Are The Gospel (my phrasing).
  • pkingdom
    13 was flawed and obviously rushed, but I would have defended it at some point. But 13-2 is just atrocious. Please talk about 13-2! It's a sequal that utilizes next to nothing from it's original!

    Someone on this board said Toriyama was the Michael Bay of videogames, and you know what, that is a perfect description for him! They put WAY to much emphasis on the graphics, not enough on the size of the world and length of the game. I miss world maps so much...
  • Cinnamon Scudworth
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    Four years is rushed? .....Yeah, I know, they spent three of those years on the engine.
  • Skyscraper
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    Technically, they did spend some time on developing a version for the PS2, then scrapped that version and started over on the PS3. So I don't think "three of those years" is entirely accurate, but that may just be me nitpicking.
  • iDEMANDWeekendAtBernies3  - Thanks for the reminder
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    Thanks Marzgurl, you reminded me to not watch this video and head over to see one of Spoony's great FF reviews instead!
  • dragonfly82
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    Expect to be a bit dissapointed...
  • DMaster  - ...
    All you had to say was you preferred the other guy. You didn't have to phrase it like a dick.
  • Everwen
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    I'v never really played this game, but having heard so many things about it I found this video very interesting, looking forward the next episode.
  • Volare3  - YAY!
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    So glad to see this up after all the twitter build up. That this review looks to exceed my expectations is icing on the cake.
  • KirshD
    It's nice to see someone looking at FFXIII a little more closely than a lot of people have been. It is a beautiful game, the soundtrack is great (even with what's missing), and it's a fun game to play (even more fun once you learn how to abuse the battle system).

    I just don't get why people will put so much energy into hating this game, I've been made fun of for listening to the soundtrack for crap-sake.
  • Archedgar
    Kaylyn is reviewing this too?

    Hmm, as a Spoony fan I am intrigued.

    I have great faith in K.


    By the way... there's a lot more cheesecake in this video than I expected from a Marzgurl upload.
    NOT THAT I'M COMPLAINING!
  • True Grave
    Spooney is also reviewing this game! I smell a cross-over! :D

    Note- Spooney doesn't have to be part of Channel Awesome for this to happen.
  • DMaster  - Well...duh.
    http:// thatguywiththeglasses.com /videolinks/teamt/ diamanda-hagan/36610- sting-with-spoony
  • Fantomn33t
    avatar
    an actual review in place of the usual outright rant, this will be interesting.
  • Fable Architect
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    This review has actually given me a lot of insight into the game's shortcomings that I didn't get myself.
    I was a late-comer into the Final Fantasy series; FF12 was actually the first final fantasy game I'd ever played, and my only other experiences with the main franchise have been 10 and 13. I've had much more experience with the spin-offs like tactics and crystal chronicles, so as you can see, my knowledge of Final Fantasy is severely limited. This leads me to approach 13 not on a level of 'how does it stack compared to other final fantasy games?', but 'how does it compare to other games I've played?'

    Perhaps this is why I tend to be much more lenient on ff13 than I've heard from other people. I agree with you that a lot of the appeal seems to be in the visuals, and it is stunning to look at. I do quite like the soundtrack, and while I was surprised at the lack of the familiarity, I didn't know if that had been done before in the series, so I took it in stride. I hadn't really paid much attention to the linearity of the game, since I've played many that used the same path mechanics, but I admit that free-roaming does give a more adventurous feeling to a game and would have been more well received. I'm also a strong believer that the more developed your world is in your creation, the more people will become interested in it and its deeper workings. This is true in every medium, and I think most strongly in a video game where the player is an active participant. That is probably the weakest aspect of FF13, at least in my view.

    All in all, I can certainly see why 13 would be a great disappointment to someone who knows the series, and there are a lot of shortcomings which, if addressed, might have turned this into a very good game. Still, perhaps it is simply because of my own lack of experience, but I don't dislike this game. I won't say it would ever make my top 10 list, but it means something to me in my own Final Fantasy experiences and gaming experiences as a whole. I will call it a disappointment... but I don't think I myself can call it bad.

    On a side note, is it common for Final Fantasy to have the 'false gods' storyline? I have noticed in all three that I've played, whatever deities or higher powers the characters start out believing in all turn out to be malevolent jerks out to service their own ends. Was this always the case, or is someone a little bitter on the recent production teams?
  • Skyscraper
    avatar
    RE: the last question: not quite. FF 5 to 8 was more about people who wanted to BECOME gods/super powerful beings and brought chaos and destruction to the world through their desires, and thus heroes had to stop them. 9 was about a man manipulating a world into global war so that his ambitions to be free from his fate could be realized, and the heroes who catch onto his schemes. False gods didn't really start to figure in until 10.
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