Latest News

Friday, July 8, 2016

The art game canon: Is Final Fantasy XIII really that bad?

Game theory by Matt S.

Nope. It is actually quite brilliant.

That would be a pretty short article if I left it at that, I guess, so I’ll elaborate. Back when it as first released, the strengths of Final Fantasy XIII were largely overlooked (and still are), while its weaknesses were overly aggressively targeted for criticism, meaning that, on balance, the game has been unfairly maligned when, in reality, it’s actually well worthy of its place in the venerable series.

Final Fantasy XIII was a controversial title, in a beloved series that has had its fair share of controversies, but nothing to quite this scale. Though it was met with a reasonable level of critical praise, averaging 82 at Metacritic, that number is significantly below what you might expect for a numbered Final Fantasy game.

The reader response has been pretty polarising, too, with around 70 per cent of player reviews for the most recent Steam release of the game being positive. Again, for a series that threw up VI, VII and X, all utterly beloved, defining entries into the JRPG genre, it’s hard to see the game as anything more than a disappointment by the series standards.

As usual, though, the numbers don’t give the full picture, and when you start to delve into why the game has the response that it has, it’s equally difficult to look at Final Fantasy XIII and not think that the game is more misunderstood than genuinely bad. In fact, the game’s really quite intelligent, dwells on worthy social and philosophical issues, and has a really valuable narrative – something that is rarely noted in those reviews or online discussions.

To read on, please log in with your DDNet Premium account:

The art game canon: Is Final Fantasy XIII really that bad?
  • Blogger Comments
  • Facebook Comments