When Final Fantasy XIII hits the world, expect a lot of gamer-blowback. Whenever a developer take steps to modernize a beloved franchise, the gamer backlash is strong and ruthless. Fans of Fallout and Fallout 2 hated Fallout 3 because it updated the game world and made the franchise more "fun." Fans of Pac-Man couldn't deal with Ms. Pac-Man because she wore a bow. But even among devoted aficionado communities, few are as protective of "their" series as Final Fantasy fanatics. As you surely know, FFXIII comes out tomorrow for the 360 and the PlayStation 3, and it's going to piss a lot of people off.
X-Play reviewer Rob Manuel played the game for dozens and dozens of hours to provide G4's review. The game is definitely good – four out of five stars good -- but it still might make you very, very angry, particularly if you're a hardcore Final Fantasy fan. Rob's list below is only five of the countless ways FF XIII will leave players fuming:
1) No towns: There is not a single city in the game. There are no stopping places. No Inns. There are no hamlets, burgs or villages. This is a huge change from the previous open-world style FF action you’re used to --and a change from most RPGs, actually. In almost all previous Final Fantasy games going back to the ancient Final Fantasy 1 in the 1980s, you’d enter a homebase style town and work outward from their.
Which brings us to the second thing you’ll hate about Final Fantasy XIII...
2) It’s Very Linear: Final Fantasy XIII is not entirely on a track, but for the first 25 hours(!) or so, you’re going to be moving in a straight line, forward. This, of course, propels the action nicely, but doesn't appeal to gamers who like to feel like they're gaming in the "real" world with limitless possibilities and options. I guess those people can suffer through 25 hours of playing to get to the "good part."
3) No mini-games: There are no arena battles, no Blitz-ball, no Card Battles, none of that stuff on the side that can be a nice break from the main plotline. With fans devoting themselves to minutia of past games' mini-games, this is a big, infuriating change.
4) Little equipment: You’re not going to find a huge variety of weapons in Final Fantasy XIII, and there is no armor at all, so if gearing up is your passion, you’re going to be hating on this game--There’s just not a lot of stuff to purchase. There are items that you can use to level up the weapons that you do have, but not a lot of weapon variety, another huge change from previous gear-heavy FF games.
5) It’s on the 360: This is the first Final Fantasy game for the 360 so lucky number 13 is bound to anger console purists who feel that the Final Fantasy universe belongs only to Sony console owners.
Lest we be accused of always looking on the negative side of things, check back on Wednesday, where we'll detail the five things gamers will absolutely love about Final Fantasy XIII. And for more bile-inducing Final Fantasy anger, check back tomorrow when we'll have a side-by-side video comparison of the 360 and PS3 versions of the game for you to enjoy, dissect and argue over.
I'm sure there are more things you can think of that will anger FF fans. Leave them in our comment section.