Thursday, December 15, 2011

Square Enix and Final Fantasy XIII-2; stuck between a rock and a crazy place

So the first reviews of Final Fantasy XIII-2 is in, with Famitsu giving it a perfect score of 40/40.

More important than the score, though, Famitsu’s critics unanimously agreed that everything that people complained about in FFXIII was resolved. This one is not a linear game that pulls you down one path to another, it’s a full-fledged Final Fantasy game with towns, minigames, and all the other trappings we know and love from the series of old.

There’s even conversation options this time, a real rarity for the series (well, conversation options that go beyond “yeah, ok” and “….”; that’s Squall). Throw in the same brilliant graphical engine as FFXIII, and retain the amazing combat of XIII, and you have a recipe for real success.

Which is why it got 40/40. It’s the third game in short order that has that honour, but when you consider the other two games: Skyward Sword and Skyrim, you can see that FFXIII-2 is in elite company indeed.

Problem is, while the western gaming community (gauged through various forums and fellow websites), seemed to use Skyward Sword and Skyrim’s scores as validations for their own (rightfully) high opinions of the games, the scepticism that FFXIII-2 continues to receive is truly amazing.

Bearing in mind that none of these people have played this game (but the Famitsu critics have), I’ve seen no end of expectation that FFXIII-2 will "suck." Granted that you have to wonder what these people were smoking when they played FFXIII; since if that game was the worst they’ve ever played they’ve lived very, very sheltered lives, but how can anyone claim that FFXIII-2, when it fixes everything that was “wrong” with FFXIII, will be “equally bad?”

Square Enix seem to have found themselves stuck between a rock and a crazy place: if they make the game people want, they get criticised. If they go out on a limb and try something creative, people latch on to it like it’s the death of the company. Yes, Final Fantasy XIV was bad, and yes XIII was controversial (I personally loved it), but when a company goes out of its way to apologise and completely remake the former, and release a “all-improved” sequel for the latter, throwing rotten vegetables when you haven’t even played the game is just embarrassing.

In the mean time, enjoy some new screenshots from the newest 40/40 club member:



Twitter Delicious Facebook Digg Stumbleupon Favorites More