Alan Smithee

Playing Games The Wrong Way – Final Fantasy XIII

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Alright, I’ll admit it…I’m one of THOSE type of gamers that bases an initial opinion on a game before actually giving it a chance. Usually this works out well for me, and I had every intention on loving the living hell out of Square’s latest in the single-player Final Fantasy experiences, Final Fantasy XIII…I should have held off and saved myself $60.

That is until I realized that I was playing the game completely wrong. I was approaching it with the mindset of a Final Fantasy fan, not who the target audience of the game really was meant for, which is the RPG neophyte.

After realizing that me playing this game for about 35 hours and not finishing it was a complete disservice to me and just about anyone that reads this website hoping for (snicker) journalistic integrity. It wasn’t terrible enough that I ripped the game out of my system after the first hour, I did actually spend a good chunk of time playing it. I decided that I needed to finish it, come hell or high water.

Square had tried something similar in the past and I couldn’t believe that I didn’t notice the similarities before…but this game plays almost exactly like Final Fantasy: Mystic Quest! Seriously, it’s completely on rails, you can see enemies on the maps as you’re exploring, your companions are AI controlled, and you find yourself mashing the ‘execute’ button a whole lot more than you’d normally do in any other Final Fantasy, except for XII. That one doesn’t count.

Now that I have this different mindset, I find myself enjoying the game a little more, and I can only hope that the story improves as I play it. Now instead of loathing this game, I think of it as merely a cumbersome hurdle to overcome to say that I in fact, finished it.

The next time you find yourself hating a game, don’t necessarily blame the game itself, because it could very well be an amazing game. Instead, think about why you hate it and you’ll probably come to realize that you are actually playing the game the wrong way, or aren’t the target audience at all. Life then gets a little better.

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