I have terrible news everybody. After a long month, I have decided to give up on finishing Final Fantasy XIII. Our relationship hasn’t been going well, and it’s time that we both admit it isn’t going to work, and move on.
However, I wasn’t able to tell FFXIII to her face. Instead, I took the high road many of us have traveled before; I left a note. Now that she knows, and we both have started the healing process, I decided it was time to share the news with everyone here on the site; by posting the letter I slipped into her case only two nights ago.
Dear Final Fantasy XIII,
We have spent over 20 hours together, fighting to bring peace to Cocoon and Pulse. It’s been a fascinating ride; filled with spectacular visuals, and wondrous set-pieces. You are a technical marvel, and I hope you know this.
But…it isn’t working out. You see, when I started following you on Gamer Limit, I was swept up into the mystique of the next-generation Final Fantasy. You promised me an epic storyline, robust characters and lengthy, meaningful gameplay. I wanted all of these.
I slipped your disc into my PS3 with careful reverence. I wanted this to work; I wanted, needed, you to prove that the JRPG was worth saving.
I realized, as we slipped down the narrow corridors to the x, x, triangle beat of your battle system, that I had done this before. Sure, there were changes – but ultimately, you were just like every other RPG girl. Refusing to give up, I pushed forward; telling myself that you would change, and I could tell my friends the JRPG was back on the home console – ready to save the world. It never happened.
You revealed your secrets to me too slowly. I wanted to dance with your battle system, and wage wars against our enemies, but you held me back. Your intravenous drip of information tortured me with towering possibilities; but controlled environments shackled me to the ground. I know that freedom was mine, after I earned it, but your tutorial gauntlet disguised as gameplay left me apathetic.
I would have been OK with this if I cared about the people I was fighting with, but I didn’t. Your character line-up was filled with every feasible JRPG trope (save one), and you made no effort to make them more interesting than their polygon count. Sazh is a fantastic character, and I’m sad I must leave him, but Snow, Hope, Vanille, Lighting, and Fang are better left behind; lost to the endless fan-site top ten lists of the “Hottest Final Fantasy characters” or “The best Final Fantasy asses.”
My friends tell me this is how you’ve always been; no compromise, even in the face of genre-genocide. If that’s the case, perhaps I’m the one to blame. I’ve spent a lot of time in the west – hanging out with Dragon Age: Origins and Fallout 3 – and their influence could be the crux of our incompatibility. Because of them, I know the difference between good and bad video game writing. I know when someone is feeding me the same antiquated nonsense.
You’ve camouflaged yours well, but its there. You might have something to offer for gamers willing to look past this, but I’m not one of them.