Let it be clear that I do not hate the sudden flashes of light that brilliantly fill the sky on a stormy night. Those are actually pretty sick, especially the giant forked ones that tear through a cloudless sky… I enjoy those quite a bit. What I have recently come to despise is Lightning the character from the Final Fantasy series.
I didn’t always hate Lightning the character. There was actually a point in time before the original Final Fantasy 13 when I was actually really, really pumped to get my hands on the game with the sylish and sexy new FF character. I was just coming from Final Fantasy 12 (which I absolutely loved) so my interest in the series was at an all-time high… and then I played the game.
I couldn’t believe how incredibly boring the game was. I know it sometimes takes a Final Fantasy game to get going, but this one easily beat out the rest in that aspect. I played about half the game, and then stopped never to return to that world.
A couple years later, I find out a sequel to 13 is to be released, and I’ll be honest… I was a bit surprised and a tad excited. They eventually started releasing those slick, FF high-res screenshots, you know, the ones from the opening CG cutscenes. I found it shocking that they could Lightning look even sicker than she already did from the first game. and for that I was immediately pulled back in. I’ll always give Square Enix the benefit of the doubt. and I knew I would give 13-2 a chance.
This time I ended up playing the entire game. It wasn’t that I was particularly enjoying the game, but I was willing to trudge through the story in hopes the ending would make it all worth-while. In short, it was not, and it actually made me incredibly angry. Not only was the Finale incredibly predictable, but the game actually tells you how it ends about midway through . SPOILERS AHEAD. It’s as if you were watching The Dark Knight Rises, and Bain would break character midway through the movie to tell the audience that he not only fails twice to defeat Batman, but he is defeated by Catwomen, his partner in crime dies in a car crash, and Batman neutralizes his nuclear bomb ‘Angels and Demons” style. Terrible idea, right? It was.
This past Saturday, they announced the new spinoff Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII. and this probably goes without saying, but I will not play the game. I will not rent the game. I will not buy the game. I will not borrow the game. I wouldn’t even try the game if it were given to me for free. The ONLY instance where I would even consider giving it a semblance of a chance is it receives critical acclaim while addressing and fixing the problems from the first two games. Oh, and please, please Square Enix…. please take it easy with those over-the-top story lines. The crazier the story line, the more likely it won’t translate very well, which just screws over the English-speaking audience; and we can’t enjoy the game if we have no clue what’s happening.
As of now, I’ll probably ignore any and every FF game with XIII in the title, but I’m also getting closer and closer to simply ignoring every FF game altogether.