Saturday, January 5, 2013

An Addendum to the Final Fantasy XIII-2 Review

Something that I really worried about with the Final Fantasy XIII-2 review while I was writing it and while I wasn't writing it, since I did start it and then not get back to it for a while, was the fact that it was, indeed, a wholly negative review.  It's not something that I relished doing, that I particularly -wanted- to do in the sense that I don't like being a complete negative nancy about things as I was.  However, there's absolutely no way I -could- write anything about Final Fantasy XIII-2 other than what the review contains.  The review is simply my opinions, my judgements and my appraisals of the game, just the same as any other review I've done.  The only difference with the other reviews is that, generally, the games I reviewed that aren't Final Fantasy XIII-2 are games that I liked.  Or, in some cases, games that I absolutely adored for the parts that they were compiled of.

That is the sort of pitfall I worried about way back when I considered Reviews being something beyond the scope of what I felt comfortable doing.  Obviously, I'm not going to like every game, and we've all read enough reviews that are negative that we've simply tossed aside without a care.  The reviewer didn't get this, didn't understand that, didn't know the importance of that, the list of reasons that we use to discredit reviewers that don't like the games we like is endless and they come so easily that we don't think about it.  As the reviewer, there's no way you can back up anything you write as a reason for why you dislike a game because that's what it is - a dislike, an opinion, something that's steeped solely in your view of matters which is different from everyone else's.  In the end, I just ended up feeling a little bad about writing so negatively about Final Fantasy XIII-2 is what I'm building up to, because even though I tried to be objective, tried to steep things in objective terms, it's impossible to do that completely.

Of course, when I think about the time I spent with the game, I don't feel anything but wholly and completely justified.  It's a weird balance, I suppose, and it's a weird thing to just honestly dislike the game as much as I do, but that's what it is.  Clearly I'm not writing a review of a hot new game to inspire site hits or anything, as I literally posted the review a year late for that, and I'm not trying to use hyperbole for effect.  I just unfortunately thought the game wasn't good for reasons that exist on a mechanical level, something a little more concrete than not in the wholly wobbly situation regardless.  I would try to be constructive about it, but I already gave all my constructive ideas for Final Fantasy XIII itself - the sequel went completely in the opposite direction, so all I would say is "come back and go the -other- way" which is really kind of an obvious thing.

I guess the point I really wanted to make here is that, in all reality, I'm just bummed that I didn't like Final Fantasy XIII-2.  I was all prepped to do so, and perhaps that was part of the reason why I couldn't, but whatever the reason, my time spent with it was simply miserable and it had no reason to be.  Final Fantasy XIII was a wonderful, if flawed base to make a game from, yet XIII-2 cannibalized only a few parts and not even in complete fashion, making it so that it honestly would have been better if they just hadn't tried it in the first place.  It's rare when a sequel completely and totally underperforms its predecessor, by a measure that's clear and not a difference of opinion over trivial parts.  This was a categorical failure across the board as far as I'm concerned, and unless someone can make me see the 'truth' or inform me of just what I was doing wrong, that's all I can say about the game.  It's not fact - it can't be - but being as objective as I can be, I just can't see it any other way.

That's just a real shame.  I'm not particularly thinking Lightning Returns is going to be the redeemer either.

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