Monday, March 29

It's All Over - Final Fantasy XIII Review

Final Fantasy XIII was probably the most disappointing game I have played in a long time. Not because it flat out sucked, but because I had really high hopes for it.

So when FFXIII images & footage started leaking a few years back, I remember not really caring about it. That should have told me something right there. The art just wasn’t that appealing to me. It looked a bit generic and I really had to see a lot of it to start caring. Even the footage Square Enix showed at E3 last year wasn’t enough to really get me excited. Only a few weeks before the title shipped was when it started sinking in, “Hurray Final Fantasy is coming out.”

I went to the midnight launch, got my game, played a few hours and realized, “Wow, this makes me sad, but I’ll still finish it.”


So here are my thoughts about the game:

Pros

- From a technical art standpoint, this game was brilliant. It looked really good on the PS3.

- The concept design for the main cast, eidolons, and fal’Cie were great.

- The music was wonderfully original and memorable.

-The skin textures/shaders were just gorgeous for the main characters. If the person was really fair (like Vanille) you could see the veins under her translucent skin. They even put some freckles and light age spots on them. I really love little details like that, but I wish the developers would have pushed it a bit more because they still seemed a bit too perfect.

- I really liked Fang and Vanille’s Pulsian (Australian) accents. I get a kick out of small things like that.

- The UI design was alright. I loved how streamlined it was and how the characters animated when you were on their stat page. The interface was not consistent though. Some menus, like the bestiary section, were a bit chaotic.

- The environments were both technically and conceptually amazing. It made me want to go outside and adventure on my own!


Cons

- There was not enough character development and I did not really care or relate to the main cast.

- The writing and voice acting was atrocious. Especially anything coming out of Snow’s mouth.

-The storyline was terribly convoluted.

- For the most part, the creature and architecture design was generic and uninspiring. I was really hoping for more.

- Some of the secondary characters were just downright ugly, and not in a good “we meant to do this” type of way. I would have loved to see some more gritty and diverse characters because of how realistic the art direction was.

- Some of the girl’s proportions really bugged me in this game. Serah and Vanille specifically were both 5’5” but had the legs of a 7’ tall supermodel. They were disgustingly skinny as well. The same thing goes for Lightning. If she was a soldier, I would think she would have been a bit more toned. Again, I know Nomura is known for drawing thin girls, but this was gross.

-The 25 hour tutorial was enough to bore me to tears and the battle system, even after you were done with all that, was still tedious. It seemed really slow and chaotic.

-Finally, the Pope was a lame enemy!


So yup, Final Fantasy XIII probably goes on the bottom of the FF list for me. Let me know your thoughts. Maybe you liked it better than me?

Cheers and happy gaming,
~Claudia

Tuesday, March 9

Finally: Final Fantasy XIII

Kitty is so happy!

So I went to the midnight launch for FFXIII last night and got my copy of the game. Yes, PS3 for the win. I'm going to play the crap out of this... BUT...

Why did this game have to come out on the same week that I'm busy with GDC. Oh the chaos!

Game Developers Conference in San Francisco

See ya there, and happy gaming!
~Claudia

Friday, March 5

Tim’s Alice


“Oh, you can’t help that,” said the Cat: “We’re all mad here. I’m mad. You’re mad.”
- My favorite line from Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.

Well this movie was fun, but I wish I hadn’t seen it in 3D. After watching Avatar, nothing else really compares. So I’m not going to see a 3D film unless the movie was made for it.

First off, the art was specular. It was everything I hoped a Tim Burton Alice in Wonderful would be. Full of color when needed, but overall it still had that dark edgy beauty that Burton films are so famous for.

Another thing that I noticed quite often and was continuously impressed with was the awesome compositions. The shots were very thought-out and fun to look at. Truly inspiring.

Then there was the acting. Which was wonderful as well and I really enjoyed all of the performances. Particularly Anne Hathaway’s White Queen (apparently her performance was based on Debbie Harry from Blondie). Every time she floated around the screen being all dreamy it made me giggle. I could just imagine someone acting like that in real life. It would be very entertaining and kinda reminded me of Giselle from Enchanted and how she was so out of place.

The only thing that I was nervous about going into the theater was if the story was going to suck. Which it didn’t to my surprise or at least it was entertaining enough for me. My rose tinted glasses probably helped the situation. I was just so happy to see Alice on the big screen again (especially the Cheshire Cat because he is my favorite character), so that was enough for me.

Oh! The one thing I definitely could have lived without was the
thudderwack dance. I’m pretending that didn’t happen.

Happy movie watching!
~Claudia

PS. Go watch this, it's too funny:
Tim Burton's Secret Formula

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