My excellent friend, former coworker, and former roommate Gamasutra Christian Nutt wrote this phenomenal article about the Final Fantasy XIII series. He compares the criticism of XIII and XIII-2 to Harry Plinkett’s criticism of the Star Wars prequels. It’s seriously one of the best videogame articles I’ve read in months and I strongly urge you to check it out. Here’s a taste:
The Star Wars prequels are full of things we recognize from the original trilogy, but divorced from any dramatic intent. For example, Plinkett astutely points out that light sabers are incredibly overused in the newer films, so much so that fights lose their uniqueness and tension — the constant battles becoming simple, garish light shows. Moments from the original trilogy are deliberately referred to, but without any parallel in meaning, just in form.
So, too, is Final Fantasy XIII filled with Final Fantasy Stuff — most notably and stupidly, crystals — and it’s clear that all of that junk is there because the developers assume that it has to be there, not because it enriches the world or the game’s play experience.
“The new films just borrow and recycle from the original ideas, as if there’s no way to create anything new,” says Plinkett. And that’s what hamstrings Final Fantasy XIII, too.
Again, this is an outstanding article and you should read it when you have a chance. Keep in mind that I’m saying this as someone that likes FFXIII and the Star Wars prequels a little bit more than most people. While I don’t agree with all of Christian’s criticisms — or at least the degree of which they’re issues — I was just floored by the thoughtful and intelligent writing. After you’ve digested the article, please let me know what you thought of it.