Lies, Lies, Lies: Final Fantasy XIII Trilogy Coming To PC

Just look at that guy.

If a joke’s worth telling, it’s worth grinding into dust. I don’t know whether I’m referring to Square Enix still using the name ‘Final Fantasy’ after dozens of games or to me dragging this hoary old jape out every year. “Wake up, joke!” I yell, kicking it in the side. “It’s time for me to tell you.” The joke mutters and closes its eyes tighter. “I will tell you and you will be hilarious just like you always are!” I insist.

Did I mention that Square Enix are porting the Final Fantasy XIII trilogy to PC? Oh. Well, they are.

Final Fantasy XIII will arrive on PC on October 9, a touch under five years after its console release. Square Enix say Final Fantasy XIII-2 and Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII will follow “by spring 2015”. Yes, the names are confusing. FFXIII is a trilogy within the Fabula Nova Crystallis Final Fantasy hexalogy which is itself part of the Final Fantasy quinquadecology which also includes etc.

Pre-orders are open on Steam and the Square Enix store, with a small 10% discount bringing it down to £9.89. Pre-ordering’s a mug’s game and all that but hey, maybe you played it on console and know you’d want it.

In other Final Fantasy port news, Squeenix last week released Final Fantasy IV on PC. It’s a port of the 3D remake for Nintendo DS that recently appeared on pocket telephones rather than ye olde sprite-based game, though. ‘s on Steam for £10.99 if you wannit.

Here’s a peek at the final part of the XIII trilogy, Lightning Returns:

87 Comments

  1. Craphex says:

    FF XIV came out ages ago, FF IV however came out on steam the other day :P

  2. The Dark One says:

    I had somehow had it in my head that XIII was the other MMO of the series- “How could there be three versions?”

  3. Rao Dao Zao says:

    I saw a trailer for Final Fantasy XIII in a shop once and it looked like an amazing film.

    For the right price… Ermm… I could be tempted…

    • RinSatori says:

      12 euros good enough price for you? Cause that’s what it cost

      • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

        Sounds like a good price to gaze at Lightning’s hair technology @ 1600p!

        I’m sure there’s also a game hidden in there, somewhere.

        Really, i played this thing a bit on PS3, it has many downsides and issues and it’s surely one of the weakest entries, but that is really not a bad price if you never played it. If you’re not a FF oldtimer, it might actually end up as an interesting game in it’s own vacuum, as the Fabula Nova Crystallis background is pretty well written and interesting and the game’s plot itself has it’s own good moments, if you ignore Vanille.

        FF15 is also shaping up to be something pretty serious aswell.

        gameplay/cutscenes: link to youtube.com
        Tech demo+Random gameplay: link to youtube.com

        I think my wallet will help inform Square that they should continue pumping out stuff for PC, although i’d prefer other remakes first ( but FF4 is more than welcome already )

        • Christo4 says:

          But they’ll release all the trilogy on PC not just the last game, lightning returns, no?

          • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

            Aye, but for now Steam only seems to have the first one.

    • ffordesoon says:

      How much do you like looking at things that not only have no antecedent in the real world, but do not even seem like they are part of the same fictional world? Because it’s a terrible film regardless, but if you are really, really, really into looking at things that do not look like anything, you might enjoy it for a little while. Not the forty hours it takes to beat for literally no reason at all, but a while.

    • Viroso says:

      Don’t. Unless you’ve not played games like this in a while and would be impressed by all the sights and pretty colors and tackiness. In which case maybe do. But otherwise don’t. It’s an okay game that can get very boring and it is way longer than it should.

      • MadTinkerer says:

        Final Fantasy XIII has good combat. It has okay characters. It has pretty visuals. It has terrible everything else.

        Do not play this game if you like:

        Non-linear combat areas to explore. Every combat area is a hallway until you get to Coccoon, and Coccoon is not worth the wait

        Towns / hub areas to split up the combat. All shopping is done via in-game WWW style “online” shopping menus. Retail does not exist until FF13-2.

        Cutscenes taking place at appropriate times. They do shoehorn in a plot, but instead of allowing characters to reminisce and rest and talk to each other in towns, every cutscene takes place on a battlefield because there are no hub areas. Well except for the few times they take place in relatively peaceful areas THAT ARE ALSO HALLWAYS AND THUS EVEN MORE POINTLESS BECAUSE THEY SHOULD BE HUBS.

        When you get to Coccoon, you finally get a non-linear dungeon area to explore and are teased with the possibility of a hub area that the characters immediately set off for. The truth is that this game has no hub areas and they don’t even recap this part of the story later. That is the point where I finally gave up on this game, but I’m glad because what happens next in the game would have made me want to travel to Japan and burn down Squeenix’s headquarters if I had played it for myself instead of watching a video about it.

        Crafting. This game pretends, at first, to have a crafting system. It does not. It has a guessing game that functions to improve your loot with absolutely no in-game indications of what improves what by how much. This is made worse by bonus multipliers for combos that take the place of actual information.

        Character customization. You have six classes, each character specializes in one class but can train in any class. This is theoretically a good idea and not entirely broken in implementation. It actually works well with the action-oriented combat in some ways. But for reasons too complicated to explain about a system that is too simple to deserve those explanations, what you will end up doing is choosing just three characters (once you can choose from all six) and having them specialize in two classes each because if you want to play the game at all you want to minimize how long it takes to get through the goddamn corridors.

        In summary, if you like other Final Fantasy games, do not play FF13.

        I recommend FF13-2 as a starting point for the “trilogy”. While it is not the best Final Fantasy game, it is at least an actual Final Fantasy game. FF13 is what happens when the producers decide that having a complete story is more important than having a complete game.

        Pretty much all of FF13’s flaws are directly because FF12 was a complete game with a partially complete story, and the producers of 13 decided to consciously make the exact opposite mistakes. FF12 may have turned out to be too expensive to wrap up all plot threads as intended, but it’s a full, good Final Fantasy game with lots to do. FF13 is a mini-series that’s constantly interrupted by the need to hold forward on the joystick for extended periods, with excellent beat-em-up matches and no other good features.

        EDIT: So, to further summarize, FF13 is the third best beat-em-up Square Enix has ever produced, and one of the prettiest.

        • malkav11 says:

          Almost none of the things you mention struck me as advantageous to the other FF games. Nonlinearity? Well, maybe if the games had ever been nonlinear or particularly rewarded exploration, but in my experience they actually had a very defined sequence of play, so letting you wander mostly just meant you could get lost and/or have to press X on every. single. NPC. in a town in hopes of finding the next bit of plot. Towns? I mean, I guess you got to get one or two lines of samey dialogue from each of a variety of completely unimportant non-characters. That was…nonessential! Character customization? These are JRPGs. You start with predefined characters and in a couple of them you can make different numbers go up. Sometimes they manage to make those systems interesting (i.e. FFVII’s Materia, the Job system as realized in FFTactics and a few others) but a lot of the time it’s pretty pointless. In the most open games it actually decreases the individual identity of the characters. And crafting…well, I don’t think most of the other FF games even have crafting, but I’ll take your word for it that it sucks in XIII. It does in most games, as far as I can tell.

          This isn’t to say that FFXIII is good – I have no idea, haven’t played it enough to say. But everything you complain about strikes me as tolerable or even preferable as long as the story and characters are good and the combat is at least mildly entertaining. Which a lot of people seem to think they aren’t, but then a lot of people hate FFVIII and X, my favorites to date. (Although XII is intriguing and one of these days maybe I’ll actually put serious time into it. Unfortunately, by the time it had come out I no longer had the sort of time that permits sinking hundreds of hours into JRPGs to finish them, often complete with most of the sidequests.)

          • Viroso says:

            The real problem is that almost every setting in the game is a corridor. That’s what’s wrong with it. For two reasons.

            First, you don’t set your own pace. If there’s nothing to do but hold forward, the game’s setting the pace for you.

            Second is, the environments are pointless, walking is pointless. It is pointless because your only option is to move forward. They’ve made controlling your character in the field a non-important part of the game.

            Put these two things together and you get the crushing feeling of linearity that everyone talks about but has a hard time expressing it, differing it from other games.

            Setting your own pace is very important. In any other FF game, you can’t go anywhere you want at any time. But you have places you don’t need to go to. This gives you some room to stretch your limbs, explore a bit, even if it is inconsequential. The important thing about that is that not only do you have some wiggle room to physically explore, to decide where you’ll go, but you also get some room to decide how fast you’ll go.

            That means you can slow down, and that’s when you really feel like you’re IN that place, in another world. When you get to just be there. So even having a couple different people to talk to in a town, a small detour in a dungeon towards a treasure, those tiny things allow you that.

            In FF13 the only way to set your own pace is by speeding it up, and that actually means ignoring the environments, enemies, it means getting away from somewhere instead of being there.

            The second problem emphasizes the pacing problem. The only reasonable option you have in the environment is to try to bypass enemies or get them from behind. That’s it and often you can’t even choose to do those things. Other than that, just hold forward. Games like Call of Duty can get away with that because even if you’re moving forwards, you’re still interacting with the environment.

            You select your cover area, where to shoot from, you bounce grenades off walls. You are part of the world. In FF13, you hold forwards until the next encounter. You are not part of it, you are not in it. You just look at the world, when there’s the occasional awesome view from where you’re standing. You always get those views from high up, because that’s where you always are, you’re high up, you’re not actually down there.

            The awesome thing about these RPGs, I think for many fans, is that you’re going to this completely different world, you don’t need total freedom like Skyrim to feel like you’re there, to explore it. You need very little to feel like you’re there. FF13 managed to remove that. Setting your own pace, having a reason to even control the character.

            There’s a game that’s a LOT like FF13 in the things that people dislike about it. Breath of Fire Dragon Quarter. Previous entries were the traditional JRPG. You had your world map, your towns and your dungeons, a colorful party, turn based battles.

            Dragon Quarter changed all that. You just keep moving forwards, just like 13. There are no towns, no world map, you’re on the run, you gotta keep moving. Most of the game happens in literal corridors. It did away with the colorful amazing cast previous games had. It removed the classic turn based combat that had gone almost unchanged for four games. It even had something of a time limit, which you’d think would force how you paced the game.

            But it avoided all the problems from FF13.

            The game was linear as hell but the environments weren’t. They were maze-like, there was a reason to venture into an unknown out of the way room. At certain points the path actually forked, and the path you didn’t choose could not be revisited.

            Not only did you get to explore the environments, but there was never a transition to a battle arena. Every battle happened in the same place you were exploring and movement and positioning were extremely important for the battle. On top of that, before engaging a battle you had numerous ways to manipulate where the battle would happen. In this way, it was just like Call of Duty. You moved forward, but you interacted with the environments.

            The time limit worked based on using your most powerful skills. Whenever you used them, to move faster while exploring, to dash through enemies, to become way more powerful in battle, your timer went down a bit. So there was a time limit, but you decided how fast it’d go. What was cool about that is how significant this clock was to the story.

            You could, at any moment, abandon your quest to keep moving forwards and manage your little ant colony. The game had no towns except for the one you created. You created your little ant town and you had meaningful choices to make in there. This is once again another good example of the game letting you set your own pace.

            The game was linear but still the story wasn’t. The game was designed for multiple playthroughs and each playthrough would reveal new aspects of the story, let you fully understand it. So the story wasn’t laid out in front of you as you moved along, you actually had to explore it by playing the game again.

            This was how a game that shared so many similarities with FF13 managed to avoid the problems of FF13.

            FF13 could have been linear as hell, in the sense that there’s only one place to go to next. It could have done away with the towns, the world map. The only two things it had to do: Environments that weren’t corridors and integrate the battles with the environment.

          • Kitsunin says:

            Now you’ve got me interested. Especially reading that it is rather short. I think I’ll fire up the ol’ pcsx2.

    • Smashbox says:

      WARNING: the tutorial is like 5+ hours long. Frankly, I’d rather gouge my eyes out.

      • yonsito says:

        I expect nothing less from a proper jrpg. A good tutorial leads you right up to the final boss fight.
        I hope there is also a needlessly complicated mini-game.

        • Kitsunin says:

          The unnecessarily complicated minigame is like, the best part of the JRPG experience!

          The tutorial isn’t…

          • yonsito says:

            I fear these long tutorials are made for people like me. And I still don’t quite understand those minigames…

    • Echo_Hotel says:

      For the love of GOD don’t do it.
      FF13 is BAD just BAD.
      As far as the 25 hours I put into it before I gave up, the story was an incomprehensible mess of unexplained technobabble (now don’t get me wrong I like me some technobabble but give me some context), obnoxious characters with poorly directed voice acting (the accents were sliding all over the place) and boring game play with fighting taking place with little to no user input and having no real point (so you can see the enemys on the overworld so you can avoid them but why avoid them any damage taken is wiped away at the end of battle and there are no MP)

  4. thekeats1999 says:

    Played the first one on the PS3 all those years ago and enjoyed it immensly. Although that is qualified by the fact I only payed around £15 at the time. Yes it is amazingly linear, baffling story and some really iritating characters as well (am I selling it yet). But I enjoyed it.

    So I am looking forward to this and the remainder of the trilogy as well.

    But one thing SE, if you are bringing all of your iOS releases over to PC can you please hurry up and get Chrono Trigger, Secret of Mana and The World Ends With You over as well. They are all great games, even now.

    • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

      Don’t rush them now, they just recently discovered that some people MAY in fact use the PC to actually play games, and that such people tend to be rather happy about that.

      Oh, and i’d vote for Bravely Default aswell with properly high resolution backgrounds, but knowing Nintendo they’ll never allow such a thing, as demonstrated by Bayonetta 2 being a WiiU exclusive.

      • thekeats1999 says:

        My onlt problem with Bravely Default was the second half of the game being a re-run of the first half. Other than that excellent game.

    • Bluerps says:

      I enjoyed it too. The story may be nonsense (with a very high density of made-up words) and the characters not super great, but I still wanted to know what happened next to these people.

    • SomeDuder says:

      Look, I’m not saying you should go kill yourself right now, but you are part of the problem – you buying these “games” about nightclub hosts involving themselves in vapid love stories is basically saying to S-E that “Yes, we do want more of this giant pile of shit that you have turned FF into, so do go ahead and run this literal shit further into the ground”.

      Just sayin’.

      • thekeats1999 says:

        I apologise for not having the same taste in stuff as you do and valuing my money differently from you. I will run all future purchases past the committee.

        • Kaeoschassis says:

          THANKYOU for standing up to that nonsense – far too few people do.
          And to the other guy, before you try to make this about anything other than taste, that’s -exactly- what it is. FFXIII isn’t really my cup of tea either, but people can buy what they want, play what they want, and like what they want.
          Boycotting companies for business practises is one thing, if you really want to, but trying to drag other people into boycotting them over your personal taste is not only ridiculous, it’s borderline bullying, especially the way you put it.
          Just don’t.

  5. Ejia says:

    While I am glad that Squeenix is deciding it’s a good idea to release these for the PC, it would be nice if they stopped re-re-re-re-re-releasing FFIV on every damned platform and get on with remaking the next two.

    In any case, I await the flood (or not) of mods for XIII.

    • Philomelle says:

      Please do not provoke them. They just might decide to release the Android/iOS remakes of V and VI on PC, both of which include some of the fugliest spritework ever seen in a JRPG.

    • Christo4 says:

      Nude and floppy dicks mod

  6. ran93r says:

    Will avoid the first two as I have those for the 3tato but I will pick up The Returnening when it eventually comes out.
    Quite looking forward to it actually.

  7. lowprices says:

    I’m glad that more and more Japanese games that were previously console-only are coming to PC. I live in a shared house (and have no TV of my own), so there have been games previously that I would have played but didn’t, simply because the thought of wrestling for enough time in control of the tv to play a 30+ hour game was too off-putting.

    Now if Japan could just see it’s way to releasing Drakengard 3, Valkyria Chronicles and Final Fantasy 12 on PC, that’d be lovely.

    • Philomelle says:

      Drakengard series is… complicated. The original developer folded after the localization of Nier turned the game’s development into a nightmare, while the series’ director/primary world-builder has become a crazed hermit who wanders from studio to studio. They did bring him back to make Drakengard 3, but he resigned immediately after completing it and left for parts unknown.

      I love the series to pieces, but have accepted at this point that Square’s marketing team has no idea what to do with it.

    • thekeats1999 says:

      Atlus do a rather nice line as well, especially the Shin Megami Tensei/Persona series. Etrian Odyssey is an excellent series, even if some of the character designs are a touch… questionable (may not be the right word I am looking for).

    • noom says:

      FF XII works wonderfully well on PCSX2 emulator. There’s even an “undubbed” version floating around, which restores the Japanese voiceovers to the otherwise English version if you’re into that kind of thing. And if you’d rather pay for it you could always just buy a copy and play the emulated version anyway. That way you’re morally, if not legally, covered.

      Edit: I enjoyed XII a LOT more than XIII fwiw

      • malkav11 says:

        FFXII is absolutely gorgeous at high internal resolutions on PSCX2.

  8. Philomelle says:

    This might sound like trollbait, but I’m really looking forward to RPS doing a WIT of Lightning Returns.

    No, really. The game is the most sexist piece of garbage I have ever had the misfortune of experiencing and I have a feeling that anything you guys might write about it will be very cathartic.

    • Melody says:

      How so? I have only played FFXIII, and none of its sequels. The writing was generally poor and the characters were one-dimensional and stereotyped, but it didn’t strike me as particularly sexist, there were actually some good male and female characters with interesting and varied backgrounds (within the context of the poor writing).

      • Philomelle says:

        The game’s premise is quite literally “Lightning is made emotionally docile and submissive by a powerful god through MAGIC and now has to wear ridiculous pseudo-erotic costumes for power-ups while fulfilling his orders”. The “submission” part is actually spelled out.

        Did I mention that the game’s director thinks Lightning is his waifu? Because that adds a whole new layer of creep for it.

        • rhubarb-crisp says:

          I only played the first hour of the game and in that hour lightning was not a docile Japanese gender stereotype. She was even dressed like they’ve been dressing male leads on these games. I think one guy from a previous game had a shorter skirt and wore way more eye makeup.

          Every other character in the game was annoying to me, especially one of the girls. I don’t remember details. I probably quit playing during a cut scene with her in it. I always find a reason to not play a final fantasy game, though.

    • Choca says:

      The ending is also one of the biggest troll of all times.

      • Philomelle says:

        No, that would be the 3rd Birthday aka Parasite Eve 3.

        Both games have a lot of grossness by the value that they take a previously strong and independent heroine, then turn her into masturbation material. 3rd Birthday even has a thing where the heroine’s stats increase as her microskirt maid outfits are ripped down to small shreds covering her privates. Both games also have extremely unsatisfying and messy endings, though at least Lightning Returns has some semblance of structure. 3rd Birthday’s is basically “What the fuck even was that?”.

        I still find Lightning Returns more gross, however, because of the whole “Lightning becomes submissive to a male god” thing and the part where the director wasn’t even trying to hide that he wasn’t making a game so much as he was building a masturbation reel for his Lightning fetish.

        • Viroso says:

          When I first read of Returns, after being disappointed with 13 and ignoring 13-2 I thought “Oh hey that looks good”. Open world, countdown to the end of the world, etc. Then the costume thing started showing up, at first I was “okay…” then I read how they actually decided to give her larger breasts so there’d be more cleavage.

          It’s a shame they’ve got to be so god damn clueless. They I mean Square. Specifically Motomu Toriyama but I guess other people at Square. I recall reading an interview where he talked about the problem of Aya being older in 3rd birthday, the dude was saying he couldn’t conceive a female character that’d be in her 30s and also be cool. Literally saying that.

          That’s another shame too, I loved the first game, I was excited about new Parasite Eve coming out and then it was that thing.

        • Moraven says:

          Nobuhiro Goto, one of the game’s designers, replied, “Toriyama said, ‘I want to make them bigger…’
          With a laugh, Goto replied, “Yes, they’re bigger.”
          A follow-up question was asked: Will the character’s breasts, um, jiggle?
          Toriyama replied that how much her chest moves depends on what she wears.

          I will eventually play it because it looks like a fun game, but the random fanservice edition in part 3 of a game… yah.

  9. CelticPixel says:

    Excited FF is coming back to PC (not counting the MMO), and 12 quid is a good price. I haven’t played a FF game since IX. I wonder how it’ll hold up. I heard XIII wasn’t the best?

    • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

      Well, long story short, FF13 thrown a lot of the series staples out of the window, with the biggest offender being the dramatic cut on exploration. The combat system is pretty nice though. It can still have valid points if you’re open enough to them, and a lot of FF old timers weren’t.

      FF9 also had a magic kind of charm that FF13 can’t provide, although it’s also true that few in the series can really stand to that level, so i guess it’s an unfair comparison.

    • golem09 says:

      The game takes about 25 hours until you can choose your own party, up to that point, everything is linear storytelling, and sometimes quite cringeworthy. After those 25 hours I had so much fun with the game that I personally do think it is worth playing.

    • Melody says:

      Obviously you’ll hear every kind of opinion about what chapter is good and bad, but my opinion is that FFX was still as good as the old ones, FFXII was a great RPG, with a very interesting and well-made real-time combat system, but the story wasn’t as good.
      In my opinion XIII is inferior in terms of gameplay (still a decent RPG, but very rough, a lot of small but constant frustrations that could easily have been remedied, and combat gets repetitive) and vastly, massively inferior in terms of writing to anything they have done before.

  10. Jade Raven says:

    That was the most entertaining and hilarious game trailer I have seen in a long time.

  11. RedViv says:

    I do sincerely hope this means that FFXV will come to the PC as well.

    Other than that… Well, a trilogy that is so confusing in how it is connected, despite featuring recurring characters, and which has one good game wedged between two games that made me mostly alternate between “Why?”, “What in the name of George Lucas’s fourth chin is going on?”, and just a plain “Uuuuuchhhhh.”

    • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

      It was sort of confirmed a year ago, but then again people had no idea the game as a whole would even happen at all, let alone on PC.

      It will come out though, they clearly spent so much on it that they’d go bankrupt otherwise. I think the worst case scenario would be that Sony might go for a timed exclusivity deal or something like that, similar to the next Tomb Raider for MS.

    • Kaeoschassis says:

      At this point I am sincerely starting to worry if FFXV will be released at ALL.
      But yes, I’d love to see it on pc.

  12. DanMan says:

    The last FF I played was 12, and that kind of sucked unfortunately. It played like a grindy F2P/MMO title. I’ve heard not much good about 13 either, so I guess I’ll pass.

    • somnolentsurfer says:

      I thought 12 was pretty well regarded? It’s actually the only FF I’ve played more than about 30 minutes of, but I still never got past the first town. I’d always kinda planned to go back to it, so I was hoping this might be meaning that would get a PC release too.

      • Tsuki_Ouji says:

        You’ll need to, as has been mentioned, use an emulator for PC play of FFXII. However, for the BEST version, you’ll need to do additional work, and I haven’t gotten the International version (rather ironic monicker, that) to work, though I think I know the problem. I just don’t know how to fix it.

  13. amateurviking says:

    I quite enjoyed FFXIII despite it’s manifold flaws (as I recall I spent most of the first half shouting at it in frustration). Once it finally finally (after TWENTY HOURS) opens up and lets go of your hand it’s as good as any FF mechanically, but I do find myself pining for the more stylized/out there FFVII/FFIX approach (Playable lion things, colour, humour etc).

    Quite liked Lightning as a protag, mostly because she punches Snow in the face a couple of times.

    • Kaeoschassis says:

      Lightning is wonderful, so far she’s about the only element of XIII that I actually like.

      I, like you, prefer the more stylised older titles though. (Legend of Mana is one of my favourite games of all time, more than a little bit because of its “storybook” style)
      Having said that, I really love the combination of bizarre and modern-world that they did with VII, and appear to be doing with XV.
      I have rambled here haven’t I? Oh well…

  14. xenothaulus says:

    Come on, Square. Get on the ball and release Xenogears and Chrono Cross to the PC! I would gladly play those again, just give them a minor facelift. Oh and what about 9 and 10?

  15. Talesdreamer says:

    Can we have Final Fantasy Type-0 instead of this? Pretty please?

  16. golem09 says:

    This major release of a usually japanese only game gives me hope for a Dragon’s Dogma PC port.

  17. montorsi says:

    The price is right for me to give at least one of these a go. Even if it’s as bad as people say, I’ve paid ten bucks for worse games on a number of occasions.

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    JiminyJickers says:

    Good news. Bad luck I just bought the second part of the trilogy on PS3. Would much prefer it on PC.

  19. Drinking with Skeletons says:

    XIII has problems, but it’s not as different from the classic Final Fantasy X as all the hate would have you believe.

    Here are the titles I would like to see on PC, in order:

    1. Final Fantasy Tactics: War of the Lions
    2. Final Fantasy IX
    3. Final Fantasy XII (HD international version, please)
    4. Final Fantasy X-2 (and X, I guess)

    Actually, I don’t care that much about X-2 since I have the PS3 version, but it’s criminally underrated and deserves wider exposure.

    • amateurviking says:

      There’s always PCPSX and PCPS2 (XII in particular looks funking amazing at high resolution). The emulation has really come on leaps and bounds and it’ll read your PS2 discs if you still have an OD.

      • Drinking with Skeletons says:

        I keep holding out hope that they’ll do an official rerelease on some platform or other so I can experience the Zodiac Job version (which, from what I’ve heard, made every change I wanted from the original game and then some). They’ve made every other non-MMO entry available in multiple forms, even if only on PSN, so XII should, sooner or later, get the same treatment.

        • amateurviking says:

          The ZJS is fantastic, there is a fan translation/hack that adds text in English floating around, not super-legit though. I’m hoping at least for a PSN version, maybe even a Vita version.

    • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

      FF12 International Zodiac Job System: best thing ever.

      If it wasn’t that all the changes turned people away, more would understand how great and more mature that entry was. Having to cut through a poisonous mist of hatred makes the job harder.

      • Drinking with Skeletons says:

        See also: Final Fantasy X-2, which is much better than FFX.

        • Kentauroi says:

          X-2 is a… special case. It had a great combat system, but that was wrapped in cringe inducing story and visuals that were basically ‘FFX Fanservice: The Game’. It was a game I played only when I was alone, because it would’ve felt really awkward playing it in front of anyone.

          • Drinking with Skeletons says:

            I’ll agree it’s somewhat odd, but I wouldn’t go so far as to say the story is cringe-inducing. There are certainly elements that veer too far into stock anime cliches, but the idea of multiple factions fighting to fill the void after the collapse of the governing system is both consistent with what was seen in FFX and an interesting follow-up to a save-the-world scenario.

            This is a pretty insightful examination of the game, its strengths, weaknesses, and themes:

            link to lparchive.org

        • Kaeoschassis says:

          Is there any chance you could try and explain to me exactly why so many people seem to dislike X? Not that I’m suggesting you personally do, it just strikes me as odd.
          And I really hope the answer isn’t something silly like “It wasn’t a ‘proper’ FF” because really, it was lovely.

          • Rizlar says:

            You are forced to play an attractive young blonde man who is into sports, so everyone found him hard to relate to? And he’s too sexy so the teenage boys get uncomfortable and start questioning everything they thought they knew about themselves?

            More seriously it might be cos it’s very linear? It doesn’t have a very good world map. That’s all I got….

          • Drinking with Skeletons says:

            Dislike is a strong word. The plot is interesting and well thought-through, the characters generally likable (although Tidus, the protagonist, can be pretty irritating). The gameplay emphasizes using the right skills for the right situations, and often has puzzle-like battles that demand knowledge of the game’s systems to win.

            However, it’s also extremely linear. This is true of most Final Fantasies, but there really isn’t much opportunity for sidequests until almost the very end of the game. Moreso than in any entry outside of XIII it becomes clear that you are just slogging through random encounters from one save point to the next, turning the game into a bit of a chore to play. Furthermore, said sidequesting mostly involves tedious, time-consuming mini-games. The international edition–featured in the recent HD release–compounds this tedium with inescapable superbosses that can block progress and generally just make the game a huge pain in the ass.

            It’s most definitely not a bad game, but it doesn’t give the player the freedom that many of the other entries–and many other JRPGs in general–do and so can feel a bit stifling.

          • Kaeoschassis says:

            Eh, I love X’s plot, I love its world, I love its characters. Yes, it’s linear, I just… don’t see how that’s a complaint? I’ve always played it for the story, as old-hat as that sounds. I’m not especially interested in going off and looking for shiny THINGS on my own because I’m loving my trip through this world, even if the trip is planned out in advance.
            That’s not to say I don’t value freedom to explore an open world, but it’s definitely not necessary or even beneficial in every game, and I don’t see it in any way as a staple of FF. Something the early FFs had, yes, but not something I think all FFs need.

  20. Premium User Badge

    Kortney says:

    I have to admit, the URL for this article made me hopeful for a completely insane set of sequels to Final Fantasy VIII, which would have made teenage me very, very happy.

    But this is interesting news too, I guess.

  21. vorador says:

    I was able to finish it up despite it’s flaws, so you might get your money’s worth. Still, don’t expect much. The story sucks, most of the cast is annoying (FFX annoying) and it basically holds your hand about 70% of the game, when finally it gives you something to do other than go from cutscene to cutscene.

    Oh, and the sequel sucked donkey balls. I couldn’t play more than one hour.

    • noodlecake says:

      I loved FFX! It might be because I’m an illustrator… Well I’m an artist who dabbles in illustration, and I loved the character and world design. It wasn’t that the characters were annoying, it was just that the English voice acting was annoying.

      I remember enjoying the combat anbd finding it surprisingly challenging in parts.

  22. ffordesoon says:

    Look, here’s the thing about Final Fantasy XIII.

    It’s not an unpleasant experience for at least the first few hours, but that’s because it is such an absurdly well-polished turd that you might be fooled into thinking it’s an underappreciated gem. You will mistake the absence of pain for pleasure.

    And then, after you’ve sunk an absurd amount of time into it, maybe ten hours, maybe twenty, the faćade crumbles. You suddenly realize that this game has managed to rube you into thinking you are doing something without doing anything. The wheels creak to life in your head; the story appears to be about something, but it is not about anything. The weapon upgrade system is a vacuum into which weapons you have never used and don’t remember picking up go, for which you recieve boosts to stats that may or may not affect anything. Eventually, you may put the weapon you upgraded into the same vacuum, for the same nebulous reasons, to no clear end. You appear to be exploring a space, but no exporation has happened, because there is no world to explore. There is only the Highway To Cutscenes.

    You begin to ask questions you cannot answer. Weren’t those monsters in the last area? Why are they in this one, too? What is this area? Is it a machine? A forest? A forest-machine? Why is my character not asking these questions? Who is my character? I’ve been watching him/her (there are multiple playable characters) in cutscenes for hours, so why don’t I know anything more about him/her? What happened in those cutscenes? What’s happening now? Why don’t I understand this story that seems so simple? What are all these names people are saying? What is anything in this game? Why is anything in this game?

    Cue subsequent mild existential crisis as you struggle to account for the twenty hours you’ve spent on this heretofore pleasant game as anything other than a complete waste of time. Most games lie to you in some way, but are not themselves lies. Final Fantasy XIII is a lie from top to bottom. Whether by accident or design, it is a dead-eyed simulacrum of the concept of “Japanese role-playing game,” in the same way a RealDoll is a simulacrum of the concept of “life partner.” All the parts are there, after a fashion, but none of them are the genuine article.

    Oh, and at least half the characters are the worst.

  23. The_invalid says:

    I can’t wait until they release this, so I can hack/mod it to give it actual characters.

  24. DrManhatten says:

    Couldn’t care less. Square has fucked it up long time ago with the dreadful VIII and the even worse X

    • malkav11 says:

      Haha, and I was just posting that a lot of people seem to hate those two. (They’re my favorites of the series.)

      • Rizlar says:

        A lot of the comments describing how terrible XIII is just make it sound like X, which I really enjoyed! Sure, it was linear and a bit silly but some of the set pieces were mind blowing. Actually, most of the set pieces were mind blowing. *MINOR SPOILERS* The intro scene and the scene that mirrors that somewhat later on where monsters attack blitzball matches spring to mind as particularly great. Actually the blitzball was a great little minigame too. The world had a really strong pull.

        Anyway just to try and claw back some hipster cred, VI is probably my favourite Final Fantasy. But I do fancy giving XIII a try once it comes to the mother system!

        • malkav11 says:

          This is exactly why I continue to think I might like XIII. In actual practice I doubt I’ll ever put any serious time into it. I just don’t have that kind of attention span anymore, or that kind of free time.

  25. dethtoll says:

    Has nobody else noticed that the URL seems to think XIII = 8?

  26. drvoke says:

    Lots of people talking about linearity in regards to this game and FFX. I really disliked FFX as someone who has enjoyed all the Final Fantasy games from 3 to 9 despite some flaws (omg, bluh, that ending in 9 that did zero justice to the epic game that it was part of).

    A Final Fantasy game (and jRPGs in general) to me requires a certain flavor of plot progression and world opening. I dont know how to be concise about it while hitting all the important beats but generally, I expect the progression to go something like this:

    Start in one town/area, do some plot action which allows you to leave that area. Explore the wider area and follow the plot until you get access to a routed vehicle (it goes from point A to point B only) which gives access to an even wider area to explore. By about mid way through the game you then get access to a player controlled vehicle which gives you access to an even wider portion of the game world and after some more plot, you finally get access to a vehicle that gives you access to the entire game world. If there were any locations closed off to you through plot progression, those are now open again. If there were any minigames or sidequests you missed, most of them are now available again. During most of the game, you were able to backtrack to earlier areas at your leisure. There is a world map and separate town maps, and random battles are a constant threat on the world map until you get a vehicle or certain kind of vehicle.

    Yes, Final Fantasies have always had linear plot progression, but you could always go back to old areas, and sometimes there was incentive to do so, so your exploration of the world wasnt always linear. FFX missed too many of those beats, and I put it away. It sounds like FFXIII is the same, maybe worse.

    I’m not against the jRPG genre growing and changing, but I don’t feel obligated to appreciate all of the things that are changing. Pretty much every Final Fantasy game and Tales of… game has followed that progression and it never hurt those games for me. I understand why people might want something different, but that general formula is what I find compelling about jRPGs. I haven’t played a Tales game since Tales of The Abyss, but I don’t imagine they’ve changed up the formula much, but I suppose SE is free to do what they want with their property. I just hope someone knows there is still at least one person who is still in the market for a big budget, cliched, silly old jRPG that hits all the classic beats….

  27. rmsgrey says:

    First, some context: I started playing Final Fantasy with VIII, own, and have played at least some of every game in the series except the MMOs, but haven’t completed anything before VII, nor Lightning Returns.

    I tend to Final Fantasy XIII as “Final Fantasy X, but more so” – the Sphere Grid is replaced by the Crystarium, with its arbitrary level caps that you only unlock by progressing the story; the linear pilgrimage which allowed you to backtrack most of the way most of the time becomes a series of a dozen corridors, with only very limited backtracking available (not that you’d have much reason to backtrack since you’ll easily spend a lot of the game at or near the current level cap); the Calm Lands as the one expansive area becomes Gran Pulse; the pretty cutscenes to show off the capabilities of the new generation of hardware become prettier cutscenes to show off the capabilities of the new generation of hardware…

    If you compare the flow of the 2 games, XIII is a bit like X would be if it ended at the end of the pilgrimage to Zanarkand.

    Gameplay-wise, XIII drops almost all the minigames and side-quests (there are a handful of minigames that you play once when you encounter them, and never get to go back to) and almost completely eliminates the role of NPC outside of cutscenes. The only real side-quest is the hunt quests available on Gran Pulse, which are also the main post-game content.

    Overall, XIII is very pretty, very polished, but lacks both variety and player agency – it’s only one step removed from a side-scrolling beat-em-up.