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Final Fantasy XIII boss responds to review scores

Director Toriyama-San says critics see the game "from a western point of view"
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The key developers of Square Enix's Final Fantasy XIII have revealed they "try not to listen to the critics too much" - and responded to criticism of the game's linear nature.

Producer Yoshinori Kitase told CVG sister mag Xbox World 360: "We try not to listen to the critics too much. Most of the criticisms have come because the first half of the game is very linear.

"But we've got a story to tell, and it's important the player can engage with the characters and the world they inhabit before letting them loose..."

The game's director Motomu Toriyama added: "We think many reviewers are looking at Final Fantasy XIII from a western point of view. When you look at most Western RPGs, they just dump you in a big open world, and let you do whatever you like... [It] becomes very difficult to tell a compelling story when you're given that much freedom."

They might have a point - reviewers don't seem to be able to make up their mind on the title.

As reported by CVG, GamesMaster's Final Fantasy XIII review gave the game a respectable 81%, but PSM3 was less enamoured, awarding just 70%.

However, the Official PlayStation Magazine's Final Fantasy XIII review gave the game a 9/10, saying it "makes the hours pass likes minutes".

Who's getting it?

computerandvideogames.com
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None of those scores seemed bad to me at all, just means this game won't be overhyped by the critics.
Athrun888 on 16 Feb '10
I rather to listen to Japanese gamers who've played it.

They said it is crap.

I decided to get White Knight and Yakuza 3 instead.
wildhook2 on 16 Feb '10
yakuza 3 sounds great from the eurogamer preview.

will definitely be picking that up.
svd_grasshopper on 16 Feb '10
Really Square? Mass Effect 2 gives you complete freedom to do whatever mission you want, whenever you want, and still manages to assemble a cast of some of the most compelling characters and story I've played in a long time, a far cry from the standard anime cliches's Square wheel out every single FF title. The last FF to have a half-way compelling story was 9 (which in my opinion is still the pinnacle of the series).
GTCzeero on 16 Feb '10
I was just about to say the exact same thing. No wonder Square Enix RPGs have been slowly getting progressively worse over the last few years.

It just becomes more and more evident that Umatsu and co (now mystwalker) were the talent there. You want a next gen Final Fantasy get Lost Oddysey it is in all but name.

Was going to get this day one but the more i hear the more tempted i am to wait a little while and pick it up 2nd hand.
WHERESMYMONKEY on 16 Feb '10
I'd had this on pre-order for months and months, at a relatively reasonable �32.

But I've decided to give it a miss and I'll consider picking it up at some point in the future but I'm no longer in any rush for it. The Final Fantasy series grew stale for me a few iterations ago.
zodyack on 16 Feb '10
I decided to get White Knight and Yakuza 3 instead.

I've not heard great things or seen great reviews for White knight either, have you got already and is it any good? I was thinking about getting it anyway but it would be good to get an opinion on it.

As FF-XIII I'll still get it because I'm a fan of Final fantasy and while some people say its bad other say its good so the only way to find out is to play it i guess.
Osiris25 on 16 Feb '10
I decided to get White Knight and Yakuza 3 instead.

I've not heard great things or seen great reviews for White knight either, have you got already and is it any good? I was thinking about getting it anyway but it would be good to get an opinion on it.

As FF-XIII I'll still get it because I'm a fan of Final fantasy and while some people say its bad other say its good so the only way to find out is to play it i guess.

According to NeoGAF, it is better. More freedom than FF13.
wildhook2 on 16 Feb '10
I decided to get White Knight and Yakuza 3 instead.

I've not heard great things or seen great reviews for White knight either, have you got already and is it any good? I was thinking about getting it anyway but it would be good to get an opinion on it.

As FF-XIII I'll still get it because I'm a fan of Final fantasy and while some people say its bad other say its good so the only way to find out is to play it i guess.


According to NeoGAF, it is better. More freedom than FF13.


Thanks I'll check it out 8)
Osiris25 on 16 Feb '10
I dont see what is bad about a game being linear as long as its well put together Im happy. With FF13 my main focus will be the story, graphics, presentation, music etc.
Though I guess it was quite fun traveling around an over world map and unknowingly landing on a high level island were your instantly destroyed by sheep (FF9).
Silentbob293 on 16 Feb '10
What's that?

Don't listen to the people who told you that your previous 12 games were absolutely fantastic?

Selective hearing, me thinks.
Charlie Bell on 16 Feb '10
What a load of crap. They say that reviews look at Final Fantasy XIII from a western point of view as though they shouldn't yet they add Leona Lewis doing the sound track to make people who like western RPG's like it more.

Here is some news for you. You can't be everything. Your either Japanese or Western and if you try and be both you get a slap in the face.

Stick to what your good at that is all I can say. Having said all this I will be buying this game as I don't bother with other peoples opinions. :roll:
wwinterj on 16 Feb '10
To say reviewers are looking at it from a Western perspective is surely an ill thought out comment... Linear, non-linear, you see games of quality in all shapes and sizes. Reviewers are gamers too, if they like something or dislike it, it's exactly the same as anyone who may pick up the game, the only difference being they get to publish a score at the end of it.

Overall, it hasn't done great in the review stakes, and I think that can probably be attributed to one simple fact: It's not the all conquering behemoth of a game people were expecting. It's just not as good as anticipated.

Of course, a lot of people would want to make up their own minds. Perhaps that would have been a better thing to say, rather than 'all the reviewers are wrong because they are looking at it from a Western perspective'. I presume you will be hoping to shift a few units in the West though, yeah? :roll:
FlimFlam on 16 Feb '10
Here is some news for you. You can't be everything. Your either Japanese or Western and if you try and be both you get a slap in the face.

My half Japanese/half American friend has a face that remains, for the most part at least, unslapped.
ricflair on 16 Feb '10
Meh, I'm buying it anyways.
Madz on 16 Feb '10
[quoteMy half Japanese/half American friend has a face that remains, for the most part at least, unslapped.

Now that, is a comeback.

More freedom than FF13.

Really? Thats a reason to buy a game? Freedom?
Wow all those 'read your own story' books or 'you decide the action' films must be selling well then.
I'm one of those odd people who enjoy being told the story as the writer intended. If thats means following a path from A-B-C then so be it. Mass Effect 1 (alas have yet to play 2 due to RROD) was linear as well, it just gave the illusion of freedom. You could choose which missions to play, but you couldn't go walking around the planet unless there was something there.

As for Cliches in RPGs...I'm sure any Japanese person would point out that Western FPSs and Adventure games are all the same as well.

However if its actually a crap game, then fair enough. FFXII was crap so its quite possible.

I'll stick with Valkyria Chronicles and Dragon Age for now.
jazzy_p on 16 Feb '10
Like someone has mentioned, Square-Enix, and more notably, the FF directors, need to take note from these 'western RPG's', not dismiss them.
They're the ones leading the way in the RPG genre, not the Japanese anymore.
Mass Effect 2 manages to do everything FF games try to do, but in a open world environment where players can make their own decisions that make a difference.
Even the Japanese gamers seem to think FF13 is average at best.
It's time to take FF back to the drawing board and reinvent it, just like Capcom had to do with Resident Evil once they had exhausted the old formula.
vulcanraven01 on 16 Feb '10
dont think westerner reviewers frowned on FF7.

this one is just crap.
svd_grasshopper on 16 Feb '10
:lol: So SVD has been playing FF13 eh? :roll:
Mmmmgrolsch on 16 Feb '10
My half Japanese/half American friend has a face that remains, for the most part at least, unslapped.

I mean games man but I get the joke and fair point. :lol:

Now that, is a comeback.

It wasn't a insult or at least not to people so a comeback dosn't come in to it. :shock:
wwinterj on 16 Feb '10
STRONGLY seconds GTCZero's comments, Square need to pull their finger out, the linearity is unbelievable and a shocking disapointment after playing the crystal bearers which you can tell the team have sat down and said "right its final fantasy, but on a wii, how can we make that work for our fans?" and even companies like Banpresto made an effort at having a little freedom with side quests in Magna Carta 2, pull your f**king finger out square you can only ride your name for so long
blitzpoisonpunk on 16 Feb '10
Hopefully Squeenix won't be paying any attention to what the biased western reviewers say, i sure as hell won't. Final Fantasy X was linear and yet many would argue it was the best Final Fantasy game of all time, yet when XIII goes down the same route all of a sudden it's a disaster?

Western reviewers are biased against FF because, unlike the trash that comes out of western studios, FF is actually good. If you'd rather play a retard game like Mass Effect 2 that is nothing more than a third - person shooter hiding underneath a level - up system and a "Choose your own adventure" story progression system then be my guest.

The critics can cash their paychecks from Microsoft and praise Mass Effect 2 all they want, it doesn't change the fact that Final Fantasy XIII has sold more in Japan on one platform than Mass Flop 2 has sold worldwide on 2 platforms.

The homosexuals and non - gamers can play Mass Effect 2 and watch aliens go at it in bed. Because let's face it, given how trash the gameplay is, alien butt - sex is all the game has to offer. The REAL gamers will be playing a REAL RPG like Final Fantasy or White Knight Chronicles. Only sad losers with no friends genuinely enjoy the garbage that Mass Effect 2 glorifies.
David Macphail on 17 Feb '10
Hopefully Squeenix won't be paying any attention to what the biased western reviewers say, i sure as hell won't. Final Fantasy X was linear and yet many would argue it was the best Final Fantasy game of all time, yet when XIII goes down the same route all of a sudden it's a disaster?

Western reviewers are biased against FF because, unlike the trash that comes out of western studios, FF is actually good. If you'd rather play a retard game like Mass Effect 2 that is nothing more than a third - person shooter hiding underneath a level - up system and a "Choose your own adventure" story progression system then be my guest.

The critics can cash their paychecks from Microsoft and praise Mass Effect 2 all they want, it doesn't change the fact that Final Fantasy XIII has sold more in Japan on one platform than Mass Flop 2 has sold worldwide on 2 platforms.

The homosexuals and non - gamers can play Mass Effect 2 and watch aliens go at it in bed. Because let's face it, given how trash the gameplay is, alien butt - sex is all the game has to offer. The REAL gamers will be playing a REAL RPG like Final Fantasy or White Knight Chronicles. Only sad losers with no friends genuinely enjoy the garbage that Mass Effect 2 glorifies.

Between 10 and 20 years ago Square could release linear RPG's that were extremely immersive, back then linear didn't feel linear because they were creating something ground breaking.

Unfortunately this formula is now archaic and tired. There are plenty of open world RPG's that do a much better job these days of immersing the player, and I'm sorry David McFail but Mass Effect 2 is the pinnacle of these. I really did like the final fantasy series and would hate for it to die on its backside but it needs to go back to being ground breaking rather than being lazy and rehashing the old formula.
Skyblue on 17 Feb '10
I am not getting FF13 purely because:

1) It just looks like it is trying to impress the teenage demographic...which it won't, because the characters look like stuff your dad would drool over, not a teenager.

2) Haven't played FF much, had FF4 on the DS, loved it, but I know this will be a lot different

3) The scores. One mag gave it 4/10, and magazines which usually love the FF games gave it scores deemed bad by those who adore the games, such as those in the article. Famitsu gave it 39/40, which is very good but when you realise that Bayonetta got a better score, you know this game might suck (wasn't a big fan of Bayonetta, but it's probably because beat 'em ups aren't really my type of game. Also disliked Devil May Cry 4).

4) Have Mass Effect 2. Love the characters in that. Actually made me give a damn about game characters that aren't in Valve games and Modern Warfare 2. MW2 just shocked me with the character deaths. That made me care.

5) Getting Metro 2033 2 weeks after this comes out anyway. May not be an RPG but it looks so much more interesting than this
The Sandbag on 17 Feb '10
Final Fantasy 7,8 and 9 all had over worlds and towns and they managed to tell decent stories, for me RPG's are all about freedom or the illusion of freedom and even if its just a bit of freedom to fly to another continent to fight a few different monsters for loot or do a few side quests it makes the game so much more enjoyable
Rens11 on 17 Feb '10
I don't agree there is a distinction in taste between western, eastern, polish or Jewish gamers. A good game is A good game whether it's fps, rpg, rts or puzzle mania. If it has the characteristics of addiction with plenty of doggy treats to keep players satisfied (story, gameplay, music, etc...) then it'll be a good game even if it were released on mars. The Japs think poop stinks and the westerners agree. No one likes the smell of poop. FF13 is a big green turd. Don't blame us because we don't like doo doo. You don't either.
Davidk1 on 17 Feb '10
I don't agree there is a distinction in taste between western, eastern, polish or Jewish gamers. A good game is A good game whether it's fps, rpg, rts or puzzle mania. If it has the characteristics of addiction with plenty of doggy treats to keep players satisfied (story, gameplay, music, etc...) then it'll be a good game even if it were released on mars. The Japs think poop stinks and the westerners agree. No one likes the smell of poop. FF13 is a big green turd. Don't blame us because we don't like doo doo. You don't either.

While I would like to agree with you, I think that only really applies to individual gamers. As a whole, there are differences in tastes and also in how the story develops. You know well when you're watching a story unfold that is written by Japanese developers.
The Japanese have a huge number of obscure games which never see the light of day here, either because the context or licenses are specific (Jump games and those based on their many anime series) or because they're outright weird.
And then you get the stupid decisions such as to not initially intend to release games like Professor Layton which proved a massive success here. So in some sense, you may be right, they just might not know when they're sitting on a good thing.
Charlie Bell on 18 Feb '10
I think the problem is that FF13 is the most linear FF in the series so far - when we were all hoping it would be a step forward. Hours of cut-scenes, no towns to wonder around, no shops - just menus, running down pretty corridors for 70 hours. With so much shaved off, you're left with a very long movie, with the emphasis solidly on the combat. The combat, for the record, does look good.

But even if you take FF10, which had a more linear approach than 7, 8 and 9, it still had plenty of NPCs and towns to wonder around; all the things that make you feel connected to the game world.

We've been spoilt over here with Mass Effect, Dragon Age and even other JRPGS like the wonderful Lost Odyssey (not to mention the wonderful open-world FF12) that give you a rich sense of being part of the game world and making a difference - not just sitting back and being lectured at. So the fact that FF13 is a bunch of scraps and cut scenes feels like a dissapointment... even if the scraps and cut scenes look lovely.

I had hoped for more. It's the first FF I won't be buying, and I jumped on board with 7, 12 years ago I think. Square got it very wrong. I can't imagine what was going through their heads when they had their first few meetings about this one. With all their talent and resources, they made an interactive cut scene instead of a ground-breaking game. Some might love it, but none can deny that it's a step way, way backwards.
Hoggle1976 on 18 Feb '10
FF has ben in a steady decline for awhile now and from what i've heard its set to continue
legion on 20 Feb '10
tbh the review scores wont affect my decision to buy this particular game; it looks good and I'm really getting into the FF series so provided i can scrape in the money after paying for my guitar exam ( :( ) then i'll be snapping up a copy of the special edition in no time :D
Burney123456789 on 1 Mar '10
Two points for JRPG producers.
1) Storys are best told by DVD's, Books etc. The whole point of interactive games is lost if you spend hours not "interacting" with anything.

2)ME2, Fallout, Baldurs Gate - even Warcraft and others offer more freedom - and the story becomes personal.

What is the point of a game where you have no say in the narrative?

These other games I've listed are massively popular. You can get people to connect with the game using other deceits than cut scenes.
Cut scenes are lazy. They should have died out many many years ago. If I wanted to watch a DVD I'd have rented one.

Gaming is gaming. Movie watching is movie watching. Stop getting them mixed up.
scritty on 4 Mar '10
Hopefully Squeenix won't be paying any attention to what the biased western reviewers say, i sure as hell won't. Final Fantasy X was linear and yet many would argue it was the best Final Fantasy game of all time, yet when XIII goes down the same route all of a sudden it's a disaster?

Western reviewers are biased against FF because, unlike the trash that comes out of western studios, FF is actually good. If you'd rather play a retard game like Mass Effect 2 that is nothing more than a third - person shooter hiding underneath a level - up system and a "Choose your own adventure" story progression system then be my guest.

The critics can cash their paychecks from Microsoft and praise Mass Effect 2 all they want, it doesn't change the fact that Final Fantasy XIII has sold more in Japan on one platform than Mass Flop 2 has sold worldwide on 2 platforms.

The homosexuals and non - gamers can play Mass Effect 2 and watch aliens go at it in bed. Because let's face it, given how trash the gameplay is, alien butt - sex is all the game has to offer. The REAL gamers will be playing a REAL RPG like Final Fantasy or White Knight Chronicles. Only sad losers with no friends genuinely enjoy the garbage that Mass Effect 2 glorifies.

You're pathetic. You trolled the ME2 vs. FFXIII article over at VGArabia. I thought it was just in retaliation for an Xbot who was trashing FF, but this comment is unwarranted here. I won't knock FFXIII, since I haven't played it, or any FF game for that matter, but your comments on Mass Effect 2 are idiocy of the highest level.

Yes, the concept of Mass Effect 2 is "Third person shooter with RPG leveling elements and an interactive story" but that in itself is not a bad thing. I could easily say FFXIII is a "Turn-based RPG with a non-interactive story", but does that mean it's bad? No, of course not. Whether or not people like either is a matter of taste.

As for reviewers "cashing paychecks", no. Soon after ME2 came out, EA released Dante's Inferno. EA was clearly willing to spend money on both, as ME2 had an NFC championship commercial and Dante's Inferno had a Superbowl commercial. But, while Mass Effect 2 was wildly received, Dante's Inferno has had lukewarm reviews, at best. If EA was bribing reviewers to give good scores, why didn't Dante's Inferno get a good score?

It's clear that Mass Effect 2 is just a fantastic game. Having played the game myself, I can easily say it's one of my favorite games of all time. And I'm not a "retard" shooter gamer who plays Halo and CoD all the time, as I suspect you would accuse. I never play online, and I prefer strategy games and RPGs.

Mass Effect has, among other things: A. Fascinating, well-developed characters B. A solid main plot, as well as numerous side stories, some of which arguably outdo the main plot in terms of originality C. Wonderful art design D. Terrific gameplay. It's not all about "alien butt-sex". Sex is about 0.001% of the game. More than that, it's not flippant, obscene sex (well, in one case it is, but you can take that character in a better direction as well). It's the culmination of developing a relationship with a character. I'd rather play an interactive story that I can influence rather than play a game that I do fighting between cinematic cutscenes, which I can easily get in a superior form and less frustrating, time-consuming manner called "movies".

Really, though, I suspect you haven't even played Mass Effect 2, and I wouldn't be surprised if you haven't played a single western RPG. You're probably a butthurt PS3 and FF fanboy who doesn't even own an 360 or a PC good enough to play ME2. All the praises being showered on Mass Effect 2 and criticisms on FFXIII are driving you up the wall. While you could simply argue that it's the bias of western reviewers to an extent, and that the games are even, you go too far by calling Mass Effect 2 "garbage". GTFO.
Stargazer on 8 Mar '10
Anyone who says FF13 isnt as good as white knight chronicles needs to be shot. The linear first part is very fun and that 16 hours felt like 2 to me :). Plus the combat system is extremely well done and thought out, it looks really good while still taking strategy. And btw if it was a fully free world from the very beginning it wouldnt have made any sense, it would have just made all the characters seem like complete idiots. btw mass effect 2 is awesome as well.

FF13 9.5/10
drjekyll5326 on 17 Mar '10
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