Why the Japanese Hate Final Fantasy 13 [Amazon Reviews]

Final Fantasy 13 Hate

No Snow Villiers, they’re running away from the game.

Well the most anticipated game of the year, Final Fantasy XIII, is about to make it’s way to the American shores. Professional Japanese reviewers loved it! Professional American reviewers loved it! But whats this? The game scored a 3/5 on Amazon Japan player review. It appears Japanese players are split. On one side, they see it as an evolution, on the other side it’s deemed dull and repetitive, amidst all the hype and production.

I took the time to translate (with the best of my ability) certain bad Amazon reviews that gave the game a score of 1/5.  Once the American version is released I want to compare if generally, Square Enix made a game that would appeal more towards International communities than their own.


Japanese Player Reviews

“The game stuffed in a lot of terminology and phrases which I found terrible. I wanted to enjoy more of the story, but I had to remember all of these made up words... There isn’t a town either. Plus, shops are attached to a save point, there isn’t even communication with the  shopkeeper either.  It’s strange to wonder why the producer would remove such features and think it would be fun for an RPG ” ~Mamasan


This game is like one straight road from start to end. There aren’t that many people you come in contact with. It makes you feel isolated and lonely. You can’t even control the other party members , they just act on their own.  Like they would just defend when I didn’t want them to. You really need a brain to understand this story, it’s really incomprehensible. I am very disappointed” ~Faran


“13 is like a terrible “Linear CG Game.” They took away our rights of enjoying an RPG by discarding things like ‘Story’ and ‘Content’.” ~morgan


“The battles were useless. Early on you just repeated the same attacks until you got tired of them.  It wasn’t interesting (except the summons!) Later on in the game you will die frequently if you don’t utilize the Optima system. ” ~y


“The journey through this game is like just one long straight path… Generally, I’d evaluate this game as trashy. I feel as if the producer thought that this game would be popular just by slapping the name of Final Fantasy onto it. I feel uneasy about FF Versus after  playing this.” ~dustpan


Where on earth did Final Fantasy go? I’ve been playing FF games before I could even write Hiragana. I’ve been very happy with them since. However the direction of the games has shifted over several years, never returning to what it was. ” ~?


“I regretted my purchase of this game. I felt that it was just light on content and heavy on pretty visuals.” ~


“Final Fantasy 10 was good. Final Fantasy 13 is a pain. (FF12 I just didn’t find interesting.)… Playing this game is painful from beginning to end. [Battlewise,] I feel that we should be able to move in real-time freely. We should be able to walk around to any dungeon we want…  I didn’t really feel like playing this narrow path. It wasn’t until Chapter 10 where I was able to actually walk around [in an open field]. That place was large and beautiful, but  it still ended up rather annoying than pleasant. ” ~Ruru


“I tried FF13, I was impressed with the quality of the visuals. I didn’t really care much for the beginning but I finally gave up at Chapter 10. I felt stressed out after the amount of game overs I got from battling common enemies. You have to put in a lot of patience and spiritual strength for this game, but for me I just sold it.” ~wind


“This game is like a movie, with many cutscenes that pop up to disturb the tempo of the game… With so many cutscenes, the player feels left behind. In fact, I don’t even understand what the main characters are doing in the first 2-4 hours of gameplay. At least there is a dictionary within the game [to explain the terminology.] Battles get repetitive. It’s because much of the battle system is locked away in the early parts of the game. They should have implemented something that allows us to access these systems whenever we want to. ” ~Pundel


…It feels like watching a visual novel with no choices [for dialogue]. This isn’t even an RPG muchless… [Squarenix] what were you doing all this time when you postponed the game?” ~waiting


“As a full time working adult, I can stay up all night with a game if it’s interesting. As for this game, I can only spend 2 hours with it. ” ~


“The story isn’t well developed. I felt it was childish and full of contradictions. I’d say it felt like “playing a game on rails.” ~


“Story: Not interesting. I get irritated with indecisive characters, especially “Hope” in particular. Battle: If you do it properly you can win, but, you may make a mistake if you don’t understand what you are selecting for the optima system. Most uninteresting thing: Buying weapons and items within the save point…” ~polarbear


The story, music, and graphics are good… We play with the main characters through this narrow straight path. Afterwards, we are shown a cutscene > forced battle > cutscene > and continue playing again through this straight unwavering path. This pattern continues on for eternity. You may hear some chatter in a town, but even a concept like “shopping” isn’t in the game. The town’s only existence is just so that the main characters may pass through it… [The town] is actually a part of the dungeon so to speak. ~monpuchi


“I was disgusted with this uninteresting story. I had to pull myself away from the story, the ambiguous background and setting, the stinky characters with their poor dialogue, you can’t feel any empathy for any of it. What the heck is a Fal’cie? Is there not a “regular” town? An Airship? Can we at least have conversations with the people in towns? I found the terminology to be dull, “Purge the L’cie of Pulse” I don’t even understand that… There weren’t many antagonist characters, sure they did have many types of  similar enemy soldiers and weapons, but you couldn’t feel any affection (or sense of attachment) to them… Although, the battles were interesting, I just wasn’t able to become very familiar with it….  I miss some of the FF of olden days. Where did Final Fantasy go? Yes the graphics are beautiful, but I believe the script, which is the most important aspect of an RPG  went to trash [in this game.] I am really disappointed considering I was a FF fan for such a long time. ” ~maru

The Best Worst Review

This review was actually quite funny to read. I think he kind of rambled off and on but you can see this game has affected him.

“Good Points about this game…
Well, the movie scenes are pretty!
The main character is a hot chick!
Well that’s it, just two [good] points.

It’s hard to even relax in this game because there isn’t really a town. You keep fighting from beginning to end. Heck, the battles tend to go on.. And, for some reason the producer thought the players would be strong, so he made the enemies stronger. Maybe he thought we’d enjoy this.

I want to be able to quickly advance through a dungeon, but the enemies are soo strong… I get really irritated…

This may be unrelated but, for those of you who quit smoking, you really should have never done that. I really want a cigarette so badly right now. I am really stressed out.

The battles has this command strategy called “Optima.” The characters look great when they pose, but… During that moment, you are completely defenseless. ‘Cause if the character you are controlling dies, it’s Game Over!

The story is the worst. Right at the start of the game, you get these incredibly confusing terms like Fal’cie and L’cie..

When Square Enix came to be, their Final Fantasy games turned to crap.” ~hiro

Well there you have it. From this I conclude the reason Japanese hate Final Fantasy is due to it’s linearity, confusing terminology, and lack of towns. The game does indeed have a city known as “Nautilus” which you can explore to some extent. But in reality, it is just a place you visit to continue the story.  After you complete the story, the game throws up several missions where players can kind of explore areas they’ve seen.