What I miss most while playing Final Fantasy XII is high resolution output. Turns out the Super Nintendo and Playstation 2 are not that far apart in terms of horizontal and vertical screen resolution. While there were huge jumps in processor speed, memory, color, and data storage, you were still plugging a composite video cable into your cathode ray tube television.
Going back to 2D games isn’t so bad, but 3D games are painful in the days before 480p resolution. Final Fantasy XII has beautiful textures but they’re wasted on such a tiny screen. It’s for that reason I find myself flipping to Final Fantasy XIII on the Playstation 3. It feels like getting glasses for the first time. Shame the rest of the game still makes me want to drive icepicks into my eyeballs.
Yes, it’s time for another article complaining about Final Fantasy XIII. You want a different topic, tell me.
I’m only kidding… mostly. The beginning of FF13 dupes the player into thinking it will evolve. The combat system becomes more engaging when you’re turned into l’cie and get to use paradigms. The characters get slightly less annoying as their interpersonal conflicts are resolved. You go from an all-green environment to a hauntingly crystallized lake (still filled with red robot dogs for whatever reason).
But the map never opens up. There’s never an interesting NPC or meaningful mini-game. Even at the end of their character development I wouldn’t want to have lunch with any of the folks from Cocoon or Gran Pulse.
This is what keeps me from buying Final Fantasy XIII-2 or Lightning Returns. The first title didn’t make me care about these people or their world, so why should I buy more games starring these idiots? It’s kind of sad and probably the reason I’m playing Thirteen again. There’s greatness to be had in the combat system and the unbelievable graphics engine, but it’s wasted on these people and the stupid world they’re in. I want to extract enough joy from this game to buy the others. Nothing yet.
Sigh. I’ll keep trying. At least until I get to Hecatoncheir.