FFXIII is “biggest swindle in gaming history”

Sunday, 10th January 2010 19:31 GMT By Patrick Garratt


A Hong Kong magazine has given FFXIII a 4/10 review, saying the RPG is “so linear that it’s little more than riding an amusement park ride.”

The mag, scans of which can be seen on AllGamesBeta, takes the Square title to school with such ferocity it leaves it pissing its knickers at the gates. Then it takes is to college. Then university. Then it forces it to do a PhD in metallurgy.

Random quotes:

“The game is complete linearity until the open areas near the end. You can’t even backtrack.”

“Of all the RPGs I’ve played in recent years, this is the first which has been so linear that it’s little more than riding an amusement park ride.”

“I had heard the opinion that, ‘It’s amazing once you get to Chapter 11,’ but why should you spend 20 or 30 hours on a game to get to the only enjoyable part? Just how do they intend to make me play this? Do they think I’m some kind of masochist?”

“A button-mashing puzzle game with no real strategy or RPG elements and a plethora of annoying features, game as a whole is little more than a digital novel of sorts.”

“For such a game to approach 2 million copies sold must be due solely to the strength of the Final Fantasy brand.”

“Biggest swindle in gaming history.”

“Biggest joke of 2009.”

The biggest swindle in gaming history. Some won’t be pleased.

Here’s the verdict:

Scenario: 2.0 — “An epic tear jerker”

System: 1.0 — “Such a crude system barely warrants being called an RPG at all.”

Graphics: 9.0 — “Full marks here.”

Sound: 7.0 — “Mostly quality.”

Enthusiasm: 1.0 “As if you could play this for 100 hours! I could put up with 8.”

Total: 4.0 — “To think it got this bad…”

The game’s now out for PS3 in Japan. Americans and Europeans get it on March 9.

Via Kombo and Destructoid.



  1. Grimrita

    well its not the first and wont be the last

    #1 5 years ago
  2. Psychotext


    #2 5 years ago
  3. SunKing

    lol, Pat. Nice post. :)

    #3 5 years ago
  4. Johnny Cullen

    Dr. Cox says they are wrong.

    #4 5 years ago
  5. Crazyreyn

    I like how 9.0 equals full marks.

    #5 5 years ago
  6. Kai

    It’s funny how no one really has heard about that magazine until now. At least there won’t be any confusion when it comes to what magazine will be lining my bird’s cage.

    #6 5 years ago
  7. Alakratt

    FFXIII is the end result of all of you who criticized FFXII. Its battle system was basically programming (I’m a programmer so I know) and if you weren’t smart, then you sucked. Apparently those same people praised the dumbed down linear FFX and Square took noticed and this is what we got.

    So in other words, you “fans” of FFX are the ones that made this happen! An RPG shouldn’t be linear, we have action and adventure games for that (even though they are slowly becoming more open). FFXV (if it gets made) should be handled by the FFXII team, not by the dumbasses who made this shit. I really hope this game fails in the West so that SE learns the hard way to stop making subpar quality RPGs in this gen.

    #7 5 years ago
  8. freedoms_stain

    I was execting the usual “buy it” line at the bottom despite the absolute ripping :p

    #8 5 years ago
  9. Uncontested

    This isnt the first group ripping the game.. I’ve heard nothing but bad with the exception of the graphics.. definitely not buying till i see a good number of user reviews

    #9 5 years ago
  10. DarkElfa

    Hopefully this will end this over winded franchise, at least for a few years or more.

    #10 5 years ago
  11. Psychotext

    It might end it in the West DarkElfa, nothing could touch it in Japan.

    #11 5 years ago
  12. SunKing

    God, if it’s anything close to FFX’s Sphere Grid then I’m going to give it a pass. Hated that thing.

    #12 5 years ago
  13. Gekidami

    To be fair it looks like the reviewer didnt play the game till the end, infact it looks like he never got passed the infamous ’20 hour tutorial’.
    Though i have to agree that having the game only really get interesting after round 20 hours of play is criminal, i can imagine alot of people not being patient enought to go that far and packing it in with a bad impression.

    #13 5 years ago
  14. Eregol

    Now, I loved FFX’s sphere grid. Quite enjoyed trying to get my characters round the entire thing, but obviously, never quite managing it.

    #14 5 years ago
  15. AHA-Lambda

    WOW! I’ve never heard such venom for something from such a well respected franchise. Sounds square really dropped the ball on this totally. Ouch :O

    #15 5 years ago
  16. DarkElfa

    It’s a well respected franchise that’s gone down hill since #7.

    #16 5 years ago
  17. DaMan

    8 was okay, had some nice gameplay elements too. Square generally went downhill since 1999 anyway(their last actually good games were Vagrant Story and Chrono Cross, the latter could’ve been as good as Trigger, Xg and FF 6/7 if they spent as much time on the battle system as they did on graphics).

    #17 5 years ago
  18. Blerk

    I’m interested to see how the Western reviews go. Traditionally FF games have gotten a ‘free ride’ just because they’re FF, with many of the gripes and irritations swept to footnotes because “it’s FF, ffs!”. However… I get a weird feeling that the honeymoon’s over… especially now that it’s multiplatform and the PS mags don’t need to blow it out of all proportions just to get one over on the competition.

    #18 5 years ago
  19. Dr.Ghettoblaster

    Well said above post Blerk. Man, if FF13 bombs, you can take your money to the bank that the FF7 remake project will take off…lol.

    The reviews should be interesting based on the first two out of the gate being both negative, but regardless, still a definite purchase to experience in it’s entirety regardless of public/private opinion.

    (I’m actually more looking forward to Heavy Rain personally;)

    #19 5 years ago
  20. Hunam

    So they over pandered to the japanese gamers who hated FF12 and now it’s shit?

    #20 5 years ago
  21. OlderGamer

    I think your right Blerk. Some very good points.

    I bet, however that the collective MetaCritic goes easy of the game due the amount of money that Sqenx is libal to thro at said websites. I think the score will be more moderate then some maybe expecting. I am think mid 8s in most cases.

    But there are legions out there just waiting to praise the game simply because it is another FF game. I wouldn’t expect it to tank too badly with reviews overall. Good or bad.

    But if this game fails in the west. It may well mark the unoffical deathknell of JRPGs in west. I am still undecided if that will happen or not.

    Personialy, I won’t be buying it.

    #21 5 years ago
  22. DaMan

    even if it gets 7s on sites like IGN or Gamespot the NA (and European) sales will be high.

    #22 5 years ago
  23. Digital Forge

    Ah Vagrant story (@17) Square’s long lost love child, probably one of my favourite games of the PlayStation era, out on PSN now as well I believe so is a shame to not see as many people talk about it.

    #23 5 years ago
  24. Hunam

    What always annoys me is if something like this does fail it tends to be “The west no longer like JRPG’s’ rather than “Oh, the game must suck” then we miss out on all the good stuff.

    #24 5 years ago
  25. bugmenot

    so an unknown chinese publication(outside of china) with an unknown reputation is given headline news. Hard not to see this as sensationalism when this site would not have been quoted if they’d given a 7 or an 8. or maybe even a 6.
    meaningless is what it is. I’ll wait for metacritic scores to weigh in before deciding. I would say i’ll wait for the Edge review but they have had their thunder stolen and will probably give it a 3 out of vengeance of being outdone by a lesser known site.

    #25 5 years ago
  26. Hunam

    Edge don’t give good games shit scores just because.

    #26 5 years ago
  27. bugmenot

    yeah i wasnt being entirely serious;) but you have to admit Edge are keen to live up to their name.

    #27 5 years ago
  28. Hunam

    A couple of reviewers might scoff at the overly hyped games but overall it’s fairly solid. Plus, we all know how it goes. A big game comes along, everyone refuses to hear anything negative. The game comes out, everyone decrees it the best ever and in 6 months time 50% of those people think actually, it was shit. See Oblivion, Bioshock.

    #28 5 years ago
  29. Eregol

    I liked Final Fantasy IX too.

    #29 5 years ago
  30. Hero of Canton

    @Blerk – no, this time it’ll be the Xbox mags blowing it out of proportion because it’s on ‘their’ format now. ;)

    #30 5 years ago
  31. Blerk

    It’ll certainly be amusing to see how Xboxers react. I’m kind of expecting a whole bunch of “wtf I went out and bought this on day one and it’s fucking shit you PS gamers are fucking morons it’s not even a fucking game it’s just a movie lol” posts. :-D

    #31 5 years ago
  32. dirigiblebill

    Gamasutra’s done a really thoughtful hands on. Definitely worth reading if you’re worried about the linearity/absence of towns/”20 hour tutorial”.

    #32 5 years ago
  33. Phoenixblight


    Great read. From what I read, it seems like I will enjoy the game. I have always liked FFX linearity over the older games.

    #33 5 years ago
  34. marijnlems


    Thanks for the link! That really is a great article, and it went some way in making me understand the criticisms the game has received so far. Not nearly as worried now.

    #34 5 years ago

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