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.
"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.