Final Fantasy vs Tales (Then and Now)
[Continued] Page 5
At the Present
If anything, XIII and XIII-2 core gameplay was about streamlining many of the features prominent in Final Fantasy and trying to make it more accessible while modernizing it. While the thought is appreciated, the execution was largely a failure. The customization lacked the depth of its previous installments, the story failed to invite any emotional spark, and the overuse of cinematics was tiresome. Final Fantasy XIII and XIII-2, despite its association with the critically acclaimed franchise, weren’t really Final Fantasy games. While they shared elements of being presented of a grand journey, the games were largely a deconstruction of what made the series so great.
Xillia and Xillia 2 on the other hand had experienced great change while remaining its identity. Xillia streamlined its customization features by adding in the Lilial Orb. The depth of choosing how to build your character with certain stats exist, but the player can make it less complicated by letting the game choose how to go about rounding out your character. In Xillia 2, they game does something similar as well. The narrative focused more on the characters and tried to portray them uniquely. This was further developed with each character receiving individual arcs to focus on them giving the game a much more cohesive narrative structure. In addition to this, players can increase their relationship with characters which affect their growth and how they affect the combat system. Xillia and Xillia 2 tried to incorporate systems and features that all worked with each other and relied on each other’s existence rather than distancing it apart.
The Tales franchise is simply better than the Final Fantasy franchise as of this moment. The former relied on doing what it knew best while trying to evolve while the later attempted to retain its identity even though it was doing something entirely different. This conflict of interest rather than merging of ideas makes Xillia and Xillia 2 far better titles than its rival counterparts. It isn’t exactly that Xillia and Xillia 2 are excellent games but moreso XIII and XIII-2 have fallen greatly.
Simon Chun is a freelance writer for GameZone and specializes in RPGs. Follow his twitter @kayos90