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New Final Fantasy XIII English Trailer is a little bit Jpop, a little bit Rock and Roll
by Greg Mengel

I'm a little wary of any Final Fantasy titles released after FFX. Actually, make that any after IX. So, when I watched the new english-language Final Fantasy XIII trailer released on Sunday by Square Enix, I did so from between narrow, doubting eyes.

My problem with Final Fantasies released after IX is that they just seem too 'poppy', too flashy and stylised, too... anime. Now anime is a fine genre with a noble tradition, but there comes a time when I want to play a good, solidly built Eastern-style RPG and not be sent to the hospital with an epileptic attack. Anime, especially interactive anime, does that to me. It inspires epilepsy.

That being said, I am definitely going to play this game. I pride myself on the fact that I've played all the main Final Fantasy titles released in English, and many of the spin-offs. It may be naïve nostalgia, but I consider Final Fantasy Legend II to be one of the most unfairly overlooked and underappreciated RPGs made to this day. I don't think I've ever played a Final Fantasy that was bad, ever. The only thing that comes close is the Kingdom Hearts series, that horrible abomination born of the forbidden union of Disney and Square Enix. The Little Mermaid levels of both the first two games in that series will still inspire frightened and helpless feelings in me if spoken of in my presence. It's like mentioning Cthulu. Or better yet, Voldemort.

I really don't expect Final Fantasy XIII to be even nearly as bad as Kingdom Hearts. Actually, anime styling aside, the gameplay and mechanics of the game shown to us so far look really, really good. Good enough that I can forget that my some of my characters are summoning transformer cars (see 2:30 in the video), while others look like a pirates-turned Abercrombie models (freeze on 5:15, 6:18), that for no apparent reason one of the villains speaks in a tacky Australian accent (see 6:31), or that every single character, even the afro-sporting black guy, looks and acts overtly Japanese. I guess that's part of the charm.

Enough said for now, we'll talk more about this game when we can actually play it. Until then, here's the video, compliments of Square Enix, Gametrailers, and, of course, Gamer's Guide to Life. Bon appetit.


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- Greg Mengel

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