Metareview: Final Fantasy XIII

Sweet Shiva, the Final Fantasy XIII reviews are all over the place. What has been clear over the past couple years is that the Japanese RPG has been going through some seriously violent flux. The genre is trying to find a new path, and even as Japanese developers seem to search for a balance that'll please several markets, they're freaking out western reviewers and audiences, who have a certain expectation going into these games -- a fault of fans, as much as decades of ingrained convention by those developers.

The new JRPGs aren't necessarily great games. They certainly break conventions of what a JRPG is, so how to review them? Along comes Final Fantasy XIII, another risk taker, but this time by the genre's big kahuna -- at least, it is in the west. We've weighed in with our review; let's see what other outlets think:
  • Game Informer (93/100): "For years, gamers have had visions of this title as an industry-transforming epiphany, but no game could possibly live up to such astronomical expectations. That's no reason to lose faith; though reality doesn't match the myth, Final Fantasy XIII is a phenomenal RPG destined to be remembered as a technical milestone for the series."
  • Eurogamer (80/100): "Palatable is very much the word for Final Fantasy XIII. The Final Fantasy series, with its lengthy cinematics, stubborn style and carefully prescribed limitations, can never hope to please everyone. So it's strange to see it try, and no surprise that the result is not a total success."
  • VideoGamer (70/100): "You have to hand it to Square Enix for trying to move things forward - better that than yet another rehash of the tried and tested Final Fantasy formula ... But it does so along a path so narrow and straight that you long for the days of old. When Vanille is knocked out in battle, she sometimes says: 'What went wrong' It's a question we find ourselves wondering as well."
  • Edge: (50/100): "FFXIII takes brave risks with the series' foundations, but they ultimately create trembling fractures throughout the entire edifice, that robust battle system unable to support the weight of an entire world. Final Fantasy games are always an investment. This time, the returns are questionable."

This article was originally published on Joystiq.