Square Enix Attempts To Explain Low Western Reviews

Reviews and reactions for Final Fantasy XIII have been mixed. Some love it. Some don't. But Final Fantasy XIII director Motomu Toriyama claims to know why Western critics might not dig the game.

"We think many reviewers are looking at Final Fantasy XIII from a western point of view," says Toriyama in a recent issue of Xbox World 360. "When you look at most Western RPGs, they just dump you in a big open world, and let you do whatever you like..." Toriyama adds that it "becomes very difficult to tell a compelling story when you're given that much freedom".

Does that mean when Western critics like Final Fantasy titles, that they are looking at the game from a Japanese point of voice? Perhaps, you know, those critics just didn't like the game? Maybe they liked other Final Fantasy titles and just felt that XIII was not for them.

It should be noted that Japanese game magazine Famitsu pointed out that FFXIII's linear structure, too.

There is nothing wrong with a critic liking or disliking a game. Their opinion does not change the game itself, but rather, only the perception of it. The longstanding heavy reliance on review scores in video games has created this false feeling of validation.

News: Final Fantasy XIII boss responds to review scores [CVG]


    In a way this is true, when we've been introduced to incredible games like oblivion and fallout, we wonder why other RPGs like DA:Origins and FF exists still when the story is extremely linear and doesnt usually require a lot of thinking or flexability.
    But in return the storyline becomes easier to understand.

      What? DA: origins isnt linear! Theres a shitload of sidequests and optional areas you can visit. And you can choose which order to tackle the main objectives.

    Square Enix using good ol fashion racism to explain away why the latest in their series of increasingly stale and linear games is stale in linear.


    Since when has FF had a compelling story? I'm pretty sure that i'd take Mass Effect's story over any Final Fantasy any day.

    Is a critic not entitled to his opinion? No says the man from Square Enix, unless its a good review.

      is the man from Square Enix not allowed to reveal his thoughts on why reviews have been critical?

      it goes both ways.

        ahh at no point in that guys comment did i see him say he couldnet say it it just suggested that playing the race card to explain why your crap game got a crap review is morally disgusting

          morally disgusting?!?! that's absurd.

          if say, cliff bleszinski came out and said 'japan just doesn't really like gears of war because they're not as into guns and chopping people in half with chainsaws as much as americans are' would you say the same thing? well you probably would. but my point is, there is some truth to what toriyama is saying.

    final fantsy 13 getting a bad review score is anyone really suprised the series has been on life support since 8 just let it go square enix because now its just getting sad

    I get what he's saying with the "Eastern" to "Western" gap, there are a whole host of games which succeed on one end and not the other on culture alone.

    That said, when I was a wee lad of 13, all my friends were in love with something called Final Fantasy 7 or 8. As "western"er, there was nothing wrong with the final fantasy formula...

    ...10 years ago...

    And I take anything from Famitsu with a grain of salt. It's well known that money = score. And I recently saw a "Coolest game character" poll from Famitsu which went something like this:

    1. Snake
    2. Mario
    3. Cloud
    4. Slime (Dragon Quest)
    5. Sora (Kingdom Hearts)
    6. Link
    7. Yuri (Vesperia)
    8. Amaterasu (Okami)
    9. Pikachu
    10. Sonic

    Why hello there kids. I barely saw you.

    This is why I like kotaku reviews. There's no numbered rating to 3 decimal places to determine the value of a game. What's the difference between 7.7 and 7.8?
    That said I also like the "you'll like this game if you liked..."

    Theres just as much to be said for linear story telling that can be said for more sandbox/multipath story telling.

    Both have distinct advantages.

    It seems stupid and cruel that anyone would mark a JRPG down just because they prefer western RPGs though no doubt some people do. In terms of the linear gameplay, games like that never annoyed me as much as other people so *shrugs*. I like being told a story and I do agree most open world RPG's have trouble doing that.

    It makes me wonder if part of that was the move away from turn based battles and what would happen if they went back to the old formula. Probably one side complaining about the gameplay getting old and the other loving it. I personally thought the old formula (pre FFXII that is) was working fine.

    Guess we'll see the complete story when the game's released here.

    Has this guy had a look at Japanese reviews (outside of Famitsu)? It's getting terrible reviews, especially among the public and is already selling for bargain prices. Not that I don't think the game has a lot of merit (I have the Jap copy, and am waiting on the English release).

    So it's very difficult to tell a compelling story when you’re given that much freedom?! Motomu Toriyama needs to go play some Mass Effect 2 and enjoy being very wrong...

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