BioWare On Final Fantasy XIII: Not An RPG

BioWare On Final Fantasy XIII: Not An RPG

BioWare’s Daniel Erickson on Final Fantasy XIII, as seen on Strategy Informer.


  • A bit much I think. FFXIII may have a lot of toned down elements but it’s still an RPG. I think the western world has this hardcore notion that an RPG needs to be D&D like to be an RPG. But if he says FFXIII is not an RPG then he should be saying the same things about Bioshock or Deus Ex. Heck, Mass Effect 2 would be pushing the definition of “RPG”.

    • Pretty sure that a highly customisable character development system and multiple ways of implementing character and player skills to solve situations in multiple ways feature in all of the games you mentioned, whilst Final Fantasy XIII is limited at best in these areas.

      If anyone is set in their ways, it’s JRPG makers. They are so set in their ways by this point that they are killing the industry in Japan. Of course, that isn’t helped by the fact that Japanese gamers seem incredibly averse to change and keep buying the same thing again and again.

      • Final Fantasy IV had barely any cusomisable character development system, and people still call that one of the best RPG’s ever.

        I’m with Dunnowhathuh on this one.

  • I think what is an RPG these days is up to the individual’s opinion. Bioware should probably just stick to making games, rather than catagorising other games. I loved Mass Effect 2, but calling it an RPG is probably pushing it.

    To me, an RPG involves advancing your character’s story, interacting with NPCs and exploring a world. It has little to do with the mechanics behind the games itslef.

    I hated FF13 – to me Square have just taken way gradually all the best bits of ff7 & 8 and what we are left with is a (pretty looking) barely interactive story. Look at ff7, then look at ff13 – no more world map, no more towns, no more shops… for me they’ve taken the world away, and left me with a corridor.

    • “I loved Mass Effect 2, but calling it an RPG is probably pushing it.”

      The RPG elements did feel toned back, didn’t they? It was more of a third-person-shooter with tacked on upgrade trees.

      Awesome game though.

      Best RPG in my mind, though, would have to be Morrowind. Oblivion might have had better tech, but I feel that it didn’t live up to the story of Morrowind.

    • I would think the extremely complicated dialogue system alone would qualify ME2 as “advancing your character’s story” and “interacting with NPCs”.

  • This is really the pot calling the kettle black isnt it

    Mass effect 1 was definetly an RPG but ME2 was extremely toned down

    i mean both games you really only controlled one charachter

    mass effect 2 had a way weaker upgrade system

    and while you may be able to max all your diff talents in FFXIII there was no point where i felt like i had a difficult option in assigning my skill points in ME2 there was the useful skill and the un-useful ones

  • defintily a JRPG. This game had rpg story telling, except they did everyone’s point of view hard to extenguish the lead character. And it had grinding, yes what ever way people may change it you could not complete the game if you avoided every fight possible. Because your character is too weak. Zelda the only RPG in my mind where there is no grinding. Link was only good if you were good, not because link is lvl 20 marksmanship.

    But good thing you don’t need to fight as often in 13 compared to other FF. The story is really great with only one emo (lighting). Compared FF7 there was cloud, vincent, sephiroth, rufus, no one other than cid was cheery, Yuffie was stupid. I had not like a main lead since 6, because after that the leads became emo’s. Now snow is a lead that I like once again.

    But yeah 13 did fell like a corridor for 80% of the game and 60% of it you didn’t even get to choose your party. The fights are ridiculous long now that mp is out the window so now each fight the monsters need to able to kill you except for just widdling you down instead now.

    But the new system is great and I think the interactive loss due to this new system and they loss too much funds and time. So next FF would defintily have the interaction it miss this time. But still a excellent game, great story and visuals, which is what makes rpgs good to play (I have never played rpg’s to their gameplay as i never liked that’s why I don’t play mmo because there is no story and gameplay and visuals are rubbish).

    • Im sorry, but Snow was a blockhead.

      And Hope IS most definatley VERY Emo. Dude wouldn’t stop winjing for most of the game!!

      And Im also sorry to say that the story really didn’t bother me this time. I was more engrossed in FF3 and it was as simple as they come.

  • I’d be interested to know if he considers Nier to be an RPG, I’m not quite sure what to classify it as, but it certainly feels more open than descriptions of FF XIII’s 25 hour “tutorial”

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