Final Fantasy XIII for me. I fully expected the first Final Fantasy on PS3 to blow me away just like it did on the PS2 with Final Fantasy X, but it was such a let-down. It's certainly not the worst game I've ever player played but when comparing what I expected to what I got it was definitely the biggest disappointment.
That's a game that started off mediocre at best, but has only gotten worse with time. A great looking game with some superb designs and a great colour palate that I'd say still holds up even today, but the whole game felt dumbed down.
The levelling system was liner and restrictive. I think they overcompensated for FFXII (in it's origonal, western launch, not the Zodiac version) that was so open that it actually worked against the game and the only way to level your party efficiently was to make them all pretty much exactly the same as each other, so they took FFXIII towards the opposite extreme.
The combat I thought was OK. I liked the lengthier battle times and how the roles played into the strategy, but it felt automatic disconnected at times, especially once you got further into the game. The series isn't exactly famous for having challenging gameplay outside of optional and endgame content, but even so FFXIII felt too easy for the most part.
But the biggest problem by a mile are these people...
I could honestly pick out any one of these main cast members from FFXIII and unleash one hell of a rant. Not only are these some of the worst characters in Final Fantasy, there're some of the worst in any video game I've seen in 30+ years of playing them. And it's a shame because the story told in the game is strong, the voice acting was really good and the world it's set in is interesting, but having to experience it through these characters just ruins it.
- Hope is an unaptly named, annoying wimp.
- Vanille is a ditz.
- Lightning is a stone cold bitch.
- Fang, whilst interesting in her backstory, has a personality that sits somewhere in between a surfboard and the people who ride them.
- And Sazh... well, he actually is the closet thing to a likable character in this game, but the power and draw of his story arc get's doused out way to early, removing any relatability to his drive and very little else left to lean and understand about him.
But there is one that stands out, even amongst this motley crew of douche, and I just have tear him a new ass.
I. HATE. THIS. GUY.
Snow is an irresponsible, selfish, self-righteous, egotistical, arrogant, ignorant prat that the game tries way too hard to pass off as a selfless hero!
(Warning, Some minor spoilers ahead)
Right the start of the game, he gets a load of innocent civilians killed, then the next time you see him he is hi-fiving his buddies and declaring himself a hero as he rides off to rescue his already doomed girlfriend like he's Captain America.
A quick point before I move on. A hero is confident, inspirational and charismatic, but also selfless, thoughtful and humble, often even anonymous. Ego has no place in the heart of a hero, now matter how much they have earned a right to feel that way. Even if they have earned the right to call themselves a hero, they don't. Snow is none of those things.
Back to the point though, our "hero" getting those innocent people killed. Any remorse? Regret? A lump in his throat? No, of course not, he was only thinking of Sarah (The GF), the only lump he had was down the front of his trousers. While travelling through Palumpolum with Hope (Whose mother was one of the aforementioned civilians who died because of Snow), he's completely oblivious to the fact Hope hates his guts because he's too focused on how much he thinks of himself. When Hope does eventually confront him, only then does he actually show some remorse. Eh, no Snow, you don't get to feel bad about what you did only when poor little you has to face the consequences, that's not how it works.
He's pretty much the same, carefree, annoying douchebag the entire game. All the main characters in FFXIII are their own brand of terrible, but Snow is by far the worst. And when you're the worst protagonist in FFXIII, that is a very strong case for the worst video game protagonist of all time.
Even being played by Troy Baker couldn't salvage this waste of pixels. Thank about that.