Although Final Fantasy XIII took over 5-years to develop, the final product has been met with a wide-variety of opinions. The unprecedented linear gameplay and lack of variety has led many reviewers to dismiss the title as a tried-and-failed attempt for the RPG genre. However, some even believe the title isn’t even really a Role-Playing Game.
Recently, when Strategy Informer interviewed the Writing Director for Bioware, Daniel Erickson, he made the claim that Final Fantasy XIII isn’t technically an RPG. Daniel said the following during the interview:
“Well, before I address the main point I just want to take a slightly more controversial route: You can put a ‘J’ in front of it, but it’s not an RPG. You don’t make any choices, you don’t create a character, you don’t live your character… I don’t know what those are – adventure games maybe? But they’re not RPG’s.”
By his definition, a Role-Playing Game allows for choices, character creation and immersion. By that definition more than half of the RPGs out there including the famously award-winning Final Fantasy VII aren’t really RPGs. Even then, I’m inclined to agree that FFXIII isn’t a standard RPG by definition. While it follows the tale of several characters that you control, grow and fight with, many Action games contain the same elements. That is why if anything Final Fantasy XIII should be labeled an Action-Adventure game. Due to its limited combat gameplay, FFXIII isn’t an Action RPG, and the lack of customization and exploration leads me to say it isn’t an RPG.
What do you think of Final Fantasy XIII? Is it an RPG or an Action game? Were you disappointed with its new style of gameplay direction for the series?