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Is ‘Final Fantasy XIII’ Unfairly Hated?

Despite many positive critical reviews, a significant quantity of the Final Fantasy fanbase dislikes Final Fantasy XIII.

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Let’s begin this article by addressing the elephant in the room; a lot of Final Fantasy fans passionately hate Final Fantasy XIII. To those people, may I briefly break formality to personally say that “I’m sorry, but this article will probably get on your nerves, because I really like not only Final Fantasy XIII, but the entire Final Fantasy XIII trilogy”.

Despite many positive critical reviews, a significant quantity of the Final Fantasy fanbase dislikes Final Fantasy XIII. Many of that same community of ‘anti XIII-ers’ adore earlier entries within the franchise, such as 2001’s Final Fantasy X (an entry which serves as an appropriate example of the classic Final Fantasy gameplay formula upon the franchise’s switch into 3D). So, what would be discovered if the often adored Final Fantasy X were to be compared to the sometimes frowned upon Final Fantasy XIII? Well, the fact of the matter is this; no matter how much the most devoted lover of Tidus’s adventure may want to deny it, it is objectively true that many of the criticisms fired at Final Fantasy XIII also apply to Final Fantasy X! This begs the question, “Do certain Final Fantasy fans favour entries within the franchise based on their own personal nostalgia and choose to refrain from un-biased critical analysis towards non-nostalgic games within the franchise?”

Before anybody takes offense, Final Fantasy X is not a bad game (especially for its time of release). Rather, Final Fantasy XIII is disliked by certain fans simply due to it being ‘newer’ and ‘non-nostalgic’. What follows below are comparisons and differences of certain gameplay mechanics that should serve to highlight that Final Fantasy XIII isn’t quite as bad as some people may think!

1. Linearity

This was arguably the biggest criticism of Final Fantasy XIII. During the first two thirds of the game you follow a set path with little room to break off and explore. The game becomes extremely combat and story focused as a result. Eventually, however, upon reaching the final third of the game, you enter a sprawling open world filled with missions to complete and secrets to discover. Since the enemy encounter system is ‘non-random encounter’, you can control when you enter into battle. This allows you to explore your environment without mandatory combat breaking the game’s pace and taking control away from you. By comparison, the world of Final Fantasy X is, much like the first two thirds of Final Fantasy XIII, a linear path designed specifically to advance the story. This fault of linearity exists within both games, and to an arguably worser extent in Final Fantasy X, due to the fact that on the rare occasions that it does allow you to explore, you are not allowed to travel for more than approximately five seconds before mandatory combat is forced upon you, breaking any sense of ‘fun’ within the exploration the game may have tried to attempt. Whilst Final Fantasy X does eventually allow you to re-visit previous locations, it still pails in comparison to Final Fantasy XIII‘s sprawling (though admittedly sparse) Gran Pulse.

2. The Combat System

Final Fantasy X utilizes traditional turn based combat (which is to be expected due to its time of release). It is (for the most part) enjoyable, as any tried and tested gameplay type should be. Final Fantasy XIII on the other hand flirts with a similar combat style, but focuses more on introducing fresh ideas. It borrows the active time battle combat from many other Final Fantasy games (such as Final Fantasy VII), whilst also implementing class types that can be changed mid battle via ‘paradigm shifts’. Whilst Final Fantasy X makes use of tried and tested turn based combat, Final Fantasy XIII combines a perfect balance of traditional JRPG combat with new gameplay mechanics to make it feel unique!


3. Upgrading.

The upgrading mechanics of Final Fantasy X and Final Fantasy XIII differ significantly, with the latter being more streamlined and user friendly, and the former being (whilst a little more daunting at first) more unique. Final Fantasy XIII rewards all characters an equal amount of experience points upon battle completion, regardless of whether or not they have participated in the battle itself. This results in characters growing at a similar pace to one another, and it makes level grinding feel more rewarding as a result. By comparison, Final Fantasy X will only reward experience points to the characters that have participated in a battle, omitting the reserve characters from any kind of reward upon battle completion. Although characters can be added and removed during battle, allowing you to utilize every character in a fight and reward experience points to all of them, this inevitably feels tediously time consuming. A one minute battle will instead take five minutes simply because you wanted to allow every character the chance to participate in the interest of rewarding experience points to all of them. Final Fantasy XIII grants you more time to play as your favourite three characters, and bypasses a mechanic that does nothing other than contributing a significant element of tediousness to Final Fantasy X‘s otherwise intelligent upgrade system.

4. The Characters and Story

It would be difficult for someone to defend the characters and story of Final Fantasy XIII, because it objectively has its fair share of cringe-inducing dialogue and poorly explained plot points. With that being said, it would also be difficult for someone to defend the characters and story of Final Fantasy X. Whilst Final Fantasy XIII is rife with poor storytelling, there is some genuine fascination to be found in Lightning and her friends becoming branded as L’Cie. The response of the surrounding population toward the heroes was one of fierce discrimination born out of fear and a lack of understanding. This draws parallels with homophobia, racism, and other forms of discrimination within our own society, and subtly combines a fantasy themed story with real world issues. Final Fantasy X‘s story, whilst serviceable, doesn’t hold the same level of enjoyment. This is in part due to the wooden voice acting and stereotypical personalities of the characters. Whilst Final Fantasy XIII‘s characters have their faults, they are significantly more tolerable, relatable and well-voiced than the cast of Final Fantasy X. Even its most passionate fans will agree that Tidus and Yuna’s “HA HA HA HA HA” scene has become a joke within the community due to it being an atrocity in storytelling and character development. Hope’s frequent complaining within Final Fantasy XIII seems like a joy by comparison.


As mentioned previously, Final Fantasy X is not a bad game. Rather, it is as bad as Final Fantasy XIII, which is actually a compliment to Final Fantasy X. Whatever your opinion may be on the infamous first outing of Lightning and her friends, at least everyone can agree that it was far from a Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric level of disaster! Even if only for this reason, Final Fantasy XIII sometimes doesn’t quite deserve the relentlessly negative reception it receives.

I have spent my life in England finding entertainment in both video games and music. Whilst not indulging in the latter, I invest my time in playing all manner of video games, and as of 2017, writing about all manner of video games.Email: harrymorrisharrymorris@yahoo.com

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Watch the Trailer for ‘The Mandalorian’ the First Live-Action ‘Star Wars’ Series

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Thanks to the arrival of the D23 Expo, Disney has revealed the first trailer for its long-awaited Star Wars original series, The Mandalorian.

Created by Jon Favreau (Iron Man), the series is set after the events of Return of the Jedi and follows Pedro Pascal as a mysterious, gun-slinging Mandalorian bounty hunter who navigates the seedier side of the Star Wars universe.

Along with Pedro Pascal, The Mandalorian stars Gina Carano, Nick Nolte, Giancarlo Esposito, Emily Swallow, Carl Weathers, Omid Abtahi, Werner Herzog, and Taika Waititi. The first season of episodes will be directed by filmmakers like Dave Filoni, Taika Waititi, Bryce Dallas Howard, Rick Famuyiwa, and Deborah Chow.

the mandalorian trailer

Here’s the official description of The Mandalorian:

After the stories of Jango and Boba Fett, another warrior emerges in the Star Wars universe. The Mandalorian is set after the fall of the Empire and before the emergence of the First Order. We follow the travails of a lone gunfighter in the outer reaches of the galaxy far from the authority of the New Republic.

The Mandalorian begins streaming on Disney+ on November 12, 2019.

Check out The Mandalorian trailer below.

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Jordan Peele’s ‘Us’ Soundtrack Gets a Vinyl Release

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While we don’t publish music news or music reviews here at Goomba Stomp, we are huge fans of vinyl and since we cover film, we figured this announcement would interest some of our readers.

Back in 2017, Jordan Peele’s Get Out topped our list of the best films of 2017 and while the year isn’t yet over, there’s a good chance his follow-up Us, will land somewhere on our best of the year list as well. There are many reasons why we love Peele’s ambitious sophomore film including for the suspense, cinematography, performances, and direction, but one thing that doesn’t get enough praise is the soundtrack by Michael Abels. And if you like us, love the original score, you’re going to love this bit of news.

After giving his Get Out soundtrack a vinyl release last year, Jordan Peele is now doing the same for the soundtrack to Us.

WaxWork Records announced the news earlier today and if you’re planning on buying a copy, you don’t have to wait since it is now available to purchase through the label’s website.

The soundtrack, which received a digital release earlier this year, features composer Michael Abels’ score, in addition to songs from Janelle Monáe, Minnie Ripperton and the “Tethered Mix” of Luniz’s “I Got 5 on It” that appeared in the film’s first trailer. The album artwork was created by illustrator Edward Kinsella and features an interactive die-cut mirror board back cover, a heavyweight art print and an exclusive essay from UCLA Professor, scholar, and activist Shana L. Redmond Ph.D.

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Trailer for the Twisted Dark Comedy thriller ‘Villains’

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Alter has released the first poster and the official trailer for Villains, the upcoming dark comedy thriller which stars Bill Skarsgård (IT) and Maika Monroe (It Follows) as a couple who rob a gas station and scores enough cash to start a new life in Florida. Unfortunately for them, their getaway plans turn upside down and the young couple end up stumbling on much more than they bargained for.

Villains hits theaters on September 20th and was written and directed by Dan Berk and Robert Olsen. In addition to Skarsgard and Monroe, the movie also stars Jeffrey Donovan and Kyra Sedgwick. It’s co-produced by Bron Studios, Star Thrower Entertainment, Creative Wealth Media Finance, and The Realm Films. You can watch the trailer for Villains below.

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Beanie Babies: The Collectables with Heart

Toys We Love Spotlight

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For our Toys We Love Spotlight, I’m looking at one of my personal favourites: Beanie Babies. I had collected so many of these growing up, and households worldwide in the 90s and early 2000s were sure to have at least one Beanie Baby in their possession (was it even the 90s if they didn’t?). These plushie companions were cute, cuddly, and collectable, so it’s not a surprise that the Beanie Babies craze swept the globe, forcing parents and toy collectors everywhere to dig into their wallets.


Beanie Babies had a few aspects to them that made them stand out from your average plushie. Firstly, they did not have as much stuffing as most soft toys. Whilst some thought that this made them look cheap, it also made them light, posable, and gave them a realistic feel and look. The bear Beanie Babies were particularly good to pose, and this set them apart from run-of-the-mill teddy bears. Another element that made Beanie Babies more unique was their special tag. Each toy had a tag attached which had the toy’s name, date of birth, and a quotation etched inside. The former was something that could have been a risky choice, as although it wasn’t completely taking away the child’s choice of name — there was nothing stopping them from just calling their Beanie whatever they wanted — a pre-selected name can be difficult to sell, as kids can often take great pride and pleasure in naming their toys.

It was a great success, however, and worked as a nice finishing touch for the Beanie Babies, adding a dash of personality and flair (something much needed in the often critically over-saturated soft toy market), as well as making each Beanie Baby feel like their own creature with their own little stories. Adding to that was the wide variety of animals that were available, such as Tiny the Chihuahua, Pegasus the Unicorn or Swampy the Alligator. This means that the desires of each individual child or enthusiastic collector could be catered to (I myself favoured the dogs and bears).

The puppies were my Beanie Baby of choice. They were all such good boys and girls.

The Beanie Babies also had their own way of tackling difficult issues in society, showing them to kids through the guise of a soft toy. I’ll give you an example through my own experience: I had a Beanie Baby that (as odd as it may sound) gave me more of an understanding of the horrors of September 11th. Weird, right? Allow me to explain. I was only just nine years old on that now-historical day when the twin towers in New York were attacked and so many innocent people lost their lives. I had come home from school (it was afternoon time here in the UK when it happened), and I remember my mum watching it on television in complete shock. She had watched the whole thing whilst I’d been at school.

I didn’t really understand what was happening to be honest. Even when I was watching the repeats of the plane crashing into the side of the tower, I was somewhat oblivious the gravity of the situation (though as a nine year old child, I suppose I could be forgiven for that). The news continued to report the tragedy for a long time, and my school held assemblies to discuss the matter. I knew people had died, and that made me very sad, but I remember thinking that people died all the time, so why was this one incident reported on so much? About a month or so after, TY released three Beanie Babies as a tribute to those lost during 9/11. One of these was a Dalmatian Beanie Baby called Rescue, and I wanted him the moment I saw him, not really knowing the true nature of his purpose. My mum obliged happily, knowing what he represented. I remember taking my little Dalmatian with the red collar and American flag on his leg home and reading his tag. It read:

To honor our heroes
who lost their lives in the
national catastrophe that
took place on September 11, 2001.
We mourn for them and express our
deepest sympathy to their families.
God Bless America

Rescue the Dalmatian was joined by America the Bear and Courage the German Shepherd. The Beanies were a set of three released to honor those who perished in the tragedy of 9/11.

I found Rescue in my room recently, and the memories flooded back to me upon reading it again. I remember looking into all the acts of heroism and bravery after reading Rescue’s tag, and that’s when the situation really hit home to me. I looked into the stories of firefighters and first responders and those who had died, as well as all the search-and-rescue dogs attempting to save people among the chaos. As a child, it can be hard to see past your immediate opinion and truly consider the sheer weight of a situation, but with Rescue’s help, I was able to see just how this event was indeed very different to anything I had ever seen before, and how serious it was. It was the first time I felt like I was thinking like a grown up. I looked at the world differently from then on — obviously as I got older, but also from my ability to think harder and search deeper. Honestly, I don’t know if I would have even bothered if it wasn’t for Rescue reminding me of exactly how much was lost on that day.

Rescue, perhaps the goodest and bravest boy of them all.

Beanie babies will forever be ingrained in culture. They are still bought, sold and collected even now and will remain a timeless staple of most of our childhoods. They certainly are for me. Especially you Rescue, the bravest firefighting Dalmatian the world has ever known.

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‘Shenmue III’ Gamescom Trailer Details a Day in the Life of Ryo

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The original Shenmue games pioneered the open world genre, in part through their inclusion of many different minigames and side activities. The Kickstarter-funded Shenmue III looks to continue that legacy, as developer Ys Net and publisher Deep Silver have debuted a new trailer at Gamescom 2019 entitled “A Day in Shenmue.”

The developers provided the following description of the trailer via their latest Kickstarter update: “Exploring the town, playing minigames and battling! We hope it feels just how a Shenmue day should!” Sure enough, the footage showcases the series protagonist Ryo participating in a number of minigames, such as a boxing game and a pachinko machine. The end of the trailer also includes a good look at the series’ signature kung fu combat.

Beyond the new trailer, the Kickstarter update also noted that Yu Suzuki, the famed creator of Shenmue, will be present at Gamescom for autograph signings.

After numerous delays, Shenmue III will finally launch on November 19, 2019 for PS4 and PC via the Epic Games Store.

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Freelance Film Writers

Goomba Stomp is the joint effort of a team of like-minded writers from across the globe. We provide smart readers with sharp, entertaining writing on a wide range of topics in pop culture, offering an escape from the usual hype and gossip. We are currently looking for Film, TV, Anime and Comic writers.

Contact us: Editor@GoombaStomp.com

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