Playtime: 30 hours
Current Party: Lightening
Destination Point: Chapter 10, The Fifth Ark
Wow…my last log was written on March 15th, 2010. March 30th was the last time I touched this game. During those two weeks, I put in an additional 20 hours of playtime. The reason I haven’t written anything, you ask? Well…my impressions from the first two adventure logs have not changed. While I commend the creativity of FFXIII, there have been multiple underwhelming points that have turned me off from playing, most notably the hideous localization. But here I am today, playing the game once more today for about 20 minutes. I’ve decided to take the plunge and import the PS3 Chinese version of the game (officially called English + Chinese version) via Play-Asia because it features Japanese voices with English menus and subtitles, a dream come true to purists out there. The disc automatically scans your PS3’s region and implements the suitable text language. But wait, there’s another awesome bonus. Unlike most import games, this one truly stands out because of Square-Enix’s desire to please fans everywhere. You see, most imports this generation do not have backward-compatible save files. If you have Japanese and English versions of Modern Warfare 2 for example, you’ll have to play through each one separately if you’re curious about the voice acting and whatnot. However, I’m happy to say that this is not the case with FFXIII. I own the UK version of the game. Once I booted up the Chinese version, I was pleasantly surprised to have it detect my UK save files…so I basically continued from where I left off, only I have the bonus of Japanese voices this time around! Awesome stuff. This is no coincidence. It’s obvious that the programmers intentionally implemented this feature to encourage gamers to import if they’re not happy with the English voices.
There is a catch, however. Once you go with your Chinese version, you’re stuck. Your Chinese save files aren’t compatible with the English versions of the game. I booted up my UK FFXIII disc to test this out, only to notice that my Chinese save file does not appear in the loading screen. But hey, aside from missing out on the English voice acting of Sahz (best character in the game), I’m good. I no longer have to listen to the screeching English voices of Vanille and Snow. Thank God. However, this further proves that the modifications of the Chinese version were intentional as it was released a couple of months after the English counterpart.
The Japanese voices are undoubtedly superior. It’s like I’m watching a full-blown anime movie, unlike the English version which sounds like a poorly-dubbed anime from the 90s.
I may continue playing FFXIII now that I’m motivated to play again. If you’re just like me, I urge you to check out this import if you have the chance.