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Quotes: No Sidepaths, No Exploration, No Freedom
"So, this is basically, 'This Game: The Level', a big old flat nothing going on with a gimmick, just kinda layered over it. It's pretty great, if you're into not-that-great things, I suppose."
Raocow, on Ghost Rock, a level from 8 powers, a ROM Hack of Super Mario World

"Admittedly, 'Campaign' might be to strong a word for ten 5-minute deathmatches, continuing as prepared regardless of which side wins each battle. It's more like an amusement park ride. Specifically, the Back to the Future ride at Universal Studios. Christopher Lloyd tells you that only YOU can save the world, but then you just get tossed about for awhile and then everything gets resolved regardless of who paid attention... The difference being that the Back to the Future ride didn't charge you eighty bucks to get on!"

"And so begins the hallway. The endless, 40-hour hallway. You have not seen pain until you've seen the hallway, for there is no escape. No free will. The only way is the way forward. The dread of inevitability, the shackles of fate, our choices preordained by programmers. Our existence meaningless, without choices of our own. The only way is forward, the path laid out for us, the choices already made. The monsters you encounter are invariant. They are planned to the last detail. There is no randomness or chance, you fight them because you are meant to. You fight them so you are at the level the game requires you to fight the bosses. No more, no less. Oh, you may find that the hallway branches off at times and you think you escaped! But these paths lead about only fifty yards to a dead-end and some minor treasure. With no way to continue, you must turn back and return to the hallway. Sometimes you may enter into a larger room, some wider area, but there is still only one way in, one way out and the hallway continues."

"The best part of The Tube is its wallpaper, which is very pretty. Square Enix spent millions of dollars designing The Tube's wallpaper. It is very detailed and shiny, but it is only wallpaper... But this is precisely what (Yoshinori) Kitase and (Motomu) Toriyama intended. After all, XIII was an effort to revitalize Final Fantasy by shaving away all the excess the series had accumulated over the years and focusing only on what was crucial. The problem is that all the stuff that was slashed for being extraneous was also what made Final Fantasy interesting. Final Fantasy XIII has no towns. There is no backtracking. There are no subplots or optional story quests. There are no minigames. There is no "who will ask Lightning on a date?" scenario governed by secret Love Points. There are no NPC you can revisit and follow throughout the game. There are no optional characters, hidden classes or secret abilities. There are no hidden maps. There are no alternate endings. There is only The Tube."

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