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Final Fantasy XIII Review

May 4, 2010

Final Fantasy XIII is one of the most popular series in the gaming industry with 13 main games and and a shit load of spin off games, how else can it not be famous? Anyway Final Fantasy XIII is finally here and after playing it till I was bored out of my life I did the right thing and…stopped playing it.

FFXIII is one of the titles with is really high budget and surprisingly it sold more than any other FF title in the past. I guess I wasn’t the only one anticipating its release. Now this game feels much more different than all the previous FF games you’ve played in the past. So if you enjoyed those it won’t mean you’ll enjoy this. So the story begins with a traditional Computer Generated Imagery (CGI). The story begins with one character and then develops to tell a tale of 5 other characters. So you will have a group of 6 characters where each of their tale will intertwined with the other and they all decide to help each other since they all want the same thing in the end. That’s FFXIII’s story in a very brief and vague explanation. The story itself heavily relies on people with different religions colliding with each other and battling it out.

The voice acting as the same as any other FF in the series that includes voice acting is pretty much top notch. Square Enix did an excellent job hiring the right people for the right parts and then again there is one insanely annoying character and it’s mainly because of her voice. I’m sure if you play the game you will notice who it is instantly. This is one of the games downs even though it isn’t such a big deal, but really starts to drive you crazy hearing her after over 20 hours into the game.

FFXIII’s visuals is as usual incredible and the way each in game cutscene or CGI scene is presented makes it seem as if you’re viewing a computer animated movie all along. The level of detail on each character is really excellent although sometimes the frame rate does drop but this only happens occasionally.

Now what’s a Role Playing Game (RPG) with a bad battle system? A shit game end of. Now Square Enix took the risk in completely modifying XIII’s battle system. Goodbye magic points unfortunately. I’m not sure why Square Enix went along this route as I didn’t see anything broken with the previous battle system. The battle system is not a turn based battle system where you can just wait and carefully plan your attacks, plus nor is it a real time battle where everything is really fast pace. The battle system is an Active Time Battle (ATB). The basics of the system is you select a number of moves you would like your character to initiate and once your gauge has been filled, your character will perform them. This allows the player to multi-task and build combos to unleash on their opponent.

The game itself only allows you to control one character at a time, so no switching characters. Although the game does include more than one playable character that you play with depending at which stage you are at the story. The player has no power or control over which character they can choose. There is six classes you can assign your characters to. This will ultimately affect how you plan your battle and will evidently affect how you progress playing the game, as also the leveling up system differs from the previous FF games. There is also a feature called Paradigms which allows the player to set up the different classes they would like their character to be assigned. These must be done before entering battle as they cannot be modified during combat. Each class has different types of abilities to use, so during battle you will constantly be switching between Paradigms to use your desired ability. Now I really disliked this feature since I constantly found myself switching back and forth to maybe use one ability and then return to my original class. This will get on your nerves after 20 hours of doing the same thing over and over and over and over…well you get the idea.

FFXIII is GOD DAMN LINEAR! Now I know JRPG’s are linear, but XIII takes linearity to the next level. You cannot revisit worlds you’ve visited already which defeats the reason in why putting so much detail in a place which you will only be staying in for say 5 minutes sometimes. What you will be finding yourself doing is walking forward > have a couple of battles > cutscene > walk forward > battle > cutscene > boss > repeat the whole process. The whole game is just solely based on WALKING FORWARDS! Does Square Enix have anything against left and right? The game becomes less linear after 25-30 hours in but it’s so linear it just isn’t fun and isn’t that why we play games in the first place? There is no interaction between the player and the FF world itself. One of the other traditions SE took away is towns! Now purchasing items is done when you reach and interact with a save point.

FFXIII also disappoints in feeding its fans with the traditional mini games we’ve all come to love in the previous games, although this doesn’t mean no side quests have been included. The disappointing part is the lack of variety in the side quests themselves. All of the side quests are battle oriented nothing more, nothing less.

If you’re hungry for an RPG and haven’t played one for a while, FFXIII should feed off your hunger for the time being until a better developed RPG is released. Also if you happen to own both a 360 and PS3, be sure to purchase this on the PS3 as the 360 version comes on 3 seperate DVD9 discs and runs on a lower resolution.

Pros:

  • Excellent graphics
  • Superb story telling
  • Good voice acting

Cons:

  • Very linear and can sometimes bore the life out of the player
  • Repetitive
  • One character will annoy you out of your mind

7.1/10

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