Innovative combat system and the best visuals in the business in an average RPG.
20 to 40 Hours
The Bottom Line:
Fanboys. I absolutely cant stand them. Why anyone would rate this anything above a 9 is absolutely beyond me. I still think this is a pretty fun game, but this game is flawed to the bone. The Final Fantasy series used to be extraordinarily epic. But trying to take the series in a new direction has misguided SE into a new realm of flaws. Since when is a square enix RPG, or ANY RPG for that matter, THIS LINEAR?!? There is simply ZERO adventure in this RPG and its an absolute shame. I haven't beat the entire game (Chapter 11 - Gran Pulse), but up to this point, the whole game is go from point A to point B. RPGs are designed to give the player the freedom of choice, but FF13 fails hard at this.
My second biggest gripe with the game are the storyline and characters. And maybe I am in the minority here (haven't really read any other reviews), but I think the characters are not believable or emotionally engaging. It is natural for fans of any series to fall in love with the main hero of the story, but what is so special about Lightning?! Oh right, shes "hot" and "badass". Uh, is that it? Virtually no storyline with her up to this point. In an RPG, I want to know the fabric of my characters and the only thing we know about Lightning is that she was a member of the GC and that shes mad because of the events with Serah. Compare her to Cloud in FF7 for a moment. Square succeeded to say the least with Cloud because they engaged you in his life story. But in FF13, they just don't do much with Lightning and its very disappointing in an RPG game. The other characters are pretty cookie cutter as well. Vanille is supposed to be the cute, optimistic girl (yet I think with her voice acting, shes just f'n creepy). Hope is the emo kid who has no confidence in himself until he actually grows some balls as the game progresses. Snow is the "I'm gonna save the world guy". Fang is the mysterious tough chick. And Sazh? Sazh is literally the only character I find believable and I think its because hes just your everyday guy. That is both a good and a bad thing because theres not much special about him, but at least he appears to be REAL.
As far as the story line itself goes, it just doesnt capture you like other RPGs past. It's not terrible, but its just not anything special. Fal'Cie, L'Cie, Cie'th. Blah, blah, blah. Basically its all save the world, protect the world mumbo jumbo.
There are however two areas where Squarenix succeed. The visuals are absolutely TOP NOTCH! The character models are second to none, the environments are beautiful, and the combat looks sexy. I think visually, FF13 is my favorite game. Even with games like BF3 and the new frostbite2 engine, I still think FF13 looks MUCH more crisp and amazing. Oh, and what has Squarenix always been masterful at? CG cutscenes. And they prove again why they are tops in the business with providing the most beautiful visuals in gaming.
The other obvious "pro" of FF13 is the new battle system, which very well might be my favorite battle system in any RPG. It is called Paradigm Shift and it allows you to easily switch combat styles on the fly. I was showing it to my friend and he seemed overwhelmed and understandably so. There is a lot going on in any particular battle, but it is so simple to use which is part of what makes it so great! To sum it up, the battle system provides great versatility and once you get used to it, is very easy to use. IMO, this battle system is a home run.
This is one of those games that I just want to rate a 9 or 9.5, but I know I would be lying to myself to try to build up the FF series. The new battle system is an absolute leap in the right direction, but the linearity needs to be massively overhauled. And please SE, provide some interaction with the characters so that theres some feeling of empathy. Just a few things to change about the latest installments could easiliy catapult this series as the true king of RPGs once again.
Fun unique battle system + Very linear level design -
20 to 40 Hours
The Bottom Line:
I've played alot of the Final Fantasy games and this one is up there with some of the best FF games to date even though it does have a couple set backs. The graphics are some of the best graphics on a FF game to date. All the character designs are very detailed along with the levels. The animations are very fluid and the story really draws you in as you play. The game play is very different from what your used to in a typical RPG where it's more action elemented. When a battle iniates you choose commands for your character to follow but the action doesnt stop. The enemies will be attacking you the same time your choosing what you want to do how you want to do it. You'll be able to control up to 3 characters at a time switching between different ones and quickly entering in different commands. The battles are actually really fun and you have to act quickly and smart in alot of cases. The negative thing about this game is that there's no exploration once so ever. There's no towns, there's no sense of finding new areas like the other FF games. This is a VERY linear game and you'll always know where to go (straight) and you'll never ever be lost. This can damper the fun a little bit and really takes away from what FF was really good and that being that it draws you in to different towns alows you to talk to different people and makes you feel part of the game. I hope FF XIII-2 improves on the formula and adds more exploration to the game and then it will truly be great.
Poo served on a silver dinner tray; nothing more than a simple tech demo to show what PS3 is capable of and 360 isn't.
40 to 100 Hours
The Bottom Line:
Final Fantasy at its worst, if this, at all, can be called FF. Let me start with the sound effects: One can clearly hear the speakers being in a room. Instead of filtering the rooms characteristic out they just took the record, then edited it and created the effects. No matter if playing in stereo or Dolby, this game just always creates the hearing effect of the player being in a hall.
The whole thing gets ridiculous when the player walks on grass, (wet) sand - then you gonna make some real, big noise! Yes, you heard right - on grass and sand at a bay.
The music is pretty much screwed up, the last thing I remember they did was the ending theme - wildly thrown in orchestra elements coming from all sides. For example, the player walking in an area with many rocks and the lack of any kind of tree or vegetation, you gonna hear some real nice bongo jungle music.
But back to the sand.. Was I playing Halo 3 with its oh-so-outdated graphics, were they able to let the Master Chief make footprints in snow and the like.
Was too much effort in FFXIII!
The most important button is the X-button in the game: I've never seen a more stupid battle system in my life. You know what makes this game real retarded?
When I was playing Resistance 2 & 3 and what-not-else, I wasn't ever able to look away from the screen, had to press all kinds of buttons - in FFXIII you just close your eyes and keep on mashing one single button.
The intelligence this game requires goes towards 0, as it reduces the whole pad to only one button. In all kinds of games you can go to the right, the left, up & down, forward & backward - but not in FFXIII; it's the longes one-way-road the world has ever seen.t
At the end, cocoon - some kind of egg in the womb of a woman, gets its sperm which is called Ragnarok in the game, so the egg - cocoon, is going to manifest itself in the womb.
The whole story is pretty much screwed up and anything but epic; let's just hope the second part gets better as I already preordered it, not having given up hope on Final Fantasy yet, but guys.. This pretty much does seem to be it; then end of Final Fantasy, the end of Square-Enix..
Very solid but this isnt nearly the best in the series<br />
20 to 40 Hours
The Bottom Line:
Fantasy Fantasy , is a game everybody remember for the story line and good characters. EVery Final Fantasy game had it. This game sort of has it. The story line is one of the worst in the series. Even though the gameplay is outstanding , and the graphics is one of the best on the PS3. The good is the graphics. This game graphics are just outstanding. The gameplay is really great. And the battle system is great. The best final fantasy battle system I seen. On this game it seem like they focus everything on the battle system and characters and world. Even though the world isn't the best , it still a good world in HD. I did not like the story. It is such a weak storyline. If you play final fantasy for the story you will be disappointed.If you play for just fun then you will have lots of fun. This game is plan fun but might be one of the difficult FF thus far. For a game that story line isn't good it has a lot of cut scene. IT seem like there more cut scene then gameplay. But when you actually play the game you will have fun. The cut scenes make the game longer than it really is.
Final Fantasy XIII brings a set of Innovative ideas to the already famous game series! Play this game, it is worth it!
40 to 100 Hours
The Bottom Line:
Game: Final Fantasy XIII
System: Playstation 3
Total Score: 88/100
Value Score: 8.8/10
• Story: 10/10
o Final Fantasy XIII's storyline is more simple than most FF games. Everything changes in the world of Cocoon, a world that is afloat in the sky in a earth like world shielded by a shell from outside interference. The main cast of characters includes Lightning and Snow who have a disagreement with each other over a certain loved one named Serah, this leads to Serah being branded as a L'cie which is a being who is gifted with magical powers and a task to complete otherwise they would turn into a monster named a Cieth. Eventually the two meet Hope who gets involved during a War named the Purge which was roused up to eliminate people who have gotten near a certain Pulse Fal'Cie, Fal'Cie are god like beings who watch over humanity and change the world with their powers, however anything from Pulse is considered evil in the world of Cocoon. Sazh who was on a trip with his son was caught in a infamous disaster in which his son was branded as a Sanctum (Concoon's own) Fal'Cie in accordance to fight some intruders who end up being Vanille and Fang whom are two other characters. Eventually the main characters group up together to save Cocoon from the Fal'Cie who threaten to destroy their existence amongst everyone in the world.
• Characters: 9/10
o Final Fantasy XIII has a huge collection of different characters that represent different cultures. The game includes many nostalgic Final Fantasy series enemies and even has chocobos. The game also has some noticeable summons such as Ifrit (unfortunately not playable), Alexander, Shiva and Bahamut, but a few new summons as well. Though some of the summon characters are side characters throughout the storyline and make a minor appearance. In terms of supporting characters, Final Fantasy XIII has to have the least amount of supporting characters, but they themselves make a big impact upon the loved ones who are fated to venture through the storyline of the game. As for enemies, Final Fantasy XIII's enemy/villain list seems pretty weak compared to other FF games, as you dont necessarily fight every single enemy character you meet, infact half of them are killed through other means.
• GamePlay: 8/10
o Probably one of the best aspects depending on what you are looking for, if you are looking for the classic Final Fantasy game for exploration and town visits, look elsewhere. Final Fantasy XIII has no actual towns nor interactive NPCs, infact you buy all your items at each save station which are plentiful throughout the game. In terms of the battle system, it is well designed, and features MMORPG style of fighting, you actually have to use strategies to defeat enemies. You have multiple roles you can place characters in: Commando (offensive fighter), Ravager (magic attacker), Medic (healer), Sentinel (Tank), Synergist (Buffer) and Saboteur (De-Buffer). You can create team roles depending on what each person's main role is during a fight and the way their acting during a battle can change depending on the team role. Leveling up system is exactly like Final Fantasy X, where you gain points each battle and you use the points to level up characters on a grid like system increasing stats individually and learning abilities, there is no level up system. You can equip a Weapon and up to 4 sets of accessories (the number changes as the game continues). You can power up items via a upgrade system and using items you get as drops from enemies. The game is so linear you barely have choices to make on traveling as each and every direction leads to the same exit except in Chapter 11 which you can travel for the purpose of grinding. Another down side to the game you recover full hp after each battle and each battle can be too long especially a boss fight which can range up to 10 minutes to 30 minutes depending on who you are fighting and how well geared/stat you are.
• Graphics: 10/10
o Every Final Fantasy in existence lived up to the graphics standards of whatever generation it came out and this game is no exception. Not much to say about this.
• Sound: 10/10
o Voice acting in Final Fantasy XIII was well made, in the same ranks as Final Fantasy XII, though there are a few sentimental lines in the game, the voice acting is still brilliant. As for sound effects, there are no sounds that keep repeating, each hit and attack sound different from each other.
• Music: 10/10
o Possibly one of the best aspects in the entire FF series. FFXIII's OST has everything though, regardless of the fact that the old composer wasnt the one who made the music, FFXIII's music still stands out as it has music from different genres, pop, rock, and even jazz! Some theme songs you might want to check out and if you ever get the OST are: Snow's Theme, Cant Catch A Break, Saber's Edge, Sunleth Waterscape, Serah's Theme, Dust to Dust and Fighting Fate.
• Length: 8/10
o When you play Final Fantasy XIII at first, it might seem like a pretty short game because of the first 10 chapters of the game, you can easily go through in less than 20 hours. When you hit Chapter 11, exploration comes into gameplay and that can change dramatically, 20 hours of gameplay can turn into 40 hours of gameplay just in Chapter 11. There are a total of 13 chapters overall in the game and at chapter 13, the game allows you to go back to the area you were in Chapter 11 to further explore and to do hunting missions (which some can only be done after the game's main storyline is finished).
• Replay Value: 3/10
o Not much in terms of actual replay value, the game gives you a chance to save and use a expanded Crystarium (which is the grid you use to level up characters) to make them stronger and to be able to fight some of the hunting missions and monsters in the Chapter 11 area. Other than that, everything else is dependent on getting trophies on the Playstation 3 via certain accomplishments.
• Player Value: 10/10
o For the typical Final Fantasy fan, you will love this game, but to those who are hardcore FF fans might find this game a bit displeasing due to the changes made into the overall game compared to other games in the series. Regardless, Final Fantasy XIII brings in a breath of Fresh air when it comes to Character Design, Battle System, Music and overall story telling. You will enjoy this game and it is worth every penny!