Final Fantasy XIII
By: Steel at: 2011-12-03 15:37:12
The Final Fantasy series continues to amaze, confuse, and fascinate the RPG fan with their newest game, Final Fantasy XIII. This game takes the next generation of consoles and pushes them to their known limits. Not only is this the biggest Final Fantasy game to date, speaking in the actual disk space it uses up, but it's also the most stunning and complex game they've ever made.
Speaking visually, this game is by far the most stunning game I have ever had the privilege of playing. Of course, there is a difference between the XBox 360 version and the Playstation 3 version, but it isn't so great that you will be able to notice, unless you're one of those people that has the eye for that sort of thing. The details in this game are extravagant, from every single strand of hair on Lightning's head to the stretch lines on Snow's gloves, truly remarkable. The background of every scene looks as though it is an area that you can reach, which, as any gamer knows, is highly rare. The seamless transitions between CGI cutscene graphics and actual gameplay graphics is truly a sight to behold. I honestly believe that you must see it to believe it, because simply reading about it is not going to do it any justice, at least not from this writer.
The story, from what I have played thusfar, and watched my girlfriend play, is extremely well writen, but parts of it could use a little bit of work. As with every Final Fantasy game since Final Fantasy IV, there is a love story. Now, be it in the side story, main story, or simply just in passing, every RPG that was made after Final Fantasy IV has had a love story; some hit the nail on the head and meld the main story with the love story perfectly, while others seem to be just a mess of emotions that really don't make sense, to the point that it's as painful as kissing your great great grandmother on the lips in the Christmas sweater she knit you 'out of love.' This game's love story is kind of middle ground, at least as far as I can tell. Unfortunately, I haven't finished the game, so I can't give a full account of the full, played out story. But from what I have played, it's slightly lacking as far as substance goes. The way it plays out to the point that I'm at, however, flows very well, and after you get passed the confusing part and find out that every confusing thing being done makes complete sense, it's quite mind blowing. I am easily entertained when it comes to Final Fantasy games, simply because I'm such a huge fan of the series (except FFX-FFXI). The story will most likely build as they all do, and will most likely continue to shock me and put me in a state of awe.
The battle system....ah, the battle system. The thing that seems to turn most people off of these games is the constant changing of the battle mechanics. The insistant changing of the simple yet never-ending, amazing turn based, two-sided battle system has really gotten a lot of people angry. But, you hardcore RPG'ers will agree, there's nothing like fresh styles, something new to learn and conquer, and master. The battle system is a bit confusing at first, but it quickly passes over that to become awesome. Granted, I will always prefer the basic, old-school battle system over anything else they can throw at us, but this will work quite nicely as a replacement. The one thing that I just can't get into is the in-depth Crystarium system. I mean, yes, they did improve on the idea from FFX and XII, which were both seriously lacking and highly confusing, but it's still not enough. What ever happened to the days where your mages simply 'learned' a spell? Or how about if you want to 'change' classes, you have a job system? Now that was a great idea, difficult to master, but well worth the time you put in at the end. The Crystarium, while a good intention, I feel is a bad idea. Instead of leveling up skills and leveling up 'roles,' why don't you give us the old-school leveling up, I would be satisfied with that. Now, don't get me wrong, I think that this idea could be great with a little bit more drawing board action as opposed to more implementation. Take the Crystarium, maybe expand on it a little bit, not so much as it was in Final Fantasy XII, but maybe a little less confusing, something that doesn't take 6 hours of gameplay to understand exactly what's going on. That's just my take on it, agree or disagree, I don't really care, personal preference.
All in all, I would have to say that Final Fantasy XIII ranks in my top 5 favorite Final Fantasy games, in the top 10 of my favorite RPG's, and in the top 20 favorite games. It's a great game thus far, and I don't see any signs of it slowing down or cooling off. I say it's worth the money you would invest in it and, if you're a fan of RPG's or someone starting out, you should certainly get your hands on it. Beware, beginners, this game is a bit more complex than most games, but at least it isn't Final Fantasy X-2. So, pick up a controller, order pizza, dim the lights, and pack your mini-fridge, you're in for quite an experience with this one.
Storyline: 7 / 10
Battle System: 8 / 10
Graphics: 10 / 10
Acting: 10 / 10
Characters: 6 / 10
Art: 10 / 10
Soundtrack: 7 / 10
World: 7 / 10
Replay: 6 / 10