Painful memories, bigger dreams
Like all releases of Final Fantasy games I find myself eager to relive the joys of the early days. From grinding away on my Final Fantasy 2 US cart or beating Final Fantasy 7 for an unknown amount of times. To set myself up for what I believed to be a solid release I went back to the original 13 and after an hour of playing quickly remembered why I never finished the game. I did not let that deter me from still being excited about a game that actually looked to improve on what the fans thought made the last game painful to play.
Visually the game is back with stunning graphics and great character models. It was interesting to see the game on one Xbox 360 disc when the last one spanned multiple. I did see some relative slowdown with multiple items on screen and more over on the opening videos that became very busy.
Wandering the almost nonlinear storyline it is very easy to notice how much the game has changed. Living up to the 13 name though the game is not without a straining 2 hour introduction area. The free roaming worlds of the later sections allow for a lot more creative exploration and the jump ability is a nice addition.
Combat is fast and furious with updates to the existing system seeming natural. Paradigm shifts don't bog down the characters and benefits as you are able to switch faster and benefit from new class abilities instantly. The decrease to 2 true party members is overshadowed once the Pokemon meta game begins as you begin to capture them all. Each monster fills a role and it quickly becomes an addictive mechanic to supplement your party.
I was honestly excited about the improvements with this game and it didn't disappoint. Gone are the days of turn based combat and worthwhile story lines but this game starts to give hope that the series is not down for the count. I would recommend trying the demo first before you hop into to purchase and a general interest in time travel and the Fabula Nova Crystallis will help in the long run.