The next step in the Final Fantasy series
Its not like any other Final Fantasy game that I have played, and maybe that’s a good thing. It took me a little over 57 hours to beat FFXIII, and looking back I have to say that I enjoyed my time playing the game. Its far from the best FF game I played, but its still a quality title and I feel the natural progression of what Final Fantasy has come to become. Not really a role-playing game, but an interactive story.
Game play: If you take the game, not really as an RPG (or even JRPG), but as an interactive story, then I feel the game play is very good and justifies the series of corridors and cut scenes.
The combat is the real star of the game play. It becomes more of a strategy game in the way where the player has choose the roles he will invest in, decide what paradigms he will equip, and constantly juggle these in battle. You do end up trusting the AI to choose the best attack most of the time, but I felt that the AI was smart enough to know exactly what I wanted to happen the majority of the time.
The major disappointment to the game play were the summons (eidolons). I went through the entire game never using them.
Story: Here is where I feel let down. Thinking back, the premise seems simple enough, but I feel that the writers tried to add layers of unnecessary complexity in the way they explain the world of FXIII and the role of the characters. Because of this, I don’t feel that I was as emotionally attached to the characters as I was in the previous FF games that I have played.
Graphics: I played the game on an Xbox. I have not seen it run on a PS3. For my money, the game looks fantastic. Characters are nicely detailed and animated. Some of the choice in character and creature design is a bit extreme, but it ends up working because of great graphics.
Music: Fantastic as always. I am always amazed as to how this series continues to produce such incredible music. Of special note is the battle theme.
Who is this game for: If you like linear (like running down the corridor linear) rpg’s then this game is for you. The story might not be the best but the unique combat system and great presentation definitely makes it worthwhile.