Final Fantasy XIII

Developer: Square-Enix
Publisher:  Square-Enix
Oh how the might have fallen! I'm not what you might call the biggest fan of the series as I've always felt the quality between entries is somewhat inconsistent, but this has got to be the weakest title since Final Fantasy II.

The game starts you off with a huge battle, showing off its high production values, the graphics and sound are absolutely gorgeous, unfortunately I had no idea what's going on, here you are in this epic fight with resistance fighters and armed security forces and the game doesn't even bother telling you WHY you're fighting, oh sure it says you were being deported, but it's not until the second half of the game it straight out tells you just what the heck is going on.

The battle system is pretty different from the previous games, it's hard to judge whether it's better or worse, but it certainly feels like a breath of fresh air. Unfortunately, between the lack of towns, sidequests... or anything really, all you'll be doing for 50+ hours is running in a straight line and fighting, it won't be long before you start getting tired, it doesn't help that you don't even get to use any magic until Chapter III.

The story was pretty standard stuff for a Final Fantasy game, I didn't find it particularly interesting nor did it have any twists and turns that you wouldn't see coming from a mile away and at first I didn't like most of the characters (Sazh was the only one who seemed to act like an intelligent human being), but eventually they started growing on me, though some more than others.

The music is the usual greatness the series has accustomed us to, it has everything from piano solos to full on orchestral renditions and enough variety to fit any mood or scene. I've heard some people criticize the game for using a song by artist Leona Lewis, but honestly, I didn't think it was that bad, if you want to hate on any song in the game then my suggestion is: Hate on the chocobo song, whose bright idea was it to add LYRICS to the chocobo song? Maybe I'm just old fashioned, but I prefer if they stick with the classics.

Some fans will tell you that the game gets better towards the end, well, I can tell you that this is a blatant lie, what they actually meant is that you'll get a needlessly large hub area where you can accept side missions, all of them asking you to kill a boss, but honestly, after 50+ hours of doing nothing but fighting, I couldn't bring myself to finish more than the first few.

The game almost feels like a dungeon-crawling spin-off of itself, but even then it wouldn't excuse the excessive linearity.

Pros:
- Great production Values
- Soundtrack, voice acting and graphics are top notch
- The battle system feels very fresh...

Cons:
- But you spend way too much time on said battle system
- Poor level layout
- No magic until chapter 3
- No summons until chapter 5
- No sidequests until chapter 11

Final Score: C


The cover art is pretty boring, it's just the main character staring in to the distance on a blank background, likely startled by all the grinding she's going to have to go through in this game.

I like that the disc and the manual feature different artwork, not sure why these weren't used for the cover as they are somewhat more interesting then the boxart.

Inside you'll find the manual and a code to register your game on the Square-Enix website, I'm not sure what's the point of doing this though, maybe some sort of used games counter-measure that I'm not aware of?

The manual is the best part of the packaging, it gives you some background information (albeit very vague), short bios of your characters and even some tips and tutorials, it's nothing too detailed or ground breaking, but you know what they say, better to have it and not need it.

Overall, the packaging isn't bad, but it's all very standard stuff, the manual is pretty good, but if you want any extras then you'll just have to pay extra for the collector's edition.

Packaging Score: C+


5 comments:

  1. I've heard bad things about this game as well. That's why I didn't get it, sounds like I made the right decision.

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  2. I don't even like the whole Final Fantasy series. Don't know what I don't like about it, but I guess it ain't my style. Guess I'm glad you didn't rate it good.

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  3. I still need to finish this one.

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  4. But I certainly agree with most of what you said about it, it is just a lot of running.

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  5. Yes, this game seemed to get lacklustre reviews across the board.

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