Final Fantasy XIII Review
- Posted March 10th, 2010 at 11:13 EDT by Steven Williamson
- 51 Comments
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Whether you enjoy it or not will depend on your expectations. Walk into it with a clear mind and you will get lost in this magical fantasy world.
- The enchanting sensory experience
- The satisfying battle system
- The character driven plot
- The lack of freedom to explore
- The amount of time it takes to really get going
With a glittering legacy that spans over 20 years it’s inevitable that a whole heap of expectation rides on the wings of every Final Fantasy game’s release. Living up to that sort of pressure and creating a game worthy of bearing the Final Fantasy name is an unenviable task, but Square Enix consistently delivers, creating worlds that demand to be explored. It’s clear that this developer loves its most precious franchise more than most. You only have to scratch the surface of the series to see the attention to detail to character building and the highly polished audio and visual experiences that have now become synonymous with its name. Delve even deeper and strip away its glossy exterior and you’ll find a world of creative story-telling, innovation and rich and rewarding gameplay. With all that in mind, Final Fantasy XIII is a disappointment.
Okay, so you’ve already seen the high score we’ve awarded it, right? Ah yes, well, before you jump on our backs and call us hypocrites, we want you to know that our disappointment is only slight, and it’s only because we had our own vision on what Square Enix would deliver on PS3. We hoped that our Blu-ray disc would come packed to the rafters with sprawling open-world locations littered with tons of quests to embark on and hundreds of NPCs to interact with -- a world where we could really let our imaginations run wild. In that respect, Final Fantasy XIII disappoints us ever so slightly so we won't be putting it on a pedestal and labeling it today as our favorite Final Fantasy game of all time. It is still, however, a brilliant, combat-heavy RPG that does deserve your attention.
From an audio and visual standpoint, FFXIII delivers a bedazzling display of creativity, artistry and sheer wizardry. The stunning opening cinematic sets the tone for the game perfectly and each and every cut-scene from that point forth blends seamlessly into the action, playing an important part in immersing you fully in the universe and its array of bewitching characters. Moving from the finely detailed and compact city of Cocoon to the larger area and lush green setting of Pulse has a profound visual impact, while the wandering piano solos and warm sounds of violins and cellos create an impressive audio backdrop that shifts and drops in tempo alongside the gameplay. During a fight sequence a fanfare of brass instruments will interrupt the tranquil sounds to work alongside the frantic action to create and build intensity. FFXIII is a feast for your senses and a predictably brilliant and engaging audio and visual Final Fantasy experience.
Recurring elements and themes from past games, including weapon and magic-based combat, party and upgrade systems, gives FFXIII that familiar feel, but in terms of gameplay it gets off to a slow and unfamiliar start. For the first 12-14 hours of gameplay you're taken by the hand and lead through the game world, moving from 'A' to 'B,' from one fight to another, before tackling a big boss. There's little chance to explore, or discover the hidden depths of the battle system -- that comes later. It's the storyline that drives you forward at this point, which alongside the impressive visuals and charming characters, just about manages to make up for the lack of gripping gameplay. Despite the frequent battles, this is a slow starter and a streamlined game with focus and direction and not the sprawling universe that some may have hoped for, although it's worth noting that it does open up far more as soon as you hit Pulse.
Chances are, if you're considering the notion or indeed have already bought FFXIII, you know that it isn't a short game; you're going to be in it for the long haul, right? Well clocking in at between 70-100 hours this first batch of fairly slow-paced, but still utterly engaging campaign, will soon be forgotten as you discover the real depths of the game, including the character development and the interweaving storyline that is driven superbly by the characters and personalities of the six party members that you'll meet. It's after a dozen hours or so that you'll also start to enjoy even more the strategic depths and technical brilliance of the battle system ... (continued on next page)
- 7:20pm EDT - March 14th, 2010
Like a lot of people I don't like all the hand holding. I don't like the fact that you can only control one character. I hope you can eventually choose who is in your party and who is not. I miss the open worlds. I miss the character classes. It isn't a bad game, I'm not far enough along to make a real opinion of it. I hope everyone is right and it picks up the pace after a bit. Vanille drives me crazy. She is very annoying. The graphics are great. I'm not far enough into the story yet to really have a grasp on that.
- 2:31am EDT - March 15th, 2010
Very good game. I have played for 19h and end of chapter 6 :D. I dont realy care about lack of freedom. It is allmost like final fantasy x, x had more freedom but it is ok.
- 2:59am EDT - March 15th, 2010
You jrpg purist out there saying that you hate the english voices would not know good voice-overs if it bit you in the ass, while the voices are not the best i've ever heard they are anything but bad, if the voices did not work at all then neither would the story or character interactions which FF13 has done very well so far infact hearing from people who own both the Japanese and western versions most say that the Japanese voice-overs are worse. Decent review, i'm really enjoying the game 30 hours in, having a hard time putting down the controller, which is a surprise since I really have not enjoyed a Final Fantasy game since 7
- 5:58pm EDT - March 17th, 2010
FINAL FANTASY XIII: AMAZING, WONDERFUL, BEAUTIFUL, THE BEST !
It has wonderful and fantastic worlds and societies, an amazing and complex story, beautiful and gorgeous cut-scenes, awesome, detailed, and involving characters, JUST PERFECT!
FINAL FANTASY XIII is equal or much better than FINAL FANTASY VII, The cut-scenes are spectacular and the characters are super detailed and involving, the story is marvelous and perfect, everything is perfect, I love it.
Some people criticize this game because is 'too linear' but this is the only way to tell the amazing story of the characters and the society of FFXIII. Others say this genre needs to stop recycling the same tale of old JRPGs and make new games with new ideas, but they also say that FFXIII has left the main features of a FF game off. In other worlds, they want CHANGE and NEW IDEAS... but if Square-Enix changes the Battle system or makes a more linear game and new completely different worlds... then, they DON'T LIKE IT and now they want a FF game like the old classics.
I don't understand.... first they say one thing but then they want another.
FINAL FANTASY XIII is one of the best in the series, the cinematic, the 'heroes' the linear thing, the story, the worlds, everything is perfect! I love it and will love it forever, excellent work from Square-Enix, really... BEAUTIFUL.
I give 10 out of 10 for FINAL FANTASY XIII.
- 12:48am EDT - March 19th, 2010
This Game must be 10 of 10 rating , bcz this game is Epic!!! ( for FF fans )
- 10:10am EDT - March 23rd, 2010
So so boring.... I tried so hard to "play" past the first 15 hrs.... but I kept wondering "do I enjoy this crap"?
A great looking game, but this does not compensate for the dull gameplay.
- 9:40pm EDT - March 29th, 2010
After hearing all of the complaints about it being linear, I was wondering if that would bring the game down. I think there has been a few hard reviews , but the majority were positive. It probably would make the game better if there were more freedom and town exploration, but hey I don't mind the linearity at all; I love the story, characters and gameplay. Great game.
- 6:14pm EDT - April 6th, 2010
hi there people , does anyone know how to transfer my saved game(ff13) from one ps3 to another ps3 mine are a new model and dont have a slot for sd ; so plz some help
- 1:23pm EDT - May 25th, 2010
Im not an rpg gamer, really but I did want to try this. I couldnt get into it. I played for hours and delt with it, just enjoying the graphics, found the battles too easy, and the story didnt pick up. Just didnt have the patience. A lot of players do tell me to re-rent it and keep trying since itd be worth it.
- 2:21am EDT - June 30th, 2010
good rating a 9 but the real rating is a 9.2 but very close
- 11:54am EDT - July 7th, 2012
I think this has got to be the most awesome pile of aggravation, that is actually so fun to play I have ever known. I know I'm really late to this game, but I must say it is brilliant, although some parts have been really really really annoying for me.
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