- Summary: In Final Fantasy XIII, you will embark on a journey through the cityworld of Cocoon and the outerworld of Pulse. Along the way, you will encounter diverse allies who will fight alongside you. Execute powerful attacks with weapons and magic, and summon the enigmatic Eidolons with an evolved Active Time Battle system. Experience seamless transitions between real time gameplay and in-game cinematics. Do you have the courage to face your destiny?… Expand
The streamlined, focused structure eliminates potential tedium without dumbing anything down, and the battle system strikes an elegant balance between strategy and fast-paced action. Stunningly beautiful graphics and a pervasively meticulous level of polish throughout only add to the experience.
Final Fantasy XIII isn't just a game you merely enjoy. You fall in love with it. It's gorgeous worlds have you stopping to admire them in complete awe, while a graceful soundtrack massages your brain (despite the unfortunate replacement of the original Japanese theme with a song from Leona Lewis).
Final Fantasy XIII is an amazing game. With an engrossing story and a thrilling new battle system, this is one title you can't afford to miss as an RPG fan. However, though it succeeds on the most important fronts, there are some notable areas where the game could have been better. The linear level design is a fairly large stumbling block, and if you are used to open-world games, it can make the entire experience feel a little claustrophobic.
This fantasy isn't something that every boy dreams of, but on the other side, the game offers nice story and extremely streamlined mechanics. If you can put aside the annoying characters, the incoherent script and the overall restrictions, the game is reasonably fun to play. [Mar 2010]
But the more changes they make to get in line with a faster-paced style of gameplay, the further away they drift from what made the franchise unique for so many years. The drudgery at the beginning may annoy the casual gamer with an investment of several hours before Paradigm Shift is available and a half-a-dozen more before the first summons. Fans, however, won’t care in the slightest. They’ll be well aware lead time before proceedings really kick off. [Apr 2010 p.64]
It takes more than graphics to make a game, and Final Fantasy XIII offers very little else other than eye candy. Ultimately, this latest addition to the Final Fantasy series is a pompous and masturbatory affair, created seemingly to promote the developer's ego first, and the player's enjoyment second.
Aug 2, 2011While still playing this game, I can assure you that Square-enix took one step in the right direction. In Final Fantasy XIII you will find everything a game should have: Great story, well-developed and compelling characters, stunning enviroments, one of the best musical scores of the series, entertaining battle system, and DIFFICULTY. Every role is vital, and strategies are key for some battles. For those who like to compare FFXIII to other FFS just remember how great were FFVIII & FFVII, but how easy they were as well. I found that FFXIII is the oppossite of FFXII. Whereas FFXII gave you the freedom you 'need', tons of quests, it offered, IMO, the weakest story and character development of the series. In contrast, FFXIII is brilliantly developed, as characters and story is concerned. Sure, some things can be improved, some towns and quest can be added, but I, for one, cannot complain, as this game exceeded my expectations and I can't wait for its sequel. It's not a 10, as I gave. I would probably rate it as a 9.5, but hey, some put 0s and 1s so I wanted to raise the user score.… Expand
Nov 27, 2013XIII is a reinvention of the franchise, many fans don't like it precisely because, it's different and they don't like change, i love innovation and when franchises dare to go out of their comfort zone and do something different it's amazing, SE did that, and we got FF XIII, a completely new experience in the franchise that perhaps may not be as well receivred, but it's worthy of the Final Fantasy title… Expand
JamesB.Apr 20, 2010This game is gorgeous, fun, inventive, and really is the best RPG series ever. Though, the only thing that confused me was the fact there was no multiplayer. the AI is good and all, but i would have liked to add in at least one friend to help me, but its just a small problem. i havnt played the entire thing, and i will do another review to overview the entire thing, i just think there should be a multiplayer, see u guys later in another review.… Expand
DanielPMar 11, 2010Who in Square Enix said: "Hey you know what we should do? Make this new installment of Final Fantasy as linear as a freaking two dimensional Sonic game!" "yeah man! That's a GREAT idea!" All I wanted to do through the entire first half of the game was go find an optional boss, go into an optional zone, or engage in a sidequest. For those of you who played FF7, let me put it this way, you don't get out of Midgar till the game is more than halfway over!… Expand
MattApr 15, 2010Good visuals. Annoying battle system. Not being able to move your AI characters out of aoe attacks cripple the battle system. A fight that should be easy can turn into a disaster if the AI places characters to close to the enemy. Convoluted story. Annoying characters. Tedious battles. Crappy weapon customization/progression. I finished it only because I felt like I had to because it's a FF game.… Expand
Nov 26, 2013tldr XIII's concept of a beautiful gem that just happened to be covered in a steaming pile of fecal matter by whoever "assisted" with its development that almost completely obscures the excellent core idea. It is not a game because there is no actual fun involved in playing it or watching the non-plot character interactions.
Attention to the story in its current form is only recommended in extremely small doses with copious amounts of drugs and/or alcohol, otherwise a loss of faith in humanity and a urge to destroy Japan may occur. The only cure to this is to play FFXIII-2 which will remediate all of these urges except for the realization that it is what XIII SHOULD and COULD have been.
Extended Cut Review
This game makes me seethe and writhe in frustration because of all the wasted and lost potential. Where to begin?
Frustrating, arbitrary and grueling battle system.
The "easiest" enemies later in the game take 10-15 minutes each simply due to the vast amount of hp and their damage output. If you don't use autobattle and make it basically a interactive movie with minor control, then combat in this game will be beyond frustrating and irritating. My girlfriend and I are both veterans of the final fantasy series which is to say, since the original game, and into chapter 11 we reached a point where there was literally no reason for bashing our heads against the mechanical system despite a deep desire for both of us to get to the end of all the plot threads dangled. Don't get me started on Eidolon battles and certain bosses if you did not build exactly the way the devs wanted you to, hope you like hearing Vanille and everyone's death cries.
Plot, coherence, and narrative or lack thereof
There is a intruiging plot backbone in the background which is never fully explored or explained except for a fully formed codex at the start of the game which is interesting but completely detached from the narrative of the game. The character interactions in plot scenes are top notch and compelling, as characters should be, but in the rest of the game they are reduced to mere stereotypical archetypes with completely nonsense exchanges, "observations" and no true character development.
Nothing is explained about why the events that occur occur, even when many examples clearly contradict the game's existing lore and established narrative. Why do the characters get sent where they do and then come back? Never explained, ever. The only explanation to many things that contradict everything else is "power of friendship", which is unacceptable without some further establishment or explanation.
The main criticism of the game from the community has been its pacing. The 30 hour tutorial is not a exaggeration and it is just as frustrating as it sounds, given you only truly "start" the full open proper game in the last 3 or 4 chapters of chapter 13. Compounded with the resounding question of "why are we here?" that is never truly answered, giving any thought to the game will give you aneurisms.
Music and Sound
The basic battle theme made me want to gouge out my ears. There were a couple of themes that were great, like Snow's, but some of them were completely discontinious like Sazh's. The repetitive battle effects and character combat lines were made worse by the ridiculious length of the battles.Overall, I preferred to listen to something else.
I do not understand why this game is rated inferior to Final Fantasy XIII-2, which is superior to it every way. There was clearly a great conceptual idea that was handed off to a team of incompetent monkeys for implementation of certain core parts who butchered them completely. There were at least two main character writing teams, one for plot events (the great one) and one for side conversations the trash one), which held no standard continuity between the two. Final Fantasy XIII-2 is a vast improvement upon the two, with a streamlined battle system that SHOULD have been, a unified narrative, characterization, and a incredible soundtrack.… Expand
Aug 18, 2013I've heard a lot of people harp on the complaint of the game being linear however this cannot be true as Final Fantasy X was very linear and achieve greatest, so why did this game utterly fail? There is nothing from with changing mechanics however Square changed their core engagement. Why do you play a Final Fantasy game over every other game?
The two main element would be exploration and story with idles of being on a hero's quest perhaps. Now Final Fantasy X was linear however the world varied enough, while juxtaposed with times in towns and peaceful settlements with battles to create a flow while Final Fantasy seem very little various and takes too long for it to happen; run through the same jungle with three difference groups of characters. Now, Final Fantasy X had a slow start for sure but Final Fantasy 13 flat out beats this without tell us anything basic about the world and only leaves us more confused unless we continue or read up on it. The exposition dumps fro Final Fantasy X were annoying but they fit because they were teaching Tidus, a everyman thrust into a new world with us, they were teaching us the player, meanwhile FF13 doesn't want to teach us anything but the world or it's characters. Both FFX and FF13 are linear but FFX had colourful characters and world so we didn't notice or it didn't matter while FF13 has spent all its money on graphics and paid for it.
You can say FF13 got a good score but did it? Every single FF since six has gotten anywhere from 8-11 points above this one so while it could be "good" it is bad as a FF. However, this is where my argument breaks down as I didn't get to finish FF13. I know that the world opens up, and I've seen the gameplay of it, about 20 hours in but honestly to goodness my system caught fire after 18 hours. Perhaps it does get good after this point but than the 18 hour long tutorial was bugging me a bit.
See with the loss of Sekaguchi FF has lot its way. Final Fantasy moved over to the playstation for more disk space and this served them well because they used it to teach a better story while the story here seems best suited to serve the graphics. Maybe there was a story but it wouldn't explain it self or let me in to understand it at all. Instead, I'm on the outside wondering who these people are or why I should care.
I should talk about the simplification of the combat a bit. Now normally the slow turn based menus are great for tactical play and allowing you to control all your characters but the moment you speed things up controlling everyone isn't possible. This isn't bad, games like Kingdom Hearts showed us a good way to do this. However, Final Fantasy 13 throws you in and doesn't explain a thing. Not only that my input on the battles is very loose. Now, again I've seen gameplay of later in the game in which it does appear to get a bit hectic however, does this mean that the first 20 hours are all tutorial? If it was meant for the game to progressive and get harder as we go, well that's a good idea but it never came. 18 hours in and I was still doing nothing but changing classes for when I needed to heal, the curve never came. Also, I must admit being healed to full after every battle killed the game and took all challenge away. I know you want the game to be easy so all can play but all tension is now gone. However, I must admit FF has been off the combat I like for a while. FF9 was great because each character had a set of skills and that was all they had. Not only did they have to work together but it gave the sense that their skill (lets say black magic) was something hard that they had mastered and not everybody and their dog could do it.
If you're just scrolling down to the end to see what I'm going to say I'll repeat. Final Fantasy 13 fails not because it's linear but because it changes the core engagement. I play a FF game for a well crafter stories with colorful characters in a varied world. FFX showed us that linear worlds aren't a bad thing but FF13 shows that that unvaired repeating ones are. While save points that heal you to full made earlier games too easy, being healed after every battle is beyond overkill to take out any challenge or tension. Finally, FFX may have had exposition dumps but it served to explain the world while FF13 doesn't care to. FF13 doesn't care to explain itself at all but throw a bunch of proper nouns at me and never explain a single one nor teach me or give me anything likeable about the cast.
I"LL SAY IT AGAIN. FINAL FANTASY 13 FAILS NOT BECAUSE ITS LINEAR BUT BECAUSE IT CHANGES IT'S CORE ENGAGEMENT!! Everything we love to see in FF game is not here for changes no one asked for and a pursuit of graphics over gameplay, story, or world. This may be the lowest rated FF in the main series in the best 20 years for a reason guys (and only because those games ((FFV)) are being judged by today's standards).… Expand
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Published: March 9, 2010The newest installment in the 23-year-old Final Fantasy franchise arrives in stores this week. How does it compare to past titles in the series?