Review by IpickWinners
"Unfortunate platform jump"
When Final Fantasy 7 first appeared on the PS1 it was a welcomed change and great step into the wilderness of a new platform. The same can be said of FF10. There many aspects of FF13 that were okay and many that failed. The first impression of what Square-Enix has to offer on the PS3 for the Final Fantasy series does no justice to its predecessors. Unfortunately as a fan, the failures outweighed the successes.
Audio: 7/10. Combat noises were great and the voice acting (not the script) was decent. Lack of memorable music knocks off 3 points.
Graphics: 10/10. Visually it was fantastic to watch - almost like a movie (which is bad for other reasons). PS3 puts out fantastic displays and the game took full advantage of that.
Replay: 3/10. If you like infinite grinding and few sidequest options, this would be great for you. Otherwise, once you get bored of grinding money (which can be a lot of work) the game will collect dust. I find no incentive to even start a new save because there is little that can be enjoyed from "doing it again." Over half the fun are the sidequests and different character development through them.
Battle: 6/10. I like the system as it makes the battles faster and more strategic. The only problem I have is that you cannot manually control the actions of your party members that aren't your party leader. Moreover, you cannot change the order in which they cast spells. They should have incorporated a system like the Gambit system from FF12. Well, they did but took away the player's option to tweek it to their success. Most of the time the computer picked the "right moves" but unless your main character has the ability to do it, you have to wait for your other characters to act out the move.
Story/Game play: 4/10. It had so much potential but it fell flat on its face. Hard. Names of the I'cie and Fal'cie can get confusing sometimes which was annoying. What stunted the growth of the story was the players inability to explore towns and worlds and interact with NPCs. This removes the exploration feel that usually accompanies the story of a Final Fantasy game.
Many complain about the story being linear. What most people are trying to say (I believe) is that the game forces you to continue the story no matter what. There is no time to back track and do a hunt (FF12) or play a game of blitzball (FF10). Unfortunately, besides the chocobos (which were poorly implemented), there are no "games." No snowboarding, no card games. While those didn't make or break an FF game, they certainly enhanced it.
Characters: 5/10. Again, potential was knocking but they failed. Some of them had annoying ticks such as whining all the time or constantly focused on being a hero. I find it hard pressed to find a time when a character became self-aware and changed their actions other than the forced, weak change needed in order for the story to work.
Overall: 5/10. While it's not the average of my scores above (which would be a 5.8), I like what the option says when picking your score: "nothing special about it." That's how I feel. Was it a waste of money? That's your decision. Play it though. If nothing else, at least you can say you beat it.
Thanks for reading!
Reviewer's Rating: 2.5 - Playable
Originally Posted: 07/21/10
Game Release: Final Fantasy XIII (US, 03/09/10)
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