Review by Holy_Banisher

"Not for those who yearn for the classics"

I'll list the pros and cons of the game and explain what I like about them.

Pros-

Beautiful Graphics -Probably the best looking game I have ever seen. While they can't be mistaken for real, it's still awesome. 10/10

Linearity -The developers didn't waste time making the place more explorable (in alot of RPGs, the "explorable" towns just gives an illusion that the place is explorable when in reality, those houses you can enter don't give you items or advances the plot or anything. Those houses are just plain useless and a big waste of time to make in my opinion). Also, the developers used the plot to work in why the players can't just go into people's houses. 10/10

Shops -I love the fact that the shops are all in 1 spot. The main reason is that I hate running back and forth between the item shop or the armor shop and the accessory or the weapon shop. And like the last pro, the developers used the plot to work in why the players can't physically enter shops (if they exist in the world of FFXIII). 10/10

Storyline -I'm 50/50 on whether this should be a pro or a con. The storyline is original at some points but completely obvious or just ridiculous at others. 6/10

Character Development -The developers really made up for the story through character development but I think they worked too much on this point. 8/10

Equip. Upgrade -I think this is a nice concept because it reminds me of crafting from MMOs and it doesn't allow people to get one of the best equips in the game through the store. 10/10

Battle System -Stunning and high-paced. The auto-battle system is good for new players and also when you can't decide what to do and start to panic. Half the time I use the auto-battle option and the other half I choose what to use; especially when healing. The Paradigm system is fun to use but the one prob with it is that it usually fully charges the ATB for all party members whenever you change tactics. Also, the game forces you to make good strategic options during the heat of battle like never before in a FF game. You also need good timing using the character's natural movements to dodge some attacks (the biggest example is Aeroga which knocks everyone near the center into the air. using the movements, you can dodge the launch of Aeroga). 9/10

Bosses -I love the bosses in this game. They have crazy HP and attacks that are fit only for a boss. 10/10

Restarting a game/Retry from a game over -When you restart a game, the game gives you a summary of what recently happened so, even if you haven't touched the game in 2 years, you will know what's going on (along with the linearity, you won't be lost trying to remember what you were supposed to do). Retrying is good since, even though the save stations are far too generous, there are some points where starting back from the last save is a pain. 10/10

Cons-

Gil -Way too hard to get gil in this game. For the first 6 chapters of the game, I never went over 4k gil. The good part is that it's realistic because monsters don't carry money on them and the human foes carry what I think are credit cards (which you can sell for quite a bit). I would make this a pro but the amount of credit cards you get is reduced to nothing when you need it the most later in the game. 5/10

Summons -The utility of summons fluctuate too much between way overpowered and a bit overpowered. Some summons are super powerful while others are quite weak; but my biggest problem with summons is that they fully heal your entire party, even the dead ones. Because of this, the strong summons combined with fully healing your party usually ensures victory against the hard bosses. 3/10

Battle System -My problem with the battle system is that it's Game Over if your party leader dies, you can't run from battles (to my knowledge), you can't change a member's role without switching tactics, and you can't change party leaders during battle. Small cons about the battle system but still good overall. 9/10

Retry from a game over -Only 1 con about this even though it only happened once. If you aggro a monster at the spot where they spawn and you try retrying, you'll almost instantly aggro the monster so retrying will only catch you in an endless loop. 1/10

CV -Some probs with Lightning and Vanille's voices. Vanille's voice changes between no accent and a thick accent midway in her sentences for the larger part of the first half and Lightning's voice goes unusually high at very few points in the game. Also, I noticed that the timing of the mouth to the voice of Fang during a cutscene was off. 5/10

Leveling Up -While it's refreshing that there's no such thing as levels for your party, I think it makes it a bit harder to gauge enemies since they are given levels. Nothing major but nothing to compliment. 5/10

Storyline -I think they tried too hard to make all the characters connected. Also, for about half the game the entire cast of characters are separated from each other. 6/10

Paradigm Shift -Medics aren't very good at choosing priorities so you usually have to switch to a medic yourself to heal properly and that severely restricts the party leader until late into the game. 7/10

Overview:

All in all, it's a beautiful game that's very entrancing and interesting but it's obvious that they put way more effort into some things and not others. If you're looking for a FF game with classic gameplay, this is not the game for you. If you're looking for a FF game with a good story, unless you count in character development as the story or a major point of the story, this is the game for you. People new to the series will definitely enjoy FFXIII and I suggest to everyone I make idle chat with to buy this game.


Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 03/15/10

Game Release: Final Fantasy XIII (US, 03/09/10)


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