Review by asian1
"Great Game, but unworthy of Final Fantasy name."
Final Fantasy XIII was definitely a title FF and non-FF fans alike, were curious about. Years back we were shown the teaser trailer and everyone had their positive and negative vibes from it. I've played every FF up until now and played through them as well. My expectations for this game were not high, yet they were not low. If anything, I was curious to see what Square-Enix would do after they failed to keep up the momentum of the series with XII.
I completely agree with the headlines of Game Informer's review of FFXIII, where they said that Square-Enix delivered a good game, but not a savior. In that aspect, FFXIII was definitely a good game, but if only it didn't have the Final Fantasy name. Many FF fans were probably already turned off to the series after Sakaguchi left and the dissappointment of FFXII.
After completing FFXIII, I must say that the game was better than I had expected. The story was unique, but nothing spectacular. The characters finally had more color and chemistry between each other, it was obvious Square-Enix wanted to focus on the characters more this time around. The battle system is extremely addicting and I did not find a problem with that change. Although, the game did undergo multiple changes, I did not mind them as much as I thought I would. As a FF fan, I played the game as if I was playing a non-FF titled game. What made the game a FF would probably have to be the signature characters such as chocobos, moogle shops, and familiar Eidolons,item names, weapon names, etc. Another problem with the game was its notorious linearity. I, personally, did not find the linearity as bothersome, but the fact that backtracking was limited to none at all was a bit irritating. The game does indeed open up from chapter 11 to 13, but when I say limited, it is indeed limited. The sidequests consist of monster hunts as from XII, but it allows you to further explore the vast areas of the world. I believe Square-Enix wanted to focus on the story and told it with more of a movie-like perspective than like the older games. In other words, exploring was limited throughout the game in order for the player to enjoy the scenary and story. The graphics were amazing and well done. Square-Enix might have overdone it by overdecorating, but that made the game spectacular eye-candy. The music was done by co-composer to Final Fantasy X's soundtrack, so if you were a fan of X's soundtrack, you'd probably enjoy XIII's. The music wasn't as memorable, but some themes you just can't help but hum to yourself. Battle theme? Epic.
Overall, the game was indeed worth the money, but if you're an longtime FF fan as I am, you won't find FF nostalgia as much. The game is great as an RPG and Square-Enix brought some new elements to the table, but FF is changing rapidly and fans better start realizing that. Final Fantasy as most loved it, died after X in my opinion. (Basically the Squaresoft to Enix merging) Since the company is no longer Squaresoft, you should already expect great changes to their games. Do I recommend this game to others? Definitely. It's an RPG you don't want to miss out on.
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 03/30/10
Game Release: Final Fantasy XIII (US, 03/09/10)
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