Review by chewwy151
"Pros And Cons Of Final Fantasy XIII"
Most of the games in the Final Fantasy games are very good RPG's with a great story line, good character development, fun battles and battle systems. Final Fantasy XIII has an interesting story that could have been played out to make a very good game. However the game did not live up to the name Square Enix has built for the series. The story is very short and too simple. It starts you off without any explanation of what is happening then explains the situation later. A lot of people wouldn't like this, however I found this drawing me into the game more than the game itself. The scenario it starts with reminds me of Final Fantasy VII as well...but the rest of the game is far from being on the same level as what is in my opinion the best game of the Series.
The maps are way too simple. Everything is basically a narrow line with very limited freedom. There are no "random" battles in this game. You can try to get around something you don't want to fight, but most likely whatever is there is blocking your path. The closest you come to a random battle is if something is running around on Gran Pulse and you don't see it and it runs into you...but you get a preemptive strike simple because it was running. The only open area map is the plains on Gran Pulse, but isn't very large for an open area map.
The battle system is pretty simple, but seemingly complex. It is called the paradigm system and is based on a class system. One reason for the paradigm system is that you only control one character during the battle. It is not turn based like the classic Final Fantasies we know and love, it is real time with an ATB charge. So the good thing about the paradigm system is that it allows you to control what type of abilities the other two characters are using and switching paradigm sets during battle to allow the characters to use other abilities. This has a minor setback...you can't heal while you attack unless you use a potion. The only way to heal is to have a character on the medic class and healing instead of attacking. This often slows down the battle a lot.
Leveling up in this game is similar to the sphere grid from Final Fantasy X. Instead of gaining experience you gain crystarium points (cp). You decide which class you want to use the points in and there are branches on the crystaruim grid to allow you to choose weather you want to gain an extra stat or learn an ability or choose which stat you want to learn next. But after you learn everything on that branch it's back to the straight line you were in...just like the maps in the game. It's pretty easy to level up your crystarium at first because you switch back and forth between character sets a lot and every character gets cp even if they're not in battle. Later in the game, however it gets tedious because you don't get much cp for most of the battles and everything starts taking ten or forty thousands of points to get to the next stat or ability.
One thing I really hate about the game is the way you get gil. In every Final Fantasy game I've played you gained gil during battles.You only get cp and items when you're lucky. You have to gain gil from item pods and selling materials such as gold nuggets and dolls that you get from item pods, battles, and chocobo treasure hunts.however as far as I know it does not explain that at any point in the game. If it did, I missed it. So instead of selling those items I was using them to level up my weapons, and foe only 1 experience on the weapon. The item descriptions are on the top part of the screen which is hard to read and took me a minute to find because I'm always looking for the description to pop up or be somewhere near the item.
Most RPG's and Final Fantasy games have side quests or secret bosses that you can fight. The only thing that comes close are the 65 Cieth stone missions that are throughout Gran Pulse. Some of these are part of the story and have to be completed in order to progress, though. I suppose you could count the trophies you can earn to be side quests, but a majority of them you would earn anyway from completing parts of the story or other things that you can do without trying too hard. There are no secret bosses.
My favorite thing about the game is that it brings back classic names and monsters. If it weren't for Cid being in this game they wouldn't be able to call it Final Fantasy. Some of the things you have to fight that are memorable of Final Fantasy are things such as Cactaur, Bohemoth, and Tonberry. The chocobos are in the game as well and can be ridden to help you get to places you can't jump to and help you find more items and treasures to sell for gold. These are things that I'm glad are in the game.
Overall this is a decent game. If you are a fan of the Final Fantasy series and play this game you will probably get frustrated.
Reviewer's Score: 6/10 | Originally Posted: 03/31/10
Game Release: Final Fantasy XIII (US, 03/09/10)
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