Review by Cyrius85

"13 chapters of handholding + growing pains = FF13"

Introduction

I've beaten every final fantasy title since FF7 and I've seen a gradual shift in the FF experience. I could rant and rave about the old days or I could tear up the faults of the last few FF installments, but this is a quick review and I'm too lazy. Suffice to say that it can all be summed up in one word: hand-holding. (Okay two words, forgive me). You'll also spent more time levelling your characters after the story is over, thereby defeating any story driven purpose for maxing out your characters.

Gameplay 8/10

Category 1: Battles 10/10
Fast paced, yet strategic enough to present a challenge. A good variety of techniques and balancing offence/defence/support presents some very interesting and stressful battle situations. Collecting and modifying equipment is challenging and intricate. As with all FF games, a little time spent levelling will make your life much easier. The character levelling system is straightforward and easy. I would like more freedom for character customization, as each character is built for specific roles and simply won't perform as well in their "off" roles. Certain characters are entirely geared towards a specific role, and they become super-specialists. I felt railroaded. Aside from that, good job Square.

Category 2: Story 6/10
Ever played connect the dots? It just doesn't make sense until you complete the task. You're forced to stay on a linear story arc with hardly any room for exploration. The names are so similar that you can hardly track who the good guys are and who the bad guys are (l'Cie, Fal'cie, Ci'eth, etc....). In trying to "immerse" us in a fantasy world, Square has gone to the point where I can hardly relate to the characters. Since when is a bada$$ tank named Snow? Why is a heavy-hitting hot mama named Fang? Lightning? Hope? Seriously?

Sound & Graphics 9/10
Both good. No complaints.

Replayability 3/10
The length of the story just doesn't warrant a replay. I am a fan of doing it right the first time. Post-game play is what it is all about here. I doubt you'll want to go back to a weak starter party after investing 60+ hours in CP farming and having that adrenaline rush of bringing down an adamantortoise.

Final Score 8/10
Not and average. If you're a FF veteran, beat it for your own sake. If you're new to the series: Beat it and then go beat FF7 and FF8, then tell me which game you preferred.


Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 03/18/10, Updated 12/09/10

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


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