Review by asdfen09

"FF13 Review though eyes of FF series fan"

Reviewers Biography
I've started my FF series with FF7 which was the first to come out on PC and I loved it. By that I mean I went through the game about 5 times one of those maxing everyone stats. After that I tried FF1,2 which I couldn't get into. Beat FF3,5,6 then 8. FF8 disliked for its summoning system that took half a year but looked awesome. But once I leveled enough to never summon again I enjoyed this game. FF9, FF10, FFX-2 all were good. With FF7 remaining my favorite for a huge open world with ton of optional content like arcade and bosses as well as ability to control encounter rate and Cloud's special attack which I never got tired of. The best special move ever! FF12 I enjoyed it. Disliked that the control over my party has been reduced to dumb bots and AFK leveling pissed me off. Also inability to do New Game Plus as well as that on top of that you could miss some cool stuff during 1st play through. Sill the combat to me felt more or less like FF game.

First impression
My first impression of FF13 was WOW. This looks awesome. The intro blew m away with its pan view over Grand Pulse. The game starts with the usual opening scene that introduces doomsday scenario “omg we all going to die” the usual for FF that we all love. I mean come on if you are an RPG fan lets face it no one has though of better tasks yet the save the world, save the girl and/or save yourself from amnesia. Every time someone tried it usual turned out for the worse. Cast of main character is introduce all is going smooth. The battle system is your press attack and stuff dies which is fine for the begging of the game. A little further in the game forces player to switch between parties which irritates me. Especially since you can not remove equip from character you no longer control… why? Ok that's a minor setback its FF title I don't care lets keep going!

Ok so now I am 30 hours into the game nothing much really is happening to drive the story on or make me feel attached to any of the main character cast because of the following. The first is the names of the different factions and locations that I found very confusing. Let me give you're an example. There are falcie, l'acie, Pulse l'acie, Cocoon l'acie, Pulse falcie and Cocoon l'acie anyone else finds it is all sounding exactly same? For the first time in order to understand story I had open menu and read the data logs to find out what is going on in the cut scenes who are the bad guys…. I am lost. Seriously lets not have faction of the good guys named 010110011100 who are fighting against 100101110 in the typical Japanese story telling meaning that you are fighting against really bad guy who at the very end you find out was doing all of that for the greater good and is actually good inside and just doesn't want to commit harry carry (hara-kiri) to kill the baddie is your job. For my mindset that' is confusing enough already. All in all the story is ok thought, nothing new but decent enough for an RPG.

Game play
Forced character switching continues for 90% of main story that takes about 50 hours to complete. By 50 hours I mean that it is not because I suck at playing this. It is more due to the duration of cut scenes and slow running. There are no means of fast transportation... Why?! Give me my Highwind/Ragnarock back or at least FFX system! The instant transportation is introduced after you complete all/most of the story and start completing side mission which some turn into teleporters upon completion. You still have to slowly run to teleporter then run after you come out on the other side and there are not that many of the teleporter stones. For most of the main story player has no control of the party formation and the equipment you might have just upgraded/leveled up is taken away from you since the game forced control of different party… I was upset by this. Very upset. But after 50 hours of game play player is rewarded with control of party formation. Another thing I am not happy with is that I played through the story without skipping monsters that ended up on my STRAIGHT FORWARD PATH and closer to the end of the story my party was completely under powered. I had to go back and run circles killing monsters for a few hours in order to get back on track…. Yay? Also I felt like throughout the game there are non boss monsters that 1 hit KO. What's up game mechanic of getting game over when your single character that is party leader dies … The character has exactly same stats as other two characters in the party and their deaths does not lead to KO… That makes no sense to me and is upsetting mechanics.

Battle System
Since player is given control of any single character in party that you assign to control prior to battle most of the combat is reduced to activating command called “auto battle”. Are you excited yet? When popular review sites write about delicate fun battle system in this game they mean that player doesn't get tired of pressing auto battle. In case the actual fight is tough player gets to switch to a few Paradigms and still mostly press auto battle. If its very tough fight then you have to very quickly navigate a menu with a big skill tree and in .5 seconds and select the skill you need. If it is not done in .5 seconds you loose some of your turn time. So lets stick to auto battle. Yay! Did I mention that you get to try again if you party leader dies and monster AI does love to target party leader. In tough combat there is nothing you can do in actual combat to change your strategy. What you have to do is you engage a tough monster die, activate menu change roles setup of your group. Try again. There is no way to adjust roles in battle… Once the special tough battle setup is no longer needed you once again have to manually reconfigure your role setup. There is no way to make SetA,SetB,SetC of 6 Paradigms and just switch between them. So to summarize - combat looks flashy, there is nothing more that I can say about it without using a lot of swear words.

Post end game you there is only one thing to keep you occupied – do side quests aka 64 Missions. Side quests are straight forward meaning you receive it and then go from A to B and kill monsters. Most of them are very easy. Aka press auto battle a few times. There are no epic bosses in optional boss selection that look cool. Mostly the optional bosses are the usual monsters that have 20 times the hit points and hit harder. The biggest baddest monsters in the game are turtles … You heard me turtles… After most of the missions are complete or in order to complete some of the difficult ones player is forced to look for Gil. The Gil income in FF13 is very slim. About the only way to make Gil is your fight monsters called Sacrifices that have a chance to drop item that sell for 12k or the turtles I mentioned above that have a very slim chance to drop item that sells for 150k. But in order to upgrade at least 3 weapons for your main party you will need roughly 5 million. Making it very time consuming. Why the other monster in the game do no let player earn Gil I do not know, but they don't. The turtle fight is very annoying in my opinion and I still die sometimes due to luck based combat system even thought I have maxed stats party.

Final Thoughts
The game is not awful. There are plenty of worse ones out there, but it is certainly the most disappointing Final Fantasy title in my opinion that does not keep true to the series. It does not live up to the hipe. It is a title for kids. If you are 6-12 year old you will enjoy this flashy game. If you are an adult that have enjoyed previous FF titles and like something more to your games then press one button you most likely will be disappointed with FF13. Its an average flashy RPG. If you treat it as such it is enjoyable.

Reviewer's Rating:   3.0 - Fair

Originally Posted: 03/23/10

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

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