Review by BurnsLikeSnow

"Great game backed by hours of gameplay and challenging bosses and strategies"

Final Fantasy XIII is definitely a game that you'd be hard pressed to pass up. Square Enix never fails to produce a game that catches your eye. This game especially caught my eye simply because we hadn't seen a new Final Fantasy for the consoles since the release of Final Fantasy XII back in 2004. After putting in years of hard work, Final Fantasy XIII was released, and it quickly spread through the RPG gaming community, as it was highly anticipated. Of course, there are many factors that lead to my opinion of the game. Before I get lost in rambling, I shall go on and go over this game.

Lightning, an ex-soldier looking to overthrow the fal'Cie and save her sister, Serah. Snow, a headstrong and brash man also trying to save Serah, his fiancee. Sazh, a lively man with a humorous disposition attempting to save his son, Dajh. Hope, a young boy who was dragged into this by the loss of his mother, Nora. Vanille, a happy, young girl with a dark past that she wishes to make right. Finally, Fang, a mysterious woman from Pulse with relations to Vanille that are crucial to the story line. Square Enix does an amazing job of developing these characters, each with their own sad story that they wish to make right. In previous Final Fantasies, we did not have this luxury of getting to know our characters' backgrounds.

This was one of the things to the game that had some flaws in it. Unlike in other Final Fantasies, this game has the ATB segment battle system. Although, it does make the game a little more fair, it has it's flaws. The biggest flaw being it's monotonous repetition of mashing the X or A button on 'Auto-Battle.' Regardless, there was strategy involved in this game, that made it worth while. Especially the Cie'th stone missions. The Cie'th stone missions really pushed you to your limit on defeating your enemy and receiving your 5 stars. Although the gameplay can become boringly repetitive at times, the difficult boss fights and Cie'th stone missions make up for it, in making you really think about your strategy and how to attack your enemy.

Final Fantasy XIII went off the scale on this particular section. The sound in this game really sucked you in. The voice acting was nothing short of great either. In previous games, the voice acting was sketchy and lacked emotion. In this game, the voice acting was great. The music was also a huge thing in this game and I believe that the music was great and really matched the environment in it's respective location.

The most controversial thing about this game is the story. Many people seem to believe that Square Enix did a great job with the story line, while others believe that the story line was something that Square Enix threw together in the last few minutes. The story line, in reality, was solid, and didn't leave too many holes. Of course, there were holes in the story line that didn't quite make sense, however, those holes were quickly patched in the release of Final Fantasy XIII-2... Which also has it's fair share of holes in the story, ironically. That's besides the point however. One of the biggest complaints about this game is that it's too linear. They say that as if all the other Final Fantasies weren't linear as well. The Final Fantasy series has always been linear, and probably always will be. Although XIII-2 wasn't as linear as we thought it would be, the story line still clashed together at one point. The story line in this game was solid and very in-depth though.

The graphics in this game was definitely a huge boost to the game. A lot of people would be hard-pressed to match the bar SE has set on the graphics department. Seeing the detail put into the characters, environment, and even the monsters is amazing. Although at times, there is a frame rate problem, but that could be resulting because of many different factors. There isn't much more to say about this particular part of the game other than SE did a great job on it.

Final Fantasy XIII has definitely earned its spot in the Final Fantasy series as one of the best, alongside that of Final Fantasy VII and Final Fantasy XII. Despite its controversial story line, and monotonous gameplay, this game is solid.

+ In-depth Characters
+ Amazing Graphics
+ Great music
+ Great sound
+ Plenty of gameplay to go around
+ Challenging bosses

- Controversial Story
- Monotonous gameplay at times
- Holes in the storyline

Overall an amazing game that I've found great pleasure in replaying multiple times now.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 02/27/12

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

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