Review by DevilHands

"Not the Final Fantasy we used to love but still a decent RPG"

Before I continue on to my review, I would like to say some personal opinions about the franchise. I know that we all have different opinions and my personal view about the franchise could help make people reading this review valid for them or not.

The very first Final Fantasy game I played was 7 and it was what hooked me up to the RPG genre. Everytime there's a new Final Fantasy game announced during those days, I will always get pumped up and look forward to it's release. The story and soundtrack is what makes Final Fantasy different from other RPGs IMO, however it seems like there's a decrease in quality in each Final Fantasy released by Square. The last good Final Fantasy for me was X and after that I think the series had gone downhill.

Now on to the review

Graphics - 9 / 10

Definitely the best thing about the game, everything is captured perfectly. The environments are rich and colorful that it won't become a chore to explore, huge gigantic enemies will make your heart pumped up for action, the expression shown on each characters face during each sequence will tell you how they feel without having to rely on text.

I have to deduct 1 point out of it though due to some hiccups during the game even if it was installed to a hard drive. The shadows were also somewhat jagged sometimes but still these are all just minor problems.

Soundtrack - 5 / 10

I don't like the soundtrack in this game, a lot of them are just forgettable. Contrary to previous Final Fantasy wherein the soundtrack usually sets the mood of the game, this is just disappointing. Surprisingly, the Final Fantasy main theme is not even here! I can't remember one single soundtrack from this game except for that 1 pop music that doesn't even fit to the mood of the game.

Story - 6 / 10

The story is your standard fare save the world theme. I have no problem with saving the world theme as it works for an RPG, however the characters needs to draw you in and that's what is lacking here in Final Fantasy 13. Even if the game is fully loaded with FMV sequence, I don't care a crap about each character. There's just nothing interesting about them, in fact most of them are annoying as hell. The way they meet feels rushed, a lot of the dialogs are so cheesy that you just want to cringe when you hear them. The enemies also weren't developed well. The only good thing about it is probably the ending as I think it's a nice finish for a somewhat average game.

Gameplay - 8 / 10

One of the good things about the game, I was skeptical at first as your default option is autobattle and you can only control 1 out of 3 characters in battle. I was just constantly mashing through the A button at the start of the game and I was winning, however when the battle system opened up and introduced different roles for each character; mashing the A button won't work as you have to constantly switch roles during the battles.

There's also the stagger system in which there's a bar for each enemy that increases as you constantly hit them, the further the bar goes the higher the damage. You have to maintain that bar up until it reaches the end as it will decrease when an enemy is not being hit. Once it reaches the end, all your hits will do critical damage but the bar will slowly decrease back to 0 again.

I am not really a fan of RPG's controlling just 1 character but I loved what they did to this game. If this had the usual old school style battle system I probably wouldn't have finished the game because the story sucked therefore no driving force for me to finish the game as battles would get tedious . Don't get me wrong, I actually still prefer RPG in which you can control all characters but I just liked how it is fast paced in this game.

Actually overall, I find the game pretty easy as the HP automatically refills after each battle and the AI does a good job of choosing the abilities you need for the situation.


Graphics - 9 / 10
Soundtrack - 5 / 10
Story - 6 / 10
Gameplay - 8 / 10

Overall - 7 / 10

Overall Comment:

I suggest you guys give it a rent up until the battle system opens up and see if you will actually like it. For this Final Fantasy, the gameplay is better than the story, so if you still hate the battle system most likely you will hate the whole game.

Reviewer's Rating:   3.5 - Good

Originally Posted: 06/10/10

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

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