Jacob Ross at Save/Continue writes:
"One of the more enduring criticisms of Final Fantasy XIII is summed up by three words I’m sure most of you have heard before: twenty hour tutorial.
Its meaning is simple: Final Fantasy XIII doesn’t get off the starting block until the ability to fully rearrange your battle team is unlocked just prior to fighting Barthandelus on the Palamecia. That always seemed to me a very strange and narrow way to define “tutorial”; a more traditional interpretation would peg the end of Final Fantasy XIII’s tutorial about 17 hours earlier, after defeating Anima. Just because you aren’t given access to the full array of features straight from the get-go doesn’t necessarily mean it’s all bibs and hand-holds."