Globe and Mail game reporter Chad Sapieha comes up with six ways in which Final Fantasy XIII's battle system is an improvement upon its predecessors.
"It seems to me that Square Enix went into development with this question: What are the weakest elements of JRPG battle systems, and how can we eliminate, hide, or make them work to the game's advantage?
I think they've done a great job of defining these problems and then coming up with solutions. Here are some of the examples that I noticed while playing:
Problem: Micromanaging multiple characters' actions can be annoying and keeps us from actually watching what they're doing on screen.
Solution: Manage the group's roles, not its characters. By creating battle paradigms-group formations that include varying roles useful in different situations-players can instantly alter their crew's actions and tactics. In tougher battles you'll switch paradigms countless times, often in rapid succession, but it takes only a couple of button taps. All the strategy is present, but none of the hectic micromanagement. Now we can actually watch our heroes pound their enemies."