GameShard post their review of Final Fantasy XIII:
"Final Fantasy XIII is not going to appeal to everyone. The streamlined approach will alienate a lot of purists who won't give it a chance, but it's more progressive than you might expect from a game that –ostensibly- harks back to the earlier days of the series by eschewing the more realtime system adopted by FFXII. But it works, and it works well, allowing the developers to tell a far more cohesive and involving storyline, much as it did for FFX, with a rewarding and finely tuned battle system. For my part, XIII could well be the strongest game of the series so far."