The countdown for the wait of another long developed game is over, and that is Final Fantasy XIII.
The game features 6 main characters, the cover girl of the game, Lightning, seems to share spotlights with her comrades as leading character that sometimes she is overshadowed. Perhaps this is really the design of the game.
The story at the first part of the game will really leave you feel an outcast of the Final Fantasy XIII world. But as you go deeper in the game, the more you'll understand and discover the deepness of the story on which makes it a lot interesting.
The graphics of the game is the best at its genre. You barely notice any aliasing issue throughout the game. the facial modeling of all characters are excellent but the toll for this is that some body parts of the characters are at low-polygon modeling. Environments are brilliant as always just like typical Final Fantasy games
The gameplay has been the main issue of this game. Final Fantasy series has been known to be an open-world game, on where you can go to multiple towns, access secret areas in the world map, talk to some people for some side quests.
But in this game, you will be disappointed, there is totally no world map running around, lack of side quests, lack of total freedom unlike in the previous installment. The gameplay is linear, literally, the map that you'll be running is designed "straight". The game lacks sidequests, worse is that it only appears way later in the game. One of the biggest change made is that the level-up system was removed and reaplaced with skill points system on which you acquire after every battle on which you can spend to acquire new attributes to each of your characters which feels somewhat welcoming as this also leads you to execute battles more strategical. The new battle system is an excellent feature of the game, you only control the leader in a party that is composed of 3 party members. Your other 2 members are controlled by ai on which makes moves accordingly on what role you set them. There are 5 types of role available in the game, but in the early part of the game, your characters will only have 1 or 2 roles each, but later in the game they will acquire more roles. Commando is a role that is focused on making damage on the enemy, Ravager is focused on raising your chain combo or damage multiplier but doesn't produce damage as strong as the Commando. Saboteur role is focused on weakening your enemies by putting status ailments and lowering attributes. Synergy is performing the opposite of exact opposite of Saboteur. Sentinel role is focused on greatly improving your defensive capabilites and the Medic simply cures your party members. Reward system is introduced to the game, as it shows you how efficient you performed in your battles.
In summary, Final Fantasy XIII still has depth on story and an excellent new battle system despite the subtraction of the features previous Final Fantasy Installments have. Its a game that will give you around 40 - 50 hours of story gameplay.