The Final Fantasy series has been known as some of the greatest RPGs of all time. It’s hard to argue against that fact. We cherish and hold most of the games to our heart with pride. Starting way back on the NES with the original, now we move on to Final Fantasy XIII on the PS3. The main games have never truly been a let down. The games are always longer then anything and they show tremendous boss fights. Square Enix knows how to improve on each game and revolutionize it; from the graphics, cutscenes, sound, etc. They find something and utilize it and make it better then ever. When I decided to finally finish this game it took my forty-four hours which is quiet long for games now a days. Each boss fight felt like the good old days. But XIII abandoned several things from past games. It wasn’t a huge issue but I had question to why Square Enix did what they did. The hardest part of the game were the boss fights, it was a straight path for most of the game. It was follow the marker and complete chapters one through thirteen. The game wasn’t a big of a challenge as past games but it may have had many fans upset at changing the traditional Final Fantasy games. The story and the gameplay do however stay as top dog in the RPG series in my
opinion, and it was clean and crisp the whole way through.
In the newest installment of FFXIII you are partnered with six new companions that you are able to take control of. Each has different aspects to each other, and you must learn on how to balance your team for the strongest of fights. Lightning is the games lead character but isn’t necessarily needed to be used for the whole game. The team of three is of your choosing you can pick any 3 from the six but chose wisely. The flashbacks and the main story is amazing and not always predictable. It is really easy to follow and the structure of it is perfected in almost every way. Not all scenes are perfect but there are many that make you weep for how beautiful and bright they are. Square Enix knows how to make a wonderful scene in the world of Final Fantasy.
As you progress in the story you develop your characters and its quiet interesting on how the interact with each other. The story is between two worlds; Cocoon and Pulse. For many the relationship with their counterpart fal’Cie which protects the fate of humanity, which is one of the main focuses in the story and is very enjoyable to learn about. The main characters from the game are voiced by very good talent, it sounds excellent and they do there best, they are very talented at what they do. The side cast, with smaller roles; such as the villains and enemies do also a tremendous job and keep the game in perfect sync with all of it. Kudos to all the voice acting for it isn’t let down at all throughout the game.
Final Fantasy XIII delivers on all levels and its most important piece, which are its role playing elements. The battle system is executed; it’s spot on and is a joy with each battle you get into. The battle system is very easy to get use to but don’t be to slow because if you miss a move, that could end the battle, especially with those difficult and long boss fights. It can be very easy to do when you know what you are doing but don’t let it fool you at any point during the game, it is a very complex system. It is quiet a challenge, but it is a very fun experience to play with. You start off with the ATB (Active Time Battle) which is classic Final Fantasy, where it fills up the meter and you unleash your attacks. You are able to gain more segments so you have more bars to do more attacks.
You are able to chose which attacks to use, but sometimes you don’t have time to do that, so it does it auto and chooses the best moves for you in the situation you are in. When you are in battle you only control your lead character from the party but that’s not an issue because depending what your other two party members are set to, they will do there roles great; its almost like you are controlling them in a way. But by the end of the game you will be able to use all six roles for each character. But for most of the game each member has 3 roles. Some roles are medic, saboteur, commando, etc. Be careful because it can affect the battle if you chose the wrong role for each player.
You will find yourself switching to different roles throughout the battle. It keeps it fun and enjoyable with a fresh experience throughout the entire game. Before you want to battle you have the ability to switch your Paradigms anytime during the game. It really helps for those tough boss fights. You can set your team however you like to, there is a diversity Paradigms which is a commando, ravager, and a medic. You can have two ravagers and a commando to rush the fight or play it safe with two medics and a sentinel. There is a ton of variety it all depends on how you want to fight.
With the Paradigms you are able to shift them during anytime during battle and in this game you will do that a lot. Depending on what type of situation you are in, you are able to switch to the right roles for your characters. The Paradigms are a major role in battling in FFXIII. Next is the chain gauge which is spotted at the top right hand of the screen and as you build your attacks on the enemy when his chain gauge is filled to max he will become staggered and be easy to inflict lots of pain upon him but do so quickly before it runs out. It’s critical to do this for boss fights because it’s the easiest way to do it. Some enemies have so many defenses or so they have to be staggered for you to win the fight.
After every battle you get zero to five stars depending on how fast you finish the time because each fight has a target time. You obtain a score as well which gives you better spoils and helps with your technical points, which you can use on your characters and increase the attack, health, ATB level, magic, and many more to help you overcome all the battles in the game so you are more powerful. It’s enjoyable to have ratings at the end of the battles because you can always improve and do that fight again and try to get a better score and rating.
The battle system is very enjoyable and very addicting; it is easy to keep playing for hours on end collecting crystarium points, etc. It makes it a fun way to level up with the crystarium points. You are able to level up your character’ weapon and they have several to choose from depending on what specs you want for your character. They can reach star rating but you are able to go beyond that to obtain its ultimate weapon. You need a ton of gil or just look on getting the right part for it which is very unlikely.
Something that was a problem was that the game was very linear. Most of the game you are walking in the straight path with a few off paths which lead to some spheres. It is a little disappointing but can help newcomers enjoy it more but for the veterans not so much. In chapter 11 of 13 the world opens up but soon after it closes back up in a way. It shoots back to the one way path. It did take away some of the Final Fantasy magic when they did this but all the environments still looked absolutely amazing. Soon after chapter 10 is when you are able to choose which characters to play as but up in tell then you have to play as whoever they choose.
With only side missions to go back to and no mini games it feels a little lack of content the Square Enix did. The side missions are great and there is a ton of them but the mini games were left out which I was surprised. When you complete the game you can go back to almost anywhere in the game, you can also replay the final boss as many times as you want. There is a lot to do when you complete it but no New Game+ so you would have to restart from the beginning if you wanted to play it from the start. I’m not sure why they didn’t add it but it’s not a big issue but a lot of people may feel left out.
When you get near the end of the game it does become increasingly difficult. Newcomers may be upset but Final Fantasy games are known for there difficult boss fights. It truly is a wonderful game and one of the best JRPGs out there today. After spending 45 hours and completing it, I just wanted to keep playing. You can really get hooked on this fantastic game that Square Enix made. The gorgeous scenes, to the beautiful gameplay, it’s an amazing experience with all the fun and tough boss fights. I wouldn’t let this game go because games don’t come around like they use too. Everything keeps on pace and looks fresh each minute you play of it.
Written By 2Can
Original Review from www.plasmastation.com