Results 1 to 4 of 4

Final Fantasy XIII Review

This is a discussion on Final Fantasy XIII Review within the Game Reviews forum, part of the Trophy Guides, Reviews & Articles; Final Fantasy 13: Official Review by Gauss013 Basic Information: Developer: SquareEnix Publisher: SquareEnix North American Release Date: 3/9/2010 European Release ...

  1. #1
    PRO Member
    Gauss's Avatar

    Join Date
    Sep 2011

    Final Fantasy XIII Review

    Final Fantasy 13: Official Review
    by Gauss013

    Basic Information:
    Developer: SquareEnix
    Publisher: SquareEnix
    North American Release Date: 3/9/2010
    European Release Date: 3/9/2010
    Trophies: Yes

    Final Fantasy 13 is the latest in the Final Fantasy series originally started by SquareSoft over 2 decades ago. The general premise is that, despite the hefty numbers, each game is a completely self-contained story in a completely different setting and environment with a completely different battle mechanic.

    Final Fantasy 13 takes place on the worlds of Pulse and Cocoon, representing a yin and yang in personality and principle. The general outline is that the two worlds are effectively at war with each other, and each is controlled by fal'Cie, these crystal/mechanical deities that control each world. They mark people in each world as l'Cie, which are commanded to complete a focus or be doomed to roam the world as a ghoul. This game starts as a Pulse fal'Cie is discovered, and all who have had contact with it are being purged from Cocoon into Pulse.

    As mentioned earlier the gameplay of each Final Fantasy is different, but like all RPGs there is a central battle system and a character development system. This game is no different employing a very different battle system and a character development system that is a strange combination of the Sphere Grid system and the traditional Job system.

    The battle system employs an ATB gauge or Active-Time Battle gauge, basically your character can only take a certain number of actions over time decided by the number of segments you have on your ATB gauge. While this system has been used extensively in other Final Fantasies, this game takes it to a different place. Instead of only having one segment as you do in Final Fantasy 7 or 8, you have a specified amount and different abilities take up a certain number of segments. More powerful abilities or spells may take multiple segments (or turns) to cast, and you can build your ATB gauge in this way to create chains of attacks during your turn.

    The character development system takes a similar stance to Final Fantasy X, instead of having a dedicated character level, you spend your experience points on boosts to specific stats or on abilities, all controlled by a crystal grid. Instead of being level 35 and getting a specified set of stats that come with that level, you spend your exp like currency on straight stat boosts, like Strength+10 or HP+150.

    Your character also has jobs though, there are a total of 6. Each character has their own crystal grid, and each job has its own section of it (meaning each character will be different once the grid is completely upgraded). The jobs have the functionalities you would come to expect in a game like Final Fantasy: Commando (melee-focused, all strength), Ravager (magic-focused), Sentinel (tank), Medic (healer), Synergist (support buffs), Saboteur (support de-buffs).

    Whats important to note is you only control one character at a time, and you switch (via Paradigms) the jobs each character in your party has. It is similar to the gambit system of FF12, except that each job has a central focus. This system works VERY well, you won't spend hours messing around to get things to work right because of the tight AI and the focusing of their tasks.

    This system can be very overwhelming at first, but it is introduced slowly over the course of the first 3 chapters of the game, and honestly by the end of the game it becomes second nature. While this isn't exactly the system I would have liked, it expands on what was done well in previous Final Fantasies and creates something all its own. A very deep combat system that works very well once you learn it.

    The central focus of the story is that each of the 6 characters is apart of a Purge, where by people of Cocoon who have been touched by Pulse Fal'Cie are sent back to Pulse... or murdered, you know, whatever works. Separately each character is trying to fight against their sentencing, and in doing so find themselves marked by the very Pulse Fal'Cie that sparked the Purge, and they are fighting to try and figure out their focus and struggling with what to do.

    Over the course of the game the characters struggle with this fate, splitting up and meeting back together, until finally being confronted with the reality of their focus and what to do about it.

    Let me start by saying this is a lengthy game, you will be lucky to finish it in under 40 hours, and the story does tend to be tail-heavy. The first two chapters are almost all tutorial, and the meat of the story doesn't really begin until chapter 8 or 9. The end result is you will likely spend 10-15 hours (I'd like to add the length of a typical Call of Duty) just learning how to play the game, getting introduced to the characters, and figuring out their primary motivations and personalities. Once you get through this, the story kicks into over-drive and becomes very intriguing, there were several times where I had a tough time turning the game off. Particularly because the character development in this game makes for dynamic characters (partly due to the length). Toward the later half of the game you really start to care about the characters in some way, they seem real and will get you involved in the story emotionally. This is a very important thing for an RPG because it is so story-focused, and Final Fantasy 13 did a good job of making you interested in the characters and their situation.

    Along with the primary quest, there are several side-quests in the form of "Missions" where you track down and kill targets you have been commanded to. The game doesn't feature your typical mini-games, although there is enough to do that this really isn't a hindrance to the overall experience, although it would have been nice to have something.

    Whats also very nice, and a new thing to FF13, is that you can keep playing after the primary quest is completed. This way none of the side-quests have to be done at any specific point in time, you can go back and do anything after the game is over. Its a very nice thing to not be bound to doing anything, and you can focus on the story and go back and do things later.

    My only real complaints about the Singleplayer campaign is the difficulty curve. The first 10 chapters are a walk in the park for any RPG veteran, but all of a sudden toward the end of Chapter 11 through to the end the difficulty curve spikes. It isn't necessarily a bad thing, it will force you to re-evaluate your strategies and get used to more dynamic Paradigms, but the problem is it can come very suddenly and it ramps up quickly. I would have much preferred a slower increase rather than (effectively) running into a brick wall and clawing my way up. Its nothing I would say would be a reason to stay away from the game, and when you finally get accustomed to it, it is very rewarding. The shock is not pleasant though.

    In terms of technical achievement, Final Fantasy 13 is no less than brilliant. Easily one of the best looking games available on the Playstation 3 it promises to be eye-candy for years to come.

    First to mention is the environments, in this game they are epic in both scope and presentation. There is a very striking contrast between the mechanical and technological focus that is Cocoon and the natural and serene focus that is Pulse. The two worlds act to parallel each-other in a perfect way, almost to visually paint the underlying conflict forced on these two worlds. More than this presentation though, the manner in which the world is constructed is similar to Dead Space in that each of the two worlds has its own set of rules in terms of how things in the game are built. The end result is a world that breaths and moves as you would expect a world to, and at no point does anything feel un-realistic.

    Second is a staple of many Final Fantasies, and that is the cutscenes. Much like the environments they take place in, the cutscenes are their own type of art... Serving to bring the characters and the world they live in to life. Representing a first for the series as well, the cutscenes were all redone in English. Its one of those things that you never really think about until after you see it. It really makes the characters seem less robotic because their lips synch with their lines, it keeps the immersion served by the environments and game so well.

    Lastly I want to make this comment here, because its something that has been made a big deal of in various interviews/reviews. That is the linearity. The linearity really shouldn't bother anyone, its no more linear than several other games, and is broken up nicely with cutscenes and story. If you are a fan of open-world, you won't find any of it in this game. Frankly though, its not necessary here. Its a stark contrast to the highly open nature of FF12, but to some extent that is a good thing. It makes the story, environment, and battle system (the best parts of the game) the central focus. Its a nice way of highlighting the good.

    The trophies for FF13 are not difficult, and the fact that none of them are missable is nice. The platinum is time-consuming, and any potential plat-hunter should be prepared for a 100+ hour undertaking at best. Of note as well is that this is another game which gives rewards for trophy hunters, certain trophies will unlock a character-specific FF13 theme. There is a guide on these forums.

    Gameplay: 9.5/10
    - The gameplay is a strangely compelling yet perfect balance. It blends the ATB battle system with the better aspects of FF12's battle system. Not to mention is a game with GOOD AI.

    Singleplayer: 9.25/10
    - The singleplayer experience is a strange mix. The story is very tail-heavy, with the last 4-5 chapters comprising 75% of the overall meat of the narrative. If you are a fan of story-centric games, however, this would be a good choice.

    Technical: 10/10
    - This game represents a technical achievement in gaming, putting it on a very short list of games. It is brilliant, there is no other way to describe it.

    Overall: 9.75/10 Brilliant
    - The game is polarizing, and it will be a love/hate for many Final Fantasy fans. I would recommend it to anybody, it abandons some typical (and not really important) FF conventions, but that is a good thing in my opinion. While some things aren't perfect, a great story, wonderful presentation, and a deep battle system serve to make this game classic.

  2. #2
    Still the Chocobo
    Hall_Of_Game's Avatar

    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    My Computer

    I was kind of sceptical on even looking into this FF at all. I'm glad I read your review as I definitly want this game now. Should be fun since I haven't played a FF in years and I don't want to wait for the FF X HD release to get my fix. Thanks.
    Currently Playing:
    Zombie Tycoon 2
    Brainhov's Revenge

    Nothing is true,
    everything is permitted.

    Flashy Avatar by K.I.D
    Beautiful Signature by Beam & K.I.D

    If I could, I would GLOW

  3. #3
    PRO Member

    Join Date
    Sep 2011

    Good review, I'm surprised I never saw this before. I wouldn't give it quite that high a score (FF13-2 was better in my opinion), but I liked the story and the battle system.

    One thing that needs mentioning is another aspect of the battle system - the AI learns the strengths and weaknesses of the enemy, either by fighting them repeatedly or using Libra. In FFXII I spent most of the time attacking physically because it took a lot of effort to switch gambits based on the weaknesses of the enemy, even if you had Libra activated. In this game, however, your characters learn that an enemy is resistant to Fire and then will cast appropriately. It's a neat system and keeps the game fast-paced.
    Currently working on: FFX HD

    Platinums (28): 3D Dot Game Heroes, Borderlands, de Blob 2, FIFA 14, FF XIII, FF XIII-2, inFAMOUS, Jak 1, Jak 2, Jak 3, LittleBigPlanet, LittleBigPlanet 2, Medieval Moves, ModNation Racers, PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale, Racquet Sports, Ratchet & Clank Future: A Crack in Time, Rayman Legends, Rayman Origins, Sly 1, Sly 2, Sly 3, Sorcery, Sports Champions, Sports Champions 2, Tiger Woods PGA Tour Golf 12: The Masters, Trine 2, WipEout HD

    Trophy Checklist

    Trophy Guides:
    Racquet Sports

  4. #4
    Lvl 4 - Silver
    Kami's Avatar

    Join Date
    Oct 2011

    Good review! I enjoyed reading it and I too think that the battle system may feel odd. But wouldn't it be odd if after all final fantasies they'd still have the same battle system? Yes, and because of that they try to do something new altough sometimes new isn't good. Does any of this make sense?

    Still, great review keep it up!
    -Feel free to add me on PSN (Kami_Gunn). Don't leave a blank message .

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 01:55 PM.
Powered by vBulletin® Version 4.1.10
Copyright © 2018 vBulletin Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved.
Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO