Let me start by saying hello world, I’m Skittles McGee. I noticed Game mention he’s the only one who contributes to the site and I was like “‘ey man. Lemme help you with that”. So, for my first contribution, lets talk Final Fantasy XIII.
Final Fantasy XIII is the latest entry in the main series, appearing on both the Playstation 3 and Xbox 360. In particular, I will be commenting on the Playstation 3 version, as that is the version I purchased.
So, where to begin? I think one of the big things FFXIII has going for it that everyone is aware of is the graphics. For months if not years, gamers were hyped about the “1080p cutscenes” and “fancy graphics”. Let me start by saying, that hype was not unfounded. Graphically, the game is beautiful. One of the opening cutscenes shows Snow and Serah watching fireworks, nothing really special. But the color, the lighting, animation, all of it, was so expertly crafted it became something interesting to watch. It was practically mesmerizing. Without any doubt in my mind, FFXIII delivers on the graphics front. That is unquestionable.
Now let’s get down to the important stuff: the gameplay. One thing you’ll notice right away is that FFXIII is more streamlined than previous iterations. Is this a bad thing? Depends on point of view. On one hand, its fairly possible to simply use “auto-battle” for most of the game. But that is optional (I’d like to note I rarely use it). On the other hand, there’s a great sense of fluidity to the battle system and it manages to make it feel less like using a menu and more like directly controlling your character. Personally, I like that. I like that a lot.
New to the battle system is also the Paradigm Shift, essentially letting characters change “jobs” in the middle of combat. Using the right combination of paradigms is crucial in battle and it provides some depth to the strategy used in combat.
One of the big issues that’s been discussed about FFXIII is that the game is very linear. In actuality, that’s not always true. There are parts that are nothing more than a straight path but I have often found myself wandering off the beaten path to gather items and fight battles. The game is more linear in the fact that (so far) you have no control over what region you explore. In some ways, this is a benefit, however. By doing this, the game’s pacing is kept moving. So far there hasn’t felt like a slow or dull moment. Well, aside from the beginning dungeon that is.
The soundtrack of the game is fantastic, and the battle theme is one of the best yet. It’s difficult to keep it from getting stuck in your head. The voice actors also do a good job for the most part, given the kind of writing they have to work with.
All in all, FFXIII is a fantastic RPG. Not for a moment have I regretted buying this game. Is it all that we expected it to be? In some ways, yes. In other ways, no. Is it a disappointment? My judgment on that…