Final Fantasy XIII was released on March 9, 2010 on PS3 and Xbox 360 in the United States developed by Square Enix. You being to play as a female protagonist who recently was riding a Train named Lightning. She is out on a journey to find out about herself and the true intent of the fal’Cie. Lightning is accompanied by Sazh who has a huge afro that is home to a small chocobo chick. She encounters an overconfident hero named Snow who is a leader of a group of rebels in the world of Cocoon. Unintentionally, Hope is there when Lightning and Snow meet up. His motivation is seen throughout the story. Vanille shows up and tries to make the heavy events a little more light hearted. Then there is Fang who does not show till later in the game.
The setting in the game takes place in two worlds, Pulse and Cocoon. fal’Cie lords are in charge of both of them. Pulse is a dangerous and wild underworld. Cocoon is a high-tech elaborate world that floats above the world of Cocoon. Cocoon has a lot of sheen to it with complex crystal craft-work and is complemented with some organic and synthetic materials. There are tall metallic buildings and golden cityscape.
Pulse is a world that complements Cocoon with it all nature setting. Each area is teaming with life and the enemies walk in the over world. There are a variety of areas that you go through from a forest to an airship. This game is entirely linear and the player just follow the path set by the game designer. This makes the pacing of the game great however with such a large cast of characters, some of focus is lost on them.
Combat is menu based and each attack takes a certain number of segments from the ATB gauge. The gauge is always refilling as the battles take place in real time. The player only controls one character while the other two are computer controlled. It gives a sense of a turn-based real-time mashup. The attacks that are given to you are based on the role you currently are. Switching between different roles is known as Paradigm Shift. This allows different strategies to happen within battles based on the situation. It is important to keep watch the impact the character is having on the enemy as one role may not be as effective as a different role. It is a fun and engaging system especially during boss battles as their strategies will change through out the battle.
Summons also exist in the game however they are known as Eidolons. When you summon them, they start off with a beautiful cinematic accompany by orchestral fan-fair. An interesting twist is that you fight along side them until their attack meter runs out. Only the Eidolon is fighting, none of the supporting party members will participate in the fight.
To “level up” the different party members, you use Crystarium points. These are earned from your battles. You enter the Crystarium page to spend the points on different stats for your character. Each party member starts will few combat roles however will be expanded as you progress through the story. Besides upgrading the stats of your characters, you can also upgrade the weapons from materials you also earn from battles. The attributes of the items can change depending on what materials you are using to upgrade them.
Final Fantasy is a great game with outstanding production values with a dynamic battle system. The story is strong but due to the linearity it does cause some sense of meaningless as the player has not control over the outcome of the story. If you come to this game not as an RPG but a genre of its own this is a great game.
- Outstanding Visuals (in-game and cut-scenes)
- Good Voice Overs
- Diverse cast of characters
- Worlds that feel alive and dynamic
- Entertaining combat system
- Linear in character and story progression
- Some battles may lead to button mashing
- No New Game Plus
- Some parts of the Story falls flat or becomes overly dramatic