So, I got Final Fantasy XIII on Thursday.
I’m going to outline various aspects of the game, and my opinions of them. You will care, and heed my opinions because I’m awesome, kthx. (Not really but eh)
A few things to note before reading:
1. I have the PS3 version, so my comments are based on that. I’ve not played the 360 version so I cannot comment on it’s Graphics or Controls. I would be interested in hearing what those people have to say, though. So feel free to comment.
2. I’m only on Chapter 4, so my views are based on that.
Wish I could make a better comment about this, but I think it has more to do with my busted up controller rather than the game. On occasion I find the character harder to control. Not sure what it is, but meh. Other than that, the gameplay is awesome. They introduced this feature called “Auto Talk” so instead of you having to push a button to talk to someone, you basically “overhear” the person talking when you walk past.
The in-game menu is easy to use, as usual. The only thing I don’t like, is the new item notification system. The only time an item should be marked as “new” is when I didn’t have any previously. For example, if I have two Potions already, and I pick up another, it should not mark Potion as New in the menu.
I absolutely love the music. Can’t get enough of it, in fact. My favorite piece so far is the Battle Music during regular battles. I’m listening to it now, even.
I can’t even gripe about the fact that this Final Fantasy lacks the traditional Victory Music.
The battle system is epic. You really need to pay attention and, depending on the situation, you actually feel a sense of urgency. Paradigms basically allow you to change the roles of each of your Characters mid-battle. This is the only way you can control what your other characters do. Normally, I would hate this because I’m the type of person that likes complete control over all party members (Guests in Final Fantasy Tactics piss me off all the time).
The Paradigm and Auto-Battle systems are actually very intuitive, and can adjust to the battle conditions well. It’s almost like I’m controlling the characters, but I’m not, they’re just performing actions I would make them do in the same situation.
When your party changes they automatically generate several different Paradigm Shifts to try and account for different possible situations in Battle. It does a pretty awesome job at it, but positioning of the different shifts is vital to me, which is something the auto-generation doesn’t handle very well. My main Shift should remain on the top of the list, with one that focuses on healing right under it, then the rest lined up under.
I do have two gripes about the Paradigm Shift system, though. My first one is the limitation. You are limited to six different Paradigm Shifts, which I’ve already found to not be enough. With three characters, each with three different Roles they can assume, you should be able to at least create nine different Shifts.
My second gripe is that only Commandos may perform an Attack command. I don’t really know why I don’t like this, since there is no MP to be consumed by Magic attacks, but I don’t. Just one of those things.
Then, I have a gripe about the Battle System itself. You do not earn Gil from battles, which absolutely sucks because I wanna buy shit and can’t because I have very little Gil to spend.
Once again, Square Enix pulls through with flying colors in this area. I’ll add a quote from my father in regards to this subject.
“Even the water looks real. They could make Porn like this and no one would know the difference.”
Yes, he actually said that, and that’s basically my thoughts as well. The CG Movies are lifelike, with amazing detail in various places. I mean, Snow has a stubbly beard and I’m pretty damn sure I noticed someone have a pimple. You cannot say that is not detailed.
The in-game graphics are badass as well. While they obviously are not lifelike, considering the processing power that has to go into it, but it degenerates nicely. I ran through a deep puddle and it actually made splashes that came up a good foot or so, which fascinated me for some reason.
Anyway, the Graphics on the PS3 version are amazing. It easily tops Soul Calibur 4 as far as Graphics are concerned. A feat not easily accomplished.
Once again, Square Enix has elected to drop Levels and Experience. Only this time, they did it completely. In Final Fantasy X, characters did not have Levels and Experience, but they did have Sphere Levels and the Sphere Grid. Not sure how many of you know this, but one thing I noticed during FFX is that even though the characters didn’t technically have levels, on occasion they would still get buffs when their Sphere Level incremented. In FFXIII it is completely different. Character Development takes some getting used too but once you have it, it’s fairly easy to do.
The Crystarium is what you use when buffing your characters, and resembles the Sphere Grid in FFX in several ways (not looks, though, it’s actually pretty sexy). After battle you get Chrystogenesis Points that you can use on the Crystarium. Unlike like Sphere Grid, however, you don’t get Levels that allow you to move across it. Instead, you use the Points directly, and each segment on the Crystarium requires a set amount of points in order to get to it.
My only gripe here is that I feel they don’t give you enough Crystogenesis Points after battle. The cost to move from segment to segment is rising, but the CP amount after battles has remained the same. Each role has a different Crystarium Grid, but the roles must share the CP amount. So, if you spend it all on the Commando Grid, you can’t do anything for Ravager or Medic. And when you only get 30-70 CP after each battle, and each segment on each grid now costing almost 320 CP to achieve, it gets frustrating.
I’m really hoping this improves later on in the game.
There has only been one time that Square Enix has failed me when it comes to the storyline of a Final Fantasy, and that would be Final Fantasy XII. The only reason I completed FFXII was because I enjoyed the battle system, and if I ever start a new game on it, it will solely be for the things I missed during my first play-through or because I’m too bored and don’t feel like starting a new game in FF7.
For Final Fantasy XIII, however, I’m proud to say that Square Enix have presented us with another classic story. I’m all into it, and enjoying every new piece of the story that I uncover. Absolutely no gripes here, and I’m so glad they did away with the shoddy Voice Recordings that were in Final Fantasy XII.
Lightning – Ok, one thing everybody knows about me is I’m a Cloud Strife (Final Fantasy VII) fanboy. Proud to say it, too.
When Final Fantasy XIII was announced, it was announced that the main character would be Lightning, a woman. This is, essentially, a first as far as Final Fantasy goes (not including FF6 or FF12, I believe that you are able to pick and choose the main protagonist in both of those games, and FFX-2 is not part of the main FF line).
When Lightning was announced, it was also revealed that she was modeled after Cloud. You can certainly see it, too. She looks like Cloud, except Female.
She also partly shares his personality. “I don’t take any shit from anyone” is basically how you would describe Lightning. My favorite character in the game thus far, and she actually has potential to surpass Cloud as my favorite Final Fantasy character of all time.
Sazh – The token black guy.
I shit you not, that Wikipedia article describes Sazh. So far Sazh’s role in Final Fantasy XIII has absolutely nothing to do with the actual storyline. If you took Sazh out there would be zero change in the overall story. I’m hoping this changes because Sazh is actually kinda cool. He’s a very modern looking and sounding character. I would not be surprised if I went outside and saw someone who looked and acted just like him, trench coat and all.
Plus, he shoots two pistols behind his back. How awesome is that?
Snow – I was afraid about how I would feel about him. At first glance, Snow appears to be this guy that you’ll likely hate because he tries to act super badass, rather than achieving badassness naturally (like Lightning).
But, my opinion quickly changed when Serah was revealed and he showed a different side, and then Lightning punched him and knocked him on his ass.
Then Lightning punched him again. Several times, actually.
Since then, he’s basically gotten rid of his “trying to be badass” attitude, and became a normal person trying to save his love.
I like him, but there are times when I’m glad Lightning shares my urge to simply punch him in the face to knock him back of his pedestal.
Love the coat, though, wish I had one.
Hope – I’m on the fence about this kid.
He’s fucked up. Watched his mother plummet to her death from several thousand feet, and blames Snow for it. I don’t get this, because it’s pretty damn obvious Snow didn’t actively let her fall, she slipped out of his hand.
Extremely quiet, this one, and kind of wimpy. Hell of an asset in battle, though. He’s the first to get the Synergist role, which is awesome.
Vanille – Oh look, Rikku’s back… and she didn’t take her medicine.
Ok, we all know Square Enix likes to throw in one character that absolutely annoys the piss out of you. In FF7 it was Yuffie, even though she turned out to be pretty awesome in the end. In FF8 it was Selphie who I still hate to this day. In FF9 it was Eiko. FFX was Rikku, and FF12 it was Penelo.
But, in all honesty, Vanille takes the cake. I cannot stand her. I can’t even pick the main reason why, either. Maybe it’s because she has a high pitched voice? Maybe it’s because she’s so cheery all the damn time? Maybe it’s because her character design does not fit in at all? Maybe it’s because she can’t fucking decide which accent she wants?
One minute she’s American with a southern drawl. Next she’s British, then she’s Australian. This was an awesome idea, wasted on such an annoying character.
Serah – Not much to say about her. She’s Lightning’s younger sister, and Snow’s fiancee. Hell of a plot twist when that’s revealed.
That last character who I cannot remember the name of. – You know, the one with the black hair?
I only just met her, so I can’t remember her name. She seems like a royal bitch, though. She’s listed in the book under Characters so I’m assuming she either joins me, or she ends up being the main bad guy. Don’t tell me!
Ok, I don’t really care if you tell me or not…
So far, I absolutely love this game. It’s taken Final Fantasy back to what it used to be, an RPG that has set the bar for future games.
So far, in my Top 5, it has surpassed Final Fantasies 8, 10, and 12. Achieving the #3 spot and knocking 12 completely off the list.
The current list is as follows:
- Final Fantasy VII
- Final Fantasy IX
- Final Fantasy XIII
- Final Fantasy X
- Final Fantasy VIII
I think that, by the end of the game, XIII will have overtaken Final Fantasy IX and assume the number two spot. The real question though, is will it be good enough to take the #1 spot? I doubt it, but you never know. After all, Lightning is quickly catching up to Cloud as my favorite character of all time.