Final Fantasy XIII

I’ve been in the middle of writing term papers and grading undergrad papers. Sadly, I’ve not been able to play STO in the past week. But that’s not what I’m talking about today.

I got the sense from the comments that some my readers had never played a Final Fantasy game, so I thought I’d start from the beginning.

The Series

XIII is, well, the thirteenth game in the Final Fantasy series. Sort of. It’s really complicated – the number is all skewed from the Japanese release, there have been several sequels (X-2, Revnant Wing), and some games that were labelled “Final Fantasy” but not numbered (Tactics, Crystal Chronicles).

To the uninitiated, what you need to know is that the FFXIII is the most recent in a series of Japanese games that all share similar styles and conceits. It’s a RPG where you’re suppose to save the world. There’s magic and there’s sword fighting.

Outside that, it’s sort of hard to generalize. Each game has had a different fighting system, a completely different setting, and a whole new plot. So, we might as well start talking about…

The Game

So, uh, well… it’s lots of fun?

Final Fantasy games are very story driver, and then is no different. You begin the game as Lightning (the cutie in the above picture), a rogue soldier who is fighting her way through a state-sanctioned pogrom/cleaning operation to save someone she cares about. Sazh – the black dude – decides to help her, cause you know, he doesn’t want to stick around and be executed.

As the game progresses, you meet new characters who join your party and reveal more of the plot. (Man, it’s surprisingly hard to describe a game from the ground up! So let’s get to the part that I’m going at…)

My Opinions

This game is alot of fun. The graphics are really, really great – it’s hard to tell when a cut scene starts and ends. The fighting is surprisingly intense; they’ve done away with “classes” in favor of “paradigms,” something that is like a class but that can be switched in battle. Your party can have three characters in it, but you only control the main; the actions of the other two are determined by the paradigm you’ve chosen for them.

The game has been accused of being very linear… and, well, the first 20 or so hours are (I’ve only gotten to 12-15 hours). If you want a free-roaming world, this may not be your game. If you want really awesome graphics, an engaging story, and an interesting combat system, this might be for you. It’s a very cinematic experience – so while it’s not, say, Mass Effect, it has a certain charm and style all its own.

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6 thoughts on “Final Fantasy XIII

  1. Interesting…

    While I agree that the graphics are stunning, the one thing I could never get used to are the character styles of all these Japanese RPGs. Especially the men. I mean…I kinda like my men more…manly looking.

    Though I’ll be willing to overlook that if the rest of the game is as engaging as you say. Oh, who am I kidding…I can see myself picking up this game in the future. Maybe not tomorrow, maybe not next week, or maybe even not next month. But someday, I know I’ll probably play it. I look forward to seeing more of what you think as you progress through the game.

    • hahah!

      I’m glad that, for once, the lead is actually an attractive female. (It’s sort of the opposite side of the coin when if comes to you wanting more manly men.)

      Also, the guys in this game don’t seem too bad. We’ve currently got the Magnificent Bastard Cid, and we’ve got “dude where’s Cali?” Snow, one of the main characters and who is actually pretty likable.

  2. Hmm…I dunno, they still look pretty effeminate despite the facial hair and the squarish jaws. I think it’s the silky hair and those pouty lips. Where are those Gerard Butler types? 😛

    Eh, don’t mind me though, I have been told I have a weird and diverse taste in men.

    I know you’re not done yet, but how long do you think the game is in terms of hours of game play?

    Is the story interesting? I know that’s very subjective, but I don’t even care if the combat isn’t to my liking, in an RPG it’s all about the story for me. Is it deep, does it make sense?

    Does your character ever get the opportunity to make decisions? I’m not expecting Mass Effect, but some control over the game’s events would be nice, or is that absent and hence what you meant by the game being criticize as “linear”?

    Anyway, I’m going to keep my eye out for good sales for this title. Or maybe I’ll pick it up a used 360 copy in a couple of months.

  3. I have been seriously considering this game, as well. The current price is a bit stiff still, but at last(!) I see posters that show an actual game character that is not concept art. Lightning and her gunblade(?) look awesome.

  4. The last one i played was Final Fantasy X-2 which i never actually finished due to picking up that other popular MMO at that point a few years ago.

    I haven’t played the series since then though I had played all the FF series up to that point. I have missed playing the series since it was the very first RPG i ever played. The bad thing is i haven’t played my Playstation in years either since I haven’t played that game since.

    I may pick it up when i get around to it since i’ve always missed playing the game.

  5. Why i always liked FF for was for the story which was so enriching and I guess was why i first got attached to the game in the first place.

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