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View Full Version : [XIII] shion's Final Fantasy XIII Review



Pumpkin
03-02-2014, 04:07 PM
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Inspired by the forum Let's Play, I decided to write a review of the game, Final Fantasy XIII. I was determined to finish it in under a month, a feat I have rarely accomplished before. I made it my mission, booting up the game 5 days a week for several hours a day, focused and concentrating on the story, the characters, the world. Losing myself in this imaginary world of fal'cie and Eidolons. After finishing the game, taking up most of my month, here are some of my thoughts.

The story has a lot of potential. It really does. The plot twist you get later in the game was an interesting one, and it definitely drew in my interest. I just donít think they did enough with it. They could have explored it so much further and added more atmosphere. It was hard for me to get invested in the game, so a lot of the story elements were lost on me. It was also a shame that some of it was explained through the database, as opposed to explored through the actual game. The characters did not help things along since I didn't care for a majority of them. Some of the things they could have done to improve the story would be to add more "down time" to the game, where it isn't just go go go. Where you get to explore town, meet new people, have more sidequests. Another thing would be to make the characters more likeable, in order to make me care more about what was happening to them and happening around them. I think improving these things would have made the story a good deal more engaging.



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The characters were on a whole, unlikable in my opinion. I didnít mind Sazh, or Fang, but most of them seemed to be exaggerated or stereotypical. Vanille seemed nice and interesting, but her voice and her attitude could be grating. Hope was annoying with his revenge plan which took him forever and a day to get over, and Snow just needed to stop talking sometimes. He seemed like a nice, caring person, but he just said the dumbest things. I wanted to like him, I really did, so it was sad for me to see him not live up to the character he could have been. Lightning was supposed to be cold and hard, and mission accomplished, she was. She developed some, but it wasnít enough for me to care about her or what happened to her. Fang was overall forgettable.

I wanted to like them and be invested in their story because it was a tragic one, but I just couldnít. I didnít really care what happened to them, with the exception of Sazh and his son. Maybe because Iím a mother and I can identify. The others didnít tug at my heartstrings, they didnít interest me much, they didnít make me look forward to seeing their adventure and their story. A few of them I actively disliked and the others were just kind ofÖ there.



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If you look at Sazh's story, it was definitely one I would be interested in, and it probably was the one I was most invested in. He was a solid, likeable character, and finding out everything going on with his son did keep me interested. Sadly, due to the overall atmosphere of the game, it wasn't as hard hitting as I would have liked. Snow and Lightning have that huge story arc with Lightning's sister, but because I didn't care about them, I had almost no investment in their story. The same went for Hope, but even more so. I dreaded moments where he was the focus of the game. I think Fang and Vanille's story was interesting enough, but not enough to pull the whole thing together. I think had the characters been better, and had the story been better paced and allowed for exploration and not just been one long tunnel, the story would have been brought to life.

As far as gameplay goes, I loved the character roles and the paradigm system. Having the proper paradigms could really make or break a fight, and that added a lot of excitement. Some of my favorite paradigms were Commando/Ravage/Ravager, because it allowed to quickly stagger an enemy, making them more vulnerable to attack, which was basically a necessity in a boss fight. BUT you also needed paradigms to include a Medic for those same boss fights, because they could dish out a lot of damage. A great defensive paradigm was the Commando/Sentinel/Medic. The Sentinel took the damage while the Medic caught up on healing, and the Commando prevented the stagger bar from being depleted. Another one I liked was the Saboteur/Synergist/Medic. You could heal while inflicting status ailments on the enemies and also casting haste and protect and the like on yourself so that when you switch to offensive, you're ready to go! There were so many different Paradigms for all different play styles, whether you're a more aggressive attacker, or more cautious. I always enjoy games that assign roles to characters, or games where I can assign the roles myself, and this game definitely had that. Unfortunately, thatís where the positive ends.



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The game was extremely linear. The first time I played I kept waiting for it to open up. To be able to travel from town to town on an airship, speaking to NPCís, doing sidequests, shopping somewhere that wasnít on a save point. A lot of this doesnít come until later on, and some of it doesnít stay. The sidequests on pulse werenít enjoyable for me, so that was also a disappointment. The crystarium system was lacking. You basically spent points and moved along a straight line, with the occasional option to move to a second line just to come back to the first line. Kind of like the game itself. Overall, I did not enjoy the gameplay.

With that being said, the graphics in this game were great. This is definitely a positive because I was stuck trekking through virtual hallway after virtual hallway, with little exploration allowed. There were some beautiful areas, such as Lake Bresha and the Sunleth Waterscape. I could stare at those for hours. The character movements were fluid for the most part, and the tones and textures of the game were great. It was one of the areas in the game that I kept looking forward to seeing more of.






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The game starts out pretty easy but gets significantly more difficult as time goes on. It doesnít help that they put a cap on the crystarium until you defeat bosses, meaning you canít increase your stats at all to help you with those fights. The monsters get very difficult around chapter 11 and I rage quit more times than I care to admit. It was too challenging for my tastes, causing it to lose enjoyment.

Overall, Iím not a huge fan of the game. It has some elements that I really enjoyed, but by the end, playing it became a chore and not a sense of fun and amusement.

In summary,

Story:
Pros - Great in theory
Cons - Poorly executed, a lot being told through the database

6/10

Gameplay:
Pros - Paradigm system, how to could turn the tide of battle and its resemblance to FF job classes
Cons - Extremely linear, repetitive

4/10

Characters:
Pros - Some interesting stories, each character has a role and isn't just a tag along
Cons - Poorly executed, didn't tug at the heartstrings or become emotionally invested in them, caused indifference

4/10

Graphics:
Pros - Visually stunning scenes, great character movement
Cons - Many wasted scenes

8/10

Difficulty:
Pros - Easy to begin with to allow time to learn and adapt, more difficult later on for those who like a challenge
Cons - Adding in the level cap, causing some regular battles and boss fights to become tedius

7/10

Ayen
03-02-2014, 07:18 PM
While talking to your friends on the phone and playing this game, have you ever said you're going through a tunnel? Because you should have.

Solid review, most of it didn't come as a surprise or anything though. Doesn't make me jump to give the game a second chance. Hearing that Fang is forgettable saddens me as she looked like the only other interesting character apart from Lightning and Sazh.

Jiro
03-03-2014, 05:03 AM
omg ToriJ that's smurfing hilarious xD

Slothy
03-05-2014, 12:31 AM
What? That he said Lightning was interesting?

Oh wait, you mean the tunnel joke. Now I'm on the trolly.

And Shion, liking Sazh and the stuff with his son wasn't the result of being a mother. Sazh and his story were the only ones that even struck me as believable, let alone that I related with. The whole game he seems to be the only person having realistic reactions based on the events that transpire. Everyone else was crippled by some lazy writing, motives that made little sense, and idiotic decision making.

The only thing I didn't like about Sazh's story was that he didn't shoot himself. Not because I wanted him to die, but because I think that would have been an interesting place to go and a hell of a thing for the other characters to deal with. Sadly they didn't have the guts to go there.

Pete for President
03-06-2014, 06:30 AM
And Shion, liking Sazh and the stuff with his son wasn't the result of being a mother. Sazh and his story were the only ones that even struck me as believable, let alone that I related with. The whole game he seems to be the only person having realistic reactions based on the events that transpire. Everyone else was crippled by some lazy writing, motives that made little sense, and idiotic decision making.

The only thing I didn't like about Sazh's story was that he didn't shoot himself. Not because I wanted him to die, but because I think that would have been an interesting place to go and a hell of a thing for the other characters to deal with. Sadly they didn't have the guts to go there.

My thoughts exactly. Developers need more guts.