Game Review: Final Fantasy XIII (PS3)

nerdy side 2What better way to celebrate my victory, yesterday, over Final Fantasy XIII then by posting a review? I knew I was close to the end, with one battle left to go, but I had no idea that was actually three battles! Two hours without a save point is exhausting! I’m also very sure the laws of physics are different in the world of XIII. I have no idea how Cocoon even exist with that huge hole in it. Fang and Vanille avoid a collision by doing this, which makes even less sense.  If you click on that link, know those are two planets. Maybe I’m the one at fault, though. How dare I expect a fantasy video game to make sense?

Final Fantasy XIII is divided into 13 chapters. I was crazy annoyed with the whole game until the end of chapter 11. My main complaint is that most of the gameplay is left to the battle system. There is no awesome card game like in Final Fantasy VIII, no catching frogs like in Final Fantasy IX. There’s no snow boarding like in Final Fantasy VII. There’s no gravestone that reads “here lies Link” like in…. I think that was the original Final Fantasy. Nope, none of that. Just running from the government and fighting.

Maybe that would have been okay except the battle system was REALLY annoying. I have a lot of buttons on my controller besides X, and I would very much prefer to use them. Luckily, towards the last chapter or two, things required more thought. I was still mostly pressing X during the battle, but a lot of thought went into how I set up my characters. The battle wasn’t ever the real game. The game was arming and organizing a winning party, then seeing if your plan succeeded. I guess that is fun in some ways, but it was still a sub par battle system in comparison to what Final Fantasy has done before.

Did I mention the story. The story left me really confused.

Aside from all that, the characters grew on me. I was disappointed in Light at first because she was basically Cloud in drag (I mean, it’s not like that hasn’t happened before). Eventually she developed her own personality, though. She laughed and cried. Actually, I love her character. I see now why she was voted as the favorite female Final Fantasy character in Japan. Actually, all the girls in this game were bad ass. They were all unique.

The men of the game were also unique. Sazh grew on me real fast and he might be one of my favorite Final Fantasy characters of all time. He was many things, but I most loved him for being a father who was simply trying to save his son. I nearly cried at the end of the game when his son appeared. I was just so happy for him. I hope we get to see more of him in the next two games. The other two guys were… well, they weren’t my favorite characters, but they were different. I have to give credit where credit is due, Final Fantasy XIII has one of the best cast of characters. The music was phenomenal and the artwork was great!

All in all, the game was fun enough that I will play the second game. I hear it was better and fixed a lot of the problems with this one. That said, it’s not like they would have to do a whole lot to make it better. Can I have a real battle system and a card game please?

I really miss the card game.

FFXIII

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13 thoughts on “Game Review: Final Fantasy XIII (PS3)”

      1. Hey, I’ve been meaning to ask you. I’ve never played any of the Tomb Raider games ( I know it’s unforgiveable). I just recently purchased my console and I want to get into Tomb Raider. Which should I purchase first?

  1. I thought the battle system was overly complicated. Still enjoying it though, and found myself more than once 13 hours playing in a row. And one thing you could always count on was the art. They made a impact for themselves, to have people willing to line up for the new Final Fantasy.
    I was always hoping for a second Xenogears.

    1. I felt the opposite. I felt like I hardly messed with the weapons and armor I equipped. All I did was grow their paradigms and play with how I organized them. Ended up With Com/Syn/Med most of the time, switching to Com/Rav/Med once I had all the buffers. That was it. Every battle was the same, with a few exceptions toward the end. I think it was that automated thing. I didn’t like that.

      The story was crap, but the art and characters were great enough to keep people wanting more. I have a bunch of other games to play through at the moment, but I will be picking up FFXIII-2 eventually. I’m a Final Fantasy addict ’til the end.

  2. I was just so excited to have a girl as the “lead” character. I really like Lightning, both her personality and her character design. Although I don’t know how she can run with that sword smacking her butt/thighs constantly…
    I like Sazh a lot, too, and Fang. I would like Vanille if her voice wasn’t so annoying. Snow and Hope I pretty much couldn’t stand.

    All the cutscenes were beautiful, but there were too many.

    1. People say that, but remember Lightning wasn’t the first female lead, Terra was. I actually like Terra far better than Lightning, but I do like Lightning; she grew on me. Her getup was mostly okay. Notice how here sweater thing opened up at the bottom to reveal her belly button? How does that even work? Really though, my only critique in her design was how awkward she looked sitting on a chocobo.

      Vanille grew on me slowly, but she is far from my favorite character. I liked her better than Hope and Snow though. I really did not like Hope. That said, I think their characters contributed to a diverse cast. Vanille has a lot of traditional feminine characteristics and is made to be a strong, worthy character. She’s a good example of what I wrote about in a post about the forgotten strength of femininity. She doesn’t have to be masculine in order to be worth, strong and proud. Hope was nice I guess because we always need a kid in the party to attract the young’ins. Snow was…. idk. How old is he supposed to be? And how old is Sarah? That was just an odd, awkward relationship. While I didn’t care for him because he grew the least, I think he also served a valuable role, bringing up everyone’s spirits when it seemed like there was no hope left. In fact, that was a very important role considering the fact that most of the game everyone is just running around aimlessly, trying to figure out what to do.

      Oh man…. I think that turned into a mini rant…. sorry.

  3. Final fantasy 13 was a good game and I did enjoy the characters and artwork a lot. I found 13-2 though a lot different from 13, you will find out why once you play it but it’s not the same game at all.

    1. Yeah, I’ve heard that 13-2 basically negates everything that happened in this first game. I imagine it will be something like what Kingdom Hearts II did with Chain of Memories.

  4. My 22-year-old son recently asked me about my blog (details of which I did not share) and using WordPress. He said he wants to start a blog reviewing games. I cringe at the thought of my aimless son, who works PT at the local Jewel and is on the 6-year plan of completing a 2-year community college (he has no direction whatsoever),holoed up in his room, playing video games instead of being out in the real world, meeting people, dating women, finally getting his Associate’s degree, and moving on with his life. Certainly you are eons more well-rounded than my son. I should probably turn him on to your blog.

    1. No offense, but they have 6 year plans for a 2-year community college degree? I don’t know your son, so I’m not sure what you mean by aimless. Does he not know what he wants to do or does he seem to have no motivation? Video games don’t have to be a bad thing, nor does a video game blog have to be a bad thing. There are video game blogs, magazines and expos – all that require people to work for them. If he loves games so much, maybe he should consider a career that has something to do with games. Getting involved in the blogging world might be a good way. He could meet other game bloggers who might help him find direction for his passions.

      In the end, video games aren’t any more damaging than any other media, be they books, TV or movies. You can obsess with them to an unhealthy degree but you can also build a career in them.

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