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Game Review: Final Fantasy XIII

Posted by Jake, 20 March 2012 · 2,503 views

So, I finished platinuming Skyrim a couple months ago, and wanted a cheap RPG game I could move on to. I decided to give the FF XIII-2 demo a try, and enjoyed it, so I picked up the first game. While it is flawed and I see why people don't like it, I feel I got my $20 worth out of it.

Gameplay: This is a party-based RPG, and you have different classes to choose from. Commando is damage, Ravager is building chains so Commandos can do more damage, Medics are healing, Sentinels are tanks, Synergists are buffs, and Saboteurs are debuffs. Each party member has 3 classes they can use, and you can have 3 members in your party. You set up paradigms, which are combinations of what each character is, and you switch between them in the middle of battle, depending on the situation. While every party member eventually can use all six classes, they all specialize in one. The game is completely linear for the first 20+ hours of the game, but it opens up near the end.

Art Style: This is the closest to "graphics" I'm going to get. Graphics judge how realistic a game looks, while art style judges how creative the game looks, as well as the color palette it uses. This is probably the best looking game I've ever seen. So much detail and color, the enviornments are beautiful to look at. Also, while in many JRPGs the guys look like girls, the guys actually look like guys in FFXIII.

Story: This is a story about the Fal'cie, which are the equivelant of gods. When they need to complete a task, they brand a human as a L'cie. They are given magic abilities, but if they don't complete their task in time, they turn into a zombie. If they do complete it in time, they are encased in crystal. I know, it's not much of a choice. There are 2 types of Fal'cie: Cocoon and Pulse. They are direct enemies, and rule over their own parts of the world. The main character, Lightning, is branded a Pulse L'cie, along with Sazh, Snow, Hope, and Vanille. Their only clue of their focus was a vision of a monster, and one word: Ragnarok. Together, they must figure out what this means and decide whether to attempt it or not. Some characters are good, such as Sazh, who is meant to be comic relief. Others, like Hope, fall flat and end up being annoying.

Lasting Appeal: This game took me about 2 weeks to beat the main story, with around 3 hours of gameplay a day. After that, you still have a lot a sidequests, as well as trophies/achievements to collect. However, when all of that is done, there is NOTHING left to do. It lasted me about a month, and I don't think I'll pick it up again.

Gameplay: 7/10 It's original, but it gets repetitive after a while. In the boss battles, there isn't much choice in your strategy.
Art Style: 10/10 This is honestly the best looking game I've ever played.
Story: 8/10 Many people hated the story, but I found it very interesting and captivating. I felt a pang of sadness when the credits rolled.
Lasting Appeal: 6.5/10 Unless you are a trophy collector, you will play through the story, then play through the side missions, then never play this game again.

Overall: 7.5/10 Is it one of my favorite games? No, it's not even close. However, for today's price of $20, this game is more than worth your money. If you walk in with an open mind and can get past the linearity, this is a game worth checking out, especially if you like party-based combat.




Although I'm a notable "hater" of the game, I must agree that it's graphically astounding. My main issues with it stem from the fact it almost seems like a "backwards" step for the series compared to Western RPG's that focus on choice and an open world.

JRPG's have always been about their story and character development, which Western RPG's are weak with. I had no idea what the hell was going on EVER with FF13, and as you said, I hated many of the characters (Hope).
  • Vanille is like 14, yet it's frightening how "sexualized" she is. Every irrelevant little yelp/moan for no reason sounds sex.
  • Hope is horribly annoying and the mom thing was cliche.
  • Speaking of that, the line "Moms are tough"... GOOD GOD HOW DID THAT MAKE IT THROUGH QA.
  • Snow is a douche.
  • Sazh is decent yet his cartoony personality/bird/fro was distracting.
  • Lighting was the standard FF brooding/emo hero. Couldn't relate to her since she was a chick and had pink hair.
  • Fang was the best character IMO, although I'm sure she's a lesbian.

Vanille is like 14, yet it's frightening how "sexualized" she is. Every irrelevant little yelp/moan for no reason sounds sex.

  • Hope is horribly annoying and the mom thing was cliche.
  • Speaking of that, the line "Moms are tough"... GOOD GOD HOW DID THAT MAKE IT THROUGH QA.
  • Snow is a douche.
  • Sazh is decent yet his cartoony personality/bird/fro was distracting.
  • Lighting was the standard FF brooding/emo hero. Couldn't relate to her since she was a chick and had pink hair.
  • Fang was the best character IMO, although I'm sure she's a lesbian.

I should just let you buy every game I plan on getting so you can review the parts that matter.

Very good review. The only Final Fantasy I ever messed with was Kingdom Hearts, so I doubt I'll actually buy this game. But 20 dollars for a month of solid play time, you can't really complain thaaat much. Also, I like my RPG men feminine.
Oh, yeah, you really can't complain about a FF game at that price... But if you're like me, you may only suffer to get 10 hours into it.

I really shouldn't complain about it too much, many people loved it.
Glad that you guys liked my review.

JRPG's have always been about their story and character development, which Western RPG's are weak with. I had no idea what the hell was going on EVER with FF13, and as you said, I hated many of the characters (Hope).


I agree they did a terrible job of explaining what Fal'Cie is. The beginning is also a jumbled mess. It felt like a sequel to a nonexistant game. Once you get a bit farther, the story makes a bit more sense. As you said, though, you shouldn't have to play for 10 hours to get to the fun part.

It felt like a sequel to a nonexistant game.

That is seriously the best description of the game I have ever read. Including 3 page rants... All with one sentence.

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