So far I've played 7 hours into this game and this is what I currently think of the game:
It has a lot of cinematics/cutscenes/stories(dreams of the main char that you have to "READ") compared to the amount of playing time. I would say for the first 3 hours of playing this game, I didn't do anything but run around town talking to people, watching cutscenes and reading the stories of his past dreams. I mean there was one point from one save point to the next that took 1 whole hr because of the long story and cinematics. So right off the bat, you have to really enjoy the storyline a lot more than the gameplay to be into this game obviously. If you check the reviews online, you'll notice that everyone either love it or hate it. No in betweens.
So far for the actual leveling/gameplay, I find it a little annoying and not as fun as the other final fantasy games. Its completely turn base and you could take as long as you want without the enemy attacking until you select your action. So you don't have to be fast or be quick like some of the newer rpg games where the enemy won't wait for you to finish selecting your actions. As for the pace of leveling, it seems like you get normal/full xp for a certain zone but once you hit some hidden cap, you start getting 1 exp for each kill and it takes 100 exp to level. This doesn't sound like much of a problem but the pace of killing a mob is a lot slower than most rpgs in my opinion so its a lot longer that it would sound once you get to this point. As for the boss fight, they are freaking hard. So far I've fought 2 bosses and if it wasn't for the online walk through, I would have a lot of trouble killing them.
In summary, this game doesn't have much gameplay time and feels more like a story/book. So far the story seems pretty decent but we'll have to see when I finish it. As for the gameplay, if you're all about a game that really challenges you and want to have more playing time than reading time, then this is definitely not for you.
So now I'm about 5 hrs into the 3rd disc (30 hrs total). So far, everything is pretty much the same in terms of game play and abundance of cinematics/cutscenes. But I must say, the story has gotten more interesting. There's this one climatic cinematic scene that reminds you of some of the classic final fantasy games. Its quite epic and you can tell that the lead guy in this game really did come from FF just from this cinematic scene alone. I'm still not sold on the main bad guy though. He doesn't have the coolness of the classic badguys like sephiroth or kefka from the ff 6/7. But so far, I'm happy with my 30 dollar purchase of this game and will update you again when I beat the game.
Finally beat the game on the weekend. The total time played was 60 hours but I think it could've been a little less if I didn't spend like 10 hrs running around doing side quests to get the better gear.
Anyways here are my final thoughts: -Its official, this game has more cutscenes and cinematics than playing time. Every new zone you go to there's either a cinematic or the main character remembers something(dreams) and a short story pops up.
-Gameplay is pretty much the same and its complete turn base. There are some strategy involved like knowing who will go first so you know who to use to heal if someone's close to dying and simple stuff like that. But overall, gameplay was simple almost to the point of old school rpgs.
-Characters aren't as memorable as some classic Final Fantasy ones like cloud, sephiroth, kefka etc.
-Storyline was pretty good, but again, not as good as the classic Final Fantasy like 6 or 7. But I would say its still pretty good compared to the avg rpg.
So for all the rpg fans out there, I can say this game is for you IF storyline is the main factor for you in an rpg game. If you're the type thats all about gameplay then you'll probably wanna skip this game.
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