Movies Books Music Food Tv Shows Technology Politics Video Games Parenting Fashion Green Living more >

Lunch » Tags » Video Games » Reviews » Final Fantasy XIII » User review

Review from a former Final Fantasy Fan

  • Mar 9, 2010
  • by
I just picked up Final Fantasy 13. I was a former final fantasy fan. This is to say I have played and beaten 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 , 10 , and 10-2. Most of them twice. I am about 8 hours into the game, enough time to know the game is great and to advise people what I have learned, first impression.

When I heard that FF 11 was to be a multiplayer, my heart broke. I tried it, out of dedication to the series, but was disappointed as expected. I picked up 12, with hopes that they tried to return to their roots, but once again, a flop. Finally, they brought back the Final Fantasy and brought me a game I love again.

Graphics: Final Fantasy Graphics are great, you expect it. The FMV's are beautiful and the in game graphics are decent as well. The lip syncing is decent, however, you still face a couple awkward emotional sounds that don't seem to quite fit in. Previous FF had the same problem, where the graphics couldn't quite display the right emotions, so they use sounds that people say "huh, heh, ho, wow" ect.. and it doesn't always work. However, it does remind me of FFX and brings back good memories, so I say it is passible. The only graphical complaint I must say about the game is the use of invisible barriers. I was a little surprised at how many I faced, and how obvious they were. It would have been nice if they spent a little more time filling the game with more natural looking barriers.

Gameplay: Gameplay should probably be broken into several parts, but I figure I might as well start with combat. The random battle's that existed in the original FF games have been replaced with a chrono cross / chrono trigger type of gameplay. In other words, you see the enemies, and if you can avoid them, you can avoid combat. If you can get close to them without them noticing, you can get a preemptive strike. This means you can strategically choose how to approach an enemy to try to engineer a preemptive. You get control, I like that. Touching an enemy initiates combat. If you get close enough, the enemy might see you and start approaching you. The speed of approach and the ability to see you coming depend on the enemy. Once in combat, it is similar to the original ff games (I ignore 12). You get to choose actions, although it also offers you the choice of auto actions (it chooses the action for you). You no longer have control of your allies, which you will immediately think you hate, but I have quickly come to enjoy the strategy involved in the game. In battle, you no longer stand in one spot in a row facing your enemy. Rather, your character moves around the screen, and so do the enemies and allies. Certain enemy attacks can be interrupted if you time it right, and timing is everything in combat. You have the ability to move the camera 360 so you can see what is happening to your allies, but there is always the status bars to tell you what is what. The main "strategy" that replaces what used to be controlling your allies is now a system in which in mid combat you change how your allies fight. So, with the click of a button, an ally can go from attack mode, to healing mode, then defensive spell mode, then offensive spell mode, and so on. In some ways, a lot of people will hate this, I like it, it is new and refreshing.

Th next new strange thing with the game is that hp is instantly restored at the end of each battle. Every battle starts with full life. You may think this sucks the challenge out of the game, but you will find yourself struggling occasionally. Some mobs will simply wipe out half your health in a couple of seconds if you don't watch it. So the game is still challenging and enjoyable. The other catch, as you only control the "leader", there death means game over, no phoenix down for the leader.

I think they finally listened to a select group of people who kept saying "why does a game have to be tedious". It seems to me like they simplified, yet made it fun as well. You no longer have to worry about keeping you health up inbetween fights. Instead, every fight you go in full and go nuts, if you don't use strategy, you could fall hard and quick. I like it.

The last gameplay idea I will mention is leveling. They borrowed the concepts of FFX leveling up (the sphere grid). However, they amplified it, instead of experience earned, you earn CP. You cash CP in, which causes the line to move towards the next crystal(sphere). After x amount of cp (depending on value of thing you learn) you get the crystal and whatever boost it gives you. The added catch is that you now have multiple grids, each depending on what type of playing your character is doing. Remember those modes I mentioned earlier, different modes mean different advancements. So while in heal mode, you character has access to skills and abilities they don't in attack mode. This means switching modes in combat is mandatory, even for your main character, especially if you decide you want to cast a spell or protect magic yourself. Anyway, this basically means you could go into every characters menu after every fight and level up a little, or wait until you store up cp points and then move several at once. So you constantly earn experience points in every fight, and you have to decide how you want them spent, and when you want to blow time spending them.

Layout: Chests in this game take the form of technological balls (at least so far). Their positioning in this game is pretty simple, and unlike previous FF's, I never feel like I am forgetting something. They like to perform the trick of starting you in front of a chest, so if you just turned around and went back a few steps you would find one, but your desire to move forward prevents you from thinking of looking behind. Most other chest locations are rather easy to find if you look at the map, basically any deadend off path leads to a chest. Since there are no random battles, you don't have to be afraid to explore either, you know what is in front of you.

Story: SO far the story has me 100% hooked. To sum up the concept, you have two worlds, a technological world, and an "unknown savage world" Any exposure to the savage world is met with fear. There are these godlike creatures, some help the techno city stay techno, and some are from the savage world. One thing the savage demigods like to do is pick out people and make them do suicide missions (think avatar from halo 2). The citizens of technoworld treat these people as the equivalent of suicide bombers. They are considered cursed since, success means they become a crystal, failure means they become a mindless ghoul. However, the demigods temporarily endow the person with magical powers and increased strength, which gives you the reason why all of your players become so powerful, unlike previous FF games, that would explain why one of the characters becomes so powerful, and then leaves you wondering why all his teammates are just as strong (FF7 cough FF9). Anyway, some of the story is predictable, I expect some revelation about those demigods and their true nature, and the nature of both planets. I expect that the savage world is not so savage and that the government is in control in an unnatural way. You just expect those things with FF, but that does not mean I won't have fun uncovering them.

To Sum It Up: If you are a fan of the FF series the way it used to be, FFX and prior, then you should love this game. It is the first time in years that I am playing a game that feels and looks like FF. If you expected another FF12 with a new storyline and repacked ideas, go play WoW and leave my series alone. Thank you for returning to the roots, but also keeping it innovative and refreshing as always. I have yet to even touch the iceberg of this game. I am barely passed the prologue after 8 hours of play. This is going to be great, thank you Square enix.

Update: Last Impression. I figured I should update upon finishing the game, as if my review was not long enough, and add my thoughts on the game in the end. I will keep my 5 star review, mainly because I think too many people placed lower scores because of the ps3 trolling or jrpg trolling. However, I would say I feel it is a 4 star game, not 5, and this is for 3 reasons. Reason 1, there are no towns to explore, which is something I miss dearly, reason 2, there are virtually no npcs to speak of after the intro and a brief time in the carnival, and whether they gave you sidequests, told you where to go, or simply commented on the weather, I enjoyed their presence and it makes the world feel less immersed. Reason 3 is that you cannot return to the majority of the game. At the end, you can go to the city of eden, or pulse, you do not have access to anything else, for xbox 360 people, this means everything explored on disks 1 and 2 cannot be returned to, ever. I still enjoyed the game, it was challenging, innovative, and fun. The story kept me guessing until the end. However, those problems, and the invisible walls I mentioned before, dropped the score for me.

What did you think of this review?

Fun to Read
Post a Comment
More Final Fantasy XIII reviews
review by . February 21, 2011
posted in Siliconera Bounce
What starts the story in this game?   You are in control of Lightning. She's on a personal mission to save her younger sister Serah from the grasp of the evil Fal'Cie. With your partner Sazh you make your way to where the Fal'Cie lie in wait. The story quickly shifts you to the story of Snow. This young man is Serahs fiancee. While working on a mission with NORA (his resistance group), tragedy strikes and an innocent mother is lost. This lose of an important figure quickly …
review by . December 23, 2010
posted in The Gaming Hub
The long awaited Final Fantasy XIII was finally released this year after many years in development, FF has been one of my favorite series ever since I first played it on the Super Nintendo, even though there are 13 games in the series, each game pretty much stand on its own and has pretty different mechanics, so even though I was pretty much burned out on Japanese RPGs, I was still looking forward to this game.      Well, the game is finally out, and after a great looking intro …
review by . March 17, 2010
posted in The Gaming Hub
As Final Fantasy ages, each new installment seems to become more and more polarizing as Final Fantasy incorprates new ideas.  Final Fantasy X got a fairly warm reception among audiences and is often labeled by fans as one of the best Final Fantasy outings out there.  Since then, however, the Final Fantasy titles released have often received mixed reactions from fans.  Final Fantasy XI went online and had fans scratching their heads.  Final Fantasy XII incorporated an entirely …
review by . February 21, 2011
posted in Siliconera Bounce
Alright I held off reviewing the game until I actually finished the main story completely.      Final Fantasy XIII ushers in a new age and way for newcomers to the Final Fantasy "brand" and for old fans to get their yearly Final Fantasy in. This game takes an alternative approach and virtually allows the player to experience the story in a streamlined and fast way. Unlike other RPG's, the player wont find themself straying off on the path to fulfill sidequest orders …
Quick Tip by . February 21, 2011
posted in Siliconera Bounce
Ah yes Final Fantasy XIII, probably one of the most disappointing one for a lot of people, but for everyone who still want to play this game, don't be biased, give this a chance and you will see that it can get quite interesting.  The story and character development are not the best, that's true, but they are still likeable and interesting. The graphics are top quality and everything runs smooth, the soundtrack is really nice and the voice actors know their job, as far as it concerns me, …
Quick Tip by . February 21, 2011
posted in Siliconera Bounce
For a game that's polarised popular opinion so much, there really isn't a great deal in FFXIII for people to pick on, as far as I'm concerned. Fun, intense, thrilling gameplay, combined with a sweeping, powerful, emotional soundtrack, vivid, detailed and unique art design, a well-presented (if formulaic) plot full of fairly likeable characters and a mixture of comedy and tragedy played up to eleven. Maybe I'm the only person out there who feels this way, but FFXIII was a diamond …
Quick Tip by . February 21, 2011
posted in Siliconera Bounce
One of the top Final Fantasies in my honest opinion. The game is just fantastic. Music is superb. Graphics are just amazing. and the characters are very impressive. The good far outshines the bad (like the brilliance of a thousand suns+1). I loved almost every aspect of this game. Don't let bad reviews make you turn a blind eye to this beautiful game.
Quick Tip by . February 21, 2011
posted in Siliconera Bounce
I know the beginning is very streamlined at the beginning, but the story is great, and it the game really opens up in chapter ten.
Quick Tip by . February 21, 2011
posted in Siliconera Bounce
A waste of time....and i cant believe it will have a Part 2
Quick Tip by . February 22, 2011
posted in Siliconera Bounce
What is there left to be said about this title that I or many others have already said repeatedly in the daily posts of Siliconera? A true disappointment, but it gets a point for presentation. Perhaps if I had went into it with a more open mind I would have enjoyed it better, but the accumulation of the long wait coupled with what was promised in the trailers had mislead me too far in the wrong direction already.      EDIT: Playing it on my friend's 360, I was unable to complete …
About the reviewer
Brian Stogsdill ()
Ranked #1374
I like writing reviews and hearing people's opinions. I am a biologist at a local college in Milwaukee. I have a wife. I have 1 son who is currently two and another son who recently passed away from … more
Consider the Source

Use Trust Points to see how much you can rely on this review.

Your ratings:
rate more to improve this
About this video game


From the creative minds behind FINAL FANTASY VII and FINAL FANTASY X comes the latest installment in the critically acclaimed series. As FINAL FANTASY VII was for PlayStation, and FINAL FANTASY X for PlayStation 2 computer entertainment system, FINAL FANTASY XIII will be the first numbered FINAL FANTASY title for the PlayStation 3 computer entertainment system and Xbox 360, and will look to once again reestablish the series as the RPG brand. Players will follow Lightning, Snow, and the other heroes who are dealt a hand of fate by the god-like fal'Cie. Cursed and regarded as enemies of society, they have the world against them and nobody to rely on but each other. Will they find the strength within themselves to break free of their curse and determine their own fates, or will they succumb to this higher power? With a story that is sure to connect with players' hearts, diverse new characters from world-renowned creator and character designer Tetsuya Nomura, and exciting new gameplay features centered around an evolved Active Time Battle system,FINAL FANTASY XIII will be the pinnacle in gaming experiences.

Developed for the PlayStation 3 system and Xbox 360, FINAL FANTASY XIII features the series’ most impressive graphical presentation.
View larger.
Summons are stronger than ever before, now with the action-oriented Gestalt Mode.
View larger.
The evolved Active Time Battle system presents players with countless methods of putting enemies away.
View ...
view wiki


Number of Players: Single-player
Publisher: Square Enix
Developer: Square (Enix), Inc.
Console: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
Genre: RPG
Release Date: March 9, 2010
Lists with this video game
Polls with this video game
First to Review
© 2014 Lunch.com, LLC All Rights Reserved
Lunch.com - Relevant reviews by real people.
This is you!
Ranked #
Last login
Member since