M_C’s Final Fantasy XIII Review

So yeah, an exam over is worth a celebration. Let’s celebrate with a review of the most controversial Final Fantasy. I’m doing this review because I just cleared this game about a week ago, and also because I don’t have any other random thoughts to post at the moment >_<.

I’ve already posted a brief review once in my [Did you guys enjoy Final Fantasy XIII] fad poll on GameFAQ’s Dissidia Duodecim: Final Fantasy Message Boards (See the topic here), but I’m going to post my full review here again since my blog post do not have character limits (har har har. I don’t know why I laughed). Okay, enough of the silly jokes. Let’s get right into it!

DISCLAIMER!!

Note that aside from games where I specified so, my opinion is always completely objective and built up from an absolutely neutral point. While the title is called a ‘Review’, this article is nothing more than a personal opinion (or random rant) of someone who has played the game.

All the pictures used in this post are from random Google Search. I thereby claim no ownership to any of them.

WARNING!!

This review will contain spoilers to FFXIII’s story. Proceed at your own risk!

 

Introduction

As everyone might have heard, Final Fantasy XIII is one of the most controversial Final Fantasy, much like Final Fantasy VII and VIII. The game received quite a number of negative feedback from the fans. One of the major rants I heard include:

  • The game is too linear! It’s flippin’ [Point-A-to-Point-B-and-fight-boss] for the whole damn game!!!
  • Half of the damn game is a flippin’ tutorial!
  • Hope is annoying!!!!!
  • Vanille is annoying!!!!
  • Snow is a douche!!!!
  • Lightning SUCKSSSSSS!!!!!!

Yeah. I wasn’t even kidding about any of those. Anyway, while the hate for the series is extremely vocal, I do found that there ARE people who actually enjoyed the game.

Of the 88 votes from the [Did you guys enjoyed Final Fantasy XIII] poll I made, 23 votes agreed that the game “was pretty fun and a refreshing experience from the classical FF”.

(This poll was created on GameFAQ’s Dissidia Duodecim Message Boards, but a similar topic with a redirect link to this poll was also posted in GameFAQ’s Final Fantasy XIII and Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII message board. The poll limited one vote per User/IP.)

So what do I think about the game? Let’s go over the aspects one by one.

 

Graphics

I guess this department is the only thing everyone can agree that the game did well. The environment is beautiful and well detailed. In the least linear chapter of the game (Chapter 11), you get to explore a (sort of) wide-open area of Gran Pulse. It is very easy for you to lose yourself in this first open area, since simply speaking, the environment looks spectacular. I admit that I have no idea what I was supposed to do when I first got to the place, and proceeded through the story only because I wandered around almost all the area.

 

Battle

To be honest, I wasn’t a fan of the Paradigm Shift idea. I’ve always hated turn-based / semi-turn-based RPGs where your party is AI controlled. However, the system turns out to be pretty enjoyable to its own right. I also really like the fact that, with the right Paradigm Deck, you can go through almost all of the battles in the game. I like RPGs that makes you work more around your setups and less on level grinding (which is why I love SO3 and VP2 so much).

One of the biggest gripe I heard about this game’s battle is how it was TOO automated, and how you only need the O button to win the game. After actually experiencing through the game myself, I think that whoever said that either:

  1. Did not even get to where the party was branded L’Cie.
  2. Exaggerating their hate.

I did ended up using the Auto-Battle since surprisingly, 70% of the time the game is indeed very smart and pick up the commands that really was tailored into your situation. But that does not simply mean you can win every single battle with it.

 

 

Customization

Part of the reason I did not favor the idea of roles was because by end-game, all characters will have similar capabilities. FFXIII still ended up like that to a certain degree so that wasn’t exactly favorable to me. Fortunately, the game kept each characters distinguished enough in the main game to entertain me.

I like the Crystarium’s simplicity in customization. It did give a reminiscent of Sphere Grid from FFX and License Board from FFXII, which I liked the idea, but didn’t like the execution due to how it erases the uniqueness among the characters.

Fortunately, FFXII fixed it up with the Zodiac Job System in its international release. You could argue that I can avoid destroying the uniqueness in Sphere Grid, but that would requires that I don’t unlock the ability nodes, which really itches my perfection fetishes.

 

Characters

Lightning
Well, she had her moments and she’s pretty cool. Gotta admit I drooled over Army of One, but that’s pretty much it. She’s not my type of girl.

Snow
He gets annoying with his hero obsession, but frankly speaking, all he’s trying to do is save his bride-to-be. Gotta give him for that.

Sazh
Well, he’s kinda funny. But because of that, it’s kinda hard to take him seriously.

Vanille
I like her outfit. Nuff said.

Hope
He is a troubled child in a rebellious age and his mom flippin died in front of him so honestly people, cut him some slack. Later on he turns out to be a rather good character, IMO.

Fang
The fact that I knew she was intended to be a guy makes it hard for me to look at her as woman >_<. Her Full ATB Highwind was epic though.

My end game party was Lightning, Fang, and Hope – a pretty average party for first-timer or so I’ve heard. The reason being Fang and Hope together covers all the six roles in the game. That leaves the third character to literally be anyone that you want, depending on how you want to tailor your game. I chose Light because of Army of One (that attack really had a nice ring to it).

 

Difficulty and Game Flow

Like average players, I kinda hit a small bump when I got to chapter 11. It’s the first time in the whole game that I didn’t know where I have to go, lol. Plus, I wasn’t expecting stuffs that can kill me in a hit. Not to mention the stupidly absurd enemy pair up in the last chapters (the big robot and 3 crystal Cie’ths @_@).
I got game over’d a couple of times, but most of that came from leader dying, and I guess that’s my only biggest gripe about the battle system.

 

Overall Impression

I don’t find the game all that bad like what the hate wagon was labeling the game. In fact, my impression was several times better than my first impression of FFXII.
Although I’m not gonna say this is the best game I’ve ever played, I definitely enjoyed playing through it.
All in all, on a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being the highest, this game is probably some where on 6.5 to 7.
I’ll definitely be playing a couple of post-game missions before returning this to my friend (since I’m borrowing his disc) and get myself XIII-2.

 

Thanks everyone for reading this random personal review and I hope you had fun reading this xD

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12 thoughts on “M_C’s Final Fantasy XIII Review

  1. Pretty solid review. I can’t say much since I played the game (and finish the main story) within 4-5 days since I was borrowing it from a friend (including the system itself.) So, I don’t really feels like I actually enjoy it yet. But most of the things you wrote is right on.

    Oh…….And I had a feeling that Light is actually Shota-con xD

    • My disc was borrowed from a friend and I cleared it within a week or two too, lol. This one breaks the record of the fastest Final Fantasy I cleared >_<
      It's not the best game evar, but I enjoyed it.
      And about Light and Hope, they look more like Big Sis and Lil' Bro to me =3="

    • Do you mean battle-wise or story-wise?
      Battle: I had a little trouble with Orphan 1, so I looked up some tips. The vets gave tips that boiled down to “Keep cool and put on your buffs / debuffs”. That’s what I did, and Orphan lost 75% of his life bar under one stagger o_o
      After that, it wasn’t all too hard since my characters are beefed up with Veil and his status ailments don’t stick as much any more.
      Orphan II went down in under a single stagger, although I did use AoO to slightly lengthen the Stagger that help me defeat him in that stagger.
      Story: He makes me wonder that if he really wants the party to beat the crap out of him, why don’t he just stay still instead of pwning me at the same time. XD
      As for Titan-Trials, I only go up till the path that has Cactuars to slightly grind for CP, and that’s that. Haven’t fight any of the other trials.

    • Um, straightforward answer: He’s a pretty cool boss to fight, and his design is somewhat creepily menacing. Yes, I guess I enjoyed him. If anything he’s more fun to fight than Barthandeleus, since that guy was more of a tedious than hard fight >_>

        • Right. I heard that whoever likes the first game tends to hate the second game, and that the second game was generally a bad one overall.
          As of the moment, having only Serah and Noel in the playable character pool was a turn off for me since I like having more characters to choose from, but who knows how it would turn out? I’m gonna keep the criticism until I actually play it.
          Thanks for the wish though. XD

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