Thoughts on Final Fantasy XIII

I know I’m probably the last person to finish FF13, but I had stuff to do (like moving) so I didn’t have time to finish it. This was the first Final Fantasy game I’ve played since FF10, so it’s been awhile since I was in the JRPG world. Anyway, my thoughts:

  • Graphics: I don’t think it’d be a surprise to anyone that this game is gorgeous. It’s crazy to think that we’re beyond the point of fully rendered animations, but they’re just irrelevant when the in-game graphics are just about as good as the cutscenes. Not that I could really tell what I was supposed to be looking at in the sequences, but they sure were shiny.
  • Battling: Overall I liked the battle system. I spent most of the time jamming the X button to go into Auto battle (or whatever the equivalent was) but I get the sense that picking the actual moves wasn’t the main purpose of the system; they wanted us to build the right teams and use them effectively. At first I remember being a bit thrown off by only controlling one character, but they did a pretty good job of making the computer as efficient as possible, so I didn’t really need to worry that it would make stupid decisions in what to cast and so on. Now having said that…
  • Summons: Why in the hell did this game have summons? Seems like it was just something that they threw at us at the beginning of the game as a challenge, and then forgot it altogether. I think I used my summon a total of two times, one of which was the end battle – and even then I probably didn’t need it. It just served no purpose and was entirely forgettable.
  • Leveling: I think I liked the new system. Get a bunch of experience, pump it into whatever roles you like, and advance on. I guess it was nicer than having to swap out materia or some such – or at least didn’t make me feel stupid for not wanting to deal with all that. The focus was clearly on evolving the right roles to get the best outcome for your team.
  • Gameplay: Here’s the part where everyone slammed the game, and I have to agree. There are so many sandbox games out there now where you can just wander around and do whatever you want whenever you want, and this was the exact opposite. You walk in a straight line for pretty much the whole game. Oh, there’s one part where you can wander around a bit, but they sort of push you away from doing that. Maybe I’m just nostalgic for the days when you got a ship and could travel around.
  • Plot: I don’t expect to ever understand the plot of JRPGs, so that’s that.
  • Music: Masashi Hamauzu did a pretty good job with this one, I think. Character and plot motifs are present throughout the game and add to it without being overly annoying. I still wish they wouldn’t use lyrics (does the chocobo melody really need words?) but I can deal with it.

Alright, I guess that turned out to be an actual list. I think I liked the game as a whole, and it was nice to play it after a long drought, but of course there were some annoyances. Now I gotta go find something else to play. Maybe Super Mario Galaxy 2…

Thursday, July 29th, 2010 8:58 pm - video games

Leave a reply

1 comment

on July 30, 2010 at 10:09 am, Sarah P said:

We’ve just started playing Super Mario Galaxy 2! At first I was offended by how simple “girlfriend mode” is, but as you go up in levels, you have more influence in the game. And, as chagrined as I am to admit it, I love collecting the jewels and feeding them to stars.