■ Publisher: Square Enix ■ Developer: Square Enix
Final Fantasy XIII is a fairly basic affair. The focus of the game are the graphics and the story. Every chapter is summed up in a journalesqe entry, and the history is logged in a constantly updating Codex. The game play is basic: your party consists of 3 characters, only one of which you control, the rest are maned by an AI. As the game progresses you gain the ability to switch tactics, called Paradigm Shift, allowing you to switch any team member from an attacker, to a healer, or even a mage, adding an element of strategy to the game.
Does the game do what it says it does?
The answer to that question is simple: No. Final Fantasy XIII is suppose to be a Role-Playing Game. Unfortunately FFXIII is none of the above. If anything it’s a perverse amalgamation of a Rail Shooter and the longest running soap opera ever. It can’t even be classified as a game, since all you do is watch. The world is a straight line, quite literally. That single path you follow will lead inexorably to a 5 minute cut scene at the threshold of every level. If the game must stop to load, you will be forced to watch a cut scene. If you come upon as of yet, unseen landscapes you will suffer through a cut scene. A bridge you’ve never seen before? Cut scene. A Mountain? Cut scene. An unusually large crystal? Cut scene. Stairs? Cut scene. Steps? Cut scene. A fork in the road? Cut scene. It got to the point where a bridge looked liked a death sentence, and anything out of place practically screamed cut scene, sadly I was never wrong, and no matter how hard I tried to I could never avoid them.
Is the game enjoyable?
Again I’d have to say no. Sure the game was beautiful, unfortunately it wasn’t actually a game. Even the battles with monsters were cut scenes, only pausing for an ok from you after having each character select their own attacks and targets. Changing the channel and mashing accept was the only way to bother with battles. Basically turning them into avoidable cut scenes. Even worse was when you ran into boss battles. The base strategy of straight up punch everything in the face became a problem and that’s when you were introduced to the Paradigm Shift; also known the ability change profession. From bruiser, to mage, or even healer. The problem with this is that’s all they do. Once shifted to healer a character will ONLY heal regardless of how much healing the other characters don’t need, and it’s impossible to get them to do anything else besides heal short of changing profession yet again.
Do you think other people will enjoy it?
I’d says it’s 50/50. If you don’t mind watching most of the game you should be fine, otherwise stay away…very far away.
Did the game make you laugh?
No, nothing about the game as far as I saw was laugh-worthy, if anything attempts to lighten the mood did the exact opposite.
Did it make you cry?
No I didn’t. An attachment to the world and it’s characters is needed for such deep emotion, and I just couldn’t find it in myself to invest that much into the game. Despite the fact that the first 5 hours managed to be some of the most depressing game play ever, watching everyone mope around did nothing more then irritate me.
The single most gorgeous disappointment I’ve ever had the pleasure of playing.