Sunday, March 14, 2010

Final Fantasy XIII Early Impressions

I don't do very many game reviews. Actually I don't do any, but once March rolled around, I definitely had a few games to look forward to. I adore the Final Fantasy genre, but I do not believe that every game Square and co put out is golden. I do appreciate their contributions to gaming, but I try to be unbiased when it comes to them because it is so easy to say they are great just because it's Final Fantasy. I am also not being paid to give a favorable review of the game.

Like every other review of this game, the game is indeed beautiful. I bought mine on the Playstation 3. I told myself long ago that the entire reason I bought a Playstation 3 was to play the new Final Fantasy. I couldn't betray my 2007 self, so I indeed bought it on the aforementioned system. So, I don't know the subtle petty differences between each system, and it doesn't really matter. The game will be beautiful any route you go. It looks so good at times that a gaming newbie could think the entire game (game play and all) looks like a splendid cut scene.

As an RPG junkie, and Final Fantasy veteran, I was ready to destroy some weird flan-like monsters and got introduced to the new battle system quickly. It is actually impressive so far. That will be probably the feature most people will have to acclimate themselves to. Everything is in real time, and you know longer control every party member. Your tactics are mostly built on a variety of roles each character can be. Healers, tanks, warriors etc are some of the general roles that each member of your party can choose from. You have to make sure that each character's role fits the type of battle you are in because situations can change in an instant. I like the level of strategy involved. With most RPGs in the past, as long as you grind for a long time, you'll be fine in almost any given situation. I think this game is shaping up to be a little different. Speaking of grinding, I'm starting to get the impression that its being phased out…thankfully. Sure the obsessive geekburger out there can max out every stat imaginable, but it is not necessary. Its a breath of fresh air, and it allows the gamer to sit back, use common sense and enjoy the game. Even though I'm only about fifteen hours in, I hope the days are over where half a day is devoted to just getting ready for one boss.
The leveling system is also new and interesting as well. The Crystarium has taken the place of traditional leveling. As you make your way through the game, defeating enemies will net you XP to use in the Crystarium. This is the way to increase hit points, strength and magic attributes. I'm liking it thus far. I'm refraining from going into vivid detail of how EVERYTHING has been going so far because I'm always afraid of spoiling something, regardless if it is plot driven. Chances are, if you want to play the game, you'll eventually play the game. This game has its supply of engaging characters, Asimov inspired cities, and chocobo exploits. It always happens. Do I believe this game is for everyone? I don't think so, but this is the first game I think will net a wider audience than anticipated. If you are interested in playing Final Fantasy XIII, wrap up any other games you have first. I know this entry is short based on the subject material, and I could have spent hours writing about a game I'm only fifteen hours into. Honestly, I want to stop writing and go play some more. It's that good. Simply put, this game is really fun so far, and Square Enix knows how to tell a story.