Final Fantasy XIII: “Just an updated version of FFX”

By the way that's not my quite, that's my friend's.  I asked him for a one line quote, and that's what he gave me…

I don't know what to make of Final Fantasy XIII.  On the one hand, it looks childishly simple to play yet stunning to watch.  Lightning is a badass, and the story intrigues me a little.  On the other hand…it's an RPG.  A much more streamlined, fat-trimmed RPG, but an RPG nonetheless.  There's probably a ton of grinding to be found here.

But from the hour or so of gameplay I saw, it looked…really straightforward, as I had anticipated.  Much more simplistic than Final Fantasy games I've played in the past (Final Fantasy VI comes to mind).  They weren't kidding when those online Japanese boards compared the first chapter of the game to a piece of string. 

For myself, I like exploring.  I like the "do whatever you want, go anywhere you can" feel of Final Fantasy games of the past.  Tactics was like that, with their incredibly intricate job system that was very much the heart and soul of the game.  I was also told FFXII was extremely vast, but I didn't play it at the time.  Might go and see what that's about later someday, but let's keep the topic about FXIII.

This game is gorgeous — I absolutely love the graphics.  For anyone who's starting out in the Final Fantasy franchise for the first time, this title is definitely for you.  The characters are believeable (except for Vanille, she just strikes me odd) and the battle sequences are fairly strategic without requiring a master's degree in battle philosophy.  It will suck you in fast, and it will keep you glued indefinitely.

But I don't like the bull headed advancement the game throws at you, however.  Supposedly later down the road they introduce you to the real grinding, but until then they hold your hand and guide you through every step of the way.  There's a lot of tutorials to learn and data to absorb.  I've also heard people comparing the game along the lines of an intricate movie (which is somewhat true). 

If I wanted to watch a movie, I certainly wouldn't have bought this game. 

As always, this is just an initial impression.  I'm eager to hear what my friends think after they've completed all 40 hours worth of gameplay.  They're much more hardcore demographic targets than I am, so I'll take whatever they say at face value.  And if they still sing praises, that might just well convince me to buy it myself and take it for spin.

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2 Responses to “Final Fantasy XIII: “Just an updated version of FFX””

  1. 1 Kimura March 14, 2010 at 4:40 am

    Surprisingly, I found FF XIII on a bargain bin in Shinjuku. I thought it was doing so great in Japan??

  2. 2 patapete March 15, 2010 at 6:16 pm

    Kind of not too surprising, I guess? It's been out for over a month or so (I think)..

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