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Thread: Thoughts on Final Fantasy XIII

  1. #1

    Default Thoughts on Final Fantasy XIII


    Let me start off by saying that I am a HUGE Final Fantasy fan. I've played and beaten every Final Fantasy up until FFXI, so saying that I was excited for this game would be an understatement.

    Not playing FFXI and FFXII, I was very eager to return to my beloved series and see what Square-Enix could do with the next gen consoles. And let me just say this now; this game does not disapoint!


    I'm about 30 hours in now and have just been amazed thus far on the production value of this game.
    The Visuals are jaw dropping. The Characters them selves look awsome. Especially their hair (sounds weird I know ). The evironments are highly detailed and diverse causing me to stop many a time just to take it all in. On top of that I've been constantly asking myself whether or not i'm watching a cut scene or cinematic. They're that good.



    The voice acting is great. There are a few moments where you get annoyed at a certain character but this is nothing new to JRPGs. Square even went in and changed the lip synching for the english version in both the cut scenes AND cinematics. Amazing!
    The characters are lovable and all get a hefty dose of character development during the playthrough. But it's how they get developed that is so great. All the cutscenes really get you to "feel" your character's pain, and in some cases causes you to hold back a few tears.

    Some of the mechanics of the game leave a bit to be desired however. The "Crystarium" system is what you use to level up. It's similar to FFX's "sphere grid" but has no where near as much depth. Basically winning a battle gives you CP. You then use the CP in the crystarium to unlock better stats and ablilities for each character. Gone is the tradition leveling up system of gaining experience points that eventually raise you levels. All stat increase go through this new mechanic, causing you to spend your points on things like "HP+20" and "Strength+15". Saving up a bunch of points and dumping them into characters just felt kinda boring after awhile.

    The Weapon upgrading was a little better though.
    Through out your adventure you will find/buy/win certain items that you can put into your weapon, essentially leveling it up. There aren't that many weapons to choose from at the start, but leveling up a certain one will eventually unlock a new and better form of that weapon. Each one has a base strength and magic stat associated to it with different ratios depending on the weapon. Some even add special bonus' to them like; "Slightly boosts healing magic" or "slightly increases your action guage with each strike". So finding the balance of magic and strength you want for each character is key while deciding what to upgrade.

    The battle system is amazing though. And is really what your going to be enjoying the most. It's quick. Very quick, and takes some getting used to. But once you do, it gets very rewarding.
    Your party consists of 3 characters at a time but you will only control one of them. The computer does the rest. Though some might think this to be a bad thing it is essential for keeping up the speed of the battles. You're going to need the time to decide your party layout anyways. Party layouts are called "Paridigms" and can be changed at any time both outside and inside of battle. To make a paridigm you will have to assign a role to each character. You can choose from:

    -Commando (your fighter of the group)
    -Ravager (your elemental magic caster)
    -Sentinal (Templar/ tank of the group)
    -Saboteur (Debuffer)
    -Synergist (Buffer)
    -Medic (your healer)

    Making a good paridigm is key, and knowing when and what paridigm to switch to will determine whether you live or die. For example, if your low on health, you will switch quickly to a paridigm that contains a medic. Or if you enemy is too strong, you can switch to a paridigm that contains a sabteur so you can cast deprotect to make them more managable.

    On top of all this each enemy has a seperate gauge from its health bar called the "Stagger gauge". Once this bar is full the enemy becomes "staggered" allowing for more damage and unlocks some abilities. Staggering your opponent is a must.
    Ravagers are great for filling this gauge quickly and Commandos are great for stoping to gauge from decreasing quickly, so you have to balance the two of them.

    After each battle you recieve a rating out of 5. Higher ratings are rewarded through speed of your battles and will reward TP (technical points) that eventually fill up your TP bar. Once you have enough TP you can use special abilities. One of which is to summon your character specific Eidolons. Though they seem to do almost no damage and are pretty much useless, they do look cool .

    There are some really tough battles too that will test your knowledge of your pardigm shifting skills, though I would have loved to see a greater variety of enemies as some are just re-skinned as you prgress.



    Another big change from other games of the series is the doing away with towns as we know them. All shopping and upgrading is done through the save points and there are very few characters to talk to. Instead people will start to talk as you get closer, giving you the choice of whether you want to listen or not. In the case of this game I welcome the change as it keeps the action moving forward at break-neck speeds.
    The game has no "over world" for the first 25-30 hours either, creating a very linear experience. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, but most FF fans may feel cheated. The areas are nice to look at but there are no puzzle solving sections or exploration to speak of. Instead there are "hallways" with a few paths that most of the time lead to a treasure of some sort. For me this is both a good and bad thing.
    I'm obssest with getting EVERYTHING and the fact that FFXIII is the way it is allows for alot of time saving when finding treasure, and doesn't give you the "I hope i didn't miss anything important" feeling which haunted my dreams. Though I dont get the same satisfaction of exploring every nook and cranny and being rewarded by a rare item.

    This all changes at the mid game point where the world opens up. The game shifts its linear passages for a giant open world concept. Kinda like a Zelda world mixed with an MMO. Very cool. I've just scratched the surface of this new world but some of the monsters are near impossible lol .

    No side game to speak of either. No cards or Blitzball. I loved Blitzball so much, would have been nice to see something similar.

    So far I'm enjoying this game very much. But I can't help but feel that the game is a stripped down version of the series. Square pulls it off though, and in style. FFXIII can best be described as Final Fantasy streamlined in every regards. Whether this is a good or bad thing is up to you.
    I'm gonna go with good.

    Tips and Tricks:
    Hidden Content:
    - When upgrading your weapons/accessories use animal parts first to increase your exp multiplier to x3. Then use the mechanical components for the actual upgrading points.
    This way you get the most out of your hard earned components
    5 animal parts will give you x1.25. 5 more will give you x1.50. 10 more will give you x1.75. 10 more will give you x2. And finaly 20 more parts will give you the x3 you want.

    -Wait out on upgrading your weapons until you have a few to choose from. This way you don't feel commited on a weapon you've dumped so many points into instead of upgrading the weapon you really want.

    -Start your battles with a 2 Ravager 1 Commando Paradigm. Once your commando has gotten in enough attacks to effectivly slow down the stagger gauge, switch to a tripple ravager paradigm. This will Stagger your opponents the fastest and help your ratings out.
    Last edited by Carsickness; 03-28-2010 at 01:09 PM.
    KCCO

  2. #2

    Default Re: Thoughts on Final Fantasy XIII

    I completly disagree with the stripped down statement, but as long as your enjoying the game then w/e

    Personally Im loving it to death haha I havent enjoyed a FF game this much since 7&8
    "No matter what side of the argument you are on, you always find people on your side that you wish were on the other."
    Be sure to check out the best #$*&#$ video game show ever Epileptic Gaming and the lastest episode on youtube NOW IN HD
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  3. #3

    Default Re: Thoughts on Final Fantasy XIII

    8-10 hours in I think. I stopped playing after I got into the SC2 beta. The game is good but I'm really not a fan of the battle system. I think that having to change paradigm all the time is just annoying and doesn't bring more enjoyment to the battles. I prefer the old battle systems, even the one in FF12. In fact, I kinda enjoyed the FF12 battle system if you remove the aspect that you can auto battle all the time.

    Another note on the battle system, I feel insulted that the developers think that all westerners are FPS junkies. Sure, a lot are but most of them won't buy this game anyways so why did they feel the need to give ridiculous names like medic and commando instead of the more appropriate names like healer (which is how they name it in the Japanese version).

    Other than that, the "dungeons" are way too much linear. I mean it's basically a straight path and when there's a road that's not going in the main direction, you just know there's gonna be a dead end with a chest.

    The story is quite interesting but man did they do a bad job at explaining it. For the first couple of hours you understand nothing at all of what's happening. I still have no clue of what a Fal'Cie thing is. Some sort of robot god thing? ok? Turn people in zombies or crystals? OK???? hmmmm.... I'm used to how japanese make their stories but this is still pretty weird and I wish they would have made the stuff clearer from the start.
    Last edited by sandwich_bird; 03-28-2010 at 02:06 PM.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Thoughts on Final Fantasy XIII

    Quote Originally Posted by sandwich_bird View Post

    The story is quite interesting but man did they do a bad job at explaining it. For the first couple of hours you understand nothing at all of what's happening. I still have no clue of what a Fal'Cie thing is. Some sort of robot god thing? ok? Turn people in zombies or crystals? OK???? hmmmm.... I'm used to how japanese make their stories but this is still pretty weird and I wish they would have made the stuff clearer from the start.
    Agreed. The first bit of the game was so messed up. It all comes together but I was just as confused as you where....I still kinda am actually
    KCCO

  5. #5

    Default Re: Thoughts on Final Fantasy XIII

    The battle system is what made the game for me really, its so much more interesting than the old way of doing it, and I hated the system in FF12 it felt Like i was playing a shitty MMO. But to each there own of course,though to be fair the first 6 or so hours is bassicaly in demo mode as you gain ure abblites and such, only later dose the system bloom when you need to employ differnt tactics.

    I really love the idea of having to think about what your doing instead of spamming attack 3 times or just cureing when everyone is low, now you have to swap to maxiumize combos and you get to customize your setups.

    I usally start battles with a double buff/debuff team with a healer, and then swap to all out offensive casting before swapping to melee to hold my combo meter up etc etc.

    Idk I just dont get why people dont like it


    I love the story, infact I think I might of put the game down in the first 5 hours if it wasn't for the story becasue you litterly have no abblites for a few hours haha.
    Last edited by Islandsnake; 03-28-2010 at 05:46 PM.
    "No matter what side of the argument you are on, you always find people on your side that you wish were on the other."
    Be sure to check out the best #$*&#$ video game show ever Epileptic Gaming and the lastest episode on youtube NOW IN HD
    - Oh its a egg I wonder whats inside! =)

  6. #6

    Default Re: Thoughts on Final Fantasy XIII

    Quote Originally Posted by Islandsnake View Post
    The battle system is what made the game for me really, its so much more interesting than the old way of doing it, and I hated the system in FF12 it felt Like i was playing a shitty MMO. But to each there own of course,though to be fair the first 6 or so hours is bassicaly in demo mode as you gain ure abblites and such, only later dose the system bloom when you need to employ differnt tactics.

    I really love the idea of having to think about what your doing instead of spamming attack 3 times or just cureing when everyone is low, now you have to swap to maxiumize combos and you get to customize your setups.

    I usally start battles with a double buff/debuff team with a healer, and then swap to all out offensive casting before swapping to melee to hold my combo meter up etc etc.

    Idk I just dont get why people dont like it


    I love the story, infact I think I might of put the game down in the first 5 hours if it wasn't for the story becasue you litterly have no abblites for a few hours haha.
    I totaly agree with you. The games battle system is so addictive. It's very edge of your seat gaming when you're in a tough battle. Thank god the computer knows what it's doing.
    And the story is nice. once you start understanding what's going on, you can't wait until the next cut scene.

    Another thing...what's up with the lack of money? Upgrading gets sooo expensive and with you income coming only from item drops it ends up taking alot of grinding to get some coin.
    KCCO

  7. #7
    Adam_Ant's Avatar Junior Member
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    Default Re: Thoughts on Final Fantasy XIII

    I really enjoyed the game. Like others said, it starts a bit slow, and the story is a bit confusing but all of that changes as you get a bit further into the game. I didn't know if I was going to like the battle system at first, but after you figure everything out, it's really great. The other thing that stood out, is the fact that if you die you don't have to go all the way back to the previous save point, this is the only thing that kept me playing in some of the more difficult to figure out battles. All in all, a very enjoyable game that has a nice long play-through.

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