Gaijin Gunpla


And so we come to XIII, the last game we’ll be discussing in the Ranking Final Fantasy series. It’s been an interesting journey and ends with interestingly the only single-player stand-alone Final Fantasy on the PlayStation 3. The Playstation 3 brought much more processing power to the series and it definitely shows in XIII.

Here’s a look at the various box art the game released with.

Japan release box art.

NTSC (North American) art.

Yes, that’s an Xbox 360 game. Did you know that with XIII, Square released Final Fantasy on multiple platforms for the first time?

PAL box art.

In what may be a first, PAL region went with the same box art as the NTSC International and not the Japanese style.

The Story

Cocoon, a human paradise, floats above the world of Pulse. When an ancient entity of Pulse origin awakens on the outskirts of a Cocoon city, paradise is threatened from within. Chosen by destiny, six must choose between saving mankind, and saving themselves.

GG: XIII’s story on a basic level is simple enough, you have to fulfill a role given to you by a powerful being or risk losing everything including yourself. However, within that there seems to be a lot going on. Pulse L’Cie, L’cie, Fal’cie (spelling?) I suggest reading into it if you want a fuller, clearer picture of what exactly is happening in the game because I’m not confident I can explain it correctly and that is, in a way, slightly disappointing. I did say in the post introducing this Final Fantasy ranking series that we wouldn’t be evaluating each game based on graphics but I must say that the graphics for XIII are amazing. The lighting, the backgrounds, the effects. It’s dazzling and the motion capture makes it all the more believable. My jaw dropped to the floor and stayed there for the first few hours. Grade: B minus

ASM: Reading required. That sounds strange when most RPGs are based around reading what people say, but with XIII, it takes it to a different level, as you really need to read the log to have any clue on anything outside of what is happening to you. XIII, in essence, was a linear story about a variety of beings with an apostrophe in their name, who basically screw you and a bunch of people over. Graphically, it’s amazing. Musically, decent. Story wise, meh. The linearity of the game really proves to be its weakest point, and in a way, comes across as the least Final Fantasy of all the numbers games to date. Grade: C

The Characters

Like XII, XIII had six main characters from which to form your three-member party, however there are no guest characters joining your party in this one. Each of the six characters starts out with a more defined role but as you progress you’re given the freedom to shake things up when it comes to who does what.

Protagonists

Lightning

Cloud with a wig! No, seriously. Design wise, Lightning is a feminate Cloud. A former soldier, able to kick ass, and so forth? Sound familiar? – ASM

Snow Villiers

Yet another cocky, brash archetype, who unfortunately didn’t come off as cool as Balthier or Zidane, or Locke. Hot-headed and loves the under-age girls. – ASM

Oerba Dia Vanille

Ditzy, but likable. Has a lot to do with everything going on. For some reason I found her ditzy run animation to be hypnotic. – ASM

Hope Estheim

He looks like Vaan but isn’t anywhere near as cool. That says a lot. However, he’s one of the best pure Medics in the game. – GG

Sazh Katzroy

At first I didn’t think I would like Sazh due mostly to the Chocobo Chick in the afro thing Square decided to go with. That said, due to his having Haste earlier in the game than any other character he is quite valuable. He also has completely different motivations than the rest of the party but that’s still quite cliche. – GG

Oerba Yun Fang

From Pulse, she is the protector of young Vanille and is one of the toughest warriors you’ll come across. The Australian accent in the game makes her stand out amongst her peers.– GG

Serah

Lightning and Snow’s reason to exist and source of their petty conflict, Serah unfortunately becomes crystal at the beginning of the game after completing her Focus (so I should write ‘fortunately becomes crystal’?)

Antagonists

Barthandelus

The ruler turned bad guy for various selfish reasons, that come along too late for you really to be invested in. (And only if you had done your required reading!) – ASM

He’s a pretty important person.. who just so happens to want the destruction of um, just about everyone else? I really should have done my reading. Then I would know why he looked like this. – GG

Favorite CharacterASMSazh. Hey, black guy with a fro, and guns? Stereotype? Yes, but still a little more down to earth than Barrett was.

Favorite CharacterGG – I’m going to go with Lightning because she has some good lines and is overall capable and a badass. I could write the exact same thing about Fang, too, now that I think about it. Ok, I choose Lightning because she smacked down Snow.

Least Favorite CharacterASMHope, angsty whiny boy that had super cliche revenge plot, which ends up being all rainbows and spices in the end. I really hated him overall and avoided using him for the most part.

Least Favorite CharacterGG – Hope. The whole revenge thing got old almost immediately which just so happens to be in the first minutes of the game. Unfortunately, he is a good medic and at the end battles when I needed three of them, he ended up back in my party. (sigh)

Character Grade by ASM – B minus

Character Grade by GG – B minus

The Battle System

Called the Command Synergy Battle system derives the flow of time from the Active Time Battle system, as each character has their own ATB gauge. Unlike in most other Final Fantasy battle systems, the player is only able to control the actions of the party leader, and the computer controls the two others. Commands can be either input manually or via the Auto-Battle feature. Selecting the commands manually from a list of available commands is identical to how it works in the other games in the series, but Auto-Battle selects commands automatically for the player. The commands drawn up with Auto-Battle are not random, but depend on the battle situation: the party’s health and the foe the party is currently fighting. Battles consist of three party members each with an assigned role, however you have several Paradigms (party configurations) you can set up so you can swtich the roles of all your characters at once by switching Paradigms. Roles include Commando, Ravager, Medic, Saboteur, Synergist, and Sentinel.

GG: Battles in XIII weren’t random. You could see the enemy up ahead and choose to take it on or try to go around it. However, once you attacked it would change to the battle screen which I found odd after the real-time fights of XII on the less powerful PS2. The key to quickly finishing off enemies is to stagger them, essentially, hitting them powerfully enough quickly enough that they become punch drunk and are weaker and unable to act quickly.

Certain roles fill the enemies’ stagger gauge more quickly. As you’re rewarded TP points (points that can be used for specific abilities and summons) for how quickly you end battles theoretically you want to stagger your enemy as soon as possible. In some cases you could knock your staggered enemy up into the air and juggle them up there by repeatedly hitting them before they fell back down. The action was fast and furious and, thanks to the power of the PS3, absolutely stunning with all the magic spell effects flying around amidst the action. I did find that in my efforts to stagger or juggle, often my team was left very vulnerable so in some key battles I played conservatively, having a Medic in my paradigm at all times. This meant that I would not be able to stagger at times and battles could drag on. In the early parts of the game you’re not really in need of a Synergist of Saboteur so I didn’t get to fully experience those classes though they sure played an important part in the later battles. Lastly, I’ll say I appreciated the huge monsters you sometimes fought and how you looked so tiny next to them.

It really helped show the scale of this game. I also found this on the net and wanted to share.

Grade: A minus

ASM: Welcome to Final Street Fantasy Fighter XIII? Err, I kid, but the battle system in XIII was fast and all about the juggle, similar to a fighting game.

As the enemies were on screen, it was always easy to get the drop on them, and the shining point of the battle system is that it is extremely fast. The downside is that it is extremely fast, and so sometimes it would be hard to even try and control more than one character, leading to a dependence on the AI and the roles sets you could place in advance. In this sense, the roles were also very much MMORPGish with your tank, healer, damage dealers, etc. I for the most part found the battle system to be enjoyable for its speed, but a lot of it came down to simply how fast you could break the enemy and juggle them. Some depth…but not a lot.

Grade: B plus

The Character Levelling System

XIII had the Cystarium which is pretty much a prettier, three-dimensional Sphere Grid. Points won in battles are used to move you along a path in each job in the Crystarium. Each player has their own grid and starting point so there is no intersecting.


You could choose to focus on one job specifically or spread your points around and try to be more of a jack-of-all-trades. Progress in the Crystarium was often blocked until certain points in the game wherein your path was again opened.

ASM: Mmm, my thoughts were 1) Sphere grid again? meh… 2) wait, this is linear for 90% of the nodes! 3) and it’s gated?! No letting you grind to overpower your characters, but make you wait for plot points before unlocking more levels/roles/skills? All this enforces that this is a set story, that SQEX wants you to proceed at a set pace, with a set level. By the time everything is unlocked, especially different roles, you don’t care any more, and don’t want to do the grind. I was not a fan of this system. Grade: C

GG: I liked the Sphere Grid so the Crystarium should do me just fine, right? Not really. Like the gameplay, the grid was quite linear with only little points just off the main path that allowed you to reach a powerful spell or sometimes just upgrades to strength or hitpoints, etc. I found it somewhat ridiculous that one node away wasn’t worth one point. Instead, depending on how far away the point you wanted to get to next you would need hundreds or, later in the game, thousands of points. The numbers kept increasing though the size of the grid and even the bonuses didn’t really. Every time I was in the grid I would make for the next node only to get stopped halfway because I went from 2,466 point to 0 en route. Other than the grid your only chance to increase your stats was through weapons and their upgrades but that upgrade system was so difficult to understand and random that I didn’t bother upgrading my weapons unless I felt I wasn’t punching high enough at the time. Grade: C

The Limit Breaks

There are two attack types for each playable character which could classify as similar to Limit Breaks: full ATB skills and an Eidolon’s Gestalt Mode. With full ATB moves each character has a unique attack, which requires the whole ATB bar to use. These attacks deal extreme damage that ignore defense, or multiple strikes that rapidly increase the enemy’s chain gauge. When using Eidolons the player can initiate Gestalt Mode where the Eidolon uses multiple techniques and powerful finishers to deal extreme damage to multiple foes.

ASM: Actually, there were limit breaks, if you want to consider the ultimate weapon skills that each character their “limit break”, which was a flashy move that each character could learn towards the end. In that sense, they were cool looking, and neat to see, but the charge up was long, and they weren’t always a game changer when it came to damage? Grade: B

GG: There were character Limit Breaks in XIII? I was well aware of the Eidolons’ big move because I’d wait for the big summon friend o’ mine to almost be dismissed before hitting that button, but character LBs? I feel I missed something. So I should have upgraded my weapons more (despite not needing to)? Grade: C plus

Summons

In XIII summons were called, like IX, Eidolons and this time each character had one associated with them which you would come across through the course of the story. In order to obtain your Eidolon you needed to fight it in battle and get it’s Gestalt gauge to fill at which point you could bond with it and it would then be available to your character in future battles.

ASM: Eidolons again felt like a tack on here, in order to make the game more “FF”. Each character gets an eidolon because…? They just do? And hey, we got to show off CG prowess here! Following in the theme of the last few games, at this point we are used to the summon popping out, doing some damage, and then an ultimate, then going on their merry way. Pretty yes, but as noted, more of an add on, rather than having anything to do with the story. At all. Grade: C

GG: Having to fight your Eidolons was the least enjoyable thing about them. It wasn’t about knocking down its hit points (usually) but instead was about finding the right method of fighting them in order to get their Gestalt Gauge going up. This required a lot of trial and error and, in many cases, skipping cut-scenes as you had to watch them again if you restarted. Eidolons were available to be summoned if you had enough TP which means you should really be trying to finish off each fight quickly to get those TP point rewards (and don’t use Libra then!) however, only your party leader was able to summon which meant that if you were running the same party for long stretches you wouldn’t get a chance to see the other Eidolons. I had to change party leaders just to have a chance to see the other five Eidolons. Eventually I used Eidolons as a bit of a stunningly beautiful Mega Phoenix thanks to them casting Arise before leaving the battle. Grade: C plus

Mini-Games, Sidequests, and Extras

XIII had them?

GG: There were mini-games? I found all the parts to Vanille’s robot when we were on Pulse (and got some nice bonuses if I recall) but that’s about it. There were also monster hunts similar to XII’s but because every inch of that game was fighting, going off and fighting more just didn’t interest me. Also, it’s completely ridiculous to constantly push that this is a race against time and then want the player to go off and explore at one point late in the game. Grade: D

ASM: There were monster hunts, but they didn’t have that pull that it did in XII. Here it’s like, oh, now you can run around a giant empty field and fight monsters because, you know, that will get you some items, and some reason to grind now that we have given you a nice… empty… field. Grade: D

Most Memorable Moment

GG: That CG sequence when they come back from Pulse riding their Eidolons. Man, that was crazy.

ASM: Similar to GG, the CG sequence on the return to Cocoon. XIII was pretty, and the CG was amazing, regardless of the absurdity of it all.

Moment we’d most like to forget

ASM: Hope and his revenge plot.

GG: Hope’s revenge. Cry me a river.

The Soundtrack

Nobuo Uematsu was originally announced as the composer of the game’s main theme, but later decided to give his main theme duties to Masashi Hamauzu after being hired to work on Final Fantasy XIV. The game’s director, Motomu Toriyama, requested an orchestral and futuristic hybrid sound, but gave Hamauzu freedom to exercise his own style.

ASM: The soundtrack here is probably most memorable for the main battle themes, with the music being mostly upbeat. I liked some of the tracks, like the music in the forest, which actually had vocals in the US version, but not Japanese. Overall though, aside from some of the above, a generally forgettable soundtrack. The vocal song at this point is such a bore that I can’t recall the title, song, or singer at all. It’s all just rote script at this point.
Grade: B minus

GG: XIII was such a departure from things Final Fantasy in terms of gameplay, setting, and story-telling that it goes without saying that the musical score shouldn’t expect to be the same as previous games in the series. The soundtrack actually matches pretty well with what is happening on the screen with highlights being Snow’s theme.

And probably my favourite track, No Way to Live.

The soundtrack may actually be one of the better aspects of the game. Take that as you will.
Grade: B

Discussion

ASM: So XIII, you were a bit late to the party but you finally cleared it recently. I’m interested in hearing your thoughts first on it.

GG: You’re right. I was quite late playing XIII. Despite playing XII a tonne on my PS2 I didn’t pick up a PS3 when they released. I must have been busy with other things. New job, new family member, etc. I didn’t get a PS3 until someone gifted me one which was after they had been on the market a while. I immediately got into FPS games as online gaming was a new thing for me.

I actually received XIII from a co-worker who was looking to rid himself of some older stuff so I didn’t play it until 2016. Kind of embarrassing to admit. I was aware of it, of course, but it looked unlike the FF games I knew and loved and more like a button-mashing platformer so it never found its way into my catalogue until this year.

So back to your question, I remember having two distinct lines of thought as I started XIII; the graphics are absolutely stunning and I was so happy to be playing a Final Fantasy game again.

ASM: So then, yes to graphics for sure. No argument there. This was the next gen and it showed.

But there was so much else there. The story, the progression , the battle system, the music. All in a way very different.

Let’s tackle these one at a time. Your thoughts on story?

GG: I don’t know if I can say the story is good or bad as to me it feels incomplete. It feels like you’re dropped into the middle portion without knowledge of the first act. You can look through the in-game journal which is updated at key points to give you the bigger picture but that kind of approach doesn’t do it for me. The story feels quite grand and ambitious but the player may not have a complete picture.

Pulse, L’cie, a Focus. This makes for good fiction. It really could have been either fleshed out more or trimmed a fare amount.

ASM: That’s a valid point brought up by pretty much everyone. You’re dropped in the middle of the story, and it you have to figure out what’s going on in reverse almost. While an interesting narrative method, almost similar to X, it comes across as fairly confusing because there is a lot of required reading to understand what’s going on. If anything, my biggest complaint with the story is simply that they packed in too much lore, right off the bat, and assumed people would understand the concepts of Fal’cie, and la’cie, and this cie and that cie. XIII suffers for this because SQEX decided not to create a world based in one game, but a universe (Nova Crystalis) over multiple games, that ended up not working well in their favor. Good story telling works on letting people infer for themselves, but XIII tips far too much into the not telling you anything to start with, and then telling you everything in a novel form.

With that said, the characters are a big part of where the story goes and how it ends up so what are your thoughts on them?

GG: I recall the plan was to release XIII and XIII Agito but that ended up morphing into what would be XV but that change meant we aren’t getting, like you said, the larger picture.

As for characters, I ended up liking most of them. I think Lightning is a fantastic character and I guess I’m not alone considering the XIII sequels. Maybe, like the story, they lack some depth but they don’t disappoint me terribly. Except for Hope.

ASM: That’s right, Agito, originally planned to be a cell phone game if I recall, that ended up morphing into FF Zero (which while I have not played too much of, is supposed to be a good game), and Versus is now XV. So what happened, and you could say this is true really of SQEX since about 2006 is that they immediately announce games, that are really at the concept stage. That’s why we have seen such development times for XV, and KHIII, and so on. Yet SQEX managed to turn around XIII-2 and 3 in short order. As for the characters, I detest Hope, as he was annoying, and his story line ended up being very cliché, yet he redeems himself in XIII-2. In a way, I felt the characters were somewhat fleshed out, yet somewhat cliché. I liked Lightning, but her design really does feel like female Cloud, and you can almost literally superimpose their faces over each other. Snow is the hotshot yet again, who’s got a thing for Lightning’s sister Serah, who while is cute, kind of gave me some underage vibes. I liked Sazh the best because he seemed the most down to earth, and Vanille was decent too. Fang came along a little too late for me to really invest in her. If anything, the characters show up, and they are there, and while you are expected to grow with them as you learn their story, similar to my thoughts above, I found most of them hard to relate to.

As for sequels, technically XIII-2 is Serah’s story, more than Lightning’s, which as an aside, I actually really liked. (I will say this time and again, but it was like FF meets Chrono Trigger, and it worked for me)

Now that we’ve talked about the story and the characters though, there is one major element that comes up a lot when talking about XIII, and that is progression, i.e. the linearity of it. You basically follow the story in a straight line before getting to Pulse, about 75% of the way through, which then all of a sudden becomes open world… well open field at least. While there were mob hunts and such now available, there wasn’t actually much of a variety once you actually got to the open field. How did the progression make you feel? Really no towns, or going back, or anything that a Final Fantasy title had up to this point.

GG: It was quite the change to get used to especially after how open XII was. You were always going forward but when you think about it you never had a real reason to go back unless you felt the need to grind. There’s nothing for you once you’ve visited a place and left. It really took the exploration portion out of the game. Sure there were treasure chests but you could tell where they would be without having to do any real exploring. Hey, look. There’s a small alley. I bet there’s a treasure there. Yup.

At times I felt like I was playing a sequence of an RPG but the entire game was like that. Once I arrived in Pulse I felt no real desire to explore. I just wanted to move on.

I also feel that the game pushed you through it and the linearity is part of that but the battles also rewarded you for finishing them quickly so. This made you feel in a hurry all the time.

ASM: This was definitely an area of major contention for a majority of players. On one hand, I understand the SQEX thought a set driven story would be what people wanted, as gaming in the PS3 era had definitely shifted to that direction, but in turn it really alienated their fans to that point. I can understand people crying that this isn’t FF, but a CG movie with some battles in it. That ends up being the weakness as it’s hard to look past that style to the actual game itself, like the systems. I will admit that I was super disappointed by the time I got to Pulse in that there still wasn’t much of anything to do, and it really came a little bit too late in the narrative. If anything, you expect a game to give you some amount of freedom, and only wrap in linearity as you approach the end game. Here it was linear for 75%, open for 15%, then back to linear for the last 10%. Due to this, it’s hard to really say if that is story? System? Or simply that’s the gameplay in itself, which up until XIII, we’ve never had to question.

On the other hand, the battle system. Super flashy, super-fast. More like a fighting game almost in the fact the goal was to overwhelm and stagger the enemy to literally juggle them in the air for more combo action. While active time, it was super-fast, and hard to control three characters at once, leading to the Paradigm shift, or role sets that you could change to on the fly that set the AI for your companions. In this method, it used MMORPG concepts of a tank, DPS, and healer and so on that you could set, and let the AI handle. For battles, while it took some time to initially get used to the speed, I actually rather liked the battle system because it was speedy, but also made you have to think faster on strategy on how to stagger then enemy. On the other hand, summons followed the same theme from X and XII, with them joining the party to fight.

GG: The linearity kind of matches how your handed the story I think. In previous games you came to know the characters, world, and lore through exploring and interaction with your environment. In XIII being pushed down one pathway matches having the small story being pushed on you. I remember reading about the producer of XIII wanting to shed a lot of the trappings that RPGs had up until that point in time and he sure did that.

I actually liked the battle system as it does follow what we see in MMORPGs however at a certain point I felt I had learned it only enough to get me through the rushed battles and didn’t really get a chance, or more accurately didn’t bother, to experiment with it. If I’m rewarded for how quickly I down an opponent I don’t feel I have the time to experiment. I rarely used Libra to see the enemies’ weaknesses either. Also, I never really bothered with the Sentinel job after about halfway as it was unnecessary. There are other things about the battles that irritated me like forcing me to use certain characters during key battles, thus losing the paradigms I had set, and the battles against the Eidolons.

ASM: Yeah they did have some forced situations there. The leveling system, which was close to the sphere grid was also fairly limited, and they actually gated you, so you couldn’t go to higher levels until you passed certain story points.

GG: Yup, and because you were gated you were actually somewhat forced to use characters in roles the game intended rather than what you would like unless you grinded a lot for the extra Crystarium points. So Hope was my medic because he had always been my medic and Vanille was my Saboteur because that’s what she had always been. Pulse seemed like the only place you could invest time and grind enough in order to change your character’s role but by then you were pretty much resigned to things already.

ASM: Very very true. At that point you weren’t going to invest and grind. That’s for sure.

How about the music? There were surprisingly some good tracks in my mind, that fits the scenario I think. I like the battle music, and some of the tracks like the forest one I enjoyed. But the vocal was so bland I don’t remember the name or who did it. You can tell it was very much and after thought at this point.

GG: I like the battle music for sure and Snow’s theme is one I recall really enjoying. The soundtrack overall had a rock feel to it which I liked. The song, though, other than when it plays a few notes as the start s seen comes on didn’t move me much.

ASM: Yeah from XIII the end vocals are very forgettable.

GG: I do appreciate the attempt but I think it was more formulaic at that point. So my question to you; is there enough there to make you feel you are playing a Final Fantasy?

ASM: Mmmmm

Mmmmm

That’s a good question actually.

I accepted it as FF because there are FF things, like the battles, or names of places (palomporum) etc. but if you were to really come back and say does it make me feel like I am playing an FF, then I realize that I can’t 100% say yes or no. Which is maybe the best way to answer that. Leaning more towards no.

As an allude to the sequels as well. I loved XIII-2 better than XIII because of the Chrono Trigger vibes with multiple endings. But XIII-3 was such an offshoot that I feel it’s not a Final Fantasy.

So as a whole 13 and all the sequels feel the most non-Final Fantasy of the bunch to me.

GG: I feel the same way towards this game. If you were to just hand me this game without any titles or explanations I would likely mistake it for an action game or RPG from a different series. Certain things ring the FF bell in my mind but those are minor.

ASM: Yeah, that rather wraps it up there. That’s probably also why people think Final Fantasy has jumped the shark so to say. Puts a lot of pressure on XV to deliver.

GG: I guess we’ll find out if it does next week.

The Verdict

ASM: As indicated by our conversation, XIII is, in itself, hard to judge. I think there are times where the game wants to be Final Fantasy, in image, but having looked at the last five games in the series, I realize that XIII doesn’t stand up to the Final Fantasy name in the same caliber as the other games. As a set story, a novel that you work through, straight forward, with no deviation, and set characters with very limited development, it serves well, but the biggest criticism really is that it simply isn’t FF. The linearity, lack of options with story, quest, or even freedom with your own character leveling, until the last minute, shows that if this is FF, then it isn’t the direction I want. Take away the FF name, and stick on a FF side stories name, or FF Gaiden, something like that, and I think people would have appreciated it better. FF XIII isn’t bad as a game in itself, but it is bad as an FF. However, XIII serves as a new entry point for the series for the new generation, the gamers that started with a PS3, and I find it somewhat a disappointment because XIII just doesn’t do the series justice, and the new generation simply can’t go back and enjoy the old school JRPG style that was FF. However, it was those gamers who apparently loved the game to the point that SQEX was fast to pump out not one, but two sequels to XIII. For all that I harp on XIII about, I will say that I enjoyed XIII-2 greatly, due to the multiple endings and Chrono Trigger style play. XIII-3, though, continues the paradigm shift of gameplay and story, leaving the XIII universe as a whole extremely disjointed, and with a less than satisfactory denouement.

At the end of the day, TL:DR, XIII is not Final Fantasy. It is an OK story, with FF tropes, but it doesn’t live up to the series name. Looking at it as a regular game though, it is enjoyable enough, and the CG is incredibly jaw dropping. If you make it through XIII though, check out XIII-2, as it fixes most of what was wrong with XIII in a big way, and has much more freedom.

ASM Final Grade: C plus

GG: I don’t know how to feel about XIII. It depends on how I approach feeling about it. It’s okay to be glad to play a new Final Fantasy, isn’t it? However, if I’m too excited to play the least-stunning FF, should I be feeling guilty? Conversely, should I hate on the game just because it’s different? For me, Final Fantasy has always been about story first and I think that’s where XIII suffers the most. It was ambitious, probably too much so, and while the rest of the game can live up to being a new generation of RPG the story of XIII can’t suck me in the way the previous games could. Sometimes too much is just that, too much. And even though I write too much I have to say that I think XIII is the game I finished the quickest. Including cut-scenes my play time was under 35 hours which seems quite short for me for a Final Fantasy game. I do know you can continue the game from your finished save and part of me wants to go in again and tweak my paradigm setups but I just can’t bring myself to load up the game and instead continue playing other FF games instead while I wait for XV. I’ll play XIII-2 now that I, miraculously, managed to find a US copy of the game in the used store in my small Japanese country town but I’m not doing it because I loved XIII.

GG Final Grade: C plus

Combined Final Grade: C plus

2 Responses so far.

  1. Papiyoh says:

    Woah! There’s a fight with the Guntank?! Is the RX-78-2 also present in this game? I’m not much into games at this day and age but maybe a Final Fantasy and Gundam collaboration game would be awesome. LOL

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