As a deepening crisis threatens to plunge the floating world of Cocoon into chaos, a band of unsuspecting strangers find themselves branded enemies of the state. With the panicking population baying for their blood, and the military all too happy to oblige, they have no choice but to run for their lives. Join them on a desperate quest to challenge the forces controlling their fate, and prevent untold destruction.
Featuring an unforgettable storyline, a battle system blending action and strategy, cutting-edge visuals and awe-inspiring cinematic sequences, FINAL FANTASY XIII delivers the next step in the evolution of gaming.
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This game gets more than its fair share of hate as the marquee franchise representative during the SE's dark decade between FF12 and Heavensward, and it's not fair to dump all of the Crystal Tools baggage on 13's lap. 13 has some very strong elements like Hamauzu's soundtrack, the techno-organic creature designs (Barthandelus and Orphan are some of the neatest looking things SE artists have ever devised), and the lore with Etro and Bhunivelze and all that. Once you get to Gran Pulse, the game also has a mark hunting system which might be an inferior echo of FF12's marks, but still good. Game is also still very good looking, at least with Xbox back compat.
Unfortunately, even with all that throat clearing out of the way, I can't recommend it. It's the worst cast of characters Final Fantasy has ever produced, the storytelling is a mess, the dialogue is even worse, the combat takes forever to get even decent and never feels truly good, the Crystarium is everything bad about the Sphere Grid with none of the charm, the repetitive corridors are just dire, and so forth. People get unduly mean when discussing this game, but it's still bad.
I'm just gonna say it, I have a hard time trusting japanese role playing fans when it comes to genuine conversations about the genre in general. Despite the decade and the overall flak this game gets and the actual vitriol that comes from discussing this game, I finally got around to actually playing the game myself and seeing for myself what many people labeled "the worst Final Fantasy game". Now I get there are genuine criticisms about the game and this game isn't perfect by any means but it's a beautiful game. The linearity which I feel is the number one criticism doesn't really matter considering the whole package here and especially it wasn't even the first game that has done the linear approach in Final Fantasy and it fits thematically with the game itself here too.
While I feel the story is under cooked due to having to read a little in the codex, it was still decent and not too hard to understand. I admit that I got a little lost nearing the end but the ending itself was great but I think the best part is the whole journey of the game itself here. I really liked the cast here in the fact they feel like actual people barring one or two of them. I feel like each character has had their chance to shine and develop throughout the journey and it made for some great moments I didn't expect at all as they all become victims of circumstance and made for interesting dynamics between certain characters. I never really minded the linearity here due to the fact that the characters realistically didn't have time to partake in side stuff, time is running out and you're always running.
The paradigm system is honestly one of my favorite renditions of ATB so far in the series. My main problem is that it doesn't open up soon enough with the game not giving you the full customization until you're three quarters done with the game. Creating strategies for specific roles is something I really enjoyed doing here and it also rewards perfectly timed switching with a full ATB gauge after a certain amount of time too which makes it even easier to activate burst damage windows. I had fun with this system but the way the game creates these fights are a bit uneven. The game is mostly really easy until the game unlocks the ability to customize your characters and party and the difficulty ramps up pretty hard nearing the end. Fights that used to take 1-2 minutes had average fights taking 4-8 minutes in the final dungeon with mobs. You never really had to grind too much in this game fortunately from my own experience as the game rewards game knowledge over raw stats most of the time.
If there's one word I can use to describe Final Fantasy XIII: Beauty. The level design for almost each area is teeming with visual spectacle and variety. From the machine infused nature of the forest to a land forgotten by time itself, each chapter really managed to provide a unique atmosphere to each area that it's honestly impressive despite the approach to progression. The entire game is yet put into another plane with a serene and energizing soundtrack that focus on the elegance and beauty of the piano and the violin along with the occasional vocal track that really makes this easily one of my favorite soundtracks in a japanese role playing game and knowing the genre, it's really tough to be at that spot considering how good these soundtracks usually are. Two of my favorite tracks manage to build up and then unleashes a beautiful set of strings as the pay off and makes me remember why I enjoyed gaming sometimes. The game is still amazing to look at even today and even the FMVs are always a treat to see after a gameplay sequence that brings back the old days when technology wasn't there yet for the gameplay to match the viewing experience.
I feel like Final Fantasy XIII was meant to be a PlayStation 2 title because it has all the bearings of what would essentially be that. Experimentation of ATB, an incredible soundtrack, gorgeous visuals, linear design that wasn't even the first rendition of it albeit a bit worse. It's also kinda funny how much stuff from this game seeps into the real of modern Final Fantasy too which is surprising. I think even Square realized they had a lot of great ideas in this title and took them and improved them further in future and current titles. The game starts pretty slow and ends a bit too slow too but the overall package is pretty good for what feels like essentially another fun adventure in the series and honestly too overhated for what it actually is and what I feel Final Fantasy is: a fun and beautiful experience.
Motomu Toriyama é um péssimo diretor e uma péssima escolha para dirigir outro título de final fantasy. Não vejo problemas em linearidade, o problema foi a terrível execução dela aqui, uma linearidade que mata a essência de final fantasy. A exploração é ridícula, um mapa em linha reta e sem conteúdo, a limitação em usar dois personagens para fomentar a dupla dualidade do enredo até o capítulo 9, e a própria enrolação e ritmo terrível do mesmo, além de limitar a lore e os detalhes importantes totalmente á um codex. A total liberdade se inicia do ótimo e contraditório capítulo 11, extremamente perto do final. Personagens usado como plot device da pior e anticlimatica forma, uma narrativa que se conduz por um tom confuso e simplório. Apesar de cenas que poderiam e deveriam ter um peso e toque maior, há momentos emocionantes, assim como bons momentos compartilhados pelo grupo principal. Gameplay simploriamente dinâmica em estratégias, a mesma sendo limitada e a se tornando repetitiva, e uma trilha sonora memorável. O meu maior problema com esse jogo é não conseguir atribuir de forma alguma á um Final Fantasy. Lost Odyssey, dirigido pelo Sakaguchi e lançado na mesma geração, é um exemplo paralelo ao que Final Fantasy XIII poderia ser.