So I have been trying to finish this game before my spring break ends and I’ve somehow completed this task. I’ve only got 2 ultimate weapons out of 6 for 6 characters but more just take more grinding and I don’t have more time for that. Anyway, let’s get to the game. Oh this might contains spoilers so if you haven’t played the game, be careful when reading this. I’ll try not to spoil too much.
Storyline: This is definitely not the best FF storyline I’ve ever played. It’s actually not even my favorite. It’s the typical kind of “saving the world” RPG style with little details and twists. The only notable twist was the ending which of course you have to play through the whole thing. Due to this fact I actually skipped a lot of the dramatic cutscenes during the game as it doesn’t really make it any better other than the fancy graphics. Also the symbol of the game is explained at the end so you won’t be confused why FFXIII intro has an orb. It’s actually **spoiler** Cocoon **spoiler**. Overall, storyline is like 2/5.
Battle System: Fighting in FFXIII is actually pretty fun. Each character can take on 3 main roles and 3 other different roles (which cannot be developed as far). The game has Commando (physical attacker), Ravager (magic attacker), Synergist (Buffer), Saboteur (Debuffer), Sentinel (Defender) and Medic (Healer). Each combination is called a Paradigm and also attached to a unique name, for example Commando – Ravager – Ravager is called Relentless Attack Paradigm. I guess it’s easier to remember that way. The game also do NOT have Defense whatsoever, you have Protect but DEF stat is not explicitly indicated anywhere. Your HP does go up to more than 9999 which helps a lot. The variety of different strategy make this battling mechanic pretty awesome as even when you’re very strong, using the wrong strategy can be devastating. Overall, 4/5
Gameplay: The gameplay is actually very linear, you don’t have an airship. You’re also hardly able to revisit old places other than **spoiler** Gran Pulse, Cocoon, and Orphan Cradle **spoiler**. The game also has only 1 grinding location and that’s where you’ll spend most of your time in, making the game boring after a while. FFXIII does have monster hunting as in FFXII but a bit easier as FFXII incorporated different conditions and weather so making the monster spawn is already hard. Besides, gil does buy happiness in this game. It actually buys everything… literally. You upgrade weapons using loots bought by gil, same with accessories and everything else. However, earning gil in this game is SUPER hard. Without doing sidequest I probably have around 100,000 gil by the end of the game, and 1 Phoenix Down is 1000 gil so you can’t spam 99 of that. Oh you don’t really need Phoenix Down in this game anyway. You level up your character using CP, which is kinda similar to FFX Sphere Grid System. Anw I don’t wanna spoil too much but gameplay would get 3.5/5 IMO
Graphics: Totally top-notch. Apparently it’s on X360 which is 1 of the strongest consoles nowadays. The game does lag during a certain point when the environment is too big but overall very fast and smooth. The previous game by Square Enix was The Last Remnant, which I think was awesome, had some serious graphical issue of image rendering being too slow. Summoning as well as fighting are totally awesome. Hands down!!! 5/5
Characters: I think the characters are average in this game. Each one gets their own piece in the game to tell their stories. The good part is all those stories seem to tie together pretty nicely around a certain event. There’re some good characters like Sazh, a super funny guy with a little Chocobo on his head, Vanille who is super cute and bubbly, Snow who always thinks he’s a hero with a very optimistic attitude… The characters stats and roles in the game also made a lot of sense and fit pretty well to the overall gameplay. Another thing is I guess there’re too many sub characters in this game that it’s kinda hard to keep track of sometimes. But on average I’ll give it a 3.5/5
So in general, the overall score I’ll give to this game is 3.25/5. It’s an average game with some value of replay (probably mainly because of the graphics), definitely not the best in the series.