I was really nervous about starting Final Fantasy XIII for two reasons: 1) the game has been so overhyped for the last FOUR YEARS that it could have been set up for disappointment and 2) the early reviews for the game were not that positive. I typically disagree with reviews (Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 Days anyone?), but three I read in one day were practically identical, saying that the game does not get good until 30 hours in. Thirty hours in?? Really? And I’m supposed to review this game myself, so I can’t just quit after being bored for five. I felt doomed.
I was being ridiculous.
I LOVE this game. I don’t want to say too much about it because I’d rather you all read my review when it goes up, but I will touch on what I like about it. The combat system is unique and isn’t as complicated as the demo I tried last year seemed. In fact, it’s a lot of fun, and you get to see more action than you normally would in a JRPG. It still has some aspects of a turn-based game, but the action is constant, so there are no hour long fights. At least, in the ten hours that I’ve played, I haven’t come across one yet, and I know I found one by ten hours in Final Fantasy X.
Speaking of Final Fantasy X, FFXIII has a similar leveling up system, which at first made me hang my head down low in defeat. As original as the Sphere Grid system was, it was a downright beating. This system (the Crystarium) takes the same ideas and makes it a little more complicated, but for some reason, it doesn’t feel like it’s as big of a beating. Maybe it’s because I only have like three party members at a time instead of six or seven. It’s nice to focus on just a few at a time.
The story has not won me over yet, and it doesn’t help that I don’t completely understand what is going on. Maybe that’s what those reviewers were talking about, that the story comes in full circle by 30 hours. That’s not a problem to me. What would be a problem is if I have to read the Datalog in my Menu in order to understand the story. It’s one thing to read tutorials to learn how to play, and it’s quite another to read what the game is about.
I can’t say I would recommend it to everyone, but fans of JRPGs and of the Final Fantasy universe in general should definitely pick it up, if you haven’t already like the frothing fans you are.
Now if you will excuse me, I have some FFXIII to play.