Video Game Review: Final Fantasy 13

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Video Game Review: Final Fantasy 13
Platform: Ps3, Xbox 360
Developer: Square-Enix
Official Website
Plot: You play a group of characters who are all branded with a magical tattoo that somehow makes them menaces to society. They are constantly hunted, and if they don’t complete their “focus” by a certain time they turn into crystals.

What follows is your group trying to save the world all the while trying to overcome their internal drama (of which there is a lot). However, the game comes with a lot of negatives – with a few positives.


  • The plot is confusing – The story for this game really doesn’t make any sense. Not just from a plot perspective, but also from a character motivation perspective. It doesn’t take long for a player to get really confused about what they hell they’re trying to do, and why they’re trying to do it.
  • The characters are all uninteresting – Everyone in the game has a lot of drama. A LOT. And somehow it’s all tied together. Many times in ways that doesn’t entirely make sense. And mostly, I didn’t care. I couldn’t give a crap about anyone’s whinny crap throughout the game. The two character drama I cared about was Lightning’s sister and Snow’s finance (Sarah) being turned into crystal. No one else’s story really held my interest.
  • The story really doesn’t make any sense – Not sure if I mentioned that before, but seriously…I didn’t even care enough to scratch my head
  • The purpose of your mission is never really clear – This really ties into the story being confusing. I never knew why I was going somewhere or what I was trying to accomplish there. It was frustrating.
  • The fighting sequences (paradigm shifts) are not very fun – After playing Final Fantasy 12, which had a great play mechanic, FF13 really just felt limiting. You only control a single character (out of a party of 3), and all you can do is change paradigms. Paradigms instruct your party what kind of actions they should be taking – physical attacks, magical attacks, healing, etc – and then they do them. Sort of. Most of the time I was trying to get my party to heal a certain character right away or attack a bad guy with some specific attacks. But the paradigm system really made combat very uninvolved and repetitive. FF12 you had full control of your party, but you could also program their actions with Gambits that allowed them to do actions automatically. But there was still that element of control. FF13 has no control. It just has flashy pictures.
  • The game is linear throughout – You literally run through the prettiest hallway in a straight line for most of the game. Until Chapter 11 (out of 13 Chapters). Then you’re given a limited open area to run around in with some areas that branch off. You also don’t get to select your party until that time. The game picks which characters are in your party for the bulk of the activity. Finally, your character progression is linear. You can use CP (it’s like XP, but with a different name) to progress on what’s called the Crysalis. It’s a linear line that you move forward on by spending this CP…and you can’t go in a different direction. You just go straight. Like the rest of the game. You just move forward in a straight line.


  • The game is gorgeous – The graphics in this game are really top notch. There’s no draw distance (except for the villains popping in every now and then), but the graphics and animations are incredible. I never got sick of looking at the game. It was very pretty throughout.
  • The character designs are awesome – The characters look very diverse and distinct, and they animate very well. They look fantastic, and it was always a joy when your favorite character finally gets to come back into your party so you can enjoy them again for a little while.
  • The music is fantastic – But every FF game has great music. This one is no exception.

So I normally post game reviews after I beat a game. I got to the end of Chapter 11 of this game, and then my PS3 died. Yellow Light of Death. The good news is I bought another one and can keep playing games. The bad news is that game data is coded to a specific system, so any games I was in the process of playing all of the progress is lost. I cannot transfer it over to another system. So basically, since I don’t want to invest another 70+ hours in this game, I will never beat it. But I don’t regret it, because while I did enjoy the time I spent with the game, I’m not interested to ever go back to playing it.

Final Fantasy 13 is a very pretty game, but I’m told FF13-2 is much better. Less linear, more like a Final Fantasy game should be. So if you haven’t played a FF game before, skip this one. It’s like FF-Lite. FF for dummies. FF for people who don’t play JRPGs. Totally skippable.

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