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Final Fantasy XIII Review Pt. 1


Xamol Na

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So, XIII-2 is out soon and I'm skipping Oblivion and Skyrim, for now, to play a refresher run of Final Fantasy XIII(13).

 

I will admit that I've loaded an old save and skipped chapters 1 and 2 as they are boring in comparison with the rest of the game and you gain no experience from playing them.

 

I will also admit that, at the time of writing this, I am a wee bit tipsy.

 

The story so far:

 

MAJOR SPOILER WARNING!

 

Chapter One: The Hanging Edge

 

We have 5 random heroes who have, in one way or another, been involved in the great "purge" of Cocoon. Cocoon is a floating world that hovers over the lower, extremely hostile, world of Pulse. A magical being called a Fal'cie has been found in the town of Bodram(or something similar) and has taken a girl called Serah and made her it's L'Cie(a human chosen to do the Fal'Cie's bidding). As a result, everyone in the area at the time is being purged and sent to live on Pulse.

 

The game starts on a train with Serah's sister Lightning deciding she doesn't actually feel like being purged and plunging her sword into several guards who stand in her way. Sazh decides this is a great idea and leaves the train with her only to be attacked by a giant robot scorpion...thing.

 

After you defeat this and run around for a bit, the scene switches to Serah's fiancee Snow and his gang of loyal morons, who are known as NORA. You wander around for a bit and find a group of purge refugees next to a wrecked train. You decide it's a fantastic idea to give these random people weapons and tell them to go shoot the armored guards who are in the area. Snow is then joined by a random teenage boy's mother who insists that "Moms are tough!" before running off with a machine gun.

 

After this, gameplay switches between Snow and Lightning a few times as you run about for a bit until, as Snow, you run headlong into a giant robot something that decides to kill you. Snow spots a rocket launcher lying around randomly, does a strange barrell roll through the air to grab it and, because he's a complete moron, misses it completely. He realises he's going to die but is suddenly saved by the random mother getting a perfect shot with the rocket launcher and destroying the robot. However, this completely destroys the bridge you are on and Snow ends up hanging onto the edge with the mother gripping him. She demands that you "Take care of him!" before letting go of Snow and plummetting to her death.

 

We hear a boy scream and control switches to the random teenager, who is actually called Hope(of all possible names!) and a random girl called Vanille. They're in a camp that's being protected by NORA and have just witnessed Hope's mother's death. They go running up to Snow but he jumps on a ...flying motorbike and zooms away. Hope and Vanille decide to snatch one for themselves, zoom away and promptly crash into...

 

Chapter Two: The Pulse Vestige

 

You now control Vanille who promptly finds a random magic wand whiplike thing for her weapon and Hope pulls out a...boomerang. Thank God these two gain other skills later on. Oh, completely forgot to say; Lightning uses a style of sword called a Gunblade, Sazh uses a pair of handguns and Snow fistfights. You wander around for a while, find your crashed vehicle and jump a random barrier.

 

Control switches back to Snow who activates a random device and changes the layout of the level. Now your Lightning again, who immediately starts stroking a random glyph to gain access to The Pulse Vestige(the horrifying Fal'Cie I mentioned before).

 

Control switches back and forth as you make your way through the map and fight random monsters. All the characters eventually meet up exactly where Serah happens to be. She sees you all there, announces that you can "Save us all!", starts to cry and turns to crystal. 0_o!? Snow catches, and pockets, a crystalized tear. Lightning flies into a rage and everyone follows her to beat up Anima, the Fal'Cie. You manage it, but Anima has the last laugh. It captures all five of you and brands you as dreaded L'Cie.

 

Outside, the local army manage to shoot and destroy The Pulse Vestige, plunging you all down into the lake below...

 

Thoughts so far:

 

I like it. I can complain and criticize it A LOT but I still like the base story.

 

So far, the battle system lets the game down as the basic set up is that you're given an "auto-attack" command but, at this point of the game, all you can do is the most basic attack. You also gain nothing to advance your characters in these encounters either.

 

Character wise, I definetally like Lightning the most so-far. Sazh isn't really shown much yet as he has no real link with Serah. Snow is arrogant and annoying, Vanille is strangely upbeat and Hope just whines. Saying this, I don't have a problem with Hope like others. Hope just saw his mother die, of course he's going to whine, he's supposed to be fourteen years old!

 

...wow, that went on for longer than expected XD

 

Shall do Chapter Three soon =)

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I really like the battle system in this game, but the linear-ness killed it for me. I played for 25 hours and still wasn't at an open world area... ended up moving on to other games. Someday I'll get back into it and finish it.

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