Final Fantasy XIII Review - ChaosWOTW
By ChaosWOTW

Final Fantasy XIII Review

By: ChaosWOTW

Hello there FFTogether, this is your fellow member ChaosWOTW reviewing the latest installment in the Final Fantasy franchise. Does this new addition a worthy addition to the franchise? I am here to review the game's overall performance: The Story, Gameplay, and Music. We will find out in this review. Enjoy!

Story: 6/10

The game's story is sort of bland and dumps you right in the middle of it. I'm not saying the story is bad, but it really starts off bad and with really horrible writing. Do we really need Snow to be saying him and his "posse" are heroes? What were they trying to do exactly with this? Appeal to 13 year olds? I don't understand.. Enough about Snow...

The first ten chapters are somewhat boring and linear. The linearity is not as bad as Final Fantasy X's, but the chapters offer nothing interesting but character development. The game really starts to get interesting after the first 20 hours or so, but it really wasn't necessary to make us sit through all of that. Once you get to Gran Pulse, the game really begins. It starts at Chapter 11 out of the 13 chapters. I shake my head at this...

The characters luckily make the game worthwhile playing. There are some characters who are weak in character development (Snow) while others are strong (Hope/Vanille). The characters are still overall interesting and makes the story worth sitting through. Don't expect to play it a second time unless you really want to.

Gameplay: 8/10

This is luckily where the game shines... well, for the most part. For the first 2 chapters, you have nothing but the power to attack, use a special attack and use items. You are introduced to magic, Crystarium, Paradigms and TP abilities (Summons and certain attacks) later. Which then makes combat more interesting. You don't have to wait long, unlike the story. You have the Auto-Battle Option, which if you continuously use this; you are guaranteed to get bored of this game by the first 10 hours. So no, I advise you to not use it or even look at it. Sadly, there isn't too much depth when it comes to the selecting. You only have a certain number of skills and that's basically it. Once you get later into the game, you are going to probably be sick of seeing Fire and Fire all over again. Where are the classic spells like Meteor, Holy or Ultima?

This game is very strategic. If you don't have a set Paradigm, which are sort of like classes, you will not get far in this game. Your party can get totally messed up if you don't set the right paradigms, just use the ones that seem right to you.

There is no EXP in this game (or strangely gil bonuses...), after each battle you gain CP (Crystarium points). Which you can use on the Crystarium Grid I mentioned earlier. It's sort of a interesting progression, and to keep you from being overleveled: there is a level cap for each chapter until you defeat a boss. This is good and bad in a way. Good so you can not overlevel and think you can wipe out every enemy in the game. Bad because then battles become totally meaningless. Everyone starts out with three classes (For example: Hope starts out with Ravager - Use magic attacks, Synergist - Buff up your party, and Medic - Do I need to explain what a medic does?). Once you get to Chapter 10, every character is free to use every class in the game. You will spend a lot of time utilizing that.

There are summons for each character, and will cost a total of 3 TP to use. You will have to "tame" your Eidolon first before you are able to use them. Summons come throughout the story, some are introduced to your characters late (ALEXANDER + HECATONCHIER!!!) but that doesn't mean they are useless. Gestalt Mode seems kind of weird, I didn't know the summons of Final Fantasy became Transformers... but it's overall fun to control.

Music: 8/10

The soundtrack is composed by Masashi Hamauzu. Who, along with Nobuo Uematsu and Junya Nakano, composed Final Fantasy X's soundtrack. The soundtrack is not the best in the series, but I have to say that it is really good.

Most music are completely touching or give a feeling of hope or give you the courage to keep on fighting. The main battle theme Blinded By Light is superb and one of the best in the series, a record formally held by Final Fantasy VIII's Don't Be Afraid. There are some compositions that are not very good.

Fighting Fate is one of them in my opinion. Hamauzu just doesn't get the chanting right and the loud music seems to override what the lyrics are. All I hear is Ragnarok and the rest is gibberish due to the music overriding the lyrics. Born Anew sounds better at times then this. At least there's no Otherworld in this soundtrack.

But overall, you will be amazing at what Mr. Hamauzu composed here and be completely wowed by it.

The Verdict?

Final Fantasy XIII is not disappointing, but it could have done a lot better. With most of the time it's story dragging on and on for so many hours and combat doesn't supply too much depth. The game has potential, although at times fails to utilize it.

Chaos? Is a worthy addition to the franchise? Sadly, I will have to be on the edge of saying Yes or No. The story doesn't feel like a Final Fantasy (Magic is forbidden only to certain monsters, L'Cie and fal'Cie? Get out of my face XIII.) The gameplay is the only saving grace that makes me feel that this is a worthy addition.

There are Pros and Cons to each game, and Final Fantasy XIII has them as well. Whether or not this is a rent or go out and buy this immediately is up to you as a Final Fantasy fan to decide.

Overall: 7.8

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