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blazemanx

Review: Final Fantasy XIII

By: blazemanx Jul 18, 2011 | 8 Comments

Final Fantasy XIII stands out from the pack!

I have been wondering for a while why there is such a mix of reviews for this game and I honestly believe that with Final Fantasy being a long established series, there are those that will get angry with any changes that may happen. So i took it upon myself to give this game a try. I am not a die hard FF fan but i have played a few including the critically acclaimed FF7. With that said this is one of if not THE best in the series and here is why. 

Story:

Ah yes, what jrpgs and this series is known for and this installment delivers on story. Without giving too much away, on Cocoon, a small floating planet in the sky, the main characters gain powers from a god-like beast called a F'alcie that happens to originate from the world below: Pulse. Years ago both Pulse and Cocoon were in a great war trying to destroy one another.

As the main characters powers stem from Pulse, the Cocoon government fears they will unleash their powers and destroy their home. People fear Pulse and for the greater good, the Cocoon government wants you dead.

What unfolds is a brilliant story that is very obvious was not thought of overnight. Enhancing the story is the "Datalog" which leads you read some back-story or get further information on current events.

Furthermore, all dialogue is voice acted. And yes they delivered. Each characters voice matches wonderfully with their characters and the acting is superb
(minus one villains voice actor in a scene figuring out what color code means what - Code red? no wait or is it code purple? What about blue?).

The story unfolds very much like a soap opera and an extremely entertaining and enthralling one at that. It is definitely geared more toward mature gamers, so those who have no emotions or are extremely childish or immature may not like it as much, but what has been written is truly amazing. The character development in this game is really good, rarely have i liked a cast this much Lighting and Sazh are just awesome.

 

 

Music & Sound:

The Final Fantasy series always shines here and this installment is no exception. The music whether it be field music or battle music is all superb. The only complaint I really had was the main theme on the title screen is used a LOT in the game. Many different renditions of it but I wish it wasn't repeated as much. However, each rendition is beautiful and fits the story at that point so its not a terrible thing.

The battle themes are great too. The main theme is fun and upbeat with some killer violin thrown in. Later on you get a few more battle songs as well depending on the location and they are all awesome. 

Graphics:

All I can say is WOW! The graphics are fantastic. The detail in everything is phenomenal right down to the character's locks of hair. It can be hard to tell when your watching a pre rendered scene or not. Each chapter has one basic look depending on the environment so the world around you can get boring at times, but it still looks great.

 

Gameplay:

Ok so the Linearity complaint. Sure it's linear to a certain point. However, It's still an amazing game.
The Linearity complaint is overused and is only valid if this game were boring and NEEDED more freedom. But the game flows so well that this really is a non-issue.

You will have great fun. The longer you play, the better it gets. And it starts out REALLY good. You don't need to get halfway through to enjoy it.

The way this game flows from battle, to scene, to cinematic cut-scenes all flow in such a way where you will not think to yourself "OMG THIS IS TOO LINEAR I WANT TO GO WHEREVER I WANT!"

You will just continue plowing through and getting more and more into the story and game.

Combat here is done superbly. Some say with auto-battle that the fun is ruined. To those who say this.....well don't use auto-battle!

 To all others....the battle system is addictive as hell even using auto-battle.

Let's look at Final Fantasy 7's battle system. You control your characters. Move the cursor up or down and hit X to select attack, magic, defend, or item. Once doing so you pick the skill you want or item.

Here you control your main character, move the cursor up or down for auto-battle, class skills to use, techniques, or items and hit X.

Oh wait....its the same......Except here you can use auto-battle which generally uses (but not always) the best attacks for an enemy if you have identified its weaknesses.

And one more thing.....you can (and must) change your classes during battle! By hitting L1, you can access up to six groups of three classes you select before battle. Each class has different skills so you must chose what classes you need at the right moment....or you are dead.

In actuality, this makes the battle system here more advanced than any previous Final Fantasy game. This is because you MUST think on your feat, and you benefit from having the right classes. So you actually have more options than Final Fantasy 7 or 8 .... or any other in the series.

The battle system here is addictive as hell and this is by far the most difficult Final Fantasy game there is. Although in later chapters you can grind and actually make the main game pretty easy, those that don't grind will see how much more difficult this is than any other in the main series.

And of course there are bosses harder than the final boss! Some secret hunts will have you ripping your hair out until you become beastly strong and most of these you can't kill until you beat the game and unlock level 10 of the crystarium.

Speaking of the crystarium.....think Sphere Grid from 10. Except you can't delete nodes. It's an alright system. Not the best but each character has their own specific skills and stats so there will be times that its best to have a certain character in your team.

 

 

Final Verdict: BUY IT!

It took me a little over 60 hours to complete this game. So in terms of length FF13 delivers and its a fun ride all the way through. As for post game features you can complete 64 missions which consist of defeating strong monsters and even some STRONG, HUGE, and HARD monsters. In my opinion this is one of the greatest Final Fantasy's out there. The battle system is the most fun of any that I have played. It is fast paced like most other games these days and keeps you on your toes. The music is beautiful and the graphics even more so. The strong characters and major character development also enriches this epic adventure.

Let us know what you think and don't be a jimmy.

Community Blog

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Thank you Gouki.com

By: blazemanx Jun 6, 2011 | 5 Comments

i just got my jimmy of the month prize in the mail and i want to show my appreciation

Today is actually my 6 month anniversary here on gouki.com and it is commemorated with my jimmy of the month prize. I have truly enjoyed my 6 months as a member of this awesome website and im excited to see where gouki.com will go from here. I want to thank the boss man goukijones and all of those who work to keep gouki.com #1 i appreciate the hard work you guys do.

I will start on this game as soon as im finished with my second play through of star ocean the last hope. Once again i say thank you to gouki.com #1 in the world baby.

I edited down just a little bit. Good luck understanding what any of the Final Fantasy XIII characters are talking about, the entire game is like this. The combat shows my strategy against Cid Raines.

Cid Raines beat the shit out of me for three days. It sucks that if the party leader dies, it's game over. I hate that about Final Fantasy XIII. I finally figured out how to beat him and I captured it. So I hope you enjoy. I editing the story a little to avoid spoilers and hopefully make a little more entertaining for you. 

The most serious and real first impressions ever. I only had a very little time with these games yesterday. Here's what I thought ...

I played all of 10 minutes of Battlefield Bad Company 2 yesterday. I started it up mid afternoon. I couldn't see shit! The entire first level or at least as far as I got was completely pitch black. Even with the blinds closed and the brightness bumped up, I couldn't tell which way to go or who to shoot at. I died really fast.

Something that stands out about BFBC2 that I did notice in the little time I had was the sound. I've always enjoyed the sound effects in this series.  I want to give the multiplayer a shot, if I can drag myself away from the Borderlands. If you love shooters or RPG's or just opening treasure chests, I can not believe you haven't played Borderlands yet. Jimah!

 

Blur. WTF is Blur. Well it's a new racing game from these Jimmys who call themselves, Bizarre Creations. Blur is a racing game with a dramatic slice of Mario Kart. Any racing game that adds explosions and mines and other tools to destroy the Jimmys you're racing against is cool with me. I played this for like 2 hours last night and I'm pretty sure if you follow me on Twitter you saw me reporting my stats. The in game Twitter updates are cool! You still might have a chance to get in the Beta, here's one way click here.

I played Final Fantasy XIII for 2 and half hours last night. Mostly just tutorials on how to fight. I got a little taste of how the combats gonna be later on in the game and I'm really looking forward to that. The graphics are amazing, I bet it does look better on the PS3, I just don't care that much to turn on my PS3 unless I'm going to watch some blu-ray porn or The Tester. So I'm gonna hop back on FFXIII right now and see where it takes me. All you Jimmys telling me how good it is better not be just pulling some elaborate prank.

Community Blog

jalexbrown

First Impressions: Final Fantasy XIII

By: jalexbrown Mar 10, 2010 | 2 Comments

I stayed up all night to play Final Fantasy XIII enough to give you guys my first impressions. Read all about what I'm thinking after five straight hours.

Let's just go ahead and get it out of the way up front, shall we?  Yes, Final Fantasy XIII is more linear than the other games in the series.  A lot of gamers will tell you that it's linear to the point of being bad, but I'm here to tell you as a JRPG purist that the linearity in Final Fantasy XIII is very far from game-breaking.  In fact, the linearity brings with it some of the best and most enjoyable content I've gotten out of any of the Final Fantasy games to date.

I myself was a little bit concerned about the linearity going into Final Fantasy XIII, but after playing the game, the linearity works so much to the advantage of it.  You see, Final Fantasy XIII also happens to be one of the most story-driven iterations that has ever been released.  Final Fantasy XIII has a focus that I have to say I'm loving.  Most of the game's first five hours will feed you the story in managable, bite-sized chunks, but via an in-game encyclopedia of sorts, the game is rich with optional content that you can read and take in when you feel so inclined.  While I've found it handy to examine the in-game encyclopedia every time there's an addition to it (the game kindly notifies you when there's been an addition via an icon that will appear in the corner), I'm convinced that you could go through the first five hours of the game reading a minimal amount of what's included in it, so long as you pay extra attention to the story as it unfolds via the cut-scenes and CGI.  That said, to not read the encyclopedia would be a shame, because the developers put so much time into fleshing out the story, and while a lot of the little details aren't immediately necessary, you'd be missing a lot of the attention to detail to pass it up.


Speaking of CGI and cut-scenes, Final Fantasy XIII is gorgeous.  I'm playing it on the PS3, and the visuals are fantastic.  The animations in-game are very smooth, and the combat feels very fluid as a result of the well-crafted animation.  That brings me to something else that the linearity actually ends up providing to the game: the camera angles and on-screen action has a much more focused presentation as a result of trimming down.  There were literally dozens and dozens of moments, just in the first five hours, that my jaw dropped at the visuals.

The combat in Final Fantasy XIII is very unique as well.  Take the turn-based formula, throw in a dash of Final Fantasy XII - AI controlled partners - give it a unique type of job system, and then base the character customization options on something loosely based on the Grid Sphere from Final Fantasy X; if you can combine all of those elements together, you have something in the proximity of Final Fantasy XIII.  Don't be fooled, though; even though there's a lot of different elements being combined here, Square Enix made all these different elements mesh together in a way that feels very smooth and organic.  With a little bit of practice, you'll have the combat system down pat.  It's nice to see that Square Enix got two of the most important JRPG aspects down pat this time around: a great story and exciting, compelling combat between plot points.

The character roster so far has done a great job of maintaining diversity, and you really believe in the motives of the characters while simultaneously feeling bad for the characters who just sort of ended up at the wrong place at the wrong time and ended up getting wrapped up in something they really had no part in.  There is one character - though I'll save mentioning a name for now - that has a sort of happy-go-lucky personality that does go overboard at times, especially considering the situations that the characters are finding themselves in.  But other than this one particular character, I've not ran across any other characters that particularly grinded my nerves.  Just be warned that there is at least one character in the game that will probably make you want to take a cheese grater to your face.

There's not one thing I could pick out that makes Final Fantasy XIII such a standout title; it's really a combination of extreme focus and generally well-designed gameplay.  I'm sure there's more I could go on about just from the first five hours, but it would be a waste for me and a waste for you.  I'd be wasting time I could be spending playing it, and I'd be ruining for you the excitement of being able to go in not quite sure what to expect.  But rest assured that, if you're a Final Fantasy fan, this game doesn't disappoint.

EDIT: I did forget to mention the fact that Final Fantasy XIII is very much Westernized from previous entries in the series.  The game will restore everyone's HP after every fight, so it won't take you long to have a ridiculous stockpile of potions that are only worth anything in combat.  But that shouldn't imply that the game is a cakewalk, because I've already encountered a few bosses that will tear you up repeatedly until you master the intricicies of the combat system.  The linearity and Westernization might be enough to turn some people away, but if you're playing for a great story and fun combat, you'll easily overlook the Westernization and linearity.

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