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Day One Review – “Final Fantasy XIII: Lightning Returns”

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FFXIII username: jzhnutz

I have been playing, or around, Final Fantasy games for 22 years – since I was eight years old. I can always remember in anticipation when we knew a new Final Fantasy game was going to be released – my dad even bought a Playstation 2 when he found out he could only play the next Final Fantasy game on that system. Needless to say, Final Fantasy was a small, but important part of growing up. With Square Enix’s latest release, the anticipation, at least for me, was the same. Yes, I read the “pre” reviews, I read the negatives and the insecurities of Final Fantasy players and reviewers, but I did not care… I had to have this game.

Should I Have Listened?

Maybe I should have, but then again, I only played a total of an hour (a real hour – not the in game clock hour) – so, without trying to write paragraph upon paragraph, I am simply going to list my pros and cons:

Pros:
– The Fighting System: Yes, it is designed so that you can fight with only one character and yet feel like you have three characters, but I do like the approach… yet, see cons

– “Open” World: It seems you can do a lot more exploring, and the story does not seem as linear as the previous games in this series… yet, see cons

– Social Media: I actually like the fact I can post battle scores, etc and challenge friends and other FFXIII players – I didn’t like doing this in the past, but Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag reall opened me up to this

Cons:
– The Fighting System: Maybe it is me, but nothing really seems clear while fighting, and this is the first time I have ever been able to say that about a Final Fantasy game. Also, schemata is neat, but it is also confusing, especially early on – and though I am sure it will get clearer as the game progresses, it is still a burden

– “Open” World – Yeah, nice big maps, no linear binds, freedom to go where you please – sound great right? Yeah, until 6:00 (am) and you forgot to cast Chronostasis (or ran out of EP) and you get transported to the Ark, and now it is the next day. Again, everything assures me this gets better as the game goes on – a non issue – yet, it is a promise that Square Enix as failed again – this causes the story and game TO be linear – until such time as its not, just like FF XIII and FFXIII-2 – it must be a cultural thing, either that or SE just doesn’t get it. Without the clock, this game would be a 100 times better – make it harder and longer, but forget the clock

– The Graphics – They suck, period. Nothing has changed since FF XIII. I get it, this is PS3/XBox 360 – but come on, no graphics change since 4 years ago??

– The Story – I hesitated to put this in here… unlike most FF players, I could truly careless about the story – yeah, I’ll watch the cinematics, etc, but I do not get totally invested in the characters. However, this story, if this was a Star Wars novel, would make Star Wars readers worship Troy Denning as a god… seriously, this is how stupid, bland and childish this story is. It makes no sense, it has no emotion, and it is worse then those annoying giggles – which still exist

All that being said, it is still Final Fantasy…

My Rating: C+ (7.9)

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