First and foremost, I am a huge Final Fantasy fan and this is my first review of a Final Fantasy game! To this day Final Fantasy remains my favorite game franchise.
With that said, Final Fantasy XIII is in my opinion, one of the weaker installments in the series. The visuals are stunning, the music is utterly fantastic, the voice acting is pretty decent, but the characters kind of suck. The story, when combined with the characters really blows. However, I think the story could be much more appealing by simply having better quality characters to go with. And then there are my issues with overly linear gameplay and arguably highly simplified combat system.
Moving throughout the game feels like sitting in a cart in a theme park following a track. The freedom to venture off, sight see and explore is missing for most of the game. When you finally do get to explore, it’s just in one massive field. In previous FF games you can pilot an airship around the entire planet. But not in FFXIII. And personally, that is my biggest disappointment in the series since FFX was released.
The combat system is a cool idea, but I think it would be better suited for a mobile spin off version of the game. FFXIII deserves so much more when it comes to combat. No longer can you give your characters commands and masterfully build a strategy around their every move. Much like in XII, your characters are automated and basically play the game for you. I understand this is a solution to being able to make the fights have more movement in a shorter amount of time, but to me, having the game play for me just is not as fun. I do enjoy it a bit, but when compared to the older combat systems in previous titles, it does not hold up.
As far as the port to PC, it’s great that they did it, but they obviously do not understand their PC audience very well. They should have known how upset we would all be upon finding out the game is locked at 720p. There are seriously zero PC settings beyond “Windowed or Fullscreen?”. Thankfully, on day 1 a kind gentleman created a mod that unlocks the resolution and allows you to customize.
Despite my complaints, I hear good things about the sequels and plan on playing them as (if) they release on Steam. I am glad I played XIII, and even though it does not feel like a Final Fantasy game anymore, it has it’s moments that trigger feelings of nostalgia from previous titles. If you are already a fan of FF, jump into this expecting something completely different. If you are not, jump into this and enjoy, but do not judge the entire series through this game alone. The older ones are better.