Writing first thoughts on a game that already is out for more than one year is a bit cheesy, but it has to be done! Final Fantasy Thirteen is amazing! First, there is the graphics. Never seen so much visual detail on characters. Why did I got it for the PS3, you ask? It didn’t matter to me that the PS3 release got the better visuals, neither did the fact it comes along on a single Blu-Ray disk and not on 4 ordinary DVDs such as the X360 release. To me, a Final Fantasy game belongs to a Playstation. The first FF I got for my PSX (I guess it was Part Six). Some people still know Final Fantasy being part of Nintendo for some time, but not me because I grew up with Sega.
Anyways. The graphics do a great job by bringing the playable characters to life and making them beliveable. It already could touch my emotional side during one or two cutscenes, except for that naiv and hilarious love-story. Disgusting! The only problem that destroys this greatness of the presentation of characters is that FF13 is too japanese!
Would you, if you notice in reallife that your best friend worries about something, make a “hmmmmm!” sound before you ask him whats wrong? I wouldn’t. Would you note your head like a pupet once your boss at work tells you to get moving? I wouldn’t. Its this kind of japanese-like reactions that ruin most of the beliveability of characters. The same for the looks of some. They look like anime figures with crazy hairstyles and clothing in just not fitting color combinations. Anime-geeks will love Final Fantasy 13 even more because of it, but it just doesn’t work to me.
As for any other Final Fantasy game, except hopefully great storytelling, does the combat system define if its a good FF or not. To be honest, the combat in Thirteen is pretty difficult at first. I’m still stuck inside this not less than 15 hour long lasting pipe-tutorial and try out any already possible item, weapon or party combination to be ready for specific encounters. Its not like that the designers threw you into cold water, since the different roles and paradigms get explained very well. I cant go into detail right now, but trial, error and having a challenge is an essential part of Thirteens Combat system and makes a lot of fun.
The storytelling actually is pretty good and doesn’t really slows down, even after 6 hours playing it straight. The wish to know what will happen next is too big to let the game pad go. I wonder where this game leads me too. My first impression of the game is pretty great!