Final Fantasy XIII Review – The Intrinsic Contention

The battle within finally begins. Final Fantasy XIII captures the true nature of story-telling in the pages of gameplay that make up the masterpiece of the narrative. Final Fantasy XIII ensorcells players into a world of action, and a contrasting dichotomy of good vs. evil which furthers the nurture and attention that an elegant storyline requires. The struggles make us forlorn to the protagonist, the themes make us feel in tune within the world, and the form and mood of the storyline allow us to experience a decent narrative. Final Fantasy XIII uplifts the senses in its outline through encapsulating the audience in a RPG with unforgettable storyline which grasps our hearts, a diverse cast with personalities that are a wonder to discover, and presenting a unique piece of art designed with Fabula Nova Crystallis in mind after a long wait which was well deserved. Despite problems of repetition through the linearity, Final Fantasy XIII brings form of emotional tenacity that is tangible every minute within the world of Cocoon, and action which engages the audience through every plot-twist woven through drama.  Final Fantasy XIII acquiesces a storyline that is exceptional, achieving some level of respect in the name of the Final Fantasy series.

Over centuries ago, a prenatural being created through a crystal in his body created a floating Utopian continent in the atmosphere, which was to be isolated from the lascivious lands below. The fal’Cie creature created the grand Pulse as a new world without the Gran Pulse below. Machines were commissioned to be the guardians of the citizens as barriers were fortified to prevent any and all contact with the outside world, giving the bulging metropolis the name of Cocoon.  Seclusion came easy to the citizens of the world for many years, but the Cocoonians became curious as to why the Gran Pulse is restricted. With a recent contact with people from below, citizens became rife with doubt and curiosity, questioning their morality and scruples. The Sanctum, the governing entity of Cocoon, issued an edict:  any and all individuals suspected to be in contact with the world of Gran Pulse are to be banished from the safety of the continent and cast out into the ruthless underworld. Within this essential background, Final Fantasy XIII creates a revitalizing group of characters with exceptional voice acting that have their own reasons for taking a journey to the Gran Pulse. The thaumaturgic tension within the narrative, combined with the intricate character interaction is unforgettable. Lightning is the protagonist that is essentially on a quest to save her sister the fate of being marked an l’Cie, and she has a propensity for fighting and putting down anyone in her way. Characters themselves are part of the journey within the Final Fantasy XIII series, and as such no more details will be given. What does remain to be seen is unfathomable, parapsychological, and simply a story that revitalizes the soul through incredible narrative direction.

Final Fantasy XIII takes linearity and makes it a part of the gameplay mission structure aspect within the world. While some exceptions exist given certain side-quest monster missions, players are constantly moving forward within the Pulse Vestige.  When in the Pulse, there are several crystal points where the party can acquire missions.  These missions become similar to Hunts from Final Fantasy XII and involve battling monsters around the Pulse.  As these l’Cie failed to complete their assignments, this gives the party an interesting look into l’Cie tasks despite lowering the pacing of gameplay as a slight distraction in the midst of chaos. The linearity becomes further pronounced as the corridors of the level designs are usually narrow during mission.  Players do not pick and choose which characters they want to play as the storyline is divided amongst more critical chapters giving different aspects of the story from different perspectives and furthering the choice for storyline over convenience of the audience to select a certain individual to complete missions with throughout. The gameplay mission structure is described with the context of the storyline, which macadamizes one difference between Final Fantasy XIII and its predecessors comes to fruition: there are no towns to explore, no puzzles, no offset missions to complete. While this may seem like a negative thing to legacy players of the Final Fantasy series, this allows for the storyline to seem more focused than ever, and less about simplicity and more about balance between complicated and simple storyline aspects.

The battle system within Final Fantasy XIII has been more customized and tweaked to provide an increased nuance with tactical and seamlessness. The Command Synergy Battle begins the moment the player runs into an enemy, which transforms the field into a battle arena with a few enemies on-screen. Players can control one character out of the party of up to three characters. Every action is guarded by an Active Time Battle bar, essentially the stamina bar for the battle character. Every command for the battle party places the ATB Cost as a strategic and manageable aspect of the battle system, with the ATB bar being divded among different sections to represent higher costs. Variety of commands and attacks for each character is stunning and traditional moves such as Attack, Cure, Fire, and Summon make a return, with notable area-field strength spells that target larger groups. From these battles, players gain Crystarium Points in battle, and can use Crystarium Points to purchase statistic increases, abilities, and finally spells all of which can be used to further advance the character into higher levels of battle difficulty.  Final Fantasy XIII’s battle system takes a page from the predecessors, while focusing the need to be less turn-based and more dynamic and strategic through the use of linear item collection and character progression that works well for the type of battle gameplay.

Masashi Hamauzu work within Final Fantasy XIII is simply something worthy of mention. As a notable composer of the Final Fantsy X soundtrack, Masashi Hamauzu has composed melodies of string quartets composed of the Viol, the slow tone of the Lute, the sagely wisdom of the violins with the bold flavor of the techno inspired heavy beats creates a memorable Final Fantasy XIII soundtrack that is worth the purchase alone.

Final Fantasy XIII brings elements from the series into a new light of day while still reflecting on the traditional origins, making a game meticulous and beautiful at the same time. While Final Fantasy XIII revolves around the linearity of the gameplay that makes action repetitive, it superimposes a believable narrative with more focus and attention to minute detail with the enhanced Command Synergy Battle System that is more focused. Final Fantasy XIII paves the way to declare that despite repetition, a game can still hope to be great in a form of its own through other means despite some problems.

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