The next long awaited iteration of the Final Fantasy franchise is here! Well, it is if you live in Japan or you’re willing to import it. This first look at Final Fantasy XIII is for those who are unsure of whether or not they should import this game now or wait until the game is released in their own region. Rest assured, however, a full review of the game will come once it has been completed!
Final Fantasy XIII seems to have once again reinvent the feel of the series. This time I believe it is for the better. The battles flow smoothly, and they are not without challenge. About 8 hours into FFXIII, I have died a few times and had around a dozen close calls, so it is not “easy” outside of the first couple hours. It does, of course, start off quite easy and works you up to the harder fights.
There are a handful of interesting points I would like to make about Final Fantasy XIII, though. These are neither positive or negative, only interesting. First, everything has it’s own level. Everything from weapons and accessories to the “Crystarium” (the leveling system this time around, think the sphere grid but unique to each character and with multiple layers that must be unlocked by progressing through the game). Second, the main “attack” option in the battles doesn’t simply attack, rather it chooses an “optimum” series of attacks for the specific target based on the available abilities in the mode you are in. Thus, the strategy lies less in which attacks to do and more in who to attack and which mode to be in. The last interesting point I would like to make is really an all-out positive (yes, despite what I said earlier). FFXIII for the PS3 supports 480p, 720p. 1080i, and (no joke!) 1080p! Now, I really don’t think it is running in native 1080p, but the upscaling does look really nice. So far, the graphical fidelity seems to surpass Metal Gear Solid 4, which is pretty impressive.
Well, that’s all for now! More details will come later, of course. If you have any specific questions, feel free to leave a comment and I’ll gladly try to answer any questions about the game. For those who are already convinced, you might as well import Final Fantasy XIII!
Have fun playing!
(update: The full Final Fantasy XIII review is now available)