Final Fantasy Xiii is NOT The Bad Video Game People Say It is!
Final Fantasy XIII should stand as a solo game apart from the series.
It’s been months since I last played Final Fantasy XIII. Whenever I buy a Final Fantasy game I expect something similar to Final Fantasy VII and Final Fantasy X since those are the two first Final Fantasy games I’ve played. After playing Final Fantasy XIII I was shocked – the gameplay was different, the storyline was different, and everything about it was different. It was just…different!
But it took me several months later to appreciate this game. Final Fantasy XIII wasn’t “different” (in the bad context people put it), but “unique”. Final Fantasy XIII should be treated as a separate entity from the normal take-turns-fighting-kiss-love-thegirldies Final Fantasy franchise.
Because Final Fantasy XIII plays like a Movie
Final Fantasy XIII’s strength comes from its theatrical appeal. Throughout the game you are switching between different characters and viewing their part in the story. This is why there isn’t really a main character, and why the game is so linear. This is not a game where you can determine your fate – your fate is already set for you! Hell, even the Fal’Cie would agree (being “branded” by Fal’Cie).
Because Final Fantasy XIII focuses on the gaming aspect, not the Story
Too many people are focused on the story aspect of Final Fantasy XIII, many even claiming that Final Fantasy “died” after Final Fantasy X. Well, that’s complete poppycock! While Final Fantasy XIII doesn’t have the usual romance-driven storyline signature of a lot of past Final Fantasy games, the storyline is still good, if not better. Like I said before, it plays like a movie. You start as simple humans then transform into L’cie. While there is some romance (Snow and Sera), it revolves around humanity, friends, and teamwork.
Because Final Fantasy XIII was played when you were not a Kid
This doesn’t apply for everyone, of course, but generally, games played when you are very young (10 and under) will be more meaningful to you. Personally, I think Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask is the best game of all time. BUT, no matter what I do, I can’t put any other game higher than that, even though there are several games out there that have better graphics, content, and gameplay than Majora’s Mask. Same goes with Final Fantasy X (and VII for others, especially those who cried when Aeris died).
So put your biases aside and look at Final Fantasy XIII for what it is – a fantastic game that branches away from the norm. A rebel game, you could say, but a great one nevertheless.
Anyway, I digress. The real focus in Final Fantasy XIII is the action-driven gameplay. Instead of being able to turn your game complete off during a fight while you go the bathroom, the battle requires your utmost attention. You control only one character to avoid confusion (in the case of abilities). However, teamwork comes from the Paradigm system that is key to winning. You switch between several paradigms depending on the situation that you are in, and you fight until they die (or you).
It’s extremely fun, and a much better version and improvement from Final Fantasy XII’s free-style battling. Now that was a complete mess.
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