Top critical review
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Perfectly Flawed: Nice to Look at But Lacking in the Game Department.
on March 14, 2010
After having played Bioware's Dragon Age: Origins, which I think is the best RPG to come out in the past year in terms of gameplay/story, I was a bit dismayed by what many viewers are describing as a very linear game in FFXIII with lackluster gameplay and no consequential actions whatsoever. Everything is gorgeous to look at for sure and I actually thought perhaps this would have fared better as a str8-to-blu-ray Movie Trilogy release as I kind of felt like I was "playing" to see what happens in the cut scenes.
The story itself is somewhat compelling and interesting but average at best. I wasn't exactly hanging at the edge of my seat or drawn in by a Shakespearean plot. But I will admit that it's just so damned pretty to look at.
- Amazing visual experience/graphics are best I've seen to date.
- Interesting characters with intersecting POV/storyline
- Highly customizable character stats with "crystarium"
- A lot of grinding
- No consequences to any actions for most of the game except dying in battle.
- Convoluted plot with too many details for me to actually care for.
- very few NPCs to interact with
- Linear aspect prevents free-roaming/exploration except in some rare locations.
RPG-CRACK-ADDICTIVENESS: 6/10 because it's so pretty and I want to watch the cutscenes, not because I feel like I have to play.
That being said if you enjoy the Final Fantasy series you will probably not want to miss this. I would add that I don't base my reviews on purely visual aesthetics - while it is certainly an important factor to any video game release, I think a good game's strengths lie in the storytelling, characters, gameplay and how those factors all work together with the graphics which can be forgiven if it's actually that much fun to play. I will personally be looking more forward to trying out Heavy Rain and Dragon Age Awakening to remedy my RPG-crack-addict-fix.
Side Note: I've been reading a lot of "officially published reviews" on IGN/Gamespot and I don't know what kind of biased-sponsor-crack they've been smoking but I'm actually surprised everyone is giving this game such a high score when there are so many other great games out there. I'm a strong believer in plot-centric games that are actually fun to play.
UPDATE: I'm at Gran Pulse now and I am actually losing interest. The gameplay is super redundant. Wired Magazine did a really fair and unbiased review on their website and I'm glad someone out there has the critical thinking ability to discern what makes a game FUN. This game is JUST OK unless you're a FF Fan Boy.