Saturday, March 31, 2012

Final Fantasy XIII Fabula Nova Crystallis

Name:  Final Fantasy XIII
Developer: Square Enix
Year: 2010
Platform: Xbox 360, Playstation3
Genre: Role Playing Game
Time Spent: 40-50 Hours main Game, 80+ for every content + trophies

Intro: Like I said I would, I was going to go into Fabula Nova Crystallis, the story that revolves around Final Fantasy, XIII-1/2, Type-0 and Versus XIII. Since we should probably start with what we have lets begin with XIII-1. The first game released for this story. Although it doesn't tell much about the story of Fabula Nova Crystallis it is a great game to kick off. 

Story: The Story begins somewhat abrubt. After a scene where 1 woman kicks ass and doesn't chew bubblegum you are thrown into battle. It seems the character you control is someone named Lightning, and aloth with that, Sazh, the guy with the afro hair with a chocobo chick in it. Along in this area you get to know Snow, the leader of the rebellion called Nora. Vanille, a very optimistic girl, seeing the situation they are in. And Hope, a child that can't take all this violance anymore and whines quite a lot.
After some playtime with all of them you meet Serah, Lightning's sister and apparently the fiancée of Snow. She turns to Crystal just when you meet though. Turns out there are Semi Gods in this world called Fall Cie.
They have the power to turn human's into L'cie. Fullfill your task and you turn to Crystal forever. Fail? You are turned into a horrible monster called a Cieth'. Needless to say, if you are branded you are out of luck, and as it turns out every partymember gets branded as a L'Cie by a Fal Cie of an opposing planet called Pulse. Now branded traitors by the government you have to save yourself and try to break this cursed system of the Fall Cie on the planet Pulse and your own planet called Cocoon.

Gameplay: This game uses the familiar ATB bar again just like in older Final Fantasies like 8 and 12. However, it has segments this time. You start up with 2 segment but you can end up with a total of 6. You can fill every segments with an action such as attack or fire or cure. Stronger attack's such as blitz, Blizzaga and Haste fill up more bars because they are stronger. This way you can fill the gauge with a combination of attacks to defeat your enemy. 
However, you mainly use auto attack in this game. If you scan your opponent trough the use of libra or a librascope you learn the weaknesses of your enemy yourself. Auto batlle automatically chooses the right option for you. Due to the low amount of skills you sttart out with you are sadly beginning the first 1/4 of the game only pressing X/A to auto battle which might be quite boring.
You control only 1 Character in game. To at least have some control over battle this game introduces paradigm shift. Every character isn't stuck to 1 roll although they usually excell in something. You have Commander(physical attack), Ravanger (magic), Medic (heals), Saboteur (debuff), Synergist (buffs), Sentinel (defense). In a paradigm deck you can make 6 combinations of these. You can make medic medic medic for quick heals, Commander Ravanger Ravanger for fast damage. Every time you shift in battle you switch to a deck that you need at the moment, instead of choosing what actions you make, instead you are mainly choosing what roles you need at a certain point in battle, making it really fast paced.
Outside of battle is a bit boring I have to say. The main problem with this game is that it is VERY linear. Chapter 11/12 is the first one where you can explore, the rest of the game you are spent following a certain path. Combined with the easy early auto battle this game starts of slowly.

Audio/Visual: With this game being the first on the next gen console the graphics really jump out of your screen. The opening video takes you away and the good part is. IT DOESN'T END. The graphics stay the same, in battle or viewing a scene, it doesn't matter at all. Even the texture of the clothes the people are wearing is made in great detail. Every area you visit has some remarkable contents. Varying from a dark dump to a vast green field with lots of animals flying or walking around. Graphics wise this game set a new tone for a Final Fantasy Game.
The soundtrack this time isn't made by Nobuo Uematsu, and you can notice it. This game has lots of orchestral music, even in the battle theme. There are also lots of soundtrack's with vocal's this time, even during gameplay. Luckily they don't have the overtone so there is quite a balance between gameplay, graphics and music here.  Too bad I can't forgive them for not having the classical victory tune though. 

Verdict: I really enjoyed this game, even though it was quite linear. I like going to places I shouldn't be and getting stronger items before fighting the main boss. Being stuck with sucky characters sometimes made it even harder but the story, the music and graphics all made it good for me. To be honest I even replayed it once more.

Fun Facts: Final Fantasy XIII...
...'s character Lightning was supposed to be a man? They changed it late into the process
... is the first game not to have a victory fanfare or a prelude.
... is the first part in Fabula Nova Crystallis? More on this later
... was supposed to have DLC but they skipped this. Also more on this later.
... Nora, the resistance group, is also the name of Hope's mom who died in the beginning of the game
... Mom's are though.

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