Final Fantasy 13
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In FINAL FANTASY 13, you will embark on a journey through the cityworld of Cocoon and the outerworld of Pulse.
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Final Fantasy 13 is a Sony PlayStation 3 Strategy RPG game, written by Square Enix.
Guide to Final Fantasy 13 on the PlayStation 3
Final Fantasy 13 seems to be the last yet best hope of the JRPG genre as its much awaited PS3 release is finally here. FF13 hopes to continue on with the tradition of the franchise. It picks up where Final Fantasy 12 left off but incorporates some gutsy changes to the game design that will move it forward.
Final Fantasy 13 introduces you into an oppressive holy regime of Cocoon, which is set in the fictional floating city of the same name. Thus, gamers will be treated to a classic rebellion against an evil empire back story. The city floats above the rest of the world known as Pulse, and everyone from Cocoon is restricted to go out or you'd be in extreme danger.
Lightning is the main playable character in Final Fantasy 13 and accompanied by Sazh, which offers mainly the source of comic relief in the game. However, there are a total of six protagonists to choose from in the game, which will enable you to experience the action through different sets of eyes.
There are 20 named characters though, combining the playable characters and the NPCs, with which you will have to interact with at some point.
One of the most distinct changes introduced in Final Fantasy 13 is that the world map exploration is eliminated, along with the cities, random NPC interactions, mini games, side quests, and puzzles. Thus, gamers of FF13 can enjoy the freedom of going wherever they want and do whatever they please. You are literally jumping from one game map to another wherein you will combat wide range of enemies and take on different missions.
As for the gameplay mechanic in Final Fantasy 13, imagine a stripped down version of a quintessential JRPG and that is what you'll find here. The game transitions just as you would expect of a Final Fantasy game.
The action is fast-paced and you will encounter lots of real-time battles as you trudge along the map and meet enemies along the way. There are two major strong points in the gameplay for Final Fantasy 13, though that is worth mentioning: combat and character upgrade.
First off, the battle system in Final Fantasy 13 is impressive in nearly all aspects. All fights take place in real time wherein the gauge fills up in segments as you queue up command, then the ATB bar dictates the sequence and timing of the actions once they are executed.
Since there are three members in a party, you will only be able to choose action commands for your chosen character as the AI handles the other two in your party. There are several variables to work with in Final Fantasy 13's battle system for a strategic use of this system. Since the actions happen in real-time, you have to be quick on your toes when inputting preset combinations or the game will punish you. You can also infuse strategy in your combat approach by combining physical attacks with elemental magic such that you can boost the enemy chain break gauge and be able to easily decimate enemies.
Despite the complexity of the battle system, it is rather easy to pick up but if you fail to exploit this system, then you could wind up in long battles, or worse game over screens. Your HP will automatically recharge at the end of each battle.
Before the start of each battle though, you need to assign a role for each member of your party in Final Fantasy 13. You must take the assignation of roles seriously as it will determine the abilities available to each member of the party.
There are a total of six roles to assign and choose from: Medic, Commando, Sentinel, Sabotuer, Synergist, and Ravager. Make sure that before you head into battle in FF13, that you have covered all essential roles and avoid putting all three Medics in there since they do not have attack in their arsenal. However, they play an important role in enabling your party members to recuperate and heal from damage.
Commandos have quite a potent melee attack and would serve a great asset in battle for Final Fantasy 13. On the other hand, Ravagers serve as support units with their magic-based abilities. Sentinels are more defensive in their combat approach; Meanwhile, Synergists and Saboteurs are important as buffers and de-buffers, respectively.
The level up system in Final Fantasy 13 is replaced with the Crystarium system, which is a three-dimensional stat building system somewhat similar to the sphere grid featured in FFX. After completing each battle, you will earn crystal points that will give some boost to your role-specific stats, auto-skills, and special moves to increase your chances of winning each battle in FF13.
During the first half of the game, most players won't give much weight to leveling up or upgrading their characters. However, when you're tossed into the game world map, the difficulty level will spike up, such that leveling up is important for your character to keep up.
You can also do combos in Final Fantasy 13, however there is a time gauge that offer limits to that. Thus, you cannot expect to perform combos ceaselessly but you have to let the time gauge fill up again before you can execute another combo. Queuing up commands is possible though, such that you can execute or quickly unleash a powerful combo when the time gauge is filled completely.
Outside of the gameplay, Final Fantasy 13 hold a lot of strengths that has earned its reputation as one of the big-time PS3 titles ever, not just as a JRPG. First off, its spectacular visuals could easily earn the game a recognition as one of the most visually compelling games ever made.
The adjustable camera remains a minor issue such that it does little to hurt the level of visual detail, which could easily compete with that of Avatar. The use of Final Fantasy 13 in-game graphic engine has produced impressive results from the character models, cut scenes, and detailed animations. The environments should be noted too, especially with how the developers have transformed the idea of Cocoon into life.
Moving over to the audio department, Final Fantasy 13 is just as compelling as its visuals had to offer. The use of guitar string melodies offer a sublime theme to the game, which helps to reinforce the establishment of the game atmosphere. Meanwhile, the use of electronic style tunes marries together a sense of fantasy and science fiction. Both the battle themes and voice work are notable audio features, as well.
Final Fantasy 13 is a major milestone for the franchise and as long-time fans of the series makes a return trip to the PS3 this year, it promises to be yet another explosive and fast-paced action. But more importantly, this game is going to set the standard for big budget titles in the years to come!
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