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At Last: Final Fantasy XIII

March 9, 2010 by  

Today we witness the release of one of the most highly anticipated games of the decade; Final Fantasy XIII. This title was actually first teased at way back in 2006, so the long road to release has been staggering. Well, that wait is finally over and we can all sit down to what will surely be the gaming event of the year.

Released in December over in Japan, Final Fantasy XIII has actually amassed a little controversy since its unveling, and the reviews received for the game haven't quite been the straight aces developers Square Enix were hoping for. The main reason for this is that Final Fantasy XIII has quite drastically revised the fundamental gameplay associated with the franchise, and indeed the RPG genre as a whole. Gone are NPCs, interactive towns and an instantly open world.


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Instead, Final Fantasy XIII is a lot more linear and story driven. Players follow quite a tightly set path for the first 25 hours or so of play. Following this, the gameplay opens up and players are free to follow their own choices a little more. This has been a major gripe amongst some, whereas others welcome the more focussed and cinematic approach. It really does depend on your preference.

One element which has been universally applauded is the combat system, which is made up of an innovative mesh of X and XII. Players are now able to 'stack' actions, and the more you can stack increases as you level up. Furthermore, in Final Fantasy XIII there are various different roles your characters can play, such as healer and tank, and gamers are free to shift these roles during fights.

It goes without saying that the graphics in this title are breathtaking. Presentation has always been Square Enix's strongpoint, and the franchise has always offered top range visuals. Being the first of the franchise to hit the next gen consoles, Final Fantasy XIII is, without a doubt, the best looking videogame ever. The cut scenes are so detailed and beautiful you'll want to stare at them all day, and the in-game graphics are good enough to rival the FMVs of lesser games.

Throw in an undoubtedly epic storyline, and you have the biggest game of the year. It may be a little different to what you're used to, but overall Final Fantasy XIII is just what everyone's been waiting for. Masterful combat, achingly beautiful visuals and a guartenteed 60+ hours of gameplay mean Final Fantasy is back with a vengeance. Let the adventure begin.

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