The Graphics in this game are amazing. One of the things that Enix boasted, was that the Graphics in this game would be breathtaking. And they are right. Sometimes you can see slight cheapness(some hair movements) But overall, the Environments are lush and beautiful, the character models are terrific, and the enemies(although re-used a lot in different colour schemes) are very well done.Story:4/5
The story in this game, at a glance, may seem to be a changed version of Final Fantasy 10's. But I assure you, it isn't. "The plot of Final Fantasy XIII takes place within the scope of two worlds, Pulse and Cocoon, and revolves around the story of the fal'Cie , mechanical beings with godlike power created by a being called the Maker. Each fal'Cie has crystals residing inside them. People who are marked by the fal'Cie are called l'Cie. Each l'Cie has a Focus, a goal the fal'Cie wants him or her to fulfill within a certain amount of time; however, the fal'Cie do not explicitly say what the goal is: l'Cie learn what their Focus is by interpreting visions that are given to them. L'Cie may also gain the ability to summon an Eidolon, monsters who fight with the l'Cie. However, if a l'Cie dies before completing his or her Focus, fails to tame his or her Eidolon, or fails to complete his or her Focus within a set period of time, he or she becomes a monster known as a Cie'th. If a l'Cie does complete his or her Focus, the reward is not much better: transformation into a crystal, sometimes permanently, sometimes for indeterminate lengths of time that may range from days to years to centuries.
In many cases, crystal beings revert to their humanoid forms, only to determine the next mission and Focus given to them by their fal'Cie overlords, complete their new tasks, or fall and become a Cie'th. For this reason, being chosen as a l'Cie is seen as a curse by nearly everyone (apart from those rare individuals who see the whole cycle as a means of achieving near-immortality)." (Wikipedia).
The story only begins there, but gives us many entertaining moments, exciting plot points, and a terrific and original ending that most Final Fantasy games do not do. Gameplay:4/5
Like the previous parts of this review, the Gameplay in this game is awesome, but not perfect. To break this down in an easy-2-read way, I'll start with the
The Battlesystem is much like Final fantasy 10 and 10-2's with some new stuff added. You have a Gauge that fills up. This gauge is split into different sections (earn more sections as you progress) and each section represents a possible action you can take. There are several different jobs a character can be,and each character can instantly switch on the fly in what is called a 'Paradigm Shift'. This is a terrific feature, and if utilized properly, makes you an extremely deadly force.
Leveling Up: Leveling up is done by earning CP(Crystarium Points) from defeating enemies. These Crystarium points are then used on a menu called the Crystarium. It is basically a simplified version of the 'Sphere grid' from 10, But much easier on the eyes.
Characters do not have a specific level, but a Crystarium level. The crystarium can only advance so far, until you progress in the story further, which will cause the Crystarium to advance a level, unlocking more things to earn.
The problem with this system(if you consider it a problem) is that since it's on a designated path, you can't really power level. Your characters will never be extremely overpowered, because you can only max it out so far in each part of the story.
This game is EXTREMELY linear until the last 4 chapters(13 in total). Much like FF10, you have a narrow path that you follow all the way to the end,which then brings you to a new area. I personally don't mind this, but this is one of the biggest flaws people have with this game. The counter though, is that on Chapter 9, the entire world opens up, giving you pretty much an 'Overworld' to explore. It can be overwhelming at first, since it's so huge, but if you spend time there, you'll start to understand all the areas, and it will become a great addition to an already amazing game.Extras:2/5
This is the one aspect of the game that really falls short. Everyone who plays Final Fantasy knows that each game has a ton of extra stuff to do, to keep you occupied. Unfortunately for this game, there is really only 2 side quests.
All you do is basically accept a 'mission' around the world map and go slay the monster. That's it. That being said, there is a total of 65? Missions to do. and some of them are literally INSANE, requiring you to have all your characters at max level.
Trophies: This is where the bulk of your time will be spent if you collect them. The trophies in this game are extremely time consuming, so if you want more game for your buck, DO THE TROPHIES!Final Score:4/5
Although the score would TECHNICALLY be a 3.6/5. The sidequests aren't a big deal. This game is AMAZING, an despite not being perfect, it is definitely worth 60$.
But it if you are a fan of RPG's, or if you are wanting to get into RPG'S.