It’s been a couple of weeks since I first got immersed into the world of Final Fantasy XIII for my Xbox 360 and it’s time for me to give you my 2 cents (I’m not exactly done with the game, but I’m pretty close.). Let’s start out with what I think caught my attention the most: the difficulty. When I started playing the game it seemed very linear and rather easy to dispatch enemies. During a battle you control one character out of a three party team. You can assign your other two members a paradigm role (such as Ravager, Medic, or Synergist) or even customize your own. The reason I bring up the paradigm system is because its imperative to master it in order to move forward in the game. When you first fight an Eidolon summon beast you quickly realize that it doesn’t matter how much you have leveled up your weapons or accessories. It’s more about learning how to quickly switch paradigm roles in the midst of battle efficiently. To make a long story short, the game seems to have a very unbalanced difficulty curve. Some areas are a breeze and then suddenly there are areas where the regular enemies seem tougher than some previous bosses. In my opinion this is a huge plus. I would feel cheated if the game was a piece of cake to beat.
The graphics and sounds are what you would expect from a Square game. Beautiful landscapes, colorful attack effects, and an amazing soundtrack. The frame rate does take a hit in certain spots, especially in open areas, but nothing that hurts the game play too badly. My only gripe, game play wise, would be the camera system. It feels wonky and switches to weird angles at awkward times even during the heat of battle.
Overall, this is an outstanding game and a must buy. There aren’t that many RPG games of this caliber for the HD gaming systems. My early rating for the game so far is 9 out of 10. Hopefully I can bring you a more complete review of the game once I’m done with it.