Feature: Final Fantasy XIII Playthrough (Week 1-3)

Final Fantasy XIII Box Art


Lusipurr.com is pleased to open discussion on the content of this year’s biggest RPG release: Final Fantasy XIII!

The thirteenth (or fourteenth, counting Final Fantasy X-2) iteration in the ‘main’ Final Fantasy series, Final Fantasy XIII was released in Japan on 17 December, 2009. The American, European, and Australian release took place on 9 March, 2010.

Available for both PlayStation 3 and XBox 360, it has been the focus of industry-wide speculation for years. Matters technical, logistical, structural, and creative have been the source of (occasionally bitter) contention. Much has been made of the news that the 360 version runs at a lower resolution; that the PS3 version has a less consistent frame rate; that there are no towns; that only one character is controllable in battle; that nearly the first half of the game is incredibly linear; that the soundtrack is too ambient; and so on.

The time has come for the general, English-speaking public to weigh in upon these and other matters. Now that Final Fantasy XIII is available for purchase, we want to hear your first-hand accounts of anything and everything that you feel worth mentioning. What do you think of the battle system, the story, the characters, the soundtrack, the technical performance, the limitations of the hardware, the voice acting, the translation and scripting, and anything else? Use the comments below to tell us what you think. This week’s comments will be used in the upcoming Megaphones Ahoy! Podcast.

We look forward to discussing Final Fantasy XIII with you!

261 comments on “Feature: Final Fantasy XIII Playthrough (Week 1-3)”

  1. -The linearity hasn’t been getting to me too much, but rather the fact that battles don’t yield EXP until a ways in (no doubt justified the L’cie narrative, but nevertheless unenjoyable). I’m in the Fal’cie shrine now though, so hopefully the drudgery is near the end.

    -Vanille, Hope and Snow are all intolerable, Vanille in particular sounds like Mickey Mouse. I have heard that they become better as the story progresses however.

    -I like fighting as Vanille, there’s a pleasing cadence to how she moves with her wire weapon thing.

    -I like the higher difficulty/low punishment balance they’ve struck.

    -Regardless of how enjoyable the first playthrough is, I think it will have the lowest replayability of the series, owing to how long it’s taking for its combat to get going (I just want some EXP).

    -Amazing graphics for a JRPG, but it still doesn’t come anywhere close to the Uncharted games. Many aspects of the graphics are improved from the demo, yes oddly some are worse.

    -The camera feels way too loose, I wish I could adjust it’s sensitivity.

  2. (no doubt justified *by* the L’cie narrative, but nevertheless unenjoyable)

  3. *yet* oddly some are worse.

    -My proofreading has been found wanting.

    -Back to XIII!

  4. Played up to Snow tonight. Will have more impressions tomorrow.

    So far, not as bad as I had expected. Not as engaging as FFIX, but still not bad at all.

  5. -The frozen lake looks really cool!

    -I now have access to paradigms, but what I really wanted was access to the levelling up system (or at the very least EXP), so that I could make battles worth a damn …

    -The enemy designs are amazing!

  6. -Ah, my guide tells me that the Crystarium system will be available toward the end of my current map!

  7. -Snow seems to fill the role of Steiner, a one-note lunkhead, I’m going to try and stop taking him seriously, as that just wasn’t working out for me.

  8. I’m up to playing Snow, but here’s my (horribly bad) two cents thus far:

    – I like all the voices I’ve heard, Snow my favorite but I’m biased towards Troy Baker. I’ve heard Vanille speak a little, and I liked the little I heard from her.

    – Camera Angles take a bit to get used to. I don’t know about anyone else, but I swerved like a drunken sailor for about 5 minutes as I tried to rotate the camera. It turns really easily, which is annoying if your going straight from a PC Game to a Console Game and you aren’t used to using a controller again yet.

    – I’ve not enjoyed a FF game since 9, but I like this one. The story seems interesting, and I find myself wanting to actually read all the background information in the log to find out whats going on (partly because I had no idea what was going on, I tried to avoid the hype so I wouldn’t be disappointed if it sucked).

    – Not going to comment on graphics, as I don’t care if they are 2D or 3D. I’m playing on the 360 though, and in my graphical knowledge: There Pretty?

    – Music seems pretty good thus far.

    – Moms are Tough

  9. The story’s starting to come together a bit more now, not quite hooked yet, but it’s starting to show a bit of promise.

  10. Haven’t read the comments yet because I have to play catch up, but I get my copy in 45 minutes, I’ll play the hell of it, then I’ll join in the fun!

  11. -I don’t think anyone has mentioned any plot particulars, just discussing the technical details.

  12. Sazh is awesome. I haven’t bought it but I’ve seen a japanese playthrough and understood enough to know that he’s the shit. without spoiling anything he’s one of the more normal characters so he acts as a kinda player surogate along with… Hope. though Sazh is a lot less irritating.

  13. Of course you guys start the playthrough the week it comes out…being poor sucks…

  14. Why do I keep telling myself that I don’t need a next-console… ARGHp34o583p4ojrwekng!!!

  15. @Lusi-Yeah it stuck out like a sore thumb during the opening sequence fighting that heavy piece of machinery.

    -This game is very polished and enjoyable, I’m having a lot of fun playing it, but it DOES NOT FEEL LIKE A FINAL FANTASY GAME. There are elements within it which obviously give off an FF vibe, but it really doesn’t come together to scratch that FF itch. I’m not sure whether or not this is a criticism, because like I said it’s a fun game, but it just doesn’t feel like the complete package.

  16. @SN: I’m not far enough in to say for certain, but at this point my main complaint is the shallowness of the actual experience. I feel like I am actually playing very little at all. I hold up to run along the corridor which makes up a level, press X repeatedly through some battles, and then watch the interspersed cutscenes.

    Does this really qualify as a game? Maybe, but if so, it is certainly not much of one. I’m not knocking the presentation or the storyline, which seem interesting enough (even if the game is deliberately obtuse about the meanings of the things the characters are talking about), but a game is more than its script.

  17. Once the paradigm shift mechanic is introduced it becomes very strategic and enjoyable! I was having a ball last night! But it doesn’t feel like a Final Fantasy game, it isn’t as grand, fully featured and sprawling as a Final Fantasy game should be, and I haven’t really been able to invest myself in the story yet, there are more party members that I dislike than like.

    -This game needs towns. I don’t want cutscenes to be automatically triggered all the time, I want to wonder around a town/building/boat/aircraft and find different people who trigger cutscenes, it just feels more natural and rewarding that way …

  18. @SN – I think you gain CP even when it doesn’t explicitly state it. I agree about Snow, but the good thing is that other characters don’t take him that seriously either, so I don’t feel expected to.
    I didn’t like Hope’s voice in the trailers, but I’m buying him in the game.
    I’m enjoying the game a LOT, but I think I agree with you, Noob, I can imagine it will have the worst replay value of any of them. We’ll see how much I like the story, that will depend a lot on how this all ends up.
    About 9-10 hours in.

  19. – I think I’m about where SN was when he made his first comment, and I agree with pretty much everything except his dislike of Snow’s voice actor. I actually think he’s doing a pretty good job. Try as I might, though, I have NO IDEA what’s wrong with Vanille’s voice. PLEASE tell me she gets better ad the game goes along. Right now, she doesn’t sound like Mickey Mouse, she sounds like Mickey Mouse died in her throat and nobody noticed.

    – I had issues with the camera at first, too. I’m wondering, when controlling a 3rd person free-floating camera (a la FFXII), am I the only person who always holds up on the left stick and essentially steers by moving the camera with the right stick? It seems like nobody on the FFXIII dev team tried this, since the camera DEFINITELY doesn’t work with that character control method.

    – So far, I’m really digging the story, characters, and world. Like AntiRainbow, I found I pretty much had to read all the supplemental material in the menus, since I deliberately avoided anything and everything plot related, so I had no idea what any of their made-up words meant. I am hoping to have a reason to get into battles soon, though. No experience for the first 2 hours was a pretty bad choice, in my opinion.

  20. Oh yeah, and Sazh is my favorite character so far. I love the little incidental dialog he gives while you’re running around the world.

  21. Oh no, I hate Vanille’s voice actor, I never meant to say that Snow or Hope have bad voice acting, just that I hate all their dialogue, and wish that they’d stop acting like a couple of shallow one-note stereotypes. Not the voice actor’s fault at all, they just suck.

  22. Hope WAS a bit annoying in the beginning but as the game progresses he seems to get a lot better, as does Lightening attitude it seems like.

    My two beefs so far is that Disc 1 was short, and that they basically force you to use party members. Does anyone know if that changes down the road and we’ll be able to pick who we use?

    Oh… I also am a bit annoyed there no option to Flee the battle. I know running away is bad, but goddamn it I at least want the option to do so.

  23. -Only during chapter 11.

    -Press start and then press select (or 360 equivalents) in order to initiate a retry, the game will take you back to the point just before you initiated the battle.

  24. @Darth – I typically steer that way as well (via camera), but I VERY quickly learned that it’s a bad idea in this game, but the level design doesn’t really lend itself to it, even with branching paths. If you treat it like a normal camera, you’ll be very frustrated. If you let it be, it’s incredibly cinematic and turning off the mini-map is a beautiful experience.

    Also, I know we’ve all heard it a thousand times even before the game came out, but I love the battle theme. The soundtrack in general isn’t one I’d download to listen to or import to play on the piano, but I love most of it. I think it’s unique and suits the personality of the game with some standout numbers. …Although there’s the occasional complete dud.

  25. @Ethos: Yeah, agreed about the battle theme, but where’s the FF Victory Theme?!? Maybe it’s just because I’m early on, but I haven’t heard it yet, and that makes me very sad :f.

  26. I think it’s beginning to sink in that my much beloved FF series of the 1990’s is dead and gone …

  27. Yeah, but we have enough of them. I haven’t even beat FFVI, so I have more of the classics to play, maybe that’s why it doesn’t bother me so much.
    And Darth, 12 hours in and I haven’t heard it, but that’s okay with me. Remember FFXII? It was out of place in the few spots they put it in. I imagine if it’s in this one, it’ll be like in Advent Children, a clever nod.

  28. I got to play a few hours last night. Graphically, it’s really pretty, I’m enjoying the environments.

    I still feel like most of the battles are “press x to win” but it’s nice to get some challenge from the boss battles. The lack of xp and gil as rewards is a little odd, but I haven’t had to actually buy anything yet.

    Snow is annoying in the jock kind of way. Hope was a total whiny bitch even before what happened, and only gets worse. I wish we got his mom in the party instead. And Vanille is a little too perky, though it’s obviously a defense mechanism since she tells hope something like “I know you’re upset, but deal with it later.” So, I assume she does the same.

  29. Hope’s Mom was a MILF!

    I played through the fist chapter at work today. Cool job huh? I have to say I was having a great time with it. Its really easy so far but the battle system hasn’t fully opened up yet so i’m sure that will get better. I’m just putting myself into a state of mind that this game is not a FF so I don’t start feeling sad how much I miss the older styled FF’s. Working so far. It helps that the victory fanfare seems to be absent because you fight a lot.

  30. And what’s up with Vanille’s accent? Shes the only person i hear talking like that and sound more like a person that has been deaf since birth would talk. Shes pretty cool in battle though.

    And I wish Snow would shut up with the hero talk.

  31. It’s a really bad Australian accent, and Hope’s Mom IS a milf! Snow is definitely annoying, but he’s believable. Mostly because of how people react to him. They don’t buy his crap either.

  32. I was half expecting him to put on a red cape and start making whooshing sounds.

    I think its the general consensus that Sazh is awesome and I most agree. He is indeed Awesome.

    Hope’s Mom is a huge MILF.

    Crikey! That has to be the worst Australian accent ever, Mate!

  33. … That’s actually kind of sad because Vanille VA is Australian. It’s pretty bad when you can’t do your own accent.

    That said, I like it. I like hearing her and Fang talk.

  34. -Yep, fortunately I’ve never come across another Aussie chick that sounds as awful as her inept VA, else I’d probably have cut off my ears by now. I still think SE accidentally confused the person they hired to VA Vinille with the voice actor doing Mickey Mouse in BBS …

    -IMO Snow is the realistically proportioned modern day equivalent to Steinerk, though personally I think that the character type would work better with a SD character design.

  35. Vanille is awesome. I love her voice.

    The rest of them I am not very pleased with. I find Sazh annoying. Sorry.

    Hope is whiny and needs to grow up, and Snow’s I’m-a-hero schtick is mighty old by this point. Lightning manages to find a way to turn and look away, all emo, at the end of every scene.

    Vanille, on the other hand, is awesome.

    Also, I’m feeling better about the battle system with the introduction of the Paradigm and Crystarium features, but I still want exp and levels. And I REALLY WANT TO CONTROL MY OTHER PARTY MEMBERS, OKAY?

    Srsly.

  36. @Lusi: I’m finding Vanille much less annoying now that I’m getting more into the story (still only about 5 hours in). I think it’s because her reactions are becoming a little bit more appropriate for the situation, which may have been my problem with her initially. Still not a fan of the VA, but I’ve enjoyed characters with worse, that’s for sure.

    @AntiRainbow: That actually might explain some things. Maybe it’s one of those things where they told her her natural accent doesn’t sound “Australian” enough, so she’s trying to imitate the Crocodile Hunter or something.

  37. The crystalline lake looks incredible! I’m really liking some of the art direction in this game-some of the enemies and characters are really unique in terms of their designs.

    The battle system, in fact the Crystarium and most of the gameplay mechanics feel really slimmed down to me, from what I am used to in the series. I’m around 5 hours in and it feels condensed, kind of RPG-lite, probably to help try and draw in the mainstream crowd which its obvious they were trying to with this one, and I think it has worked. A few people I know are playing this who wouldn’t normally play games of the genre. Definitely different to the other FF games so far.

    I’m enjoying it so far though.

    Vanille’s voice actor is just..wierd though. It sounds like she is intended to be part Australian, part English but with a bit of Smurf, Mickey Mouse and probably some brain damage thrown in there for good measure.

  38. @lusi – trust me, Sazh gets much better latter on. wish I could say the same about snow.

  39. @breaka666 – Really? I mean, I like Sazh fine, but he seems to be the same all the way through. But I’m only 20 hours in. And Snow is ALWAYS annoying, but he’s believable. And other people call him on his shit, and other characters get annoyed by him. That makes him a lot easier to bear for me when I don’t think that Squeenix is expecting me to take him as seriously as he takes himself. Same goes for Lightning. When she sees herself in other people, she’s like “oh shit, I’m an idiot”.

  40. Sees herself in other people? Someone’s reading a lot into the script–and far more than is there, methinks.

    Will be posting my general overview of the system as taken from my FB.

  41. I miss controlling the other characters in battle. I feel like what ever they did right with the battle system is negated by the fact you only control one character and if He/She dies Its gameover man… GAMEOVER!

  42. @Oyashiro-The battle system is actually one aspect of the game that I have absolutely no complaints about (once it opens up).

  43. @Ethos: Quote me that and I’ll concede the point. You always read what you want into games, investing them with a depth that usually isn’t there. :p

    Now about that summary of what to think about when purchasing Final Fantasy XIII (taken from my Facebook)…

    There are several matters which you must consider if you intend to purchase FFXIII.

    First is that the storyline is pretty interesting, though it throws you into it in a sort of ‘in medias res’ sort of fashion. You’ll want to read the datalog entries (a sort of in-game encyclopaedia, a la FFXII) so that you understand what is going on.

    The battle system is unveiled gradually as the story progresses. After each section of ‘tutorial’, more options are available. However, you are never given direct control over more than one character at a time. You are, however, allowed to indirectly control characters through the use of the paradigm system, which makes sense given the frantic pace of battles and the speed at which they take place–controlling multiple characters manually would be impossible at these speeds.

    The ‘Crystalium’ progression system is almost exactly like the Sphere Grid, except that it is divided up on a per-job basis. Characters have multiple ‘jobs’ (called roles) that they can switch between as part of the paradigm system (this will make sense when you get to it). Each of these jobs has its own Crystalium progression which unlocks new abilities for the job, and which unlocks stat boosts for the character. Abilities can only be used when set to that job, but the boosts are permanent across all jobs.

    Jobs have ‘levels’. Levelling up a job unlocks more abilities on the Crystalium grid which you can access. Accessing these abilities uses CP which are gained after each battle.

    The game is devoid of towns and shops in the typical sense, but this does actually make sense given the setting of the game. I must grudgingly admit that it would be very odd for any of the locations I’ve been in to have shops, stores, or so on.

    The progression is linear, but there are still little alcoves and side-sections with items hidden and monsters guarding them.

    All in all, I was extremely pessimistic about the game prior to its release, but I have been pleasantly surprised with it so far, and increasingly so. As more options have become available to me, I have found the game increasingly engaging.
    If you are a big FF fan, you won’t want to miss out on this. Pick it up now. If you are an occasional fan of the series or somewhat unsure (given the information I’ve just related), you can wait and the price will come down in a few months.

  44. Regarding Ethan’s assertion, I think there were a couple of moments when other characters advocated a course of action that she inwardly yearned for, which resulted in her storming off for some reason (perhaps because she saw it as a weakness within herself). I don’t know whether I’d call this ‘seeing herself in other people’, but I probably wouldn’t dismiss it out of hand either …

  45. ^Personally I think it’s just a defence-mechanism reaction to other character’s optimism, stemming from her inability to do anything about her parents passing, and so now she’s quick to discount her efficacy in saving or protecting the people she cares about. If she doesn’t believe she can do anything to save the people she loves than she doesn’t have to open herself up to personal failure. The only thing Lightning has confidence in is her combat ability, which is why whenever she feels uncertain, powerless or relied upon by others she is quick to put up a wall and then move on looking for the next fight.

    -Then again, perhaps I’m just over-thinking this like Ethan …

  46. I just realized, it was pointed out that XIII doesn’t support the rumbly goodness, and thought it was odd because it’s clearly there on the 360 version of the game.

  47. And I’m assuming you meant the vibration. If I’m wrong just ignore me, I’m being stupid apparently and misunderstand things. I tend to do that.

  48. @Luis (who isn’t here): Thanks for ‘correcting’ my spelling of Crystarium to [the incorrect] Crystalium. I appreciate it!

  49. Also, the PS3 box indicates that FFXIII is Dual-Shock ready, rumble and all.

    It appears that it only rumbles when an enemy is staggered, for special attacks, and so on. I have actually felt it, but it is quite infrequent compared to the other games from FFVIII to the present.

    Curious! I wonder what the reasoning behind the scaled-back use of rumble is.

  50. I’m liking some of the references to other FF games, like the town of Palumpolum (wtf kinda town name is that), the Gestalt gauge (I’m guessing its a reference to Emperor Gestahl and FFVI’s espers)

  51. To me, rumble on console controllers always has seemed like a bit of a tacked on gimmick-not exactly adding much or necessary to be honest.

    I guess its one of those things I don’t notice much, it probably has a subconscious effect on some level when it does rumble.

    Can’t say I’ve noticed it yet much, I’m playing the PS3 version. On the topic of hardware, have you guys seen it on an HDMI cable? It looks amazing, most notably the crystallised lake. So many nice effects.

  52. @Berserk: Yep, I’m playing it on my PS3 with HDMI on my 42″ HDTV, and I have to say it looks fabulous.

    I might complain about lack of control and (what is at times) a generally shallow battle system, but I certainly can’t complain about the graphics. SE has come tops again in the flash arena.

    The soundtrack reminds me a *lot* of Final Fantasy X in every way, good and bad. It’s not so bad, hearing it paired up with the game, and it makes sense as it seems that XIII is significantly inspired by X. Still, I would have liked something more epic, more memorable, more… Uematsuean.

    Oh well, FFXIV at the end of the year should set that desire arights.

  53. The battle system is anything but shallow, it’s the one shining light around which all else in the game coalesces!

  54. @Beserk- (re: rumble) It really depends on the game. RE4, Heavy Rain and Fear 2 have all noticeably deployed rumble to enhance aspects of the games, yet many other games have used the feature to negligible effect …

  55. Here’s a few of my thoughts on the game so far. I’m about 6-7 hours in and just got the ability to upgrade weapons and accessories.

    Battle System:
    – So far I’m really enjoying it, but I hope there are a few more features added soon. I think I’m getting the hang of swapping paradigms on the fly and, as of the last boss, I’m spending more of my concentration on that than pressing X to auto-battle. Overall, I do like how they’ve taken out a lot of the micromanaging and replaced it with general ideas rather than specific commands. I was really afraid the AI would lead to problems like Persona 3 had, but so far there’s never been any case where I wish I could have had direct control over the AI characters. It seems like every other time things start to get boring, they’ve thrown in a new mechanic, so I hope they keep that up.

    – The “gameover if the main dies” thing hasn’t bothered me at all. Maybe I just got used to it from playing so much Persona this past year.

    – I really like that potions effect the whole party. I think it would get pretty frustrating if I had to select a specific party member to apply them to in the heat of battle.

    – Overall, the system reminds me a lot of X-2, except with less fine-grained control and more movement. I kind of wish they had added something to do between ATB gauge fills, though. Maybe optionally mash a button to increase the strength of your next attack

    – Paradigm shifts make me feel badass

    Crystilalalalium:
    – I think “simplified sphere grid” does sum it up pretty well. It would be nice if at some point you could select which roles you want to have for which characters, but I kind of doubt that will happen, since so far it’s been all plot-based.

    – Trying to navigate can be confusing sometimes

    Controls:
    – I still don’t like the camera, but I’m starting to figure out how to keep it from getting in the way. I guess that’s about all you can do with a camera system, anyway. The best systems are the ones you never notice.

    – I guess I’m like Berserk in that I really don’t notice rumble much in games. I didn’t even notice it was mostly missing until reading posts about it here

    Story (I’ll try to keep spoilers out as much as possible):
    – I love how the story starts en medias res. I’ve always been a fan of stories that employ that technique, and FFXIII’s does it particularly well, in my opinion. I think the flashback sequences are my favorite cutscenes so far. I do agree with Lusi that it seems to assume you’ve read the codex entries, but I’m OK with that since I was planning on doing that anyway. So far, that’s been the biggest aspect in connecting me to the gameworld. Towns with NPCs and incidental dialogue would have been more effective in my opinion, but there is something to be said for having all the information in once place.

    – Vanille is kind of growing on me. I’m still not a fan of the VA, but at least the character’s becoming a little more believable in my mind. Hope is still whiny, so lets hope (*rimshot*) he improves soon. Overall I am liking the cast and the whole “isolation” theme so far. I agree that towns would have been really out of place and probably taken away from the story itself in places.

    Graphics:
    – Yeah, I’ve got it running on my 60inch read projection in 1080p and it does look gorgeous. Aside form the purely technical aspects, though, I’m really enjoying the enemy designs. They’re some of the more interesting ones in recent memory. Hopefully they keep it up and don’t just pallet-swap the same few models for the whole game.

    That’s all I’ve got for now. I’m taking tomorrow off work (not directly related to FF, but a happy coincidence), so hopefully I’ll be able to catch up to where everybody else is story-wise.

  56. “@Ethos: Quote me that and I’ll concede the point. You always read what you want into games, investing them with a depth that usually isn’t there. :p”
    It’s when Hope and Lightning travel together. She sees how she’s inspired him to be like her. She sees herself in the way he’s acting and it makes her realize the philosophy’s flaws. Not sure if you’re there yet, but the datalog confirms it as well.

  57. Oh, and once the Crystalium reaches stage 5 or 6, it opens up a lot more, and choice and strategy starts to take over blind upgrading.

  58. IMO it amounts to fail to require readings of data-entries in order to pick up on a plot point.

  59. Yeah apparently all characters will be able to do all roles eventually.

  60. Crystarium, not Crystalium.

    Don’t be a Luis.

    Also, what SN said about plot points and data entries. You’re not telling your story properly if you have to convey information via an encyclopaedia.

  61. I think that’s also the reason that they released all those FFXIII novellas, I’d have been lost without their provision of background info, though they’re also full of spoilers …

  62. Heh, I was wondering about the rumble. I could have sworn I felt it once or twice but I wasn’t sure if it was just my imagination. It broke me away from the game for a second to think “WTF?”

  63. Wow, why WOULD they make those changes? …Really bizarre. I don’t use the shroud menu because I’ve been engaging in every battle so far and selling those items for money because I desperately need it, but it confuses me to at least not give the option ala FFXII.

    I agree that the datalog shouldn’t have so much key information, but in that case, I was saying it confirmed it. It seemed obvious to me without the confirmation.

  64. The cynic in me says they made those changes because, deep down, Japan still hates America.

    Maybe there is some other reason, but I can’t think of any that make sense.

    (Also: 82 comments. Keep it up and we’ll break 100 before tomorrow’s Podcast recording!)

  65. It all stems from the fact that Wada’s dog was run over by an SUV when he was little.

  66. @darth – I got used to the whole main character dying thing too with persona but it doesn’t make any more sense. The reason it bugs me (and I know I’m not alone in this) is that the shit doesn’t make any sense. there’s no reason why your party members can’t toss a phoenix down at you/ use recarm on you. and regarding mashing buttons they actually had something that seems to like what you’re describing in the alpha version of the battle system but it was taken out for some reason.
    http://finalfantasy-xiii.net/2010/01/30/this-is-what-final-fantasy-xiii-looked-like-on-ps2.html
    And Hope does get better but he has the Final Fantasy Prince Archetype problem. even though he gets better he still was a whiny little bitch and the memory stays like a bad aftertaste. Gordon of FFII, Allus of FFIII, and Edward of FFIV all had the same issue. I thought the reason SE stopped using this Archtype is because they realized that not many people actually like this archetype.

    @noob & lusi – I don’t know enough Japanese that I could catch that problem. ya’ll are right, if that type of thing has to be explained in a datalog then that’s the definition of bad writing.

  67. @breaka – I think it’s because you’re in command of the battle. If you die, it’s a lot more your fault than if a party member dies.

  68. @Breaka: Those scans are awesome. I wish I had access to that book.

    The Cel-shaded Yuna/Rikku in-battle picture looks awesome. Honestly, I wish they had gone in that direction. FFXIII looks great, but I would love to see them take the series where it has never been before artistically.

  69. @Berserk — I’m loving the references too. “The Lindblum” :)

    @Lusi — “The Cel-shaded Yuna/Rikku in-battle picture looks awesome. Honestly, I wish they had gone in that direction. FFXIII looks great, but I would love to see them take the series where it has never been before artistically.”

    ~ Check out The Last Story (Official art was released)

    Impression —

    The CG’s and intro – I’ve never seen anything more gorgeous running on my PS3 or any computer. The 360 version must be blown out of the water for this part, only being able to output 720p.

    Now, let me tell you this. I have seen the intro of the game at least 50 times. But after watching it on my screen directly from the Blu-Ray disc, it seems that I have never seen it. I was completely blown away at how lifelike all of the motions are. Every facial expression, every individual hair strand, every separate finger and toe motion, they all flow so smoothly in CG scenes. The Spirits Within and even Advent Children have been surpassed by a video game.

    After the CG intro, the loading screen shows up for 6 seconds. Bearable — especially since this is the last time you will notice a load screen. You are thrown into battle with your first fight. Manasvin Warmech greets you with a grim smile. The battle system starts now. There is a ATB that fills up continuously. As the bar fills, it is split into segments. Starting off with two segments, and working its way up to probably 5 segments near the end of the game? Just guessing of course, as I’m only 4 hours in. Lightning has two attacks to choose from. The simple attack, and an AoE attack called blitz. The simple attack costs one segment of the ATB bar, while the AoE attack, blitz, costs 2 segments. While the ATB bar is filling, you choose how you want to spend your two segments. In essence, queueing them up — followed by choosing your target. Everything is happening in real time (default config set to active). Lightning is moving around the field, waiting for her chance to strike. Then the ATB bar fills, and she completes the task I had set up for her. Two attacks. They are both executed one after the other, animated smoothly. After she completes this, you are given the option to repeat what you just did, or make another queue. There is also the auto-attack button that randomly generates a set of attacks. Items are also different, since you only control one character, they simplified potions. A potion is now a mega potion! Hell yeah! So when you use a potion, everyone’s HP goes up 150 points. Best part, the ATB bar is not used for items.

    The camera control takes some getting used to. But this is the first FF where you are able to specify X and Y axis Inverts. So everyone is happy; at least after you get used to how loose the camera is. To keep with the smooth style, the camera moves smoothly. Other than that, after a few hours, it just feels natural. I consider it a big improvement from Final Fantasy XII’s camera.

    Speaking of XII, the story is also a Huge improvement. It almost feels like they’ve gone back to the PS1 era of story telling. The number one aspect that I was worried about is character development, and making you love the characters. I can tell you this: in my first four hours of gameplay, I feel aeons closer to Lightning and crew than I ever did with the crew in XII… Balthier is the exception. If you can get past the clich’e cookie cutter character roles… which I no doubt can, and see them for who they are, then you will feel the same as I do.

    One last thing. The Music. Fast paced, trumpets of war. Simply put, the music matches the action. I will condone that there was one piece of music that is sticking to me, I will find out the name of it. Mainly because of the use of high pitched viola’s playing with their bow. Very smooth and pretentious. Similar to the score found in Chrono Cross‘ battle music. There is a theme song that is played quietly during key moments… I believe it is the Eternal Love theme…? There was also a touch of FF12 in one of the tracks while I was traversing through the frozen lake/waves, Lake Breska? I really enjoy FF12, but I do not like 80% of its music.

    Overall, this intro is very reminiscent of Final Fantasy VII and Crisis Core’s intro’s. Train. Resistance Group. Fast paced. In medias res. Thrown right into the action without initially knowing why. No doubt, the story telling has at least returned to whence it came from in the PS1 era. Still hoping that the characters make me fall in love with them. Their voice acting is really good so far. I don’t care what the janapophiles say… this is top notch voice acting in america. You aren’t reminded that you are playing a game anymore from little flaws; especially since their lips sync up nearly perfectly.

  70. Japanophiles”

    @SN — Forgot to mention, I love your find about gestalt psychology — Things like this are what really drew me into Final Fantasy in the first place. I wonder if this will carry over into Versus/Agito/Haerisis xD

  71. Yeah, the Gestalt psychology is quite interesting. In this example with the eidolons I guess you could think of it like this. The Eidolons are building up a picture of your psyche as you battle them, finding out about the characters and measuring their strengths and weaknesses. Essentially forming an image for themselves, to determine whether they see valuable companions in the l’Cie. Thats probably taking it a bit too literally though…

    Whats the bet that Haeresis will either turn out to be FFXIV or be scrapped? I can’t imagine them releasing 2 MMORPGs within a short period of time.
    http://finalfantasy-xiii.net/final-fantasy-haeresis-xiii/

    88 comments, stay on target =p

  72. Oh, I forgot about the music..some of it just seems insane. Like the harmonica bluesy music in Sahz cutscenes, the wierd music in Chapter 4-I think its kind of a jazz style, not sure..all I know is that it really jarred.

  73. @Berserk: Thanks for mentioning the weird, jarring, harmonica piece. I had meant to say that myself. Who thought that was a good idea!?

  74. @ethos – it’s still nonsensical though. even if the leader dies and the chain of command breaks surely one person would think to pick you up. maybe if all of your party members cowards/idiots then it would make sense.

    @lusi – same here on the art direction, though I’m always more partial to stylized graphics to realistic ones.

  75. The PS2 art direction looked amazing, I wish they’d stuck with that version, we would have got the game much sooner, and it might even have had towns!

  76. -Vocal tracks loop very poorly.

    -I really enjoyed the seaside cafe section, the first concession to pacing since beginning the game, is it too much too hope for more of this? It’s like a brief window into how XIII might have been …

  77. Am playing through the woods section with Lightning and Hope and the story is finally starting to take off a bit, I hope things start to come together now …

  78. It’s very frustrating to have the Crystarium halt my progress when I’ve only ever fought every monster once! If SE wanted me not to exceed certain parameters then perhaps they should have populated the area with fewer enemies.

    -Am enjoying the game much more today, I don’t know whether that’s because it’s getting better, or simply because I’m coming to terms with its limitations.

  79. Yeah, I wish the enemies respawned or something so grinding CP could be easier. I think they do if you load the game, but I’m not entirely sure since I’ve not done much backtracking to find out.

    Thats one reason I prefer random encounters to enemies showing up in the world.

    I never really liked the Spheregrid system from X because it feels so stop-start. You could battle for a half hour or so, get some sphere points, spend them and only come out with a couple stat points for your time only to have to start over from lv.0. Same thing in FFXIII so far from what I can tell. Often it just doesn’t feel worth it to spend 300 odd CP and just get +20 HP or whatever bonus it might be. Still, I guess you gotta go past all of these to get to the decent stuff at the end.
    I guess its good to get extra stat points though, since the customisation system doesn’t feel very effective or efficient. Have any of you done much upgrading to weapons and accessories?

  80. @Beserk- They do. Or at least, I know of two area I had them respawn for me. I was actually surprised because I didn’t know they would respawn.

    I just simply walked a bit, turned around and there they where.

  81. @Berserk: Yeah, they respawn if you leave an area and come back (and, I think, if you just get far enough away from the encounter spot). I spent a little bit of time grinding on the woods area, only to hit the same wall SN did. Now I’ve got a ton of extra CP (which, I suppose, I’ll be able to use later, so not a total loss).

    @SN: I love how, in the description or the woods area, it says something about how it’s intentionally confusing to cause intruders to get lost, but it’s still just a straight line :F.

    And yeah, I do hope there are more sections like the Cafe flashback. It was a really nice change of pace fomr the “GOGOGO” of the rest of the game. Ahhh, towns. How I miss you :f.

  82. @Berserk – I have definitely been upgrading weapons and accessories. This is the main reason I don’t have much gil ~ selling all my stuff for exp.

    Upgrading is most definitely worth it though. I had a gun doing 8 attack, and after messing around with upgrading it, it was phenomenally more powerful. It’s like getting a few extra stat boosts from the crystarium :D

  83. Maybe this was just me… or did Dahj’s character animation seem completely gimp? I could not help but laugh at him. He moved like a robot.

  84. I still have some comments to read, but my initial impressions and thoughts are:

    Vanille is fucking annoying. Her voice switches from a childish lisp to a normal voice, to something Australian-sounding. (Sorry, SN). Sometimes she appears to be acquainted with the letter “r”, sometimes she does not. Argh! She seems like a good character, though. Probably the primary magical chick, at least for now. Hopefully I can get used to her voice, and how much she reminds me of one of my friends.

    The CP system is kinda cool, but it seems so … small. I feel like I’m forced to give my guys attributes and bonuses that I really don’t give a crap about, simply because there’s nothing else to do with my points. It’s pretty cool, though. I still like the Sphere system more.

    The “tunnel” is not bothering me as much as I thought it would. I still miss towns, because wandering around a town and breaking into peoples’ houses is fun, but I’ll live.

    I’m not very far in, only really played it Thursday evening and Friday afternoon. I’ve been really tired lately, and opted to go to bed rather than stay up ’til dark o’ clock playing FFXIII. This will be remedied tonight.

  85. -Vanille’s voice is all over the place, she drives me absolutely insane …

    -I just got to the outskirts of Pallumpollom, and it looks absolutely stunning, probably the prettiest location I have thus far seen in the game!

  86. @SN-Moreso than Lake Beshad? :O

    I can’t wait to see it!
    I’m in the woods in chapter 5 at the moment. Like you guys said earlier, I had noticed the same thing. As soon as they said it was really easy to get lost, I was thinking “well, knowing this game it will just be a straight path no matter what…” *sigh* They could have easily made it more maze-like

  87. This is rather embarrassing to admit, but I got lost in the woods.

    I had my mini map turned off (for more of a challenge instead of always heading towards the next checkpoint) I paused the game to eat supper and watched some show… came back a few hours later and got to a dead end. Come to find out, right before I paused the game, I was pointed in the other direction and forgot to go the other way.

    Protip: Turn the minimap off, and get yourself dizzy for more of a challenge

  88. @Ginia- The CP System will open up in Ch. 10, and you’ll be able to do all 6 Roles.

    I like the Cap they put on the system. It’s forcing you to not focus on one Role in a way, which I appreciate as I want to max out all of mine and if the cap wasn’t there I would end up just focusing on one thing.

    With that in mind, I just got to Ch. 10 and I’m highly ecstatic at the fact I can currently switch around who’s in my party.

    But I live in constant fear that I’ll loose the ability to do so very soon.

    @Squalldane- Don’t feel bad, I’m pretty sure I got lost in the woods to.

    Actually, more then once I’ve gotten turned around in the game (Thank you Camera!) and ended up highly confused as to why I was all the way in the beginning of an area again.

  89. @AntiRainbow – Haha, most definitely. Especially if you take breaks, with the map off. And enemies that you have already beaten reappear.

  90. Yeah, Gil is crazy hard to come by, even in this “opened up” section I finally got to. And I agree that you start to appreciate the CP “brick walls” when you get here, but I was annoyed as the rest of you.

    Oh, but the map IS fucking stupid. How it rotates with you? You only really notice it once you’re in the field, but man, it’s dumb.

    I’ve always had the mini-map turned off, not for challenge, but because the game looks a lot more gorgeous and cinematic with it off. I just press Square on occasion for orientation since it’s fairly quick.

  91. I don’t like perpetual mini-maps either. I should be able to call it up and dismiss it with the push of a button, and thankfully I can do just that.

    I am also delighted that I can double invert the camera, whilst we’re talking engine matters.

    I love Vanille and her voice. You people are philistines!

    Also, when do I get the abililty to choose party members, chapter-wise. I am near the end of three, I think–I really don’t want to have to waut until 10!

    I read above that the Crystarium roles all open at ch. 6. When do I get the ability to upgrade weapons? Anyone?

  92. @Lusi: If I remember correctly, you get the upgrade ability at the end of chapter 3, right after the boss battle.

    @Ethos/Squalldane: That’s actually a good idea about turning off the minimap. I may do just that next time I play.

  93. Weapon Upgrades should (possibly, I don’t exactly remember) open up at Ch. 4.

    All the Roles for the CP and the Character Swapping don’t become available till Ch. 10 (If it stays however I don’t know).

    The map rotates with you?

  94. I’m at Chapter 11, Lusi. You can choose party members at 10. All roles open at 11.
    And the mini-map may not rotate, but when you’re in a massive fucking field, the mini-map is of no use anyway, and I have it off, it’s the main map that obtusely rotates. Especially because the world is so incredibly massive at that point.

  95. @Ethos Are there more then 6 roles for each character? All mine opened up at the beginning of Ch. 10

  96. Awesome, though I maintain that waiting until ch. 10 of a 13-chapter game for full battle system control is Too Fucking Long.

  97. From what I gather, Chapters 1 through 9 are all very short compared to 10 through 13. Therefore, if this was a 1000 page book, chapter 10 would start at page 500?

  98. Oh, I probably got it wrong then, AntiRainbow, if you’re sure, then you’re probably right.

    @Lusi – I agree, although I personally didn’t mind it.
    @Squalldane – Er, sorta. Well, maybe. In terms of playtime, definitely, though I couldn’t say the same for story.

  99. @Lusi- It does seem like a long time to wait, but the battle system is fun now, so I’m not lamenting it too much.

  100. -How did SE fuck Vanille’s VA up so badly? I’d actually prefer to have a party composed of Jar Jar Binks, Dobby and a Hypello!

  101. @SN – Exactly, and I loved playing with paradigms. It’s why I didn’t mind it. Now that I have full control, I’m more happy about the Crystarium grids opening up than party control.

    And I sit in the middle of SN and Lusi on the Vanille issue. She never really annoys me, but it’s difficult for me to take her seriously when she’s just jizzing the whole time. Still, there’s a voiceover she has when you reach Pulse which is one of my favourite parts of the game so far.

  102. I don’t think it’s wrong to have certain minimum standards for game voice acting, especially given the FF pedigree. That Vanille’s VA falls short by such a dramatic margin was, I must admit, a little surprising. If she were any worse it might actually fall into the ‘so bad it’s good’ category, but she doesn’t quite get there …

  103. I think I’m ending up with Ethos on the Vanille issue. I still don’t like her VA, but I’ve heard worse, and the character herself is actually getting much better.

    Also, FUCK GATTLING GUNS!

  104. Oh … gattling guns are horrid!

    -I don’t actually mind Vanille as a character, it’s just the VA that I’m having such a hard time getting past!

  105. Snow limping along with Hope on his back is one of the most retardedly funny things I have ever seen!

  106. … … … Now Toriyama is claiming that Tomb Raider and Hitman are “Western RPGs” … … … *epic facepalm*

  107. I warned you ALL about the Gattling Guns! It’s the only time when Snow is useful. Those battles were some of the most satisfying to win.

    Also, SN, agreed with the piggyback thing. SO AWKWARD.

  108. Does anyone know what the point is to the battle rating system? Like, does it actually DO anything, because I haven’t noticed what it’s for yet.

  109. Yeah, from what I can tell, 5 star rating battles give you a lot more TP recharge than 4 star or lower which give barely any.

  110. This is more a comment in response to the podcast, but it seemed better suited for this thread. I was wondering if anybody else is just using “auto-battle” like somebody (can’t remember who) said they were on the ‘cast? That’s the strategy I’ve been using, while spending most of my time focusing on changing paradigms rather than selecting specific abilities. It seems like the auto battle does a pretty good job of picking what I’d pick on my own anyway, so I might as well use it. I’m curious as to how the system would have played out if you didn’t get direct control over any party member and rather just had the paradigms and items to use in a pinch.

  111. Yeah, I’ve been using auto-battle for every role except Sentinel (it never does what I want), paradigm shifting gives me more than enough strategic input for me to feel like I’m controlling my party’s actions (unlike XII).

  112. Yeah, Sentinel I’ve had to take manual control of a few times. I think the difference between XII and XIII’s party control is XII’s you had to set up ahead of time, whereas XIII’s you can switch on the fly, which I like. I really wish there were a few more roles, but the ones that are there are pretty much sufficient for what I want to do. One thing I’d like to see at some point is a combination of the two systems, where you can set up several gambit ladders for different rolls then switch the party between them depending on the situation. It might cut out some of the times I had to take manual control of the party during the longer boss fights in XII.

  113. Yeah, I was manually Sentinel-ing for a bit, but now Snow’s powered up enough in the class where I don’t mind throwing him in the party for a more powerful enemy or mark, and just leaving him on Sentinel for the whole battle while I take control with Lightning.

    But now I’m playing POKEMON!!!

  114. I’m about three hours into the game so far. I’ve reached the crystallized lake. Was compeltly owned by one of the boss battles in the lake area because I wasn’t paying close attention to Lightnings health. I had staggered the boss and went on a full scale assault, unaware that Lightning was almost dead and reveling in the glory of the moment. Oh well. try again!

  115. @Ethos-POKEMON! Do want! Is it good so far?

    I have a question about the Crystarium, what do the Role Level crystals actually do?

  116. Oh, a tip for those of you not at Chapter 7 yet (or in a place with these enemies), there are soldier enemies at the start of chapter 7 with yellow armour, ‘Corps Tranquifex’ and ‘Corps Pacifex’ who have Phoenix Downs as a common drop. Its a pretty good place to farm some of them, since they are so damn expensive and money is hard to get as far as I can tell. There is a save point right there so you can kill them, and keep reloading if you need a few more Phoenix Downs. Hope that helps.

  117. @Berserk Each role adds a “bonus” —
    the higher the role level, the higher this bonus is. For example higher the Commando level is, it will raise everyone’s attacking power by more. These bonuses stack too.

  118. So, I completely love this battle system. Creating Paradigms is great, and the battles actually can be a challenge – I mean they usually aren’t, but yanno, there’s potential. The summon battles can be rough, Odin roflstomped me when I first fought him.

    I also really appreciate how the game uses or does not use MP. In most games I am very stingy with my MP, I try not to cast spells because I am afraid of running out of MP. So as awesome as spellcasters are, I seldom use them. So I love being able to cast as many spells as I want to – well, if they don’t require TP. :P

    @SN DONE, SIR! Consider it done!

  119. * * * * * * *

    Welcome to Week 2 of the Final Fantasy XIII Discussion!

    Join us as we continue our discussion. Feel free to build upon earlier points, or raise entirely new issues.

    If you want your post read on the podcast, please indicate this by saying something like “LUSI, READ MY POST ON THE PODCAST!”

    Then, I might read your post on the podcast. (Optionally, I may attempt an impression of your voice, or what we think you ought sound like.)

    ENJOY!

    * * * * * * *

  120. @Ginia – Agreed entirely about MP. It’s such a major relief. It’s about individual battle strategy and not an overall “rationing” strategy.

  121. Oh! @Squalldane, I just read your explanation about Role Levels. That’s sweet! And helpful, thanks!

  122. Man, I should read ALL the comments before replying. Oh well, it’s boosting the comment count.
    @Beserk – Yup! It’s Pokemon, so of course it’s great. It feels awesome to be playing Silver again. A few minor touch screen improvements to the interface as well from Platinum.

  123. @Ethos – Yeah, I was a bit confused with Role Levels also, (since it is one of the only thing that is not spelled out for you in tutorials)

  124. Ah right thanks Ethos. I’ll definitely be getting Soul Silver as well, I loved that game back when I played it ages ago.

    The difficulty seems to be increasing in XIII now, I’m on chapter 7 and some of the battles are quite hard. Still, I think I’ve truly got hooked now, I hadn’t quite up until now I don’t think but the story has been keeping me interested

  125. And thanks Squall, I had been wondering about those role levels. They didn’t explain it in game, and the manual is pretty damn useless. I couldn’t even find out what the stats did in the manual (because I was wondering about Magic and whether it affected healing or other non-Ravager spells)

  126. If other JRPGs choose to copy one thing from XIII, then I hope it will be the idea that you don’t have to have MP in order to facilitate a functioning magic system. I find it truly liberating to be able to use my mages to their fullest extent outside of boss battles.

  127. I’ve gotta say, I didn’t particularly care about having my comments read on the podcast, but now I’m REALLY curious to see what Lusi thinks is an appropriate voice for me. I’m hoping for “Drunk Al Pacino.”

    @Ginia/Ethos: Agreed about the MP. I think arguably the best part of the battle system is the fact that all your players are reset after every battle. I think it’s all part of the effort that started with FFX where you recharged your HP/MP by touching a save point (as far as I can remember, this didn’t happen in previous iterations). I’ve always been a bit of a hoarder in RPGs, since I always figure “Well, what’s next could be even worse,” but now I don’t have to worry about conserving MP or HP or anything like that.

    Also, I really like that, like Ginia said, this lets the individual battles be more of a challenge, especially the bosses. When I take down a boss in this game, it actually feels like I accomplished something, which I love. I don’t know what it is, but I’ve been more and more into challenging (note: challenging, not frustrating) games recently, and FF is striking a really enjoyable balance, in my opinion.

    @Squaldane: Add me to the thanks pile for the role level explanation.

    @Berserk: I’m up to chapter 7 as well, and so far it’s been my favorite random-encounter wise. It seems to be getting to the point where even the random encounters can be challenging.

    @Epyon: I’ve been playing on the PS3 for hours at a time and haven’t had any freezing issues. I’m using one of the original 60GB models. From the description in the video, it sounds like it could be a disc read issue, especially since the battle music stops first (it sounds like as it’s getting ready to loop back to the beginning). Then, after the battle’s over, when it tried to read the next bits of data off the disc, it can’t for whatever reason, so the game just waits forever (seems like there should be some kind of error thrown if that’s the case, though, so maybe I’m off the mark).

    @Syrek: That same thing happened to me a few times. The game teaches you pretty quickly to keep an eye on the health bars of all the characters, especially since you usually need at least 2 roles in play at any given time and Phoenix Downs are EXPENSIVE (unless you farm them for a bit like Berserk suggested). Fortunately, the “retry” features takes a lot of the frustration out of death

  128. Also, I don’t really mind Snow. He’s far from my favorite character, but I don’t seem to share the hate everybody else does. He’s just kind of a typical “try to be a righteous as possible” archetype, and that worked fine for him until the events of the game started. Since then things have started to fall apart. At the spot I am now, it seems like he’s at kind of a turning point, so I’m curious to see if the character will actually learn from past mistakes or just kind of blindly charges forward. Hopefully the former, but maybe I’m just being optimistic.

  129. No, I think Snow’s character makes perfect sense and is consistent, he just bugs the shit out of me.

    And you get the “Renew” technique for Lightning fairly early on, don’t you? That removed my need for Phoenix Downs. I used a lot of potions in the Cocoon sections though, before I got more ATB sections and better medic spells.

  130. So, now that I’m in chapter 7, I’m kinda diggin’ Vanille.

    Even her retarded-assed voice kinda makes sense …

    And I’m psyched that I was totally right about her, I totally suspected her backstory in chapter 1. I like to be right, so I appreciate her for living up to my theories. :P

  131. As a lifelong BLM (That’s Black Mage for you non-FFXI players), the idea of being able to cast spells without having to worry about MP fills me with UNRESTRAINED JOY. Whilst I wouldn’t like to see it degrade to “unlimited casting without MP” in a sort of permanent Manafont sense, I do appreciate everyone getting their HP/MP back after a battle. As a result, battles can be more difficult and you never find yourself in the situation that Darth and I apparently do, where we endlessly conserve MP only to find that 95% of the time we didn’t need to do so.

    I agree with Ethan agreeing with Darth about Snow’s character being consistent. And I agree with Ethan that it is consistently FUCKING ANNOYING. I really do cheer everytime Lightning decks him. I hope I haven’t seen the last of it. It should happen at least once per chapter.

    @Squalldane: Thanks for the explanation of Role Levels!

    @Epyon: I, too, have had no issues with freezing. Like Darth, I’m using a Mk. I 60GB model.

    My only complaint with the actual balance of the game thus far is that it has been very, very easy. The first Eidolon battle would have been more difficult if I had to figure out what to do myself, but the game tells you what to do right off.

    Also @Ethos: Apparently, once you kill a monster, you get the same information as if you had used Libra on it. So, you don’t have to Libra a monster unless:

    1) It’s completely new to you
    and
    2) You want bonuses against it in that specific battle.

    So, Libra is very important against bosses; not very important against run-of-the-mill random encounters.

    Hope this helps someone (like me) who thought they would have to go back and Libra all the things they missed!

  132. Oh that reminds me!

    I stand corrected about the Minimap, too. It does rotate. As does the main map that you bring up with the [] button. Fucking annoying, because there’s not even an option to STOP it doing that.

  133. Sometimes when you Libra or defeat an enemy you don’t get all the info about it, for example some of the item drops. I think the Loremaster trophy/achievement requires you to have 100 enemies with full info (a tick against it name)in the bestiary. So you might need to libra or beat enemies a few times each if you are wanting to grab that one. It apparantely unlocks a theme for the PS3, which is pretty cool. A few of the trophies do that in XIII(I just recently got a PS3 so I’m not sure if this is common practice in PS3 games.)

  134. @Berserk: Yep, I’ve Libra-ed an enemy and not had the tick next to its name several times, and I’ve also killed some and not had the tick — the further information comes from further kills.

    However, for the sake of improved attacks by the AI, all you need is the strength/weakness information, which always shows up after one kill or one use of Libra, I believe.

  135. @Lusi: Yeah, agreed about both the map rotation being annoying and Lightning decking Snow. As much as I don’t hate him, it is fun to watch him get hit!

    @Ginia: *Touches nose and points at her*

    @Ethos: Did Lightning get Renew early? I thought I just got renew last night right before I logged off, but I could be wrong. I certainly haven’t seen her cast it, but maybe I just missed it. like I said, I’ve been pretty adamant about keeping my characters alive, since I thought I had no way to revive them besides items mid-battle.

    On a completely separate note, I just finished chapter 8. So far the climax is my favorite plot point of the game. Truly excellent cutscene.

  136. @Darth – You could only cast it if Lightning’s the leader. It costs TP. Only the leader can use those abilities.

    @Lusi and Darth – Told you! You think the map rotation is annoying NOW? Wait ’til you get to Pulse and you’ll want to bang your head in. It’s incredibly stupid that there’s no option.
    Also, I’m the exact same way with magic, Darth and I have talked about this before. Same with items. In FFIX, I rarely go below 75% MP, and have over 50 of every item. It’s actually stupid. It’s refreshing to be forced out of that mindset.

  137. So I just started the game last saturday due to complications but I am about three hours into it already and so far it’s an incredible experiance. It’s been a long time since I’ve played a game where I was immideately hooked to the level I was when I picked up the controller and witnessed the opening cutscene. The graphics are downright gorgeous in every aspect, from the environments to the character models, every detail is taken into account with care. Sometimes my eyes wander off from the path as I am travese a locale, focusing on the backrounds and just how incredibly alien and magical they seem. It’s an awesome feeling that I havn’t felt in a video game in a very long time.

    As for the story so far, it’s definatly got a darker mood than most Final Fantasy games. I first noticed this when NORA was advancing on a group of Sanctum soldiers and a large ship destroys the bridge they are on. As this happens, you and Snow watch in horror as people are falling to their doom, trying to grab on to anything to stop the decent. You can feel the screams pierce your mind, and you look on with anger and shock. It especially hit home to me when a certain someone who is somewhat important dies and it pulls at your heartstrings really quick, even though you’ve barely met this person and only know a few things about said person. Other than that, it’s an interesting story that I want to dive deeper into, and I hope it will continue to surprise me greatly.

    The characters are all very likeable, except for that annoying pig-tailed girl who ruins the moment. Shesh. Sazh is pretty cool, as is Lightning and Hope is interesting. Snow is back and forth unfortunately.

    The music is in the right places so far but nothing too memoriable comes to mind.

    And what can I say about the battle system that already hasn’t been said. It’s freaking amazing and probably one of the best FF battle systems I’ve ever played.

    I love this game!

  138. I heard about the map early and got the strategy guide, haven’t needed it thus far, but it’s sure to save my sanity during chapter 11!

  139. @Ethos & Darthgibblet — Lightnings’ Renew spell is near the Level 3 role in her medic tree. I know this because the boss in Chapter 9 was impossible without this… or at least kept me from going completely ape shit after dying the nth time.

    (It’s also the first area I truly grinded, that’s what I get for skipping so many mobs)

  140. I just discovered the map rotation, and whoever thought it was a good idea should be shot. I got lost trying to find a stupid mark because when I pulled up my map it suddenly turned side-ways on me and I was scrolling the wrong damn way.

    I had to exit out and turn my character around and then open the damn map back up so I could figure out which way I wanted to go.

    But I do love how they did the side-quests. I was wondering how that would work out later on in the game because of how the story seemed to be (and there was no towns, so it made no sense to me how we’d get side-missions).

  141. I mean, the only side-quests ever are marks, but really, the only other kind of side quest is just talking to people or fetch quests, so I’m okay with only marks.
    And yes, the map rotation is irrevocably stupid.

  142. I think my opinion of the whole thing so far is about what SN said before release–that it will be a good RPG, but not a good FF game. It is a good RPG, and is even quite enjoyable at times, but it really doesn’t stand up with the other FF games in the series, and is such a radical departure in so many ways as to be disappointing in that regard.

    I am really looking forward to FFXIV later this year, and of course there will be an announcement of FFXV at some point–hopefully (and likely) it will be a traditional FF game, where I will be allowed to directly control my party members, and where towns will feature prominently once again, complete with shops, a world map, and a soundtrack contracted out to one N. Uematsu–a man of some renown.

  143. I agree with Lusi, mostly. In terms of its story, character development, and graphics, it is very much an FF game, and bears up to comparison fairly well. If only there were towns and a “proper” battle system – though I DO like Paradigms.

    The tunnel is starting to bother me. I think they could have tried harder to give us towns and proper dungeons.

  144. @Gin: Knowing that you are farther than me, I wonder how you can bear it. I’m already sick to death of the fucking tunnel and I’m just now getting into Ch. 5.

    Seriously, SE? This was the best level design you could come up with?

    I lament for the long-lost days of puzzle-based dungeons a’ la’ Wild Arms 1 and the like.

  145. The tunnel opens up.
    And this is easily my favourite battle system in any game, ever.
    Still, Cocoon suffers greatly from the tunnel and lack of towns, there’s no avoiding that fact.

  146. @Ethos: I’m not surprised considering that you lord Skies of Arcadia to the skies (no pun intended).

    This is a fine battle system for another series, even if I personally think it is far too automated. That said, simply by virtue of removing direct control of your party members–a requisite staple of every, single Final Fantasy game–it is not appropriate for an entry in that series.

    I would have been much happier with this if it were not part of the FF series. As it is, I feel like I have been tricked, in a sense. This is not an FF game, despite the thin veneer of FF-coloured paint which has been applied here and there.

  147. Dunno, as much as I loved XII, I feel like XIII’s battle system is more “Final Fantasy” than it.
    Designing and shifting paradigms gives me the same sort of control I’d utilize over other party members anyway. I would choose commands based on a specific strategic mindset, and that’s still what I’m doing. It’s automated, sure, but that’s because it’s so fast paced, so I’m still making decisions and pressing buttons all the time.

    There ARE moments when this isn’t always the case, and I wish the challenge was a bit more consistent, but it’s consistent enough to keep me more than satisfied.

  148. @Ethos: The more I play XIII, the more I think how much I’d rather be playing XII, which is exactly like a normal FF battle system except for the fact that your characters will continue to auto-attack unless you give them another command. THAT is the kind of automation I want in nine cases out of ten. But the best kind of automation is NONE AT ALL. Frankly, I’d rather play the game than have it play myself. If your earnest desire is a movie interrupted by holding the X button and choosing a paradigm when someone’s HP gets low, that’s fine, but it isn’t a Final Fantasy game in anything but name if the rest of the series is anything to go by (and here’s a hint: the rest of the series is what you should go by.)

    What your argument fail to compass is that the ‘because it is so fast-paced’ line of reasoning is not a matter of necessity. It was in no way REQUIRED that they had to make the battle system so fast-paced that automation became a necessity. Look at FFX-2 for a perfect example of how to have a fast-paced battle system where the player still manually controls his characters.

    I know you love FFXIII to the skies much as you love everything which is new and different, but try to contain yourself for a moment. No one is pooping on your latest objet d’affection. What is clear, though, is that this is not really a good fit in the “Final Fantasy” series of games insofar as its mechanics are concerned. It actually reminds me a lot more of The Last Remnant, and might well have been a much applauded sequel to that not-entirely well-received title. Final Fantasy XIII is the perfect direction for a new Last Remnant franchise to travel in. It’s totally the wrong direction for the Final Fantasy series, though.

  149. @Ethos: Much appreciated, and my response is in the same vein. Forgive me if I have grown a little crusty from hearing the apologists praising FFXIII to the limits of hyperbole through complete ignorance of reality (i.e. “FF13 has to be this way because the battles are so fast-paced!”) If I seem terse, it’s not because of your generally ;) balanced approach to the game.

  150. Well your responses purely relating to the game made sense to me. I have many issues with the game, but personally the battle system isn’t one of them.

  151. I have to agree with Ethos in saying the battle system is easily one of my favorites. After playing FF 1-12 (excluding 11) I got awfully tired of the somewhat same battle system that kept reoccuring. FFXIII brings old and new together in a very refreshing and fun way.

    I’m sorry but this has been bugging me for some time now and I feel I must address this. Almost every reviewer and critic on the web is saying that the game is very linear. While I have to agree, its funny because if you think about almost every main FF game is linear save for a few paths here and there that deviat. While FF13 is more linear than some, it’s definatly not a depature. The dungeons in most FF games were linear. I mean, this isn’t something new. And besides, it makes the game enjoyable because I know where I need to go and I can enjoy the game so much more because I have a direction. Exploration it sounds like comes later in the game and that’s perfectly fine because I’m enjoying myself quite a bit with the dungeons and what not.

    You all need to step back and just breath. lol. Enjoy the game for what it is and stop being so picky.

  152. I think the difference is that you could dick around in the linear path in the other games. I could explore and soak in the culture in Treno in FFIX, or find the secret cave where Vivi grew up. That doesn’t exist until Pulse in FFXIII, and even then, there’s very little culture, just beautiful environment and ecosystems.

  153. I don’t know why I didn’t mention this before but I fucking hate Lightnings visual design. Nomura’s designs irritate me. what makes it doubly irritating is that his designs are usually very good when he shows some fucking self-restraint.

    the moment I saw her she looked ridiculous. on the day that she knew she would be on a very important and very dangerous mission she got up from bed, walked to her drawer, and thought to herself “you know, today I think I’ll wear the miniskirt. that red cape looks cute too.” her naturally pink hair didn’t help either. Nomura doesn’t seem to grasp the concept that within the context of the game there is no character designer. if a character wears something it means they chose to wear that.

    other Final Fantasies have the same problem. part of the reason I didn’t like FFVII was because any scene involving Tifa was impossible to take seriously. whether in the sewer, the tundra, or in battle no one glanced twice at her. Lulu is another confusing one. how did that bitch even get dressed? there’s one scene in particular that fucks with my mind even to this day. when everyone is sliding down those wires and it shows Lulu about to get on and then cuts off to show Tidus looking cool (for once) and then cuts back to show her landing. this shit has actually kept me up at night. (and yes, I know the black is supposed to symbolize her being in permanent mourning but that doesn’t explain the buckles)[please read this during the podcast. feel free to paraphrase.]

    another thing, though only tangentially related to Final Fantasy. Japanese artists really need to stop with giving characters bizarre hair colors. I understand that in the past this was used to symbolize character traits (red hair=hot-tempered,green hair=mysterious past,brown hair=down to earth, etc) but that has long since been lost. hair color has become completely arbitrary. pink hair is traditionally meant to show that a character is a ditz. Lightning clearly is not. It doesn’t symbolize anything.

    also, NOMURA! ENOUGH WITH THE BUCKLES YOU FREAK! WHAT YOU DO IN YOUR BED IS YOUR BUSINESS, DON’T PUT THE SHIT IN YOUR DRAWINGS! [now that I think about it, add that last little part in too. don’t paraphrase]

    was gonna say something else. I’ve completely forgotten what it was. I hate when I forget what I’m gonna rant about in the middle of a rant.

    @Ethos – OK, that makes sense. whenever I asked people why they missed the towns it always seemed like they missed them for their own sake but that’s a valid reason. I also read in the (I believe) Australian Gamer review (or was it Gametrailers…) that it also means there’s no down time. your reward for beating a dungeon is another dungeon.

  154. @Syrek: Agreed that most of the other FF games are linear as well, but at least they had little diversions along the way like towns and minigames and such. Like Ethos said, there was still some exploration to be had. I’ll agree with most reviews that the biggest problem with the game so far is the linearity, and that’s coming from somebody who’s really enjoying the game overall. It’s not so much a problem now, but I really don’t think I’ll have the patience to replay the game if it takes 20 hours before I have any choices on what to do, you know? I’m 1/2 way through chapter 9 now, though, so hopefully I’ll be able to get to the spot where it opens up later tonight and get a little bit of variety up in this bitch!

    @Breaka: While I agree with pretty much everything you’ve said, I really don’t think any of those problems are limited to Nomura (except maybe the belt buckles). I think I could count the number of female characters I’ve seen in games and anime with actual functional clothing on one hand (and they all probably came from Valkyria Chronicles). Although I do think Lulu’s outfit was the highlight of Nomura’s, for lack of a better word, Nomura-ness.

    Anyway, onward to play more! To Pulse!

  155. @Darth – oh, don’t get me wrong, it’s definitely more a media problem than strictly a Nomura problem. even VC had its fair share of mini skirts (here’s lookin at you Rosie) I was just using him since we’re talking about XIII. I’ll rip the other designers a new asshole once we do playthroughs of their games.

    also, don’t forget about DiZ. he had buckles on his face. his face.

  156. -As far as I’m concerned Nomura can have as many belt buckles as he likes since he’s the only SE employee left who can design a game worth a shit.

    -@Lusipurr: If you like you can go to the config settings and slow down the battle system, that way automation isn’t a requisite.

    -@Lusipurr: XIII is like ashes in my mouth, and the apologists are driving me similarly crazy (anyone checked out the militant apologism on Cat Fancy?), but I’m actually interested to see how many of the defence force feel the same way in a couple of months after the experience has sunk in and they come to terms with what the game is. IMO most apologists just have so much emotionally invested in the game that their brain just refuses to trust their senses, as a protection mechanism.

  157. I feel as though Motomu Toriyama has sprayed viscous ejaculate point blank into my face without so much as a conciliatory tissue as recompense, much less taxi-fare on the night-stand. [READ THIS ON THE PODCAST]

  158. @Ethos- Of course you like it, it’s new and awful (a winning combination).

  159. How can you like lightning’s hair with the awful way SE have handled the alpha-effects in this game? I’m pretty sure real hair isn’t supposed to be that fuzzy and transparent …

    -Her shoulder cape is rather cute though …

  160. Lightning’s best piece of ‘clothing’ is her shoulder rank. It stands out so proudly — My only question is… after quitting, why does she still wear it?

  161. @SD she quit right before getting on the train. I guess she didn’t have time to change her clothes?

    Man, they must all be getting pretty ripe …

    And why don’t Snow and Sazh take their coats off? They go to some pretty warm locales.

  162. @Squalldane: I’ve just reached Ch. 7.

    @SN re. apologists: You’ve said it exactly.

    @Ginia re. Lightning’s clothing: Improbably-dressed people are a staple of JRPGs! You know this! BUCKLES! BUCKLES!!!

    @Ethos re. naked Snow: Please God, no.

  163. also, Lightnings Blaze Edge is dumb. if you have a swiss army sword with a blade and a machine gun why the hell would you use the sword.

    @Lusi – staple my ass! Obama said CHANGE dammit! do you have any idea how many greenhouse gases were released just to give Clouds hair its absurd volume?! do you have any idea how many times Sora has shit himself because he couldn’t figure out which belt to unbuckle?! DO YOU?!

  164. forgot [please put that on the podcast. the weapon thing, not the doo doo thing]

    I just realized that “staple my ass” sounds very wrong…

  165. I don’t think the character designs in this game are that bad, sure Vanille’s is a bit ridiculous but Snow, Sahz, Lightning’s and most of the others are all quite..well normal almost. When you compare them to X-2 at least.

    Is it me, or is the ability Launch ridiculously overpowered? There have been fights when I’ve got the enemy staggered and subsequently juggled them to death.

    @SD: I’m on Chapter 10, in a really repetitive area. They are just reusing the same rooms, enemy placements/encounters etc! I am on the brink of despair Square Enix! This opening up better be damn good!

  166. Oh, I forgot about the buckles thing. I actually never really noticed the extent of Sora’s buckle obsession till now. Then again, the Kingdom Hearts games are pretty much maxed out on leather, chains anc buckles when you think about Organisation XIII as well =o

    And well..Lulu, that is one costume I can dig ;D

  167. @Breaka: Oh, man, I forgot about face-buckle. That may trump Lulu, now that I think about it. As far as XIII goes, though, I think the designs are actually quite good. There are a few buckles here and there, but nothing too jarring. And the characters that look out of place are actually out of place (sorry, trying to avoid spoilers). There’s nobody in a 1/2 dress or fighting in a bikini or anything. And I’m still really liking the enemy design, especially the chapter 9 boss, which I thought was sufficiently epic.

    I just got to chapter 10. So far that boss of 9 was the first frustrating moment of the game for me, especially with the “game over if lead character dies” mechanic. Figured things out eventually, though, and now it’s back to tunnel-fighting! Yay!

  168. @Berserk — Yeah, it seems they reused those rooms a lot — especially the elevator room.

    @Darthgibblet – Ch 9’s boss was truly epic. He pwned my face quite a bit until I ground up a bit (by the way, you are left in a great spot to grind if you can’t beat him easily)

  169. @darth – I think that XIII is actually better than most. it’s pretty much just Lightning that begs me. well, her and Psicom. who designed that shit, I mean really?

    @Berserk – …touche.

  170. No one playing Resonance of Fate? :(

    @Breaka – BS! You intended that pun! Admit it!

  171. @Oyashiro – I had completely forgotten about it since Sega sucks at marketing but I remembered it when the Gametrailers review came up. I’m officially getting that before XIII now. can’t believe I forgot about it, I was looking forward to it… and you can’t prove anything!

  172. Sega seems to have come through with three of the four best JRPGs of March (the fourth being Atlus with Strange Journey).

  173. @Breaka – I HAVE PICTURES! Although they are of Ethos in a dress having a tea party with stuffed animals are are still pictures! *Shows*

    @Noob – You just can’t go wrong with Yakuza 3. :)

  174. Never accept a beverage from Ethan, you might be thirsty, but just don’t!

  175. @Breaka — Listened to the interview yesterday (I’m subscribed to their podcast and highly recommend it for FF fans :D )

    I must say, she seems pretty cool as a person. I liked her story about her BBQ. The guy that was bugging out on her reminded me of Ethan. “ShhHHHH! You’re the Protagonist of the biggest GaEm EVER! People will flip shit if they know! You have to be quiet!!! SHhhHHH!H!H!11!

  176. posted at Catfancy (for once) and decided it was a relevant question here too.

    the more I ask XIII detractors why they don’t like XIII the more I understand their side. the complaints are completely valid, don’t let anyone tell you differently. just because there is an aspect of a game that you don’t like doesn’t mean it isn’t important to someone else. but there is still something that bugs me. now, for the record my first three FFs were Tactics, X, and X-2 respectably. I never saw the gradual change in final fantasy that the older FF fans have. however, I don’t think I’m off when I say that a huge part of the FF franchise is experimentation. to all those older FF fans who were put off by XIII I would like to ask, are you all truly angry because it is a bad JRPG or is it because it is a bad traditional JRPG? for me, the reason I like FF is precisely because it changes every time. it may not be perfect every time but that’s the cost of progress isn’t? if nothing else, now SE knows what not to do. I believe the directer has stated that if there is a XV it will be more traditional. the day FF pulls a dragonguest is the day I stop playing FF.

  177. -It really depends on how you define a ‘bad game’. FFXIII has arguably the best battle system of the series (my second favourite) and some poorly written/acted cutscenes, which look quite pretty nonetheless. Holding these elements together is an almost entirely uninteractive, poorly realised grind tube, created for the express purpose of ferrying you from one point to the next AND NOTHING ELSE. If you want to love FFXIII then you had better ADORE the battle system because there is literally nothing else. As much as I liked the battle system it wasn’t enough to maintain my interest, and my impression of the game plummeted from there. In my opinion this is very bad game design, there is only one (very good) game mechanic and no exploration, it is a design aimed exclusively towards telling a story, and what a poor story it tells. Thus it fails on two fronts. It isn’t a bad game in the sense of FFVIII where several of the game mechanics were broken, all of XIII’s gameplay elements are very well polished, there just isn’t many of them, and so the singular mechanic driving FFXIII does not hold up in the absence of any other suitable diversion. Thus I would posit that FFXIII is a bad game based on it’s reductive and stifling game design coupled with it’s length. That is to say that the great battle system alone is not sufficient to maintain a 60 hour game.

    -I realise that the Final Fantasy series has always changed up it’s formula, but XIII strips out the majority of RPG elements and replaces them with nothing. It all comes off as rather lazy after Toriyama’s complaints that towns are too hard to create in 3D. Perhaps XIII is being judged too harshly? But if so it must give up the position it occupies within the JRPG genre because FF no longer leads the genre in any sense. XIII fails at being a Final Fantasy and it fails at being a JRPG, though it succeeds quite admirably at being something considerably less.

  178. @Breaka — Yeah, I remember hearing about XV and on being more traditional than futuristic. Last time they said this, we received the best of the franchise… IX :D

    @SNoob — Among the objects stripped out, the fanfare and prelude aren’t anywhere in here. Of course, the fanfare felt extremely out of place in XII… maybe it was its time to go.

  179. -Yeah, but last time they said that the company was called Squaresoft with Sakaguchi at the helm, my estimation of SE’s talents decreases by the day, and I only really have faith in Nomura by this point …

    -I enjoyed the fanfare in XII, it was like a knowing wink to long-time FF players, and the game as a whole was so different from other instalments that it was sort of comforting to have the occasional familiar element.

  180. Y’know, I actually agree with you about XIII, SN. The difference is that I DO adore the battle system, and I also adore the art style and visuals. It’s absolutely my favourite looking game.

    That was enough to keep me going until the game opens up and the Crystarium system and the weapon upgrade systems actually matter and it’s not just the illusion of choice anymore.

    Still, I’m far more sick of the characters now even though the plot itself really intrigues me, and I can’t deny people’s issues with the whole game. I just personally enjoy enough about it (especially post Pulse), that I can ignore the obvious faults. I still prefer IX and XII (although I’ll be pining for XIII’s battle system in every game now), but I plan to finish XIII and I’ve been enjoying myself, and expect to continue to do so.

  181. @SN/Squalldane/Breaka: Wasn’t Nomura (or somebody) quoted somewhere as saying VSXIII will be more traditional with an overworld and airship and such? I do hope we hear more about that game at this year’s E3 now that SE’s development resources have been freed up :D. If they take the best aspects of FFXIII’s battle system (or just use it outright), but flesh out the rest of the game a bit more, I think it would be something truly awesome.

    I have to say, though, I’m finding myself enjoying the story a lot more than SN. Like Breaka said, all the complaints are most definitely valid, but between the story and the battle system, I’m finding plenty of reason to keep moving ahead. Especially now that things have opened up a bit and I’m free to explore (Pulse FTW!). I think this will be a much bigger problem on a second playthrough, though. It’s like watching a good movie that you’ve seen before. Sure it’s still good and can still be enjoyed, but you lose something just by the nature of the repeat viewing. Now, instead of a 2 hour movie, it’s a 25 hour cutscene. I think this is one of those games I’ll finish once, be very happy with, and not look at again for years. I’m completely OK with that, though. I mean if I get 60 hours worth of fun out of it, I’d say I’ve gotten my money’s worth.

    As far as Toriyama being “lazy” for not including towns, I don’t think that’s the case. I’d much sooner believe that somewhere in the SE executive hierarchy they got sick of their biggest cash cow being in perpetual development and said “get it done by the holidays ’09,” so the development team was forced to make some drastic cuts to meet the deadline. In either case, I really doubt that “high def towns” are something that’ll be left out of future FF games, despite the claims that they’re impossible (unless somebody’s teasing a FFVII remake :F).

    I am with Breaka in that I’m glad they’re experimenting, though. All to often these days we’re hearing about the “death of the JRPG” and how the genre has remained stagnated for too long. At least we know that the FF series is constantly trying out new things (with mixed results). Hopefully future FF games have less of their development time spent on crappy cross-platform engine tech and more on feature-richness :F. I’d love to see the battle system (or something similar) show up in other games, though.

  182. All points on which I think we can agree. I’d love to see the battle system used again in a game that I can actually enjoy.

  183. @DG- Nomura said recently that he has his world map up and running, and can fly from one end to the other!

  184. there will ba a world map with an airship but no conformation on whether or not there will be towns in the traditional sense. Nomura has been stated as saying that VS XIII will use a more “realistic” version of the KH system. I have no freakin idea what that means. it’s kinda like saying something is less evil than hitler or more manly than Ethan, a lot of room there.

    all that crazy shit you see Noctis do in the trailer you can apparantly do (teleporting to your weapon, throwing weapons).

  185. @Breaka: I’d like to see something more evil than Hitler and less manly than Ethos. That would be TRULY impressive.

  186. For anyone that has given up or lost interest in this game — I’m here to tell you ~(Spoiler Free)~ that the beginning clip of Chapter 12 will blow your fucking mind.

    Also, I’ve been doing a little research on the VA’s. Specifically Vanille’s Georgia Van Cuylenburg. She’s very proud of her Aussie background. Proof: the name of her site… http://www.girlfromdownunder.com/

    On her site, she has a picture where she is doing the same stance that Vanille does while she walks; the cute and ditzy flare my arms and hands out.

    I also want to point out her facebook profile; mainly because she has a few clips of herself on there. One of which she is a comedian telling jokes pertaining to the difference between Americans and Aussies. “The ‘N’ Word” — haha. http://www.facebook.com/deargeorge

    Lightning’s VA Ali Hillis is pretty cool to her fans. She commented back personally to a comment I made to her on FB (essentially congratulating her on such a good job), along with every other comment there. Either she is extremely flabbergasted and enthralled by her fans, or she has an assistant.

  187. I’ll link the facebook clip on lusipurrcom because I think the only way to see is the long process of looking through her past posts. Another point of interest in the clip is her ‘sexual moans’ clip. I can see where Vanille gets it from :D

  188. @Squalldane – That CG sequence WAS incredible, but it also didn’t really make any sense. Still, it was a joy to watch if you isolate it as a solo action scene. But SE has always done top-notch stuff there.

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