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Final Fantasy XIII: First Impressions.

Just picked up the collectors edition of Final Fantasy XIII for the PS3 from my local EB.

Played it for about 2 hours tonight, finished chapter 2.

Here are some of my (First) Impressions.

The Good:

Combat System: As usual in a FF game, the combat system.  Amazingly done.  I haven’t played a FF game since X and I was a little bit suprised how much I enjoyed this new system.  I’m not missing the turn based system at all, and I think the creators did a great job on the ATB.

Characters:  Not all of them, but the two who immediately stood out as interesting characters were Sazh and Hope.  I enjoyed the character of Sazh, mainly due to his role as the comic relief and the way he played off of Lightnings’ Stoic behavior in the opening scenes.   Hope may not strike players as the greatest character, but I found that, right off the bat, he was an interesting character, open to all sorts of development.

And now, the Not-So-Good.

Story: In a series so renowned for it’s story telling, I found this one a bit difficult to understand.  From the opening scene, I was mostly lost.  “How do Lightning And Sazh  know each other?  What was Lightning doing on the train? What is a L’Cie?  What is a fal’Cie?”

These were all questions I found myself asking.  I even began to wonder if I had missed an opening scene that perhaps explained many of these questions, or if the story was just foggy on purpose, to create an element of suspense.  Near the end of the chapter, I found myself wondering why I should even care that a character was turned to crystal.  I knew nothing about the character except her name, her sister and that she was engaged to Snow.  The game didn’t allow enough time for me to build up any feeling towards this character, freezing her moments after I met her.

Characters: The Rest Of The Cast.  I found Snow to be a particularly annoying persona, constantly stating that he was “the hero” and that he would “save the day.” If he had only said this once or twice, fine. But the fact was, he kept repeating himself over, and over, and over again, until i could almost quote what he was going to say before he said it. I didn’t find the character of Vanille annoying, more just her accent. I too am Australian, and have never heard an accent as over pronounced as Vanille’s.

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