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About the product
- Cocoon, a human paradise, floats above the world of Pulse
- When an ancient entity of Pulse origin awakens on the outskirts of a Cocoon city, paradise is threatened from within
- Choosen by destiny, six must choose between saving mankind and saving themselves
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Final Fantasy XIII is the eagerly anticipated title from Square Enix that takes full advantage of the superior power and technology in Xbox 360, providing tangible, intuitive controls while delivering seamless transitions between real-time gameplay and stunning in-game cinematics. Using the latest in cutting-edge technology, this latest addition to the Final Fantasy series is worthy of the title next generation.
From the Manufacturer
From the creative minds behind FINAL FANTASY VII and FINAL FANTASY X comes the latest installment in the critically acclaimed series. As FINAL FANTASY VII was for PlayStation, and FINAL FANTASY X for PlayStation 2 computer entertainment system, FINAL FANTASY XIII will be the first numbered FINAL FANTASY title for the PlayStation 3 computer entertainment system and Xbox 360, and will look to once again reestablish the series as the RPG brand. Players will follow Lightning, Snow, and the other heroes who are dealt a hand of fate by the god-like fal'Cie. Cursed and regarded as enemies of society, they have the world against them and nobody to rely on but each other. Will they find the strength within themselves to break free of their curse and determine their own fates, or will they succumb to this higher power? With a story that is sure to connect with players' hearts, diverse new characters from world-renowned creator and character designer Tetsuya Nomura, and exciting new gameplay features centered around an evolved Active Time Battle system, FINAL FANTASY XIII will be the pinnacle in gaming experiences.
Cocoon — a utopia in the sky. Its inhabitants believed their world a paradise.
Under the Sanctum's rule, Cocoon had long known peace and prosperity.
Mankind was blessed by its protectors, the benevolent fal'Cie, and believed that tranquil days would continue forever.
Their tranquility was shattered with the discovery of one hostile fal'Cie.
The moment that fal'Cie from Pulse — the feared and detested lowerworld — awoke from its slumber, peace on Cocoon came to an end.
Fal'Cie curse humans, turning them into magic-wielding servants.
They become l'Cie — chosen of the fal'Cie.
Those branded with the mark of a l'Cie carry the burden of either fulfilling their Focus or facing a fate harsher than death itself.
A prayer for redemption.
A wish to protect the world.
A promise to challenge destiny.
After thirteen days of fates intertwined, the battle begins.
- Take Part in a Gaming Experience that Sets New Standards – The first in the series developed for a simultaneous release on multiple high-definition consoles, FINAL FANTASY XIII pushes new boundaries in cinematic presentation, sound and gameplay.
- Experience the Unity of Speed and Strategy with the Ultimate Active Time Battle system – The familiar system has evolved, granting players the freedom of executing numerous commands in a single turn with the multi-slot ATB gauge. Whether inputting singular commands in each slot for consecutive attacks, or expending multiple slots at once to activate a devastating blow, it’s up to the players to respond effectively to the battle conditions at hand.
- Adapt to the Ever-Changing Tide of Battle with Paradigms – A brand-new game mechanic enabling players to assign roles to their party members at any time during battle, shifting between combat paradigms. Consisting of various combinations of the game’s six roles, ranging from Commando, the offensive specialist, to Medic, the quintessential healer, paradigms allow players to respond and adapt instantly to any given situation to turn the tide and seize victory.
- Witness the Battle Scene Transform with an All-New Summon System – Introducing Gestalt Mode, a powerful dimension of the summon system that elevates the action to a whole new level. In Gestalt Mode, characters and their transformed Eidolons fight as one, dealing massive damage to enemies through simple button commands.
- Delve into an Emotional Experience – An immersive storyline connects players to an intriguing cast of characters. Will they have the strength to confront their cursed fates, or will destiny prevail over all that they believe in?
This solitary young woman speaks little of herself – even her true name is a mystery. She is known to others simply as "Lightning."
An irrepressible, fiery young man, Snow dives headfirst into danger using nothing but his powerful physique as a weapon.
Vanille is an endearing young woman with a relentlessly sunny disposition. Her bright personality gives no hint of the dark resolve that lies within.
Sazh is a friendly, cheerful man who is never without his curious companions – a chocobo chick and a pair of pistols. He is quick to banter, but also keeps a mature perspective on matters.
Hope has enjoyed a markedly uneventful youth on humankind's haven of Cocoon. His life is turned upside down at the hands of the Sanctum's Purge.
Sera is Lightning's younger sister and Snow's fiancee. Always showing concern for Lightning, she has an inner fortitude that allows her to make her own decisions without relying on her older sister.
Fang is a mysterious woman who is working with the Sanctum military despite bearing the mark of the detested l'Cie. She has a strong-minded personality and is unconcerned with trivialities.
Top Customer Reviews
Perhaps these reviews mean little as the reception FF13 received in the US and other western countries was not favorable. I can see why. I'll start with the flaws--first, the voice acting is slightly melo-dramatic in the NA and EU versions. Another problem was terrible foreshadowing. I'm not going to spoil anything, but it does have to do with a scene near the beginning where Vanille finds a strange staff. It's her weapon, but before her first battle, she plays with it like a toy. Later in the game, it shows why she knew it was there and how she understood how to use it.
Another problem is that there seems to be a pattern which goes like this: cutscene->fight->cutscene->fight->repeat. To me, this didn't bother me because it gave me time to learn the story. However, for others, it can easily break the flow the game.
The beginning is also very slow, and it makes it difficult to press through Lake Bresha. After that part, it begins to get easier and easier.
As for the positives, let's start with Lightning herself--the lead. She is one of the first, besides Zidane from FF9 to be a completely non-emo character. She also is a no-nonsense, serious, yet knows what she's doing character. She's an excellent protagonist, and she has great character development.
Another positive is the battle system. Although you cannot control the characters, there is a strong aspect of strategy in the battles. Knowing what paradigm shifts to use and when is crucial to a successful battle. This game is difficult (which is also a plus), and I have never died so many times in a Final Fantasy game.
There are more negatives and positives, but overall, I think this an enjoyable game that deserves a chance for any FF fan.
Playstation 3 owners are very disappointed that Square-Enix has given so much support to Microsoft lately, and FFXIII going multiplatform was to many an abomination to God. I get it. Really, I do. This happened about fifteen years ago when Squaresoft shifted support from Nintendo to Sony after giving us Final Fantasy I, II(US), III(US), Chrono Trigger, and Secret of Mana, all of which I played and loved as they were released. Nintendo was THE Square system back then, just as many feel Playstation is today. But times change. Instead of being grateful that FFXIII is MULTIplatform instead of a Microsoft exclusive, many Sony fans and professional critics have started a smear campaign against the 360 version that has gotten way out of hand.
The Final Fantasy XIII graphics for the Xbox 360 are inferior to the Playstation version. The CGI video is compressed and the in game graphics are of a lower resolution. The framerate and loading times on the Xbox 360 version are better than on the Playstation. HOWEVER, if you are running the game on a reasonable sized television, the graphical difference is NEGLIGIBLE. The game looks absolutely fantastic to me on my modest 36" LCD screen. On all the online HD video comparisons I have seen, I see NO DIFFERENCE AT ALL between the two versions, with the exception of a little more tearing on the character's hair from time to time (I only noticed this after rewinding about six times,squinting, and holding my mouth just..so). So the bottom line with the graphics is: unless you are playing on a very large screen TV and have an obsessive attention to graphical detail, the XBOX 360 and Playstation versions are graphically identical.
Now for something just a little more important: the gameplay. There is a lot of hate for the linearity of the gameplay, so much so that it's already cliche and the game just came out this week. Phrases like "Corridor RPG," "Like a tunnel," and "Mash forward and A, then repeat," are floating around. This is true for the first HOUR, as it was for FF VI and VII as I recall. After that the maps start branching out a bit more, and much later the game world opens up for exploration (as is commonplace in previous final fantasy games). Final Fantasy and Japanese role playing games in general have always been very linear in nature. FFXIII has been streamlined a bit to emphasize the narrative and action, favoring momentum over the illusion of choice. But the extent of this has been greatly exaggerated. After the first hour, the maps are no more linear than any other FF game since VII. They are more or less straight forward with a few little detours and dead ends with extra enemies and chests. It is true that there are no towns (on the first disc anyway), but there is a shop at every save point. It is NOT true that you can not level up or customize your characters. About two hours in you are introduced to the leveling system, to which you invest experience points for skills that build up XIII's version of the job system. The battle system is a lot of fun, and is essentially the old school Active Time Battle system that started with FFIV, but streamlined for a much faster pace. It is true that you only actively control one team member at a time, but it works.
Much has been said about FFXIII as a technological marvel. The graphics and art design are gorgeous. Fully rendered cut scenes take the place of virtually all in-game dialog (no text bubbles!). The game has a level of shine and polish rarely seen in video games, regardless of whether you buy it for the Playstation 3 or Xbox 360. But for all this advancement, the game still feels very traditional. Playing it doesn't feel much different from Final Fantasies of old, going back to Super Nintendo days really. I've been a Final Fantasy fan since the first installment back in 1987. I've watched the series grow, triumph, and falter. So far I'm very pleased with Final Fantasy XIII, and am excited to see what happens next.