Final Fantasy 13 Game

Final Fantasy 13 is the much anticipated new chapter in the epic Squaresoft series and the first to be featured on the Playstation 3. With state of the art graphics and innovative storyline, FF13 should prove itself a worthy addition to one of the most celebrated video games series of all time.

FF13 Storyline

The story, which takes place on a world called Pulse, revolves around the fal'Cie. The fal'Cie are god like mechanical beings of enormous power, created from crystals that reside within them. Those the fal'Cie have marked for their purposes are called l'Cie. Each l'Cie has a Focus, a goal designated to them by the fal'Cie, though they must determine the Focus for themselves through cryptic visions. The l'Cie have the ability to summon an Eidolon, the successors of aeons and GF's, but this power comes with a heavy price. If an l'Cie fails to complete their Focus in a given time, fails to tame their Eidolon, or dies before the Focus is completed, they become monsters called the Cie'th.  However, the reward for completing their Focus is not any more pleasant, for the l'Cie is permanently transformed into a crystal. Because of this, being marked as a l'Cie is considered a curse.

Fal'Cie

Some 1,300 years ago, a fal'Cie named Orphan made a utopian city called Cocoon, floating above the surface of Pulse, where humanity has lived ever since. Over time, the people began to fear for their safety and the safety of their city, utterly terrified of the hell they believed Pulse to be. Such was their fear that anyone that has had contact with Pulse is immediately quarantined by the Sanctum, the ruling theocracy. These laws are enforced by PSICOM, the strongest military branch on Cocoon.

The leading heroine is Lightning, a strong and fierce warrior who fights her way through PSICOM soldiers, with the help of her companion Sazh, to find the fal'Cie Anima, which transformed her sister Serah into an l'Cie. Alongside them is Snow, Serah's fiance and the leader of the resistance group Team Nora. Together, along with two other exiles called Vanille and Hope, they are forced to become l'Cie with a singular Focus: to bring down Orphan and Cocoon.

The battle system is derived from Final Fantasy VII Crisis Core and are command based battles. The enemies are integrated into the world environment but the battles are transported into a separate dimension. The Active Time Battle returns but with some modifications, and allows you to chain large numbers of commands together in order to rack up the most damage. Rather than MP, the game utilizes cost points, with each action owing a certain amount of points. Magic cannot be used outside of battle, and your health is completely restored once the battle has ended. Another new feature is the “break state,” which slightly resembles the “Finish him!” portion of Mortal Kombat. The enemy will pulse red, and the player is able to inflict tremendous amount of damage until the “break state” ends.

Rather than all abilities available to all characters, each character is assigned a certain Role with its own unique attributes, which is somewhat similar to the dress spheres of Final Fantasy X-2. For example, Commandos strike with non-elemental, physical attacks while Medics exclusively heal, casting such familiar favorites as Curaga and Esuna. Each character may only have one Role at a time, but can switch during battle, called a “Paradigm Shift,” which can prove a great advantage by restoring ATB gauges.

Eidolons are the re-imagined summon beasts of games previous. A character can only have on Eidolon, called forth from their l'Cie tattoo. Some returning are Odin, Shiva, and Bahamut, along with newcomers Hecatoncheir and Brynhildr. Once summoned, the Eidolon remains in battle while its summoner exits. You also have the option for “Gestalt Mode” which allows the character to join in some way with its Eidolon. For example, Snow rides the Shiva Sisters as a transformed motorcycle.

This game, which has been eagerly anticipated since the first whispers of its existence were heard, is shaping up to be an fantastic new addition to the Final Fantasy series. It certainly has a lot to live up to, but I have no doubt that it will not disappoint. Stunning graphics and captivating battle systems all wrapped up in an intriguing new story, Final Fantasy 13 is another incredible chapter in this epic series. by Lauren, 17/02/2010

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