Anyways, FFXIII. The battle system is novel. But the game is just... so frustrating. When I first powered up the game I had a flood of memories from playing RPGs in my youth, where you would go through the intense introduction hour or two, then get to that first village. The first village is always so great. New weapons! New armor! You don't have enough money to upgrade everyone though so you have to pick the coolest characters to pump up. And maybe this village has a new character for you! HOW AWESOME WOULD THAT BE!?
Well, 12 hours in, there is no village. I haven't even been to a real city. I haven't been able to explore anything. Remember how people disliked Final Fantasy X for being to linear? This takes that to a whole new level. There is basically no need for cities anymore, let alone exploring them. Cities have been replaced by a computer. Save points (which are soooo common, literally every 10-20 minutes in the game) act as shops, save points, and weapon upgrading places. Where do you heal? Well, after each battle of course! What if you die? YOU GET TO SELECT RETRY! You don't even have to go back to the save point that was 5 minutes ago! You can literally just try the fight again after changing your character's abilities in the menu. Oh, and Eidolons are transformers. This is not an exaggeration. Spoilers about 3 hours into the game: Shiva turns into a motorcycle. END SPOILERS. The music? Horrid. I think they got some Disturbed cover band to write some riffs for it.
I hear the game opens up during chapter 11 (out of 13), or about 30 hours into the game. Until then, here is how to play the game. 1. Run straight, you might have 2-3 encounters. 2. Use the save point. 3. Watch the cutscene. 4. Repeat an excessive amount of times.
The game basically has three things going for it. It looks amazing. Cool battle system, and neat leveling system. The story is pretty lame. Characters, often obnoxious. But I suppose this is what happens when the gaming companies decide to make action games more like RPGs and RPGs more like action games. Call me old fashioned, but I'll take any PS1 RPG over this game.
Thankfully, Soul Silver is in stores tomorrow morning. I'll be there. Getting it. Then walking around town to level my favorite Pokemon.