Fans waited a long time for Final Fantasy XIII, which was released in North America in 2010. It is the 13th installment in the popular series and is set on a fictional floating world called Cocoon. The evil government, Sanctum, has ordered the killing of civilians who come into contact with Pulse, the much-feared world below Cocoon. People are kidnapped, branded and given certain tasks to accomplish.
A former soldier, Lightning, begins the fight to save her sister, Serah, who was branded an unwilling servant to a god-like being from Pulse called the Fal’cie. Lightning is joined by Snow and other rebels who want to rescue Serah (Snow’s fiancÃ©e).
They become marked by the same Pulse creature, but don’t know their task yet. They rally against Sanctum while trying to discover their assigned task and whether they can avoid being turned into monsters or crystals.
The game includes fast-paced combat and a new customizable “Paradigm” system to control which abilities, called “Crystarium,” are used – commando, ravager or medic. One example is Snow’s ability to turn things to ice, freezing his enemy so he can obliterate them.
Final Fantasy XIII includes elements from previous games like summoned monsters, chocobos, and Airships. As in FF XII, enemies and creatures are out in the open. You can walk by, approach, or avoid them. However, unlike FF XII, when characters touch an enemy, the screen transitions from the regular map to a separate battle map similar to those in FF X. In the new battle map, there can be a maximum of three characters fighting.
This is a single player game, so while characters in the battles advance the storyline, they are not controlled by other players.
Final Fantasy XIII received mostly positive reviews, praising the battle maps designed by Hiroyuki Ito, graphics, presentation, and battle system. Reviewers were less enthusiastic about the storyline because they felt the maps were too linear. Even so, FF XIII became the fastest-selling title in the series. As of July 2012, it had sold 6.7 million worldwide. A sequel titled Final Fantasy XIII-2 was released in 2012 in North America. A second sequel, Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII, which concludes Lightning’s story and the Final Fantasy XIII saga, is in development and set for release in 2013.
This gamer can’t wait because I want to see what happens at the end of the series! My favorite character is Snow, a tough guy who doesn’t often use any weapons. He relies on his fists and is intelligent and witty. On a scale of 1-100, I give it a 95.75 because the graphics are awesome, and the battle scenes were well thought-out. Have a blast playing Final Fantasy XIII!