I've thought about it, but I want to know what's going on in the game. I can't understand any other languages so I will wait for 2 more months until it's in the US. I have imported a few games before, but only because they never get released out here.
Here's a fresh Gamasutra article on the game. It's an analysis on the first 10 hours of play in the game (J-NSTC version). Quite an interesting read actually, especially about the part on eliminating towns in way of something new towards the game's pacing.
All this pre-release analysis is quite foreboding. Monumental praise, yet lingering anguish. My only conclusion: Buy it and find out for myself when it's released in the United States. It looks like it's going to turn into the most overanalyzed game of recent memory. I don't want to see 8 page reviews of it like I did Grand Theft Auto IV, that just annoyed the piss out of me.
Anyway, I found RPGFan's import review interesting. I didn't bother reading the whole thing, though. Unlike the Gamasutra article, this guy actually finished the whole game.
So I guess I'm the only iconoclast that actually loved how this one turned out? Sure it's not perfect, but there's this overindulgent air about XIII which somehow sends me on a nostalgia trip, making me feel a euphoria that's eerily similar to the way I geeked out over Square's PSX RPGs. I mean I was expecting to hate it too, but somehow ended up on the other end of the spectrum. Maybe it boils down to whether you can unleash your inner 14-year-old-nomura-fanboy or not. Haven't purged that little guy from my soul just yet.
Although, the soundtrack's pretty damn sexy no matter how you slice it. If you ask me, it's Hamauzu's magnum opus. And I didn't even like the guy much before (well yeah okay 'Todesengel' from SaGa Frontier 2 was pretty kickass, buuuuut)
That being said, I like the character designs, but I hate the characters themselves. The voice acting is good, but the dialogue sucks. the story is good in concept, but the pacing is terrible. It's the fucking definition of a love/hate scenario.
I'll stick it out until the end, but I'm keeping my hopes high and my expectations low for the rest of it.
Oh man, this game has made me so happy. I am still sort of stumped by how much backlash it is getting. It's certainly rough around the edges in many places, but what Final Fantasy hasn't been? It's like everyone is surprised they didn't get the Moon on a stick given to them by for their birthday. Certain review sites I've trusted for a long time really blew it on this one and have shaken my trust in their opinion.
Also, does anyone else listen to Snow talk and think to themselves, "Shut-up Keanu"?
Yeah, I can wholeheartedly recommend it after getting to chapter 11. Matt, you will enjoy it as it feels a lot like the next step from FFXII. GameLife's review is absolutely correct from a high level as Final Fantasy stands to become irrelevant if it does not innovate in response to direct competition from Bioware, Blizzard, etc.
But up to chapter 11 was definitely not the future of RPGs. It reminded me of Twilight Princess' unnecessarily long tutorial, except this time stretched over 20 hours.
Well, I stand behind it. It takes a long time for the battle system to ramp up - for instance, you don't get full control over your party until chapter 11 (an important chapter, as I mentioned). But the Role system is a simplification of the very programmey Gambits system used in FFXII and once you realise the ease and advantages of being able to switch roles (Paradigms) on the fly, in the middle of an action being performed, or in the middle of the enemy unleashing an attack, then it becomes quite powerful.
They really screwed up the script, voice acting, and dramatic storyline, but the battle system is very polished and interesting.
I'm still only on chapter 5, but so far I really like it. I LOVE the music, the battle system is just starting to get interesting (I need to get farther into the game to really appreciate it I think) the characters are cool, Lightning looks like Cloud is cross dressing again and Hope is Tidus but I'm cool with it I love the dark haired chick whats her name... Fang, I can't wait to get her in the party.
oh ok but I do find Snow and Serah disturbing, I feel like I'm watching this big idiot guy hit on a 14 yr old
I can't say that I've been as sucked into the game as I'd have liked... I picked it up over Spring Break (driving school bus gives me the same days off as the students), played it for a few nights; got to Disc 2 (yes, Xbox version), and it's sat in the case since...
I don't know what it is, but I've since played through the single-player campaigns for the first Left4Dead (and a bit of Bioshock) and have had more fun with those than FFXIII... Heck, I'd even debated going and selling it off!!! -Don't worry though, I've decided to keep it and try to get back into it (I'd hate myself if I decided to pick it up down the line and play through it again...)
I'm not complaining about the linear nature of the game, the "Press "A" to beat the game, or the lack of a world map (and the other commonly read complaints of the game that I've seen online); and actually enjoyed (my idea of) playing through a 'real-time' story/movie... I do know that I'm getting annoyed by the fact I only really control one character in the party (although I have a little control over the others w/ the paradigm shift)...
I don't know, just my initial two cents... I might throw in a little more change later on when I've played the game a bit more!
Alright so I took way too long a break from work today and beat it. I made the mistake of deciding to beat the game about 2 weeks ago. Why was this a mistake? Because I turned it into a chore. Something that had to be done, instead of taking my time for the last 6-9 hours or so of play. Despite turning it into a slight drudgery at the end there, I enjoyed the game thoroughly. I left satisfied and look forward to going back and trying to beat some more of the marks (I think I have at least 40 of them done now, though not all at 5 stars) when I feel like it. Despite our high hopes (my high hopes?) not being completely met, I do think it is yet another respectable entry into the Final Fantasy series. I'm going to write a review of it sometime over the next few weeks when I have more time because nobody ever gets tired of reading about Final Fantasy, right?
I'm still mulling over purchasing the game myself. I don't want to play another Final Fantasy X ever again. That is, 50+ hours of my life that I almost completely forgot about since then and don't care to remember now.