A new Final Fantasy is a big deal for me. I love these games. I've played and replayed quite a few number of them (the exception being those NES ones, I just can't bring myself to play them, no matter how big a fan I claim to be, and 5, because, well, I don't have a good reason for that). There's something comforting about going into a battle mode that's separate from when you're running around, a stark contrast from say an intense shooter, or some over my head strategy game. There's something about running around towns talking to strangers, buying items and weapons, finding some super powerful secret weapon thanks to a guide you read on the internet, exploring a huge over world, seeing familiar names from previous games in different settings in different roles, an epic story full of melodrama, cool music that pumps you up, leveling up your characters to godly levels, and all the other staples of Final Fantasy. I kept hearing about how the game is too "linear" and that's really the only thing I got out of the many reviews I read about this game, that and the battle system was some impossibly complicated thing that couldn't be explained in words (or maybe I just didn't bother to understand it in words).
But I had such a good history with these games, the last one was so good, and man it looked so pretty, there was no way I was not picking this up. To tell you the truth, in my tragically limited world of video games, this is the game I've been waiting to play for four years. This is the reason I bought a Playstation 3 (although I convinced myself otherwise a couple years early). And thank goodness I was not disappointed. It was definitely not what I was expecting, but it was a very pleasant surprise. Yes, they throw out almost all of the stuff I know and love about Final Fantasy that I mentioned above, but what's left and what's new is impressive and polished to a very high degree that I couldn't have asked for more. They did the same thing with the last one with a pretty crazy revamp on the battle system, and that game was my favorite in the series (still is). This time around, it was a great feeling playing and thinking the whole time that they could turn the battle system completely on its head again and succeed so astoundingly. I guess I'm still reeling from the other ten games of pretty much the same affair.
Really fun battle system
This is the most fun I've had playing a Final Fantasy and that is credited to the fast-paced, intuitive, addictive battle system. It is pretty complicated and I didn't get some of it for awhile, even after they finally give you the reins to control everything. At one point though, everything snaps into place and you get it, and it's fun as hell. They really ease you into it, with about 20 hours before you're free to do whatever you want.
That's the biggest complaint I've heard from this game. After playing through it though, I didn't think it was bad at all since it's not like this game was super boring and they hold your hand the entire time during these 20 or so hours. It felt a little more like you were playing with restraints given to you and you had to make the best of your situation. You definitely felt handicapped, but you're learning a different, critical aspect of the battle system along the way. Beyond the first few hours, the battle system is plenty of fun.
Might as well dive in and tell you what I love so much. You only control one character at a time, and with that you have the … Read on