‘Final Fantasy’ lives up to legacy

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By Kyle Durham / Editor’s Assistant

Intense gaze- From left, Cocoon city prisoners Lightning, Snow Villiers and Oerbo Dio Vanille stare off intensely. (Games Press)

By Kyle Durham / Editor’s Assistant

One word sums up “Final Fantasy XIII:” Beautiful.

Talk to any hard core gamer and it is almost a sure fire bet they have a strong opinion about the “Final Fantasy” series.

Love it or hate it, “Final Fantasy” changed the gaming world and more specifically the role playing game scene, permanently and with great force.

The “Final Fantasy” universe was invented by Hironobu Sakaguchi, and is developed and owned by Square Enix, formerly Squaresoft.

It all started in 1987 and was originally created as a last ditch effort to save the company from failure. What happened next was nothing short of revolutionary as “Final Fantasy” became a phenomenon and spread world wide along with its sequels.

The “Final Fantasy” games went from a cheesy Nintendo Entertainment System classic game to a fast paced, modern and stunning Playstation 3 game.

“Final Fantasy XII” is a console role-playing game that continues the tradition of the old while still maintaining a solid reputation of being one of the leading next-generation games on the market.

The thirteenth installment in the “Final Fantasy” series takes the gamer through a very playable and fast paced story mode along with cutscenes that will leave even the harshest critic speechless.

The plot of “Final Fantasy XIII” is as complicated as it is gripping. The story revolves around the legendary story of a god-like creature named Cocoon fal’Cie Orphan and the floating city Orphan resides over.

The city, Cocoon, is a fabricated paradise world that floats high above the ground floor. Cocoon started out succeeding as a perfect society but later fell under a totalitarian military rule.

You start out as a prisoner below a ship on its way to banish your character and other prisoners to the ground floor planet. Your character befriends others imprisoned in the ship and eventually a revolution begins to intervene with the corruption above.

The game play is similar to the games proceeding, in that it has the same command based battle scene. This means that even though your adversaries are integrated into the world around you, you’ll be sent to a different dimension all together to fight.

The fighting is a more complicated and fast paced version than the classic one-at-a-time attack mode.

The lack of side quests and mini games, which many people loved about the old games, has disappointed some fans.

Also, the weapon upgrades seemed like an attempt to be as complex as the character development but actually felt over simplified.

This game fulfills many of the Japanese role playing game stereotypes such as archetypical characters, dreamy eye staring, constant name repetition, and the over use of cutscenes, however; these things were expected.

While there is some debate on this game and it has both pros and cons, it is inarguably a solid game as the pros more than outweigh the cons.

The characters were unexpectedly deeper in both action and back story and the game plot was solid and entertaining.

For example, Hope, one of the protagonists in the game, has real character development opposed to the usual and predictable characters used in role playing games.

Sports games are meant for competition, fighting games for bragging rights, action games for the thrill, and role playing games for the compelling story.

To say that “Final Fantasy XIII” emotionally involves the player would be an understatement. This game is absolutely beautiful in both story and appearances.

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