I just got this from a friend and started playing it on and off since Friday. Not really an RPG guy, but...
One thing I'd like to say is that despite the linearity so far (I'm at some crystal lake atm), this is a VERY pretty game. Geez even though this came out awhile back in 2008, I'm impressed with how the visuals hold up for its time. The crystal lake level exemplifies how well the visuals are. Unfortunately, one criticism I have is that in the promotional material for Lightning, she looks like a strong thick athletic female. But in-game, she looks really scrawny (I say this based just on the legs. The difference is THAT distinctive). I'm basing off of this:
Right off the bat I was digging the turn based game combat until the introduction of the paradigm shift (although the crystarium compensates for this somewhat). I won't see anymore about the shift until I get more into the game though, since I've just been introduced to it.
Don't really care about the story, but I am very bothered by the voice acting and the way that some characters like Vanille physically behave. Voices like hers don't even seem that consistent since she seems to be changing her accent all the time.
Here, compare her line said here:
- Vanille: Come on! (slaps Hope's cheek) We have to move!
To her narrating:
- Vanille (narrating): First impression of Snow? All talk.
The voices feel REALLY different.
Also, I thought Vanille was related to Lightning/Serah. The doll-like faces and the pink hair gave me this impression...character designs felt way too similar to each other.
Am I the only person who's played this game, that's absolutely creeped out at the relationship between Serah and Snow? Dude looks like he's in his 20s-30s, while Serah is a smaller petite female who looks like she's JUST entering puberty. Whoever directed these decisions and designs must be a creepy old man or something, because it's one of the things that really turned me off from this game :/
I don't know if they had focus groups oriented to the Western market, but I would not see someone like myself really act in any way that the characters in these stories do in the English version of FF13. Maybe I've been spoiled by games like The Last of Us and Metal Gear Solid, but these characters feel so far....Too stereotypical anime-ish? Hope going on his knees and placing himself in the Tornado-defense stance (where you put your hands around your ears) everytime something happens or someone calls him out on something just doesn't seem to happen in real life unless you're a little kid. Even the dialogue feels like it's ripped off from some drama play and forced to be adapted to video game cutscene events. Cringe-worthy is the best way to describe the dialogue for the most part.
The UI...I love the UI, though some parts of it is hard to read from the main menu. But I dig how they did the status screen with the cool visual animation of the characters along with displaying their stats. That's a cool transition and felt fresh.
The music...I have no comment about the music except that I really dig the battle music (until it gets the middle part...but the beginning buildup always gets me excited every single time).
That's all for now.