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Monday, May 17, 2010

An Open-World Fantasy

After thirty hours of linear, story-driven gameplay, Final Fantasy XIII has opened up. Gone are the long corridors, abandoned factories, and enemy-clogged warships: it's all about the great outdoors now! It's a refreshing change of pace to the game. It's pretty neat to see a whole world filled with obstacles, frightening creatures, and great loot sprawling as far as the eye can see in all directions.

I'm not sure what will happen next in Final Fantasy XIII. All I know for sure is that I've still got a lot of gameplay ahead of me.

After leaving the confines of Cocoon, the world of Gran Pulse offers numerous challenges. Besides simple exploration of a large world, there are also sixty-four (65) Cie'th missions to complete. These missions are acquired by examining strange Cie'th stones scattered about the landscape. Once a Cie'th stone is activated, players are given the option to take on the failed quest of the fallen Cie'th.

Cie'th missions follow the same basic format:

  1. Travel to a particular location on Gran Pulse.
  2. Kill the creature(s) at the target location as quickly and efficiently as possible.
  3. Earn special rewards for completing the mission.

While the Cie'th missions lack variety, the enemies encountered keep things interesting. Every single fight on Gran Pulse is a real test of your abilities. I find that all of the Cocoon-based gameplay was simply a tutorial for the complex encounters that take place on Gran Pulse. I've put 38 hours into Final Fantasy XIII and there are a number of creature(s) on Gran Pulse that can kill all of party members in one or two hits. Scary stuff.

I am going to try and finish all 64 Cie'th missions over the coming weeks. It'll be a bit of a grind but I'm sure that I'll enjoy the benefits of levelling up my party members. I'm currently using Lightning, Sazh, and Vanille as my active party members. I find that Sazh's Haste ability is crucial to getting a leg-up in most of the encounters I face. And Vanille is a great spell-caster and has some useful Saboteur skills that help to keep enemies off their "A" games.

I don't know how long I'll be playing Final Fantasy XIII. It's been two and a half weeks since I started playing. I imagine that it will take me another 2-4 weeks to finish the game. I'm not trying to rush anything at this point. I'm just enjoying the challenging battles and story. But I'm also looking forward to playing Valkyria Chronicles so I don't expect to "platinum" Final Fantasy XIII (80-120 hours).

My only plans for this week are to continue hammering away at the Final Fantasy XIII's Cie'th missions.

Have a good one!


anotherdae said...

Nice to know it "opens up" after a while. I'll have to get back into it. It's a very intense game I can only go for 4 hours or so every now and then.

Klopzi said...

anotherdae -

I tend to keep my sessions to 3 hours or less, depending on how busy I am with kids, tv, etc.

The game does open up. Story is less of a focus while leveling up your party becomes your primary concern. Thankfully, Gran Pulse and its creatures are nice to look at and the battles can be challenging: this helps make the "grind" a little less obvious and much more intertesting.

Stay tuned to the site as I'll likely post some of the better "CP Farming" videos that I can find online. If you're going to level up, you might as well do it right.

Thanks for stopping by!