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Wednesday, May 26, 2010

From Cocoon to Gallia

After a mere 70 hours, I finished Final Fantasy XIII. I didn't think it possible for me to complete such a huge game while also fulfilling my duties as a husband and father. I guess I was wrong! Family's happy, the house isn't falling apart, and I managed to play through an epic story in the span of three weeks. Not too bad!

There's not much more to say about Final Fantasy XIII that I haven't said in previous posts. It's a great game with an engaging story and amazing graphics. I found the story and characters were designed to hold a more universal appeal, catering to both Western and Eastern audiences. There wasn't anything too over-the-top or too weird in this latest iteration of the Final Fantasy franchise. I also feel that FFXIII did a tremendous job of innovating on the generic J-RPG formula. There were so many little touches that streamlined the game without taking away from the title's core challenge and appeal. Final Fantasy XIII is an amazing game with high production values, great gameplay, and a wonderful story.

I have updated my Year of Gaming: 2010 Edition to reflect my completion of Final Fantasy XIII.

I've already started playing my next title - Valkyria Chronicles. I'm about 5 hours into the game and I love it! It reminds me a lot of X-Com but set in a WWII setting with a bit of J-RPG flair. The combat is really quite addictive. I've found myself replaying the same Skirmishes (training battles) over and over again in an attempt to earn an elusive "A" rank. These extra skirmishes also help me level up and earn cash used to improve my troops and equipment respectively. I'll need all help I can get as I continue to lead the Gallian militia into battle against the overwhelming Empire.

I'll have more to say about Valkyria Chronicles in the coming weeks. For now, my only focus is to sit back and enjoy the gorgeous visual style of the game and interesting storyline. I have a feeling that VC's story will touch on some pretty deep themes. I'm really excited to see what happens next.

I'll leave you with the E3 2008 trailer for Valkyria Chronicles. Take note of the look of the game. Believe me when I say that it looks even more impressive on a 42" HDTV. I'll be back with more on this game soon.


anotherdae said...

Congrats on completing! Tell me: would you play it again?

Klopzi said...

@anotherdae -

If I had fewer games in my gaming library and a whole lot of free time, I would have kept playing my current playthrough. I barely touched the Cie'th missions or any of the other extras. It was a 70 hour push to finish the main storyline and a few extra trophies.

Now - would I play FFXIII again from start to finish? If I'd completed all of the extra missions and picked up all trophies? No.

But if I had the time and no other triple A titles to play? I could see myself playing again. It would be nice to play through the earlier battles knowing what I knew by the game's end credit.

Also, the worlds of Cocoon and Pulse created for FFXIII are so incredibly rich and detailed. It stills feels strange to leave these environments behind and move on to other games. It's not until Chapter 11 in the game that the true breadth and depth of the game hit home. There is just so much stuff to do that I could see people easily spending 120+ hours with the game and enjoying every minute.

If you haven't played FFXIII and enjoy RPGs (Western or Japanese), I can't recommend FFXIII enough.