Here's the nutshell of FFXIII: Audiovisuals
- The graphics are very pretty.
- The music sounds nice, but the magic isn't there. When I listen, I think "Sounds cool but what does it have to do with the setting?" It just doesn't draw you into the world.
- They eschewed traditional FF leitmotifs, except for the Chocobo theme. No nostalgic value here.
- There are loads and loads of cutscenes which do a pretty good job of making sure you feel like the story is still going on.
- Voice acting is fine, except Vanille: You'll want to stab her in the face whenever she opens her mouth... She's the narrator.
- The story makes no real sense and you gotta read the datalogs to understand it. You should never have to read supplementary material to understand the core plot.
- The ending is absolutely terrible. Reminded me of every bad Hollywood movie I've seen.
- The characters are too one-dimensional. (Sazh of all people, the black dude with an afro, is surprisingly the best character in the game. :-) While the game does a surprisingly good job of managing not to get on your nerves with that, you can still feel it.
- Antagonists don't make sense.
- Small cast.
- Combat is just not that enjoyable. Press X to win will handle most combat for you. To make the game harder, there are some bosses you will be too weak to fight. Grind some enemies, then come back later and consider using some shrouds.
- There is nothing to interact with aside from enemies, save points, treasure chests, and on rare occasion, bystanders. (You shop from save points.) This helps make the experience feel that much duller.
- All you ever do is walk from one point to another or kill one enemy after another. When you finally get your non-linear segment where you can do sidequests, all the sidequests are nothing more than "go kill this enemy."
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