Next Castle

Thank you Mario! But our princess is in another castle…

Start of Final Fantasy XIII

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The intro is short and sweet (nothing like Final Fantasy XII), and then they throw you right into a battle. My thoughts during the intro:

Graphics look amazing. How did I ever play games on a 20″ standard TV?

Huh… weird voiceover…

So I guess I’m a prisoner… the guard looks straight out of Star Wars!

Cool–Lightning kicks ass. And the bird in Sahz’s fro is freaking adorable.

I have glowy blue powers!!!!

Are we in the Matrix? This city looks weird…

Lightning’s hair and eyes look awesome.

Huh… Did I just start a revolution?

Giant animal mechs are popping out of portals? … And our train is being chased by a flying scorpion?

… and now we’ve crashed. Crap. Up and away!

My first battle is against the mech scorpion that crashed our train. The battle system seems pretty standard–we’re fighting in real time but it takes a while for my action meter to fill up and act on the attacks that I choose. It’s a little more automatic than FFXII, in that I can just let the game decide the best actions to take and I don’t really have any control over what the other person in my party is doing. I’m not sure I like that… at least in FFXII I could switch over and make a character do something specific. Maybe this will change later? I take down the scorpion, but it’s up for a round two. My health regenerates, as does the scorpion’s, and then I beat on it for a while. Eventually, it goes down and I get… 4 stars? And 6 potions–nice.

After the first battle is over I page through all the menus to get a handle on things and then progress to the save point. There’s a “shop” at the save station, but I can’t buy anything because I’ve only got 200 gil. Hopefully I’ll get more as the level progresses. I walk along the linear path and pretty soon I come up on my first enemy encounter–I take out the 2 guys in record time and get 5 stars! But no spoils 😦

When I run into my next enemy, I realize that my HP has regenerated. Apparently it does this after every battle, which is kind of nice. Means I won’t be running through potions like crazy. I don’t have any magic that I can see…

I continue to progress. There’s only really one way to go and I find a few treasure orbs (no chests in this game!) along the path. Finally, one of the treasure orbs gives me something good: an Iron Bangle! My first accessory! I’m feeling nostalgic already.

I keep walking… So far the battles have been ridiculously easy. Since the first one, when I got 4 stars, I’ve gotten 5 stars every time and haven’t had to use any items. And nobody’s dropping any items! Boo! Finally I get something from a mech dog that’s interesting: chipped tooth? I wonder what I can use that for. Eventually I come up on a bridge and a cut scene ensues…

The bridge goes out and lots of people scream as they fall to their deaths. Hmm… that was kind of cool. Then Sahz stops me from doing a blue glowy flying thing, which pisses me off. Back off, man! So we both make a jump and then we get in a mini-boss fight where we learn about that annoying STAGGER! message I kept getting. Hm–okay. So, despite the fact that you have to wait for your action meter to charge up before you can attack something, and you have no real control over your other party members and when they attack, timing is a big deal in this game. You have to chain your attacks one after the other so that your enemy reaches “critical mass” eh-hem, I mean “stagger.” Then they take massive damage from regular attacks (for a limited time anyways). Well… I guess I’m getting it, because I make quick work of the enemies.

I’ll be back later with more impressions of this game!

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Author: nextcastle

My name is Ashley and I’m a gamer. I live in DFW, where I work from home writing boring instructional text. This blog is about my day-to-day experiences with games and the hours I devote to them.

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