Having played every Final Fantasy game i could get my hands on since i was 14, i was eagerly awaiting this one, somewhat still reeling from the travesty of X-2, i was looking forward to seeing what Square would provide with its first next gen installment (XI not inluded).
I agree with several reviewers here and elsewhere, in that a couple of the characters are linear and annoying (Snow, Hope) however they serve their roles of pushing the story forward. Speaking of which, the story is great, as every you'd expect from Square, the depth and mystery of the world that surrounds you is immense. It's just a shame that it wasn't literal.
It takes roughly 60 hours to complete if you grind a bit like me, the first 20 of which you dont get any exploration at all, point A - point B, mini boss, cutscene, next. A shame, to be sure.
The open area isn't truly open until you finish the game and come back (thus opening up the final levelling up process). The levelling up itself is linear, grinding isnt worth it as its all streamlined, you can only level up so far until X place in the story, then a bit more and so on.
Customisation is limited, more can be accessed at "end game" but even so, upgrade your weapons, accessories thats it.
However, there is yet praise to be found.
The battle system is fluent and a step in the right direction for Jrpg's such as FF, allowing you to play with the turn based feel of an old FF, but being able to shift the tide battle with fluent teamwork and role switching brings a fresh feel to it.
Also if you are that way inclined there are a lot of bigger challenges to take on after the game in the form of c'eith stones and a larger "tournament" to progress through for powerful rewards, which you will need to face down the biggest of the big.
- Great graphics
- Mostly great characters
- Amazing story
- Fresh combat system
- Lots of harder challenges for post-completion
- Takes a long time to feel like you're getting anywhere
- A couple of 'really' annoying characters
- Limits on levelling
- Practically no freedom apart from one field area (until post completion)
Good game, not great, but good. If you can get it cheap, grab it.