The XBox 360 version of Final Fantasy XIII is the worst of a bad lot, the disappointing game's consolation prize of nice graphics being considerably less impressive on the platform.
However it sold by the bucketload so I'm sure it's worth mentioning that Choices UK currently have it available for just £12.24 right now, a price which slices over £3.50 off the next best (£15.99 from PowerPlay Direct).
Final Fantasy XIII is the tale of two, connected but opposed, worlds, Cocoon and Pulse. The cosy existence of the former is shaken and changed forever when a creature from the latter, a fal'Cie is discovered. As is usually the case with Squeenix titles, the story is often baffling and mildly frustrating but enjoyable enough in the main. Much like the tale, the characters are likely to grow on you, though there is a decent chance that you will find at least half the bunch absurdly slappable for the majority of the game.
The narrative is not so much intricately weaved through the game as crudely pasted ontop, playing out in seemingly interminable cutscenes, interspersed with periods where you can control your character's progress down the remarkably straight paths that take you through your journey by pressing forwards with the analog stick and occasionally jabbing the A button. Thus the random battles (which the game would have you believe are non-random battles) actually come as something of a relief as it is in combat that some kind of fun can at last be found. Here at least you are able to make some decisions, although, of course, the game would prefer you did not, providing an "Auto Battle" option for those too lazy to select an action from the very limited list themselves and allowing the player to take control of the party leader only. Despatch with the fiends in your path and then it's off down the invisible-wall strewn corridors once again.
The game is much lauded for its graphics but, cut-scenes aside (which are indeed, at times, breath-taking, even in their absurdity), I personally, cannot see what all the fuss is about. It would be churlish to say that it is a bad looking game but for a title so heaped in praise, it seems crazy that every straight line is beleagured with pixellation. Furthermore the Xbox version is not a patch on the PS3, with a noticeable difference in the textural quality and the level of detail.
Most critics hauled out a laundry list of problems with the game but then balked when it came to actually awarding their marks out of ten, leaving the game with the kind of high score that many of its other far more deserving Final Fantasy ancestors had received in the past. While it is certainly not without its good points, XIII is far from the excellent game that players expect from the Final Fantasy franchise and certainly falls way below the mark for a triple A title.
Thanks to AugQX at Hotukdeals!