13 July 2010

Final Fantasy XIII - the beginning

A while ago I picked up Final Fantasy XIII for PS3 from a summer sale. I must admit, I was both anxious and hesitant, but the handsome price won.

Straight to the matter. It really seems the game is full of contradictions. Take Lightning, the lead, or at least I hope she will be the lead. First, her looks. If I were to name an actress to play her in a live-action movie, I couldn't name anyone. Just... no one. She doesn't look distinguishable, yet, she's totally distinguishable. I also love her attitude, a no-nonsense loner who'd rather just fuck off everyone than be with with them. On the other hand, we have the co-stars, a less and even more less characterless folk. I was told beforehand Vanille is the most annoying of them all but I find her more amusing than annoying. A regular prep whose chirpy attitude is actually refreshening among other co-stars. Don't even start me telling about Snow...

The music. Towards the end of chapter three, there's some amazing music playing; a deep bass-driven song with a young female voice singing, or rather, whispering in the background. I wouldn't mind having that on a soundtrack to back me up while drawing. When the cut-scene kicks in, with Shaz flying an aircraft (in a scene so reminiscent of the new Star Wars trilogy it's not a coincidende but a puke-inducing event), the music shifts into 'funny' and 'funky'. In fact, whenever Shaz is shown, the music is 'funny' and 'funky'. Nyaaaargh! So, Shaz is your regular comic-relief. Racist, anyone?

I can't deny the game has some amazing graphics. I can't deny it has some high-cost production values put into it. I can't deny it has certain epic depth to it. Yet... it's no Mass Effect. Then again, what game could ever be - until Mass Effect 3, of course ;)

But I keep on playing, the progress I will try to tell you about in forthcoming entries. I want to believe in this game, I want to believe in Lightning, I want to believe in Japanese video games - that they still have life to them. I don't want to believe the west has won and where it got us. Save Mass Effects, most western games just glorify ulta-violence and nothing else. Just take games presented at E3. Depressing...

 "Waaaaah! It's all a blur!" "Shut your trap, Shaz!"

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