March 5, 2010

Ominbus - Final Fantasy XIII

I haven't updated much about Final Fantasy XIII, have I?  And it's coming out just over 3 days, gawrsh dang it!  I promise you, I'm gearing up for this one as the countdown clock at the bottom clips towards zero.  Honestly there hasn't been a fury of megaton news drops about it, but with Final Fantasy in the title, it will make waves regardless.  Japan's had it for two months now (as pictured above), but those waves are finally going to crash Stateside this coming Tuesday!

I'm going to miss out on playing it crazily on March 9th, though, and I haven't decided yet if I'll be going to a midnight release (if they happen).  Work responsibilities.  My plan is, however, to begin Tuesday night and play into Wednesday by wrangling a day off.  'Twill be a fun hump-day!

I hope you've liked my two stabs at reviews for BioShock 2 and Aliens vs. Predator, but don't hold your breath for a Final Fantasy XIII review within the first two weeks or even month because I've read this adventure will take at least 30 hours to go through, and if there are opportunities to level up, then for me that will probably eclipse 45.  Unless a miracle happens that I can blaze through and wrap my brain around everything, then early April might be a more realistic window to post a review.

So, in omnibus fashion, after the jump are a series of articles, previews, reviews and bullet points for your perusal.  If you're not even the least bit in anticipation for XIII, you might want to give it a shot ... you don't even need to have played I-XII to know anything!

But shame on you if you haven't even heard of VII ...

First, enjoy the beauties of the Final Fantasy XIII world in the International Trailer ...

I hope that whetted your appetite for a Western-Eastern mashup, fantastical RPG!  You have to admit, even if you're not interested, this is one of the best looking games ever made, right?

Need some more convincing?

Check out GameSpot's preview, or watch GameTrailer's below (and they have a bevy of other FFXIII videos to pick from):

Before you jump into the game, you might want to read up what G4TV has prepared, a short primer that gives you XIII things to know about XIII.

Now, if you are unfamiliar with the FF series, or RPGs as a whole (of which I'm only familiar with FF), then you should know that there is usually a myriad of dungeons, towns, side quests, and ways to travel across the world.  Most of these have been eliminated or reduced to create a slender, simplified, focused vision to the game's story and heavy combat elements.  This is good and bad, in my opinion.  Once I've finished the game I'll let loose on how these missing/streamlined elements affected the game in my review, but I can say that most of the game has been criticized for being linear, and developer Square defends it's design (found via That VideoGame Blog).  But don't lose heart, the straight-forward nature only lasts until a certain point in the game.

Now that you are privy to some of the basics, you're ready to purchase it, right?  Here's some advice ...

- There is a 250GB hard drive bundle in North America that costs a pretty penny, if you want to go all out.
- If you download your games to your 360 hard drive, then make some room, because XIII's memory usage is pretty much the entirety of an obsolete Pro Xbox 360 hard drive.
- Will there be DLC?  "Don't Hold Your Breath ..." says That VideoGame Blog, despite what the back of the 360 game box might say.  It's a long enough game ... what more can you want?  An entire game's worth of material?

By now you've pored over everything above and want to know just one more thing ... is it any good?  Well, if you're that interested you've probably Googled review scores already.  But just in case you're lazy and haven't, I have a few links below that will lead you to the right places.

Joystiq's review
CVG review

Someday I will write up mine, and hopefully you'll read it.  Until that time, and unless other news stories pop up in the interim, all we can do now ... is wait!

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