9 hours 54 minutes on the clock, thought I’d share some of my initial impressions:

  • Hope is possibly the most irritating character in any Final Fantasy game I have ever played, I truly hope the game ends with Lightning sodomizing the little prick with a gun-blade.
  • It took about 7 hours for the combat system to really kick in I think, I presume because they dumbed the game down to make it more “accessible” or something.  The game-play in the first 6 hours seemed to comprise entirely of pushing forward on the left thumb-stick to navigate the maps, and when in battle simply pressing the A button until the fight ended.  The combat is beginning to get a little more involved and I’m beginning to see how the Paradigm system could end up quite interesting as more option open up to me.
  • Linear.  Very, very linear.  The opening reminds me a lot of the first next-gen Final Fantasy of the last generation, FFX.  Jaw dropping graphics, but the gameworld feels like little more than a series of tunnels connecting cut-scene A to cutscene B.  The game opened up eventually in X, I’m hoping the same will happen in XIII.
  • Story-wise, I’ve got to say I’m enjoying it so far.  It feels a little more sci-fi than most FF games I’ve played somehow, I can’t put my finger on why exactly though.  It’s certainly piqued my interest and I’m at the stage where it’s hard to stop playing because I want to find out what happens next.  Which for an RPG, in my book, means it’s a success — as long as it can hold that interest ’til the end!
  • My favourite of the playable characters so far is Sazh, without a doubt. Vanille is a funny character, although I can’t get beyond the incredibly irritating voice acting.  I half wish there was an option to have the original Japanese voices with English subtitles, like in Panzer Dragoon Saga, having the characters speaking an “alien” language really added to the atmosphere in that game.
  • Man, I’d kill to have a sequel to (or remake of) Panzer Dragoon Saga; that was the first game that ever had me in tears.  I was so emotionally invested in that game like nothing before it, and possibly nothing since.
  • Achievement wise, I’ve picked up nothing of note really, just a handful tied to story progression: