Man, this game is a J
RPG. For better or worse, it features every Japanese element one would suspect: turn-based combat, overtly stylish haircuts, awkward and/or inappropriate body language, sexist and/or racist stereotypes, implied pedophilia, and an incredible amount of exposition (still, with all the explaining and odd semantics, I still can't figure out what the hell is going on with this convoluted story). Sure, it's a bit linear at first; however, I find this to be more fit to my liking. Where most RPGs (i.e. "Fallout 3," "Dragon Age: Origins," etc.) lose me, is when you finally get to that point where there's 100+ side-quests still open and you have no idea where to go to trigger the story forward. Maybe I'm getting a little old, but I like a little hand-holding. I'm also not a huge fan of turn-based fight mechanics; however, FFXIII's combat system (with it's paradigm shifts, combo systems, and just plain gorgeous attack moves) makes it a little easier to stomach. So far, I'm really digging this game.
Oh, and I'll just go and say it: This is the most beautiful game, both technically and artistically, that I have ever played
. I remember saying to my brother and friends: "One day, we'll play games that look just like these FMV videos!" When, in fact, the in-game engine produces graphics far superior than most FMV I've seen thus far. Also, you can hardly notice when the game switches between pre-rendered cut scenes and cut scenes using the game engine. Wow, I mean just... wow. I would love to see if anyone could tell me with a straight face that games like "Uncharted 2" and "God of War III" have better looking graphics than this game. It truly needs to be seen to be appreciated. I could literally just sit and pan the camera around my character for hours and enjoy every moment of it, it truly feels "next generation." Oh, and I was pleasantly surprised to see that I didn't have to install the game to my hard drive and there are hardly any loading screens. It seems Square-Enix has truly mastered the Blu Ray format...