A few days ago, I shared my *official* thoughts on Final Fantasy XIII.

Not having touched it since then, here are some additional random thoughts, in no particular order or meaningfulness :)

  • Final Battle Blues: The final battle (was it 3 or 4 obligatory boss forms?) was WAYYYYY too easy.  It could be that I simply leveled up too much in my aborted attempt to complete all of the beast “marks,” but I took out the final baddie (Orphan) without breaking a sweat.  In fact, besides the necessarily non-lethal “Judgement” strike in the next-to-last form, all my character’s HP stayed well above half.  Of course, that means that I had much more time for slicing and dicing, making quick work of him.  Even the dreaded “doom” that was cast on my party in Orphan’s final form was no big deal whatsoever.  I annihilated him so quickly that I didn’t even have to think about trying to get around certain death.  Pathetic.
  • The End of Big Hair?: A hallmark of FF games is big, spiky, crazy hair.  From Cloud’s lethal spikes to Wakka’s cone-dome, big, flashy hair has been a certainty.  And yes, although we all realize that such hair is, on the basis of physics, entirely impossible, it’s still awesome.  Since X, however, the trend has been toward more realism.  So while the hair looks more “natural” in CGI, it’s lost is Final Fantasy-ish-ness.  I, for one, acutely feel the loss.
  • The Hunt for Experience: In FFXII, the chief means for gathering experience points was to take on missions of hunting down deadly beasts of varying difficulty and temperament.  These quests took one all over the Final Fantasy world, sometimes with quite annoying time investment.  In Final Fantasy XIII, the experience gathering was radically transformed by the idea of “marks” which involve hunting down deadly beast of varying difficulty and temperament.  Oh, wait..uggh.  I understand that the series is now 13 installments old…but seriously, how about something original?
  • My Kingdom for a Writer: While FFXIII was definitely the best of the series in terms of sound-to-character sync, the writing was, in a word, HORRIBLE.  The storyline was *okay,* but the narrative path to the end of the plot was brutal.  The biggest violators were the sequences between Snow and his fiance-turned-L’cie, Serah.  True enough, there’s something to be said for trying to develop a storyline and accompanying dialogue to conjure an emotional connection between the player and the characters.  But these sequences made day-time soaps look like Oscar contenders.  Quite brutal.
  • Eat This: Given the inevitable grind of experience-gathering random, incessant battles, there is a certain necessity in giving the characters something to “say” in the midst of a battle, and such paradigms have led to some humorous and memorable sound-bytes (Lunar 2, anyone? :)).  However, some of the in-battle dialogue in FFXIII was less than stellar.  While I appreciated Lightning’s sarcasm in “You’ll make it” whenever she healed someone, Fang’s incessant “You’re gonna squirm” was highly annoying.
    Despite the hit-and-miss nature of this kind of dialogue, I swear I came across a couple mistakes.  The funniest one was when I placed Fang into a healer role.  While she was in the midst of a Commando attack, I suddenly switched the paradigm so that she turned and healed Lightning.  However, the sound-byte from her Commando role was still on her lips, so as she turned and healed Lightning, she shrilly screamed “Eat this!”.  It was awesome.
  • That’s What She Said: From Hope, when seeing the giant Titan monster on Gran Pulse: “That thing’s so big, I can’t tell how far away it is!”….