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Game of the Month: March 2010

April 10, 2010

March was an excellent month for gamers. With multiple great games being released gamers were spoiled for choice.  Titles like Just Cause 2, God of War III, Yakuza 3, Bad Company 2, Pokémon, Metro 2033 and more made it one hell of a month. However, there was one game in particular that has been taking up my time pretty much all month and that was Final Fantasy XIII.

Before I discuss how good Final Fantasy XIII is, I want to quickly mention God of War III. I really haven’t been able to devote much time to Kratos with FFXIII getting in the way but from what I’ve played it’s brilliant; quite possibly better than Final Fantasy. It’s definitely shaping up to be something very special but I can’t really judge it until I get to play it further so Final Fantasy takes the crown this month.

For good reason too. Japanese RPGs have been very limited this generation with only a few notable titles being released so Final Fantasy XIII was very welcome. As usual with the series it provided a story focused around a group of characters on a quest to make the world a better place. It may be clichéd but it’s been pulled off well in Final Fantasy XIII, mainly down to the interesting locations and characters.

Gameplay wise it lives up to expectations too. With the battle system being very dynamic and having many similarities to Final Fantasy VII and X-2’s systems, it makes for a very enjoyable experience. Making use of the various roles and characters gives it depth and keeps it entertaining for the full game. The Crystalium, which is used for upgrading characters, give you a reasonable amount of choice regarding how your characters develop which also adds depth.

It’s not without flaws though. It starts off slow and sometimes it can feel repetitive but when it gets into it, it’s goes from good to great and engrosses you further into the experience. Unlike previous entries in the series, it has a shortage of side quests and towns which could definitely come in handy at some points in the game.

Overall though, I loved it. The battle system is great fun and has plenty of depth to it. It’s fairly straightforward but it takes time and skill to truly master it, making use of the different abilities each role has. Both, character and story is top notch and the artistic design is stunning. Throw in some amazing visuals and a great soundtrack and you have one of the best RPGs of the gen.

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