Final Fantasy 13 Is a cinematic experience, with the most production value Square has done, But is it still a contender?

User Rating: 8.5 | Final Fantasy XIII PS3
When I went into Final Fantasy XIII, I was a little skeptical about it. I mean sure, this game was the greatest looking rpg out at that time, and the combat is revolutionary, as well as the story. But all of my Final Fantasy friends (who love the series to death) hated this game. They hated FF 12 also (which that and Final Fantasy 4 and Rings of Fate were the only FF games I had ever played and beaten). So I gave 13 a try.

Lets do the basic four: The Story, Gameplay, Sound, And the Graphics. We'll start with the story.

Story: This story that Square Enix put together, was actually really good. It's truly a deep story. It's about Cocoon (A more or less world that floats on top of Grand Pulse) falling under the hands of the Fal'Cie. They decided to Purge everyone (which makes the people l'cie.) And when you become a l'cie you have a focus, a goal to do something and if you don't complete the focus you'll become a Cie'th. And Lightning and the gang are there to stop the Siccom and the Fal'cie. The thing I liked about this story was that they had a lot of character development. Ya it took like 20 to 30 hours to get to an actual open world to do quests and rpg stuff, but they had a great amount of time to develop their characters, and they pulled it off. It just took a long time doing so.

Gameplay: This gameplay was also very deep. It's more about strategy then anything else. You level up your character with Crystarium point's (Pretty much Exp) and you level up your character. It's a turned based style battle system. But it has a lot of action in it. There is something called Paradigms, It's the style you fight in. Those are very key. I loved the strategy aspect of it. Every fight consists of strategy. One of the things I hated about this game was it got truly repetitive the first 20 hours. It was fight, scene, fight, scene, and then the boss battles. I did not like the idea of the Eidolon's very much. I mean their good to use in battle, but to achieve them were almost impossible. But all in all the Boss battles were really fun and entertaining. I kinda liked the idea of the shops and upgrading stuff to be on the save point. This gameplay was fun and intriguing. I just think the reason people didn't like this, because it was to deep for them.
There are a whole bunch of side quests to do also.

Sound: Well the downfall for me was the sound. The voice acting was good, especially Vanille's (sarcasm level 54). I truly didn't like the music, it was just to spunky and teeny bopper. But some places had really good Final Fantasy music.

Graphics: This is the best looking Final Fantasy Yet! The facial animations and physics are outstanding. But Square Enix could never perfect the hands. They still look as choppy as ever. Other then that little mishap, Grand Pulse looks really good.

I am proud I got this because I ended up loving this game. It took me about 50 hours to complete it.

Story: 8.5

Gameplay: 9.0

Sound: 7.5

Graphics: 8.5