Here's a snip:
Some people don’t like numbers, but try this little sum. If you submit 25 hours of your life to a misjudged series of linear battles and cutscenes, Square Enix lets you play FFXIII, and you’ll get 25 decent hours out of it. It’s an equation that might just balance out – but for who? Well, the fanbase, certainly, will find Lightning to be the Cloud substitute they’ve been yearning for, and in the hunting side-quests the grinding fix they’re after.
For anyone less dedicated – who wouldn’t really care if a Chocobo makes an appearance or not – it’s more troubling. FFXIII is uncommonly beautiful, with a background fiction as rich as its story is poor, and at its beating heart is a battle system that stands among the genre’s finest. Its structural changes are brave, but in minimising everything that happens outside of that main narrative the baby’s been thrown out with the bathwater, leaving a potentially interesting world that you just don’t care about saving.
Until now, scores for the Square RPG have been mostly decent, as seen here in the reviews round-up last night.
FFXIII releases on Tuesday for PS3 and 360. Thanks, Blerk.