Final Fantasy XIII was often a target for criticism over the PS3 generation, but as time has gone on, people are starting to appreciate it’s linear nature as games at that time were expanding to huge (but empty in a sense) open worlds. I think with the release of Final Fantasy VII Remake and how it proves that linear RPGs can sell very well in today’s climate, XIII deserves another shot as a Switch port.
Now, let’s talk about the graphics, often one of Final Fantasy XIII‘s proclaimed big positives. This is a 10-year-old game, believe it or not, and it still looks stunning to this day. The character models are gorgeous, the production value around the settings and the cinematics are pretty close to VII’s, and the attacks look bad ass. And it ran on PS3 and Xbox 360! Imagine being able to play this on-the-go on the Switch. We’ve had the releases of VII to XII with the exception of XI (and even World of Final Fantasy), how about XIII?
The combat system is where the game has lost people, and to be completely frank, it doesn’t get exciting until 10 hours in. That’s a long tutorial. However, it does provide a more strategic system that keeps you on your toes. Greysun Morales from Twinfinite, when I DM’ed him about why he likes Final Fantasy XIII, said, “The combat system isn’t technically amazing, per say, but it does create an inventive mechanic that keeps your team on the ropes and keeps the player thinking ahead. Instead of having those JRPG tropes such as a warrior and a healer, every character in the game was capable of pretty much taking on whichever role they needed to be, which I appreciated. You can even see these combat ideas take play in FF7 Remake too such as the staggering system.”
Consequentially, I found this, too. I love the flexibility of how your party was utilized and the rush of staggering a boss to deal out heavy damage. I think this style of RPG battling would fit right at home on the Switch, especially in a time that we’re used to auto-based systems in mobile gacha titles.
The storyline, while melodramatic at points, really gripped me in 2010. I love Hope’s character arc, Sazh’s comedic relief, and Lightning’s badass lines. Vanille’s voice acting kinda got on my nerves, and personally, Snow’s anguish never connected with me, but overall, I enjoyed the chemistry between the cast of out-of-place characters.
And yes, the script can be campy, but it’s much more than that: this Final Fantasy had some emotionally powerful scenes. The editor and creator of Critical HP, Jerel Levy, made me realize that. He said, “Each character must face their inner demons and most of them struggle to do so.” Let’s not spoil the plot, but the turmoil is real in this game and punches you in the face. You’ll be weeping.
Some think Lightning is a bland character with no personality, and to be honest, I agree to an extent, but Zac La-Rocque Walker, who worked with me previously at BagoGames, swayed me by saying, “She just seems like a much stronger, tougher female protagonist than most other FF games have had. I mean other than I guess Terra in FF6, there aren’t that many prominent females honestly. Sure, there is Tifa and Aerith, but they always play second fiddle to the ‘stars’ like Cloud. It was nice to see the focus on a female character and one with strong relationships like to her sister.”
Lightning also didn’t play the damsel in distress. She was the one saving people, including Sazh… occasionally. I also enjoyed her big sister-like relationship with Hope. Like Cloud in the VII remake, some chinks in her armor appear as she shows signs that she cares for those around her.
And you can’t discuss Final Fantasy XIII without mentioning the incredible soundtrack by Masashi Hamauzu. Every theme is striking and draws you into the world. Some memorable tracks would be Blinded by Light, an epic score for a battle theme with heart-pounding percussion and a beautiful use of the strings. Saber’s Edge with its deep use of the drums ups the ante with the tension of the boss battle, and every instrument included, like the piano’s melody, the cymbals, and the horn section, adds to the story of the high stakes moment. Meanwhile, The Sunleth Waterscape has a chill techno beat with wonderful vocals, giving a breather for the heroes and the player after a tense first encounter.
If this does well on Switch, maybe we could get the whole trilogy on there, especially with a certain drought of releases coming this year! It’s money on the table for Square Enix, too! They could even spice it up with some Nintendo costumes, like Lightning dressed as Link with the Master Sword, Sazh as Fox, or Hope as a Koopa Trooper.
Would you like to see a Final Fantasy XIII Switch port? How much do you think it should be? I think $19.99 price would be ideal. Let us know in the comments below. Thank you for stopping by SwitchWatch.co.uk!
Thanks to Greysun, Jerel, and Zac for giving me your thoughts on Final Fantasy XIII! They helped jog my memory!