39! That’s the score Famitsu gave to Final Fantasy XIII. The game that we will be playing in a few month (and for some of us in a few weeks) is the 19th game to receive this score. Famitsu reviews are done by 4 people who each give a score on 10. 1up has translated the review:
Weekly Famitsu magazine’s review, the first in the world for Square Enix’s latest RPG epic, is ebullient enough in the text. "The story being told is very deep and uniquely charming, not at all like FFs up to now," one editor wrote. "The battle system is innovative and has a lot of strategic elements. Being able to rewind back to just before the current battle is really nice."
Reviewers also had good things to say about the graphics ("without a doubt, the state of the art in story cutscenes") and the battle system: "It’s built both for beginners and seasoned players. Things proceed speedily and since you’re always rated, every battle has a sense of tension to it. The ability to switch Optimas instantly and use a wide variety of skills and magic simultaneously in battle is exhilarating."
Yet despite that, FFXIII received 39 out of 40 points in the review, with one editor giving the game a 9 and the rest awarding ten out of ten points. Why? "Given the quality all around, it’s a bit of a shame that the story is a straight path until the midgame," editor Yamamoto Penki (the guy who gave it 9/10) wrote. "I’m also concerned about the lack of [gameplay] gimmicks before the midpoint." (Yamamoto’s issue with the lack of story freedom was echoed by another reviewer, too.)
What about the other Final Fantasy games? Final Fantasy VII scored a 38 while Final Fantasy X scored a 39 (both from roughly the same team as FFXIII). A big surprise was the perfect 40/40 score for Final Fantasy XII a few years ago.
The 39/40 is still a very good score and we’ll probably get even more reviews in the future. Although, I have to admit that Famitsu reviews aren’t really trustworthy lately, and if you don’t agree I would start playing Nintendogs (which received a perfect 40/40) until March 9th ^-^
(The last paragraph wasn’t intended to discriminate anyone who loves Final Fantasy XIII and/or Nintendogs.)