But Being Blind Is His Job

March 17, 2010

Happy Saint Patrick's Day, all you happy smiling people you. So it seems these lasts few posts are more or less my review of Final Fantasy XIII, so why stop now. Today I'm going to touch upon the battle system, and boy does this game have a battle system.

Final Fantasy XIII's battle system is quite complex in some ways, and very simple in others. Most notably, you only control your party leader in battle while your other two characters act based on the job they've been assigned, casters blow shit up with magic, healers make other shit unblown up with other magic. And seeing as the option you're going to use the most in battle is the auto command, it kind of plays itself, like XII did, but seeing that you have absolutely no control of your other party members, this game really does play itself. The one thing you do have complete control over is what job each member of your party is doing.

In between battles you can set up up to six "Paradigms" where you can assign each member in your party one of the six jobs they have available to them. What this means is if the battle takes a sudden turn for the worse you can instantly switch to a paradigm with healers in it. I kind of like this system cause it adds a bit of twitch reflex actions into the otherwise mundane system.

The one thing that pisses me off about the system is that while you have control over the leader's actions, you have no control over their movements. Now as I'm sure most of you by now I play World of Warcraft. I play as a healer and one of the key rules of healing is to not stand in the line of fire. Sadly, the characters in Final Fantasy are a bit more suicidal. In battle, the members of your party, including the leader, amble randomly around that battle field. This doesn't pose too many problems, but in certain situations this can be a glaring problem. For awhile I was stuck on the one boss that has a giant big ol' laser beam attack. I had one character acting as a tank and drawing all the laser fire, like a good tank should. The other character I had set up as a healer and I was controling a caster. I noticed during the fight that the boss can only attack people that were in front of him. However, the healer felt that standing right next to the tank was just as safe as standing in the boss's blindspot, and thus the healer quickly died in a laser-charred crater.