So I bought Final Fantasy XIII a couple weeks ago, and couldn't wait to see one of my favorite RPS finally back and in high definition! The Only thing was, I was not prepared for the very different format that "13" gave me. The layout is different, structure tweaked, experience points done away with, and no more thinking about which spells to cast while the enemy gladly waits for you to deliver your blow. This version is strategy in a whole new way. all realtime and quick, u have to think fast and know what ur doing. the introduction to paradigms in which Each character may only take on one role at a time, and each combination of three Roles for a given party is called a Paradigm. Up to six Paradigm combinations may be stored in a Paradigm Deck at any one time. During battle, players may switch between them on-the-fly, called a Paradigm Shift. Timing Paradigm Shifts correctly can fill the ATB gauges, making switching frequently in battle The advantage is a new fighting style, where your different players have roles, The "Role" system exists in order to control what abilities are available to characters in battle. Rather than having all abilities available to characters as they are learned, abilities are restricted to certain Roles, similar to the Job system of previous installments. The Japanese version's Roles are Attacker, Blaster, Defender, Enhancer, Jammer, and Healer, while the English localization calls them Commando, Ravager,Sentinel, Synergist, Saboteur and Medic, respectively. Commandos use physical attacks, slowing the rate of stagger decay and striking for high damage, especially with a high stagger percentage, while Ravagers use elemental abilities like Blizzard and Thundaga, greatly increasing the stagger bar. Synergists use buffs like Shell and Brave to enhance the party's characters, while Saboteurs use debuffs like DeShell and Bio to hinder the enemy. Sentinels provoke enemies, absorb enemy attacks and counterattack, while Medics exclusively heal, using abilities likeCura, Raise, and Esuna. Roles, this almost threw me for a loop at first, but i started to like it and agree with the choice the further i got into the game. The leveling system for the game is called the Crystarium system which resembles the Sphere Grid in Final Fantasy X. I really enjoyed this change actually, Instead of gaining experience points after winning a battle, characters gain Crystogen Points (CP) which can then be spent in order to unlock abilities and increase attributes such as maximum HP. Every character has a Crystarium, and within it, different sections corresponding to each Role the character has available.
The Crystarium is not initially available within the game, and only becomes available through story sequences. After that point, levels in the Crystarium become unlocked as the story progresses, essentially capping the amount of growth that can be achieved in the middle of the game. Every character initially specializes in up to three Roles, and the other Roles are not available in their Crystariums until much later in the game; the Roles that the character does not specialize in have much smaller upgrade paths, providing fewer strength, magic and HP upgrade points, as well as fewer abilities than a specialist has access to. those were the major changes i thought were brought to the new version, and the fact that you can upgrade and buy items from every save point. the game and style does have a button masher feel at times, because there is so much going on, and the auto attack feature makes it easy to mutitask, like do homework, or make a phone call, or file you taxes.
Former sergeant of the Guardian Corps, Lightning sought the Pulse fal'Cie, Anima, in order to ask it to save her sister Serah, whom the fal'Cie had turned into a l'Cie. However, much to her dismay, Lightning was turned into a l'Cie herself. Her l'Cie mark is in the center of her chest. Lightning has long pink hair and is 171 cm tall (5'6"). Originally named Claire Farron she discarded her birth name after her parents died in an attempt to emotionally reinforce herself so that she could protect Serah, although this only caused tensions to rise between them. Lightning is very independent and determined, but she is also shown to have a compassionate side.
Lightning wields a gunblade called the Blaze Edge which is a combination of a gun and a sword, one collapsing into the other. She can also manipulate gravity with a device on her thumb (though due to Sazh's interference, this device becomes damaged In battle, Lightning is very agile and uses acrobatic moves. As a l'Cie, she can summon the Eidolon Odin to fight by her side in battle, who can assume a horse-like form that she can ride on. While riding, Lightning dual wields Odin's detachable sword. Her strongest unique special attack is called Scene Drive in the Japanese version and Army of One in the North American version.
- Snow Villiers
Prior to becoming a l'Cie, Snow is the head of Team Nora, a resistance group fighting against the government of Cocoon. He stands at a tall 200 cm (6'5"), and has light blonde hair under a black beanie. He was nicknamed "Mr. 33 cm" by the development team of Final Fantasy XIII in reference to his shoe size. He uses his fists to take down opponents, focusing on brute force compared to the fast and agile Lightning. Snow bears the mark of the l'Cie on his lower left arm, through which he has the power to summon the twin Shiva Sister Eidolons, Nix and Stiria, who can combine into a motorcycle form for Snow to ride while toting a large gun. Unlike most grapplers, Snow changes his runes on his coat rather than buying new gloves.
- Oerba Dia Vanille
Vanille is a mysterious but upbeat young girl with red-brown hair worn in pigtails. Originally residing from Oerba Village located on Gran Pulse, Vanille is among those being exiled from Cocoon at the start of the game and is subsequently rescued by Team Nora. She has a childlike innocence and is shown to be very compassionate, but at times she can also be very stubborn. Vanille also serves as the game's narrator. Her weapon is a form of foldable fishing rod with multiple lines that can be reeled and used to attack enemies. She has been a l'Cie for a long time, one of two l'Cie given the Focus to summon the Eidolon Ragnarok, and her l'Cie mark is located on her upper left thigh. In battle, Vanille excels at using magic based attacks from a distance. Her Eidolon is Hecatoncheir, a multiple-limbed, earth-elemental summon who can transform into a bipedal mech armed with machine guns that she can pilot.
- Sazh Katzroy
A former airship pilot of the Military, Sazh wields dual pistols (which can be combined to form a collapsible rifle), and his strong point is striking enemies from a distance. His l'Cie mark is at the base of his neck. He has a six-year-old son named Dajh with whom he is very close. When Dajh inadvertently became a l'Cie and was taken by Sanctum, saving him became Sazh's main motivation. Sazh has a pet baby chocobo that lives inside his afro. Sazh is described as having good judgment and moral discernment. He has a gentle personality and is easily moved to tears, and joins the party early in the game. His Eidolon is Brynhildr, a female fire-elemental knight who can transform into a race car. Tetsuya Nomura based Sazh's appearance on Lionel Richie.
- Hope Estheim
Hope is a fourteen-year-old boy with silvery-blonde hair and orange, yellow, and green clothing. He uses collapsible boomerangs in battle. During the Purge, his mother offers to help Snow and Team Nora fight off PSICOM. She dies during the battle, and though Snow honors her final request to protect her son, Hope nonetheless hates Snow in a grief-induced rage for his connection to his mother's death. His Eidolon is the holy-elemental summon Alexander, which transforms into a fortress in Gestalt Mode, and is able to blast enemies from afar with multiple cannons.
- Oerba Yun Fang
A raven-haired woman who comes from Oerba Village, donning clothing resembling the traditional Indian Sari adorned with tribal accessories, and bearing the mark of a l'Cie on her right shoulder. Though she is a l'Cie from Pulse, she originally works for the Cocoon Sanctum under Cid. It later turns out she is one of the two l'Cie given the focus to summon Ragnarok. She wields a spear that can transform into a sansetsukon in battle, and her Eidolon is Bahamut, who can take flight in his Gestalt-mode. As revealed by Tetsuya Nomura in an interview, during the early stages of development she was originally scripted to be a male character.