Up until now from the start of spring break, I have been playing Final Fantasy XIII like crazy. Grinding level, killing marks, spamming gils (currency in FFXIII), and more importantly, working toward getting Platinum trophy. Damn I should knew from the start that I could nearly lose my social life.
There was this one week where I dreamed about Paradigm Shift for 3 days straight. Yesterday, I dream about the roles haha. Yeah, that is too much.
But the interesting part is that I never dreamed about other aspects about FFXIII. The battle system is the most memorable part, at least in my opinion. Kudos to Square Enix for innovating the battle system.
Here is my comments about the battle system. At the beginning of the game, you only have limited choices for your attacks, and abilities are very little. As the game goes on, you will be exposed to many new things such as the roles and Paradigm Shift (Optima Change in Japanese version). Each character has 6 roles, but you are only limited to some until later part of the game. Paradigm, the combination of roles of characters, can be set and changed during the battle. But you cannot change the roles for individual characters.
For example, you had set your first paradigm to be Commando-Medic for your first and second character respectively, and Medic-Medic for the second paradigm. In the battle screen, you can only change between paradigms, but not roles. So you need to plan carefully for what your paradigms will be. Earlier in the game won't ask you to be too critical of your paradigms, but as you progress, you will need to set your paradigms in a best way to defeat your enemies.
Usually you can win most battles just by button-mashing, but the later part in the game proves that you need to be more engaging in most battles. Boss battles will challenge you on how you control your Paradigm Shift, as the tide of the battles will always changing.
Different from earlier Final Fantasy, you only control one character at a time. In the other way, that's why you need to master your Paradigm Shift. But no worries, your other characters are as good as you want them to be, and they will act accordingly to their roles, minimizing their mistakes and thus your frustration. The character that you control will be the leader of the team. It is wise to note that if your leader dies, the game will over. I know it sounds ridiculous, but in my case, there was never a frustrating moment where only the leader dies. Either the enemy is too strong or I was not handling the battle good enough.
In a nutshell, the battle system is very intuitive and engaging. The earlier battle will be easy, but it gets harder as you move towards the later part in the game. It will be the one that makes the game very strong.
*Just two more marks to kill!*