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Gamer's Thumb: Has 'Final Fantasy XIII' gotten out of hand?

By JR Ortega
March 5, 2014 at 4:02 p.m.
Updated March 4, 2014 at 9:05 p.m.

The battle system in "Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII," is different from the installments previous to it.

Some March game releases

March 11

•  "Dark Souls II": Not a direct sequel to the first game, this story revolves around a cursed undead character in search of a cure for his curse. The game is considered an action role-playing game and is open world.

For Xbox 360, PS3

•  "TitanFall": Created by one of the co-creators of "Call of Duty," this game allows the gamer to take the form of machina, or Titans. Gamers can expect a strong multiplayer platform, which is the most anticipated aspect of the game.

For Xbox One, PC, Xbox 360

March 18

•  "Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD Remaster": Speaking of the " Final Fantasy" series, Square Enix is re-releasing this gem in high-definition for its many fans. The two games were the last to be released on the PlayStation 2 console.

For PS3, Vita

•  "Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes": This is a subseries of the "Metal Gear Solid" series, and like its other installments, it allows for weapon customization and relies on tactic and strategy to complete its missions.

For Xbox 360, PS3

SOURCE: gametrailers.com

I'd be lying to you if I said I was the world's - or even Victoria's - biggest gamer.

By all means, I'm not, but I do enjoy playing all sorts of video games, and I'm constantly looking out for the next best thing.

And though a couple of weeks late, my newest focus is on "Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII 3."

If you know anything about "Final Fantasy," then you know there is nothing so final about it - the series has been in existence for more than 20 years and is nowhere close to stopping.

In "XIII 3," we leave somewhat where we left off in "Final Fantasy XIII 2." Without giving away too much, this game is about an even bigger time jump, and to be quite honest, "XIII 3" got very complicated.

I fell in love with "Final Fantasy XIII" when I first played it about two years ago.

The story started off in the world Cocoon, one that floats above everything else. Lightning, the series' main character, decides to fight against Cocoon's government, the Sanctum, after it orders to purge all civilians living on the world that have been marked as l'Cie, or servants, by the Pulse, which is the world below Cocoon.

Being marked as a l'Cie means people must complete an unknown task - called their focus - in order to become crystallized and gain eternal life. If they fail to meet their focus, they become Cie'th, or monsters.

Lightning, her sister and her band of allies are all marked and must save Cocoon and Pulse from ending.

That's about all I can say without giving away too much.

In a nutshell, "XIII 2" continues this story but with Lightning's sister, Serah, as the main character. This is where it gets weird, as the game incorporates time jumps as Serah tries to search for Lightning, who, since the first game, has disappeared.

Now with "XIII 3," Lightning is back, and she has less than 13 days to stop the entire world from ending.

This is all a mouthful, right? My point exactly - I feel like the game has become this monster and has lost its appeal.

While the cinema and game play in this newest installment is stunningly gorgeous in a fantastical sort of way, the entire story has become so confusing that you may as well play the first two games a couple of times to truly understand how this all came to be.

Plus, this game incorporates timed missions: Gamers start off with six days until the end of the world, and each day consists - in real life - of about an hour and a half of gameplay.

In order to stop the countdown, you must save souls by completing main mission quests and side quests. This becomes tedious and quite annoying, especially because many "Final Fantasy" gamers, like myself, enjoy running around without time constraints to level up and discover new things.

In all, I feel the game is worth the purchase, especially if you've played the first two installments. I'm not going to say it's not fun, but it is so far from what it started off as.

As with any game, to each their own, but I really feel the Square Enix company could have put its efforts into its other upcoming projects.

"Final Fantasy XIII" has run its course.

Have a video game you'd like reviewed? Contact J.R. at 361-580-6504, jrortega@vicad.com or follow him @ j_r_ortega.

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