Final Fantasy XIII has always been a bit of an oddball in the series, but that doesn’t mean it’s bad. With the game re-released on Steam recently I had a chance to revisit it once more.
I’m not going to focus on the game itself here. As with my previous re-release reviews I’m going to focus more on the quality of the re-release itself. Final Fantasy XIII in itself is a fine game, and yes it is one I recommend playing. The battle system is still great and it still looks absolutely gorgeous. Sure, the story isn’t for everyone, but I quite enjoyed it. But enough of that, onto the focus here – this Steam release.
Unfortunately it seems this release on Steam is not exactly that great. Yes it still “looks” good. However, you can’t actually do much (normally) with the game to adjust the resolution. You get two options – full screen or windowed. That’s it. No actually changing what resolution you play at. The game is also locked at 720p, because again there are no actual options to change the resolution. Now for me that isn’t much of an issue – I would’ve played it at that anyways. However, for others it is and I understand that. A PC game being released without resolution options, especially in this day and age, just shouldn’t happen.
The resolution issues aren’t the only problems graphically. Final Fantasy XIII suffers from horrendous FPS issues. Cutscenes seem to randomly jump up to 60 FPS or so causing them to go into super speed – they also sometimes seem to drop in FPS. Battles dip down in FPS, with it being most apparent when you have the Poison ailment on you. Battles ALSO seem to sometimes jump in FPS, but only on opening part (especially pre-emptive attacks) and the victory poses. All these FPS issues make absolutely no sense and just makes me wonder what they were doing when they made this re-release.
For actually playing the game, for your sanity please just use a controller. The keyboard bindings are absolutely horrendous. Should you choose to play in fullscreen mode, don’t hit escape. It just closes the game. You at least don’t run into this in windowed. Point is though, the keyboard bindings are absolutely terrible and there is NO option to change them. At least the controller bindings are the same they were on console.
Final Fantasy XIII does feature the ability to switch between English and Japanese voices, but only from the launcher. No option to do so exists within the game itself. Also, the Japanese version actually changes a few songs back to normal – for example at the end of chapter 2 when you experience that flashback, Eternal Love will play in place of Serah’s Theme (what plays there in English). This doesn’t seem consistent though, as later in chapter 8 having it in Japanese does NOT change which Chocobos of Cocoon song plays (a shame too, as the Japanese version is better). An option to at least change this within the game itself would’ve been very nice, but like many other things in this release it was just messed up.
Overall, while Final Fantasy XIII on Steam is very much playable, if you have a PS3 or XBox 360 just play it on there until patches are released for things like the FPS issues. If you don’t have that available, or if you’re like me and wanting an excuse to play it again and get all the achievements (for the third time), go ahead and pick up Final Fantasy XIII from Steam now.
Final Fantasy XIII Steam Review Score
Serious FPS issues but still at least playable. Needs heavily patched and one should definitely still play the console releases if they can. If you can’t, go ahead and pick the game up now and form your own opinion on it.