Final Fantasy XIII

LQ: 9


Brain grade: 8.3
Fun score: 9.7

Final Fantasy XIII - Educational Game Review image 1
Game Type: ESRB Rating: Teen Platform/Console: , LWK Recommended Age: 13+ Other Requirements: None Thinking Skills Used: , ,

Final Fantasy XIII is a vast role-playing game with a story revolving around a small band of rebel fighters attempting to take down a corrupt militant government. The player manages this team of rebels, outfitting their equipment and abilities and controlling them in battle. During battle, the player issues various commands, like melee attacks and spells, but can only perform so many actions before the opponent gets to retaliate. Thus, these choices must be made wisely. By timing attacks, the player can build up the combo meter, which causes enemies to take more damage from attacks. Characters “level up” as the game continues, increasing their attack and defensive abilities and allowing some party members to use magic. The game features fantasy violence, strong language and mature themes dealing with oppression, slavery and freedom, so the game is only recommended to players ages 13 and up.



Adapting and adjusting to changing conditions and expectations.

Combat in Final Fantasy XIII makes up a majority of the gameplay. In combat, the player will control a team of up to three characters, using their unique abilities in various combinations to create ideal conditions for victory. Unlike previous installments in the series or traditional role-playing games, the player will only directly control one character in combat while issuing orders to the rest of the party. As conditions change in combat the player must adjust his strategies to reflect the new situation. For example, if while in an all-out assault a party member's health reaches a critical low point, the player can instruct a stronger ally to protect the wounded member until he has fully healed himself. These on-the-fly strategy adjustments -- or paradigm shifts as they are called in the game -- are central to the combat system and require quick adaptation and clever retorts to the ever-changing battle conditions.


Understanding our own actions, thoughts and feelings.

Because Final Fantasy XIII's battle system takes place in real-time, the importance of monitoring your perfromance is crucial. When facing exceptionally powerful enemies and bosses, often the player's first attempt at the battle will not go exactly as planned, either due to lack of experience with the assembled team or not knowing the abilities or patterns of that particular enemy. Whichever the case may be, being able to judge your performance and respond accordingly in your next attempt is a vital skill to posses in Final Fantasy XIII. The player must be able to quickly discern the effectiveness of their tactics, realizing what strategies are working and what line of thinking should be abandoned.

This includes judging the best time to "shift paradigms," but more importantly figuring out the best way to build up enemy stagger meters. These meters fill with successive strikes upon the individual enemy and once completely filled, stun the enemy and leave it vulnerable to considerably more damage. These opportunities are sometimes the only way to defeat tougher enemies.


Arranging and coordinating materials in order to complete a task. Organizing ideas

This game is good for kids who need help practicing good Organization skills, as the player must manage a team of warriors, buying them items, equipping their armor, and finding them the best weaponry in order to maximize their effectiveness in battle. Upon winning each battle or completing each quest the team is rewarded with experience, items, and money. Experience can be allocated to a wide range of character classes, each with their own progression tree of skills and stat increases. Like the characters themselves, weapons and equipment can also be upgraded. Each weapon and accessory in the game has unique affects on the wearer, making the outfitting of your party that much more personalized to your play style. Having a well organized team will aid you in combat by having the right tools for any given situation.

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