Head2Head

Final Fantasy XIII far surpasses its predecessors…





Square Enix
Square Enix
Square Enix
1 3
Square Enix
RPG n/a n/a
RPG
Release: 03/09/10 6.3 sec 8 sec Release: mm/dd/yy
ESRB: Teen
0% 0% ESRB: Teen




Click for a Flash tutorial on how to read our frame analyzer.
Choose video resolution below. Head2Head – Final Fantasy XIII Analysis

 

We go Head2Head with Final Fantasy XIII for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.


Final Fantasy XIII is easily the most anticipated title of the year. With last year’s announcement that Square Enix would develop for both consoles, fans of both systems were tossed on their heads for which console would hold the better version. Square Enix is renowned for their high quality games for both systems, and this could only mean that the Lens of Truth was staring down one the most interesting Head2Heads to date. So read on and watch the video to Final Fantasy XIII‘s Head2Head, powered by Play N Trade, Oviedo.


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Graphics: As anticipated, Final Fantasy XIII far surpasses its predecessors and shines on both consoles. When playing the game, there is never a time when one can look at a texture, or model, and say that Square Enix dogged, phoned it  in, or just plain halved a texture. Characters are highly detailed in the tradition of previous Final Fantasies and the worlds seem even larger and more endless. When the Lens of Truth analyzed in-game footage captured, the quality was spot on down to the hair. But oddly enough, that’s where the game had issues. On the PlayStation 3, hair had nice transparencies, although not perfect. The Xbox 360 however had transparency issues with their hair. The transparency would make for a strobe effect which was downright distracting. Another small difference would also be the shadows on characters. The PlayStation 3 had more self-shadowed characters and it was not exclusive to in-game. The difference was also noticeable in pre-rendered cut scenes using game assets. This leads to the main graphical issue which, in turn, ties into performance.


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Performance: Overall, Final Fantasy XIII is a solid game. Neither console required an install, although the Xbox 360 had the option in the title screen. The Lens of Truth still believes in comparing games straight out of the box, so no install nor brightness settings were altered when capturing footage. In all honesty, it wasn’t needed.  Systems looked neither washed out, nor darker than the other. Colors matched nicely, and, as mentioned before, this game really just brings out the best in both consoles. However, it also finally showed the limitations of the hardware. This game at times felt more of comparison between the Blu-Ray versus the DVD, instead of the PlayStation 3 versus Xbox 360. And in some cases, it was out and out embarrassing. The Lens of Truth started a simple debate on whether cut scenes affect games performances or if they were merely graphical issues. This is still worthy of debating, but we came to conclusion that a game like Final Fantasy has always relied heavily on the cutscenes for story telling as well as just amazing the audience with epic graphics and even emotional scenes. With a huge emphasis on cut scenes, Final Fantasy XIII‘s cut scenes serve as the backbone and in-game mechanics are always secondary even though it could be argued it’s a tie. Getting back to Blu-Ray vs. DVD, the Xbox 360 clearly became outclassed. Typically, cut scenes look better than in-game since they’re a pre-rendered sequences with assets that clearly are at least twice as detailed in comparison to in-game characters. With FFXIII, there were three aspects to the game. In order from lowest quality to highest:  in-game, cut scenes using in-game assets, and cut scenes using high quality assets. Thanks to the Blu-Ray player, the PlayStation kept to this order, but with the Xbox’s DVD player, the quality changed. The order became cut scenes using high quality assets, in-game, and then cut scenes using in-game assets. The high quality cut scenes were hard to watch and, overall, a plain mess. However, cut scenes using in-game assets still looked just as amazing as PlayStation 3 which makes one wonder why the high quality cut scenes weren’t swapped with more cut scenes using in-game assets. The overall quality could be a moot point considering the Xbox 360 is running at sub 720. Here are some statistics from our frame analyzer. Note that cinematics were not factored into the analysis. Also, in the video we “fat fingered” the tear percent on Clip 07 for the Xbox 360, it should read 0.00 instead of 0.10.


PlayStation 3 Frame Analysis Xbox 360 3 Frame Analysis
Clip 1 info:
Length of clip: 1941
Average FPS of clip: 30.00
Percent of torn frames: 0
Clip 1 info:
Length of clip: 1941
Average FPS of clip: 29.95
Percent of torn frames: 0
Clip 2 info:
Length of clip: 3552
Average FPS of clip: 30.00
Percent of torn frames: 0
Clip 2 info:
Length of clip: 3552
Average FPS of clip: 29.98
Percent of torn frames: 0
Clip 3 info:
Length of clip: 3909
Average FPS of clip: –
Percent of torn frames: –
Clip 3 info:
Length of clip: 3909
Average FPS of clip: –
Percent of torn frames: –
Clip 4 info:
Length of clip: 2167
Average FPS of clip: 29.81
Percent of torn frames: 0
Clip 4 info:
Length of clip: 2167
Average FPS of clip: 29.81
Percent of torn frames: 0
Clip 5 info:
Length of clip: 4633
Average FPS of clip: 29.98
Percent of torn frames: 0
Clip 5 info:
Length of clip: 4633
Average FPS of clip: 29.94
Percent of torn frames: 0
Clip 6 info:
Length of clip: 3883
Average FPS of clip: 29.89
Percent of torn frames: 0
Clip 6 info:
Length of clip: 3883
Average FPS of clip: 29.86
Percent of torn frames: 0
Clip 7 info:
Length of clip: 523
Average FPS of clip: 30
Percent of torn frames: 0
Clip 7 info:
Length of clip: 523
Average FPS of clip: 29.94
Percent of torn frames: 0
Clip 8 info:
Length of clip: 2864
Average FPS of clip: –
Percent of torn frames: –
Clip 8 info:
Length of clip: 2864
Average FPS of clip: –
Percent of torn frames: –
Clip 9 info:
Length of clip: 3444
Average FPS of clip: 30
Percent of torn frames: 0
Clip 9 info:
Length of clip: 3444
Average FPS of clip: 29.99
Percent of torn frames: 0
Global percent of torn frames: 0.00
Global average FPS: 29.95
Global percent of torn frames: 0.00
Global average FPS: 29.92


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Loading: When is comes to load times, the PlayStation 3 won again. In clip number 5 in the video review, the Lens of Truth took two clips that had a load time in between for comparison. In the first clip Lightning jumps off the bridge. The second clip consists of Snow. On the PlayStation 3 there was a 5 second load in-between shots. On the Xbox 360, there was an 8 second load time. Although load times were 3 seconds apart, both clips somehow only matched by a difference by 1 second. Under further analysis it was discovered that a small camera shot within the first clip was removed. A shot where Lightning jumps off the bridge and the camera sees the soles of her feet were missing on the Xbox 360. But cutting this shot out got the Xbox 360′s entire clip within a reasonable time difference. Analysis of other clips did not show deletion of shots like this one, but one can assume if it happens on one clip it’s bound to happen again to manage times.


h2h_ffxiii_13



Roll over to see the differences. Notice the Xbox 360 has a slightly better filter distance.

 

Roll over to see the differences. Notice the missing shadows on the Xbox 360.


Roll over to see the differences. This is a prerendered cinematic.


Roll over to see the differences. This is a prerendered cinematic.


Roll over to see the differences. Notice the missing shadows on the Xbox 360.


Roll over to see the differences.


Roll over to see the differences. This is a prerendered cinematic.


Roll over to see the differences. This is a prerendered cinematic.

Conclusion, Technical Score and Staff Choice on Page 2.

Pages: 1 2


*To ensure color accuracy from the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and Wii U output, the PlayStation 3 has RGB Full Range set to "Full" and Super White "On", and the Xbox 360 has Reference Level set to "Expanded" and HDMI Color Space set to "RGB". Our capture card we have captured segments from the AVS HD 709 . Blu-ray, HD DVD, & MP4 Calibration suite.

As you will see, each system matches each other at the SOURCE LEVEL. No contrast or gamma settings are manipulated before or after capturing our images/videos. We strongly believe that these types of corrections are done on a individuals preference and should not be adjusted by us. Finally, washed out looking images that are due to contrast or gamma differences will not have any influence on our final verdicts. Please Read through our F.A.Q page if you have any questions or concerns.*