Leading up to the release I kept up to date with the news on Final fantasy XIII, so many critics said it was linear and gave the game bad scores. Now that I have played it, I see that they were wrong to mark it so low.
Sure, the start is not an overwhelming scale that you can roam around in like fallout 3 or Dragon age origins, BUT THIS IS NOT A BAD THING!!! It makes it fast paced and able for you to grasp the marvelous storyline and the many game mechanics. I don't think that the things that are missing from other final fantasy's is a bad thing either. There is alot of things they have kept that are the better parts of previous titles of the series.
This is a well put together game and the way it presents itself and progesses through the storyline is absolutely engaging and fun, it doesn't get dull and boring like most RPG's, you always have something new around every corner.
I would reccomend you play this before judging it and don't listen to the critics!! unless you have already completed it.