Aristotle's Poetics was written as a practical guide to writing drama. Aristotle often complained that dramatic works skewed towards spectacle while offering little substance. The same complaint can be made about Final Fantasy XIII. The game is nothing but visual and audio spectacle with little substance below the surface. Final Fantasy XIII is absolutely stunning to look at. Characters are amazingly detailed, right down to hair that looks and acts like hair. If you want something to show off to friends, this is it. Even more impressive is there's no slowdown or awkward moments where items clip through pieces of clothing. It's all about details.
Music is just as epic, though not as memorable as past games. I loved every piece of music in the game, but can really only recall a simple melody outside the game. Though not a major issue, but considering past games feature some of the more memorable game tunes, it's disappointing. Voicework is spot-on and, with the exception of the always cheerful and incessantly irritating Vanille, characters are a joy to listen to. Good thing too, because you'll spend a lot of time doing just that.