At first glance, the answer to this question seems promising. Final Fantasy XIII looks, in a word, breathtaking. The graphics are nearly unparalleled by any other games on the market currently. Character detail, environmental settings, spell visuals, encountered creatures, NPCs... all are fully realized with amazing care and craftsmanship. Even more impressive is the fact that all of this graphical bliss does not cause the game to suffer in terms of clipping or bad framerate. Simply stated, Final Fantasy XIII is the showcase of what next-gen consoles can offer in conjunction with modern Hi-Def televisions.
As fans of the series are quick to point out, the music of the franchise is historically as iconic (if not more-so) as any characters or settings in the games. Final Fantasy XIII marks a departure in a sense, as it is the first of the numbered games in the series to not feature the music of famed composer Nobuo Uematsu (who is reported to be at work on the soundtrack for Final Fantasy XIV). Uematsu is replaced by Final Fantasy X co-composer Masashi Hamauzu. Replacement aside, I still found Hamauzu's music engaging and epic, although time will tell if it proves as memorable as some of Uematsu's compositions. Apart from the score, I found the other auditory offerings of Final Fantasy XIII to be well attended, if not outstanding. The voice-acting, while not great, was good enough and the various sound effects used throughout the game did ample justice to associated settings and events. As a package, Final Fantasy XIII certainly lives up to its epic expectations with regards to audio and visual richness.