I'm currently half way through chapter nine... it has occured to me that they dropped the ball with this game and i feel like they have gone a bit lazy... especially with the characters. It seems like alot... if not all the (main) characters in ffxiii are very similar to the earlier games main characters, as in personallity and traits... even looks!
Lightning = Cloud (ff7) - this has already been confirmed as the director (i think) stated that he wanted a female version of cloud to lead
Snow = Zell and Wakka (ff8 and ff10) - they look kinda similar (a cross between them both i would say), same comedy, childish tendancies, is doer... not a thinker, lets his heart over rule his head.
Vanille = Rikku (ff10) - a bubby, outgoing, positive person... but with dark secrets.
Sazh = Barrett (ff7) - very family orintated, opiniated, trustworthy, cynical, and makes comments about unlucky situations one too many times.
Hope = Tidus (ff10) - i think they have the same learning curve... its focus it more on hope then they did with Tidus. also add a splash of revenage in there as well. they also look quite similar.
Fang = Fran (ff12) - to be honest i struggled to find a similar comparison to fang. but for some reason fran comes to mind.
other things that i found were very similar was the system that they used to build up the characters (the name has slipped my mind... somthing crystal?) is very similar to grid that they used in ff10... but prettier looking. also the whole linear thing made me think that they couldnt be bothered to do extensive maps and side quests and interactions with random people, it just isnt to par with previous games in that respect. finally... the story... it just seemed that they couldnt be bothered to put and create ways for us to find out the back story of why cocoon was in this state of emergancy... instead we had to read about it in the datalog.