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Mixed or average reviews- based on 439 Ratings

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  1. Apr 18, 2014
    This game is the reason Sony sold their investment into Square Enix. The characters are still mundane, the action is still mediocre, and the graphics continue to be the only thing this game has going for it.
  2. Feb 21, 2014
    Not as bad as everyone says, the time limit makes you stratagies and plan, and the combat system is new and refreshing with a combination of action and active time based mechanics and done better than FF13 imo, the story is no better or worse than your typical rpg storyline {save the world, save loved ones, have moral delemas}.

    There's alot of returning characters and this time around
    they are not all carebears and roses, most of them want to kill each other because they made a bargain with god to save a loved one, something alot diffrent from original 13 where everyone is annoyingly positive and cheerful about the world ending, i find lightning returns a big step up from ff13 and -2 with a dash of originality in the mix, the soundtrack is also very good as it always is, not bad at all! Expand
  3. Mar 9, 2014
    Wasted my money on a dumb game! Its running around in circles all the time, doing unimportant side-quests that are irrelevant to the main story. And you can't progress the main story because certain events can only be accessed at certain times of the day. Dumb! Worst FF game ever! Enjoyed FF13-1, dismayed by FF13-2 and now ridiculed in FF13-3. I give up! Other than the pretty Lightning, there's no saving grace for this game. Expand
  4. Feb 18, 2014
    In short, for me, 13-3 is clearly the best of the 3 games in the series and does everything better. The game is probably a 8.5~9/10 on the grand scale of things. They especially elevates the combat system (general gameplay), the possibility to explore early on and overall gives you a lot more of a "Skyrim/Dragon Age" feel to the game than before. They actually change so much compared to the earlier installments that many critics do judged them based off this. It will take some getting used to where for instance the combat system is closer to the Tales series than earlier Final Fantasy. It requires more responsiveness and timing (like critical guard, counterspell or counterattack) and "areas" require different setups for success. Abilities have different stages, depending on if your opponent is lifted, grounded, attacking, ricocheting off a well timed guard or other stances, where you often must combine your different armor sets for good effects (Erza Scarlet - The Video Game).

    This freedom may be a curse for young gamers though, as having to learn a game can be difficult where there is little hand holding (most must be discovered, and it can easily be bypassed (like how to make money fast and get the "correct" gear from stores, or generally level up (must go by the quest boards and harvest souls). It can also go from happy faced sunny days to dark hours in seconds, like having humors moments with joining a date for free food to suddenly turning the corner after completion to discover a hanged girl thrown off a building (killed, because you failed that quest the day before, and now must face the results). Thus this game may be more adult focused (in regards to murder mysterious, details of victims, etc.) than the previous games. The main story is not that extensive and the game could be completed in 6~16 hours, however the side quests do add to the holistic view. For old school FF veterans, one complete "decent" play through for discovering ultimate weapons and so on would be close to 80~100 hours). That said it has potential for ever lasting effects ala. Dark Souls with New Game+ and so on.


    -More engaging Combat system (More like the Tales Series)

    -Difficulty choice.

    -More world exploration

    -You can give the main protagonist diverse personality traits/body language based off the different armor sets

    -Engaging side quests

    -Good music


    -You might feel the time pressure

    -You have to learn many things yourself (pro for FF veterans).

    -Main story is not that extensive.

    - If you don't learn the combat system fast, you'd potentially lagg behind, making the game adjust the difficulty so that you can end up with a "hit 1 ability" pattern of the earlier games (each day passed gives you access to more abilities and gear, making it naturally easier for the earlier zones).

    - It may be difficult to understand what zones you are not ready for (save before engaging a new monster type (you usually have to learn their pattern behavior and will die the first time anyway)).
  5. Feb 14, 2014
    Worst ff game i have ever played and i have played x-2 and dirge of cerberus(another pos).
    What's the point of having an open world to explore when you have a freaking time limit?
    What the hell were they thinking?
    This is not final fantasy.
    Do yourself a favor take those 60 bucks and buy ff1-6 on psn and play those again.
  6. Feb 13, 2014
    That ridiculous gametrailers review summed up it kinda well:" amounting to little more than an excuse to dress the heroine up in different outfits and beat the crap out of things." And that's great! If you want more than that go read a book. This is the best FF since X
  7. Apr 25, 2014
    I play Final Fantasy games since the NES era, so I know what I am talking about. Additionally, I have played them ALL, with the exception of 11, as I was never into MMOs anyway. Even the last entries (13 and 13-2 had great moments and I had a lot of fun with them - I have actually finished 13 twice). I think Lightning is a great character and truly represents the new generation of FF and, in my honest opinion, she is a very badass heroine. I simply love her. Lightning Returns finally converts her into the war-horse she is, making her a one-woman army. The gameplay/combat is SICK, original and a lot of fun. But that is all, I'm afraid. The rest of the game is a complete mess... and, seriously, why, WHY make a countdown in an open-world game? Why make a countdown that punishes you for wanting to explore and see all those cool settings and cities? Why make battles that don't give experience? It just does not make sense and gives me a feeling that the game is broken. I feel sad for hating this game, I really wanted to love it. But even for a true fan of the series, it is impossible. Lightning Returns is probably the worst game in the franchise and a shame that the trilogy has to end in such a sad, mediocre note. Expand
  8. Mar 7, 2014
    At least there was a conclusion, even if it was somewhat confusing.

    I have two major qualms: (1) The ever-impending sense of being rushed for time (24 -- or is it 26 -- hours before you're 'swept' away). I enjoy playing RPGs at a leisurely pace. Put differently, I don't like running from A to B only to feel like I have pause the game as quickly as possible so I'm able to decide my
    next step without wasting precious seconds/minutes. (2) The lack of enemy diversity -- 40 or so -- and some were 'upgraded' versions of earlier enemies (e.g., niblet to goblot and earth eater to chocobo eater).

    With that said, FFXII:LR has amazing graphics and above average plot. I enjoy it when a story actually concludes, rather than leaving unanswered questions, even if I don't particularly like the ending. Further, the new 'schemata' fighting system allows endless tinkering, which filled the void left by the lack of grinding I'm accustomed too. I just wish you actually fought more. If the best feature in the game is fighting, it should be the centerpiece and not something you try to avoid. Otherwise, the 'schemata' is just an excuse for this 29 year old boy/man to play dress up with virtual dolls.
  9. Feb 11, 2014
    Awful story. Awful main character. Awful dialogs. Awful quest. Awful graphics. Awful ending. This is an awful entry in a franchise devastated by a terrible producers.
  10. Feb 12, 2014
    Frustrating, this word resume what I think about this opus. Great battle system, customization, exploration, technically sound but sooooo frustrating. The story is bad, but I can go past this. No the problem is the timer : you just don't have time to really do what you want, to explore every single part of the world, to develop your character. You must go quickly from one quest to another, always rushing and never spent time doing anything else if you want to finish the story. Add to this that it is nearly impossible to do without game over and go in some kind of New game + : you keep your character as develop as she was, but have to redo everything...... Soooo frustrating. Expand
  11. Feb 19, 2014
    it's so weird people are **** about 13 now and pretend it's a new thing. I remember way back when people were **** about FF8 and 9 cuz it wasn't FF7, then people complained FFX was just plain bad and they hated it and it was stupid, and now everyone's like FFX was epic and blabla. Honestly.... As for the FFXIII-3... It must be cuz I'm getting older, I don't get sucked into games (storywise) as much as I used to, same with this game. Personally I liked the first XIII the least of all 3 games, and it's actually rather nice they abadoned the auto attack thing from 1 and 2. Downsides are it's timed, I love free roaming and taking my time in places and I can't now unless I wanna use New Game + to no end, but then I gotta replay certain sections... I don't like the many conversations, for every side-quest you have to talk to someone, and at first that's fun a bit, but later on it really gets on my nerves. It's pretty Obvious to see this installment is like a cult-game almost. The graphics are far far below FF standards, and something feels very low-budget about it, like they've just wanted to end the series but don't really care for it anymore cuz customer whined too much about the previous ones. Then there are the very small maps (relatively), but unlike FF XIII this game isn't linear as much, you can pick your own order in which to do things. All in all, I find it an enjoyable game despite its faults. Expand
  12. Feb 16, 2014
    LR's progression system is as unique as unforgiving : the end of the world happens in 6 days, and Lightning has to free as many souls as she can before the apocalypse to send those in the world that will be created after. Yep, that's 6 and not 13. When starting the game, you have only 6 days. But after you accomplish a certain number of quests (main or secondary), a day will be added after the current one.

    The system is really disturbing at first, because you naturally want concrete results, which is impossible because the main objectives (and numerous secondary objectives) are achieved in the long term ( 2 or 3 days for a main quest for example). In Lightning, you have to think completely out of the box : it is no longer level 1 → boss 1 → level 2 etc. Trains take you whenever you want as soon as you arrive on town. You can start Luxerio's main quest from 10 pm to midnight, taking on Yanusaan's for the rest of the night, and resume Luxerio's the following morning while completing sidequests when under way. You are totally free, not to say left on your own.

    Quests are extremely demanding in terms of search. You have very little help from the game, you are no longer guided like in the previous episodes. Lighting Returns thus avoids this questionable tendancy modern games have to put you on rails. And believe me, that feels extremely good, because nothing is more satisfying than achieving something with your own efforts. You'll also need a rock-solid organisation, because every single quest depends on the time of the day. You will infiltrate a palace at 6 pm, chase Noel from 0 to 6 am, be at the chemist's by 5 pm, etc. Lightning Returns's largest aspect is therefore time management. Like in an Atelier game but in REAL TIME : you have to think fast. The four environments are dense and quite large : cities are full of little secrets and wild areas are so huge that it's easy to get lost. Quests are extremely varied : many will involve hunting monsters, but in numerous occasions you will be asked to to accomplish weird tasks like a race into town, checking clocks, healing a chocobo, trying medicine... In short, the game feels as rich as Xenoblade, maybe even more.

    From a technical point of view, the 3D engine is clrealy getting a little old 4 years after FFXIII. Textures are not as good as in FFXIII-2, aliasing is rife, but the level of details turned out to be satisfying. The general design is original and fascinating. The architecture is crazy and impressive, the night atmosphere is downright scary and towns are busier than ever in Final Fantasy. Like always, character modeling is superb, even for secondary characters. The problem with all that is that you come across some framerate drops time to time (not that bad). The OST is good but quite less than the one of FFXIII-2. Background music is especially effecient, and I was truly happy to welcome back the traditional victory fanfare.

    The Break system is gone. Instead, you'll perform «KOs» that leaves the opponent unbalanced for a second. Spamming magic is one of the way to trigger the KO, but not only. Attacking and guarding at a given time will also do it. Up to you to observe the behaviour of the enemy and find out. But there's a snag : KO doesn't necessarily mean you deal more damage, which makes some battles ridiculously looooooong and tiring. Not not mention that the ATB bar is veeeeery slow. It's so bad that you often only have one action after each role switch when the battle gets long. The guard is even worse because it consumes a great deal of the bar, so you're sitting ducks when at the end of a series of actions. I'll let you imagine how irritating this can get when affected by slow (I don't want to remember). In normal mode, each defeat costs one (precious) hour, which would be OK if super-powerful monsters couldn't suddenly pop from nowhere and OHKO you.

    Fighting is pretty tough in Lightning Returns : Lightning's HP no longer recover after battle, and healing is very limited. You're only allowed to carry 6 (later 9) healing objects! Apart from that, you can replenish your HP in hotels and restaurants, or use your GP. But the latter can be used to alter time, so you definitely don't want to use them for cure. Bosses in main quests are pretty intense fights, great gaming moments. I'm pretty sure it would have been far less interesting in easy mode.

    Lightning Returns is representative of th XIII series : a very good JRPG whose (great) qualities aren't enough to forget its (annoying) drawbacks. Its progression system is unique and exciting, its environments are rich and fascinating. I do believe it is really worth a shot despite the ailing battle system and the apathetic story. Final Fantasy will have definitely missed something this generation, let's hope it finds it in the next.
  13. Feb 15, 2014
    Chocobos - Check Moogles - Check Open World - Check Epic music - Check Epic boss battle - Check "Omega" enemies - Check In-depth and thought out combat system - check All ties wrapped up by the end of the game - check Every stat somehow involving 9's - Check Wont give this game a 10 because the side quests are annoying. Not sure why this gets mediocre reviews when this game is the epitome of the Final Fantasy franchise. Hell, the boss fight is a high definition Sephiroth.

    Oh and the time limit makes zero difference to this game, you -can't- run out of time so long as you're actually completing the main and side quests.
  14. Feb 12, 2014
    Doesn't surprise me this poor reviews for FF13 LIGHTING. The whole 'Fabula Nova Crystalis' thing was Garbage, IMO. Yet, Square-Enix insist on sticking with it for FF 15,pfffffff. Who in the hell thought that a time-limit for an RPG was a good idea?!
  15. Feb 12, 2014
    First off, good things: The combat system (a mix of three personally created classes with your own attacks that you can switch between at any time in-battle) is fun, fast-paced, and keeps you on your toes. Lots of customization as far as outfits go, colors and garments and a depth to outfits never seen before in a FF-related title. The music is fantastic as well. You can also just jump wherever you feel like around the maps, even though you'll wind up wasting time trying to step-ladder up over a wall using crates or what-have-you, which leads to the bad...

    being the massively constricting time-system. It gives you 13 in-game days to beat the game, and while doing side-quests and the main story missions can increase your days and the time you have, it still feels incredibly limiting. On the plus side, if you fail, you can just start over with a new game and have all of your things there. Still, the added time-constraint is something that just never should have been put in the game, I don't like feeling pressured. Story has as (un)believable as the last two, but if you've played both of them, there's no reason you'll be turned off from this entry! You made it this far, you're not repelled by it. If you're one of those that didn't like the previous two games--don't even look at it. What are you even doing here? To the others--go rent it, have fun!
  16. Apr 16, 2014
    And so the XIII Saga comes to an end. A series that has been met with mixed reception in the West, and well received in Japan, and should this really come to as a surprise to gamers that many of our western critics are very critical in their reviews?

    Even as far as the fans of this franchise in the west are no different in their criticism. Of course criticism is a good thing if it were
    positive, and this case It's not all that positive. Though does that mean this XIII Saga is a complete letdown? Not in the slightest. In fact, It's possibly the better of the Final Fantasies we've seen since Final Fantasy VIII or Final Fantasy X. This is of course if you can look past that stupidity obsession most "Fans" and Critics have for that beloved VII.

    This is no means a fantastic installment to this long running franchise. It is, however not the worst in the franchise and certainly not terrible. It'll be hard to look past that fanboyism of VII and understand that VII isn't the best in the series, nor is any of the XIII installments. What XIII has managed to do is introduce a Saga that has changed drastically from the first to Lightning Returns.

    With XIII we were given a story driven, character introduction to what would become a Saga in the Final Fantasy franchise. This later opened up in many ways with XIII-2 as the focus switched from story driven to more exploration and focus to tweaking gameplay mechanics.

    Finally with Lightning Returns we see the most innovated combat system in the franchise, with large areas to explore, deep customization and emphasis on Time. Of course there are things that could have been done much better, including the Doomsday Clock, and of course the Story being somewhat disjointed with itself. Not to mention that playing either of these games in Japanese changes the experience drastically, and for the better.

    That isn't to say Troy Baker does a horrible job as Snow, or Ali as Lightning, and rest of the cast. Although myself, personally? I just cannot stand Hope whatsoever and just wish he'd forever shut his trap. Him, and Noel's English actor is simply just over-the-top cheesy, boring and lifeless.

    Anyways! Straight to the more positive points and negative to this conclusion to the XIII Saga!

    +Excellent Combat System
    +Great customization and dress up is always fun with Lightning
    +Varied locations, some which are very well designed
    +Lumina is deviously adorable
    +Great boss battles
    +Varied side-quests to undertake
    +Great cinematic
    +Snow, Lightning, Lumina, and Serah have great English voice actors to compliment them in-game, though not to the rest.
    +The original Japanese cast give off a way better performance

    -Doomsday Clock poorly implemented. Despite having the Chronostasis ability, the time in which the 13 days last is too short, making the game a constant rush for time and barely able to enjoy what the game has to fully offer the player. If each day were to last an entire 60 minutes of real time, or perhaps 120 minutes real time, would the game be fully enjoyable and not always this constant rush.

    -Story is disjointed and hard to fully enjoy with the game forcing time down your throat. It forces multiple playthroughs that seem unnecessary at first, driving potential fans away. What story is here seems great, and even better told through the original Japanese audio, but the Doomsday Clock still frustrates.

    There are far more positive things to Lightning Returns making it the strongest release of the Saga. The Doomsday Clock fits with the story and how time is always against you, It's just simply poorly implemented. Given more time to explore and marvel at what the game has to offer would have given this game far more positive reception.

    In the back of my mind I always seem to think that if the clock were set for an hour or two in real-time would this mechanic been met with more positive reception from fans, and critics alike. Especially here in the west.

    Despite that I myself am enjoying what there is to do in the game, and see myself coming back for a New Game+ - It just would have been nice for the Clock to be extended.
  17. Jun 7, 2014
    Algunos dicen que es el mejor de los tres sólo porque ya no es lineal. Y es que vale, mejora un problema muy grande que tuvo XIII, pero también es verdad que se carga lo mucho bueno que brilló en este primer capítulo. Y es que, ¿dónde ha ido la épica, la historia y los grandes personajes de antaño?, esto más bien es un simulador de recados a personajes frikazos, en plan busca mi peluche, traeme esto, mata treinta monstruos, busca números, etc, en fin, una jugabilidad muy divertida para ofrecer en el 2014. Encima con prisas porque va contrareloj. Vamos, que parece un batiburrillo de ideas extrambóticas que no terminan de funcionar ni cuajar bien. Sigue así Square enix, otro Final Fantasy del montón y van unos cuantos... Expand
  18. Mar 8, 2014
    Lightning returns is a game that cannot be defined in a single genre.
    It is definitelya final fantasy, but the gameplay is so unique that can't be easily described or categorized.
    We play again as Lightning, the only playable character this time, but this doesn't make the game any limitative, instead this is the most fun and rewarding battle style I've ever played on any final fantasy.

    The story is hit or miss, if you liked the previous games you would probably like this too, just to know what is going to happen next.
    What I discovered in my playthrough is that every corner, event, has a surprise or something that makes you glad to have played this game.
    The amount of content is incredible, there is a lot to do and everything is extremely rewarding.
    My advice is to try the demo, or borrow it before purchase, you will discover a gem that has been unfairly obstracized.
  19. Feb 26, 2014
    Here we go again, this is a game where Final Fantasy purists are going in expecting a retread of FF7. This is an action rpg that actually reminded me a lot of another under appreciated Squeenix game 'Nier'. The opening hours are hard to choke down with some seriously bad writing, a convoluted and uninteresting storyline and some bland environments, but as the game opens itself out, there's a ton of fun to be had and the story kind of pulls you in. Theres a deep, rich level of character customization and the few boss battles really leave a lot of room for players to tackle them from different angles.
    Listen, Im not blind to why players dislike this part of the Final Fantasy series, but think its just a case of misunderstanding what Square Enix is trying to achieve here. This isnt a deep dark Final Fantasy game; it's light hearted and playful, and very challenging if you sink enough hours into it and allow it to breathe.
  20. May 1, 2014
    This is the end of the FFXIII trilogy but unfortunately this trilogy ends on a sour note. The story and characters are both dry and ridiculous as there is little or no depth or development. The time limit should have scrapped early in development in favor of something else because combining the open world, main story and, sidequests give the game a very unbalanced feel and while I am glad that sidequests are an organic part of the game this time around they feel more like errands and it feels extremely unpleasant. I will give world design high marks but the inability to freely explore the game counters this as you are constantly rushing through the game doing quests and proceeding through the main plot and having all this stuff going on all at once can have you feeling lost. The graphics also have problems there is ridiculous amounts of lagging in some areas and textures look very rushed and muddy and some textures look closer to plastic rather than looking organic it looks and feels very cheap and it's VERY disappointing especially for a Final Fantasy game. While the battle system is the best part of the game it feels a bit weird since there no other playable party members other than Lightning (except for certain parts of the game where you get a temporary party member but I am not counting these) and I do admit I do miss having a full party since the Schemata system feels closer to a game of Dress Up. In the end Lightning Returns is something that should never be revisited in the future and it's easily the worst Final Fantasy of this console generation. So instead of playing this game you will want to play either Zelda: Majora's Mask or Bravely Default these are masterpieces and Lightning Returns on the other hand it's better off thrown in a fire or left in crystal stasis for all eternity. Expand
  21. Mar 24, 2014
    The game is a joke
    All 13s series should have never been exist in the first place. Doing third game after completely failed (at least for me) XIII is completely dumb. No party, clown costumes, absolutely no world in-depth feeling.
  22. Feb 12, 2014
    Although I disliked the linearity of FF XIII I still enjoyed it and the battle system, more so with XIi-2 where more path option were available.
    This, 'game' however, gives you back some real freedom then snatches it away instantly with constantly being reminded of time limits, quests that are the basest of RPG fetch quests, no incentive to enter combat as you do not get exp from it and
    with a gameplay that discourages you to waste time looking for fights by the quest structure. If you ignore everything the game wants you to do there are a few hours of gameplay here but only if bought from the remaindered bin. Expand
  23. Feb 12, 2014
    Ok folks...this game is not a 10 but I feel I have to counteract the others that are giving it 0. Played the game for 4-5 hours last night and I am actually enjoying it. The gameplay is fun, graphics are gorgeous and I'm having a good time. Isn't that what a game is all about? I would actually give it a solid 8 in reality. If you are a JRPG fan you should play it. If not, stay away. It's a game, not a movie... Expand
  24. Feb 11, 2014
    I beleive people are making this game seem a lot worse than it is, people are giving this 1's and 0's! No game is worth a zero unless it is completely unplayable. And this game isn't. This has an incredible new combat system that is extremely customisable, and is really fun. The story is told the way its supposed to, Lightning is supposed to save souls, and thats what she does, their is no other part of the story to it.I know lightning isn't the most likable character in the world but she is becoming a god basically in this game. And the people who made this understood that in all cultures gods don't have emotion. But most fof the other characters in this game are pretty likable. The open world is fantastic! I mean how many other games can you make a certain type of monster species go instinct, there is so much stuff to do in this game that are behind the scenes. I believe this game is a great way to close a fantastic triology in the Final Fantasy series. Expand
  25. Feb 11, 2014
    The XIII series as a whole is amazing and I don't understand the unnecessary hate towards it. The story, characters, battles... everything was awesome! So far that hasn't changed in Lighting Returns either. I'm enjoying it very much so. I think a lot of people (mostly guys) are scared or just straight up pissed off by having strong female lead roles in the gaming world today. Lightning is strong, independent, goal oriented, and having a female protagonist is something pretty new in the gaming scene. Only a select few females leads have made it "acceptable" by the community, such as Lara Croft. We need more of those in the gaming world and Lightning is the right role model for that! Expand
  26. Feb 24, 2014
    I went into this game expecting it to be pretty damn cool (loved the demo) but either way, this game is bound to disappoint some. The combat is great and a new twist that imo, the Final Fantays series had been failing in for a good several years now and the free roaming exploration angle is nice too as are the gear, weapon and overall cosplay-angle customization but the story is really bad, the graphics aren't impressive at all and some of the new features like the time cycle and the fact that you only level up through side quests and not by fighting enemies are unwelcome. I still don't consider it to be a bad game per se but it's definitely not a great one either. Expand
  27. Feb 11, 2014
    Contrary to the popular belief that the FFXIII series is garbage and no one likes it, I actually love it. I know the characters can be over the top at times but that's true of most anime you watch and just part of the culture from where the game originated. I enjoyed the entire series.
  28. Feb 12, 2014
    I'm still in the beginning of the game and as of right now I'm rating it between 5-6. I absolutely love Final Fantasy. I liked FFXIII, it's definitely not the best in the series, but it's good in my opinion, FFXIII-2 was meh for me. The story was boring and I didn't care for the new battle system. When Lightning Returns was announced I wasn't excited about it, but I was not not excited about it either it was something I could patiently wait for. Now that it's here it's aggravating the hell out of me. Idk about everyone else, but for some reason I cannot grasp the synchronization concept i think it's so confusing to the point where I don't even want to do it, I don't like the new Stagger mechanic I prefer the old one, so far the story is boring as hell, and the biggest thing that makes me angry with this game is the TIMER. I can't take my time and explore the world. I have to rush around and go from quest to quest before I'm forced to return to the Ark at 6am. I was never the one to complain about this, but I'm getting tired of these characters. I know I don't have to play it, but since I finished the first two I figured I'd get this one to see how it all ends, hopefully. I have almost no interest in this game when I turn it on i just feel like "ugh, I don't feel like playing this! But I need to see how it ends!". I'm pretty much trying to force myself through it. I appreciate SE continuing the FF franchise, but I want these characters to be done and over with. I want FFXV already plus more. Can we please move on already? Expand
  29. Feb 11, 2014
    From the amount I've played into this game so far, I have to say that while it makes up for the XIII saga in some aspects, it lacks in others.

    First, the combat system is a huge improvement over the one offered in XIII and XIII-2. Square finally seems to have broken the shell over this series and allowed us to customize to our play styles. The branching paths, and tension you feel as
    you play through the game are palpable.

    The graphics, while good, are starting to show their age a little. The score is subpar, especially compared to the score of previous FF's (including XIII itself). But overall the presentation of the game is passable.

    The largest detraction I can label on this game is its story. I'm one of the few that actually got drawn in by the story of XIII. While it certainly wasn't amazing, I found it to be interesting enough for me to warrant exploring (the little you could) the world to learn more about it. XIII-2 was a marked downturn in this, as the world merely grew more convoluted and the characters grew seemingly less important. This downturn has hit the depths with Lightning Returns. I don't want to give any spoilers, but suffice to say that the payoff to those who have been loyal to the XIII saga does not seem like it will be worth it.

    I say check it out if you're a rabid fan of FF, or if the only major problem you had with the previous games was the combat system. Otherwise stay away.
  30. Apr 17, 2014
    I was actually quite hyped for this game because of some features like the action oriented combat and the "end of the world" timer but most of the games I hype up usually end up as **** on my list. NOT THIS ONE.

    Lightning Returns was actually refreshingly different. It had a fair amount of dialogue and the story is simple enough to be understood. The world is quite nice even if there
    are only 4 areas to explore (Luxerion,Yusnaan, Wildlands and Dead Dunes). Yusnaan and Luxerion had nice areas to explore and you could easily get lost in them if you don't use the map. Wildlands and Dead Dunes were fairly large in comparison to the previous 2 and they contain some incredible monsters in them. Expand
  31. Feb 15, 2014
    Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII is a great game that is fun to play once you get how everything works. Customizing Lightning is a blast i found myself buying garbs constantly to get buffs and that very special attack i was looking for. DLC garbs(FFX-2 yuna, FF& cloud, Tomb raider) are awesome. Especially Cloud's just cause well...its cloud's!! The story while jumbled at time is all in all intriguing, i wont saw its the new last of us cause id be lying but its alright. Not as bad as what some reviewers are making it out to be. Sound is good, once again not great but good, It says something when i try to when with the FF7 outfit just to hear Victory fanfare over the other victory music. Game play is where this game shines and boy does it shine bright. I wish they would go back and redo 13 and 13-2 wih this battle system i could have saved FF13. Its that awesome. Story: 710 Game play: 1010 Sound 710 Presentation: 710 Overall: 8 - Its a good game and the best in the FF13 trilogy just not the best story. Expand
  32. Feb 15, 2014
    Waste of time by Square-Enix who should have instead used that time and money creating literally anything else. Farewell to the worst protagonist in Final Fantasy history.
  33. Mar 4, 2014
    I love this game! I am so happy that I followed my instinct on this one and did not fall for the percentage score. I am completely hooked and cannot believe how much I am into this game, as I am disillusioned with games in general and even the supposedly "greatest" games are boring and unfulfilling to me. I am actually excited to go home and play this. It may be a little intimidating at first, it is a hardcore game but you will understand it more as you go. You have to kill enemies so that you can freeze time. I love how monsters can become extinct. I haven't even played the other FFXIII games and I don't need them to understand what is going on. It feels kind of mysterious this way. I am playing a game, I don't really need to know all the story details. I am baffled at the negativity being thrown at this game, similar to the ignorant misunderstandings towards the innovations of the masterful works of genius Final Fantasy VIII and XII. It is definitely as good or better than Bravely Default, which I love. For me it is much more entertaining and rewarding as higher rated games such as Last of Us, Grand Theft Auto IV and V, Uncharted, Bioshock, Mass Effect, Assassins Creed, Halo, Call of Duty, Infamous, Battlefield, Fallout 3, Dragon Age, Ni no Kuni, Heavy Rain, LA Noire, Diablo III, Monster Hunter, etc as well as all the forgotten loads of garbage people are tricked into playing by these reviewers who are lying to us. For a game, I create the emotional connection, not necessarily because the game is trying to force me to feel that way. The ending of A Link Between Worlds made me tear up a little, and it wasn't even trying. I want a video game, not an interactive movie, there are no quick time events here. It is best to play on easy mode the first time. I have a friend who is playing it for the fourth time. Believe it. Try this game for yourself and make your own opinion, don't make the assumption that these reviewers actually know how to play games or even like games or know anything about music or art or any other form of entertainment. If you like Persona, Final Fantasy XII, Tekken, Street Fighter, Blaz Blue, Bayonetta or Dark Souls/ Demon Souls you will know what I am talking about. They review this like they are talking about a TV show or music. Lighting Returns has fantastic music by the way. Expand
  34. Feb 14, 2014
    Alot of trolls around, this game is great, and if you don't like it, okay. But is not right give zero to a game just to see the scores go down. None game deserve a 0.
  35. Feb 15, 2014
    I'm giving this game a zero because that is what it deserves based on the fact that this is the final nail in the coffin of one of my all time favorite RPG series.. I am disgusted by what square enix has done to a classic series.. Heres to you Final Fantasy.. I will honor your memory by playing 6 9 and 10 and by pretending these 3 13 games never existed.. Lightning is an awful character her personality is truly boring, they gave us a female squall.. the protagonist that most true FF fans hated.. Why can't FF have lead protagonists with personality anymore? Do they all have to be a brooding emo tool? Miss you Zidane... Luh you.. Expand
  36. Feb 20, 2014
    I walked into this one with a OPEN mind. Some background on me before fanboys blast me: I grew up with the Secret of Mana's, Earthbounds, Final Fantasy 3s. I grew up with FF7s, Suikoden's, Persona's, Grandias. I grew with the Panzer Dragoon Saga's, Shining Force 3's, Phantasy Stars, etc. Bottomline is I know my RPGs. I know what makes a great RPG and a classic.

    This is not one of

    This game was created solely for people who adored FF13 and FF13-2. If you are new to this game, chances are you will share the same opinion.

    The story is basically you are the "savior" chosen by God to save souls to bring to another dimension and you do what your told because you are told you will be reunited with a loved one. It takes from Majora's Mask but instead gives you a week to do as much as you can. Doing quests increases the time available. Due to this time limit, you start skipping the exploration aspect that makes Final Fantasy great and instead tunnel vision to get to the next section. And downwards it none, the weakest Final Fantasy of them all (I am categorizing 13, 13-2, and Lightning Returns as 'one'; in order, 13-2, 13, Lightning Returns). This series should have ended with 13, maybe 13-2 as fanfare. There was no reason for this game to be created. The story is awful.

    The graphics are good. Amazing? Eh...No, there are texture issues, blandness here and there, lack of details. They are good though.

    The music...ehhhh....not bad, but not great either. Meh.

    The battle system...great. Yes, you read that right: it is great. I enjoyed swapping costumes and seeing different abilities. I missed having other characters but only at first..SE made it fun.

    The story...awful. The ritalin happy NPCs you get quests from and talk to are way over the job. The voice acting is terrible for them and you feel nothing for them. Wait, you're have no personality. On top of that, you have Hope who is one rejection away from doing his monotone self in. He will constantly chirp in your ear. Quite frankly, SE should feel bad for putting him in and he should DIAF. The quests are absurd. You run into "fun" quests such as a white chocobo who you need to feed while listening to some terrible jpop music in the town. How about gathering a bunch of fireworks to create a big show, do some ridiculously corny pose and then be told you are not dressed well enough to be the star of the show. No, you need to dress the part and look pretty. Where shall we get our dress? At the slaughterdome because you know, that's where all women go to get their dresses and become actresses. There are numerous ridiculous quests like these.

    I'm going to continue to play this because I've already succumbed to putting this much time for now, a 4 only because the fighting is fun and the graphics and music is OK. To all those who haven't started yet...don't. If pain is love to you, than know this is the weakest Final Fantasy of them all (Dirge isn't a real FF and neither is Crisis Core...those were pretty awful too).
  37. Feb 15, 2014
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Concept: A doomsday clock ticks off the days, hours, minutes, and seconds of your world's life as you race to find a way to stop it in a terrible story that is almost as big an enemy as any you'll face in the game. Thankfully, XIII-3 continues the trend of having worthwhile gameplay, so it isn't all too terrible after all.

    Graphics: The environments look just as good as the previous two titles, the main characters are designed well- as is their wardrobe for the most part, with some exceptions, and the cutscenes are well rendered. However, in the other aspects of the game, enemies, generic NPCs, and other objects have some pretty muddy and basic textures. It's almost like the developers ran out of time or wanted to rush to complete the game, because some textures sort of fall flat on their faces.

    Sound: While the majority of the music is retuned from the previous entries, there are a few new soundtrack additions as well, and for the most part- even if some are older than others, all of them set the mood and blend together quite well. Certainly one of the stronger aspects of the game.

    Playability: The battle system, while risky to implement something so new, works very well and keeps your interest more than previous entries- making this one more of an Action-oriented role-playing game than anything else, and catering to a broader fanbase I'd reckon as well. As for other gameplay elements, while some are flawed in several ways as mentioned previously, they get the job done well enough to save the story in most places.

    Entertainment: Maybe it's better after all that the doomsday clock forces us to finish in thirteen in-game days, as the horrible thought has occurred to me that actually having the opportunity to drag such a poor story out could actually kill the world faster than any number of soulless enemies could... An intriguing thought indeed. Poor story, dialogue, and "epic" moment aside- Lightning Returns is an action title at heart, and its gameplay is where it appropriately shines.

    Replay Value: High.

    Overall Score: 8.0
  38. Feb 15, 2014
    This game is so enjoable . If u know Nova crystallis mythology , u will extice for ff xv . Because they have same mythology. Gameplay is great and open world idea too . They released retro spesific trailer u dont dont u watch this but i m sure sqare enix knows what have they done...

    Anyway , i always loved ffxiii series u dont have to compare this game with old ff games. I finished old
    games too but this is different . Expand
  39. Apr 20, 2014
    Don't assume from the bad reception and negativity surrounding FFXIII as the series that this game will be bad, just give this a try. This game is actually fun. The story / characters are not its strongest point, however. The gameplay more than make up for it. Time limit is not much of a factor as you would think. You have more than ample time to finish most of content. The battle system is quite excellent and have tremendous variety of customization options. Expand
  40. Jun 7, 2014
    pros: (Luxerion,place),Bhunivelze,Music:Crimzon blitz,Yunsan,Luxerion,Almighty Bhunivelze, A Sacred Oratorio cons:mostly everything, graphics, most of music!,Story, easiliy predict game.Cosplay game? Lightning as character is now totally ruined! in LR thx square enix...any lightning fans left? Telling the truth this is the 2nd worst FF game title in the world and FFx-2 was the 1st In Lightning Return everything!! destroyed what good was in FF13 (story, Fal,cieth,L'cieth etc..) without this thing this FF13-3 and nova crystallis world is nothing,Awful story too predictable! why create a whole new world? and create another one for the last CG? too less caius and snow scenes in the game!!! when the game announced i already know who will be the last boss! EVERYTHING i loved in FF13-1 now is TOTALLY destroyed by square enix! what is this a cosplay game? FF13-1 have the best graphics YES i think FF13-1 have better graphics than FF13-2 and LR! i rather would play Agnis Philosophy as a PS4 game!!! square enix should consider to make Agnis Philosophy as PS4 game because that was more looked like a Final Fantasy than FF13-2 and Lightning Returns was Expand
  41. Apr 7, 2014
    The response to Lightning Returns is tragic. This game gets so many things right, despite its (possibly fatal) flaws. There are a few distinguishing points in particular that should be mentioned. The strategic gameplay in configuring your equipment is excellent. Very little of the equipment follows the standard pattern of replacing wooden armor with iron armor because it is better in every respect. Rather, most of the equipment deals with incomparables, where changing equipment changes your options and approach to the game in ways that are just different, not directly better or worse. There are many surprising and powerful synergies to be found by combining these options. And how awesome is it that your appearances changes as well? I am truly surprised by comments that this is just some Barbie dress-up game. No one says that about Diablo 3.

    The battle system radically reverses the JRPG grind. 95% of battles are optional in this. If you want to drive straight for the story you can do so with minimal fighting. Doing so will not result in difficult story bosses because battles are not tied to your levels. Rather, you fight battles because you want to--the incentive is that it can buy you time, the most limited resource in this game--and you will spend that time trying to see more of the story, explore more of the world, complete more of the side quests. So in a somewhat arm-twisting manner, you get to choose when to fight in ways that pull you deeper into the game, and that approach is surprising and new to the genre.

    What is fatally wrong in this game? The time-limit mechanic combined with potential time wasters will drive many of the games potential players crazy. Completionists will fight the time limit every step of the way. Explorers may feel that they cannot really go exploring, because if you do not advance the story in meaningful ways you will lose and be forced to start over. The constraints and need for efficiency make this one of the most guide-dependent games yet.

    Second problem--the writing. The FF13 series desperately needs its writers to show, not tell, though this episode may actually be at the better end of the spectrum. Characters say some crazy and particular things at times, and that is actually really nice because particulars are what we want; they reveal character and thought and idiosyncrasy. But what may be upsetting fans is that the game may not deliver sufficient continuity as far as what they hope for in a sequel. The characters and tone of the world, its mechanics, its battle systems, its quest systems have all changed rather majorly. And to some, the characters and universe will feel rewritten so completely that it fails as a sequel.

    In short: Great equipment, great battle system and incentives to battle. Maddening time mechanic. Mixed-bag writing and story that still manages to be intriguing at times. The tone of the world is distinct and layered, but time pressure takes away some of the joy of exploring this marvelous world.
  42. Mar 5, 2014
    A saga de lightning finalmente chega ao fim, com um final honesto e tentando amarrar todas as pontas, o jogo tenta, e para mim consegue, entregar o que promete.

    Para quem, assim como eu, jogou o primeiro e segundo, não pode deixar de conferir a parte final.
  43. Feb 18, 2014
    Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII introduces a slick, fast new battle system to create the most tense boss fights in the series.

    Whilst it sports a slightly lower frame rate & presentation level than XIII & XIII-2 (Probably due to the huge size & population of areas), it also brings with it amazing music, world, art, humour & story. A solid title sure to trigger nostalgia for fans
    of the original. Expand
  44. Mar 21, 2014
    Welcome back to the world of Cocoon... err Gran Pulse err Bhunivelze err Nova Chrysalia? Lightning Returns 500 years in the future (again) in a world where nobody ages and people can no longer be born. The world is slowly dying one person at a time and the almighty god Bhunivelze is set on creating a new world giving humans another shot. Enter Lightning, the vessel chosen by god to save as many souls as she can in 13 days before the world's destruction. Sounds exciting, but where did it go all wrong? Everywhere! The game is set in a open-world timed environment where the player must complete certain tasks at certain times of the day within a respective time period. The story revolves around 5 sub plots unrelated to the other and provide no insight in the actual development of the main story; in fact there is hardly any development of the main story throughout the entire game with the exception of a convenient cut scene upon ending each day. The battle system is much faster than its predecessors but rather annoying as the Lightning only has 12 abilities to use on various foes each with their own strengths and weaknesses and requires the player to constantly change their battle schematics to progress in an efficient manner. The graphics are horrible in comparison to other titles utilising the Crystal Tools engine. It feels as if they purposely dumbed the graphics down to ensure a smoother experience throughout the game. Which could be useful, in a first person shooter. The music is a compilation of its previous titles mixed with a few new tracks that sounds like your stepping into an elevator. There is no mini-games and no re-playability whatsoever. Trophy Hunters; acquiring the Platinum Trophy is quick and easy. Overall, this entire game feels rushed, there is no twists, no turns, no excitement and not feat of accomplishment once the game is complete. This game is called Final Fantasy, it looks like Final Fantasy but it definitely does not bleed Final Fantasy. Disappointing game. Expand
  45. Feb 25, 2014
    Square wanted to respond to fan getting back to a more FF style with no linear course of action.
    On this point they succeed it s like old time you can comme accross a to strong enemy at start because of the liberty you got since the start. But putting a cost of an hours on the flee is greatly dimunishing this freedom .
    I liked FF13 and was a bit disapointed by the 13-2 short lifespawn
    (annexe considered).
    The story on this one is note that long but you have many side quest and "boss" so the lifetime is great.

    to sum this up.

    Pro :
    -Lifetime considering side quest etc.
    -Difficulty wich is golbally higher than previous sequel who were really weak (especially 13-2).
    -Story. (if you liked the universe of 13 you d like it)
    - gameplay (nervous and customizable)

    - time pressure (well in the end it s not that much of a pressure but you don't know it at start)
    -timed npc ( you can see them during certain hours..)
    -Having to change/addapt your style before the combat on any strong monster (at start essentialy) and on boss (always). (why not have given 1 change in fight even on pe cost...).

    In the end i really enjoyed this game but wasn't fan of the timed concept.
  46. Feb 25, 2014
    + Gamplay
    + Concept art
    + Interesting world
    + Doomsday clock matters
    + Voice acting
    + Customization of Equipment
    + Definitely replayable
    + Exploration is fun
    - Character models aren't great
    - Story is good but not great
    - Some bugs especially during conversation with NPCs
  47. Feb 26, 2014
    Some are saying it is not fair to give this game a zero and then giving it a ten... um, about as many titles deserve a ten as deserve a zero.... so... I have never played this, never will, and it gets a five. Lesson learned.
  48. Feb 13, 2014
    This game honestly improved on just about everything in the FF XIII series and all the negative reviews are just because of the FFXIII hate bandwagon.
  49. Sep 21, 2014
    What is this crap? I don't even know what's happening anymore.. PLEASE STOP THESE XIII SPINOFF'S THEY ARE GETTING WORSE. SE has completely lost their ability to make good games... I'm sorry its freaking disgusting to see.
  50. Feb 25, 2014
    I am still surprised how bad the scores here are compared to FF XIII. I loved the FF games ever since I was a child, but XII and XIII were just utter disappointments. While I thought FF XIII-2 was quite likable, Lightning Returns does finally justice to that great IP.
    The game is really difficult if you start on Normal and there is a time factor that really influences the game. If you
    don't like that, you might really dislike this XIII-3. If you play on Easy though, it is quite possible to do everything the game has to offer within the given time frame(some equipments and bosses are only available on a New Game+). I recommend starting on Easy and play your New Game+ on Normal or Hard.
    The story is ok, but what keeps me playing this game for hours an evening is the awesome fighting system and the endless possibilities of your equipment. Especially on an Easy playthrough you don't necessarily need to stick to only a few very strong armor sets but can adjust them just to your liking. Also, there are quite a lot of quests to do and a lot of monsters to wipe out.
    I also really like the world this game is set in. You can only visit mainly four large areas, that very much differ from each other. I think they all turned out pretty great and are fun to explore.
    Yes, the characters are somewhat dull sometimes, but I think it was worse in previous games and it's not really that uncommon in JRPGs, so you should expect it.
  51. Feb 17, 2014
    this is the final part of the XIII series, and a huge improvement over XIII-2. the gameplay has been altered, having a more action-y feel to it, which is surprisingly fun. more fun than the atb system used previously. you go into battle, with lightning as your lone character. you'll have several costumes to choose from during battle, which grant different effects, depending on what you chose.the music is great, and the graphics are once again, beautiful. the characters for the most part do a nice job, but the overall story, isn't as good as it could've been, especially the ending. despite that this is a very well done game. Expand
  52. Jul 12, 2014
    This is the worst FF game in the series. The combat became pure action, not party, constant lag, time limit which doesn't allow you to explore and do quests. This game is pathetic. The gameplay is horrible, you just run around back and forth without any clue often. No information on quests, no ones telling you what to do and the time is running. AI is not existent. Running 100 times through the same locations(there are only 4 of them, yeah 4 locations) gets boring very fast. Expand
  53. Apr 12, 2014
    I don't know how square enix makes a game like this, it's like they losing the focus of ofinal fantasy series.. What the hell, a game that have a limit to finish? that have just one playable character? that don't let you do "what do you want" because u will not have enough time? i hate it, jut evolved in the battle system. please Square enix no more Lightning games!!
  54. Feb 11, 2014
    Why did you do this to me square? I used to love you!
    Why have you forsaken me! What did enix gave you i couldn't give you?
    Money? Is that what you want?
  55. Feb 14, 2014
    Although this game may be hated by a minority who pass themselves off as a majority, this game is actually very good. I completely recommend this game.
  56. Feb 14, 2014
    This is a really AMAZING game and any rpg would enjoy this unless they want to hate on it just because its a final fantasy 13 game. I am a massive rpg fan so I have played many rpg games and this has definitely been the best one I have played on the PS3. + Amazing graphics + Great character customization + Interesting world design + Good story and characters + Enjoyable soundtrack that fits the game
    + Fun and different gameplay

    -There isnt really a problem with the game except the time limit but the time limit is long enough even for people who want to explore the game and take their time

    A must buy for any rpg fan
  57. Mar 3, 2014
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Very interesting and well made game. I would have given it an 8 and a half but cannot.

    +Opening Cinematic is insanely awesome
    +Story (Most of it)

    -Side Quests felt dull
    -Lightning is a bit sadistic

    I would like to give a special mention to the setting of the game. Nova Crystallia is one of the best settings in a JRPG since Xenoblade in my opinion. The four locations feel like a hybrid of places shown below:

    Yusnaan: Traverse Town (Kingdom Hearts) Florence, Italy (Assassins Creed II)
    Wildlands: God of War, Hyrule Field (Zelda), Ico, Xenoblade
    Dead Dunes: Journey, Tomb Raider
    Luxerion: Dark Souls, Batman: Arkham City, Midgar (FFVII)

    Last thing I would like to say is about the ending. Putting them on earth is insanely bizarre but it made me think about a lot as who we are.
  58. Mar 25, 2014
    unable to gain experience, totally fanservice, hybrid control system engages but becomes repetitive, and for fans of this saga, the only positive thing: the big world open for the rest a great disappointment.
  59. Feb 12, 2014
    it is sad that haters get on here and give the game a zero just to be jerks, no game deserves a zero....and it just makes their reviews worth zero also.
    if you are going to do such an ignorant thing, at least back up your rating with some sort of INTELLIGENT reasons.
    something besides "this sucks" would be appreciated.
    i gave this a 10 to try and offset all the fake hater reviews, the
    game deserves a 7.
    please actually play this if you are going to review it.....
  60. Feb 11, 2014
    Okay, so listen up guys. This game will either be, in my opinion, a 6 or a 9 for you. If you didn't like the other two entries, chances are that you will find the story and the characters really dull, boring and confusing. The gameplay, music and art direction could keep you playing though, (though the textures had gone worse) However, If you did like the other two entries of the series, chances are that you will thoroughly enjoy this game. The conclusion of the saga is a hit or miss, personally I'm satisfied of how it ended and how I got to say good bye to everyone.
    Now let's all, fans and haters, unite in waiting for FFXV!
  61. Feb 11, 2014
    The game is pretty good actually. I played the demo and loved the battle system. The actual game didn't disappoint at all. Also the cinematic and music is amazing which is expected of SE. The only part where I didn't like the thing was everything is time limited. It kinda annoys me. Some people are bashing the new battle system for not being like the previous(turn based) which is pretty hypo-critic. And talking about plot holes Hey which FF game hasn't had it Expand
  62. Feb 11, 2014
    Worthless game. No effort put in whatsoever by Square-Enix. The story is ridicoulosly bad, the gameplay is broken and will probably be liked only by the small minority that liked the previous two chapters that don't represent in any way shape or form the majority of FF fans and fans of good games in general.
  63. Feb 11, 2014
    As a lover of 13 part 1 and part 2 this game really gives a strong finish to a great series. Lightning is a great character and one I will remember for a long time.
  64. Feb 11, 2014
    Did the users giving it zeroes even play the game? Don't listen to these trolls. . Despite popular and retarded belief, this game is alright to play, not the best, but still very good, gameplay and story.
  65. Feb 11, 2014
    This game is the reason I have cancer. Final Fantasy 13 was okay. Final Fantasy 13-2 was meh. This game, is a disgrace. It's a sign that Square Enix has fallen off their throne as RPG king. They no longer have the capacity to make semi-decent characters, plot and wrap it neatly in a game. This game is a laggy, bug ridden, MESS. Additionally, the plot is fanficiton gone wrong and the ending is why children in Africa are starving. This game just proves how you can slap a brand name on a piece of **** and people will still buy and love it. Disgusting. When will Final Fantasy fans wake up?
    On the plus side, Lightning has a bunch of great costumes. Have fun paying $60 for a dress up game since that's the only feature that works.
  66. Feb 11, 2014
    +great battle system
    +interesting storyline
    +good side quests
    +beautiful world
    +unique characters
    +high replayability

    -strange ending.
  67. Feb 11, 2014
    This game has an open world, character customization, four unique expansive areas, and a fun combat system. What's not to like? Don't pay attention to those that give this game a zero. They obviously are a bunch of haters that easily overlook the positives of this game.
  68. Feb 11, 2014
    I'm sorry but this is the worst FF game I've ever played. And I love FF from VII-XII and VI Advance (main series only; didn't care for any sequels, spin-offs or online). After the disappointing XIII and XIII-2, why do they bother with this game instead of XV. I stuck by Square Enix when they said that they wanted to address the issues that their previous game had by making a sequel to it. It's clear to me now that that was just an excuse to cash in the FF XIII trilogy. Much like The Matrix Trilogy, it got worse and worse. The only thing that's good about this game (and pretty much the previous two games) is the battle system. It's more action-oriented and fast-paced battle system makes battles more thrilling but sadly, you can no longer gain experience from battles. For some reason, the graphics is worse and the countdown is completely pointless. It diverts you from freely exploring the open world of the game, I would've love to spend more time looking around (as FF is known for designing one of the best looking environments) but I didn't want the timer to run out, even if you extend it, so I just tried to complete the game as fast as possible. The FF XIII series is weak in storytelling but sadly, it's the same thing here. The story is inconsistent, many of the characters lacked development and the attempt at humor is very typical in Japanese storytelling. I've lost all respect I had for Square Enix but even though this gen's FF is very disappointing, I still have high hopes for the franchise. They may release another crap FF game but if the franchise came to an end, there would be no chance of having another great FF game with the high quality standard of PS1 and 2's FF games. Lightning Returns isn't entirely terrible but it's average and disappointing, only hardcore fans can make the most out of this game. For everyone else, look away from JPRGs. There hasn't been any great JRPG games this gen (except for Xenoblade Chronicles for Wii) so I hope Square Enix can pick up the franchise again for the eighth generation, hopefully that will be FF XV. Expand
  69. Feb 11, 2014
    There are many out there that seem to not enjoy this game; I have doubts that they enjoyed the FF XIII series as a whole. Me on the other hand, I found this game to be quite a bit of fun. Let's look at three things: Battle System, Presentation, and Story.

    Battle System: I found Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII's battle system, the Style-Change Active Time Battle system, to be a
    huge improvement over it's two predecessors. It's a lot more action based, and a lot more engaging, which was something missing from the other two games in the trilogy. I like how the player can customize his/her's attacks to their liking, as well as the constant changing of styles to suit a variety of different situations. It's different from the "Final Fantasy style," but change isn't necessarily bad, and in this case, it really isn't.

    Presentation: For a PS3/Xbox 360 game, the presentation is great. The graphics are, for the most part, clean and nice, but could use a little polishing here and there, especially in the towns. The open world is pretty large and good; it removes some of the linearity and gives the player the option to explore, something the two other games in the triology lacked; however, there is a slight problem that interferes with the exploration, and that will be covered next, in the Story section.

    Story: The Final Fantasy XIII triology is said by many to have a lackluster story, and in the case of the last game, it's not that amazing. Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII takes place 500 years after the events of Final Fantasy XIII-2. Lightning is awoken by the god Bhunivelze 13 days before the end of the world; it is Lightning's job to save the world. Interesting concept, but again, nothing amazing. My main gripe with this game is the fact that this whole "13 days before the end of the world," debacle plays a huge role in the game. The player has a time limit of 13 days to do the main quests and any side quest of his/her choosing. It's a little annoying because it effectively forces the player to focus a good amount of their time worrying about the time limit, instead of exploring the open world or completely all the side quests.

    All in all, Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII is a great game that really should not be overlooked. It's not a masterpiece, but it definitely shows Square Enix's great RPG prowess and their willingness to innovate. I would recommend this game to any RPG fan in a heart beat.

    Pros: Great battle system, pretty good graphics, open world, ability to customize character
    Cons: Weird story, story is intrusive to the game
  70. Feb 11, 2014
    This game is not perfect by any means but if you actually play through the game you will notice that this is by far one of the best FF games for actual combat and game play. Story may not be as good as the past ( my fav was 12) but its a Final Fantasy game, you have to put your imagination to work. It is a bit over the top but overall the game experience is fun. 13 hours in.
  71. Feb 11, 2014
    Quality game= Good music, Good graphic, good game-play Bad story = It's BORING/BAD/HORRIBLE/It feels FORCED. Lightning is WAY too Mary sue-ish and in all honesty, the story seems like a poorly written fan fiction. Making her all powerful doesn't make her EPIC. It just makes her OP. I could play underrated games like Sengoku Basara for HOURS compared to LR:FFXIII. By the way, the FFXIII trilogy ISN'T underrated! FFXII, NOW that's a FF that is underrated.
    FFXIII's story was horrid and people don't like it.

    Not only was it bad, there are games that SE was suppose to bring and they didn't: Chrono Breaker, FF Agito that became Type-0 and Versus was delayed as **** Not only that, all I see is FF everywhere. I want more variety from SE.
  72. Feb 12, 2014
    The amount of misinformation surrounding this game in the western gaming press is OFF THE CHARTS. If you don't care about video game stories and just want a solid Action-RPG because you enjoyed Kingdom Hearts 2 and Birth by Sleep, get this game NOW. Gameplay : 8/10. Nearly instantly re-spawning enemies and separate battle screens make the gameplay not as brilliant as it could be. The time limit is not a game breaker, if you run out of time you can start a New Game + with all your gear and stats, so grinding is very much minimised. You cannot do all the quests in one playthrough. Just play on Easy mode and focus on the main quest if you don't want to invest too much time.

    Visuals: 9/10 Super psychedelic, if a little too ornate at times.

    Audio: 10/10 Fantastic music, the best soundtrack since Skyrim.

    Narrative: I don't care about the narrative, if I want a story I'll read a book or watch a film. I don't play RPGs as if they were visual novels. I just care about gameplay mechanics, not lame stories written by people with no storytelling talents.

    This is the best Final Fantasy GAME ever made! No more triggering commands from menus! Save anywhere and teleport from anywhere. No more time wasting and grinding.
  73. Feb 12, 2014
    A lot of people seem to be complaining about the story which yes doesn't make sense. But everything else in the game is so perfect its pretty crazy. You are given so much freedom on how you want to tackle quests and even the main story. I simply had a blast with this game and feel like its getting bad reviews for a reason that doesn't matter that much. It is a game after all not a movie. The story is secondary and the gameplay is primary. Expand
  74. Feb 12, 2014
    I'm giving a 10 score because I've seen a few reviews giving the game a zero just because they think that Final Fantasy sucks now, without having actually played the game. I have played the game. In reality it's about an 8. The battle system is worth the price of admission. The graphics are as good as anything else on current gen systems. The music is quality Final Fantasy goodness (as always). The only thing that lacks in the game for me is the removal of the crystarium, which is the system from the previous two Final Fantasy XIII games that is used for leveling up/improving your character. The new system involves stat bonuses awarded for completing quests. This can seem like a big thing, until you start exploring the battle system. The battle system is highly customizable, and plays into not manually leveling your characters. You do have complete control over leveling the abilities that the character uses, which all works well with the strategy you would like to employ in battle. The story is not hard to understand by any means, but I also graduated high school over 10 years ago, and we actually used to have to read stories that required you to think. This prepared/enabled me to be able to understand complex story-lines. It's not hard to understand, but you can't be stupid, and you might have to think. If you can do that, than you may come to both realize and like that this game, and the 13 series has an intricate world. Complete with mythologies, a history, government, heroes, and all the makings for epic sci-fi fantasy. The fact that this game has AAA production values is just icing on the cake. Expand
  75. Feb 12, 2014
    Well, at least it's something different and new, right? And it's alot more better than FF XIV (PC).
    What's wrong with all the negative reviews? I found many 0s. No game deserve a 0.
    You need to think straight, 0 is the point we give to something that has no shred of value at all, yeah, AT ALL.

    No matter what those people said, I will always support the Final Fantasy franchise like I'm
    still supporting the Resident Evil franchise despite all the hate.
    I don't want them to be dead and if they did, I'll revive them with all of my support.
    I know Square Enix can do better tho. So, don't let me down in the future. SE.

  76. Feb 13, 2014
    A good game, its like a new baseball glove, takes some time to break in. There's a lot to take in at the start, new combat system and the fact the world is ending and the in-game clock is quick to countdown. This can lead you into a stir of panic of you being used to having all the time in the world to sink into sidequests from previous installments, but there is a neat way to stop time in the game and using it to the max is how to manage the countdown to doom.

    The battle system is very fresh and has some old feel to previous 13 series, you still have an ATB bar, if you didn't manual input your actions from previous FF and just let them fill you will be dissapointed here in FF:LR as you must input your commands, but this is where the battle system comes into being fresh and fun and at the same time complex. Square seems to be in transition with Final Fantasy's becoming more real time action, so your enemies in FF:LR are never paused as you look through commands in past Final Fantasy' debate whether to attack or use fire your enemy might just be unleashing a attack upon you and then you have to decide if you need to guard as well then which is a new feature in FF:LR, you've had mediguard in past 13 series, but here in FF:LR there are several guard types, but you must execute them yourself with your own timing in accordance to your enemy, alot like how you would switch to Turtle paradigm before Ultima to absorb damage. The Battle system keeps you on your feet, constant action and decisions to make between management of your ATB bars and the enemy actions. The boss battles in this game are tougher to just brute force win, all take strategy, which is a good direction for the series, for to long have you been able to out level the game and just brute force a epic boss, it feels more epic when my health bar is flashing red and I have to decide if I should stagger the enemy and all out or take a recovery path and try and rebuild my health while gathering stagger again, the game requires strategy in its fights and that's enjoyable to have to actually think while fighting.

    The graphics are a tad blotchy and jagged for a game coming out at a systems life end. CG scenes are beautiful, but while in the traverse world there are many examples to be seen of jagged edge and pixel box. Also its noticeable how Lightning recieved alot of care to her appearance and npc's did not and look rather bland when your in a conversation with them and have Light standing next to them.

    The music is splendid, like pretty much every Final Fantasy there is, one can not complain.

    The story is odd, cheesy, different, complicated, hard to follow. It is good but at the same time its hard to tell the story of the world is ending and you are the chosen one to save it so many times and keep it fresh. This is FF13 after all and there's been plenty of FF before it telling a story a long those lines.

    In the end I give it a 9/10. Not perfect but not horrible. Square is changing the franchise and you can embrace it and have fun or move on. The battle system is strategic, the panic of the doomsday clock is fun to manage your time wisely. The saga you started back in 2009 comes to a close and its satisfying to meet past characters in your farewell game. The game has a feature of New game + and the game is definitely built around you playing again, via stat progression, spell progression and the general that the game is chaos and your second time through you will find quests you didn't before and you have to play again to unlock Hard mode and get the best gear. Happy time management, and good luck saving the world.
  77. Feb 13, 2014
    This game is nothing like any other FF game, the characters are really boring, and the dress up is more like a barbie game.. this is not what i expected from FF 13-LR it is much worse. the game don't have any good reason to be out there and the time limit just make it worse. the only good thing about the game is the fighting. but when you got to do boring side quests to get more powerful the game has lost the "Final Fantasy" feel that 13/13-2 had. its not fun to do quests to get stronger you want to beat enemies but when that is taken away why do you care about them? they are just in the way in this game, so in my opinion square did a huge mistake and made it a dress up game with some action were u don't want to fight because there is no big reward for it. Expand
  78. Feb 15, 2014
    I've been a fan of the FF franchise for 20 years now and this is the first installment where I simply don't want to play anymore. I might give it another shot later, but here are my first impressions after 3 hours of playtime. I really enjoyed the last two games in this trilogy and was excited for a third.

    Story: I'm immediately adverse to the story line. The game basically seems
    pointless. In 13-1 we were tasked with saving Cacoon. (We may have failed, but we gave people a new home on Gran Pulse.) In 13-2 we were tasked with saving Lightning and restoring the timeline. In 13-3 the world's going to end in 6 to 13 days no matter what we do. We can potentially resurrect Serah (to live on some new planet) if we save enough souls before the end of days. We are essentially Bhunivelze's pawn for this task. We feel much less like a hero, and Lightning herself doesn't seem thrilled about the task.

    Combat: The combat is often one of my favorite parts of an FF game. Being able to strategically plan out my moves and watch my characters grow there combat skills has always kept me entertained. This is the reason that I gave this game a 1 and not a 0. The combat system is new, but it seems to have potential for keeping you engaged. Setting up your schema is a lot like choosing combat roles in the previous installments, but you have even more flexibility. The problems, not enough combat and you don't get XP from killing monsters, you only gain skill ups through quests (which so far have not been entertaining).

    Open world / Time Limit: The open world would not normally be a bad thing. In fact my complaint about many of the recent FF games was how linear they felt. The problem is the time limit. I want to go exploring, but I feel like I can't because I need to be completing quests. In fact if I don't complete enough quests, Lightning won't even get 13 days to save souls in the world. This makes me very stressed about how I spend my time in game, and I have enough stress in my lift. I play games to relax, and this game doesn't give me that luxury.
  79. Feb 15, 2014
    this gamefailed me..and whose idea to put time limit in rpg game while you can explore the open world? no sense at all and waste of money. what happened square enix?
  80. Feb 18, 2014
    The design choices made in Lightning Returns are interesting and well executed. The fact that grinding monsters no longer nets exp or levels changes the way you approach this novel RPG.

    Although the narrative is still as convoluted as the previous XIII games, the gameplay elements really help you get drawn into the story.

    How can we make players care about saving the souls of random
    people, with their petty desires and melodramatic last regrets? By making it so that completing quests is the only way to strengthen your character.

    How can we give a sense of the world ending, and getting overrun by chaos? By giving the players more time in the world by killing enemies. Every random encounter is Lightning literally pushing back the end of the world. Those monsters also get stronger as time marches on, and you're constantly reminded of the time ticking away on the right side of the screen.

    This game also addresses the biggest complain of the original XIII. Right after the opening tutorial quests, the player is given a great deal of freedom in what quests to tackle next. Although plenty of those quests are essentially fetch quests, you'll be gathering most of what you need by simply exploring this open world, killing monsters as you go to hold back the unrelenting march of time. Additionally, most of the quests are completely optional. The most interesting thing about this open world, quests=levels system is that the rewards are closely tied to emotional impact or sense of accomplishment of that quest. If someone asks you to collect 10 X's for basically no reason at all, that quest is going to be worth practically nothing. Avenging the children of a man pushed into alcoholism in his grief may take a bit more effort, but the reward is fitting.

    The combat is much more satisfying than the previous XIII games. For me, it's a neverending struggle to hit perfect timings, and constantly failing to do so. Hitting a guard just before an attack hit tends to completely nullify all damage, and needs to be mastered immediately, for the sake of your wallet. Timing the blocks in a multi-hit combo is the key to success. Hitting an attack with perfect timing seems to net an extra 10% damage. Switching between different attacks will prevent the final move in a combo (the last hit deals extra damage, but has a much longer cooldown). Switching between magic and physical attacks will aid in managing your spacing, and you can even dodge certain attacks this way. Against some enemies, the easiest way to victory is to cheese juggling or "recoil" inducing moves. Most importantly, knowing your opponent's techniques and squeezing in the maximum number of hits before perfect guarding is critical to clearing large monsters quickly. It feels almost like darksouls or megaman in this regard.

    The "dress-up simulator" aspect of this game appears to be strongly dividing. Personally, I like it and I do enjoy matching my outfits with accessories, and coloring everything to match the environment. Much of that is optional, and I have sacrificed some combat strength to complete a look. I think that this element shows that the game could have done with a bit more polish, as many accessories will float off the character, and your sword will cut straight through most hats and parts of your dress. Which reminds me: Graphically, this game is not very impressive overall. I don't mind very much, but it's pretty obvious. During conversations, you'll often find the camera stuck behind a tree or a bush or something, and think "they really didn't put that much effort into that piece of grass..."

    Regarding Outerworld Services: You do not lose the item that you send via Outerworld Services, nor receive any gil if someone else buys it. A few kind people sent ethers before I was strong enough to take on big monsters to build up meter. If you're having trouble with the time limit, you should seek out the stronger monsters that net 2 EP. Remember: you're fighting to keep this world together, just a little bit longer. Also, people that heavily criticize the time limit need to get better at playing games. Introducing a time limit is also not really that new of a mechanic. Old school Prince of Persia comes to mind, as well as the Atelier games.

    To talk briefly about the soundtrack and audio effects: It's great and does an amazing job of filling out the setting and atmosphere. Zones will have different night vs day tracks, which matches well with the visual changes and monster types/frequencies. You could never confuse the calm desert nights with the lively party atmosphere of Yuusan. Another great touch is the various audio effects of the world around you. Forest mushrooms emit an eerie hum that matches with their florescent glow. Sliding down the sand dunes looks and sounds great. Various bards sing over the town track as you pass them.

    I think that the selling point is the open world and that the gameplay elements very strongly tie in with the setting.
  81. Feb 17, 2014
    I really like the game. It is fun to play and can be very difficult/engaging at the same time. The only thing I don't like is that somebody explains things then Lightning always seems to repeat what they said in her dialogue. She is basically a person who sums every statement up. Don't understand all the hatred.
  82. Feb 18, 2014
    Easily the best of trilogy and a solid RPG in general with lots of challenge and replay value. It's a thrilling take on the action styled battle system with enough new things to keep things fresh.
  83. Feb 18, 2014
    Personally I've love the XIII series, due to i love the story, and the characters. People in AMERICA seem not to like it a lot, but they flip the bird to the international community who seem to really really love the series. I'm with the International crowd on XIII, XIII-2, and now since it's out, Lightning Returns. Contrary to IGN and Game-informer, i feel this game deserves an 8.5-9 in terms of score. The graphics are about equal, maybe a little better in places, a little less in others, but at the end of a console generation, for a cross-platform game, that's to be expected. The story is actually easy to understand if you would take the time to listen, but we American's seem to not want to. The combat is the most fluid out of the 3, and I'm glad were now seeing a faster paced combat system with the real time battle system. Each game is different, VII was a different one from VI, which was in turn different from V and VIII. We need to face it, America is NOT the end all, be all in video games, and Square will do what the WORLD WIDE AUDIENCE wants, not just one country. And I'm with the world wide audience in that the XIII series, and Lightning Returns itself is a success, and I'm glad to see the series end on a high note like LRFFXIII. Expand
  84. Feb 18, 2014
    I don't understand why every negative review is "worst final fantasy game after x-2 0/10". I mean, X-2 was pretty damn awesome and so is this.

    Final Fantasy XIII was a fantastic story wrapped in mediocre gameplay unfortunately. Then came Final Fantasy XIII-2 which expanded well on the original battle system but at the same time basically pissed all over XIII's ending. Now Lightning
    Returns is here and it's pretty good.

    Lightning Returns does a good job of using the Final Fantasy XIII mythos to justify what's happened between XIII, XIII-2 and Lightning Returns. The story itself is okay, but as with Final Fantasy X-2, Lightning Returns' story is just there as a vessel for innovative and enjoyable gameplay.

    Lightning Returns has arguably the best battle system in the entire Final Fantasy series so far. The Schema system is a well expanded version of Final Fantasy X-2's Dressphere system, which is probably why people are having PTSD flashbacks to a game they played for 5 minutes and hated because they thought it was too much like Charlie's Angels or something equally stupid. Anyway, the battle system is a nice evolution of Final Fantasy XIII. You continue to only control Lightning, but this time you're given three "Schema" (jobs) you can switch between during battle. Battles are far more action based and can be very intense. If you played the Requiem of the Goddess DLC for XIII-2, that's basically the battle system. Except Lightning Returns made it much much better because Requiem of the Goddess was pretty bad.

    All in all, if you like fun games and Final Fantasy XIII you'll enjoy this conclusion to the series. Alternatively if you hated Final Fantasy XIII and haven't even played the game, do you really think you should be posting a review?

    P.S. Final Fantasy X-2 is also awesome.
  85. Feb 19, 2014
    Much less than i was specting , poor game interaction , you just talk , upgrade gear , battlebattlebattle and battle , just annoying for me , really..., and you gotta really be a fan of FF series to like and understand this game(story) , to like its mechanics and to play with "enjoyment", just another game that make me want my money back( I DONT RECCOMMEND IT if you never played final fantasy before) Expand
  86. Feb 20, 2014
    I'm a long time FF fan, and this entry is great. I've seen some people complaining about the characters having changed from the first installment, but really... who wouldn't after 500 years. Love the new battle system (though can take a bit to master), and the game does really well at giving a sense of urgency as the world ends. Overall, really impressed.
  87. Feb 20, 2014
    I am shocked by the negative attention this game has gotten by critics and users alike. The criticism is unfair and is in stark contrast to the reality that this is an extremely high-quality and unique game. It is fresh, challenging, fun, and rewarding. If you can suspend judgment and genre-related expectations long enough and allow yourself to appreciate the brilliant and out-of-the-ordinary experience that was intended then you are in for a weird and exceptional ride.

    I am a frequent user of metacritic. I use it to check video game ratings. I have never before reviewed a game, nor did I have an account until I decided to write this review. I am writing this because I feel like my experience is so different from what even mainstream critics are reporting that I want to weigh in, and because it is troubling to me that this bold and innovative approach to the classic RPG genre could be stifled by all of this negative attention.

    I like Final Fantasy games but I am not an obsessed fan. I also like Western RPGs and action games. I think that Mass Effect 3 and The Last of Us were masterpieces. There were a lot of things that I did not enjoy about Final Fantasy XIII and I agree with a lot of the criticism directed at that game. My point is that I can assess the quality of this game in a fair and balanced way; my enjoyment of this game is not "dependent entirely on my dedication to the brand," as one particularly misinformed review by put it. That review was full of over-reaching negative generalizations about the game, but the author was not even familiar enough with the gameplay to keep from mixing up "ATB" with "EP" when discussing battle mechanics. This is one of several extreme and poorly-supported reviews that I have read, incredulously.

    The backlash from the gaming community is so incredible to me that I wonder if there is some explanation that has nothing to do with the gaming experience. Are some of the unconventional religious themes too much for Western society to handle? Is it that the game is too challenging and people are rejecting it because it does not validate those of us who have grown complacent playing games that reward inevitable success? If anyone has any other plausible social or political explanation for the controversy, I am interested to hear it.

    I will not elaborate on the virtues of the game because there are reviews out there that already do a great job (I strongly recommend the Inside Gaming Daily review which describes some of my impressions). The point of my review is to let anyone curious about the game know that they should not be deterred by the low critic and user scores on metacritic, or the poor reviews. This game has its weaknesses and in particular the steep learning curve at the beginning can be frustrating, but it finds its rhythm after a few hours and for me quickly became one of the most unique and rewarding gaming experiences that I have ever had.
  88. Feb 20, 2014
    As a fan of the XIII series this game makes me want to go and say I wish it never happened. The nonsense story that made no sense and abandoned what had been setup prior. This series became a glorified game of dress up. This is the last thing a strong woman like Lightning would care for. Which is the other thing Lightning has no emotions following blindly towards the end goal. No emotion = bland protagonist = no connection to main character. Yes there are lots of side quests but oh they all seem to be one of 2 types. Defeat x amount of enemy y or retrieve item z. Such variety I don't know how I will contain myself especially when this is the majority of the gameplay! Between a bland character and no mission variety the replay value of the game is minimal. I main work on it here or there to gain all the achievements but that's only because I hate having games incomplete.
    What good is there; the combat system. It was well thought out for this style of game but the game has massive difficulty spikes that plague it making it terribly unfun to use.
    Visually things look great so long as you don't get too close to objects as they appear very boxy also clipping and ghosting is present in many areas at times when the system became overwhelmed with on screen happenings.
    Now the timer some hate it some like it. Once you set up and get your bearings the timer isn't infuriating its how there are areas that are locked at certain times. Not enough time to go somewhere else but you are more or less stuck where you are doing nothing for a couple minutes.
    Terrible way to end the first trilogy in FF but then again what can you expect when the people at square-enix when talking about the game in development went and said to the effect of we have perfected the way breasts behave. Well maybe next time you spend that time jacking off less and putting in more substance.
    XIII was my favorite FF but this has to be just about my least favourite.

    TLDR: Terrible story and replay value, good combat engine with good visuals at a distance
  89. Feb 22, 2014
    lightning returns is a good game i like the possibilities of customizing each costume plus the controls are much easier than in previous releases. :)
  90. Feb 22, 2014
    This game is, just like it's prior games, not worth it. The story is garbage and predictable, the main characters are just boring and annoying (Lightning herself is just plain boring and nothing unique) and the way you have to work your way through the story is just sad. Sometimes, you encounter creatures that are just straight out un-killable, and thats happening on the first day of the story. You know that a game is bad when the first creatures you fight are un-killable.

    The game also expects you to have extreme knowledge of where to go and when to do it. I have read the strategy guide, and it tells me to go somewhere that i had no idea of where was and then told me it is extremely important that i do it, or else the rest of the game becomes extremely difficult and again, almost impossible.

    I could continue talking bad about it, it does have its upsides in how battle works, which is fun, but nothing special. The customization is also great, but the game is just balls hard if you dont use your days to the maximum.
  91. Feb 22, 2014
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Lightning returns brings nothing big to the table, using an outdated engine. Its a disappointing experience in many ways, filled with fetch quests and it manages to bring in all the characters that you may have loved in the previous instalments and destroys them more or less. Its very far away from being a satisfying end to ff13. Although it does bring some fun into the experience which depending on who you are you might be able to play the game once or twice, the new style of gameplay is fun the new scenery introduced is beautiful and they give enough reason to play the new game + Expand
  92. Feb 23, 2014
    I love the combat system, and those individuals that enjoy tweaking stats or strategies to really crush your enemies will be overjoyed. Keeps all of the good stuff from the original games, but gets rid of a lot of the bad.

    Good replay-ability too - lots of stuff to do after you've beaten the game. Very challenging gameplay - even on easy difficulty!

    (From an RPG-aholic)
  93. Feb 23, 2014
    I'm about 40 hours in so far and really enjoying the game. The story line does fall short, as other people have mentioned, but the open world exploration, combat, and customization options make up for it. I haven't ran into the issue of being rushed due to the timer, that others have stated, and I'm playing on normal, not the recommended easy. I've managed to complete all side quests, and main quests, and I'm only on day 7 out of 14. The key is optimizing your playthrough by doing side quests in a way that minimizes travel, as well as using the very helpful Chronostasis spell to freeze time. I am following a rough guideline, though, so that helps.

    The combat is easily my favorite part. Going in, I was afraid the 1-person combat would be overly simplified, but I was wrong. Combat is deep, thoughtful, and always fun. You don't level up from combat anymore, which at first seems bad, but it ended up working well. You are still incentivized to not avoid combat.

    40 hours in, I still have probably another 30 before I will have done everything I wanted, and I am excited to give NG+ a try. If you're looking for a good story, I don't know why you chose FF in the first place. We hold these old memories in our minds on high pedistals, and expectations run rampant for new games. We discourage innovations from the FF series, and chastise them for shaking up the formula. I for one, am happy they are moving forward with the franchise, instead of trying to relive the past. I remember FF7 and 10 having amazing stories when I was younger, but I honestly think today I am remembering them through rose-colored glasses. If you want a good story, go play Mass Effect, The Last of Us, or Gone Home. If you want a fun, open world, active-time combat system, with a deep customization system, play lightning returns.
  94. Feb 24, 2014
    Most of these critics are based on "hating the FF13 storys" or "timelimit - no time to explore"
    So dont rely on Metascore and on User Score this time!
    This game is really good. I would give 8 points, but because of that nonsense ratings i have to give 10 instead.
    I dont want to explain every pro and contra right now (there are good explanations here), but i want to tell u something, if
    this "time" thing is disturbing you:
    The timelimit is pretty good (not even hard), while u could make the game "endless" with some effort.
    So you could do a 100% walkthrough within one try with some luck.
    U are easily able to explore the whole game too! I thought i wont when i started the game, but thats not true!
    If u like FFXIII, its a perfectly balanced game and I loved it!
    If u dont care about FFXIII wait for it to get cheaper!
    If u dont like FFXIII because of the artwork or gameplay or music etc. (not linearity or story) forget that game.
  95. Feb 24, 2014
    I personally enjoyed this game more than the previous two titles but the story isn't really easy to get and the funniest characters have become sad and gloomy, it really makes me lose my love for the characters except lightning and fang cuz both of them are still hot. I also think the time limit in the game is just alright and it kind of makes me want to play the game even more.
  96. Feb 26, 2014
    There is a lot of complain on this ff trilogy (apparently, every game that comes out is just worse). I didnt get a chance to play ff xiii, but I do own ff xiii-2 and LR. In online reviews everything has been subject to complain: Story, characters,"open world" system, music, battle system, etc. I finished the game and here´s my review:
    Story: Its a Little bit confusing how each game of
    this trilogy drastically changes its main plot: first, fal cie´s ruling everything and then were trying to save a floating world. Second, time traveling all around the place to find lightning. Third, the world is about to go rotten in 13 days, deal with it. I believe LR story does make sense, but it could have been much more expanded. Only 5 main quests and wait for day 13, and thats it. A Little frustrating.
    Characters: I enjoyed playing with just one character, didnt find anything wrong about it. They greatly took out the annoying and cheesy predecessor references (which ff xiii-2 was full of) without leaving new players in the dark and we got a chance to see a couple of old characters with fresher eyes.
    World system: This is complicated. Putting a countdown on an RPG game,specially FF, is dubious. FF fans love free, open world exploration. Get every single detail in the game. The main problem about this is that besides a couple of towns, there is no "big world exploration", not that you have time for it either. I beat this game in about 35 hours, when ff fans are used to a 55-60 world exploration-monster finding-item collecting system. Once you get to the countdown and beat the game, there´s actually nothing more left. I started to play new game+, a couple of changes once you start on hard mode, but nothing drastic. And they could have improved the garbs a Little bit, in some garbs lightning just looks slutty.
    Music: SE got rid of (most of) the annoying pop from ff xiii-2. And I just love the Luxerion-at-night feel provided by the music!
    Battle system: The battle system is fresh. Implemented a much quicker schemata-changing control. Battles are quite entertaining. But there is no optional super boss in this game, not that i have seen. And its quite annoying if youre a person that likes to test limits with super bosses.
    Conclusion: A nice game, quite refreshing, not an entirely original FF production, the game could have been a Little deeper, idk maybe a 21 day limit or something like that? But worth playing if you want to pass the time
  97. Feb 27, 2014
    Compared to other games in the Final Fantasy series this game was a major let down. Square had the chance here to cap off a grand finale of a trilogy, Mass Effect style, but instead this game took all that was great about the previous two and changed them for the sake of changing them. Apart from FF12, which is by far and away the worst in the series!!!! FF13LR is disappointing.

    combat system in this game was more button mash than any logical thought out plan. If i want to play hack and slash i will play a series that is known for making hack and slash titles. Final fantasy is built on it's turn based battle system, yes they have and successfully played around with this mechanic before but this is the second time they have veered directly away from turn based and for a second time made something that is just clunky and annoying. I don't feel in control of my character during combat OR in the storyline, i feel like a camera man just watching as she goes about the motions. SE, PLEASE, PLEASE stick to turn based combat!!!

    This storyline, i get that side quests are a vital part of the storyline in FF13LR, but they just feel like they were added to fill in for the fact that the main storyline quests are so quick. AND, on top of that they are also then dragged out needlessly. SE had a great chance here to make an epic storyline, what we end up with instead is disjointed storytelling slung together. It felt at times like i was playing an MMORPG, go here, get that, kill 20 of these. So many fetch quests!!!!!

    I still give this game a 7, as it is a great game, apart from the obvious flaws above, compared to much of the same crap that is out there. However compared to the previous iterations in FF13, and other FF titles (Apart from 12 which if you know anything about FF is junk), this game is a massive let down.
  98. Feb 28, 2014
    I'm going to give this the score I think it deserves even though I agree with the people who are giving 10's to counter act the other people that are giving excessively low scores.

    I think this is being unfairly rated based on comparing it to other final fantasy games. While I understand the rational for this, it creates sort of a weird paradox where if you compare this to other games
    with a 5.6 score and the quality of this game is magnitudes higher.

    That being said this game has 2 major faults that I see.
    1) Chronostasis
    Now the concept behind this isn't necessarily inherently flawed but the execution was poor. As it is executed this feature acts as a major immersion killer. You are constantly having to micromanage this and it is disruptive to game play. You have to go 2 menu's deep to activate something that you basically have to do every 4th battle and not only that but the graphics and sound are very poorly executed. Activating is like a a flash grenade on your screen, you can't see for a few seconds immediately after activation. The sound that it does when it wears off sounds way too similar to the sound of an enemy spawning and is easily missed. In Summary it's a completely game disruptive and immersion disruptive feature due to execution. An easy fix in my mind was to increase the resources and duration of the effect and of course change the graphics and sounds.
    2) Sandbox Execution
    I understand that players have very much been demanding more of a sand box like gamestyle where you can explore and choose your own path. Past Final Fantasy games have been criticized for being too linear. This motivated the developers to try and create this atmosphere and naturally they tried to innovate on it. The end result was something that technically is a sand box but doesn't feel like it to the player. You are in a mediocre sized sand box and you have to replay it over and over again. Now to be fair the experience alters slightly on each iteration but the overall feeling of a sandbox game is completely lost.

    So I want to talk about Pros to the game:
    1) Graphics
    As usual the graphics and cut scenes are outstandingly crafted, additional cool features include being able to customize your look for the cut scenes. I don't see this game as really lacking in any way from past installments in terms of graphics.
    2) Combat System
    I for one am a fan of the combat system, so much so in fact that it is the driving reason I have played all of the FF13 games. I love the way they have balanced the needs for the different roles, nothing feels useless and nothing feels like it's so overpowered that you shouldn't use anything else. In contrast Bravely Default which I also enjoy uses the more historical combat setting and it is extremely unbalanced. The customization for your schemata in FF13LR is amazing, you can put a magic move in each scheme and switch between them while continuing a combo, or you can put all your magic on one scheme, all your physical in another and min max your stats for it. There's just so many possibilities and I have been using some for awhile then I go online and find people who are using something fundamentally different and being just as successful. It's a lot faster paced and skill dependent as well. Additionally it's not all about damage anymore, you can be successful while focusing on staggering and then turning on the damage for short bursts or you can just try to do it the traditional way and put out consistent damage (poison is helpful for this). I feel the combat system receives the most unfair criticism, people don't like it purely because it's different and they don't judge it based on it's own merits.
    3) Story
    I have to say that I am not a huge fan of the story, not necessarily because of the themes or the plot but just the character execution, motivations, metaphors etc... I'm not going to judge it harshly because I know a lot of people that enjoy these types of stories, but it is not my cup of tea. The biggest flaw I see in not just this story but other similar japanese inspired storylines are the excessive use of metaphors and lack of realism. To clarify I'm not talking realism like dragons and magic I'm talking realism like people's personalities and decision making. I would use metal gear solid franchise as another example of this.
    4) Overall Gameplay
    I rated this as a 7 as you can see, I love the combat, don't love the repetitiveness and micromanagement. Graphics and sound are great, story was so so.

    In closing I wish some of these people that rated it 0-4 would go play a game deserving of the rating and then come back and rate this properly. There are some truly terrible games out there, this game has issues but it is not one of them.
  99. Mar 4, 2014
    The time limit is lame but not a deal breaker, how ever the crap combat is!
    worst final fantasy ever made and i have played them all.
    and from the looks of it FF15 is going to be a suck fest to cause the combat in that looks like DMC.
  100. Mar 4, 2014
    I'm not gonna go back comparing this game with the predecessors on PS1 or on PS2 because it is what it is, i just enjoy this game and it gives me a lot of excitement with fresh and intuitive gameplay.

Mixed or average reviews - based on 62 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 62
  2. Negative: 3 out of 62
  1. May 11, 2014
    Lightning Returns shows us a flashy new wardrobe but looks still rule over personality. Sadly Lightnings chance of clothes does nothing for the lack of her personality. Overall it is enjoyable, but messy story and flimsy characters don't do it any favours. [March 2014]
  2. 60
    Beautiful world and solid gameplay, countered by a boring story and not very likeable characters. [Issue #240]
  3. Apr 2, 2014
    I spent 25 hours with Lightning Returns and most of them were pleasant, but it was mainly entertainment for my eyes and fingers rather than my brain. I reckon it to be the best game of the XIII trilogy, but it’s far behind those really outstanding Final Fantasies. [04/2014, p.60]