Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII Image
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66

Mixed or average reviews - based on 62 Critics What's this?

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6.0

Mixed or average reviews- based on 538 Ratings

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  • Summary: A direct sequel to the unhelpfully titled Final Fantasy XIII-2, Lightning Returns is another action-RPG, this time with a retooled gameplay system and a story that picks up a mere 500 years later, concluding the FFXIII saga.
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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 62
  2. Negative: 3 out of 62
  1. 90
    It's a pity that a lot of players have been so fixated on the perceived gameplay weaknesses of each of the games in this trilogy, because in doing so they've really missed the broader philosophical richness of the story of Lightning and her ragtag crew of allies and antagonists. Ironically, those people will also find Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII the weakest game in the series, when thematically speaking, it's actually the most powerful.
  2. Feb 11, 2014
    80
    Square seems to have taken critiques of the first two games to heart and corrected them. Gone are the oppressively limited environments and the convoluted stories. In their place are a large world, clear story, and the latest refinement of what was already among the most radically inventive combat systems to hit JRPGs in years.
  3. Feb 14, 2014
    75
    Lightning Returns is not the closure we hoped for and represent a slight step back for the series Nevertheless is a good game, graced by an amazing combat system that that probably deserved a better context. If you are a fan you certainly enjoy the game, but its magic seems to be lost somewhere else.
  4. Feb 11, 2014
    70
    Lightning Returns has some genuinely great ideas as far as modern RPGs are concerned, and despite being let down by a shoddy story and some graphical issues, it remains a shining example of how dynamic battle systems and thoughtful character customisation can save an otherwise trite, lifeless game.
  5. Feb 24, 2014
    65
    Well, this is a bit of a disappointment... The story isn't as gripping as it could have been, the game feels rushed and the visuals aren't as good as you'd expect. It offers closure for the fans, sure, but as the final part of an epic trilogy it doesn't even come close to the mark.
  6. Feb 20, 2014
    60
    Sadly, that fresh new take on combat is hamstrung by a camera that can’t keep up with the elaborate effects, animations and blistering speed.
  7. Feb 14, 2014
    38
    It’s just a quickly thrown together mess of mechanics that feels like it’s trying and failing to be an open world American style RPG. Frankly, you aren’t missing anything if you totally pass this title up.

See all 62 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 72 out of 154
  2. Negative: 57 out of 154
  1. Feb 11, 2014
    10
    The XIII series as a whole is amazing and I don't understand the unnecessary hate towards it. The story, characters, battles... everything wasThe 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
  2. Feb 18, 2014
    10
    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 styledEasily 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. Expand
  3. Feb 23, 2014
    9
    I love the combat system, and those individuals that enjoy tweaking stats or strategies to really crush your enemies will be overjoyed. KeepsI 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)
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  4. Feb 28, 2014
    7
    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 peopleI'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.
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  5. Feb 11, 2014
    5
    Quality game= Good music, Good graphic, good game-play
    Bad story = It's BORING/BAD/HORRIBLE/It feels FORCED.
    Lightning is WAY too Mary
    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.
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  6. Mar 31, 2014
    3
    The fans want to desperately trick themselves into believing this game is good, but it is not. If you enjoy taking on 10 different and boringThe fans want to desperately trick themselves into believing this game is good, but it is not. If you enjoy taking on 10 different and boring enemies, yeah the game only has about 10-13 different types of enemies. If you enjoy a story that is a nonsensical mess. If you enjoy truly worthless items. If you enjoy the most insipid repetitive shallow boring fetch quests. If you enjoy an RPG whose entire area can be 100% explored in a good 1-2 hrs(meaning the game is very small). If you enjoy bosses that are not difficult but that take 100 years to kill by mashing the same buttons over and over. If you enjoy NPC's who are far worse animated and acted than anything seen on the movie The Room. If you enjoy crappy graphics that are blurry, pixelated and blurry(the pretty CG does not count, along with Lights model). If you enjoy boredom, then this game is for you. Expand
  7. Jul 4, 2016
    0
    Nojo nojento.. são 04:43 e acabei de finaliza-lo junto com toda a franquia FFXIII, dos 3 esse é claramente o pior.. como a lighyning éNojo nojento.. são 04:43 e acabei de finaliza-lo junto com toda a franquia FFXIII, dos 3 esse é claramente o pior.. como a lighyning é nojenta.. meu deus, toda fala dela... ela é aquela pessoa sem expressão querendo pagar de fodona... coitada Expand

See all 154 User Reviews