Feb 12, 2012Although I'm a long time fan of the series, I don't want to let my bias affect what I say about this game, so I'll review it from a neutral standpoint, as if it were not part of the Final Fantasy series. I have to say that I'm disappointed with FFXIII-2. Whether or not the game is well made, beautiful, interesting, or unique, it lacks the most important component in a video game. It just isn't fun. The graphics are fantastic, but the exploration feels like a chore. The area map is difficult to access, and doesn't feel accurate, and the setting is overly dramatic and uninteresting. The game failed to capture my attention. There are sidequests and missions that can be picked up from NPCs, but as far as I could tell there was no way to track any objective outside of the main storyline, making these sidequests frustrating to deal with and minimally rewarding. I'm sure there are many substories and special items that I missed because I just could not bring myself to go after the sidequests. That aside, even just wandering about in the game was never enjoyable due to constant chirpy quotes from annoying, unrelatable, characters. The music isn't anything special either, so turning off the dialogue volume doesn't solve this problem. Now on to the feature that should be FFXIII-2's selling point: the battle system. I was actually excited to try it out. Again, I was disappointed. You can select paradigm setups in the menu outside of battle, which I found to be enjoyable, but using them in battle is not as rewarding or fun as it should be. For the most part, you select what role you want each character to fill, and then you only have control as one of them in battle, and you choose a chain of moves from a list and then wait. The other charactes run around and do their job, healing the players or doing damage to the enemy. It's nearly impossible to pay attention to them, because the battles are a mess of spinning swords, flashing numbers, and explosions. It's all cinematic, you could select a paradigm that gives the party one attacker and one healer, and then put down the controller and go do something else. You'll eventually win. There's no skill, logic, or thinking involved whatsoever. Your input is completely insignificant to the outcome, and the battles drag on. It can take upwards of 5 minutes to win some of the early battles in the game. I found myself avoiding most enemy encounters, although in other similar games, I tend to search out battles to try out my parties new techiniques and strategies. FFXIII-2 ultimately failed in this regard. Nothing about the game captured my attention or was any fun at all, aside from setting up characters in the menu that I never used. All in all, whether you're a long time fan or a newcomer, I can't bring myself to recommend this game. Rent it or play the demo. Maybe you'll find something you like, but I honestly can't believe this game has receieved any ratings above a 6.… Expand
Jan 31, 2012Outdated Everything. Story doesn't make any sense. Annoying voice acting. Combat still unimaginative, the game plays by itself, just flashy battles. How about some real fighting. Not here. Square Enix is just milking the fanbase. The fanbase of neckbeards that like little girls with pink hair.
Jan 31, 2012Too many ones pushin'up this thing. This game is dull as a rusted dishwater in the center of a living-room. Characters ? Silly, charismatic as a toilet. Game-play ? Chaotic. For a non English-birth-language ones ergonomy is non-existent cause you're forced to read on the bottom of the screen a lot of things that drive away focus completely from everything. Leveling up ? Just too linear. Actions ? Too fast too many times (we are not lab-monkeys) == frustrating. Shops ? That addicted neither-too-sexy thing it's a cheap choice for programmers. Level design ? Built by the machine. Atmosphere ? Zero. Sounds ? Annoying. Musics ? Someone good but out of place and no adrenaline rush. Graphics ? Last chapter was better. The story ? What story ? That mess that someone call a "story" ? Who cares ? ...I'm a bigbetterhuge FF fan, I've always been... but this time is just too much, enough is enough, please FF staff, just go to do HARAKIRI, not FF XIII-3, shame on you, regain "love for the game" instead "love for the money" and money will come again but this time I only wish you to default.… Expand
Feb 6, 2012Ultimately this game does nothing for the franchise that was driven into the ground. While not as **** as its predecessor, FFXIII-2 is still bland and boring in every possible way (except the graphics of course - those are beautiful). Characters are as annoying as ever; the story is a cliche storm, though typical for any JRPG; the music - well, let's just say that I've never thought that any soundtrack could be more bland and unmemorable than that of FFXIII. Guess SquareEnix proved me wrong. I'm very happy that I will be able to spend these 60$ on something good instead. Too bad for my friend who spent his on this.… Expand
Jan 31, 2012I play RPGs primarily for the story, characters, and the cinematic experience, which is why I am so disenchanted by FF13-2. The story literally does not make any sense, and I feel as though the game finds that fact funny and flaunts it very often. The majority of the conversations in the game have nothing to do with relevant characters or events--they're unnatural, nonsensical rants about "time" and "paradox", over and over and over and over. It's as if the writers believed that if they repeated those words enough, things would start to make sense. They don't. The characters--and there's only two--act as if no one else is there with them. Noel and Serah don't connect at all--they just state things over the course of the game, as if the other isn't there. They go through the entire game without learning much about one another. It's similar to the way, for example, Fang never interacted with anyone but Vanille in FF13. It's very awkward and, to be honest, lonely. But most of the game is lonely; though FF13-2 boasts that towns have returned, they really haven't. Sure, many of the time periods in the game have "towns", but they are just town-looking locations overrun with monsters. Why should I care about saving a town from monsters if the town has no NPCs or interiors of any kind? I don't even know who lives here, or if anyone ever does live here. Sure, you'll see futuristic cars zooming by in the background, but it's a huge disappointment when you realize that you'll never be able to actually talk to anyone from many of the time periods. Don't get excited by the term "time periods"--in 13-2, most of them are just one-level dungeons. My other complaint is the way the developers approached "fixing" the game after FF13. Most of the non-linearity is artificial: Maps are now "gridded", but every twist and turn leads to the same goal. There's not actually anything interesting to see off the beaten path, other than a treasure sphere. The minigames of 13-2 are also totally unrelated to what is going on in the story--they're clearly just thrown in to address 13's lack of minigames. And the towns, as I mentioned, continue to be disappointing ghost towns that constantly make me wonder why this world is worth saving at all when no one lives in it. For me, the meat of an RPG is the story and characters, and that's why I'm giving this game a 3/10. The 3 represents the great graphics, the above average music, the "cool" factor of the game, the CG, the battle system, and all of the other bells and whistles. If you like Pokemon, or want a grinding game, give 13-2 a shot. If you're after for an epic story experience, look elsewhere.… Expand
Feb 6, 2012I was one of those people who actually enjoyed FFXIII (shocking, I know, that those people do exist) and I didn't have as many gripes with how it played out. It's been said that this game is basically the complete opposite of what FFXIII was and I can agree with them. The main problem I have with this game is the fact that it's so boring. I liked the story and, even though the characters were kinda annoying in FFXIII, they weren't so bad that it hindered the story, unlike in here. Sarah and Noel are beyond terrible as main characters and listening to them talk about a convoluted story, which doesn't hold a candle to the story in FFXIII, is beyond difficult to listen too. The voice acting isn't terrible it's just that the characters are not very compelling and the way they are presented make them uninteresting and just annoying to have to deal with. However it's the story that is the worst part of the game. The time traveling part of the story could have been interesting but the way it's presented with all the complexities of time travel make it difficult to follow and even harder to have a vested interest in its outcome. All these things make for a boring game, especially for someone who actually enjoyed FFXIII. It's completely true that this game is the exact opposite of FFXIII. That means if you actually liked FFXIII like I did, you may have some issues with all the things that were changed from that one to this game. To each his own but be careful with this game if you actually enjoyed FFXIII.… Expand
Mar 5, 2012I have played every FF game since there was a FF, before the Enix merger and post. I'm a fan. That said this imo is the worst FF game i have ever played. I dare say i liked Mystic Quest more. Versus XIII if it really plays like KH, will be a great rebirth for the series. It felt to me like they took things out of XIII-2 just to add them as dlc. Cards/Sazh are a prime example. IMO Online Passes and DLC are killing gaming, Or I should say hurting it instead. The Graphics are great yes, there are quite a few graphical glitches. the camera system is worse than i have ever seen. The battle system is so easy a Caveman could do it and A.D.D. kids will be happy. Although I understood the story for the most part. I still think it wasn't setup properly for the concept. Every and only answer you need is a paradox did it. They didn't anticipate and write for us not going the route they intended at all. The game makes more sense if you follow their timeline unlocks linearly. Yea you don't have to but then you get these gaps/confusions in the arc.
Monster Hunting/capture and Infusions are fun, but they are things we old schoolers expect. The Crystarium isn't as well thought out as it could have been. If you want to focus your roles on the characters strengths just simply level Noels Commando on large nodes only and Serahs Ravager on large nodes only. Paradigm shifts and auto battle are meh. I'd give the game a 6 if not for all the unwarranted high scores. I love FF just as much if not more than anyone here. I am even paying for 2 characters in XIV. Still have XI and prefer it although the XIV team is working hard(seeing improvements on a regular basis), and by 2.0 i think most will be happy. To think that Lightning wasn't already in the Coliseum makes me cringe as i think about the days of KH, and the wealth of content they used to give us. /rant end… Expand
Feb 10, 2012I firmly believe the turning point for this series was the departure of Matsuno part-way through FF12. If he had stayed and finished the game I think it would be held in the same regard as 7, 8 and 9. It's a shame how the series has gone, it doesn't even seem like they're stuck in the past, they just have the completely wrong idea of what their audience want.
Feb 16, 2012Before I'm labeled a "fangirl" of how it used to be, I want it known that there are RPGs out there that are really deserving of a good score, whether indie or otherwise. I will admit, I'm playing more indie games lately (due to the level of quality), but this game falls flat for me in so many ways. The story is outlandish, the dialogue is abysmal, and at least for me, quick-time events are overused so much lately that it's really becoming synonymous with a factor of bad game design. There is a reason why so many people say that the Final Fantasy series is lacking after FF X, and this game is one of those reasons why. It doesn't have the depth, the polish, the developer's real 'love' of the series that earlier entries had in spades. I will give it props for what it does well, and that's the music. Music is just fantastic. Other than that? For some reason, the graphics took a nose-dive in this game, and your main characters are one-dimensional cardboard cutouts of characters that might have been good if done right. Mediocre game at best. For shame Square-Enix, for shame.… Expand
Mar 12, 2012I've been a life-long Final Fantasy fan for as long as there have been Final Fantasies, ever since the original on the ol' NES. I've played and beaten every single one of them, and now after I have played and beaten this one, I can honestly say I was unimpressed. This game's storyline makes me want to vomit with how ludicrous and substandard it is. The character development is frankly poor, and while the gameplay itself does have some merit to it the overall sense of this being a real Final Fantasy game is just lost on me. I didn't mind this game's predecessor all that much, it was a decent game, not good or great but decent. This one though, I felt was rushed out the door in order to make a quick buck for Square-Enix. I'm not very fond of the battle system either, but it seems like Square is catering to a different crowd now than the ones that brought them their success to begin with. My recommendation? There are better games with great storylines out there, play those instead.… Expand
Sep 26, 2013[Prelude]
Final Fantasy XIII may have been a success story considering a meteoric selling record (the fastest selling title in the FF series) but in my eyes it was disappointing and not in-keeping with the quality of games now passed with composer Nobuo Uematsu no longer writing the themes that made games and its contents so memorable, characters becoming increasingly corny in appearance as well as personality and worlds becoming linear with limited freedom. That said, XIII did have its positives in ever improving graphics and still loveable characters and plot-lines. Consequently, I believe that if gamers knew what they were getting into, there would be serious doubt over the number of copies sold The revelation that this was the first Final Fantasy to appear on a seventh generation console (the past 3 being available on PS2 & PC) and having avid gamers wait for the next installment a lengthy 4 years Clearly played a part in the surge of sales. Despite mixed reviews and anticipation for the next story, Square-Enix announced a sequel to the vast bemoaning veteren fan-base. I'm glad to say that I waited patiently until the price dropped and I bagged a bargain on an eBay Auction for a lowly £7.13 (P&P £2.50), brand new. After being barely satisfied with FFXIII, my acquirement of its sequel was more due to my fondness for the series, a diligent duty to possess and complete all the franchise has to offer, albeit reluctantly.
It's always difficult to regale others with the entrancing stories of the Final Fantasy universe without spoiling any of the story checkpoints or surprises. However 13-2 offers less surprise and more predictability thanks to obvious character tells and a trippy storyline. It happened.. they finally hit the low note of going so over the top that they mess with time travel. True, FF's have always been OTT (and considering the word 'Fantasy' in the title) but they always had some degree of realism that made characters relatable and the world intriguing. Just when you thought 'They must of had a really good idea for the need to make a sequel' they prove to be either insane or milking yet another title (see FF7 & FF10). It takes place after the events of the first game, with the main character being the sister of the 13's main role. This time you control Serah, the younger, more interesting, realistic of the two sisters, suffering from random visuals and confusion of the events in the past. With 13's emotionless, ice queen, mary sue protagonist Lightning gone (hooray!) Serah goes in search to find her (boo!). 'Lightning' or Claire as I prefer to call her (the reasoning behind her nickname is just silly) is seen in stunning FMV sequences, fighting an unknown, purple clothed, eccentric looking man. In a darkened world of ruins, the two spar in cinematic style special effects running wild as always, you get to take minimal control during a fight scene (pressing the correct sequence of buttons in time) which is surprisingly enjoyable as you watch the repercussions of attacks both hit and missed, unfold. When the videos come to an end, a young man named Noel is sent on a voyage through time, riding a meteor to the past.. mental. As he acquaints himself with a distressed Serah and her crew of oddballs taking on monsters spread by the meteor, we learn that he is from a future where he is the last born, the last hope to rekindle the civilisation of mankind. Cue all sorts of explaining and devotion to a cause. The two set out to go forward and back in time through a 'Historia Crux' (a portal) which are operated by finding artefacts spread across the regions, closing the 'paradox's' and inevitably finding Claire and preventing the future from which Noel is the end of all life.
As gamers with the experience of the first game will expect, you take control of one of the two characters with a 3rd person view as you stroll around areas with the odd sub-route, shortcut or secret location. As you inspect your glorious high definition surroundings of Gran Pulse, you are interrupted by spawned enemies almost every 30 seconds which you can manage to escape from before initiating combat (you can run and jump away to avoid them and must reach an safe distance to avoid automatic battles). You can strike out at enemies swiftly to gain a 'preemptive' advantage or lose the option of retrying should you attempt an escape and fail this makes some of your cowardice punishable something that I found exciting as the game is still stupidly easy (I played on Normal mode as apposed to Casual or Hard). As battle commences, an ATP gage fills up as you que a number of attacks to execute the stronger/better the combos, the quicker the 'Stagger' gage rises on the enemy where you can deal far greater damage. Thanks to the Crystarium system of advancing in level and stats, you gain new moves and health points when you spend EXP points in the pre mapped board of crystals. This means you progress essentially how the makers want you to. The real option for the gamer is which trait to improve on such as commander, ravager (mage), medic, sentinel, synergist, or saboteur. You can still create your own 'Paradigms' to alter and succeed in battle, but most of the time you can get the best result as a mage and soldier, spamming the the A button for 'auto attack'. This is what makes 13 and -2, so damn dull. Sure you can choose to select the attacks yourself but when the game rewards such apathy, you're better off doing as you are told. Yes, the visuals are impressive the first couple of times as you watch your two man army launch into the air and chop away at a dancing bird wearing a poncho. There are only so many times you can sit and watch the same thing over and over again just to level up your characters its a boring grind fest with unrelenting rewards. When scouting out new areas, you are charged with the task of finding the 'paradoxes' which you must close to reveal more of the map and progress (connect the dots, mazes). These include simple mini games which are a relief if you are losing patience with a slow paced jog. Half the time though you spend on watching redundant conversations drag on, either explaining the situation or spouting hormonal trash.
[Differences & Improvements over FFXIII]
1 Disc! As I carefully peeled the shrink-wrap and opened my sleek and shiny new case I was considerably astonished that the game appeared on just one disc. Its predecessor came on 3 (understandable with so many cutscenes) and this made me think that perhaps it would be a shorter tale though this was disproved when I found out the the logic behind it was that the cutscenes in 13-2 are all in-game and not separated files. Although I remain sceptical (not because of the quantity but quality of the game). Recaps Upon loading up the game and continuing on your adventure, during loading times you are greeted with a short segment of the latest events occurred in your last few sessions. This is a stylish and helpful addition as it reminds you of whatever you may have forgotten or sheds insight on to what your current task is. Decisions & Consequences Taking on board a system made famous by the Mass Effect games, you are now prompted to select 1 of 4 sets of dialogue to either fathom some more information or make correct or off topic assumptions. In conversations it doesn't really make a difference (other than gain small gifts for making the right choice) but you soon obtain the ability to change the future and retry if it doesn't all go your way as your decisions have specific consequences. Capturing Monsters Since you only have 2 solid people to control on your travels, a new capture system has been engineered. On occasion you can acquire certain monsters by obtaining their crystal after battles (actually its a bit like Poke'mon:) Different monsters have different roles (com,rav,syn,sab,sen,med) and have several stages to advance in (also in the Crystarium) and do this by acquiring related items which can be bought from the lunatic 'Chocolina' She is the sole opportunity to buy and sell items at several points in the game and is pretty much exactly like the shops in 13 combined into one that advances as you do. Maps The locations are similar in appearance to 13 because they are set on Gran Pulse, however they do on occasion offer separate avenues to roam which 13 lack but in honesty, as good as some background drops look, the places you're in contact with are just hollow, unmemorable rooms.
Conversations The reason why so many choose to avoid RPG's altogether, these gossip sessions are so overdone its just unnecessary. Just like 13, you not only get drawn out explanations of your situation but also endless whinging about the future, present, past, and waaaaah I want my sister back waaaaah!!! This is no exaggeration, after nearly all long-winded chats you get a short speech or the inner thoughts of Serah swearing to find Lightning, wondering whether she can find her, wondering where she is, why she's there, blah blah blah. It could be my undying detest of 13s main maiden Lightning talking, because she is an empty pink vase, but the reasons for her disappearance since the end of the first installment and her unexplainable invincibility, makes her role an annoying one, especially as the only person who likes Lightning is of her own blood so she has to like her. No eidolons The summons have always been involved and some times played an integral part (FF8,9 & 10) and although they were just whimsical silliness and scapegoats for characters backlogs in 13, removing them just seems wrong. No Teammates Again, like the summons, gathering and recruiting people was a strong driving force to keep going as new people add to the story, gameplay and dialogue. This in my opinion is why conversations run dry and the plot seems so shallow, because instead of hearing alternative viewpoints and reasoning, people just bumble over the same crap you just heard 10 minutes ago, this time with added emphasis on finding Lightning oooh. OTT in the past games, you'd encounter situations relative to life as well as the escapades only found in stories. People and places have eccentric twists on clothing and environments but still bear sense, however in the latest games, the people in particular look dodgey in bright jumpsuits and the fabled 'anime hairstyles' that defy gravity.. Attacks have light-beams flying out of appendages and form symbols in the sky, people with the frame of a malnourished child can smack a dragon into the sky.
[Soundtrack & Voice Acting]
The music is something 13-2 has on its mother because it is actually noticeable thanks to far more inclusion of vocals in songs which smoothly adapt to dithering situations, for example you can be walking along a serene beach then get chased down by wolves as the music picks up tempo and more intensity. The vocals are fairly subdued and don't dominate every song which is a plus because although it was only the ending song of 13 that featured an out of place Leona Lewis bellowing out inappropriateness, it spoiled an already mediocre end to an equally tame game. It in no way compares to Uematsu's inspiring songs, it couldn't, but it does make up for the stomach gurgling noises dubbed a soundtrack from 13. The 3 new characters of Noel, Yuel and Caius are a mixed bag. Noel struck a chord with me instantly as he had decent lines and seemed a genuinely realistic character (even though he's from a distant future) His voice is recognisable in minutes to those familiar with subjects close to heart (the voice actor played Haku in Studio Ghibli's 'Spirited Away' rather poorly but does a stellar job here). Not much light can be shed on Yuel as her role is rather secretive as a seeress who sees a resemblance of herself and Serah. Thanks to the epic battle introduction, you have some idea of who Caius is a feathered weirdo who can turn into a dragon beast thing and summon elemental madness.
For me, the most annoying thing about this game is that after every significant exchange of words, Serah's thoughts act as a follow up to what has been said and just repeat what is already known, bulking up cutscenes for furiously long time spent listening to an overemotional bint. Now I know that the Final Fantasy's are supposed to be 'out there' as they are a good form of escapism from ordinary boring lifestyles. But the direction in which these newer games are going is depressing. Its all about graphics, intense conversations and ease of play instead of memorable environments, complex characters and a suitable difficulty that actually provides a challenge. In my slightly youthful opinion, the last FF title that lives up to the traditions and brilliance of the series was FF10 when they introduced voice acting but shamefully took away the travelling through world maps. Perhaps it was the beginning of the end for classic gaming as combat and exploration is no longer controllable but forcibly provided. Characters have become extreme ends of the spectrum when it comes to personalities they are either a wimpy pathetic moaning loser or an angry indestructible mary sue No one is in the middle anymore. So even though there are elements that have worked well in 13-2, I still question the intentions behind its release.. did they have left over plot lines, locations and ideas? Could they not be bothered to start from scratch with a new story and system? With this games ending and online forums awash with talk of an impending FF13-3... the answer becomes obvious.… Expand
Mar 4, 2014This is the second main game sequel to the series with the first being ffx-2. I love Final fantasy, i started with X,X-2, and XII and went backwards until the new xbox releases. square seems to think that if they release a similar game that addresses the problems in the last game it will make a better game. with x-2 and xiii-2 they changed from the linear path progression and promoted a more exploration based play style. A tactic they tried to replicated here. While I enjoy this playstyle more it does not result in a better game. In both sequels they had terrible stories and terrible characters.
Noel- intereting character. Yes he is a little emo and depressing but at least he isnt a wuss like tidus, vaan, and hope. Could have been a good character if not tied into this series. -7
Sara- Maybe the most annoying FF character ever made. I have no interest in her. I do not know why they made a whole game about an irrelevant ffxiii character. -1
Caius- Pretty good bad guy. The mentor angle was an interesting one but is selfishness really made his reasons for being evil silly. 7
Same as before but even more dumbed down and even more simple. This game was just too easy. You can level up on enemies that are from any stage in the game. There is little scaling and little incentive to fight more difficult monsters. The cieth in the middle of the game were actually the best monsters to level on and they were halfway through the game. The game throws away any challenge and gives 2 mediocre battles at the endgame stage that are not gimmes but still rather easy. Puzzles are okay even if there explanation was wierd. 3
Story. Noel's part was kinda interesting but i don't care about sara or lightning in this game. This story seems to just be a bridge between the first and the third games, especially after you see the ending. Time travel paradoxes will not be discussed since they are too numerous to mention. 4
Graphics and sound- Sound design was actually really good and added a feel of dread and anger and sadness. really good tones in the game. graphics were less impressive than the last game, in my opinion. But to me graphics is the least important review statistic. 8
You have to understand that i judge FF different to other RPGS. I know this may be unfair but when your past titles have been so impressive it is hard to accept the direction square has taken. Why make three games to a series regarded by most long term fans as one of the worst. You could be working on projects like ffXV or offchutes that could be special like FFTactics or something. I love this whole series so it hurts me to say that if they didn't deliver on this one they probably will make the third even worse. Square needs to make games with better stories, characters, and themes and stop focusing on unimportant things like trying to appeal to all demographics. What happens when that is tried is ffxiii-2. A game that is okay for rpg fans but disliked by the people that love the series. At least it is better than FFX-2
Final Score- 4… Expand
Mar 2, 2012With numerous endings, extremely challenging bonus bosses, and a pokemon-like addictiveness of trying to catch them all, Final Fantasy XIII-2 definitely surpassed my expectations and I'm glad that many of the shortcomings of XIII have been addressed and fixed. If you were let down with XIII, give XIII-2 a shot, you might be impressed with all the improvements and changes.