I still buy every FF that comes out (except for MMOs), and I've been disappointed on everyone since X. When will I learn :( haha
Final Fantasy XIII-2 Review
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Final Fantasy XIII-2 doesn't capture Lightning in a bottle, but it's still a fun and heartfelt role-playing adventure.
- Monster collection is fun and addictive
- Multiple heartfelt moments combine story and gameplay in effective ways
- Caius is a fantastic villain
- Impressive, varied visual design.
- The best characters were sidelined in favor of less interesting ones
- Multiple sequences bog down the pace
- Main story is relatively easy and short.
Final Fantasy XIII-2's box art features the indomitable Lightning, looking strong and feminine in her tough-as-nails armor and flowing skirt of feathers. You remember Lightning, of course: she spent the majority of Final Fantasy XIII trying to release her sister Serah from a crystalline prison. Don't let that gorgeous portrait of the daunting heroine fool you, however. She has a part to play in this direct sequel, but it's Serah's turn in the spotlight now. Serah's not the powerhouse personality her sister is, but that doesn't keep Final Fantasy XIII-2 from delivering a satisfying mix of poignant storytelling and exciting action.
That isn't to say Final Fantasy XIII-2 is as epic an adventure as you may have expected. The story isn't long as far as Japanese role-playing games go--maybe 25 hours for a standard playthrough. There are reasons to linger or return if you're the completionist type, but the length is a consideration for series fans hoping for a Final Fantasy-sized adventure. If those 25 hours were jam-packed with challenging action and dramatic cutscenes, perhaps you wouldn't notice the story's brevity. Alas, a lengthy fetch quest makes the game drag considerably, as does a protracted platforming sequence that causes the pace to chug as you near the conclusion, right when you'd expect the tempo to take off. The cinematics and battles both burst with occasional thrills, but it's as if developer Square Enix decided that unnecessary padding was the proper solution to the problem of Final Fantasy XIII's overly linear progression.
If that sounds like a lot of negativity, don't worry: Final Fantasy XIII-2 may not be the super-great RPG you might have wanted in a series known for reinventing itself at every turn, but it's still a very good one. You could say the same thing about lead character Serah: She's a good, not great, leading lady. She doesn't have the steely strength of Lightning, though she isn't as annoyingly dainty as Final Fantasy XIII's Vanille, either (though she does have her overtly girlish moments as she twitters with the affected chirps and sighs of the prototypical Japanese RPG heroine). But she's a perfectly serviceable "every girl" who teaches school in her village on the world of Pulse, just a few years after the bitter victory that concluded the previous game.
Serah's purpose is to find Lightning, who is assumed to be gone for good--perhaps inhabiting the crystal pillar holding up the orb of Cocoon, along with Fang and Vanille. But Serah remembers events no one else does; most importantly, she remembers her sister's blessing to marry Snow, though Lightning was not always so fond of him. She knows Lightning must be alive, and she's right, of course. Lightning resides in Valhalla, a realm that exists outside of the constraints of time, where she's locked in struggle with a man called Caius. The game's initial moments dramatize this conflict in fine fashion. Caius speaks with a quiet confidence, his voice filled not so much with rage as with brazen purpose. He and Lightning stare mercilessly into each other's eyes and their swords meet, emanating a blaze of blue light. Soon thereafter, you take control of Lightning atop Odin in his form as a mechanical steed, fending off the ominous winged Bahamut in the game's first tutorial.
It's a pity that the game's two most engaging characters--Lightning and Caius--have considerably less screen time than Final Fantasy XIII-2's protagonists. Caius is a compelling villain, in part because his villainy isn't the typical in-your-face, menacing, power-hungry gnashing of teeth. It's sorrow that drives him, and as the source of this sorrow becomes clearer, your empathy grows. His emotions are distinctly, authentically human, and he isn't inherently evil; thus, he is a much more interesting villain than the usual frothing maniac. Caius gets his chance to chew the scenery a number of times, though where male characters are concerned, your focus is generally on Final Fantasy XIII-2's other lead: Noel. Noel's from the future--a future in which Cocoon has collided with Pulse many years before. He arrives in Valhalla where he witnesses the clash of the two titans, but he escapes to the past (and to Serah's side) at Lightning's behest. His hopes are somewhat loftier than Serah's. She wants to find her sibling; he has an entire future to change.
And so the two set out on a journey across time, hopping from one level to another, with each one representing a different place or time. The two make a blandly pleasant team, and apart from a third slot designated for voiceless monsters (more on that to come), they are your sole party members. Where Final Fantasy XIII's party members had plenty of interpersonal conflicts to overcome, Serah and Noel get along nicely enough. Moments that could have had great poignancy in the first half of the game--multiple reunions among them--are curiously bereft of tension and emotional impact.
Gotta say that the Final Fantasy games are not what they were before. I'm still playing the older PS1 FF games, great games. Why even make xiii-2 if xiii wasn't even that good :/
Today it's ALL about the graphics... Hope FF makes a comeback in the near future.
At least my control did not end up inside the TV when to be continued was displayed. It did with Halo2.
Final Fantasy XIII-2 sucks compared to 13 (Not saying 13 was the best they both have ups and downs) and I was mad my girlfriend had the audacity to buy it as a late X-mas prezzie; it's as bad as X-2 I swear to god square Einx should be sued by a fan? everytime they make a sequal -.-'' the storyline was a dissapointment not the worst but time paradox's is that all they could think of? 13 was better than that. The battle system wasnt so bad but fighting with monsters? Come on couldn't they think of more characters or did they just get lazy?
@Boxfire Actually I never played 12 or 14 (I'm assuming they were the online MMO-types). My favorites are VII, VIII and X. RPGs are just going downhill. They're being sloppy all around, not just Square. Like I said Versus is the only glimmering hope I have at the end of a dark tunnel.
I miss PS2 and Dreamcast time when the RPG games were good.......the only good RPGs that i played in this console generation was Resonance Fate ,Tales of Vesperia and Eternal Sonata...only 3 games all this time lol...
My final fantasy experience ends with final fantasy X. Square enix will do better with a remake of final fantasy VI to get things properly done.
@themightyfez ... oh yea, ffx-2 was way too girl friendly but by far not the worst game nor was this one. Let me guess, you love 12 or 14. Utter crapfest
This was the worst Final Fantasy game to date (Way to dethrone FFX-2). Square has been a disappointment. I hope they can make something out of 13 Versus or else I'm done with Square.
For 60 of my hard earned dollars, I expect more than 25 game play hours. I am sadly disappointed that they are wrecking the best RPG franchise in the history of gaming. Such a shame....
@vault-boy's @tevic... heh, my little brother kills me because the kid plays tons of games and never finishes em. Its a sign of the times, the ADD generation need ease of play, crazy good graphics, and faster and faster paced games to keep them interested. Idk what happened to the good old games that were just plain fun to play. Just beat FFVI again the other day, one of my all time favs.
@tevic /facepalm. You are so unbelievably wrong it actually hurts me a little. Their is a difference between 'difficult' and 'frustrating'. If a game offers no challenge it offers no satisfaction. Also, really? Most normal people don't finish games? And you have heard of a difficulty setting, right?
Kevin: "relatively easy" should count as a good point and not a bad one. The worst thing I can imagine in a game is frustration. I think too high difficulty is the main reason why most "normal" gamers very rarely finish a game, if ever. (I don't mean hard-core gamers or myself, but other people that I know for whom gaming is not the ultimate passion). I remember heaving read "too easy boss fights" as a bad point in the Batman Arkham City review. It's criminal saying things like that !!! :)
I didn't want to read the review cos i wanted to find out everything for myself... but i'm really curious, is vanille there in the sequel ? Couldn't stand her voice in XIII....
A quick read of the gamespot rating system will clear things up for you. A 7.5 "...is good overall, and likely worth playing by fans of the particular genre or by those otherwise interested..." This game is not worth a play by non-FF13 fans. Conversely, FF13 may be worth a play by those who are not initiated into the FF universe, so it got an 8.5, though no higher because of it's lack of wider appeal outside its genre's fandom.
Seems fair.... the original was over-rated in the first place, makes sense a poor sequel would score less.
hum, thank god this game will be released, so finally squeenix can focus on the real final fantasy, bring Versus 13 this year !!!
@Mister_Over Oh I'll tell you what I'm going to do to the series for sucking this bad. Destroy the games and annihilate the heroes once and for all. I already killed Firion's party, Lenuth's party and the onion knights and also Cecil's party. Brutz is next on my list.
@AQWBlaZer91 What you fail to stress is what exactly you don't like about the games nowadays; it's easy enough to say you dislike it (or hate it in your case), but why? And what would you do to make it better? It's not exactly constructive criticism. I respect the fact you may not like the direction FF has gone, but I've not read any reason to back up the negativity. I for one am very much looking forward to this sequel, as i am sure many others are too; if there were no demand for such a thing, and others did not feel the same, then it wouldn't have been made - simple.
@xXShortroundXx Yeah, their reviews are always odd to say the least. I've noticed that there are certain games that they review as mediocre, or slightly above average, which I find extremely fun, then they come back and review a game that I didn't like at all, and review it with a high score. So I take it for what it is, just a opinion of a staff member, and I usually take multiple sites reviews into consideration before making the plunge. If is a game is from a relatively well known franchise I may just purchase it. I still haven't beat the 4 disc FF beast on the 360 yet, so I'll wait on this one, at least until I finish the other.Looks promising though.
@xXShortroundXx you mean the opinion that said this game was above average and generally good with some bog downs? you mean 75% isn't good enough? hell 75% on a university exam can net me a B+ to an A- in a fourth year course...but right, just because its not 9 and above it must mean its a horrible game. Actually read the review and then complain.
@KingW3llz Instead this game is total garbage cause we never even cared for a sequel like this in the first place.
What a total piece of *&^%£*& garbage. Final Fantasy is doomed, what is it with this cruddy that really spells awful. Square Enix can't make a good Final Fantasy game anymore so it's finally time for me to put this terrible monstrosity out of it's misery.
Reading this review...let's just say the text doesn't match the 7.5 rating in my opinion. I'm giddy to hear that this game has a great antagonist though. Compelling villains is something that has been sorely missing from the series since FFX(Seymour Guado). Considering how much I loved FFXIII, I'm pretty sure that I'll love FFXIII-2. And if the ending of this game is any indication, I'm sure I'll love FFXIII-3 as well. lol
@VezTheNoob I feel the same way. It's like they are purposely trying to alienate fans and instead focusing on trying to be innovative. I loved XIII battle system, but the story was horrid. I will play XIII-2, but again from what I hear the story is crap. What is so wrong with giving gamers what they want? How does getting rid of the main bright spot in XIII sound like a good idea?
I loved XIII, and I am sure I will love XIII-2. Having said that, I don't understand why square can't seem to get it right. Let us play as Lightning. Give us dungeons with branching paths. Give us towns. Give us a world map. Give us a great story. Give us a controllable airship. It's like they said ok, let do away with the linearity. Great. Let's do away with Lightning. Great. Wait wha? Too late, game is already shipped. I could see benching Snow or Hope, but Lightning? Come on man. Really?
7.5 is still good guys, and if your a fan of the series then there is no reason why you wouldn't enjoy it.
Well seems to me the bad isnt so bad right? so it seems like the where overcritacal but ill see that when i buy the game.
- Player Reviews: 32
- Game Universe:
- Final Fantasy XI (PS2, PC, X360),
- Final Fantasy XI: Chains of Promathia (PC, PS2),
- Final Fantasy VII (PC, PS),
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- Final Fantasy II (NES, GBA, PS),
- Final Fantasy XI: Treasures of Aht Urhgan (PC, PS2),
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- Final Fantasy XI: Vana'diel Collection 2008 (X360, PS2, PC),
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