Final Fantasy XIII-2 is the newest installment of the FF franchise. Trying to make up for the amount of complaints from the FF XIII and possibility of lacking creative ideas Square Enix attempts another console FF sequel. The first thing that came to mind was, “Why?” After the travesty that was FF X-2 I was very resilient to think that doing another FF sequel would be a good idea. The feedback that I received from reviews and word of mouth put my worries at ease and also stating that the complaints I had about the first one were also changed. Did the title live up to or exceed its predecessor? Let’s take a look and see.
The gameplay of FF 13-2 is very similar to that of FF13. The battle system is based off of 6 interchangeable class types and managing those into 6 on the fly class combos in order to heal, stagger, or devastate your opponents. If you played FF13 than you will feel right at home with the battle system. There were minor tweaks in place that now give some enemies the ability to wound your health making you unable to heal wounded damage, also some of the class abilities aren’t as vast as they were in FF13, and now your 3rd battle partner is a monster. You now have the ability to capture, infuse, and level up monsters in the game. While this makes it able to build the ultimate monster for each class type I would much rather have static characters that I can level up just like Noel and Serah. Having to worry about grabbing new monsters or not knowing which ones are good to level up can be frustrating at times. Monsters can only be leveled up, depending on the class of monster, using items you can either buy or earn in battles. This can also be very frustrating as you have a limited number of items and don’t want to waste them on monsters that aren’t going to ever be as strong as the monster you are using now. The crystarium system of leveling up is back again but with a small change. In the previous title you could level up one of the 6 classes and each one had a cap and you could dump XP into any one you wanted. This time around you dump those points into each class type and get stat boosts in strength, HP, and Magic depending on which class you level. Each time you do that specific class will level up and each class caps at level 99. Each time you fill an entire crystarium field you also get a bonus which can range from boosting a class or raising your accessory limit amount. In this game you can’t just wear any accessory you want as each accessory has a number attached to it. If you don’t have a high enough number cap than a lot of accessories are dead to you and this really limits what you can wear to 1 maybe 2 accessories at best. Overall I feel gameplay took a step back from FF13
The game has Serah in search of her sister Lightning who she saw in a dream fighting in Valhalla in the beginning. Shortly after she is met with the last human in existence from the future, Noel as they both travel through time solving paradoxes created in the timeline in order to bring back Lightning. You travel to a great array of places scattered all throughout time as well as multiple versions of the same time but changed after fixing paradoxes. In each time you spend anywhere from 30min to 3hrs following the trail of the next time period unlocked by gates. Since the previous title was too linear this one is too open. I quickly felt overwhelmed with the amount of stuff that I had open to me in the timeline, and had to also revisit the same places to see if I could find more fragments in each time. The storyline was sub-par at best as it unfolded with a cast of characters that never moved or inspired me. Over the 38hrs of my time with the game I found myself playing it more out of not having anything else better to play rather than wanting to know what happens next. Most of the game posed no difficulty except for the final boss that resulted in me spending another 5hrs of leveling and creating stronger monsters in order to just barely win. The ending (spoiler free) infuriated me with the direction in which it played out. Overall, I would have rather played through FF13 a 2nd time than my one play through of FF13-2.
Visuals are usually a department that Square Enix does right. This title is an exception to that rule. The vast array of locations and geography always made it seem fresh. I would jump from one time period to the next and be immersed in a whole new world completely different from where I just was. However, the character models often seemed pixelated and it looks like there wasn’t a lot of effort into making this a well-polished and visually astounding title. The turnaround is that the cutscenes look as good as would be expected, but the environments, characters, and everything else outside of cutscenes looks like ass.
The soundtrack for this game is atrocious. Most music consisted of not just music but some of them also had someone else singing in the background. I found the music to be so horrible that I would try to leave certain time periods quicker than others or play over the video game music with stuff from my computer because it just hurt my soul. I took the time to listen to what those people were actually saying I hung my head in disgust to hear that the lyrics were horribly written. Below I have linked some Youtube links to a few examples of what I mean.
The game has a vast amount of content with 160 fragments to collect, multiple endings, and a casino to blow all your money and time at. The only problem is that it was hard enough to stomach one full play through that I could never see myself going back to playing this title ever again. Do yourself a favor and do not waste your money on this game.
Final Score: 58/100
I completed this game on the PS3 with a time of 38:27:20. I was able to collect 77/160 fragments in the game and was able to reach 56% trophy completion
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