Final Fantasy XIII-2 Review

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xXxJessicaxXx:

RJ 17:
"The return to a more classic form should earn Final Fantasy XIII-2 some goodwill from longtime fans..." Except the fact that the FF series has never been based upon direct-sequels - except 10-2 and we all know (or should know) what a godless abomination that game was - and as such the very premise of this game deviates from "classic FF form".

I'll cut my standard "The last good Final Fantasy was Tactics on the PS 1" rant and simply say that I don't like what Square-Enix has done with the series that I grew up with and who I considered at one time to be the gold standard of RPGs. The downfall started with 7...while still a solid and enjoyable game, I didn't have a nerdgasm over it like everyone else. 8 was decent but too easy and too emo, I mean Squall has the unique ability to get pissed off at his own thoughts and then burst out with something that leaves everyone standing there saying "What...the....fuck?" My favorite being the "I DON'T WANNA BE THOUGHT OF IN THE PAST TENSE!!!" scene before he runs out of the room leaving everyone utterly confused. 9 was too cartoony, 10 was playable but overall I liked Blitz-Ball better than the actual game and I consider any game a failure when the main boss is a god that you can't lose to unless you kill yourself twice. 10-2, as mentioned, was a horrid abomination that was a sin against man, god, and nature...it was a game that I rented and immediately returned 2 hours later.

Haven't played a FF since and I honestly don't intend to.

A week or so ago someone made a topic asking if people are getting pumped up for the re-release of FF10, and if not which FF would you like to be re-released. I suggested they should focus on coming out with one GOOD one before they go back and start re-making their mediocre/bad ones.

P.S. I wouldn't mind seeing a remake of any FF 1-6...so long as they don't take the George Lucas approach to remaking and just take a dump all over everything.

P.S.S. Well I guess I lied...said I wouldn't go on an anti-FF rant and that's kinda what this post turned out to be, my apologies. :P

I disagree, I think the downfall started with FFX because everything was voice acted so it just became a linear movie. Dragon Quest 9 on the DS has way more depth than any of the recent Final Fantasy games and I'm sure text based conversations are the reason.
I quite liked FF X-2 but it really wasn't a Final Fantasy game and I am female which I'm sure helped...

:P I agree with pretty much everything you said (except for my thinking that the downfall started a couple games earlier). Indeed one of my biggest problems with 10 was that the voice-acting made my ears bleed and I do think that it seems Square-Enix is much more interested in making a cinematic experience than a gaming experience. I never played XIII but from everything I've heard it might as well have just been one big CGI movie.

As for 10-2, I liked the concept of the job changes and what-not because that was a mechanic from FF5 which I genuinely enjoyed...but indeed, it was just too girly for me and that was one of the biggest problems I had with it. That and the fact that Yuna was a pop-singer with a gun. So much for being a soft, timid, feminine summoner/white mage...no now she's a strong independent woman who's ready to take on all comers with a frickin' desert eagle .50 cal pistol. I don't mind so much the drastic character shift turning her into a "strong independent woman"...it's more the whole "I traded in my magical summoner's staff for a microphone and a gun."

1337mokro:

Crono1973:

1337mokro:
I don't get what everyone is so pissed about. FFXIII was the single most revolutionary game in the entire YEAR! It dared to do what no other game did. Attempt to make the player as redundant as possible. In JRPG's the action and narrative was already driven by the characters without any input from the player, you know, like the famous yes or no question that can only be answered with Yes,

But FFXIII took it a step further. It completely automated combat. The only reason you would play a JRPG, cause hey your not here to listen to all the teenage angst, and Square Enix just told the player go stand in the corner whilst the AI fights for him.

Soon Square won't need "players" any more, you just load the disk into the console and enjoy a 80 hour movie.

This attitude is funny. Final Fantasy XIII requires the player to be really paying attention or you will get your ass kicked. It does not play itself.

This was part exaggeration and part truth.

Whilst you do need to pay attention, you can't actually put the controller down and get a beer and comeback when it's done. The combat is some of the most laid back, effortless, thoughtless button pressing in history.

In fact the player is PUNISHED for trying to direct combat himself. The higher combat rankings are MUCH easier to get by just automating the entire battle. I tried a few myself and always got lower scores compared to just auto-attacking.

I recently replayed Final Fantasy X and let me say that it is SLOW. It's not as slow as 9 but after you get used to XIII it's hard to go back to the slower paced games. With X you really could put the controller down and come back an hour later and still be in the same spot. With XII you could set it to auto battle and grind all night, while you slept. I never tried it but I have no doubt that you could if you set your gambits up properly.

So compared to the last 3 proper Final Fantasy games, XIII is the fastest paced and the most involved during combat. No other Final Fantasy game will hand you your ass faster than XIII. Sure, the combat had it's problems. There should have been a setting to slow things down for those who prefer not to use auto-battle. Being punished for not using auto-battle was a bad design move.

After playing the demo, I just don't think enough has changed since the first installment. It's still a beautiful looking game and it may have opened up a lot more than I expected (multiple time periods with side-quests was unexpected) but I'm still really wary about it. Maybe I'll grab it anyway if the price is right since I'm curious to see what monsters you can summon to help you (like my favorite, the Tonberry) but I sincerely doubt it when I still have yet to experience 12 or, Dirge of Cerberus.

Question: Is the game separated into chapters again? Followup, if the game does have chapters, does it also have level caps which can't be topped until Chapter X is completed as was the case in 13?

Susan Arendt:

Crono1973:
A couple of questions:

1) Do the quick time events ever get God of War annoying?

2) If you didn't want to use monsters, could you play without them or are they required to advance?

3) How difficult do the puzzles get?

1. No, I actually quite enjoyed them. They happen infrequently enough and are short enough to stay interesting.

2. Sure, you could skip them entirely. Might make your game a bit harder...though admittedly, I felt *really* overpowered once my little Medic cat was leveled up.

3. Not terribly. You might wish they didn't have so many levels, but they're not going to break your brain.

1337mokro:

Whilst you do need to pay attention, you can't actually put the controller down and get a beer and comeback when it's done. The combat is some of the most laid back, effortless, thoughtless button pressing in history.

In fact the player is PUNISHED for trying to direct combat himself. The higher combat rankings are MUCH easier to get by just automating the entire battle. I tried a few myself and always got lower scores compared to just auto-attacking.

Truth. There is very little incentive to not just spam the "auto" button. Switching up Paradigms is the most involved you'll typically be in combat, and you really only need to do that during boss fights.

Agreed the only thing I truly hated about 13 was the combat system that was as involving as using a microwave. Auto battle selected the best possible commands for you and the only thing you needed to do was mash A/X and change paradigms. By the way I heard you can turn off the auto battle option, is this true?

Shoggoth2588:
After playing the demo, I just don't think enough has changed since the first installment. It's still a beautiful looking game and it may have opened up a lot more than I expected (multiple time periods with side-quests was unexpected) but I'm still really wary about it. Maybe I'll grab it anyway if the price is right since I'm curious to see what monsters you can summon to help you (like my favorite, the Tonberry) but I sincerely doubt it when I still have yet to experience 12 or, Dirge of Cerberus.

Question: Is the game separated into chapters again? Followup, if the game does have chapters, does it also have level caps which can't be topped until Chapter X is completed as was the case in 13?

I read that there is no level cap anymore. The entire leveling system has changed. Of course you know that since you played the demo but for others who don't know.

Shoggoth2588:
After playing the demo, I just don't think enough has changed since the first installment. It's still a beautiful looking game and it may have opened up a lot more than I expected (multiple time periods with side-quests was unexpected) but I'm still really wary about it. Maybe I'll grab it anyway if the price is right since I'm curious to see what monsters you can summon to help you (like my favorite, the Tonberry) but I sincerely doubt it when I still have yet to experience 12 or, Dirge of Cerberus.

Question: Is the game separated into chapters again? Followup, if the game does have chapters, does it also have level caps which can't be topped until Chapter X is completed as was the case in 13?

There are chapters, yes, but they're tied to the story, nothing else. You might not even notice the title announcing that you're in "Chapter 4" as it goes by. It's an indication of progress, that's about it. There is a level cap of 99 for each job, but that's not restricted by anything in particular.

Now I have to ask did you name the Chocobo 'Daisy' or is the footage in the video from another source? Good review. I knew the story wasn't going to be amazing this time and it almost made me not want to get it but. then. epic. things. Long story short, I'm going to be getting it.

The funny thing is you know the demo that is out on XBL and PSN right now? Yea, I was playing the same thing at the end of september and the only change I noticed was there were side quests now, the characters no longer looked as ugly as they did then and you can name the creatures as well as level them up. Some progress was made at least.

Also the Doctor Who theme and the comment about "getting your ass kicked" as the action continues around you made me chuckle.

Dammit, I had to pause it as soon as Susan said "spoilers."
Well so far from what I've heard and read, XIII-2 really is better than XIII in terms of gameplay and openness.
I've also heard that Caius is a bad-ass villain. I'm looking forward to seeing that. Apparently the biggest downside (again from what I've heard) is the story.
I'm not too worried about that. I liked the story from XIII so I have decent hopes for this one. I'm about to go pick it up. Once I play through a bit, I hope to get back to this video review. I've spoiled too much of this game for myself already ><

I've seen the story and it is truly godawful; not even 8, 12, and 13 could match this and that's saying something. Last time Toriyama made a narrative based around time travel he made the 3rd Birthday which is probably the worst (and most disturbingly sexist) plot in Square Enix's HISTORY. Somebody get this man away from gaming, he's a hack and a pervert

Susan Arendt:
Final Fantasy XIII-2 Review

You won't love it, but hey, you probably won't hate it. That's something, right?

Read Full Article

video title says "Final Fantasy XII - 2" might want to fix that. lol

OT: I'll admit I don't own a 360 or PS3 on which to play any of the new final fantasy games (I'm stuck with the PSP, but dissidia is great ^.^) I've always liked the general direction Final Fantasy has taken though, mixing sci-fi with fantasy is always a challenge and extremely difficult to pull off. Lately because of my knowledge of how technology works, straight up fantasy classic (IE western fantasy RPGs) haven't been doing it for me because magic has become the "All purpose plot insulator" in most stories. This (and the fact that I love anime) is one of the reasons why JRPGs shine to me. Final Fantasy, despite people's complaints about it, is an exemplar of harmonizing story genres.

One of the 4 games I'm buying this friday, and one of the two I'm getting a collector's edition of.

I thoguht XIII was fine. It looked good, it's music was ok, it's characters were of arguable quality, and I liked the combat. But what really shows, and is even demonstrated in this video, is how people view the combat. They'll say it something along the lines of "Yeah, you just let the AI do all the gameplay, but if you really want to do something, you can paradigm shift." They're missing the point. In XIII the strategy comes from the paradigm shifting. That's the active choices you're making. They made the autobattle so that the fights flow well in real time. Paradigms are the equivalent of choosing what attack you're doing, only instead of a specific thing, it picks a category that the AI will most likely apply in the exact way you wanted. Sorry if that sounds like a rant.

I was one of the few who really enjoyed XIII (I like liniarity, sue me) so some of the changes that were announced really worried me (conversation trees, really?) but the reviews have given me a bit of hope. Just hope it isn't another XII where all the critics liked it, but I could get on with it.

The Great JT:
If there's any game the FF series should be more like in terms of gameplay, playability and in-game tech, it's actually Final Fantasy 9. The characters are likeable (I'm still scouring around for a Vivi plushie), the story is lighthearted and the gameplay is actually playable. Actually, maybe if you took FF9's combat and added the tag-ins from FF10...

Change IX's levelling to be less grindy and I'd agree with you. The fighting to learn skills from items really got old.

I'm not going to play the game because i just don't care.

I just wanted to give you props for the Doctor Who joke. My eyes are watering as i write this.

Daystar Clarion:
PSN had the FF series going cheap, so yesterday I bought FF7 and FF8.

That's all the JRPG goodness I'll need for a while.

If you haven't played it or considered buying it, I'd recommend picking up FF9. Easily the best out of the PS1 trilogy.

OT: Already pre-ordered this, and I'm getting it on the 5th. I liked XIII a lot, so I expect almost nothing but improvement, and that's definitely got me hyped.

Okysho:

Susan Arendt:
Final Fantasy XIII-2 Review

You won't love it, but hey, you probably won't hate it. That's something, right?

Read Full Article

video title says "Final Fantasy XII - 2" might want to fix that. lol

OT: I'll admit I don't own a 360 or PS3 on which to play any of the new final fantasy games (I'm stuck with the PSP, but dissidia is great ^.^) I've always liked the general direction Final Fantasy has taken though, mixing sci-fi with fantasy is always a challenge and extremely difficult to pull off. Lately because of my knowledge of how technology works, straight up fantasy classic (IE western fantasy RPGs) haven't been doing it for me because magic has become the "All purpose plot insulator" in most stories. This (and the fact that I love anime) is one of the reasons why JRPGs shine to me. Final Fantasy, despite people's complaints about it, is an exemplar of harmonizing story genres.

Roman numerals are hard! :p

Thanks for pointing that out, we'll fix it asap.

Nile McMorrow:
Now I have to ask did you name the Chocobo 'Daisy' or is the footage in the video from another source? Good review. I knew the story wasn't going to be amazing this time and it almost made me not want to get it but. then. epic. things. Long story short, I'm going to be getting it.

The funny thing is you know the demo that is out on XBL and PSN right now? Yea, I was playing the same thing at the end of september and the only change I noticed was there were side quests now, the characters no longer looked as ugly as they did then and you can name the creatures as well as level them up. Some progress was made at least.

Also the Doctor Who theme and the comment about "getting your ass kicked" as the action continues around you made me chuckle.

I did, in fact, name my Chocobo Daisy. You can choose a name for your monster from a pretty extensive list - another of my monsters is named Severus, for example, and my cat there is Fishstick.

I never liked FF13s combat, because it required you to spend too much time looking at freakin' menus. I don't want to look at menus, I want to play the game! The other option was to let it run on automatic, I don't want to let it neigh on play itself, I want to play the god damn game!

Yeah, super cheap or no sale thanks.

(I don't hate the game, but it just doesn't meet my preferences).

Susan Arendt:

I did, in fact, name my Chocobo Daisy. You can choose a name for your monster from a pretty extensive list - another of my monsters is named Severus, for example, and my cat there is Fishstick.

Interesting, so does the game give you a preset list of names from which to choose? Or are you allowed to freely key in (aka button smash) whatever name you want? Because I was pondering over the possibility of having the opportunity of naming an Imp 'Bahamut' and a Tonberry 'Sir Stabby' for the laughs.

Also a Cait Sith called Fishstick? Nice one.

I for one am disappointed Dresspheres did not make a return.
However I do find most of the characters from XIII fairly likable, if perhaps unoriginal. Thanks for the review regardless.

10-2 had a terrible story but was at least fun. Would like to know weather 13-2 had that fun factor or not.

Nile McMorrow:

Susan Arendt:

I did, in fact, name my Chocobo Daisy. You can choose a name for your monster from a pretty extensive list - another of my monsters is named Severus, for example, and my cat there is Fishstick.

Interesting, so does the game give you a preset list of names from which to choose? Or are you allowed to freely key in (aka button smash) whatever name you want? Because I was pondering over the possibility of having the opportunity of naming an Imp 'Bahamut' and a Tonberry 'Sir Stabby' for the laughs.

Also a Cait Sith called Fishstick? Nice one.

Preset list of names - no option to just key stuff in yourself. But the lists are quite wacky. There's the "recommended" list of names, the "wild" list, the "tame" list, and then "other." There's everything from silly to human names - I have a giant cactaur named Ned, for example.

Many people already said it, that doctor who joke made me crack up at the end.

Ooo.. a slight recc by Susan. Now I'm torn a bit.

I've been on the fence on this one from the start. Started out really negative (eww serah?!). Then more neutral (oh neat). Then I found out about the ending (YUCK. To be continued. seriously?..)

then susans comments about the story being 'ok' (a little positive).

Then finding out about the DLC-trap that is the casino. (more negative... i hate the feeling of paying -more- than $60 for the complete game...)

and then discovering that the 'to be continued' is prob a setup for even more dlc... or something along those lines.

Basically I hate the feeling of getting 'jipped', considering that the price tag is hefty enough as it is...it just isn't satisfying.

The basic mentality is why start something if you're not going all the way. Even more importantly, why start something 'of only medium quality' and go all the way. That essentially kills it.

I like to complete things; hate being left hanging... -especially- if cash is involved. Partial reason why I dislike MMORPGs

I'm very excited to try this out. Personally love the FF13 combat, a quick paradigm shift seems much more skillful and thoughtful than the ATB of yore. I just wish they really played to that, making it a bit more of a juggling act.

I'm going to go ahead and consider this the actual FF13, and the other one an OVA prequel.

Also, are the buffer and debuffer classes worth anything this time? Or did you not use that strategy?

I'll wait for it for it to die at the bottom of a bargain bin.

Then I'll think about it.

(seriously, Square Enix doesn't deserve my money at their current state)

Serah was one of the characters in XIII whom I could not stand at all. I would groan whenever she came on scene, and spent a good portion of time thinking nasty thoughts about her. Is her personality the same in XIII-2? Is she still a wilting flower?

1337mokro:

Whilst you do need to pay attention, you can't actually put the controller down and get a beer and comeback when it's done. The combat is some of the most laid back, effortless, thoughtless button pressing in history.

In fact the player is PUNISHED for trying to direct combat himself. The higher combat rankings are MUCH easier to get by just automating the entire battle. I tried a few myself and always got lower scores compared to just auto-attacking.

I also agree with this. While fighting in XIII never got completly dull it was a shame that the players job was reduced to managing player classes instead of planning attacks. I personally hope they attempt another battle style similar to FFX in the future as it involved a lot more strategy and forward planning.

Though I imagine Square-Enix assumes everyone wants fast paced action nowadays. To which they may be right, I dont know, I havn't done the market research. But still, I can always hope I guess.

littlewisp:
Serah was one of the characters in XIII whom I could not stand at all. I would groan whenever she came on scene, and spent a good portion of time thinking nasty thoughts about her. Is her personality the same in XIII-2? Is she still a wilting flower?

She starts off pretty useless, then becomes more empowered as the game progresses. I couldn't stand her at the beginning, but she winds up holding her own fairly well.

ManupBatman:
I'm very excited to try this out. Personally love the FF13 combat, a quick paradigm shift seems much more skillful and thoughtful than the ATB of yore. I just wish they really played to that, making it a bit more of a juggling act.

I'm going to go ahead and consider this the actual FF13, and the other one an OVA prequel.

Also, are the buffer and debuffer classes worth anything this time? Or did you not use that strategy?

I wound up using them pretty much exclusively in boss fights. Once I had maxed out Serah and Noel's combat levels (he's a Commando, she's Ravager), I just hit things in the face really hard. I had my little Medic kitty on hand to apply Band-Aids as needed. For bosses, it helps to throw in some buff/debuff for a while, but by and large, I didn't really need it.

TizzytheTormentor:
By the way I heard you can turn off the auto battle option, is this true?

Well, technically yes and no.

There's an option in the Options menu that allow you to place the cursor on "Abilities" (Or whatever it's called now, I think it's Abilities.) by default, so your cursor starts over that option instead of Auto. So, it's not technically gone, but it kind of is.

I liked the combat from ff13, it was the best part. What I didn't like is how the frist 20hrs were like being directed down a hallway and you lost some of that 'adventuring' vibe.

Overall ff13 was a really decent game, so :P

I would have bought ff13-2 now if my ps3 haddn't been stolen. Nice review Susan.

EDIT: I should say that the fact that Sazh only being in the game in post story DLC did really piss me off.

Really great review Susan! Also, the ending made me laugh.

I was kinda concerned and curious to know how those two characters would work out. I don't have much of an opinion about Noel so I'm pretty neutral towards him, but I didn't like Serah and I found her to be useless, so I was shocked to find she was going to be one of the main characters. I thought it was gonna be weird and awkward, but I'm so glad it's not the case.

Do they give you a limit on how many monsters you can have or is it you get every kind of monster that the game offers you? I was kinda wondering about that ever since they announced that the game will let you do this.

It's nice that they tried to correct the worst problems from XIII in this. Too bad that I'm not going to play it until I beat XIII. And seeing that I'd actually have to play XIII to do that, that's never going to happen.

Oh don't get me wrong, I gave it the good ol' college try, but about five hours into it, I had to simply had to put the controller and walk away. And nothing anyone can do will make me go back.

It's a damn shame, too. I've been playing Final Fantasy since I was 6 when I got my shiny new copy of the original FF for my NES. It's sort of sad that the series has fallen so low.

I tried the demo and the combat is as bad if not worse thanks to messing around with monster raising and QTEs, which means it'll be a chore to slog through.

And DLC. Hell no.

I really wanted to like this game. I was even considering buying it if it were cheap. But I'm not paying full price for rehashed terrible gameplay, then have to buy DLC later to get the complete game.

Fiz_The_Toaster:
Really great review Susan! Also, the ending made me laugh.

I was kinda concerned and curious to know how those two characters would work out. I don't have much of an opinion about Noel so I'm pretty neutral towards him, but I didn't like Serah and I found her to be useless, so I was shocked to find she was going to be one of the main characters. I thought it was gonna be weird and awkward, but I'm so glad it's not the case.

Do they give you a limit on how many monsters you can have or is it you get every kind of monster that the game offers you? I was kinda wondering about that ever since they announced that the game will let you do this.

You can't control which ones you catch and which you don't - it just happens (or not). I think there's something like 150 different monsters you can catch, and I have maybe....hmm....25 or so at the moment. Thing is, there isn't nearly enough difference between monsters - a Commando is a Commando is a Commando - so it really doesn't matter much which particular monster you use in that role.

That said, you will catch higher-level ones as you go, and some will have passive abilities like resistance to fire or whatnot. But overall, it's a pretty shallow system, especially if you're used to something like the demon fusion in Persona.

It's a fun diversion, but that's about it. But having a Medic on hand for every fight sure did come in handy.

only read the first paragraph and the bottom line and i completely agree
i played it now for a month

everyone hoped that it would be a "better FFXIII" but sadly it is not
it is completely different... it's as different from 13 as X-2 is from X or DA2 is from DAO
as a big fan of 13 i was disappointed
it turns down the story and cranks up the rpg elements
everyone who loves the sidequests and little trinkets known from some other FF titles will probably be happy because there is a good amount of content in this one
the level system of both characters and monsters has way more debth now and it's fun to experiment

it's by no means a bad game but it missed many chances to be great
but what do i know... after all i count FFXIII in my top 3 of all FF games^^

Susan Arendt:

Mahorfeus:
Everything I've heard and seen about the game suggests that the gameplay is better...

But everything I've read about the plot makes it sound at least three times as crappy and convoluted as XIII's.

Actually, it's not that bad. The times when it gets the most dense are the times it ties into XIII. It also tends to repeat ideas enough to let them to sink in.

That said, it's not the most compelling plot you're ever going to encounter. Serah and Noel are likeable enough that you want them to succeed, but you likely won't care about just about anyone else.

No mention how they went the X-2 route of "two permanent characters in party". There really is no fundamental difference between them, so the customization feels shallow.

Overall, the combat system is what sells a game, and when auto action is the most efficient way to fight, I'm out. I loved X-2's combat, and thought it was the peak of ATB turn based. This, while an improvement, is not.

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