Community Review: Final Fantasy XIII-2

Confession. I've never finished a Final Fantasy game. The closest I came was Final Fantasy X. I played XII for a couple of hours and got bored. I didn't even bother with Final Fantasy XIII, so I haven't exactly been chomping at the bit to check out Final Fantasy XIII-2. But that doesn't mean you guys aren't interested!

So, I'm afraid that the first proper community review of the year will have little to no input from yours truly. I'm completely relying on you guys to let me know what you think of Square-Enix's latest effort.

Does it make up for the disappointment of Final Fantasy XIII? One person told me it felt like an apology for that game, which is interesting.

Let us know in the comments below.


Comments

    I haven't played it (and don't really intend to) but I had a chat to my housemate the day it came out. He'd bought it and then pretty much locked himself away to play.

    The short version is that it feels like they looked at a list of all of the complaints about FFXIII and just fixed them one by one. Instead of making a better FFXIII, they just made the game that it should have been in the first place.

    Not necessarily a bad thing though.

    Also, when I asked him how deep into the game he was, he thought he had played about three hours. Turns out it was closer to six.

    That's generally a good sign. Unless you actually have something that needs to be done in meatspace :p

    Imo compared to FF 13 it's a gem of a game. Compared to most other FF games it's still a little average. Very strange they removed summons though.

      Though admittedly the summons from 13 were a complete joke, useless and an affront to the FF series.

    I bought the first FFXIII for $19. Will wait for this one to reach similar price. :)

      Where's the fun in that? FF should be a divisive series where you either insta-buy or refuse to play on principal.

      There should be no middle ground! No waiting for a price drop! No showing interest but not wanting to commit right away!

        Principle*

        Although refusing to play Final Fantasy on the local school principal is a position that I can understand.

          Why did you correct it, I assumed you were making a pun..

          He "refused to play on principal" ie the investment to be able to play it was too much, so he waited for it to come down on price.

          Disappointed :(

    Hey Mark give FFIX a shot. The storyline and characters pulled me through that game more than the battle system. Out of all the FF's I've played FFIX is one I keep going back to as (for me) a perfect Final fantasy.

      I love FFIX. Didn't play it until a few years ago but I instantly fell in love (Vivi!). It stopped experimenting and just went back to a classic JRPG formula where each character had its own class. I prefer this rather than the way JRPGs do it now a days where each character is a 'jack-of-all trades' and you pick what you want them to specialise in.

      Oh I love IX so much. So glad there's others that like it too. Most FF fans I talk to scold me for liking IX the most T_T

      Hironobu Sakaguchi agrees with you. It's his favourite FF game, saying that "it's closest to his ideal view of what Final Fantasy should be."

      and frankly, I agree too. It's also the best, in my opinion at least.

    My first post in Community Review and it's a doozy

    Like pretty much any other FF fan I was disappointed by FFXIII. It wasn’t a horrible game by all means but it was nothing compared to previous FFs (in my opinion). I’m playing through FFXIII-2 atm and I’m having a lot of fun with it. The towns, general gameplay, everything just feels a whole lot better. Reviewers have said that the game is better than XIII in every aspect except for the story and I’ll have to agree.

    I really like how they did the way to start battles, exploration and towns. There's no enemies roaming on the field but every once in a while a random battle will 'trigger'. Enemies will appear and you can choose to attack them (thus initiating the battle) or run away. Some aggressive monsters will attack you first but they're rare. I like this system better than 'random battle every 2 steps' and 'no random battles but enemies chase you on the field and are hard to avoid'.

    Exploration is handled better because there's no longer one big huge linear corridor. The maps I've played aren't all that big but there's just enough exploration here and there that I enjoy it better. I like how you can find specific side quest related items before you even have the side quest (like in Xenoblade). Something about towns just feel right. I like how every NPC you talk to is voiced. Although voices start to repeat and a lot of NPCs look exactly the same it isn't much of a problem. I rarely go around talking to everyone in an RPG but I find myself doing it in XIII-2 even though I don't have to. And monster collecting is pretty fun too. Wasn't impressed by what I saw but it's actually not all that bad :P

    Minor complaints about the way they handled levelling up, the music and the story. The Crystarium takes the shape of the character's weapon or the monster's appearance and is just on one level (unlike the different tiers/levels that the original had). There's no longer one Crystarium for each role there's just one in general and you choose to spend CP on whichever class you want. Once you reach the end of this fairly small Crystarium you can choose a variety of bonuses ranging from a upgrade to a class boost, a new role, extra ATB and an accessory upgrade. All these are good but it makes me feel like I'm missing out or something and I find it hard to choose which bonus to pick. Crystariums for the monsters is handled the same way except instead of spending CP you use items to level them up. I wasn't a fan of this new system but it's grown on me. It's just a little bit different and having to choose what to get can be a little overwhelming.

    While not entirely terrible, I do prefer the music from XIII better. There's too much singing and voice work in the tracks of XIII-2 which can distract from the cutscenes and gameplay. There’s lots of real upbeat tunes which I can’t say I’m fond of. I prefer the simple melodic tracks from previous Final Fantasies that I can hum or whistle too. Something that’s easy on the ears and memorable. I can still recall songs from XIII yet even though I’m currently playing through XIII-2 nothing is memorable or stands out. The story is ok so far but still a bit confusing with all the time traveling XIII-2 introduced. I’ve heard that there’s a disappointing ending and that the story in general was worse than XIII’s so far I have to agree.

    Despite what scores it’s getting I do feel like this game is better than XIII in nearly every way. This is the XIII we wanted but never got. If you weren’t a fan of the battle system in XIII (which what makes up the majority of the gameplay in XIII-2) then this might not be the game for you. For those who have played and enjoyed XIII but never got around to finishing it, there’s a story recap in XIII-2. I guess playing XIII-2 first without beating XIII could lead to some spoilers for the first but you’ll survive :P

    Long comment is long.

    i actually found XIII better than XIII-2 in my based on first impressions.
    although like mentioned, you can choose to 'try' and run away from battles, but more often than not you can't avoid it.

    The first few hours were boring to me, and only picked up a bit later ( 5 hours in). I guess it's the nature of the game: in XIII it was faster paced because you got a world to save, in XIII-2 it's much much slower, cos of all the time travel thingy.

    the soundtrack is uninspiring, compared to XIII. There's just no track that really grabs you (p/s: am playing the english version) and that heavy metal track when you fight bosses is just annoying.

    Btw, what is Caius doing with the Soul Edge?

      You think the story's bad now? Wait til you have to figure out how to get rid of a storm, and the answer is a weather machine next to the quest giver. And there's also a villager who explains how it works. And yet no-one thought to use it -___-

        Pulling levers in this universe is a heros job.

        I do believe the weather was not the storm they were referring to, having just completed that mission. They were referring to something outside of game mechanics which was caused by the Faeryl with the Fragment in it's belly eating all the Flans they would hunt. probably some kind of error that they called the storm the problem there.

    Skip.

      Oops, my mistake. I meant trade in XIII for this. (Based on Greenius' recommendation.)

        : D

        just do it at EB or something so you can always return it if you don't like it. Remember what I said is just my opinion so it might not be the same for you

    I hate to be "that guy", but it's champing at the bit... Not chomping. Thank you, that is all ;)

    Played it, up to the end boss. In almost every single way aside from sidequests/non-linear stuff, I preferred XIII immensely. Lightning is in the game for like 12 minutes (9 at the start!) and every other character makes like a brief 30 second cameo, aside for Hope and Snow who have their own chapters.

    Everything is full of giant time travel plot holes, the graphics aren't as good and there aren't any awesome setpiece battles (aside from one on an airship, but come on, been there done that). And the music is blehh, it's not bad but there's one bit where the combat music from XIII plays, and I nearly cried when it went back to normal.

    I preferred XIII. I didn't hate XIII, and the only thing I would change is spread out the hunting quests throughout the story (e.g. put some in sunleth etc) and add the ability to go back to areas.

    Gameplay has improved drastically over XIII but my major issue with XIII-2 in general (and the same could be said of 12 and 13) is that there doesn't seem to be as much meat on the story as in previous final fantasy games, the story, while interesting in its own right, just doesn't seem to last the game. The way the game is set out works fine, with the jumping in and out of timezones but they don't really mesh that well together and much of the game seems so completely optional that the balance of post game to main game seems horribly skewed.

    Battles are fast paced and fun with only a couple of "those bosses" that 13 pulled way too much of, you know the ones where you are never in any danger of dying but they simply had too much health and sapped a lot of the enjoyment out of the game.

    Graphics are slick though (at least on the PS3 version) there was some frame stuttering with anything that did reflections or fancy lighting.

    Sound was forgettable, I miss Uematsu and his work on the series. That isn't to say the tracks were "bad" but they simply didn't stick with you and the odd death metal boss battle music I could have done without. I did however like a few of the vocal pieces that existed I just can't remember any of them. I did feel that the sound effects/music/voice over volume levels could have been tweaked somewhat, there was inconsistency and not having an option to adjust them separately had me with the TV remote close by most times.

    Despite the issues I did come across, I thoroughly enjoyed the game. It is much more enjoyable to play than 13, has decent replayability and pulling a cliffhanger ending was devious and genius both. Simply playing the game, you can notice the assorted fan service choices they made in development, there is a fair share of self deprecating humour thrown around (the quiz terminal that asks you what ATB stands for then gives one of the options as Absolutely Torturous Battle) and after playing it through, I don't have buyers remorse. There are better entries into the series but this is still a decent addition.

    If you havn't played it be prepared to hear the word 'Paradox' alot, overall I very much enjoyed the game now i'm up to doing the completionists things, one of them being farming potent essenses for my tri-chocobo army.

    Never finished a FF. :'(

    I thought you were awesome Mark, now your just the best at Kotaku.

      Kid loves his Final Fantasy games... and is disappointed in Mark.

    I'm working my way though chapter 3 currently, cursed work getting in my gaming way.

    My first impressions were FFXIII was much better.
    FFXIII-2 does have its decent parts, its just so hard to get into when I cant watch most of a cinematic because I'm looking for trigger events, and when I can watch it the frame rate appears to be at <10 FPS. Another thing that kills it for me is the 'Live Triggers' events where they ask 'what do you think'.

    I'll persevere and finish it, but so far all XIII-2 is doing is making me want to play XIII again. Fingers crossed it gets better.

    Great game, much improved over XIII gameplay wise. Music sucks. However the pacing is nicer than previous titles (PS One games) but the story still isn't as good as the older FF's.

    In my opinion FFX was the best - story wise, gameplay wise, music, the lot. I just wish they hadn't gone and done X-2 the way they did.. don't get me wrong, X-2 could have been awesome if it was anything else. Like you could have play Hitler out to gas the flans and it would still have been better.

      Yeah the music is generally horrible. With that nasty rock type music for boss battles some of the worst in game music I have heard.

    EB gave me a ps3 dlc code instead of 360 one by mistake :/ I'm gonna go back there and swap it, unless someone here wants to swap a 360 dlc code for ps3 one.

    Great game btw.

    It's pretty good. I reckon last story will be better though

    The should do a remake of FFX it has to be my all time fav!!! Bring it out on PS3!!!

    FFXIII was the best FF IMHO, and I will get FFXIII-2 upon affording capacity. I expect it to be just as good.

    Loving the game and gameplay has improved quite a bit over XIII. Hating the soundtrack though. Really regretting the preorder of the LE OST now ><.

    Going through Chapter 3 at the moment, and honestly it has been a blast. My thought at the moment is that it's an amazing game that had been given more though, and will savour every moment until the end.

    I'm probably one of the VERY few people that didn't think Final Fantasy 13 was as bad as people say it was. For a final fantasy game, it was horrible. But take away that branding and i think it would have been much more kindly looked it. However, 13-2 is a game that i have been GREATLY enjoying.

    They have fixed many of the flaws, the story, while lacking major depth, is more than good enough to keep you wanting to play. The battle system is great with the inclusion of capturing monsters. And I like the fact the game isnt as linear as the last one.

    I've played up until the final boss fight now (i bought the game Thursday) and have probably invested about 30 hours into it. I did a lot of grinding and looking or monsters and such (spent about 3 hours trying to catch a Metalicactuar!) All without the strategy guide. So its a little shorter than a standard FF game. But still good.

    People should stop comparing FF games to each other. The bottom line is IS THIS A GOOD GAME?

    The answer is a very definite Yes. It may not be the best game i have played in a while, But after Dark Souls, it'll be a long time before im completely engrossed in a game again.

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