Review of Final Fantasy XIII-2

Final Fantasy XIII-2, which has been brought out into the open at 15th December 2011 in Japan, is a direct sequel to Final Fantasy XIII and stands for a part of a broader series named Fabula Nova Crystallis. FF XIII-2, which is one of the best J-RPG games, has been created by Square-Enix studio together with tri-Ace company. Authors have not created a separate story, unlike in case of previous  editions. Therefore, one is able to continue those plots which a gamer has started at the previous parts of the game.

The fable is located in three years past the events presented in FF XIII. Previous part main heroine’s sister, Serah Farron, sets off for time and space in order to prevent an apocalypse and to find her lost sister. Noel Kreiss, who is a newcomer from the future, helps Serah. Moreover, he deeply hopes for change of fate as well as rescue for the human race. All of those elements are settled in a set of scenic sceneries of Final Fantasy universe, which are done with a significant flourish.

FF XIII-2 in relation to technology, corrects any mistakes of its predecessors. The graphics, which again has been based on Crystal Tools engine, is far more pleasant for the viewer, whereas game’s main menu is noticeably clearer. However, the soundtrack is to a great extend disappointing. Most of the songs is humdrum and may be hardly audible. Only a slight part of the soundtrack is being imprinted on gamer’s mind. Some songs, such as ‚Serah’s Theme ~Memories~’, ‚Noel’s Theme Last Journey~’ or ‚Caius’s Theme’ may be engraved in one’s memory for a long time.

 

As for the plot, game’s most important improvement is an option of adjusting the adventure. The dialogues are not only compounded to a greater degree, but as a consequence of  becoming non-linear, they give a choice of few possible endings. A gamer can even change the weather. An amount of locations as well as of characters, whom one can interact with, has been increased.

Gaming area and combat system has been also improved. The enemies do not wander around the map freely anymore, but they tend to appear out of nowhere and are characterized by hit-and-run attacks. An active team consists of three characters – two of which are protagonists and one is a creature, which can be chosen from a wide range of specifically skilled beasts. A brand new element of game’s tactics is the Battle Clock, The aim of using the Clock is to reward a gamer, according to the speed of making decisions. In contrast to a vibrant combat system the choice of weapons is rather poor. Particular models are attributed to single characters. Together with characters’ development only the statistics and colors of weapons change.

FF XIII-2’s greatest advantage is without a doubt an engaging and vivid combat system. An immense fertility of mini-games is delightful, although, the joy of the gameplay is often spoiled by plot’s inexactness. Occasionally, it seems that not only main plot missions are against any logical principles but also main heroes wander around various locations without a distinct plan. Those gaps are filled in partially by a new kind of exploration experience and a tremendous voice acting of a professional cast. Their job sensationally reflects dramatic tension and unique atmosphere of the game. However, a gamer may be still wanting in something.The more so, along with the developement of following games there are a lot of demands to be met by Square-Enix studio, especially in USA and Europe, where the J-RPG standards rise month by month.

This tendency is being reflected by FF XIII-2’s reception in different parts of the world. In Japan the game scored the highest mark in all of the possible categories, whereas western consumers appeared fairly more strict and marked the game merely with 8-9 points.

In my opinion FF XIII-2 deserves 7 points, due to a lack of clear motivation in main heroes’ actions, which stands as a striking mistake of the plot. Moreover, it deprives a gamer of a satisfaction of gameplay’s finish. However, the game is full of so many advantages, that it surely deserves attention of fans of the series as well as of those of the gamers, who have not had any opportunity to play Final Fantasy games yet. Purchasing Final Fantasy XIII-2 is surely a good investment and is not a waste of money since it may provide a good deal of gameplay hours to the gamer.

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