Review by Tidus581
"9/10, way better than XIII. (spoiler free)"
Right when you pick this game up, you realize it's had a lot of work put into it. They did re-use a lot of stuff from XIII but I think it turned out well because this allowed them to spend time perfecting other things. Their are gripes about the story which I tend to differ from, I like the option of being able to choose what you say, it makes for some really interesting/hilarious cut scenes, the likes of which we haven't seen since Final Fantasy VII. Of course this doesn't detract from the seriousness of the storyline as you can simply press the correct options after the CS is over.
Frame rate issues are a pet peeve of mine (which makes me wonder why I own a PS3) and in comparison to most games, XIII-2's frame rate is just fine but at the same time, it's definitely not on par with the series. On the other hand, it only occurs in very select spots, and is unnoticeable during battle. This could have been a lot better, it's in no way game breaking and it doesn't happen too often, but as I hold Final Fantasy to a high standard of visual excellence, this came as a surprise.
I differ from a lot of reviewers on this, the story is very enjoyable, the list of options they present you with are interesting and it reminds me of PS1 Final Fantasies where comedy had a place in the grand scheme of things. The best way to put it is that it's delightfully bad at times and very easy to follow. Instead of making you drudge through datalog's a countless number of times in order to get a hold on what's going on, at the start of each level, they give you a run down of the story for that area as well as the story so far each time you load a saved game!
I can't go back to earlier Final Fantasies after playing this (or XIII for that matter but especially this), it's the most fluid gameplay in an RPG to date, battles are fast and they keep you interested. The idea for Paradigm Decks comes from Final Fantasy XI and the macros system, with this you can make a line up of paradigms and switch to them for different occasions. no more having to spend an hour setting the right paradigms for a boss battle just to win and be back to doing random encounters with a completely out of place paradigm set, now you can have one for boss battles, one for random encounters and another for say.. Fal'cie. Incorporating something for those who enjoy the hand-eye coordination aspect of game was a good move as well.
XIII-2 rounds off to a 9, it addressed a lot of the issues I had with the first and it's a solid Final Fantasy.
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 02/01/12
Game Release: Final Fantasy XIII-2 (US, 01/31/12)
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