Review by KeredsBlaze

"A combo of this and the original would have been great"

Final Fantasy 13-2

Gameplay: 8.5/10
The gameplay in 13-2 is much the same as it is in FF13, but much improved. Gone is the element of when your leader dies and it is game over. Now if that happens, you simply change your leader. FF13-2 also adds the new concept of adding monsters to your team. This is a cool little addition that brings a new element of customization to combat since you capture monsters after beating them, and you can choose which ones fight alongside you and which paradigms you want them in. The addition of cinematic sequences is interesting, not really great or bad. Weapons are easy to obtain, and the map is back to open world exploration once again. This makes it much easier to go from place to place and to pursue sidequests. Some downfalls of the gameplay would be the puzzles which seem pointless to me, if you enjoy puzzles you may like them, but they only seemed to slow the game down to me. Another negative is the fact that you only get to play with Noel and Serah as your main characters in battle. Final Fantasy is a series that usually gives you a rich variety of characters to choose from for your squad, but FF13-2 really restricts to choosing just a monster to join your group. Combat is much improved, and linearity of the game has also been fixed, both bonuses for 13-2, but the system of live action choices didn't make much sense, as everything ends up the same in the end, and you don't really get to choose per say because there is still a right choice and a wrong choice.

Story: 8/10
The story in 13-2 is much easier to follow than that of FF13 in my opinion. It has a clear purpose and that is changing the timeline to find Lightning and to fix the anomalities in the world. Unfortunately the cast of the game kills the mood for the story with their poor character development with the constant phrase of "it must be a paradox" or "I wonder if this has something to do with the paradox." It just gets old after a while. Furthermore the story only realy focuses on Serah and Noel and doesn't really blend in the characters from the previous game unless it is for a brief cameo besides Hope.

Length: 7.5/10
Very short for a final fantasy title. You may be able to milk 40 hrs out of this game with post story play, but the main story shouldn't take you much more than 20-25 hrs to finish. There is some random things to do after finishing the story, but not enough to keep you wanting to come back for more.

Visuals: 9/10
Some of the best visuals to date. Can't complain in this department, as usual Square does an amazing job with its visuals and environments. My only complaint is that the character models for citizens are all similar and kind of plain.

Characters: 8.5/10
Character in FF13-2 are good but not great. The only character who really drives this into the ground is Mog who is the most annoying moogle of all time. It sounds like a high pitched little child who complains all of the time and says "kupo" after every sentence. Noel is actually a better character than I would have thought and his backstory is pretty interesting. Although he is obsessing over a 15 year old girl throughout the whole game (Yeul) and that is kind of weird. Serah is just kind of there, not great, but not terrible either. Caius makes for a good villain, but his voice doesn't quite fit his character in my opinion.

Music/Sound: 8.5/10
A lot of people have complaints in the music area for this game, but I actually really enjoyed it for the most part. Only a couple tracks really bugged me and that was the paradox chocobo theme.
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Pros
--Improved gameplay from it's predecessor with much more fluid combat
--Less linear than Final Fantasy 13
--Great visuals
--Caius is a good villain
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Cons
--Puzzles are pointless, as are live action choices
--Paradox theme is overdone
--Way too short for a final fantasy title
--Mog is a terrible character
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Overall this game is probably what you would expect it to be, maybe even slightly better. It did some things well, but a few experimental aspects didn't work. Get it if you are a big final fantasy fan, but otherwise, way to buy it cheap or rent it. A combination of the elements of this game blended with Final Fantasy 13, would have greatly improved the original game. My number 27 favorite game of all time.
**8/10**


Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 04/09/12

Game Release: Final Fantasy XIII-2 (US, 01/31/12)


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