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Game Review: Final Fantasy XIII-2



When Final Fantasy XIII was released, the fans' reactions were very mixed. The reception was generally negative, however, and I see it as the Japanese version of Dragon Age II, except, you know, FFXIII came out first. Anyway, for that reason, it is a bit confusing as to why Square Enix would make a sequel to such a hated game. Despite the general dislike, I actually enjoyed XIII and picked myself up a copy of XIII-2. Needless to say, they have been listening to complaints, and XIII-2 delievers on most levels.

Gameplay: Read my XIII review for most of the gameplay, because it remains largely unchanged. However, there are a few changes. First of all, instead of six party members, there are only two. The third slot in your party is filled by a monster that you can catch. There are many different monsters, each representing a specific role in the paradigm deck. Another change is that the game is very open now. There is hardly any linearity as you travel between different time periods. (More on that later.) There is one last change that I loved. In XIII, no matter how you leveled up, your ending characters would always look the same. Hope would have 18000 HP and Fang would have 2000 strength no matter how you built them. In XIII-2, this is not the case. You can go for a strength build, magic build, or HP build. This makes the game feel much more in your control.

Art Style: I was actually kind of disappointed in the art style. Does this game still hold some of the best visuals on the market? Yes, it does. However, they don't look all that special compared to XIII's graphics. The CGI cutscenes have also been removed so the Xbox only has to use one disk.

Story: Right after the events of XIII, Lightning goes missing. Snow leaves Serah to look for her, and Serah recieves visions in her sleep. It turns out that Lightning is fighting a man named Caius in a plane called Valhalla, and she needs Serah's help. She sends a boy named Noel from the future to bring Serah to her. However, he doesn't know how to get back there. Something called a time gate appears in Serah's home town, and Noel and Serah travel through it to an area called the Historia Crux, allowing them to travel to different time periods. I won't go any further, but the important thing is that this story gets terrible after this.

Lasting Appeal: The story is significantly shorter than the story in XIII. However, opposed to 64 side quests, there are now 120. They vary from fetch quests to killing monsters, and even changing the past around. You can also train your monsters, eventually leading to them surpassing Serah and Noel in combat.

Gameplay: 8.75/10 Square Enix really listened to people's complaints, and as a result, the combat is near perfect. In XIII, there was, for the most part, a single strategy that could defeat a boss. In XIII-2, however, there are several ways to go about things. Your success also depends on your build, because although the game is easy, it can become a nightmare with a bad build. (Hint: Strength/Magic>HP)

Art Style: 8.5/10 While this game is still one of the best looking games out there, it doesn't hold a candle to its predecessor. The enviornments are very varied, however, and they all look excellent. I especially like the snowy enviornments.

Story: 5/10 This is a story about time travel. While this may seem like a cool concept, your interest will quickly vanish when the characters throw around the word "paradox" like it means nothing. Also, there is a saying in the game: "If you change the future, you change the past." That has to be one of the dumbest things I have ever heard.

Lasting Appeal: 8/10 Remember when I said this game has 120 side quests? Well, half of those are fetch quests, which are boring. However, the epic boss fights in the other side quests make up for it, especially the boss battles in the Archylte Steppe: ??? AF. Training your monsters is also a blast, but remember: A jack of all trades is a master of none.

Overall: 8/10 I feel like Square Enix did a great job refining the XIII experience. If you didn't like XIII, you probably won't like this game either. If you liked XIII, however, you'll love this. I just ask that in XIII-3, they bring back the good graphics, good story, and party members. I liked the monsters, but SE should try to find a middle ground, because I like my party members with personality. If they do this, they could end up with one of the best RPGs of all time.


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It's good to hear they made the world more open. FF13 was a joke in that regard. I haven't play 13-2, and I highly doubt I will (because of 13), but hopefully they're moving in the right direction.

Then again, I read somewhere that 13 was one of the best selling of all time. It would be interesting to see sales figures since you'd think a bad FF game would hurt the next iteration as much/if not more than the one that's bad.

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I know I absolutely hated FFXIII besides a few small things (such as graphics and only three of the characters I liked which were Lightning, Snow, & Fang) and I also decided to rent XIII-2 when it came out. Well, I enjoyed it so much I just had to buy the CE.

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Then again, I read somewhere that 13 was one of the best selling of all time. It would be interesting to see sales figures since you'd think a bad FF game would hurt the next iteration as much/if not more than the one that's bad.

I always look at it like Pixar. Even when they released Cars 2, people will still flock to see Brave.

Great review Squishy. Had to re read your other one to understand bits of it, but I'll just say you have a knack for this.

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I started with X, then went to 12. Loved both of them, but X was one of my favorite games of all time (probably because I was young at the time, but that game seemed to be a big leap forward for me). Following that I bought and played Crisis Core on the PSP, which got me interested in the FF7 universe. Bought FF7 for $10 on PSN, played it, and despite how poorly the graphics have aged I still loved it. The hype for FF7 is real.

Then 13 came along, and I doubt I'll be buying another FF game unless they get unreal USER reviews.

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Then 13 came along, and I doubt I'll be buying another FF game unless they get unreal USER reviews.

Well, Trag, Square Enix is working on a FFX HD remaster, so there's a game you could look forward to.

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I just didnt like the fact haste lasted for only a few turns, as it were.

Kinda made me sad, i loved haste because it made battle go faster, and they took that from me!


I might give this new one a shot, it sounds interesting, more interesting than 13 was.

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I just didnt like the fact haste lasted for only a few turns, as it were.

Kinda made me sad, i loved haste because it made battle go faster, and they took that from me!

Bad news for you. The synergists can't learn Haste anymore. The only way to get it is through a Preemptive Strike or the Haste Shoes. In fact, most offensive buffs were removed, I'm assuming so that you would be pushed more toward using a saboteur.

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