on June 14, 2014
Bought this game after playing through Final Fantasy XIII. I found it to be much better than the previous game. The story is a little convoluted, but at least the game is more open to exploration. Whether you like it or not will hinge on your opinion of the other Final Fantasy games. If this is your first RPG, be aware that this game is middle of the road; not great, but definitely not the worst.
on August 4, 2013
First of all, I must say: FF13 (not FF13-2) sucks, sucks a lot, in every single aspect, it's a below average RPG except for its graphic. And this gave a serious bias in most of the gamers for its sequel: FF13-2! This "most of the gamers" clearly includes me as I bought the game long time ago, but never had the desire to start playing it until recently.
After putting a somewhat 60+ hours into the game, I actually found this sequel to be great! I have really enjoyed my time playing this title than most of the RPG out there.
Here is how I usually rank RPG:
1. Story - If the story is super good, everything else can be forgiven... because Story is the soul of a RPG, and if story is not important to you, you should go play FPS or Hack & Slash game...
4. Last of all - Graphic
Let's talk about the bad thing of FF13-2 first: Gameplay. It continues using the paradigm system inherited from FF13, however this time you only have 2 playable characters: Noel & Serah. You can (and you should) add a third party member by capturing a monster in the field, basically a Pokemon concept, except instead of cute pokemon you use monsters like Behemoth...
While Paradigm shift + Pokemon concepts are both not bad ideas, the most horrible thing is that you can just press one single button (called "Auto-Battle") to 5-stars all the battles in the game. There is so little interactions & so little brain juices needed that you will fall asleep quite frequently at least for the first 20 hours of the game. Well, what can I say, Square Enix is famous/infamous of making extremely boring game system, and I think the only game system I enjoyed in the whole FF series is FF7-Crisis Core (PSP), everything else just sucks...
Luckily, this is the only bad thing about FF13-2 (that's why I rated 3 stars for "Fun"), so what are the good stuffs?
1. Story - FF13-2 is all about travelling through different timeline in attempt to correct the timeline distortions known as "Paradox". Time travelling is always a very complicated topic that can easily mess up the story logic if not well thought through, so I am really amazed by how well the script is written. Everything makes sense (unlike FF13) and the flow of the story is actually very intense and keep me interesting!! I really love the story of FF13-2 so far, especially the part about Proto-Fal'Cie (I won't spoil anything...)! Just LOVE IT so I forgive the extremely boring gameplay.
2. Gameplay - While it's boring as hell in battle, it actually has quite some shining spots!
First of all, you can pretty much catch every monster you see, and each of them will have a unique role (commando / ravager / medic / etc...) + unique skill set + a finishing move called "Feral Link". Even if you feel lazy to spend time to catch some cool monster, the game has designed that you will for sure to get 11 (or 12) unique monsters, including a Twilight Odin (yes yes, the ODIN that Lightning uses! And its finishing move is indeed Zantetsugan 斩铁剑!), and they are actually top-tier monsters in their role.
Secondly, this time the Crystarium system is no longer linear like FF13 => you can actually choose which stat to enhance by placing certain roles in either a small node or a big node. For example, a Commando role will give boost to Strength, Ravager will give boost to Magic, a small node gives 30% of stat boost, while a big node gives 65% of stat boost. In other words, you can create a Strength based Serah by placing Commando / Sentinel role in all the big crystal nodes.
Third, the side quests in FF13-2 are not meaningless or pointless. Each quest will shed a light on the explanation & side effect of a time distortion "Paradox", so by completing more & more quest, you will slowly get how this time travelling thing can destroy the world. Furthermore, you also get "Fragments" upon finishing a quest => which can unlock special ability such as anti-gravity jump (so fun!) and encounter rare monsters, or boost selling prices.
Last of all, the detailed actions for NPC: whenever you use Moogle to reveal a treasure box that's being sucked into a paradox, NPCs will actually gather and be amazed by Moogle's action "wow, so it was here all along? What a paradox!", and they can die if you just stand still during enemy encounters way too many times (I had a ground full of dead bodies once...)
3. Music & Graphic - I won't say anything about graphic, FF series are famous of their graphic detail. Music has improved from FF13 (though same style), with few BGM that I really like during some of the cut-scenes.
In the end, this is a GREAT RPG game which demands you to suffer the boringness for the first 20 hours, and it will become much more fun as the variety of things you can do increases. I will recommend this game to any RPG lover, and I hope Square Enix can continue making games with this quality of story telling with better battle mechanics.