By Sam Coles:
What Sam is reviewing another J-RPG? Stop the presses! Yes I am reviewing another J-RPG a continuation of the last one I reviewed because I enjoy the genre these days as I’ve matured into an older gamer. Final Fantasy XIII-2 is a great sequel with a good story although it can get confusing in places because of the time travel aspect, but overall a great experience which I’ll get into.
Final Fantasy XIII-2 starts with Lightning in battle and she has become a godly figure with her Nordic armour and fittingly the place she is in is Valhalla. The space time continuum has been torn a sunder so she sends Noel who is from the future to find her sister Sera to bring her back to Valhalla. I have to say once again the voice acting and performances in this saga is fantastic I love Lightning as she is a total bad arse who doesn’t take any prisoners and doesn’t let anyone push her around. Sera’s character development is great as well because she starts off being too dependent on her sister and she then grows into a strong woman who can look after herself.
The gameplay is more or less the same but it has been tweaked to be more streamlined compared to the original title and I must say combat flows better in this game compared the original title. They cut out a lot of the animations that really annoyed me in Final Fantasy XIII especially when you change paradigm shifts it doesn’t bother with the over long animation it just changes the style. How you engage in battles has changed because the enemies aren’t wandering around the area like before, but instead it’s like the old random encounter system but you have a chance to strike and get a pre-empted strike which will also give a speed advantage when attacking. I prefer the battle system in this game compared to the last game because it doesn’t out stay its welcome.
The crystarium makes a return for the levelling up system, but again it has been streamlined to make it easier to level up each paradigm so you don’t have to wait a certain amount of time to go over level 3 you can level up as much as you want if you have the XP points.
Graphically it’s on par with the original game with added polish with superb animations and beautiful vistas to explore. The character models still look great with unique looks to them and quirks. The soundtrack is beautiful once again I have to listen to the music that plays at the main menu before I even contemplate starting the game it’s that good.
The only problem I have with this game is that the frame rate can dip in a few places, one part where I noticed it the most was during episode two where it was raining and the frame took a hit because of the intense weather effects. It didn’t happen too often so it didn’t sour my experience.
Final Fantasy XIII-2 is a great experience and I would highly recommend picking it up as it’s super cheap these days on Xbox 360 and PS3. Thank you Kim for getting me into these games they’ve opened up a new path in gaming for me I appreciate it.