I recently read in a blog that a lot of Final Fantasy fans haven’t been very happy since Final Fantasy X was released as the last Squaresoft RPG or perhaps the first Kingdom Hearts game. I started thinking about this, they also said that Final Fantasy was turning into a niche series as they were in the beginning. Not until Final Fantasy VII did the series become mainstream. They went on to state that critics have been tough on all SquareEnix Final Fantasy games since 2003.
I agree with the above, however I played this game XIII-2 for the PC and I liked it. Quite a bit. I started watching live streams and would chat with random gamer’s that play Final Fantasy and we all seem to agree they did something right in this game. I think I’ll write this piece on how the game experience was and why I liked the game.
GamePlay: The gameplay is interesting, there only two main characters with a revolving third character that is usually a monster that is more of an augment for most of the game. But this works… its fun to capture and level up the monsters in different ways, also after you really get into it, the mix and breed type of system it uses makes for some fun end game activities. The fighting is usually fast paced and fun to paradigm shift effectively. The world’s are pretty big and exploring is fun but can be tedious too at times. Its kind of got a tomb raider feel by how hard some of the items you need to find are.
Story: The story is strange for a sequel, it sort of has nothing to do with the first game. It’s a sequel that seems to have taken a harsh criticism to XIII’s harsh critics and tried to please everyone as best they can. They did succeed in making an interesting story and implementing it well, but the departure from XIII and most of the character’s stories from XIII is missed. I do like the way they did keep characters in this game and expanded on them. If you liked the characters from XIII you will be glad to see them in this game with more backstories added to them.
GameEngine: I played on PC and this was way better than PS3. The frame rate was better and this helped the overall experience greatly. It’s still not quite a groundbreaking engine but the meat is in the cut scenes. They are still some of the best of any RPG’s out there, or any game really. The boss’ battles are usually pretty epic and you can tell the attention to detail on them is pretty meticulous. Its a good engine but not great. If it was better running on PS3, it would have gone a long way to getting better reviews.
Characters: There is a new character introduced for the game, Noel Kreiss. He is a good character with a good character design. Its not as great at Lightning or Snow. But he has his own personality and it works for his character. Serah has a cool character design as well, she looks meek but she can be strong at whatever you want her to be. If there is a knock on the game as an RPG its that there really aren’t defined character roles, you can shift between the Paradigm’s as you need to to perform attack, magic or augments. The fast pace and the action makes switching roles if needed fun. Its way different than spending time all day as an mmo game’s stock party like a RMP (Rogue, Mage, Priest) party for a whole day.
Music: The tracks included are good and fit the environments. I will say I think the OST on the whole is good but I don’t really care for some of the tracks in it. During the game I found my MP3 player getting turned up more often than not. It is really tough to live in Nobuo Uematsu’s shadow. Its not very fair, because comparison’s are bound to happen and if the game wasn’t a Final Fantasy title it might get even better reviews.
Overall, I recommend this game for any RPG gamer and for any action RPG gamer. As a game, it’s actually really good despite being a sequel to a harshly criticized game.Check it out if you get it for cheap and your PC can run it well. You will find the end game content to be plentiful and monster raising to be challenging but fun, as well as some hidden characters and monster’s to unlock. I quickly had a 100 hours in this game and found the addictive nature of this game is hard to explain but does that matter, a game either rocks or it doesn’t.. and this one hits hard when it wants to!