This game is one of the most addictive I've ever played. More addictive and engaging than its predecessor in fact. All my dissatisfaction, unhappiness, and frustration with the first FFXIII were gone. I am more than happy and content with FFXIII-2. And I've already finished the game a 100%! Well, I didn't get all achievements (only six left). But I've unlocked all gates, collected all fragments, and got all endings including the secret one. As with many RPG I've ever laid my hands on, I had over-leveled myself. Again! My level is 99 all classes for both Serah and Noel). Even Raspatil and Yomi and every hidden bosses got nothing on me. Caius on Paradox Scope is also a piece of cake. Before on low level my life is threatened in Archlyte Steppe where hideous monsters roam, now it's like a walk in the park.
Heh. This shows how very good this game is. There is never a moment of boredom in the game; jumping through times, fighting monsters, collecting monsters, race my chocobos, do quizzes, solving puzzles... Everything is so damn fun. Now, if only I can get my hand on the dlc contents, then I can go and have a go at the coliseum. But seeing I'm just a pathetic owner of a pitiful modded Xbox console I expect I won't have the privilege. Gahh! The frustration!
|The only thing I'm complaining is the lack of screen time for these two badasses~|
But I have to be contented with what I have. I really have little complain against this game. I like the game mechanics and the paradigm shift was somehow better here. There were also a lot of minigames like solving anomalies, and playing at Serendipity. The puzzle anomaly made me batshit insane! In a good way. I'm a sucker for puzzles so I couldn't have enough of it. I got stuck on one of the clock puzzle for more than an hour once, but the appeal to this game just made me want to try again and again without any help from online walkthrough. It was rewarding in terms of personal accomplishment. Also it was fun jumping from one era to another, see the change of the environment, the atmosphere and the landscape were very beautiful to watch. Before on FFXIII we got side missions that were repetitive in nature, here it was varied and interesting.
The characters are ok; they're likeable and charming, and thank goodness there's less Vanille here. Serah, Noel, and Mog were not quite memorable, but they are good characters. I see that a lot of people are disappointed that Lightning was not a main playable character despite her appearance on many promotional trailers and posters. Heck, even she is on the main cover of the game! I am also disappointed with this fact. But I don't really think it is fair to compare Serah and Lightning when both of them are so different. Throughout the game Serah grew up and became a heroine of her own, and she got many noble qualities to her characters like being selfless and brave. Yeul is ok, but I thought she was a bit boring. Maybe it's because she wasn't given that much of a personality other than being the driving force of Caius's villainy. Speaking of Caius, yes, he was a very appealing character. Even though he was the mastermind behind all the destruction in the story, his presence oozed despair and sadness. He's the kind of villains you don't always see. There were characters from previous games like Hope, and Snow, but they're mainly in supporting role now. So, in terms of characters, this game did good.
|Sephiroth's lost son, you cannot deny it|
The story was fairly easy to understand as well as intriguing. Before this game, I've never even cared about the time paradox theory. This game however piqued my interest and soon had me reading every material I can about it. I love how the story was driven by one man's torment of immortality rather than the usual "certain evil devouring the land" stuff. Caius didn't seek to rule or destroy the world because he was "eeeviilll". It was way more complicated than that and this made it one of FFXIII-2's attractive qualities. It's a sad, sad thing that Caius didn't get more screen time. Besides, I think the story will verge on epic if it involved mainly Caius and Lightning fighting for Valhalla. But I'm not complaining against Serah and Noel though.
I'm not going to complain about the music however. How good or bad the music was I think it depended more on individual taste. There were chocobo rock music which was really out of place, and the over-sentimental song near the end which I don't quite liked. The other scores are pretty entertaining, but they don't really stay in my head for long. I forget them as soon as I turn off the game.
FFXIII-2 also did a good thing for me apart from being an enjoyable game. Now that the stress of being unemployed had finally begun to kick in, this game kept my mind from dwelling on the unnecessary. I really need something to occupy my mind and the abundance things to do on this game give me more than enough entertainment.