Final Fantasy XIII-2 - Xbox 360

  • Publisher: Square Enix
  • Genre:RPG
  • Developer: Square Enix
  • Release Date:Jan 31, 2012
  • # of Players:1 player
  • ESRB:T - Teen (Drug Reference,Mild Language,Mild Suggestive Themes,Simulated Gambling,Violence)
  • Platforms:
Game Description:Cocoon -- a utopia in the sky. Its inhabitants believed their world a paradise. Under the Sanctum's rule, Cocoon had long known peace and prosperity. Mankind was blessed by its protectors, the benevolent fal'Cie, and believed that tranquil days would continue forever. Their tranquility was shattered with the discovery of one hostile fal'Cie. The moment that fal'Cie from Pulse - the feared and detested lowerworld - awoke from its slumber, peace on Cocoon came to an end. Fal'Cie curse humans, turning them into magic-wielding servants. They become l'Cie - chosen of the fal'Cie. Those branded with the mark of a l'Cie carry the burden of either fulfilling their Focus or facing a fate harsher than death itself. A prayer for redemption. A wish to protect the world. A promise to challenge destiny. After thirteen days of fates intertwined, the battle begins. Set several years after Lightning and the others saved Cocoon, some survivors have decided to start over by rebuilding on Gran Pulse. Lightning, however, is nowhere to be found and thought dead by many, but Serah believes otherwise. When her town is suddenly overrun by monsters, a mysterious man named Noel appears to save her.
G4TV Rating
4 / 5
  • Avg User Rating
    (41 Ratings)
    3.9 / 5
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Final Fantasy XIII-2 Preview -- Time Travel, Monster Paradigms, AND Power Bracelets?

Final Fantasy XIII-2 Preview -- Time Travel, Monster Paradigms, AND Power Bracelets?

By Leah Jackson - Posted Nov 17, 2011

Let’s face it, while I firmly believe that Final Fantasy XIII was a good game, it wasn’t great. But that’s where Final Fantasy XIII-2 seems to be coming in. I did happen to like 13, putting over 100 hours in to the role playing game, and with 13-2 it seems as though the developers have listened to a lot of the rather harsh criticism that the original received and that they’ve worked on fixing many of these issues with the sequel.

If you're not up to date on Final Fantasy 13-2's story, let me try and break down what's happening this time around. Three years after Vanille and Fang sacrificed themselves to save Cocoon in Final Fantasy 13, the main character from that game, Lightning, has gone missing. In 13-2, it's up to her sister, Serah, and Serah’s new friend Noel to find out what happened to Lightning. Along the way you'll run in to old friends like Snow and Hope, who will all play a part in finding out what happened to Lightning.

What we didn’t know last time we saw the game during E3 is that FF13-2 is a time travel game. You're going to have to delve through time and space if you want to find Lightning, and the Historia Crux will help you do just that. It's very simple: you just pick a time period a la Chrono Trigger and you're teleported there. Based on your choices, what collectibles you find and where you are in the story will all determine where you can teleport to and what will be happening once you get there. It’s actually a really fun way for the developers to avoid the linearity that plagued FF13.

Luckily for fans of the original game, one of the best parts of FF13, the paradigm shift combat mechanic, is back in 13-2, and it’s better than ever. All of the staple paradigm roles like the Commando, Ravager, etc., are still there, but now there are 150 monsters to add to the mix with the new Feral Link system. Basically when you kill a certain type of enemy in FF13-2 they drop a crystal that allows you to summon them in to certain paradigms.

Final Fantasy XIII-2

Each monster has their own specific paradigm role to add to the battle, and you can customize your paradigms to include certain monsters. The additions of monsters changes the combat system dramatically by adding so many options that it really opens the combat up for a lot more strategy overall. Plus, you can customize your monsters, level them up, give them hats (seriously), and even name them.

Aside from blinging out your monsters, you’ll also be able to buy accessories for your characters. These vary in stats, adding things like more strength, magic resist, etc., but you can only equip as many as your accessory capacity can hold. Each character has a different accessory capacity, and you can increase it via the Crystarium when you level up your characters. The stronger your character, the more bracelets they can wear. Makes sense, right?

Additionally, you can now change the leader of your party mid battle. This option wasn’t available in FF13. Instead you were forced to play with certain characters to advance the plot until the game opened up in Chapter 11. With the flexibility to change your party leader, you can now resurrect your allies and pull off more precise moves in battle, rather than only having the ability to choose a paradigm for each character and then have the AI choose which moves to use.

Final Fantasy XIII-2

You also have a lot more freedom when it comes to leveling your characters this time around. At the end of each battle, you’ll be awarded Crystogen points based on how well you did. You then have to divvy these points up in the Crystarium to spend on each character. So, rather than in Final Fantasy 13 where each character got their own amount of Crytogen points per fight, now you just get one lump sum of them to spend however you please. Meaning, if you acquire a ton of points and just want to level up one character and gimp the rest, that’s a possibility. Or, you can level them all up equally. There’s also no level cap this time around according to producer Yoshinori Kitase, and you’re free to jump between Paradigms as much as you want. The option is there to dramatically expand upon each character, and that’s exactly what I plan on doing.

Last time I saw Final Fantasy 13-2 I was definitely on the fence about the title. Now that I’ve learned about the new features, interacted with new characters like the fabulous Chocolina (a girl dressed as a Chocobo who sells you items), teleported through different time periods, played around with the combat and redesigned Crystarium systems, I honestly believe that this game has all the potential it needs to be what Final Fantasy 13 should have been originally.

Final Fantasy XIII-2

With Final Fantasy 13-2, Kitase-san and crew already had an engine to work with; they just felt that they needed to refine what already existed, and that’s exactly what this game does. It’s a beautiful, polished, innovative game that fans of the original will definitely enjoy. If you’re interested in more information on the story and the Mog Clock, check out my original preview as those all seem to have stayed the same since I last saw them.

Final Fantasy 13-2 is coming out on January 31 (my birthday!) for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.

Comments are Closed

  • jbtmaster

    like the epic and memorable music in FFVII

    Posted: December 17, 2011 5:39 PM
  • jbtmaster

    they better have better music this time around

    Posted: December 17, 2011 5:38 PM
  • PhoenyxAngel

    I had high hopes about XIII and learned my lesson (again) to not have such high hopes for the newer FF games. BUT, I have heard there are many great improvements since the last game.......I will give it a chance, but I still will try not to expect much from it. Hopefully it'll be a pleasant surprise.

    Posted: December 6, 2011 11:46 AM
  • jefferygaines

    final fantasy 13 2 serah will be power girl but who is this new guy in game i know about. why linghtning going in to the future for.

    Posted: November 23, 2011 1:00 PM
  • jefferygaines

    i will want play this game.

    Posted: November 22, 2011 7:09 AM
  • SCM13

    GAH!!! I CAN'T WAIT! never should've watched that video.

    Posted: November 21, 2011 11:28 PM
  • luckey7

    I honestly dont get why people say that FF13-2 is going to be an awful game. Like I said before i love the game (ff13) but it might also be because 13 was the only ff that I actually got to play. Im a firm believer that this game is going to be a success. And people need to stop saying that 13 was to linear! all the final fantasys have been linear! The reviews have already said that the creators have done changes in the game. People kept complaining on how the game was to easy well now u can change the dificulty as so i have heard and u get to choose if you want to use the points u get after each battle on one person or split them. I like stradegy and when I heard u can have monsters i was excited! having your third "person" as a monster will be awesome over 150 monsters u can get. all I know is I cant wait till this game is out but good thing im pre ordering it!!!! :)

    Posted: November 21, 2011 3:57 PM
  • Atari_Prime

    Wow...Squaresoft has completely lost its way. Dear Squaresoft, Final Fantasy should look a little more like Elderscrolls and a lot less like Twilight.

    Posted: November 21, 2011 12:09 PM
  • Bebop2113

    FInal Fantasy X, it dont get no better.hah

    Posted: November 21, 2011 10:50 AM
  • Solsagan

    Final Fantasy XIII was the first FF I ever played, maybe that is why I enjoyed it so much, or the fact I never really was into RPG's or open-world games before playing it.
    You either hate it or love it, and I loved it.
    A lot of people complained over the characters, the plot and how linear it was.
    I disliked the characters at first. Hope was a whiny, pain in the arse. Snow never stopped saying "Serah...", Lightning was a bitch and Vanille kept orgasming every 5 seconds.
    But after a few hours, they all grew on me. To me, it felt realistic though over the top (as Square Enix is known for doing).
    The plot and story were confusing yet I was intrigued. By the end of the game it felt like I was along the same journey, that I felt their progression. The saddest part was the ending and the fact it was all over, I hadn't cried over a video game for years.
    Linearity... Why would those on the run, who could die any second, stop to shop, to converse with others. I understood its flaws, perhaps that's another reason why it didn't bother me as much.
    Put 400 hours into the game, across 5 playthroughs, two of them 100% complete.

    I wish others couldn't experience what I did, maybe then they'd enjoy it as I did.
    Now, playing it, it doesn't feel as fun. I'm used to RPG's like Mass Effect and the Elder Scrolls.

    XIII-2 though seems to be improving on all XIII's flaws, and the character-driven story is a big positive.
    Hopefully this'll restore the faith in Final Fantasy "fans" that didn't enjoy Square Enix's latest games.
    If not, at least they might enjoy it.

    Posted: November 20, 2011 8:05 PM
  • hoof_hearted4

    i liked FF13. i only started with FF12, so im not exactly the biggest FF fan out there, but i loved FF13. i didnt care for its linear state but i didnt hate it either. i did find myself however just wanting to finish the game by the end. it got so hard to get Crystogen points by the end, that i was just grinding to lvl each character up for 1 role (for the trophies) and yea. deff dragged out for me, but i liked the game overall. i read all the info things about the story and characters and stuff. listened to all the dialogue and cut scenes. the only thing i wish they had from FF12 was a bestiary. there was no cool little facts about the enemies to read. i liked that from FF12, and i would like to see that in FF13-2 as well.

    Posted: November 18, 2011 8:49 AM
  • luckey7

    Honestly I loved the game and ya I admit there were some scenes that were a little deep about not being able to push forward or having hope or crying. But I still liked it. But in ff13 at least you can do stradegies and have fun. Im happy that they are making ff13-2. Dont bad-mouth a game that isnt even out yet. If you dont like the game then dont look it up simple as that!

    Posted: November 18, 2011 7:33 AM
  • RPG-fan

    Honestly, I rather Square Enix release FXIII Versus than FFXIII-2, as I found FFXIII to be lukewarm and didn't like any of the characters in the game. My whole love for JRPGs has been waning in the last few years, as the last JRPG I really enjoyed was Valkyria Chronicles. I hope they will release the sequels worldwide and on the PS3 than stay as a portable game.

    Posted: November 17, 2011 5:16 PM
  • bdemell

    I get how much the combat and world mechanics have improved over the previous game...........but to be honest I didn't have that much of a problem with it anyways. The problem with FF13 was the story, the characters, and the overall script. At least we can say FF13-2 could not possibly getting any more melancholy, depressing, stereotypical, and dialog disasterous than the last one. I just felt absolutely no joy in playing through that story and hated every single character. Somebody was always whining, complaining, yelling, blaming, stammering, crying, etc, etc, etc that most people didn't even make it to chapter 11 by the time they returned the game in utter disgust.
    Nothing I've seen in these trailers makes me think this has changed. So while I'm happy they fixed some of the mechanical issues the fact is I play an RPG for the story and Final Fantasy has continued to be a franchise that panders to the emo gamer (and I use that term with great pain because I think its wholefully overused in our society these days) rather than to a true RPG fan. You used to be able to compare the stories of a game like Skyrim to a Final Fantasy title. Now games like Skyrim have left the Final Fantasy series and what we consider the traditional JRPG formula behind.

    Posted: November 17, 2011 11:05 AM