Is Final Fantasy XIII-2 best in the series thus far?

FFX3-2-TQ650

The last time I played a Final Fantasy game that I fully enjoyed and was looking forward to playing it after work or school was FFX for the PlayStation 2. I was excited when Square Enix announced that for the first time in the series, there would be a direct sequel (FFX-2) and when the game came out, I felt greatly disappointed. You must have guessed my initial reaction when I heard that there will be a direct sequel to FFXIII, I thought that it will be another mediocre game in the franchise. All that changed when I got to play it last summer and it felt refreshing, now that I have the full game and I’m currently putting the icing on the cake, everything feels, looks, and sounds far better than FFXIII. From the music to the adorable moogle, it’s above expectations. I am trying really hard to find any flaws within the game and I have only been able to find one or maybe two, the rest are just some fantastic improvements that make the experience enjoyable. These are some of the many things that make me gush over XIII-2

  • Deeper character development
  • The music is the best I have heard so far
  • Revamped game-play
  • I actually care about the storyline
  • Cinematic Sequences
  • CG Cut Scenes are still top notch
  • In some aspects Square Enix has taken a page from Western Developers
  • Moogle Madness

As I write this, I already feel like ditching work and going straight home to get more time with this gem, I am soaking as much as I can before writing my official and more detailed TQcast review later on this week. Is anyone else loving the game as much as I am?

Final Fantasy XIII-2 is avilable for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360

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Denoch

I love games, women and the night life

Latest posts by Denoch (see all)

  • Daniel (PSN: swe_nino)

    I agree. This game was great. Have played through both the Japanese and European version till Platinum, and still hungry for more :)
    Welcome back Square Enix

  • Room

    HA HA HA HA HA HA story is what we call around here “crap” this is a good game with modern day rpgs but as a FF standard goes no this game falls far below that line. 

  • Mark

    LOL……what the hell are you smoking

    It’s the second worst FF game going, I mean for starters any game would be able to feel like imrpovment from FF13 because it was that bad.

    God have you actually played on FF6-10

    Seriously FF13 fanboys are runing FF these days

    • Murata86

      It doesn’t take a fanboy to realize that 13 honestly wasn’t that bad.  The issue is that I feel many gamers do not want to look stupid, so it’s ‘socially-correct’ to highly dislike anything past 10.  13 was not a terrible game at all as it still told it’s story well, had great characters (and development), the music is great (I still listen to the OST daily/weekly), and the battle system is refreshing.  Honestly, it was only lacking as an RPG, not as a game!   I honestly cannot take any final fantasy fan that calls 13 terrible without any real thought seriously.  I agree that 13 is far from the best (though, I also will state that there *is* no best) and that it could have had much stronger RPG elements.  Thirteen is very linear, however, every game truly is.  The way to make it *feel* less linear is to mask it with ‘exploration’ that isn’t really much.  In fact, 13 did have exploration that felt like it’s predecessors, the issue was that it was only until the end of the game and it was still in a limited area.  13-2 has the appearance that it has more exploration, but it’s just as limited as far as I can see.  Time travel is terribly cliche` that it’s hard to even take the original review seriously as well.  There wasn’t much improvement at all (and I honestly hate that there are only two characters in the story that “matter”).  13-2 is not even on par with 13’s level of story-telling.  The game is ‘OKAY’.

      • http://www.facebook.com/Niro642006 Aaron M. Pion

        Having played all the final fantasy games recently, I can agree with what you have to say about 13, and only can hope that they go back to the open worlds they had pre ff10. I know alot of ff fanboys will rant and rave about how terrible anything past 10 sucks, but after having beaten the games just because ffix got me hooked on the series, yes you read that right I LOVE final fantasy ix, I think that ff x sucked because it took what was good about the previous games and destroyed it. I can’t say anything about 11 or 14 due to them being online games that i’d have to pay monthly to play, but I prefer 12 and 13 over 10. 10’s storyline was way too convoluted, not to mention the idiotic thing they called its sequel. 12’s storyline was great, it linked back to the tactic games, and its sidequests were both enjoyable and felt like they fit into the story. 13’s storyline was great as well, and although i missed out on a couple of trophies due to letting a treasure sphere fall through the glass, i enjoyed it. The only problem i had was that it was too linear, and you couldn’t really do all the sidequests until AFTER you beat the game.

        • Bbja

          Me and all the other FF fans agree that your credibility sucks.  You actually believe 9 was a good game lmfao!  And you like all the games that we all hate thus it is you that is just a retard.

        • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_J32FSI7T4UG3K3ZXECECFTARVI Onew

          10’s story was too convoluted? Huh…..? You have to be an idiot not to understand X’s story. If anything 13 was too convoluted, most people who played the game didn’t even understand the story until the very end, oh I don’t know maybe because most of the story was sealed into stupid datalogs? Ridiculous.

          • DJ

            Lol FFX having a nonconvoluted good story, let me refresh
            your memory…

            OK, where to start.  Tidus was supposedly from a time 1000 years ago, when actually he was just a dream made up by the fayth trying to remember Shuyin (the real blitzball player from 1000 years ago) but not remembering him correctly hence the different look and different name.  Then the undead Auron visits Tidus in his dream world to bring him to the real world to stop his father (who is a perfect dream copy of the real Jecht from 1000 years ago).  Doesn’t that mean Tidus is not his real son -if there was a dream Shuyin he would have been.

            So they decide to go on a journey to play underwater rugby, and then eventually decide to go from point A on a map, to point B, on the other side of the map -to kill Tidus’ not-real-father who has become a giant whale-like grim reaper.  And along the journey, who could forget the memorable scene when Tidus throws a fit after finding out about Yuna’s imminent death.  And you wonder why none of his friends told him about this?  It’s because his friends think he’s too much of a crybaby to handle it, which of course he is.  He’s too stupid to understand the concept of the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few!  Anyways, how would he not overhear about something like that anyways?  I guess people care more about their underwater sports to pay attention to anything that fuckin’ matters.  Moving on, later we find out Tidus was right all along (without knowing it)… fuck that!  Ok, so appearently the government/religion has had the wrong idea to deal with Moby Dick. So what’s their new plan, to attack it head on… and get swallowed by it.

            Oh, I forgot to mention the deranged-deer-looking mofo who’s been following you around, he shows up in there too.  He wants to save the world by destroying it… hmm… sounds kinda counterintuitive.  I think he’s probably jealous he couldn’t steal Tidus’ woman, not that Tidus is old enough for one anyways.  But going on, they fight the being that is responsible for the revival of Sin,  WHICH IS A GIANT TICK!!  How anticlimactic is that? You can’t even die on the fuckin’ thing!  And afterwords when the world is freed of the false practice of the final summoning, the fayth wake up and Tidus disappears.  I mean he’s not real right?  He was a dream existing in reality.  I almost cried, I thought he’d never go away.  But no!  In the end of Final Fantasy X-2 the fayth recreate the fake-Shuyin-dream-clone (Tidus) for Yuna… after she defeats the real Shuyin that was an undead for over 1000 years!  WHAT the FUCK!

            And don’t even get me started on X-2. Let’s recycle the plot of FFX where there’s the Youth League (wtf is this -a damn soccer team) versus New Yevon, and where once again our ‘heros’ are torn between the government and its inhabitants.  And wow do they ever fix it.  Man wouldn’t it be awesome if all wars were ended by crappy Jpop music.

            This story is so damn hard to comprehend it almost rivals that of Kingdom Hearts.  And I don’t even know what the fuck goes on with those games.

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_J32FSI7T4UG3K3ZXECECFTARVI Onew

            You making blatant fun of the story is not going to change the fact that only an IDIOT would not comprehend FFX’s story. FFX is a game that emphasizes the effect that dogmatic religion can have on a society, and makes interesting parallels about our own world, and how people view religion as a way to give them hope. 

            The point I’m trying to make is that in FFX the story was presented in a coordinated, and orderly matter, where as it was anything but that in XIII. Most of the story was sealed into datalogs, and because of this most people didn’t even understand the story fully. Pulse? Falcie? L’cie? All of these names thrown at you from the beginning and you’re left to figure it all out on your own. 

      • Ptdebate

        XIII has a great story at its heart. I felt that XIII-2, however, conveyed its (admittedly inferior) story in a more efficient and continually engaging fashion. In XIII, I felt bombarded with too many nebulous concepts and terms right at the beginning. There’s a lot that they did right with XIII, including great concept art/world design and great scenario writing. I honestly think Motomu Toriyama just needed a little more guidance and input from Kazushige Nojima, Masato Kato, and Hironobu Sakaguchi on his first major independent directorial project. The game could have used more classic FF set pieces and gameplay variety. These are both problems that I felt were well addressed in FFXIII-2

  • Anonymous

    dff

  • JimJohnny

    I hope this is a joke… FFXIII and FFXIII-2 are terrible… The last good game that Square Enix made was FFX, that will be the next they “make” with the remaster being released. Then after that, unless they make a new story and new characters over the FFX engine, level up system, and gameplay mechanics  with better graphics, their games are probably going to be just as bad as all the ones that followed FFX, excluding the online games, that I can’t speak of experience with, because I know nothing about them whether they are good or not.

    • SimpsonsGoldenAge

      Something has happened since FFX has been released……people think that a Final Fantasy game’s quality is decided by it’s battle system when that has always really been secondary to the game’s enjoyment. Immersion, characters, story, world, adventure, expansiveness – this is what makes a great FF game.

      • Ptdebate

        The mechanics of a game are essential–games are foremost games, and not films, novels, or plays. That does not mean that they are unimportant or artless!
        I have played several games which absolutely excelled in one or more areas–they told a compelling story or had great music or presented a unique and fascinating world–but were mechanically unoriginal, insipid, or BORING. There must be a marriage of different parts in a game to produce a unified and harmonious whole. Therefore, I must disagree and state instead that a good “battle system” is just as essential to a good FF game as all the other elements you mentioned. 

    • Guest

       Nice opinion, here’s mine.
      I couldn’t play a single FF game until XIII BECAUSE of the way battles and the like were done. Bored me all to hell, who cares about story when you can’t even enjoy the actual playing of the game?

      XIII and XIII-2 were a nice change to the system that let me play the series I’ve wanted to for years, and I LOVE the characters and storyline.

  • http://profiles.google.com/bob.in.use Bob Smith

    Not everything in FFIII-2 is new and you’ll see a lot of familiar locales, tunes, and designs from FF XIII peppered in-between all-new content. The recycling of some assets can be easily forgiven, however, when what’s being reused was beautiful and well-made to begin with. Also returning is FF XIII’s superb, fast-paced combat engine and the accompanying Crystarium leveling system, albeit with some significant overhauls. When I watched a friend and co-worker play this the other day and I don’t understand all the negativity toward this game. While watching I did notice that XIII-2 succeeds in the story department, especially in the later segments of the game. XIII-2 has an excellent cast of characters, with one of the best in recent memory. Depends on where you can buy it, the price tag ranges from $50 to $75, and it’s kind of hard to afford something like that right now. The good news though is that it’s available to rent online soon by using Blockbuster@Home from DISH. Renting games through Blockbuster has saved me a ton of money over the last year renting games instead of buying them.

  • Luismpalmares

    You know this game is not the best RPG i played
    It was THE best game i have ever played!!!!!!!
    i loved the músic the characters the story the gameplay AND. MOG
    Kupo…kupokupokupo

  • noko

    I hope 13vs will at least live up to its hype.

  • SimpsonsGoldenAge

    UM no it is quite clearly not the best in the franchise, the writer of this article sounds like an idiot who gets overly impressed by flashy visuals.

  • Anon

    Thirteen 2 took what was a wonderful game and made it horrifyingly convoluted with a really idiotic time travel gimmick. No. It’s not a good game.

  • The_elike

    XIII and 2 were good games in their own right. Their only major fault was being tied to a dead horse like Final Fantasy

  • The_elike

    The worst part about Final Fantasy is the rabid fanboys/girls. Final Fantasy can no longer live up to the hype because it’s been put on a ginormous pedestal and thrown higher then it ever actually was. If they’d actually played the Final Fantasies BEFORE 7 they’d know  it’s a game about STORY and CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT with a CHANGING battle system. Also if any of you fanboys are done bitching about lack of turn based combat on a console I have a dial up modem you probably want too.  : )

  • Bbja

    Square enix never made FFX it was all squaresoft.  Square-Enix tagged the Greatest Hits version of FFX though.  Do not get confused.  And KH2 was a great game you cannot deny that.  Other than that every FF that Enix has touched SUCKED.

    • Pelletier Daniel

      Squaresoft is an earlier name before they changed it to Square Enix, you idiot.

  • Mog

    I find the commentators lack of Mog-mania… Disturbing, kupo

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/HHW7G7HO2FJWR5EXPC6HAWG5GA Shadow Wolf

    No “socially incorrectness” for me thanks, because I own FF13. I was weary of getting it but it got many good ratings. Overall I enjoyed the story, but the gameplay way brutally annoying. You got to level up on the games terms and if you wanted to get any further u had to branch out into another tree, which usually took up all of your points so you couldn’t level up what ur chr needed to level. Truthfully dude, you had to be smoking something to say you enjoyed the way that game worked.

    Here is what they need to do, stop screwing around trying to make the gameplay overly complicated. Put it back to either the graphs or levels and use what 7 and 8 did to compensate. “What did they do?”, you ask, well they made it so that little tweaks to ur chr and figuring out combos with gear and such made your chr either immune to an attack or able to cast a spell if u died. Now THAT was genius stuff! Even FF10 was built around levels, as you had to earn points to put into the graph by battling. You see, the simple level up and grind process may be tedious, but it is a hell of a lot more rewarding than looking at a crystal grid.

    FF13 also took from me one of the reasons why I loved Final Fantasy so much, they TOOK FREE ROAM!!! What did we get? We got Gran Pulse, that was it! What bullcrap is that for a game that half of the fun in the game was finding little secret areas and flying to and from towns talking to ppl and getting to hear about what is going on.

    I also own FF7, 8, 9, 10, 10-2, 12, and as I said 13. Once Final Fantasy hit 10-2 it got kinda out of hand with the little tweaks, and that is where they messed up. So, I’m not biased at all, I own all of those and I think I have played 7-10 (not X-2) at least around 4 to 5 times a piece. I actually managed to play  X-2 a few times but only because it offered up a final good ending in response to the FF10 original ending that irritated many. FF12 and 13…. well I am sad for them. If Square Enix wants to make a good RPG all they need to do is go back to the basics and keep a system that allows for gear tweaking. And yea…. you just got schooled.

  • Ptdebate

    FFXIII-2 is one of the best games to come from Square-Enix (not to be confused with Squaresoft!). There’s a lot to like here, so give it a chance, even if like me you didn’t care for XIII.

  • Ptdebate

    By the way–although I don’t want to start a flamewar–I think FFVI is probably the most overrated JRPG in the West. In my opinion, everything besides the music is uninteresting and not very original. FFIV is a much better game. Not to mention FFI, FFIII, FFXIII-2, and many others. The music of FFVI, however, is so good as to warrant a play-through on its own. I play the game frequently just so I can listen to it. I honestly think its what really keeps most people coming back to it who say they love the game.

  • Guest

    I loved FFXIII and FFXIII-2, but I love XIII more. I’ve got like over 100hrs on it, and a new game cause I got stuck on a mission, but still, I love the story, the cinematic, the characters, it’s all so amazing. Absolute favourite FF :) I am hoping for a FFXIII-3 to tie up loose ends. :)

  • Naynaytheninja

    Okay doods… I love all final fantasy games… they are all awesome to me in some way shape or form.  Don’t bitch about combat system because they’re only improving on the defects for effs sake

  • CupCakeOfDoom

    I find it funny how people complain about how the battle system is in final fantasy 13 and 13-2 sucks. The reason why i find it funny is that its almost exactly the same as how the other games battle systems are because you have to wait to attack, you can choose what you want them to do its the same as the other games. I think final fantasy 13 was a great game yeah I know they lost their touch on the old fashioned fantasy game but I like how they advanced the technology as time goes by because I think it would be weird if they had the characters still stuck in an old fashioned environment/ world don’t you. And another think a lot of people disliked final fantasy 12 because of its battle system and i don’t see why because its more convenient and it takes less time to get through the story because you don’b have to wait for the battle to start u can just charge right in and fight. And Bbja Square enix and Square soft are the same company  just a name change u dork haha.  

  • dario90

    You are crazy?!?!?!

    if you want a final fantasy diferent to FF7, FF8, FF9 or FF10, you need to play another game, because you don’t like FF definitely. Just accept it please and stop talking about FF without proper knowledge.

  • Delusions Demise

    Beautiful game, what square is missing is they need to work on getting the gamers more emotionally attached to the characters and too many random battles in a certain location. :) i loveed it though

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