Final Fantasy XIII-2 Impressions [GO]
February 21st, 2012 by Dan

Final Fantasy XIII-2

The enjoyable paradigm system returns for the sequel. (Photo courtesy 289chjl)

Man, oh man…If I asked you which Final Fantasy game you were most hoping for a sequel to, would you have said XIII? No, of course not. I wrote quite the lengthy post about how Squeenix should have allowed the complete destruction of mankind in the ending of XIII and I also gave them far more credit than most did as to the story and themes of the game. Since they didn’t kill everyone, they had the chance to make a sequel and…I’m not annoyed by it. I like the way that the story is handling time travel, even if it seems disconnected and/or sometimes characters say contradicting things in back-to-back lines.

Like it or not, I’m invested in the silly world they built for FF XIII and I like seeing how it changes from present to future. The overarching story makes zero sense, mind you, mostly because the plot coupons make no sense. We need artefacts (their spelling, not mine. I know it’s spelled wrong) to travel through time, but the artefacts have no real connection to anything. They’re just hunks of crystal. Shouldn’t they be anachronistic items that make sense instead of anachronistic hunks of rock?

Anyway, my impressions are below. I need to get those out before I get too crazy about the lore of XIII-2. Typing that sentence made my head hurt…

Show, don’t tell! You have the most advanced cinematics ever seen with photo-realistic faces and you have to tell us that Lightning is confused or wondering “What’s he up to?” SHOW! Anyone who actually talked during battle as much as she does would be insanely annoying.

– Was anyone saying, “You know what FF XIII was missing? Quick Time Events!” I’m pretty sure they were saying that the interface is insanely cluttered already and adding in button prompts on top of the in-engine visuals will make them hard to see. People are prescient like that. Seriously though, we didn’t need these. They don’t add anything to the game.

– I still like the paradigm system, but I wish I didn’t have to start from scratch. Luckily it gets to speed relatively quickly.

– I like the “Here’s what you missed on FF XIII-2” segments when you load a game. Helps catch you up when your story is ridiculous/makes no sense.

– Noel looks too much like Sora for me to take him seriously

Wisdom Form

Exhibit A (Photo courtesy Pendragon94)

Noel Kreiss

Exhibit B (Photo courtesy MaidenKari)

– I said it before, but it bears repeating. The spelling of artefact is obnoxious

– The Mog voice is terrible and sounds like it doesn’t fit in the mix.

– The in-engine camera angles are stupid. They don’t properly frame anything. I feel like my laziness in setting up shots before I talk to people makes for ugly scenes where a person is occupying the corner and a wall is occupying the rest of the shot. It looks bad.

– I know I said I kind of like this game, but I’m not really highlighting anything other than the paradigm system. Seeing all the old characters get old(er) has been pretty cool.

-I’m also interested in seeing how this resolves. Time travel stories are, like, my thing, haha. I want to know more about this Valhalla place and how one gets there. Finding out how it ties in with the l’Cie narrative would be neat too, considering how perfect a metaphor for video games and their characters it is.

– The way that the Pulse fal’Cie are ambivalent gods is my favorite part of them. They’re so arbitrary and mean. It’s brutal the way they manipulate humanity

– Tied in with that, the running narrative about human independence is pretty neat.

– Restricting the game to a two-person narrative shows incredible restraint. It’s a story best told with only two people, for sure.

– The monster system is ok. Not sure I dig it yet.

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