CGRundertow FINAL FANTASY XIII-2 for Xbox 360 Video Game Review

CGRundertow FINAL FANTASY XIII-2 for Xbox 360 Video Game Review

Oh look, it’s another one of those Final
Fantasy sequels. Time was when the thought of a direct continuation of an FF title was
looked upon simultaneously as long overdue and an unacceptable blasphemy. But that was
then. Since then, we’ve had an After Years, a Revenant Wings, and all the crap that VII
exploded into. So Final Fantasy XIII-2 shouldn’t really be all that remarkable, should it?
After all, it’s a continuation of the most reviled and divisive entry in the series since…
well, depending on who you ask, all of them. The power to defy this backslide comes courtesy
of a small word with a lot of potential. Retcon. Retroactive continuity. He who controls
the present controls the past, and he who wrote the script controls everything. XIII
struck many as a Final Fantasy devoid of… well, for lack of a better term, Final Fantasy-ness.
There were chocobos (countless hours deep in the game), there were mobs with familiar
names (even if they were rarely in a recognizable form), there were crystals freakin’ everywhere,
but it didn’t seem at all congruous to its namesake. XIII-2 sets out to change that by
its own example; this is XIII, remade as an ACTUAL Final Fantasy. And it’s so much the
better for it. Serah, sister of XIII’s protagonist Lightning,
has had a nagging feeling for the three years since the events of the previous game: Something’s
just not right. There’s an incongruity between what she (and anyone who actually finished
XIII) remembers, and what seems to be the situation she’s currently experiencing.
Turns out, that cataclysmic showdown blasted a hole in the wibbly-wobbly timey-wimey stuff
holding the world together, creating localized paradoxes where anything can happen and usually
does, and also huge freaking monsters. Fortunately, you’re joined by Noel, who’s been charged
by Lightning herself with delivering Sarah to Valhalla. (‘Cuz she uses Odin. Get it?) To do so… well, fire up your flux capacitor
and put on some Huey Lewis, ‘cuz we’re going back in time. The only way to get to
Valhalla is to bounce through spacetime, solving paradoxes and generally ironing out the wrinkles
in time on their way to yet another climactic showdown. Along the way, you run into plenty
of familiar faces, a Casino at the End of Time (take that, Douglas Adams), a massive
number of sidequests, and the same young girl, over and over and over again. I don’t know
if it’s just because I’ve replayed Final Fantasy VIII so recently, but these mechanics
– and the motivations behind them – just feel reasonable. This is a game that seeks to correct the mistakes
of its predecessor, and I feel it does an admirable job. Your primary antagonist is
not only sympathetic but believable. Your protagonists are generally optimistic and
likable, and when doubt or anger sets in, they themselves understand the situation enough
to call themselves out on it. The world shatters the notion of the corridor-based hyper-linear
FFXIIII style by making maps wider and making the entire game more sandboxy. You can get
to the endgame with only about a quarter of the game’s 160 fragments, meaning there’s
plenty of breadth to the game… even before DLC gets involved. But that’s another matter
entirely. Mechanically, the experience is much like
XIII in that the traditional Final Fantasy “jobs” are replaced by “roles” organized
into “paradigms.” There being only two party members, though, means that the third
position in each fight is filled by a monster you’ve subjugated, and developed through
a unique crystarium system using bits and pieces dropped from other monsters. Or you
can just make the monsters eat each other. That works too. Each one has its own role
just like your characters. Also, you may have seen what look like quicktime events in certain
cutscenes; these are actually rebranded as “Cinematic events,” and while failure
doesn’t actually change the outcome, success can net you some shiny things to put on your
monster. This is the Final Fantasy that XIII could’ve
been. But since our current paradigm cannot alter the past (without stepping on Orwell’s
toes), we needed to have an entirely new game, one that attempts to undo the transgressions
of its predecessor. It succeeds in most aspects, but some are still debatable. Just listen
to “Crazy Chocobo” if you need a new divisive issue to argue. If Final Fantasy X-2 was the
“Charlie’s Angels” of the series, XIII-2 is Square’s answer to Doctor Who. I’m
sure Amano’s on board with the concept of a scarf that epic.

100 thoughts on “CGRundertow FINAL FANTASY XIII-2 for Xbox 360 Video Game Review

  1. ? How can anyone dislike this review? We're entitled to each of our own opinions for every & any game, so why the hate?

  2. They need to simplify the battle systems. Go back to formula if that is what is needed. And wow, those graphics are stunning.

  3. @PJmorrisify what does that have to do with it? and shimmering sand of nostalgia… ? lol that doesnt even make sense when you tell me i should play the pre 10 FF's in the same sentence. ff 13 and nostalgic? wtf

  4. I know someone who lusted over Final Fantasy VII who will surely call Final Fantasy XIII-2 as "the greatest RPG of all time!!!"

    It's just a matter of time.

  5. This is just my opinion, but this is how I feel about this game…it pales in comparison to every single Final Fantasy before FF X. This game is a classic case of all graphics, no substance. This game is why I play Indie games more than commercial ones. If any of you out there want to play an excellent RPG with the ATB battle system and classic style to it with an epic story, try out one called Chronicles of a Dark Lord: Episode 1 Tides of Fate Enhanced Edition. The game is my new favorite.

  6. I had no problem with XIII, so i'm getting this either way. but hopefully this game gets people to stop bitching about square going in the shitter

  7. @tOmMyG1725 Square has gone in the shitter ever since FF XI was released. Their only hope to get back the fans that supported them in the past is to do remakes of the classics like FF V through FF IX (personally love to see FF VI remade). There's a reason you know, why FF VI and Chrono Trigger are considered to this day, the greatest RPGs ever made by countless review sites and so many fans. Those were real RPGs. This game? Just a pale echo.

  8. @superhuman295
    the another system was THE XBOX 360.
    it was exclusive for the ps3 at first. then they announced that FFXIII will be coming to xbox. and it bcoz of that Square Enix cut contents from the game so it could fit in the 360's Disks.

  9. FFXIII & XIII-2 are like GTA IV because they sacrificed fun for graphics lets hope GTA V is like XIII-2 & Fixes GTA IV problems

  10. @MelboyPhotography what? xD i'm just saying… next time maybe delete your uploads before you're trying to be smart

  11. Never understood the hate for FFXIII. It was the kind of RPG I've been waiting for years! No BS filler parts, the story and world was deep if you wanted it to be by reading the database. The battle system was a mix of JRPG-ness meets RTS. and had the best character development ever in a RPG. I guess it's the "cool" thing to say FFXIII sucks…oh each to his or her own.

  12. I personally have not played many Final Fantasy games. I tryed to get into FFX and FFXII, but I just din't like them. Yet, when I gave FFXIII a chance, I actually really liked it. I do admit that I hated the linear structure, I personally thought the new battle system was a big step in the right direction. I am very intrigued by FFXIII-2, but sadly, I do not have $60. :'(

  13. Your review has swayed my opinion about this game. I absolutely hated FFXIII and have yet to beat it, but I will pick this up once it hits the discount rack.

  14. @IceSkater71 If we're looking at remakes the likes of the FFIV remakes, then that would be good, even for the PSVita. Otherwise, no, it's not a good idea. What SE should be doing is learning from their mistakes and proceed to make more FF games that remain close to their predecessors and not rely on "answering to the cries of their whiny fanbase." For FFVII to be remade for the PS3 means that SE didn't learn anything.

  15. Final Fantasy VIII was my favorite, but XIII was good. People hated it, but I loved it. (Personal opinion, yours doesn't matter). XIII-2, so far, improves upon almost everything of XIII. Now waiting for Versus XIII 😀

  16. @IceSkater71 Maybe its because Hironobu Sakaguchi and Nobuo Uematsu left Square after FFX IMO and Square started thinking of milking more money from FF franchise

  17. I don't stand people's issue with the XIII series. It's different, that's about all I can think of. So you want completely similar games each time? I thought the battle system was awesome and it can definitely get challenging. I understand if people complained about the first one being to similar (though I loved that game), but the second one fixes it and adds more "final fantasyness" and people still say it's shitty because it's different, pretty much. That's just stupid.

  18. Agreed. It seems no matter what there's a pissed final fantasy fan to complain about the latest final fantasy.

  19. I agree with you both … it is just as G. Lucas with his Star Wars Saga, rip it off … money, money, money …

  20. Please, only an idiot would believe re-made FF's would please fans. The second they see the teaser trailer the bitching will start.


    Square Enix has two options at this point. Keep doing what they're currently doing, which is just fine in my opinion, or just stop making FF's and listen to people bitch about that too.

  21. square has been going downhill since 10. honestly though i thought 13 was very good, one of my favorite in the whole series, and 13-2 was pretty good, but i felt it lacked the charm that 13 had. 13 was all about the characters and how they developed throughout the story. yes chrono trigger will always be, imo anyways, the best JRPG out there. but its for the same reason that i liked ff13. the characters grew as the game progressed. by the end of the game, they all felt like old friends.

  22. XIII was the most boring thing I've ever played in my life, and now they've added Pokemons. Oh for the love of god…

  23. i know right the most serious and mature of the series put in the beautiful concept style ff tactics was in

  24. i actually enjoyed FF13, yes it had its problems, but if you took the FF away, it was decent and very focused. FF13-2, is defo better though

  25. wow you really didn't play this game did you. considering the villian and Noel storyline is very substanal. just because it looks good doesn't mean it's devoid of substance.

  26. it's the way it opens most likly, the combat is a bit meh, and for a good porption of the game the main characters feel kind of pointless to overall story especially Vaan.

  27. honestly the combat to me was perfection. in game combat. no cutscene. you can move while battling which made it more strategic. tons of items. huge open world aspect. what more could you ask for and i dont remember the story well but i think it was alright from what i remember.

  28. Yeah not a full price game but yeah it fixes issues with something that shouldn't have been made. Then again within FF XIII no FF XIII-2. FF XIII has some very very bad ideas.. FF XIII-2 can't fix it all but it goes half way. And you know what I accept that.

  29. You think the MMO's are crap, but you like 12? It basically played like a MMO, hell the combat alone even was like an MMO. The story was meh compared to earlier FFs, but what really got to me was the lack of any real character depth. They had the personalities and depth of wet paper, especially Vaan. This is all my opinion of course, but I have to say, Square-Enix has lost what made them so great. Ever since Hiro left, the games just haven't had that intangible magical quality to them.

  30. 4:26 – btw, the scifi, time travel concept is H.G Wells (time machine etc.), not George Orwel (animal farm, 1984)
    just saying. no hate.

  31. Xii-2 and now 3, are not change. FF has always changed and now it doesnt. just lightning and the other weak characters for the most part. i want final fantasy to remember its strength, not become Cod

  32. they haven't learned their mistake…ffxiii and that fuck ass waste of time and money ffxiii-2 is a shitty rpg with a shitty story…the concept is good but the fuck ass dialogue is a pain in the ears….

  33. I for one liked XIII-2 to some extent than XIII, so to each his own, eh? Besides, it's not as if I was expecting them to learn so soon, especially after the cliffhanger/announcement to the third game. You also prove my point. If the XIII games are that shitty to you, aren't you less convinced that the remake of FFVII will be any good, unscathed by retcon or "fan pressure?" It might as well be a scapegoat to shut up the beggars.

  34. What SE really needs to do is put as much effort into story, dialogue, and gameplay as they do in their graphics. XIII wasn't so bad and XIII-2 was a little better but I feel they severely slacked with this numbered entry. FFXIV has a great story and with Yoshi P helping to rework the gameplay and side content, it's shaping into something great and worthy of the number.

    I want real work put into a FF game. That's all I ask for SE.

  35. They don't need to be, XIII, XIII-2 and Lightning Returns are all in the same numbered entry universe so they don't need to change up all the characters or combat, just continue the story that a number of us have invested considerable time in. Also one could argue Final Fantasy has gone beyond COD in terms of releases per year, hell this year we Light Returns, FFX HD, A Realm Reborn (XIV) and possibly whatever new game they show at E3.

  36. A business can't rely solely on remakes even if it makes more money. If that were the case, why make new installments at all? This was a major, but hidden drawback of Sonic Generations. Sure, it was a great game and the recreation of past stages was wonderful, but it's not a deal breaker for Sega because nostalgia alone won't win fans over. Hell, if it did, Sega wouldn't be FORMALLY PROMOTING SONIC PORN. Now THAT is business held by a threshold. –>

  37. Secondly, fans don't always know what it is that they really want out of the remake. We know Square-Enix. After how bad the train-wreck Compilation of FFVII turned out, we know the FFVII remake won't be the exact same. If it did, why pay $60 for a prettier looking game? Things will change; the gameplay, the story, the characters, everything. Good or bad, most hardcore fans will either be unsatisfied or just spoon-fed. This is one reasons why Square is denying remaking FFVII.

  38. No, no, no. THAT is where people mistake what "HD Remake" supposedly means. FFX HD is literally the exact same game with an HD makeover, like many other games. For a FFVII remake, Square would have to rebuild the entire game from the ground up, which you can imagine takes more time and money, and since it's FFVII, higher expectations. The PC version is more of a fix than anything else.

    I'm still akin to the belief that they shouldn't touch FFVII until they create a game that surpasses it.

  39. From all FF game VII is the one that deserves a remake the most (somewhen followed by VIII and IX),because it aged horribly.

  40. I love the compilation of Final fantasy VII. And I really want the original game with a presentation like the rest of the series.

  41. loved this game but its main flaw was that it overcorrected the problems with 13 it went from most difficult ff to pushover from linear to sandbox from constantly dark character actions and reactions to way too cheerful.

  42. I thought XIII was great. I just accepted it for what it was, because Final Fantasy itself is really just a brand name put on a range of disparate designs. I do think the game had a number of problems, including the extreme linearity and lack of towns and shops.

  43. My main gripe with it right now is that I have yet to come to any cities/towns. I loved in Final Fantasy X how well they made it seem like a real world. That's mainly why I watched this review, because I wanted to see if it was less linear lol

  44. dammit all of you people who say kingdom hearts and ff is getting worse becuase of spin offs and sequels IT TAKES MORE MONEY TO MAKE GAMES THAN IT DID BACK THEN THEY NEED MONEY TO GET THE QUALITY THAT WE LOVE AND EVEN SO IF YOU SEE A SPINOFF LIKE KH BBS YOU SAY ITS SHIT BECAUSE ITS NOT 3

  45. Squenix cannot go by fan popularity in the West. American fans are still bitching about their VII remake, and when you fix the "issues" in XIII, they still bitch. 

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