Final Fantasy XIII-2
Platforms: X360 & PS3
Final Fantasy XIII’s Active Time Battle (ATB) system was one expertly crafted change to the formula that came alongside some less welcome others. Key among these was that the usual sidequest-packed open-world structure had been replaced with a linear journey that offered the bare minimum of distractions. The reaction to FFXIII from fans and the press was mixed, which brings us to FFXIII-2, the sequel that Square Enix claims will give players what they wanted from the previous game. But while FFXIII-2 is a polished production that certainly diverges, unfortunately it’s also a baffling, boring and swampy thing to play.
It opens with a stunning cutscene in which Lightning – FFXIII’s hero, who’s now playing the role of warrior goddess — does battle with a cackling evildoer. The sequence in its entirety takes about 20 minutes to play out, during which you’re given limited control for brief stretches. This is a sign of things to come: a battle that is impossible to lose, a helping of QTEs, and some terrifically dull monologues. But FFXIII-2’s opening is so visually astonishing, featuring a gigantic city formed from crystal, monstrous armies clashing, and Lightning’s dazzlingly choreographed advance through it all. that it’s impossible to look away.
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