Previously in Emily’s game collection…

“I’m going to buy Final Fantasy XIII-2 on launch day, because I like the idea of playing as Serah in the game. I don’t care how much I disliked Final Fantasy XIII when I finally completed it, I’m sure the sequel will improve on things.”

Emily plays FF XIII-2 on launch for several hours, but becomes frustrated with its mechanics and dialogue. She stops playing FF XIII-2 and goes on to play many other games on her Xbox 360 over the course of two years, until one day…

Final Fantasy XIII-2 img 1Same old trap?

The sequel to Final Fantasy XIII follows Serah and Noel as they try to reach Lightning, who has ended up in the far flung reaches of space and time. There’s a lot of timey wimey stuff going on and the conversations between characters can be a tad ridiculous as a result.

But this article is about giving FF XIII-2  a second chance. So how on earth did I end up playing a game, which got a 5/10 in Edge Magazine:

“[…] while FFXIII-2 is a polished production that certainly diverges, unfortunately it’s also a baffling, boring and swampy thing to play.”

I saw a trailer for Lightning Returns before its release and really, really liked the look of it. See, I’m someone who liked Final Fantasy X-2 so the idea of dressing up in different outfits, having the outfits affect battle and fighting lots and lots of enemies really appealed to me. That and I think Lightning is kinda cool as a character, when she isn’t been heavily objectified.

Basically, I couldn’t bring myself to pick up Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII without completing the previous game first. I needed to know how it all went down. And so I restarted FF XIII-2 and began the process of giving it a second chance.

Final Fantasy XIII-2 img 2A long path

I restarted the game around the time of episode 75 of the Nerds Assemble Podcast, in which we talked about giving things second chances. I’m now, over a month later, more than 40+ hours into the game. I am *holds up fingers* this close to beating the final boss, I just have a bit more character and monster building that I want to do. I already gave the boss several goes and realised that my characters just weren’t up to the job. So in between doing side quests and hunting for Gil, monster materials, monsters and Crystarium Points – I am refining my battle tactics.

Despite my efforts to really round out my characters, I struggle against quite a few of the later enemies. Traversing the reaches of time and space has led to me becoming lost more times than I would care to remember and with loading times being what they are on the Xbox 360 version of the game, this is no laughing matter as you load up another stretch of the space-time continuum to investigate for that one monster material you need in order to get your Silver Chocobo to peak condition.

Final Fantasy XIII-2 img 3But…

Have I been enjoying my second attempt to play the game?

Where before I gave up after less than six hours of playing the game, I am now on the verge of confronting the final boss. Previously I didn’t understand the auto-battle system, but now I have a far greater grasp of paradigms, when to pick combat options manually and choosing the right monsters to join the human characters. The satisfaction from playing the game has come in the form of the game’s combat, which originally I loathed in this game and the previous one.

I have enjoyed my time with the game…

She decides to go back to the game that she once abandoned. Emily is still frustrated by the game’s iffy, timey wimey dialogue and story, but instead finds fun in the heat of battle, getting five-star battle rankings and smiting Don Tonberries.

  • Paul Blewitt

    As I’ve been playing the original Final Fantasy XIII a lot recently, I can say that even I found the last enemies around the main boss actually quite difficult, despite being quite powered up. Have to say, I agree about Lightning being a good character. It’s nice to know that Square Enix haven’t lost their touch when it comes to creating main characters recently (Tidus and Vaan were both annoying, even if Tidus did have a few redeemable qualities).

    • Emily King

      I just don’t get where they were going with Vaan. He’s just so… boring?

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