Wednesday, 30 January 2013

What I Thought Of Final Fantasy XIII-2

This post will contain spoilers - if you've not played the game and do not wish to read, then don't.
This post will also contain tips for the end boss and a brief walkthrough along with ALOT of opinion. Mine to be specific.

Confusing as fuck for starters.
I completed it in about four three-five hour sessions so it's not a long game. But it takes a lot of frequent playing to stay on top of the storyline as you're expected to remember a lot about where you've already been and what artefacts and fragments you've already collected.
As much as I kinda liked Serah's character in the first one (good idea to keep her out of most of FFXIII) she came across as really selfish in this one. She's determined, I'll give her that and the ending made me feel a little sorry for her. Which I'll get to in a minute.

So as soon as I was able to, I swapped leaders. I chose the very good looking (so what if he's a graphic design?) Noel Kreiss who actually gave a good first impression and only made me like him more as the story progressed. It was obvious he had a past, but he didn't blab it to just anyone all the time and didn't want pity or sympathy for it at all.
You don't actually discover the full extent of Noel's story until Episode 5 and the Final Episode although you get snippets here and there throughout the game.

So, lets talk a little about Noel.
Well, when I'm interested in playing a video game I usually check out the soundtrack on YouTube first. I have to say, Noels Theme is hands down the best song
on there.
Second of all, who can resist his gorgeous hair?
The voice actor sounds hot. Matches Noels attitude well.
And lastly, he's intriguing. His love for Yeul and his inner hatred that he couldn't protect her and then the underlying torment about whether he will ultimately end his friends life.
Noel is a protector at heart. Or that's what I got from playing the game. He seems to have no vulnerabilities and instead chooses to protect people, seen when he hardly knows Serah
and yet agrees to travel through time, risking his life and his future to help her find her sister, Lightning.
Lets digress now.
Lightning was one of the bad ass female characters ever to be in a Final Fantasy Game. I've played all the main FF games and that mostly, I tend to hate on the female characters.

Final Fantasy 7 - Tifa was tollerable. Barely. Yuffie was my favourite female and of course, Vincent, the Turks and Cloud was my favourite male characters.
Final Fantasy 8 - Squall is my bias in EVERY SINGLE FF game. Rinoa is annoying, don't get me started on Selphie. Edea was the only female I could stand. Quistis looked like she belonged
in a library not in a battle to save the world. Just saying.
Final Fantasy X - alright. So this game is my kryptonite. It made me cry for days. Which is partly why I have to like Yuna although she did nothing but get captured and ultimately
kill my party every single fucking battle we had to rescue her. Lulu was my favourite. Everything about Lulu just screamed sex appeal, danger and power. Tidus is pretty close to my favourite male
Final Fantasy XII is weird. I'll get back to you.
Alright, so back to FFXIII, Lightning grew on me. She was described by the developers that she'd meant to be a female version of Squall; distant, not talkative, driven by the mission and not afraid
to die.

Now, Squall Leonhart is my all time favourite FF character. When my dad played it when I was a kid, I fell in love with the man, since then, I've been a goner for him. Anyway, a very close second is
Vincent Valentine who reminds me of Lightning as well. So therefore, although not my favourite character in the game, she was my favourite female character in the game.
My favourite character in FFXIII was probably... erm... well, they all annoyed me at one point or another. If I had to choose one it would probably be Maqui or Yuj. Play the game again if you don't
know who they are.
Back to FFXIII-2.

For like, the first time ever you can choose a difficulty.
Easy or normal. I played on both and can't say there was much of a difference except the imminent struggle at the boss fights but where's the challenge if they're too easy?
My worst battle would've probably been the proto-Behemoth at the end of the labrynth in the final episode. Just before you go in to stop Caius. I died more than three times on that one so you
can tell how pretty straight forward the battles are.
The end battle, as always in every FF game, is a multi one where you don't have time to switch paradigms or level up in the crystarium unless you die therefore, come prepared.
I mostly had COM/RAV/RAV for my offense which is Relentless Assault, ladies and gentleman. I kept attacking but of course, before every single battle, always have an evened odds paradigm
which contains SYN/MED/SAB just to level up. The monsters you've captured by now should be strong enough to assist you significantly in the final boss battles so don't just have them for the mediocre
tasks like debuffing enemies, although useful, it's helpful to have a Med and make the paradigm Combat Clinic JUST IN CASE.
For my defence, it was the SEN/MED/SYN which wasn't used often and then for healing, because Serah was a maxed out medic, I really only used Diversity. Which is COM/RAV/MED.
Alright, for those who want some tips. Your health on both Noel and Serah needs to be between 4000 and 5000. Strength for your Commando (preferably Noel) needs to be 400+
and Serah who should be your Ravager and Medic needs her magic to be also 400+
The monster who is helping you, I had a RAV, a SAB and a COM. I didn't use the COM at all. Their hit points needs to be in the 1000's realm. You are going to struggle in this battle if your
HP and strength and magic isn't up.

Okay, you have to fight Caius three times. Some dragon being, his human form and then his mutated form again. There aren't any drastic attacks that can kill you instantly as long as your health remains
in the upper green.
His Inferno and Gigi attack can put your whole party in the red zone and may kill your monster summon so pack a few Pheonix Downs and the Grimoire Hat should be given to your leader
so that when potions are used, they heal considerably more.
Buff your teammates but don't waste too much time healing and buffing and debuffing, Caius is capable (in his last two forms) to heal himself and he can go all the way back to full health if
you haven't taken his HP down enough. Another frustrating move he knows is the Chain Break which removes his stagger bar when it's almost enough.
With the Tri Disaster paradigm (RAV/RAV/RAV) you can stagger him a whole lot of times but keep an eye on your health.
When he's dead, all three times, you're faced with an annoying and kinda confusing battle that don't really make much sense in the story. The only conclusion I could come up with was
that they are 'Chaos' in Caius' heart.
Anyway, you need to keep your health in GREEN at all times in this battle. Don't panic. The two bahamuts can be taken down easily, get a gauge up, then ravage the hell out of him and then
switch to Diversity to heal and then when you're okay, switch back to relentless assault and finish them. If you struggled on these, quit the game and replay a few worlds and levels to get
your HP up. Because they reappear again and are supposed to be a distraction, not a boss fight all by themselves.
Now, Jet Bahamut delivers devastating attacks. His blade can put your whole party in the red zone so buff and attack. Buff, heal, attack is the only stragety. Someone told me to switch to SEN
when I knew it was coming but all I could ever get out of it was the Provoke ability and subsequently it didn't help me much.
Just keep your party in the green and you should be fine.

Now, when its done, relax, take a deep breath and enjoy the ending cutscenes.
Or you can read on to find my opinion of the game ending.

I had to say, I didn't enjoy the characters Fang, Vanille or Hope in the first game, I didn't enjoy Snow all that much either and yet when they showed up, my heart kinda constricted.
It was so nostalgic. I can't say it was the same for Sazh. His story was heartbreaking in the first game but I expected him so it wasn't the same.
So, everyone knows not to expect a happy or sad ending with Final Fantasy. 7 and 8 ended really well with me tearing up a little at both, X had me full on crying for days and 12 was
in the middle.
Final Fantasy XIII's ending was weird. It was sad to see Fang and Vanille go but they both became such repetitive characters, I wasn't that sad. However, like all of the games, it had me
tearing just a little bit.
So, the ending for XIII-2 was different.
Serah dies.
Noel and Serah were told that she would die but she kept saying she felt fine. I suspected her to be another Yeul early on in the game so I wasn't surprised to be right but when she actually
died, Noel's reaction made it so much worse!

Throughout the game, Noel had been set on his love and duty to protect Yeul and vengeance to reprieve her. When he told us she was fifteen, I had to say I was a little off put. In Noel's
bio, it says he's eighteen. And in the game, he's way too mature to be any younger than that.
I'd like to clarify for those who haven't played it and are just interested which I'm guessing is why you're reading this that Noel and Yeul do not kiss. They do not admit ever having feelings
for the other so I'm guessing we are just to assume that Noel loves her like a little sister and because he wasn't able to protect her, he feels he owes her or something.
Then, if you didn't know anything about Snow, with the way Noel reacted to Serah's death, you could assume they were both in love but again, Serah is engaged. Noel has no love
interest whatsoever which is good for me but bad when I actually want him to have one.
When Serah dies, we're told that she saw it beforehand but still continued. This made me feel a little sorry for her and I respect her a lot more than I did. It wasn't a sad ending much but
it was a more of slap in your face when you get an image of Lightning in crystal form sitting on Goddess Etro's throne.
With a 'TO BE CONTINUED' at the end. Apparently, there's another in the making but it won't directly link from the ending like XIII-2 did.
I'm excited but wont be buying it on the same day it comes out like I did, the others. Until FFXV comes out, that won't be for a while.

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