Thursday, February 23, 2012

I'll enjoy half of it

I am not quite sure how to react to Final Fantasy XIII-2, and I am the one person out there who freely admits to enjoying the shit out of Final Fantasy X-2. X-2 worked because Yuna was (more or less) an interesting character and finding out what happened to her after Tidus ceased to exist made for a good story. XIII-2 makes a mistake right off the bat by focusing on a character that spent a good chunk of the first game as a statue, and even when they got her out he personality stayed the same. They got the wrong sister; Lightning has somehow ascended to god-hood and Serah has spent the intervening three years pouting on a beach. Snow is gone, too, so there is no personality there to hold down a plot that is already ludicrous, and I have only been playing for three hours.

But the combat.

This is a wonderful amalgam of many, many other games. The paradigm shifting in XIII was already an adaptation of X-2 outfit system. It had only a few flaws, the worst being the battle ending if the party leader died. XIII-2 has fixed that, gives you ample phoenix downs to avoid embarrassing losses to random encounters, and throws in a touch of Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne. If that doesn't get your attention then go buy Nocturne and play it, without stopping, until you begin to bleed from the eyes and ears when every other encounter kicks your ass. Yes, it is just demonic Pokemon, but adding a little bit of monster collection to the paradigms opens things up. I just got a monster last night that heals. That is all he does, but it allows me to take my other two (eventually three, I assume) characters and use them for attacking, buffing, or defense. You can also have up to three monsters in reserve at a time and they be brought out by changing paradigms. The only thing that XIII-2 wont do is be as difficult as Nocturne was.

For the record, I have never played and I doubt I will ever play an RPG as difficult as Nocturne was.

This combat is so wasted on a bullshit time travel story that it makes my teeth hurt. I don't know when Square went off the deep end, but I hope they make it back. They just need to remember that a story being complicated and difficult to follow does not automatically make it good.

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