Final Fantasy XIII-2 so close, yet so far

Correct, there is very little depth to character development in XIII-2. There are a few choices to make, epsecially early on, but they are more or less irrelevant because you easily overlevel the characters for the boss challenges without even trying. The main feature that determines combat difficulty appears to be a player level vs. foe level calculation that has little to do with the player's ostensible stats.

So sure, thundaga is a better skill than thundara, but its not like 2 thundaras isn't close enough to thundaga + thunder (who knows, maybe it's better, but I prefer the thundaga f/x) not to make much difference, when what's really important is the enormous damage mitigation you get from being higher level than the boss.

I agree with luke and McG on FF12. I'd forgotten about having to purchase the scripting commands -- what a terrible idea. Even after buying them all, there still wasn't enough flexibility in the system to make a sensible thief. Plus, the quickening system was boring to use and really overpowered, whereas the summons, while all really well-designed, were basically useless as a gameplay mechanic.

While I'm not keen on 12's plot, either, I was pretty impressed by the quality of the localization. I thought the dialogue was basically well-written and well-voice acted.

If I had to recommend a PS2 Final Fantasy, I'd recommend FF10 over FF12 any day. FF10 is pretty linear, but since linearity doesn't offend me, I find it to be the better game in pretty much every respect.

I have bad news for you, Luke. Most of the JRPGs include a lot of grinding through combat :) To me, grinding is not a legitimate gripe about any JRPG. I think S-E did a nice job by eliminating the random encounters in order to pick up some Western players. I thought the pacing was good enough if you did not stop to do side quests, or work on building your guild rep.

Sorry, McG, but the scripting in FF12 was it's finest achievement.
The Phantasy Star games and then the Dragon Quest series started to introduce helpful AI choices for your other party members. I feel FF12 perfected it. It is surprisingly deep, and I never considered it a money sink during my play-through. Are you talking about getting new gambits for the character to add scripts? I would argue that's part of their development as a character. When you get more experience, you can do more things effectively. You can multi-task during a very stressful situation as you gain experience.

Even if you didn't like it, I am pretty sure that you can still input all of your commands via turn based. You could play via scripting and the active time battle system, or completely turn it off and have an experience similar to previous FFs. Also, the part about switching out items during a fight? How often do you actually do that in any JRPG? At present, I can't think of any examples for JRPGs. Shooters, Fable-types, and adventure games, but not anything involving turn based or ATB systems.

Wow, you clearly have not a clue what this game is really about.
What a crap review.

We eagerly await your explanation as to what it's *really* about.

Agree with everything you said.

For some reason I'm still compelled to play though. It's definitely broken but I still have fun. I really miss the story milestones from 13 though, there were a ton of "character checks" along the way that really made the combat interesting.

Being able to completely customize your party from the get go means they can't balance locations around mechanics as much as they can around stats. As long as you have enough HP to survive the big attack, you'll win the fight.

If you do too much side stuff before progressing the story, then basically every zone in the game turns into the Ghoul orgy from Academia. You're slogging through super easy battles for negligible rewards. They serve only to slow you down on your way to the next cut scene.

I know that most JRPGs include lots of combat grinding, Len. To me, grinding in JRPGs is a legitimate complaint, and one of the main reasons I usually avoid the genre. I'd rather play a RPG that respects my time and its pacing by including just the right amount of combat than something that insist on cramming in as much combat as possible just to extend its length. I don't think Tom is averse to all grinding, and neither am I, but I told him to avoid FF12 because I think the grinding works against what Square Enix was trying to do with the story. As a guy who's vocally picky about game stories, I don't think he'd enjoy that.

wow.. terrible critic... or should i say totally imparcial?
that leaves you standing as an "almost critic".
the game clearly isn't the best, but give it such a lame evaluation...
you suck :)

Bioware's art seems to have been something of a downward trend (and not perfectly downwards, either). The Infinity Engine games (both from them and Black Isle) are friggin' gorgeous with fantastically detailed and interesting prerendered backdrops. Jade Empire is colorful and attractive. Dragon Age and Mass Effect? Eeeeeh. (And NWN is one of the ugliest games I've ever played).

Actually, you should say impartial.

Also - isn't it good to be impartial as a critic?

this review is ridiculous and should be ignored, its a waste of time

HonestGamers

8/10

Tom Chick, you sucks

Here is where FF 13-2 failed me...

Augusta Tower. I was literally stuck there for so long trying to figure out some Tron like puzzle that by the time I got back on track I literally coasted through the end without having to spend another CP point on anything.

Noel and Serah were maxed in all but three skill trees and the ones they weren't maxed in (lvl 99) were still so far advanced that there were no new skills to learn.

And here is the kicker... I get to the end only to learn that the game I paid 60$ for isn't even a full game. No, Square actually left the end of the game out to market it as future DLC.

**** YOU SQUARE! **** YOU!

0/10 just because you money grubbing bastards made me pay for a game that is only 50-60 % of a full game.

I will NEVER buy another SquareEnix game.

Final Fantasy 13-2 sucks without a doubt. Lost Odyssey is about the only JRPG that has been worth anything the past several years.

Final Fantasy 12 was horrible, and FF13 was ok I guess.

As far as Serah and Noel's crystarium leveling system goes, you can get widely different final stats by selectively choosing which jobs to level with large nodes. When you use a large node to level, you get a bonus depending on which job you chose to level up with that node. Example: I level my commando with a large node. In addition to the normal stats I receive from leveling the role once, I get a commando bonus of a few extra strength. Now, if I instead used that large node to level ravager, the bonus would be a few extra magic. This same concept applies to leveling monsters, except it gets more complicated with using different types of components on small/large nodes.

FFXIII's system did not allow custom development whatsoever, whereas FXIII-2's system does, but is really easy to miss since it is never properly explained unless you bought the strategy guide.

After looking over a bunch of reviews from your site, its clear that 1. Your reviewers do not finish games and 2. You give egregiously bad scores to games so that you'll pop on the front page of metacritic. Great journalistic practice there.

Yeah I noticed the clock puzzle thing too. They're actually Hamiltonian Path problems, a cycle would require you to go back to the starting point. Anyway learning graph theory in college ftw.

I guess I pretty much agree on the details of the assessment, but for the most part non of that really offended me. I guess of bunch of the cool stuff kinda became extraneous but I can forgive that. The game was still fun to play. That is right up until the ending where I just felt so massively betrayed :P ugh. I mean will the dlc stuff even correct this massive failure of an ending? .... I doubt it.

Yeah i'm at exactly the same part you said, Difficulty spike galore. Square enix have ruined Final fantasy, Bring back Squaresoft. They knew how to make a balanced progressive RPG.