So I've been playing quite a bit of Final Fantasy XIII-2 the past week and I am really, really enjoying it. I'm a stickler for RPGs, specifically Japanese developed RPGs, and FFXIII-2 has really hit home with me in terms of design, gameplay, story, and replayability. I'm a huge Squaresoft/Enix fan and have played probably 80-90% of the games they've released outside of Japan. I've gotta say, in my opinion, this is the best game they've put out. One major thing to note, Final Fantasy X (to the right), was a Squaresoft game. I'm not trying to say FFXIII-2 is better than FF7 or FF10 or whatever your favorite FF game is. I'm just simply stating that I think it's the best game the merged company has put out, and that's an incredibly good thing to happen now considering a lot of game critics and fans have ruled SE down and out and out of touch with today's gamer.
If you follow Square Enix or much video game blogging/discussion at all over the past few years, you've probably noticed a lot of talk about how Square Enix might be going into a lull or that they've lost their touch. I gotta say, after how much I wanted FFXIV to succeed and seeing how much it absolutely failed, I was a skeptic for a little bit as well. The argument against FFXIII was the linearity. I saw the linearity, and could see the frustration there, but I still enjoyed the game very much and put 120+ hours into it.
Having put roughly 40 hours into FFXIII-2, I've beaten the main story line and am beginning the process of trying to unlock all of the fragments, endings, etc. Like FFXIII, the side quests and optional content makes up a higher percentage of the overall playtime than the main storyline. I was a bit disappointed to see the main storyline of the game only last 25-30 hours, however I was excited to jump right back into things and look for alternate endings and more fragments.
The main reason I think this is Square Enix's strongest game is that they finally made a Final Fantasy game that had the feel and polish of one of their classics, but also incorporated modern RPG elements. Playing the game, it just felt like Square Enix had finally figured out the path they need to start taking with RPGs and I'm hoping they can continue to pump out more that feed off of this game in the future. I'd love to see SE create a brand new IP using and building off of elements they've developed and polished in FFXIII and FFXIII-2.
What do you think? Is this a valid argument to have? Am I way off? What's your favorite Square Enix game (cannot include Squaresoft or Enix made games)?