Impressions from someone who played a lot of 13.

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#1 Edited by ZenaxPure (2569 posts) -

I probably played more 13 than you, regardless if you liked/disliked the game. Mostly because I enjoyed the combat that much. Anyway, I've plunked 15 hours into 13-2 now and here are things I've noticed: 
  

Combat with "trash mobs" is now less about staggering and more about weakness.  

Once you learn how a specific pack works, fighting them again should only take a matter of seconds (which makes me understand why the rating system works the way it does now). It mostly boils down into a few categories: packs you AOE down, packs you use elemental weaknesses on, packs you want to be com/com/com or rav/rav/rav for, and occasionally you'll want to stagger some things. This is also taken a step further by many mobs having very low stagger points.   
 
The key thing here is most of the non essential fights thus far into the game are fast. If you didn't like how a lot of the normal fights in 13 (especially about midway through the game) could be lengthy this is a huge change of pace. Personally I appreciate it, especially because it feels very rewarding getting that 5 star ranking when it is much harder to get now on normal foes. 
 
In addition as a last note, each paradigm can be set to focus strictly on AOE attacks, single target attacks, or "normal". The addition of AOE specifically changed one of my biggest gripes about FF13 where there were times your AI partners should clearly be using blitz/aga spells but they simply would not.
 

There is actual pacing to the gameplay.  

Probably my biggest problem with FF13 was how it was alot of walking forward killing dudes, cutscene, spend 30 seconds in the menu following the straight line of the crystarium, walking forward killing dudes, cutscene, spend 30 seconds in the menu following the straight line of the crystarium, walking.... Ok you get my point. Occasionally you'd save/shop/upgrade but 80% of FF13 was what I just said. Was this a problem with the game? Personally I think so, but I can defiantly understand the appeal in a generation of games that are exactly like that (Uncharted I'm looking at you!). 
 
Now, how has this been changed in 13-2? Well: menu porn is back! "Menu porn" is that a word? Probably not but it's how I describe this. It really hit me last night after I cleared an area (capturing about 8 monsters along the way) then entered the menu and spent about 10 minutes in there. The new Crystarium while still fast to progress actually requires you to stop and think about what you're doing. Large nodes give a stat bonus to the class you use on it while small nodes give only levels. It requires you to plan your approach accordingly and take a look at upcoming abilities and decide where you want to spend your points. 
 
Anyway, the monster stuff is really where it gets serious. Most abilities (passive or skills) can be passed over between monsters by "infusing" them. This completely consumes 1 monster while powering the other up. It's an oddly intricate system I was not expecting in this game that lets you customize your third party member to some scary degrees. For example I currently have a Commando Chocobo who has poison/physical/fire resist and all of that came from consuming other monsters. Basically what I am getting at is that you can spend alot of time in menus examining monster abilities and then figuring out the easiest way to get an ability you want onto your favorite monster. It's a very RPG-y thing that personally I love and most RPGs of this generation have gotten rid of similar systems in the name of "streamlining". I can't wait to see what kind of ridiculous monsters I come up with by the end of the game. 
 
In addition to this, Square has mixed up how areas flow a bit. Some locales have you starting in town-like areas and then venturing out into the wilds to kill enemies, quest, etc. Others drop you directly into the action and eventually you will make it to a safe haven to chat with NPCs, move the story along, and just in general take a break from constant fighting. There is also more variety to what is going on in each zone. At one point I was in a dark area trying to keep pace with a moving spotlight because once I was out of it a Behemoth clearly more powerful than my level at that point would try to start combat with you (I tried fighting it twice but got my ass handed to me both times) and then at one point I was on the back of one of those giant mossy turtle dudes throwing a clearly upset moogle through the air to capture treasure
 
This is probably the most important of any changes I've noticed so far, it constantly keeps the game fresh and I don't feel taking breaks to do other stuff. I've played my entire 15 hours so far in two settings. That never happened in FF13. 
 

5 stars actually matter. 

I thought about putting this inside the trash combat change, but I feel like it's something that is important enough for its own talk. Something a lot of people didn't realize about the original 13 (and how could they when the game didn't tell you outright?) was that a 5 star ranking meant an extra chance at loot and higher chance at rare loot. This trend continues in 13-2, but it's something you should care about more. Your monster allies do not gain normal experience like the main characters, instead their crystariums are upgraded via items that are sold at shops/dropped from enemies. Early on you can simply buy these to max out the first tier of levels, but where I am in the game the shopkeep does not sell the items I need to keep upgrading stats (these items are split into tiers, my monsters are on the third tier and currently the vendor only sells the first tier items). 
 
Now, how does 5 star ratings factor into this? Well most of the enemies in the game drop these items but only 1 or 2 at a time. Getting a 5 star rating simply means getting these things faster. Almost to the point where it probably unbalances the game. I say that as I currently have a Ravager penguin man who has 400 more magic than Serah (who I'm using as a mage) and triple her HP. He is a freaking beast who can build up the stagger meter and AOE down trash like a champion.  
 
 

Probably more, but I can't think right now. 

The above things are what stick out to me the most currently, 15 hours into the game. As someone who enjoyed FF13 a lot but understands it was a flawed game in many ways, the sequel feels like the game I originally wanted. It's certainly not as "epic" in the story sense (especially since it focuses strictly on 2 characters) but as someone whose spent around 200 hours in total with FF13 over the years this feels like a dramatically different experience, though a good one. I just want to play the game more which is exactly what I am going to do when this is up, but I thought I'd share my thoughts anyway.
#2 Posted by Flappy (2108 posts) -

Probably more, but I can't think right now.

The above things are what stick out to me the most currently, 15 hours into the game. As someone who enjoyed FF13 a lot but understands it was a flawed game in many ways, the sequel feels like the game I originally wanted. It's certainly not as "epic" in the story sense (especially since it focuses strictly on 2 characters) but as someone whose spent around 200 hours in total with FF13 over the years this feels like a dramatically different experience, though a good one. I just want to play the game more which is exactly what I am going to do when this is up, but I thought I'd share my thoughts anyway.

That bold section is exactly how I feel. Say what you want about this game coming out so soon after the original XIII, but you can't deny the fact that SE made some good improvements in this game. If Part 3 comes out in the future (assuming it doesn't share the same fate as HL), I hope this trend continues and we get a well-rounded Final Fantasy game that more people can get behind.

#3 Posted by gla55jAw (2684 posts) -

@Zenaxzd: Awesome write up duder! After reading this, I'm really excited to get through my 2nd play-through of XIII so I can play this.

#4 Posted by SuperWristBands (2266 posts) -

200 hours? Shit. I was gonna challenge you with my 100 hours but you got me beat hard.
 
This is the first I am hearing about the depth of the 'monster system' and it actually sounds pretty great. I was very against it before because it seemed like a replacement for a third, possibly interesting character. I still can't get into the game as it is though. Serah and Noel don't do a god damn thing for me and they are both wearing stupid cloths (petty, I know, but it bothers me a lot).
 
After hearing Brad talk about that Lightning DLC I checked it out and it seems that you can recruit her with that DLC, so I'll wait for that before I buy this game. I'll also wait to see what other kind of DLC they offer as well. Wouldn't want to start the game knowing that I could potentially replace Serah and/or Noel and never have to use them after a certain point.

#5 Posted by ZenaxPure (2569 posts) -
@SuperWristBands : Don't wait, I don't think you can get to Lightning until later in the game (she's a part of the Arena stuff) and she also is a monster, specifically a Commando, I think. However, assuming you can customize her like any other monster in the game it'll be awesome.
 
Also I just went into the Casino for the first time, found a random treasure chest with an adornment called "Lightning Mask" which is, you guessed it, a mask with Lightning's face on it (she's smiling though, whats up with? :P). The item description of it says "a reward for those who triumphed over Final Fantasy XIII" or something like that, it's nice to see the little bonus things you get for having a FF13 file. 
 
Also a super amazing special treat from the casino, not story spoiler but I will tag it so I don't ruin the surprise for anyone who doesn't want it ruined:  
#6 Posted by xyzygy (9867 posts) -

Sounds good to me. I put 148 hours into XIII and I'm really hoping XIII-2 can offer me the same enjoyment I had from the first one.

#7 Posted by ImmortalSaiyan (4673 posts) -

I have been having trouble adapting to the Monster system and have been doing rather poorly. So far I have been missing a third party member.

#8 Posted by ZenaxPure (2569 posts) -
@ImmortalSaiyan said:

I have been having trouble adapting to the Monster system and have been doing rather poorly. So far I have been missing a third party member.

What are you having trouble with exactly? It's fairly simple but free.
#9 Posted by MiniPato (2714 posts) -

Me being a person who is more likely to shit talk FFXIII than defend it, I agree with everything you said. The gameplay and structure of the game is vastly improved. I find battling my way through dungeons to be much much less tedious because each battle doesn't take minutes to get through. And you get loot that matters. So far I've been having more fun playing XIII-2 than XIII.

Though I can't say the same for the story which seems very disjointed.

#10 Edited by spazmaster666 (1965 posts) -

I would say that I'm still not a fan of the semi-randomized battles. I mean it's great if you want to grind, but if you're just looking to get from one place to another, it was way easier to avoid battles in FFXIII (especially by using Deceptisols) than it is in FFXIII-2 (yes you can still run away from a lot of battles but since the monsters just spring up from nowhere that can be difficult in some situations). I also run into situations where monsters spring up right in your path giving you 0% chance of getting a preemptive strike (this is especially annoying if you're going for a particular achievement.) I wouldn't consider these major issues but I feel that the encounter system worked just fine in FFXIII and don't think it needed to be changed.

Also, despite the monster taming system being pretty robust and perfectly servicable, I still miss being able to have three guys on my team since I much prefer being able to just stick with one team throughout the game (i.e. it was Lightning, Fang, and Hope for me in FFXIII) than having to constantly switch my paradigm packs and constantly upgrading different monsters. It's also difficult to find out which monsters are the best at their particular roles so it ends up being a lot of trial and error. I'm still enjoying the game of course, and I do understand why they opted for the monster taming system rather than having a bunch of extra party members (i.e. they would have to write more dialogue, create back-stories for new characters, character development, etc.)

@Zenaxzd said:

I probably played more 13 than you, regardless if you liked/disliked the game. Mostly because I enjoyed the combat that much.

I'm a pretty bad offender along these lines as well. I think I ended up sinking over 300 hours into FFXIII (across both the 360 and PS3 versions) and ended up S-Ranking it twice and playing through it four times.

#11 Edited by xyzygy (9867 posts) -

By the sounds of things, if they would have added more characters to your party the story would be completely fucked sideways. Apparently it's already very convoluted.

@spazmaster666: Please don't tell me there is an achievement for 0 surprise attacks in one playthrough.

#12 Posted by spazmaster666 (1965 posts) -

@xyzygy said:

@spazmaster666: Please don't tell me there is an achievement for 0 surprise attacks in one playthrough.

There is an achievement for getting 100 preemptive strikes in a row. I probably won't get this achievement just by playing through the game though since it's tough to prevent those random occurances without resorting to reloading saves (which I don't feel like doing while playing through the game for the first time.) But it should be pretty easy to grind in a few areas.

#13 Posted by ZenaxPure (2569 posts) -
@spazmaster666 said:

@xyzygy said:

@spazmaster666: Please don't tell me there is an achievement for 0 surprise attacks in one playthrough.

There is an achievement for getting 100 preemptive strikes in a row. I probably won't get this achievement just by playing through the game though since it's tough to prevent those random occurances without resorting to reloading saves (which I don't feel like doing while playing through the game for the first time.) But it should be pretty easy to grind in a few areas.

I don't think it's in a row, either way I've already unlocked it. Also getting surprise attacks is very easy until you reach Academia, but then it's only hampered by story stuff.
#14 Posted by McGhee (6094 posts) -

Like Brad was saying, I'm more worried about the story and the two main characters. Serah and the new kid with parachute pants seems like such an odd choice.

#15 Posted by Flappy (2108 posts) -

@spazmaster666 said:

@xyzygy said:

@spazmaster666: Please don't tell me there is an achievement for 0 surprise attacks in one playthrough.

There is an achievement for getting 100 preemptive strikes in a row. I probably won't get this achievement just by playing through the game though since it's tough to prevent those random occurances without resorting to reloading saves (which I don't feel like doing while playing through the game for the first time.) But it should be pretty easy to grind in a few areas.

Oddly enough, I was able to get that achievement without getting 100-straight. Just keep at it and it should pop eventually.

#16 Edited by spazmaster666 (1965 posts) -

@Zenaxzd said:

I don't think it's in a row, either way I've already unlocked it. Also getting surprise attacks is very easy until you reach Academia, but then it's only hampered by story stuff.

Yes it's easy to get preemptive strikes, but I found quite a few situations where I'd be running forward and a monster would pop up and run directly into my character without giving me a chance to even attempt to get a preemptive strike. Also, I'm not talking about the "Quick Draw" achievement which is simply to get 50 preemptive strikes. I'm talking about the "Clock Stopper" achievement which requires 100 in a row.

@Flappy said:

Oddly enough, I was able to get that achievement without getting 100-straight. Just keep at it and it should pop eventually.

Are you referring to the "Quick Draw" achievement?

#17 Posted by Flappy (2108 posts) -

@spazmaster666: Yup yup. Keep getting the preemptive strikes and it should come up before long.

#18 Posted by spazmaster666 (1965 posts) -

@Flappy said:

@spazmaster666: Yup yup. Keep getting the preemptive strikes and it should come up before long.

I've gotten that one as well. It's not the one I'm talking about.

#19 Edited by Flappy (2108 posts) -

@spazmaster666: Ooooh! My bad. I totally had it confused with another achievement. Carry on.

Edit: Have you tried an area with static monsters? Other than that, all I can say is try to move a little slower while moving through areas. That'll help prevent you from running straight into the enemies (something I'm guilty of doing a couple of times.)

#20 Posted by ZenaxPure (2569 posts) -
@McGhee said:

Like Brad was saying, I'm more worried about the story and the two main characters. Serah and the new kid with parachute pants seems like such an odd choice.

So far I've been very confused about people saying the story was hard to follow. It's quite simple, actually in fact not a lot is going on. Perhaps this is because I went off and did a bunch of stuff that wasn't story related but it doesn't feel like much is going on almost 20 hours into the game now. Time's fucked, changing something in a timeline changes something somewhere else. Not much to it. But I don't think I'm half way through the game yet, at least based on locations that have unlocked.
#21 Posted by MiniPato (2714 posts) -

@xyzygy said:

By the sounds of things, if they would have added more characters to your party the story would be completely fucked sideways. Apparently it's already very convoluted.

@spazmaster666: Please don't tell me there is an achievement for 0 surprise attacks in one playthrough.

From what I've played of it, I don't think the story is convoluted as much as it is just poorly written.

#22 Posted by ZenaxPure (2569 posts) -

The more I play the more I am loving the monster stuff, especially because I have started to get into some ridiculous shit. In one of the areas there is a cactuar statue that lets you engage in combat with a Gigantuar. It proceeded to 2 shot each of my characters though (mostly because of fog/pain) but after doing a Med/Sen/Med + Med/Sen/Com strat I managed I kill it after 5 minutes. I get the feeling I wasn't supposed to do that yet considering he is a 4th tier monster and I don't even have access to the type of items to level him up, but whatever.
 
Anyway, the take away from all that is I now control a Gigantuar who in combat is so large I can usually only see his legs on screen. In addition to that I decided to give him a HUGE backpack about doubling his size, because why not? Freaking hilarious imo.
 
Also for anyone curious about Chocobo racing in more detail, it seems that you use the chocobos you catch in the wild in the races. Their stats are determined by the monsters actual stats in some way or another (not entirely sure how it works under the hood, though). The actual races themselves are mostly passive for you, if you experienced the magic of Chao Racing back in Sonic Adventure 2 this is fairly similar. You have a boost meter that fills up during the race and you can use it to give a boost to your bird. Before the race you also select a "strat" for your chocobo to follow such as always trying to be in first place, staying in the middle until midway, and some other options. The more conservative you play the more charge you get, basically. Altogether it seems like a cool minigame, but I don't really have an amazing chocobo to enter yet personally.

#23 Posted by ImmortalSaiyan (4673 posts) -

@Zenaxzd said:

@ImmortalSaiyan said:

I have been having trouble adapting to the Monster system and have been doing rather poorly. So far I have been missing a third party member.

What are you having trouble with exactly? It's fairly simple but free.

I feel terrible at this game. Ever since coming to the Archylte Steepe I have been losing most of my battles. I have gotten somewhat better but I still can't beat the boss. I am not sure what I am doing wrong, I never had this much trouble with 13.

#24 Posted by MiniPato (2714 posts) -

@ImmortalSaiyan said:

@Zenaxzd said:

@ImmortalSaiyan said:

I have been having trouble adapting to the Monster system and have been doing rather poorly. So far I have been missing a third party member.

What are you having trouble with exactly? It's fairly simple but free.

I feel terrible at this game. Ever since coming to the Archylte Steepe I have been losing most of my battles. I have gotten somewhat better but I still can't beat the boss. I am not sure what I am doing wrong, I never had this much trouble with 13.

Have you been going back to get missing shards and stuff? You might unlock other time gates and open up new areas. It's a good way to grind without feeling like you're grinding.

#25 Posted by ZenaxPure (2569 posts) -
@ImmortalSaiyan said:

@Zenaxzd said:

@ImmortalSaiyan said:

I have been having trouble adapting to the Monster system and have been doing rather poorly. So far I have been missing a third party member.

What are you having trouble with exactly? It's fairly simple but free.

I feel terrible at this game. Ever since coming to the Archylte Steepe I have been losing most of my battles. I have gotten somewhat better but I still can't beat the boss. I am not sure what I am doing wrong, I never had this much trouble with 13.

That is.... weird, as this game is far easier than 13 imo. I've only died a handful of times myself, and most of those were doing things I probably shouldn't of (Gigantuar, Behemoths, etc) 
 
How are you speccing Noel/Serah? 
Also what paradigms are you using? I find that Com/Rav/Rav set to AOE damage is enough to get myself through 70% of the normal battles, though I had to mess around a little and get an AOE attack for my monster since he didn't start out with one.
#26 Posted by TopSteer (634 posts) -

This seems as good a place to ask as any: Should I be upgrading my monsters more often? I'm about six hours in and haven't spent a single material in the crystarium on any monster. I have a tendency to hoard things in RPGs and am always thinking I should save these materials for stronger monsters. Also does the level of the monster effect infusion in any way?

#27 Posted by ImmortalSaiyan (4673 posts) -

@Zenaxzd: Sarah Is level thirty something Rev with a small Com/Sab/Med. Noel is highest com with good sen and a bit of sav/med. In 13 I specced each character to two primary paradigms and often switched my team. I never knew about the monster system going in and was planning to do the same thing. So now I am trying to make Sarah and Noel more even in all paradigms.

#28 Posted by MiniPato (2714 posts) -

@ImmortalSaiyan said:

@Zenaxzd: Sarah Is level thirty something Rev with a small Com/Sab/Med. Noel is highest com with good sen and a bit of sav/med. In 13 I specced each character to two primary paradigms and often switched my team. I never knew about the monster system going in and was planning to do the same thing. So now I am trying to make Sarah and Noel more even in all paradigms.

Only level 30 in ravager? I basically just min/maxed and Serah is 60 in Rav and Noel is 60 in Com. When I fought the boss in Archlyte I think I also had some in medic for Serah since Cait Sith isn't much help in an emergency on his own. Also a zweig scantron monster for a ravager, one you can find in Oerba. I also have a miniflan as a commando too for dealing out the damage once the boss is staggered. Leveling up Serah and Noel shouldn't be too hard. The real grinding is for getting monster upgrade parts. Oerba, near the end with the frag slugs is a good place to get lvl2 robot monster materials like chips. And Sunleth Waterscape is a good place to get lvl2 organic parts called slivers. Farming the parts shouldn't be too hard as long as you 5 star the battles, which isn't hard either.

#29 Posted by ZenaxPure (2569 posts) -
@TopSteer: You should level them. You will find TONS of materials as you go (especially if you consistently 5 star normal battles) and at the point I'm at I've already maxed like 15 or so mobs and use infusion all the time. Also level doesn't effect what they transfer over, just depends on the abilities they have. So once you spec enough to get an ability you want for a different monster feel free to infuse them. 
 
@ImmortalSaiyan: I wouldn't really suggest an even split. For Serah you should just use all your large nodes on Ravager and for Noel all the large nodes on Commando, then just use the small nodes for whatever you want for abilities. Also for most -normal- enemies Sen/Sab/Syn/Med are ALL useless and you should be focusing on some sort of Rav/Com setup. Honestly I am not exaggerating when I say most trash fights take about 2-3 seconds. I spend more time on the loot screen than in the actual fights. You simply have to learn how to take on each enemy group.
#30 Posted by ImmortalSaiyan (4673 posts) -

@Zenaxzd: I guess I might be over complicating it for myself from the sounds of thing. I will try a more direct and simple approach to the boss next time. Is Med/Sen really unimportant versus normal enemy's? Many of them do a lot of damage fairly quick.

#31 Posted by ZenaxPure (2569 posts) -
@ImmortalSaiyan said:

@Zenaxzd: I guess I might be over complicating it for myself from the sounds of thing. I will try a more direct and simple approach to the boss next time. Is Med/Sen really unimportant versus normal enemy's? Many of them do a lot of damage fairly quick.

Maybe a bit, but yes Sen/Med is USELESS for normal enemies, you should be killing them in ~2 charges of the ATB.  
  
Like I mentioned in my original post the trash design is very different in this game compared to the first to be done faster. They do indeed shred your face (I die in about 3 cycles of the ATB if I don't kill a foe) but pretty much anything can be killed quickly. 
 
For the bosses, you will play that more like the original FF13. Buff when needed, debuff, etc. 
#32 Posted by Animasta (14632 posts) -

My specs are so screwed up

Noel's highest spec is medic & synergist, and Serah's is ravager and saboteur ... I got a svarog from the first ruins, and he's been a way better commando than Noel.

#33 Posted by AuthenticM (3695 posts) -

It took me 113 hours to platinum XIII.

#34 Posted by ZenaxPure (2569 posts) -
@Animasta said:

My specs are so screwed up

Noel's highest spec is medic & synergist, and Serah's is ravager and saboteur ... I got a svarog from the first ruins, and he's been a way better commando than Noel.

lol, that sounds poor. I hit 99 Com today on Noel, all 99 on large nodes as well, so he is a beast. I'm curious how close I am to the end of the game now that I am already maxing some ranks on each character, I might of spent wayyyy to much time doing side stuff. Also concerns me because I still have like 7 or 8 locations not unlocked (minus the 3 on the left of the crux that are DLC or some shit)
#35 Posted by ZenaxPure (2569 posts) -
@AuthenticM said:

It took me 113 hours to platinum XIII.

Took me 110, but then I have another 70 or so hours on my PS3 version of the game (still not platinum'd, but I am gonna go back at some point).
#36 Posted by Animasta (14632 posts) -

@Zenaxzd said:

@Animasta said:

My specs are so screwed up

Noel's highest spec is medic & synergist, and Serah's is ravager and saboteur ... I got a svarog from the first ruins, and he's been a way better commando than Noel.

lol, that sounds poor. I hit 99 Com today on Noel, all 99 on large nodes as well, so he is a beast. I'm curious how close I am to the end of the game now that I am already maxing some ranks on each character, I might of spent wayyyy to much time doing side stuff. Also concerns me because I still have like 7 or 8 locations not unlocked (minus the 3 on the left of the crux that are DLC or some shit)

I'm definitely not doing badly, but it feels like I'm not being as optimal as I'd like... but oh well! as you said this game is not a hard game (though mostly because you can switch party leaders if you die) Serah at least has learnt most of her ravager spells, and most of her sab spells as well

#37 Posted by ZenaxPure (2569 posts) -
@Animasta: Yeah, it's weird. Overall I think the game is easier but I enjoy it more because normal fights last under 10 seconds, and even though bosses are fast you can also die very quickly so there seems to be a ton more paradigm shifting going on. In addition I also really enjoy that there are -aga versions of protect and shell, so you can get it up quickly (even if it doesn't last as long).  
 
Overall while easier it feels like the battles are even faster with more going on and I am oddly enjoying the combat even more. Also helps they removed that fucking terrible 5 second animation the first time you shift. Easily worst part of the original FF13.
#38 Posted by Animasta (14632 posts) -

yeah it was pretty bad... I actually just entered the yaschas massif... after helping Snow get rid of that giant flan first. I am playing this game in the WRONG ORDER

#39 Posted by DonChipotle (2693 posts) -

I am really enjoying the game. I like it better than 13 in almost every way. I miss the characters and think the story is weaker, but still, I like it. Noel is growing on me too.

I just hope that there are actual unlockable outfits in the game and that they aren't all DLC. Because the GameStop pre-order costume isn't great. And I like costumes, dammit.

#40 Posted by ZenaxPure (2569 posts) -
@DonChipotle said:

 I miss the characters and think the story is weaker, but still, I like it. 


This is actually something else I wanted to talk about. At first I was pretty disinterested in the story, it was alright but like I mentioned before not much was going on. Looks like they decided to backload the story stuff because a bunch of fairly interesting things happened at once where I am at. I went from not really caring at all to slightly intrigued, hopefully it continues down the path it's going on. All I can really say is Caius probably has one of the most interesting motivations of a villain I've seen in a while, if you even want to call him a villain. 
 
Also for everyone else out there who is like "lol HD towns"... wait until you get to 4xx Academia, I think it might of been SE's attempt at a giant slap in the face for everyone who bitched about towns. It might be the biggest town in a JRPG this gen, if not all RPGs in general, certainly the biggest SE has made. I have a few gripes about it, but this is the first time this gen of games where I've seen a city that made me say "I would totally live here, this place is awesome". Really love the place.
#41 Posted by ShadowSkill11 (1783 posts) -

Impressions from someone who played a lot of 13? Ohh... and here I was thinking most people who picked up FF13-2 never played FF13 before...

#42 Posted by Animasta (14632 posts) -

@Zenaxzd: wait is academia the name of the town? that's a horrible name for a town.

#43 Posted by ZenaxPure (2569 posts) -
@ShadowSkill11 said:
Impressions from someone who played a lot of 13? Ohh... and here I was thinking most people who picked up FF13-2 never played FF13 before...
If you'd bothered to read my actual post you'd understand the emphasis on a lot of 13, not just "I played some of it" which is probably a lot of people's experience with the game. 
 
@Animasta said:

@Zenaxzd: wait is academia the name of the town? that's a horrible name for a town.

It's not the best name, but it actually makes sense in the context of the game. They actually explain why it's named that.
 
Also I was totally selling myself short, I doubled checked and I am heading into the final area of the game now (I assume it's the end, anyway. Unless something crazy happens) and there is still totally 11 locked locations I've yet to visit (not including those 3 on the left of the crux, because fuck those). I look forward to seeing what other ridiculous/awesome zones await me. Just a bit ago I was in an area about as big as the Archylte Steppe from the original 13. Wasn't expecting to see an area that big in this game, though there doesn't see to be much to do there (though I've only explored about half of it).
#44 Edited by ZenaxPure (2569 posts) -

Well I beat the game, and god damnit someone
 
I was about to give them credit for somehow making one of the most bold and amazing endings in a video game and then 
 

Not sure what to say about that. I know the game has multiple endings, but I don't think any of them are canon or anything (don't quote me on that though, I am not sure.). In fact I am not even sure how to unlock any other endings yet, need to go look that shit up. 
 
Here's a few thoughts on the ending part of the game with NO SPOILERS:  
  • The final boss is probably my favorite fight between 13 and 13-2. They incorporated a lot of cool stuff you should expect from FF bosses. For examples he totally has an attack with a countdown timer that can 1 shot you if you aren't careful. In addition I am not sure if I was just doing something wrong or not powerful enough yet but this was the first boss I did not 5 star. It took me 20 minutes (with an estimated time of 10 minutes) and I got 0 stars. To be fair I had some bad luck with staggering I won't go into, but yeah the key thing there is the fight was fucking awesome.
  • The plot really picks up at the end of the game. I was completely sold on it by the end of the game, some really awesome stuff happens.
  • There is a few unanswered questions I have (though it's nothing story-breaking, it's mostly just my curiosity)
  • Cauis is hands down one of my favorite villains in the series now, he has real motivation and similar to Vayne in FF12 he's not really a "bad guy" so to speak. I will leave it at that, but he is really great.
  • I am not really mad at the ending like I suspect a lot of people are going to be (because for the most part it has closure) but I am very curious about... everything. I won't say anymore because of spoilers.
 Anyways, a bunch of stuff opens up once you finish it so I am sure all of that will be fun to dive into and go on my trophy adventure.
#45 Posted by Ares42 (2546 posts) -
@Zenaxzd said:
  • The plot really picks up at the end of the game. I was completely sold on it by the end of the game, some really awesome stuff happens.
  • There is a few unanswered questions I have (though it's nothing story-breaking, it's mostly just my curiosity)
  • Cauis is hands down one of my favorite villains in the series now, he has real motivation and similar to Vayne in FF12 he's not really a "bad guy" so to speak. I will leave it at that, but he is really great.
  • I am not really mad at the ending like I suspect a lot of people are going to be (because for the most part it has closure) but I am very curious about... everything. I won't say anymore because of spoilers.
 Anyways, a bunch of stuff opens up once you finish it so I am sure all of that will be fun to dive into and go on my trophy adventure.
Nice, this was very re-assuring to read. I'm about 15 hours in and I'm really not sold on the time-travelling yet. So far it just seems very unnessecary and just creates a lot of silly conceits, but if there's actually a pay-off at some point it might actually be great :P
#46 Posted by Mnemoidian (955 posts) -

Probably 7-9 hours into FFXIII-2 myself, and I like it so far. The timetravel seems fine, though it seems rather simply handled. Some weird language/mechanics (like "Close Gate". I understand what it does now - but it's not intuitive, especially not as I was able to do it before the game informed me that I had unlocked the ability to Close Gates :P).

It's neither revolutionary or ground breaking, probably won't convince people who despised XIII, but I enjoyed XIII and most of it's characters.

Looking forward to digging deeper into this during the weekend. :)

#47 Posted by ZenaxPure (2569 posts) -
@Ares42: I am not sure man. I know the ending is straight up going to piss off some people, but I was ok with it personally, but I have a high tolerance for what many people may consider bullshit.  
 
Anyhow, let's just say it has an ending. From what I was reading in a lot of the Japanese threads people said the game didn't even end but that was definitely not the case.
#48 Posted by Marokai (2785 posts) -

I look forward to finishing this game just so we can argue, Zenax. Because I strongly suspect I'm going to disagree with you. 
 
IN THE MEAN TIME, I CONTINUE MARCHING THROUGH IT.

#49 Posted by Ares42 (2546 posts) -
@Zenaxzd: well, the way I see it right now if it wasn't for the story elements there would be no reason for this game to feature time-travelling, as the areas could've just as well been different areas existing in the same era (there's just not enough play on the "I was here before, but now it's totally different" thing). But if the story actually delivers that probably sorta justifies the time-travelling :P Guess I'll see though.. got some other bigger gripes about the game, but want to reserve judgement until I've finished the story at least.
#50 Posted by ZenaxPure (2569 posts) -
@Ares42 said:
@Zenaxzd: well, the way I see it right now if it wasn't for the story elements there would be no reason for this game to feature time-travelling, as the areas could've just as well been different areas existing in the same era (there's just not enough play on the "I was here before, but now it's totally different" thing). But if the story actually delivers that probably sorta justifies the time-travelling :P Guess I'll see though.. got some other bigger gripes about the game, but want to reserve judgement until I've finished the story at least.
Dunno how far are you are, but there are quite a few alternate timeline locations that pop up for story related stuff because Serah/Noel change the timeline. There are 4 versions of the yaschaf massif, for example.

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