this game is great and could stand on its own - tho the backstory from the first one helps - it would be better avoided (the original) I enjoyed this game and its story very much - there were improvments made to the characters, the linearity, and the battle system - everything is solid - I recommend it if you are a RPG fan
Mini-games plus jumping through a poorly thought out timeline system makes this one of the most annoying and frustrating games I've ever played. The developers should be fired and sued for the return of their salieries.
FF XIII-2 is no doubt a beautiful game, like it's predecessor. The graphics are fantastic, and the environments look technically impressive.
Unfortunately, all of the technically impressive animation doesn't make for a good game. In a bit about Jazz music, comedian Paul F. Tompkins says it's not enjoyable because it's basically a bunch of musicians playing solos at the same time. Final Fantasy XIII-2 is like that. It might be impressive, but overall it isn't GOOD.
The opening sequence is a giant explosion of action and color and...really nonsense. The story (like in FF XIII-2) immediately seems complex just for the sake of being complex. The characters are largely uninteresting, as well.
TL;DR: Technically impressive, but not enjoyable. Like Jazz music.