posted by Faerie_Knight (DUBUQUE, IA) Aug 14, 2014
Member since Mar 2013
Haven't played much of this yet, but so far it leaves me feeling... confused? Yeah, that's a good word for it. The end of the saga, yay! But you're under a strict time limit. I'm... indecisive on if I like this mechanic or not. When done well it works great. Shadow of Destiny was a prime example of this mechanic done well.
When done badly, Majora's Mask being a prime example, it drags down a game. The difference here is how much time it gives, and how much time it takes to do anything. So far it's undecided for me yet which this is. But uhm... you fail if you can't complete enough side quests to extend the clock by 7 days? So even if you can beat the storyline in less then 13 days, you still must grind out side quests? That seems a tad harsh.
Graphics are great, and the combat system is fairly smooth to figure out. So far the story seems a little forced, but that should hopefully smooth out. So until I know for sure how exactly the time clock works out, I can't give this more then a 5 out of 10.
Lightning Returns is the third and final chapter of the Final Fantasy XIII story. While it maintains many similarities with the previous two entries, it strays in areas that are both puzzling and unwanted.
I'll avoid talking story to avoid spoilers, but I would be doing a disservice by not saying that the plot in this game is a hot mess. It's nonsensical and the characters, particularly Lightning, are unlikable. She comes across as the most monotone sourpuss you can imagine, and her supporting cast of characters are just as dull and lifeless.
The open areas of the game are a welcomed change, as is the ability to tackle the game's five main missions in whatever order you wish (however, this is somewhat gated by difficulty). I could overlook a lot of these flaws if it wasn't for the time limit the game imposes on you or the silly system for leveling up. The premise of the story puts a real time limit on Lightning which you can extend via quests, but this puts unnecessary stress on the player and detracts from the experience forcing you to rush. Also, to level up you must complete quests. Battles give you nothing. Silly.
The battle system is also intriguing to some degree, and reminds me a bit of Final Fantasy X-2's dress up system. Basically, you equip Lightning with different costumes and from these she gains the ability to do different...abilities in combat. It's interesting and keeps you on the hunt for new costumes, constantly tweaking things to create the perfect layout. It's also important to note that you do all of your battles with just Lightning. This is a radical departure from any other non-MMO entry in the series.
The difficulty has also been ramped up considerably. Normal mode is no joke and I'd recommend starting on easy, proceeding to normal on subsequent new game+ playthroughs. Achievements are also a slog, and you'll have to play through multiple times if you wish to unlock them all.