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Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII

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GF Rating
6.5

548 ratings

Critic & User Reviews

GF Rating
10

Perfect

An Honest Review

posted by PayneFamily (SUNBRIGHT, TN) Mar 23, 2014

Member since Mar 2014

8 out of 11 gamers (73%) found this review helpful

Despite what Game Informer and Users on Gamefly state, this game is actually a great ending to a beautiful series.

Lightning Returns begins at the End of the World, plagued in Chaos. The people who live here no longer age. However, they can still die from accidents, disease, natural causes, and so forth. Immortality, with a sick twist. Lightning, now a Servant of God, is sent to rescue the souls of the people left alive so they can pass onto the next life where God will be forging a new world for them.

The Focus of the game is to rescue five heavily burdened souls scattered across the game area. Four locations, five souls. And then, on the Thirteenth day, the game will end with a final choice and show down. no spoilers.

The Game has a clock system. Thirteen Days to save the world. Each Day begins at 6 AM and ends at 6 AM the following day. Though many complain that they feel rushed on time, the player gains an ability fairly early that allows them to freeze the flow of time. People still move and the game acts normal, just the clock stops.

Here is where people feel a sudden looming doom of rushed. You are given only five days when you start. Five days until the worlds end. Lightning has to save souls of people (side missions) around the four regions. Some are easy. Some are tedious. But, if you pay attention to what monsters drop, grab ever chest you can, you will fly through the game.

In the end, I rate this game a full 10 out of 10. If you paid attention to the first and second games, you will understand everything going on and will have no confusion. I do recommend playing through the games if you are having trouble remembering things. The world is utter beautiful and you do have enough time explore every bit of it, do all the side missions, and main missions in the thirteen days. The ending has a nice tie into our own world that Final Fantasy has never done. It wrapped everything nicely with a pretty bow and ended on a beautiful note. Hope I helpe

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GF Rating
6

Above Average

Oh my goodness...

posted by Nemy009 (HOUSTON, TX) Mar 4, 2014

Member since Mar 2006

1 out of 2 gamers (50%) found this review helpful

Oh how I wish Square ended this series with the original FFXlll. Granted that game had its flaws, but it was still decent. But unfortunately, then came FFXlll-2 which addressed one of the major flaws with the original, but added an even more convoluted story, fewer playable characters, and a cliffhanger ending that set the stage for this mess of a game known as Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy Xlll.

Major mistake number one, the game is timed based meaning you're racing against the clock trying to save as many souls as possible before the "end of the world". This was such a bad move for an RPG that I can't even begin to sound off on it like I want to.

Second mistake. You don't level up by defeating enemies. No, you level up by doing silly side-quest that are so mind-numbingly repetitive and boring that I almost considered not finishing the game. Which is substantial for me since I'll general tough it out to the end no matter how bad the game, but this game had me almost throwing in the towel.

Third, the graphics. In a word, they're bad. Well to be more precise the character models of the main characters are fine, but everyone else looked almost PlayStation 1 quality. From flat polygons to muddy textures, one can tell that the budget for this game wasn't substantial.

The story line is your classic twist on the genesis of humanity. It's heavy on the religious overtones and could be considered creative albeit more than a little silly by some. I won't reveal too much other than to say that the story will have you rolling your eyes more than a few times, and scratching your head the other times when it gets overly convoluted.

And finally, oh let's play dress up with Lightning! That would be really cool!... No. No, that isn't cool at all, and it just makes me all the more glad that this series is finally over and can be forgotten about. Hopefully now Square can get back to making proper rpg's and leave the timed based, Barbie Doll, god killer games to someo

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GF Rating
8

Very Good

Not amazing, but not terrible either

posted by ShinigamiB (TALLAHASSEE, FL) Feb 24, 2014

Member since Feb 2014

1 out of 2 gamers (50%) found this review helpful

People are seriously exaggerating how bad this game is. true, its not a perfect 10/10. Really, not even close. But nonetheless, its a game worth playing.

Like every other FF game, this one has top of the line beautiful aesthetics, the gameplay is quite fun, and story wise, its not that bad either.

Granted, the game is very lacking in several aspects. I would seriously suggest against buying this game, but this is gamefly. just rent the game, live the experience, and make your own opinion about the game.

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GF Rating
6

Above Average

not a keeper.

posted by chefred67 (INDIANAPOLIS, IN) Feb 18, 2014

Member since Sep 2009

1 out of 2 gamers (50%) found this review helpful

When I saw the trailers I was very excited for the game. I still had my excitement even after playing it. The visuals are great, the combat is fast paced and fun. The different outfits and their abilities reminded me of X-2 ( which was one of my top 5 FF games) and it made it more strategic then fashionable.
That is where the positive ends though. The mission where very time consuming and unwanted. Paired with the fact that the only way to increase your stats was to do these missions. You don't get any experience from enemies that you will fight ALOT. Which leaves your limited time grinding on many gathering missions only to get minor stat increases. Seeing as how the main mission of the game is to gather souls I found myself only able to collect 1 to 2 souls each in-game day, thus not making much progress. The storyline also seemed kind of rushed and thrown at you to try and understand.
On a side note the community messages are a nice touch. People sharing funny moment and showing off their build is a very fun addition. All-in-all the beautiful visuals and great combat are the high point, but the limited time grinding and the rushed storyline keep this game from being only a renting title.

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GF Rating
2

Really Bad

Square Enix Misses the Mark...Again.

posted by Inktomi (MERRICK, NY) Feb 19, 2014

Member since Feb 2014

6 out of 14 gamers (43%) found this review helpful

Boring Lightning Barbie Waifu Dress-up Simulator.

Why I hate this game.

1) This is a cliched, convoluted and boring story.

2) A timed game forcing you to rush through and not enjoy one of the more open worlds offered of the three series.

3) Offers an action combat system is button mashing switching back and forth while the infernal bonk,bonk,bonk shrieks at you.

4) Tons of spells but no healing spells offered? Maybe I didn't play through long enough, but my eyes were bleeding.

5) All NPC's are now World of Warcraft characters? Where is Mankriks wife? Fetch quests and killing ten rats...been there, done that.

6) And Lightning looked out of proportion with her peglegs. Didn't even look right in all these weird outfits you had to play Barbie with. If I am forced to play Barbie, let the woman look like a woman please.

Do yourself a favor, pass on the whole Fabula Nova Crystallis series and wait for the remake of FFX and FFX-2 (the original FF barbie dress up game.) These two go back to the heyday of the franchise and offers tons more depth.

And where were the summons?

I am a FF collector and have many games in the series. One day I know I will be forced to buy this one, but it will be at a deep, deep discount out of the discount bin.

Exactly where I found FFXIII and FFXIII-2.

If FFXV doesn't absolutely blow my doors off I am going to turn my back on the whole franchise altogether.

TL;DR: Get a chance, miss it.

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GF Rating
3

Bad

Trash.

posted by Isalon (SOUTH PORTLAND, ME) Mar 5, 2014

Member since Aug 2011

3 out of 7 gamers (43%) found this review helpful

I'm going to be brutally honest: This game is a trainwreck and should be taken out back and shot.

1. I don't enjoy playing a game where I have to rush and beat the clock. I've got enough stress in my life and I don't need a video game adding to it by rushing me through. The game clock was the dumbest idea since Breath of Fire. Speaking of which...

2. Square Enix, do you not review the games of your peers? Capcom tried this system with their NOW DEAD Breath of Fire series. Gamers HATED IT and the series died. Are you trying to do that for Final Fantasy?

3. The clock countdown is further enraging by the fact that side-quests are peppered everywhere, but not all at the same time. You see, in order to get/complete Sidequest A, you have to go to XYZ location, at ABC time. It's a BORING MESS.

4. Combat is worthless. Unless you're fighting for sidequest-related items, there's almost no reason to fight enemies because there's no level-up system.

5. Items are ridiculous. I can wear a pair of earrings that give me 40 strength, yet a cosmetic hat gives no bonus? If I wanted to play dress-up (IE, garbs) I'd buy barbie dolls.

6. This game is tedious at best and a trainwreck at worst. I was excited to get my hands on it and I was let down within the first hour.

7. I enjoy RPG's but every 5 minutes I don't need a monologue from a sidequest character on who they are, what their problem is, and how I can help them - only to realize I just lost 15 minutes of game time (which is A LOT) listening to their story.

8. Square Enix, you're a dying company. Get your gear together, FIRE EVERYBODY in your staff - and I do mean EVERYBODY - and try and get the staff who made FF3 (6 Japan) or FF7 back together.

In short, stop trying new stuff that doesn't work! Listen to your gamers, we're telling you what we want and this isn't it! Stick to what you do best and stop trying to be everything to everyone. There's a reason you were insanely successful with the NES/SNES/PS1

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GF Rating
1

Horrible

This game....this game...

posted by PissedoffGamer (LADSON, SC) Feb 23, 2014

Member since Jul 2012

2 out of 5 gamers (40%) found this review helpful

Do not but this game. Do not rent this game. Do not think about this game. This game is horrible.

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GF Rating
10

Perfect

You're Wrong GameFly Members, You're Wrong

posted by damianrock (DULUTH, GA) Apr 14, 2014

Top Reviewer

Member since Nov 2007

1 out of 3 gamers (33%) found this review helpful

I historically won't rent a game with a rating less than 6.5, which almost made me miss Lightning Returns. Fortunately, my need to see the end of a story forced this rental on me, and I'm glad it did!

Everyone's biggest complaint is the clock, so I took my time and wasted days just running around goofing-off, wanting the final day to come... but it never did. The more quests you complete, even the main missions, the more days you gain. The game will go for 14 days, if you just barely help people. And many quests are solved by just playing the main missions and remembering who needed what.

So then I got to the end... to the part where they tell you what the whole story is... AND I LOVED IT! This story is anime-like, over the top, good. In true Japanese form, it builds-up slow and has a fast and furious end. The story is convoluted, psychological, and deep, and it makes no apologies for being so. In that, a lot of people will find it confusing. Kids and those who are used to Hollywood endings won't like it.

For the rest of us however, the story gives all the main characters a complete ending, and there's one extra extended scene after the credits, that again is in true Japanese form. This all adds-up to a very rewarding experience.

Since I goofed-off the first week playing, I then went back and played the game seriously, actually reading the dialogue.. and again believing the GameFly rating led me astray. The story from get-go is pretty good.

I can only conclude that the bad reviews on here did not take the time to actually play the game. They just slammed through a few hours, saw the clock and decided they hated it. They said nope, the gameplay is different, so they hated it. Story moved too slow, so they hated it.

Sorry GameFly kids, but you missed the bus. This story is one of the best, and this is coming from someone who has played every game in the US released series, starting all the way back in 1987.

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GF Rating
10

Perfect

Most underrated RPG I have ever played

posted by MangoPancakes (TAMPA, FL) Mar 17, 2014

Member since Mar 2014

1 out of 3 gamers (33%) found this review helpful

Let me start off by saying I absolutely loved Lightning returns and believe that every review that gave it less than an 8.5 does the game no justice. Having beaten every final fantasy and having a strong background in playing JRPG's and action-RPG's, I feel as though this game combines all the elements of modern RPG's and classic final fantasy into one.

Visually, the game is stunning. No one argues this as square-enix has always been ahead of it's time with graphics (I.E FFX's graphics were far beyond any other ps2 game when released).

Soundtrack- was strong, not the best, but very strong relative to other RPG's I have recently played

Gameplay- Most people don't like change, and if you are one of these then you may not like the gameplay or fighting style of this game, but I loved it. Making Lighting one character with several classes was a great way to merge the characteristics of the last two, FFXII's open world and a hint of new style together. Learn and it you will appreciate it's greatness.

Story- This is where I think Lightning Returns excels. I know most of the reviews knock the time limited "open world" idea concept of lightning returns, but even mass effect wasn't able to bring together the characters and emotions of all the other games like XIII-3 was. The story is incredible, and when you go back and read the story of the prior two stories, you realize that the entire XIII story was incredible.

Bhunivelzue created Etros, Pulse and Lindzei (the three gods of the series), which in turn created the Fal'Cie, that ruled over humans. Fal'Cie wanted to be closer to god, so they created L'Cie, binding them to their fate. Square-Enix brought this together flawlessly and by the end of the game, you felt complete. Yes FF XIII was mediocre at best, and FFXIII-2 was a better game, but lightning returns brings all the great story elements that were piece-mealed together in the last two, to create one spectacular ending.

All in all- GREAT

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GF Rating
1

Horrible

It's just so bad.

posted by Bonals2 (LOUISVILLE, KY) Feb 22, 2014

Member since Dec 2012

1 out of 3 gamers (33%) found this review helpful

In a series that seems to pride itself on nonsense, this one takes the taco. I just can't find anything redeeming about it at all. Just truly totally awful. This is the first final fantasy game that I will be unable to complete.

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GF Rating
9

Excellent

Back to Basics! Not overdone just right!

posted by Joshh (GARLAND, TX) Feb 19, 2014

Member since Feb 2014

2 out of 7 gamers (29%) found this review helpful

This game is just one you do not want to stop playing. Great story and gameplay is not over dramatic. Some might say to simple but that is what i like . It has quests,loot,side quests, ect. I finished the game in about 30 hours on easy. Only 2 things i found a little irritating is the game is short(but that is part of the story really) and random battles seem to often(but u can run away from them) This game is a solid A to me sit down and escape to another world.

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GF Rating
9

Excellent

It's not the future of Final Fantasy, but...

posted by Ahiam94 (COTTAGE GROVE, OR) Feb 17, 2014

Member since Dec 2013

2 out of 7 gamers (29%) found this review helpful

This game isnt' exactly the "future of Final Fantasy". It's not a revolutionary experience that will leave you breathless, but that doesn't stop it from being insanely fun. The gameplay to this game is easily the most fast paced eventful style any Final Fantasy has ever seen. And it never stops being fun.

Whenever I turned this game on, I could never seem to play for less than four hours at a time. While sticking to FFXIII's traditional Paradigm system, it goes about it in a completely different way. It's simple to pick up, but takes a lot of practice to truly understand and master. It's what you could ever want with a game.

Story is great. Very intense way to close the amazing saga that XIII has been so far. I've always loved the world of XIII because of it's depth and realism, and this game just makes the world that much more detailed.

Messing around with costumes and seeing they're different effects was great fun, and a crazy amount of side quests make this game take a while to beat.

Although, there are a few issues I had with this game. Some of the side quests were a little boring. And at other times, side quests that started off interesting enough drug on too long, but that wasn't really too big of a problem.

The voice acting is top notch, yet again. With actors like Troy Baker on your game you can never go wrong. The music is beautiful as always. One of my most favorite things about all three XIII games has been the music, and I was really happy to see that they didn't hold back for the finale.

Overall, if you enjoyed the other two games, you'll surley love this game as well. And, if you didn't care for the other two games, you will probably find somehting to enjoy with this great experience.

I would highly recommend this game to any RPG lover! You will not be disappointed!

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GF Rating
10

Perfect

I love it

posted by JohnBaesa (GLENDALE HEIGHTS, IL) Nov 20, 2014

Member since Oct 2014

I love this game! Very interesting layout and game system. I could probably play this game over and over. Ever since FFX, I've played multiple other FF titles. What never disappoints with these games are the music. IT WILL STICK with you FOREVER! Characters, story, challenges, etc, its all amazing. Lightning rocks

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GF Rating
8

Very Good

its got a really good ending

posted by sean999 (DENVER, CO) Jul 23, 2014

Member since Jul 2014

What sucks about this game is that you absolutely positively need to have some sort of strategy guide to be at all successful in this game. I almost bought one off amazon, but I decided to use IGN and other websites. It isn't too difficult to deal with the time element in the game. Once you get the hang of it, its kind of fun. Aside from that, one thing that is actually pretty good about this game is the storyline. Lightning returns builds off of both previous games and connects both of the story lines. The ending is actually pretty good. I didn't bother using the new game plus feature, because nothing carried through to new game plus that would spark me to play the game a second time. After I played it, I almost considered starting FF13 again because I just wanted to get a sense of whether or not square enix truly was planning this game from the beginning. I played it for a little while, and after some thought, I think they actually were. Its true.

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GF Rating
5

Fair

good game

posted by wiifan2009 (GRAND RAPIDS, MI) Jul 16, 2014

Member since Apr 2006

this ps3 game is worth the wait i enjoyed it but the downside is there are tough bosses in this game that you have to defeat the good thing is that it has great graphics i give lighting returns 4 bosses out of 5

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GF Rating
5

Fair

so so

posted by TopDollarVega (ROMULUS, MI) May 26, 2014

Member since May 2014

i like the fight style in this installment once you get the hang of it , it's quite fun.. i like the gear set up the costumes and stuff.. i didn't like that its on a time limit you know the 13 day thing you get no real chance to explore and find secrets and repeating the same quests over to many time kinda gets boring. i didn't like that there are no summons in this one , nor do i like the fact that your fighting your friends .. and i don't like the repetitive dialogue . i guess all an all the good counters the bad and makes it an OK game..

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GF Rating
5

Fair

Couldn't Bring Myself to Care

posted by Aerogems (SAN JOSE, CA) May 26, 2014

Member since Aug 2013

The first FF13 game took a little bit to get rolling, but once it did was an excellent game. The second game starts going off the rails by making the central character someone who only shows up in flashbacks for the first game and it's really easy to make a wrong choice and be stuck in that game.

Then there's FF13-3, which shows Square-Enix didn't learn a thing about the disaster that was FFX-2. It combines the annoying outfit changes and thin central plot padded with annoying side quests of FFX-2 with always being on the clock and only being able to complete certain quests at certain times. Combat required near constant maintenance of different outfits and managing the abilities of each one, compared to the nice role system they had in FF13. It's Lightning and Lightning alone in this game, other FF13 characters make an appearance, but just so you can "save" them. What plot there is, is a complete mess.

By the end, I just couldn't bring myself to even care. A week or more might go by and I would have no desire at all to play the game. I forced myself all the way to the final fight, but after skimming a guide, realized it was just going to be a really cheap multi-stage fight, so gave up. If I want to see the ending I'll find it on YouTube.

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GF Rating
5

Fair

Meh...

posted by GamerXYA (LAWTON, OK) Apr 28, 2014

Member since Apr 2014

To be honest I didn't care for this game the gameplay is really repetitive you feel rushed to complete the game and it focuses more around picking out Lightning's outfit then on storyline or fun

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GF Rating
2

Really Bad

very sneaky

posted by luke723 (SALEM, NH) Apr 14, 2014

Member since Feb 2008

Maybe it's my bias hating this game because on the surface it should be a pretty good game I guess. The problem is calling it a RPG is like calling Kim Kardasian a superstar and putting into the same namesake as a very specific type of experience people have come to expect is like showing up to a blind date and having it turn out to be your sister, sure it's a chic but WTH???? If this game out as as brand new series with no labels attached maybe I honestly wouldn't hate like i do, but trying to sneak it past brain functioning people as something that justifies the impact that the words Final Fantasy in it's title carry, y'all straight tripping.

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GF Rating
7

Good

Flip Flop

posted by nfinit (HOUSTON, TX) Apr 13, 2014

Member since Apr 2014

In the beginning it was fun, the first time I played through the story it was fun. A couple of new features showed up but by then Lightning was annoying. Third time through the story and I hated Lightning and wished Snow was the main character for many reasons: The motive would have been fixed, relate-ability would have been fixed, cosmetic annoyances would have been fixed..... In the end, I'm sooooo glad I didn't buy the game because it's simply not fun enough to overshadow the annoyingly dry story. The story was awesome until they explained everything. Very disappointing for me personally, strange overall message.

Basically, Fun to play for a week, after that I realized I wasn't having fun anymore and could have gotten rid of it sooner. I give it a 7 because everything in the game LOOKS and feels excellent. They took their time with everything, including the story so maybe you'll like the story. For me it just doesn't outweigh it's negative side enough for me to buy it for life. I wanted to like it more because of how high the quality is, but quality isn't everything in a game.

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GF Rating
7

Good

A good finale

posted by Lupinite (WINSTON SALEM, NC) Apr 10, 2014

Member since Nov 2013

I've played the other two games and while the story's were good the combat system, atleast in my eye's, was ridiculous. Lightning Returns fixes that, and the story is very good. It may be because I forgot certain things but I came across quite a few surprises. The outfits took a bad hit in reviews but they were tasteful up to a point. A few were very much fan service, but the weapons and shields made up for it. There is no leveling system, instead your attributes go up as you complete quest's of any kind. And don't worry about selling gear or anything by the end game I put serious thought into trying to find a pool and swimming in my all my gil.

Its a great finale to an adequate series, Lightning has some character development. Questions that plagued everyone through the series get answered and we share some touching reunions with previous game characters.

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GF Rating
1

Horrible

A Disgrace to the Final Fantasy Franchise!

posted by Thru2much (MANITOWOC, WI) Apr 2, 2014

Member since Apr 2014

If anyone is thinking about playing the new Final Fantasy XIII:Lightning's Return, I'm letting you know right now, it's NOTHING like any other Final Fantasy game. The closest would be X-2, as far as no real storyline, just quest after quest after quest. Which would be fine if you had an unlimited amount of time to get everything done, but you don't. Everything in the entire game needs to be done in a 6 day period (game time) and 1 day of game time only equals about an hour of real time. They give you an ability to stop time, but it only stops it for 3 minutes and then starts up again and you can only do this 5 times. Battles are completely random and usually pop up at the worst possible time and they mean nothing! No exp, no leveling up, just collecting items and getting your butt handed to you over and over again while doing it. If you don't make it to the end by day 6 you get a game over screen and have to start over from the very beginning of the game! All in all, even if you're a hardcore Final Fantasy fan like I am, I do not recommend this game at all! It's one good quality is that the graphics are absolutely amazing, especially if you have a 3D TV, but unfortunately graphics do not make a game, they just make it better. It won't stand on graphics alone.

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GF Rating
1

Horrible

Worst Final Fantasy since the beginning!!!

posted by Astronskas (AUBURNDALE, FL) Mar 29, 2014

Member since Sep 2008

I have played every FF game since the original and this is by far the worst in the series. The game is nothing more than a few side missions and a story that seemed hastily pieced together. I didn't even finish playing the game before I sent it back. If you are looking for a long in depth FF game steer clear of this one.

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GF Rating
1

Horrible

Embarrassing.

posted by GatorxDontxPlay (ELMHURST, NY) Mar 26, 2014

Member since Jun 2011

An embarrassing representation of what the Final Fantasy franchise once was. Disgraceful.

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GF Rating
2

Really Bad

Lame

posted by spo999 (VALLEY CENTER, CA) Mar 23, 2014

Member since Jan 2011

Not to belabor the point but the Timer system in this game is terrible. The one thing you want to do is explore the world but you simply cannot waste a single moment.

Second why oh why has every "RPG" morphed into a button mashing clone of Kronos/God of War.

The dialogue is terrible, the conversations between Hope and Lightning are unbearable.

Side quests are the only way to level up, and inexplicably, there is a tree that grows as you save souls and somehow expands time. Save the monotonous repetitive side quests and just buy some fertilizer already.

If you are looking for Kronos go for it. If you are looking for a FF game this is not it.

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