FF XIII: Lightning Returns Review
Final Fantasy XIII is one of my favorite Final Fantasy games of all time. The story of that game is absolutely fantastic and I think covers up what many feel are weird fight mechanics and some awkward moments in the game. Therefore when FF XII-2 came out I was excited to see a continuation of the game that I loved. I was so utterly disappointed in XII-2 that I didn't even want to give Lightning Returns a chance. I'm glad I changed my mind.
Does This One Have Anything To Do With The Original Story?
One of the major complaints I had about XIII-2 is that the ending of XIII was in a word, well perfect. Everyone was happy, the world was saved and everyone was starting over. There really was no need for anything else to happen in the world of FF XIII. But Square Enix needs that money so out pops a sequel.
Lightning Returns does the best it can to take a story that should have not seen the light of day in XIII-2 and wrap it all up in nice package. It really succeeds at doing that. The only problem is that it never should have had to in the first place. But the story of Lightning Returns brings back some of the best characters from XIII, including Snow as a villain in the beginning of the game. Vanille is of course adorable and manipulated in this game and Fang is there to kick some butt and protect her. Sahz is struggling to once again save Dahz and our herione Lightning is helping them all by saving their souls. At the heart of the game is the pursuit to rescue Serah. Literally the reward you get is a soul.
Of course the game does bring in the XII-2 crew as well with Noel and Yuel with the every so lovely Caius making another appearance. As with XII-2, the story with Yuel only tends to make things complicated and tends to frustrate the player with confusing timelines and paradoxes that just never seem right. While Lightning Returns does a decent job of tying all these characters together at times they still just seem too disconnected in the end.
Final Fantasy Meets Majora's Mask
The world is ending and I can freeze time and extend time to help stop it? Sound familiar? The whole principle reminded me of The Legend of Zelda:Majora's Mask. I am not a big fan of time games but I actually really enjoyed this aspect of Lightning Returns. Yes it does limit your time but it also gives you some incentive to do some side quests to help extend the amount of time you have. In essence give time to get time. However, having to return to the ark at 6 am no matter what is rather annoying.
New Battle System
The new battle system is quite an improvement from the paradigm system yet it maintains its FF XIII flow. Basically depending on the garb Lightning wear she can change her abilities, weapons, and magic all without having to unequip or use other players. It gives you more control and really optimizes the battle system.
Customize Garbs and Abilities
One of the strongest points of Lightning Returns is the ability to mix and match your own set of garbs. Each one has different abilities such as elemental effects, defense, etc. This makes the way you play the game highly customizable as well as different for almost every player.
At then end of the day, Lightning Returns is a decent game. It is worth the price and is worth the play to finally get some closure on this time travelling adventure and put an end to the world of FF XIII. There is plenty of extra content to keep you busy but if you're like me, then just finishing the story will be worth it alone.