Final Fantasy XIII-2

I am a big FF fangirl–I’ve played all of them save XI, but I’ll admit being a bit wary of this one, because of how much XIII sucked absolute rocks. I’m only about an hour and a half into it now, but I think this one has fixed a lot of the problems of XIII, while still maintaining the spirit of the series. I like the “cinematic action” sequences, which gives me something to do during long cut-scenes, and the time-travel plot is reminiscent of Chrono Trigger, one of my favorite games of all time. I like how you can capture and use monsters in your party, too.

This seems like a return to, if not greatness, at least goodness for the FF series. Is anyone else playing it?

I have a copy sitting on the shelf, but it’s going to stay there until I’ve finished Atelier Rorona and possibly Atelier Totori as well. Squenix pretty much squandered any goodwill I had towards them with XIII, and in all honesty, the time travel and monster taming don’t sound very appealing (I’d pretty much always prefer to have a real party member ahead of a ‘monster’). Plus, well, I’m not left with a positive impression of Sera from FFXIII, so the cards are stacked against this one for me.

The monsters are also customizable through the Crystarium, so it is more like having actual party members than it is like using blue magic.

I’m replaying XIII and liking it more than I remember liking it. If the combat gets better, I’ll be happy. Though I find the prospect of protagonist Serah dubious…

Also, I only had one major problem with XIII – you can’t position anyone. There are a bunch of AOE attacks and you have to just sort of pray your characters aren’t going in for a group hug at the time. Is there any way to alleviate that in XIII-2?

You may not believe it from my username, but I haven’t even played XIII yet (although it is sitting up there on my shelf).

Is XIII-2 gonna be the same idea as X-2, because if so, I feel less in a hurry to catch up…

What do you believe the “idea” was in X-2? Fanservice? Cash in?

Doesn’t seem to be, depending on what the “idea” is supposed to be.

I feel like a pervert admitting it, but X-2 had some interesting game play ideas. Unfortunately, those ideas were surrounded by “Let’s Play Dress Up Barbie”.

I just finished up XIII. I actually kind of liked it. It’s not the best FF game. The critics were mostly spot-on. The plot is confusing, the characters mostly unlikable, and the game is straighter than a laser beam. But the battle mechanics were well done and interesting, and the visuals were incredible.

If the reviews are correct, then XIII-2 manages to correct some of the flaws while maintaining the strengths. That being the case, I liked XIII well enough to wait until the price comes down on XIII-2 and put it on my ever-growing pile of games to play one day.

I’m liking XIII-2 right now, though I am getting some shock literally starting XIII-2 about 15 minutes after XIII.
Pros: I like the protagonists (and I thought I’d hate Serah), though I do kind of miss our other protagonists. Noel, however, is probably better so far than most of the original cast, and I liked most of the original cast. Even though I do always want to call Noel “Sora” given what his appearance…

The beginning was confusing as all get out, but it’s forgivable this time because nobody else knows what the hell is going on either, and the story is told from a limited perspective rather than from pseudo-omniscience.

The battle system has more flexibility, you can now force paradigms to focus fire or spread out regardless of role (Com/Com/* is now viable for non-boss fights because now you can force them to focus fire). Unfortunately, you still only have the same number of paradigms in a deck as you could last game, meaning you have to choose what you want.

Paradigms switch almost instantly now, no more cheesing the paradigm switch with Army of One so that your characters aren’t sitting there with their finger in their nose for 3 seconds.

Cons: I’m not sold on the monsters yet. As of now, you can have three monsters set at a time, each monster has one role (i.e. rav, com). It seems they have different stats and abilities. This allows for more customization, but if your primary rav monster is, say, a fire caster, your lightning rav may not be up to level by the time you fight a fire immune boss (which hasn’t happened yet, but I assume it might).

I don’t really get the new Crystarium, something about bonuses for fixating on one role and such, after a certain amount of level ups you can pick a bonus (more accessory slots, another ATB gauge, unlock a role like medic, bonuses for a certain role), but unlike XIII I only have the vaguest idea how much one level will help me. It seems like gimping your character might be really easy, but it’s hard to tell this early on.

No idea how the hell they compute stars in this game, I’m getting 15 seconds on target time 1:15 battles and getting 3 stars, I’m getting 45 seconds on 1 minute target time battles and getting 5 stars. There’s clearly more to it than time, but I’m having trouble telling what influences the other numbers they show on the score screen.


It seems like, judging by the “fragments” thing, there’s going to be a lot more openness this time. It’s certainly good to a degree, but I got a sidequest talking to a random guard last night. There are TONS of random guards with speech balloons, it’s tedious to talk to each and every person with something to say, especially since they’re moving around.

I hear the story is less linear, and while I haven’t got there yet, I really hope this doesn’t end up translating to “damn near impossible to get the best ending.” As of now, it’s hard for me to tell if it’s even possible to get all the fragments without making the correct choices.

Missed edit, about the level up mechanics, dear lord:



Why didn’t they call it XIV?

  1. There is a XIV, which was apparently a disappointing online game.

  2. Final Fantasy’s don’t have pure sequels; each game is a new world with new story and characters. Only FFX and XIII have kicked out sequels, so they call them X-2 and XIII-2.

To anyone starting the game with a fear of gimping your characters, a few tips are required. You only get two main characters - Serah and Noel. Serah focuses on Magic while Noel focuses on Strength. This is mitigable to a certain degree by the Crystarium, but even having leveled all 6 classes to 99 I still have a 200 point lead in the favoured class for both characters. (And almost all the weapons you find will be geared towards emphasizing their natural role as well.)

When you beat monsters, you get so-called CP, essentially interchangeable for the normal XP we’re used to from other RPGs except that you don’t have to hit watermarks to use them (levels) but can spend them at any time for incremental upgrades to your stats and unlock skills and spells.

The way this works is that you linearly unlock a chain of mini-levels by investing the requisite CP. These mini-levels are divided into two groups and those are represented visually by small and large spheres. Small spheres will give you a variable stat boost and counts towards the level required to unlock spells and skills. The large spheres does that as well, but they also give you an additional stat boost depending on which class you are leveling at the time. If you are leveling the Commando class, the strength-based one, you will gain a minor bonus increase to strength, while Ravager will give you the same boost to magic.

So far, so good. The problem arises with the other four classes - Saboteur, Synergist, Sentinel and Medic. Leveling a large sphere under the Saboteur and Synergist classes will give you alternating minor stat boosts of either Strength or Magic, while Sentinel and Medic will only ever give you HP. As there is a finite amount of Large Spheres - 197, per Jragon’s post - you can only get the bonuses 100% of the time for one class and 50% of the time for two more.

In other words, unless you take care to level large spheres only on the class that will give you the best bonus for that character, you may be somewhat gimping yourself. Ideally, Noel should only ever level Commando on big spheres and Serah should only level Ravager on the same.

Once you’re at level 99 with the the main class for a character, you’ll have 5 classes left. In Serah’s case, Commando, Sentinel, Saboteur and Medic. Ravager would give him nothing worthwhile, so focus on the other ones first. Saboteur gives bonus points to Strength or Magic depending on whether you’re leveling from an odd or even level. Synergist does the same, but only with HP and Magic. Medic and Sentinel are entirely tertiary as far as stat leveling goes and should only get small spheres, ever.

So with Serah, you should prioritize like this:

  1. All large spheres go to Ravager until it hits 99.
  2. While leveling Ravager, dump all the small spheres into Medic first, then Sentinel. (Medic will give you healing spells and the ability to revive KO’d party members while Sentinel makes you more able to resist damage. As magic boosts Healing effectiveness as well, it’s the best first choice for Serah. Reverse for Noel.)
  3. Once you’re done with Ravager, level Saboteur or Synergist. With Saboteur as an example, you should only unlock large spheres if your current Saboteur level is an even number to earn the Magic bonus. Use minor spheres to move one step forward from a Large Sphere to a minor sphere in order to “reset” your Saboteur level back to an even number, then level Medic or Sentinel until the next large sphere is in front of you. Rinse and repeat. Theoretically, you should be able to nab 49 Magic bonuses each from Saboteur and Synergist.
  4. Once you’re 99 with Saboteur, start on Synergist with the same process as Saboteur except that you only activate large spheres when your current Synergist level is an odd number. Rinse and repeat.

How much of a difference does min-maxing this do? Well, consider that the additional bonus for the class is +2 Magic per large sphere activated correctly, and that there are 197 large spheres in total and finally that the ultimate maxed out Magic stat for Serah is base 880 (without equipment)… In total, 390 points of 880 equals that almost half of the potential of the character is yours to waste. Of course, you’d have to do the exact opposite of this to actually miss every last desirable bonus, but in my experience I only got half the bonuses I could have before I figured out the system. This is exacerbated by the fact that you’ll be able to equip items that gives you a percentage of your base stat bonus on top - up to 40%. (Weapon and 2x Fragile +1x Standard Magic Wristbands for those curious.)

(Noel benefits slightly less, since Synergist gives a Health bonus instead of Strength, but since it does it makes him more suited to playing the meatshield which will be optimal use for those Health points anyway.)

I’m hopeful and happy that they seemed to have fixed a lot of FFXIII’s problems. I have the collector’s edition game, but haven’t played it yet because I need to finish a couple other games first. But I can’t wait! :smiley:

Oh, I dunno if I’ve mentioned it on this board earlier, but as of February PS3-compatible versions of FF VI through IX are available on the Playstation Network. Dunno if it might have been available longer on your side of the pond, but on this side it’s new apparently. Cost 40,- NOK here, about 7 US$ converted. I heard V was there as well, but didn’t see it.

(I’m an unabashed graphics-freak, but even I thought I could surely deal with the relatively-recent graphics of FFIX without a hitch. But man, that got dated fast!)

I’m a FF whore, but also a bit behind the times (I used Phoenix Down on the this old thread for example). I got this game for Christmas and just finished it. I really liked the battle system, the monster catching/customization, the cinematic action, and the story was interesting. But…

The ending absolutely sucked. I haven’t been that angry at a game in awhile. While I really enjoyed the game, I kinda wish I had never played it because of the bullshit at the end. I’m not going to spoil anything, but my God I am frustratedm

Don’t worry! They’re making a THIRD one. :stuck_out_tongue:

They’d better. But they should have told us that before FF XII-2 was released, because that ending wasn’t a fucking ending and I could have waited until they got around to the next one before wasting my fucking time on a fucking game that made little fucking sense and was a waste of my fucking time. Fucking.

I can overlook, and have overlooked in prior FF games, some serious flaws if the game delivers a good story, some great mini games, a good battle system, some WOW moments, and a FUCKING RESOLUTION. This one didn’t and I am way more pissed about it than I should be.

Honestly, I played it. And it was… ok. I didn’t bother to finish it and have no intention of doing so. Some novel ideas, I guess, but not enough to keep me playing. The characters are bland, their motivations are vague and not really revealed for some time, the world is completely undescribed, I had no context for anything (from all accounts even playing FF13 wouldn’t have explained it much), and the battle system wasn’t particularly interesting or deep. Nothing really happens in the game and the characters’ actions are largely irrelevant to their goals, or anything else for that matter. There was never an explanation of whether or not anything they did really affected anything, and no NPC’s I met had any problems worth caring about.

So basically, the plot was a complete waste, the characters bland, and the system wasted. There’s not much else to talk about. Nothing was bad, but well, there was nothing good, either.