Final Fantasy XIII-2: Is this the game we wanted in 13?

Feb 1, 2012

Fans around the world were up in arms about the previous Final Fantasy title, 13, being “narrow”, unlike the series and a step backward for the franchise, beingĀ  just a few of the criticisms seen in the forums. I’m sure developers and executives at SquareEnix felt responsible for their success and shortcomings with 13 but what could they really do? Technically speaking, Final 13 was a well made game. What more did fans want? Apparently alot more, but do we have the right to throw this game out the window and label it a bad game?

We don’t have to speculate that Square sought to make things right with 13-2, which in my opinion is a good thing but also a step in the wrong direction. I’m not saying that I don’t want the next game to come out, or that I don’t want to support the gaming community, but just because a well made game “ticked” off a large portion of it’s popular, world-wide fan base, doesn’t warrant a release of a new game or apology letter just to cover their tracks. Fans need to realize that the mature franchise of Final Fantasy must take steps forward to keep the series feeling fresh and part of that includes changes and criticisms alike. Whether fan boys feel like they want to admit that or not is up to them, despite it’s unpopular laundry list of flaws, it was still a good game!

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Final Fantasy 13-2 was released this morning at midnight and I’m sure countless people around the world stayed up all night and get back to work on Gran Pulse, continue the romantic story between Snow and Serah and travel through time with a mysterious new character to find the famed heroine, Lightning. Am I one of them?… sadly no, I did get some sleep. After some light reading, spoiler-free reviews, and fan input.. I gather it feels like the game Final Fantasy 13 should have been initially.

I’m happy to say this game is better than it’s predecessor, leans towards it’s spiritual ancestors and will be the bridge to cover the fan-blasted chasm the last game left in it’s wake. I for one am tired of games being released with obvious “holes” or shortcomings, not just in the design but also game mechanics. We have a responsibility as gamers and consumers of these products to do our part to ensure quality and thus reap the rewards. That may mean more money someday or longer periods in between games. Would you pay more money for a game that is superior to the games we are used to seeing released with a 60$ price tag and expected DLC? I would, after all.. if gaming is for the experience, why not be blown away by an epic story or is gaming just an expendable outlet rushed through like everything else in our lives? In other words after “loving” Final Fantasy 13-2, was it worth buying both games to figure that out and get your “fix”?

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Final Fantasy 13-2 has seen several changes and these all deserve attention. From quicktime events, to larger exploration and deep story to new characters and a spiraling plot unfolding with each passing moment. Sounds good doesn’t it? Hopefully this game will be well received, they cannot afford another disaster after 13 and their MMO 14 being a nightmare. Help keep the company making our favorite games alive by leaving your comments, playing the game and of course telling your friends all about Gran Pulse and your exploits.. it’s just saving the planet… no big deal!

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