Final Fantasy XIII-2 for PlayStation 3 Review

Final Fantasy XIII-2 enhances core gameplay for veteran players while providing appealing new elements for new and novice players in this famous game series. Gameplay is complex enough for role-playing and strategy gamers while novices can fly through beginning levels with limited knowledge and some good fortune.

The Hype

FINAL FANTASY XIII-2 has already received critical acclaim from media. The game surpasses the quality of its predecessor in every way, featuring new gameplay systems, cutting-edge visuals and audio. In this game, players have the freedom to choose from a range of possibilities and paths; their choices affect not only the immediate environment, but even shape time and space.


  • A New Tale Awaits
    FINAL FANTASY XIII-2 will reveal further events from the amazing mythology as presented in the original FINAL FANTASY XIII. The story is written in a way that it can still be enjoyed without playing the previous title.
  • Larger, More Interactive Environments
    Places with multiple pathways to explore and many secrets to find offer players the chance to shape their own adventure.
  • Time Travel – A New Dimension of Exploration
    The situation, scenery, flora, fauna and weather conditions all change, depending on when you visit locations. Untangling the threads of time is essential to experience the full story.
  • Enhanced Battle System
    New elements, such as visually dynamic Cinematic Action sequences and the Mog Clock that rewards players for their actions, creating further variety and choice for the player.
  • Master of Monsters
    A wide variety of more than 150 different monsters inhabiting the game world can be recruited into the player’s party and battle strategy, with each creature having unique and devastating special abilities.

The Reality

This fantasy action RPG (role-playing game) can be played in easy or normal difficulty and only requires 30.7 MB required hard drive space. The easy mode lets players take less damage while getting more chances to progress. The maps offer easy lay-over visuals with smooth movement and zoom options using the analog stick.

Be sure to take advantage of the “tempsave” option, because you can lose your progress. Extra features and downloadable content also enhance this game packed full with expanded exploration and flexible battle options.

Players can always find plenty of help when they need it. The beginner’s primer provides a smoother transition through the challenging levels and boss battles. The newly released official strategy guide including a Kindle version also provide assistance.

The main story in this one player game basically focuses on saving the “world from great evil” and occurs three years after events of the previous installment Final Fantasy XIII amid a time travelling format among a 500-year span. The great battles combine with amazing visuals as players get great variety in various locations, which contain multiple paths and different unlockables.

Academy student Serah Farron, a seeress, meets five other characters on her quest to find the missing Lightning, the main protagonist from Final Fantasy XIII. Serah, Lightning’s younger sister, has a Moogle companion named Mog. Serah also encounters Noel Kreiss who introduces the time traveling elements into the game via the Historia Crux system.

The main antagonist in this installment is the purple-haired Caius Ballad and has past connections with Noel. Other characters include Paddra Nsu-Yeul, a mysterious Pulsian seeress, and Alyssa Zaidelle, a young girl. Other characters from the previous installment make appearances so previous knowledge enhances the game experience, but is not necessary.

Players can slip into the following roles: commando, ravager, sentinel, saboteur, synergist, or medic. Players control one character in the party instead of multiple characters at a time while multiple fighting strategies can be assigned to each party member. These strategies include special paradigms that must be constantly adjusted, especially in boss battles.

The companion creatures in the party provide helpful powers, navigation, find hidden/hard-to-reach objects, and other general assistance. Players can train the creatures with collected items along the way – a welcome distraction that balances battles, collections/inventory, and character elements.

Creature comfort has no middle ground here. Tamed creatures help the situation while free roaming monsters cause hurtful chaos though these monsters can be defeated and get added into a special collection (more than 150 different creatures overall).

The chocobo, an ostrich-sized chicken, can be tamed and eventually ridden, which helps players cut through the land much quicker. When travelling by foot look for the spinning circles – prompting spots for player jumps. Players cannot fall off ledges, which really saves a lot of time amid the huge landscapes.

Spells, conversations, summoning, and other special powers can also help players along the way. Players have powers that save allies when near death, but players must identify them quickly throughout gameplay. Vendors like the traveling merchant Chocolina also have desirable items for sale.

A stagger-like strategy is important where flashes of different battle tactics bring down the big bosses. Concentrated attacks earn powerful chain bonuses which include increased damage. Beginners can button mash and continuously attack, but that strategy only succeeds for a limited time. Players must learn how to concentrate their attacks and the purpose of each action and attack.

Sometimes avoiding a regular, non-boss attack can be the best strategy. Battle ranges appear as dynamic visuals on the ground, so players can simply run past them to avoid a battle. Each creature can be easily identified, so players can gain a great advantage by learning them.

The already high replay value increases even more if players want to conquer additional areas and advance their level status, but most players could conquer the main campaign in a double digit hour time frame (also depending on how many cut scenes are skipped). Producers should be commended for the action filled gameplay, guided by heroic morales, and high quality cinematic scenes.

The extensive downloadable content includes a special item when using XIII save data. Several items, battles, and outfits are also available. The endless customization and inventory management blend into some combinations and surprises. All these elements give players something to build on as game developers build on the next likely sequel in this “13” series.

Producers should be commended for risking a new style full of action-filled game play, guided by heroic morales and high quality cinematic scenes. This Square Enix game series, which with in 1987 with FINAL FANTASY will likely continue with Final Fantasy XIII-3. Not much story closure, but good set up for likely direct sequel. Also available in collector’s edition and on Xbox 360.

Review: Final Fantasy XIII-2

Where to Buy: and other stores

Price: $45.99

What I Like:  deep designs, big boss challenges, players cannot fall off ledges, music, combat action, save any time, story and gameplay blend, monster collection, relatively easily difficulty overall, side mission and creature collection make great supplementary activities

What Needs Improvement: short story length, unnecessary environment objects often get in the way unless players pan with the camera, limited male character development and screen time

Source: Copy provided by publisher

Categories: Gaming, Reviews

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1 reply

  1. The graphics on the PS3 version is breath taking. Just like FF-XIII the music is amazing. The battle system is pretty much the same as Final Fantasy XIII. After watching a co-worker of mine from DISH play I was hooked on the epic storyline and awesome graphics, so I added it to my Blockbuster@Home queue. I would just buy the thing, but I’ve come to the realization that if I just rent games for a flat monthly fee, I save a ton of money in the long run. I’m sure all of my fellow Final Fantasy lovers will agree when you will have the time of your life playing this awesome video game. Bottom line if you enjoyed FF-XIII you will love this, and if you’re a FF fan you owe it to yourself to play this.