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Final Fantasy XIII-2

by Artix, Fedule

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Original Thread: Square-Enix Presents: A Modern Chrono Trigger [Final Fantasy XIII-2]

If you liked this LP, you might also like The Saboteur by Jobbo_Fett, ChaosArgate and Final Fantasy VII: Dirge of Cerberus by The Dark Id

Introduction



In early 2010, Final Fantasy XIII art director Isamu Kamikokuryou was doing an interview for Dengeki Magazine (or Famitsu, no one seems to be able to track it down for sure), and was talking about some of the things that were left on the cutting room floor. Among other things, he talked about Lightning's house, NORA's headquarters, and a zoo in Bodhum; all of these had been rendered in-game and were explorable, they just never made the final cut for the master copy. That on its own is not surprising - all games leave some material behind, and with XIII's long and drawn out development cycle, it would hardly come as a shock that it has a bit more than most games. In fact, in his own words, there were enough art assets for "a whole other game."

Fast forward a year to January 2011, and Square-Enix registers a trademark for Final Fantasy XIII-2. Well that's awfully funny, isn't it? Producer Yoshinori Kitase was quick to deny that they had made use of these cut assets, but... Well, I suppose you'll see for yourself.

The Game

Release in January 2012, XIII-2 is a very, very reactionary game. The bulk of the changes between XIII and XIII-2 are addressing the complaints of the former with various levels of success - people complained about how linear XIII was, and XIII-2 is...well, still pretty linear, but much more open. In the wake of Mass Effect and Dragon Age, there are now dialogue choices every now and then, and absolutely none of them matter. Combat has been tweaked so that you no longer get a game over if your leader dies, and you can swap which character you're controlling on the fly. The plot has gone from "incomprehensibly stupid" to merely "painfully stupid". I could go on, but you get the gist of things.

On the other hand, actual new features include a complete lack of a difficulty curve, a framerate that's lucky to get out of the low 20's, platforming and literal computer science homework puzzles, and being the most blatant bait-and-switch this side of Metal Gear Solid 2.

See, Lightning was and still is very popular in Japan. So one would assume that XIII-2 would be another round of Lightning and Friends™. I mean, she's on the box art and all the marketing material, and she has a spiffy new outfit! Then you play the first 15 minutes and suddenly you get slammed with these two chucklefucks - a Kingdom Hearts reject, and a recovering ice cube.

Surprise!

The LP

Okay, so despite what I've written above, I actually don't hate this game. It's my least favorite of the trilogy by far, but it does have quite a bit going for it and I don't begrudge anyone who prefers it. We will be as fair as we can in the videos, but frankly neither of us like it very much, and we wouldn't be doing it at all if it wasn't required setup for Lightning Returns. So yeah, full disclosure.

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