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Thread: WK Plays FFXIII-2

  1. #31
    Radical Dreamer Fynn's Avatar
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    I will also concede the Noel flashback was well done. Great atmosphere with the light and shadows

  2. #32
    Memento Mori Site Contributor Wolf Kanno's Avatar
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    Holidays are always a stressful time and I tend to travel a bit, so I haven't had much time to play. I've mainly been revisiting the time periods from the previous chapter so I can collect their fragments and hopefully find a Wild Artefact or two. I do have one so far, but I need to do some research before I haphazardly use it because I'm hoping to get to a time period that has another Wild Artefact so I can keep this going.

    I will say that while the OST of this game has been generally underwhelming to me, mainly because it feels like it's trying too hard to be Persona, but I will say the most effective track so far has certainly been Noel's Theme. I'm happy its just the map theme for his time period.

    Made some upgraded weapons with a high ATB recharge and even managed to get some Hermes Sandals. Maxed out both characters starting roles and now working my way down. I'll likely try to take down the last few optional bosses in the Pulse timeline. I'm aware the next time period (Academia 500AF) is pretty much the game's final dungeon, so I'm going to try and do a few things before heading there.

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  4. #34
    Memento Mori Site Contributor Wolf Kanno's Avatar
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    I feel I've come to the end of what I can do. I mean I could use a guide to track down more Wild Artefacts but I feel I've reached the end of my interest in this game and it's time to put it to rest.

    Pros:
    • Finished Mog's quest and it was cute.
    • If I was a little more stubborn, I could probably beat the Long Gui superboss. I came close a couple times tonight and I feel if I just upgraded my weapons (didn't realize I would get a whole new set of options in the final dungeon) I could probably beat him.
    • The final dungeon so far feels like a remix of the OG game's final dungeon.
    • Collected a few more fragments and I'm at 125/160, which I don' t think is really bad considering I wasn't going for a perfect game or anything.


    Cons:
    • Oerba and its stupid puzzle anomalies are obnoxious. The clock one is the worst, but the picture one is also annoying because the devs make you do twice as many of them.
    • The final dungeon has seen a serious difficulty uptick. The large group of mini-Orion enemies are annoying, but the worst is that wolf monster that inflicts status effects and casts Thundara on itself to damage your team while healing himself. I imagine now is the time I should go back and look at my accessories options to see what I can do.
    • I can't say I'm impressed with the final dungeon so far. The platforming is interesting, but visually it's a little underwhelming and the music isn't really that good either.
    • Like FFX and X-2 before it, XIII-2 has a bad habit of giving you variety in the most tedious ways possible. The last few fragments I need to collect are connected to the map quest, the casino, or tracking down Captain Cryptic. All of which are not very fun.

  5. #35
    Huh? Flower?! What the hell?! Administrator Psychotic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wolf Kanno View Post
    I will say that while the OST of this game has been generally underwhelming to me, mainly because it feels like it's trying too hard to be Persona, but I will say the most effective track so far has certainly been Noel's Theme. I'm happy its just the map theme for his time period.
    Agreed on all counts. I've been playing a lot of Theatrhythm FBL lately and can't really get into doing much of the XIII trilogy, but Noel's Theme is a really, really nice song and the standout from XIII-2.

  6. #36
    Memento Mori Site Contributor Wolf Kanno's Avatar
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    Okay, so I buckled and I did more sidequest stuff. Discovered the last Wild Artefact was in the casino and used it to reach Bresha Ruins 100 AF so I could tie up a bunch of loose ends.

    Killed the two optional bosses in the Archlyte Steepe. The Long Gui turned into a bigger ordeal than I would care for because I tried to use a more defensive paradigm set and while it eventually worked, it made the fight way more tedious because I couldn't get him to hit the Stagger gauge when I took out his feet. The fight lasted so long he killed Serah with Doom but it's pretty useless in this game.

    Checked out Yomi and managed to beat him as well thanks to poison. The real kicker was discovering he gives a on of gil, so assuming I don't grind levels for my monster party, I may finally use a reverse time trick on this place o fight him again and earn some more gil. The reasoning being that I can just convert the gil to Coins to buy he three main fragments from Serendipity. This feels like a more solid plan than trying to rig the slot machines.

    The last thing to do is track down stupid Captain Cryptic and earn the last three ranks. If I mange to get all that done, I think the only fragments left will be the silly map and bestiary ones.

    At his point Noel and Serah have three, close to four, of their roles maxed out. I feel it's safe to say that Caius is no going to know what hit him...

  7. #37
    Memento Mori Site Contributor Wolf Kanno's Avatar
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    Still cleaning up side quests. Maxed out all he roles for both Serah and Noel. Managed o finish Captain Cryptic with some serious luck as he mainly appeared in the same area for most of the searches. I also managed to complete the silly map side quest as well and earned enough gil to buy all he tokens needed for all the special fragments at Serendipity. I think I need sixteen more Fragments to finish the game, and while I'm sure I'll earn one in he final battle, with the exception of the bestiary quest, I'm pretty sure I've collected all I can without beating the game. I did kind of want to make the last set of final weapons for Serah and Noel, but I may finally just call it quits here. I'm literally in front of the final boss room, so I should suck i up and just finish the game at this point.

  8. #38
    Memento Mori Site Contributor Wolf Kanno's Avatar
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    And done. I'll probably do a final analysis once I've gathered my thoughts, but I'll do a final Pro/Cons list.

    Pro:
    • SAZH!!!!!!
    • I guess I can go for the Paradox Endings now if I wanted.
    • Captain Cryptic wasn't as annoying as I thought it would be.
    • Oh hey, they stole the final boss fight from Trials of Mana's Zable Fahr boss fight...
    • I like the final boss form of Bahamut far better than the normal XIII version.


    Con:
    • Thank god I already had a heads up for the ending, because it sucked.
    • Okay, to be fair with he game, I was stupidely over-leveled for the final boss battles, but overall, I found them really underwhelming and wonder why we had to fight Caius in his human form twice in a four stage boss battle. Even weirder is that I found the battles in the final dungeon a bit more challenging than the final boss gauntlet. That one fight with the souped up Behemoth with the annoying cat monsters that resist everything and debuff were more difficult overall.
    • They may have stolen he overall design of the Zable Fahr boss battle from Trials of Mana, but they certainly toned it down. Even with being over-leveled, the fight was pretty calm and I was surprised the boss didn't immediately revive he other two Bahamut's after I killed them both. Overall, the fight was just a level scaled version of the Fal'Cie Adam boss battle.
    • The final dungeon was disappointingly simple.
    • I have lots of opinions about the plot overall.

  9. #39
    Memento Mori Site Contributor Wolf Kanno's Avatar
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    Well this was an interesting experience. The one question I've been asked about it a lot is how it stacks up against FFXIII properly. The short answer is that with the exception of world building and music, I felt it was overall, better than XIII, but still a so-so title. The long answer will likely be the rest of this post.

    I remember after XIII was released that one of the developers mentioned that FFXIII had enough cut content that they could make another game, and I am of the opinion that XIII-2 is that game. Barring the battle system. The locations, enemies, and other mechanics all feel like places and stuff from the original game. New Bohdum pretty much looks like he one seen in XIII. I wouldn't know because we never got to explore it, but it looks the same just playable and with a new sky line. The various Pulse locations feel like areas that got cut for one reason or another. Atlas was the Titan fight that got cut from the original game. Gogmagog is a reskinned Orphan. Hell, I wouldn't even be surprised if Noel's design was based off an unused design of Fang back when she was still a man in the planning stage. Even Serah is playable and considering she was a cut playable character from XIII originally, I be they re-used what hey had done for her play-style. About he only things that feels like they were new was things were tied to DLC like Serendipity and the Colosseum, and of course our three new characters of Alyssa, Caius, and Yeul. I find it amusing that while Caius' design was based off Amano's character design of Leon from FFII, bu Yeul is seriously sporting an outfit that is easily inspired by Yuna's gunslinger outfit from X-2. I'm no saying that re-using or using assets that were cut is a bad hing here, but I was more annoyed that XIII-2 didn't really have that many unique locations. I mean thankfully i wasn't a complete re-use of XIII's locations, we only got o see Vile Peaks and Oerba again, but i felt like the devs took he six or seven locations they cut out and simply applied a sky box weather filter to split the difference so hey could only need o use assets that were already finished. Even the weather mechanic was something XIII played with but never utilized very well, and I can't say XIII-2 succeeded either, but I get the feeling it was something he original team had wanted to do in XIII that simply got toned down o a gimmick because the direction of the game made it no worth it.

    The battle system saw the most positive improvements in my mind. Making Stagger a less important mechanic in normal battles, a more restrictive role system that makes you really need to plan out party composition, and the monster collecting aspect made the battle system feel more zippy, tactical where it needed to be, and overall it felt less like a mindless chore since I wasn't just switching back and forth between staggering and healing. Hell, once you start unlocking the -ara and higher tier of spells, a full RAV team could easily mop the floor of trash mobs in a few seconds, making grinding more bearable. The monster system was a neat idea and felt like it took some ideas from DQV. My biggest issues with it was the fact that monsters required items to level up. Sure it gave you something o do with gil, but i made some of the Late Bloomer classes a no-go because their stats took forever to catch up. Twilight Odin is an example of a monster that looks cool and I wanted to use, but grinding expensive leveling materials for mediocre returns because the real gains wouldn't kick in until he was in the 70+ range was just a chore. Hell, if my one fave RAV monster didn't have a weakness o a certain element that became very dominant by endgame, I would have used him for the final battle. Instead, I switched him out for a late game monster I found that was an early peaked type, but had better stas with 100+ in all his stats compared o my old monster, twice the HP, and no discernible weakness with comparable skills. It just kind of sucked to invest a lot in a monster only to pick up one a few hours later that was better in almost every way. Kind of reminded me of why I never liked FFX's weapon system, but I'll get to that rant when I get to that playthrough. I was also not a huge fan of the random encounter mechanic. It managed to make random encounters more annoying since some maps were simply designed for you to get into a fight whether you wanted to or no. And it got really annoying in Augusta Tower or Academia 400 AF where you are trying to either figure out where to go or solving a puzzle and getting interrupted every seven to ten seconds by monsters spawning on op of you in narrow corridors or having such a massive aggro zone that running was pointless. I did like how the Crystarium was re-imagined, and was amused that someone in the dev team came to the same conclusion I did that it would be better to choose a role to level up every level up instead of just have static roles to arbitrarily level.

    In terms of the narrative... Well it's certainly a Toriyama/Watanabe collab with all the issues that brings. To get the positives out of the way: All of the major characters were either likable or inoffensive. No one was really grating even if the dialogue go a bit pretentious by the end. Even returning characters I wasn't in love with were surprisingly more decent in this game with Hope getting special note here since I can't stand him in the first game and he's actually not a bad character here. I do feel like there were a lot of missed opportunities here. Alyssa is probably the poster child as her motive and story arc is really interesting, but never gets any real pay off outside of a paradox ending you may never bother to see if you weren't in love with the game. Her and Fal'Cie Adam would have been more interesting as protagonists of the plot. Not that Caius is a bad villain, my friend certainly over-hyped him and I feel he falls short in a lo of areas, but to his credit, he would be a great villain if XIII-2's plot didn't run on stupidity. I will not mourn Etro's death in the XIII trilogy, in fact If I had the ability in the game to follow her to whatever afterlife awaits people outside of the Unseen Realm, I would follow her there and kill her again because this goddess is the cause of like 90% of the problems in XIII's world. Everything about Caius' story just feels contrived. He's immortal, but he can actually be perma killed (well sort of) and have his powers passed on to someone else but how do we even know this? And why is Noel the only candidate? You mean to tell me after a thousand years of living only Noel measured up? Likewise, why did Etro give Caius her heart? The easiest solution to this whole tragedy was for her to give Yuel the heart. I mean the girl is suppose to die young anyway, might as well just make her immortal so she doesn't have to deal with this reincarnation bulltrout and then she wouldn't really need a bodyguard. Likewise, why are we protecting Yeul to begin with if she's fated to die anyway? Why are we collecting her prophecies? Apparently it was a Fal'Cie thing but we're not given a real explanation. We also never get a real reason as to why Serah was given the Eyes of Etro either. What made her special compared to say... Dajh who was in the same boat as her in FFXIII?

    The whole tragedy of the story just feels so manufactured. The whole Coccon thing was also just silly. Like I can understand the initial Fal'Cie Adam thing where yes, the easiest solution would be o turn the power on back in Coccon to get it to fly, but wouldn't the next best solution be to just get rid of it altogether? You mean to tell me that in 500 years and with Jetson level tech, humanity couldn't have just dismantled most of it and tactfully destroy the rest? Likewise, what was the point of the second Cocoon? Like I get that we need to save all he people who decided that making their city right beneath a death trap, but again, you had 500 years to move humanity to the other side of the planet, and again, you could have destroyed it piece meal style to reduce the environmental impact. And don't give me this, "we had to protect Vanille and Fang, the ending clearly shows they could just go in and secure their crystal cores to keep them alive. There were so many easier solutions with plenty of time to resolve the issue. Why did we have to pick the most contrived solution?

    Likewise, the returning characters not named Hope were disappointing in how little screen time they had and how a lot of their own plotlines were locked away in DLC. XV ges trout on for doing the same thing, but I would argue it's a lot worse here since I don't know what he hell was going on with Sazh, Snow just bowed out halfway through the plot and went bumming in an arena, and Lightning's biggest character moment happens off screen unless you had the DLC. The service model design of this game does it no favors, especially since it also has the cardinal sin of having all he best shi in in for gameplay as well meaning its a bit pay to win as well.

    The music was also not great. Felt like they were trying too hard to be like Persona with the vocal tracks everywhere. The lone exception is Noel's Theme, which is not only a great track, bu the original sequence it plays in is certainly a high point of the game. The rest was forgettable, with the exception of the returning tracks of which I am never going to be rid of that awful Sunlyth Waterscape theme I don't like.

    Overall, I found the gameplay to better than the first game despite still having some issues. The characters are okay, but the plot is still melodramatic garbage. I find the most fascinating part of the game is the design that feels like the team trying to see how much they could do with leftover assets. Suffice to say, I'm now dreading going into the final game in the series, especially since Lightning looks to be going full edge lord. XIII had an interesting premise, bu the games have gone in so many bad directions, that I find it hard to believe there is any way to salvage it for me at this point. I guess I'll just have to take the plunge and find out I guess.

  10. #40
    Radical Dreamer Fynn's Avatar
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    I keep repeating, Lightning Returns is the best one. Itís the most unique, at the very least, so you really need to play it to see it. You might just like it. I ended up genuinely enjoying myself for the only time in this disaster trilogy

  11. #41
    Memento Mori Site Contributor Wolf Kanno's Avatar
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    We'll see how it goes. I'm already dragging my feet by obsessing over FF:Opera Omnia.

  12. #42
    Newbie Administrator Loony BoB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fynn View Post
    I keep repeating, Lightning Returns is the best one. Itís the most unique, at the very least, so you really need to play it to see it. You might just like it. I ended up genuinely enjoying myself for the only time in this disaster trilogy
    I'd say they all are really unique and have their own pros and cons. Personally, I take XIII for the characters, XIII-2 for the gameplay, LR for... the story? Maybe. I must admit LR didn't stick in my memory as well as the others did.
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