Funny name, serious game

TODD MILLER | Collegio Writer

Last week, Square Enix released
Final Fantasy XIII-2, the latest game
in the long-running Final Fantasy
series.
If you’re like me, you may look at
that sequel number and chuckle under
your breath. Final Fantasy XIII-2 is
a continuation of the events that took

Final Fantasy XIII - 2

Final Fantasy XIII - 2


place in Final Fantasy XIII.
The game opens with the series’
previous character, Lightning, fi ghting
a massive battle in an unknown
location. During the battle, a boy falls
from a light in the sky. Lightning
rescues him and tosses him through
a gate in time to fi nd and protect her
sister, Serah.
Serah is grieving the loss of her
sister, who disappeared before her
very eyes. However, nobody around
her seems to remember the event,
as though it was erased from their
memories.
The boy fi nds her being attacked
by monsters. The two quickly become
allies and drive the creatures off. The
boy introduces himself as Noel, and
tells Serah that he met her sister. He
also transfers to her a gift from Lightning,
a Moggle creature that can transform
itself into a weapon for Serah.
The Moggle (called Mog through the
game) also acts as a sort of exposition
fairy throughout the story.
When Serah learns her sister is
alive she sets out to fi nd her, traveling
through various gates in time such as
the one in which Noel arrived. Noel
himself is a being from a time seven
centuries in the future.
The two soon fi nd there’s more
at stake involving the time traveling
gates than they thought. Noel and
Serah battle several paradoxes in time
while trying to make things go wrong
with the timeline.
I will say, the time travel plot was
rather confusing at fi rst. At least, it
was when combined with learning
how to play the game. Even now, there
are still a few things I’m not entirely
sure about, but I managed to make my
own sense of it before things could
get more confusing. The plot doesn’t
complicate itself too much beyond the
time travel stuff, which was nice.

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The game is actually easily playable
and battle is programmed in favor
of timing and plotting rather than
using specifi c attacks. To emphasize
this, there is even an “autochain” option,
which lets the game choose the
best attacks to make chains (which
increases damage done to enemies).
More thought can be concentrated on
the plot of the game without getting
caught up in the tediousness of metacontrols.
It certainly helped someone
like me, who wasn’t familiar with the
battle system at all.
What this game boasts over Final
Fantasy XIII is the alteration on the
battle system known as Paradigm
Shifts. These allow the player to
quickly shift what abilities the two
party members use and how they
battle: attacking, using magic, acting
defensively, etc. The game also features
a monster taming system, which
allows players to “capture” monsters
they battle, and makes it possible
to summon one in battle, shifting
between as many as three for different
Paradigm Shifts.
Square Enix lives up to its previous
work. Final Fantasy XIII-2 is just as
beautiful a game as many previous
works. Rather than having poor controlled
sections (in terms of graphics)
and super-amazing quality during cut
scenes, the game has balanced out to
an overall nice quality that is consistent
throughout the game. Don’t let
that phrasing fool you, though. Everything
in the game looks really nice.
The music, however, is forgettable.
Sure, there are a couple of nice tracks
here and there. But a lot of it is too
subtle to even notice, or some lowquality
techno or rock (during boss
fi ghts) track. Not that those genres are
bad, they just didn’t do well in this
game.
One thing I’ll hand them, though,
is that I liked playing the game.
There’s a lot to do. Even in the time I
played the game, I burst only through
the main plot. The developers have
also promised future downloadable
side-plots for the game to focus more
on the characters returning from Final
Fantasy XIII.
Because the game focuses on time
traveling, you get to see a variety of
areas, rather than a slow gradation of
one land. It works in such a way that I
never got tired of seeing the same area
for a period of time, because, when I
completed that area, I knew I’d be off
to see something different in the next.
This was a fun game to play and
look at. The plot was intriguing, and
the game was easy to learn. It’s a
game I recommend,

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