How to suicide a once-great franchise... - User Reviews - www.GameInformer.com
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How to suicide a once-great franchise...

What you see before you is not a misprint -- and the only reason I don't give Final Fantasy XIII-2, a game I was looking forward to for a solid year, a flat ZERO is that I do not have the capability within this website to award this piece-of-*** story and Motumu Toriyama the ultimate dishonor.

When I was thrown out of Final Fantasy XI eight months ago for continuing to call the bulk of the playerbase the cheating sons-of-bitches they are (and isn't it funny that XIV has only been out a year and a half, and literally the instant that the people have to start playing the game, the population disintegrates such that the servers are halved?), I resolved to make XIII-2 the final purchase I ever make from the company.

Nothing from the end result of this game really changes that.  This game *** killed the Final Fantasy XIII multi-verse, and there's enough problems in Square-Enix that you'd have to be an idiot to believe that they're going to be around long enough to even do a rumored XIII-3 (if anyone really wants to buy it after what this game put the damned players through -- Newsflash:  XIII-2's sales in Japan aren't even close to what XIII did.).

So let's get down to the nitty gritty on this:

  • Yes, the game addresses many of the issues players had with the first game.  The battle system is much cleaner and more concise (you don't lose about five seconds on your battle time the first time you change paradigms, for one example), the game is not linear at all, and there is meaningful content start to post-finish.
  • The voice acting is solid, and the graphics are fine.  It's great to see the cameos from some of the other characters, and more Laura Bailey is always a plus!
  • You can save anywhere.
  • The game is nice and encapsulated and rather short for a storyline.

So where does it all go wrong?

*** MOTUMU TORIYAMA AND THE *** HE PULLED WITH THE STORY!

So let's go back to XIII and try to play this all the way through and you tell me how this makes any *** sense whatsoever!!

So Lightning and The Original Six from the first game realize that Dysley/Barthandelus are going to kill everyone to summon The Maker, so they destroy him and Orphan, Dajh reunites with Sazh, Serah reunites with Snow and gets Lightning's blessing to marry, and everything seems all right.

But the absolute instant that it appears as if everything goes all right, the second game basically shoe-horns in "Chaos", a black ooze to erase Lightning from history.

Plus, the entire defeat of Barthandelus and Cocoon has destroyed the timeline because the goddess of this ethos, Etro, had mercy on The Original Six?

What the *** was she supposed to do?  In fact, by the end of the game, it becomes clear that the Focus of The Original Six was almost certainly the destruction of EVERYBODY -- that everybody was supposed to die to resummon the Maker, and that the defeat of Orphan and Barthandelus was actually a hindrance.

In short, The Original Six should've turned Cieth, not crystal.

So, the game starts three years later, as Serah goes from teacher to fighter with this futuristic hunter (Noel, the last human on the planet, almost 700 years later) because Lightning is believed dead and Serah is the only one on the planet (other than Noel) to know differently.

The pair are basically able to go through fractures in the continuum (in which all real common sense is blown to freaking smithereens, as I'll explain...) to try to "correct the timeline", all the while being thwarted by this immortal Guardian who would rather kill everybody (sound familiar?) to save the one entity he is designed to protect, a "Yeul" who we seem to see six or seven or forty-five of, whenever it is convenient to interject her into the mess.

Eventually, here's how the game basically ends, if you can make any sense of it:

  • Serah is dead.  She is another "Yeul", a Farseer, who can see the timeline -- hence, doomed to die at a very young age.  If she could see the timeline, then how in the bloody Hell could she not see the timeline before the end of XIII?  Or, basically, is it that all timelines begin in 0 AF, and that the (apparently) inappropriate "interference" of The Original Six basically is the start of everything, not the end?
  • The goddess is "gone", meaning that Mog is dead as well.  Not that Mog was anything more than another merchandising opportunity, but what sense does it make that Mog effectively comes from a goddess who is NOT benevolent (that is, if you believe Vanille!)...
  • ... and, oh by the way...  If Lightning is fighting to protect Etro, would that not, fundamentally, make her an enemy of the people post- 0 AF???
  • Lightning turns herself to crystal to "preserve Serah's wish".  Wait a freaking second:  When did SHE turn l'Cie again?  We know Hope does when you see him in 300 AF Sunleth, and, moreover, what purpose does it serve?  Serah's DEAD, Motumu, because your story just couldn't help but to crap all over the work in both games.
  • And why does Hope's fan-girl apparently support Caius, for God's sake?
  • Just before the chaos of Valhalla is unleashed, Sazh has the crystalline forms of both Vanille and Fang with him, Hope is on the ship, and Noel is with them.  It's apparent that, at the point at which the chaos hits, the entire world is consumed and all parties are similarly dealt with.  The new Cocoon is felled, so everybody's dead, so what purpose did ANYTHING we did in the two games actually have?
  • To that end, "To Be Continued"?  HOW?  How could you do a XIII-3, with this canonical ending?  Where do you start?  How do you break the cycle without another shoe-horn?  And you still have to question whether Lightning is actually, now, enemy rather than friend!
  • Then we get to the annoying Chocolina, the metal-head interjections, and what have you...

We're basically left with one conclusion:

This entire game was a *** troll from Motumu Toriyama and Square-Enix to a fanbase that they are so desperate for money from that they'll buy any crap with Final Fantasy and a Roman numeral next to it.

Why?  This article from 1UP.com -- a blog post stating four reasons that you will never see a Final Fantasy VII PS3 remake -- with the concept that Square-Enix doesn't have the money to do so...

"Eidos saved Square Enix last year according to sources close to the company. While the Japanese side of the company hemorrhages money because of games like Final Fantasy XIV, the company grows more and more dependent on Deus Ex: Human Revolution and other successful Western titles. In fact, if not for their acquisition of Eidos, Square would at the moment be very publicly searching for a buyer or worse. The company recently credited their former Eidos studios with introducing them to focus testing and other money-saving development practices. While the Japanese side of the company is still putting itself back together, there is zero chance of them undertaking anything so daring and massive as a Final Fantasy VII remake. If the company considered the project too expensive before hitting financial trouble, there's no way the project would get a green light now."

Square-Enix has done everything in it's power to destroy Final Fantasy...  From an MMO division which is, at best, fraudulent (if not, at worst, complicit in the cheating!) to this game being so desperate of a money grab to keep Fabula Nova Crystallis alive that they basically *** all over every player who put their time into the original game (much less this one!) with inconsistencies and holes big enough to drive a Long Gui through!

So, now, everybody's either dead or swallowed by the Chaos...  If you do make a XIII-3, I'll watch the spoiler videos first next time!

A waste of $59.99 that any self-respecting video game fan stays away from until Square-Enix can get back on it's feet financially -- which they probably can't, for doing so would be to admit the mistakes of the last ten or so years (starting with detonating two piece-of-crap MMO's).

Comments
  • I couldn't agree with you more. I was a DIE HARD final fantasy fan ever since I was hooked with the one-two punch that was FF6 for SNES and FF7 for Playstation. Since then, it has been diminishing returns and this sinking feeling that something I loved was in a downward spiral that would ultimately reach terminal velocity with the terrible FFXIII and FFXIII-2. It has been like watching your own mother slowly die of a severe heroin addiction. The stories and characters became more ridiculous, and more sissy looking with every new game. The 'fantasy' and 'magic' angle that was present in the first 7 entries of the franchise became a nonsensical warchest used by the developer to string together lame story-telling and convenient worlds. I played FFXIII and was in disbelief. The character choices, the tone of the game, the storytelling, the gameplay, EVERYTHING departed from what defined a FF game. And the graphics were beautiful. That made the offense more unbearable. Then when I heard about FFXIII-2, and played through it, I said goodbye to Square Enix and Final Fantasy forever. I don't know who on their board of directors is passing out ecstasy and pacifiers to the entire development team, but every person involved must be totally GONE. Again, BEAUTIFUL GRAPHICS, which only beg the question further: WHO THOUGHT THIS GAME NEEDED TO HAPPEN???