Somehow, Squeenix managed to screw up every single facet of XIII-2. Instead of bringing back the stellar cast of the original, it was decided that monsters would fill the third slot in your party. The system is similar to Lufia II’s, in that you give your monsters items as opposed to leveling them in a traditional manner. It’s a serviceable enough system, but why should we be denied the cast when they are all actually in the game?
In terms of gameplay improvements, you are now allowed to save paradigm decks (a feature sorely lacking from the original) in A GAME WITH NO CHARACTER SWITCHING.
Roles are now leveled from 1 to 99 and the majority of the skills are given to you near the beginning of each skill track. There doesn’t feel like there is much progression from around lvl 40 to the high 80s and 90s, in the main quest.
Further, the roles are denied crucial skills such as Haste (which is dependent on getting pre-emptive strikes) and the En-spells. Synergists and Saboteurs are not necessary for the majority of the main quest but are crucial to the final battles. This leaves one scratching their head as to why you’re able to complete the game almost exclusively using the Cerberus paradigm--a very erroneous criticism leveled at the orginal game.
In the main quest, you only visit a handful of areas (repeatedly). Besides Academia (the new Zozo) they are relatively small and lackluster. Questing within them is banal and insultingly bad, to boot, as quest items are just found in chests.
The characters from the original make cameos, as noted, but the plot of this game makes an intelligent character seem like a dolt constructing a Rube Goldberg-esque solution to what should ultimately be a non-problem.
Most egregiously, the story somehow simultaneously rehashes part of the original’s plot while managing to also completely invalidate its entire point. It’s a slap in the face to fans of the original and while it may not be the worst game I’ve played on a technical level, it is the worst in as much as it ruins characters I am invested in on an emotional level.
Oh, and you’re going to have to buy the real ending as dlc.
Sadly, this is currently widely available for both the PS3 and the Xbox 360.
1 Nu-metal Chocobo Theme out of 5
Nutted by NEG