Another wonderful addition to the Final Fantasy series by Square Enix, a follow on from Final Fantasy XIII the story continues on with you the hero trying to resolve and save the world from harm. With new and old faces to play along with, the game takes you into the past and future to try and resolve the paradox’ and find Lightning.
Being the second instalment of 13 does not however mean that you necessarily need to have played the first one. There is a beginner’s prima provided to read and catch up on what happened previously, there are a few benefits to have played the previous games; in-game items and a new gamer picture are gifted to you.
Battles are very common occurrences in the game, with a variety of enemies that you come across, a fight will start by walking up to the enemy when they become visible or by pressing A and lunging towards them (this is called a pre-emptive strike). When you see these enemies a bar appears at your feet showing your chances a pre-emptive strike, Green (good, get a stagger bonus), yellow (mediocre) and red (no chance and the fight automatically begins).
Although battles may look confusing if you are new to the game, they are pretty easy to grasp (if you are really not sure as to what to do, the data log will explain). The easiest option would be to choose ‘auto battle’, which selects the best attack(s) to fit the current battle based on the stance you are presently in. When skills are selected the ATB gauge increases and charges your abilities, charging of said abilities can be stopped at any time to use the ones that are ready, this is done by pressing Y.
The main thing to grasp is the different stances (roles) that you use during battle, they are as follows;
- Commando – Physical DPS, used to control the stagger bar and stop it going down
- Ravenger – Magical DPS, used to increase stagger bar and damage multiplier by hitting enemy
- Sentinal – tank
- There are other additional roles as well, including Medic, Synergist, etc.
The combination of stances within the group is called a paradigm configuration and will determine what roles the characters will play in battle (Commando, etc), Moving between these configurations is called a paradigm shift.
A stagger bar, as mentioned before, is a gauge of how close to becoming staggered an enemy is, when an enemy is staggered they take additional damage, to gain stagger you need to max out the stagger bar which is done by having a commander and Ravenger as part of the paradigm configuration.
Finally, at the end of each battle you are rated using a star system out of 5, as well as this items dropped will be shown and the amount of experience gained, etc.
Pets work as an additional party member, they can be obtained by defeating enemies but you will not always be guaranteed to get them. You can have lots of pets, but can only have 3 in your paradigm configuration at one time, although only one pet will be out in a fight at one time.
Each pet has a special and when ready it will show in the bottom right hand corner of the screen, indicating you to press X to activate and use it. For the ability to be used to its full effect, an indication of what button to be pressed will show on screen as a quick time event at the time of activation.
The Crystarium has been made a lot easier to understand since 13, this is the area where you level up each characters stance’s and unlock new skills. Points earned from battles are used to level you up, they are called Crystarium points (CP).There is a specific route for you to take around the levelling path which is what makes it more understandable to those new players.
You can choose to level each character down a different path depending on personal preference, the paths include; Ravenger, commando, etc.
Extra content of game
During battles and cut scenes you will come across something called a quick time event, which will give you a command of buttons to be pressed, if not done you will fail. As well as this there are also live triggers which give you the opportunity to choose from a set of questions/statements for you character to say, each option may have a different outcome so it is best to choose wisely.
Each time you exit and restart the game you are shown a short clip of what you have done so far, all be it only brief it jogs your memory as to what has been done so far.
“!” Shows quests that are available to you, blue shows that it is a side quest and gold is the main quest.
Throughout your travels you will be joined by a Moogle, a very cute character called Mog who will help you along your way, such as; discovering hidden objects and obtaining objects that are out of reach to your character.
Once an area has been explored enough mounts become available for you to use. Once on them, battles are avoided and you move around faster around the area.
To get around the different zones, crystals of different colours and shapes can be found at various points in each zone. Said crystals will unlock gates for you to travel through to other time zones and progress through the story.
There is a map in the top right corner of the screen which shows friendlies, where you last fought and a small amount of the path you have taken in the past few moments.
There are small paradox puzzles, this is where you solve a puzzle which in turn solves a paradox, and this is where two parts of time come together. Some of the puzzles may include; joining crystals, clearing a clock, etc.
As for all Final Fantasy games the graphics are extremely impressive ,the cut scenes are very well put together and are very pleasing to watch, this is how Final Fantasy has always been and it does not disappoint. It is defiantly worth taking a moment to just admire the excellent work that has gone into making it.
The music is also very fitting to the situation you are in, relaxing and pleasant to the ear. The only thing that was missing was some of the old music. This does not make the game any less enjoyable though, it is just a personal preference.
It is very easy to sink into the game straight away, a lot faster than the previous games. With the possibility to catch up on 13 before playing and a combination of great graphics and music the game play is just so smooth.
Defiantly would say this is one of those must buys this year, worth the time to play it. It is fun, exciting and with issues in the old games being fixed the thrilling experience of a Final fantasy game is set to continue on. There is so much to explore and new things to discover, the time spent playing seems endless.
Disclaimer:All scores given within our reviews are based on the artist’s personal opinion; this should in no way impede your decision to purchase the game.