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Details Of Famitsu's Perfect Final Fantasy XIII-2 Review

As some of you already know, Japan's biggest game magazine, Famitsu, awarded Final Fantasy XIII-2 a perfect (40/40) score.

Now, I hate to say this, but the publication is often seen as being a little biased; i.e., anything with "Final Fantasy" or "Mario" or "Zelda" in the title is automatically in the running for a perfect score.

That being said, wouldn't you like to see the reasons why Famitsu handed out the coveted 40/40 score? If so, check out GamingEverything, where you'll find a full list of the positive points. You might be most interested in stuff like, "Straight paths are no longer present," "Little hand-holding," and "Has a different 'feel' than XIII." Personally, I despise this one- "Party is always Noel, Serah, and monsters," but that's just me.

The game takes around 40 hours to complete but of course, the extra stuff brings it closer to 100 hours, there's "tons of content," a "high degree of strategy" is required to win many battles, there are multiple endings, and you can even return to previously cleared areas and play through them again. "Fun" is another common word found in that breakdown, and side-quests and conversation choices play a significant role.

So what do you think? I'm just not a fan of this capturing, training and using monsters thing; I didn't even like Blue Magic back in the day. I don't want monsters in my party; I want humans who - if RPG history is any indication - are always superior in just about every way. Oh, and don't forget that "more accessible" bullet-point...good or bad?

Related Game(s): Final Fantasy XIII-2

Tags: ffxiii2, final fantasy xiii-2, ffxiii-2 review, ffxiii-2 details

12/14/2011 10:35:18 AM Ben Dutka

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Comments (64 posts)

Highlander
Wednesday, December 14, 2011 @ 10:53:45 AM
Reply

I fear that Famitsu's standards may have changed...

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telly
Wednesday, December 14, 2011 @ 12:27:03 PM

While I'd love to have a great -- "perfect," even -- Final Fantasy coming around the bend, I frankly don't believe a word of it. Will wait for reviewers from the West to review the game, and even then the marks would have to be throughthe roof for me to even consider it. I got burned bad on FF XIII, and I can't imagine enjoying a sequel to it, regardless of improvements.

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johnld
Wednesday, December 14, 2011 @ 5:12:32 PM

zelda and mario games i can actually believe a perfect score. however, todays final fantasy is just so far from what it should be. they probably had to change their staff for a more call of duty mentality. that or some backroom deals are going on. we all know how the japanese gamers hated final fantasy 13 and from the looks of it final fantasy XIII-2 is just an updated version. as for me, this is the first final fantasy i'll be waiting on till its $20. final fantasy XIII went down in price pretty damn fast.

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Yukian
Wednesday, December 14, 2011 @ 10:56:31 AM
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Biased-reviews are no good to me... I'll wait for your review Ben, and I don't think that's biased at all... it's a cold, hard fact. :)

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Jawknee
Wednesday, December 14, 2011 @ 11:09:33 AM
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I dont think they're that biased. They gave FFXIII a 39/40 or something, and have only given 3 Zelda games out of 16 titles a perfect 40/40. Plus didn't they give Bayonetta a perfect score?

I also think the party of Sarah, Hammer Pants and monsters is a terrible idea. When did this turn into Monster Hunter?

Last edited by Jawknee on 12/14/2011 11:12:01 AM

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Highlander
Wednesday, December 14, 2011 @ 11:29:03 AM

Famitsu is like all publications, over time the reviewers on staff change as some leave and some join the team. Their policy may change over time too. So in the past they may have had different standards and different ways to evaluate games.

I remain skeptical of all things related to SE until they hit the ground here.

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Yukian
Wednesday, December 14, 2011 @ 11:33:17 AM

Bayonetta can get away with unhaired...

And IDK about Famitsu's scores on Zelda but if they're not A Link to the Past, Ocarina of Time and/or Skyward Sword, then I won't mind not believing them.

And it's true, they should've added the monster thing w/o at the expense of other characters... I don't wanna be looking at a behemoth's ass all the fights... :/

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Jawknee
Wednesday, December 14, 2011 @ 11:48:14 AM

Ocarina of Time, Wind Waker and Skyward Sword are the 3 games they scored as perfect. I just think it's a bit of an over exaggeration to say that anything Zelda, Mario or Final Fantasy are in the running for a perfect score.

Here is a list of all the games they have given perfect scores. Only 3 of them are Zelda games, one Mario and now two Final Fantasy games.

1. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (1998, for Nintendo 64)
2. Soul Calibur (1999, for Dreamcast)
3. Vagrant Story (2000, for PlayStation)
4. The Legend of Zelda – The Wind Waker (2003, for GameCube)
5. Nintendogs (2005, for the DS)
6. Final Fantasy XII (2006, for PlayStation 2)
7. Super Smash Bros. Brawl (2008, for the Wii)
8. Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots (2008, for PlayStation 3)
9. 428: Fusasareta Shibuya de (2008, for the Wii)
10. Dragon Quest IX (2009, for the DS)
11. Monster Hunter Tri (2009, for the Wii)
12. Bayonetta (2009, for PlayStation 3/XBox 360)
13. New Super Mario Bros. (2009, for Wii)
14. Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker (2010, for PSP)
15. Pokémon Black and White (2010, for Nintendo DS)

Though I must say I would question their judgement over the 40/40 for Nintendogs. lol

Last edited by Jawknee on 12/14/2011 11:56:06 AM

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Yukian
Wednesday, December 14, 2011 @ 11:55:52 AM

Day-amn!!! That's a disturbing list of games...

I mean, the only ones I think deserve a perfect score from that list are: Ocarina of Time and Metal Gear Solid 4, everything else could be on the 8's or 9's.

With the exception of Nintendogs and Pokemon games... that's just... wrong in so many levels...

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Jawknee
Wednesday, December 14, 2011 @ 11:58:08 AM

I actually think the list is pretty accurate aside from the Nintendogs.

I think if a game does what it sets out to do in a perfect manner whether it's your style of game or not deserves a perfect score. In most cases anyway.

And quite honestly, Skyward Sword is better than Ocarina of Time in a lot of ways. Not all but most. I think the only thing I liked better about Ocarina of Time was I prefer the Ocarina over the Harp but it's a different game set in a different place in the time line so it makes sense why the Ocarina wouldn't appear in Skyward Sword.

Last edited by Jawknee on 12/14/2011 12:01:11 PM

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Yukian
Wednesday, December 14, 2011 @ 12:10:18 PM

I understand your point 'cause Famitsu is a japanese magazine so it's obvious to see Monster Hunter, DQ, and Soul Calibur (in its time) being stellar games.

BUT, Bayonnetta is not a perfect game, Pokemon, though I like them since the first one, I must admit that it's getting SUPER tedious and repetitive, and Brawl is an awesomely made game with shallow gameplay, which I support Sony on making one themselves.

There are flaws in a few of them that should've made them 9's but remained with 10 for their popularity, which lead me to think, with your provided info, that were a bit biased.

And I agree with you on the harp thing... I DESPISE that thing... they should've designed it better... :/

Last edited by Yukian on 12/14/2011 12:12:12 PM

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Wednesday, December 14, 2011 @ 12:33:57 PM

It's not just perfect scores. In general, Nintendo games have always scored higher than games on other platforms in Famitsu.

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Jawknee
Wednesday, December 14, 2011 @ 1:19:56 PM

But how often does Nintendo software get a low score anywhere? Some but not often. Even western publications tend to give Nintendo games high marks.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Wednesday, December 14, 2011 @ 1:25:55 PM

Well, that's true. But I think that's more of a generational phenomenon...not sure Western sources loved the hell out of all the GameCube games. And if you check GameRankings and Metacritic, Wii games on average score WAY lower than PS3 and 360 games.

But then again, that's because most Wii titles are just shovelware.

Last edited by Ben Dutka PSXE on 12/14/2011 1:26:39 PM

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Jawknee
Wednesday, December 14, 2011 @ 1:32:46 PM

Yea I try and ignore the shovel ware. I don't think I even own a single piece of shovel ware on the Wii. My 15 game library consists of 90% Nintendo first party titles, Resident Evil 4, Tatsunoko vs Capcom and a couple Dragonball Z games.

Agreed about the GameCube too. I didn't own many games on that system either though the ones I did own like Mario Sunshine, Paper Mario, Wind Waker, Ocarina of Time Master Quest, the GC version of Twilight Princess and the Resident Evil games were worth owning the system.

Last edited by Jawknee on 12/14/2011 1:35:42 PM

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johnld
Wednesday, December 14, 2011 @ 5:14:05 PM

so final fantasy 13 got 39/40 huh... then week after release, truckloads of preowned final fantasy games are on sale along with negative feedback online.

@jawk
you can get the indestructible hylian shield in skyward sword.

Last edited by johnld on 12/14/2011 5:16:30 PM

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Jawknee
Wednesday, December 14, 2011 @ 10:38:21 PM

Yup. I sent you instructions via PSN.

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Vivi_Gamer
Wednesday, December 14, 2011 @ 11:19:30 AM
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I loved XIII, but my problem with this game is Serah and Noel. They just don't seem to be strong enough for the lead roles. I really liked the cast of XIII which is in essence why I enjoyed the game. I just not getting the same excitement for Serah and Noel...

I for one am really excited about the monster hunter feature, I really want them to put a Marlboro available.

The multiple ending feature concerns me too, I hated how in X-2 once you completed a chapter you couldnt go back to do a side mission you missed to add to the percentage. The game is impossible to complete without a guide. What also bothers me is that I might not get the defintive conclusion on my first playthrough...I still dont know how I feel on this, as I love interactive games live Heavy Rain Shadow of Memories and Catherine, but to have that on a 40+ hour RPG... sounds very tedious.

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Underdog15
Wednesday, December 14, 2011 @ 12:22:31 PM

You could have monsters on your team in FFT. Some of them are pretty strong and useful. But none of them were worth playing instead of a human character.

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CrusaderForever
Wednesday, December 14, 2011 @ 11:30:38 AM
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Yeah, not liking the monster training and fighting idea. It's cool if it is a choice. Forced on us is not cool. I am bummed because I am almost done with FFXIII and I have had a great time. Just got to Barthandelus. Hopefully I can get a chance to kill him tonight.
With how much I enjoyed XIII I will no doubt pick up XIII-2. It will have to wait for Reckoning!!

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WorldEndsWithMe
Wednesday, December 14, 2011 @ 11:35:01 AM
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I didn't know the monster thing was permanent, that's stupid. I never used blue magic either. I was sort of hoping the returning characters would join us in battle a few times (including Lightning) because I liked the cast too. That just shows you how SE can take fan feedback into account and then turn around and completely screw something else up.

Still, it should be a pretty good game and I bet I'll enjoy most of it. I'll just have to try to force myself to get into this monster nonsense. I kinda thought that was just going to be an option, boo.

Maybe by "More accessible" they mean you can actually access the combat mechanics from the start instead of 20 hours later.

Last edited by WorldEndsWithMe on 12/14/2011 11:37:22 AM

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johnld
Wednesday, December 14, 2011 @ 5:20:49 PM

finding out that its not like any previous final fantasy, party of noel, serah, and monster, multiple endings are the reasons i can wait for this game to hit bargain bin prices.

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wambo
Wednesday, December 14, 2011 @ 11:55:51 AM
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even tho i played final fantasy 13 which did'nt impress me apart from the graphics, i will defiantley be giving this a miss especially with monsters in the party.

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MrSilvia
Wednesday, December 14, 2011 @ 12:02:32 PM
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Sounds like YOU'RE already biased against this game. This is only the second FF to get a perfect score from them.

Also, what's up with this RPG history thing? Have you ever played a game in the Shin Megami Tensei series? Where you have a main character and everybody else in your party is a demon you recruit? SMT Nocturne is one of the best RPGs I've ever played. Give FFXIII-2 a chance before writing it off.

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Jawknee
Wednesday, December 14, 2011 @ 12:28:29 PM

To be quite honest FFXIII left such a bad taste in my mouth I won't be getting XIII-2. That probably makes me biased against the game too but I think Ben is still going to play this.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Wednesday, December 14, 2011 @ 12:35:50 PM

I haven't written anything off and I'm not biased in any way. I'm the biggest Final Fantasy fan there is. Just because I say FFXIII wasn't a great Final Fantasy, I have always said it was a great game.

And yes, I played Nocturne. I own it. I've also played about 60 other RPGs and I know SMT has always been extremely unique. In general, for the most part, humans outstrip monsters in RPGs where monsters can become part of your party.

I wouldn't challenge my RPG knowledge that stretches back 18 years, if I were you. This is one thing I happen to know a lot about.

Last edited by Ben Dutka PSXE on 12/14/2011 12:36:47 PM

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Underdog15
Wednesday, December 14, 2011 @ 12:38:06 PM

Quite a bit different than the monster thing, though.

Also, I would guess Ben wouldn't completely write something off just because you can recruit/capture monsters. You could do that in FF Tactics, and that's Ben's favorite game.

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RaYz89
Wednesday, December 14, 2011 @ 1:11:00 PM

I do agree that Ben is not a reviewer who will completely write off a game before giving it a try, I even remember Ben sort of defending FF13 once against pure haters.

However, I do understand where MrSilvia is coming in that reading this article Ben wrote (combined with the numbers of previous articles with negative comments on SE) sort off gives the impression that Ben's writing off FF13-2 straight away.

But I'll still be waiting for your review Ben, and I hope you'll take into account that this is FF13-2, hence it is mainly targeted for fans of FF13, so one should not expect a major overhaul of the FF13 mechanics especially for those who hated it to death.

Also from experience of FF10-2, my expectations is that it'll be a lot of fan services and some "different" gameplay compared to the main numbered series... in fact if one compared 10-2 with 13-2, it really aint that much different~

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Underdog15
Wednesday, December 14, 2011 @ 1:23:53 PM

I thought FFX-2 had the best realized battle mechanics of any FF. What a fantastically involving turn-based mechanic that was!!!

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Wednesday, December 14, 2011 @ 1:27:39 PM

RaYz89: Just a personal observation concerning the monster thing. It will have no bearing on my review, unless I REALLY hate it and think others might actually hate it, too.

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johnld
Wednesday, December 14, 2011 @ 5:22:12 PM

i believe the point is that this game is being called final fantasy, not another rpg. theres expectation when you carry the final fantasy label and so far FF13 dropped the ball.

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Excelsior1
Wednesday, December 14, 2011 @ 12:40:28 PM
Reply

There has only been ONE other FF game to get a perfect score from Famitsu in the past. The very nature of its review format makes it a tough publication to get perfect scores from period becuase 4 different reviewers score the game. That's TWO PERFECT SCORES for 13-2. Don't forget the S rating in Dengeki.

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Underdog15
Wednesday, December 14, 2011 @ 12:50:24 PM

I, personally, am happy people are reviewing it for what it is and not for what FF should be. It allows the game to be graded without bias.

On the other hand, for folks like me, I genuinely want to know how it stacks up against other FF's. Obviously, with the scores it's been getting, I'll likely give it a go at some point. But a D1P? I can wait (with the backlog I've got) if it isn't as awesome from the FF measurable standpoint. Know what I'm saying?

I guess what I mean is... I'll likely play it at some point, especially with the scores it's gotten. But I definitely want to know how Final Fantasy-ish it is compared to other Final Fantasies.

I just think I could benefit from a review that can address both sides regardless of the score.

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Oxvial
Wednesday, December 14, 2011 @ 12:49:39 PM
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The party cast is those two characters and monsters you collect? or characters of other race?

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johnld
Wednesday, December 14, 2011 @ 5:25:15 PM

i believe you catch and train monsters, kinda like pokemon but with higher production values.

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RaYz89
Wednesday, December 14, 2011 @ 12:59:21 PM
Reply

This actually had me thinking on the claim made by many that SE is catering too much for the western (twitch-gamer) market...

Having many if not all japanese reviewers giving high/perfect score to FFXIII(2) makes me think that this new style of "modern rpg" gameplay that many "turn-based rpg fans" are so angry about is actually not something SE's doing to please the western gamers, but rather it is something that japanese developers/gamers/reviewers wanted...

Because even though the western gamers are often saying how there's lack of (turn-based) jrpg this gen, there's actually a lot of them still using the traditional turn-based mechanics released in Japan (its just not localized elsewhere), so I think SE's plan to "improve" (change? degrade?) on the usual turn-based mechanics are actually in line with what the Japanese people wanted to see

Its like westerners complaining how there's only FPS nowadays, and we wanted something different... so for the japanese there's too much of the usual turn-based rpgs already, give us something different... I'm guessing that's why Famitsu gave a perfect score to FF-XII and XIII-2. Both are not the usual turn-based mechanics like in other jrpgs.

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Jawknee
Wednesday, December 14, 2011 @ 1:14:50 PM

I don't agree. Famitsu gave FFXIII a nearly perfect score and the majority of Japanese gamers hated it. It might have been what reviewers were looking for but not Japanese gamers. I don't even think it was something Western reviewers were looking for considering Final Fantasy XIII is one of the lowest rated games in the series in the west.

And while FFXII was different than your typical turnbased RPG, it was still very much an RPG. Especially when compared to XIII.

Last edited by Jawknee on 12/14/2011 1:16:04 PM

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Wednesday, December 14, 2011 @ 1:28:34 PM

Well, I'm not sure the Japanese hated it...

I mean, nearly HALF of all PS3 owners bought FFXIII, and there didn't seem to be the kind of backlash there that we saw here.

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Jawknee
Wednesday, December 14, 2011 @ 1:39:11 PM

I just remember an overwhelming disappointment in a lot of Japanese forums and in the comments of independent news or review sites. Amazon Japan sticks out in my mind the most. When it released in Japan it only got like a 2.5 out of 5 stars on Amazon Japan based on almost 900 customer reviews. That was within days of its release over there. I also thought I read something about it being the most trade in game in the series but I could be remembering it wrong.

My wife lived in Japan for awhile in college. During the release of FFX. They make this huge deal out it apparently. Almost like a national holiday so she puts it. She still has friends there that she communicates with and she relayed to me at the time that FFXIII didn't quite get the same response X did.

Last edited by Jawknee on 12/14/2011 1:46:52 PM

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Wednesday, December 14, 2011 @ 2:00:23 PM

I can't read Japanese, so I don't really know. :)

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Jawknee
Wednesday, December 14, 2011 @ 3:02:01 PM

Ha, neither can I, just meant the forums that tend to cover Japanese gaming sites and looking at actually star or number ratings.

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Pandacastro
Wednesday, December 14, 2011 @ 4:47:22 PM

If you have a iphone theres a app call word lens that translates other languages too english. Dont know if it works though.

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johnld
Wednesday, December 14, 2011 @ 5:27:06 PM

@jawk

dont forget all those used copies in japan that noone were buying

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RaYz89
Wednesday, December 14, 2011 @ 9:58:31 PM

Well I'm just focusing on the "battle gameplay" of FF13 which many complained but for me thats not the main problem of FF13. Even if I'm quite impress with the "improvement" of the usual turn-based system, there's many other factors that really pulls me down (which I think made the Japanese gamers dissapointed as well).

For me, the main disappointment in FF13 is that there's too little content. There's no other towns / side characters / side quests to do besides extra boss monsters. Which is why I think Famitsu did not give it a perfect score.

Even the new battle system need some improvement, it would be much2 better if we are able to change player during battle.

So seeing SE tackling this issue in FF13-2 probably is what making Famitsu giving it a perfect score.

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PoopsMcGee
Wednesday, December 14, 2011 @ 1:35:00 PM
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I've been a huge FF fan since the NES days but I just couldn't get into FFXIII (still own it, but my backlog probably means I won't get back to it, at least for the time being).

Question:

If this one does turn out to be a return to form for the series: Do peeps on the site think I can jump into this one without knowing the story/world of XIII?

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Jawknee
Wednesday, December 14, 2011 @ 1:44:00 PM

Don't think so. The latest issue of Qore states that this one picks up right where the other one ends. I never finished XIII but it seems without knowing the first game, this one might be hard figure out whats going on.

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johnld
Wednesday, December 14, 2011 @ 5:29:32 PM

@jawk

well, qore did also heavily implied that final fantasy 13 is THE final fantasy that every final fantasy fan MUST have. it wouldve been less of an insult to me if veronica belmont was still hosting but the change of hosts was like adding insult to injury.

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Jawknee
Wednesday, December 14, 2011 @ 10:40:18 PM

Seriously, hearing that douche with the lame hair claim true Final Fantasy fans couldn't get enough of XIII made me want to gag.

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Underdog15
Thursday, December 15, 2011 @ 10:15:00 AM

Maybe that's why Veronica isn't there anymore. They told her to say that, so she laughed her way out the door.

Girl had dignity, I wouldn't put it past her.

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LimitedVertigo
Wednesday, December 14, 2011 @ 1:44:43 PM
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I'm with Jawk on this. Famitsu doesn't give many perfect scores and they've given those perfect scores to a variety of games.

Having said that they gave FFXIII a really great score so I'm not surprised they gave the sequel such a great score as well. I evidently don't see what they're seeing with the XIII series.

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Highlander
Wednesday, December 14, 2011 @ 2:14:39 PM
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from the article;

"I'm just not a fan of this capturing, training and using monsters thing; "

So, you aren't a big fan of Pokemon then...oh, wait that would make this game akin to Pokemon.

Oh dear.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Wednesday, December 14, 2011 @ 3:49:19 PM

Digimon trounces Pokemon. Always.

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johnld
Wednesday, December 14, 2011 @ 5:30:55 PM

i find myself playing pokemon from time to time. i dont know, it just feels familiar and classic. its just turn based nostalgia.

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Jawknee
Wednesday, December 14, 2011 @ 10:40:40 PM

Those Pokemon RPG's were fun.

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aaronisbla
Thursday, December 15, 2011 @ 1:46:01 AM

the pokemon battling scene is quite insane. those guys are pretty hardcore about it. Id know, i dabbled in it with diamond and pearl


Last edited by aaronisbla on 12/15/2011 1:46:33 AM

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johnld
Wednesday, December 14, 2011 @ 5:08:50 PM
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multiple endings is what i'm cautious of. i want a solid and complete story. i dont one that branches out, at least when it comes to final fantasy.

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RaYz89
Thursday, December 15, 2011 @ 12:40:26 AM

Well if you've played X-2, one would expect multiple ending as well in XIII-2

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Underdog15
Thursday, December 15, 2011 @ 10:16:06 AM

That's a pretty weak-sauce example of multiple endings though. There's basically only 2 endings... but the 3rd one is just an extension of the 2nd.

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johnld
Thursday, December 15, 2011 @ 5:39:29 PM

final fantasy x-2 ending was basically one ending extended depending how much of the game you've done. in fact, the second ending can be activated by simply pressing x on an event. the final ending isnt really an ending because the second part of the ending was practically all they need. the third part is just a happy ending scene.

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Jutter
Thursday, December 15, 2011 @ 1:16:09 AM
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I recently saw a trailer of the monster customization in 13-2 and I think I saw the party leader die, without instant game over. If my eyes aren't deceiving me that is.

As long as there is a much greater variety of monsters in this game than there was in 13, (which got very annoying fighting the same enemies over and over again) it might be interesting.

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maggosh
Thursday, December 15, 2011 @ 8:54:07 PM
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"Now, I hate to say this, but the publication is often seen as being a little biased..."

"I didn't even like Blue Magic back in the day. I don't want monsters in my party; I want humans who - if RPG history is any indication - are always superior in just about every way."

Bloody hypocrite.

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Underdog15
Saturday, December 17, 2011 @ 12:46:00 AM

How is this hypocrisy? I'm clearly missing something. Please elaborate.

Last edited by Underdog15 on 12/17/2011 12:46:23 AM

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homura
Sunday, December 18, 2011 @ 1:28:30 PM
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I think FFXIII had a potential to be one of the best rpg of all time if they have just took a little time to incorporate an edit option to its fu**ing auto battle system a little like gambit system in FFXII and a much more diverse monsters instead of using the same monster giving it a different color and name then use it again for its sequel. As for FFXIII-2 still can't stop myself for wanting it. Love and Hate for the franchise. Hehe.

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homura
Sunday, December 18, 2011 @ 1:39:40 PM
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I think FFXIII had a potential to be one of the best rpg of all time if they have just took a little time to incorporate an edit option to its auto battle system a little like gambit system in FFXII and a much more diverse monsters instead of using the same monster giving it a different color and name then use it again for its sequel. As for FFXIII-2 still can't stop myself for wanting it. Love and Hate for the franchise. Hehe.

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