Uh-Oh...I Think I Like FFXIII-2 For All The Wrong Reasons
I didn't know Square Enix dabbled in the dark arts.
Over the past four of five days, I've come to a few conclusions:
Firstly, I still say Final Fantasy XIII-2 isn't a role-playing game and if it is, it's definitely a watered down facsimile. Secondly, the story is one of the biggest attractions of the franchise; it has been for a couple decades...and FFXIII-2 isn't cutting it in this capacity. Thirdly, and finally - and here's the ironic contrast - I'll heartily defend the game.
But why? By all rights, given my history of RPGs, given the fact that I will always love turn-based better than any other RPG mechanic until the day I die, and given that I have called out Square Enix as often as anyone, I should have no interest in this sequel. None. Logically speaking, I should've played it long enough to deliver an accurate review and then move on. But I think a S-E representative has been sneaking over to my house and putting something in the water supply...because I can't seem to stop playing a game I should - should - despise.
I mean, it's not really anything I want from a Final Fantasy, besides the added depth and more freedom. The combat mechanic should be more like FFXII (still real-time but at least I could pause, and at least it was actually an RPG system) and above all else, I really don't care about the story or characters. Well, that's not entirely true. I actually like some of the characters; I'm a big fan of Lightning, for instance, and as I said in my review, Noel and Serah are actually better than I had anticipated. But overall, they're not why I keep playing.
I keep playing for the same reasons I kept playing Skyrim and that just feels wrong to me. No, it's hardly the same type of game but at its core, the concepts aren't vastly different: at the end of the day, I play both to get and do everything and increase my power. Now, I always had that mindset in past FF iterations but they also kept me playing for the story. Now, I find I don't care about the story...and I'm not caring that I don't care! That's what worries me, right there. It's just plain unsettling the whole way 'round.
And it has nothing to do with a shifting personal taste in games. I will always prefer an excellent story and memorable characters to just about anything else; it's why I say Heavy Rain and Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots are the two best games of the generation (next to Uncharted 2 and Uncharted 3, both of which have great stories and characters in their own right). And when you combine my accrued bitterness concerning my beloved Final Fantasy series, it makes no sense that I'd love FFXIII-2. No, it didn't get a 9; it doesn't deserve a 9, IMO.
But I still can't stop playing it. Lord help me.
Related Game(s): Final Fantasy XIII-2
1/31/2012 8:56:32 PM Ben Dutka