A whole new adventure in the genius and pretty much life consuming legendary RPG adventure series, Finaly Fantasy, hit the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 at the beginning of 2012 with Final Fantasy XIII-2. Released as a direct sequel to FF XIII and continuing the plot of the previous game three years on from the climactic ending, it is one of the few times the franchise has followed on with the same characters as its predecessor.
The game is set once again on Gran Pulse and Cocoon, returning to the lush backdrops, stunning characters and amazing cut scene animations that have made Final Fantasy games so incredible since their inception in 1987. In the aftermath after the fall of Cacoon, you pick up the challenge rebuild harmony in a timeline that is becoming increasing fractured by paradoxes.
The story this time around picks up with Lighting missing and presumed dead. However, as Serah, Lightning’s younger sister, discovers that that she is alive and well she sets off to find her and help to stop the darkness that has arrived. She teams up with a boy from the future, Noel, who has travelled back in time to fix the past and prevent his own troubled future. Together they jump from time-frame to time-frame in a bid to stop all of the paradoxes and find Serah’s missing sister.
Though the trailer is a little on the sappy side, the cut scenes appear as stunning as they’ve ever been and the story looks like it progresses into action pretty quickly. The game and battle engines look really slick too with some of the most graphically detailed gameplay ever seen on a Final Fantasy game. The turn based RPG is another classic from Square Enix.
Time travel is a big feature in Final Fantasy XIII-2 with characters trying to go back and erase the wrongs that have been introduced by the darkness. Using the Historia Crux System (probably a natural evolution from Doc Brown’s Flux Capacitor), characters can shape the path of the future with trips to the past or learn about the possible future with trips forward. It’s this element of the gameplay system that delivers the alternate ending possibilities that are a part of the game.
The storyline isn’t necessarily quite as instantly gripping as it has been in previous FF games, but it gathers pace as things progress later in the game. It’s got impressive graphics, which combine with good sound effects and voice actors that help to bring the plot to life in a way that just isn’t as possible in text based storyline games.
Final Fantasy XIII-2 had a release date of the 3rd February 2012 for the Sony Playstation 3 and Microsoft Xbox 360. The game has gone on to spawn a whole host of sequel rumours after the main game and downloadable content failed to deliver the full ending of the saga. It has now been confirmed that the final in what will become the Lightning trilogy will be called Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII and will once again be released on the Xbox 360 and PS3 with a date of the 14th February 2014 confirmed.