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First I want to say that I ALMOST gave this game 3 stars, but, the more I thought about it, there really only one aspect of them game I had major issues with.
Characters: I didn't like all of the characters when I was first introduced to them, but I'll admit that almost all of them grew on me as the story progesses, save two. I generally don't like characters who come off as too over-the-top right off the bat, but with some back story and the way these characters interact with others, it actually worked most of the time. What I loved was that, after a battle, when the game is showing you how much exp, money, etc you've earned, there's a chance that some of the characters in your battle party will interact with each other. Some of the things they say to each other will seriously crack you up. The only two characters that I could never really connect to were Asbel and Sophie. Asbel is just your typical do-gooder main hero. So much so that you kind of wished he'd let all the other characters do the talking. Sophie, on the other hand, partially because of her amnesia, has zero personality, even though she tries to gain some as the game progresses. I guess you're supposed to empathize with her, but she sounds and acts so blah.
Battle System: This is probably the hallmark of the entire game. I've played a few of the other Tales games, and this one actually took a bit of getting used to. Once you get the hang of it, however, it becomes very engaging. Every character has three types of attacks. The first two are A-Artes and B-Artes. A-Artes are all physical attacks, while B-Artes can also be magic attacks and healing spells. Every A-Arte and B-Arte takes a certain amount of CC points in order to be used. Each character starts a battle with a certain amount of CC points based on the weapon they have equipped. Your CC points will increase depending on your succesful hits on enemies up to a maximum which also is based on your weapon. You can chain various A-Artes and B-Artes togethr if you have enough CC points. If you run out of CC points, you can replenish them by blocking or running around the field. The thirs type of attack is called Mystic Artes or Burst Calibers, which are basically super attacks. Every character has 3 during the main story, and one more they can aquire during the Lineages and Legacies story after completing the main game. While in battle, you fill up the Eleth Gauge as you attack enemies. When the Eleth Gauge reaches the top, you enter Eleth Break mode. Only in this mode can you perform Mystic Artes. What level the the Eleth Gauge is at during Eleth Break mode also dictates which Mystic Arte you can use. You can build up the gauge by attacking your enemies within the time limit that you're in Eleth Mode for. Now, here is a VERY IMPORTANT thing to take note of. It is almost impossible to build the Eleth Gauge from level 1 to level 3 in the time the game gives you. What I didn't find out until much later in the game, when I looked it up was, If you don't use a Mystic Arte AT ALL during Eleth Break mode, the next time you enter the mode, the gauge will start off at whatever level it was at the last time. Therefore, if youre trying to build the gauge up to level 3, make sure to TURN OFF, the Mystic Artes of your other characters because THEY WILL use their Mystic Arte before the timer runs out, and you'll have to build your gauge up back from zero. You also can't chose when to enter Eleth Break mode. Once the gauge fills up, it automatically starts the mode, which can suck in my opinion. The only other thing I don't like, and this is something that occurs in other games too, is when you have to wait a certain amount of time after using an item before youc an use another one.
Graphics: Nothing ground-breaking here, but the game is nice to look at, and I did enjoy watching most of the Anime cut-scenes. Though I do wish there were more of them since this game can be pretty long.
Story: Here is where I find my biggest gripe. The story, for the most part, can be enjoyable, but it's your standard fare. The whole bad guy trying to merge with the core of the world reminded me too much of Sephiroth trying to merge with the Lifestream in FFVII, so I did roll my eyes a bit at this. Honestly, however, if it weren't for the characters, the story would have been far less interesting. The game just takes way too long to develop significant moments, and, many times, my eyes couldn't help wander or start to doze off after only like 20min of playing. Not to mention I hated the ending. When I saw it I thought, "I went through all that..for this?!" I'm just hoping the ending to Lineages and Legacies makes up for it.
There are a lot of other things I didn't touch upon because I didn't want this top get too long. There are a lot fo side things to in the game from secret locations, item requests, and dualizing (item creation/augmentation). The music doesn't stand out as being amazing, but it doesn't suck either, and the main theme did grow on me.
Overall, thsi is a solid game, and fans of the other Tales games will more than likely enjoy this one.
First of all, I have to say the I'm a HUGE fan of Star Ocean: Til The End Of Time. It wasn't a perfect game, but I loved almost all the characters, the worlds you visit, and, for the most part, I enjoyed the story (even though it was slow at parts). Sadly, I can't say the same for this game.
Story: I can't tell you how many times I wanted to just fall asleep because most of the storyline is so boring. It's saving grace COULD have been the characters, but they're not (more on them later). Luckily, the game allows you to skip the cutscenes, and provides a recap of what you missed by doing so. Unfortunately, I don't like skipping anything, so it's partially my own fault for putting myself through it. A basic premise to the story is that the people of earth destroyed the planet through war and other things, so now they must turn to space. On your journey to find a new planet to call home, strange and evil things occur, and you end up having to save the universe. Pretty standard fare. They do try to throw in a few "twists," but they're so obvious at the same time.
Characters: Characters are a BIG factor in my decision to like or dislike a game because, if the story sucks, as long as I can relate to the characters, it's all good. This game...FAILS on that front. Honestly, I have never been so annoyed by a main character in my life of playing RPGs. He's actually alright for a good portion of the game, and then...he become Mr. Emo. I won't tell you why but you'll actually wish someone would just put him out of his misery. I know I did. In fact, there's an NPC who I would've much preferred to be the main character, and if you play the game, you'll know who I'm talking about. The party consists of 9 characters, and I only actually cared for three of them. The other characters either lack personality or have too much. It's a bad balance overall. I've heard all the bad reviews about the English voice acting, so I just immediately used the Japanese ones. For me, that part was all good, except for one of the NPCs who is horrid to listen to even in Japanese.
Locations: I can say that none of the places were interesting, save for maybe one. And what's worse is that, the further you progress in the game, the bigger the locations get and the fewer save points you'll see. This means you have to trudge along hoping you could just get to the end already.
Battle System: Love the battle system for the Star Ocean games, but there is one aspect that I love and hate at the same time. First of all, the fight happens in real time. Characters have different attacks, depending on how far or close you are the your target, and whether or not you hold down the attack button or just tap on it. The characters also have special attacks and/or magic at their disposal. I did like the fact that you could combine the special attacks of the character you're using with another. You can't chose the second character, however, it's whoever is closest to you and/or targeting the same opponent. There are three setting you can set your characters under (Attack, Defense, Neutral). How your character grows depends on which setting you place them under, as each one grants different boosts, except for neutral. Neutral will "combine" the stat bonuses of the other two, but you don't get any other boosts. You only get direct control over one character, and the others are controlled by the AI. For the most part, they other characters can take care of themselves, depending on what strategy setting you place them under. Next comes the bonus gauge. If you fulfill certain conditions in battle you build up the bonus gauge, which consists of, I believe, 16 slots. The bonuses you can get are extra EXP, extra Fol (money), a percentage of your HP/MP recovered, and Skill Points. you can build up any combination of these depending on which conditions you fulfill. And here is where my frustration comes in. It's so damn easy for the enemy to hit you and destroy that bonus gauge that you worked so hard to build. Seriously, just one well-placed hit, sometimes even if you're guarding. And if you're in the middle of an attack, you can't stop to block. If any enemy targets you, and you're targeting the same enemy, you ARE given a chance to perform a sneak attack to avoid getting hit...BUT, some enemies have the ability to counter your sneak attack, and there is no way to avoid that unless you've learned the "double counter" ability from the Attack setting. If you've been developing your character under the Neutral or Defense settings, then you're crap out of luck and you can say goodbye to that lovely full bonus gauge that you just finished building the battle before. So be very careful! You'll know whent he monster will counter if an exclamation point appears above its head. Oh and another thing! The boss battles can be pretty damn hard because, for each one, you either have to find/wait for their weak point to show or you have to use certain attack or other things like that. I didn't know this when I first started playing, and I kept wondering why my characters were doing so little damage no matter how much I hacked away.
Music: Nothing special to note here. Not bad, but nothing too memorable either.
Final Notes: I did enjoy parts of the game (mostly the combat), but I don't think I'm going to be trying out the bonus dungeons or replaying it anytime soon. I'd actually rather start replaying SO: Til The End Of Time...Oh, and there's a big part of the ending that I think was complete BS. Just saying.
I'm pretty sure I've played most, if not all, of the Naruto Ultimate Ninja Storm games. While this one is my favorite (mainly because of the new characters you can use), there are some things of the past I wished this game had.
Game Modes: There's no explore Konoha and surrouding areas RPG mode! While this aspect isn't necessary in a fighting game, and I've seen other recent fighting games also eliniate this part, it definitely allows the player to take a break from the sometimes monotony of continuously battling. I'm not a big online battler either, so an RPG mode would have been greatly appreciated. The story mode is interesting as it takes you through the perspectives of different characters. I was definitely looking forward to the new Anime scenes that were being promoted, but, honestly, only a couple of them were of any real worth or fun to watch. Another downside to the story mode is that, even though you do get to play as different characters, some of them have intertwining stories, and therefore it's possible for you to fight the same battle two or three times...just as different people. That to me became too monotonous to a point. Also, the lack of "cinematic/quick time" battles leaves the mode a bit lacking. Free Battle Mode has your typical VS, Online Battle, and Training. There's also a Survival Mode and Tournament Mode. I have tried Tournament yet, but I do like the survival. It provides a good amount of chalenge at times, and I'm only at the intermmediate level right now. You have to start at Basic or Beginner Level (can't remember what it's called) and work your way up. The other modes are the Store and Collection, which are all self-explanatory.
Gameplay: The battle system really hasn't change from the past couple games. The attack, jump, item, and chakra charge buttons are all the same. Every character has one jutsu attack and one Ultimate Jutsu (which, sadly, were all recycled from the last game except for the new characters). This is actually one of the things I hate the most about the last couple games. in the past, although you could still use only one Ultimate Jutsu, but at least almost every character had a few of them to chose from. There's still Awakening Mode. For those new to the series, this mode becomes available when your HP gets below 50%. You charge your chakra to the max, and your characters gain heightened defense, attack, etc. You also still have to support characters, each with pre-assigned characteristics (attack, defense, or balance). You have a team gauge, and the more you use your support characters, the more the gauge fills. When you fill the gauge up once, it automatically activates your supports' passive abilities. If the ability is Attack, your support will join you for a few hits when you attack your opponent with regular attacks, and when you knock and opponent back (either with a jutsu or regular attack) your support will appear to knock them back for an extra hit. If their ability is defense, your support will protect you while you chakra charge or when an opponent tries to dash at you in order to stun you. Finally, if their ability is balance then your support will join you when you when you chakra charge and throw shuriken and they will also take your opponent's Ultimate's Jutsu instead of you getting hit (which can be useful but it also knocks out that support for the remainder of the battle). Now, if you fill the gauge up a second time, it allows you to do a team attack, which is always fun to watch and can take away almost 50% of the enemy's HP. The one thing I wish the game implemented was switching out your team of characters during battle, kind of like Marvel vs Capcom instead of having one main fighter and two supports. The only really big change that I noticed was that you can't spam the subtitution jutsu. You have a gauge that lets you do it a maximum of four times, and then you'll have to wait for the gauge to refill any of the four bars before you can use it again. This definitely adds more strategy to the game, which is good.
Characters: Yes, there are over 70 characters that span from the beginning of the Naruto timeline to the 5 Hokage Summit Arc. Here's my beef though. Only like 20 of those characters are from before Shippuuden, which is disappointing to me because I was really looking forward to playing as characters that they stopped using in the recent games like (Anko, Kurenai, the Sound 4) and maybe even some new ones from that generation like (Genma, Raido, Ibiki). Oh, but it's not that those characters don't appear in the game, they're just support only. So not only are there less characters from teh first generation, the ones you can use are just younger versions of Naruto and his friends. More diversity would have been nice.
The only other thing I can think to comment on are the stages. There's a good number of them, but there is also some repetition. A few of the stages are the same place just different times of day or different weather.
Despite all of the things that I found to be a downside (they are all personal opinions), this game is a ton of fun, and the new characters are a definite welcome addition.
I normally wouldn't take my time to write a review for something like this, but here I go. First off, I've probably seen every fighting game movie they've made, with the last 15 or so years at least (Street Fighter, Mortal Kombat, Dead Or Alive, Tekken).
Story: You're going to have to remember that the story for any video game movie is never going to be excellent, partially because the games themselves lack a solid story. The story of this is your basic bad guy steals powerful relics to release and evil power in order to take over the world. Cue the good guys have to find another relic in which they need to enlist the aid of a typical hero who doesn't think he's good enough.
Characters: I don't really think the movie made that much of an effort to stay the least bit truthful to the actual characters in the game. Terry is middle-aged, and they "try" to dress him like the Terry in the game towards then end, but he looks so way off. He's a guy in his 40's dressing like someone in his 20s. Plus there are only a handful of charcters in the movie. They talk about the tournament and all that, but it's the same 6 people fighting. Where's the tournament?! Oh, and since when does Mai start using lightning? Doesn't she use fire from her also missing fan?
Fighting: This is where, for me at least, most fighting games make up for everything else they lack. Sadly, this one fails on that aspect as well. It's as if they filmed the fight sequences with a hand-held camera. It's that shaky. You can't appreciate any of them because you get a headache just watching.
The only reason why I didn't give this movie 1 star is because I like some of the people in it. This is the first fighting movie, however, where I actually had to complete it in two spearate sessions because I got bored part way through.
I was debating on giving this 3 instead of 4 stars, but, the more I thought about it, the more I realized the movie actually was pretty decent. The movie is 90 minutes, and, considering there are only like three fights, it can seem a bit dragged out or slow at some points. The 3rd fight can technically be split into 3, but, since it's between the same 3 charachers, I'm combining them into one. I really did enjoy the fights though. My biggest wish would have been to see at least a few more characters with a few more fights thrown in. With only 7 of them present, you pretty know who going to fight whom. Nina and Ana start the movie off with a battle, and it looked like they were going to have another showdown later in the movie...which they did. It just wasn't shown. -_-...Read more
First things first, I actually really enjoyed the first game, despite it's shortcomings. Now, on to the FFXIII-2. I'm very near to the end of the main story and I've collected about 120 of the 160 fragments, and I'm already about 50-60 hours in.
Story: People need to stop griping that time travel is overdone. What storyline hasn't been overdone in an rpg to an extent? As for me, I've never really played a time traveling game, so this was a welcome change. It's also not as confusing as some may lead you to believe. I think my biggest issue with the time traveling here is that you don't get a lot of variety in the places you visit. You're basically going to the same places in two or three different time periods, and the only things that really change are the NPCs that show up or how the environment looks. Now, on to the actual story. Serah is looking for her sister Lightning, who mysteriously disappeared after the events of the first game. Lightning sends Noel (a boy who is connected to the villain) to help Serah along the way. People are saying there are plot holes and whatnot, and I admit there were a few times when I thought, "why did that just happen?" More often than not, however, I'd give it some thought and things began making sense. The main story IS short, but there's so much to do on the side, that I didn't particularly mind.
Characters: Lightning is one of my favorite FF characters, mostly cause she's badass. Yes she's very stoic and a bit lacking in the "personality" department, but what would you expect. Her parents died, and she bascially had to take care of herself and Serah on her own, which means she probably had to "grow up" fairly quickly. Anyways, I loved the opening of the game when you get to use Lightning, but was pretty disappointed when I found out you could only use her for those 5 min. As the game progressed, however, I became ok with that fact because the story IS about finding her, so it would make sense that you wouldn't be able to use her (kind of like Link looking for Zelda). Which brings me to Serah. I had my reservations about her in the beginning because, well, she's not Lightning. She's pleasantly surprised me. She's got much more spunk than you'd expect, and she's not some helpless girl either. She's carries her fair share of the fight with Noel. I've read people don't feel like they can connect with her, espcially during the short reunion with Snow. First of all, you all, Serah wasn't just all "oh time to move on since our objective here is done." Snow was the one who was "leaving," and she did get a bit emotional about it. Now, Noel, on the other hand, is your run-of-the-mill hero. He has even less of a personality than Lightning. I don't hate him, but I don't really care for him either. Caius, I actually like as a villain. He's not as epic as Sephiroth nor as Sadistic as Kefka, but he's still pretty cool. The fact that he's doing everything in order to save Yeul makes him more relatable too, even though saving her means destroying the rest of the world. I didn't expect to care too much about Yeul, but how can you not feel for her. Every time she sees the future she dies! Over and over again. Granted it's not always the same Yeul, but that sucks nonetheless. Alyssa I didn't mind too much. I'm always a bit wary of characters who are too chipper because people aren't normally like that. I do have to say that she ended up surprising me, and, to avoid spoiling anything, I won't say whether that's a good thing or a bad thing. Finally, for the original FFXIII characters. I never really liked Snow. He's too preachy, too full of himself, and too reckless. The fact that they gave him the ugliest hairdo in all of FF history made me thankful he's only in this game for a short amount of time. I'm glad that Hope is grown up and mature now. He was a big, whiny pain for the majority of the first game, and it wasn't til towards the end when I started to like him a little. Sazh, I never cared for, so I was fine with him not being in this one. I wasn't expecting to see Fang and Vanille at all, but I was plesantly surprised when they did. It also made me realize how much I missed Vanille and Fang. Fang, of course, cause he's my favorite character. Vanille on the other hand I didn't mind in the first game.
Battle System: I have such a love/hate relationship with this. It's great that it's fast-paced, but like everyone else says, it's too fast-paced. I would love to chose the abilities I want to use manually, but if you really want to attain a 5 star rating, you're going to rely heavily on the auto-battle. Next, I like the "gotta catch'em all" thing they did with this game. Using different monsters with different special attacks adds a lot of fun variety, BUT I still prefer regular characters. This is why I eagerly downloaded the Lightning and Amodar DLC so that I could have Lightning in my party. And what the hell happened to the magic? It seems like they took out a bunch of spells, and you can't even cast haste unless it's from a special ability of a monster?! How does that make sense? They should have at least kept the aegisols, fortisols, and ethersols. Other than that, nothing has changed too much from the first game, so if you liked it then, you'll be ok with it now.
Music: I'm 50/50 on this one. If a song doesn't strike me as I'm playing the game either in a good way or bad way, I probably won't have an opinion on it. I bought the Collector's Edition, so I have the 4-disc soundtrack. I've only listened to the first two, and I have to say that I couldn't remember what parts of the game most of the songs were from. That and like a quarter of them were just remixes of other songs, and not very good ones either. When the music is good in this game, it's really good. When it's bad, it's awful. The rest is forgetable.
Side Stuff: FFXIII-2 has a casino like place called Serendipty, and, let me tell you, Gold Saucer it is not! First of all, there are only two things you can do there without having to downlad anything. There's the slot machines, which are incredibly tiresome. The chances of you making any profit are marginal at best, even when the machine is "on fire." Then there's chocobo racing. When I heard that they brought chocobo racing, I was ecstatic. I loved it in FFVII, and I was looking forward to it here...What a let down! All you're doing is watching chocobos run around in a circle for a set distance, pressing the boost at the very end, and what a crappy boost it is too. The chocobos spend half the boost meter in a pre-boost sprint. I grew so bored of watching the races that I'd do other things while the races went on.
Game Play: I actually liked all the Live Action and Quick Time. For me at least, choosing what the characters say adds a level of replayability because I want see how the characters react to whatever you chose. The Quick Time during battles gives them a little more flare. I would have liked there to be more of them, but I know some people don't like that stuff, so all things considered, there's a good amount. I wish they were more like the very first one though, where you get a choice of what the character does (i.e. using magic or using a physical attack).
DLC: I'm a BIG hater when it comes to DLCs. We shell out $60 more if we get collector's editions, and then we don't even get complete games. I understand that gaming companies do need to make a profit somewhere, but it's ridiculous if one's gaming experience can't be completed without them. At least, thus far, none of the DLCs for this game are necessary for you to fully enjoy the game. You don't NEED any of the extras, so if you DO want them, then you can't complain if you have to pay. Heck, I even paid for the Lightning/Amodar DLC because I really wanted Lightning. I have been hearing that the "real" ending for the game is going to be a DLC. If that's really true, then it's a ripoff.
All-in-all, FFXIII-2 has a lot of fun things to offer. A lot of people who criticize this game tend to be biased. Just because a game doesn't measure to other games that you hold in high regard doesn't mean it's bad. If you play this with an open mind, you'll enjoy it.
I orginially bought this game as a present for a friend, and when he finished it, I tried it out because it had intrigued me as well. I have to say that I LOVE LOVE LOVE this game. Battle system is fantastic! The visuals are gorgeous! There are a good number of characters to choose from, and they're a good enough balance that you'll have trouble which three to pick for your attack team. I ended up just rotating all the characters every so often because I wanted to see all their specials attacks.
Now, despite all the good stuff, there are some flaws that some might find more than annoying.
First, the story can move at quite an extremely slow pace, despite how interesting it is. I agree that the voice acting isn't always the best, but that's why I just turned on the japanese voices to compensate.
Second, although the battle system makes up for a large chunk of why I've replayed this game multiple times, there are some pitfalls. As some people have noted, there are times when the camera angle is so misleading that you run up to an enemy, only to attack the space next to that creature, which can waste your turn. A little annoying yes, but that just means you'll have to be more careful about where you place your characters and not just running about everywhere haphazardly. Next, I live for the special attacks. They are so flashy and fun to watch that it's a big shame that the dark versions of everyone's attacks or just a variation of the light ones (different names, differetn color schemes, but overall the same attacks).