Customer Reviews: Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII: The Complete Official Guide - Collector's Edition
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on February 12, 2014
I was a little upset that this guide sticks out from the rest of the FF XIII guides but that was quickly forgotten. There Is some much going on in Lightning Returns that it can't be put in a clear do A->B->C guide. Those that are complaining aren't realizing the true power in this book. Yes it takes a little longer to navigate than most guides but look at all the content!

The guide tries it's best to organizing everything and even gives you a suggested play through strategy from the layout of your abilities to which quests you should be doing when.

The biggest suggestion I can give for this guide is to read through it before playing. Even if you only skim over the quests, it will give you an idea of the depth of the game and what not to do which will save you precious minutes in the game.

A great guide and truly worth the price if you realize the wealth of knowledge crammed into the bindings.
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on February 14, 2014
I received my copy today and the book is amazing! I love the cover more than the XIII-2 Collector's Edition Guide! The dust jacket is very vibrant with Lightning on it. The book is one inch thick, the biggest out of all the XIII guides.

Inside, you get the DLC code for "Art of War" for Lightning, 32 pages of concept art and insights from the development team, two bookmarks, and a two sided world map poster!

This is quite a little must-have for any gamer who has the game, or likes to collect guides. It's so stunning I didn't want to take it out of the shrink wrap! Also, the price was much better than in store ($40+!?)

Grab a copy while you can! :D
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on February 12, 2014
Having spent some time with this guide, I find it very hard to give it a positive rating. It does contain everything you need for your adventure, but it organizes it in a way that I find to be less than ideal for using.
For example, it has a map section of every area. Great. But it doesn't put the item chests on the map. Item chests are only listed on a fold out map that is about 4 pieces of paper in size. It has a timeline section, listing optimal actions to do at every moment to ensure maximum efficiency. Great. But the entries in it read like "do main quest 1-1, see page XX". Hrm. So the main quest actions are listed in a separate section. Also, all of the side quests are in a third section. And all of the bulletin board quests are in a fourth section. And as if 4 written guide sections and 2 map (one with are names in the book, and the other the fold out map) there is a 5th written section that contains optimal play through in a chart format. Granted that this chart is for new game +, it says that it can also be used for a regular new game. As I said, this guide is comprehensive in listing its details, but by having everything in its own section nicely organized, it leads to flipping back and forth between 4-5 book marks and a map that takes up 1/3 of my couch. I would have preferred something that incorporates all of the events in one section, even if the additional sections were left for reference simply to avoid all of the constant flipping.
A secondary beef I have is the guide is a bit lacking in specific detail. It doesn't tell you 'save 2000 gil for a coming quest' but two pages later will tell you to buy something (which costs 2,000 gil) and expect you to have it. Little nuances like that bug me.
Some of the ancillary sections, such as the item and garb list pages are printed in about size 6 font. If I hold it up real close, I can read it, but otherwise it is way too small to be useful. It's obvious they wanted the data all on 1-2 pages, but they sacrificed readability for paper space.
Having listed the bad, there is a lot of good in this guide. Each section is independently a very well organized and very detailed section. Each side quest has a map showing where it is, where to go, what to do.
The map fold out is detailed, but I would have preferred it be incorporated with the area maps.
The monster section contains pictures of all the monsters, so it is nice for the art.
The two book marks advertised are just that. Two small card-stock bookmarks. I liked the ribbon book marks in the XIII-2 guide more, but that is pure aesthetic.
The Art section that is extra for the collector's edition is rather disappointing. Not much to add on it. It has some pictures and comments from the art director. Some are hand sketches, others are digital renderings. Some are repeats of art already found in other sections.
If I had to go back and choose between the regular edition and the collector's edition, I don't think the CE was worth $15 extra (list price).

+comprehensive sections
+illustrated bestiary
+detailed maps
~CE art section is rather disappointing
~'special bookmarks' feel like grade-school bookmarks
-$15 more than regular guide without a lot of extra material based on the list price
-lots of page flipping for doing the main story
-info is put on a fold out map instead of the in guide map
-guide doesn't always guide you well
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on February 17, 2014
I am always nervous when I pre-order these guides as you never know if they will be easy to use. I was very pleased with this one. Starts out with game functionality (and in FF there is a ton), goes into detail on the new combat system. Then breaks into a very brief walk-though, suggesting where to go but not giving any details away so you can experience the game, and solve the quests on your own. In that simple walk though there are page numbers to reference a more detailed explanation if you need help. And of course in the end there is the monster encyclopedia and maps, etc. The poster map it comes with is very useful and not cluttered, allowing me to make my own notes.
Since this game is based on a very short time span, and the clock is always ticking, i am not sure anyone can get through his game the first time without some sort of guide. Even with this guide I am finding myself late to tasks, and having to skip some side quests to get caught up.
I am not a fan of the clock on this game, but that is a review for the game itself, not the guide. So far the guide has been a tremendous help, in fact without it, i would be too intimidated by this game. The first day I played this without looking at the guide and it was a horrible experience and I was so far behind on goals and tasks I am not sure I would have finished it the first time around. And I am a very experienced gamer.
The good news is, if you do not get this book and try to tackle the game solo, then there is a plus mode, that if you cannot complete the game in the first play through, or are not strong enough to finish the last boss, the game starts over but you keep all your weapons and stats. Me personally, I am not a fan of playing a game twice back to back.
Good luck~!
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on February 15, 2014
This guide is by far one of the best I've ever used and the additional collector features are fantastic. The poster map is extremely useful and the artwork in the back has great commentary and is very beautiful.

Extremely organized and easy to use. The collectors edition cover is extremely gorgeous, the black stands out against the silver writing and I would easily put this on display on a coffee table because it looks so darn good!
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on February 20, 2014
This is probably one of the best strategy guides I have ever seen. Definitely one of the most useful I have ever bought. It can help you optimize your time, finish quest faster, and complete the game the most efficient way possible. Get this with FF Lightning Returns and you won't regret it.
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on February 19, 2014
Some might call it 'cheating,' but I call this book a lifesaver. With how the game is set-up, this book makes things so much easier. I know where to go, what to do, and how to play. Now before I used the book, I tried to play the game and managed to mess up a lot of stuff in two days. I wasted too much time and didn't do enough side missions to gain the auras I needed to sustain life (extend my playtime). I'm one of those people who likes to gain experience by "walking in the tall grass for hours on end." This isn't something you can afford to do in Lightning Returns. This book lays everything out and explains how to go about being successful. Yes, it's a tad confusing at first, but you eventually catch on and understand its layout. I will admit, that it's not as easy to follow as the XIII-2 book, but it is still super helpful. Just give the guide a chance and it will grow on you. And if it doesn't, at least you got a DLC with it, right? Oh and some pretty bookmarks and a map!

Aside from being super helpful, the graphics are simply amazing. Everything is super crisp and clean. It's absolutely gorgeous. And the feel of the book? Ugh, it's to die for. It's so elegant and smooth. The cover is excellent. It just begs to be shown off. I currently have it laying on a table as it's just so elegant looking.

I think it's worth every penny and recommend it to people who could use the extra help. I know I needed it! If anything, it helps remove a lot of frustration.
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on February 15, 2014
The Final Fantasy 13: Lightning Returns official legendary guidebook is well worth the pay. I praise this book for content but mostly quality. The quality of the book is phenomenal; I almost want to get the paperback version as well, just so I don't have to use the legendary edition. The content has almost everything you need from character backgrounds, game lore, quest information, to a great and extremely useful bestiary section; it even contains beautiful pieces of art from the game (it also serves as a nice art book too).The only thing I thought the guide could use was more information in the quest section, particularly pertaining to the main quest section. The guide tells you everything you need to know on how to complete the quests, but it doesn't explain what is going on during the quests very well. Now, this is probably just a personal pet peeve of mine, but I like to have the main scenarios written out in case I haven't completely grasped what is going on during the game. I will say though, the game itself does an excellent job at explaining the game for those slower players (like me), but it would be nice to have it in the guide as well for when I forget a thing or two. Other than that, the guide is amazing.
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on February 19, 2014
This just might be the nicest strategy guides I own. The dust jacket is really nice - the illustration and feel of it. Both the dust jacket and the hard cover have a velvet-ie type feel to them.

I try to complete games once without the aid of a guide, but this game basically demands one. I got to day 7 without the guide, only to realize I missed like 2,394,723,478 things once I read it. It is very easy to miss stuff in Lighting Returns.

This guide is very detailed and comprehensive. It has more than 300 pages. Given the time constraint within the game, the authors have laid out several different styles of walkthrough to maximize the limited amount of time players have. It has a New Game+ walkthrough as well. Everything is covered - from when to complete main and side quests, to every piece of equipment and how to acquire them. Even maximizing EP expenditure is covered.

This is a very nice guide that also includes some decent DLC content. It is very much worth the extra pennies if you cannot decide on this one or the paperback.
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on February 19, 2014
Great guide and very detailed! You will need to utilize ever bit of information it presents, and it does so very well. By far a better product than the game itself, which is the worst in Final Fantasy history.
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