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About the product
- Your own Lightning - Upgrade Lightning's look, abilities and actions through hundreds of game-changing weapons and outfit combinations
- A constantly moving world - Nova Chrysalia moves to the beat of a relentless 24 hour clock resulting in a different journey for every player
- All new battle system - Master a completely overhauled battle system to control Lightning like never before by being able to block, dodge, and counter with precision
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CHOKING HAZARD -- Small parts. Not for children under 3 yrs.
The world of Gran Pulse is sinking into the sea and what remains is now called Nova Chrysalia. With only thirteen days remaining until the end of the world, Chaos reigns in a world that never ages. New life cannot be born. People need salvation. As Lightning, it is your mission to save as many souls as possible so that they may be brought to the new world. Along the journey, you will encounter familiar faces and engage new foes in all new lands. You must ultimately choose which souls to save and which to abandon...and fully understand Lightning's true destiny. It all ends here.
Top customer reviews
Conversely, I really enjoyed FF XIII-2. That game featured an open world with amazing freedom to move between areas. It was liberating knowing that if I wanted to retry an area, I could literally *reset time in that area* and try that area again without losing any of my items or stats. There was never any pressure to get things done correctly the first time around, and I LOVED it.
So when I heard about the "time is running out" mechanics of Lightning Returns, I instantly hated the idea. Why produce a beautiful world with interesting characters and side stories, but then make the player feel like they don't have time to experience them? I waited until I found Lightning Returns in the bargain bin and fully expected to hate it.
But instead, I loved it. I've beat it twice now and I likely will come back and beat it again in the future.
First off, let's just be clear: I promise that you can fully complete every side-quest in the game in a single playthrough without running out of time as long as you utilize your "Chronostasis" skill regularly -- basically, you can temporarily stop time at the cost of "EP" (magic points). Game time is also paused any time you're in the menu or looking at the map so you can take as much time as you want to plot out your course. And believe me, there is virtually no limit to your freedom; after you finish the intro/tutorial sequence, the entire world is instantly opened up. You can go anywhere in the game right from the start, explore every area as you see fit, and even complete the major story arcs in any order you want, The world is your oyster.
This game has very enjoyable fighting mechanics and an excellent skill system. There are literally dozens of skills and none of them are "better" than any other skill. They all have use cases, such as exploiting enemy weaknesses or doing a lot of damage in a short amount of time. You can equip up to 12 on your character at a time and they can be combo'd together during fights seamlessly. Cast deshell, throw a couple fireballs, then cast deprotect, then smash'em with your giant axe in one combo. Ruthless. The "stagger" mechanics add a nice strategy element that keep the fights from being too monotonous.
Like the previous games, the story is still a bit contrived and silly, but it's significantly better than the original FF XIII. Lightning is, unfortunately, still a dull and emotionless character. However, despite being the main protagonist, she doesn't actually talk that much. She's surrounded by characters who are vibrant and interesting (if sometimes annoying), so if you just ignore Lightning herself you can still enjoy the atmosphere.
I could go on, but let me just end this review with a quick summary: if you like FF RPGs but have been hesitating because of the time pressure thing like I did, please rest assured that it really isn't a big deal. The fights are strategic, the story is decent, and the open world starkly contrasts the bland hallway dungeons in the original FF XIII. This game is solid.
-A totally new combat system different from the previous FF:XIII games
( I do not know about you, but I never understood how the combat system of the prior games work from just looking at gameplay video. This game essentially is just pressing buttons that have actions assigned to them)
(The soundtrack is well suited for all areas of the game, I do not remember there being any one area I hated being in because the soundtrack was excellently executed throughout the entirety of the game)
-Time is on your side
(I say this because rushing through the game on my first playthrough pretty much screwed me over near the end, so I will say this: there is no need to rush through the game. Yes, I have seen a lot of people say the 13 day time limit is bad, but you would be shocked by how fast you can make it through doing all the main quests in this game. Each minute in game is about 2 seconds in real time, so you have around 2880 seconds for each in-game day, or in other words 48 minutes per each in-game day. Note, the game gives you the ability to freeze time which can extend the 48 minutes per day into something much longer; I myself have been able to extend simply one day into over 6 hours of real time, and it can go longer than that if you need it too.
-Hard mode is extremely challenging
(The difficulty spikes are humongous once you get to hard mode, this keeps the game interesting since everything will not able able to be stomped over as can be done in normal mode. It requires having a keen understanding of the system from normal mode and there exist many different playstyles to make it through this difficulty mode. Overall, you are bound to have to look through every single feature/ability that exists for the combat system if you get stuck at a particular point of the game where you are fighting a boss that is too tough or enemies that are too high level to be killed)
-Tons of character customization
(There exists many different garbs and items that can customize the appearance of Lightning to look practically anyway you desire: each garb can be customized to have up to three different color palettes in addition to the original, as well as an item [adornments] which further customizes the look. You can show off any of these custom looks for all cutscenes and through the entire playthrough of the game by setting the scheme look that you want as default in the schema menu)
-Confusing player improvement system
(unlike traditional RPG's that feature a leveling system which plays a huge role in determining your character's power, this game completely did away with that idea. Now, you improve your character's health and other stats through doing quests. That bit is straight forward, but it becomes confusing once you get into more advanced parts of the game that actually require you to have good abilities equipped. In a nutshell, the level of an ability determines how much damage you do to enemies; your stats no matter how high or low, does not dictate how much damage you do but rather gives you an estimate of how much damage you can dish out. For example, if I had 800 STR for one of my stats and used a mid-level Attack ability [lvl 3] then I would deal around 2000 - 2500 dmg to an enemy; adversely if I used a Attack ability [lvl 1] I would deal around 800 - 1000 dmg to an enemy. The notion of acquiring good abilities essentially requires you to look up how to acquire stronger abilities in the strategy guide or online. The final piece of player improvement are the items you use. These mainly influence your stats by boosting them, which feeds into that system of having a good ability. Using the same example above, if you equip a weapon that gives 400 STR then your Attack ability [lvl 3] would do more damage now - 1200 STR deals 3000 - 3600 dmg. There is also other equipment available granting various effect besides boosting combat stats or resistances such as modifying how you many attacks you do with abilities. For example, there is one item that increases the number of attacks you do in a combo by 1. So if we used our Attack example that does 3000 dmg per attack, instead of doing 9000 dmg because Attack does a 3-hit combo we would now do 12000 dmg since it would become a 4-hit combo. There are tons of other little oddities that can be discussed to increase combat effectiveness, but I leave that for you to find out. These three features [stats, abilities, and items] are the main things that dictate player improvement)
-Poor color scheme made for the Ability Synthesis Shop
(I cannot stress enough that the color palette, and the oversaturation of fluorescent lighting when abilities are synthesized will hurt you eyes if you spend too long trying to improve abilities and clear out space from your abilities list)
-Too many abilities
(I list this as something that is bad because it becomes a chore to go through your ability list and sell ones you do not need, while being careful not to accidentally sell the good abilities you have, when sometimes you will have the max of 400 abilities at once to go through)
-Poor framerates in certain areas of game
(I do not know if this problem is specific to the Xbox 360 version since it is not as powerful - hardware wise - as the PS3, but I have found that certain areas cause the framerate to drop significantly while playing; this happens mainly when fighting a specific enemy in the desert area, and occasionally when traveling into different areas of the world)
-Most DLC items are not worth getting
(Honestly, I would say the only DLC items that are useful into the latter parts of the game [on hard mode] are the Buster Sword and Summoner's Shield. I'll say the Summoner's Garb and Soldier First Class Garb are honorable mentions that make normal mode feel quite easy to get through. The rest of the DLC items are there because they look aethestically pleasing, unlike a lot of the other garbs acquired as you progress through playing the game. I myself had the pre-order bonus to get both the Yuna and Cloud garbs/equipment for free, but by the time I finished the game on hard mode I was using all garbs and equipment acquired from playing with the exception being the Buster Sword and Summoner's Shield)
It is a much improved game over the last two games of the XIII series, and features a great deal of replayability. On top of that, I never played the initial FFXIII games and it was pretty simple to understand what was going on because there is enough recap along with the youtube retro video that sums up the two earlier games. You would definitely enjoy this game if you like figuring stuff out yourself from the hints you get from NPCs. I recommend this to anyone looking for an interesting console RPG, as I have not seen any other notable ones lately.
Awesome story with even better graphics and a finality that just seems to fit perfectly with everything that leads up to the moment.
Some people hated it, some loved it, others enjoyed the ride. I loved it despite it being quite different than the previous two. It's a great title to add to anyone's XB360/PS3 library even if you've never played the first two games before. Hoping to see all three titles ported onto the PS4/XB1 sometime in the future.