Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII Review

Lightning Returns Final Fantasy XIII
Lightning Returns is the third and final installment to the Final Fantasy XIII games. I’m a huge Final Fantasy fan, owning all numbered games, so of course I was going to get this game even if the previous one, Final Fantasy XIII-2, wasn’t that good. The first thing you’ll notice when playing is that the battle system has changed from the last two Final Fantasy XIII games – no longer do you have three characters in your party and the fighting goes away from the traditional Active Time Battle system. This did remind me a lot of another game, Final Fantasy 7: Crisis Core, however it’s not as fun. In Lightning Returns, you can move around while fighting, but it’s a slow walk; while in Crisis Core, you ran when you moved around enemies. Then there’s this interesting twist about having thirteen in-game days to beat this game, which reminded me a lot of Majora’s Mask. In actuality, you only have six days to complete the game, but by finishing countless side quests along the way, one can push it to thirteen. That’s fine, but time flies really fast in this game and some of these side quests just takes too long to be worth it. Most of your time will be spent running back and forth to do mundane tasks, such as getting flowers for someone, waiting for certain drops from monsters, or even eating at six different restaurants. I usually run through the main quests and when I stumble upon somebody giving out a side quest, also if I have time to spare, I’ll accept the quest. So far it’s worked out for me – I’ve still got a good few number of days to spare to complete the game.  I’m not rushing to get through this though and neither should anybody else who plays it.

Lightning vs. Chocobo Eater
The story is a bit… confusing at times. Chaos has been let into this world and now it is up to you to be the “Savior.” You are sent by God to save as many souls as you can so that he can create a new world for everyone to live in. An eyebrow-raiser for me was when you find out that everyone that is left in the world has been alive for five centuries and you, Lightning, have been asleep for all of it. When you wake from the long nap, you find out that a lot of your friends are not how you remember and it’s up to you to bring them back to the way they were 500 years ago.  So what do I think of this game? Well, it could have been better, but I’m still having fun playing it. Running back and forth again and again felt like I was playing an MMO and it was a bit tiring, but being able to change into different attires was a nice part of the game I really liked, especially since I’m able to wear a SOLDIER 1st Class uniform and the fact that I could give my Lightning a cat tail, meow. Another small detail in this game that made me smile was in the city of Yusnaan where you can hear street performers playing old Final Fantasy songs.

Lightning as Cloud
In all honesty, if you never liked the Final Fantasy games because of the turn based system, having to wait for your meter to fill, you might want to give this game a shot. It still has the meter, but you have three of them and you’re able to switch between three battle attires, which you can then set different attacks to. Being able to block attacks and not take any damage is great, although you need to practice getting the blocking down – which will take a few tries to get used to. It’s not a terrible game; it’s just different than the previous titles in the series that came before it – and that’s not a bad thing. I give this game a 7/10. Not great, not awful… but pretty fun.

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