Those who know me know that I really didn’t like Final Fantasy XIII that much. I did complete it, but begrudgingly. The main reason I didn’t like the game was down to how the story for the game was so chopped up and appeared to have tonnes of exposition missing – as shown by the fact that you really did wonder more than in Final Fantasy VII why the heck everything was happening. Considering that – I still ended up buying Final Fantasy XIII-2 on launch day last Friday.
It’s like I wanted to punish myself for some ill that I haven’t even done or at least that’s what I first thought. And then I started playing the game. And after a shaky start where I had to sign out of Xbox Live in order to get the game to install on my my Xbox 360 hard drive and a 25MB patch – I started to enjoy things.
And I hadn’t enjoyed the demo.
The main reason for picking up this sequel was that Paul did marginally enjoy the previous game more than I did. However, with me having more free time this weekend, I was the one to start playing it first.
Another reason that I had not enjoyed the previous game was I found most of the characters really annoying. This time round, the combination of having Serah and Noel along with the Moogle as the main characters has led to this aspect not grating on me so much. I think Noel is a stronger main character than Vaan from FFXII or Hope from FFXIII ever were and the only thing that annoys me about Serah is how skinny she is.
I do feel strongly compelled to sink a few more hours into the game before The Darkness II is released. This growing fondness may also be down to the Live conversation moments, giving some illusion of choice that has never really been deployed in the previous games. And the fact that Square have obviously tried to reduce the linearity of this game compared to what happened in the previous one, where you could not back-track at all.
At the moment, I am enjoying the game, except for the few times where I stumbled into boss battles. While just about getting through them, they were very long and protracted battles.