Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII is the third game installment of Square Enix's Final Fantasy XIII franchise, also part of the general Final Fantasy saga.
The story follows the journey of Lightning Farron, who has awoken from her 500 years of crystal sleep. Given a task by the almighty god Bhunivelze, she realizes that she has to bring salvation to the souls of the world before its end in thirteen days.
To complete Lightning's mission, the player is presented with a timing system which revolves around a Doomsday Clock. Within these thirteen days, five main quests are available to complete, in addition to two categories of side-quests as well.
Furthermore, Square Enix implements an online system called the Outerworld Services which gives the opportunity to sell items, and post screenshots on Facebook/Twitter for others to see.
My Personal Review
As a collector of Final Fantasy games, I couldn't pass on the opportunity of giving this game a try. Despite the mixed reviews, I entered the world of Lightning Returns with the most neutral of positions as possible.
Of course, the first thing I noticed were the efficiency of the tutorials. Mostly like many games we see nowadays, short and simple. I was happy to not have spent too much of my time on that aspect of the game.
The battle system, however, was quite unexpected. Square being the makers of Kingdom Hearts, I was expecting more liberty in battle. Like in the two other games of the franchise, characters can only be moved slightly in battle, while the selection of your skills is what does most of the motion on your character.
As for the storyline, it has huge potential. Its weakness, however, is the five main quests being unassociated with one another. Yes, you meet many interesting individuals along the way, like past acquaintances, but the short length of the quests do not seem to give the player enough time to bond with the characters, which results in some sort of loss, from a character-development point of view(which seems unnatural for someone used to the Final Fantasy saga's character depth). Besides that aspect though, the main quests are quite fun and very clearly explained.
From my personal point of view though, something incontestable would be the character design. Lightning was already quite gorgeous in the first two games, but anyone who wants to exploit her beauty at its maximum is free to push that aspect with a high number of garbs and accessories.
The following are personal examples of me playing dress-up with Lightning(as DC would say):
One last interesting detail of this game must be its addition of online interaction with other players. Much like with Persona 4: Golden, it is more of an indirect way of getting in touch with others, while not directly addressing yourself to them. I believe that Square Enix wanted to maintain the single-player approach, without diving too deep into the liberty that one can have online.
Final Verdict: I would recommend this game to, above all, collectors and to those who like to explore a different set of games. Fans who have followed Final Fantasy from the beginning may have some trouble adapting to its continuous changing environment. If you recognize yourself in that last statement, maybe a used copy or YouTube playthrough videos would suit your needs best.
Have you played this game?
Or have you watched any of its walkthroughs? If yes, please feel free to share your thoughts on your experience of this game. What did you like? What would you change, and how?
Your opinion is more than welcome in this thread, but please remember to respect one another's views! Thank you!