So anyone who played Final Fantasy XIII knows how anoying it was. Heck no deviation from the path, no NPC's, crappy battle system, and no towns or shops or whatever to explore until after like 50 hours of game play and then its just a dead world. Luckily I liked the story enough that I didn't find it a total waste of time. Though the scoreing on the battle system was really disheartening heh.
I purchased the Collectors edition of Final Fantasy XIII-2. Its really beautiful. It has a nice hard slip cover, and the hard covered booklet folds out. One side has the game, surprizingly the Xbox 360 version is one disk. Considering the first game was 4 disk I was very surprized. There is a pocket on the game disk side for game information. Then in the middle is the artbook with concept art. The print quality is really nice. Then the last section that folds out has the four disk sound track. And the music is really good as expected of a final fantasy game the sound track is beautiful. It has to be the nicest special edition game I've bought so far.
Final Fantasy XIII-2 is a big improvement. You get NPC's to talk to. The battle system is still the annoying paradim shift thing but its been tweeked. You have more freedom of movement instead of beening herded along the railroad track. So you can go back and forth to times you've been before as well as side quest missions you can pick up from the begining. I like how you have the option to make the text bigger. Plus theres a section called the beginers guide which tells the whole stroy from the first game. Also when you continue from a saved game file it starts out like some tv show "the story so far . . ." and theres a breif explanation and some action scenes. I see this as a great feature for those time when you get annoyed and put a game aside for 2 months to play something else and then you come back and know whats happening still. Unfortunately there is no bonus from having a saved completed FFXIII game to carry over the hard work from the first game. But I don't really thing the normal mode is all that hard really. One intresting thing is the cinimatic actions. Where you push the buttons to make the scene go a certain way in a battle scene. Or where you can determine the conversation, it gives you a bit more control.
One thing to remeber is there are no save points really. You can save in the time gate, you have auto save, and you can save in the start menu when you pause in a lot of places even in the middle of a dungeon. So unlike in the first game you have lots of places to save.
Now the story takes place 3 years after the end of the last game. However, things are strange. No one remebers that Lighting was with them at the end and even gave her blessings to Serah and Snow to get married. Everyone thinks that she also along with Vanille and Fang is holding up Cacoon. Only Serah remebers. She has a vision of Lighting fighting Caias is Valhara and of Noel meeting her and being sent to her. And it turns out its real. Noel is a time traveler from the future, where he's the last living human and he travels back in time inorder to change that fate. On meeting Lightning she sends him to fetch Serah who will help him. So basically its lots of time travel. heh.
Its intresting how its all tied together, plus you get to revist places that you see in the last game. I'm only about 6 hours in. So far I really think its intresting. Though i had some trouble reading some of the text in the menu even though I now have a 32 inch HDTV as oppssed to the 26 inch ancient thing I used to have. I couldn't read the menus at all on that thing. But on my new tv some of its hard to read still. I'm really liking this much more then the first game so far. Once I finish i'll give my final impressions. For now I'm going to play and enjoy the beautiful world and the cute bishonen Noel.