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Reviews Comments: A good ending if you like the series Lightning Returns Final Fantasy XIII game review by NG 14916

The Final Fantasy XIII series is pretty controversial. I'm a fan of it myself, but I can see why it gets the hate. The writing is not perfect and there are plenty of cheesy lines. However, if you have a good tolerance for Narm you'll find that, like the rest of the series, Lightning Returns has some good character development and an interesting plot. The story of Lightning Returns is not quite as good as either XIII or XIII-2, in my opinion, at least partly because of the open-world nature of the game, in which sidequests can be completed in any order, and focus on sidequests. The sidequests are hit-or-miss and all too often rely on cheap tricks to get you to care about what happens, but some of them are genuinely touching and others are really funny. Also, unlike XIII and XIII-2, Lightning Returns doesn't add any interesting characters other than Lumina. However, it does a good job of developing the previously established characters, wrapping up the loose ends left by the previous games. The character development for these characters is not as major as the games in which they were established, but what development there was was good. The only thing that bothered me was that Sazh didn't have enough screentime. The very ending, starting from the final boss onward, was surprisingly excellent and well-written. Overall, Lightning Returns does a good job of concluding the series in a satisfying way.

Comments

  • Hylarn
  • 1st Jul 14
I had a review for this game written, but then the preview function ate it ;_;

So, I'm commenting here instead

story of Lightning Returns is not quite as good as either XIII or XIII-2

This is something of an understatement, and XIII-2 was pretty badly written to begin with. Things come together in the finale, but the plot cutscenes before then are horribly inconsistent on what Lightning wants and how much she knows

Oh, and I note you didn't go into the gameplay. I thought combat was decent, but ability upgrading was annoying and stagger mechanics are over-complicated. And de/buffs should have been reworked for the changed combat system
  • NG14916
  • 2nd Jul 14
The problem with inconsistent plot cutscenes was that they were designed to be able to be viewed even if you did events out of order. That's why there was a lot of ambiguity in those cutscenes. Unfortunately, that's just a problem with open-world games in general, which I did point out. It would be nice if the devs had enough budget and spent the effort to change the dialogue and cutscenes to reflect your play order, but very few devs that I know of do that, especially when there is expensive voice acting to change. That said, I think you're underrating XIII-2's story. It had some badly-written lines and the plot was a bit slow in the first half, but the second half did a good job of developing the characters and keeping the plot moving. Maybe the XIII saga's story ended up not being as good as other Final Fantasies (I've only played IV and X so I wouldn't know) but it's still better than the vast majority of games.

So I mostly agree with you but I think you, like most people, are being too harsh on the story's flaws and not appreciating what it does well.

I forgot about going into the gameplay, but it was easily the best of the series. Open-world travel was fun and the maps of the areas were pretty large and interesting to explore. The combat was very fun. It depends on what you like, but I enjoyed ability upgrading. It's not necessary to beat the game, anyway. Stagger mechanics didn't seem complicated to me. The enemy descriptions generally made it clear how to stagger each type of enemy. Most of the time the easiest way to do it was to target weaknesses or spam Aerora or Thundara, and for a few enemies you had to Guard with perfect timing. I know some people were annoyed that the battle system is not quite like most turn-based battle systems, but it's not really so different since moving on the battlefield is not that important compared to timing and choosing the right abilities, which felt like a natural evolution of the ATB battle system to me. Lightning Returns, like XIII-2, also did a good job of avoiding giving enemies so much HP that it takes a really long time to beat them. That was the major complaint I had about XIII's battle system. Battles in Lightning Returns are mostly quick and fun.
  • Hylarn
  • 2nd Jul 14
The problem with inconsistent plot cutscenes was that they were designed to be able to be viewed even if you did events out of order.

Like, the ones you see at the Ark? Only a handful of them have anything to do with your actual actions; there's no reason most of them shouldn't be in order

That said, I think you're underrating XIII-2's story.

The problem there is that the mechanics of what's going on are pure nonsense. That's a discussion for a different place, though

Stagger mechanics didn't seem complicated to me. The enemy descriptions generally made it clear how to stagger each type of enemy.

No, I liked having unique conditions. My issue was that the underlying system wasn't explained very well and the display didn't give much information. All of which becomes a problem with the bonus bosses and final boss

Returns, like XIII-2, also did a good job of avoiding giving enemies so much HP that it takes a really long time to beat them.

That's actually the opposite of my opinion (more so in XIII-2). A lot of the fights ended before they could get interesting
  • pointless233
  • 12th May 18
I\'ll be honest, I didn\'t really like this game. I hate the fact that you can\'t level up from defeating enemies but you have to do quest in order to get stronger. I also found the combat to not be all that good. In my opinion, Lightning Returns was an unnecessary game.

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