This is Square Enix's 4th sequel in a numbered title in the series and it's the sequel to the original game on PS3 and for the second time, Xbox 360.
The story this time is Lightning - who is praising a statue called Etro in the opening intro - has gone missing and Serah is wondering where she is with help from a new character called Noel Kreiss, who knows where she is. Lightning (a warrior goddess now) is in the future and she's in a new location for XIII-2 called Valhalla - a big futuristic city. She's too busy battling a new villian of the game called Caius Balled in that city and there's a girl with him called Yeul. Serah and Noel set out to find Lightning, stop Caius and change the future.
The game now focuses on time traveling, a new feature in the XIII-2 - which I believe this is the first final fantasy to use time traveling - called Historia Crux and this is where you'll go to place to place rather than doing that on foot or chocobo. There's different time periods in certain locations once you've unlocked them and they will look different if you go to the future or the past of that place. It's the same place, but in a diffferent time period. This is a great feature and it also has a little intro before you go to that location.
Another feature which the game also focuses on is that you can recuit monsters to join your party. There isn't no learning how to do this and it's easy. You go into battle, defeat the enemies, they turn into crystal and that monster is yours keep, but there's more than just that. You can set up their abilities, you can change their name, but you can't input your own name yourself, you only pick from pre-made names and also, you can dress the monsters up in different accessories. This is another good feature people will like or not like.
The Crystarium is back and it's better this time. It doesn't expand as you progress through the story like in the original game, it expands the more you use it. The levels of the roles have increased and in the original game, they go to level 5. In XIII-2, they go to level 99 this time. The characters collect points after battle for use in the crystarium and the monsters that you recruited collect special items to use in the cystarium.
There's Fragments to collect throughout the game and there's a reason to collect them. You can get them by accepting sidequests from people when you talk to them and doing certain tasks that doesn't involve sidequests.
Mog is back and he is useful for three things - being the Mog Clock for the monsters, finding hidden items in the field and transforming into Serah's weapon. When you encounter monsters in the field, Mog turns into a clock, which is like a meter. If the pointer is in the green area of the meter, then you get a pre-emptive strike upon entering battle. If it's yellow, then the battle is normal and if it's red, then the retry option is locked, so that means you can retry a battle if it gets too tough. Mog is also Serah's weapon, which he transforms into a bow and the bow is also a sword as well. Mog can find hidden items when his crystal thing on his head glows. This is useful for finding artefacts or finding an item when your doing a sidequest for a person.
Live Triggers in a dialogue option similar to Mass Effect. If someone asks you a question or if you are in a conversation with somebody, you are given 4 options to how you response. These can lead to rewards afterwards and view multible endings defending on your choices you made.
Cinematic Action Sequences is where something that happens in a battle and in a scene. You are given input button pressing when they appear and it in a scene, you are given 2 choices of how the outcome of the scene will be. These input button pressings are also used for special attacks for your recruited monsters called Feral Links. Once you've pressed the buttons seen on screen, your monsters do special attacks.
There's many things people will dislike about this - either it could be the new features or the music, which is a big departure from the music we are all used to listening to because it's mostly hip hop, dance and pop like X-2 is and at least this game isn't about girlpower like that game is.
There's no problems with this game at all and Square Enix have definitely fixed the problems of the originl game. There's loads of sidequests, which was a problem with XIII. You collect Gil from monsters, which in XIII, you had to grind to have to upgrade weapons and accesories and speaking of upgrading, there's none of that in XIII-2. You buy weapons and accessories as they are from a traveling merchant called Chocolina. In XIII, you had to buy stuff from different shops from the save point, so Chocolina will have a warm welcome from people. There is one problem and that is you always control serah and noel throughout the entire game. There are guest characters, which are uncontrollable, so this is just minor problem.
This is what the original XIII should have be and more. There's also DLC planned as well, which XIII was also going to have. XIII-2 does feel like a classic final fantasy and it looks like it's definitely back on track. Square Enix should listen to the fans more often and I'm looking forward to seeing what's in store for the next game, if this isn't the last game in a numbered game in the series. If you liked the original game, then you will like this one a lot more.