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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Does Lightning Strike Twice?
There haven't been that many RPGs about for the PS3 lately and having played through Diablo several times it's good to have a new Final Fantasy on the horizon. As expected, the introductions and cut-scenes look very good on the PS3 and a lot of time and effort has gone into the look and feel of this game, to bring it up to the high standards of the series.

But...
Published 9 months ago by Bruce

versus
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Meow meow choco chow
Tick Tock Tick Tock it’s all against the clock!
While I feel the series has gone downhill and that they should concentrate on releasing a new number rather than push lightning onto us for a third time (Although technically she wasn’t really a big part of the second game) this game isn’t really at that bad.

My biggest issue is the change...
Published 8 months ago by Mr. Martyn Poole


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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not what you expect from a Final Fantasy game, 14 Mar 2014
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This review is from: Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII (PS3) (Video Game)
Lightning Returns is a disappointment to Final Fantasy fans - if you enjoyed previous games in the series for their RPG elements, storytelling or graphics, this game won't live up to your expectations. As others have stated, playing this makes you feel uncomfortably rushed. The game is based on the premise that you will not be able to experience all of it (in a single playthrough at least) and the difficulty curve is unreasonable.

This game is not for anyone who enjoys exploring a world and taking in everything it has to offer - that will only lead to a premature game over.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Not great, 3 Sep 2014
By 
Catherine Stapleton (Ireland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII (PS3) (Video Game)
Sorry but this was the worst of the FFXIII trilogy, very slow paced going back to one character not a good idea.
Even the music was depressing, thankfully you could download Japanese voices I wouldn't have got the PAL version otherwise as it's dreadful in english.
Overall I wouldn't recommend this game
It looked lovely and yes had potential but eastern companies shouldn't listen to western gamers it's a just a bad idea.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Rubbish game let down by a few questionable choices by the Square Enix team, 13 Mar 2014
By 
Mr. C. J. Rixen (Gillingham, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
= Fun:2.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII (PS3) (Video Game)
Well here is the eagerly anticipated third chapter in the final fantasy xiii universe and this time it concentrates on Lightning, a heroine turned gods messenger on a holy mission to capture souls to prevent the absolute destruction of the world brought on by Bhuneveze if she doesn't capture enough souls over 13 days.

Whilst this story may be of slight interest to other games who are more fluent in their understanding of XIII'S universe for me the story line felt like something dreamt up on a god Friday night out with two many shots of brandy's in tow. In fact I would even go do far as to to say that even the developers had no idea what they were talking about or indeed developing.

Probably the most annoying and frustrating element of this game is the countdown clock. I don't know whose idea it was or what possessed them to have this input into a franchise that has red flags all over it but for me the constant pressure to be at a certain place at a certain time took all the fun out of the game play. No more freedom to explore towns and cities and to take your time doing so you spend more time in monotonous dialogue with back stories from npc's that you really couldn't care about whose voice acting attempts boarders on the laughable and for some reason the game seems to actively want to waste your time finding certain objects then trying to find the idiot who gave you the quest in the first place.

Also speaking of quests, these are the only way you can level up or become stronger, by completing the mundane and boring side quests. Gone is the levelling up by defeating creatures. Instead every time you complete a side quest you gain some more hp and strength. The only fun element to the game is the combat system which I have to admit is actually quite good but Square should have kept the traditional levelling up system that has prevailed though the franchise to date.

In all honesty I didn't really play the game all that much because the above elements annoyed and frustrated me so much that I just couldn't be bothered. I think that Square has to seriously listen to its fan and bring us a product that is worthy of the final fantasy mantle. If I were you I would boycott this and either get a Realm Reborn or wait like I am for the Final Fantasy X HD Remaster.

Sorry folks but I just didn't enjoy this game.
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Lightning returns, but is she welcome?, 24 Feb 2014
By 
This review is from: Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII (PS3) (Video Game)
As a huge fan of the Final Fantasy series and a long time gamer, I feek really disappointed about this game.
First of all, I like to play videogames in my own pace, taking as much time as I want to explore, do sidequests have fun and RELAX. And relax is something you can't afford in this game.
You constantly feel like you have to be in a certain place at a certain time, which is manageable if you have like 1 or 2 tasks to complete... Not when you have a bunch of them, and you need to be here at 4PM, there at 6PM, wait until 12AM to be able to enter another area... I mean, I have a real life schedule to fulfill everyday, why do I feel like I need another to play this game?
Maybe I'm playing it the wrong way, I mean, they're "just" sidequests... But it is the sidequests that give you HP, strength and magic boosts. No XP-leveling system this time around.
So, the game sort of forces you to do sidequests, but gives you time restraints so you don't go over your head with them. Brilliant.

I still gave it 3 stars because the game grows on you, even though some things come up as difficult to manage, and once you get the hang of the combat/guard/stagger system, it becomes easier and not that unrewarding.

Overall, I think it's a game that tries to be so many different things, tries to appeal to many types of gamers, but it just ends up achieving excellence in nothing in particular.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Must purchase for fans of the series, 11 April 2014
This review is from: Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII (PS3) (Video Game)
I'll start off by saying that if you haven't played, or haven't enjoyed the previous FFXIII games, then this probably isn't for you. There are few new main characters, and so this story revolves around ones previously introduced in the series, so if you didn't like the characters or the storyline previously, I don't think this game will change that. Having said that, those who didn't enjoy the battle system in the previous two games will probably enjoy this one a lot better, as it feels more hands on - you are in direct control at all times rather than relying on the AI. If you haven't played the other FFXIII titles, whilst I'm sure that the gameplay will be enjoyable, the story will seem confusing. There are short flashbacks and references to previous titles designed to refresh the player, but I don't think these would be sufficient to cover it for new players.
If, like me, you really enjoyed the last two games in the series, I'd seriously recommend getting this - particularly after the cliff hanger ending of XIII-2.

This game feels really quite different from the others in the series. Instead of mainly relying on an auto battle function, with AI controlled party members, you really are at the centre of all the battles, with Lightning 100% under your control. Gone are the fixed roles (paradigms), they have been replaced with the much more flexible garb system. All of the garbs you obtain are customisable with weapons, shields, accessories and abilities - and this is where most of the character customisation comes in to play. You can set up garbs pretty much how you like, most of them come with one or two pre-set abilities, and it is up to you to add in others to complete the garb. This gives you great flexibility as to how you want to play and take on enemies. The battle system will take time to get used to, but eventually the timing and the rhythm of battles will come much easier to you, and you will be able to control Lightning in a more fluid manner. It's definitely worth taking the time to get to grips with the guarding system - you'll need it!

A lot has been said about the timed aspect of this game. I was apprehensive about this, however it adds a real sense of threat and urgency,particularly through the early parts of the game. For instance, I completed one quest with only a few in game minutes (about 30 seconds real time) to spare - if I was any later the subject of my quest would have met an untimely end. Little things like that really add to the excitement. There is sufficient time to go exploring though, particularly on the later days when the main quests have been taken care of.

As you'd expect from a Final Fantasy game, the music and graphics are first class. The finishing CG scenes are really quite breath taking. The in game world also looks great - make sure to check out the night sky in the dead dunes, it's quite a sight! As for the soundtrack, I cannot praise it highly enough. There are little nods to previous final fantasy games throughout, for example winning a battle wearing Yuna's garb will cause the FFX victory fanfare, and in the Yusnaan arena the crowd occasionally sing the original final fantasy fanfare.

I was going to write that perhaps the game was a little on the short side, however having just checked my play time it clocked out just short of fifty hours - that's for one complete playthrough. Completing the game unlocks the New game+ mode, where you can replay with your obtained equipment on a harder difficulty, which gives you more customisation options (weapon upgrading) and better battle rewards. I personally would have liked the main quests to last longer, as they are easily completed by half way through the time limit. There are some challenging side quests and optional bosses to keep you occupied though.

Perhaps the only criticism I can find for this game is the lack of post story play - it's new game+ or nothing (although admittedly the story makes it obvious why there is no post story play). That and the fact the game doesn't pause if the controller dies, as I found out during the final battle!

So to summarise, if you're a fan of FFXIII there is no reason not to pick this up! Perhaps the biggest compliment I can give it is that I was sad to finish it as I was enjoying it so much! I'd also recommend Piggyback's strategy guide, as its well written and provides lots of useful information to help you through and master the battle system.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Would love some monster companions like in 13-2, 14 July 2014
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This review is from: Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII (PS3) (Video Game)
Its decent. Would love some monster companions like in 13-2.
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4.0 out of 5 stars While not the finest hour in Final Fantasy history, 8 Aug 2014
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This review is from: Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII (PS3) (Video Game)
While not the finest hour in Final Fantasy history, it is definitely a better installment of the XIII franchise. Definitely worth a look if you've invest in the previous installments of Final Fantasy or XIII, but not to everyone's tastes.
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27 of 37 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Expanded on the more unattractive game elements, 14 Feb 2014
By 
Jono (Lancashire, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII (PS3) (Video Game)
I'm giving myself a headache wondering what to start with in this review, as I'm never very good at this. However, in the order of what I observed first I'll try and talk about what will matter those people who buy this, especially after playing through the two previous games.

Firstly, the game's presentation is entirely based on the assumption that most Final Fantasy fans like Lightning most of all, and desperately want her back - hence the name - she returns. The entire game's marketing is revolved around her alone; she's the only one on the cover, the Facebook page for the game only seems to hype the game by showing screenshots of her in combat, "Lightning Returns" is even placed before the sub-franchise it's about (Final Fantasy XIII-3 would have been consistent). The first thing we see after the introduction is "Lightning Returns" with a blown up render from the front cover, with a remix from the original game's combat soundtrack. All the settings screens and banners are just her face in different positions. The reality is, there are probably more people who want to see a Final Fantasy VII remake than those who wanted to see the XIII universe last up to three games. Yes, a Final Fantasy VII is unlikely but that doesn't stop at least 50% of fans shouting it on every post a Final Fantasy Facebook page posts.

With that out the way, I can safely say that if you expect it to give you an easier introduction in the full version of the game than the demo, you might be surprised to find out that the only differences are the things you start out with, like schemata. You're instantly thrown in to the situation head first and expected to guess what's going on and even which direction you're meant to be heading. In part, this and Hope's endless conversation with Lightning throughout the entire area (which I assume continues for the rest of the game, from what I've played so far) ties in to make a very annoying gaming experience, because you're forced to miss a fraction of his dialogue due to combat.

You're still running through pretty pipe-lines, fighting enemies using a system that plays itself and is based on button mashing. If you've played Final Fantasy XIII-2 you will have appreciated the fact that maps were less linear than the previous game, you had the entire map to run back and forth from, talking to people or going into the battle areas. And then after being able to go back to the map to finish off a side-quest or two. In this game it feels like it's trying to go back to the first game while technically it's keeping the same non-linearity as Final Fantasy XIII-2. Paths are very narrow even though maps are big and have multiple sections, you can warp back and forth anytime; albeit this time the unnecessary time element will have you waiting, rushing and worrying.

The time element feels a lot like it's trying to take inspiration from The legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask, however that worked because you could go back in time as long as you finished the quest of getting your Ocarina back, and every map felt open to explore, minus the ones made entirely to progress the story. This game doesn't have much control over the reversal of time, the linearity of time makes you feel much more rushed around, the repetitive requirement of getting items and finding people you have no clue where to find, unnecessary and repeated dialogue (looking at you, Hope) through the entire level, and long paths get tedious and make the element of time quite redundant.

The last thing I want to cover, before I summarize on why I'm giving this 2/5, is that the religious aspect of the games' universe was more tolerable in the previous game. I can't help but think that this is a little bit of a Ned Flanders game, you're saving souls to travel to the new world, you're deemed the savior sent by God, and most NPC's will talk about God as if nothing else matters. The previous game gave you the feeling that there was balance between the Goddesses power, and the cultural background and mechanisms of the world. You didn't feel like it was biased but you knew the power of deities had something to do with it. To put it simply, you're basically playing as the second coming of Jesus in this game; a sexy, violent Jesus who quietly preaches before and after every single battle.

Everything I just mentioned is pretty much what irritates me about the game, however everyone is quite diverse in what they like in video games and I know some people will know how to get round the problems I've described, or simply not find them hard to cope with. To be fair, the game is an extension of the storyline which was written by the same people who wrote the first one, so despite me saying Etro invalidated the ending of the first game, it didn't, I just preferred believing that it happened because of the events and mechanics tied to the fal'cie. If I could, I would have rated the game 2.5, the first half being because I know it's objectively not a bad game and I know a lot of people will get around these problems or simply not be bothered by them, but as Amazon puts in bold - I don't like it.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lightning Returns for her Final Game., 2 Mar 2014
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This review is from: Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII (PS3) (Video Game)
First of all this game is very different from the previous 2 games in the battle system is much more action orientated, and instead of having party members there is only lightning and her schemata ( similar to FFX-2 dress sphere's) . There is a lot of customization that you can do ranging from weapons accessories and even add your own adornments to Lightning.

This game may not appeal to all people as there is no experience from fighting monsters but completing quests. The overall game is very action RPG much different from previous Final Fantasies. However the monsters are challenging and you cannot simply win by massing X . Having a strategy against enemies is a must otherwise you will get overpowered.

I am not giving 5 stars only because of the time concept in that in 13 days the world ends and every day counts so prioritizing everything is really important if you dont complete the main quest within the 13 days the game will go into a new game + with all your equipment, stats and items but all the quests will be reset to go through all over again.

Overall a good game if you like challenge and dont mind something a bit different than the usual
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3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars, 24 Oct 2014
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This review is from: Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII (PS3) (Video Game)
Great graphics, but not keen on time based games which I have discovered this is one.
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Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII (PS3)
Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII (PS3) by Square Enix (PlayStation 3)
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