9 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Linearity is definitely not an issue now,
This review is from: Final Fantasy XIII-2 - Standard Edition (PS3) (Video Game)I've held off on writing a review of this until I'd sank a decent amount of time into it. I'm now a good 15 hours or so in and have to say I'm really enjoying it. I also enjoyed FF13 but agree that it was a tad too linear for the first half of the game and you were kinda restricted in character growth and stuff. This time around you have complete control over everything. You can level up as you see fit with no level cap in place, there are various places on the map to explore, there are towns and NPC's, sidequests...the list goes on. The gameplay is certainly meatier than in its predecessor.
I was a little apprehensive before I played the game that there were only 2 main playable characters, but this really hasn't been an issue as I think Noel is one of the best characters to come from an FF game in quite a while. Not too whiny, not too arrogant, there's a nice balance to his character that it's difficult not to like him. Serah's okay too, although she's a little bit of a JRPG archtype female character. Also the monster recruitment system really adds a whole new dimension to gameplay and battles, and a substantial amount of time can be put in to collecting different monster types and experimenting with them in your party, as well as levelling them up and customising their appearance. The battle system itself is largely unchanged from FF13, although it all runs a little quicker than the last game, with paradigm shift animations being taken out, allowing for a much smoother and more fluid battle experience.
The story isn't quite as good or intense as in FF13, it starts off with trying to find Lightning and unfolds from there. There are multiple endings to be had though, which allows for some replay value. You can also replay areas to see how choices you make affect the outcomes.
All in all, I'd say this is a worthy addition to the Final Fantasy series. People who liked 13 will almost certainly enjoy this, and people who didn't enjoy it should give this a go too, as enough has changed gameplay-wise that you may enjoy this one more. 5/5.