Final fantasy XIII (13)-2 is a direct sequel game to Final Fantasy XIII. It is not essential to play 13 before 13-2 but, I would recommend it as it helps you to understand the story better.
Final Fantasy 13-2 is an RPG developed and published by Square Enix and was released in 2011 through 2012 in different regions. In my opinion, the graphics in gameplay and especially cut scenes are extraordinary and are definitely the best I've seen yet.
The game brings back old characters as well as bringing new characters into the story.
Lightning, the main female character from FF13, has been erased from time and sucked into a world known as Valhalla, where neither life, death or time exist. In Valhalla she becomes guardian of the goddess Etro and her temple. She must protect the goddess Etro from Caius Ballad, the main antagonist in the game. He definitely gives Sephiroth (Main antagonist from FF7) a run for his money.
Back on Pulse in New Bodhum 3AF (3 years after the fall of Cocoon) where Serah and her friends live, Serah is the only person who remembers her sister – lightning. She remembers a different past where lightning survived the fall and joined them in their victory, where as everyone else thinks that she stayed behind to help Vanille and Fang in the crystal Pillar that holds Cocoon in the sky.
Paradoxes break through the time line changing the future, Noel Kreiss takes Serah on an adventure through the time line, visiting different eras, aiming to change the future and the past to how Serah remembers it and how it should have been. The Paradox also brings with it challenging enemies that Serah and Noel must defeat in order to go further. He also provides her with a weapon disguised as a Moogle so that she can fight along side him.
Solving the Paradox puzzles were both infuriating and fun, as some are harder than others. The puzzles came in the form of crystal dot-to-dot, a clock face or disappearing blocks.
Caius Ballad, guardian of the seeress – Paddra Nsu-Yuel – Tries to prevent Noel and Serah from changing the future as every time they change the timeline, the seeress' life is cut short. You will encounter various versions of Caius throughout the game, each with different strengths and amounts of HP (Health Points).
During game play you can choose to either play as Noel or Serah in third person view. Personally, I played as Serah, you know, girl power and all that. You are also able to tame some of the monsters that you encounter during the game and have them fight with you. This feature was not available in FF13 which, I thought, made the game more interesting as you can level them up with the Crystarium as you would Noel or Serah.
I have found that the monster battles in the game are much easier than in FF13 which was a little disappointing as there wasn't much of a challenge apart from when I was fighting boss battles.
The battle system is quite simple, keeping with the same roles of: Commando, Ravager, Synergist, Saboteur, Sentinel and Medic. A Commando deals physical attacks to weaken the opponent whereas; a Ravager or Saboteur can deal magical attacks. You use each of the roles depending on the strengths and weaknesses of the enemy you are fighting. Paradigms allow you to choose 3 roles that you would like to use while fighting.
This would deal physical and magical attacks to the enemy; I used these paradigms the most throughout the game as they allowed me to defeat the enemy faster. Tri-disaster builds up the stagger bar faster. This does more damage to the monster when the paradigm is switched to Cerberus.
Saboteur can also be used to weaken the monster by inflicting statuses on him such as Poison, Deshell, Imperil, etc.
Medic, Sentinel and synergist are defensive roles, which means you can use them to make your characters stronger. A Synergist casts statuses on everyone in the paradigm party to make them stronger and receive less damage from attacks, such as; Veil, Bravery, Protection etc.
I found the paradigms easy to use and very useful during the harder battles but, if you are a new player of Final Fantasy it will probably take some getting used to.
Throughout the game you must collect Wild Artefacts and Fragments to open gates to other eras in the time line affected by the paradox. It's a challenge finding them all as there are 160 Fragments all together in the game. The hardest Fragment to get is from 'Serendipity ???AF', as you have to gain 7777 Casino coins from the slot machine.
It's harder than it looks and sounds. However, attaining all of the fragments will unlock a secret ending and will unlock the achievement 'Defragmented' and is worth 90 gamer points which is awesome! Well, it is if you're like me and have a very low gamer score.
Also, throughout the game you will encounter various paradox endings depending on which options you choose on the live trigger. Personally, I completed the game to find the real ending first and then went back to find the others.
Overall, I thought that the game was very action packed and allowed you to interact with the characters more through the live trigger during battles instead of just watching the cut scene. I also enjoyed the feature of being able to explore every possible outcome of the story as it opened up many possibilities and lets you use your imagination as to what happens next. The only downfall to the game was the loading screens as they often took a long time to load. However, I would definitely recommend this game to anyone who enjoys the Final Fantasy Games and a good RPG with amazing graphics.