Final Fantasy XIII-2 was my second Final Fantasy game so I can only compare it to XIII. Final Fantasy XIII was one of those games that got many mixed reviews depending on who you asked. Some said it was a lot of fun and enjoyed XIII. Others would say it was a disgrace to the series and was the beginning of the end for them. Complaints about the removal of towns, linearity, lack of choice, and the simplified yet fun battle system were the most common complaints about the game. Square Enix listen to these complaints very carefully and changed the design of XIII-2 rather dramatically. Nearly everything long fans of the series complained about has been changed for the better.
STORY (Spoiler Free)
The story picks up after the events of XIII and constantly makes references to it so it’s highly recommended to play through Final Fantasy XIII entirely. Serah (Lightning’s Sister/Snow’s girlfriend) is the central character this time around and is joined by Noel one of the last remaining humans from the future that has the power to travel through time. Lightning has been given a new role as guardian to the goddess of time and needs Serah’s help to stop a terrible tragedy. The timeline has been distorted and altered by a series of paradoxes that leads to the end of the world. Noel and Serah must work together to fix these paradoxes and change events of the past and future to prevent total destruction.
I personally found the story to be a bit complex and daunting due to all the time traveling and altering of time. In a similar fashion to the first game, the story becomes more clear the closer to the end you get as they start to explain what events that happened previously meant. Overall the story was pretty interesting and entertaining but definitely not the highlight of the game.
CHANGES FROM THE FIRST GAME:
Non-linear: The hallway linearity effect was perhaps the most complained about aspect of the first game. Final Fantasy XIII-2 is composed of dozens of little worlds that you can visit at your leisure and in mostly any order you choose. Each zone is composed of many intersection and branching paths instead of just a straight line like in the first game. many of the worlds are optional and won’t be accessed until after you beat the main story line providing hours of additional end game content.
Resource: Zelda Central