Final Fantasy XIII-2 (PS3, 360) (Reviewed on PS3)
Developer: Square Enix PDD-1, tri-Ace
Publisher: Square Enix
Release date: January 31, 2012
Price: $59.99 (Collector’s Edition $79.99)
One can classify video game sequels in one of three categories: 1) games that do not require playthroughs of the previous installments (Super Mario Brothers 3, Ace Combat 6: Fires of Liberation), 2) sequels where playing the previous games is recommended but not required (Gears of War 3, The Darkness 2) and 3) gaming experiences that are greatly depreciated if the player has not played the previous releases (Mass Effect 3, Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots). Games that fall in third category often have fleshed out narratives and—if the fans of the series are lucky—serve to wrap up plot points that were unresolved in the previous installment(s). You can file Final Fantasy XIII-2 in this third category as well. Not only is it easier to appreciate its story by playing Final Fantasy XIII, but so does understanding the unorthodox battle system established by the last game. It’s great that Square has used XIII-2 as an outlet to continue using this form of combat and that’s just the tip of the iceberg of what the game does right.
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