PS4

Nier Automata

Format Played: PS4
Publisher(s): Square Enix
Developer(s): PlatinumGames
Release Date: March 10, 2017
Platinum Trophy: Yes
Score: 9.5/10

Having not played Nier on the PS3 I had no idea what I was in for with this game, all I knew is that my friend wanted me to play the original because he knew that it would be my sort of game and I did love the demo as it felt different from anything else I was currently playing.

Nier Automata (or just NA from here on) is the sequel to Nier which is also a sequel to a game series called Drakengard, however, like me you will not have needed to play any of the previous games to understand what is happening in NA…….not that it’s clear from the beginning what is happening anyway.
It’s a difficult task talking about the story without ruining anything so I will stay away from spoilers. The game is very different to anything I have played previously and takes a few play trough’s to unlock the whole storyline which just improves with each play through.

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NA is essentially an action based RPG. You level up, equip and upgrade weapons and acquire new skills much like Kingdom Hearts. What makes this game stand out however are the different elements to combat and the way it keeps things fresh by changing around characters with different fighting skills or switching between shooter levels or from 3D to 2D. As well as weapons you can upgrade your robot body by acquiring new chips and replacing them from your existing ones. Some of these chips are fantastic, you can do the usual upgrade of strength or defence, you can improve your speed or even equip chips that will regain your health when you attack or be attacked which pretty much makes you invincible.

While this game will win no awards for its graphics, it still looks very impressive at times, you will although notice that in other places it can be quite blocky and rushed. Unless you are driven to play games that look great this isn’t really an issue. Platinum Games don’t have the funding that others do and the combat and style of the game are more than enough to divert your focus. The only time you may actually pick up on this is the start of the game. Unfortunately your first play through may be tough going due to the lack of story. I urge anyone playing to keep at it as the game keeps this from you on purpose and you will understand more later on.

NA is not afraid to mix things up and completely change situations and the way you perceive characters which I find both brave and cleaver of the developers. NA is unlike anything I have played before and at times very cleaver with its story and tiny details that can be overlooked. Just one of those details comes from fishing which you can do throughout the game in lakes, sea or even the sewer. The fact that you use your pod companion to do the fishing while a fishing seat appears propping up your character just made me smile.

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I played through the game to platinum in around 60 hours on Normal which I felt wasn’t too difficult and only died twice. On your travels you can get help from other players as if you die you will leave your body behind on the network for other players to either pick up your items or repair in their game and have it fight alongside them.
This also works for yourself and your own body, much like Dark Souls you can travel back to where you died and reclaim your body which you will receive your any exp or chips you lost when you died.

My only issues with this game are minimal. Sometimes the game gets a little too silly by the fact that you can receive multiple endings which you can pick up for doing the most random things. This means that if you haven’t saved for a while you will lose a lot of your play through. If you take away one thing from my review it would be to save often!

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Someone reviewed this as the best game you never will play and I would agree with that. Released around the same time as Horizon, Zelda and Persona 5 it’s likely that this will be overlooked by most that would enjoy it. It’s simply fantastic and the soundtrack is beautiful!

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PS4

Final Fantasy XV

Format Played: PS4
Publisher(s): Square Enix
Developer(s): Square Enix Business Division 2
Release Date: November 29, 2016
Platinum Trophy: Yes
Score: 8.1/10

I remember the day clearly when I watched the trailer for what would be Final Fantasy XIII Versus. It looked outstanding compared to 13 and I just couldn’t wait to get my hands on a copy. 10 years later a re branding and a few grey hairs I finally got my chance to play the very different Final Fantasy XV. The latest Final Fantasy game from the long running series completely differs from the very linier FFXIII, they clearly have been listening to fan feedback making FFXV completely open world……….well for the most part!

There is no getting away with how good the game looks, visually it’s pretty stunning and I can see why there has been so much praise around it. What I cannot get my head around is all the high scores this game has received. The story line is pretty much non-existent and in some areas pointless. The characters aren’t particularly loveable like previous titles as I never really felt myself connect with them or even care much about their story. Once let lose to your freedom in the open world most gamers leave the story and start exploring the open world and it’s side quests which is where this game shines.

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FFXV is huge and is packed with many sidequests to complete however you will find the typical fetch quests now and again which seem to be a typical thing to add in RPG. I understand they get you learning the layout of the map however they can become very boring especially when you find yourself doing them for a cat later on in the game.
There are various methods of transport; the car journeys are pretty boring and even having it set to manual feels like driving on a set track like a really slow roller-coaster. Leaving it on Auto is the way to go, at least you can listen to classic Final Fantasy music and watch as your passengers talk and animate with each other……………no wait that gets boring fast too.! Thank god for fast travel at a very minimal price! Still you are force to drive to new area’s you haven’t visited yet and even if you have already been to some area’s later the game decides which places you can and can’t fast travel too! I mean why! more often than not the one you want to go to is blocked and you are forced to sit through a tedious journey. To top off this annoyance the car has to be topped up with fuel quicker than a Bugatti Veyron.
You can however style your car if you wish, adding stickers or a new lick of paint but I found myself going back to its original colour after a few hours.
Apart from on foot the only other method of travel is by beloved chocobo which can come whenever called no matter where you are, you can even change its colour and it level itself up when ridden for long distances gaining new abilities like assisting and healing during fights.

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The combat in this game is very rewarding, not only is it easy to get to grips with it does not force you to have long winded training like FF13 did. My only problem with the combat system is you only command the main character so the healing system once knocked down is via other members of your party. You have the option to run over to them during combat to heal one of your team mates if needed however they can be difficult to find in the heat of battle. Should you need healing yourself however; more often than not you will be waiting ages for someone who is stood right next to you to come to your aid. While the combat is fun it can sometimes be difficult when the screen is packed with enemies and the camera can go haywire! This especially is a problem when fighting the extra boss Adamantoise. This fight in my opinion takes little skill and just seems to be a sponge for attacks! He’s slow but can take off a lot of damage if caught unguarded, you can quickly learn his moves but after 20 mins you find yourself bored! I would rather have had something that took a little bit of skill and had far less HP.

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There are a few challenges though but most of them come from hunting down the games high powered weapons (One of which you can access very early on). Apart from the battle system FFXV does have a lot of things I did enjoy like fishing (if a little frustrating at times) and lots of monster hunts.
Your team also have their own level up systems of fishing, cooking, exploration and photography which is just a way for Square-Enix to show off how good the game looks by fans like me posting on social media and on here.

Going back to the start where I said for most part you will have an open world to explore, well this changes later on in the chapters if you are following the storyline. At some point the open world map is taken away from you and is replaced by a very liner path like FF13 which will force you to carry on with the story however you are given ability to return should you wish. During said storyline you will be placed at some point in a city much like Venice where I feel the game really changes for the worse as the landscape is confusing to navigate and is filled with pointless side quests.
As much as I point out the negative bits of this game I really did love the open world, dungeons, battle mechanics and the hunts. I played the game to platinum for a reason however as a fan of the series I feel that it’s lost its way since FFXII trying to please both fans and newcomers but you just can’t keep everyone happy.

3DS

TheatRhythm Final Fantasy: Curtain Call

Format Played: 3DS
Publisher(s): Square Enix
Developer(s): Square Enix
Release Date: September 19, 2014
Score: 9.2/10

Theatrhythm_Final_Fantasy_Curtain_Call_US_coverCurtain Call is the TheatRhythm game that the first should have been!
This is the second version of TheatRhythm to hit our shelves and comes jam packed full of goodies. Not to say the first wasn’t good, on the contrary it’s great! I played it for 60+ hrs and every now and than I would still pick up and have a quick blast.

My gaming background covers 90% of the Final Fantasy games released.  I own at least 1 version of every numbered series and have completed nearly every one at least once.  One of the aspects I absolutely love about the series is the music within the games. I don’t just love the music I have bought some of the official and LE soundtracks and have watched Distant Worlds at the London Albert Hall.

Taking this in mind you can see why this would be an entertaining game for me.
The game is much like the first but with a hell of a lot more tracks, 221 to be exact!. The layout of the tracks have been improved and it’s now easier to navigate through tracks, you can also place a heart against your favorite tracks and than sort through that way.  A Co-Op mode has also been added however I’ll come back to that a little later. Airship sections have been added into the field music which are okay but not as good as the normal Field levels.

The game flows a lot better than the first however issues still remain.
On ultimate difficulty I found that sometimes the touch screen doesn’t pick up your taps or strokes, this maybe due to the speed and sensitivity, it’s an improvement on the first game but seems to sometimes still happen. The other issue is with the EMS, the sections you tap does not seem to be in sync with the music at all.

theatrhythmcurtailcallheaderThe game really is just a tap and swipe in time with the music game along to Final Fantasy music but boy is it addictive!

The Co-Op is a nice addition.  It does seem to take a while to load up and find an opponent but the battle offers a different style of play with the ability to dish out status effects on your opponent which disorientates them by speeding up the symbols or blanking them out completely but while you are dishing them out so is your opponent so watch out!

The three difficultly levels are open from the start, offering you a chance to chose between Basic, Expert or Ultimate. The step up in difficulty between them are quite big so you may want to watch yourself however I find the once you have played a few of the tracks on Ultimate it’s the only way to play!

Few other mentions
– The RM is no longer capped at 99999 as I currently stand at 171248rm
– if you don’t feel you have enough tracks there are 50 more for you to download through DLC and a few more characters too! This is more justified over the first game as you have over 200 tracks built into the game already.
– 65 Characters to unlock and play as.  Once you hit level 99 you can reset them and start again
– Tracks of the day! there will be 5 Tracks of the day to chose.  These give you small bonuses

The Quest medleys are separated into 4 sections including Short, Medium, Long and Inherited.  These are sections where you travel along a path playing random field or battle tracks to progress.  At the end you have a boss who will drop items or crystals to unlock new characters.  This is a good way to play new tracks but once completed and the next one is unlocked I found the difficulty spiked very quickly.  Not an issue for me but may be to difficult for some.

All in all over 80hrs of happy gaming and I still go back for more.  Personally this type of pick up and play game never gets boring.  You will find yourself humming along to tracks, hording items you will never need and sometimes get frustrated but I promise you if you are a fan of Final Fantasy and you have a 3DS this is a must buy!

Enjoy

PS3

Lightning Returns

Format Played:  PS3
Publisher(s): Square Enix
Developer(s): Square Enix & tri-Ace
Release Date: February 14, 2014
Score: 6.5/10

Lightning_Returns_Final_Fantasy_XIII_Cover_ArtTick 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 from previous Final Fantasy games and how you level up. Now change is good if done correctly but I dislike the way that you have to do boring fetch side quests and awful side stories in order to gain EXP instead of killing stuff! I’d probably done the side quests anyway but I’ve always liked fighting to gain experience, it’s true to life that the more you do something the better you should be at it.
My other gripe comes in the form of a clock! I dislike timed based games; I don’t want to feel pressured into rushing through places especially in an RPG where you really want to explore. The timer can be stopped for brief periods of time so long as you have beaten enough monsters (which can be an issue later on for reasons I won’t mention here). Turns out that near the end of the game I had loads of time spare so unlike myself if you are reading this before playing just know that you have a lot more time than you expect especially if you do the side quests and save souls.

The game itself looks worse than the previous two. I don’t know if this is just going back to a PS3 game after playing the PS4 but I did put in the second game and that did look a lot more polished. I am not sure how they have made it look worse using the same engine, my only thought is that the game may have been rushed. There are also lots of glitches, within the first hour of playing I came across a chap trying to walk through a wall! Everywhere around the town are people bumping into each other, I also witnessed a kid falling down, getting back up and falling down constantly! One more on the subject and that’s the cut scenes, now it is nice to have a scene shown to you with in game graphics but when your character can be barged out of the way and sometimes out of camera shot by an AI is really bad game mechanics! One time my chocobo’s feathers was all I could see during one whole scene and the characters chatting were behind him!

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Having said all this it’s nice having big places to explore worlds back in Final Fantasy games. The battle system is excellent and I love having the ability to change what you are wearing during battle it brings back memories of the underrated Final Fantasy X-2 (which is now out on HD remastered). I do miss having other characters in my party but I can accept this in this game!

The game is designed for more than one play through but I managed to do nearly everything in one 65hour session. The only thing that annoyed me at this is an ability you only get during a new game + stopping anyone getting 100% of trophies on a single run through. Those last remaining 3 trophies for synthesize is what has stopped me get a platinum and that has annoyed me a little.

The soundtrack takes some memorable tunes from the previous two games which is no bad thing unless you are purchasing the soundtrack. The story isn’t very good at all. The start is very religion heavy which can be a turn off straight away and you just don’t get gripped about what is going on at all.

Reading through my own review makes it sound like I thought the game was rubbish but it really wasn’t I just feel that it was worse than the previous two of the series and maybe should have never really been made.

Take what you will from my review, I did play it to near on 100% so it can’t have been that bad right?
the battle system really is what kept me at this game and my love for Final Fantasy, I just hoped that the next game lives up to the hype!

3DS

Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance

Format Played: 3DS
Publisher(s): Square Enix
Developer(s): Square Enix 1st Production Department
Release Date: July 20, 2012
Score: 8.9/10

KH3D_Euro_CoverI love the Kingdom Heart series, two of my favorite things stuck into one game, Final Fantasy and Disney.  However the series is hardly fan friendly as the games span over multiple consoles so not everyone can keep up with the complete story line.  I remember one of my friends complained about the start of KH2 on the PlayStation, to him and I assure you others the start made no sense unless you happen to have played Chain of Memory on the Gameboy.  This is frustrating to any fan who doesn’t own all consoles, now the KH games span across the PS2, Gameboy advance, PSP, DS and 3DS.  The HD collection coming out in September will give PS3 owners a chance to play the original and the remake of Chain of Memory which was release on the PS2 in Japan but not here, I also believe there is the story cut scenes remade in HD of 358 Days but not the game itself.

Kingdom Hearts DDD or previously titled Kingdom Hearts 3D does a great job explaining everything that has happened so far with short cut scenes and texted Chronicle section throughout the game.  The story is set after KH2 and is supposed to link in the next numbered game which has been announced on the Xbox One and PS4.

Graphics are very good for a handheld game, on a par with Birth by Sleep on the PSP, maybe even slightly better, the 3D looks pretty good too but if you play like me you would only use it to see what it looks like then revert back to 2D as keeping your eyes focused while fighting in 3D can be a little tricky.

In the game you take control of both Riku and Sora who undergo the Mark of Mastery exam in order to become full-fledged Keyblade Masters after the destruction of Ansem and Xemns.  Both characters are separated into a dream world however these worlds where once destroyed by the heartless and now have been restored in a state of deep sleep.  When Riku and Sora enter these worlds they cannot see each other yet somehow still manage to have an effect on each other’s worlds with their actions.  Like previous games of the series you will travel to Disney worlds, Tron from KH2 is back but has updated itself to the latest film Legacy; Pinocchio is also back from KH1 however not confined to Monstro himself.  New Worlds include the 3 Musketeers, The Hunchback of Notre Dame & Fantasia.  Other Square-Enix worlds return including Radiant Garden, Traverse Town and another I won’t mention.
As someone who has played all the games (Apart from Re Coded) I can appreciate the little hints and follow on stories from previous games which I feel maybe lost on those who are new to the series.

Combat is taken from Birth by Sleep and why not as it’s probably the strongest battle system out of the lot.  This being said you are also accompanied by up to 3 Dream Eaters as companions, like Donald and Goofy these fight by your side but you do not control them. You start with one but can gain other throughout the game through recipes.  These friendly dream eaters have mini games you can play to level them up, feed them and pet them, it was very Nintendogs for me and I never really bothered with it.  I kept one Dream Eater with me and never bothered collecting anymore.  It was an added extra I didn’t need.  Maybe why I found the end so hard!
Also added in each world was a command that came up on the touch pad, once swipe down with your finger (because who else keeps the stylist in their hand) and you enter a short mini game that helps you in combat, this at times was quite tricky to move your finger/thumb from the analogue stick or buttons quickly enough to catch but was a nice addition none the less.
I love the BBS combat system however my only flaw with it and every Kingdom Heart game is healing.  Potions aside, spells like Cure, Cura etc take some time to perform, if you haven’t selected it as a shortcut you have to find it with the D-Pad and then use it, if you are hit while casting you lose that turn and have to wait while the bar refills.  This really becomes an issue with harder boss fights who don’t give you time to mess around trying to find a cure spell and use it before being hit and can really become a major frustration.
This is my only major issue with the game and although it does add to the challenge of timing everything I don’t feel this is the best way to make the game harder.
The other issue I had was part of the games story which had the characters falling asleep.  This is how you switch between characters, Sora or Riku will fall asleep after a certain amount of game time and then you will resume where the other character left off, you can delay the time before hand and most of the time it isn’t as bad as you get a heads up before the switch.  The time where this becomes an issue is during boss battles, because if you haven’t beaten that boss before the timer has run out when you resume playing said character you have to start all over again!

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The game really does focus on Riku more than Sora which is a little strange as Sora has been in the spotlight in most of the KH games.  Riku has the harder and better boss battles and is actually more fun to play.  I find this very strange if they will be using Sora as the star in KH3.

Music is what you expect from Disney and Square-Enix, beautiful with familiar sounds, the difficulty is a challenge throughout but more so near the end.  There is a hidden boss which again is an extra challenge is there if you want it.

All in all a welcome addition to the series with some minor flaws.

Xbox 360

Tomb Raider

Format Played: XBox 360
Publisher(s): Square Enix
Developer(s): Crystal Dynamics
Release Date: March 5, 2013
Score: 9.1/10

TombRaider2013The new Tomb Raider game that isn’t a Tomb Raider game; short easy puzzles, Far Cry 3 and Uncharted gameplay & very short Tombs.  This has been everything I heard before playing the game for myself; does that mean the game is bad?  Not at all and here is why.

Ok so it’s not the game all Croft fans wanted, when I think of Tomb Raider I think of large areas, massive puzzles that have you standing around in deep thought and Tombs so deep and open that you are searching for hours just to find a way to progress.  However this is a Tomb Raider reboot which tells the story of Lara before her first ever journey and it’s been told in style.  The first thing you will notice is the graphics, the game looks absolutely stunning it really does, I really can’t believe the difference between Anniversary and this game on the same console, the difference is more the noticeable and it between the two it looks next gen.  Controlling Lara handles very well allowing her fluid movement almost Assassins Creed style easy of climbing and jumping unfortunately with a slight glitch here and there with scenery but nothing major to complain about.  Combat works, I would have liked it if like in the multiplayer you could crouch in the single player game instead of auto crouch; the bow and arrow feel is fantastic especially when you pull off a head shot.  If I am honest I would have used the bow all through the game if it wasn’t for the achievements to use other weapons.

Before continuing I’d like to just skip over some of the games bad points which I must stress are small minor things for me personally:

First off I didn’t need the game to tell me where items are: really I didn’t need this, Tomb Raider is all about exploration and finding secrets, I don’t need a map that tells me nearly everything I need to find and where to find its exact location by waypoint.  If the map wasn’t bad enough some of the items sparkle on the ground and if that wasn’t bad enough it would also be highlighted if you are close enough by pressing “LB” to enter your Survival instinct.  Hidden Tombs have painting all around their entrances which can be spotted from a long distance and if that wasn’t bad enough you would hear a noise and text will come up when you are nearby!  Thanks game but I seen it a mile off!  Remember in the original PS1 game when secrets would blend into the background? Now that was a challenge!

Tombs are very short, yes this game has tombs but they are about 10-20 minutes each, simple puzzles and when you finish it would come up saying “TOMB RAIDED” which is so laughable it may as well have had the guy from Ridge Racer say it out loud.

Multiplayer is broken & completely unbalanced, if you are a level 1 you have no chance to compete with higher level players.  Joining a game with a friend is near impossible as you can’t join a game as a party.  You can get stuck by landscape which can also have problems seeing while aiming and some of the weapons are also unbalanced.  Also like some other multiplayers there are people who manage to glitch all over the place making them impossible to hit.

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I know it looks like I didn’t enjoy this game after that but I find issues with games easier to talk about then things I actually liked.  The multiplayer I can forgive as it’s all about the single player anyway and the multiplayer is sort of an afterthought, once you have leveled up a bit it’s still ok to play and it’s always a great feeling pulling off a headshot with a bow and arrow or hitting someone off a zip wire.  This is a prequel so Tombs can be sort of forgiven as it’s more about the story of how Lara grows from an archeologist behind a desk rather than being out in the field, at least they put Tombs into the game full stop.  As for items being on the map the challenges in each area are certainly not shown and they can be very difficult to find.

I am sure this game would appear short but if you want to get everything as I did then you are going to be playing a hell of a lot longer.  Some of the achievements are glitched meaning they took a lot more to do then they state, and there are one or two that will take you a lot longer to accomplish then you would like (like two of the multiplayer ones).

There is a RPG style about this game too, leveling up skills and weapons plays a big part in Lara’s travels I am guessing this would be Square-Enix’s doing however I do feel it brings something extra to the series and works quite well.  You can wade in water but there is no swimming which I found funny since the last released Tomb Raider game was Underworld, Lara’s deaths defiantly has the shock factor which she has had to put up with since the rag doll falls off cliff faces.

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The story has been told well, the plot line pretty much goes as you expect but it sets up the series very nicely which I hope there is a follow on.  I just can’t tell you how nice this game looks, screen shoots do not do this game any justice, some of the games cinematic scenes completely blew my mind.  The way Lara also grows as she progresses and all the rough and tumbles she takes you really start to care for her.

I loved this game and I really can’t wait to play it again.  (Also to get the 5G I missed on first play) If this story moves on the way I hope I really would be a happy fan.  Before I finish off I would also like to congratulate Crystal Dynamics for adding a little something here and there for fans of the original series.

So far this is my game of the year!

PS3

Final Fantasy XIII-2

Format Played: PS3
Published by: Square Enix
Developed by: Square Enix
Release Date: January 31, 2012
Score: 7.5/10

 

So 72 Hrs later I manage to completely finish the direct sequel to Final Fantasy XIII-2 and I have to say it is a huge improvement over XIII.

Graphically you should expect pretty much the same as the previous game however I did feel that the first one looked more polished.
You play as Sarah who is joined by Noel and you can swap between the two at any time.  Your 3rd party member is a monster which is different to what we are used to.  Monsters are collected during battles like Pokemon and can also be levelled up and even fed to other monsters to pass on abilities, this I found was a nice touch however I still miss having 3 character party members.  You can add up to three monsters in your paradigms, each one will have their own role.   The battle system used remains relatively the same as 13’s

Before the Game was released I heard all sorts of rumours which all turned out to be true, the first being random enemy encounters.  When you hear this you automatically think that Square-Enix have turned back the hands of time and released a classic game where you get stopped every few seconds by invisible enemies.  While it’s basically that you do have the ability to see your foe for a few seconds, some will come at you while others will linger around waiting for you to either attack or run away.   Something called mog clock is introduced and basically it’s a timer you have until the fight becomes inevitable, once the timer starts you can get the drop on an enemy and attack them before the clock turns amber, this allows you to get a pre-emptive strike and the ability to retry the battle if you wish.
The other rumour I heard was that there would be quick time events! I really did hate this idea but luckily it’s a very small part of the game and only used against certain boss battles! Phew!

The story is much better than 13’s adding the laws of time travel and the ability to create and solve paradoxes really does add something new to RPG gaming and allows the game to step away from being too linear like the previous game.  Because of the time paradox you can revisit time lines and even restart each story and change the way it’s resolved.

The story in FFXIII-2 can be finished in a relatively short time and I found myself flying through the chapters until I stopped and got distracted by side stories and mini games.   There is a time-line that opens up a place called Serendipity which is like The Golden Saucer from FFVII, you can bet and race Chocobos which can get relatively easy as you progress through the game and also play on slot machines.  The Slot Machines are my biggest issue with the game

**SMALL SPOILER** To get 100% in the game you have to earn a total of 7,777 Casino Coins from the slot machine to earn a fragment but this is done completely by luck! I know some people who have gotten this after 2 hrs, it took me 8hrs of just playing a slot machine to get the required amount.  In the end I had to use a book to put pressure on the L1 button so it would do it itself until I gained enough.  This should have been handled better and not left to chance **SPOILER END**

Even though my game time seems like a lot the game feels quite short for a JRPG and there are not any major boss battles (maybe 1-2 you will have some issues with) you can level up to maximum quicker than any previous FF game I have played which stops you becoming over powerful for any of the big boss fights.

While I still miss town’s with shops you can purchase items and weapons from a travelling vendor but I found myself using her less and less as I went through the game.  FF13-2 see’s the end of save points allowing you to save wherever you wish, which is probably the best as the areas are quite short.

All in all the game is a huge improvement with enough to keep you entertained for hours.  Finding things you need to 100% the game can sometimes be a chore along with answering random questions to gain needed items and the slot machine being two of the games low points.  I would recommend it to JRPG lovers, and haters of XIII should pick this up and give it a chance.