Reviews for the Lazy Gamer: Lightning Returns
Game: Lightning Returns
Platform: Xbox, PS3
Publisher/Developer: Square Enix
Describe This Game in Three Words: It's the End
Plot: For 500 years Lightning has slept, but now she's been called on by the god Bhunivelze to return to Nova Chrysalia and free the souls of the world before the goddess of death, Etro, rolls the whole thing up into a big ball of Chaos. In return, Bhunivelze will attempt to revive Lightning's long-dead sister Serah.
Up, Up: To be honest going in I should say that Final Fantasy XIII is among my least favorite in the regular series. I've never really gotten behind Lightning as a protagonist since to me she always lacked more likeable qualities that made broodier heroes like Cecil Harvey easier to get behind. Add in what I still say is a needlessly difficult leveling system and an overly-linear story and the world of Nova Chrysalia has just never been my cup of tea.
Lightning's final go round feels very unlike a conventional RPG, and I think that plays well to her strengths as a characters. She's far less abrasive on her own. Though I was warned that the battle system was difficult to use I actually found it a lot of fun. Your ability to customize different fighting styles (Called schemata) through your equipment and by synthesizing abilities to level them up (Some of which are dropped by enemies) is leaps and bounds over her first battle system. True, it does mean that you're endlessly fiddling with putting together new combinations whenever you find loot, but that's a small price to pay.
It's also one of the first Final Fantasy titles I can remember in many years where gil wasn't impossible to come by. In general, I love the realism of enemies dropping teeth and bones and stuff over cash, but too many titles use that so much that picking up enough money to experiment and upgrade with becomes maddening. Especially games that are so keen on giving you important one of a kind items and not telling you that's what they are. By contrast, Lightning gets to kick ass and spend the spoils like old school.
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