Originally written at 18/5/16
Current mood: Stop screaming Serah, stand and fight properly jfc.
I bought the game alongside with my PS3 and FF13. Ahh a sequel. I remember when the website updated with recurring characters, and Hope was one of them, and he’s all grown up! I squealed. No kidding, squealed!! Adult Hope is sooo hot!!!! *fangirls*
Now it’s time for a game of ‘guess that character’! Serah is the one with the impossible skimpy outfit with pink leggings. Of all the things she could be wearing the developers designed *that*?? It’s like her boobs would fall out of her top any moment! Noel is sitting by her feet who looks like he’s wearing a skirt, but in fact is wearing pants. Caius is a brooding trash and has his back facing us with a big-ass dark sword. Yuel is the only well-dressed one here, imo. She has blueish-silver hair. I guess everybody knows Lightning who is sitting on the throne?
The game opens with Lightning fighting Caius’s Bahamut. They destroy the whole Etro temple and Noel pops out of the sky. Lightning entrusts him with Mog and the task to find Serah. Noel travels through the time gate.
Serah is living a pretty normal life on Pulse in the village of New Bodhum in 3 AF. Everybody thinks Lightning did not return and is in crystal with Fang and Vanille, but Serah knows better. She doesn’t understand why everyone doesn’t remember. Snow had gone to search for Lightning 2 years ago and now a meteorite hits somewhere in the outskirts of the village and Noel pops out of the time gate! Serah gets new (bad taste) clothes and meets Noel, who explains paradoxes and time travel and that Lightning is still alive. Serah gets all excited and runs off with Noel and Mog to time travel! Expect a lot of time distortion paradox bullshit.
They land in Bresha Ruins 5 AF inside Cocoon, where a research organization called the Academy is conducting some sort of research. They meet Alyssa (pls do not trust her), an Academy scientist in charge of the research in Bresha Ruins. Serah and Noel help her resolve the paradox there and traveled to another timeline… in Yaschas Massif 10 AF which is super dark because of an eclipse. In the ruins they face an uglier-than-anima monster, before Hope comes to save their asses!!! *swoon*
Hope introduces himself as the director of the Academy (SAY WHAT???!!!) and Alyssa comes out to greet the three. Serah shares her adventures with Hope and here you have a live trigger option of what to ask of Hope. You can ask more story driven questions or about Alyssa, or you can ask Hope how come he’s grown so big. LOL. Puberty done him well Serah can’t you see?
Serah and Noel solves the paradox there, jumps to another time which is Oerba 200 AF. It is engulfed in a space-time void. After solving that shit they jump back into the Historia Crux only to find an alternate time of the Yaschas Massif where the eclipse did not happen – 1X AF. They introduce themselves to Hope and Alyssa again, Serah and Noel jump back into the gates, lands in Sunleth Waterscape 300 AF where Serah sees a vision in which Snow is in grave danger. She rushes off with Noel trailing behind her. And Snow really is there, and the two lovers reunite! Snow thanks Noel for taking care of Serah. They jump into another timeline and solve some problems for Snow, Snow dissipates into thin air, our time-travelling heroes continue their journey…
They come to a dark, wet place (Academia 400 AF) with plenty of cei’th. UGH. They fight their way to reach Caius, but standing there waiting for them is none other than another incarnation of Yuel. Yuel dies (WHY U ALWAYS DYIN) and opens a new gate for Serah and Noel to pass through. They reach Augusta Tower in 200 AF, where humanity is a thing of the past and the whole place is overrun by rogue AI. They encounter a proto-fal’Cie named Adam and fight it, only to realize they’re stuck in a chicken and egg situation: the rogue AI kills every human left and builds the proto-fal’cie in the future which is Academia 400 AF. In return, the proto-fal’cie travels back in time to influence the AI in 13 AF… which kills all the humans and builds the proto-fal’cie… see I told you it’s a chicken and egg situation! So Serah and Noel have to defeat the fal’cie, but it keeps coming back because it is in the time loop. Serah, very pissed off, screams at Hope and poof! The fal’cie’s gone.
A new gate opens which lead to Academia 4XX AF, an alternate timeline which has no ugly cei’th. Hope appears to greet us (WOHHOOOOOOO) along with Alyssa. They invite Serah and Noel to HQ. Hope’s new cocoon is almost finished, but they need more materials before the sphere can float on its own. Serah and Noel find the required materials and a new gate appears! Alyssa hands them an artefact and they use it to open the gate… only to be sucked into the void. Noel gets dream-killed, Serah almost gets to live in a false paradise. However Serah rejects the idea of living with fake Lightning and fake Snow, screams some sense into Noel and reunite with Mog. They reach New Bodhum 700 AF, which has become a barren wasteland. Lightning appears out of nowhere and explains things, opens and gate for her sister before going back to Valhalla.
Academia 500 AF, the time of the prophecy, where the new cocoon ‘Bhunivelze’ (PFFTT FORESHADOWING) is set to float. Our heroes fight through the labyrinth and fights Caius, his dragon and a metal dragon band (final boss). Of course Caius doesn’t die (he never does), and you have the option to let Noel kill him or show mercy. I chose mercy, but Caius still stabs himself regardless. Damn! Should’ve chose to murder him.
All seemed well until Serah sees another future and DIES. only then Noel realized he has doomed everyone by killing Caius, because the heart of Etro beats within him, and if Etro dies, the world will be engulfed in chaos. Serah dies because all the foreseers have a short lifespan, duh. So, the chaos merges with the physical world, and a ‘to be continued’ is shown.
That’s not all! There are also paradox endings, which serve like the alternate good endings and bad endings in dating sims. The endings are determined by live triggers and obtaining an ability after beating the game. I really hated Serah’s outfit like, can’t the designers think of something a tad bit decent???!!! Her old outfit was better than the shit she’s wearing. I couldn’t stand her walking around like that and there was a free outfit DLC so I spent 2 hours setting up an EU account just to download it and let Serah wear it cause GOD HER DEFAULT OUTFIT WAS THAT TERRIBLE. I mean look:
This is her default outfit. It’s skimpy and unpractical, probably worse than Vanille’s getup in the original game! I don’t mind those leggings (without them it’d look WORSE and sexual as hell I guarantee), I don’t care about the shoes and gloves but that dress???? That dress just screams NO. If you’re going to wear a dress don’t put openings on the hips! Don’t let it hang so low on the chest! And the straps OMG the straps… The FMVs were ok but the abomination which is the real-time cutscenes… you’d wish Serah covers up her cleavage. And whats more she’s wearing this crap around another guy(Noel) before her fiance(Snow) even knows she’s wearing it. I’m getting second hand embarrassment just by looking at cutscenes.
And the DLC outfits gosh! Starting from left, clockwise: Summoner’s Garb is ok, I like it but I can’t buy it; The N7 armor is from Mass Effect, no comment there; I have Style and Steel, this one is free, and thank God it is, because I can’t stand to watch Serah wear a wardrobe dysfunction; Beach Wear is just ridiculous. I’m already complaining when Serah wears the default outfit, but this is on a whole new level. I would shout “WHY ARE YOU WEARING SOMETHING LIKE THIS IN FRONT OF SOMEONE WHO IS NOT SNOW??????” before I even had the game! There is a White Mage outfit (a set with Noel’s Black Mage) which is my favorite and it’s hella awesome.
Gameplay: Despite all my hate on the character’s designs, I have to say the gameplay is A++. 8 is probably good enough. The battle system has improved, and you can change party leaders! YAY! The Crystarium is more linear and less fun for me, but collecting monster crystals made up for that, and also there’s a casino where I might just spend all my time and coins in Chocobo racing. ASDFGHJKL GAMBLING CAN RUIN LIVES CHILDREN. You can also jump with the circle button, which I usually abuse to jump on Serah’s bed in New Bodhum 3 AF… what? A kid still needs to play ok! Mog throw is fun to abuse too, especially after the advanced Mog throw skill. I usually throw him off the map or ledges just to see how far or deep he can go. Academia 4XX AF is a very nice place to throw Mog and run around jumping and bumping into people. Also the place is rad. Gates can also be sealed and replayed as much as you wish.
Story: I can only give a 4 for this section. I don’t particularly like the story. Pardon my language but it’s f***ed up. Like what I said in my review of FF13:
…well, I’ll just say I’m not as pleased with the stuff they thought up.
I don’t know what’s bothering me, it’s just the story, you know? It’s messy! I can’t comprehend! Everyone is gone and there’s a pretty boy, an emo guy and a kid who talks about life???? I’m really confused.
Soundtrack: This section takes the cake. 10 points to BGM!!!! They use some of the old tracks, but it’s still AWESOME. There are a lot of vocal works in the soundtrack (more than any FF game to date, me likey), and it’s not just opera chanting. ORIGA, bless her soul in the afterlife, did a great job in those vocal tracks. Other artists include Aimee Blackschleger, Honda Michiyo, Joelle, Shootie HG, KOKIA (my all time fave) and Frances Maya, who did Serah’s Theme in FF13. My fave track is New Bodhum by ORIGA. The ending song is either Yakusoku no Basho by Mai Fukui or New World by Filipino singer Charice, depending on which version of the game you have. Both of them are as beautiful as My Hands. Truly, the best thing in the game.
Overall rating: Due to the… circumstances of the story, I can only give it a rating of 7. Thank the soundtrack for a rating higher than 5. Of course adult Hope is a HUGE plus, Academia 4XX AF itself is a blessing, but the story is still f***ed up. And Serah’s outfit UGH HER OUTFIT. MY EYES ARE BURNED FOREVER AND CAN NEVER UN-SEE THAT. I hope Nomura won’t do that again.
YESSS, LISTEN TO THIS GLORIOUS SINGING AND ELECTRONIC PIECE!!!!!!