This is now the WORST Final Fantasy game I have ever played so this review ain’t gonna be pretty. Therefore, if you actually enjoyed this game, I suggest turning away now because it’s just gonna be a diarrhea of reasons why I think this game is terrible. As we learned in the past, most stories that feature time travel and time paradoxes never end well.
Let’s start with the 2 good things about this game that I liked.
Adult Hope-kun wasn’t just an ikeman, but he was also EXTREMELY helpful to Sera and Noel the whole game. He did so much technological research and progression and even left hidden message for them to discover 700 years later. He constantly talked about how he wants to save Light-san and everyone and I just love him and honestly he is the only reason I kept playing through this dumpster fire.😒 And the 2nd thing I like about this game is unlike the first game, if your party leader dies – it just changes party leader so you can res everyone back up without the battle ending so your party members actually mattered in a sense in case somehow you got 1 shot (which for some reason I did several times on the last boss fight.) Also, they added a feature that let you save at any time in the game which was helpful when the game crashed 20 times on me.
And now for all the things I freaking hate about this game!
The Time Travel Bullshit is CONFUSING AS FUCK
Instead of it being a linear – walk down hallway style game that despite the many people hating – I actually enjoyed – this game is all over the place. You go to area 1, get some item in a box, fight some durdles, open a gate, go to another area. The areas open in completely random places with no rhyme or reason. The worst of it was when I got to the Tomato Flan boss where I had tried to fight him twice, but got instantly killed both times because I had to first go to area B, fight boss Z, pet some sheep, pick up some hidden box and then that somehow magically turned the tomato boss tiny and made him easily defeatable. Whut? Then you couldn’t even unlock certain areas unless you had Gate Key C from area G and only then you could unlock if you defeated the boss in area H. I was able to pretty much play the first game blindly but in this one I had to actually pull up a guide telling me where to go and what the fuck to do. Sometimes the quest markers would be on the map labeled as a ( ! ) but then you’d go to it – and nothing would happen. You then had to go back to the time gate area (Historia Crux) in which you had to randomly look at which area you may have not visited yet, go there, and hope some new cut scene would pop up. ಠ_ಠ
There are rage inducing puzzles for no fucking reason
Oh boy don’t even get me started on how much bullshittery this game had. There are 3 specific areas of this game that not only irritated me, but made me almost wanna rage quit the game mid way. The first one are the idiotic “solve the time paradox” puzzles in which you connect the stupid dots. Okay, annoying, but easy and doable. The next one though, involved some kind of stupid clock which made absolutely NO sense to me. You had to pick the numbers on the clock, the clock hands would then change to another set of numbers and you keep doing that until you’ve “stepped” on all the numbers. I managed to yolo the first 3 times, but the last one I had to actually pull up some guy’s website and put the clock numbers in and it literally solved the puzzle for me. W T F. ಠ_ಠ
The straw that broke the camel’s back for me was this utter garbage final boss puzzle. It basically had a bunch of rotating platforms and you had to jump between them to activate some glowy cubes to then rotate OTHER platforms and make your way to the boss room at the end of the map. Okay, fine, this is shit, but I can eventually figure it out with some trial and error – EXCEPT LITERALLY THE MOMENT I SPIN MY CAMERA I AM ATTACKED BY TRASH MOBS. THE MOMENT I GO IN A DIFFERENT DIRECTION TO TRY ANOTHER WAY OUT – I GET ATTACKED. THE MOMENT I LITERALLY MOVE 1 FOOT, I GET ATTACKED. WHAT THE FUCK SDHGLKJGHSJDK Honestly it was actually worse than FFX in a sense where in FFX I could turn battles off or speed through them. In here? I had to fight so much that by the time I got to the final boss I had maxed out 2 jobs on Sera and Noel without even trying. It was specifically this one platform:
Holy shit I don’t even know where to begin with how idiotic that platform was. The fact that it aws in the middle too which you would often jump on to try and figure out the best way out means you spent more time wasted fighting trash than you did actually figuring out where to go. The other thing I was lucky to have was the jump skill which you acquire by turning in some Fragments at
the Gold Saucer Serendipity. If you didn’t have this jump skill jumping on these platforms would probably be a real shit show – again another thing that the game doesn’t really tell you until the very end and then forces you to go looking for this shit in other timezones/worlds when you are literally a few stupid jumps away from the final boss. ಠ_ಠ None of the guides I found for this were helpful in any way so I ended up just kinda figuring it out on my own between 50 trash fights.😒
The Pet System is Bullshit
So in the first game you have your team you can set up of actual people and do their skills etc. In this game, you are always only Serah, Noel and – a monster pet. Depending on what kind of monster pet it is, it can be a specific job. For example I had a Cait Sith who was a healer and a Chocobo who was Commander. At first it just seems kinda like a little sidekick, as in you don’t REALLY need their help to finish battles. It’s almost like a cute addon. As you get further in the game though, it’s painfully obvious that you need to grind out GOOD monsters and grind gil and spend tons of money trying to get a really good pet to help you fight the final boss. Unfortunately I could not be assed and I wanted to get this game overwith ASAP so I finished the game with a level 61 Cait Sith Healer (named Crumpet) and a level 56 Chocobo named Buttercup. Buttercup’s AI was utterly braindead and he would constantly attack things that me and Noel were not attacking so when we would get one of the final boss’s adds staggered we needed all the help we could get to burn it down but no. Buttercup is on the other add with buffs and doing like no damage. THANKS YOU BIRD BRAIN. Then there’s Crumpet. Oh Crumpet you useless nyanko. I spent half these boss fights raising him because his HP was so abysmally low (because there’s literally only like 2 heal pets in the whole game and I didn’t bother raising a 2nd one since I spent so much gil on the first one!). The final boss fight took me 40 minutes because the stupid cat kept dying and I was busy raising him instead of actually damaging the boss. In retrospect, I should have just used my tank pet, which had like 8000 HP to give us shields instead. That or I should have raised a Saboteur pet instead because healer pets are crap. This is further intensified in the “end game” content where if you don’t have a good pet (I saw some guy on youtube have a damn Behemoth) you literally cannot complete anything. But oh hey at least I could give them cute accessories and names amirite? 🙄
The Music is Awful
Well that is unless you actually enjoy listening to Death Metal! If you watch the video above, this is an example of music you hear in a lot of boss fights as well. Some of the background music in some of the areas was some terrible rap lyrics as well. Overall it was just so awful compared to the music in the first game I’m just like ??? Who the hell made this creative decision?? ಠ_ಠ
The Steam Port is UTTER GARBAGE
Ohh boy this is a good one. First of all, when I began playing the game it crashed twice in a span of 30 minutes. Because of that I had to redo the first battle at least 3 times until I googled up and found out that apparently playing with Steam Cloud on will always crash the game. Once I turned it off it was a little more stable, then I found out the hard way that changing between headphones and speakers ALSO crashes the game. After that I basically saved after every couple trash mob fights, any cut scenes and any boss fights. I HAD TO BASICALLY SAVE EVERY 5 MINUTES BECAUSE I WAS LITERALLY AFRAID THE WHOLE TIME THE GAME WAS GONNA CRASH ON ME AGAIN. (ノ ﾟ溢゜)ﾉ ┫:･’∵:.┻┻:･’.:∵ The other problem I had was the graphics. Look at Noel’s face above WTF? When I look at some people’s PS3/XBOX videos they don’t look this horrible but for some odd reason every single weird detail is clearly visible in the PC version that it makes it painful to look at. Most characters were okay but Noel looked like crap from start to finish except in the nicely animated CG scenes:
The other annoyance I had was with the controller – I was used to using the PS4 dualshock but the game only supported an XBOX controller which I am very unfamiliar with. Fortunately thanks to DS4 windows I was able to remap my buttons – but I had to keep an image file next to my game at all times to remember what the hell I changed all the buttons to 😂😂😂
Somhow I doubt Lightning Returns supports DS4 as well so I am likely to continue using my handy dandy jpg above for a little bit longer. 😂😂
The Balance of Enemies in Fields is Awful
Since the battles in this game are unavoidable for the most part the placement of enemies in each area becomes extra irritating. For example, when I was in 400AF Academia, I was following the story and exploring the map, then I ran into some huge monster that 1 shot me. Apparently that’s an end game monster that I am not even supposed to fight until later. This happened several times by the way. Then there was the opposite problem of where I had to return to some worlds to find some random quest item, and was forced to fight low level trash that took SECONDS to kill but was a huge waste of time because I had to keep killing on my way to get my “item”. In FFXIV for example, once you are 10 levels above an enemy, they will simply not attack you because what’s the point? You don’t get any exp. Here, doesn’t matter. Whether an enemy is too high or too low, you will still be attacked. And on the topic of enemies – HMPH YUEL (Caius) was the Seymour of this game, and I am pretty sure I must have killed him like 10 times in the entire span of playing it. (BTW his Japanese voice was god awful – his English one was actually better, but I preferred Japanese voices for pretty much everyone else so I stuck to the Japanese dub lmao.)
The Ending is Shit, The side ends are Shit and the DLC is Shit
So yea if you played this game, or didn’t play it and wanna get spoiled – you know that the ending is bad. We literally have Lightning onee-san give Serah a moogle bow, go on this tedious idiotic puzzle time travel adventure, only to have Hmph Yuel, Yuel herself and Serah die and the world be in chaos. COOL WHAT DID I JUST WASTE 30 HOURS OF MY LIFE FOR!? Not only that but apparently there’s also like 8 “Paradox” endings which are alternative endings (like you know bad ends in an otome game) but you can’t just easily pick a choice and see the ending. (Well you can for like 2 of them.) 6 of those endings require you to GGRRRINDD your party (and pet) to be high enough to defeat Hpmh-Yuel another 6 times in order to see some 2 minute alternative ending where Vanilla turns into a table ornament or Snow finally gets some (inter)action with his fiance 😂
Honestly in my headcanon, Serah and Noel are a much better pairing though I guess I can see people shipping Noel and Yuel but she died like way too many times and Caius would go yandere if she was NTRed from him probably. 😂😂😂😂 The only DLC ending that made sense (which I watched on youtube because I was not gonna fight Seymour Hmph-Yuel for the 11th time) was the one with Lightning and Serah.
Basically what we saw in the normal ending where Serah just straight up and dropped dead, we saw what “really happened” where her soul gets sucked in by Yuel inside Valhalla and Lightning joins her on the throne..or some shit. I don’t know. I don’t get it, hopefully Lightning Returns will actually explain this sack of shite to me. ಠ_ಠ The other inconsistent crap was at the very end Sazh randomly showed up with his son. How in the fuck? I thought aside from Hope and Alyssa, everyone else just you know…died of old age. Also they never explained why in the hells name Snow became an l’Cie again or who made him one. I SURE LOVE PLOTHOLES LOL
And if he and his son are magically alive how come Vanilla and Fang are still dead the whole time? They literally show up 1 time to wake up Serah from her dream and the best we get is some half assed bullshit DLC where Vanilla is still a table ornament:
Anyway final thoughts – DO NOT RECOMMEND. I feel as if this game ruined whatever happy thought I had left behind in the first game. A lot of people complained about the first game but oddly enjoyed this one and im just
In fact I would instead suggest to watch someone’s movie cut scene play throughs of the game instead, particularly this dude here even includes the Paradox endings and the DLC cut scenes and endings which I thankfully watched and saved myself a whole lot of grinding. In the meantime if you wanna see ridiculous clips of my “adventures” feel free to check out my Twitch collection as usual!