|Final Fantasy XIII-2|
North American PS3 Box Art
|Developer(s):||Square Enix, tri-Ace|
|Series:||Final Fantasy, Fabula Nova Crystallis, Final Fantasy XIII|
|Release Date(s):|| *[JP] – December 15, 2011|
*[NA] – January 31, 2012
*[AUS] – February 2, 2012
*[EU] – February 3, 2012
|Rating(s):||ESRB: T (Teen), CERO: B (12+), PEGI: 16+|
Final Fantasy XIII-2 is a direct sequel to Final Fantasy XIII, and followed by Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII. It was originally announced at Square Enix's 1st Production Department Premiere in January 2011. The game focuses around Serah Farron on a search for her sister, Lightning, who disappeared three years prior to the start of the game following the events of Final Fantasy XIII. Serah is accompanied by Noel Kreiss, and the two travel throughout time to find Lightning and save the world.
Main Article: Plot (FFXIII-2)
She spent years fighting her destiny. With courage in her heart, she faced the false gods who ruled over people for centuries.
Her unfaltering determination changed the world. The gods were vanquished, their plans to massacre the human race destroyed. As Cocoon fell, a single pillar formed, connecting the ravaged world to the one below―Pulse, the underworld. It was the beginning of a new era.
However, she was nowhere to be found. Everyone was convinced she was gone―with the exception of her sister, Serah Farron.
Three years later―
A single meteorite falls from the sky. As spatial distortions are created, bloodthirsty monsters appear, threatening the peaceful existence of the townspeople.
In the midst of this chaos, Serah is rescued by a young man by the name of Noel. A hunter from the future, he appears in front of her with a message.
"Come with me across the boundaries of time," he says. "Your sister is waiting."
She is Lightning—protector of the Goddess who rules the realm of death and chaos. She is Serah's sister, her heroine, her savior.
I need to see my sister again.
Grabbing her weapon, Serah heads out on a journey as she takes her first step into a new, unknown future.
Final Fantasy XIII-2 can be played in Normal or Easy mode. The game autosaves at key points, but the player can also manually save by accessing the in-game menu. The Datalog keeps track of the bestiary, historical information, and other vital information. The game has multiple endings depending upon player actions. There is also a New Game+ feature available once the game is completed.
The player controls a single character in a third-person view, and moves across the field with other party members following behind. The controlled character can interact with NPCs & objects and engage enemies. Chocobos are also available as a method of transportation. Each character has four slots and a pool of points to assign various equipment.
Players are able to move through rifts in time using the Historia Crux in a non-linear story sequence. The Historia Crux is a timeline map that allows the player to maneuver through different times and locations. Locations are labeled with the year to help the player follow the timeline. Areas can be visited at any time once they have been unlocked. The Historia Crux is accessed via Time Gates in each area. The gates are activated by artefacts. Using Gate Seals, a region can be reverted to its previous status allowing the player to re-experience it.
"Live Trigger" is a feature that was absent in FFXIII but has appeared in past games, allowing the player to choose a character's reactions during a conversation.
A Temporal Rift is a puzzle feature in which the player guides a character through a series of platforms. In order to close a rift and progress the story, the puzzle must be completed.
 Battle System
The battle system for FFXIII-2, called the Command Synergy Battle System, is taken directly from FFXIII's system with a few changes. The player selects an action from the battle menu, and each action requires a number of slots of the ATB bar. The ATB bar is constantly refilling, and can range from three to six slots. The system also has an autobattle option whereby the characters perform actions without player input. The player can also switch the controlled character during battle, an option absent from FFXIII. This allows the battle to continue even if the controlled character is KO'd. Battles can be restarted, and character health is restored after each battle. The player can alter characters' roles using the Paradigm system.
The new Mog Clock times a player's reaction to nearby enemies in the open field. If the character engages the enemy while the indicator is green, the player will be rewarded with bonuses at the beginning of the battle. If the indicator is yellow, battle will proceed as normal. And if the indicator is red, the player will suffer penalties at the beginning of battle.
Cinematic Action Sequences have also been incorporated into certain battles. During battle, cutscenes will be triggered, prompting the player to press certain buttons in order to perform special moves.
Similar to FFXIII, enemies have a Chain Gauge that can be filled by performing actions on the enemy. When the gauge is filled, the enemy will become Staggered. In this state, the enemy's defense is lowered and its actions are more easily interrupted.
Monsters can be captured and utilized in battle. They will have special abilities called Feral Links that range from being Attack-type all the way to the Healing-type. Some of these attacks trigger Quick Time Events or QTEs. Three monsters may be assigned via the Paradigm menu, although only one will be present on the battle field at a time. The player can choose to rename each monster, or embellish them with Adornments.
A Crystarium System allows for character growth. The system is similar to its FFXIII counterpart, but more versatile. The player can use Crystogen Points to advance any role for each character or award them with various stat bonuses. Captured monsters also each have their own unique Crystarium to advance their stats and abilities. The monsters' crystarium utilizes Monster Materials to unlock nodes, which can be found from winning battles or by purchasing them from Chocolina.
- Serah Farron - Serah is the main playable protagonist, now wielding a bow and sword combo weapon. She begins a journey to find her sister, and it leads her through various points in time and space.
- Noel Kreiss - Noel is a new playable character that travels with Serah in their search for Lightning. He is a Pulse native from the future that wields dual swords.
- Lightning - Lightning returns as a temporarily playable character, seemingly in another world during a different time.
- Hope Estheim - Hope is the head of the scientific research group for Academy. He still wields his boomerang, and helps Serah and Noel on their journey.
- Snow Villiers - Snow has also gone missing after leaving Serah behind to search for Lightning.
- Caius Ballad - Caius is the main antagonist, and impedes Serah and Noel throughout their journey.
- Paddra Nsu-Yeul - A mysterious girl that accompanies Caius.
 Additional Information
 DevelopmentFinal Fantasy XIII-2 was directed by Motomu Toriyama, who also served as director for Final Fantasy XIII and Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII. Development began in April 2010, and in December 2010, character designer Tetsuya Nomura produced a drawing of Lightning with the caption "She must not be forgotten".
Yoshinori Kitase returned as producer, and Tetsuya Nomura continued his work as character designer. The crew examined many of the criticisms of Final Fantasy XIII such as linearity and lack of minigames, and integrated solutions into the gameplay of Final Fantasy XIII-2.
Masashi Hamauzu, Naoshi Mizuta, and Mitsuto Suzuki composed the soundtrack to Final Fantasy XIII-2. The soundtrack features various types of music and several tracks that utilize vocal pieces.
A demo was released on both PS3 and Xbox on January 10, 2012 in North America and on January 11, 2012 in Europe.
The game also incorporates downloadable content in the form of outfits, weapons, coliseum battles, and more. Special scenarios are also available – including one where Sazh Katzroy is a playable character.
Two novellas were released in Japan shortly after the release of the game. Final Fantasy XIII-2 Fragments Before takes place immediately prior to the game, featuring Serah, Snow, Noel, and others. Final Fantasy XIII-2 Fragments After takes place immediately after the game.
 Packaging & Distribution
In Japan, a special PS3 Slim featuring an image of Lightning was sold bundled with a copy of Final Fantasy XIII-2.
In North America, Square Enix offered a Collector's Edition which included a game case with Yoshitaka Amano's artwork, the 4-disc soundtrack, and cards showcasing various concept art.
In Europe, the Limited Collector's Edition included a soundtrack with select songs, an artbook, postcards with images of the characters, and an HD lenticular print of Lightning. The Crystal Edition included the 4-disc soundtrack, an artbook, a special t-shirt, postcards with images of the characters, and an HD lenticular print of Lightning. The Nordic Edition included two special pieces of DLC: the "Fight in Style" pack and the Muramasa weapon.
Final Fantasy XIII-2 Logo
North American Xbox Cover
European PS3 Cover
European Xbox Cover
Japanese PS3 Cover
European Crystal Edition