At around 27 hours, Final Fantasy XIII presented to me the world of the sidequests in a fashion that only Final Fantasy can. Basically, Square knows that you’re almost at the end of the story, and they 1) want to keep you playing and 2) know you WANT to keep playing. Bring on the sidequests.
There are 64 sidequests, and from what I can tell, either you can’t play all of them until after you finish the story or you shouldn’t try all of them until after you finish the story. I didn’t read what the guide said too deeply about it because I am trying to avoid spoilers as well as I can. But I was excited to learn that you can play them after you finish the story. In Crisis Core, you have to complete all the missions before you go into the final bosses. You can play them after you finish the game for sure, but only if you saved before you finished. After all, Zack does die at the end so it makes sense that he can’t finish his missions after his death.
Obviously I don’t have to do the sidequests, but dammit I’m part of the flock of sheep that wants to do everything. If nothing else, it will boost my role levels and make the final bosses somewhat easier. It helps that they’re a little fun, too. They’re set up a lot like the missions in Crisis Core, in that you’re sent off to go find a certain mini-boss and dispatch it. But unlike Crisis Core, you get a variety of environments to go hunting in. I have seen some truly astounding and simply beautiful scenery, not to mention some terrifying monsters. That’s really more of the fun of the sidequests: seeing areas of the game you wouldn’t get to see otherwise. That and there’s a bit of an emotional reason for completing them. I’m a sap, I know.
In regards to something totally different, I’m really bummed that my Bayonetta Strategy Guide isn’t here yet. I know I’m busy right now, but I’d like to start on it as soon as I can since I still have Dragon Age and Darksiders to work on as well. I’d hate to start one of those others just for the Bayonetta guide to show up and interrupt the flow. I’ll keep my fingers crossed it comes in this week.