One thing I will say that FFXIII-2 does better than its predecessor is how it opens up sidequesting from the get-go. I’m not a fan of level grinding, something I’ve made perfectly clear numerous times, but I don’t mind it when it’s veiled with a sidequest. In FFXIII, you didn’t get any sidequests until you hit Pulse, so if you needed to grind your levels on Cocoon, it meant running through rooms over and over again. Know what that’s called? A boring pain in the ass. It’s one reason why I hate early FF games, like FFIII. I play games to have fun, not do the same thing over and over and over just to gain levels. Ignore the fact that I play shooter games and move on.
With FFXIII-2, you are almost inundated with sidequests. As you open up more time gates, you can find a gazillion more. Since you only need to travel through about a third of the time gates you can actually open for the storyline, you can spend numerous hours doing anything but the main plot. And that’s what I did all weekend long. I am bound and determined to find all 160 fragments, and you can’t do that by just following the story. And the best part about taking time out to doing all of this sidequesting? I have Noel and Serah maxed out for both of their Commando and Ravager roles, Serah is maxed out as a medic, and Noel is almost maxed as a synergist. When I get back to the story, my levels will be above and beyond what the guide suggests for minimal. That’s what I like to see.
The story to FFXIII-2 still has not grabbed me. Not sure it ever will, to be honest. I’m not a huge fan of alternate timeline stories and parallel universes and all that, so it’s doubtful I’ll ever really like it. However, I do like the mechanics that the time traveling story aspects provides in terms of completing sidequests by traveling to a different time to retrieve something before it was destroyed or to pick up something that only appears in a certain time or season. I am really, really digging that, kupo!
In other news, my gaming cave is complete! We moved both PS2s, the GameCube, the Xbox 360, PS3, all my strategy guides, the PSP, DS, 3DS, PSPgo, charging stations, and corresponding games in their this weekend. Playing FFXIII-2 in a private room with my headset was an amazing experience. If I didn’t have to work or be a mom, I’d live in that room and be another statistic.