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Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII

SkylineRKR

Member
This game has been on Gamepass lately, and its boosted. A good time to jump in. I platted both FFXIII and its sequel on PS3, and never played LR because I thought the demo was pretty bad and the reviews were average. Game looked like shit too. But now, why not? The game is boosted so its 60fps and the resolution is much higher now. It doesn't even look that bad anymore.

Without knowledge I started on Normal because, Normal is usually the way to go, right? Wrong. After the prologue, which was a cakewalk, the difficulty quickly becomes brutal. Regular mobs can take a long time to beat if you're not fighting them properly. Health doesn't regen after battle (potions are expensive, and better used in battle, and using restaurants costs gil as well) and worse yet, fleeing costs an hour of your time. This is crucial since this game is all about time management. You initially have 6 days to beat all main quests, and the entire game is on a timer. And the only way to improve your stats is by doing side quests so you can liberate NPC souls. Some can only be done at night, others at noon. So you need some planning.

The monsters around the first boss in Luxerion were really tough, so I followed some advice; I let the timer run out by using the Inn. This way you can grab loot every morning. I let the world end and decided to do a new run on Easy. And easy mode still isn't that easy, it feels on par with XIII and slightly harder than XIII-2 in fact. Even Square apparently advised to beat Easy mode first.

As for the game itself, its not bad. Its quite original and the combat is actually really solid. Every enemy requires a different approach, some can be staggered by hitting them during casts, others need to be perfect blocked. There are also EP abilities, like Overclock which slows down time during battle, and is ideal to use against bosses during stagger. Or Chronostasis, which stops the clock for a while so you can free roam without losing a minute. I guess its best to abuse this ability if you want to do everything. Easy mode certainly feels more balanced, you regain health when not fighting, fleeing has no hefty penalty and trash mob can be quickly swept aside. I might beat this one to finally conclude the shitty XIII saga, lol.
 
Best of the 13 series imo. Lightning is too skinny though, but she’s still pretty hot. I like the focus on just playing her since I hated most of the 13 series cast. Also, the game has issues on gamepass my controller won’t work and the screen keeps hanging, it didn’t work for me, I played it on steam, where it works perfectly.
 

Exede

Member
Tryed to get into it 4 times. After platinuming FF XIII-2. Nope.... i hate LR so much. It simply doesnt work for me as a FF XIII game
 
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SkylineRKR

Member
I think the XIII saga can be classified as reasonably tough.

Regular XIII wasn't easy. Some Eidolon battles were infuriating. And some bosses were def. hard. Especially when you land on Pulse the difficulty ramps up and requires you to be smart with Paradigms.

XIII-2 was easier though. But I remember it still had some tough parts and bosses here and there.

LR is just a very hard game. But its almost roguelite. You can fail it, keep your loot and do it over.

The cast of XIII? I hate it. I think there was little reason to hate Sazh, but Snow? Jesus christ.
 
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I feel like this game tries waaay too hard to sell(and simp) Lightning.
1st game was an ensemble cast that she was barely the leader of (and wasn't even playable for several long portions in the game when she's not in the party). 2nd game she was barely even in it. 3rd game is about her mostly.

People typically greatly exaggerate the amount of time SQEX pushed Lightning. It's less than Cloud, that's for sure.
 
1st game was an ensemble cast that she was barely the leader of (and wasn't even playable for several long portions in the game when she's not in the party). 2nd game she was barely even in it. 3rd game is about her mostly.

People typically greatly exaggerate the amount of time SQEX pushed Lightning. It's less than Cloud, that's for sure.
Well, you can't have Lightning without Cloud.
 

Saber

Member
1st game was an ensemble cast that she was barely the leader of (and wasn't even playable for several long portions in the game when she's not in the party). 2nd game she was barely even in it. 3rd game is about her mostly.

People typically greatly exaggerate the amount of time SQEX pushed Lightning. It's less than Cloud, that's for sure.

Isn't the main point of the game in having a party like...having to play different type of characters? I wasn't talking about Final Fantasy XIII specifically.
This game is basically "screw everybody, have Lightning as a one-man army".
 

Reizo Ryuu

Member
Weird, I never thought the game was very hard in the 40 hours I spent on it; I still have to finish it, so maybe it gets harder later.
 

SlimeGooGoo

Party Gooper
scared not safe for work GIF
 

Larxia

Member
While it's not the most impressive visually, not the most "wow" episode in term of grand adventure etc, it's still kind of the best one to me.

I'm someone who enjoyed FF XIII, although I agree it had many issues (linearity, lack of some features in combats like switching controls to other characters etc.), and I think Lightning Returns really improved it on all of these.

The game is ton of fun and it's in my opinion the best "menu based" (understand something not action) combat system. I dislike regular turn based or basic atb because it's usually way too repetitive with no strategy even involved, but Lightning Returns is the perfect evolution of this to me. You keep the more classic "tactical" presentation, but make it a lot more dynamic with actual strategies and things to react to.
I usually always prefer full action, but in this game I didn't mind this gameplay at all and would even enjoy other stuff like that, it was a really interesting combat system with a lot of freedom.

The game sadly has a kind of... cheap presentation, you can feel it's a cheaper spin off / sequel, it doesn't feel like a main episode, but it was the most fun FF game to me.
I also really like Lightning so that helped too.
 
Battle system is tight, costumes are cool (besides a few smutty ones), and I actually do enjoy the environments and how it plays into the time system. It was such a treat as a Majora's Mask and Dead Rising fan to see a FINAL FANTASY GAME give this type of rare "timer" based gameplay a shot. Easily in my top 15 of all time. Love this game.

However.

The true ending to this game is embarrassing. Cringe inducing stupidity.
 

Larxia

Member
Battle system is tight, costumes are cool (besides a few smutty ones), and I actually do enjoy the environments and how it plays into the time system. It was such a treat as a Majora's Mask and Dead Rising fan to see a FINAL FANTASY GAME give this type of rare "timer" based gameplay a shot. Easily in my top 15 of all time. Love this game.

However.

The true ending to this game is embarrassing. Cringe inducing stupidity.
Oh, I actually loved what they did with ending, I thought :
the way they linked it to our reality was really cool, like if the events of the games were what led to the big bang kinda, the creation of our world. I found that much more fun and interesting than what religions try to tell lol.
At that time I also thought that maybe, not conviced at all but maybe, it could end up having some connections with the first Fabula Nova Crystalis version of VS XIII / FF XV, with the "Fantasy based on reality" thing, but as we know now FF XV completely went another way.
 
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TheInfamousKira

Reseterror Resettler
This game has been on Gamepass lately, and its boosted. A good time to jump in. I platted both FFXIII and its sequel on PS3, and never played LR because I thought the demo was pretty bad and the reviews were average. Game looked like shit too. But now, why not? The game is boosted so its 60fps and the resolution is much higher now. It doesn't even look that bad anymore.

Without knowledge I started on Normal because, Normal is usually the way to go, right? Wrong. After the prologue, which was a cakewalk, the difficulty quickly becomes brutal. Regular mobs can take a long time to beat if you're not fighting them properly. Health doesn't regen after battle (potions are expensive, and better used in battle, and using restaurants costs gil as well) and worse yet, fleeing costs an hour of your time. This is crucial since this game is all about time management. You initially have 6 days to beat all main quests, and the entire game is on a timer. And the only way to improve your stats is by doing side quests so you can liberate NPC souls. Some can only be done at night, others at noon. So you need some planning.

The monsters around the first boss in Luxerion were really tough, so I followed some advice; I let the timer run out by using the Inn. This way you can grab loot every morning. I let the world end and decided to do a new run on Easy. And easy mode still isn't that easy, it feels on par with XIII and slightly harder than XIII-2 in fact. Even Square apparently advised to beat Easy mode first.

As for the game itself, its not bad. Its quite original and the combat is actually really solid. Every enemy requires a different approach, some can be staggered by hitting them during casts, others need to be perfect blocked. There are also EP abilities, like Overclock which slows down time during battle, and is ideal to use against bosses during stagger. Or Chronostasis, which stops the clock for a while so you can free roam without losing a minute. I guess its best to abuse this ability if you want to do everything. Easy mode certainly feels more balanced, you regain health when not fighting, fleeing has no hefty penalty and trash mob can be quickly swept aside. I might beat this one to finally conclude the shitty XIII saga, lol.

LR is unironically one of my favorite of the "new guard," of FF games. I've actually found value in FFXIII and XIII-2, but the open nature of LR, alongside all of the references and the customization and music and everything, it's a pretty good package. Definitely made on a budget, but I dig it.

Also like the fact that they at least TRY to give Lightning a character in this one. She quips A LOT in a very deadpan way, isn't afraid to threaten people but isn't outwardly boastful of how badass she is. You learn little pieces of her past, like the things she can cook, what her favorite song is, what her favorite dishes are, little flourishes that certainly don't make up for a missing or dull character arc, but they serve as nice world building, along the lines of the neat little details classics like FFIX had. It was easily the biggest attempt they made to make the XIII world feel like A WORLD and not a series of levels with completely disconnected art design.
 
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SkylineRKR

Member
Finished Day 2 with about 11 quests, including the first main one. Spamming stasis helps. I could finish some more probably but I also dicked around. That little kid is bugged, just disappeared. I needed to keep him in front and then run past him near the station I guess. I'd do it again another time. Some handlers were gone by the time I wanted to finish their objective. Oh well.

Most side quests are shit tier though, like FFVII R. Collect some shit and run back.

Its been years since I beat XIII 2, but the story is okay here. In that game you beat Caius, who forced Noel to kill him which unleashed Chaos. And the result is this world where no one aged anymore and its about to end. Noel's arc was pretty good, being shown a vision of him having to kill Lightning to reunite with Yeul. He and Caius were the best characters in this saga anyway.

I want to stab Lumina in the face, annoying piece of shit.
 
Oh, I actually loved what they did with ending, I thought :
the way they linked it to our reality was really cool, like if the events of the games were what led to the big bang kinda, the creation of our world. I found that much more fun and interesting than what religions try to tell lol.
At that time I also thought that maybe, not conviced at all but maybe, it could end up having some connections with the first Fabula Nova Crystalis version of VS XIII / FF XV, with the "Fantasy based on reality" thing, but as we know now FF XV completely went another way.
...we'll agree to disagree lol. I was moreso referring to the giant friendship sword made of love that kills GOD as they fly through space. So very Kingdom Hearts.
 
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I've always enjoyed the Final Fantasy games, at least up until I stopped playing them after Final Fantasy IX.

After playing finally playing Final Fantasy X this year and not liking it too much, I started X-2 and learned that dress spheres exist.



Pretty sure the guy above you is literally playing it now if you want to spoiler that.

Why? He just did me a huge favor.
 
Since I'm first and foremost a CG cutscene whore, the ending was lovely for me due to the insane eye candy.

However, yeah, the ending was totally lazily written fanfiction garbage, but it's honestly in-line with the writing in XIII-2 and LR.
Yeah, seriously.

I was fine with the part about Lightning being a demi-god that is trapped in an infinite time loop until Chaos energy swallows reality. I was fine with the whole story of the trilogy being about the untapped power of human souls traveling from one realm to another throwing all of reality off balance without a goddess of death to offer them guidance. But at the end of time, while fighting god - I wish that the demi-goddess didn't harness the magical energy her friends, her summons, and her lost childlike persona and forgotten memories, because that part is just silly!
/s
 
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Larxia

Member
Since I'm first and foremost a CG cutscene whore, the ending was lovely for me due to the insane eye candy.
Yes I think it's worth mentionning that even to this day, the CGI scenes in Lightning Returns are still the best CG I've seen so far. XIII had amazing CG but Lightning Returns pushed it even further, asbolutely loved the few scenes we got of it.
There's stuff that's probably technically better than it, but it was just so pretty as a whole, the visual, the art, perfect look.

I kind of miss super good looking CG scenes, I get that they're less special today given how good the base games already look, but when they really are spectacular, CG scenes have a bit of a reward feeling, I like them.
 

Majukun

Member
FF XIII is the worst game i have ever played, no joke or exaggeration...but of the two sequels this one was the one i wouldn't mind trying one day, but with very low expectations
 

Aion002

Member
Isn't the main point of the game in having a party like...having to play different type of characters? I wasn't talking about Final Fantasy XIII specifically.
This game is basically "screw everybody, have Lightning as a one-man army".

That's Lightning main thing. She's overpowered as fuck lore wise since the first game, she could probably solo the other two FFXIII games too, specially in XII-2, when Lightning, arguably, becomes the strongest FF character.

Anyway, I love all three games. They are hated by many... But...

Youre Wrong GIF


:messenger_squinting_tongue:
 

killatopak

Gold Member
After playing finally playing Final Fantasy X this year and not liking it too much, I started X-2 and learned that dress spheres exist.
Dress Spheres are amazing. Not in the visual way but in the gameplay way. Just think of it as a job system. I honestly had more fun playing X-2 than X but as an overall package, X was better. The only thing that I hate on X-2 is the bullshit way to get the true ending. Miss a whistle and poof there goes your true ending run.
 
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iSupremacyX

Member
So is xbox the definitive place to play these 3 games due to the enhancements or upgrades to the visuals, or is the PC version on steam better?
 

cireza

Member
Awesome game. Did my first run on Normal and it felt pretty easy honestly. Had no issue unlocking all the additional days and the best ending.

Great mechanics, and a game that wants you to learn where you can go and which order is the best. Very open, yet not filled with the stupid shit of modern open-worlds. Because the size of it is reasonable, so you don't get stupid filler content etc... You have fetch quests, a lot of them, but the challenge here is not to do them brain-dead, but to optimize your time to do a lot of them, and boost your stats.

It is all about time management, but pretty quickly you become able to fill the jauge that offers the power to stop time, and honestly during the last days, I didn't have anything left to do.

Battles were fantastic, loved the mechanics. Also the outfits system, reminding a bit FF V. Very nice designs by the way.

One of my favorite JRPGs.
 
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Rush2112

Neo Member
Lightning was the most uncharismatic main character in a main story of an RPG that I have seen, ever. Just a boring, generic, anime wanna-be super hero.
 
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SkylineRKR

Member
i wish you could change difficulty. Easy is too easy ever since I did a string of quests and found good skills. But going in blind, Normal is rather unforgiving. However, if I would replay, I would do Normal and make a beeline for the Wildlands as soon as I would have found 3 of 4 numbers. I feel the garbs there sort of trivialize the early game. Heavy slash and beatdown really good, and money is no issue either if you pick up all sparkling spots and do fetch quests. You can grab -Aga spells in the temple, which mostly has Flan enemies you can nuke with blizzard.

Also the fetching in main missions sucks. You can see this is the FFVII R team at work. You want to confront Snow? First fetch fireworks, and then do a battle tournament for a dress. Also, Snows palace you really do need to rush and spam stasis (and beat chaos infuse for a ton of EP). As it starts at 3 AM.
 

TheInfamousKira

Reseterror Resettler
Yeah, seriously.

I was fine with the part about Lightning being a demi-god that is trapped in an infinite time loop until Chaos energy swallows reality. I was fine with the whole story of the trilogy being about the untapped power of human souls traveling from one realm to another throwing all of reality off balance without a goddess of death to offer them guidance. But at the end of time, while fighting god - I wish that the demi-goddess didn't harness the magical energy her friends, her summons, and her lost childlike persona and forgotten memories, because that part is just silly!
/s

I mean, I think it's pretty par for the course for Final Fantasy in general, if we're being honest, and most of the earlier games had equally absurd plots, with the issue coming from voice acting, almost entirely, and by extension, script writing.

FFIX (a game I love to pieces and am currently replaying) has a story about what's essentially two goofy ass monkeys secretly being God's of destruction from the moon because some old man with a BDSM complex groomed them to be killers, while an adopted chick wars with her fat green mom inside of a castle that's alive.

VI, VII, VIII, etc are all equally absurd when reduced to paragraph summaries. What makes these more accepted, I think, is that text box dialogue promotes a certain...author/player co-ownership of a character. They sound like you imagine them to sound, and the script and writing techniques usually pair extremely well with the "storybook," vibe that older FF titles had. Old school RPGs felt like a fantasy novel to me.

When you stick the exact same methodology into contemporary game design, suddenly you have to wrestle with several issues:

1. Voice actors
FF has had some great performers ever since it first branched into voice acting. Ming Na Wen, James Woods, Tara Strong, John DiMaggio, etc were some of the first voices in FF media, and these are people who are respected in the craft, but it takes away the connection the player has with the character, even if it's the best performance (it's often not, but that's a different issue)

2. Clear segregation of story/gameplay
Using FFIX again here because it's freshest in my memory, but post-PS2 titles all had the trouble of having a gameplay section/cutscene/gameplay section/repeat loop. In game banter was never relevant or important because it was easily interrupted or missed, so you only get story in cutscenes. Whereas, older titles like IX had an easier time blending them together, even with things like ATE in IX where gameplay was sometimes integrated into optional story content.

3. Scripting
A lot of things that sound good when read are absolutely terrible spoken. Imagine: every time a character got surprised in an old game and it was denoted with a "!" or "...?!" in text, in newer games it's an anime UNGHHH or HMPH! These games are written the exact same way they always were, and that old school scripting is absolutely stilted in new games. It's why games like Uncharted, TLOU, RDR etc sound so natural and JRPGS still feel like aliens speaking English (or whatever)
 

Otre

Member
I have not played this because 13-2 was such a pile of cringe shit. Lightning is one of the worst protagonist in the series. She was created with a marketing board to appeal to coomers that like women that need to eat a sandwich.

The only decent thing from the XIII series is the battle system and the godlike soundtrack of the original FF13. Too bad the pacing in the original treated you like a child that fits squares into triangles.

It surprises me to read there are fans of Lighting Returns. Maybe I should give it a shot.
 
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Synless

Member
How does the dog look in 4K?


Lightning was the most uncharismatic main character in a main story of an RPG that I have seen, ever. Just a boring, generic, anime wanna-be super hero.
Show Claire some respect. You exist on this planet only because of her actions.
 

jimmypython

Member
the timed quest design turned me way off...crazy tedious. actually, it kinda reminds me of FFX-2: good gameplay bad quest design, Toriyama signature I suppose....
 
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