Since I've played the previous game (Final Fantasy XIII) as a curious cat as I am, I eventually fall into the rabbit hole by offering my hard earn wages to this evil franchise once again.Other than that, all I wanted to know was how was the story told so far.
On the first impression, they have a long opening cinematic which felt like Metal Gear Solid 4. Shortly from that, I was greeted by the similar loading screen from its predecessor and right there the game throw me a battle with an Eidolon (Guardians) with me controlling Lightning.
Everything at this point, felt almost like the previous game. After a few more battles, I was greeted again with more cinematic but to my surprised there was cinematic trigger.
There is also tons of Live trigger where players would need to choose their a selection of dialogues and get different outcome every time. This has been confirmed by the developers that its an additional touch in the Final Fantasy series so players would feel more interacted between the games characters in the Final Fantasy World.
A lot of critics, stated a Final Fantasy XIII done right, I feel to defer that. Main reason was if Square Enix would to make it right they should not reuse most of all the monster sprites and similar world maps which was presented in FFXIII. I bet you guys would complain that its the same Universe as FFXIII, but at least they should make an initiative to provide the same area from a different angle. I felt it was a lazy version just to milk more from the franchise. But I like a few touches made by the character design which reminds me of kingdom hearts, Sora as well has other previous Final fantasy related games. But also strangely you will get Serah some weird dress during the starting episode from god knows where.
Furthermore, eidolon summoning was removed and has been replaced by your 3rd party being monsters you capture, this doesn't make any sense at all when you captured monsters to fight by your side. I felt so Pokemonish. Battle system is still the same where the paradigm shift is there, graphics is still as superb as its predecessor since its design from the same Crystal Engine.
Character progress at first seems like it was pretty straight forward where all of the role class shared the same Crystarium tree which looks like star constellation. So wrong was I when almost maxed level both of my characters, and found them a little squishy side. After hours of research over the internet, different roles on Large nods of the constellation tree has additional bonus depending on which role you place it. From this lesson I had to replay the entire game again, since I'm pretty much a perfectionist. (SO GUYS PLEASE PLAN ON YOUR BUILD BEFORE throwing all your role points into the leveling system).
Soundtrack was marvelous, but I felt it was pretty redundant in the mid-game where battle songs keeps on repeating it self over and over again. Some recognizable music from FFXIII was also in this game. Story wise, well considering my theory was that developers got no more further advancement of the genuine story line, they had to go and throw in the element of time paradox and time travel, where you have alternate story line which further confuses players with "what ifs" scenarios. Exploration has been expanded in this installment.
Also a golden saucer make its comeback in this game which has been renamed to Serendipity. Players now can waste endless time on virtual money to blow on slot machine and chocobo racing. Other then that, we have puzzle temporal rifts, were players would need to solved it in order to progress to the story line. Some are ridiculously hard but doable just get ready to spend some long time and effort in solving em especially the clock puzzle.
All in all, its a decent JRPG and a not too bad installment for Final Fantasy fans that needs a filler in their life after Square Enix failed miserably on FFXIV. Overall 7+0.5/10 (+0.5 because the game has a MOOGLE!!!)