Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII
Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII is a 2014 action role-playing video game, developed and published by Square Enix. It was released for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 with PC and mobile ports later on.
- Absolutely convoluted and abysmal story that barely improves on its predecessor's.
- Lightning is back to her unlikable persona but even worse. She is an emotionless and dull character, who's completely detached from everything going on around her. Considering she's the main protagonist of this game, it makes every cutscene cringe worthy to watch.
- Lumina is pretty unlikable and underdeveloped.
- While the graphics still look great, they are somewhat of a downgrade compared to the previous games. This is likely due to the game getting a lower budget and shorter development time compare to its predecessors.
- The worlds looks much more drab that the ones in the previous games, with the worst offender being The Dead Dunes being a whole lot of nothing.
- A lot of unnecessary fan-service such as the alternative costumes Lightning wears.
- The battle system is completely changed.
- The Stagger meter is gone, which makes it incredibly frustrating to know if the enemy is staggered or when it'll run out.
- You can only control Lightning in battle. If you die then you're forced to pause the game and use Phoenix Down which can get easily wasted because...
- Fights can become incredibly boring and time consuming since enemies have huge health bars and the aforementioned stagger meter takes a long while to trigger.
- Because of these tedious fights, you're forced to grind a lot of hours but there's a huge flaw to this...
- The game is crippled with its Thirteen Day time limit. This completely ruins any chances of exploring the city, completing all the side quests, finding all the collectibles and fully leveling up. You technically only have 7 days to collect as many souls as possible before the world is destroyed. If those Thirteen Days have run out and you haven't collected them all, you have to start the entire game all over again!
- Since the game also doesn't have New Game Plus, it makes the entire game lack replay value.
- Unlike XIII and XIII-2, you literally cannot level up in this game when fighting regular enemies so its basically pointless to fight regular monsters as the only way to increase your stats is through side quests! To add more insult to injury...most of them are nothing more but boring fetch quests!
- The game's title is so confusing and laughable that it became an internet meme for a while along with the goofy-looking dog named Clove from the "Mother and Daughter" quest.
- The ending feels very unsatisfying as it leaves a lot of plotholes. It's almost like Square Enix had enough of the XIII series and decided to put an end to it but forgetting to make the last game, you know, good!
- The graphics still look great.
- The battle system is a slight improvement in that you perform your actions at anytime and landing.
- The English voice acting is decent, although a step backwards from XIII and XIII-2.
- Players are given an option to download Japanese voices from the PSN and Xbox Live Stores.
- Great soundtrack.
- The final battle is pretty good.
- Elements of this battle system would later be implemented into Final Fantasy XV and the Final Fantasy VII Remake.
Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII received very mixed reviews from critics and gamers. Although receiving high praised for its battle system, it was heavily panned for its time limit, washed out graphics, abysmal story and mediocre voice acting.