Developer: Square Enix
Release Window/Date: Winter 2012
What's Polished: Visually impressive, as usual...
What Needs Polished: ...but it looks exactly the same as the last few FF games, and what exactly is happening in this plot?
Another sequel to a sequel, FFXIII-2 follows the adventures of Serah, little sister of FFXIII protagonist Lightning, as she tries to uncover the whereabouts of her mysteriously-disappeared-and-presumed-dead-sister.
The main reveal in this game, besides a jump button(!), is the Cinematic Action system, which we might confuse for QTEs if Square wasn’t so kind as to rename it for us. Combat is largely the same from the first game, including the “paradigm shift” game mechanic, but by successfully completing the QTE, I mean CAS of course, players can do significantly more damage to their opponent; one CAS ended with half a monster’s health bar gone. Certain defeated monsters are turned into crystals and later can be deployed against other enemies.
Visually it looks fine, but it also is indistinguishable design-wise from previous FF games. I'd attempt to explain the plot a little further, but frankly, I don't understand it. There's time travel, and people appearing in dreams, and time is a box, apparently, and someone is looking into the box from the future but can't decide whether to close it? I don't know. If you're a fan of the series, quibbles like that will probably not matter to you.
FFXIII-2 will start angering latin teachers of students with 360’s and PS3’s in early 2012.