Let me ask you a few questions. Do you love action gameplay? Emotional story? Open world? Stunning graphics that are out of this world? and more importantly. How about some jank budget JRPGs?! Do you love god? And I mean REALLY love God? Then Lightning Returns Final Fanta-wait a minute this isn’t dragon quest. Final Fantasy…religion..good. Nah I’m not buying it. Regardless Do I have a game for you! From the man we all hate because we’re jealous that we couldn’t make a trilogy about our waifu..or actual wife in his case. Motomu Toriyama is an absolute ladies man who had a whole presentation on Lightning about how she watches over the development team, and gives them courage. In return, he gives her roses. What a gentleman.
Lightning Returns in the third game in the very divisive Final Fantasy XIII series. It’s called Lightning Returns because Lightning returns Final Fantasy into being a good game again. While Final Fantasy XIII did some neat things I believe that Lightning Returns’ battle system is the best in the serie- Wow. How rude to just cut in like that. Where was I? Oh yes I firmly believe that Lightning Returns has not only the best battle system within the trilogy, but one of the best in all of Final Fantasy.
There are plenty of options to taking down all these foes who oppose the great god Bhunivelze. And if you’re a cosplayer there’s plenty of options to look cute on the convention floor as you “save” souls before we all go into the next world. There’s even cute little accessories you can put on Lightning. Along with Light’s new looks her emotion was also removed in favor of bigger breasts. Toriyama is indeed the most cultured man. While at first you are very limited on the attacks you can do. Even just a simple light attack is an ability that takes up one of your four slots.
It’s not very long that you’re in elbow deep within the borderline of new abilities. Much like Final Fantasy XIII you can equip 3 different jobs to swap seamlessly with on the field of battle. And I do mean seamlessly. While Lightning Returns may run like dookie while running around in its cities and open world, the battles get transported to the framerate zone. It’s so satisfying to see an enemy wind up for a big attack and swap just in time to block or evade. However these attacks are not free. Your ATB bar works as a Stamina bar made famous only by the Soulsborne series. Guess you could say that Lightning Returns is the Dark Souls of Final Fantasy. I wish I were kidding. Everyone I talked to recommend that I start the game on Easy and even then some of the fights are hard. Not a day goes by where I don’t blame the souls series for inserting difficulty into my video games.
It’s not enough that you just swing your weapon and dodge roll until your enemies are defeated. You have to worry about staggering your opponent most of the time. Something Osakan natives aren’t familiar with. Once they are staggered you need to also make sure your heavy hitting jobs are full on their ATB or else you essentially wasted the hard work you put in. While the combat is some of my favourite in the series, there’s somewhat of an issue. You don’t get any experience points from it. You get rewards such as items, new abilities, and most important of all, Energy Points otherwise known as EP.
EP is whats going to be your friend on this literal world ending journey. EP is whats going to help you get stronger and survive longer until the 13th day until the world ends. However while they say you have 13 days you actually don’t. That’s more of your end goal. In order to reach that 13th day you have to do side quests along with the main stor-OOh its 13 days because of Final Fantasy XIII. Clever. So you remember that neat little Nintendo game that was made forever ago? Majora’s Mask? Yeah this game is kinda like that. Except there’s no reversing time. Each passing second is gone forever unless you manage to spend your EP to stop time. Don’t worry though, EP is fairly easy and quick to farm, but you still need to use that time efficiently.
Just be careful because not even the power of God can time stop the most powerful of all Japanese deities; the train’s schedule. Taking the train will advance time a bit because it just be like that sometimes. I won’t lie the intimidation of time limits have me opening guides so I try not to waste any time. The weirdest part about all of this Lightning returns kinda solves meaningless side quests in open world games by giving them meaning through the game’s mechanics. The more souls you save, the more you can offer to Yggdrasil, which leads to you delaying the inevitable. All of this in the name of moving on to Bhunnie’s new world with all the souls you saved. I’m just really convinced that God got bored with this save file, but wanted to keep some of the more interesting Pokemon he’s captured and bred. Speaking of world.
Lightning Returns world while ugly and and everyone lives in the realm of poor frame rate unless they get into fights. But it all feels so…alive. There are side quests that will happen natural as you progress, such as this pick pocket. I thought nothing of it, got my life savings of 200 gil back and gave him a talking to. Later I ran into a guy who told me about the little pick pocket’s father. I go back, get that the letter I received stolen, tell the kid to read the letter, and have a nice heart to heart.
There are also plenty of street musicians that just play music through the Final Fantasy series and they range from beautiful guitar/vocal covers to the best rendition of battle on the big bridge you ever did hear. It’s honestly the biggest step up from a big criticism Final Fantasy XIII had from not having any towns. Nothing felt empty and exploring just feels nice. You do have a sprint meter and in one area you can get a Chocobo that I’m still doing quests for to continue the story. I don’t want to talk about the story as I’m still going through it, but I will say that its nice seeing some of these characters again. Snow looks like he’s really regretting going in the shed in XIII-2 while Noel and Serah run off and have fun adventures.
The story might be really dumb but I’m all about the big dumb. The dumber it is the better I always say. Now if you’ll excuse me I’m gonna see if Toriyama will let me take his wife Lightning out on a date.