Like I mentioned before....Story is a giant middle finger in your face. Take the original FF13....and throw it out the window. Yeah Lightning...she was wrote out the happy ending. Oh she's in Valhalla to give you the tutorial fight. Wonder about the other characters? Well Snow went missing and is no where to be found in the ending at all. Hope....he's cheating things by Time Travel. Sazh....well obvious racist jokes aside you don't see him at all or his kid till the end game (or DLC). Vanille and Fang....they're where they should be.
Probably the worst line in the entire game was, "If you change the future, you change the past..." Ok....seriously WTF....But doesn't the past have to change for the future to change?
Me: But what about Chrono Trigger, Chrono Cross, Tales of Phantasia, and any other game or show that has time travel in it?
Caius: They don't matter. Cause changing something affects everything in the timeline.
Me: What? But...but....
Caius: Shut up I got a cool sword.
While that line (that gets spammed the entire story) makes no sense itself. The game really builds on the whole "LACK OF COMMUNICATION!!!" Seriously Noel having the ability of what a lot of us call "Selective Hearing" or Memory problems. Serah keeps a lot of things to herself. Lightning is too stubborn to use her godlike powers properly. Lets top things off with Yeul being way too cryptic for the heroes to even have the slightest inkling to understand. But I guess that's what JRPG's favor is lack of communication. If they simply talked for a minute and made sense of things the ending (That apparently everybody hates) could have been avoided.
But one thing I noticed that was consistent from both games (FF13 and FF13-2) was if you remember Barthandulus saying that they group would bring about "The FALL OF COCOON" Yep it did happen. The rest was f*'ed up by TIME MAGIC!!! Probably the bad thing was the DLC of what happened X character.
To be honest this game could really use a hard mode. While its nice to tone down from FF13. The game is rather easy for the most part. Oh I should play without monsters you say? Oh I should do the DLC? I should do the paradox endings? Paradox Endings aren't that difficult. You shouldn't have to pay for more difficult bosses. Oh and we're talking about playing this game normally. If you want a challenge even the challenge is rather easy. Many ppl have already done NCU (No Crystarium Use) and NMU (No Monster Use) Even initial equipment only. So not that big of a change in difficulty. I honestly thought there would be a hard mode considering I saw there's an option for Easy and Normal. But no....They decided not to include it.
The game is really short TBH. You spend most of your time finding fragments and grinding monsters. The rest is just bonus. I really dislike the fact that there's no true New Game+, Lack of a hard mode setting, and the fact that DLC adds a little bit of gameplay. Honestly how I see it. Even with DLC there's nothing to use your DLC monsters on as you already killed them and practically maxed them out. What's left to be used on is the question. Really disappointing that it doesn't happen. When to comes to monster selection I appreciate it but I feel there could be a ton more monsters to have. But that's only minor.
When it comes down to it the game does exceed its predecessor but not by leaps and bounds. The story elements can definitely be better as I end up comparing this FFX-2 and find that the story made far more sense there and explained everything a lot better. Difficulty can definitely use some work. I don't favor the DLC for the game as well. Pay money to find out what happened to your favorite characters from the old game or to get monsters you won't really get to use on anyone cause you're done with the game by the time you get them. At least the game doesn't have maps the size of Texas with save points few and far in-between. So I will say I do like this game far better than FF13. Still needs some work however to be a the greatest in existence....I have a strange feeling they might throw an International version out for the sake of having all the DLC content along with that extra story that everyone is begging for. But in the long run I have this to say.
"They tried to change the future....
BUT THE WORLD REFUSED TO CHANGE!"