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 Final Fantasy XIII: Lightning Buccaboo

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PostSubject: Re: Final Fantasy XIII: Lightning Buccaboo   Thu Feb 06, 2014 8:23 pm

I do kinda agree with Abicion, I at least do love Lightning though ;p

XIII-2's plot I like a lot, and other than the leveling system I found it to be greatly enjoyable.

The plot itself, while I really enjoyed it, I can agree has gotten a bit convoluted, but I'm seeing it through to the end because I do love many of the directions it took, its stylistic choices, and the characters (except Snow most times). The battle system in Lightning Returns also has me really excited, it feels more like an adventure game though, which I guess makes sense in that the producer people said it was more of a standalone game rather than an FF title, denoted by the logo not being by the usual logo artist apparently.

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PostSubject: Re: Final Fantasy XIII: Lightning Buccaboo   Thu Feb 06, 2014 9:07 pm

Eh? I think you got the wrong thing out of FFXIII-2's plot, Abicion. Lightning was basically just an emissary of the goddess who could no longer speak, guiding Serah and Noel along so that Noel would eventually become strong enough to defeat Caius, something that Lightning couldn't do. In the grand scheme of things she was pretty far-removed from everything, just providing guidance in times where Serah and Noel lose their path. Yeah she's pretty Deus Ex Machina in this game, but that's kind of the point, she's basically standing in for a goddess.

If anything the only thing I would complain about is the fact that at the beginning of the game, Lightning specifically tells Noel to go get Serah and bring her to Valhalla...Which is ultimately pointless because it's Noel that has to defeat Caius, as a Guardian. I guess Serah's role is to help Noel understand his responsibility and learn what needs to be done...But I don't think there was really anything that Noel couldn't resolve by himself except for the Dying World stuff. Maybe some visions she had early in the game directed their actions, I can't remember anymore. She's mostly just an extra fighter and another perspective on the plot, that's about it.


Honestly I wasn't too hot about the story at first, but I kind of like it now that I've seen it all. It's totally convoluted because time travel plots are almost universally garbage, but it does make sense in the end, which is an achievement in and of itself.

Honestly I really haven't learned much about Lightning Returns' plot because I didn't want to spoil FFXIII-2 for myself, but from my very limited understanding Lightning isn't really saving people so much as she's just providing another kind of death for them, to give them life in a new world, as opposed to their existence being erased. I'm hoping I didn't completely misremember that, but it definitely sounds like they're trying to create some kind of story based on the afterlife, which kind of makes sense because Valhalla apparently had a lot to do with a Shinto creation myth. Maybe this is gonna be like a fantasy version of Noah's Ark.

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PostSubject: Re: Final Fantasy XIII: Lightning Buccaboo   Thu Feb 06, 2014 9:54 pm

That is also very true Taiyz <3

Also you are completely right about Lightning Returns, that's basically it and I'm super excited with how they've handled it >_<

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PostSubject: Re: Final Fantasy XIII: Lightning Buccaboo   Fri Feb 07, 2014 2:14 am

Great, good job, memory! And go FFXIII's writers for actually having some direction behind all the chaos.


So I watched the Paradox Endings...Man am I glad that I decided to play the DLC next, because those endings are not worth the effort. I'm actually pretty satisfied with the real ending, even if it was a downer.

I'm not referring to the Secret Ending BTW, it just existed to show that Caius is going to be in Lightning Returns, which Square has shown in trailers anyway. I was expecting some kinda crazy Kingdom Hearts-style bonus (well, it was about the same length I suppose, like 1 minute,) but no, the player gets cheated out of victory AGAIN and it's not even a pretty prerendered thing.

I'm hoping that the Lightning DLC is the true ending and ends on a higher note than the Secret Ending.

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PostSubject: Re: Final Fantasy XIII: Lightning Buccaboo   Fri Feb 07, 2014 2:41 am

Lightning DLC is indeed the true ending, its kind of an eh note from what I remember, but its nice!

I found the Paradox Endings entertaining and thankfully the majority don't take too much effort, but actual ending is the best I agree.

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PostSubject: Re: Final Fantasy XIII: Lightning Buccaboo   Fri Feb 07, 2014 8:10 am

Sazh's DLC was interesting. I have absolutely no luck with poker, and I'm not a gambling man so I have no chance of bluffing the AI into submission. Chronobind is actually really fun, but it's obnoxious how literally only one AI will ever pose a challenge. That's more fun for people like me who just play by the luck of the draw, it's more of a strategy game because you can direct the clock hand to numbers you have to continue controlling the clock, throwing in the occasional double or triple to increase everybody's stake in the game, or you can just play low cards, let the AI fight it out, then wait until the hand lands on a card you have. It takes a while, but gaining a lead and letting somebody bust counts as winning a match and gets you 2k casino coins and 5 fortune medals, so it's worthwhile. Each win with an ace, on a 4x space, by using multiple cards simultaneously, and winning consecutive games also awards you with fortune medals. Not sure what the "blessing of the goddess" is, I'm guessing you get a fortune coin for playing for a specific amount of time.

Chocolina's sidequest was an amusing diversion and although they made her identity too obvious before the big reveal, it's still really cool. I guess I might've expected it less if I hadn't gotten that Fragment from Dajh.

Tried to fight Snow and utterly failed. Apparently he builds up a charge if he focuses on one character too long, leading to his Limit Break which is an instant kill, so I may have to throw a second Sentinel monster on my team to mix things up. Generally he didn't do too much damage, but neither did I. I figure that I could beat him with a battle of attrition if the double Sentinel trick works. Otherwise you just have to let your Sentinel die so his charge resets...But now I just read that you have to fight a ton of bosses after him so fuck that. Gonna skip that and move onto Lightning's DLC. Might watch Snow's cutscenes on YouTube but I doubt they're important.

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PostSubject: Re: Final Fantasy XIII: Lightning Buccaboo   Fri Feb 07, 2014 4:17 pm

I only got Sazh's DLC and it was certainly interesting, I forget how to complete it with the blessing of the goddess but i did get it eventually xD

Snow's isn't too important you're right ;p

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PostSubject: Re: Final Fantasy XIII: Lightning Buccaboo   Sat Feb 08, 2014 5:00 am

Lightning's DLC is really fun actually. I challenged myself to beat everything at the lowest level I could and without using items, because I dislike using the retry option and continuing for free CP is just like that, and items are limited in Lightning's DLC. Beating Caius at level 1 took a good half hour, then 15 minutes at level 2, then 10 and 5 minutes for levels 3 and 4. Aura is the golden ticket to the final boss.

Beating it at level 5 was pretty goddamn hard. Considering that Legion of One was my only method of healing, and it only gives you a good chunk of health when you've got a Stagger going, every spell you take as a role beside Sentinel is really punishing, particularly when its resisting wind, and when it's flying you gotta block or you're toast. The worst thing is when you accidentally use Legion of One just as the enemy starts an attack, especially because you're probably a Commando for bonus damage, you have no idea if you died until the attack finished (and you probably did.)

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PostSubject: Re: Final Fantasy XIII: Lightning Buccaboo   Tue Feb 11, 2014 5:50 pm

Fucking winter robbed me of Lightning Returns today.

In the meantime, I played a crapton of FFXIII-2 over the weekend. I got all the stupid gimmick achievements (ride a chocobo for 10k steps, spend 100k, get 10k casino coins) and 100%ed the map of each location I've been to thus far. I've basically just got unexplored locations and/or time periods right now, or parts of locations I've been to that I couldn't access during the main storyline (the west half of Dying World for example.) I also beat the Gigantuars and Ochu, will probably beat the other Archylte dudes tonight if it's doable at my level.

One annoying thing about Lightning's DLC is that you have to 5-star the second fight to get her crystal. I was confused when I realized that I never got it, because I played too cautiously. Beating the DLC gets Lightning to level 10, so if you downgrade to level 9 and use Aura instead of Mighty Guard then you're golden.

It's pretty sad that Lightning at level 1 is better than any of my monsters, and has like over 2000 extra HP than my main characters. She starts with like, 580 magic and 620 strength, and 7500 HP, it's ridiculous. It appears that Snow is in pretty much the same situation, so I still really want to complete his DLC. Sazh by comparison is pretty average, but he has Synergist moves that Noel and Serah don't get. I think I might try to beat the Lightning coliseum fight and just have her twice in my Paradigm Pack...

Something that amuses me to no end is that no additional dialogue for Noel and Serah was recorded to recognize the humans you can get via DLC, so Lightning's kicking ass and Noel's still saying "you deserve a treat!" and Serah goes "good boy!"


Edit: Just discovered that Square-Enix, despite the controversy, actually does good DLC. The Snow DLC? Every form of Valfodr is capable of dropping 2 of the 10 monster crystals that you get from treasure cubes and events, that are unobtainable a second time even after locking their respective gates. This means that the only missable thing in the game is the glitched reward for Archylte Steppe's Live Trigger (locking the gate and choosing the alternate answer type does not result in receiving the second Live Trigger reward unlike what happens in every other location in the game.) I wonder if one of their patches even fixed that and people just haven't bothered checking...

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PostSubject: Re: Final Fantasy XIII: Lightning Buccaboo   Fri Feb 14, 2014 4:39 pm

So going all-in for Noel's strength and Serah's magic was actually the developer's intent. A chocobo racing reward for each character syncs their stats. Noel's magic becomes equal to his strength and vice versa for Serah.

Edit: http://ca.ign.com/articles/2014/01/21/lightning-returns-final-fantasy-13-demo-available-today PS3 version doesn't have exclusive content after all, 360 players just get the costume and shield later via DLC.

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PostSubject: Re: Final Fantasy XIII: Lightning Buccaboo   Tue Feb 18, 2014 10:19 pm

So yeah, fighting Caius with just Serah is the hardest fight in the game. The problem isn't the stats, it's the fact that Caius cheats. There's some kind of condition (I think when he's below 50% HP) where he's allowed to ignore your Sentinenl's provoke/challenge command, and he'll just go straight for Serah with a combo that will kill her unless you switch her to a Sentinel, and even then it does a little over over 5.5k damage if unguarded (keep in mind that she had 15% physical damage resistance and I was using a Sen/Sen paradigm, and my Serah, with the lowest health possible at a maxed out Crystarium, has 6.6k health.) Considering that monsters are only summoned because of Serah, if she dies then you get a game over in this fight.

But I did it. It's 50% attrition, 50% luck. Apply buffs to both characters, then use Ruin 5 times, Thunder 5 times, Ruin 3 times to stabilize the Chain Gauge, then Thunder 8-10 times to Stagger him, then do as much damage as you can as a Commando before he uses Chain Break. If you can time it right, you can use a Feral Link to cancel his Chain Break, but it's very hard to do so, I only did that once by accident. Keep doing this until you beat him, Reraise will bring him back, and you repeat. Switch to a Sentinel when he focuses on Serah, then quickly Medic up, use Wound Potions if either character's missing about 1k of health or more, mash Potions out as necessary to keep things even and topped up, reapply buffs if the fight is taking too long (and reapply them immediately after he Reraises, for good measure.)

If you're feeling risky you can switch to a Rav/Com paradigm after Staggering him, he'll only attack once before doing Chain Break (this is only manageable if your monsters can recuperate later with Mediguard, Caius will still be provoked/challenged by the monster and will attack them,) and if you've got a really good or long-lasting Commando Feral Link (like Lightning's Legion of One) then let it fly well before you feel he might possibly perform Chain Break and you might just kill him early. I'm not sure if this was a mechanic or not, but after Reraise I don't think I ever saw him use Body and Soul, so I beat him in a single Stagger with Legion of One.


Talk about a shitty fight. It's all about reacting to his bullshit and very little about actual strategizing, because if you don't prepare properly and memorize the parts of the fight that follow a pattern, you're never going to gain traction and he'll just end up undoing all your work by restoring like a 5th of his health.

This fight has a lot of similarities with Lightning's DLC fight, which kind of makes sense. Of course my Serah has half of the health that Lightning starts with, and is a shitty Synergist. Caius still has the three modes, Ravager mode is like when he's attacking your monster, Commando mode is when he decides to attack Serah and you have to go Sentinel, and Healer form is like when he uses Chain Break and Body and Soul, except it's actually MORE effective in Serah's fight because he applies all his buffs simultaneously instead of two at a time, and you can't launch him or interrupt his actions in any way, the best Serah can do is freeze his Chain Gauge. I'm also pretty sure that he heals way more health in Serah's fight as well, like 1/5 versus 1/8 (though the HP total is smaller, it's still more devastating) and that's instantaneous alongside the buffs instead of in two interruptable doses.

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PostSubject: Re: Final Fantasy XIII: Lightning Buccaboo   Tue Feb 18, 2014 10:32 pm

Its not just me that thought that fight was heinous, thank the stars, YOU BRAVE SOUL FOR COMPLETING IT

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PostSubject: Re: Final Fantasy XIII: Lightning Buccaboo   Tue Feb 18, 2014 11:05 pm

Oh, and the best recipe for a Sentinel without DLC is to start with a Pulse Knight, max it out (super cheap,) then infuse it into a Bunkerbeast to give it Mediguard. The Bunkerbeast is more expensive, I'd recommend getting it to the first Ability of the Crystal tier, which I believe is Deathward. That's where I have it, level 47 according to the wiki.

I'd say give it another shot if it's the last thing you need to complete, it only took me about 5-6 tries to figure out the strategy above.

I should have all the achievements by the end of the night.

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PostSubject: Re: Final Fantasy XIII: Lightning Buccaboo   Wed Feb 19, 2014 12:04 am

Have you started LR yet taiyz?
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PostSubject: Re: Final Fantasy XIII: Lightning Buccaboo   Wed Feb 19, 2014 4:35 am

No, my copy's in the mail still. Really regretting going with the basic shipping option right now.

In the meantime I got all the achievements in FFXIII-2.

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PostSubject: Re: Final Fantasy XIII: Lightning Buccaboo   Wed Feb 19, 2014 8:44 am





What are these?
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PostSubject: Re: Final Fantasy XIII: Lightning Buccaboo   Wed Feb 19, 2014 8:47 am

Do you have any context? They could be anything from posters to pencil boards, based on those images.

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PostSubject: Re: Final Fantasy XIII: Lightning Buccaboo   Wed Feb 19, 2014 5:33 pm

They're hanging on Spoony's wall. Which is odd because I thought he hated VIII and XIII, but then I remembered I have a Mai Hime wallscroll so I guess it works out.

I looked for posters on eBay / other places and nothing like those came up. Do they still even make pencil boards?
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PostSubject: Re: Final Fantasy XIII: Lightning Buccaboo   Wed Feb 19, 2014 6:08 pm

How's Lightning Returns guys?

I'm refraining myself from getting it until I can afford it.

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PostSubject: Re: Final Fantasy XIII: Lightning Buccaboo   Wed Feb 19, 2014 9:47 pm

I don't think anybody has. There was one RUDE PERSON in Positives/Negatives who has the game and hasn't touched it in favour of Disgaea 4, while I sit here in anguish waiting for it.

I can give you my demo impressions if you want...I have done some research and can also tell you about how this game has more in common with Breath of Fire V and Dead Rising than Majora's Mask.

Abicion wrote:
They're hanging on Spoony's wall.  Which is odd because I thought he hated VIII and XIII, but then I remembered I have a Mai Hime wallscroll so I guess it works out.

I looked for posters on eBay / other places and nothing like those came up.  Do they still even make pencil boards?
I get the impression that Spoony's a pretty nostalgic guy, so maybe he likes to keep around pieces that represent the stuff he's covered over the years, such as the gunblade prop he uses for almost combat scene he makes up. Of course you could also be right, they could be like wanted posters and he's kept them as a hitlist.

I did a quick search and couldn't find anything like those posters. And yes, they do still make pencil boards.

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PostSubject: Re: Final Fantasy XIII: Lightning Buccaboo   Thu Feb 20, 2014 1:23 am

Sure! I liked the solo gameplay from what I've seen, but I don't know too much about it.
Disgaea 4 is a legit game though.

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PostSubject: Re: Final Fantasy XIII: Lightning Buccaboo   Thu Feb 20, 2014 2:38 am

Well, the core of the game is still based around the concept of switching between roles in battle, except now they're called scheme instead of paradigms. Each schema has its own ATB that recovers separately, and with my limited testing in the demo it appears that the schema don't restore their ATBs outside of battles. Each schema relies on a costume, called a garb; while you're free to assign any combination of attacks, physical, magical, defensive, restorative or whatever to any garb, each garb has stat bonuses and other properties that make them a better fit for certain combinations.

Most, if not all garbs, also have a fixed skill which further forces certain points. The Dragoon garb for example has to use Lancet, the melee attack that drains health, and it has a unique buff (I think it's called Soul of the Dragoon) that makes certain melee moves end in the powerful Jump command. Each garb has its own accessory slots if I remember correctly, as well as a slot for an adornment (these are mostly hats, thankfully they're a lot better looking than the ones in FFXIII-2 because they're just for Lightning now. Dragoon with sunglasses is the most badass costume in the demo, I fell in love with it immediately.)

The combination of a garb with accessories and an adornment is what makes up the schema. You're intended to switch between them in battle to make use of the multiple ATBs, hence why schema are not strictly limited to physical and magical attacks. Each face button performs a different ability according to your schema, and your goal in battle is to abuse an enemy's weakness to stagger them. The chain gauge no longer exists, the stagger indicator is now a transparent heartbeat monitor behind the enemy's health gauge, and performing attacks against an enemy's weakness or weak spot (a boss in the demo is weak against magic and to attacks against its head) will cause the gauge to beat faster and turn redder until they are staggered and unable to move for a period of time.

Battles seem to have a risk/reward mechanic to them. Completing battles mostly rewards you with EP which are used to stop time for a short while. This can be used in battles to keep an enemy staggered for longer, or to give you a pause to heal yourself, or whatever you need a break for, but more importantly the points are supposed to be used outside of battle to give you more time to complete side-quests before the world ends.

I'm not exactly sure what things stop the clock (I know that talking to NPCs does, but that's it) nor do I remember what the other rewards from battle were (probably just gil and items. I don't remember an EXP meter honestly.)

Movement in the field is less automated than in FFXIII-2 and more platformer-y, and preemptive strikes are a cross between the previous two games' methods. Most enemies appear on the field permanently, some only spawn when you enter their area and will appear repeatedly, attacking an enemy reduces their HP at the start of battle, attacking an enemy that has not seen you reduces their HP more.


Finally, the reason why I compared this game to Dead Rising. Lightning Returns on Normal is not intended to be completed in a single run. It's expected that you're going to run out of time before completing everything. When this happens, you can load a previous save, but generally you'll have to start a NG+ right there. Yes, a NG+ before even beating the game. This is how Dead Rising and Breath of Fire worked, the Scenario OverLay system. You can choose to restart the game and you keep your inventory and stats, and play through it all again with more power and knowledge to complete things faster, complete more things in the time limit, and progress further into the adventure.

While you could say that the NG+ mechanic is still similar to turning back time in Majora's Mask, and Majora's Mask is still a game filled with side quests and a time-running-out mechanic, the implementation of the NG+ prompt and the necessity of rescuing as many people as you can before your days run out are much more similar to Dead Rising. In MM, you typically don't need to repeat objectives once you've completed them, you beat that sidequest, got the mask, you're done. Lightning Returns and Dead Rising however, specifically challenge you with doing as much as you can within the time limit in the hopes of saving everybody. Figuring out where people are, and the quickest way to complete their requests, is the ultimate strategy here.

That was long and rambling as usual, but I don't feel like making it less dry right now.

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PostSubject: Re: Final Fantasy XIII: Lightning Buccaboo   Thu Feb 20, 2014 9:50 pm

So as it turns out, Chronostasis is pretty much essential if you want to complete the Yusnaan MQ in one day. (It also lasts quite a long time, so best to save your EP for that if you're focused on any of the main quests.)

Anyway, personally it's my favorite of the trilogy. FF13 was an awful game by my personal standards and I never actually finished it. 13-2 was better, but it took me a long, long time to actually give in and get it - I only actually bought it last month or so and as such, I didn't get very far, honestly. It seemed alright from what I played, (Up to around Ch. 4, I think.)

Now, as for LR, guess I'll address the points Taiyz has already. The Schema all have a set starting ATB charge that varies from costume to costume, so some might start with only half the gauge full, while others start out at 100%, etc. I find it best to lead with a tanky schema that can also cast debuffs (deprotect and slow are what I'm using at the moment.) The other two active schema I switch to are a heavy physical hitter and a mage, for variety.

Honestly the most difficult part of building a good schema set though is obtaining weapons and shields that have good synergy with the role you want it to play. (Except for the tank, one of the 36k gil shields in Luxerion's forge grants +5000 HP and it's served me quite well so far.) I'll say this though, don't bother with the balanced stuff too much, the specialized weapons that are all physical or all magical perform much better so long as they're put in the correct role.

The clock stops during battle, while the menu is open, during cutscenes and story events, in the pause menu and during NPC conversations. I'm not too sure if it stops while the map screen is open. Basically most anything where you're not in direct control of Lightning on the field. And yeah, no Exp from battle, no stupid crystarium. This time round, all your stats come from completing the game's many quests, meaning character growth is mostly detached from combat.

Back to the world, the field maps are extremely open ended and large. While there may only be four main locations, they are all quite huge and you never feel like you're wanting for space. The Dead Dunes and Wildlands are particularly massive locations with a lot to do. The cities, while smaller, are still pretty large locations with just as much to do.

And as for the Dead Rising comparison, yeah I'd say that's pretty apt, though if you're looking for purely RPG based comparisons, it seems to draw a lot of inspiration from Valkyrie Profile, with attacks being mapped to the face buttons and a restrictive time limit, even if VP handled the timer in a different way, they both count down to what is essentially the same thing story-wise.

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PostSubject: Re: Final Fantasy XIII: Lightning Buccaboo   Thu Feb 20, 2014 9:58 pm

Oh the clock stops during battles? That's absolutely wonderful. I was really worried about that.

And I've never played Valkyrie Profile because I tend to avoid games with time limits, so that explains why I didn't have it as a point of reference. =P

Also,

キタ━━━(゜∀゜)━━━!!!!!
...Sorta. It had duty charges on it and I was at work so I won't be able to get it until I can visit the post office this weekend.

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PostSubject: Re: Final Fantasy XIII: Lightning Buccaboo   Fri Feb 21, 2014 12:28 am

This.... is a lot to take in tbh that NG+ thing sounds especially confusing
I'll just experience it for myself.... I do like the sound of open worlds.

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