Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy 13 Review kukugames

  •  Genre: RPG
  • single player
  • Games from the same developer: Final Fantasy 13-2
  • Offer: CD Media


natural movement of characters in cinematics
good futuristic story
complex but interesting screenplay
emotional bond with the main character
impressive cinematics


open world full of content
good map
interesting world design make us want to explore
main game keep is interesting all the way to the end
no delays from loading
equipment market has a very good interface
character customization menus are very helpful
alive world with many details makes the game more convincing
character upgrade system looks like an online rpg
missions variety
frequent checkpoints save us from unnecessary repetition
traveling and exploration in order to reach new locations is interesting
weapon variety
lack of interesting sidemissions
no replay value
loading of an arena for every battle might become tiring


opponents artificial intelligence
adds new ideas to the genre
simple controls
skillful combat
good in game controls explanation
epic boss battles
variety of artificial intelligence for every opponent type
many skills give variety to gameplay
with in game help, games logic becomes clear
despite the game complexity we dont see bugs
increased difficulty makes the game addictive
magic is equally effective
good balance of difficulty and strength that our character accumulates
it is useful that we can avoid enemies
unrealistic feel of weapons
some noises we make should have been detectable from the enemies


characters polygons(model complexity)
background polygons(model complexity)
characters textures
background textures
draw distance
facial textures
variety of enemy graphics


good soundtrack
voice acting
sound effects
Conclusion - Rating

equal with the best games of its genre in
many sections


The player directly controls the character Lightning through a third-person perspective to interact with people, objects, and enemies throughout the game. The player can also turn the camera around the character, which allows for a 360° view of the surroundings. The world of Lightning Returns, as with Final Fantasy XIII and its sequel XIII-2, is rendered to scale with the character, who navigates the world on foot. In one of the areas, the player can use chocobos, a recurring animal in the Final Fantasy series. The player is able to freely navigate the games open world layout, explore towns and country areas, and accept quests from various non-playable characters (NPCs). Lightning is also able to sprint for limited periods, climb up ladders and jump freely. The game features three difficulty levels: Easy, Normal and Hard, the latter of which is unlocked after first completing the game. There is also a New Game+ option, whereby players can start a new game while carrying over their equipment and stats from a previous playthrough. The in-game clock runs continuously during normal navigation, with one in-game day equating to two to three hours in real time on Easy mode and one hour on Normal and Hard modes. The timer starts out at seven in-game days, but can be extended to a maximum of thirteen days. The timer stops during cutscenes, conversations and battles. Lightning can also pause time using an ability called Chronostasis.
Quests are directly linked to Lightnings growth: as she completes quests, her stats are boosted, with the main story quests yielding the biggest boosts. Many side quests can only be obtained at certain times, since the real-time build of the world means NPCs are in constant movement, and only appear in certain places at a given time. Lightning can also accept quests from the Canvas of Prayers, a post board found in all the main locations. Upon completing NPC quests, Lightning is rewarded with a portion of Eradia, spiritual energy retrieved when a persons burden is lifted. Every day at 6 AM game-time, Lightning is drawn back into the Ark, a location where the in-game clock does not progress. Once there, Lightning gives her gathered Eradia to a tree called Yggdrasil: if she has gathered enough, the in-game clock is extended by a day. She can also restock on supplies and collect new equipment. Another feature in the game was Outerworld Services, a feature where players could take photos and share them, along with their personal stats and battle scores, on Facebook and Twitter. The Facebook features were disabled in April 2015. All Outerworld services were terminated in April the following year.
Battle system
The battle system, called the Style-Change Active Time Battle system, uses elements from the Active Time Battle (ATB)-based Paradigm system from the first and second XIII games and bears similarities to the dressphere system featured in Final Fantasy X-2. Lightning has access to several customizable outfits (garb) with different power sets (plural: Schemata; singular: Schema). Each garb has its own separate ATB gauge, and actions for them are mapped onto the controllers face buttons, meaning that the usual menu-style ATB battle system is no longer needed: this enables Lightning to be moved around the battle field to a limited degree. The majority of the garbs and their accessories are either purchasable in the in-game shops or received upon completing quests. Stronger garbs, items, shields and weapons are unlocked in Hard Mode, along with access to more challenging areas and boss battles. Lightning can equip three Schemata directly, while having additional slots for backup costumes which can be equipped outside battle. She can be equipped a close-combat weapon (sword, spear, etc.), a shield and a cosmetic accessory. The color scheme of each garb can be customized using both pre-set and custom color: there are options to alter both specific portions and all portions of the costume.
As with the previous game, enemies appear in the open field and can be avoided or engaged. The number of enemies increases during nighttime, and their strength and ability to deal damage increases the more days pass in-game. By killing all the standard versions of an enemy, a final version appears as a boss. Defeating it will yield a high reward and make the enemy type extinct in an area of the game. When Lightning attacks an enemy, or they attack her, the battle starts. If Lightning strikes a monster, they lose a small portion of health, while if the enemy strikes Lightning first, she will lose health. As Lightning performs attacks, her ATB meter is drained and she must switch to another assigned garb: the depleted garbs meter recharges while not being used. Lightning utilizes her many swords for short-range melee attacks and magic for long-range attacks. She can block enemy attacks using her shield and has the option to evade an attack, which can be assigned to any garb. Each enemy has a stagger meter, represented by a line behind their health bar. As Lightning lands certain kinds of magical or physical blows on the enemy, their meter oscillates more. Eventually, the enemy is staggered, rendering them vulnerable to damaging attacks. Lightning can also spend Energy Points to perform special moves or activate abilities, such as Overclock (which slows time for Lightnings opponents and enables her to land more hits); and Army of One, Lightnings signature move. By winning battles, Lightning earns gil, the in-game currency, and replenishes a portion of her Energy Point gauge. In Normal and Hard modes, if Lightning flees from or dies in battle, one in-game hour is lost. Unlike the last two games, the player character does not automatically recover HP after battles, instead needing to use remedies bought from merchants and shops, and there is no auto-battle mode, with Lightning needing to be controlled manually at all times. In Easy Mode, Lightning regenerates health if she stands idle.


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