In both instances although enjoyable, they aren’t as intricate as their forerunners. Although FFXIII has been criticised for its complicated story, I liked it. Ok I could get lost from time to time, but I read the data logs that explained everything and was soon back on track (probably an attention issue!). Final Fantasy always offers an involved, absorbing story that pulls on the heart strings, how else would you keep interested for 60 hours! FFXIII-2 didn’t really have this meat on the bones and was pretty much one storyline throughout revolving around time travelling to resolve paradox issues. It just didn’t have the same grandeur that I felt with any of the main FF games, despite the fact that you are saving all humanity.
The general opinion seems to be that the flaws with story in FFXIII were ironed out in the sequel and I seem to be alone in my opinion that this was not the case. Creating a shorter, less attractive, dumbed down version of the original is not a forward step but a backwards one. The same applies to FFX-2.
You would think after everything that I have mentioned above that I have not enjoyed either of the sequels, but that is not the case. Maybe my bias and love for the franchise blinds me to flaws that others are able to see, or maybe I am willing to put trust in the developers and try to appreciate that everything they have done is for a reason. But FFXIII was a vast improvement on the bore that was offered in the form of FFXII, with interesting characters with interweaved stories and a stunning visual display. Although FFXIII-2 didn’t capture these same elements for me, it is still a great game that I wasted many an hour playing to complete.
After FFX-2 I came to expect that a FF sequel will be a watered down version of the original, so my expectations were for a great fun game, but nothing that would rival the predecessor and that’s exactly what I got.
My main frustration lies with the creators and their attempt to sell the game as a fully fledged, original FF game rather than a weak spin-off/sequel