There arenít many CGI sequences in the game and XIII-2 ships on one disc for the 360 as well. Square has used a refined version of their in-game engine for most of the sequences and the game looks very nice indeed. Thereís a solid level of graphic fidelity to the characters, the environments and the whole aesthetic. Itís a fast moving game too, rock solid frame-rate and superb special effects. It has all the hallmarks of the epic over the top action/adventure visuals that weíve come to expect from Square in their Final Fantasy series. The locations are also extremely well designed and they have a far less modular feel than the previous game.Animations
There are some great facial animations in the game, the combat animations are all fluid and extremely lively and the walking/running animations are once again spot on. Square usually donít miss a beat on this kind of thing and they havenít with XIII-2.Physics
There are some impact based attacks that knock you up into the air, or prone and so on. Nothing much that needs expanding on in any great detail.AI
With the emphasis on Roles in this game, the AI is pretty sharp and performs based on the chosen Paradigm at any given time. With the customised Paradigm commands it is easy to make the AI do what you want in battle, this goes for your partner character and a monster in your Paradigm Pack. Though monster roles are set, the AI is extremely good at the chosen role, especially when running Medics.
The enemy AI is brutal at times and the bad guys know how to use their abilities to keep you constantly on your toes.Sound
Square-Enix has always managed to do great sound for games and this is no exception. The ambient sounds are solid, the battle sounds are superb and the quality of the sound in the whole game is spot on.Music
A varied soundtrack accompanies the game with some truly memorable melodic pieces, old favourites and twists on established tracks. There are a few stand-out exploration compositions and some of the battle music straddles the line between Linkin Park and J-Pop...something you have to hear to get the gist of. Overall the music is excellent.Voice
The voice work in the game is spot on, with Noel being a well written and well voiced character. Serah retains similar features from XIII but becomes more established as the game progresses. Mogís voice makes us smile.Dialogue
The dialogue for the game is well written and whilst the story is as always, strangely incomprehensible at times, the words are crafted with far more clarity than FF XIII.Multiplayer
Nope, singleplayer only.On the right tracks?
Yes, XIII-2 is a better game that XIII in many ways. Itís non-linear and varied, the approach works well and thankfully thereís less head-scratching at some of the design choices. Itís a welcome step in the right direction and the time travel element means that itís great fun to check out alternate timelines, changes and replay certain sections over again.
It's also a huge game!