Final Fantasy XIII-2 and My Secret Love Affair - Destructoid

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Now before you read what I have to say about FF13-2 it may be important to note that I am a huge final fantasy fan and have been ever since I first played FF7 back in the day.

With that being said I was very unimpressed with FF13 in the same way that most people were. The main issue being how the first 25 hours of the game was walking straight then battle, battle, walking straight, battle, cut scene, repeat. When I first heard the announcement for FF13-2 I was almost certain I would not be playing this installment of the franchise.

Two nights ago I finally decided to cave and picked up a copy of FF13-2. To my surprise I have been enjoying FF13-2 immensely. It is everything that I wanted FF13 to be. The implementation of exploration is the biggest improvement from FF13 to FF13-2. All I ever wanted to do was explore beautiful environments while listening to enchanting music which FF13-2 delivers exceptionally. FF13-2 achieves this by implementing the ability for the player to control their own progression in the many environments of the game. Unlike in 13 where the player had no choice but to grind or progress the story, in 13-2 you can do either of those while still having the opportunity to find hidden paths and explore alternative routes which lead to different monsters or areas that are only explorable at certain times. There are many Easter eggs as well as rewards for the player which motivates them to explore till their hearts content. I also love the addition of a jump function which adds to depth of exploration and is the first time it has been used in a Final Fantasy game. Also who in the world doesn't enjoy throwing Mog? The only down side to Final Fantasy 13-2 is a lot of the story falls flat but I am willing to look past it because everything else in the game is so good.

So obviously I was surprised by how much I love Final Fantasy 13-2.
My question now is am I alone in this belief?
Am I being blinded by the graphics and the soundtrack?

I am interested to hear everyone's thoughts so please comment below.

Also what is your top 5 Final Fantasy games?
Mine are FF7, FF9, FF6, FF10, and that's right it made my list, FF13-2 in the fifth spot.

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