The New Review: Critics: Radio & Games: GAMES: Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII PS3, Xbox 360,Square Enix, cert: 16
(Observer (UK) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Lightning Returns concludes the opus begun in 2009's Final Fantasy XIII - the titular heroine now cast as emissary of the god Bhunivelze, charged with saving the souls of humanity. The trilogy has redefined the RPG franchise as more action-oriented, with this title the ultimate result. Lightning fights solo, with attacks and spells hammered out in real time. An aberration to traditionalists, no doubt, but it's a battle system that's engaging and surprisingly complex thanks to customisable quick-switch outfits, each providing different abilities.
Set 13 days before the end of the world, there's also a rare impetus to proceedings. Travelling between locations or escaping fights eats up in-game time, lending Lightning's quest a quiet desperation. There isn't time to save everything, and decisions about which missions to complete, or when, have an impact on the world around you, often to heartbreaking effect. A poignant end, then, but the best entry in the controversial XIII saga.
(c) 2014 Guardian Newspapers Limited.
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