"When LR: FFXIII‘s battles are at their best, primarily during the four story quest bosses, they are among the most engaging in the series. A battle with a villain from one of the previous two games strikes a sublime balance of fast and slow attacks, powerful elemental blasts, and a form change that alters the player’s knockout strategy. That single fight is perfect, favoring both aggressive and defensive play styles and intense enough to make one’s palms sweat. Had the whole game been fights like that, many other flaws could be forgiven, but Lightning Returns has too many easy fights where the strategy is formulaic. The enemy numbers are mostly finite, and enemies can be exterminated entirely, but there are still just too many of the same enemies."