Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII- IGN Review

IGN writes, "Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII takes the kitchen-sink approach in its attempt to cap off Square’s trilogy on a strong note. It wisely throws away the battle system and locations of the previous games in favor of fresh and more interesting mechanics and settings. It also presents a slew of new ideas to the series that call back to everything from classic JRPGs to Skyrim and Majora’s Mask, and even Assassin’s Creed. But in its attempt to kick things up for the final act, Lightning Returns stumbles in its storytelling. Instead of going out with a bang, it sadly ends the trilogy with an muddled and tonally inconsistent whimper."

-Gespenst-3519d ago

"it sadly ends the trilogy with an muddled and tonally inconsistent whimper"

And yet a 7/10. The above verdict certainly suggests the game should have received a lower score. IGN once more contributing to a culture of atrocious and inconsistent review standards. 7/10 as a quantification of the game's quality should objectively indicate that the game's quality resides somewhere in a far better realm than "sad, muddled, tonally inconsistent whimpers." That verdict suggests at most a 4 or 5 out of 10. 7/10 is or should be an objectively good score.

LAWSON723519d ago (Edited 3519d ago )

Well strong gameplay alone can make someone still enjoy a game. Remember a review is not a deduction of points but rather the reviewer asking himself how much he/she enjoyed it. It is sad though about the characters not getting a good ending I should of skipped all of the cutscenes in FF13-2 so I had the good first ending

maximus19853519d ago

the only GOOD is that this trilogy is OVER (knock on wood) its very exhausting explaining to people why this game doesnt do justice to the final fantasy name

Omegasyde3519d ago

^^ Agreed.

I didn't care for any of the Characters. Lightning was cool as well as Snow in the First one.

These resources for the trilogy should of went towards FF15 AKA FF13 versus.

admiralvic3519d ago

"Well strong gameplay alone can make someone still enjoy a game."

This is true.

"Remember a review is not a deduction of points but rather the reviewer asking himself how much he/she enjoyed it."

No. It's a written explanation that generally justifies / explains the score the game receives. A good review gives you an understanding of what is good and bad, along with the tools to decide if this is up your ally. It should not be a personal assessment that goes over a persons own personal beliefs in what the game should or should not be and how well the item in question satisfied those needs.

-Foxtrot3519d ago (Edited 3519d ago )

I agree

I've read the review and going off other reviews by Marty which have a variety of different scores, the way he's reviewed this and spoke about it does suggest the score should be lower...I'd say at least a 5.5 or a solid 6. The pro's at the end he's listed are not enough to hold a game up, the Final Fantasy games are about stories and characters, if the game doesn't do that properly then sorry but you've lost people there.

I think they are still being too generous, I mean look at FF13, it was a terrible FF game with only the beautiful graphics to keep it going and that got an 8.9 from them. FF13-2 got an 8 and this got a 7.

It's brand name at the end of the day, it's a score which is reasonable or tries to be reasonable to us but at the same time won't p*** off Square Enix because I'll tell you something if it got a bad score you wouldn't see Sauare Enix rush to give IGN or any other big sites exclusive interviews, previews, teasers, screenshots or goodies (Press Kits) of FF15 in the future or any other games they have coming up like the next Hitman or Tomb Raider game....something which is vital for these websites to stay relevant and gain hits.

If it wasn't Final Fantasy it would of gotten a much lower score.

However I can't believe he praised the battle system, it looks boring, not as bad as FF13s terrible battle system but still nothing interesting.

ANYWAY...it's over, FF13 is finally finished and as long as we know how bad it was we don't need reviewers to tell us what we already know.

We can all look to the future now not just as Final Fantasy fans but as gamers to see if the FF franchise will manage to turn things around. Heres hoping

Lets just put these games behind us.

LAWSON723519d ago (Edited 3519d ago )

FF13 is much more than graphics and only someone who played it <20 hrs or just hates change would say that. The game had plenty of content. The post game, story, storytelling, characters, and battle system were all great. It was very well made FF game and is nothing but quality. Just because it was not traditional does not mean it is a bad game. It was a pretty limear story driven game and it was a hell of a good one that even featured plenty of depth with equipment and paradigms. The game was clearly designed the way they wanted it to be because it would not work as a non linear game. It had a well deserved score.

-Gespenst-3519d ago (Edited 3519d ago )

Well I don't know about the actual quality of the game, I've yet to play it. I think the previous two are unjustly maligned and I enjoyed them, so I'm personally interested in LR. Nevertheless, you're likely right about IGN saving face with SE - if they stay on their good side they get lots of preview materials and stuff for big profitable "scoops," its all very cynical and corporate and at the end of the day has nothing to do with games, but all to do with money (which incidentally makes me feel very stupid for playing videogames - makes videogames seem like a bunch of fobbed off corporate shit to keep us mindless and entertained while a bunch of capitalists amass wealth and enslave us all). Most people just glance at reviews rather than reading them so a 7 on the surface SHOULD be perceived as meaning the game is pretty good, which should serve to keep IGN/SE relations profitable. However, most people, whether they like it or not, because of the culture of games journalism, perceive a 7 to be a failure, so it's not like such a score really keeps IGNs business relations with SE healthy. Talking about it objectively here makes it seem like it should, but the fact remains that many people see a 7 as indicative of sheer mediocrity (which it isn't), and this ultimately undermines the corporate circle-jerking that's going on. The review says the game is crap, but the surface score suggests otherwise. However the score itself, BECAUSE of games journalism culture in the first place, is perceived by readers (glancers) as highly negative. Sort of a big mess if you ask me. If only they just told the truth and weren't all so greedy and money-obsessed.

Objectively, I have a feeling the game is about a 7 anyway, but the language of this review suggests much lower. @LAWSON: The final verdict as expressed in that final sentence is supposed to be a summation of the reviewer's experience with the game, and it's extremely dismal. Whatever the reviewer had to say about the game that was positive seems to not matter in the end if we understand that final sentence as a kind of summary, which is what it is.

-Foxtrot3519d ago (Edited 3519d ago )


I think a lot of people gave it a fair chance, most people bought it based on hype and because it was a next gen FF game.

I got half way through it and called it a day, it was so bad, especially for a FF game. The only good thing going for it was the graphics.

The Battle system was boring and repetitive
The characters were horrible
Lightning, the main character was bland, boring and a depressing b****
Unlike past heros she had no backstory to why she was like that
No character developments
The Summons...robots in disguise
Linear as hell
Repetitive structure
No towns
Hardly no side quests
No weapon making
Hardly no NPCs to talk to, the place was dead most of the time
No overworld map
Story was complicated as hell and just awful
Voice acting got worse
No exploration
Nothing meorable about it really
They got Leona Lewis for the theme...an X factor, manufactured crap winner

I think the hate is pretty much justified for a Final Fantasy game, if it was called something else it would of gotten the benefit of the doubt.

The battle system was the worst, the majority of the time it was mashing the X button and you relied on luck to win most of your battles.

No skill involved what's so ever

LAWSON723519d ago (Edited 3519d ago )

You did not experience every moment the game has to offer so your opinion is not only ignorant but irrelevant. That is like me calling it a day after playing through the atrocious beginning of KH 1 and 2.

The battle system does not get good until the game actually presents a challenge which sadly takes a while.

Characters also take some time to become interesting, IMO they are all quite good except I never grew to like Hope.

Lightning changes alot throughout the game and she becomes a very rememberable character.

Character devlopement? As in story you only played probbaly a small portion of the game so how do you know or as in leveling which by the end of the game you are badass compared to the beginning so I dont know what your point is here.

The summons IMO were as useless as they were in FFX and I guess the looks come down to taste. Th only use I got out of them was using vanilles to help beat a certain tough enemy. They are actually pretty interesting and serve a point to their journey. I agree though the vehicle thing is kind odd.

The game is linear, but it was designed to be that way so I dont see the problem. They are Pulse fal'cie and they are wanted and feared by everyone so they are either trying to do something or stay out of sight. I think the developers through in the post game so there was extra and some fun non linear extras.

Not sure about linear structure I did not notice any bad reuse of enviroments.

NO towns as I said everyone fears you and the government wants you dead, and the civilians of Pulse are pretty much all gone what did you want them to do ignore the main story.

Side quests there are plenty of post game cieth stones and challenges so if you played the game you would know this. There are also a few side quests throughout Pulse as you progress through the story.

No weapon making I have not played many JRPGs with that feature and actually weapons are upgradeable and then transform into new more powerful weapons and even have a new appearance with 3 tiers so it kind of does have weapon making as well as item making.

NPCs refer to above.

Overworld map is not even in FFX (and I dont even think 12 though I am not sure I have yet to playthrough alot of it). The overworld map is not really a big deal IMO it comes down to level design.

The last bit is meaningless because you did not play the whole game and how would you know about the ending song if you did not beat the game. I actually think it played very well in the background with the good ending.

rainslacker3518d ago

"If it wasn't Final Fantasy it would of gotten a much lower score."

I actually believe the opposite is true.

This whole series has been held up to the standards that FF has set in the past.

There is nothing inherently wrong with that, but most of the hate I see for this game comes from the fact that it is a weak FF game, not that the games themselves suck bad.

I feel that these games, taken as their own thing, are about as standard as a standard JRPG get. Nothing amazing, very little innovation in the genre, but still worth a play if you take the time to learn the nuances of the battle systems.

There is nothing broken in the games of the series. The production quality is high. There are no major bugs. The story, while convoluted and poorly delivered, isn't bad, and while not all the characters are amazing, there are likable ones to be had.

What's broken, however, is that they aren't really as amazing as other FF games, particularly the main entry titles. Because of this, they get rated lower, and because it has the FF name, scores become a way to either garner hits, or criticize a reviewer because they rate it higher/lower than one would themselves based on their own biases towards these particular entries themselves.

Square Enix isn't going to blow off IGN due to a low score. Their readership is too high to do so, and IGN is in a fairly comfortable position to be able to give whatever rating they want to a game.

To Genspent, the original poster on this thread, I don't believe a poor ending warrants a 2-3 point deduction if the overall game is fun. If a game is decent fun, and not broken, 7 is a good score.

+ Show (2) more repliesLast reply 3518d ago
CrossingEden3519d ago

Try reading the rest of the review and not just the tagline. -_-

Tdmd3519d ago (Edited 3519d ago )

He also praises the combat, the world design and the customization, all the while admiting it is a good game. So, if the game parts are not bad, a 7 seems a fair and objective score to me. It is, not surprisingly, what one could expect from XIII saga: decent, somewhat mediocre gameplay, with a bad storytelling. I might give it a chance when it drops to $20.

NeoTribe3519d ago

Its final fantasy... the last two werre horrible, why people so surprised this one isnt great?

+ Show (2) more repliesLast reply 3518d ago
kevnb3519d ago (Edited 3519d ago )

I think Ill love it, story is secondary for me. Give me an awesome world to explore and great combat and im sold. I loved final fantasy 12, despite a weak story.

maximus19853519d ago (Edited 3519d ago )

STORY is secondary? on a FINAL FANTASY RPG GAME!?.....im at a loss for words

update: i found them, so thats like shooting being secondary on Call of DUTY right?

admiralvic3519d ago

"STORY is secondary?"

For him...

Come on Maximus1985, at least read the WHOLE sentence before you comment. I mean, it is only 2 more words and hardly much to ask. With that being said, your comment is totally uncalled for. People play games for different reasons and just because you're playing an RPG, doesn't mean you love stories. Some people simply enjoy long games, leveling up a team and many other things. This is a strong foundation for why things like MMO's work.

maximus19853519d ago (Edited 3519d ago )

"leveling up a team"

lightning is a team of her and theres NO leveling but more importantly Im clear on what he said and that doesnt make his comment any less confusing. ill try some more examples with you.......nah forget it commenting in the comments section is secondary TO ME!

NarooN3519d ago

"STORY is secondary? on a FINAL FANTASY RPG GAME!?.....im at a loss for words "

I remember asking people how good the story was for FFVIII before on a different forum (I'd never played it besides a demo way back in the late 90's) and they told me it was basically garbage. I told them I'm the type who can't really trudge through a JRPG if the story is crap, and a majority of the people there said they played for the gameplay mainly.

Sure enough I went and read a very in-depth plot summary and the story must've been written by someone who was stuck in an eternal acid trip. It made no sense whatsoever, to the point that there are long-running fan theories (which admittedly are just as convoluted and nonsensical as the story itself, if not moreso) to try to explain many of the perceived plotholes and such.

From what I've observed over my many years on the internet, it seems there are indeed a lot of people who don't care about the stories, especially if they're garbage, and I don't blame them.

rextraordinaire3519d ago

I'm with you on this.

I enjoyed many RPGs only because of their battle systems, like most Tales games, Star Ocean, Radiata Stories etc.

It amuses me when people say they go into FF for story. FF story are always super generic fantasy / sci fi stuff.

True great RPG stories can be found, like in Persona, or The World Ends With You, or Digital Devil Saga, even Shadow Hearts. But Final Fantasy, great stories? That's a really funny one...

Godmars2903519d ago

just have to ask if you've played FF4 or Ff6? Chrono Trigger.

rextraordinaire3519d ago

@Godmars : Yeah sure did.

Chrono Trigger's story was okay. But FF4 ? Seriously? That's paperback fantasy novel fare that's been written hundreds of time.

FF6 was okay, but nothing exceptional.

Last_Boss3519d ago

I didn't know your character fought his soul to gain enlightment, only to find out he's a descendant of moon people. I've never heard of no crazy mess like that.

rextraordinaire3519d ago

@PaperClichePixel Then you need to browse the fantasy section of your local bookstore.


Stories about coming from the moon and fighting your dark side?

Do you, like, seriously think it's original in any way?

Tons and tons of books have a story close to that...

Godmars2903519d ago

Starting to realize - just now - that it wasn't the story overall that made FF what it was to me, but rather the characters and the exploration of their histories and origins. That Square gave up on any real semblance of reason regarding character backgrounds and development, which is how we ended up with Lightning: a heroine with no real personality outside of a press release, dev interview or side note in a chapter summery.

Last_Boss3519d ago


Video games not books, and regardless FFIV was done fantastically. The main character didn't have amnesia level 10. He actually learned something about himself along the way. The cast that supported him, were rememberable. As a pretty teenager, this RPG stood it's ground, and set a great tone, for things to come.

rainslacker3518d ago

There are very few original stories that come about nowadays. Even TLOU, for all it's praise, is nothing new.

What's important with story is how it's delivered. Take Harry Potter for example. Not a single lick of original content or story to be had. Everything is ripped off from other, often better written stories. But the characters have depth and motivations behind their actions that the reader can relate to. Their interactions with each other, and their personal growth throughout the series makes the story enjoyable.

Most FF games are the same way. This is where FF13 fell short. The gameplay was fine once you got into the intricacies of it, and it was improved for the second game. But the story itself was so blandly delivered, and there was so little character growth, or even explanations of their motivations, that it was hard to care about them.

+ Show (4) more repliesLast reply 3518d ago
FlameHawk3519d ago

Still going to buy the game but when its $20-$30 bucks.

maximus19853519d ago

god my only regret is not waiting...amazon has my money and the damn thing shipped this morning...aaaahhh my wallet hurts. i wish i could defend this game and be optimistic like some on here

LAWSON723519d ago

Amazon is quite generous they would probably have no problem refunding you especially if you dont open the game. If you enjoyed the first 2 and dont want to deal with returning it, the game probably has plenty of content and with a good battle system I doubt it would be easy to get bored. If their are any SP games that are worth the cash it is JRPGs because they usually have 40+ hrs of content. Apparently though dont expect much from the story side of things.

Then again I have not played it and if you are upset about the game Amazon probably has free return and all you got to do is buy one of those orange envelopes with bubble wrap for a dollar