Final Fantasy XIII-2 is a direct sequel to Final Fantasy XIII coming from Square Enix in early 2012.
|Final Fantasy XIII-2|
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Final Fantasy XIII-2 begins 3 years after Final Fantasy XIII. Vanille and Fang transform into Ragnarok to prevent Cocoon's collision with Gran Pulse by turning themselves and the structure into a crystal pillar. Freed of her l'Cie status along with Snow, Hope, and Sazh, Lightning is reunited with her sister Serah as she awakens from crystal stasis. However, Orphan's defeat and Cocoon's fall have an unintentional side-effect which makes Lightning disappear to Valhalla. As a result, with the exception of Serah, many think that Lightning is dead or she sacrificed herself alongside Vanille and Fang. Two years later, many of the survivors of Cocoon's fall begin rebuilding their lives on Gran Pulse with Serah living in the newly constructed town of New Bodhum. One day, Snow disappears after leaving Serah to find Lightning for himself and her.
One year later, New Bodhum is overrun by monsters. Serah is saved from the ambush by a mysterious youth named Noel, who claims to have met Lightning. Accepting his offer of bringing her to her sister, Serah sets off through time and space to find out what has happened to Lightning, while learning more about Noel and the mysterious enemy, Caius.
The combat in Final Fantasy XIII-2 is based off of the same Active Time Battle system used by its predecessor with some additions. Boss battles now feature periodic quick-time events referred to as "cinematic actions." Successful completion of these events can yield more damage to the enemy and in some cases put them in a staggered state.
The party also has the ability to capture monsters and use them in their party. Monsters take up the third slot in the active battle party roster, and up to three different monsters can be assigned to different paradigms. When the player performs a paradigm shift, the active monster is automatically switched out with the monster assigned to the new paradigm. Each monster has its own special feral abilities; these abilities can be unleashed when a special gauge is filled. The strength of the feral strike depends on the player's performance in a cinematic action.
Dungeons in the game are far less linear than they were in Final Fantasy XIII and contain branching pathways and optional objectives. Some sections of dungeons are also inaccessible the first time that the player comes across them, but can optionally be returned to later in the game. Additionally, Final Fantasy XIII-2 features properly explorable towns. Once the ability to travel through time in the Historia Crux is opened up, the player can freely use it to travel to previously visited periods and locations.
A new addition to Final Fantasy XIII-2 taken from previous Final Fantasy titles is the ability to ride chocobos. Players that come across a chocobo can feed it gysahl greens in return for being allowed to ride it. Enemies cannot be encountered while riding chocobos.