I'll start off on why I like this game first, and what it could improve on next. THE GOOD: First off, as always, Square Enix has absolutely stunning graphics. That's the main reason I love most of their games-their beautiful artwork got me into art. That aside, I also feel that Square Enix listened to the complaints against FFXIII (the first one) and made sure to do something about those complaints in this game. Confusing story line from FFXIII has been fixed! It's much easier to understand what is going on in this game. Plot holes? It's okay, everything makes sense when you pop in a paradox! However, the main problem of having a linear storyline is what has really been fixed. You can advance the story whenever you want, but it doesn't restrict you from going back in time and revisiting older maps, which you can replay for different outcomes. Due to this feature, while some may complain that this game is a lot shorter than the first FFXIII, it is actually much, much longer because of all the extra content replaying a map gives you. Personally, I am a roamer and I enjoy the "what-ifs" when you're faced with a choice. I will be forever haunted by the other choices I could have taken once I'm stuck with one. This game cures that curiosity, and I love it for that. Also, the level up system is simply beautiful. I love it. If any of you out there are long time FF fans, then you would recognize the level up system from FFX. I enjoyed this a lot because leveling up actually became a part of your gameplay strategy. You have to think about how you want to level up each thing, which stats you want to max out on which character. Something else that I kind of like is the monster system. You can capture monsters and use them in battle! It's not very helpful in the beginning because the monsters are generally pretty weak at first. However, later on you can capture stronger monsters that help a lot! They also do elaborate a little on the older characters in the first game, such as Vanille and Fang's past, Hope's future, etc. Last of all: BEAUTIFUL MUSIC. I literally cried when they played Serah's theme. NOW MOVING ONTO THE BAD: It's corny. I mean really, really corny. You don't want to be playing this with your friends because it will just be too corny. I don't know what it is with FFXIII and the corniness... Okay, corniness aside, I was also pretty pissed off to find out that I spent money to buy this game, and to unlock Lightning's story, I had to spend MORE money on it. The storyline was also kind of random. It just didn't flow out of the first game. They already had a happy ending at the end of the first game, and I feel like they just decided to kill that happy ending to make another game. What's worse is that this game also has a cliffhanger ending. It's almost forcing you to buy Lightning's Return or to watch the cutscenes of Lightning's Return to find out what happens. They literally wrote "To be continued". I was quite pissed off. Square Enix was in a deep financial pickle, but the money grubbing in this was a little too much. Also, while the cover art features Lightning, the actual storyline has little to do with Lightning at all, aside from finding her. You see Lightning once in the beginning but after that, it's basically all just Serah and Noel, so I feel that the cover art is somewhat misleading. In the actual game, while there is more content to explore, I feel that the items are really a little lacking. There are simply not enough items, and the items are pretty linear: you are forced to wait until the advancement in the story to upgrade your items, and you don't get a ton of choices in them.