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Perfectionists beware of Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII

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GamerTell’s Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII review is en route, but won’t be up today like all the others. The more I thought I about it, the more I realized you all should probably understand why. Mainly, because the delay has to do with how Lightning Returns is actually played. See, I have perfectionist tendencies, and it’s because of those that I’ve had to restart once, and replay certain days multiple times.

Let me explain.

Every moment in Lightning Returns is timed. Lightning is the savior, and must save as many souls as possible before the world ends. This also serves to extend the time the world has left with 13, perhaps even 14 if you play it right, days left since the prayers and thanks from aided people help feed Yggdrasil. Yes, that means Lightning Returns is also practically a Valkyrie Profile game, but we’ll get into that some other time.

It means that every moment counts. You can constantly see the time ticking down on the screen before you, and while there is a fast travel ability unlocked after entering Yusnaan, essentially the second town of the game, it costs points and you want to save those for more important matters.

Which means every second of Lightning Returns is about strategically thinking about where you need to be at what time. This is made even more difficult, as only the main quests’ timeline appear in the main menu. Any specific times and places for sidequest must be accounted for on the side.

lightning returns final fantasy xiii
Now, I didn’t think I was an anal retentive perfectionist, but Lightning Returns has shown me otherwise. I had to restart once, because my first playthrough, I wasn’t saving the first major character in Luxerion until Day 3. I needed that done by the end of Day 2. Not to mention, I didn’t have the Utsusemi and Siegfried costumes from the demo.

So, I restarted completely.

This has lead to other complications. Mainly I’ve found that each playthrough of a “day” in Lightning Returns isn’t my official “day.” Since I pretty much rage restarted, frustrated by my own, poor, time management skills, it has made it okay to rage restart every day. Each day, I go through Lightning’s schedule. I pick up quests, noting on either a piece of paper or my tablet where they are, what they involve, and what must be done. I experience the day. Then, I quit, reload, and redo the day over the right way.

Which is why GamerTell’s Lightning Returns review won’t be available until Thursday morning. I’m sure you understand. And, perhaps this explanation will help you better understand and plan your own playthroughs of the game, should you acquire it. Though the game doesn’t demand perfection, those with an unconscious desire to succeed may find themselves falling into the same trap as me. Prepare to take notes.

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