Lightning Returns

Condemn (OR) Condone – Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII

Lightning Returns

The latest Final Fantasy is out via Square Enix and Tri Ace and thus concludes the Final Fantasy XIII trilogy. It released in Japan in November of last year and scored a pretty impressive 37/40 from Famitsu, but how is it fairing now that it has hit the states? Well, depending on who you ask, not nearly as well.

Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII is now out globally, and while not every single review is released yet, enough have been released to get a solid idea on the pros and cons of this game. Below I have linked some snippets from notable positive, negative and in-between reviews.


Kevin VanOrd of GameSpot was unimpressed by the game in his 5/10 review, saying, “This supposedly final chapter of Nova Chrysalia’s story leaves me befuddled. It’s a collection of ideas and concepts that don’t come together in a coherent way, led by a character who has shown no identifiable growth since her first appearance four years ago.”

Angelo Dargenio of Arcade Sushi was even less impressed in his 4/10 review, stating, “There’s no aim or purpose here. It doesn’t feel like you are on a journey to save the souls at the end of the world, it feels like you are a minimum wage gopher out getting everyone’s coffee and groceries. It’s hard to care about  anything because the main plot quests are such a small fraction of the actual  game and the rest is just busy work.”


On the positive side of things, Susan Arendt of Joystiq felt it was an improvement over the first two installments in the trilogy in her 8/10 review, writing, “Final Fantasy XIII and XIII-2 had some serious missteps, but Lightning Returns ends on a strong note by sticking to what really matters: great combat and a story you want to see through.”

Mitchell Saltzman of Game Front was mixed on the game, saying, “There’s a great game buried in the code of Lightning Returns, and if you’re the sort that’s willing to dig through a seemingly endless amount of mind numbing sidequests, then you might be able to find it. For me though, Lightning Returns was a draining gauntlet of fetch quests and gathering missions that occasionally allowed me to have fun with its deep combat and customization options.”

Lightning Returns1

So, I pooled reviews from over 30 trusted sources (which are all linked below) and have come up with a score (which I won’t reveal so I don’t spoil the judgment or spoil the game of the week and month). Obviously, it’s impossible to count every single review as more will keep coming in, but I have gathered enough reviews from a variety of places to be able to come up with a number that will solidly remain in a particular judgment range.

That judgment is…


The following are links to every review that was gathered for this article:

GameSpot, IGN, Game Trailers, Joystiq, Games Radar, PSX Extreme, Shack News, Inside Gaming Daily, The Escapist, PlayStation Lifestyle, God Is A Geek, Polygon, Now Gamer, Video Gamer, Games TM, Play, Computer And Video Games, Destructoid, PlayStation Universe, OXM, Worth Playing, Game Informer, Arcade Sushi, RPG Fan, Polaris, Game Zone, Explosion, Gaming Nexus, Game Luster, Rocket Chainsaw, Tech-Gaming, Game Rant, Cheat Code Central

There are 5 possible judgments that a game can receive and they are the following:

| Condemn | – Or  | OR | oR + | Condone |

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