The picture seemed perfect, but in retrospect, after playing Final Fantasy XIII-2 for a significant period of time, Lightning is barely seen. The focus is primarily on Serah, Noel and on other returning characters somewhat; extremely odd considering how Lightning's face was plastered everywhere. Maybe I'll do a separate post about that.
My review for Final Fantasy XIII-2 won't be up until Monday/Tuesday, but one aspect of the game introduced early on has magnified my Pokemon obsession. To try and accommodate for the lack of a proper cast of playable characters, Serah and Noel are conveniently joined by an armada of creatures that, after being fought, can join alongside our heroes. It's an obsessive mini-game that directly affects combat, as these monsters act as invaluable cohorts.
As far as I know, any creature except Cieth (former L'Cie who didn't complete their Focus in time) or bosses are tameable. And the beauty of this system is a splendid mix of battle-ready monsters utilizing every class imaginable, filling the void of a third party member. Unlike grinding characters in Final Fantasy XIII, pets are saved to individual paradigms, truly allowing for seamless transitioning in between sets.
What makes the system addicting is the blatant Pokemon-esque feel, actually giving the title longevity, something lacking from XIII. I find myself backtracking quite a bit to acquire the strongest monsters in each area, because not only does every one have its use, but creatures can consume each other and combine strengths. It works incredibly well, and hopefully we'll see it in future installations.
Additionally, each creature has a special ability specifically tailored for that role, like an AoE ground pound or multi-casting. The individuality of each creature is multiplied by dressing up through adornments, similar to the Costume mini-game from Pokemon Black & White.
I'm only a third through the plot, but widespread rumours indicate a possible three-quel. For a system that reams with familiarity, seeing it return would be a great improvement. And DLC is already coming in hot, so new creatures means new combinations. Get out there, and well, acquire them all! (Pokemon's famous catchphrase is probably copyrighted and I don't want to run the risk of getting sued.) Jeff out.