Lightning's last two outings were far from universally acclaimed, so while a lot of things are surprising about her goodbye game, a mixed critical reaction isn't one of them. Managing Editor Susan Arendt's four-star analysis says Lightning Returns is "a fitting farewell for the final chapter of XIII's saga," but for some reviewers, it's more a case of good riddance.
Check past the break for a selection of the game's reviews.
Eurogamer (8/10): "It's a deliberate demonstration from the team that it's able to deliver on various approaches to game design (and tone) within the Final Fantasy umbrella. From its dazzling battle system to its overarching temporal puzzle, this is the best of the set - even if it's dragged down by an exhaustingly impenetrable plot that its creators will no doubt be pleased to be done with."
Destructoid (7.5/10): "Now, if you didn't like the first two Final Fantasy 13 games, I don't think this third one will do much to win you over. But there's plenty of fun to be had in Lightning Returns if you're open to it, and are willing to overlook some of the messiness."
NowGamer (6.5/10): "There's depth here, but it will take a while to notice that. Not in the same sense that Final Fantasy 13 took a (long) while to become a game you actually want to play, but in a different, more subtle way."
Polygon (5.5/10): "It's the series' current existential crisis writ large; the characters are exhausted, and they want to rest, but Square Enix isn't ready to let go. For as much as Square has gone all in on the Final Fantasy 13 branch of the series, this conclusion is little more than a slow limp toward a long overdue finish line."
GameSpot (5/10): "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. The promising schemata system and grandiose cutscenes are solid pillars from which a great RPG could have been constructed, but Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy 13 falls well short of greatness."
[Image: Square Enix]