Wow. If this game can't even get the Boney seal of approval, then it must be bad. I bought it, but I never even opened it once I saw some of the reviews rolling in that didn't paint it in the best light. Now I think I'm just going to return it and use the money on a better game. I'll probably still buy it someday when the price is $20, but not at full price.
Dang. Am I that easy to please?
Anyway, I'd say return it. There's so many great RPGs coming out in the next month that I don't think it's worth paying full price for this. I was expecting a goofy quick-fix sequel but the demo really impressed me - I wouldn't have bothered otherwise. Sadly despite all the good ideas, the game just becomes incredibly lazy.
It doesn't help that they've watered down the battle mechanics. I'd shoot anyone down who moans about the Autobattle button and AI in 13 - once the game got going there was a lot to think about (balancing healing, buffs, debuffs, guarding and the stagger guage meant some serious multitasking at times). 13-2 has none of that. 9 hours in with no grinding and I already had a couple of job roles maxed, with Autobattle spamming AoE spells getting me through everything from that point. The gameplay pretty much fell apart for me from there and no number slot machines and random fetch sidequests is going to save it.
To put it another way: all the numbered FF games, no matter how much they rock or suck, feel like "proper" FF games. That's what makes 13 worth playing. 13-2 is just another crazy spinoff much like X-2 that would've felt more at home on the PS Vita.
I'd still do Serah up the ass though.