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Final Fantasy XIII-2 Lightning DLC review for PSN, XBLA

Platform: PSN
Also on: XBLA
Publisher: Square Enix
Developer: Square Enix
Medium: Digital Download
Players: 1
Online: No
ESRB: T

The  first batch of DLC for Square-Enix’s Final Fantasy XIII-2 hit just a couple weeks ago, and I recently sat down to spend some time with the new content. This small add-on, which costs $2.99 through PSN or 240 points on Xbox 360, gives you a new battle in the Coliseum to take on both Lightning and Lt. Amodar, a small side character from the original XIII.

As far as content goes, it’s pretty light, but at the asking price I feel like it’s not a bad little addition. Of course we’re all clamoring for the upcoming story DLC, especially after that tease of an ending, and unfortunately there’s no story content here. There’s not even any real reason as to why you’re battling Lightning or Amodar, which does feel a little odd.

Upon purchasing the DLC, a new hub will unlock on your timeline overworld map, shown as a separate location from the other Coliseum that you encounter in the main story. When you enter the Coliseum you can approach the Arbiter of Time and he’ll offer up  your battle options, which certainly seems to show that there will be more likeminded DLC coming in the future.

The actual fight is fairly tough, but by the time I played through this I had already maxed out my characters as far as they could go in every class available, so it just took a small amount of time to figure out the best combination of roles to use. I’d say that this content is appropriately challenging for late game players, but it does seem like you could definitely take the duo on before the game ends.

Lightning’s role is a Ravager, while Amador takes on the Commando role. The real reason for fighting these two comes from the possibility of them dropping their monster crystal, which will allow you to add them into their party. Both characters are pretty useful as end game party members, and Lightning is certainly comparable to high end Ravagers like the Blue Chocobo. She comes equipped with all the elemental strike skills, which I can’t think of another Ravager that does.

The only real complaint I have to level against the content is that the drop rate for their monster crystals is abysmal. It took about 15 battles for me to get Lightning’s Crystal, and that’s with the appropriate fragment skills and equipment to maximize drops. Even making liberal use of feral links didn’t seem to help. And it took twice as long (if not more after I stopped counting) to get Amador’s crystal.

I get that the low drop rates are probably present to give people the ideal that they’re getting their money’s worth out of this content, but I’d rather see that restriction lessened so I could actually run around the game world and have fun with the new guys. As it stands, you’ll probably grind through a fair amount of Crystarium Points before getting both drops, and since you’re already most likely in the end game, the whole 30 battles to get one drop feels pretty tedious.

I’m still looking forward to more DLC for the game, and kind of hope that Square Enix decides to go a little wild with their selections going forward, maybe even reaching outside of the XIII universe for roster additions. But I sincerely hope some changes are made to the drop rate going forward, especially since I’ve hit the cap with my current characters and don’t feel like grinding through the same battle over and over again for a paltry two characters.

Grade: B-