Final Fantasy XIII (Square Enix)
While hardly the best “Final Fantasy” game ever made (an honor still reserved for “Final Fantasy X” or “Final Fantasy Tactics” in my book), “Final Fantasy XIII” was still an incredibly solid addition tp Square Enix’s long running, role-playing franchise. The thing is, prior to its release, a number of gamers were already counting it out, citing “Final Fantasy XII’s” lackluster offerings and the fact that “Final Fantasy XIII” was not a multiplatform title. Their worries weren’t unwarranted –no “Final Fantasy” game had gone multiplatform like this before, and it seemed entirely possible that by not focusing their development on one platform like prior “Final Fantasy” titles, Square Enix would not be able to meet the lofty expectations that come attached with each numbered installment in the “Final Fantasy” family.
Just Cause 2 (Avalanche Studios)
The first “Just Cause” was a fun game, but it was also incredibly shallow and pretty pointless once the novelty of sky diving and parachuting wore off after a couple hours of running around and blowing stuff up. However, even though expectations for the sequel weren’t particularly high, “Just Cause 2”, however, did a fantastic job of rectifying most of the problems of the first “Just Cause” and expanding massively on its original premise. With a bigger playground to explore and more weapons and vehicles to commandeer, “Just Cause 2” finally lived up to its potential by giving gamers a humongous sandbox to explore and wreck complete havoc in. It still has one of the dumbest storylines ever written for a video game, but a few minutes of crashing helicopters into buildings and base jumping off of canyons more than makes up for atrocious voice acting and laughably bad writing.
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