FINAL Fantasy XIII had its fair share of critics, even within the camp of previously staunch Japanese-RPG fans.

An unnecessary digression to linear storyline progression and levelling up restrictions were just two of the ‘features’ that didn’t cut the mustard, but Lightning and her cast of fantasy friends and foes are back to set the record straight.

That’s arguably a punchier story than XIII-2’s narrative, which, despite the standard quota of stunning animated cut-scenes, falls a little short of earlier FF titles.

More open-world options return and the leash is off the levelling, as the series makes a swift return to form.

It’s true that a previous play-through of FF XIII will enhance the experience on Part 2, but overall this is an RPG for a niche gamer audience who love their convoluted storylines, cinematic entertainment and, ultimately, a game that they must commit their life to for a week or two in order to reap the biggest rewards.