You never know where one will appear next!
Final Fantasy XIII-2 is a pretty complex instalment in that respect. While there is a main story to follow, there are also numerous optional areas which you can visit to unlock even more areas or any of the remaining fragments. It’s odd to encounter an actual quest system, too. Especially if you’re used to the linearity of Final Fantasy XIII where the Cie’th Stone missions were the only actual quests. Of which you were limited to one at a time (and undertaking them again was annoying). Now you can have dozens of quests strewn about all kinds of locations!
I do wish there was an actual quest log, though.
It can be a little frustrating to return to the Historia Crux and then to the location only to find that you’ve yet to finish that quest. Or that you even know what it is. However, that’s a minor point as there are often reasons to visit as many points in time as possible. Mostly to collect creatures and find specific creatures that you’ll need for infusions or specific Paradigm Roles.
On that point, the creature system is quite fascinating and much broader than I initially anticipated. Especially the infusion system. Which essentially allows you to consume one creature to empower another and gain bonuses for doing so. Most interesting regarding this is that you can infuse Sentinels into Medics or Ravagers into Commandos and so on. They’ll retain their initial role when infused, so, for example, a Cactrot is a Medic and if it is infused with a Chocobo (a Commando) it will remain a Medic. That said, it can gain any of the unlocked passive abilities the Chocobo might possess. So while the weapon and accessory upgrade system is out- there’s more than enough to upgrade and tweak in the creature system to replace it.
I’ve been having a lot of fun collecting creatures to empower the ones I’ve got in my current Paradigm Pack. It’s a little finicky, though. You won’t always get the creatures you want and you can’t have duplicates. So if you’d like to use a creature for multiple infusions you’ll need to capture it, level it, and then infuse it before you can obtain a second one. Chocobos being the only exception as they will be used for Chocobo racing at some point. I’m not sure if the actual creature progression system will feed into what makes a good racing Chocobo or if they have unique statistics.
Kind of like the breeding system in Final Fantasy VII.
It’s nice to have the freedom to make all of these choices at your own pace. It’s also really nice that I do believe you have the capability to unlock the entire Crystarium before tackling the final encounter, which means I can continue to develop them as I’d like them to be. Which makes a little more sense to me as I’d prefer to go into that encounter at full power as it were.
Given the number of optional areas you can unlock, it seems that the story can continue for some time to come if you’re committed to completing everything there is to do. I’m not entirely sure as to what the fragments actually do. But I assume it has something to do with the ending or the possibility of receiving an ending as (in true time travel fashion) I’ve heard there are multiple endings. I’m aiming to collect as many fragments as I can but I don’t know if I’ll get them all, I’m also unsure as to how you go about unlocking a new ending and so I may only see a few. Unless it’s a system like in Chrono Trigger where going to specific locations opens up that ending. So you can essentially get them all without having to restart the adventure over and over.
Have a nice week, all!