I just finished the story in XIII-2. I LOVED the game, it is great in almost every way, the narrative is incredible, the environments are just breathtaking and it really deserves a spot among the best RPGs of the generation. The final battle was pretty awesome. Having to fight three different versions of Bahamut at the same time is scary and very difficult (I was a little underleveled) but I managed to emerge victorious thanks to my awesome monsters.
Just like the story during the course of the game, the ending is pretty confusing. I'm not really sure if this is the only ending in the game or if I got one of many, but what I saw was Serah dying because she suffered from the same curse as Yeul. Hope and Noel can't do anything but watch and at the end the entire Pulse appears to transform into Valhalla and Lightning appears sitting in Etro's throne, followed by a "To be continued" screen which is already confirmed to NOT be the announcement of a Final Fantasy XIII-3.
As soon as Lightning and Snow's chapters come out, I'm gonna buy them and even though I finished the story, it doesn't mean that my adventure is over. Far from it. Now I'm gonna hunt down all the 160 fragments and of course, destroy the fuck out of Gilgamesh, Ultros, Typhoon and Lightning in the Coliseum. This is what I like the most about the game, even though the story is "finished", I still got tons of shit to do in the same save file. Ah, and I forgot Sazh's minigames which I got to finish in order to have him in the party as a Synergist.
Which brings me to the battle system. First of all, I enjoyed a lot the monster catching thingy. It gives a lot of variety to the game even though we play with Serah and Noel through the entire adventure. In my personal case, I used robots, chocobos, birds, wolves, tortoises, behemots, giant spiders, small spiders, etc. It reminded me of how the developers managed to keep each battle fresh in X-2 with the job changing system even though we used Yuna, Rikku and Paine during the entire game.
But I have a complaint, in my opinion the original FFXIII managed an almost perfect balance between the six jobs. Of course, Commandos, Ravagers and Medics were the most used by EVERYONE but Synergists and Saboteurs were extremely useful in almost every battle and fights where huge groups of enemies surrounded you were frequent enough to justify the use of a Sentinel or two every now and then. Especially with tough bosses. In XIII-2, Commandos, Ravagers and Medics are still the most important, Saboteurs are still pretty cool because most enemies are weak to at least two or three status ailments but even though I was underleveled I never felt that a defensive play style was needed so I almost never used the Synergists and Sentinels. In fact, the only time I used Sentinels was in the final battle to survive the Judgement Blade and Teraflare attacks.
Synergist were good and useful but not to the point where having Bravery or Protect or Shell activated was truly vital. Almost every battle, including the bosses could be finished with a formula using only Commando, Ravagers, Medics and Saboteurs. Now, this is only my opinion and I've still got too much shit to do in the game and thousands of battles to win so I'm gonna keep experimenting with different Paradigms which include Synergists and Sentinels to find cool ways of using those jobs.
So, I loved the game and I expect to write a review of it very soon. As I said in the beginning, I think its one of the best RPGs of the generation. It looks, sounds and plays excellently. I truly recommend it purchasing this game but remember: FINISH FFXIII first or the story won't make any sense AT ALL.