Final Fantasy XIII-2: ‘Heads or Tails?’ – The PS3 Attitude Review
Were you as disappointed as we were that Sazh Katzroy didn’t play a bigger role in Final Fantasy XIII-2? Then you’re in luck, as Square Enix has just released the title’s first story-driven downloadable content, which reveals more about Sazh’s exploits between the events of FFXIII and FFXIII-2. It’s a short adventure that won’t be for everyone, but it’s good to play as Sazh again, right?
Once you’ve installed the content, a new location will appear in the Historia Crux, Serendipity ???AF (which is separate to the same location from the main game), and Sazh will begin to tell his tale. After the events of FFXIII, Sazh returned to his job as a pilot, but one day while he was out flying with his son Dajh, the aircraft was pulled into a time gate.
Sazh inexplicably finds himself in the mysterious casino of Serendipity, with no idea how he got there, and to make matters worse Dajh is nowhere to be seen. Sazh is told by the establishment’s owner that the only way to find his son again is to change his luck by winning Fortune Medals in the casino, which can be acquired in several ways.
The chocobo races are unfortunately closed to Sazh, but he is free to play on the casino’s slot machines, as well as two new card games that are exclusive to this DLC (cheekily, the card tables are actually included in the main game, they just can’t be played on). The first is poker, which plays in much the same way as its real-life equivalent.
The second exclusive minigame is an original creation called Chronobind; the full rules are too complicated to explain here, but the basic aim is to use your dealt cards to make the hands of a clock land on specific numbers. Both of these new minigames require strategic skill as well as luck, and, just like real-life gambling, are potentially very addictive.
Chocolina also features heavily in ‘Heads or Tails?’, and sets Sazh the task of rescuing several missing chocobo chicks, which follow him around once they’re found. One of the big mysteries of FFXIII-2 was who exactly Chocolina is; it was hinted at in the main game, but players are finally given a definitive answer in ‘Heads or Tails?’ if they complete her side quest.
As a bonus reward for completing the story of this DLC, Sazh can join Serah and Noel as a possible party member in the main game. When in the battle party, Sazh takes the role of Synergist; a quick glance at his Crystarium bonuses shows that he could potentially be a very valuable asset once he has been levelled up a bit with some monster materials.
As with the main game, ‘Heads or Tails?’ is brilliantly presented. The rules of the card games are well explained, all dialogue is fully voiced, and there are even around ten minutes of new cutscenes; it’s obviously been no rush-job on Square Enix’s part.
If you didn’t like Final Fantasy XIII-2, and in particular the time you spent at the Serendipity casino, then ‘Heads or Tails?’ isn’t for you. However, if you’re the type of player that spent hours on the game’s slot machines, or simply want to discover more about what happened to Sazh after FFXIII, then it is definitely worth considering.
Once we’d rescued all the chocobo chicks for Chocolina, played just a single full game of poker and a single full game of Chronobind (and, in the process, gathered enough Fortune Medals to reunite with Dajh), we’d already played ‘Heads or Tails?’ for over two hours; it was actually a massive surprise when we looked at our play time and realised how much time had passed!
That’s a pretty decent amount of content for £2.99, especially as Sazh can return to Serendipity whenever he wants, so you could easily spend many more hours playing cards and earning casino coins if you want. It’s certainly a shame that ‘Heads or Tails?’ only reuses a location from the main game, but the new minigames are great additions, and it’s awesome to be able to play as Sazh again!