Final Fantasy XIII-2 DLC, the story so far...

Before this generation, the term "downloadable content" had very little meaning in the console space. Fast forward to today and you'll find it in nearly everything, including Final Fantasy.

Although other games such as Dissidia 012 incorporated the use of DLC costumes, Final Fantasy XIII-2 marks the first time Square Enix has gotten serious about offering additional content long after a game's release. We learned previously that the game had been designed for DLC from the ground up, and that's more evident in more ways than one.

Square promises frequent updates ranging about every two weeks through May, and so far they have delivered as promised. Between costumes, coliseum battles, and a full-fledged character episode, there's more than enough content to keep gamers playing long after they've completed the main game.

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Additional Outfits

It's no secret that the default costumes for both Noel and Serah are less than desirable. The solution to that comes in several outfits you can purchase for $2.99/240MSP each via PlayStation Network or Xbox Live.

The costumes themselves are fairly trivial. Quite honestly you can get by in the game without them, and the price it somewhat extreme for what little function each outfit provides. For those who can't live without, however, they're simple enough to manage and could be a good excuse to replay through the main story again.

The idea behind them, however, is rather clever. Perhaps taking a page out of Namco's book, Square Enix is allowing players to change the outward look of their characters both on field and in cutscene. Although present in games like FF Type-0, this is the first time a "mainline" entry to the series has sported such an option. Out of those currently available, I found that Serah's Summoner and Noel's Battle Attire were the most enjoyable. The others are at least original, although quite soon we'll see the release of the recently announced Mass Effect and Assassin's Creed themed costumes. Perhaps these inclusions will set the tone for future installments.



Additional weapons are also available for purchase (some of which were available as pre-order bonuses), each original design providing somewhat of an advantage in battle. For Serah, her Seraphic Wing has the ability to steal HP from enemies, while her Genji Bow increases her ATB charge rate. Both of these weapons contain upgrades which can be purchased from Chocolina's shop.

Noel commands the Catastrophe Blade which increases ATB fill rate, and the Muramasa, which increases chain bonuses. Again, each of these can be "upgraded" in the shop.

If you're still not satisfied, we've created a handy chart detailing all the available content including price below.

DLC Chart
For a larger version of the above image, click here.

Coliseum Episodes

Enter the coliseum: a realm of time and space unknown - a testing ground for powerful warriors from every age and every reality, who come to pit their fighting skills against one another. By entering the coliseum from the far left of the Historia Crux, the player has the ability to consult the Arbiter of Time - the keeper of this mysterious arena.

You're given a menu and depending on who and how many opponents you've purchased, you can select each from a list to battle whenever you please. Currently available characters include Omega (FFV), Lightning & Amodar (FFXIII), and Jihl Nabaat (FFXIII) with more in the pipeline. Although still somewhat limited, the coliseum acts as a great time escape from the rest of the game offering up challenging encounters that require unique strategies in every instance.

Enemy: Omega

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As the first round of DLC, I wasn't expecting too much out of Omega. Modeled in a similar fashion to his appearance in FFV, it was clear that Square Enix wanted to remind long-time fans of old-days past. Don't be fooled though, he's a lot more fearsome than he looks!

Assuming that this battle, although one-on-one, was going to be easy... was a big mistake. Omega is tough as nails and that's more than evident when you fight him. All initial attempts at jamming him, attacking, what have you... they just don't work. Omega requires patience...

During the fight, it's best if you defend your party at all costs. Eventually Omega will Break/Stagger himself giving you a clear opening. Hit him with all you've got, preferably using COM/COM/COM or perhaps COM/COM/BLA depending on your party set up. The stagger doesn't last long, but Omega's same pattern will repeat itself in time. Although somewhat tedious, this method should ensure absolute victory. Just be sure to heal/use wound potions when necessary, or else you may find yourself defeated.

By using Feral Links on him, you'll up the rate of capture. If you obtain Omega's crystal he'll join your party in the Attacker/Commando role.

Enemy: Lightning & Amodar

The second coliseum episode to release features FFXIII heroine Lightning and her military superior, Amodar (also known as Daddy Bear). Let's take a look...



As you can see the battle itself it quite lengthy even with a 5 star achievement. Lightning & Amodar's fight is worth it not only for the length, but because once captured, the pair can join your party as powerful allies. Lightning comes as a Blaster/Ravager while Amodar an Attacker/Commando. They prove quite useful for post game adventuring in FFXIII-2.

Enemy: Nabaat

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We all remember Jihl Nabaat, the glasses-wearing commander of PSICOM.  Of course none of us remember fighting her since, well, she kind of died before we could.  And so an antagonist once hyped up as a female Sephiroth is lost to history... until now!

This Coliseum battle finally allows us to go up against the enemy everyone wanted to fight in the original.  Well, at least on the surface.  Jihl has a tendency to summon mobs of other enemies, usually consisting of behemoths and other soldiers.  With a typical strategy, a good portion of the battle will be spent fighting these mobs rather than Jihl herself.  Those expecting an epic one-on-one might feel a bit shortchanged.

At certain intervals, Jihl will sacrifice the summoned enemies to heal herself and throw out an attack that inflicts Daze on everyone.  She will then use Sadistic Surge, a special attack that deals a large amount of damage to single target, most likely killing said target unless they have high hp and/or are using the Sentinel paradigm.  The way to get around the former is killing all the monsters before Jihl gets a chance to sacrifice them.  With no one to sacrifice, the attack backfires and deals damage to her instead.

Taking out the other enemies is among the more effective strategies.  Of course this is easier said than done.  Even with a maxed out crystarium and powerful monsters, it is still difficult to kill all the enemies out before Jihl can sacrifice them.  To get around this, the best way would be buffing the offensive stats.  Of course as neither Noel nor Serah have these spells, a monster synergist is required.  Fellow DLC ally, Sazh seems to work well.

Just keep the buffs up and heal when necessary.  It is a battle of endurance for the most part, so focus on the other enemies and widdling down Jihl's HP in the short time they're gone.  She'll go down in no time and possibly join your party as a Jammer/Saboteur.

While maybe not the battle everyone had in mind, it is still intense enough to warrant a look.  Just expect to be frustrated if you don't have a few specific strategies in mind.

That being said, the content currently available is only the tip of the iceberg. Square Enix is said to have even more coliseum battles such as the recently announced Ultros & Typhon, outfits, and a fairly large Lightning-focused episode titled Lightning's Story: Requiem of the Goddess on the way. We of course look forward to bringing you that coverage when the time comes.

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