It's the last Week in Review for another year. My, how time flies.

Square Enix is obsessed with Lightning? …but why?

It's one of the more interesting quotes I've heard from the Square Enix head honchos concerning Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII . It kind of explains why the game isn't being called "Final Fantasy XIII-3" and it also explains their persistence in shoving this character done our throats. Now, don't get me wrong, I don't really have a problem with Lightning. I thought she was a mostly one-dimensional character for the first half of FFXIII, but she really opened up in the second half and became somewhat interesting. She was sort of a non-entity (just this remote goddess) in FFXIII-2, but I dug her style. Now her style has shifted a bit, and she has basically her own game where she fights solo the whole time. And it isn't a spinoff; it's an official installment in the franchise.

So why? What is it about Lightning that has everyone at Square Enix falling all over themselves trying to promote her awesomeness? I guess I'm just missing it. She's pretty and all, and I think she can have a strong, compelling personality, but for the most part, the writing just isn't there. I mean, it's okay but it seems clear to me that Square Enix should maybe hire some professional storytellers who can actually write dialogue. I guess I'm just confused as to why this particular character has become S-E's princess this generation. I'm not quite getting the appeal.

Boy, the PS2 had one hell of a run, didn't it?

Think about it: They're only just now stopping shipments in Japan . The system launched in March of 2000 (October 26, 2000 in the US, if you're wondering), which means that the console has enjoyed consistent shipments to Japanese retailers for well over 12 years. I can't think of another machine that has had the same long-term success, can you? People can whine about the PS3 not matching the PS2 in terms of sales but in the first place, this generation is far from over and the PS3 has a lot of life left. In the second place, there was little to no chance the PS3 would surpass its predecessor. The PS2 enjoyed the perfect storm. It really did. It beat both Microsoft and Nintendo to market by a year, and this was after over five years of the original PlayStation taking the gaming world by storm.

The PS2 didn't do as hot as predicted its opening year, but it was basically full-on domination from then on. Neither the Xbox nor the GameCube had any hope of catching it and all told, the PS2 went on to sell over 150 million units worldwide. That's just insane. And by the way, The Wii won't break that number. It won't even come close; it's barely at 100 million now and the Wii U is already out. No, we may never see another console as dominant as the PS2 again, and we shouldn't expect to, either.

Personal gaming update

I got some games for Christmas, including Halo 4 , so I can't wait to get started on that. I still want to finish a few other titles in my backlog, including Hitman: Absolution and Far Cry 3 . Beyond that, I'm very much looking forward to January, which includes DMC and Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch . Both are very high on my priority list, so it'll be interesting to see if they can live up to my lofty expectations. By the way, the latest gameplay offerings for DMC have been awfully impressive in my eyes. I'm not sure why the game isn't getting a bit more attention; after all, it launches in only a few weeks time. This is Devil May Cry we're talking about!

I will be putting together PSXE's Game of the Year Awards around New Year's, so look for those. I'm sure you're all wondering what titles will take home the biggest prizes but in truth, I haven't decided on all of them yet. I'm still going back on forth on the biggest award…I'm just so freakin' torn…