I liked everything about the story and characters (for the most part). I was referring to the stat upgrades through questing when I mentioned the unconventional character development.
Also, I think Hope's role in XIII-2 and LR was merely the team making up for him just being along for the ride in XIII
Whaccatalkinbout? Hope had the most character development out of anybody in FFXIII-1. You got to watch his mom die like a chump (immediately after proclaiming that "Moms are tough!"), make friends with Vanille, get all angsty and brooding on getting revenge against Snow (and walking him through the first part of this was half of Lightning's overall role in the game), hang out at his home town, get saved by Snow (and subsequently abandoning his revenge plot), crash at his place, meet his dad, get sold out by his dad, and even gets his summon during the plotless void that is the training montage on Planet Namek. And on top of forming the most connections between his fellow party members out of the entire party (between Lightning, Snow, and Vanille, whereas Lightning and Snow's connection ran through Serah-chan, Fang was the sixth ranger tied only to Vanille, and Sazh only got Vanille, the Frocobo, and the shaft (pun not intended)), he's also the third member of the Lightning/Fang power combo.
If anything Hope was the FFXIII trilogy's Wesley Crusher (except for the getting shipped off to the bench academy for the remainder of the series, save for a 'where is he now' episode, part).