I'm just going off of things they've apparently said, even if they really are contradicting themselves. Though, the way I'm interpreting it is that she doesn't feel any emotion about past events, even though I know I'm wrong.
She has emotions but she doesn't remember certain ones about past events, exactly as you said Storm. If recent news info are any indication of her actual situation
her being simply a tool for Bhunivelze in a negative way, because he's the one who did that to her after all,
then their plan is to rediscover her own character and humanity. That's going to be their way of making her relatable. How? Because the process should involve having a closer look or exploring her character even more, in a way that wasn't done in XIII. The interviews mentioned her vulnerable side (keep in mind in an emotional context) will be shown more for LR. I don't really see it as a contradiction, I think they're just implying that there will be character development for her.
If what's above is done and one still doesn't find her relatable, of course that's a matter of subjectiveness.
I never finished Final Fantasy XIII and doubt I will any time soon. The linearity of the game didn't bother me, nor the lack of side quests (which is kind of the same thing), but I just felt the story overall failed to grip me. The only character I felt any kind of investment in was Hope, purely out of sympathy, but I do agree that he often was irritating. The others were either annoying (Snow) or simply bearable (Sazh, Lightning).
The game also spends way too much time with the main party separated--it's good in that it forces you to familiarize yourself with the paradigm system, but you're always waiting for everyone to reunite. That kind of suspense can work well, but for FFXIII, it fell flat. Beginning the game in media res is a really neat concept, but I don't feel it ever accomplished its purpose. From what I understand, the game was supposed to be a story of how the group's past intermingled, which the flashbacks did work well on in some respects, but other points just felt ridiculously contrived and needless (Sazh's son and Vanille & Fang). The story too seemed very aimless and meandering (which was reflected in the characters), and the script did nothing to help it. It's a chore to trudge through the areas which, beautiful as they are, I rarely cared to look at. I was just waiting for the story to take off , or some huge revelation, and continued to be disappointed. Maybe that was my own fault for coming into the game with expectations, but Final Fantasy is such a story & world driven franchise that FFXIII just seems incongruent. Even FFXII, which lacks the emotional backdrop of other FF titles, compensates by having an expansive, well-developed world with lots to do & explore.
There's no question that the game is, of course, beautiful to look at, but there's very little under the surface. I do think there were some really interesting concepts in the world but, as others have said, they chose to focus the cutscenes on the melodrama of unlikable characters and putting the lore onto the backburner (in menus). FFX's equally complex world works so well because we see it and learn about it through the vessel of Tidus; he asks questions and learns and so do we. We lack that introductory character in FFXIII, so catching up on the lore of the game (which is essential to appreciating the plot in any respect) is a daunting task.
I do think the gameplay was strong if it did have some problems. I'm told FFXIII-2 fixes a lot of them but again, I haven't even finished the first.
I also have to add that I'm really disappointed in the "dress up doll" features of LR. I haven't followed its development/news very closely, so it's very possible that the changing of outfits is well integrated into the story or gameplay (like in FFX-2), but as a feminist, the concept just leaves a bad taste in my mouth. Nevermind that I doubt something like this would even be proposed in a game with a male protagonist, but it overall seems to be a fetishization of Lightning, rather than portraying her as an empowered female lead. Despite my opinions of FFXIII's story I find Lightning slightly appealing because she's so damned unfriendly. It was refreshing to see a female FF character that isn't blatant fan service, in outfit and in character (despite her being alongside Vanille who, probably one of the more interesting party members, was often objectified. Oh, plus Lightning's skirt/legs. Like really.).* But whatever semblance of portraying a female lead positively in FFXIII is lost in the fan service of letting the player play dress up with Lightning, and ultimately dictating her powers & abilities from her appearance. it's just sad to me that the first FF game to have a female lead (one that has been so widely advertised as such), and a largely female cast, simply reinforces a lot of the problems with gender in video games.
I'm not coming after FFXIII with pitchforks but Square really needs to move on. And I'll say the same thing about Versus if I decide to post about that. Even if I loved all the FFXIII titles I think that, at this point, I'd still want Square to move on and try something entirely new.
* This isn't to say that I dislike other FF females. Lulu, for example, has a clearly problematic wardrobe and I would say plays on a sexualized gothic fantasy (unfriendly hottie with a soft spot), but I adore her.