The L'Cie

Okay…so I’m going to preface this by saying, that I didn’t like FFXIII as much as I thought I would.  The game was in a word, very boring.  I did love the battle system, and found they strategy elements to be very challenging.  I actually got stuck in an Eidolion battle, and wasted literally a month trying to figure out how to survive it.  Vanielle’s eidolion was a bit of a tricky bastard, but bahamut was SUPER easy.  *Shrug*  To top all of this off, I’ve never finished the game.  It’s a long trudge to say the least.  I call it Walking Fantasy 13.  Color me sceptic, looking at you Sonic Generations, when I heard they were making a sequel.   I didn’t finish the game, and there’s a sequel?  Okay…well… I’m not buying it.  I didn’t much care for the first, and the second is going to be the same…

Final Fantasy XIII-2

Fast forward to 01/10/2011, and guess what I’m buying the game.  I played the demo last night, and loved it.  It’s amazing what demos can do to change an opinion.  First thing I’ll say is you can jump… “…but Brandon.  You could do that already in the last one.”  Silly fan boy…how lame you are in your young age.  You couldn’t control when you jumped.  Now that you have control over when and where you jump.  One way to disconnect your user from the avatar is to remove the illusion of control.  That’s part of what made Final Fantasy 10-2 really bad.  There was a lot of disconnect between the player and Yuna, from the change in appearance, and child-like personality, and lacking character depth, made her a very bland main character, add to this a distinct lack of control of her, lead to what could’ve been a very telling and dramatic game.  Something as simple as a jump button can go a long way, depending on the type of game made helps you role play.  The type of game they attempted to make would’ve been much better with a simple jump button.  I just gives the player that extra touch of immersion.

The personality of this game also fits the world that they worked hard to create.  The world seems alive and there are people in it.  It’s busy, people talk to you.  Conversations occur between you and the other avatar, and the other NPCs.  There’s a sense of being in this world.  In FFXIII, you had little to no interaction with other people.  This was a HUGE complaint from the community.  It’s nice to know they listened, even the shops are run by an…um…interesting person…chocobo loving lady…*shrug*  Granted she does everything, and even the game thinks its odd that she’s there, but you give her money anyways.  I find it to be a return to form.  I love the fact that I can talk to people and and push them over if I want to.  I did this, or maybe they were just tripping…I’m not sure…but yeah…It was nice to just run off and run into a different personality not more than 5 ft away.

The battle system itself returns untouched…for the most part.  There was nothing wrong with the old battle system, the new touches are very nice too.  The battles are still random, and when they happen, you get a chance for first strike.  On a side note, if you get into a fight near another combat type NPC, they will start attacking the monster on the screen until you run away, or fight the monster.  That’s a NICE touch.  It’s like they’re walking around and then the NPC’s bust into “OH SNAPZ!!  KILL IT!!!” and they try to fight it.  You will still be able to attack it, because the can not kill the enemies, but it’s still very nice.

The stores, are still a bit of a hit or miss.  You will either like it or you won’t.  Chocolina, shown above, is your store…and from what I can surmise she’s kind of your proxy to the worlds current events.  Like a news reporter.  She’s like that hot weird girl at the Starbucks.  Yeah, totally like the hot weird girl at the Starbucks.

Over all I’m looking forward to this game…and found the demo to be very enjoyable.  Square-Enix is trying to branch out a little more both artistically and in terms of content delivery.  I’m very impressed with what I played.  If they’d followed this pattern from the start and implemented their ideas from the start, the prequel wouldn’t have been such as hot mess.  I loved the battle system as I stated, but the story was soooo boring, and the walking was sooo tidious.  This time around I didn’t feel like I was forced to do anything that wasn’t in the world around me.  Even if it is just one area, but it seems to make for an wonderful experience.  Good bounce back indeed.

Final Fantasy XIII-2 will be available January  31, 2011

Price: 69.99 + (DLC priced separately)

Images are copyright by Square-Enix 2011-2011.  Final Fantasy is registered trademark of Square-Enix.  Characters created by Tetsuya Nomura