Final Fantasy XIII-2 Preview
- Posted September 23rd, 2011 at 18:04 EDT by Robert Zwetsloot
- 4 Comments
As the follow-up to last year’s Final Fantasy XIII, Final Fantasy XIII-2 is the first direct sequel in the illustrious RPG franchise since Final Fantasy X-2. With a short development cycle and the legacy of the somewhat divisive X-2, is XIII-2 a quick cash in or a fully-fledged continuation?
Arriving on Cocoon as Lightning’s sister Serah and newcomer Noel, we’re introduced to one of the crisis’ facing the world post-Final Fantasy XIII. With the fal’Cie gone, the humans are having difficulties keeping Cocoon running, and unknown anomalies known as Paradoxes keeps affecting it as well. To top it off, a huge stone giant known as Atlus is causing chaos, unstoppable by the military and seriously damaging Cocoon.
Unsurprisingly, it’s your job to take down Atlus. First you need to find him in the Bresha Ruins, an explorable area populated by the human military. Talking to the soldiers and researchers gives you side quests, more information on what’s going on, and hints to further flesh out the back story. Through the researchers you learn that humans are having trouble replicating the technology of the fal’Cie, and are unable to properly power Cocoon because of it.
As you go off to fight Atlus, a couple of new additions to the battle system are introduced. Firstly, random encounters have a twist - when monsters appear the “Mog Clock” starts, giving you a countdown until you will be attacked by the creatures. If you can strike them within the time limit you activate the battle, with a reward of a pre-emptive strike if you do it fast enough. The clock is fairly lenient however, giving you plenty of time to accomplish this.
After your first encounter you recover a gem holding the spirit of one of the defeated monsters, or any other creature. These are used in the new battle system, with a third team mate slot added to accommodate the monster who fights on your side. Creatures can be assigned to specific paradigm shifts, and once a meter is built up they can deliver a devastating attack that requires a little bit of QTE action.
Speaking of QTEs, bosses in the game have what they call Cinematic Actions, namely occasional QTE sections that serve to push the battle on further or finish it. The game informs you of an impending Cinematic Action section, so you should never really be taken by surprise to tackle these sequences.
Once you near Atlus, you are given the option to fight him head on, or find a switch that possibly controls him. You can ask people for advice or do what you want, however these choices affect the upcoming battle and supposedly the ending on your playthrough. Choosing to try the console throws you into another dimension, a dimension where puzzles need to be completed before you can return to where you came from.
These puzzles take the form of a path made of blocks that disappear once you walk over them. You need to find a route along them that allows you to pick up the collectables then move on to the portal at the end. Straightforward here, however it’s a fair assumption that later on in the game they get much more challenging.
Aside from the handful of changes listed above, there isn’t a huge amount different from the way XIII-2 plays compared to XIII. It also still looks gorgeous, reusing a lot of the old assets that don’t need to be changed.
If you didn’t get enough of XIII, and can’t wait years for the next Final Fantasy or Versus XIII, XIII-2 might be right up your alley, and is out in only a few months to boot. For the rest, well, there’s no dressing up involved, so it’s already beating X-2.
- 1:36pm EDT - September 23rd, 2011
Just give us Versus XIII already!!!
- 7:14pm EDT - September 23rd, 2011
say what you want, but a closed world RPG just feels restricted.
- 8:35am EDT - September 24th, 2011
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- 5:54am EDT - September 27th, 2011
though X-2 was brilliant, best job system since the earlier ones, much more freedom.
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