E3 2011 Live coverage : Final Fantasy XIII-2 – Demo deconstruction

The last demo I got to see in my time at the Square Enix booth was the latest title in the Final Fantasy series, Final Fantasy XIII 2. The name, in my opinion leaves much to be desired. But once those demo room doors slammed home, I was really surprised what I saw. The name might need work, but the game certainly doesn’t. Hit the jump for the rest of our E3 2011 covered of Final Fantasy XIII 2.

Now I have never been the biggest Final Fantasy fan. After the brilliant VII, I kind of gave it a rest of a while before I made the mistake of picking up XIII, the biggest disappointment of the lot. So you can imagine I went into this demo with a bit of scepticism.

I was however very surprised at what I saw. The series in general is definitely going in a new direction. With much bigger environments, a much wider variety of attacks and cinematic sequences that join the story together in the most seamless way I have ever seen in any Final Fantasy game.

It almost felt that while this is the follow up to XIII that this is what XIII should have been like. This is much more interactive title and looks simply beautiful. The textures, the environment, the bosses, and the attacks all have a flare to them that puts me into that dream-like state, where anything is possible.

We also get introduced to a brand new character. A young man by the name of Noel Kreiss who wields two unique blades and appears before the light-hearted Serah. His fighting style of choice is in melee combat, and at full power can combine his two swords into one mega weapon. I couldn’t find out anything on his background story or how he met Serah, but he is one of the better looking characters I have seen in a Final Fantasy game.

The only beef I still have about this title is that it still carries the five-star rating system after every attack sequence. I am so tired of having to press x three or four times after ever fight just to skip through a menu I have no interest in seeing. Who care if I got five or one million stars, they don’t mean anything. Gowd!

I will however compliment Square Enix on a new addition to Final Fantasy that I think is absolutely brilliant. They have now introduced a combat proximity wheel that activates when an enemy is within your combat range. Now before, if you even approached enemies the game would throw you into combat without you even having the choice of running away. Now if you enter the combat area, the meter starts to move from green into red. If it gets to the red zone and you are still within range, you enter the fight. If not, you run like hell.

Make a point of visiting the FFXIII-2 website and I will try and get more information on the game as E3 comes to an end. But until then, I can sum this all up by saying that this Final Fantasy should have been XIII and is definitely worth keeping an eye on.

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