Platforms: PS3 | Xbox 360 (Reviewed)
Developer: Square Enix
Publisher: Square Enix
After ten hours of Final Fantasy XIII, I was beginning to lose patience. No, I'm not the fastest gamer in the world, nor the most proficient, but not even I needed a tutorial that lasted for half a day. JRPGs have often employed a fairly rigid sense of linearity into their formulae, but this was ridiculous. All I'd done to get this far was press 'Up' and 'A' and listen to Hope moan and whine about a tall, brash hothead in a beanie.
Yes it got better, but for some that was already enough. Square had put out their stall, and many felt unfulfilled. Final Fantasy XIII-2 doesn't fix everything that was wrong with the first game, not by a long shot, but it does go some way to creating a better experience and one that after ten, twenty or thirty hours, still makes a return to Cocoon and Pulse an attractive proposition.
This is primarily down to a simple inversion of sorts. Gone are the branching, confusing narratives of the past game. No more irritating character switching, no feeling of organisational impotence. Whereas FFXIII had you bouncing between characters, separated sometimes by necessity, sometimes by pride, occasionally by events that didn't seem to make any kind of sense at all, its sequel offers up a simple, high concept story, and one that proves far more engaging because of its refined focus.Click here to read more...
Regretting not finishing Final Fantasy XIII? Well that probably depends on whether you managed to forgive the linearity and heavily automated combat to push on and finish, or on how adept you are at finding HD cutscene compilations on torrent sites to enjoy what was a cracking story along with some generation-leading CGI.
Either way you better get cracking because there’s every chance that you’ll want to return to Cocoon and Gran Pulse next year with this sequel. Don't worry about your FFX-2 flashbacks; no Dresspheres have been sighted, yet.
Our demo began at the start of Episode 2, dropping the party into a section of a city in somewhere on Cocoon. There's little in the way of scene setting, but they appear from a portal and seem surprised to be on Cocoon. The rather small party consists of Serah -sister of the moody, alluring and enigmatic Lightning- and new boy Noel, who looks like an older version of Sora from the Kingdom Hearts series. He’s all spiky hair and brightly coloured JRPG clothes from the genero-character 3000 distributor. Sadly, there's no appearance from the other XIII members today. We’re not sure what Snow will think about Serah hanging around with...this guy. To be honest, he's not that annoying, not compared to that brat Hope.
Final Fantasy fans, well the girls at least, prepare to squeal with delight (although if any of you do it down my ear again at an Expo, shit will go down), as the Moogles are back and one of them is a member of your party, Kupo. This flying cat/bear/toy abomination flies around with your party and can be used to scan areas for hidden items with a push of R2. This scan will also initiate combat with any nearby hidden enemies.Click here to read more...