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Final Fantasy XIII-2 - Xbox 360

  • Publisher: Square Enix
  • Genre:RPG
  • Developer: Square Enix
  • Release Date:Jan 31, 2012
  • # of Players:1 player
  • ESRB:T - Teen (Drug Reference,Mild Language,Mild Suggestive Themes,Simulated Gambling,Violence)
  • Platforms:
Game Description:Cocoon -- a utopia in the sky. Its inhabitants believed their world a paradise. Under the Sanctum's rule, Cocoon had long known peace and prosperity. Mankind was blessed by its protectors, the benevolent fal'Cie, and believed that tranquil days would continue forever. Their tranquility was shattered with the discovery of one hostile fal'Cie. The moment that fal'Cie from Pulse - the feared and detested lowerworld - awoke from its slumber, peace on Cocoon came to an end. Fal'Cie curse humans, turning them into magic-wielding servants. They become l'Cie - chosen of the fal'Cie. Those branded with the mark of a l'Cie carry the burden of either fulfilling their Focus or facing a fate harsher than death itself. A prayer for redemption. A wish to protect the world. A promise to challenge destiny. After thirteen days of fates intertwined, the battle begins. Set several years after Lightning and the others saved Cocoon, some survivors have decided to start over by rebuilding on Gran Pulse. Lightning, however, is nowhere to be found and thought dead by many, but Serah believes otherwise. When her town is suddenly overrun by monsters, a mysterious man named Noel appears to save her.
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    3.9 / 5
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Final Fantasy 13-2 Hands-On Preview
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Article_74666

Final Fantasy 13-2 Hands-On Preview

By Leah Jackson - Posted Jun 07, 2011

After putting over 100 hours in to my Final Fantasy XIII save, let's just say that I was pretty excited to get back in to the world of Cocoon with Final Fantasy 13-2. As the jaw droppingly gorgeous demo opened, and I once again stepped back into the fantasy role-playing game, this time as Serah, Lightning's pink-haired sister, I expected something new, something fresh, an addition to the best parts of Final Fantasy 13 and a step away from the worse parts. But from the demo I played, I'm not sure exactly which direction the game is trying to go.


The demo starts with Serah, a Moogle, and a new character named Noel coming through some sort of transdimensional portal into Cocoon. Noel seems to be Serah's new partner in crime, and he looks very similar to Fang from FF13 except he uses two swords instead of a polearm. The Moogle didn't get much of an introduction either, but from what I understood, he's Serah's adorable helper and a way to find treasure chests. Unfortunately, they weren't the only things to come through the portal. A colossal behemoth named Atlas followed them through as well, or at least, some of him did. The semi-transparent giant attacked and threw the kids into the first battle, giving us our first look at FF13-2's combat system.

One of the best and defining features of FF13 is back with the paradigm shifting combat system. Paradigm shifting is a battle system focused on strategy that allows you to decide which role you want your characters to play. For example, you can shift paradigms to make a character heal or deal damage or tank, depending on the situation. For FF13-2, Square Enix has introduced Cinematic Actions. These are the types of actions introduced in games like Kingdom Hearts 2 where a giant "X" pops up on your screen, and if you hit the corresponding "X" button on your controller, you get to watch a crazy-awesome action scene and deal a ton of damage to your foe. It's a neat mechanic and adds to the already action-packed combat system from FF13.

After the fight, we learn that Serah, Moogle, and Noel are now part of an excavation team that's trying to rid Cocoon of Atlas. Or something along those lines. There's no mention of the l'Cie or Fal'Cie from FF13 in the demo, only this main quest, and even that isn't too clear. I'm hoping that the story in 13-2 isn't quite as confusing or convoluted this time around. It was pretty straightforward in the demo that all I had to do was kill this giant.

Final Fantasy 13-2

On the bright side, the game looks and feels exactly like FFXIII, with the same stunning graphics that made me want to stop and look at absolutely everything. Even though I was trapped inside some sort of ruins, the newly introduced weather effects brought another layer of depth to the experience. The splattering of raindrops on my screen was a particularly nice touch.

As I traveled around the ruins looking for Atlas, I noticed that the path to get to him was not linear. One of the major complaints in FF13 was that the game was entirely too direct with no pathing options. I'll agree that this corridor system made the game simplistic and effortless at times, but, for this level at least, there were some options in the ways I could get to my objective.

FF13-2 also introduces the Live Trigger system to add even more options. It works basically as a decision wheel mechanic that has been gaining popularity in many recent games. Depending on which option you go for, new objectives will appear on your map. However, the only two objectives we were offered were along the lines of "go in the ruins and turn on a machine that will limit Atlas' power," or, "go fight Atlas in his currently unkillable state." All of the decisions probably/hopefully won't be like this, but this one at least was less of a decision and more learning that we had to turn on the power source in the ruins.

Another feature that's being presented in FF13-2 is a sort of mini-game system that appears before you fight enemies. Basically, anytime an enemy is near you on the screen, a little compass looking thing will pop up. If the compass is green, and you run into the enemy, you'll get an advantage, like a preemptive strike, which everyone knows is super awesome in Final Fantasy games, because you can attack without having to wait. The problem is that the game controlled very poorly during our demo, so the compass would often turn orange or red before we could navigate to the enemies, leaving us with no advantage, or even putting us in a bad spot. There were a few times where I physically couldn't run into the monster even though I was right next to it, and my compass would go red, leaving me vulnerable and frustrated during the fight.

Final Fantasy 13-2

Once you actually beat the monsters in the FF13-2, they will sometimes drop a crystal. The crystals are related to another new mechanic in 13-2 called Feral Link that will allow the monsters to join your party. Whichever paradigm you shift into during fights will determine which monster will fight with you. Feral Link gives your monster a special Monster Bar, and if that fills, then you can perform a Cinematic Link with it to deal more damage to enemies. Aside from the Beast Master job in Final Fantasy 11, I’m not sure if you've ever been able to team up with the monsters in a Final Fantasy game, so this element seemed very cool to me.

As I navigated through the Bresha Ruins, I noticed there are tons and tons of enemies. There is so much grinding to be had in FF13-2, which, if that's your thing, you're going to love. Every few steps there are enemies waiting to eat you, and we were at such a low level that combat wasn't too fun yet. Hopefully, the game will offer more combat options later on and paradigm shifting will matter, but that wasn't true for this level.

What did ease the pain of the grinding experience was another mini-game. In order to turn off Atlas' power, we had to go into The Void Beyond. This time the mini-game was a puzzle where you had to stand on tiles in a correct order, and every time you stood on a tile, it would disappear. It's a simple puzzle that we've seen in games before, but just the addition of something not so linear as "run here, kill mobs, run here, kill mobs" was a welcome addition. Once I solved all the levels of the puzzle, I was able to turn on the machine that would limit Atlas' power, and go kill him.

This time around, Atlas was ready for me in his true form: a gigantic lava beast that looked similar to Titan from Gran Pulse in Final Fantasy 13. He was absolutely huge, but now that I turned his strength off via the machine, he was very weak. After a few rounds of damage dealing and a cinematic action sequence, he went down with no problem at all. Had we not turned off the power in the ruins, he would have killed the entire party in one swing.

Final Fantasy 13-2

After playing the demo, I feel like Final Fantasy 13-2 is trying to live up to its predecessor in terms of combat and design, and it also wants to incorporate more choice this time around. If Square can successfully pull it off, which I'm not sure they did too much in this demo, then fans of the previous game will be happy. I'm going to keep a positive outlook on 13-2 until I see more of the game, but right now, I'm still a bit on the fence.

Comments are Closed

  • luckey7

    Is it just me or should people just shut up if a FF game is made on xbox. Whats the big deal?!? The game is the same, the story is the same, EVERYTHING is the same exept the console you are playing it on. Im a 360 person and im not changing that unless I go the money to have both. FF fans can love a game on 360 and PS3 the same. So how about the people that are hating the xbox version of FF just stop talking out their ass cuz their mouth knows better! (P.S cant wait for the game!!) :D

    Posted: December 16, 2011 12:46 PM
    luckey7
  • formerroadie

    I loved the first FFXIII and can't wait for this one. The haters can just hate ;).

    Posted: June 9, 2011 7:52 PM
    formerroadie
  • formerroadie

    First, it's heresy to post this in the X-Box section. I like that X-Box players get to play the franchise, but come on. This is like the douchebags at IGN. They post every multi-platform article in X-Box as well. The Microsoft ass kissing reeks. I expected more out of G4.

    Posted: June 9, 2011 7:49 PM
    formerroadie
  • Steiner123

    the harda part is..that in ff13 only..all the bosses are hard fight//like i remmeber beating ochu..now ochu is really strong here..well in fact in ff..hes just a midget...well..hes strenght is so strong here...in ff13..well if u want to comment me..its free in my facebook account thats kiluakurapika99@yahoo.com or edrian gaspar...well..so much with my account acually my screen is Steiner...well..going back to ff...i min..they are storng bosses random monsters...from opponents wich u level up..all are challengng..in fact there is a hard boss..the one with the dragon wings..he really deals a lot of damage...especially in paradigm shift no chance...well going back to..the bosses i think its pretty tough when ff will go beyond from ff1 -1 13..i palyed every bit of the game...and ff2 and ff1 are cute games..and we of course ff fan love it..in fact lightning is one of the best character now in ff of corse ff is (final fantasy right) i dont want to confuse u with the words..but in ff13 archlytte steepe.. all monsters are strong well in ff8 u just nid a lionheart to beat strong opponents or monsters much like zantetsuken its a one hit kill so..to put it in ff13 or ff13 2 or 14 thats an advantage but dealing in million HP..monsters i doubt it...nobody can stop the damage.. but for zell final heaven...there is a chance...ff13 is one of those ff seems the most realistic ff in all ff games...and we continue to see its dimension of final fantasy well of course if one of the secret characters of ff games would appaer hes gonna say that..by doing this secret game or adventure then u hwill have a price..of joining ff worlds i hope thats true just made it up..but anyway..its a colol ff games and an idol of RPG best FF...final fantasy..

    Posted: June 9, 2011 1:57 PM
  • leer_74

    I wasn't disappointed by the game play or the fact that it was linear the two thing that really was disappointing was that the graphics imo we good but not great. I contribute this to the fact that it was also made for the 360 and its graphical limitations and dvd limitations. I was expecting smooth rendering but what I saw was pixialation at times. Which if there continuing with 13-2 on the system cant be fixed. the other was the summons. You didnt really need the summons and rarely if ever used them, there was not way to level up them and they really didnt do much damage so there for no need to use them. I only used them at the end when finally going for my last of my trophies. THo cool in every way the summon was a great great disappointment, i hope they fix that but not keeping my hope up tho we did get to see Odin ride in and save lighting.

    Posted: June 8, 2011 11:19 AM
    leer_74
  • cavalryshawn

    I don't know. I bought ft xiii with high hopes but was aghast with what I got. It was just too linear. I'm sorry but that one fault all but ruined the game for me. The games gives you no input into the storyline. So much so that I didn't feel connected to the game at all. I was just running down the one route and fighting whatever attacked me. In a game series like final fantasy, which were some of the first vast, open world video games, its a nearly unforgivable lapse. In a world with dogs like fallout 3, oblivion, the witcher 2, and Mass Effect, where you can not only choose where to go when, but also have a tangible effect on the world, the FF games have lost their hegemony and their relevance.

    Posted: June 8, 2011 10:30 AM
  • Snicker60515

    Remember people, it's just a demo. This game is probably a year away from release and much needs to be sorted out before it's released. Still a shame this has to be multiplatform. Only PS3 owners appreciated XIII and shouldn't be watered down for wider release, the sales are there even if it's only on PS3 Square-Enix, just because a game doesn't sell 25 million copies like Call of Duty doesn't mean it's a failure!

    Posted: June 8, 2011 8:16 AM
    Snicker60515
  • magesoren

    This is always hard to say because its obvious that the people who played FFXIII, fans of the series or not, are wide and diverse in their opinion. So I know this might fall on deaf ears or not address all of the problems. But let's give this a shot.

    I loved FFXIII, relative to games I've played in the past I did enjoy it for what it was. I love it before I analyzed it with the the critical eye of a game reviewer and I loved it after such fact. It was not perfect. There were aspects I think they could have done better.

    First, I want to talk about Square. I sympathize with them because they are Expected to meet certain aspects in final fantasy that they can't do anymore. For example, I hear, "I like this the old way was better," or "It needs to be something new fresh" etc. etc. We can talk about limits, linearity, story, and even more. So what I recommend and honestly hope they do is just pick with an approach and stick with and make it the best they can, we've surpassed the hopeless idea of pleasing everyone with how the game should or shouldn't be contructed, but we can take any approach, make it make sense and enjoyable for the player.

    The next point is that the approach of FFXIII did make sense to me. First, Auto-battle vs. selecting commands. Honestly, they kept both options open for a reason so you could use either system you were comfortable with. They kept choice open for you to use, and there isn't a punishment for using either system. Second, Linearity, I must agree it was really bad. I mean compared to FFX you had some distractions in terms of story telling (narratives),cut scenes, towns, cloister of trials, mini-games, and a world map.but in FFXIII it was a bit ridiculous. My thoughts are negative and I want to see this improved but it didn't ruin the experience for me. It made some sense in order to force the story a long to fit the theme of "overcome the obstacles of the only path to walk." There was clearly a lot of thought put into this approach but that thought needs to change. Next, a minor issue was about towns/shops/npcs. Again this comes from Square's emphasis on making the story coherant to the experience. If you're a L'cie the equivalent of a criminal, you just can't go to the nearest story on cacoon and go buy something. You could argue something about "what about rebels who support ur cause and sell you things," and for the most part I support creative ideas being implemented like that, but the abscence of such things did not hurt the experience. And you technically could buy things still. Personally, I never buy anything anyway besides weapons/armors so it wasn't a tramatic shock to me. So basically I hope this clarifies some design points.

    Next, as I was reading commits I'll respond to them each. FFXIII brings a lot of controversy and passion about the experience, so I feel on a forum it's fair to address those. @Krazyman1977 and ShinjEx, 10 is better than 13, and 7 is better than 13 but worse than 10. Of course, that's opinion haha, but on another note I addressed your other issues up above. @xenoknight7, I think it's clear what points we agree with, I just wanted to amend that statement that I think any new addition such as the feral link is welcomed. You're right as long as they do it right it's fine. I could care less where we've seen it in games before, as long as the implementation is unique, genuine, and thought through it should be fine. @OneWingedAngel42, idk why you think the controls are sloppy, i'm not seeing where you took that information from. However, you make some other excellent points about what innovation is and the decision making. Innovation, is hard to come by, I'll say the same thing to you as I did xenoknight7, as long as it works and there is a balance it should be fine. As far as decision making, its the beginning of the game and so I don't think there would be enough time to show the whole scope of the system. There is some clear rhetoric square is using, do this and die, don't and live, but that's more of a coincidental problem. You're concerns are well found but I don't think you have anything to worry about. But we will see I could be wrong, I'm not that special haha. @MattmanX311, VGKen, and DarthBlazius, in regards to Square, I think they're doing fine. Consider that there is always a difficult balancing what to keep with what to change/delete, with what to even add. Also, the change in direction is welcome, however I will agree that change should come not in omission of elements but by compounding them to give us the experience we love and enjoy. But as true fans of the series we should be use to this. In terms of battle system no final fantasy is the same, they are All different, they keep some elements the same such as a time meter between attack rounds but there has been nothing insane to complain about. I do agree with factors such as secret characters, I hated almost missing a few in past games or killing Shadow but still it's all good.

    So here is my long WoT as to why FFXIII is not ruined and while there were some flaws, contract your passion. It's still the game we all love and enjoy and FFXIII-2 seems to be created in almost as response to our complaints and problems. If the game turns out worse (like ffx-2) I'll be in the forefront, until then relax. Your reasons for disapproval are a bit far-fetched lol.

    Posted: June 7, 2011 11:15 PM
    magesoren
  • krazyman1977

    Boooo for Square Enix porting the FF series to the hated XBOX. As far as 13 goes, no FF game will ever be better than 7 was. FF2 (snes version which was FF4 in Japan) comes in a close second in my opinion. Give me a world with towns and NPC's and I'll be happy. Grand Pulse was sooooooooooo boring with just a few monsters running around. Screw the xbox, I've got 3 that red ringed anyway... my 20G original PS3 is still going strong but with a 160 G drive in it now! DIE XZBOX!

    Posted: June 7, 2011 9:28 PM
    krazyman1977
  • ShinjiEx

    Big fan I thought FF13 was overall better then FF10

    I use FF10 as comparison cause they're both straight forward "action rpg's" with no derail

    Posted: June 7, 2011 8:32 PM
    ShinjiEx
  • SCM13

    haters will hate i suppose. XIII was incredible, and this one looks even better. i'm disappointed that i won't be enjoying this sooner, but that's s-e at its finest. "here's something you can have in 3-5 years; savor the wait"

    Posted: June 7, 2011 8:16 PM
    SCM13
  • xenoknight7

    notice most of the people here are whinny Playstation fans who dont know anything about Final Fantasy. The preview was detailed and long. it was well done. its crapy opinions like the garbage on this page that is threatening the quality of FFXIII-2. Instead of loser guys who dont know anything about FF, lets focus on what matters - the game. Where is Snow and the rest of the gang? You mention a Feral link like in Tales of symphonia: Dawn of a new world. Thats not the direction Square needs to take with game at all. We were promised a true sequel, not a filler RPG with a chance to se Claire again. Please dont screw this up for us true FF fans. These new features will get polished, im sure, but the damage left behind by all the (%&*#ing) people who thought FFXIII was too linear since they didnt understand the story, might already be too late. PLZ dont saturate this game with meaningless towns full of NPCs we have to talk to; or else miss an item that makes the player fail the entire game.

    Posted: June 7, 2011 8:10 PM
  • OneWingedAngel42

    So the facts from this preview are: The controls are sloppy, the "decision" system doesn't actually provide a meaningful decision, there are multiple paths to take to your goals, and it's very pretty. I find the facts more interesting than Square's promises, or anyone's hopes that the end product will be better than what is being previewed now.
    The Paradigm system from XIII was a dumbed down, more limited version of the Gambits from XII, please don't tell me that stealing button-press minigames from God of War is innovative or amazing. Innovation would be giving more control to the player, rather than strip it away as Square has done more and more in the past few games.

    Posted: June 7, 2011 3:49 PM
    OneWingedAngel42
  • OneWingedAngel42

    I'd like a review from someone who can be impartial about the game. Most of the review glosses over mentions of sloppy controls, and poorly implemented "decision" systems with lots of "hopefully this will be better!" Review the game as it is, not as you want it to be.
    The Paradigm system from XIII was a dumbed down, more limited version of the Gambits from XII, please don't say that stealing button-press minigames from God of War is innovative or amazing. Innovation would be giving more control to the player, rather than strip it away as Square has done more and more in the past few games.

    Posted: June 7, 2011 3:42 PM
    OneWingedAngel42
  • OneWingedAngel42

    I'd like a review from someone who can be impartial about the game. Most of the review glosses over mentions of crappy controls, and poorly implemented "decision" systems with lots of "hopefully this will be better!" Review the game as it is, not as you want it to be.
    The Paradigm system from XIII was a dumbed down, more limited version of the Gambits from XII, please don't say that stealing button-press minigames from God of War is innovative or amazing. Innovation would be giving more control to the player, rather than strip it away as Square has done more and more in the past few games.

    Posted: June 7, 2011 3:30 PM
    OneWingedAngel42
  • MattmanX311

    I didn't absolutely hate 13 and I still hold some vague hope this could be better and perhaps a little more complex.... I personally think Square should make it a prerequisite for every person involved in the development of a FF game from now on to go back before any work starts and play through FF4- FF10 so that we might get some semblance of what we have came to expect of the franchise and not just a streamlined attempt to pander to those who probably would have no interest in the series to begin with..... Although I have found myself frustrated with Square(mostly with the FF series) as of late I can't seem to give up hope for them to return to former glory.....but I guess if all else fails we will always have Mistwalker to fall back on.....

    Posted: June 7, 2011 3:02 PM
    MattmanX311
  • VGKen

    No Final Fantasy Versus XIII but this crap??? I am getting really really pissed at Square Enix

    Posted: June 7, 2011 2:49 PM
    VGKen
  • DarthBlazius

    This is horri-bad. I can't believe they are using that garbage Paradigm shift system again that RUINED final fantasy for countless people I know... and only being able to control the party leader? Square just keeps going in the wrong direction with everything they put out. As a huge Square fan It kills me to see my favorite series get butchered over and over again...

    Bring back ATB. Bring Back Limits. Bring Back Secret Characters.
    Take a good look at FF6, 7 and 8.. meh even 10.. the last time Square made a decent game.

    oh yeah... first

    Posted: June 7, 2011 2:14 PM
    DarthBlazius
  • Harbinger2nd

    Truly and completely I CANNOT fathom why this would be in the 360 section over of the PS3 section. I have oh so much more to say, but SOMEBODY for the love of gaming PLEASE tell me why EVERY SINGLE multi-platform game is under the 360 section. JUST MAKE A MULTI-PLATFORM SECTION ALREADY. insert profanity where you believe appropriate because G4 won't let me.

    Posted: June 7, 2011 1:45 PM
    Harbinger2nd
  • dnhodge

    lol fail its a giant triangle

    Posted: June 7, 2011 1:43 PM
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