BRR: Final Fantasy XIII-2 Demo Impressions

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As a break from the routine of reviewing games, which I have been assembling a backlog of, I decided to give my first impressions on a couple of games.  Two of them are demos that hit the Xbox Live Marketplace on 10/1/12, the other one is a critically acclaimed indie hit that was universally praised, but I beg to differ.  Now there will not be scores, mostly because I don’t like giving a numerical value towards a brief experience.  Hit the jump and and Just Go For It!

Final Fantasy XIII-2 Demo Impressions
Release Date: 31/1/2012
Platform:  Xbox 360(Demoed), Playstation 3

First of all, let’s talk about Final Fantasy XIII-2.  The segment opens with a boss fight of sorts where you fight a giant hand and see the new combat system.  You now have only two main party members from what I can tell, each of them have access to all of the classes from the first game.  I actually really like this, you had all the classes right from the get-go and can develop your characters in whatever way you want.  It is very reminiscent of Final Fantasy II , where you have a trio of blank states and interchanging a fourth party member with one who has a designated class.  That fourth character is also in XIII-2 in the form of monsters who you can capture and develop.  

They have a limited level and they only have one class, so you’d end up changing your team often and it helped the demo remain very fresh.  They also upped the difficulty, namely in how the characters feel a lot weaker, but combat is assisted by the Healer class and it does not feel as if you are missing MP and it feels more natural to use magic without reprecussion, as apposed to Final Fantasy XIII.  Oh, and there are quicktime events done during cutscenes and for some special moves that your captured monsters can perform.  The problem being that they often are either to fast to complete in due time, or the movements seem to be random.

The area I was in also felt very lively compared to Final Fantasy XIII, no more hallways, you can actually talk to people, and quests exist outside of one area.  However, the bits and pieces of the plot worry me.  It seems to just be more of the same, except time travel is involved.  While I do believe that time travel is a plot device that can be used well, if the same writing staff from Final Fantasy XIII is working on it, I can only assume that it will be far, far worse.

I also noticed a change in the music’s tone, with a lot more rock and a lot less ambiance.  Although, you may not be able to tell this due to a character who spouts pseudo-philosophical crap while you’re just walking around.  It breaks the mood, but with the odd art style and music combination it is hard to even establish one.  Both of them are good, but so are frosting and pizza.  Two great things mixed together don’t taste always great together.  

Overall, the base gameplay seems very enjoyable, while the aesthetics are a mix of both good and bad aspects, I’d recommend playing the demo, but don’t expect for it to set your world on fire.

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