NYCC 2011 – Final Fantasy XIII-2 First Impressions

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NYCC 2011 – Final Fantasy XIII-2 First Impressions


This year’s New York City Comic Con was my gaming mecca!

The moment my eyes caught the Square Enix booth I knew what my main objective was: “Final Fantasy XIII-2”. Playable at this year’s New York Comic Con was an early build of the game, one that was probably discussed by main others, but still filled with tons of goodies that I couldn’t wait to share with you folks.

So without further ado, let’s get on with a run down of what I found out…

Final Fantasy XIII-2 takes several years after the ending of Final Fantasy XIII where some how the events from the first game have caused Lightning to be phased out of existence.

Luckily, Lightning was able to tell Noel Kreiss to find her sister, Serah, and help her bring Lightning back from whereever she has disappeared to. This is where the demo began: Noel and Serah dropping into an area from a Time Rift while attempting to find her lost sister, Lightning.

To now onto the overall gameplay…

If you played through Final Fantasy XIII then you will be familiar with the overall controls in Final Fantasy XIII-2.

The paradigms are still there.

The overall combat system is still the same.

But what was interesting was the fact that Square Enix listened to our overall complaints about Final Fantasy XIII. The liner gameplay is gone, replaced with a more open gameplay straight out the bat. While playing through the game you will be presented with discussion points as shown below.

At these points, the game opens up with different objectives you can complete. These objectives only affect the area you are in and opens up the game to be more strategy based and less reliant on a specific linear plot. Additionally, the map is updated to show the new open objectives and it’s up to you on which one you would like to complete. Completing one objective over the other leads to different consequences and changes the way the story plays out in that particular area.

Gone are the roaming enemies. In is a nifty meter that tells you when an enemies is about to appear within your range. If you manage to attack the enemy before the meter goes red and you’ll be rewarded with a nice little bonus: a preemptive strike with all characters having Haste while all enemies have Slow. Wait too long and let the meter run out and the effects are reversed, you and your team are Slow while the enemies have Haste.

New awesome additions include “Live Events”. During battle you will be able to perform specific moves while pressing buttons that are presented on screen. Perform the sequences on time and you are rewarded with a bad ass move, miss the buttons and you won’t be penialized badly; like get an instant KO. Additionally, players will also have the ability to tame monsters and add them to a team as a third member. The key here is that each tamed monster is assigned to a specific role, like commander, medic, etc. These roles you can’t change but it is cool that you are able to harness the power of a monster for your team paradigm. What’s also cool is the fact that you are able to use your tamed monster’s special ability during battle. When their moves are ready to be used, you simply press a button and follow the on-screen button sequences to perform their move. Just like the “Live Events”, there’s no huge penalty for missing a button.

Final Fantasy XIII-2 was already on my radar long before NYCC and being able to play it only solidified my excitement factor for it’s release! I honestly can’t wait to play the game when it drops early next year…