Game: Final Fantasy XIII-2
Final Fantasy XIII-2 – Redemption for Square Enix? It certainly appears so.
As not only the first Final Fantasy on the next-gen consoles, but also the first mainstream Final Fantasy to go multi-platform in a decade (after Final Fantasy 8 on Windows in 2000) Final Fantasy XIII had some big shoes to fill. Even though there were players who enjoyed it in Japan as well the West, it ultimately did not live up to expectations. While reception in Japan was mixed, the game was a critical flop in the West, almost unanimously being branded as a game where all you have to do is run forward and press X . The sequel will be coming to North America in just under 3 short weeks. The question on everyone’s mind is whether it will fix everything that was wrong with its predecessor.
The first thing is obvious – linearity. Thankfully, that seems to be gone as the game now feels a lot more like the previous Final Fantasies. <i>Final Fantasy XIII-2</i> features plenty of time travel, very reminiscent to Chrono Trigger, a game that we all loved back in the day. Some may complain about the lack of innovation, but even if Final Fantasy XIII-2 was exactly like Chrono Trigger (which certainly doesn’t seem to be the case), who in their right mind would turn down Chrono Trigger with today’s technology ? The time travel system is called Historia Crux and will allow players to travel hundreds and even thousands of years into the past or the future to drastically change what goes on in the real world, which ties into the game’s multiple endings.
Another new innovation is Live Trigger, a fancy name for the good old dialog tree. It won’t affect the ending you end up with, but it’s sure to make conversation much less boring.
This direct sequel is set 3 years after the events of Final Fantasy XIII. Without spoiling too much, the plot revolves around Lightning’s younger sister Serah and Noel, a mysterious time traveler from 700 years in the future. Noel is the last surviving human from his time and he wants to change that fate. Even though Lightning herself isn’t in the game, Final Fantasy XIII-2 will explore her character even further, hence her being on the box cover.
Another addition to the combat system is the ability to enlist the help of tamed monsters, Pokemon style. They are controlled like normal party members, but there is something called the Feral Link as well. As a character attacks, the monster’s Feral Link meter builds up. When it’s full, the monster will be able to do a special attack through a Quick Time Event.
Will Square Enix redeem themselves for the disappointment that was Final Fantasy XIII? If Chrono Trigger is any indicator, Square Enix know how to handle time travel. Right now, the game seems like it’s going to be everything that Final Fantasy XIII should have been and then some. Despite that, final judgment is reserved for after the game comes out. January 30th cannot come soon enough.
If you still haven’t pre-ordered, there’s an awesome deal on Amazon right now. The awesome-looking Hardcover Collector’s Edition of the full game guide is 40% off on the pre-order and you get a 5% discount on the pre-order of the game with it. Check it out on Amazon