So, we played the demo to Final Fantasy XIII-2, one of the more awkwardly titled games in Square history and one you told us you wanted us to tackle. And it’s…well, really, it’s a gigantic freaking mess. It’s dumped everything you like about other games into a blender and hit frappe, and then thrown it at the wall to see what sticks.
Visually, it’s absolutely stunning, but then again, this is Square and their flagship franchise: of course it’s pretty. It’d be shocking if it weren’t.
But mechanics wise…Good Lord, was there a mechanic they didn’t include? You can now capture and level up monsters as part of your party (seriously). NPCs are obviously day players from Mass Effect. And then there are the fights.
The automated battle mechanic is just really weird and uncomfortable: it feels like the game wrests the controller from you because you’re too stupid to play it the way it wants to be played. There are lots of menus and meters that are at least comprehensible, although we really don’t want to get into the battle system right now since we have to save some rants for the review.
Also, Chocolina, the weapons merchant? Yeah, she needs to die. What is it with the Japanese and incredibly annoying minor characters?
There are likeable parts. It’s a fairly open world, for example, and the side quests seem to have an effect on the main quest. But overall, this demo doesn’t make us confident for the full game. Which, yes, we are playing anyway.
image courtesy Square Enix