Sunday, October 16, 2011

Final Fantasy XIII-2 Trailer

"Final Fantasy XIII" has to be the biggest disappointment of a game I've ever experienced.  I waited years, years to play that game, with my hopes bounded by the expectation that it would be a game like "Final Fantasy XII", only with faster action and more cinematic gameplay.  FFXII was an incredible game, my love for it knows no bounds, but its not like the gameplay couldn't be improved, and that's what I wanted.  Turns out I was completely wrong, no RPG on Earth could be less like FFXII.  To beat FFXIII's non-twelveness, you'd have to make a game with the exact purpose of being the total opposite of FFXII (which is what I fear SE actually did).  Worse, the buzz around FFXIII was so bad that I made a tactical decision to abandon it and wait for FFXV*.  The game has nothing to offer to me, even now, and I don't think I'll ever play it.  I've played enough shitty Final Fantasy games in my day:  "Revenant Wings", "Dirge of Cerberus", "Crisis Core", FFVIII, I don't need another one.

But then they made a sequel.  Okay, I guess a lot of people liked FFXIII, god knows why, but they did.  I hear the combat system was decent, people like to imagine Lightning naked, and um... maybe the story was good(?).  I gave up trying to understand FFXIII with the Fallacies and Lucies, so maybe I'm missing something there.  Luckily however, this sequel is totally different from FFXIII!  Which can only be a good thing.  Let's watch the latest trailer, because its the longest by far:


And amazingly, it actually looks decent!  So read on if you dare to see why I'm actually interested this time.

You see, Square Enix has this bizarre disease in that they are completely unable to make a proper direct sequel to anything without changing everything and ruining it somehow**, let "Revenant Wings" be Exhibit A of that. That's the direct sequel to FFXII on the DS.  Originally "Revenant Wings" was a completely different game that SE reskinned to be in canon with FFXII - and it shows.  The original game is an excellent free-roaming RPG with MMO-style gameplay.  The DS game is an RTS... basically a halfassed "Command and Conquer" without bases to build.  Could FFXII's gameplay have been replicated on the DS, of course!  But they didn't even try, they just made something completely different, and expected consumers to love it simply because the words "Final Fantasy XII" were in the title.  Luckily, when you start with a game that I didn't want to play, changing the experience can only improve matters.

As you might notice in that trailer, most of the playable cast has changed.  Now instead of six dudes, you have Serah, Lightning's sister, and some dude from the future named "Noel".  Lightning has been erased from the timeline from some evil monster, and now the characters get to wander through the timeline and other dimensions to save her.  Also, there's a dude in purple running around beating up Shiva and spreading evil.  Noel happens to come from the Lavos Future, where the Earth has been blown apart, and he's doing the "Terminator" thing.  The battle for the future will happen in the present.  But will the future refuse to change?

So already, this sounds like a much better game.  With time travel gameplay, we're channeling "Chrono Trigger" here, meaning that the game, by definition cannot be linear.  Its so not linear that they've even remove a linear flow of time!  You get to pick which time to travel to, and I suppose can explore that part of the game until you need to get back to the main story.  Also, you might have noticed in the trailer that there are towns now.  FFXIII decided to be some weird action game, like "Modern Warfare" where you basically flow through a long single corridor with the illusion of a world around you.  I thought creating a living breathing world for you to explore was a necessity for RPGs, but FFXIII thought otherwise.  Square Enix has learned now, we got towns.  FFXIII has almost no minigames or sidequests.  We got Chocobo Racing now.  I hear there's an entire Gold Saucer-like area.  Oh, and we get to raise monsters to fight in our party similar to "Dragon Quest V".  Huge improvements all around.  There even are multiple endings.

Also, Moogles!

But I guess things aren't all wonderful.  This still isn't that FFXII sequel I've wanted for five years now, but I have to learn to accept that will never happen.  As for FFXIII-2, there are a few issues.  It seems like there are only two human playable characters, neither of which are Lightning, Sazh, or Fang, characters I happen to think are extremely cool even without playing FFXIII.  And um... really that's it.  I can't find much else that can ruin this game, especially when the it offers a way for me to experience FFXIII's supposedly incredible battle system without having to play that game.

As for the trailer, it starts off great, but then it gets noticeably worse.  You know why?  Why does the trailer get terrible?  Because of that fucking Celine Dion-wannabe RnB pop bullshit.  Who the Hell likes music like this?  What is wrong with your brain?  If you enjoy music that bad, visit your parents and demand reparations, because they raised you wrong.  Nothing sounds good with music like that playing.  You could film Lightning taking a bath with her sister, and if you play that slow pop crap, it will somehow be awful.  Square Enix needs to learn to get better music, dammit.

So that's all I got here.

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* If you think I can ditch FFXIII for being too linear, you know I'll ditch FFXIV for just being an MMO, let alone one of the worst MMOs ever made.

** With the notable exception of "Kingdom Hearts II".  Oh, and depressingly, "Dissidia 2".

12 comments:

  1. I enjoyed FF-XIII, was it comparable to others, no, but was it still a good game, yes. I would like to get X-III-2,but a PS3 isn't at my current disposition at the moment so that idea went out the window. I hate the people who act like its the best game ever made, and those who would rather take a horrible game like some stupid CN racing crap game, its okay, no the best, but not the worst.

    Then there are the questions on what the hell happened! Why does Snow look like entirely different fag now? Why do they have to make the plot line even more confusing again? All this will be answered to those of you who own a PS3. Fuck all of you who don't, we don't care.

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  2. I'm cautiously optimistic about this game. From what I've heard, SE is actually addressing the many complaints about XIII. The story in non-linear, with dialogue options and multiple endings; you can switch characters in combat, instead of just controlling one and leaving the other two to the AI; and towns are back. Some cutscenes will have quicktime events, which could help mitigate the problems caused by Square's growing habit of showing you really cool stuff during cutscenes that you can't do during gameplay.

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  3. I saw some of the gameplay and the trailer at NY Comic Con over the weekend and it looked decent. They haven't really done much to improve the battle system, which wasn't that great (any Final Fantasy in which you can only control one character at a time is going to get on my nerves), but the story does seem better, and the graphics have been slightly improved (you can tell if you pay attention to Serah's hair). I'm still not going to ever pay to play it, but I might borrow it from a friend and give it a try come February or March.

    Also, the Square Enix worker dude moderating the play area gave me a free Moogle pin. That was pretty cool.

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  4. It's actually a pretty good thing you're not doing Bleach recaps anymore. This week is going to start about 7 months of filler.

    Well, I guess I'll take over when the GOOD filler starts (i.e. the second episode in November)...

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  5. @HeadBody: I'm actually planning on restarting the recaps once the filler begins. I'm sick of Bleach's main storyline, but filler is like a whole new show.

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  6. @Blue: Aw, dammit. I was hoping for something that would get my blog some subscribers. :(

    Of course, I could still just do it in my own style...

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  7. @HeadBody: If you want it, you got it. Honestly. We'll connect our blogs with some kind of blog partner thingy.

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  8. @Blue: Yes. This is an awesome idea. Maybe we could take turns doing the recaps each week or something.

    On a side note, I prefer my username to be abbreviated to HBM. Not to be rude or anything.

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  9. SO Blue are you going to get the game when it comes out or just borrow it from someone? ANd what do you think of Type-0? And on a completely different note have you been watching House? What do you think about them getting rid of most of the cast?

    -The 1 & only Uzuki

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  10. 13-2 looks alright which a big improvement in my eyes and on a side note if you pre-order different places will give you a different bonus i think amazon gives you a new playable character while gamestop gives you a different costume for Serah and Bestbuy gets a shitty book that's probably on the internet already.

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  11. Blue please recap the episode that will air on the 29th.

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  12. I shall not touch it if I cannot play Snow, Sazh, or Fang, well, unless it goes on sale, gaming is too expensive for me.

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