January 13, 2012

You Tell Us – The Final Fantasy XIII-2 Demo

Filed under: Editorial Rants — Tags: , , , , — Jamie Love @ 7:54 pm

Final Fantasy XIII 2 Demo
I’m generally possessed of fond memories regarding Final Fantasy demos. The wayback machine reminds me of purchasing Parasite Eve in 1998, and the extra disc of Squaresoft wares that offered an early slice of Final Fantasy VIII for instance. Some of you may recall the demo for that release, which offered a chance to lead an early mercenary assault that was the final test before graduating as a member of SeeD. I had no idea about the time-bending twists that took place throughout the full game at that point – I just knew I wanted the game as soon as it released based on the mission and cinematic sorcery that demo unleashed.

While I’m not alone in losing a long-running connection to the franchise in recent years, the desire to renew a bond with a series that dominates so many of my earliest gaming memories has been boiling, peaked by the release of a demo for the upcoming sequel to Final Fantasy XIII that is now available on both the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.

Unfortunately, my best attempts have been dashed this week, because after playing through the demo twice now, I’ve never felt so completely lost, as if that short taste of XIII-2 somehow verifies that I actually have no idea how to play a videogame and have deceived you all for years somehow. Or perhaps that Square-Enix is pioneering some future for the RPG that leaves me in the backwoods talking to myself about how things used to be.

The demo drops you into a very dry town filled with dreary characters dealing with a very large nuisance, offering a chance to jog around fighting smaller monsters and even stumbling across a side-quest opportunity. There’s a shortage of narrative justification and an emphasis on simply jumping into the fray, gaining defeated monsters as allies that can be added to your party, opening up further possibilities of fusing monsters together like a mad Shin Megami scientist.

The battle system itself still creates a chaotic space where Paradigm Shifts switch between auto-battle inclined strategies, all while I pine for something I can take more measured time with like the RPG luddite I seem to be.

And I could go on chewing on that bone, or I could put the call out to you fine Sugarfiends to go forth and play this demo, and then return and tell me something about it and why it may or may not be the most important creation since sliced Moogle-bread – which is delicious with strawberry jam by the way. Since that seems like the better option, I’ll add that I’d really appreciate it if you would check it out over the weekend, assuming you haven’t already, and offer some opinions of your own in the comments.

Not only can you potentially help me understand Final Fantasy again, but you can also save this post from appearing rather lame should no one chime in.


  1. I ended up skipping the demo. My mind was set ever since they announced it. I pre-ordered the CE right after they made it official.

    Comment by EdEN — January 14, 2012 @ 5:51 am

  2. I have not played the demo… I played about one & a half hours of the original XIII and realized they should have just made it a movie instead of a “game” because it was just one long hallway where you pressed “X” every now and then to reach another cut scene. I never really was much of a FF fan… unless you count the original FFT which was just an Ogre game really. Though I did like what I saw of FFXII (The Star Wars looking one… :P)

    Comment by Ujn Hunter — January 16, 2012 @ 2:32 pm

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