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.

January 20, 2011

Final Fantasy – X’s & 2’s

Filed under: Editorial Rants — Tags: , , , , , , , , — Nathan White @ 4:58 pm

Final Fantasy X2
The recent announcement of Final Fantasy XIII-2 has franchise fans aflutter with the feeling you only get when you know a Final Fantasy title is several months away rather than several years.

Aside from the potential of delivering a title that ascends the divisions Final Fantasy XIII created among fans and critics, XIII-2 will also be only the third main series sequel in Final Fantasy’s storied 20+ year history – after 2007’s DS release Final Fantasy XII – Revenant Wings, and undeniably the most polarizing game in the franchise’s history, Final Fantasy X-2.

The announcement this week also makes talking about Final Fantasy X-2 wonderfully topically again, an opportunity I’ll eagerly exploit.


January 18, 2011

Final Fantasy Musings

Filed under: News Feed — Tags: , , , — Jamie Love @ 3:55 pm

Final Fantasy
With so little information presently accompanying the announcement of Final Fantasy XIII-2, and so many other titles with Final Fantasy in the works, it’s not easy finding something to say.

Plus it’s best to take Square-Enix on the final product and not plenty of very early PR – actually that’s probably a good rule across the board. Never the less, Square’s never-ending love of feathers in the above key image for the title gives enough space to wish them luck in proving that Final Fantasy titles can still be a golden goose rather than a series of turkeys.

I can’t help being interested in Final Fantasy Versus XIII anew however, even while suspecting I may regret it. Whether because of development time, or titles like Dirge of Cerberus and Crisis Core, I’m extremely apprehensive, but video of the game from Square’s event is definitely worth a watch or two.


Trailer Park – Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance

Kingdom Hearts 3DS
Square-Enix shakes up a very quiet weekend break with media and title adjustments for Kingdom Hearts’ 3DS release, now known as Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance.

Other developments from the company saw Final Fantasy Type-0 become the new title for the PSP game Final Fantasy Agito XIII, and the curtain was pulled back slightly further to reveal a direct sequel to last year’s Final Fantasy XIII, the aptly named Final Fantasy XIII-2 – which Square-Enix was quick to announce this morning would also be hitting North American PS3’s and 360’s next winter.


July 13, 2010

Toronto’s Final Fantasy Music Fix

Filed under: News Feed — Tags: , , , , , , — Jamie Love @ 9:52 am

Distant Worlds
Distant Worlds, the touring symphony of music from the Final Fantasy series has a date with Toronto, hitting the Sony Centre on Saturday, November 27 2010. Arnie Roth will be conducting the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony through the 2-hour program featuring the compositions of Nobuo Uematsu, whom the event lists as being in attendance to boot.

If you’re in Toronto and interested, more information can be found here.

Not to ignore the rest of the world, Distant Worlds will also be in San Francisco on July 15 and 16, San Diego on July 22, Houston on July 24, and in Washington D.C. on July 30.

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