Final Fantasy XIII-2 VIP Community Event

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Release Date: 17/11/2011

FF 13-2 Community Event
We were lucky enough to be invited the Final Fantasy XIII-2 community event in London, 3 months be it release, and we were more than happy to attend! An afternoon with a hundred odd fellow Final Fantasy fans, hosted by Yoshinori Kitase, in a swish London cinema, yes please!

Kitase Time!
Yoshinori Kitase is the producer of Final Fantasy XIII-2 and has worked on Final Fantasy games for 20 years. He has been involved in almost every game since Final Fantasy Adventure in 1991 and is best known for his work on Final Fantasy Seven, Eight and Ten.

As he took to the stage, a buzz of electricity filled the air as everyone realized they were in the presence of a legend.

Kitase went on to say that he really appreciated the feedback, from the Final Fantasy community, that Final Fantasy XIII received and that it had been listened to. He wants to give us the best experience possible, and as a result there are a number of changes that have been implemented, a couple of which are below.

One key improvement In Final Fantasy XIII-2 is an emphasis on exploration. There will be more player choice, more expansive environments and a greater emphasis on time travel. These new features allow you to explore the world how you want to, at your own pace. These improvements aim to give Final Fantasy 13-2 a more re-playable experience, than was possible in the original.

He also stated that Final Fantasy XIII-2 expands on the mythology of the Final Fantasy XIII universe, with a whole host of recurring characters and new faces to help drive the story forward and build up the feel of the world.

FF 13-2 also includes a recap system. This means that gamers can dive straight into Final Fantasy XIII-2 without having to have played Final Fantasy 13.

We were then shown gameplay that had never before been seen by the public anywhere else in the world. The gameplay is set in the Sunleth Waterscape, an area that was previously maintained by the fal-Cie, but has now changed considerably due to the events that took place in Final Fantasy 13. Here we are introduced to some of the new features and below are some of the cool details that we saw.

We met two characters outside of Serah and Noel in this play through. The first is Snow, he joined the party as a NPC at this stage and helped kick some monster butt. The second was a mysterious travelling merchant called Chocolina, who is (unsurprisingly) dressed like a Chocobo. What affect that they have on the story line wasn shown as, Square Enix worked really hard to ensure that there were no spoilers.

The world is a lot more interactive than it was before. When you explore there are multiple areas to go through and directions to take, combined with different ways of getting there. Swinging on vines or riding a Chocobo are just two of the ways that you can navigate the world around you. Ride a Chocobo and use its jump & glide abilities, to get to unreachable places, and do so without any random encounters.

Moogle Throw
This is pretty much how it sounds. Noel throws Serah Moogle (called Mog) at item pods - floating spheres - and Mog tries to open the pod to get some loot. Some of these pods are off the beaten track which provides you with another incentive to explore every nook and cranny.

Mog Clock
When you get close enough to a monster the Mog Clock feature kicks in. This is the new way in which you get a pre-emptive strike on your opponent by ensuring you attack when the dial is correctly pointing green.

In Final Fantasy XIII-2 monsters no longer roam like they did in FF13. They now randomly appear in the world and getting to close activates the Mog Clock. Another big change regarding the monsters is you can now Tame them! This big change enables you to have monsters within your party. And with over 150 to be tamed, each belonging to a particular Paradigm, you have a whole new dimension to adjust, providing you with a wealth of new strategies.

Final Thoughts
It was great to see the game in the flesh, as it were, though we do wish we had a chance to see how the new conversation system will unfold, or in what new ways we can customise our party that Kitase had hinted at earlier. Despite this, we really left with the feeling that as gamers, we had been heard and that he were working really hard to create the best game possible.

Final Fantasy XIII-2 is released on the PlayStation 3 and the Xbox 360 on the 3rd of February 2012, will it be the best Final Fantasy yet? Only time will tell, what we do know is that Final Fantasy XIII-2 is shaping up to be a blinder.

Written by Glenn Ticehurst

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