The Square Enix booth is never quiet, and that holds especially true when a new Final Fantasy game is being shown. Revealed both on the floor and at the Sony conference on Monday, Square Enix's newest offering is a
direct sequel that takes the story and mechanics of the first title and builds upon them an advanced system for both veteran and new players. This impression is written by someone who did not play to any extent the original Final Fantasy XIII and may reflect a different perspective from a player who has finished the previous title.
We jumped almost immediately into combat with a transparent giant; the only part of this massive creature that was visible was a huge, blue mechanical fist seen in the video below. Actions were simple to take — it took about the same amount of time to let the computer decide what to do as to manually input commands for a character. At various points, the game broke into a "Cinematic Combat" moment, where a button press needed to be timed or repeatedly pressed until successful — for example, one left trigger event caused Noel to completely dodge an attack and counter for massive damage.
Random encounters can sometimes be avoided, but there doesn't seem to be a compelling reason to do so. When foes spawn, an encounter begins and if a player strikes the new mob before the timer is finished, they will get a nice bonus advantage with a pre-emptive attack. Some enemies will chase down the player, while others are considerably more laid back.
Overall, Final Fantasy XIII-2 looks to be an engaging game that anyone can jump into. While the story may be a bit confusing, the controls take no time to get used to and can be both challenging and fun, as watching the large combination of attacks the different characters string together give the demo a very epic feeling.