Demo Impressions

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#1 Posted by SpartyOn (499 posts) -

I know there is already a topic about the demo being up, but I wanted to start one for those of you that have played through it to see what you guys thought.

I'll just say first that I loved FF XIII. I know it wasn't a perfect game, and it was incredibly linear, but the story was interesting, characters were great (except Hope), battle system was deep and exciting. I think once that battle system opened up it was one of the best in the series, and I'm really excited it is returning in FF XIII-2.

Anyways, I thought the demo was pretty good. I played it on PS3 and there were a few areas of minor slowdown and some characters don't look as impressive as they did in FF XIII, but that could just be because it's a demo. Story is meaningless to me so far because the demo doesn't go into a ton of it, but the tone seems good.

The open worldy-ness seems like a it will please a lot of the haters of FF XIII since the linearity was the main complaint, and it seems like it is well done here, but the demo only shows one real environment so it's hard to say how big the entire game will end up being.

The ONLY thing I'm not sold on with the game so far is the monster being the 3rd party member. I like the idea and the whole Pokemon-collection fervor it could create, but I'm worried about their execution on it. If it ends up with me finishing the game with a monster I got in the first few hours I'll be disappointed. I want a new, strong monster to be just around every corner, and for them to be unique. There are a lot of stats on the monsters that aren't explained such as personality or w/e so who knows how the mechanic will flesh out, I'm just not sold yet...but I do see promise.

So yeah, I like it...a lot. Thoughts duders?

#2 Posted by DonChipotle (2655 posts) -

Did you dress up your monster? Because that is a feature and I want to know if you put a dapper hat on your monster.

#3 Posted by ZenaxPure (2569 posts) -

I was under the impression that the monsters were simply a third party member tied to one class, so when you wanted a ravager as opposed to a com you'd switch to a different monster or whatever. I hope that is still the case as outside of Pokemon I really hate using and capturing random monsters etc in RPGs. Seriously in P3 and P4 I only used ~3 different personas per game, ToS2 I used some dumb wolf and flower the whole game, I am hoping I can mostly ignore a "fever to catch them all" in this game.

#4 Posted by SpartyOn (499 posts) -

@DonChipotle said:

Did you dress up your monster? Because that is a feature and I want to know if you put a dapper hat on your monster.

I just put a yellow cap on what can only be described as an anemic penguin...GOTY

@Zenaxzd said:

I was under the impression that the monsters were simply a third party member tied to one class, so when you wanted a ravager as opposed to a com you'd switch to a different monster or whatever. I hope that is still the case as outside of Pokemon I really hate using and capturing random monsters etc in RPGs. Seriously in P3 and P4 I only used ~3 different personas per game, ToS2 I used some dumb wolf and flower the whole game, I am hoping I can mostly ignore a "fever to catch them all" in this game.

Well in this demo at least, once you beat a monster it seems to randomly appear in your list of available monsters or not. So you don't seek out and catch them, you just choose which you want to be active. They have base stats yet they also have an entire leveling tree, and it seems you can have one monster ingest another to get special boosts/abilities. It seems deeper than I originally thought so that's a plus.

#5 Posted by JeanLuc (3518 posts) -

I wasn't feeling it. It wasn't bad, I just don't think Final Fantasy is for me.

#6 Posted by DonChipotle (2655 posts) -

@SpartyOn said:

I just put a yellow cap on what can only be described as an anemic penguin...GOTY

That's pretty fuckin' dapper

#8 Posted by NMC2008 (1167 posts) -

Loved it like I loved XIII, day one.

#9 Posted by SpartyOn (499 posts) -

The trailer/montage that plays at the end of the demo once you beat the boss has some things in it that look really appealing.

#10 Posted by SomeJerk (2968 posts) -

I will get it only because I need a helluva timekiller.  If I wasn't in need of a game like that, this would have been saved until it hit the bargain bin or I found a used sale for nearly nothing, for time killer playtime filler is what it is. Figured out I had spent my points kinda wrong and ended up grinding and just before the two hour mark I dropped that boss, feeling like I was back into the FF13 style of though again.
 
The QTEs are okay but I'd rather just have a cutscene, but at least it's not Asura's QTE which has my hands and lower arms still hurting like mad, entire body tired. Don't get muscle-diseases. Day one, and hell do I appreciate dressing up monsters!

#11 Posted by Lockeyness (187 posts) -

I didn't much care for Final Fantasy XIII, so playing through this demo didn't grab me right away. I may go back to one of these games eventually. All of the time travelling stuff in XIII-2 seems pretty insane, so there's that. I'll wait 'til Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning to get my RPG fix.

#12 Posted by JasonR86 (9374 posts) -

My first thought was this, "My God that fucking Kupo Jesus Christ I can't handle that shit what the fuck am I playing GOD!"

Then I started playing the game and here's what I thought:

-I don't really like the cinematic action stuff.

-The battle system seemed fine but I really didn't know what I was doing and I refused to go through the tutorial.

-That fucking Kupo man. My God if he's there the whole time it might just ruin the whole game for me.

-Graphics are nice though the frame rate wasn't great.

-The music is nice too.

-And the voice acting was better then I thought it would be...aside from that Goddamn Kupo.

-It was nice they allowed you to walk around the town and talk to people. The problem was I didn't care what anyone had to say. I have a feeling that wouldn't change if I knew what was going on in the story either.

-Oh My GOD the Kupo Jesus Christ.

-The voice acting still had those weird moments where the actors had to translate what "meh..." or "uagha..." meant after hearing something someone said. Like, the Japanese self-determined noise.

#13 Posted by SomeJerk (2968 posts) -
@JasonR86 said:

Kupoooo...

#14 Posted by siddarth0605 (114 posts) -

@Lockeyness said:

I didn't much care for Final Fantasy XIII, so playing through this demo didn't grab me right away. I may go back to one of these games eventually. All of the time travelling stuff in XIII-2 seems pretty insane, so there's that. I'll wait 'til Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning to get my RPG fix.

yeah i agree putting this game out so close to amalur for me is tough because having played the demo i do like it but i am right now more interested in amalur than I am in this. Also i finished FFXIII about 1 month ago so i want some time away from that battle system and world before i go back to it. That being said i did enjoy the demo. There were plenty of little things that they did well. For example whenever you open up a time paradox with Mog people start crowding around it which was nice. I also like the darker tone to it and the characters seem more interesting. I am enjoying the idea of only having 2 characters throughout the entire game because it will allow them to develop them further. Threre is some hokey time lingo in there but overall i thought it was a good demo but i will still spend my $60 on amalur and wait for a price drop on this one.

#15 Posted by JasonR86 (9374 posts) -

@SomeJerk said:

@JasonR86 said:

Kupoooo...

Ahhhhhhh!!!!!! Fuck!!!

#16 Posted by xyzygy (9623 posts) -

I fucking loved the demo. One thing that I really loved about it is the music. It has this really awesome electro-synth thing going on, it's really impressive. I really loved the Atlas music. 
 
  

  The game doesn't have the vocals which are stupid, just the awesome music. 
 
I was also impressed with the monsters. I didn't expect to have this much flexibility with their development, gathering different types of orbs which give the creatures different stats in their respective crystarium. I love how each monster can only fill a respective role as well. 
 
Either way SE has my money at the end of the month.
#17 Edited by Bobby_The_Great (999 posts) -

I'm really liking it. I like monster/party member, I like that I have more options from the get-go, I like Noel's characterization, I like that there are side quest early on, and I like the new preemptive strike feature. Looks like another buy for me, and yes, I really like XIII as well. So much I played it on 360 and PS3. Eh, I'm not a game hater though like everyone else on the internet.

I will agree the frame rate was a bit low, but I'm chalking that up to the demo, hopefully.

#18 Posted by WMWA (1159 posts) -
@SpartyOn I liked 13 a lot. But the monsters aspect is what really sold me on this game. Playing through the demo, that just clicked with me. I can tell it will be really addictive in the final one. This game had kind of fallen off my radar somehow and the demo took me by surprise today when I found it. But yeah, definitely a day 1 purchase for me now
#19 Posted by Konanda (627 posts) -

Finished the demo as well and dug the monster stuff, it's cool that they have their own Crystarium, which is leveled by items. Although I will say I'm unsure about the change to the crystarium mostly because they didn't really talk about it and I'm curious if it ends up branching out like in XIII or if there is a set cap for Noel and Serah's Crystarium like there seems to be for the monsters you capture. If so than that's pretty neat as well that you really do have to pick and choose how you want to develop your character instead of just making it tedious to do so by making the cost much higher for the character's non-main roles.

I also think it's interesting how you get a bonus when you level the crystarium enough, which can be a tough choice when it comes down to picking another ATB gauge slot or another role. Adds even more customization to the character's if it ends up that the crystarium has a definite limit and you can't just grind out everything if you so wish.

The change to how accessories works is intriguing as well in that you have to really decide what to equip since each item has an equipment cost so you have to pick and choose what you want to wear or increase the capacity you have for equipment.

Getting gil after battle is nice as well since I wasn't as big of a fan of having to sell items (mostly components) for gil so that I can buy new stuff (mostly components and catalysts) to upgrade my weapons with and it sounds like crafting will require quite a bit of gil.

I like how the Mog clock and preemptive strikes work specifically that you don't have to sneak up on an enemy merely intiate combat early enough and doing so gives you a buff along with the chain bonus increase.

The other change to combat of having a more fighting game style health system was very interesting as well and adds more strategy and urgency to finishing a battle since every time you are wounded your max health for that battle (until you die and are revived) decreases by how much you were wounded for so you can't recover all the damage the character took. Meaning if fights drag on you can be weakened fairly quickly. Not to mention the added incentive of a greater chance of item drops tied to getting a 5/5 in the battle (meaning complete it fast)

I'm guessing this is early on in the game and it's cool how you already get optional sidequests that early.

The puzzle inside the anomoly was neat and I'm curious if it's optional or not since it seemed you could just go and fight Atlus without doing it if you so wanted.

Chocolina (the strange time travelling merchant dressed as sexy chocobo) seems pretty ridiculous though but in a kind of funny way.

Oh and the level had all kinds of nooks and crannies to explore around in, which was intriguing and with some branching paths around the area like the place where an optional Cie'th mark and the machine that brings you in to the anomoly are.

Also I will agree that Mog's voice is kind of annoying.

Anyway I'm quite enjoyed the demo and looking forward to playing this when it comes out. (time permitting)

#20 Posted by SomeJerk (2968 posts) -

Chocolina for Katawa Shoujo DLC please

#21 Posted by Animasta (14460 posts) -

so gonna buy the shit outta this game

#22 Posted by mandude (2667 posts) -

Hmm, I seem to share your sentiments of XIII, so now I'm excited enough about this.

#23 Posted by Solh0und (1680 posts) -

It's hit and miss for me. I really like the music this time around and Noel doesn't seem like a bad character to like.

#24 Posted by Cincaid (2948 posts) -

Will probably buy it to play over the summer when I have a lot of spare time for a game like this. Haven't played the demo, but I doubt it'll change my mind in any way.

#25 Edited by ZenaxPure (2569 posts) -

Ok so I am super excited for this game now. It was certainly my most anticipated game of the year but man that demo. That demo really invoked a lot of old feelings for FF I did not feel in 13, the game actually feels like it has a soul to say it nicely. I mean yeah I loved 13 but there was a lot missing from it and this game seems to have all those things I really love about the series.
 
It really feels like they scoured the internet searching for everything people complained about down to the tiniest thing and went out of their way to give options to fix it. Like christ, you can even lock the map and minimap into place now so it's always facing north (or if you liked the old terrible way where it spun that is there too). I mean it was only a minor complaint I didn't expect to be touched and yet there it was. 
 
Also it seems significantly harder to score a 5 star rating on battles now. I was getting plenty sure, but even the tiniest error in a fight and I would only get 4 stars tops. As kind of punishing as it is I appreciate it as I found getting 5 stars on fights in 13 to be very simple and a complete joke if you got a preemptive strike. 
 
Really though I can not believe how blown away I was by the demo, all the changes they've made (there is a lot of them/pretty much all for the better, Cinematic Actions I could care less about since I am neutral about QTEs) really make that game what I was hoping 13 would be when I purchased it.... Someone make the end of the month get here faster. 
  
Oh also, using Mog around a group of people was hilarious, do it.

#26 Posted by SpartyOn (499 posts) -

@Zenaxzd said:

Oh also, using Mog around a group of people was hilarious, do it.

Yeah what was that about? I used him/her/it in the main city area to find a chest and everyone ran up to my group and lost their minds. It's kind of cool that they make the NPC's acknowledge the fact that your floating dog/cat/bear friend just conjured a loud bright magic bubble and made a chest APPEAR FROM FREAKING TIME!

#27 Posted by ZenaxPure (2569 posts) -
@SpartyOn: I really like a lot of the things they do with the NPCs, it's not on par with something say like Skyrim reactions but I do like that NPCs react to the world. Another example is when enemies spawn around you the soldiers will run up and punch them and such. It's purely cosmetic but it's nice they don't just wander around ignoring the fact magic penguins are going crazy.
#28 Posted by mandude (2667 posts) -

Hmm...just played this. Pretty solid, but I really wish they'd give me more choice in the crystarium. Granted, I'm still a bit confused by it, but the whole system seems really automated to me.

#29 Posted by Doctorchimp (4063 posts) -

@SpartyOn said:

The open worldy-ness seems like a it will please a lot of the haters of FF XIII since the linearity was the main complaint, and it seems like it is well done here, but the demo only shows one real environment so it's hard to say how big the entire game will end up being.

I wish the world was this simple.

#30 Posted by ZenaxPure (2569 posts) -
@mandude said:
Hmm...just played this. Pretty solid, but I really wish they'd give me more choice in the crystarium. Granted, I'm still a bit confused by it, but the whole system seems really automated to me.
It mostly seems like they rolled all the trees into 1. Basically you have a set path you have to follow on the grid, but you select which role you want to level on a node by node basis, which then determines what bonuses you get. For example on the same node if you choose to use it for Com you will gain bonus attack but if you use it for a Ravager you would gain a magic bonus. 
 
Activating 1 node increases that role by 1 level and getting specific levels grants abilities. So if you have 20 nodes to activate, and gain an ability at level 10 for Com and one at level 10 for Rav you'd want to use 10 com levels and 10 Rav levels to reach both of those abilities but you would lose out on extra attack or magic by simply spending all 20 of those points on one class.
 
I found it very weird at first and thought that choice had sort of been taken away, but really it's just all the trees rolled into one and since you will have access to all of them in chapter 1 it seems like you will have to make a lot of hard decisions early in the game (compared to 13 anyway).
#31 Posted by Turambar (6484 posts) -

You can put sunglasses on a flan.  I mean fuck, sunglasses on a fucking flan,.

#32 Posted by ZenaxPure (2569 posts) -
@Turambar said:
You can put sunglasses on a flan.  I mean fuck, sunglasses on a fucking flan,.
Easy now, we all know the correct choice is sunglasses on Chocobos.
#33 Posted by mandude (2667 posts) -

Ah, that puts a lot of things into perspective now. Definitely seems like an improvement then.

#34 Posted by ZenaxPure (2569 posts) -

Oh also if no one else noticed (I don't think anyone pointed it out anyway) it seems like the lyrics have been ripped out of a lot of the songs for the North American release. I can't say I am upset as most of the time I really find the lyrics to be annoying during gameplay stuff regardless of game.

#35 Posted by Beforet (2884 posts) -

Don't know if this was brought up, but I really like what they did with the Crystarium. In XIII it seemed kind of pointless since every class had its own grid and you would inevitably max out everyone's primary classes. In here all the classes share a grid, and leveling up one class will increase the CP cost of all the classes. This makes stat growth less of a predetermined thing and also encourages specialization, at least in the early game.

Also, the first time you paradigm shift in battle isn't accompanied by the ungodly long animation like in 13. Very quick. Also, the ATB refresh exploit still works. I don't know if I'm happy or sad about that.

#36 Posted by GunstarRed (4730 posts) -

Felt a lot like XIII. I played it for about an hour and a half and it seemed fine, but not something I want at release. I wa sprobably most amused by there being a jump button. I found myself bunnyhopping everywhere just cos I could.

#37 Posted by ZenaxPure (2569 posts) -
@Beforet: On a similar note about the crystarium as I mentioned up a bit it seems like in the full retail game you will have to make some tough decisions since every class will be unlocked at the start. In the long run though I think it would of felt exactly the same in 13 if you had actually had access to all the classes from the start since there still would of been a lot of choices on where you were forced to spend your points.
#38 Posted by Ursus_Veritas (383 posts) -

I loved XIII, so I really enjoyed this. I'm not sure how I feel about making the changes to the crystarium, the 'cinematic action' bits are a little weird, and Mog got a little annoying at times, but everything else I really enjoyed. The Monster stuff seems like a really neat idea, that might be my favourite addition. I've heard people saying they've had framerate issues with it but I didn't notice anything while playing, it still looks fantastic. The music is pretty great too (I've got the 'Thanks for Playing' Screen on in the background as I write just for the piano music, which is wonderful!), and was that Chocobo racing in the trailer at the end!?  
 
Oh, and I put a newspaper boy's hat on my Garchimacera. Fuck everything else, that's goddamn amazing.

#39 Edited by Beforet (2884 posts) -

@Zenaxzd said:

@Beforet: On a similar note about the crystarium as I mentioned up a bit it seems like in the full retail game you will have to make some tough decisions since every class will be unlocked at the start. In the long run though I think it would of felt exactly the same in 13 if you had actually had access to all the classes from the start since there still would of been a lot of choices on where you were forced to spend your points.

You didn't get the crystarium to expand in the demo, did you? All the classes won't be unlocked from the start because you unlock them with the crystarium! When you max out your current grid you get the "ding! crystarium expanded" thing you would get after bosses in 13, and you're given a choice. Either you can upgrade one of two classes, add an ATB bar, increase your accessory capacity, or unlock a new class. For example, with Noel I could boost either Commando or Sentinel, my ATB or Capacity, or I could unlock the synergist role. Serah could unlock the saboteur role. So you will have to choose what to prioritize, either improving your current classes, or making yourself more versatile, or just being faster.

#40 Posted by mandude (2667 posts) -

Only thing that really put me off now, were the characters. They didn't seem AAA enough for me...

#41 Posted by Char12 (69 posts) -

@Beforet: ATB refresh exploit, I played through all of 13 and never heard about that?

Back on topic, I want to say I freaking loved the demo, I liked how you could jump at any time and how fluidly the characters ran, everything seems like a big improvement, the only thing Im worried about is the accesory carry limit, but Im sure it won't be that big a problem, this has totaly justified my GAME preorder, can't wait till the 3rd now.

#42 Posted by langdonx (105 posts) -

@mandude said:

Hmm...just played this. Pretty solid, but I really wish they'd give me more choice in the crystarium. Granted, I'm still a bit confused by it, but the whole system seems really automated to me.

I think I like the new system better. Essentially you just choose which class to level up (and some levels give you certain skills). The whole visualization of the crystarium is really unnecessary and makes it more confusing than it needs to be.

#43 Posted by Oscar__Explosion (2150 posts) -

I'm going to start this off by saying that the most of Final Fantasy XIII I've played was a demo and I didn't like it at all. That was about two years ago so when I found out that the sequel was getting a demo as well I decided "eh what the hell." I fucking hated the Final Fantasy XIII-2 demo. From what I remember of the original the battle system is fundamental unchanged (auto-attack, auto-attack, oh health is low switch to medic, auto-attack) the characters are super bland and boring sounding, the music is totally forgettable (one of the most important aspects in any game to me) and there is way to much shit going on the screen during battle at once.

Now I'm not saying that Final Fantasy today is total shit or anything like that. It's just changed way to much from what I used to love (everything before XII) and it doesn't seem like it will ever go back to it's roots. Which once again I'm not saying is a bad thing. It's just not for me anymore.

#44 Posted by PatPandaHat (111 posts) -

Overall, I kind of liked it. I liked X-2 in how it showed how the world changed after the big end-of-the-world is averted, and the demo seems to be along a similar pathway in how the world is kind of doing okay post-Sanctum and fal'cie. On the subject of monsters, I basically just took a Cait Sith, put a yellow hot-dog-on-a-stick hat on him, and let him Medic my way through the rest of the demo. My one dread here is the question of, exactly how long will I be playing the actual game before I get to the point where the demo starts. Because if I have to try making it through another 20 hours of training chutes to get to run around an open map for one chapter, I'm going to kill someone.

#45 Posted by Petiew (1278 posts) -
@PatPandaHat: If I remember right at the start of the demo it said Chapter 2, so it should only take a few hours to get up to that point.
#46 Edited by ZenaxPure (2569 posts) -
@Oscar__Explosion said:

 From what I remember of the original the battle system is fundamental unchanged (auto-attack, auto-attack, oh health is low switch to medic, auto-attack)

For the 100th time someone has said this, you're doing a disservice to yourself, the auto battle AI is still horrible in the demo, in fact it's worse than what it was in 13 so by simply using auto battle you were probably making fights about double the length they actually needed to be. That is really not the way to play this game or XIII for that matter, especially now that XIII-2 has harsher penalties for obtaining a 5 star rating (which can net you rare/extra items, so all the more reason to try and achieve it). I tried auto battle out for a while and was consistently sitting in the 3 star range, it's terrible. 
 
@Beforet:
I did expand it in the demo, and as you said had the option to unlock the Syn/Sab which meant I had access to every class (unless they added some new ones I am not aware of). I mean I guess technically this is not the "start" of the game, but it's close enough. Especially considering in 13 most people only had access to 3 classes (not even of your choice) for the first 25 hours or whatever.
#47 Posted by denryu12 (36 posts) -

Didn't really like ff13 but the demo showed me that they have got rid of the annoying aspects of that first game mainly the corridor crawling and there is actual depth to the combat,Looks like i will be picking this game up day 1.

#48 Posted by DocHaus (1286 posts) -

This reminded me that I need to finish that used copy of FF13 I picked up a little while ago. But I have to ask, what was the character desginer smoking when it was decided that this game needed a half-naked human, half-chocobo saleswoman? Because it creeped me the fuck out when I bought something from her.

#49 Posted by ZenaxPure (2569 posts) -
@DocHaus said:

This reminded me that I need to finish that used copy of FF13 I picked up a little while ago. But I have to ask, what was the character desginer smoking when it was decided that this game needed a half-naked human, half-chocobo saleswoman? Because it creeped me the fuck out when I bought something from her.

That's not even the creepy part, this lady time travels and can magically appear in whatever room you're in. AND NOBODY SEEMS TO KNOW WHY. 
#50 Posted by Animasta (14460 posts) -

@Zenaxzd said:

@DocHaus said:

This reminded me that I need to finish that used copy of FF13 I picked up a little while ago. But I have to ask, what was the character desginer smoking when it was decided that this game needed a half-naked human, half-chocobo saleswoman? Because it creeped me the fuck out when I bought something from her.

That's not even the creepy part, this lady time travels and can magically appear in whatever room you're in. AND NOBODY SEEMS TO KNOW WHY.

it's not even the half naked ness or the time travelling part, it's the fact that she has the most perky voice I've ever heard in a video game.

I'm fighting a giant lady tone down the perkiness will you D:

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