FFXiii - 3 demo up on Xbox LIVE / PSN (1/21/13)

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#51 Edited by MiniPato (2721 posts) -

So did you have to buy that Lightning DLC for FFXIII-2 to get the real true ending where Serah dies? Cause Serah didn't die in my FFXIII-2 playthrough.

Anyways, based solely off the demo, the combat didn't really grab me. The potential for deep combat is there, but the enemies didn't really pose a big enough challenge where I felt I needed to play strategically or where experimenting with a different schema set yielded any noticeable difference. It was all very spammy. Throw a shit ton of attacks and then cycle to the class with full ATB. Still unsure of how staggering works. Do I just spam their weak element or do I just have to attack with their weakness once and then keep attacking with anything to raise the stagger "meter?" I kind of just stumbled into 5 starring the demo boss.

And fucking hell, it just reminded me how much I don't like Lightning. She should have been called "Ice." Because she was an ice cold bitch in the beginning of XIII and then turned cold, dull and boring. I think it's in large part due to her monotone voice acting. Compared to Snow, Lumina, and Hope, she just sounds like she'd rather be doing something other than saving the world.

I really liked XIII-2 and I want to like Lightning Returns, but the demo is kinda turning me off of it. The combat in the early goings of FFXIII was really shallow and dull too, so I'd bet it gets better and deeper later on in Lightning Returns. But as it stands, I think this game went from day 1 purchase to waiting on a discount.

#52 Edited by Demoskinos (14563 posts) -

Here is my score...

@minipato Dude, its right in the ending cinematic of the main game I don't know how you missed it. Also you're going to sit there and call the combat "spammy" but then in the same paragraph admit that you have no idea how staggering works? C'mon man don't be ridiculous.

#53 Edited by TheBlue (316 posts) -

@minipato: Did you not...finish XIII-2?

The combat seemed kinda weird in the demo. I mean, you can just cycle through classes and refill the ATB gauge. That seems...broken? Also, I didn't like that there's no Stagger meter. I barely knew if an enemy was staggered until I was hitting it. I don't know, it is just a demo. I thought XIII's combat was not terribly fun at the start but the more I played the more I liked it.

#54 Edited by SteadyingMeat (1114 posts) -

Well then. I finished the demo and I gotta say, that was way better than I was expecting. I mean, Lightning and Hope are still painfully corny and cheesy characters, but everything else was pretty great. The battle system was way better than the first two. But uhhh, where's the leveling?

#55 Edited by Demoskinos (14563 posts) -

@steadyingmeat: There isn't one. Well, not in the traditional sense of gaining "XP" anyways.

#56 Posted by SteadyingMeat (1114 posts) -

@demoskinos: Oh. I'll have to read up on that. Despite liking the original, and kinda liking XIII-2, I haven't payed much attention at all to this one up until this point.

#57 Posted by kishinfoulux (2255 posts) -

Wish I knew about the Facebook/Twitter thing for the extra outfit. :-/

Can't be bothered to boot up the demo again to get it. I thought you just had to play the demo. I uploaded a shot, but don't think it was to any social media. Are you supposed to get a notification or something?

Anyways it was a fun demo. Runs well, which I was worried about because early videos made it look awful. Graphically both this and XIII-2 just don't hold up to original XIII. The latter two games just seem more grungy and rough. Could have just been the indoors setting though.

Still trying to get a grasp of the battle system. Trying to deduce how ATB recharges out of battle. Also unsure on staggering. I know you're supposed to watch the enemy health gauge and it'll waver and stuff, but it seemed inconsistent. Like against the "boss" I would open with Blizzarra and then change into Dragoon and use her circle button attack (Lancelot is triangle, but I switched it to circle and I forget the name of it). Sometimes that would be enough to stagger it, but then other times it wouldn't.

Also this will be an unpopular opinion but I really wish you would just healed out of battle. Adding in the necessity to heal after battle is just a chore, especially since potions seem dirt cheap and restore all your HP.

#58 Posted by Alphaknowledge (21 posts) -

My first impressions:

  • Great combat system, this is what should have been incorporated before. Doesn`t feel like you are mashing one button mindlessly and has more depth.
  • Story still seems convoluted.
  • Lumina sounds like an annoying child.
  • Snow must be on really messed up drugs.

#60 Posted by Fredchuckdave (5339 posts) -

Success to authentication

#61 Posted by SteadyingMeat (1114 posts) -

Well I just booted up the demo again and somehow managed to 5 star the boss (I did worse than my first try so I dunno), but I didn't have the stupid thing set up to get the outfit. D:

#62 Edited by Fredchuckdave (5339 posts) -

I did set up the twitter crap and posted but no idea if I unlocked the outfit. Seems like a simplification of the excellent battle system in XIII and XIII-2, but it could still be pretty good even if it doesn't reach those levels of complication/timing. Still love me some Snow Baker.

Dem Scores:

#63 Posted by MiniPato (2721 posts) -

Here is my score...

@minipato Dude, its right in the ending cinematic of the main game I don't know how you missed it. Also you're going to sit there and call the combat "spammy" but then in the same paragraph admit that you have no idea how staggering works? C'mon man don't be ridiculous.

Oh right, I totally forgot about her collapsing. I guess it didn't stick with me because it was so...non-dramatic? It was overshadowed by the "to be continued." And in my defense, Noel and Serah are so uninteresting and dense and the story is so convoluted that it's hard for me to care. My love for FFXIII-2 lies in its gameplay, not story.

Yes, as it appeared in the demo, the combat was very spammy fighting the regular mobs and they didn't bother explaining how they changed the stagger system until the very end. And as TheBlue stated, the lack of a proper stagger meter made it hard for me to determine what actually moves the pulse to red and what keeps it red. I wasn't sure if I had to keep hitting him with his weakness to keep the stagger up or if it was like past games where I could hit him with a weakness to boost the stagger meter and then use a physical move to keep it up. I know I'm not the only one confused about it.

Don't take it personally. I know it's a demo and there will be tougher enemies in the main game that require more strategy and finesse. But the base battle system isn't quite grabbing me enough to where I would pay full price to explore it's intricacies.

#64 Edited by Flappy (2131 posts) -

Still curious about two things:

1) It's possible to destroy limbs/areas of enemies during battle (i.e. Zaltys' tail in the demo), but since I'm not aware of any freerunning mechanic (ala Tales of [Blank]), it's pretty difficult to exploit that sort of thing.

2) How easy it'll be to switch between targets in battle. Since Lightning is gonna be saving the world by herself, it's only a matter of time before she has to face multiple enemies at the same time. Even if all the enemies aren't mauling her at the same time, it'd be nice to be able to pick and choose Lightning's targets in a strategic fashion.

Other than that, I'm good to go. I was worried that this game would be terrible from top to bottom, but from the small bit of the game that I've played, Square has done a solid job at improving upon the systems that were in place for XIII-2. I get the feeling that the story will continue to be a crazy mess, but as long as I'm having fun with the combat and customization, I'll be more than happy to spend time with the full game in a couple of weeks.

#65 Edited by GrantHeaslip (1525 posts) -

I was fumbling around at first, but I got the hang of the battle system pretty quick. Like the other games, there seems to be a fair bit of depth to it, but not at the expense of unnecessary complexity. Some of the dialogue and acting was a little suspect, but it's such a tiny slice that I'll withhold judgement for the final game.

@kishinfoulux said:

Wish I knew about the Facebook/Twitter thing for the extra outfit. :-/

Can't be bothered to boot up the demo again to get it. I thought you just had to play the demo. I uploaded a shot, but don't think it was to any social media. Are you supposed to get a notification or something?

I'm not positive about this, but my understanding is that to get the bonus outfit, you have to post your boss battle score to Outerworld, but not necessarily to Facebook or Twitter. Outerworld can optionally post to Facebook or Twitter, but it's a thing unto itself -- the blue-named people you saw running around were vessels for Outerworld posts. It seems sort of like a Lightning Returns-specific Miiverse, with elements of the Bravely Default StreetPass integration.

@flappy said:

2) How easy it'll be to switch between targets in battle. Since Lightning is gonna be saving the world by herself, it's only a matter of time before she has to face multiple enemies at the same time. Even if all the enemies aren't mauling her at the same time, it'd be nice to be able to pick and choose Lightning's targets in a strategic fashion.

I think I switched targets using the d-pad. It's hard to say for sure because the demo has just one multi-enemy battle. It seems like managing multiple enemies could be a pain though.

#66 Posted by Demoskinos (14563 posts) -
#67 Posted by kishinfoulux (2255 posts) -

@grantheaslip Yeah just read the same. You can redeem all that stuff in the main game. The samurai costume is downloaded with the demo it seems also.

Also god damn at that 37 seconds. Forget what my fastest was, but it wasn't that...lol.

#68 Edited by NMC2008 (1231 posts) -

I would love to see that 37 seconds battle. Mine is 1:06 @ 144,925 points.

#69 Edited by Crommi (43 posts) -

Any idea when the PS3 demo will be available in EU?

#70 Edited by Fredchuckdave (5339 posts) -

@demoskinos: Consumables baby. Hopefully you don't have to go kill Onyxia for the 50th time before you go kill the last boss.

On that note I do think the not healing out of battles is a step backward.

#71 Edited by NMC2008 (1231 posts) -

@demoskinos: Consumables baby. Hopefully you don't have to go kill Onyxia for the 50th time before you go kill the last boss.

On that note I do think the not healing out of battles is a step backward.

Yeah, between that and the changing of the stagger bar, those are two big steps backwards in my opinion.

#72 Posted by kishinfoulux (2255 posts) -

@demoskinos: Consumables baby. Hopefully you don't have to go kill Onyxia for the 50th time before you go kill the last boss.

On that note I do think the not healing out of battles is a step backward.

If you play on Easy it still does that, so I'm good to go. I imagine most will play on Normal though.

@nmc2008 said:

@fredchuckdave said:

@demoskinos: Consumables baby. Hopefully you don't have to go kill Onyxia for the 50th time before you go kill the last boss.

On that note I do think the not healing out of battles is a step backward.

Yeah, between that and the changing of the stagger bar, those are two big steps backwards in my opinion.

Yeah it can be hard to notice sometimes. I miss the actual bar filling up because it gave a much better idea of how effective your attacks were.

#73 Edited by altairre (1127 posts) -

@flappy: How do you beat this guy so fast. The best time I've seen so far is 17 seconds. What are you even doing at that point.

edit: Alright got it now, did it in 20. This battle system is fun.

#74 Posted by DonChipotle (2693 posts) -

@demoskinos: Consumables baby. Hopefully you don't have to go kill Onyxia for the 50th time before you go kill the last boss.

On that note I do think the not healing out of battles is a step backward.

I actually like having to heal outside of battle. It makes items actually mean something again since they meant fuck-all in 13 and 13-2.

#75 Posted by Flappy (2131 posts) -

@altairre: @demoskinos:

I got lucky and started off the battle with a preemptive strike, so I took off 25% of Zaltys' health before the fight even started. With that out of the way, I hit him with Deprotect, popped two potions (a warrior potion and the potion that gives Lightning's weapons ice-properties) and went to work with the Dragoon, Black Mage, and Savior schema. I feel like I could've done more to speed up the process, but that's the gist of what I did.

#76 Edited by altairre (1127 posts) -

@flappy: The winning combination seems to be the following:

  1. Immediately use the warrior's potion
  2. Use blizzaga
  3. Use the enfrost potion (saves time if you use it at that point because Zaltys is lifted up)
  4. Use deprotect
  5. Use beatdown
  6. Light slash the fuck out of him until he dies (with overclock)
#77 Posted by Demoskinos (14563 posts) -

@flappy: Yep that makes sense. I never bothered to look at the potions. I guess I should pay more attention to those. =p

#78 Edited by Fredchuckdave (5339 posts) -

@donchipotle: Items are usually either meaningless or blatantly overpowered in JRPGs (seems clear it's the latter in this case, but that'll just mean there's some superboss that's impossible without some specific setup that you either trial and error or look up, not good design). But you did have to use wound potions in XIII-2, and there was certainly benefit to Unicorn Horns etc. In general the old style of items is a bit tired and unnecessary; but if there's like a 3 second delay until the item's effect it works out okay.

#79 Posted by Yretery (18 posts) -

Maaaaaan... My experience with the japanese version pretty much tells me the gameplay is the best of the FF13 games, but considering I abhor'd the first two that's not saying much. But the story, dear god the writing and the dialogue and the whole lot of it. That stuff is hot garbage, it's the worst it's ever been, and I figure i will just leave that warning out there for people to see. It is quite possibly the worst tripe I've ever had to deal with in a video game.

#80 Posted by Fredchuckdave (5339 posts) -

PSA: R2 is run out of battles, may or may not impact your battle meter. Wonder how many stripper poles there will be for Lightning to jump onto (the inverse of a ladder it would seem). Guarding is definitely worse than it was in the first 2 games, even if it wasn't necessarily obvious how to do it right.

#81 Posted by Hailinel (23915 posts) -

I just played the demo myself, and I'm not surprised by the fact that it's actually a more fleshed version of the demo that they had at PAX (and presumably other shows) last year. It stretches on long enough to fight the boss as a field encounter now, which is pretty nice, and the shopkeeper is a new addition, as are the bulk of the cinematics at the start. The old version of the demo also locked you into three schemas and didn't offer customization alternatives (which I suppose was for the best at a convention setting). Overall, I'm still excited for this game. It'll be nice to finally play the full version.

#82 Edited by MEATBALL (3071 posts) -

Combat was feeling pretty mindless to me, but I guess I can see some potential? I don't really like the new stagger system, I think I'd rather have an actual meter. The screen effect when you're low on health is really annoying.

The game seems totally okay, feels like when all's said and done I'll prefer Final Fantasy XIII-2, but this seems perfectly solid. I'll be surprised if it's not a more enjoyable game than FFXIII. I'm probably being unfair given that it's a demo, but the story seems completely rubbish. It seems like all of the worst stuff about the FFXIII "saga". (I already miss Serah and Noel, two extremely likeable protagonists.)

Wish Lightning's jumping/platforming felt a little better, but it seems like a welcome addition for traversal, it should hopefully make exploring areas feel a little more interesting.

#83 Posted by Crommi (43 posts) -

So the demo became available for EU today and while it was little bit short to get a good idea on the game, I kinda like the combat and even if it's real-time and more action'y, it still favors having a good strategy and not just mashing one or two attacks. It was bit difficult at first to keep track of 3 ATB bars but once you sort out the roles the way you want them, you get into a rotation where you do your thing on one "job" and then switch to next one. Stagger is bit weird because you can't see any indication on how you're doing, but I guess that's to make the combat screen less cluttered and you can probably get used to it after a while.

I don't think the items are that overpowered, we don't have access to major abilities and debuffs in the demo. Also the main thing with Zaltys fight is using the overclock and staggering him quickly. Also you can swap the weapons around and I used Dragoon lance and glove with Red Mage to dish out some sweet-sweet DPS during Stragger:

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