PS3 Previews: Final Fantasy XIII-2 Preview

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Final Fantasy XIII-2 Preview

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Scheduled release date:

TBA

Publisher:

Square Enix

Developer:

Square Enix

Number Of Players:

1

Genre:

RPG

I liked Final Fantasy XIII. I didn’t love it. …and being a lifelong, die-hard franchise fan, it was a strange feeling. I put my hundred hours in – as I tend to do with every installment – but I remained vexed at a lack of standard role-playing elements. Now, I hold no illusions: I know some of those elements – like being able to manually control all members of your party during combat, like a normal RPG – won’t show up in the sequel. But Square Enix may be implementing a few changes and upgrades that will bring the fans back. There’s no guarantee, of course, but let’s have an open mind, shall we?

The FFXIII-2 presentation at E3 garnered a boatload of attention, as you might expect. Square Enix offered different looks at the game in progress, as you may have already seen on YouTube. But the one demonstration that most sources are looking to for previews is the one that involved Noel, the new lead character who for some reason has a vested interest in Sera. Lightning’s younger sister is Snow’s beloved but we haven’t seen Snow…so we don’t really know what’s going on there. Anyway, Noel and Sera – the latter was unplayable in FFXIII, remember – team up to battle a particularly large and intimidating boss called Atlas.

Firstly, it’s quite obvious that the core combat mechanic remains unchanged. The Paradigm system is back, as is Auto Battle (‘wretch’) and for the most part, it appears that battles will feel quite similar. However, I did note one positive alteration: the Paradigm shifts don’t feature that brief pause with a close-up on each character; the shifts happen in real-time. I think. If you recall, this would happen in FFXIII once you got the first shift out of the way, but that first shift always featured the annoying pause, in which enemies could move but you couldn’t. Now, I’m not entirely sure that little eccentricity is gone but I’d like to believe it is.

Then there are the QTEs, which are going to be called “Cinematic Actions” in FFXIII-2. Despite the name change, these don’t require any explanation as they’re the same as any QTE you’ve come across in the past. The button prompts show up and you press the button. That’s it. It’s typically a functional and even crowd-pleasing feature, primarily because the game gets very cinematic during such sequences (hence the term, “Cinematic Action”). However, I really have to say- I don’t see why this is included in a role-playing game. But anyway, let’s try to ignore that more action-oriented aspect and focus on the good stuff.

It has been reported that FFXIII-2 will boast more exploration and more choice. You might even catch glimpses of this more open-ended approach in some footage. As you’re wandering around, you’ll see the enemies on the map as you did before, but here we come to another new feature: the Mog Clock. Come on, every FF has to have a reference to Moogles! Basically, the clock appears when you approach a foe; it counts down going from green to yellow to red; if you nail the enemy when the clock is green, you get cool buffs. If you encounter it during the yellow part, it’s just a normal battle. If you wait until it’s red, though, that’s basically an enemy ambush. This does feel too “action-y” as well but at least it gives us more control over what’s happening. That's something.

Here’s another interesting element: enemies have to be “caught.” See, after defeating an enemy, you’ll sometimes snag its crystal, which lets you summon that enemy into battle as an ally. For the FF veterans, it’s sort of like Blue Magic on steroids. These monsters will also have a sweet Feral Link ability when helping you out, and you can bet the completionists will be scouring the map for super powerful rare monsters for the sake of defeating and using them in battle. Lastly, there’s one element of the E3 demo that sparked a lot of debate: Noel and Sera come upon a weird machine that can be used to fight Atlas. But its effect depends on how it’s used…

This is where the player is given multiple choices and depending on your selection, the Atlas fight will be a tad different. For instance, choosing Alyssa’s advice and activating the device essentially casts Slow on the boss. And lastly, it’s clear that Lightning has returned, but she’s coming back with a whole lot more power…ala Gandalf when he returns as Gandalf the White. One section of the presentation showed Lightning battling Bahamut from the back of her horse (Odin) and it was a definite highlight. Anyway, that’s about it…as for towns, we’re still not sure. We’d like to assume they’ll be back but we didn’t actually see them. Cross your fingers.

6/13/2011 Ben Dutka

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More Previews Of This Game
Date
Game
Reviewer
01/10/12 Final Fantasy XIII-2 Ben Dutka

Comments (54 posts)

Temjin001
Monday, June 13, 2011 @ 9:41:42 PM
Reply

I like what I'm reading and seeing. I'll be playing this one for sure.

I just started working on Final Fantasy. Yes, Final Fantasy, as in the first one. The iPhone has the first 3 FF games snazzy'fied. I suspect it'll get the subsequent ones up through VI. It's my aim to have completed all of the core Final Fantasy experiences on the go during the coming months and years.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Monday, June 13, 2011 @ 10:29:18 PM

Wow, you are only about 20 years behind me :) Prepare yourself for a long gripping series of adventures like no other.

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Temjin001
Tuesday, June 14, 2011 @ 1:25:21 AM

hehe, I look forward to it. I actually just have FF through FFV to play. FFVI I completed on the SNES way back during it's launch window. I traded my Rock Hydra Magic Card to my brother to play it before he did.. hehe win for me.

Oh, and I played about 1/3 of IV.

See, I'm cool. I can honestly claim I was a pre-FFVII fan. Bet there aren't too many of them around.. well relatively speaking =)

I have to say it was quite entertaining listening to Nick describe his PSX FF experience on that call ;)

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Drake_RB3
Thursday, June 16, 2011 @ 2:43:18 PM

Only a 1/3 through FF IV? That's a classic. Finish it, man!

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Highlander
Monday, June 13, 2011 @ 9:41:53 PM
Reply

FF past FFX is dead to me...

:D

Yes, I know, I'm probably in a minority. However the inclusion of auto battle makes this little more than a QTE based interactive movie to me.

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Clamedeus
Monday, June 13, 2011 @ 9:58:26 PM

Same with me, I'm not interested in anything past 10. Didn't like 13, or any of the characters in it.

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Jawknee
Monday, June 13, 2011 @ 9:59:24 PM

I'm with you on this one. I want to play an RPG, not a crappy battle simulator.

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LimitedVertigo
Monday, June 13, 2011 @ 11:42:30 PM

I love FFXII

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Jawknee
Monday, June 13, 2011 @ 11:47:25 PM

Me too.

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johnld
Monday, June 13, 2011 @ 11:51:49 PM

yeah, i'm with LV. i loved every final fantasy i played till 12. it might have a bigger scope for story and more towards political themes, but it was still a final fantasy. i cant wait for white knight chronicles 2, i'll finally have my rpg fix, i mean real rpgs, for this year.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Tuesday, June 14, 2011 @ 12:09:05 AM

XII was okay, but its no FF without the ATB

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Tuesday, June 14, 2011 @ 12:19:50 AM

XII was great. But it was the first FF where I cared very, very little about the story. Way too political and disjointed, IMO.

...still took down Yiazmat, though. ;)

Last edited by Ben Dutka PSXE on 6/14/2011 12:20:01 AM

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dmiitrie
Tuesday, June 14, 2011 @ 1:05:14 AM

I guess I'm the exact opposite of you Ben. I thought the story in 12 was the highlight. In fact, id have liked to have seen them go even deeper into the politics, like they did in Tactics.

For me, it was the combat that dragged everything down. If theyd have given it a traditional, turn-based battle systems, it could easily have been one of my favorites.

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Excelsior1
Tuesday, June 14, 2011 @ 6:35:47 AM

i despised ff12. i especially hated its mmo type battle system and snoozefest story. there was maybe one decent character in the game.

ff13 was a big step forward for me. i liked the story, battle systtem, and characters so much more in 13 so i have no real worries about this game, sounds like they are making small improvements.

nice lord of the rings reference in the article ben. from the trailers i gather lightning dies, and returns more powerful.

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SvenMD
Tuesday, June 14, 2011 @ 10:06:12 AM

I loved FFXII as well. I thought it was alot of fun, and I kinda liked the political theme with the judges and everything.

And Ben - you took down Yiazmat, but were you able to take down Omega Mark XII? Cause I sure didn't!!

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Underdog15
Tuesday, June 14, 2011 @ 10:53:31 AM

I found Gilgamesh tougher than both of those, for some reason... I'm pretty sure it had to do with my levels though... I got all the marks, but I was maxed out.

I think the trick is knowing to give your characters different roles. I think too often people try to make every character good at everything. When equipping armor, it only shows you the difference in attack or defense. But everything has effects on your other stats. For example, a staff isn't your best attacking weapon, but at higher levels it greatly boosts your magic power, casting speed, and diminishes the chance that casting can be slowed or interrupted! It's nice to always cast when ready instead of being held off by some quick enemy constantly attacking... (They also make quickenings more powerful and more likely to successfully pop a command) Similarly, if you have a ranged weapon user, you can back off the heavy armor and get boosts like higher evade, higher attacking frequency, and passive abilities like being less likely to draw hate.

You have to switch to the stats screen to see the difference. Vaan makes a great tank. Balthier and Basche?? (sp??) make good physical damage dealers, Fran's a great red mage type (support and debuffs), ashe is a great white mage, and pinello is a top notch black mage.

I found those higher marks much easier when you make your characters experts at particular roles instead of just pretty good at everything. Especially since equips dedicate themselves to particular roles. If you make armor primarily used for defense or weapons primarily for power, you'll miss out on a lot of passive abilities (like mages or ranged users drawing less hate, or your tank drawing more with certain weapons) and added stats to other things.

At end game, for example, if everyone has the same equips more-or-less, I betcha your magic and top swinging power won't be as strong as if you dedicate them. Same with cures and casting speed.

Lastly, each action will draw a certain amount of "hate". The character with the most hate is most likely to be attacked by the enemy. Higher amounts of damage raise hate, frequency raises hate, higher levels of curing raises hate (it's better to cast many lower level cure spells than a couple high level cure spells. Save the high level cures for emergencies). "Decoy" trumps all hate levels and should always bee the first gambit for your tank. Certain weapons will generate more hate than others, and armor has similar effects as well.

Imagine how easy your life would be if you can guarantee a character who is hard to hurt is the only one ever attacked, while your red mage constantly makes sure damage heals and healing hurts, haste is on, protect and shell, etc., and a high level damage dealer hacks away unnoticed? And in an emergency, just call in your white mage! Plus you will have 2 more subs waiting idly by in case something happens.

Gotta tinker a bit!

....And people wonder why some of us think FFXIII is dumbed down....

Last edited by Underdog15 on 6/14/2011 11:06:41 AM

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Jawknee
Monday, June 13, 2011 @ 9:55:04 PM
Reply

Honestly, this looked blagh to me. Shame on SquareEnix for trying to double dip on content that should have come with the first game to begin with.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Monday, June 13, 2011 @ 10:30:25 PM

That's what happens when you cut it all out for multiplat status... and lose like 9 gazillion dollars for screwing up a perfect formula that people like.

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Jawknee
Monday, June 13, 2011 @ 10:56:10 PM

Didn't they make money off XIII? I thought it was the best selling Final Fantasy of all time or some crap like that? haha

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johnld
Monday, June 13, 2011 @ 11:56:32 PM

when i saw QTEs my first thought was my favorite rpg series is taking another step to become an action game with rpg elements. i'm looking forward to white knight 2. i'm not a big fan of final fantasy anymore but i'll still try it. like ben said, final fantasy 13 was a great game, just not final fantasy. this sequel is probably the same but this time i'll buy it way later, used.

well at least my favorite franchise of all time will still remain as great as i expect. i want skyward sword now! although i might have read somewhere, most likely kotaku, that there might not be more console zeldas in the future.

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shadowscorpio
Monday, June 13, 2011 @ 11:57:42 PM

@ Jawknee

Ha! If that was really the case then SE wouldn't have experienced 90% in losses this gen. Its easy for a company to spam lies in order to make themselves look good but the proof is always in the pudding.

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Underdog15
Tuesday, June 14, 2011 @ 9:07:24 AM

FFXIII sold just under half as much as the top selling FF of all time. (FFVII) It could technically still rise, though.

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Eld
Monday, June 13, 2011 @ 10:03:15 PM
Reply

Sadly, minor changes they announced are not enough for me. I doubt towns will be there. At least not the way people were asking for them. If they were there they would announce it explicitly.

I think in G4 interview, they said towns will "sort of" be there but not in their "usual" form, or something like that. Whatever the heck that means. That is, if I remember correctly. Human memory is a messy business:)

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Alienange
Monday, June 13, 2011 @ 10:06:29 PM
Reply

An open mind is what made me buy FFXIII. I won't be giving SE any more money for their FF games until I see a jrpg the way it's SUPPOSED to be done.

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allDFlavors
Monday, June 13, 2011 @ 10:06:55 PM
Reply

I am really losing faith in Square over this one... I'll keep an eye on it because I watch out for every Final Fantasy game, and I have them all in some form or another -- even Final Fantasy Mystic Quest! For now, I've got IV Complete on my PSP and that'll have to be my RPG fix until something I actually want comes along.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Monday, June 13, 2011 @ 10:32:57 PM
Reply

I will purchase it, enjoy it for what it is, and then come on here to rip it apart for all the things it is still missing. Mark my words.

These games just aren't really Final Fantasy any more, I really never thought I'd see the day but here we are.

And Square Enix, there's still time to ditch Noel's Hammer Pants!!!!

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Jawknee
Monday, June 13, 2011 @ 11:00:55 PM

Yea what the hell is up with that character design? Did someone else do the designs for this new game or has Nomura suddenly become of fan of Stanley Kirk Burrell?

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johnld
Monday, June 13, 2011 @ 11:58:00 PM

its probably being made by the same people but since wada is making them release a crap final fantasy game, maybe they're not putting much effort in it anymore.

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Deadcelledo
Tuesday, June 14, 2011 @ 12:42:41 AM

@Jawknee
Actually Nomura is only designing the faces while another artist is doing the clothes and everything else,just like in XIII where all secondary characters were designed by another artist,Nao Ikeda I think it was.

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SvenMD
Tuesday, June 14, 2011 @ 10:16:07 AM

@World - They're really more like JNCO's than Hammer pants.... Aladdin wore some real Hammer pants. These look like some pants Tidus wore, just longer.

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Pandacastro
Monday, June 13, 2011 @ 10:33:30 PM
Reply

They said in a interview that the game will have multiple endings.

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main_event05
Monday, June 13, 2011 @ 11:07:31 PM
Reply

As for the missing RPG elements I blame Kingdom Hearts. DAMN YOU DISNEY!

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main_event05
Tuesday, June 14, 2011 @ 1:29:50 AM

That's what I've been trying to tell everyone.

Also to clarify what I mean is that i think KH was the 1st "button mashing" that caught on and went mainstream.

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Jawknee
Tuesday, June 14, 2011 @ 11:54:24 AM

I'd honestly prefer KH's battle system to FFXIII's.

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main_event05
Wednesday, June 15, 2011 @ 12:11:03 PM

of course, me too. but I still would rather not deal with either of those systems ever again

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WorldEndsWithMe
Tuesday, June 14, 2011 @ 12:10:50 AM

Disney is evil.

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Bloodedge
Monday, June 13, 2011 @ 11:41:13 PM
Reply

Sigh, I'm probably gonna buy this one too. I don't expect anything great from Square anymore. FF13 was alright imo, and I don't regret purchasing it, it just wasn't what I necessarily asked for. I've still got my fingers crossed for FF Versus 13 however.

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shadowscorpio
Tuesday, June 14, 2011 @ 12:02:23 AM

A lot is banking on FFversus13. I really think its SE's last resort before implementing their trump card which is an exclusive PS3 remake of Final Fantasy 7.

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Beamboom
Tuesday, June 14, 2011 @ 2:14:34 AM

Isn't FFVII already in the psn store? I believe I bought it sometime, even!

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dmiitrie
Tuesday, June 14, 2011 @ 1:08:39 AM
Reply

S-E is truly lost this gen. I don't care how good the graphics or the story may be, if they keep the same horrid gameplay (only being able to control one character, auto-battle, etc), I'll never play long enough to enjoy either.

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karneli lll
Tuesday, June 14, 2011 @ 1:10:11 AM
Reply

cant wait to buy this for $15 like FF XIII lol

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godsdream
Tuesday, June 14, 2011 @ 2:06:09 AM
Reply

Since FF XIII I don't know what to think, I mean, I liked it, but it wasn't what I was expecting, or what I wanted. I believe this will be the same. Still buying it though, I just can't throw away that easily more than 20 years of love...

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Lawless SXE
Tuesday, June 14, 2011 @ 2:21:24 AM
Reply

Why get rid of Lightning for most of the game? Why take a five year break from the end of XIII before the beginning of this one? Why introduce a god-damned audience subsitute being referred to as "a cool male main character"? Why QTEs? Why platforming? And why, oh why is this releasing before Versus?! Damnit, give me WKC2 without the online and with an extra coat of awesome paint and we'll get along just fine. Seriously, the battle system for that game is almost exactly like FFXIII, only without paradigm shifts and more involved. And the micromanagement! YAH, don't start the second one without playing the first... doing so is INSANE!

Sorry... I'm feeling a bit off mentally lately :D
Peace.

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shadowscorpio
Tuesday, June 14, 2011 @ 3:07:41 AM

Lawless

SE, IMHO, has been the most confusing dev this gen. Honestly, I don't know that we aren't going to have a whole slew of complaints when people finally get to playing this for themselves. To tell you the truth, from what I've herad about FFvs13 as an action JRRPG, I'm more excited about that.

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Lawless SXE
Tuesday, June 14, 2011 @ 3:12:57 AM

Of course there'll be complaints because you just can't satisfy people. Keep things the same and they complain because it's no longer fresh and original. Change things and they complain because it's too different from the norm. The line between too little and too much change is extremely fine, but people just need to chill out and take things as they come.

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shadowscorpio
Tuesday, June 14, 2011 @ 2:56:31 AM
Reply

Watching the second video, I felt a little more like SE did actually take into consideration of what their core base of fans were so upset about but we'll see.

There are so many different genres and type of games that SE could've done to cater to the West if that is in fact what they were looking to do but they really should never have altered their formula in the way they did for FF13. I understand that one of the beautiful things about the Final Fantasy franchise is that its always changing and implementing new ideas but that doesn't always mean that every new idea is going to be good. SE should not see themselves as ones who can do no wrong.

Some of the changes, I personally think, were for the better but you know me. I'll cannot give my final analysis until I experience this sequel for myself. I do believe we have all learned to become cautious with Final Fantasy titles as of late. We never had to do that before and I hope Square-Enix understands why that hurts them. I don't that I'm going to purchase this game at full price. Sorry SE. Learn from your mistakes.

Last edited by shadowscorpio on 6/14/2011 2:58:51 AM

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Corak
Tuesday, June 14, 2011 @ 5:01:28 AM
Reply

Past FFX it's ok games but no FF-good games.
I mostly don't care for the characters - what was always a big part of the games for me.
And how is it that there was no more big love interest for the main characters after X?!
Who could you forget about that?
I mean Snow? rly?! And was there anything in XII at all?
Most Hollywood movies wouldn't get away with that, and to FF it was (for me) part of there core identity!

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___________
Tuesday, June 14, 2011 @ 5:23:44 AM
Reply

what happened to versus 13?
why do $E do this?
announce a game show nothing, announce a new game show nothing, announce a new game show nothing, announce a new game show nothing, then finally show a short trailer of the first announced game, then announce another 4 games before we ever hear about it again!
who do they think they are, R*?
they remind me of a kid sitting in there room listing everything they want to do.
sometimes you need to learn how to walk before you can run!

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Lawless SXE
Tuesday, June 14, 2011 @ 6:01:27 AM

Funny thing is, XIII-2 was announced five years after Versus and we know more about it than the latter title. It does indeed boggle the mind to wonder how they get away with it...

Best not to think about it methinks.

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Excelsior1
Tuesday, June 14, 2011 @ 6:43:18 AM

i bet they are porting over ffv13 to 360 as we speak. that's what's taking so long.

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Lawless SXE
Tuesday, June 14, 2011 @ 6:49:37 AM

As long as it is just that: A port. If they're taking development time out to do them simultaneously, I got arses to kick, and no bubblegum to chew... (paraphrasing)

Last edited by Lawless SXE on 6/14/2011 6:50:03 AM

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___________
Tuesday, June 14, 2011 @ 9:39:06 AM

to be honest that would not surprise me!
tis why im not looking forward to this, because i just know its going to turn out like another XIII.
me thinks this will be the next DNF, both in ridiculously long development cycle, and utter massive flop!
but will still sell millions because of the brand name alone!
as jeremy from top gear once said see this plate of sick?
utterly worthless!
but if we put a BMW badge on it, 38 pounds.

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Oyashiro
Tuesday, June 14, 2011 @ 8:44:13 PM
Reply

I just don't see the logic in making a sequel to one of the most critically bashed games in the series, when FFvsXIII (which was announced around the same time.) doesn't even have a release date yet.

When people said they didn't like FFXIII, they didn't mean that you should get to work on a sequel... taking away people and resources that could be used to finish a game people are actually looking forward to.

SE desperately needs to get there priorities in order.

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SS4
Thursday, June 16, 2011 @ 10:06:27 AM
Reply

The gameplay looks good as well as the graphic.
But the problem is the name, the newer FF games arent really FF so instead of trying to milk the franchise they should introduce new IPs.
These latest FF really feels like new IPs anyways so drop the friggin name if you wont make FF like FF should be.

Bottom lines, latest FF are good games but they arent FF games. Lets hope squeenix realize that and gets back on the right track and either make RPGs and call them FF or just drop the name and keep going the direction they are going. Better yet, do both but stop milking the name for non-FF games.

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