Despite the positive buzz that's begun to circulate, and the promising new features and mechanics, it's hard to get completely excited for Final Fantasy XIII-2. After all, much of the same optimism was built up for its predecessor, only to be met with a game that clarly had some areas that could be significantly improved upon. But with brand new footage of the game in action, it really does seem like fans of the franchise - jilted or not - may be safe in hoping this game meets their expectations.
Now before fans of Final Fantasy XIII jump down our throats for claiming that the last game was imperfect, the fact is that the game didn't meet most of the expectations that their own studio had for it. So when the head of your publisher says that the last game in the series 'greatly damaged' its reputation, it's near impossible to bounce back with enthusiasm.
And yet, with each new look at Final Fantasy XIII-2 the prospects keep improving. The do-over is sporting not just a new time travel mechanic, but an 'enhanced' battle system continuing the Paradigm approach that was one of the most promising aspects of the original game. The re-working and makeover have apparently done the trick, as the game has already received a perfect score from Famitsu.
But if the recently released in-depth walkthrough of new features didn't give enough of a look at the game in action, then you're in luck. The game was put on display at Square Enix's 'Judge XIII' event this week, and as a result we have almost ten minutes of gameplay footage, narrated by an extremely enthusiastic Japanese celebrity. If you speak Japanese then you're even luckier.
If not, well you'll have to settle for the footage alone. Have a look:
It's still difficult to say one way or another if FF: XIII-2 will right all of the wrongs of the past game, and truly be the release that fans had been hoping for. There still might be some who look at XIII-2 as permanently marred, as the game that any developer should have been able to see would make fans happier than the disappointing predecessor.
Are you convinced that this game is worth picking up, and won't be making any of the same mistakes? Or is your confidence shaken until you start seeing more review scores and positive comments? Share your thoughts in the comments.
Final Fantasy XIII-2 releases January 31, 2012, for the PS3 and Xbox 360.
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