Yes, this is a preview of a demo.
And it’s a preview coz I haven’t finished it yet. Got GAME OVER screen when I got destroyed by the second boss playing as Snow.
Anyways, the demo disk starts with a small video collection of all the trailers released for XIII so far. Then we get to the main menu screen which have one of the best BGM I’ve heard in a Final Fantasy game since FF X. The piano solo ends and then continues with some nice orchestral score, but nothing too epic. It was very soft and mellow. Nobuo Uematsu at his finest!
Two options appear on the main menu, one showing Play Demo and the other for Trailers. The trailers, I’ll get to later. First, the demo. So opening video is really, really “crisp” was the first word that came to my mind. It felt very prestine. And then we see the action shots of when the train comes into the town and the prisoners escape, thanks to Lightning and a Black guy, with an afro so big it has a bloody (baby) Chocobo nesting in it!
Whatever, I couldn’t believe my eyes when the in-game cutscene ended and the real fight began. The graphics in the game are…hmm…better than MGS4. I mean sure it doesn’t have the visual fidelity of MGS4 yet since this is just a demo. But Holy Shit these guys nailed the looks!
Anyways, you start with a fight. The Battle system, in the demo, is thankfully very simplistic. You have an attack bar divided into 3 parts. So you can either do 1/2/3 small melee attacks, or one big attack (which fills up all 3 spots) for an area wide damage attack of Firaga. So what makes this seemingly turn based combat into real-time is that your enemies will attack you regardless of what you do, and all the while your Action Bar refills (after emptying once you execute an attack). So the key is, either do melee attacks in quick succession, or wait for your Firaga attack and get beatup in the process. You’re given 3 options to choose from: Melee, Firaga and Heal.
Once the battles are over, you return back to the game and continue on foot. The only way is to move forward, and the camera controls, as I found to my dismay, are completely inverted on both axis. While going ahead, the environments are very beautiful, but the narrow walkways also reminded me of Mass Effect a little bit. A futuristic looking world with many containers and wierd contraptions lying around. I don’t know whether enemies can be avoided or not (like FF XII) but in that narrow space, all I could do was run head-on into them.
By my 3rd or 4th fight, I was comfortable with the battle menu commands and then started to really enjoy the game. Things got monotonous after executing the same moves over and over, but small cutscens are interspersed throughout the duration. From my extremely limited knowledge of Japanese, all I could vaguely figure out was that Lightning was trying to stop someone or something from happening and there was very little time. The Afro guy, I think, just met her on the train and was not an aquaintence of her. We get to a mini-boss fight and then her section ends. And we pick up with Snow. The big guy who’s dressed in all white.
He uses Blizzaga attacks instead of Lightning’s Firaga, and uses his fists for melee attacks whereas she used her Gunblade. Anyways, Snow seems to be forming a small resistance group from the survivors of what I assume are from the train wreck earlier. His party includes a dude who reminds me of Wakka from FF X, and a slut who looks a straight ripoff of Bullet Witch. Anyways, I don’t know what happened after that, as when I enountered my first mini-boss with him, I got wiped.
Lightning reminds me so much of Cloud that I got a bit worried at first, but she’s got attitude to match, which Cloud most definitely lacked. So yeah, everyting you imagined the game would look like, it does! The battle music is not the usual theme, but an upbeat violin track which pumps me to kick some (soldiers in white dresses) ass!
Before this preview get’s any longer, I’ll just end with the FF Versus XIII trailer. The trailer starts with a very small colletion of previously seen footage, and then continues into a long scene. The entire duration of the trailer is covered by the same opera piece which was in the very first versus trailer. Sounds really moving and beautiful, especially since there were no voice-overs for the trailer. Yeah, the characters were talking, but there were only susbtitles at the bottom, nothing was actually said. The whole scene was just the main hero and heroine talking to each other about something. The main guy is in a tux, and the girl is in a white dress, so they’re probably at a party, except everyone seems to be downstairs. And these two just talk. She seems to be interested in him, but he’s way too emo about something else. And then the trailer ends.
Shit, I shouldn’t have dragged this too long, but the demo, I’ll most definitely play again and again, and try to find the subs for the Versus trailer in the meanwhile.