Thursday, 14 May 2009

[Demo] Afro's and Chocobos (Updated)

Yesterday I had the pleasure of sitting down with a good friend of mine who'd received an item that he'd purchased off eBay..that item being the recently released Final Fantasy Advent Children Complete Blu-Ray set, which includes the demo to the upcoming Square Enix title Final Fantasy XIII.

First things first...the demo is Japanese, with no option of English subtitles or dubbed voices, meaning guess work is required. Luckily, after the first two battles it sort of all fell into place which 'button' did what.

The demo was surprisingly longer than I anticipated, giving you a chance to play through sections of the level with two groups of characters. I'll be honest, I've not read that much on the storyline/characters set to appear in XIII, so I'm afraid I can't give you more of an idea of who you get to play as. I'm trying to keep my mind clear on whats going to happen in-game, as I personally think that's one of the great things about the Final Fantasy series, meeting the characters for the first time and entering their in depth stories from the beginning with no thoughts on what may happen along the course of the game's storyline.

The combat works well, utilising a 'combo system', allowing you to choose up to 3 attacking/defending techniques in one turn, with each technique ether taking 1 or all 3 combo bars to use. With the game being totally in Japanese, its quite hard to explain exactly how it all works!

It was a very enjoyable experience. I was already excited for its release, and now the demo has made me even more so. The opening cinematic is fast and frantic, and sets you up well when it comes down to taking over the controls.

As for the Blu-Ray edition of Advent Children, I didn't sadly get the chance to view it all, managing only to see the opening 5 or so minutes of it...although within those few minutes I saw new/extended scenes not seen in the original release.

At the time of writing this article, Square Enix are set to release Final Fantasy XIII in Japan before Christmas, with no word on a date for the West. I've got my fingers crossed for before Summer 2010.

[Update] Advent Children has the option to have English speaking, but sadly no English subtitles.