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Re(6):Let's talk about the FFXIII demo
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The battle system is [b]really [/b]fun. Basically they've completely reinvented everything. There's no MP. Magic can be used without using up any kind of in game currency. For example, Cure spells are automatically used by party members when your health dips into below half (Yellow HP), and they seem to use it more aggressively when it dips into 1/4 (Red HP). You can also manually cure, but the demo is a bit too easy to necessitate that except on the last boss of the demo. The way healing is in the demo, it's very difficult to die, but the focus appears to be doing well in battle, rather than living or dying. Currently you only control one character at a time, because the game is extremely fast. I bet that in the full game you control one character at a time but use the LR buttons to give the other characters preset commands. Because there is a flag next to the controlled character's name you can assume that switching is possible. The AP bar is broken into three sections, and a standard action takes only one of those sections. You can choose to do a single action, two in a row, or three in a row. This means that you can choose to only wait for one section of the AP bar to fill up if you want to quickly attack or use a magic spell, or wait for the entire thing to fill up if you want to do longer strings of attacks. The animations and timing of the attacks differ depending on how you put them together. For example, if I use "fight" x3, Lightning will do two sword slices and then flip backwards and shoot with her gun. However, large enemy attacks can interrupt you, so it may be advantageous to do fight X2, because when Lightning finishes an attack she automatically does a flip backwards. On the first boss, for example, there is a broad slashing attack that he only does in a short range in front of him. If I do "Fight" X3, he will hit me in the middle of the action, and I'll lose all of the AP that I used to initiate the command. However if I do "fight" X2, chances are that she'll finish the attack before his attack can connect, and she'll quickly flip out of the way and back to her starting position, effectively dodging the attack. When you mix magic and attacks, it all comes out relatively naturally. Certain actions take more AP. For example, Firaga takes 3 AP, using the entire bar at once. Firaga also is an area of effect spell and launches everyone into the air, stunning them for a bit. Your entire AP bar fills very quickly, so you are constantly entering commands, and you will have to think quickly. I imagine that there will be some kind of mode where you slow down time, because the pace seems too fast for your average FF player. The battle concept revolves around "Breaking enemies". Breaking an enemy requires the following: 1. First, use a single magic attack on an enemy to fill their "combo meter" (for lack of a better term) on the top right corner. The bar will slowly deplete over time. 2. Then, attack as normal. I prefer to do 1 "Fight" or 2 "Fights", as 3 in a row seems slow. Your buddies will attack with you. 3. While that bar is depleting, any attacks that hit will add to the "Chain Attack" number. However if the "combo meter" fully depletes, you'll be back at zero chain. "Fight" only slightly increase the combo meter, so if the bar is depleting you'll need to throw in a magic attack to refill it. 4. When the "Chain Attack" number is nearing the enemy's limit, they will start to glow a bit yellow. When the "Chain Attack" has reached the enemy's limit, there will be a small explosion effect and the enemy will be "broken" and glowing red. Depending on the enemy, the necessary "Chain Attack" number will be lower (zako) or higher (boss). The "Combo Meter" will change to the "Break Meter", it will completely fill, and start steadily counting down over time. 5. A broken enemy has different properties from a non broken enemy: - Takes more damage according to the multiplier on the top right (up to 300%!) - Has a much longer hit reaction animation (non-broken enemies barely react when you hit them) - Smaller enemies can be launched with 打ち上げ (Launch), and then any subsequent air juggle attacks will do big damage. The enemy is helpless until they hit the ground and do their loooong get up animation. Also you are safe because you are up in the air, far away from other enemies. The game rates you after battle on a 1-5 star scale, and also tracks how quickly you won, as well as the highest chain. Once you get good at chaining you can have 60+ hit chains on bosses, and quickly kill them with 300% damage bonuses and what have you. So yes, this battle system is a complete overhaul and I really really like it. I think that there's awesome potential for difficult bosses that require both timing and strategy. Although "Breaking" works how I described it above in the demo that's out, I imagine that different enemies will need to be broken in different ways, and figuring out that strategy will be the key to defeating bosses/tough enemies. It's a very gutsy move to change up the entire system so much, but I am very happy with it and I can't wait to see what it's like in the full game. Also battle transitions are not at random, they happen when you touch an enemy, and they take less than 3 seconds before you're in battle entering commands. Sorry for the length ^^
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