Other interesting additions to the battle system include aforementioned Cinematic Actions, which normally take place when dealing with a colossal boss (although youíre really just enjoying the action on screen - I donít think it really immerses you or pays off in terms of gameplay) and Live Triggers that allow you to make story-based choices in a format reminiscent of Mass Effect
Serah has a Moogle companion called Mog, and whilst exploring various worlds youíll notice that enemies will appear at random to try and attack you. This would have been something of a step backwards - Final Fantasy XIII
allowed you to see enemies ahead of battle and attempt to avoid them if you wanted - if it wasnít for the addition of the Mog Clock.
See, enemies appear in the field and try to nibble your legs off, but that doesnít necessarily guarantee that youíll enter glorious battle. A timer will appear at the bottom of the screen, and a circular coloured boundary will cover the immediate area.
If you donít fancy fighting lower-level idiots, simply attempt to run away and out of the boundaries before the timer runs out. Alternatively, if youíre quick (the timer and boundary changes colour from green to yellow and red over time) and smack a bad guy in the chops while the area is green, you enter battle with a significant tactical advantage.
Itís a pretty nice idea, and it works quite well. This, along with the music, presentation and aforementioned elements, makes XIII-2
feel a lot more like a traditional Final Fantasy game than its predecessor ever did. You can ride Chocobos to traverse larger areas, thereís a casino full of mini-games that is reminiscent of Final Fantasy VIIís
Golden Saucer, and thereís even a delightful female character called Chocolina who runs the shops in all of the worlds.
And yes - weapons and items are now purchaseable via sane means. None of that silly treasure hunting and reselling business that was required of us in Final Fantasy XIII
Overall, after playing a solid five hours or so, Iím starting to feel like this is the game that XIII
should have been. Itís an adventure thatís streamlined in many ways, but appears to stay true to some of the elements that best defined the series. This time around, Square Enix might just have got the balance between traditional RPG and modern action adventure right.