Been checking out the latest videos of Final Fantasy XIII-2 and I can’t help but get even more excited about this game. Here is latest trailer and gameplay footage:
Final Fantasy XIII-2 E3 2011 Trailer:
Final Fantasy XIII-2 Paradox Alpha Fight Gameplay Movie:
The rap music during the Paradox Alpha battle is weird. Are they trying to be like Gurren Lagaan (which is awesome)? I preferred the orchestrated music for the battles =P, but I’ll wait and see how things come together with this new music.
Final Fantasy XIII-2 Lightning versus Bahamut footage:
Final Fantasy XIII-2 Official First Trailer:
The story is set five years after the events of Final Fantasy XIII. Lightning has disappeared into an unknown world and her younger sister, Serah Farron, and a young boy named Noel Kreiss (new character) attempt to find Lightning.
Noel will be a major character in FFXIII-2 but it seems he’ll have a more prominent role than Lightning with the game mainly progressing with Noel and Serah. Snow has been confirmed to make an appearance in FFXIII-2. Director Motomu Toriyama has stated “instead of having two heroes, in terms of time spent under your control, you advance through the story mostly with Noel and Serah. Lightning was the draw of the previous. FFXIII-2 features Noel, a cool male main character.”
Noel Kreiss does seem like an interesting character as he has a few similarities to Fang from FFXIII (a male version of Oerba Yun Fang? if so that’s pretty awesome). He is a hunter of Pulse, having lived there all his life there, and he is unaware of the events that happened in Cocoon. Toriyama stated the reason for this is because he wanted Noel to have a similar position to someone who has never played FFXIII – someone who doesn’t know about the world and story. During battle, Toriyama also said to think of Noel as fighting in the front and Serah supporting from behind. Noel’s job image is hunter. He hunts monsters in Gran Pulse.
Toriyama has also confirmed Noel will be the main character of Final Fantasy XIII-2 (source). Now I don’t mind Noel, but I am really sad Lightning won’t be the main character of FFXIII-2 – she is one of the best elements of FFXIII =(. Players have already established a link to the characters in FFXIII, and now having a totally new character as the main character in FFXIII-2 is a bit concerning – though I wonder if he really is “new” (a certain crazed theory I just thought up has sparked my interest in Noel =P). I’m also worried about possible character development paths with Noel and Serah being the two main playable characters – Serah is married to Snow now (I assume)…Square Enix better not delve into that area (ie. love) with the Noel and Serah relationship even if it does limit the possibilities of what happens between these two characters.
Well it’s nice to get to play as Serah now (and get some character development from her), but I do admit there is some bitter taste to the set-up of FFXIII-2, but the game isn’t even out yet and what I know about FFXIII-2 is very limited, so I am interested in seeing how things develop from this set-up. Toriyama notes that Snow is not the type to be worried about the relationship between Noel and Serah. Also I’m assuming the reason for having two characters that weren’t playable in FFXIII become the main characters in FFXIII-2 is to actually introduce characters that haven’t already developed strength and ability-wise – imagine the starting area of FFXIII-2 if you controlled Lightning who does several thousand points of damage to the starting area monsters =P – I suppose this could have been handled by making monsters stronger, but that would screw up the monster strength consistency. It is more logical to have characters start from “level 1” in a sense and rather than make existing characters stronger, characters that weren’t playable in FFXIII are now playable along with the new character(s).
The new Mog Clock encounter system is being introduced in FFXIII-2 which helps make battles shorter according to Toriyama (you can read more about it at FF Wiki). The Mog Clock element (Serah’s Moogle enables this – that Moogle can also locate treasure) appears when monsters materialize before the player character and progresses through a series of phases. The Mog Clock element allows for the player to enter a battle with different conditions depending on the progression of the Mog Clock – pressing “X” to attack before the time runs out. During green (battle begins with bonuses/advantages – pre-emptive strike and buffs?), during yellow (standard battle), and during red (battle begins with penalties). It is an interesting system and it does sound good making battles shorter – less time spent grinding?
“Towns and the NPCs within them have a much larger role in XIII-2 with particular effort being put into the towns people. Members of your party will walk around towns freely getting into conversations with residents. The towns people will also have some form of individual AI according to Toriyama. One example of how it’s implemented is that NPCs will seek cover when it begins to rain. Apparently the weather in a certain area will also effect battles.” Nice to see Square Enix addressing issues that players thought FFXIII lacked, though outside of the interaction system, it’s nice to see Square Enix also retain the elements fans like about FFXIII.
Square Enix also added the ability to jump in FFXIII-2. Got to love being able to jump when you want to and hopefully it will create a lot of exploration possibilities =).
FFXIII-2 will also feature multiple endings. It’s an interesting addition, but I’m curious to see how the writers will handle these multiple endings. 999 handled them magnificently and it’s my favourite multiple-ending game. FFXIII-2 will also have an interactive conversation system called Live Trigger. Each time you play, the possible selections during dialogue will change. “Toriyama says that this system is in place more for enjoying conversation rather than for the branching story.”
FFXIII-2 will also feature a new monster raising component, “which lets you gather and bring monsters into your battle party, and will give the game greater strategy, Toriyama said. There are Defender monsters, Attacker monsters and so-forth. There’s also a growth element to the monsters.” Kind of reminds me of Priston Tale (played a bit of it during 2004 and 2005 when it was in its public beta phase), you get a crystal drop from certain monsters which allows you to summon a monster to help you – it was incredible fun and worthwhile farming those because they were helpful with leveling and in battles.
The party can consist of three party members, including monsters. Sometimes, you will also have one guest character come in – so like Final Fantasy XII then, were you can have four members in your party including the guest character which you cannot control.
Final Fantasy XIII-2 adds the ability for players to enter into a Temporal Rift, changing the pace of battle. In order to escape, the player must collect items while solving a puzzle – navigate your way through square platforms while collecting crystals scattered around. You won’t be able to backtrack as the platforms disappears after Noel threads on it. I wonder how this function is going to be used in the game O.o.
Square Enix Europe has stated that the game “exceeds Final Fantasy XIII in every aspect” and that it has an evolved battle system of the original game. The battle system in the FFXIII was brilliant, I found it extremely fun and it is my favourite from the Final Fantasy games I’ve played, so I’m looking forward to seeing how the battle system is developed.
Also development on FFXIII-2 has been confirmed to be roughly 70% complete.
Final Fantasy XIII-2 is set to be released in December of this year in Japan and has a release in other territories planned for the first quarter of 2012.
The most recent issue of GameInformer has run a four page article on Final Fantasy XIII-2. It starts off with a recap so if you haven’t finished FFXIII, than you might want to do that first, and it goes on to talk about the little short story that was included with the Japanese Xbox 360 release.
The article has been scanned by Second_Chances of GameFAQs (click on the image to open an enlarged version of it):