Date: February 20th, 2013 Author: Death Penalty
News Category: Square Enix
Tags: E3, Final Fantasy, Hashimoto, Next generation
Today, Sony held a massive event revealing its new console- The PS4- and detailings its features. Present were several bigwigs of various game companies there to show their support. Among them were two Square-Enix representatives. The first, Yoshihisa Hashimoto, presented Agni’s Philosophy once again. Following his presentation, Shinji Hashimoto, brand manager for Square-Enix and producer of the Kingdom Hearts series and Final Fantasy Versus XIII, left us with one tantalizing treat. He took just a moment on the stage to promise us that we would see a next generation Final Fantasy title at this year’s E3, and that we should look forward to it.
Square Enix showed the press a separate demo to what’s available on the show floor which includes the fight between Lightning and the newly revealed Chaos Bahamut. The battle with her riding her summon Odin, makes use of several of the new gameplay features revealed in interviews. When Famitsu asked whether this was the same Bahamut as Fang’s summon from FFXIII, they were told it was not. Watch the footage below.
Interviews with Toriyama and Kitase have popped up online with plenty of new details on FFXIII-2 contained within them. Recognition of the negative reaction from gamers to the original title is a key factor in development of the game with the team at Square Enix dedicated to making it more “Player driven”. Here are all the new details divulged by the duo today. There are a lot.
Although FFXIII sold over 6 million units worldwide, the team realised the launch was fairly lackluster with a mixed reaction from gamers and reviewers.Linearity was the main cause of concern. They decided that for the sequel, all the positive parts of the game would be included or improved upon and the parts which were criticized would absolutely have to be tackled. They knew things had to be changed from the original formula.
Linearity is addressed in multiple ways. The new dialog tree implemented allows player to converse with NPCs with multiple outcomes and they’ll be reducing the amount of cutscenes used to break up the narrative focusing on more interactive storytelling. Standing still at certain locations can trigger dynamic cutscenes but they won’t be stopping you if you want to proceed. They want players to explore and trigger cutscenes by themselves rather than force them upon people. The Live Trigger system gives you multiple ways to tackle your current objective. These can include performing tasks which could for example make an upcoming boss battle easier or even avoid it completely. Branching paths remove the linear corridors you were forced to follow in the original and side quests will finally return including plenty of dungeons to explore. The key theme being introduced into this title is choice and freedom, and that these choices will impact the story. With this comes the startling announcement that FFXIII-2 will contain multiple endings. How many endings are possible hasn’t been revealed yet but it’s still a great departure from what we’ve seen before, even if it has been done countless times in other titles.
Several new gameplay features were revealed yesterday including QTE’s, Mog Clock and the ability to jump and although the battle system remains largely unchanged, there are a few more tweaks. Serah won’t be able to summon Eidolons as she isn’t a l’cie anymore but she can instead call monsters to her aid as a third party member. They refused to go into further detail but it’s apparently much deeper in application than described so far. Another complaint addressed was the lack of plenty of mini-games usually found in Final Fantasy titles. Apparently they will be featured in XIII-2 but no details have been revealed. A re-designed game map will also be included. No details on the leveling system have been given yet. Toriyama also said that they plan to allow you to play the game multiple times but when asked whether this meant a “New Game +” type system with characters experience and items carried over, he said they preferred to offer an alternative system to that.
Talking about development, Kitase stated that they wanted to add much morecontent to the game that would be worthy of it’s predecessor. He was disappointed by the decision to not release DLC for FFXIII but Toriyama says they can’t confirm how many DLC packs could be made available. Kitase also made sure to add that development of XIII-2 hadn’t impacted on the development of Final Fantasy Versus XIII in any way. Finally, when Kitase was asked whether the game could appear on Nintendo’s new Wii U console, he said that they’re looking into the format but currently XIII-2 will be limited to PS3 and Xbox 360.
A poster of FINAL FANTASY XIII-2 at this year’s E3 has appeared on Famitsu’s site as well as their own coverage with Motomu Toriyama and Yoshinori Kitase (director and producer respectively). The image shows Serah wielding a crossbow and Lightning in her armor as seen in the trailer.
Various videos of the Final Fantasy XIII-2 demo at E3 have popped up but none of them showing the entire thing from start to finish. Gametrailers has thankfully provided that to us with the bonus of a developer walkthrough giving commentary through-out. Watch all four videos below.
The European Square Enix Member’s Blog has posted a hands-on account of Final Fantasy XIII-2 and has new details to reveal about the game. Here is the bullet-pointed summary they posted on their blog explaining most of the new features. To see the full descriptions of some of these key points, check out the full article in the link below.
• While still a deeply story-driven game, FINAL FANTASY XIII-2 has a higher emphasis on giving the player choices to make throughout the game. More branching paths, more hidden secrets, more exploration.
• Level design sees you returning to unlocked environments to access hidden areas as the game progresses.
• A self-contained story set after the events of FINAL FANTASY XIII. XIII-2’s story will be darker and more mysterious.
• All-new playable characters (Serah and Noel), plus the return of fan favourites from FINAL FANTASY XIII.
• The return of the much loved Moogle. A treasure hunter at heart, he will seek out hidden chests.
• Recruit monsters who will aid you in battle, each with unique abilities
E3 is a wonderful time of year that’s like some sort of geeky Christmas. A new screenshot for Final Fantasy XIII-2 depicts a quaint looking town (that can be seen being explored with Noel in the E3 trailer). Get a big fat look with your big fat eyes at New Bodhum. Guess HD towns weren’t as hard as Square Enix said they were.
Thanks to forum member Falsate for finding the image.
Footage from the Final Fantasy XIII-2 demo at E3 has been posted courtesy of 1up which shows the boss battle with Noel and Serah attempting to defeat the floating arm of Atlas.
From the video, the battle system seems largely unchanged, primarily focusing on the original auto-battle – paradigm shift formula. Additions include the use of QTE’s to dodge large enemy attacks and pre-scripted attacks.
Final Fantasy XIII-2 is available in demo form for all to play at E3 today. The first photos of the demo have surfaced (thanks to APZonerunner) showing one pretty distinct change to the Final Fantasy formula.
The demo begins with the familiar gameplay style but with the new QTE’s featured in the trailer. The story is explained in a concise information screen to give the demo context. According to the demo, the giant arm featured in the trailer is attached to a much larger creature known as Atlas. The secret to beating him lies in the Bresha Ruins. A new feature called Mog clock is described in one of the photos which effects whether you begin an encounter with the advantage or disadvantage. The most startling deviation from the norm is the addition of the new “Live Trigger” system which allows you to chose dialog for the first time. This is certainly a much more Western approach to story progression.
For now we just have these photos but expect video sometime soon.
Source: APZonerunner’s Twitter
While Square Enix released a mini teaser trailer for Final Fantasy XIII-2 last week, now E3 is in full swing, they’ve finally released the full version for us to pore over. The trailer includes new gameplay from Serah and Noel as well as Lightning wielding her summon Odin. Several of the games mechanics have been altered and added to including the addition of Quick time events. Despite her earlier appearance in the trailer, when Team NORA rescues Serah near the end of the trailer, Lebreau assumes Lightning is dead.
The trailer also reveals a newly revised “Winter 2012″ release. Watch the full English trailer below.