Date: February 14th, 2010 Author: Kitmitsu
News Category: Final Fantasy XIII
Tags: Final Fantasy XIII
Final Fantasy XIII sponsored the NBA Celebrity All-Stars game showed yesterday on ESPN. During the show, the first international advert for FFXIII was shown. Interestingly, the advert is for the Xbox 360 version of the game only indicating that either Square think 360 gamers needs to be marketed to more or Microsoft have paid for the advert.
The commercial includes Xbox 360 footage of FFXIII backed by Leona Lewis’ theme song for the game. Thankfully, someone has uploaded the commercial for all to see. Check it out below.
Earlier today, Microsoft held their X10 media event in San Francisco. The event focused on promoting upcoming games for Xbox 360 and included the announcement of a Special Edition Xbox 360 Bundle for Final Fantasy XIII. The bundle includes a 250GB Xbox 360, 2 wireless controllers and a copy of Final Fantasy XIII. Also, Tetsuya Nomura has designed an exclusive Xbox 360 faceplate which will be available in limited quantities across Europe, North America, Australia and New Zealand.
The bundle will cost $399 in the US and will be available March 9th – coinciding with the games release.
Source: PR Newswire
PlayStation.com’s EU team has had the chance to interview both Toriyama and Kitase while they stopped off in London to promote Final Fantasy XIII’s European release. Users of the official PlayStation forums submitted questions to the games director and producer and seven of them were selected to be asked.
The most interesting answer was concerning the possibility of Final Fantasy XIII ever appearing in 3D. Kitase said that they don’t know the logistics of it but they’d be “interested” in doing so in the future. He also said that a 3D Final Fantasy XIII trailer is being shown in Japanese cinemas currently and may be appearing internationally in the future. See the full list of questions and answers below.
What would you say to someone that has never played a Final Fantasy game before? (DrJones_PhD, United Kingdom)
Yoshinori Kitase: Those that haven’t tried RPGs might fear that the game is too complex, but if you take an interest in the story rather than feel apprehensive about the depth, then you will discover how to play the game gradually and naturally. Just take an interest in the story and let that guide you.
Motomu Toriyama: The overall theme of the story is determination to fight against one’s own fate. fal’Cie is a deity that uses Lightning and the other members of the party like slaves; in a way, they are bound to an unreasonable destiny. So really the story is about these characters fighting off the unfairness of their own fate.
Why the more action-based approach to combat? (Sand_Snake, solid_sammy, SSeifer, KARASU-NULL, France)
MT: It’s partly true that Final Fantasy XIII takes a more action-based approach to combat. The main concept behind the battle system is combining action with the traditional turn-based strategy to create something new. In view of making an RPG for a High Definition console like PS3, we realise that this approach might be better received by the wider gaming audience, and perhaps easier for them to warm to.
Will the PAL version feature a Japanese language option, with English subtitles? (fantasyfreak, Netherlands)
YK: No, it will not. I had heard at other media presentations that this was a popular request, and I have to say it came to me as a surprise.
Are you considering releasing the game in 3D? (Ruy-o, Germany)
YK: We don’t know how possible it is to build the game in 3D but we are interested in it. In fact, we have already created a 3D Final Fantasy XIII trailer, which is currently showing in Japanese cinemas alongside the film Avatar.
Currently, that’s only available in Japan, but there might be an opportunity for a wider release in the future.
Will Ultima Weapons return in Final Fantasy XIII? (Npod, Portugal)
MT: We’re not quite sure exactly what you mean as we don’t know the translations, but if you mean Ultimate Weapon in that you can upgrade each weapon until it is at its most powerful, then yes you can.
Does the game require a data install before playing? (European_Gamer, Denmark)
MT: For the comfort of the players, no, this is not necessary.
Which are your favourite, Chocobos or Moggles? (Domino2097, United Kingdom)
YK: [Laughs] I prefer Chocobos, definitely. In Final Fantasy XIII you will be encountering baby Chocobos, Cocoon Chocobos and grandpa Chocobos. As for Moggles, they will just be making a cameo appearance in this particular title.
Square Enix today announced that Final Fantasy XIII will be sponsoring the 2010 NBA All-Star Celebrity Game, being held at the Dallas Convention Center. FFXIII, as a presenting partner, should receive a huge amount of exposure during the game, and there will also be a dedicated area for people to try the game themselves on the PS3 or the 360. SE are really going all-out this time to try and broaden the fanbase of the series.
The game will be held on 12 February at 6PM CST.
Source: Planet Xbox 360
Final Fantasy XIII’s Scenario Ultimania is slowly beginning to fill in the gaps in the games back story. Today, all of the official character artwork and some details about them have made their way onto the internet thanks to FFPlanet. Included in the details are the characters ages, heights and a paragraph describing them. Unfortunately there doesn’t appear to be any new artwork for the main cast but there is some never seen before artwork of the games secondary characters. The newly revealed ages and heights are listed below with the Ultimania scans following in order.
Lightning – Age: 21 Height: 171cm
Snow – Age: 21 Height: 200cm
Vanille – Age: 19 Height: 161cm
Sazh – Age: 40 Height: 189cm (including afro)
Hope – Age: 14 Height: 153cm
Fang – Age: 21 Height: 175cm
Serah – Age: 18 Height: 164cm
Dajh – Age: 6 Height: 117cm (including afro)
Nora – Height: 163cm
Bartholomew – Height: 178cm
Gadot – Age: 21 Height: 192cm
Lebreau – Age: 19 Height: 168cm
Maqui – Age: 17 Height: 162cm
Yuj – Age: 19 Height: 181cm
Galenth – Height: 185cm
Cid – Height: 199cm
Yaag – Height: 190cm
Jihl – Height: 166cm (176cm with heels)
Rygdea – Height: 180cm
Amodar – Height: 186cm
Although Square Enix has confirmed in the past that Final Fantasy XIII will be appearing on multiple discs for Xbox 360, they’ve been fairly cagey with the exact amount they mean. GameFly however may have finally revealed to us how many we can expect after they’ve updated their listing for FFXIII.
Their descriptions for the 360 version begins with “NOTE: This is a three disc game, but it only counts as one disc against your rental plan”. Although Square have yet to confirm this number, we can be pretty certain it’s correct. Hopefully that’ll put the speculation to rest.
Siliconera have posted an interview with Georgia Van Cuylenburg, Vanille’s voice actress. A lot of it seems to be the typical questions to ask of Australian entertainers in America – how’d it start, how’s it going, why do Americans love Australians so much – and really only gets into the FFXIII-related bits towards the end, where she discusses the casting, the recording and the other VAs involved in the project.
Update:Siliconera seem to have removed the interview, but the excerpt below is really all that was FFXIII-relevant.
“I auditioned for her. My agent handed me the script and said if there was anyone else that could play this girl better he would eat his hat. (he is more a beanie guy but…) This was the character description: Aussie accent, young, bubbly, sunshine and rainbows, etc… I so wanted to be her! But I didn’t know what it was actually for. And two weeks later, I got the call from my agent to say I had booked it but I didn’t know really how big it was.
He said I would probably have five or six recording sessions. Cut to 6 months later, I was still recording. I loved every second of recording – she is such a fun character to and some of her lines are so hilariously typical of something I would say that it was funny to all of us. I had really great guidance from the director and the Square Enix rep, but they also just let me do my thing a lot, too. The team were so great and we spent most of our time laughing if we weren’t recording.
I didn’t actually get to meet any of the others until we had finished. You always recorded on your own. It was so weird when some of us met at the end because you felt like you already knew them really well. I still haven’t met Hope or Sazh – which is even funnier as they are the two I am with the most in the game. But I became instant friends with Ali (Lightning) and Rebecca (Fang) afterwards, and Troy (Snow) and I are now really close, too.”
Source: Siliconera (No link, because the article mysteriously vanished. Something tells me Square Enix is involved somehow.)
Square Enix has released two extremely thick books including everything relating to Final Fantasy XIII inside them. Scans from the Scenario and Battle Ultimania are beginning to appear on the internet and with them some very interesting artwork and test footage of the game from before E3 2006.
The screenshots are actually from the Playstation 2 version of the game and it looks like they went in two completely different artistic directions before both of them were scrapped. The characters used in the screenshots are Yuna and Rikku heavily stylized and wearing completely different outfits. You can also see how the battle UI resembles what was used in the final game but with additions such as MP. See the screenshots below.
The Dutch version of Official Playstation Magazine has conducted an interview with Final Fantasy XIII producer Yoshinori Kitase as we >mentioned a few days ago. Thankfully our new best friend, Shlizar Axis, has scanned the entire feature as well as translating the interview. Inside it, Kitase confirms the DLC rumour was true as well as revealing a few other interesting facts such as the PS3 and 360 versions of the game using different engines apparently. This seems odd as Square said Crystal Tools was developed to work with both the PS3 and 360 as well as other platforms but whatever he says. See the scans as well as the fully translated interview below.
Interview with Yoshinori Kitase:
From director of Chrono Trigger to scenario writer of Final Fantasy VII; Kitase has had a hand into all major Square-Enix productions during the past two decades. And also his task as senior producer of the biggest RPG of the past decade is almost at its end…
How does it feel now that Final Fantasy XIII is completed?
YOSHINORI KITASE: It’s a big sigh of relief. It has taken a long time before it was completed. It’s good to see that Final Fantasy lives brightly within the people when you are walking down the streets in Tokyo. This is what it makes it worthwhile.
This is the first Final Fantasy on the PS3. In what way was the development different then with the previous instalments?
KITASE: This time we needed to work extra hard. Final Fantasy XIII was originally meant to be a PS2 title, but we had to switch systems due to the arrival of the PS3. That cost us about one and a half years and was constantly a case of trial and error. However, because we worked so hard at the beginning, we got to a cruising speed much faster then anticipated and therefore could start on the translation and international voice recording process at an early stage of the development. It’s because of this that we can release both the European as well as the American version barely three months after the Japanese release.
Are the European and Japanese versions identical, or do the western gamers get extra content in exchange for the long wait?
KITASE: At first we wanted a simultaneous release for all markets, so therefore it was intended that we would create identical versions. When we noticed that we couldn’t make it, we decided that we wanted to keep the period between the Japanese and the Western release as short as possible. We had a moment where we considered to add extra content to the western version, but then the release date of the international version would have been pushed back for a couple of months. We did prepare DLC, but it will also be available in the West in the future.
The Western fans aren’t unhappy that they didn’t have to wait realise months this time…
KITASE: It’s because of the fans that we wanted to do a simultaneous release. A while ago, during my vacation, I went to Europe and talked to many European fans. With each conversation this particular frustration came to order. I didn’t know that it weighted so heavenly with you, so i made sure that the localization process could start early. We didn’t have to take the different television standards into account. No NTSC and PAL anymore, in every livingroom stands a digital television nowadays, so we didn’t have to spend an extra month in development for it.
Didn’t the simultaneous development on both the PS3 and the XBOX360 cause difficulties?
KITASE: We have made it our top priority to deliver the same quality on both consoles. It was self-evident that it brought some difficulties with it. Both consoles require a different approach. Especially on the graphics section. We had to build a different engine for both versions. We needed a year of tinkering on each engine in order to get the same level of graphics.
How do the side missions come together?
KITASE: As you know, the in-game world consists of two parts: Cocoon and Pulse. In Cocoon you will get a strong story-driven RPG. Pulse on the other hand is mostly a wilderness where the game switches to explorations and numerous side missions become available. Without the side missions, the game will be 60 hours long. If you visit the Grand Pulse in order to clear side missions, then you will be busy for a long time. You can keep playing these missions in order to earn Cystarium-points, so basically the length of the game is endless.
We found Lightning didn’t really fit within the line of Final Fantasy-Protagonists. First and foremost, she is a woman and no androgen youngster. Second, she’s the toughest lady we have ever encountered. She doesn’t flinch when it comes to hitting the macho Snow several times in the face.
KITASE: “Change” played a part when selecting Lightning. It has been a while since we had a female protagonist, but gender didn’t really matter actually. We just wanted to create a strong personality.
Has lightning been designed to be the female version of Cloud Strife, or did we discover another fault on Wikipedia?
KITASE: It’s indeed incorrect. The only thing Cloud and Lightning have in common is their background as a soldier. Lightning does come across as cold and tough, but further along the story you will notice that she has a fragile side to her. Cloud didn’t have that. We surely didn’t try to copy Cloud’s success.
You have been working at Square Enix for quite a while now. How do you see Final Fantasy XII in comparison with its illustrious predecessors?
KITASE: I consider this Final Fantasy as the most evolved instalment of the series. On the area of setting, it looks a lot like Final Fantasy VII, but we went beyond that. Much more futuristic then you can imagine. I’m mostly proud of the battle system. It’s one of the most advanced system you’ve ever played. If you experience it for the first time, you will immediately be reminded of Final Fantasy XII, especially because you participate in a battle as a group. But, basically we have taken the best from the previous Final Fantasy instalments and put it into this one.
Why did you choose to replace the original theme song with a song from Leona Lewis within the European version? Wouldn’t have translating the original song been a better solution?
KITASE: We have tried to translate the original theme song, but the singer had difficulties with that. This is a new type of tactic, an experiment if you will. Why not use a different artist for every region? If both the content and atmosphere of the song would match with the game, then we would expect it will score better within that particular region. Square Enix as a company is thinking more and more internationally and localization plays an important part within that strategy.
Is that the reason why the Japanese language option with European subtitles isn’t available within the International version? That’s something the fans would really want…
KITASE: It’s because of the storage capacity. The Blu-ray disc has already been filled to the max due to the countless CGI-movies, so a version with both Japanese as well as English voices was impossible to realise.
Square Enix has announced today that they’re planning to release a Vinyl record featuring eight tracks from Final Fantasy XIII’s soundtrack. The 12 inch record will be released on the 26th February for the price of 2,800 yen. It will only be available to buy through Square’s own E-store. Here is the list of tracks and a promotional picture of the album.
Daddy’s Got the Blues
Pulse de Chocobo
World Without Color
Ragnarok -Sans Pipe Organ-
Thanks to our staff member Cagalli and her site for finding this.