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The latest issue of Dengeki Playstation has a interview with XIII-2 Producer Yoshinori Kitase and Director Motomu Toriyama. The interviewed detailed various aspects about XIII-2.

* The game has been split into ‘Episodes’. Each one takes about 3 hours to complete, and is meant to help people who may be busy.

* The bonuses for the XIII Save Data include Special Decorations for your Pocket Monster collection, and you’ll have a higher chance of winning in the Casino games. There’s also “Something special” at the title screen. He also revealed that, unlike previously assumed, the XIII Save Data does NOT have to be a Cleared Save File.

* Like previously detailed, battles with DLC Monsters will take place in a special Colosseum area. The colosseum will also have a small part in the overall story.

* There will be an area of the world where you can check updates about released DLC.

* Along with the ability to save at any time, the game will also have a Auto-Save feature. It was included because of its popularity in overseas games. However, since its not completely obvious when it happens, the option to do a manual save at any time was included.

* Interestingly, Odin will be available as a recruitable monster. He is a boss monster for one of the game’s episodes, but it wasn’t said if this is where you can recruit it.

* After clearing the game, you’ll return to the opening area. Closing the Historia Crux gate there will unlock a ‘New Game Plus’ experience. This will help access all the items and paths available during the game, and obtaining items from different Live Trigger choices.

* Serah and Noel will start the game with only Commando, Ravager, and Sentinel roles available.

* When Dengeki asked about Sazh’s role in the game (you may recall he appeared in a trailer a few weeks ago), they answered ”Final Fantasy XIII-2 will continue after release, so look forward to later.” This could imply that Sazh will appear in DLC missions. This could mean thats there more than just Monsters and Costumes to look forward too.


Dengeki gave XIII-2 an ‘S’ ranking in their Buyer’s Guide. A normal numbered ranking out of 100 by reviewers will come later.

Dengeki Playstation had an interview with Final Fantasy XIII-2 director Motomu Toriyama and battle director Yusuke Matsui. The directors mainly discussed the game’s battle system and the improvements and additions that were implemented on it.

Transition between switching paradigms are faster than before, as the key point in the battles of XIII-2 is speed. The game will have harder enemies and bosses, so this is definitely a relevant factor as you will be switching paradigms a lot of times in order to win. A major improvement concerning the paradigm system would be the player’s ability to save the combinations they have made, which was what XIII didn’t have.

Toriyama has stated that the bosses in XIII-2 will be tougher than XIII’s, so an easy mode was added. Some bosses are optional, so if you’re having a hard time beating one even at easy mode, you could just skip it and move on to another scenario. The developing team has also made a special program to balance battles in different areas which analyzes the player’s logs and skills on how they defeated an enemy. Additionally, a new feature called the Blood Damage will be introduced in order to make the battles more challenging than what XIII had, where the healer(s) of the party would just do their job until the party wins. Blood damage cannot be healed by a healer, although there will be items that can recover it.

Interestingly, the game will have summon creatures (yes, summon creatures which are apparently different from the monsters we’ll be recruiting in our party). However, they’ll be in different forms than the ones in XIII as the main characters are not l’Cie.

Another major improvement in the battle system is the battle formation. As opposed in XIII where the characters would only do little movements in battles, in XIII-2 their formations will depend on the roles they’re currently in, i.e. the defender would move forward and guard.

The monster collection system, which is the biggest addition to the battle system, will be varied in different ways. Monsters of their own kind will have differences in time of developing their statuses, and monsters of the same role will have different abilities. It is also possible to grow them into powerful beasts, as a monster can inherit the abilities from others. Equipping accessories on these monsters will also change their appearances. Moreover, Toriyama also said that he is in the process of making the ultimate monster and this is his first time using a strategy guide while test playing a game.

Lastly, it has been revealed before that when the current party leader dies in battle, you are able to switch to the other party member. Since the monsters are being controlled by Serah and Noel technically, the battle is over once the 2 human party members are killed.

Thanks to forum member Ffamran mied Bunansa for the heads-up!

Source: Andriasang

Dengeki’s latest issue is coming out tomorrow, but thankfully, a little bit of info on Final Fantasy XIII-2 has leaked out already. Here’s what Toriyama has to say in his latest update.

The game’s casino city is known as “Xanadu”. Yes, Xanadu. As seen in the trailers, this is where Chocobo racing takes place but you can also use slot machines shaped like aero bikes.

Time Labyrinths are effectively FFXIII-2′s equivalent of the Cloister of Trials. Most of them aren’t optional but Toriyama says that they won’t be too difficult. More complicated Labyrinths however are available as side quests. Most of you have seen the Labyrinth in action but what we haven’t seen is that there are additional puzzles within them involving numbers and clock hands. Toriyama also tells them that Time Labyrinths were added due to the complaints about FFXIII having few dungeons.

Lastly, although he doesn’t want to say much more, Sazh is still around in XIII-2 and he’s currently undertaking activities which are supposed to better Gran Pulse.

Source: Andriasang

Toriyama and Kitase have been interviewed by Dengeki Playstation, in which they reveal a few new details about DLC and how Monsters play out in your party in Final Fantasy XIII-2.

So far, a fair amount of DLC has been announced. Kitase tells Dengeki that we can expect a lot more with downloads coming out about twice a month after the games released. He does however say that it won’t be as simple as just downloading an item or costume. To unlock them, you have to clear certain requirements within the game, such as defeating a particular monster. Right now, they’re making the necessary adjustments to the game to make it so the downloadable costumes will be visible in cutscenes.

Dengeki has gives a detailed explanation of the games Summon Raid and Syncro Drive Gauge systems used by Monster party members.

Summon Raid

Some Monsters turn into crystal during battles. The amount that do is dependent on the Monster. You can set up three monsters for use with Summon Raid, each with different roles in combat. When the player switches Paradigm, the monster with the role best suited for it will be swapped in.

Syncro Drive Gauge

When a Monster is fighting with your party, it builds up the Syncro Gauge. When the Gauge is full, the Monster has the chance to perform a special move. It may involve the player performing quick-times.

Source: Andriasang

You’ve probably forgotten that a half-hour television special for Final Fantasy XIII-2 aired on the 15th in Japan. How could you not, with all that juicy TGS action going on? Turns out you didn’t miss much. Most of the information shared by Yoshinori Kitase and Motomu Toriyama has already been revealed and the latter half of the programme featured Masashi Ebara (Sazh’s Japanese voice actor) paying a visit to select departments working on the game.

Among the few notable segments, composer Mitsuto Suzuki demonstrated the music production process with a track that hasn’t been heard before. You can check that out below. After having a chat with co-composer Naoshi Mizuta about the new Archylte Steppe theme and checking in with the game’s foley artists (that’s sound effects, for you clueless types out there), there was a brief montage of various visual processes. You can find shots of those a bit further down, too. Images include a demonstration of the animation process using a frightening dragon-type creature, manipulation of Sazh’s eyebrows, a city locale and Serah running through a city (maybe the same one) on a rainy night.

A fan event was recently held by Square Enix for a select group of people. For this event they were allowed to play the most updated demo for Final Fantasy XIII-2 as well as partake in a Q&A with two of the game’s main staff, Motomu Toriyama and Yoshinori Kitase. As such, a few new details not previously known has been revealed.

As far as story is concerned, they have confirmed that Snow, who has been absent thus far to which a handful of people seem grateful for, from what we have seen, will indeed make an appearance though apparently he has still yet to marry Serah.

Along with the Snow confirmation, they also stated that the upcoming Tokyo Game Show will host a slew of character reveals ranging from re-revealing older characters from the first game to new characters. For example, Hope, who was recently seen in the latest trailer will probably get a full reveal in the coming week. Also, it’s been a long time coming but it seems the the mysterious purple haired man from the very first trailer will also be finally, formally revealed.

They also hope to reveal the release date at TGS as well and they hinted at the possibility of a Limited Edition version which wouldn’t be too surprising. And naturally, as it was with the first game, the question of DLC came up to which they simply and again unsurprisingly said that they were looking into it. Also, don’t get rid of your Final Fantasy XIII save file because it may have some use when XIII-2 comes out.

You can read further about the gameplay in the updated demo, including new info on capturing monsters, party details and more here

Source: Nova Crystallis Blog

SQEX Members Europe has posted an interview with Final Fantasy XIII-2 director Motomu Toriyama. He talks about the role Historia Crux (the official English spelling). Get ready to treat time with as much respect as Doctor Who.

Could you give us an overview of what the Historia Crux is and how it works?

The Historia Crux is a new gameplay system that functions like a compass for time travel. As the portal which allows the player to select areas and time periods to go to, it functions a bit like a home menu and is at the heart of the story and gameplay progression of FINAL FANTASY XIII-2. The player can enjoy travelling through time by freely choosing between all the time-space locations where gates have been opened up. Although these locations proceed onwards into the future, you also have the option of rewinding time so it will be possible to experience many different historical possibilities.

What specific fan feedback are you trying to respond to with the Historia Crux?

The original game, FINAL FANTASY XIII, was primarily story driven and progressed in a very linear manner. For the sequel, FINAL FANTASY XIII-2, we are going for a much more player driven concept, so this time around the gameplay and story itself will alter to fit the player’s choices. You will be able to freely come and go between all the areas; the game will provide not just simple environmental exploration, but also a multi-layered exploration of history through the Historia Crux.

How does the Historia Crux affect the gameplay in FINAL FANTASY XIII-2?

The Historia Crux branches off into multiple different routes depending on the player’s choices. You will be able to take a detour into areas that have branched off of the route you have taken, perform side missions and turn back time in each of the areas to experiment with all possibilities. It is of course also possible to progress simply following the main story, like in the original FINAL FANTASY XIII. The flow of areas accessible via Historia Crux has been structured so that all of the player’s actions and decisions will influence the gameplay.

Casual players will be able to use the Historia Crux in a similar manner to browsing a favourite website – picking and choosing between all the different links available. It also contains elements aimed at more dedicated gamers, allowing for more challenging play through encouraging exploration of all the different times and places; to find additional secrets including the multiple endings that are hidden in the different routes.

Many fans have been longing for an explorable World Map for a while. Do you feel that the Historia Crux is a good alternative?

The Historia Crux divides the world into multiple layers, overlapping with the different time periods that can be played with the feeling of jumping freely around several world maps. This is a completely new system and experience, so it cannot be unconditionally compared with other options; however, when considering the key concept of “player freedom”, I believe it to be an optimal system for combining the best parts of open-world style games with the story-driven aspects of FINAL FANTASY XIII. The player can adjust their play style to either delve deeply into everything available and be engrossed, or just make more straightforward choices while going along their adventure.

Is it possible to share more information on how the Historia Crux allows for sidequests and hidden objects to feature in the game?

In the original game, the sidequests were only unlocked in the second half of the story in Gran Pulse, but in the sequel we have put in many different sidequests right from the start. Due to the overwhelming demand from players of the original, we have also included many strong and colourful mini games, a tradition of the FINAL FANTASY series. You will be able to return to any of the times and places whenever you like from the Historia Crux, so it is completely up to the player in what way they choose to play these.

Is it possible to change events that happen in the future depending on your actions in the past?

Depending on the player’s actions, new turning points to new futures will appear in time, and these will certainly form the basis for the multiple endings.

This is the first time time travel has featured so prominently in a FINAL FANTASY game, is this something you’d like to explore more in future games?

For the FINAL FANTASY series, each game has its own new game system, so it is not as if we are intending on making time travel key to all future instalments. We want fans to look forward to each FINAL FANTASY having its own unique system. For FINAL FANTASY XIII-2, we are experimenting with carrying out repeated large scale user tests to reflect the opinions of users in the game itself. We really have received a lot of feedback about the game, but among the voices there are those who say it reminds them of the classic RPG, CHRONO TRIGGER. For FINAL FANTASY XIII-2, we are aiming to make time travel a major thematic direction, and be able to express this on high-end game machines.

Will we be meeting older/younger versions of FINAL FANTASY XIII characters as we travel through time?

The main characters from the original FINAL FANTASY XIII will show up in this journey through time, so we will see them in many different situations and guises. I am sure that the fans of the original will be looking forward to seeing them again and how they have changed over the years!

Is it possible to return to time periods you’ve already visited and replay them as if it’s your first time you have visited the area?

It will be possible to wind back time in each of the areas you visit and replay them. Character levels and equipment etc will be carried over so it will be possible to play the game as if doing a “New Game+” for each of the areas at different times. It will be possible to play through from the start using your levelled up characters, once you have completed the game. We have taken care to put a number of elements into the game system to make replays more exciting and user-friendly.

Source: SQEX Members Europe

As well as all the Final Fantasy XIII-2 details featured in Dengeki’s feature today, Toriyama has also confirmed that “Easy Mode” will be coming to Final Fantasy XIII for Playstation 3.

Easy Mode was one of the features added to the Japanese Xbox 360 release of FFXIII known as Final Fantasy XIII Ultimate Hits International. Toriyama says that a patch will be released for the PS3 version which will add this feature. The patch will be released in Japan on 21st July to coincide with the Ultimate Hits PS3 version release. He doesn’t mention whether the patch or budget version of the game will see an international release.

Source: Andriasang

Dengeki Playstation has just been released with an eight page spread covering the Final Fantasy XIII-2 details from E3. Most of it is things we’ve already heard but there are a few new details Toriyama and Kitase failed to mention elsewhere.

As already confirmed, Noel will be a major character in XIII-2 but in Dengeki, Toriyama confirms that 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 XIII-2 but there’s no mention of him being playable.

The Mog Clock system which we’ve covered before apparently was implemented to help make battles shorter according to Toriyama.

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.

Finally, auto-saves will be much more frequent.

Source: Andriasang and Andriasang

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 more

content 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.

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    Japan Japan: December 15th 2011
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