PS3 News: Lightning Returns Debuts In Japan, And The Signs Are Clear - PS3 News

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Lightning Returns Debuts In Japan, And The Signs Are Clear

One would think the numbers were clear. One would think they'd be more than sufficient to send a clear and unambiguous message to Square Enix.

But of course, one would be wrong because no matter how clear that message is, this is one publisher that just can't understand it.

According to recent reports, Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII didn't exactly debut with a bang in Japan. The game released in November and thus far, it has only managed to sell about 277,000 units. That may sound relatively impressive but when you consider the decline, it's really pretty pathetic. Let's see if we can break this down so a child can understand:

Final Fantasy XIII launched exclusively for the PlayStation 3 in Japan in December 2009. At the time, there was only a fraction of the PS3 units available now, and FFXIII still sold 3 million copies in its opening weeks.

Final Fantasy XIII-2 released in 2011 in Japan and even with a simultaneous multiplatform launch and more PS3s floating around, it sold barely half of its predecessor, coming in at about 1.5 million units.

Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII comes out, with more PS3s than ever in Japan, and the game sells 277,000 to kick things off. Yay.

Now, if someone would please explain to me how and why Square Enix persists in running this once-vaunted and beloved franchise into the ground, I'd love to hear it. I've long since stopped trying to come up with a logical explanation. It's just so irrational from seemingly every possible standpoint that it boggles the mind. I wouldn't be surprised if Final Fantasy XV marked a further decline. See, we always wanted role-playing games.

How, how can one possibly misinterpret those sales results?

Related Game(s): Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII

Tags: lightning returns final fantasy xiii, lightning returns launch, final fantasy games

11/27/2013 11:16:21 PM Ben Dutka

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Comments (24 posts)

Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Wednesday, November 27, 2013 @ 11:31:12 PM
Reply

I would just like to add-

If you had told me back in 2006 that we'd go an entire generation (an elongated console generation at that) and we'd never see a Final Fantasy game worthy of a 9+ review score, I'd have laughed. Hard.

And yet, it has happened. Just...unbelievable.

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daus26
Wednesday, November 27, 2013 @ 11:48:51 PM

Yeah, come to think of it, it's pretty crazy. I mean it's a WHOLE generation. Not only that, it's the longest generation yet.

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Vitron
Thursday, November 28, 2013 @ 12:23:04 AM

Its just so sad..., hard to believe indeed from 7 years ago.

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Lawless SXE
Thursday, November 28, 2013 @ 1:45:32 AM

What if we'd told you that there was only going to be one core Final Fantasy game in the same period?

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Broady
Friday, November 29, 2013 @ 4:23:06 AM

That is a bit shocking Lawless - to think ps1 had 7, 8 and 9 (all very good), ps2 had 10 and 12 (x-1 was a spin off, but still a good game), ps3 we have got 13 (not the best ff but still a good game) and 2 spin off's, that aren't up to the standard we expect

Actually when you look at it that way, the number of core ff games has reduced in each generation - guess that will be square enix's response if xv turns out badly - you should be happy that there are any ff games!

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PHOENIXZERO
Sunday, December 01, 2013 @ 4:02:35 PM

Amazing isn't it? SE, at least the core company and developers just shit to bed this generation when it comes to consoles. The only thing that's going to save that company is a total and complete shake up with a major purging of management.

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Yukian
Wednesday, November 27, 2013 @ 11:39:26 PM
Reply

That's really pitiful... a legendary and beloved franchise that would be instant success when a game graced a console is reduced to this. Final Fantasy did not deserved this end... :(

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daus26
Wednesday, November 27, 2013 @ 11:53:53 PM
Reply

I really think it's just their obsession with Lightning.

FFXIII ended GREAT, imo. The twist that FFXIII-2 brought in was the most unnecessary turn of events I've ever seen in a video game.

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Vivi_Gamer
Thursday, November 28, 2013 @ 4:56:41 AM

I agree, I really enjoyed XIII, yes the whole game. I was a bit unhappy on how vaguely they presented some story points in datalog files. But the characters were very engaging to me at least.

XIII-2 spat all over the ending of XIII and it just went overly convoluted ever since. Serah is possible the worst FF lead character ever... well no, she just is - We were lucky to have Noel accompanying her at least. I don't even know whats happening storywise with this new game. I like my FF characters to be human/creature not some God that can do anything... Lightning went from a decent character to just a mess...

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akmdpc
Thursday, November 28, 2013 @ 12:03:18 AM
Reply

I got the platinum for XIII and did pick up XIII-2 with the intent to play it. It's currently staring at me from my backlog and so low on the priority list that I will likely not get to it. No way I would consider picking this up unless I win the lottery tonight and can quit my job and play video games full time. Even then I would probably pass.

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Riku994
Thursday, November 28, 2013 @ 12:04:01 AM
Reply

I think XV will do well. Nomura knows what he's doing.

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akmdpc
Thursday, November 28, 2013 @ 12:08:26 AM

That trailer for XV was sick. I hope you're right.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Thursday, November 28, 2013 @ 1:17:25 AM

I don't think he does. All I see is a flashy action game.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Thursday, November 28, 2013 @ 9:10:22 AM

If it had come out 3 years ago I might agree with you.

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Lawless SXE
Thursday, November 28, 2013 @ 1:47:46 AM
Reply

That's rather painful, I must say. What are the Japanese reviewers saying about it, I wonder?

In any case, here's hoping they can fix whatever is wrong with the series with XV, or XVI at the latest, and if it isn't back to glory by then, well... Time to take it out the back paddock, I'd say.

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Oxvial
Thursday, November 28, 2013 @ 1:59:58 AM
Reply

We are tired of SE fetish with this girl, awful character just bring a new main character please.

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Ather
Thursday, November 28, 2013 @ 2:21:11 AM
Reply

If this keeps up, they'll be paying us to play their crap, er, games.

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Gordo
Thursday, November 28, 2013 @ 2:21:22 AM
Reply

Fool me once, its your fault. Fool me twice then I'm to blame. A third time...

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Vivi_Gamer
Thursday, November 28, 2013 @ 4:52:51 AM
Reply

I played the demo again from the Japanese PS Store last night. I have to say it really is not looking promising. The battle system is decent, swapping Paradigm (If that is even still the phrase of this game) is seamless and racking up a combination can be a lot of fun. I found using the D-Pad to move Lightning to be pointless, see barely walks in the direction you push and any real sense of movement is assigned to an attack.

Another problem I have is with guarding. Basically each Paradigm class has 4 actions. One of them on each class is guard, which is lacking in response, I would want to guard a sudden attack but Lightning would already be slamming down previous commands. You don't really guard much in previous JRPG's but as this has a more action basis to the gameplay it can be a bit of a problem.

Also the last feature to note in battle is that you have to pause the game to heal, which is done buy items. Yo umay get healing costumes later, but it seems pointless as you can only have 3 costumes at a time and pausing the game to heal seems to be far more easier... if a little game breaking...

Then there are he costumes themselves... I just dont see the appeal. I would much rather have a character with a set design that is distinctive than just random costumes. So this just doesn't appeal to me.

Then there is the out out battle areas... I played a sequence where you have to chase a character you know well in a tight corridor like environment - Well he went on ahead and you were just running alone... Running now has button in R2. And you can strike enemies prior to battle like in XIII-2. What I dont like is the forced jumping mechanics. One problem is that its limited to what Lighting can interact with. I was in a rich palace and there is one of them poles that look like a candy cane... it just didn't suit the environment at all...

Then there is the story, it was in Japanese so I don't really know what its about anymore... I played the previous 2 games but I just don't know what Lightning is as a character anymore. Running around collecting souls in her chest? and then there is this Lumina character, who already seems to fal into that anime stereotype of annoying, cutesy-wusey pink haired, boggly-eyed -eh... I just expect better of Final Fantasy...

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WorldEndsWithMe
Thursday, November 28, 2013 @ 9:13:25 AM
Reply

Maybe it takes more than a decline but a nice big fat flop to teach them a lesson on what people want out of FF.

Sadly, it's too late for me I've given up the ghost. My hope for the franchise that has been the main reason I play games was murdered this generation.

FFXHD is gonna be so righteous!

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xenris
Thursday, November 28, 2013 @ 10:43:21 AM
Reply

Its funny that they are doing all of these terrible changes in a desperate attempt to try and grab that CoD crowd, who by the way would NEVER buy the game in the first place.

The people at SE are just messed up. They must have some crazy share holder who just keeps forcing them to make terrible terrible decisions.

I remember when anything with Squaresoft on it was going to be a quality game, whether it was a Final Fantasy or not. Now, I actually avoid most things with Square on the box because I don't want to support such a ridiculous company.

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Underdog15
Thursday, November 28, 2013 @ 12:49:32 PM
Reply

I'm waiting for FFX HD, personally. I enjoyed FFXIII-2 for the battle system. It wasn't perfect, but it was enjoyable. Solid 8+ in my book. But I can't say I cared about the story. I don't care one iota about what happens next. I felt ripped off, but it still wasn't enough to make me want to learn more.

I'll be passing on this one, I think.

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Snaaaake
Thursday, November 28, 2013 @ 4:24:56 PM
Reply

I think FFXV would certainly attract action fans.
But JRPG fans might ignore it.

As for Lightning Returns..........wada hell is going on over there at SE?

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ricksterj
Sunday, December 01, 2013 @ 12:10:31 PM
Reply

Just saw an impressive (& EXPENSIVE) collector's 3 pack (FF XIIIs I-III) in Japan. Hope EB Games/Gamestop bring it over here in English. Are you listening EB Games/Gamestop?

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