PS3 Previews: Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII Preview

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Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII Preview

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Scheduled release date:

TBA 2013

Publisher:

Square Enix

Developer:

Square Enix

Number Of Players:

1

Genre:

Action/RPG

Release Date:

February 11, 2014

Final Fantasy XIII-2 was addictive for me. There, I said it. It was not, however, what I would call a “great Final Fantasy,” nor did I play it for the same reasons I played previous entries in the series. As for the upcoming Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII, I refrain from comment for the sake of this preview. We need one so I’ll write one. Okay?

Welcome to the world of Novus Partus, an expansive, fantastical world that utilizes an intriguing day/night cycle, which dictates the flow of the adventure. There are four total islands to explore and based on what I’ve seen of the early media and artwork, the main city of Novus Partus sort of combines fantasy with steampunk ideals, as we see a monorail, a darker-colored palette, and an apparent combination of futuristic sci-fi elements and traditional old-school JRPG style. That day/night system will play a very large role, as will time in general.

With only thirteen days to save the world, the protagonist – Lightning – will have to work quickly and efficiently. Square Enix has highlighted two major themes for this sequel and although one is expected (more customization), the other adds a twist to the gameplay. They want to deliver a continually changing and a constantly moving environment, as time will continue to run out during the course of your adventure. However, being the goddess that she is, Lightning will be able to increase the available time for quests and missions, and she can even perform miracles that could alter the flow of time. You know, divine power and all that.

This will be Lightning’s final story and she’ll be more customizable than ever before. In addition to being able to move about with free will during combat – which instantaneously makes this more of an action/RPG than anything else – she’ll also change her appearance. On top of which, the different equipment and weapons will sometimes give her special abilities, so there should be a fair amount of strategy involved when outfitting the heroine. This will be crucial because remember, Lightning is on her own this time; there will be no traditional party. That also gives this more of an action/RPG vibe…or maybe just “action.”

You’ll always have to keep an eye on the time gauge when traveling and fighting, but as I understand it, the game doesn’t end if the timer hits zero. Basically, it just means you missed a chance to see that particular story arc through to completion. With a bigger, more freedom-oriented environment, there will be times when you simply fail to complete a mission. Failure is often part of the open-world experience, as Skyrim players will tell you. Obviously, you shouldn’t expect a huge world ala Elder Scrolls, but there’s no doubt that the developers are aiming for something bigger and freer than anything we’ve seen before in Final Fantasy.

The Paradigm Shift system will return and for the record, we will retain the quasi-turn-based mechanic that has a gauge fill, after which we can attack. Lightning’s skills will be mapped to the face buttons, as you might find in other action titles, and we have to assume we’ll be able to access her other abilities via pop-up menu of some kind. I’ll assume (and dearly hope) that such a menu will pause combat, but there’s no knowing for sure at this point. We do know that Lightning will have access to her standard repertoire of both physical and magic-based skills, which is good news.

Lightning will be the centerpiece and she’ll be extremely powerful this time around. She’d have to be, as she has to handle everything herself, right? So perhaps fans of the character can’t wait to kick some demon ass. As for long-time hardcore Final Fantasy aficionados, I’m not sure what they think. …okay, that isn’t true, I know exactly what they think, but I’m trying to be all professional and optimistic here.

10/16/2012 Ben Dutka

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More Previews Of This Game
Date
Game
Reviewer
01/22/14 Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII Ben Dutka

Comments (29 posts)

WorldEndsWithMe
Tuesday, October 16, 2012 @ 11:07:34 PM
Reply

I think these folks are just grasping at what's left of their cutting room floor ideas to keep pushing these unfortunate sequels forward.

He talks about that Lightning poster with the word "Courage" on it? Well man, it takes courage to admit your direction was wrong.

Agree with this comment 6 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Vitron
Tuesday, October 16, 2012 @ 11:08:19 PM
Reply

Meh... icon he says.

Last edited by Vitron on 10/16/2012 11:09:39 PM

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ZenChichiri
Tuesday, October 16, 2012 @ 11:32:16 PM
Reply

See, this idea seems pretty cool, and the optimist I am is going to give this game a chance, but the thing that bothers me is that effort is being taken away from other major projects to complete this one. If this was just kinda on the side, and something they wanted to experiment with, I would be ok with it. It's just that this is the only Final Fantasy game to look forward to for the time being with nothing else (even side games) being created right now.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Wednesday, October 17, 2012 @ 12:11:45 AM

I'll give it a chance too, but as a used game.

Agree with this comment 2 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

ZenChichiri
Wednesday, October 17, 2012 @ 3:11:25 AM

I might wait for it to go down in price too ;)

Pending reviews anyways.

Last edited by ZenChichiri on 10/17/2012 3:11:54 AM

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kraygen
Wednesday, October 17, 2012 @ 1:12:10 AM
Reply

In an effort to slap their FF fans in the face harder than ever before, we once again would like to say we're listening and this is what you get.

I can see it now, coming out in 2014. . .

"Final Fantasy: Lightning Strikes Again"

Agree with this comment 4 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Lawless SXE
Wednesday, October 17, 2012 @ 3:35:49 AM
Reply

I can read the excitement in your words, Ben *nods sagely*

I'm entirely indifferent to the plight of Final Fantasy. I was never a fan of the earlier titles. To be completely honest, the idea of Lightning Returns isn't horrible to me and I'll get it at reduced cost, as I did with the first two games in the Lightning Saga.

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Lawless SXE
Wednesday, October 17, 2012 @ 5:11:18 AM

Never a fan of the originals because I never had the opportunity to play them. Just wanted to clarify that again. I have FFX/X-2 on my shelf begging to be played...

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ProfPlayStation
Wednesday, October 17, 2012 @ 9:07:55 AM

You should get to that. They are still better than the majority of games released today. Even X-2 is leagues above this XIII nonsense.

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Ergi
Wednesday, October 17, 2012 @ 4:18:09 AM
Reply

Just make a a ninja gaiden game but call it Final Fantasy if you so much want to.

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Russell Burrows
Wednesday, October 17, 2012 @ 4:37:20 AM
Reply

Well at least with this FF garbage on the way out then maybe we get a few more peeks at KH3?

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Vivi_Gamer
Wednesday, October 17, 2012 @ 5:00:01 AM
Reply

Oh you got me excited there for a second, I am still waiting to see some footage for this game.

I'm very disheartened by the fact that they are applying attacks to the face buttons. I have enjoyed action RPG's like Nier or Fable, but it is not what I expect from Final Fantasy. Heck, even Crisis Core had a menu system! I hope the Paradigm system does stay like you say, otherwise lightnings attacks eill feel old really quickly. I wonder if you will be able to change here attacks similar to a system like on Dissidia? - Is that what they're going for?

I've already said it, but the overall project does not sound too bad alone. The problem is that it is a numeral title to the Final Fantasy franchise. Not only that, but it is also acting as a conclusion to the series. But the game sounds like it does not live up to the profile needed for a Final Fantasy XIII-3, it just sounds like a spin off. If it was a spin off like Crisis Core... I'd be fine. I really enjoyed Crisis Core. But I cannot accept and action RPG as a main entry to the Final Fantasy series.

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Vivi_Gamer
Wednesday, October 17, 2012 @ 5:02:06 AM

Upon first hearing about the project an image popped into my head, my mind state still has not changed. Take Lightning Rises and mix it with another sequel/spin off and you get:

http://i834.photobucket.com/albums/zz266/ultimadream/MetalGearLight4-1.jpg

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WorldEndsWithMe
Wednesday, October 17, 2012 @ 9:48:57 AM

That's what's so odd, XIII-2 is a spinoff of XIII and LR appears to be a spinoff of XIII-2. All in the name of having numerous "stand alone" games.

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Ninja_WafflesXD
Wednesday, October 17, 2012 @ 6:50:09 AM
Reply

T.T

Why did I even bother reading this...?
It just makes me all the more depressed.

Oh how far the franchise has fallen with one numerical entry...(I'm not even acknowledging FFXIV's existence here...)

Fair enough. They want to do an action-rpg style FF game? By all means, knock yourselves out.

But don't mess with the main numbered entries!!!!

Crisis Core was a spin-off that I loved, to a great FF title that I loved.

They CAN do it right, but they're choosing to mess with the timeline- er, I mean franchise :/

At the very least, give us Versus XIII and KH3....at this point, I'd be willing to turn a blind eye to the monstrosity that they call "Lightning Returns".

*sigh* I'm tired....and i'm gonna stop ranting (for now) because all it's doing is raising my stress levels, and SE still doesn't seem to care...

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ProfPlayStation
Wednesday, October 17, 2012 @ 8:55:26 AM
Reply

Hey everybody!!!

Ni no Kuni is releasing in just a few months!!

Hooray!!


(adding a positive post)

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CrusaderForever
Wednesday, October 17, 2012 @ 9:22:21 AM

Nice! Cannot wait as Ni No Kuni looks so amazing!

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gumbi
Wednesday, October 17, 2012 @ 9:27:54 AM

Thumbs up my friend! A positive note indeed. Ni no Kuni is easily my most anticipated game right now.

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CrusaderForever
Wednesday, October 17, 2012 @ 9:21:45 AM
Reply

How are they going to do this with out a party? Every FF had a party, what are they doing? SMH

I really like Lightning and will see what they have to offer but I don't think this is a good idea. What will they do after this installment?

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WorldEndsWithMe
Wednesday, October 17, 2012 @ 9:50:13 AM
Reply

Ya know what's sad? FFXIII is starting to feel more like a solid entry as things continue to get watered down.

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CrusaderForever
Wednesday, October 17, 2012 @ 10:29:34 AM

I understand what you are saying. If you compare FFXIII to the other FF entries then it's a bad game. But by itself it is truly a great game. I disconnected myself and looked at FFXIII with an open mind. You should try that young Padawan! LOL! :)

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Wednesday, October 17, 2012 @ 11:16:02 AM

Truth.

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xenris
Wednesday, October 17, 2012 @ 10:55:57 AM
Reply

Sounds like they are mixing some systems from FF13 with Crisis core. I mean I loved Crisis core but it was a spin off and on the psp.

Why are they wasting their money and resources on this spin off when NO ONE wants it?

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Wednesday, October 17, 2012 @ 11:16:53 AM

"Why are they wasting their money and resources on this spin off when NO ONE wants it?"

I have been tortured by a similar question for years. Basically, "Why do they keep going in the wrong direction when NO ONE wants them to?"

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xenris
Wednesday, October 17, 2012 @ 1:02:03 PM

I feel bad that you have to preview and eventually review this game. I can at least pretend it doesn't exist :P

As for why they keep going this direction, man its mind boggling. I hope Ni No Kuni does amazingly well and shows that Classic JRPGs can still do well in todays market. Although square would probably ignore that too, but it MIGHT get them thinking differently enough to try giving us a good old school game?

I dont know why they dont make a low budget classic JRPG that is PSN and XBLA exclusive and see how well it does, you know to test the waters. It seems like a simple solution to me, but they are somehow convinced that no one wants classic JRPGs again.

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homura
Wednesday, October 17, 2012 @ 1:14:12 PM

Square Enix did make a classic JRPG, it's on the 3DS though, and it's still only in Japan. But I hope it will come in NA. It's called

(Bravely Default: Flying Fairy)

It did take away the no.1 spot from RE6 in Japan.


Last edited by homura on 10/17/2012 1:16:38 PM

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xenris
Wednesday, October 17, 2012 @ 2:17:50 PM

I think I've heard of that. Shame they don't stick it on the PSN or something.

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GuardianMode
Wednesday, October 17, 2012 @ 12:22:29 PM
Reply

This game like the other 2 will be a bargin bin buy for me. Which shouldnt be too long since XIII-2 hit 30USD one month after release.

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homura
Wednesday, October 17, 2012 @ 12:52:32 PM
Reply

I loved Final Fantasy XIII

+

I hated Final Fantasy XIII-2

=

I'll get Lightning Returns very cheap or used.

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