As a fan of the Final Fantasy XIII series, I am eagerly awaiting Lightning Returns. This new video from Square Enix takes us to the Wildlands of LR:FFXIII, one of the major areas in the game.
While I won’t get into the details of the gameplay, as the video is self explanatory, Lightning Returns is a step in a different direction for the XIII series. That’s saying something considering how different XIII and XIII-2 were . Unlike the prior installments, more focus has been put on a more accessible and open world filled with NPCs, towns, shops, and side quests. Gone are the semi-random encounters from XIII-2, party members, menu based attack selections, and stagger bar. It now seems you have some movement in battle as well as a guard function. The customization for battle seems to have improved a lot. Don’t worry fans of XIII/-2, the paradigm shifting concept is still central to the gameplay, however the “roles” we’ve seen so far in the series aren’t there. The world still looks stylish and beautiful, and the soundtrack still sounds great from what I’ve heard so far.
Square Enix has received a lot of backlash for the XIII series. For the fans who wish Square would experiment with new ideas like they did in the PS1 era, the XIII trilogy oozes with experimentation and new ideas for the franchise. Square Enix could have released a trilogy only making minor adjustments between each installment, but we have 3 totally distinct games. The “sequel that no one wanted” is getting a “sequel to the sequel that no one wanted”, and I for one am really excited to see what happens next. Between the mystery of what happened after XIII-2, how the characters have grown and changed over 500 years, and the new battle system; February can’t come soon enough. (Release Dates: 13th (AU), 11th (US), 14th (EU)).