Final Fantasy XIII
D: Square Enix
P: Square Enix
Platforms: Xbox 360
Preview date: February 10, 2009
Final Fantasy XIII Preview
It’s about time; Square Enix recently posted a brand new trailer showing off its greatest game in the works. You don’t have to hear it from me, but the trailer looks beautiful showing off an amazingly detailed world. The great news about this new trailer is it shows both CG and real-time scenes. While details are still around the minimum mark, there has been information given that helps us put some pieces of this glorious puzzle together.
The trailer opens up in a futuristic setting that strikingly looks similar to Midgard found in Final Fantasy 7; I’m sure the coincidences has nothing to do with it. The first major scene shows Lightning, who is the games main protagonist whipping everyone’s ass. She carries a blade along with a gun and it seems she is skilled with both of them. It shows her flipping all over the place taking down guards and at one point; she is hanging upside down shooting away. Before she starts with the acrobat moves, you notice she casts a magic attack on herself; yes, breaking news here, Final Fantasy XIII contains magic. It has been stated that the aesthetic of Lightning’s character was modeled after Cloud from Final Fantasy 7. In many past Final Fantasy’s, the main hero has, but not always, been a confused hero who was not aware of his skill. The player got to see the once bemused hero turn into the idol at the end of the game. It’s going to be interesting where they take this character throughout the course of the game; let’s just hope moments into the game, a creature does not comes down and steals all of Lightning’s powers away from her.
Shortly after the skirmish scene, you get introduced to another main character named Snow Villiers, who is in charge of a resistance group against the government of Cocoon, which seems to be the military villain in Final Fantasy 13. He is a big character and reminds me of Wakka from Final Fantasy 10. The trailer goes on showing off some gun battles. My impression is while it appears a war is going on, the armies are relying more on guns than magic. After Snow talks with people he is trying to get to join him, it shows off for the first time real-time combat.
If you’ve been keeping up with Final Fantasy 13, then you already know the game draws greatly from the battle system introduced in Final Fantasy 12. It’s still hard to tell how this battle system will work because at times it shows Lightning, Snow, and some other character standing in a line like they would in previous Final Fantasy games, but not always. You will also notice that after every time Lightning attacks, she back flips away from the enemy almost like returning to her place in line…hmm. It appears to have a combo system in place where Lightning and Show get in multiple hits before their turn is over; even taking the hits to the skies with some aerial combos. Magic attacks were also casted; a fire attack from Lightning and an ice attack from Snow. Get it? Ice…Snow, never mind. The enemies shown are nothing more than what you would expect enemies in a Final Fantasy game to look like. At the end of the trailer, Snow mentions the name Serah claiming that she saved them, but Lightning does not agree with that. Who is Serah and what the hell is going on?
So what else is known? A couple more characters have been announced including Oerba Dia Vanille and Sazh Katzroy. Vanille appears to be a cute little spunky girl resembling Yuna or Rikku from the X-2 days. Details are scarce but it appears she lives in Pulse (which is the setting) and the trailer shows her briefly wearing a hooded coat looking like she is trying to hide herself. It appears in screenshots that her weapon of choice is one crazy looking bow. Katzroy is a man with an afro who in pictures shows him dual wielding pistols and carrying around what appears to be a baby Chocobo; it’s rumored the Chocobo lives inside his afro. There are screenshots of him fighting with Lightning and a screenshot of him on the ground looking at something that is scaring him, but Lightning stands in the background looking ready for battle.
We can only hope Square Enix keeps delivering us trailers like this as development goes along. There are other details missing like what is the fal'Cie which Lightning mentions turning into that. Also, while this is a major release, there are going to be 2 others in the Fabula Novis Crystallis saga but they are not prequels or sequels to each other, they are set in the same universe though; details on these games are also rare. When exactly will we be getting our hands on this game? A demo has been announced to release with the Blu-Ray release of Final Fantasy 7: Advent Children which is scheduled to come out in April. A firm release date has not been announced but is rumored to hit Japan this holiday season for the PS3 only. After that, they will begin porting it to the U.S. along with the Xbox 360 version, so if everything goes like planned, we shouldn’t expect this game to release any time before summer of 2010. That sounds so far away!