Posts Tagged ‘Final Fantasy XIII’

Backlog Barrage! Lets Do A Little Role Playing

March 18, 2011

White Knight Chronicles Publisher: SonyDeveloper: Level-5
Platform: PS3  /  Genre: JRPG  /  Release Date: February 2, 2010

White Knight Chronicles (WKC) wasn’t what most expected, or maybe even wanted from Level-5’s first PS3 JRPG. However, I think it was overly criticized and was overall a good title.

Sure the story didn’t pick up till the end, but seeing as the game is just the first in a planned trilogy I can be a little forgiving of that. I think most of the characters weren’t deep enough, and they didn’t grow with the story. This is probably why most people decided to harp on the standard save the princess story. Even if similar tropes are the basis of many other games, which are generally given a pass.

As for the actual gameplay, it plays much like a simplified MMO. You key up actions (spells, attacks, items, etc) and use them when your gauge fills. You are able to stack abilities and actions to create your own combos. During these you will have to complete timed button presses to keep the combo going. It might not be my favorite combat system, but it worked rather well for what they wanted to do.

Besides creating your own combos there is also a very exhaustive crafting system in WKC. You can create a plethora of gear and items. You can also upgrade these. But more unique to WKC is the Georama system, where each player gets to create their own home space. These spaces can be filled with buildings, crops, mineral deposits, shops, filled with workers, and so on. It is a huge addition to the game, and can be fairly addictive. My main complaint would be the amount of time required to grind your way through most of the crafting and Georama systems. I think it would’ve been much better if it were easier to obtain weapons, armor, or new furnishings for your Georama. Instead I eventually succumbed to the realization that the game demanded way too much of my time to really progress. Instead of pushing forward, it made me want to take WKC out of my PS3 and move on to another game.

Like I mentioned at the beginning of this review, I really enjoyed WKC. There is a fun and uniquely deep base here that I hope Level-5 can build on for the sequel. The Georama and online aspects added a lot to the game. In fact, if WKC lacked these components I would have scored it lower. Hopefully we will see some needed tweaks in the upcoming sequel.

SCORE: 7/10

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Final Fantasy XIII Publisher: Square EnixDeveloper: Square Enix
Platform: PS3, Xbox 360  /  Genre: JRPG  /  Release Date: March 9, 2010

Final Fantasy XIII (FFXIII) is yet another game that I struggled with assigning a score to. If I look at piecemeal it seems like a great game, but when it is all put together I feel like it falls short.

Overall the graphics are very good. During battles the spell and combat effects look really good. For the most part, the character models looks really good. However, whenever there is a close up you can see where they cut some corners. I count myself among the crowd that thinks the game suffered from becoming multiplatform. There are a lot of low resolution textures, and even the way the game is designed feels like it was compromised to work with the 360’s DVD limitations.

Which brings me to the worse part of this game. It is incredibly linear. You are forced to run down one long corridor after another. It is designed like a shooter. However that style of game design only works for fast paced action games or shooters. Where you are constantly fighting enemies in real time and are usually met with dramatic set-pieces. In FFXIII you run down mostly empty  and confined pathways. You engage enemies, and are then warped into a battle mode. After defeating the enemies you are warped back to the map. This is standard for a lot of RPGs, but the fact that there are no side-quests until much later in the game (waits until the second disc for the 360… convenient?) makes most of the game feel like one long corridor. If this was more of an action-RPG, this may have worked better. Or maybe even if it was a shorter game, as it really drags at times.

The battle system is more about managing your roles (think job classes) than actually controlling any one character. It is fast paced and flashy, but most of the time ends up feeling like I was just pressing “x” to win. You do need to juggle your roles a lot more later on in the game, but I still think it was lacking.

The characters are decent, and the story is good. Both of which are very important when it comes to RPG’s, especially when they are fairly long. They both had me interested enough to make me want to complete the game. Even after I became bored of the combat or fatigued by the seemingly endless amount of linear maps.

There were times when I completely loved FFXIII, but they a minute later I would be met by something that made me loathe it. It feels like the game could have been something much better and has left me wanting. If it hadn’t been so linear and felt like it was artificially extended just to make it seem like a longer game (which fans of the serious usually expect), I think it would have been a better game. Maybe we will see some serious revisions in the sequel, FFXIII-2.

SCORE: 8/10

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Fallout: New Vegas Publisher: BethesdaDeveloper: Obsidian
Platform: PS3, Xbox 360, PC  /  Genre: WRPG  /  Release Date: October 21, 2010

Where do I begin… Fallout: New Vegas had a lot to prove to me after playing Fallout 3. I could tell there was an idea of a good game in both of these games, but I was also horribly burned by maybe the worst high-profile game engine in the industry. The bug ridden, low performance, and flat out broken Gamebryo engine. It was completely frustrating in Fallout 3 and when I heard they were still using that engine for New Vegas my heart sunk. I was really hoping they’d do the right thing and release an actually functional game. Turns out, they may have released an even more broken game than Fallout 3.

I know, why am I focusing on the engine and not the game so far in this review? Well, that’s because you have to be able to totally look past the massive amount of problems the engine contributes to the game in-order to find anything redeeming about New Vegas. There are the small issues, like poor lip-synching, late loading textures, and clipping. These are generally forgivable in an open world game if they aren’t too frequent. That is not the case with New Vegas. I would enter buildings or areas to be met with large portions (sometimes whole buildings, the ground, etc) of the world not being textured. It abruptly reminds you that you’re playing a game, and a poorly made on at that.

Then there are the larger problems. Hell, you can’t even run in the game without dropping frames like a tree drops leaves in the fall. I would have to stop moving so the game wouldn’t freeze on me. Even trying to move around the world cautiously to avoid these problems it would still regularly freeze on me (even after the patches that supposedly fixed that problem). Then you have broken missions, characters getting stuck inside each other, or maybe even you getting stuck in the worlds geometry. It’s like the real enemy of the game is the Gamebryo engine… and it usually wins.

As for the actual game, it’s ok. I enjoyed the setting and story more than I did in Fallout 3. Roaming the wastelands going where you please is still immensely gratifying. This is why you play these games. FInding new areas, new enemies, and new stories hidden away in documents, new NPC’s, or computers you get to hack. All of this is satisfying, and what I want out of a new Fallout game.

It is such a shame that a good game was ruined for me due to all the technical problems.  I really wanted to be able to look past this, but since the game wants to constantly remind that it can’t run properly I can’t. Maybe the game just wants you to take a break, for your health, so it freezes which then requires you to get up and shut down your PS3. Or maybe it is time to kill off the Gamebryo engine and move on to a new one (which I believe they are with their next game). If you are able to stomach all the technical problems (a.k.a. a broken game) there is a fun game to be found in there.

SCORE: 4/10


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Too Many Games, Too Little Time

May 28, 2010

So I haven’t been posting on here as much as I would like. I’ve especially fallen behind in my reviews, but there are good reasons for this. The main reason is because of my new job, which takes a lot out of me most days. However, that isn’t the only reason. Almost as guilty as my new job, is the sheer amount of games out right now. My backlog is huge, and has grown even more this past month. It’s been hard to concentrate on just one game, or to choose writing over actually playing more of these games. I will be making a effort to complete some reviews and with E3 coming post some of my reactions to the news that comes out of the event. But for the time being, here is a short list with some very brief impressions of the games that have been keeping me busy.

MAG

I’ve played way too much of this game by now. Hell, I think I’ve dumped more time into it than any RPG that’s been released this generation. That is saying a lot. I also still plan on spending more time with it, especially when the new DLC comes out. It is probably the biggest surprise for me this year, and one of the games I’ve had the most fun playing.

Lost Planet 2

I’m still rather early in the campaign mode of Lost Planet 2, but I’ve been spending a fair amount of time playing the competitive multiplayer. Sadly, I think this game is getting roughed up a bit in reviews. Yes, there are things that could be improved. I think a lot of people just don’t like the way the game controls, but to me it just has its own feeling and that it isn’t a bad thing. I can see myself playing the co-op and competitive modes for quit some time.

Uncharted 2: Among Thieves

Yes I am still playing this from time to time. Recently I’ve spent more time with the multiplayer, especially with the double cash weekends. I’m not too sure how much longer I’ll stick with the multiplayer, but I will be going back to the single player to get some more trophies and just to enjoy one of the best games of this generation.

Final Fantasy XIII

Well, I don’t really know what to say about this game yet. I’ve spent way too much time in it to not finish it, but it will be one of those games I’ll let sit while I finish other games. It is just rather disappointing that I’ve waited so long for this game, and then it comes out and I find myself not wanting to play it. Hopefully it will peak my interest again since I’m just getting to the “good” part of the game according to most people.

Red Dead Redemption

Unlike FFXIII, Red Dead Redemption is actually living up to my excitement and maybe even surpassing it. I’m not too far into the story, as every time I start riding around in the world I find a new side mission, some animals to hunt, mini-games, or superb environments to get lost in. I know I will be spending a lot of time with this game, especially because I’ve been really enjoying the multiplayer aspect of it as well.

Monster Hunter Tri

This game can be a massive time sink. I haven’t put a ton of hours into it yet, but that’s mainly due to other games and the fact that I’m not very good at the game. I really enjoy it, and can easily see how people could spend tons time with this game. Hopefully I’ll find time to play some of the online portion and start to not suck at it so I can progress in the game.

Then there are some games I’ve only barely touched but want to spend more time with. Some of these games are 3D Dot Game Heroes, Yakuza 3, Star Ocean: The Last Hope, and then some DLC for older games. I can’t remember being this busy with so many good games. Thankfully I don’t know of many more games coming out right now so maybe I can start to catch up my posts and growing backlog. Although, with E3 right around the corner I’m sure we’ll see new games and get release dates for games I am interested in. So maybe the real answer it to stop going to work and just play more games.


The Top 10 PS3 and PSP Games I’m Looking Forward To In 2010

February 2, 2010

3D Dot Heroes Games

I have always been a sucker for great art direction and charm, both of which this game seems to have. Simply put, this homage to Zelda just looks like a lot of fun to play. I love the whole idea of taking an 8 or 16 bit game and making it 3D. Hell, that is at the heart of the story of this game so you know it is going to be quirky and  humorous.

Castlevania: Lords of Shadow

I don’t know too much about this game, but it has gotten my attention. First off, it looks really good graphically and from an art direction standpoint. It also seems to have well done voice work, a dark and interesting atmosphere/setting, and solid sound design. Gameplay wise it similar to a lot of other third-person action games, which might be a bad thing since there are already a bunch of those games coming out this year. However, there is enough here to get me interested (especially since Kojima is associated with the game) and set it apart just enough to make me really want to know more about the game.

Final Fantasy XIII

The Final Fantasy series has always been one of my favorite gaming franchises. So it is no surprised that the latest installment would make my most anticipated list of 2010. However, unlike almost all the other FF games FFXIII isn’t my most anticipated game this year. I still have my concerns that the game won’t live up to my expectations, but I do think it will be a quality game that I will end up really enjoying.

God of War 3

For the most part the first two games are considered to be at the top of the third-person action genre. So why would the third and final installment of this epic series be any different? From the trailers, new screenshots, and the demo one can easily tell this is going to a very slick game. It will not only look incredible, but play just as good. I can’t wait to see how the trilogy ends.

Heavy Rain

It is kind of hard to explain this game, or even why I’m so interested in it. I guess the main draw is that it is something very different than most of the games available now. It is going to be a game focused on story, which really appeals to me. On top of that it is going to be a more mature game. Heavy Rain is being described as a physiological thriller, and I really hope it lives up to this description.

The Last Guardian

Here is another game that I have trouble explaining the appeal of to other people. If you have seen the trailer then you should know why I am really looking forward to this game. It looks absolutely gorgeous, and I’m not just talking about the graphics or art direction (although, both of those are top notch as well). Once again it seems Team Ico have crafted a unique, inspiring, and emotional world. You can’t help but get drawn into the world presented in the trailer. I can’t wait to experience this game, but I sure hope neither the creature or the boy end up dying in the end.

Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker

Do I really need to say anything more than it is a MGS game that Kojima is directly, and heavily, involved in. Hell, just recently he said that Peace Walker would have been MGS5 if it was on a console and not the PSP. It looks great for a PSP game, and seems to have updated the controls from the previous PSP game MGS: Portable Ops.

Read Dead Redemption

If you’ve been reading my other posts you knew this game was going to be on the list. Even with all the JRPG’s, my favorite genre, coming out in 2010 Red Dead Redemption has a firm grasp on my gaming interests. It is one of those games that I wasn’t sure about, but as more info and video has been released I find my self being incredibly psyched about this game.

Valkyria Chronicles 2

The original Valkyria Chronicles is not only one of my favorite PS3 games, but it is one of my favorite games of all time. I loved everything about it. One of those games that I will always want to go back and play again once every once and awhile. So when they announced Valkyria Chronicles 2 I was super excited. However, like most of the fans of the first game I was very disappointed to see that it was for the PSP instead of the PS3. It will always feel like it could have been better, but from what I’ve seen so far the sequel looks like it is shaping up to be a great game. It has the potential to be one of the few PSP games that will keep me off of my PS3 for a good amount of time.

White Knight Chronicles

Finally! I’ve been waiting for this game for so freaking long. I love most of Level-5’s games, so when they announced a new JRPG for the PS3 I was immediately on board. Besides having a deep single player campaign, WKC also has a MMO-like online multiplayer. Thankfully this game will be coming out this week so I won’t have to wait much longer.

Honorable Mention

Dead Space 2 – Not sure if this is even coming out in 2010, which is why it is not in the top 10. If it turns out to be coming out this year then I’ll have to adjust my list. I loved Dead Space so I can’t wait to get back to killing necromorphs.

Final Fantasy XIV – I’ve never played any MMO’s, mainly because I don’t game on a gaming PC and I also don’t like the idea of monthly fees. I almost took the plunge with FFXI, but didn’t feel like dealing with all the extra crap you had to do to get it up and running on the PS2. Now that the PS3 has a harddrive and wifi, all I have to come to terms with is paying to play. If enough of my friends get into this game then  I am sure I’ll end up getting into it.

Final Fantasy Versus XIII – To be honest, I am much more excited about this game than FFXIII. However, since we don’t know when this will come out I am dropping it out of my list. Hopefully this game will end up as good as the trailers look. The characters and setting is just more appealing than FFXIII.

Metal Gear Solid Rising – Another game with no real release date, but I am interested in seeing what they do with this game. Raiden in MGS4 was pretty freaking awesome, so basing a whole game around him sounds like a great idea. However, since it won’t be using the same engine as MGS4, will be multi-platform, and Kojima isn’t heavily involved I have my doubts that it will live up to my high expectations.

Classic Dungeon: Magic Team Assistance – Not sure when we will see this in North America, but as soon as NISA makes it available for pre-order I will be putting out the cash for it. There isn’t a ton known about the game, but what I do know is that I’m interested in everything I do know about the game. Plus, the game gives me the same vibe that other NIS titles and Half-Minute Hero did.

Could 2010 Be The Year Of The JRPG For The PS3?

January 18, 2010

I’m a very big fan of JRPG’s, so when the PS3 launched I didn’t run out and get it since there really were not any JRPGs on the immediate horizon. Since then there have been a few JRPG’s available on the PS3, and the exclusive ones have been extremely good games. Both Demon’s Souls and Valkyria Chronicles are fine examples of spectacular PS3 RPG’s that any PS3 gamer should already own, and are worth buying a PS3 for. So although we’ve suffered from a lack of quantity of RPG’s, especially JRPG’s, it has been more than made up for with the quality of the titles that are available on the PS3. However, it seems we are about to see a flood of JRPG’s hit the PS3 starting in 2010.

Here is a list of all the possible JRPG’s I could think of coming out on the PS3 in 2010.

White Knight Chronicles ~ February 2, 2010

This game seems way overdue for a US release. In Japan they are already re-releasing it with all the add-ons and they announced a sequel at the 2009 Tokyo Game Show. It just kept getting pushed back in the US, much to my dismay. They are adding a ton to the US edition, but if you ask me it should have come out this past summer during the typical low time in gaming so it had room to breathe. Now it will be jammed into what is a busy RPG gaming year, and also a front heavy Q1 with other potential blockbusters like Bioshock 2, God of War 3, and Final Fantasy XIII releasing around the same time. Despite my complaints of delays and a poor release window I am really looking forward to this game. It looks like Level-5 have crafted another fun and enjoyable JRPG.

Star Ocean: The Last Hope, International ~ February 9, 2010.

Finally the Star Ocean series comes back home on the newest PlayStation platform, the PS3. Sadly, this game looks almost too much like the series’ most recent console edition (Star Ocean 3). This could be a good thing or a bad thing depending on how you feel about the last game. To me, it is too much like the last game for me to get too excited about it. It looks like a more shiny and polished Star Ocean 3… and not much more. However, I will end up playing it as I’m a JRPG whore.

Last Rebellion ~ February 23, 2010

Last Rebellion will feature two different main characters, a more artistic art direction, and tactical turn-based combat. You will be able to switch between the two characters during combat, each with their own abilities. The combat will be turn-based, but you can strategically target different parts of enemies to disable them. This way you can reduce the enemies ability to fight back and make it easier to take them down. Being a NIS game, having strategic combat, and a budget price tag all adds up to me being very interested and pretty much sold on the game.

Final Fantasy XIII ~ March 9, 2010

Here is another game that seems way overdue. It feels like we’ve heard about this game since before FFXII was released in the US. Like a lot of people, I’m more interested in FF Versus XIII than FFXIII due to its darker mood. However, FFXIII seems to be shaping up nicely. Most people that played the demo, which came with the Japanese release of Advent Children or at various game shows, have come away being impressed. I personally don’t like most of the character designs, besides Lightning, which is a big disappointment since FF games are very character and story driven. I’m expecting FFXIII to be a very good game, just not sure it will live up to my expectations for a main entry in the FF series.

3D Dot Games Heroes ~ May 11, 2010

Once again, Atlus has come to the rescue of fans of JRPG’s and unique or quirky games. 3D Dot will be a sleeper hit in 2010. It will be another niche game that endears itself to those that actually play the game. Featuring beautiful art direction, customization, and a great sound track it will surely be a very unique and exciting gaming experience. I personally can’t wait for this game, and it is one of my most anticipated games in 2010.

Resonance of Fate ~ May 31, 2010

Resonance of Fate is another new JRPG IP from Sega (who brought us the fabulous Valkyria Chronicles), although it is being made by tri-Ace. Originally I wasn’t too excited about this game, as it was another RPG with guns but after seeing some of the combat my interest as been peaked. It appears to be a mix of real time and tactical turn-based gun combat with a lot of flair to it. You will also be able to customize your characters clothing, hair, and most importantly their guns. All this customization means you’ll be able to tailor the characters’ looks and how they play to suit your style better, which is always a welcome thing in my opinion.

Final Fantasy XIV ~ TBA

FFXIV was one of the major surprises revealed during Sony’s 2009 E3 keynote. It took the audience by surprise. How could they be announcing FFXIV when FFXIII isn’t even out yet? Well, simple. It is a totally different team and style of game. FFXIV will be the next FF MMO. I have my doubts that we will see this in the US in 2010, but you never know. Square Enix could surprise us since the game is supposedly very far along in its development and they’ve had to remain quiet about it due to FFXIII’s development.

Atelier Rorona ~ TBA

Not too long ago NIS America finally came out and confirmed that they are indeed bringing Atelier Rorona to North America. I’m was happy to hear this, as the game might not be the best looking game out there but it does have a certain charm to it. It will focus heavily on alchemy. Which means a lot of item collection, management, and crafting. If you aren’t into those sorts of things you might feel over burdened by the game, but I think it should add a little bit of variation when compared to the other JRPG’s in 2010.

Record of Agarest War ~ TBA

Well, this game was suppose to be available in 2009 but since they decided to bring it to the Xbox 360 as well it has been delayed until spring 2010. Record of Agarest War is a niche game within in an already small niche. It plays like a SRPG with some dating-sim elements as you can breed new warriors by seducing some of the ladies in the game. This should be an interesting PSN title to say the least, but I doubt it will do too well now that it will be pushed up against the more notable JRPG’s in 2010.

Vandal Hearts: Flames of Judgment ~  TBA

I’m not too sure how excited I am about this game. Vandal Hearts: Flames of Judgment is a prequel to the original to the original Vandal Hearts game way back on the PS one. It is a SRPG that will place you in the center of a grid-based board, where you have to defeat the surrounding enemies to clear the board. Instead of having to decide where you want to spend experience points they will be distributed for you depending on how you use your characters. So if you use a lot of fire magic for one character, they will naturally continue to get better at using it. This should be true for combat skills and weapons as well. I’m not really into the art direction, but if it comes out at a good price I’ll probably end up getting it.

Trinity: Souls of Zill O’ll ~ TBA

For the first time ever KOEI will be bringing the Zill O’ll series outside of Japan with Trinity: Souls of Zill O’ll. This entry into the action RPG series is suppose to  have a darker tone than the previous games and will feature a non-linear story. You will control three adventurers that have been brought together for some unknown reason. You can switch between these three party members during combat creating combos with them. Another interesting aspect of combat and exploration is that the environments are suppose to fully interactive. This means you can change the environment to access new areas and use the environment to your advantage in combat. Although this game seems interesting, it is being made by the same team that makes the Dynasty Warriors games. Hopefully the combat won’t become as button-mashy as those games.

And here are a few other JRPG’s that only have a Japanese release or aren’t officially announced yet for the US.

Trinity Universe ~ TBA

Trinity Universe is cross-over game between NIS, Idea Factory, and Gust. It will feature characters from titles made by these companies, such as Prinny and Etna from the Disgaea series. There will be two sides to the story of Trinity Universe. You can play as either Kanata or Rizerial, which will align with either demons or goddesses respectively. So it looks like you’ll see the story from two different view points. As you move through the story you will engage in 3D battle, which will be a first for a lot of the characters in the game. The game’s story will play out in slightly animated conversation scenes, which are 2D. It seems like this game will be another unique mash up of JRPG franchises, like Cross Edge, to create a fun new game. Plus we’ll finally see Prinny and Etna in 3D, which is probably a big thing for fans of those characters.

Tales of Vesperia ~ TBA

Tales of Vesperia is probably the game I am most jealous of that has come out on the Xbox 360. I’ve never really followed the Tales series, but I absolutely love the art direction in Vesperia. The character design is really nice, and whatever engine Namco Bandai is using in this game looks gorgeous. Featuring a ton of added content, the Japanese PS3 version easily outsold the lifetime sales of the former Xbox exclusive version in its opening day. This should make it an obvious decision to bring it outside of Japan as well, but there is still no word of that. However, there are some hints that is is being worked on. Hopefully it does become available outside of Japan as it looks like a great JRPG.

The Last Remnant ~ TBA

Maybe, just maybe this game still exists for the PS3. However, I highly doubt it. But for now, since I haven’t heard that Square Enix has officially announced that is has been canceled, I’ll go along and say that it will emerge from the lost land of vaporware to become a real game sometime in 2010. If this does happen, it better run smooth with none of the problems that severely hampered the Xbox 360 version. Also, SE should consider releasing it for a discounted price just to make it a more attractive purchase to busy JRPG gamers.

Ar Tonelico III ~ TBA

Ar Tonelico III will be the first Ar Tonelico game to feature 3D character models for combat, but it will still have 2D character portraits. Very little is known about Ar Tonelico III right now, but I expect it will follow a similar story to the ones featured in the previous game.  Most likely it will center around the relationships between Humans and Reyvateils, and the towers they live in. Even though it hasn’t been announced for NA yet the other games in the series were brought over by NISA so I’m pretty sure they will bring this one over as well.

With all of these JRPG’s coming in 2010, or rumored to be coming out around then, I almost feel like it is too much. I really wish a few of them had come out earlier or hope that they are at least spread out through the year. Otherwise people will be skipping games due to a sheer lack of time to complete all of them, especially if they are going after the trophies for all these games. I guess I shouldn’t complain, at least there will be options for PS3 JRPG fans in 2010.

It’s The 13th, So Time For More Final Fantasy XIII Info

January 14, 2010

Today Square Enix released a new trailer for Final Fantasy XIII (see above). It gives us a glimpse into the main characters and the story of the game. For the most part the trailer is put together really well and even with my skepticism gets me excited about the game.

The English voice work seems pretty good so far. However, I don’t really like the song used in the trailer. It gets louder as the trailer goes on. So towards the end it starts to compete with the dialogue in the trailer, which is rather annoying. I don’t know why SE is so excited about having this song, but they really seem to think it works well with the game. Well, with the international edition at least. I guess they think it will be more appealing to a western audience.

You also get to see some combat, monsters, non-playable characters, and some of the Eidolons (think summons) of the playable characters. The combat looks like it will be a lot of fun. Some of the Eidolons and their gestalt modes seem really cool. So even if the rest of the game falls short of my expectations maybe the combat will be enough to keep me interested.

Also, in true SE and FF tradition. The cutscenes in FFXIII look absolutely gorgeous. Some look to be action packed, while others will be used to develop the characters, their relationships, and tell the story.

This trailer isn’t the only FFXIII news that came out today. Some interesting details of an interview with Isamu Kamikokuryou, art directer of Final Fantasy XIII, have been leaked. In the interview Kamikokuryou states that a very large amount of content was cut from FFXIII, enough to make up a whole other game! Why was all of the content cut? Due to volume issues. Well, the PS3 doesn’t have volume issues. Each one has a built in harddrive and there isn’t a space issue with blu-ray either. However, the Xbox 360 does have space issues. Every 360 doesn’t have a harddrive. Also, the 360 uses DVD’s and not blu-rays. The DVD’s the 360 use hold 9GB of data, which is a lot less than a 50GB dual-layer blu-ray. If you also consider that FFXIII is lacking a lot of the traditional FF earmarks and is completely linear until towards the end of the game (probably where a disc swap will be on the 360), you have to question why this is? It is normal for stuff to get cut from a game during development, but enough to make a whole other game seems excessive. I hate to sound like a fanboy, but the more I hear about FFXIII’s development the more I think the game has been cut back to make sure it could fit and work on the 360. I really hope that isn’t the case, but I guess we won’t know until we see more of FF Versus XIII. If FF Versus XIII remains exclusive and it has all of the missing features of FFXIII and is generally of a higher quality than FFXIII then I think we know what happened with FFXIII. Anyway, watch the trailer, try to forget the missing content, and start getting excited for FFXIII since it is only about two months away from release.

New Final Fantasy XIII Screenshots

December 14, 2009

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Square Enix has released several new screenshots for Final Fantasy XIII. They include several new creatures, some combat screens, and a few other locations in the game. In general they look very good, but I can’t help but feel slightly let down.

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In general the characters and creatures look very good, but not as good as I thought they were going to be. For example, Lightning’s cape looks very flat (seen above). As if the supposed folds on it are just painted on one flat piece of geometry. I remember seeing early screens of the game where the fabric and cloth details were truly impressive. You could see the actual threads of the fabric, but that seems very toned down now. Also, everything looks slightly more blocky than before. And then you have the environments.

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The screens of the more industrial areas (seen above) look really good, but the natural field areas don’t look nearly as good. The ground texture of the grassy plain looks really bad in my opinion. It clashes with the more detailed character models. The same goes for the rock textures on the plateau walls. It all just looks very flat. This is disappointing as it looked so promising before. Does this mean the game will be crap? Absolutely not. I was just expecting more from this game. I wanted it to blow me away with the graphics as most of the later Final Fantasy games have. Maybe it has to with how long it has taken the game to come out. It has been 4-5 years, so maybe what looked impressive before is starting to look slightly dated or average. With games like Uncharted 2 and Killzone 2 the bar has been raised since Final Fantasy XIII was announced. It isn’t the end of the world, and I guess my expectations were just set too high.

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More Final Fantasy XIII Information

December 2, 2009

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More Final Fantasy XIII info courtesy of Kotowari.org. If you go to the site (Kotowari.org) you will find out some interesting information about weapons, accessories, missions, and more. All this info is starting to get me excited about Final Fantasy XIII again, which is a change from my recent take on it.

Last Final Fantasy XIII Trailer Before Upcoming Japanese Release

November 25, 2009

The last Final Fantasy XIII trailer went live late last night. This is the last trailer for the Japanese release, which releases on December 17, 2009. It contains some new information, characters, and summons. I don’t know why, but this trailer didn’t really get me all that excited for the game (although, I’m already not that excited). So far I’m not really feeling the characters, except for Lightning whom I do think seems like an interesting character. That might be another reason why I’m not looking forward to this iteration of FF as much as I have in the past. Perhaps if I knew what the heck was going on in the new trailer I’d be more excited about it, but since I don’t understand Japanese I’ll have to wait for a translation. Anyway, if you want some more info head over to Kotowari.org.

Final Fantasy XIII Finally Gets A US & European Release Date

November 14, 2009

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Turns out my wishes were answered and Square Enix (SE) has finally given us a solid release date for both the US and European versions of Final Fantasy XIII (FFXIII). It will be launching in both territories on March 9, 2010. This is good news as it is only 4 months away, however I’m not nearly as excited as I thought I would be. Hell, it is only 3 months after the Japanese release date which I think makes it the fastest time between releasing in different regions for a FF game. That is something that SE should be commended for. However I still feel like this game is 1-2 years overdue. By the time it comes out it will be around 5 years since it was announced. Hell, I was hoping we’d be past FFXIII and talking about FF Versus XIII already. Hopefully the game itself won’t let me down like the development cycle has. Anyway, another thing to note is that on the 13th of every month SE will be releasing new information about the US & European version of FFXIII along with updating the website. I guess this is just a way to start building hype for the game, and I’m sure it will work for some people. For me, it just feels a little too late. I know I’ll get more exited as the actual release approaches, but with so many games coming out around the same time I wonder how much time I’ll have to devote to FFXIII.

Final Fantasy XIII US & European Versions Coming Along

November 11, 2009


According to a GamesIndustry.biz interview with Yoichi Wada of Square Enix, Final Fantasy XIII is coming along nicely and they are done with the Japanese version. Wada also said that they are “just adding the final touches” to the US and European versions. Hopefully this means the game is further along than most expect, and we’ll be getting our hands on FFXIII sometime soon. Maybe this friday we will get a US and European release date, as there is suppose to be an announcement made on November 13 (oh so clever SE, I see what you did with the date). So stay tuned and keep your fingers crossed for a solid release date.

SOURCE: GamesIndustry.biz