[UPDATE] Final Fantasy XIII-2 trailer: Lightning, armour-clad and hot, battles purple-haired emo types
Following on from today’s surprise announcement of a direct sequel to Final Fantasy XIII being in the works, we can now show you a trailer for Final Fantasy XIII-2. The video shows an armour-clad Lightning duelling with a purple-haired, slim-built and fresh-faced chap. As ever, the action is all style and no grit – full of Square Enix’s trademark polish. There’s not much to go on, although what is shown is enough to wet our appetites.
A word of warning to anyone who has yet to complete Final Fantasy XIII, the early scenes in the trailer should come with a mild-spoiler rating, although they show nothing you probably won’t have guessed. Moreover, the picture quality is a little low-res and you will likely have to turn up the volume – just don’t forget to turn it down afterwards. Now that’s enough warnings, let us proceed:
Already, we can sense a different mood in the sequel: Lightning’s outrageous armour suggests the art team are in a playful mood, and it is always good to see purple-haired folk in Final Fantasy; this quirky punk style was less evident in Final Fantasy XIII and XI, much to our disappointment. We may be labelled delusional for this next point though: we’re sure we see a glimmer of a smile from Lightning as she draws her sword.
A mood change wouldn’t be unprecedented: Square went for a much more playful style the last time they made a direct sequel, that was Final Fantasy X-2 – an all-girl, J-pop loving, extravaganza. While that sequel had a distinct feeling of plugging the gap, Square has declared that XIII-2 will actually improve on its predecessor “in every aspect”:
“Final Fantasy XIII-2 is currently in production with an aim for producing high quality game content which exceeds Final Fantasy XIII in every aspect; namely, a brand-new story which stems from the previous title as well as a battle system which has evolved further since XIII.”
We’re sure they have been taking note of the many complaints of Final Fantasy XIII, which were loudly expressed. Most complaints centred on the linearity of the game, so it will be interesting to see what they do with XIII-2 to appeal to the naysayers. Despite the many complaints, we actually enjoyed Final Fantasy XIII, enough for Stefhutch20 to list it as his game of the year.
There are logical reasons why Square are keen to return to the Final Fantasy XIII universe. There would have been a significant amount of time, effort and money invested in the Final Fantasy XIII project, building the engine and creating the assets. They must look at all that work and think that there is much more they can do with it, and question whether they want to go through the hassle of starting from scratch on Final Fantasy XV, as they will most likely do.
You have to feel for the average Joe shopper though. By the end of 2012, when they go into a store and look at the PlayStation 3 shelf, they will see Final Fantasy XIII, Final Fantasy XIII-2, Final Fantasy Versus XIII and Final Fantasy IV – all games with significant differences that possibly cater to different audiences. We suspect there will be a few wrong presents bought that Christmas.