360 Is One Disc and Events Scene Details
PS3 owners won't be able to make fun of their Xbox 360 friends about having to get up and swap discs every 20 hours or so when playing Final Fantasy XIII-2. Famitsu reveals this week that both the 360 and PS3 versions of the game take up just one disc.
Does this mean that Square Enix has rushed the game out with little content? In an interview with the magazine, director Motomu Toriyama says that the game actually has the same amount of volume as the original. The reason they're able to fit the game in less space this time is that the event scenes are real time. In addition to saving Xbox 360 players a trip from the couch to the entertainment center (horrors!), this has the added bonus of event scenes showing your armor changes.
Serah's Background Story
The TGS trailers show Snow and Serah together for the first time since XIII-2 was announced (it was actually our first glimpse at Snow). In the trailer, the two characters have been reunited after two years.
Serah is the only character who remembers Lightning as being alive. Everyone else, including Snow, either says she's dead or she's turned into crystal form.
Snow believes Serah's words, though, and heads off on a journey to find Lightning. He doesn't return, so Serah heads off with Noel in pursuit of Lightning.
Time paradoxes are a central component of the game, says Toriyama. This is true of both gameplay and story. We already saw how time travel works into the gameplay a couple of weeks back.
On the story side, Lightning no longer exists in the world due to the effects of a time paradox. As detailed above, only Serah seems to have the memory of a world with Lightning. We'll find out why this is the case as the game's story progresses.
Time paradoxes affect different areas of the world in different ways. In the Bresha Ruins area, a time paradox has caused an enemy called Atlas to appear. The way you figure out how the paradoxes have affected each area is set up somewhat like a mystery.
The time paradoxes began happening at the ending of FFXIII. Because of this, you won't be able to going back in time to before that point.
As detailed in our previous report, the Hope character who appears in the trailer is from 10 years after the events of FFXIII. He's 24 years old and is leader of a group called Academy. This group is searching for energy in the absence of fal'Cie (you'll recall that in FFXIII, the fal'Cie beings were the sources of all human livelihood). Because of his research, he knows that Serah is traveling through time.
The TGS trailers provided our first introduction to Kaias, the male character from the game's first trailer. He's an enemy who has an influence on both Valhalla, the world where Lightning exists, and the regular world where Serah and friends exist. Like Noel, he's from the future.
Regarding Noel, he's from a world of few people, which is why he has a fragmented way of speaking. He's very happy to meet people. Due to the time paradoxes, his memory has become vague, she he's not sure if some major event happened in his time.
Both Lightning and Noel are shown in the trailer surrounded by a black smoke. This is known as "Chaos." It has something to do with Valhalla.
The trailers show another newcomer character named Yuru. She has deep ties with Kaias and is a major character. This character was designed by Hideo Minaba, Nomura tells the magazine. Minaba also did the designs for Hope's adult clothing.
Matsui's comments with the magazine are mostly about the game's monster raising component. They're placing a good amount of time on this area of the battle system.
The game will have rare monsters -- monsters that have a low encounter rate or are hard to capture, for instance. It seems that you won't be able to add giant monsters to your party, though.
Different monsters have different difficulties in terms of commands. Even if you fail at inputting a command, the monsters will still attack, although succeeding with a command will result in greater damage.
Battle and Character Growth
XIII-2 has the concept of "Blood Damage." Each time you're hit with blood damage, you lose a portion of your max HP. In the first FFXIII, if you had a healer in your party you could recover from damage without trouble. But in XIII-2, you can't recover from blood damage, so you have to defeat enemies quickly.
Toriyama says that the staff is currently making adjustments to areas that they feel may be too hard. However, the final version has an easy mode, and you can switch to it whenever you want.
XIII-2 gives you the ability to freely change your battle leader -- that is, the character you're directly controlling -- during battle. When your current leader dies, you'll be switched to another character (this is different from FFXIII, where if the leader died, the game ended).
In addition to taking direct control, you can also assign attack AI routines, selecting from "normal," "concentrated" an "scattered." This is part of the new "Paradigm Tune" system.