Final Fantasy XIII Collectors Edition Strategy Guide (Strategy Guides and Books)
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- Release date 09/03/2010
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Final Fantasy XIII Collector's Edition Xbox 360
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Released on 09/03/2010
Final Fantasy XIII Collector's Edition includes fliptop packaging containing the FINAL FANTASY XIII game, plus:
- FINAL FANTASY XIII Original Sound Selection: Soundtrack CD including a selection of music tracks from the game that are especially chosen for this Limited Collector’s Edition by composer Masashi Hamauzu. The CD is presented inside a slipcase featuring artwork from FINAL FANTASY XIII, and also liner notes that are written by the composer.
- The World of FINAL FANTASY XIII: Hardback book featuring character artwork, CG rendered artwork and environments from across the game production.
- Exclusive Art Prints: 3 highly collectable art prints showing artwork of the Eidolons, powerful summoned allies of the lead playable characters in FINAL FANTASY XIII
- Unique ‘Brand of the l’Cie’ decal: Collectible decal featuring this most iconic symbol from the game storyline
Introducing new worlds, memorable characters and extraordinary stories with each new instalment, the FINAL FANTASY series has continued to reinvent itself over the last two decades and has shipped over 85 million copies worldwide. The series is defined by a constant evolution, offering nothing less than the finest creative vision, graphical quality and gameplay system of its generation with every instalment, and FINAL FANTASY XIII will be no exception to its legacy.
- Take Part in a Gaming Experience that Sets New Standards – The first in the series developed for a simultaneous release on multiple high-definition consoles, FINAL FANTASY XIII pushes new boundaries in cinematic presentation, sound and gameplay.
- Experience the Unity of Speed and Strategy with the Ultimate Active Time Battle system – The familiar system has evolved, granting players the freedom of executing numerous commands in a single turn with the multi-slot ATB gauge. Whether inputting singular commands in each slot for consecutive attacks, or expending multiple slots at once to activate a devastating blow, it’s up to the players to respond effectively to the battle conditions at hand.
- Adapt to the Ever-Changing Tide of Battle with Paradigms – A brand-new game mechanic enabling players to assign roles to their party members at any time during battle, shifting between combat paradigms. Consisting of various combinations of the game's six roles, ranging from Commando, the offensive specialist, to Medic, the quintessential healer, paradigms allow players to respond and adapt instantly to any given situation to turn the tide and seize victory.
- Witness the Battle Scene Transform with an All-New Summon System – Introducing Gestalt Mode, a powerful dimension of the summon system that elevates the action to a whole new level. In Gestalt Mode, characters and their transformed Eidolons fight as one, dealing massive damage to enemies through simple button commands.
- Delve into an Emotional Experience – An immersive storyline connects players to an intriguing cast of characters. Will they have the strength to confront their cursed fates, or will destiny prevail over all that they believe in?
If you're a fan of Japanese RPGs or games with rather complicated numbers stuck to them, good news: Square-Enix has just announced Final Fantasy XIII-2 is on the way. Even better news: it looks absolutely brilliant.
Best news of all, you ask? It's hitting both the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 in 2011, according to Eurogamer. Given the lengthy development of Final Fantasy XIII, that's certainly something to cheer about.
Details are scarce, but extremely promising. The game will apparently be a direct sequel to Final Fantasy XIII, and comes from the same development team, right down to the director Motomu Toriyama. The website RPGSite is suggesting the game will feature the FFXIII protagonist Lightning, along with a brand new character.
Andriasang, meanwhile, reports that the game debuted at a press conference in Japan where Toriyama showed a very short debut trailer. Sources said that the team is "working so that the game serves as the answer to the opinions they received about FFXIII". While FFXIII is considered an excellent RPG, we assume this means that you'll be given a lot more player freedom a lot earlier on in the adventure. Hopefully they won't touch the combat, though, which was brilliant.
More on this one - like a release date - when he have it.
Final Fantasy back on the PSP
The PSP2 might be hogging the limelight right now - and who can blame it? The thing's a marvel of science - but that doesn't mean that the PSP isn't getting a bit of love now and then. If you're a Final Fantasy fan, you should probably sit down: Final Fantasy IV: The Complete Collection will be hitting the platform on 22nd April, according to Eurogamer.
It's quite an item, too, the PSP special edition including art cards and a decorated screen cleaning cloth, all housed in a fold out presentation box. You'll also be getting some downloadable content, which will allow you to unlock stuff in the forthcoming PSP game Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy. Weird name.
What about the content itself? Apparently, The Complete Collection squeezes all the characters and storylines from Final Fantasy IV and its sequel The After Years into a single title. There's a new storyline that links the two, snazzy updated visuals, galleries, CG movies, and illustrations, too, alongside a new soundtrack arrangement.
Final Fantasy IV first came out for the SNES in 1991, and is seen as being one of the series' best titles.
This week's new GAME releases are all about revisiting gaming's classic series, with new franchise outings or expansions for existing blockbuster titles.
One of gaming's biggest role-playing series is finally ready to make its debut on the current generation of consoles. Final Fantasy XIII (PS3/X360) features unique worlds, memorable characters and an engrossing story that sees players plunged into an age-old conflict between the floating city of Cocoon and the mysterious land of Pulse that dwells beneath it.
The title offers an epic quest, fantastic magic and titanic battles, all in jaw-dropping HD for the first time in the franchise's history. It's set to be one of the biggest titles of the year, taking gamers on an enchanting journey that's definitely not to be missed.
Set in the war-ravaged world of Games Workshop's science fiction universe, Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II: Chaos Rising (PC) transports players into the midst of an intergalactic war between ancient enemies.
This standalone expansion pack for the acclaimed real time strategy series introduces the Chaos Space Marines as a playable army, adds 15 new single player missions and raises the level cap from 20 to 30. It also features new multiplayer maps and fresh units for the Orks, Eldar, Tyranids and Space Marines.
Street fighting in Tokyo
Expertly blending combat, exploration and mini-games, Sega's open-world adventure Yakuza 3 (PS3) makes its much anticipated debut on a current generation platform.
While all begins calmly as you step into the shoes of former criminal Kiryu Kazuma, who's now running an orphanage on the tropical island of Okinawa, it's not long before adversity strikes and forces him to return to the gritty Tokyo haunts from the first two games and the shadowy past he thought he'd left behind.
Speeding through Green Hill Zone
The original titles from gaming icon Sonic The Hedgehog come to the Nintendo DS for the first time. Sonic Classic Collection (DSi/DS Lite) allows fans old and new to speed through the much loved zones of the four original Sonic adventures in a bid to collect the Chaos Emeralds and save the world.
Sonic Classic Collection boasts a new save anywhere feature, meaning the game can be enjoyed anywhere, anytime. It also features a video recounting the history of Sonic, offering gamers an in-depth look at the evolution of the speedy hedgehog.
The biohazard threat returns
An expanded version of last year's chart topping Resident Evil 5, Resident Evil 5: Gold Edition (PS3/Xbox 360) contains two new story episodes, additional player costumes and fresh characters for Mercenaries mode - a side game that sees players shooting down as many enemies as they can within a set time limit.
The first new chapter, "Lost in Nightmares," stars Jill Valentine and Chris Redfield as they investigate Umbrella Corporation founder Ozwell E. Spencer's hideaway. The second, "Desperate Escape," sees Valentine and Josh Stone fight off waves of enemies in a bid to escape from an African research facility under the darkness of night.
Also out this week:
Final Fantasy producer Yoshinori Kitase has said that he feels the series took too long to come to the current console generation, and aims to speed up development to enable a new entry in the series every few years.
'Final Fantasy XIII was obviously the first game [on current consoles], and personally I think we took a little too long getting it out,' he told Game Reactor. 'When you think of Western AAA titles like Call of Duty, Battlefield, and Assassin's Creed, they seem to work with a lot shorter turnaround - they make a new game in one to two years. That is something we need to follow up, because that seems to be the best way to keep our fans interested and attracted to the franchise.'
There wasn't an entry in the main Final Fantasy series for the current consoles until Final Fantasy XIII in 2010.
Final Fantasy XIII-2 is set to arrive on Xbox 360 and PS3 in the first week of February 2012. It's taken a spritely 18 months to put together, compared to the five years it took to create Final Fantasy XIII.
Relatively speaking, Final Fantasy has had a tough time over the last few years. Having debuted in 1987, the series hit 100 million worldwide sales in 2011. As one of the longest running, best known and most popular gaming series of all time, Japanese creator Square Enix should have been celebrating the milestone, but that wasn't the case...
In 2010, a somewhat mixed reaction to Final Fantasy XIII for PS3 and Xbox 360, and an awful reception for Final Fantasy XIV Online on PC soured its mood, with company CEO Yoichi Wada going as far as to say that the latter had "greatly damaged" the brand. Enter Final Fantasy XIII-2, a direct sequel to FFXIII with a lot riding on it - one that has been designed to show the world that the role playing powerhouse Square Enix is back on top of its game.
Thankfully, we're pleased to report that FFXIII-2 looks set to address a number of the issues critics had with the last console game. In some people's eyes, FFXIII's key flaw was its linearity, which saw players spend the bulk of their time battling from A to B through corridor-like environments alongside an uninspired cast, stifling the drama and pace of proceedings.
In response to fan feedback, FFXIII-2 returns to the series' traditional open, town-based structure. Take a look at the game's map and, while it's clear there's a main route to journey along to reach your ultimate goals, there are plenty of branching paths to explore for hidden treasures and new adventures to uncover in a bid to level up your characters.
The environments are packed with chatty residents, many of whom offer short sound bites as you pass, have floating speech bubbles next to them and can be talked to for information, or offer you side-quests, something that makes the game feel far more alive than FFXIII did.
Set three years after the events of its predecessor, the sequel depicts the story of heroine Serah's journey across time and space alongside main male protagonist Noel. They are on a mission to prevent the end of the world at the hands of bloodthirsty monsters and to locate Serah's missing sister Lightning, the hero of the previous game.
With the world plagued with time rifts causing all manner of unwelcome events, players have to explore each fractured timeline, resolve the paradox and locate the gates to the next broken rift. It's a structure which sees players seeking out giant crystals that act as portals to further levels set in alternative time zones, which can be located in multiple orders, ensuring a different experience for each player.
Freedom of choice
In FFXIII-2, project director Motomu Toriyama has said "every part of the game will develop as a result of the player's choices". Player choice has been a popular design feature over recent years with western role playing game developers like BioWare, Obsidian and Bethesda, and now Square Enix is also attempting to embrace it with FFXIII-2's 'Live Trigger Events'. These allow players to choose their reactions to characters during conversations in moments that influence the course of progression, although it's unclear to what extent they actually impact on gameplay.
One thing that's largely unchanged from the previous game is Final Fantasy XIII-2's battle mechanics. The Paradigm system, which sees players only directly controlling one character during fights, allows users to shift their character's tactics between offensive, defensive and support roles mid-battle, therefore guiding the tactical flow of proceedings as they wield elemental attacks, magic spells, items and summons moves. Battles do however introduce little cinematic cutscenes featuring quick time events, which require players to perform actions shortly after the appearance of on-screen prompts, an addition that makes combat even more engaging.
From what we've seen of the game, Square Enix appears to be travelling along a very promising looking path by reacting to fan feedback and further developing strong existing gameplay systems. Alongside sumptuous visuals and audio work, the developer's decision to grant players more freedom in how they progress appears to be a wise one that could well pay off when the game arrives next month.
The Final Fantasy For Everyone?
The last Final Fantasy game to hit a home console, 2006's FFXII on PS2, was loved by critics for its huge open world, dizzyingly deep customisation options, and MMO-style real-time A.I.-driven combat. Problem was, those were the very reasons that many gamers couldn't get their heads around Final Fantasy XII; it was so complex in places that it verged on frustrating, and so different to what had come before that it simply didn't feel that much like a Final Fantasy game.
Final Fantasy XIII feels very much like a case of its publisher kneejerking from one extreme to the other. This first HD instalment in Square Enix's powerhouse RPG series is incredibly linear, features cut-down customisation, and goes back to the turn-based battles that the series built its success upon, but streamlines them by giving you direct control of just a single character.
As a result, FFXIII seems at first to be a watered-down Final Fantasy made for the masses, rather than your hardcore JRPG player - but persist with it and you'll still find the familiar FF magic is in there; you'll just have to endure the first ten-or-so hours to get to it.
The Adventure Begins
From a story slant, Final Fantasy XIII starts out in fast, frenetic and slightly confusing fashion, introducing players to five of the six key party characters amidst the backdrop of a civil war on the walkways of mini-planet Cocoon's Hanged Edge, which reminded us not a little of Final Fantasy X's first scenes in Zanarkand.
The premise is that Cocoon's government have discovered a fal'Cie from Pulse - a magic-wielding mechanised agent of the feared lowerworld - in a nearby relic, and have instigated a purge of every civilian in the vicinity; something the immediate populace aren't too pleased about.
Into the fray step the Cloud Strife inspired Lightning, Barret-with-an-afro Sazh, hero-wannabe Snow, the irrepressibly peppy Vanille and token Japanese emo Hope, each following their own motivations towards an ill-fated encounter that sees them branded as l'Cie - supposed agents of Pulse - and haunted by a vision which suggests the end of the world. But are they to stop it, or bring it about?
While the plot starts off at a rollicking pace, the gameplay mechanics are more drip-fed through a series of tutorials spread across the entirety of the 360 version's first disc (the first seven chapters for PS3 players); explaining the basics of battle, levelling and equipment in slightly hand-holdy fashion.
Informs And Inspires
Fights in Final Fantasy XIII blend the best of the series old-fashioned Active Time Battle turn-based fare with the fast-paced AI-driven combat of its immediate predecessor. You may only control one character directly, but by enacting a 'Paradigm Shift' you can change the roles of each member of your battle team, and with it the attacks, spells and techniques they are able to employ. It makes things like healing, reviving and casting buffs as simple as pressing a button and seeing the AI do the rest, enabling you to focus instead on landing enough consecutive attacks to 'Stagger' your foes and deal massive damage.
With battles now ranked based on speed, more Paradigm options, abilities and spectacular Eidolon summons opening up as party members develop, and the camera free to pan and swoop around the battlefield as its combatants dart, dodge and slash away, FFXIII's fights become a speedy, strategic interplay between offensive barrages and defensive consolidation which deserve to inform and inspire Japanese RPG development for years to come.
Elsewhere however it's a case of distilling the RPG form down to its basic essence in an effort at bringing the RPG genre to a wider audience. Advancing characters' abilities is done using experience earned in battle through an elaborately designed, but actually rather straightforward screen called the 'Crystarium'. As nice and shiny as it is, though, it's a good 20+ hours before you can start to make meaningful choices between their specialities, and a good few hours more before you get to select who you want in your main battle party.
These constraints are a knock-on effect from final Fantasy XIII's biggest culture shock - almost complete and total linearity. FFXIII is divided into book-style chapters, with no world map, no overworld, no shops, no non-player characters of interest to talk to; and only one single chapter offering roaming exploration and sidequests.
Instead, you're funnelled down a very obvious path in the same way that you would expect to be in a Call of Duty game; 'discovering' some barely-concealed items in contrived floating spheres, buying and upgrading others from generously spaced-out save points. It's the complete polar opposite of Final Fantasy XII, making the gameworld feel too tightly designed, like it isn't a real place, and robbing players of the ability to personalise their party and imprint their own playing style on the 50+ hour quest.
Will Not Let You Go
It's a shame, because not only is the battle system superb and the story (buoyed by a much-needed story Codex which FFXII sorely missed) fantastic, but the visuals are at times astonishing. Final Fantasy XIII is a drop-dead GORGEOUS looking game, with easily the best lighting we've ever seen in a game, and an intricate, colourful and suitably eccentric art style that's easily the pinnacle of the series. Special mention must go to the FMV cutscenes, though, which are up there with any feature-length animation in any medium.
And as for the version comparison? The PS3 version's visuals are moderately more accomplished, but the 360 one is still one of the system's better lookers, and more importantly, there's nothing like slowdown in there that proves gameplay-damaging. Still, it gives the fanboys something to debate.
Some hardcore fans - especially those that adored FFXII - may be slightly miffed by Final Fantasy XIII's turn away from deep intricate RPG gameplay systems and a huge gameworld, but it's still a well-told, lavishly produced adventure which once started, like its themesong says, will not let you go.
- The battle system is the series' best yet.
- Cracking 50+ hour story.
- Absolutely GORGEOUS visuals.
- Overly linear structure makes the gameworld feel too tightly designed.
- Stripped-down character customisation.
- Seemingly endless tutorials hold your hand too much.
Square-Enix has just announced Final Fantasy XIII-2 is on the way. Even better news: it looks absolutely brilliant.…
If you're a Final Fantasy fan, you should probably sit down: Final Fantasy IV: The Complete Collection will be hitting the platform on 22nd April, according to Eurogamer.…
New Release Round Up: 12th Feb 2010 (12/02/2010)
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Final Fantasy producer Yoshinori Kitase has said that he feels the series took too long to come to the current console generation, and aims to speed up development to enable a new entry in the series …
Final Fantasy XIII-2 - Preview (17/01/2012)
Enter Final Fantasy XIII-2, a direct sequel to FFXIII with a lot riding on it - one that has been designed to show the world that the role playing powerhouse Square Enix is back on top of its game.…
Final Fantasy XIII - Review (12/03/2010)
As a result, FFXIII seems at first to be a Final Fantasy made for the masses, rather than your hardcore JRPG player - but persist with it and you'll still find the familiar FF magic is in there.…
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