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Square Enix Unveils Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII

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Square Enix has announced yet another continuation of the surprisingly resilient Final Fantasy XIII series – in the form of “Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII” (“Final Fantasy XIII-3” apparently being too straightforward) which promises further Lightning action for the PS3 and Xbox 360.

The trailer and other materials, accompanying “world driven” as the game’s ambiguous buzzphrase (apparently indicating an open-world design), along with some speculation about a possible Facebook link-up and not much else in the way of concrete details:

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Whilst Lightning fans are understandably delighted, the more sceptical followers of Square Enix’s progress have been wondering whether the game is yet another effort to cheaply recoup development costs after the various disasters of recent years, and just how long they will have to wait for Final Fantasy XV and VII now…

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141 Comments

  • don’t bother with this game it’s a crappy timed game (which seems really half arsed. well looks like at least i will be returning to the old games don’t know about the rest of you

  • Buy Guild Wars 2; THE GAME IS DECADES BETTER THEN MOST FF TITLES IN ART.

    SRS it is.

    400,000 Concurrent players.
    World vs World IS SO FUCKING ADDICTIVE you wouldn’t know.

    MY LIFE IS NO WASTING before my eyes; best part is getting a BJ from my girl while taking a KEEP in Eternal Battleground…

    THE BEST>

  • Just what does Square Enix have against Fang and Vanille? I would pay my entire life savings of £3.00 just to see them in their own game, set before they became L’cie. Or, at more of a stretch, a quest to bring them back.

  • I can’t help but think this whole “trilogy” was just one game in the beginning but the development cost was to big they had to chop it off into bits to make a profit.
    I mean c’mon Versus XIII is in development limbo and they churn out an FF XIII every year?

  • lol, so people still think that versus xiii delayed has nothing to do with the xiii trilogy huh?

    the truth is that the xiii dev team borrow some of the versus xiii team to make this shit came out first so they stop the versus xiii and focus on this trilogy, reason? they think this one can sell better that is all.

    BUT the funny thing is that more than 33% of the audience in japan do not like this third installment and only 10% of the audience was interested in this…this make them looks really pethetic.

  • Why Square? Just fucking why? Stop torturing us, we’ve endured enough. Isn’t it funny how the ps3 should have been the console to fully realize final fantasys potential and yet they still can’t match up to the old, classic, graphically dated ps1 games. As the technology progresses, final fantasy gets worse. Ah, well, they’ll still honey coat this and stupid fans like myself will still buy it. Final fantasy was once a gorgeous teen with the world at her feet… but now she’s just a 40 year old whore who has plastic tits and still dresses like a teenager. Fuck you square, you really messed up when you let Sakaguchi leave.

    • “Isn’t it funny how the ps3 should have been the console to fully realize final fantasys potential and yet they still can’t match up to the old, classic, graphically dated ps1 games.”

      Perhaps because working with limitations is an essential part of making art? Nah, who am I kidding, SE just doesn’t even try…

  • *yawn* Give up already. Final Fantasy is dead. It’s a shadow of its former glory. Half-assed re-releases, silly, over-priced 25th anniversary box sets and terrible MMOs on top of these mind-numbing PS titles are all they have to offer anymore. Oh, and that Theatrhythm Final Fantasy for 3DS. No further comment needed on that one.

    However I suppose deluded fanboys still buy this junk and as long as it makes money they will still be shat out by SquareEnix. Wonder how many fanboys will be picking up that 25th anniversary collection? It’s like they say, fools and their money are soon parted.

  • With how FF13-2 ended story wise (hella troll ending imo) it was pretty obvious another sequel was in the works. If they didn’t conclude the story, with at least some DLC or something FF13-2 would have the most troll ending/endings, because EVERY ENDING IS THE “BAD” ending lol (and theres lots of “bad” endings in 13-2).

  • Fool me once shame on me – I only got fooled cause of the nagging fanboys that kept on saying it was good if you played it. Fuck my life for ever listening to them.

    Fool me twice shame on me – I never got around to getting fooled twice I learned the first time around never to expect anything good from this franchise. Yet Look at how many actually got fooled twice.

    Fool me three times – I can’t wait for this one. I mean really how many times does it takes?

    • jamesownsall says:

      What can you say? The hardlined defenders would tell you that you have no right to judge the game until you play it.

      And since games can’t even be rented in most part of the world, many would still end up buying it out of pure marketing even though they had the intuition that it would suck. Then the defenders and SE will look at the sales numbers and say that people like the game!

  • I remember the post about Sakaguchi telling Square Enix to stop milking his franchise and letting the series end.
    Last Final Fantasy game I played was X-2 even though I still to this day from 1996 have my FF3 snes Cartridge, Jesus christ what has happened in the past 10 years.

  • Well, the cast for FFXIII was certainly something i had no problem with. Now, if they would only step away from that damned railroading, auto-twitch combat shit.

    Who’s taking bets that they won’t change a single thing that people actually complain about?

  • I remember the phrase “you can’t polish the shit”.

    They completely loss the direction of doing a good FF, the change of the logo and those ambiguous concept of the game only shows is something wrong happening inside of the development team of FF.

    • I want them to make new games that do not include XIII OR VII. FFVII is considered so good because it was many peoples first FF and they were blown away by it. It is a great game, but not much beyond most other (pre-XII) FF games.

    • The reason you’re never gonna see an FF7 remake (or KH3 or a third Chrono game) is because even SE knows perfectly well they’d just fuck it up. And that’s the LAST thing their already terrible reputation needs.

  • Square…

    If you have time to waste on making more Final Fantasy 13s… Please. Please, put that time and effort into making a TWEWY sequel. Everyone wants one.

    And maybe stop making spin-offs of KH and actually make the 3rd game, or even make a new Final Fantasy in echo of the old classics that were the reason everyone loved the series, rather than trying new shit all the time.

    Seriously. You guys made classics, do not forget them.

  • im okay with ffxiii and ffxiii-2. i guess ffxiii-3 is a welcome addition to me. more game for me.
    i kind of understand, i have games that very popular yet it never even fun for me. if that happened to you with this ffxiii game then all you need to do is just stop.
    stop buying, stop playing and stop hate-rage-filled comment of the game or you alone suffer unnecessarily.

  • Exceptionally bad decision making, Square. Who would decide to make the most sequals to the least successful game of the franchise. It’s like they’re trying to prove something instead of trying to make money.

      • Not really. 13’s sales would have been a great profit for any other company, but Wada always manages to find a way to turn it into a loss.

        Not that it really matters anyway. The whole damn industry seems to be starting to crash, and SE has to go down with everyone else.

  • “…just how long they will have to wait for Final Fantasy XV and VII now…”

    I thought VII already came out like a million years ago? Or are they referring to the Remake? Because I really think there should be a remake, it’s fun enough to play it as it is, why make another version that’s not going to add anything and possibly be worse?

        • I played both the XIII and XIII-2. The XIII-2 had too many issues with playability to say XIII-2 is a good game. A few improvments over XIII but XIII-2 is mostly worse than XIII. Lots of irritating “mind” games in the game put there to waste your time. Lots of backtracking and trying to find the needle in the haystack, not fun. I don’t think XIII was responsible for the low sales of XIII-2, XIII-2 simply isn’t stellar.

        • @ Anonymous 14:19

          Your information is plain wrong about them nearing bankruptcy. I’ve never seen any information that would state that a single tanked game could possibly bring a publisher of that magnitude to its knees like that, and it simply wouldn’t. Considering your completely incorrect ‘abysmal sales’ statement that is based on no facts, I yet again have to conclude that you don’t have a clue what you’re talking about. If anything caused them financial difficulty, it was the hacking of their systems.

          I don’t care if people think I’m conceited because I enjoyed something and care nothing for their negativity that does nothing to offer meaningful critique. Those same people never seem to recognize that I fully admit their faults while sincerely enjoying the games. I will critique games when they deserve it in every case, but I also am apparently capable of a special ‘magical gift’ of taking something on its own merit without pretending that complaints do anything beneficial. And sadly it apparently IS rare, because so many people know nothing but how to complain about every minor thing without even sitting back to breathe it all in first. Those people ARE in fact worthless. To me, and the community as a whole that they claim to support.

          And yes, everyone else who doesn’t even play the second game in the series and pre-judge it is in fact utterly useless. To argue otherwise is to be the conceited one. If I have to explain why, it’s pointless anyway. Complaints about XIII were just as subjective as the ‘entertainment’ perceptions you described anyway.

          I couldn’t care less if you didn’t enjoy the game, you’re absolutely free to do so and have a different preference for the way your games are made, but the people who did like it are not a minority. You merely believe that because the complainers are the ones who feel righteous in their childish fury about a game that didn’t fit their cookie-cutter perceptions and bitch about it endlessly, seeking more and more recognition and brotherhood in their negativity.

          They don’t defend because they know the ones who will scream the loudest will just overwhelm the logical breakdown of what was good about the experience.

          I on the other hand know that every single one of you who complain are always the same. Never changes, it’s always the same mindset and same one-step logic.

        • @ Anonymous 9:24

          As usual, no perspective. The so-called ‘abysmal’ sales constitute a worldwide total of 2.5 million sales within the first ten weeks on both consoles. For some perspective, a game going above a million sales is relatively uncommon and considered a hit. I will give you that that is less than half of the first one, however calling those sales abysmal is ridiculous.

          People so jaded with XIII not trying XIII-2, there’s nothing I can say to that except that they have no opinions of their own and aren’t really worth listening to as a gamer. As a company, they needed less to make it and know that they would recoup the costs by listening and implementing.

          They did. It worked. Everyone I know enjoyed it much more. Those who are waiting are waiting for less risk and a lesser cost. Since the third one is coming, the blanks will be filled in by many more and more sales will be generated.

          Get off your high horses and play the game, or don’t and cease the whining, because XIII has been over and done with for years. There are many, many hundreds of thousands of people who loved both. The vocal hatred is not an accurate representation.

        • > The series never sank. It was always pretty damn good.

          Sales were so abysmal that, coupled with the even more crippling XIV release, the company almost folded. Good games don’t bring an established studio to the brink of financial ruin.

          >All the spoiled people who just want another FF7 would just complain about that too.

          As much as I dislike VII, what’s the problem with sequeling the most successful game of the series? Sounds like the most logical thing to do after nearly bankrupting your company. And how does wanting a particular game to be sequeled make one “spoiled”? Would your desire for a third XIII not make you spoiled, as well? Or are you merely attempting to devalue the thoughts and feelings of the people who disagree with you on a personal level?

          > If you don’t like the characters or setting, that’s your problem, not everyone’s. I enjoyed them immensely and loved what they did with XIII-2 even more.

          You’re in the minority. Judging from the sales figures an the number of copies of the previous XIII games that sat on store shelves collecting dust, Squeenix needs to regain the trust of a majority of their former market, and more of the same isn’t going to do it.

          > If you didn’t like it, you need not uselessly vocalize it, because one way or another, your wish will come true and this part of the series will be over soon.

          So your opinion is the only one that has worth and everyone else’s is useless and invalid because they’re not you? You feel that so strongly that you’d make an effort to silence those who disagree with you?

          > Let those of us who do know how to enjoy a game on its own merit without complaining that it wasn’t something you played before enjoy it and wait for your next thing to come out so you can bitch.

          Entertainment is one of the most subjective things on the planet, and you’re so conceited that you claim to have some magical ability to enjoy things that other people don’t like and that makes you inherently superior and gives you the privilege of criticizing others on a personal level over the internet.

          You hate shit I enjoy and I hate shit you enjoy.

          You are not special.

        • @Houselife
          If you enjoyed it, that’s fine. But most people did not enjoy XIII enough to even try XIII-2. Sales on XIII-2 were abysmal. Unless LR:FFXIII is a huge hit, it likely won’t sell well. Sales don’t make a a game good or bad, but continually poor sales will lead the the destruction of the company. SE seems to be on that path, and it appears to somehow think this is the right move. Maybe I’m wrong, but I think SE is down the creek without a paddle.

        • The series never sank. It was always pretty damn good. I have never apologized for the issues in the XIII series, as there are several, but there also are nowhere near as many as people make them out to be. All the spoiled people who just want another FF7 would just complain about that too.

          If you don’t like the characters or setting, that’s your problem, not everyone’s. I enjoyed them immensely and loved what they did with XIII-2 even more. Their new approach with a more story-centric gameplay was something I wanted, and the expansion of the universe is remarkable. The lack of opening the full paradigm system and the horrendous integration of lore in XIII still didn’t stop it from being a very good game for me. I don’t see how this one will slow it down, but I’ll still wait and see and not prejudge it in a positive or negative direction. I just hope they turn a strong duo into an excellent trilogy.

          If you didn’t like it, you need not uselessly vocalize it, because one way or another, your wish will come true and this part of the series will be over soon. Let those of us who do know how to enjoy a game on its own merit without complaining that it wasn’t something you played before enjoy it and wait for your next thing to come out so you can bitch.

    • And people say Pokémon is “repetitive” and “formulaic”. At least, outside of remakes and sequels, they don’t rehash the same storyline and characters. Cameos are another story.

      Note that I’m referring to the main series Pokémon games, the ones developed by [b]Game Freak[/b], which were the creators of the concept and the franchise. The others are not main series games, being side series (like the [i]Stadium[/i] series, developed by [b]HAL Laboratory[/b]; [i]Colosseum[/i], [i]XD: Gale of Darkness[/i] and [i]Battle Revolution[/i], developed by [b]Genius Sonority[/b]) and spin-offs (like the [i]Pinball[/i], [i]Mystery Dungeon[/i] and [i]Ranger[/i] series) as well as other, uncategorized games.

  • Check out the logo. This is the first FF that doesn’t have traditional art, traditional Font and name on it.

    That crystal(?) symbol reminds me of the Skyrim dragon, remoulded to look like a vagina.

    And that font. Are they trying to make customers believe this is somehow related to Metal Gear Rising?

    Lightning Returns sounds strangely similar to Lightning Bolt Action. Perhaps people will think they’re related. Both have a high chance of being shitty games.

    • “Crystal” has become the staple plot device for all modern FF games. They started doing this on FF12 (Nethicite), and now Fal’cie or whatever its called in FF13. They use kurisutaru to make themselves feel its special and original. The Ys series of games were using the “crystals of power” thing correctly before FF though (Cleria ore & Black pearls).

      After knowing this, you will feel that FF has become bland. Remember when FF had both plot and sometimes no crystals at all (FF1 to FF10), they decided to change it to ONLY crystals (FF12 onwards).

        • I didnt like FF12 at all. Its the worst FF game IMO. You see? Its all about opinions. FF12 had not a single good character. Story was boring as fuck. The ONLY thing good about it was the damn huge open world.
          The battle system was… so bad. I put up my Grids (or whatever they were called) like after 1/3 of the game so I only had to run around and not actually do anything in the battles.

          Last boss battle I didnt do anything. I only watched the screen. Is that very good? lol.

  • You people have to know that The development for each title is being handled within Square Enix through SEPERARE TEAMS. So don’t blame square enix for releasing 13-3 earlier than versus 13. If the team that was working on 13-3 finishes first then they’ll release it. This just means that Versus is still under development. Just continue to wait. They may share a common backdrop but they are very different games.

  • I’ll buy it. Lightning was the best character in FF13 and is one of my fav female characters in FF games. Had a good voice actor too.

    I bought FF13-2 2 days ago. Lets see how that one is. Might be worse than FF13 depending on the characters. Hope it aint a Vanill main character voice then Im going to cut myself.

  • Lightning is one of the worst character I know of, and FF-XII is probably the worst rpg I played in the last 10 years… seriously, are they idiots?
    Why release shit like this?
    The saddest is that there ARE people who’re buying this shit…

  • FF13 was a good game. It’s not SE’s fault that people can’t focus on a game long enough to stick with a straightforward storyline instead of running around for so long that you lose the sense of urgency to save the world! If you want a sandbox game, play a sandbox game. If you want to be pulled into story that actually -feels- like the party is in a hurry, then FF13 is spot on.

  • I was with everyone else when 13 came out, and it made me want to kill myself on how stupid it was. BUT, 13-2 was a good game; I enjoyed it enough to beat it and get the secret ending.

    I’m hoping that this game will be at least on par with 13-2.

        • Agreed. 13-2 was an improvement.
          They fixed the linearity 13 had, the gameplay was better, better levelling up system and the whole catching and fighting alongside monsters was a good addition (I don’t care if pokemon has done this blah blah blah, it’s still good).

          I understand the skepticism over this new title but has anyone seen the other videos? I think the new ideas are good, world driven environment, a varying doomsday clock, over 20 outfits for lightning. It seems like SE do take in the feedback. Their main problem is their obsession with the whole 13 franchise. It would be better to pull out and do something new than to keep gambling on a falling title, but, we won’t know without giving it a try. That’s all there is to it.