Final Fantasy Versus (& Agito) XIII Information Blow-Out

In Final Fantasy Agito XIII, Final Fantasy Versus XIII on June 23, 2010 by squalldane Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Final Fantasy Versus XIII has had a fresh breath of air blown across the media.

Ever since Yoichi Wada, Square-Enix President, Twittered that the team was looking into bringing Versus to the 360, the fire has been stoked by the fans blowing hot air at it. Wada didn’t know that what was about to happen was one of the biggest stirs among the die-hard fanboys. He then reassured everyone that it was just a thought, nothing is final yet. This was last month.

— Well, the latest in this god forsaken craptastic rumor is from the Aussies down undah… Game Informah Australia Magazine say blatently, “Ex-PS3 exclusive Final Fantasy Versus XIII is going multiformat” …ugh… someone silence these flap mouths.

An interview with Tetsuya Nomura (The Man With The Belts) revealed that FF Vs XIII has an open world as does Agito, and in both there will be flyable airships. Agito mentions rideable chocobos in the open world too. I expect Versus to have the same announcement soon.

Three new screenshots of Versus have been shown.

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Apparently, the screenshot of the mountains is shown to tell people that you can travel as far as you can see, except the mountains. My guess is that once the airship becomes available, that will be the next area to get to. I’m thinking of Final Fantasy III where you were stuck in a huge circle until you achieved the correct vehicle.

The gas station is shown as an object that is destructable. There are apparently objects on the field that are destroyable — ala Xenosaga?

The giant behemoth is shown as an in-game battle footage shot. There is no GUI shown because that will be announced later, as will party members and battle clothing (TGS 2010, I guarantee at the show or before, which is September 16th through the 19th)

Well, that’s all for now — be back later when more is announced.

Source: andriasang


Final Fantasy XIII Review

In Complete Final Fantasy Playthrough, Final Fantasy XIII on April 13, 2010 by squalldane Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

After nearly 25 years, Final Fantasy has evolved from hardware to hardware; keeping things like story telling, longevity, and pushing the envelope of graphics per generation even further. Today, those elements haven’t changed much; but a lot of other things have.


Fang is on a chocobo -- too bad this doesn't come in the game for 40+ hours

XIII starts off in the middle of a governmental quarantine. The Cocoon army is told to kill off all civilians who may have had contact with a being from Pulse. You soon find out that the woman you control in the beginning was almost one of the soldiers doing the killing. Her sister is the being from Pulse that started all of this fuss (or so they make you think.) The story is filled with drama, however, there are many aspects missing. Among these missing cohorts, we have no non-cliché characters. Everything is very cliché. The only thing out of the ordinary is that the hot main character is a bad ass with stern emotions, who will stop at nothing to do what she wishes. Even smacking her sister’s fiancée square in the kisser a few times when she feels like blowing off some steam.


Snow, the hero, is very predictable - but is a bad-ass

There is very little comic relief to keep you interested, and the main path is the only path to travel. There is no exploration, not like Metroid. Literally, No Exploration. You are constantly running through caves, and straight paths that may demeanour of to a treasure chest for a few steps. I will admit, I was glued to my seat for the first 30+ hours, but after that… it felt like a job. I rarely compare games to hours that I could have been working. This was one of those rare times. Continuing in a straight path, dodging a few enemies here and there. Battle time. Continue the path, cut scene. It wasn’t until 15 hours in to the story that I was actually hooked. You find out about characters back story’s, etc. There are no mini games to keep you entertained through out the game until the end (other than one small segment where you control a mech-like machine early on.) And the side quests that are there are not very entertaining, still feeling like work with the occasional fun feeling.


Bombs in this game look more like a mathematical geometric shape

The battle system. Oh lohrdy have mercy on me. The pinnacle of this game. The reason this game is bearable. I haven’t had this much fun since the day I was breaking down walls in a trailer with kicks and punches… No… seriously. Virtually speaking, It’s reminiscent of Grandia for the Playstation 1, which was the first time I ever played an RPG with action elements. (I never played Star Ocean 2 until 5 years later) — It is a lot different than any other battle system of its kind. Not only are the words Latin to most (Paradigm shift, Gestalt mode), they are also very different functions from any other game, especially an RPG. Paradigm shifts allow you to change up your party to be in specially formed classes that were set up before battle. For instance, a healer (medic), with an attacker (commando) and a black mage (ravager) — or all ravagers in another case. There are six jobs in all, and the most amusing part is someone took the time to name every single combination. A team of three commandos is named cerberus. A team of a commando, a ravager, and a medic is aptly named diversity. There is also special bonuses for each class. A ravager fills up the stagger meter the quickest, where a commando stops the stagger meter from depleting so quickly (and gives an extra +atk %)

As mentioned above, there is a stagger meter which causes more and more damage based on the amount of damage that has already been dealt. This is very crucial in many boss battles near the middle to end of the game. Summons are different this time around too; each person has their own Eidolon, some are achieved much much later in the game than others. Gestalt mode transforms the Eidolon into a transformer, doing massive damage (depending on the monsters stagger meter) sometimes well over 100,000 HP.

It is a step up from Final Fantasy XII, don’t get me wrong. But it’s still missing so much that was in Final Fantasy I through X. Ever since they created that on-line game, XI, story line and character development have been lost. My only hope from here on out, lies in that of Mistwalker. Hironobu Sakaguchi-San… please, save us from this mess. Here’s three cheers that The Last Story is the Final Fantasy of the 2010’s.


Lightning rocks, the graphics in this area are awesome, and that monster is about to die

Overall, it did manage to keep my attention for the whole span of 70 hours, but it isn’t a grade A Final Fantasy. It does, however, have the best looking graphics (1080p) out of any game I’ve ever seen when it’s in CG mode. It’s really a huge mixed bag of rocks and skittles. some people only see the rocks, and the other people only see the skittles. I see both and gladly sort them out. And although I’m getting tired of being constantly let down, I can not wait for the next helping. Final Fantasy Versus XIII (especially since it is being directed by Nomura)


Nomura is the man with the fucking plan

Story : C

Battle System : A

Music : C

Longevity : B

Average : B-


Final Fantasy XIII Chapter 11 (Spoilers)

In Complete Final Fantasy Playthrough, Final Fantasy XIII on March 19, 2010 by squalldane Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

I’ve finally reached Chapter 11.  And wow… in the words of Vanille, Pulse is “…gorgeous” (right before she gets her Eidolon)

So, I am finally able to venture about at my own will.  I was overwhelmed at first — there is so many monsters to choose to fight.  Not to mention, you do not know which monster is powerful, and which are weak.  So, I was thinking that they were all really easy to defeat.  I look about a half mile across the field and find a huge dinosaur-like creature (reminds me of a brontosaurus crossed with an elephant) and initiated a fight.  That was my first mistake.

Battle started.  I auto attacked.  0 damage.  He lifted up his heavy, elephant-like leg… then slammed it on the ground no where near me.  This caused some earthquake that only my characters can feel apparently since the earth did not rift, but all of my characters (Lightning, Snow, and Vanille) which together probably had an average of 2400HP  all took 9,000+ damage a piece.


I wonder how the demo was tweaked?  I remember seeing this same enemy numerous times online.  In fact, here’s a picture from the demo itself.

Elephant/Brontosaurus/Sabertooth Tiger

God help these individuals.

I will be back, Elesabersaurus.  I will rock your toe off!

And with that said, time to head back to killing my marks and advancing the story!


Grim Reaper And His History In Final Fantasy

In Random on March 15, 2010 by squalldane Tagged: , , , ,

There have been many references to the Grim Reaper in Final Fantasy throughout its 25 years.
Here’s a quick run-down.

Final FantasyHis first appearance was in the original, Final Fantasy.  Summoned in the magic spell ‘Death’ (Called RUB in the NES version, and Reaper in the Origins version)  He was a skeletal figure wearing a red cape.  Appears, beckoning the target’s soul and slicing it downwards with its scythe. Or, if using another spell, throws back his cloak, and four skulls come out, attach to the soul, and fly upwards.

Taking a small break, he came back in Final Fantasy IV.  Summoned in the spells, ‘Doom’ and ‘Death’, he has red eyes and a black shroud.

This time, appearing as Blue Magic in Final Fantasy V, ‘Doom’ causes Hitodama to appear around the target, followed by the Grim Reaper who will float away — this time dressed in red with a silver scythe.

Final Fantasy VI, his appearance was in the spell ‘Death’ wearing red again, he graps the targets soul and carries it to the sky, laughing.  One of the coolest thus far —

Final Fantasy VII had a ‘Death’ spell, created from the Destruct Materia.  This brought out the Reaper in a red cloak again, blasting out of a black cloud, swinging its scythe at the target.  Cait Sith also could summon the Reaper if you were lucky enough to get the correct combination.

Final Fantasy VIII has the most interesting and differing version.  The Reaper’s appearances differ, with its color scheme being black, red, and purple. It has a dark mouthless head, and wears a horned skull on it. Its back has bat-like wings, and its red hands carry a darkened scythe. Summoned using both the spell Death and the command Doom.

In Final Fantasy IX, he appears wearing a brownish robe.  Summoned with three spells, Lv5 Death, Death, and Doom.

The Reaper’s appearance is similar to the Malaysian penanggal in Final Fantasy X: a bodiless shriveled head.  It wears a horned headdress and a cape, and has only a clawed left hand.  With that clawed hand it reaches into the target, extracting its soul and crushes it, killing the target.

A Goddess of Death is present in the mythology of the game.  A painting depicting her has been featured in recent scans.  She looks similar to the character depicted on the logo of the Fabula Nova Crystallis: Final Fantasy XIII series.

Final Fantasy Tactics Advance has a Grim Reaper that appears when the Doom counter reaches zero.  It will appear above the target, laugh maniacally and then draws the target’s soul towards it, knocking them out.

Lastly, in Final Fantasy Tactics A2: Grimoire of the Rift, when the Death spell is used, several Reapers fly over the battlefield, which turns completely red.

So there you have it.  Lots of Reapers, definitely a continuing trend in almost every FF.  II, III, and XII are the onlye ones he did not appear in.  What’s your favorite one?



~ Lightning Is The Best ~

In Complete Final Fantasy Playthrough, Final Fantasy XIII on March 13, 2010 by squalldane Tagged: , , , , , , , , ,

Chapter 7… Still, this game gets better and better with every chapter.  I had a horrible time at the twin beasts at the end of Chapter 6 with Vanille and Sazh.  Took me about 5 tries.  I still do not know how I killed them, luck was involved.  Enlil and Enki.  Just keep healing, and take them down in HP together.  Once one of them is dead, the other goes crazy.

“Lightning.  It flashes bright, then fades away.  It can’t protect.  It only destroys.”


Going home for the night, be back tomorrow night for a few more hours of progress.


Quick Update (Possible Spoilers)

In Complete Final Fantasy Playthrough, Final Fantasy XIII on March 12, 2010 by squalldane Tagged: , , , , , , , ,

Chapter 6, Sazh and Vanille.  I just witnessed how Dahj, Sazh’s kid, became a l’Cie.  A quick glimpse of Vanille showed that she was with Dahj right before Sazh found him, but was quickly pulled away.  For what reason?  Does she have the ability to choose l’Cie?  Is she a Fal’Cie in disguise?  I don’t have any idea right now.  But, like I had mentioned in my impression… this game has a great story.  And so far, it is getting better as each chapter progresses!

Screen cap makes him look genuine, however he is the most unrealistic moving character in one particular scene (ch 6)

I also wanted to mention that Dahj’s character animation is horrible.  Utterly horrible.  It was like watching a PS1 game’s character try to move realistically.


Final Fantasy XIII Impressions — First Four Hours Of The Fateful Thirteen Days

In Complete Final Fantasy Playthrough, Final Fantasy XIII on March 9, 2010 by squalldane Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

It is finally here. I knew this day would come, but I didn’t think it would be here so quick.

To start things off, I did not pre-order.  This is due to waiting to the bitter end for a collector’s edition to be announced in the US.  But things worked out, since I have a Wal-Mart right next to where I live — and since this is a college town, everyone is gone this week for Spirng Break.  I couldn’t asked for a better situation.

11:45pm – Snuck up on me  around last night, and when I got to the electronics section, there were a few people standing around.  But, no visible line.

11:50pm – I stood next to the cash register (I saw the box of FF XIII’s).

11:59pm – A line formed behind me, fifteen to twenty people long then curled around the movies aisle.

12:01pm – First fanboy to have it in my hands in Potsdam, NY!

12:07pm – Opened the door to my place, grabbed the blu-ray disc out of the already opened case, threw it in the PS3, and rocked.

5:02am – Decided to force myself to sleep for work at 11:30am.

6:50am – Actually went to sleep.

Baby Chocobo


The start of the game quickly brings you in to the action.  The graphics are astonishing during the CG scenes.  Full 1080p resolution on my 37″ LCD 1080p Philips.  I’ve never seen anything more gorgeous running on my PS3 or any computer.  The 360 version must be blown out of the water for this part, only being able to output 720p.

Now, let me tell you this.  I have seen the intro of the game at least 50 times.  But after watching it on my screen directly from the Blu-Ray disc, it seems that I have never seen it.  I was completely blown away at how lifelike all of the motions are.  Every facial expression, every individual hair strand, every separate finger and toe motion, they all flow so smoothly in CG scenes.  The Spirits Within and even Advent Children have been surpassed by a video game.

After the CG intro, the loading screen shows up for 6 seconds.  Bearable. You are thrown into battle with your first fight.  Manasvin Warmech greets you with a grim smile.  The battle system starts now.  There is a ATB that fills up continuously.  As the bar fills, it is split into segments.  Starting off with two segments, and working its way up to probably 5 segments near the end of the game?  Just guessing of course, as I’m only 4 hours in.  Lightning has two attacks to choose from.  The simple attack, and an AoE attack called blitz.  The simple attack costs one segment of the ATB bar, while the AoE attack, blitz, costs 2 segments.  While the ATB bar is filling, you choose how you want to spend your two segments.  In essence, queueing them up — followed by choosing your target.  Everything is happening in real time (default config set to active).  Lightning is moving around the field, waiting for her chance to strike.  Then the ATB bar fills, and she completes the task I had set up for her.  Two attacks.  They are both executed one after the other, animated smoothly.  After she completes this, you are given the option to repeat what you just did, or make another queue.  There is also the auto-attack button that randomly generates a set of attacks.  Items are also different, since you only control one character, they simplified potions.  A potion is now a mega potion!  Hell yeah!  So when you use a potion, everyone’s HP goes up 150 points.  Best part, the ATB bar is not used for items.

An Early Prototype -- The ATB bar was more quantitive, giving a specific number instead of just the chrono cross esque bars

The camera control takes some getting used to.  But this is the first FF where you are able to specify X and Y axis Inverts.  So everyone is happy; at least after you get used to how loose the camera is.  To keep with the smooth style, the camera moves smoothly.  Other than that, after a few hours, it just feels natural.  I consider it a big improvement from Final Fantasy XII’s camera.

In my opinion, the story is also a big improvement.  It almost feels like they’ve gone back to the PS1 era of story telling.  The number one aspect that I was worried about is character development, and making you love the characters.  I can tell you this: in my first four hours of gameplay, I feel aeons closer to Lightning and crew than I ever did with the crew in XII… Balthier is the exception.  If you can get past the clich’e cookie cutter character roles… which I no doubt can, and see them for who they are, then you will feel the same as I do.

Shiva is the first Eidolon (pronounced Eye-'Doh-Lon) you get, and she/they rock

One last thing.  The Music.  Fast paced, trumpets of war.  Simply put, the music matches the action.  I will condone that there was one piece of music that is sticking to me, I will find out the name of it.  Mainly because of the use of high pitched viola’s playing with their bow.  Very smooth and pretentious.  Similar to the score found in Chrono Cross‘ battle music.  There is a theme song that is played quietly during key moments… I believe it is the Eternal Love theme…? There was also a touch of FF12 in one of the tracks while I was traversing through the frozen lake/waves.  I really enjoy FF12, but I do not like 80% of its music.  I’ll report more in my review.

Lightning and Vanille, two of the four main females in the game.

Overall, this intro is very reminiscent of Final Fantasy VII and Crisis Core’s intro’s.  Train.  Resistance Group.  Fast paced.  Thrown right into the action without initially knowing why.  No doubt, the story telling has at least returned to whence it came from in the PS1 era.  Still hoping that the characters make me fall in love with them.  Their voice acting is really good so far.  I don’t care what the janapophiles say… this is top notch voice acting in america.  You aren’t reminded that you are playing a game anymore from little flaws; especially since their lips sync up perfectly!

Overall first impression –> Must Buy!

And so the story begins