Why does mankind defy its fate?
In the world where I once existed, time's path is no longer certain...
Final Fantasy XIII-2 is the direct sequel to Final Fantasy XIII, and is also a part of the Fabula Nova Crystallis: Final Fantasy series. It was developed by Square Enix and tri-Ace. The game takes place three years after the events of Final Fantasy XIII, and depicts the story of Serah Farron's journey across time and space to prevent the end of the world while searching for her missing sister, Lightning.
Final Fantasy XIII-2 retains the Command Synergy Battle and Paradigm Shift systems from its predecessor and the Battle system is simply a more evolved form of the battle system from Final Fantasy XIII. One new gameplay element, called the Mog Clock, has been added, where the player must attack monsters on the field before the time is up to get the upper hand in the ensuing battle. When the player attacks a monster, the screen lights up and the scene switches to a battlefield, marking the start of a battle.
Non-player characters (such as the remnant military operatives) react to the monsters that appear in the field but don't affect any battles that may ensue. Another new feature is the Paradigm Tune, which enables the player to customize how the AI-controlled party members use their abilities in battle. Though the player still controls one out of a three-member party, they are able to initiate the Change Leader option to switch the party member they control during battle. If the current party leader is KO'd, the party leader is automatically switched to the other human character. The defeat of the human characters in the party results in a game over.
Characters grow via a revamped Crystarium system, and they have levels unlike the previous game, gained by moving through the Crystarium. Each character's Crystarium is no longer in the form of tiers, but now takes the shape of their respective weapon, and includes all possible paradigm roles on a singular Crystarium, similar to the Sphere Grid from Final Fantasy X.
As a player advances through the Crystarium, they may choose which paradigm role to level up and gain bonus stat increases alongside level increases. Characters learn different abilities at certain levels throughout their paradigm role growth. Unlike Final Fantasy XIII, there is no cap on how much a character may grow in the Crystarium at any given time. The weather or Climate Type in an area affects battles, and at one time an uncontrollable guest joins. Summoned monsters return, but are not in the same form as those in the original game.
Monsters can be caught, trained, and used as party members through the Paradigm Pack component. Three monsters can be held at a time, and automatically switch to the role a player shifts to in the paradigm. Players can customize a monster's stats via leveling up through items, and adornments can be given to monsters to change their appearance. Via the Feral Link system players can use special abilities from the monsters in the party by pressing a combination of buttons once a synchronization gauge has filled. A new form of damage, called Wound Damage, lowers a target's member's max HP during battle and can only be healed by items, giving further incentive to defeat enemies as quickly as possible.
Players are given timed button presses similar to the Reaction Commands of Kingdom Hearts during Cinematic Action sequences to gain the upper hand in battle and event scenes. There are also "Live" sequences, or real time cutscenes that occur to progress the story, meaning the player maintains control of their character although the camera is focused elsewhere. Another new element, called the Live Trigger, allows the player to choose their response in a conversation. The player character can engage in conversations with NPCs with speech bubbles and the other characters in the party wander the area getting into conversations on their own. A new dungeon minigame system has been added, called Temporal Rifts, where the player must guide the character through various puzzles.
Another new gameplay element is the Historia Crux feature, the time travel system in the game that can be accessed through the use of Time Gates throughout areas on the field. The gates are activated by finding artefacts in various ways, such as in hidden treasure chests using Mog. By resetting the gates Noel and Serah can redo their adventures. Using Historia Crux, the player can choose the location or era to travel to. There is a "gate matrix" where players select their next location based on the game's AF (After the Fall of Cocoon) timeline. Players can access the save and main menus through gates.
Each character has four slots for equipment and a maximum load they can carry. The players can use these points up any way they like to, using them for defensive gear or stat boosting accessories, but cannot exceed the limit. Monsters in the party can be renamed and equip decorative items that change their appearance in battle. Monsters grow by using items, unlike the human characters who use Crystogen Points. Players can buy some of these weapons, armor, items, and monster training goods from the merchant, Chocolina.
Serendipity is an amusement park complete with a casino and minigames such as Chocobo Racing and Slots, which has been compared to the Gold Saucer in Final Fantasy VII. The game retains the missions from Final Fantasy XIII as well as alternate sidequests from various NPCs in which the player must find and retrieve specific items. Unlike those in Final Fantasy XIII, these are available from an early point in the game.
Final Fantasy XIII-2 features difficulty modes of gameplay: Normal and Easy mode, which can be changed at any time. There is the option to save the game at any point throughout the story from the main menu, and the game automatically saves the game periodically with the Auto-save function. Director Motomu Toriyama created an alternate means of playing through the game's multiple endings; players are allowed to reset the Historia Crux gates, returning them to the beginning of the current time period. The "New Game+" feature is retained as well; although players can reset the gates at any time, new content and endings become available once the main quest has been completed.
As a result of Cocoon's fall at the end of Final Fantasy XIII, some of its surviving citizens now reside on Gran Pulse, the "lowerworld," and the world has adopted a new dating system ("AF" or "After the Fall"). In the three years since, new towns and cities have been established. While searching for Lightning, Serah and Noel travel to old and new places on Pulse and in Cocoon.
As they travel through time, some locations from Final Fantasy XIII change in appearance. Eden is no longer the capital and the Sanctum is no more. The city of Academia is the new capital, and the new provisional government is run by the Academy, a scientific expedition group wishing to use human technology to build a world that doesn't rely on the fal'Cie.
- Serah Farron - The main protagonist of the game. She is Lightning's younger sister, Snow's fiancée, and the only one out of her friends to know Lightning is still alive. Gaining the ability to have visions of the future, Serah journeys with Noel to find and save her sister. Her weapon is a bow that can transform into a sword, though its true form is that of her moogle companion Mog.
- Noel Kreiss - The deuteragonist of the game. Noel comes from the Dying World at 700 AF, where he is the last surviving human in a world that faced destruction 200 years after Cocoon's fall. After a chance encounter with Lightning, he travels into the past to find her sister, Serah. He sets off with her to save Lightning in the hopes of changing the future. He uses two swords that are able to combine to form a spear in battle.
Temporary playable charactersEdit
- Lightning - The main narrator of the game. Having been attacked by the emerging chaos and subsequently taken to Valhalla, Lightning is no longer believed to be alive by anyone except Serah. In reality, she has become a knight, protecting the goddess Etro in Valhalla while warring with Caius. She wields a new gunblade resembling a combination of her Blazefire Saber and a traditional sword.
- Sazh Katzroy - Sazh is playable after purchasing his DLC scenario, "Heads or Tails". Hope reveals Sazh has mysteriously gone missing, and it turns out he ended up in Serendipity, where he had to save his son by winning in the casino games. After his time in Serendipity, Sazh resurfaces in Academia 500 AF along with Dajh. Once there, he helps Noel and Serah pursue Caius in the skies. Sazh is present at the end of the game along with Noel and Hope. He retains his afro and dual-wield pistols.
- Snow Villiers - Snow left to search for Lightning two years after her disappearance, but is nowhere to be found at the time Serah sets out on her own search. He appears as an uncontrollable guest character in the Sunleth Waterscape at 300 AF. In the DLC episode "Perpetual Battlefield", Snow is faced as a boss in the Coliseum.
As paradoxes manifested across the timeline, Lightning was written out of history and only her sister Serah remembers she ever returned with them on the Day of Ragnarok when Lightning and her friends saved Cocoon. Most of mankind settles on Gran Pulse, and Serah tries to get used to her new way of life in New Bodhum, but can't shake the feeling Lightning is still alive. Snow sets out to find Lightning but also goes missing.
In truth, the mysterious energy known as chaos that seeps from the dead half of the universe, the unseen realm, had dragged Lightning to the world between life and death—Valhalla—as a result of the goddess Etro reaching into the mortal realm to release Lightning and her friends from crystal stasis as thanks for them having saved Cocoon. Etro had closed the gate between the realms to prevent more chaos from coming through, but had been greatly weakened and fallen into a deep sleep. Lightning becomes Etro's knight to protect her from a mysterious man who wants to kill the goddess to destroy the timeline, Caius Ballad, whom Etro once made immortal by giving him her own heart, the Heart of Chaos.
As Lightning is caught in a never-ending battle against Caius, the two of them equally strong, she knows she needs help. When Noel Kreiss enters Valhalla, the goddess Etro having chosen him as a time traveler, Lightning sends him on a mission to bring her sister Serah to her. Noel locates Serah in New Bodhum in 3 AF and Serah finds she can see visions of the future and use Time Gates like Noel can, having received Etro's blessing. The two travel the world to different eras solving paradoxes as they go to prevent the bleak future from which Noel hails from: he is the last man at the end of the world in a future that was plunged into desolation when the crystallized Cocoon fell. When Lightning's old companion Hope Estheim hears of this, he sets out to prevent Cocoon's eventual fall from destroying the world.
During their travels Serah and Noel learn Snow had become a time traveler like them, which is why he never returned. They also learn of the seeress Yeul, and how Caius was her immortal Guardian until the last Yeul died in Noel's time period. Meeting the various Yeuls in the different eras they visit weighs on Noel, who had wanted to become the Guardian to the Yeul he knew in his time. Yeul's soul is unable to return to the chaos of the unseen realm, and thus she is continually reincarnated with Caius as her eternal Guardian as "blessed" by Etro. Witnessing her death countless times has driven Caius mad and to yearn for the timeline's collapse to save Yeul from the cycle. Caius is thus creating the paradoxes along the timeline to bring about the perfect conditions for him to let the chaos of the unseen realm consume the mortal realm. Noel and Serah set out to stop him, even after they learn Serah also has the power of the seeress which eats away at her life with every vision she has, triggered by the changes in the timeline they make by solving the paradoxes.
After Serah and Noel kill Caius in Valhalla, the timeline appears to be fixed. Hope has built a New Cocoon to shelter mankind from the old one's collapse. However, as they return to the mortal realm, Serah dies from a vision as the future changes again. Chaos erupts into Gran Pulse, permanently warping the world. Noel realizes they had played into Caius's scheme by destroying the Heart of Chaos, Etro's heart, and though the goddess died Caius himself is still alive, as he has been bound to the chaos. Freed from Valhalla as the realm collapses, Lightning's hope for the future is renewed when the dying Serah's spirit assures her they will see each other again. Lightning enters crystal stasis to sleep as an indestructible epitaph waiting for a time she and Serah can be together.
Final Fantasy XIII-2 has two novels that contain a series of stories from the perspectives of different characters. Final Fantasy XIII-2 Fragments Before contains stories that reveal events before those in the game, and Final Fantasy XIII-2 Fragments After reveals more details from before the game as well as events during and after it.
The developers have revealed some of the main themes they wanted to explore by making Final Fantasy XIII-2. At the end of Final Fantasy XIII, the world was left in ruins and in Final Fantasy XIII-2 the team wanted to offer the player an experience of following the way the world is rebuilt over a long span of time. Motomu Toriyama called the theme for the game's story "Wish for Rebirth" and explained that the theme has two meanings: one is rebirth of the devastated world, and the other is the re-encounter with Lightning. The wish to rebuild a devastated world may, in part, draw from the feelings in Japan in the aftermath of the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami, as Toriyama has alluded to this disaster in an interview, saying: "The past year has seen many disasters - not only in Japan but also across the world. We sincerely hope that the story of Final Fantasy XIII-2 will bring hope and courage to many people's hearts". In the interview from the Final Fantasy XIII-2 Ultimania Omega, Daisuke Watanabe says the theme is "the future is unknown, but you can keep going as long as you have hope".
Toriyama has said that other than Lightning finding true happiness, the after-effects of Fang and Vanille's sacrifice on her and the other characters are another central theme in the game. He has even compared the light and dark appearances of Lightning and Caius respectively to those of an angel and the devil, but warned not to jump to conclusions about which one is which. Toriyama has said that the traveling system has been completely redone since Final Fantasy XIII, as the team was trying to create a "truly living world, with lots of people living all the way to the far corners of the game".
The game is more fantasy-oriented as opposed to the futuristic feel of its predecessor. The game's general tone is darker and more mysterious, because the developers wanted to take the concept of death and extract features of the world of death to reflect them on the story and universe of Final Fantasy XIII-2. The story focuses on the Farron sisters as opposed to how the first game focuses on the love story between Snow and Serah. As opposed to the story of Final Fantasy XIII, where Lightning is on a quest to save Serah, the story of Final Fantasy XIII-2 is the reverse, with Serah trying to save Lightning. The story of Final Fantasy XIII-2 also explores their relationship as sisters, and how they are similar yet different in their own ways.
Composers of the original game, Masashi Hamauzu and Mitsuto Suzuki, return joined by Naoshi Mizuta, composer of Final Fantasy: The 4 Heroes of Light and Final Fantasy XI. The game's main theme in the Japanese PlayStation 3 version is "Yakusoku no Basho", sung by Mai Fukui. An English version of the theme, called "New World", sung by Filipino artist Charice Pempengco, is used in the Japanese Xbox 360 and Western releases of the game.
The soundtrack was released on December 14th, 2011. It includes the standard and limited edition. Standard version soundtrack spans over four discs, while the limited edition has a bonus DVD packed with two trailers, the trailer shown at E3 2011 (Japanese voices version), and the game's Final Trailer (Special Music Edition). The standard edition retails for 3990¥, and the limited edition is 4880¥. A selection of songs from the game are to be available with the Limited Collector's Edition of Final Fantasy XIII-2 in Europe and the entire soundtrack is to be available to those who purchase the Crystal Edition in Europe or the Collector's Edition in North America. However, neither shall include "New World" by Charice.
Final Fantasy XIII-2 includes music from Final Fantasy XIII.
Downloadable content and extrasEdit
The game features downloadable content in the form of downloadable outfits, weapons, accessories, scenarios, recruitable monsters and minigames. Though there were initial plans to release DLC for Final Fantasy XIII, these ideas did not come to fruition. For Final Fantasy XIII-2 the team designed and planned for content, including DLC, that would expand on the world of Final Fantasy XIII-2 since the beginning of its development.
Players with Final Fantasy XIII save data can unlock an additional wallpaper (PS3) or gamer picture (Xbox 360) for the save file. Yoshinori Kitase assures players that the content will allow for even longer play. Post-release downloads include a "Final Fantasy XIII Lost Report" which distributed through the game's official site offers a look back at the story of Final Fantasy XIII story through Rygdea and Yaag Rosch's perspectives.
The Steam version includes most of the DLC in its normal version, but some content that is DLC in the console versions is being omitted for licensing reasons, such as Noel's Assassin's Creed and Mass Effect-themed costumes. It was soon found that the assets for said costumes were still in the PC files and could be unlocked but a patch released 22nd December removed the assets, potentially breaking the save files of people who had unlocked the costumes.
Hints at a sequel to Final Fantasy XIII were first given when Square Enix stated they would be willing to create a direct sequel if the fans want it. They also said the first installment had enough cut content to fill a new game. Late 2010, in an interview from the Final Fantasy XIII Ultimania Omega, Motomu Toriyama proclaimed the idea to make a story where Lightning "ends up happy in the end." Furthermore, an autographed postcard was personally sent by Tetsuya Nomura to members of the Japanese Square Enix Members community, with an artwork of Lightning and a message saying "She must not be forgotten." Later, Square Enix registered the domain for the game. The game was officially announced at the "Square Enix 1st Production Department Premiere" event on January 18, 2011.
Toriyama has said in an interview with Famitsuthe main reason they decided to make a sequel is that there was demand throughout the world and because the development staff wanted to portray Lightning's character further, to give her a clear conclusion. This ended up not being the case, however, and Lightning's story was to be continued in the sequel Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII.
The development of the first Final Fantasy XIII game was problematic due to poor communication between different sectors of the development, as Final Fantasy XIII had a tremendously large production team. With Final Fantasy XIII-2 the team strove to change this by setting milestones and sharing content internally. Motomu Toriyama has said that Square Enix realized they needed to apply more Western technology and production techniques. Because Final Fantasy XIII was a large-scale project, the developers wanted to keep it secret, but this led to user testing happening too late in the process and a lot of feedback about things that needed fixing were decided to be included in Final Fantasy XIII-2. The team conducted user tests and used the feedback to make adjustments to the gameplay and this process was started about a year earlier than what was done with Final Fantasy XIII. Development went better for Final Fantasy XIII-2 than for its predecessor, but Toriyama still feels it could be improved, thinking they need to add more buffer time for player testing in the future.
Both PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 versions of the game only need one disc. In an interview, director Motomu Toriyama said that the game has the same amount of volume as Final Fantasy XIII and the reason they're able to fit the game in less space this time is that the event scenes are real time rather than prerendered.
In addition to the Square Enix staff, tri-Ace staff were involved with the development of Final Fantasy XIII-2, helping out on the game with aspects of game design, art and programming. Outsourcing development is something Square Enix is looking to do more in the future, based on the experiences of developing Final Fantasy XIII and Final Fantasy XIII-2. "We are also thinking that we will not do large-scale internal development any longer," Toriyama has commented. "We have a lot of great creators in Square Enix, but for larger-scale development we will be doing more distributed and outsourced development to reach our targets on time."
Following player feedback on the linear, story-driven gameplay of Final Fantasy XIII, Final Fantasy XIII-2 focuses on player-driven gameplay with a more open world that players can explore widely, triggering events as they find them. In all the different types of gameplay presented, the developers' goal has been to make the player the main focus and instigator, and the game design to promote the player progressing through the story rather than just passively watching. Toriyama compared this mindset to the differences between Final Fantasy X and Final Fantasy X-2 - the latter builds on the world and story of the former and thus can have a stronger focus on gameplay.
The developers believed that the Paradigm Shift system was well received by the players who understood the system. They considered that the best they could do in one game was to have players master the basics of the battle. From there, Director Motomu Toriyama felt they could allow greater flexibility and increase the strategic element, and thus they made the Paradigm Shift as the basis of the battle and had monsters join the party as allies.
Final Fantasy XIII-2 uses different types of art styles and art director Isamu Kamikokuryo has said that even with the world reduced close to ruin after the events of Final Fantasy XIII, he was careful in expressing the serious tone of the story and the world when compared to the first game's beautiful but manufactured setting. The developers wanted to go with a dark atmosphere and took inspiration from works of surrealism, such as the art of Salvador Dali and Giorgio de Chirico, which were used as references when determining the balance of how far the team should pursue a photo-like realism, or an unrealistic fantasy. Kamikokuryo further said that the character designs are built from the scenario and setting and the new designs for Lightning and Serah are reflected within the environments where they begin their journey.
There are instances where the line is blurred because these characters are not meant to be hyper-realistic and have a mysterious appeal to them. The characters were meant to be a mix between realism and fantasy. If the end product is distinct from other titles, we've succeeded.
Toriyama at first didn't want a direct sequel to Final Fantasy XIII and started with the idea of having Final Fantasy XIII-2 take place some 900 years after the first game. After creating the backstory of the 900 years, the team decided to make it a time-traveling story.
The story of Final Fantasy XIII included many mysterious elements that are central to the story and the game's universe; l'Cie, fal'Cie, and Ragnarok, to name a few. The developers found that many aspects of Final Fantasy XIII's story were not easily explained. Thus, in Final Fantasy XIII-2 the team wanted to employ a different story-telling style, whereas even if the basic elements of the Final Fantasy XIII universe continue to be present as the backdrop, the story of Final Fantasy XIII-2 centers around a time paradox, which the team thought to be a more familiar form of mystery.
The developers drew inspiration from one-shot TV dramas and opted for a plot structure where smaller pieces take place quickly one after another. The story of Final Fantasy XIII-2 is described as a glimpse of a more contemporary drama and to be easier to follow in comparison to Final Fantasy XIII.
In the FMV interviews section of Final Fantasy XIII-2 Ultimania Omega, the director of the ending FMV, Hiroshi Kamohara, points out that the "To be continued..." at the end is not supposed to mean "see you next time...", but more like "the story will continue in the next generation" and that was the non-Japanese staff that decided to phrase it like that; the makers of the FMV did not craft it with a sequel in mind. However, in another interview Yoshinori Kitase has said that the "To be continued..." was added pertaining to the Lightning DLC.
The original plan for the ending of Final Fantasy XIII-2 was for Lightning to sequentially defeat dark Eidolons akin to Twilight Odin, but since the story of needed to come to a close, it "ended up the way it did."
A Final Fantasy XIII-2 bundle was released in Japan on December 15th, 2011 with a black 320GB PlayStation 3 Slim with an image of Lightning. Square Enix also released two new books in Japan on the game's release date of December 15th. The first is a postcard book priced at ¥1,260 that has 24 CG illustrations featuring characters like Lightning, Serah, Noel, and Caius, as well as an eight-page character introduction. The second is a 232-page book priced at ¥1,470, titled FINAL FANTASY XIII-2 Fragments Before, which takes place immediately before the events of the game and contains several stories revolving around characters such as Serah, Snow, Noel, and Rygdea and Bartholomew Estheim. The game's story will be continued in FINAL FANTASY XIII-2 Fragments After.
Square Enix teamed up with Morinaga to promote Final Fantasy XIII-2 in Japan; Morinaga's popular Potelong snack featured for a limited time Final Fantasy XIII-2 themed packaging. To promote the game's release, AKB48 member, Yuko Oshima, was appointed the leader of a group of thirteen official test players and Square Enix often released videos of her and other test players playing the game.
Final Fantasy XIII-2 was re-released in Japan under Square Enix's "Ultimate Hits" label on July 18, 2013. Square Enix also re-released the game titled Final Fantasy XIII-2 Digital Contents Selection that included the majority of the game's DLC. It was released on July 18, 2013 for 5,040 yen. The game was also released digitally for both PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. A DLC bundle containing the same DLC included in the "Digital Contents Selection" release was also released for download on the PlayStation Store and the Xbox Live Marketplace.
The DLC bundle includes all six Coliseum fights (Omega, PuPu, Gilgamesh, Ultros and Typhon, Lightning and Lieutenant Amodar, and Jihl Nabaat), Serah's White Mage, Summoner and Beachwear outfits, Noel's Black Mage, Battle Attire and Spacetime Guardian outfits, Mog's Wondrous Wardrobe outfits, Serah's Genji Bow, Noel's Catastrophe Blade and Muramasa, and the three bonus episodes for Lightning, Sazh and Snow.
North American releaseEdit
The North American collector's edition, sold for $79.99 was available in limited quantities at GameStop, Amazon and Best Buy, and included:
- Packaging featuring artwork by Yoshitaka Amano.
- The 4-disc Original Soundtrack. Although this excludes both "Yakusoku no Basho" and "New World", it includes a bonus track on Disc 4, the "Secret Track" that plays as the background to the DLC coliseum.
- A collection of concept artwork containing "a variety of never-before-seen illustrations, environments and more".
These retailers also had their own pre-order bonus: GameStop had the alternate costume named "Summoner's Garb" available for Serah (with PowerUp Rewards members also receiving a Genji Bow for her); Amazon had Omega as a Coliseum boss and Best Buy had a hardcover book entitled "FINAL FANTASY XIII -Episode i-", a story written by Jun Eishima that ties together the events between the predecessor and the game.
Ultimate Prize winners of the Word to Your Moogle tour received a pink and white PlayStation 3 or Xbox 360 featuring Mog.
European and Australian releaseEdit
Europe and Australia had three different editions of Final Fantasy XIII-2 available to purchase. The "Limited Collector’s Edition", with recommended retail price of £59,99/68€, includes the game; a composer selected soundtrack CD, an artbook, six postcards featuring CG artwork of Caius, Hope, Lightning, Noel, Serah and Snow and a high definition lenticular art print of Lightning.
The Crystal Edition, with recommended retail price of £79,99/91€, includes all of the items above, although the composer selected soundtrack is replaced with the 4-disc Final Fantasy XIII-2 Original Soundtrack (this soundtrack will include all background music from the game as well as the "Secret Track" from the DLC Coliseum, but not the theme song "New World"). Also included is a T-shirt from the Square Enix Products range that is not be available for purchase elsewhere. The Crystal Edition was strictly limited edition and is packaged in a presentation box.
The Nordic Edition includes the game and two additional downloadable pieces of content; the "Fight In Style" pack which includes the "Summoner's Garb" alternate costume for Serah and the "Battle Attire" alternate costume for Noel as well as the recruitable monster battle with Omega and the second downloadable bonus is the Muramasa weapon for Noel, which increases the ATB Gauge charge rate.
Preorder bonuses for Europe and Australia were available for customers preordering from certain retail outlets.
The preorder extras include:
- An exclusive steelbook case from steelbook.com, the downloadable content "Fight In Style" pack, which contains a boss battle with the recruitable monster Omega and the alternate costume "Summoner's Garb" for Serah and the alternate costume "Battle Attire" for Noel, Final Fantasy XIII -Episode i- which is a paperback novella that fills the gaps between Final Fantasy XIII and Final Fantasy XIII-2 and three lithograph artcards of official promotional posters. Available from GAME UK.
- A code which allows the buyer to obtain the unique downloadable weapon Muramasa for Noel, which increases the ATB Gauge charge rate. Available from Amazon.co.uk.
Multiple Asian editions of Final Fantasy XIII-2 for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 have been released. Asian Japanese versions (Japanese voice and texts) for both consoles released On December 15, 2011 and all other versions were released on January 31, 2012 for Asian regions (Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore and Malaysia, etc). Like its predecessor, the version features Japanese voice overs and both Chinese and English subtitles are available. Bundled and limited versions are also available.
- PS3 Japanese Version (Japanese Voice & Subtitles)
- PS3 English Version (English Voice & Subtitles) (8 post cards included for pre-order bonus)
- PS3 Chinese + English Version (Japanese Voice, Chinese/English Subtitles) (8 post cards included for pre-order bonus)
- PS3 Chinese + English PS3 Bundle Version (Japanese Voice, Chinese/English Subtitles), which includes the game disc and:
- PS3 FINAL FANTASY XIII-2 LIGHTNING EDITION Ver.2 Console
- 2 DLC codes for Serah's Outfit: Summoner's Garb and Noel's Outfit: Battle Attire (first print limited offer)
- A mini clear poster (randomly given out of 8 designs)
- 1-disc Original Soundtrack -SPECIAL Package- (selected tracks)
- 8 post cards (pre-order bonus)
- Xbox360 Japanese Version (Japanese Voice & Subtitles)
- Xbox360 Chinese + English Version (Japanese Voice, Chinese/English Subtitles), which includes the game disc and:
- A table calendar
- 2 DLC codes for Serah's Outfit: Summoner's Garb and Noel's Outfit: Battle Attire (first print limited offer)
- X360 Chinese + English Version Limited Edition (Japanese Voice, Chinese/English Subtitles), which includes the game disc and:
- A table calendar
- 1 mini clear poster (randomly given out of 8 designs)
- 1-disc Original Soundtrack -SPECIAL Package- (selected tracks)
- 8 post cards
In September 2012 a Dual Pack including both Final Fantasy XIII and Final Fantasy XIII-2 was released in Asian regions.
PlayStation Network releasesEdit
On June 11, 2013, Final Fantasy XIII-2 became available on North American and European PlayStation Network, along with the DLC bundle pack. The Japanese PlayStation Network also released the game on July 16, 2013.
The game was available on December 11, 2014, including a range of the downloadable content from the original console versions, plus the choice for either English or Japanese voiceovers (Japanese voiceovers only for Asian version, with English subtitle), 60 frames-per-second graphics and customizeable rendering resolution (720p, 1080p, and more).
|OS||Windows® XP SP2 or later||Windows® Vista/ 7/ 8|
|Processor||2GHz Dual Core CPU||Intel® Core™ 2 Quad (2.66 GHz)/ AMD Phenom™ II X4 (2.8 GHz) processor|
|Memory||1.5 GB RAM||2 GB RAM|
|Graphics||NVIDIA® Geforce® 8 Series/ ATI Radeon™ HD 4000 series VRAM 256MB or later||NVIDIA® Geforce® GTX™ 460/ ATI Radeon™ HD 5870|
|Hard Drive||17.8 GB available space||17.8 GB available space|
|Sound Card||Sound card compatible with DirectX® 9.0c||Sound card compatible with DirectX® 11|
|DirectX||Version 9.0c||Version 11|
Steam Trading CardsEdit
6 Trading Cards are available on Steam.
iOS and AndroidEdit
Final Fantasy XIII-2 is available on iOS and Android systems in Japan using cloud technology streamed to one's device with the controls optimized for the touch screen. The game has a 30-minute free demo.
Sales and receptionEdit
During its first week of release in Japan, Final Fantasy XIII-2 sold 524,000 copies with the PlayStation 3 version topping the charts. The Xbox 360 sold far fewer copies due to the low number of Xbox 360 customers in Japan. First week sales in Japan were much poorer than for Final Fantasy XIII, which sold 1.5 million units in its first week. By the end of 2011, the game sold 697,146 units, becoming the fifth bestselling game from Japan in 2011.
Japanese magazine Famitsu gave the game a perfect 40 score with each of the four reviewers giving the game a 10. This marks Final Fantasy XIII-2 as the second Final Fantasy game to receive a perfect score from the said magazine, the first one being Final Fantasy XII. Dengeki gave the game an S score, the highest score in their scale.
Western reviewers are more critical of the game. It received an 8.0 from IGN. The reviewer commended the significant improvement it has over the original although criticized the progression of the story. He also noted that the characters didn't have clear motivations other than to save Lightning. Official Xbox Magazine gave the game a 9 out of 10 score. The magazine pointed out its improvement over Final Fantasy XIII in most aspects of the game especially the explorations.
Both PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 versions of the game received a 79/100 from Metacritic. This makes Final Fantasy XIII-2 the offline numbered Final Fantasy title with the lowest Metacritic score (not counting the remakes of Final Fantasy, Final Fantasy II and Final Fantasy III), lower than Final Fantasy XIII, which received an 83/100. In its 2012 RPG of the Year Awards, Game Informer awarded Final Fantasy XIII-2 with the awards for "Best Combat System" and "Best Villain: Caius."
The Steam rerelease of Final Fantasy XIII-2 received far better reception at the time of its release as opposed to Final Fantasy XIII, the players' favor being 77%, due to the inclusion of graphic options which were initially unavailable in the port of Final Fantasy XIII.
As of May 2016, the Microsoft Windows version sold over 340,000 units on Steam.
|Lead Scenario Writer||Daisuke Watanabe|
|Art Director||Isamu Kamikokuryo|
|Main Character Design* Playable Character Faces||Tetsuya Nomura|
|Sub-Character Design* Playable Character Costumes and Non-Playable Characters||Isamu Kamikokuryo, Nao Ikeda, Yusuke Naora, Hideo Minaba|
|Image Illustrator and Title Logo Designer||Yoshitaka Amano|
|Battle System Supervisor||Yuji Abe|
|Battle System Director||Yusuke Matsui|
|Composers||Masashi Hamauzu, Mitsuto Suzuki, Naoshi Mizuta|
- Additional voices (English version)
Andrew Kishino, Anna Vocino, Annie Mumolo, April Stewart, Benjamin Diskin, Cam Clarke, Candi Milo, Charlie Adler, Chris Cox, Chris Parson, Christy Carlson Romano, Colleen O'Shaughnessey, Daisy Tormé, David Boat, Debi Derryberry, Dwight Schultz, Eden Riegel, Eliza Jane Schneider, Gideon Emery, Grant George, Gregg Berger, Hedy Burress, Henry Dittman, Hope Levy, Hynden Walch, Jamieson Price, Janice Kawaye, Jason Spisak, Jessica DiCicco, Jim Meskimen, Joe Cappelletti, John DeMita, Jon Curry, Julia Fletcher, Kari Wahlgren, Keith Ferguson, Keith Silverstein, Kim Mai Guest, Kirk Thornton, Kyle Hebert, Laura Napoli, Marc Worden, Masasa Moyo, Matt King, Megan Hollingshead, Michael Sinterniklaas, Michael Sorich, Michelle Ruff, Mikey Kelley, Neil Kaplan, Nick Jameson, Nika Futterman, Patrick Seitz, Phil Proctor, Quinton Flynn, Robbie Rist, Robin Becker, Roger Craig Smith, Sam Riegel, Scott Menville, Stephanie Sheh, Steve Staley, Steve Van Wormer, Tish Hicks, Travis Willingham, Vanessa Marshall, Vic Mignogna, Wally Wingert, Wendee Lee, Yuri Lowenthal, Zeus Mendoza
Final Fantasy XIII-2 makes callbacks to Final Fantasy XIII and to the rest of the Fabula Nova Crystallis mythos, as well as to other Final Fantasy games, pop culture, and the numbers 13 and 2, among others.
- The object in the bottom-left of the in-battle HUD resembles the early Overclock concept seen in Final Fantasy XIII's E3 2006 trailer.
- The moogles in Final Fantasy XIII-2 are different than the ones seen in the original game because another artist, Toshitaka Matsuda, was chosen to design them for this title.
- Despite prominently featuring a moogle, the "Moogle Theme" is not present in the game.
- The idea of monsters fighting in the player's party was previously used in International Version of Final Fantasy X-2 where monsters can be recruited and used in battle with its "Creature Creator" system.
- Final Fantasy XIII-2 is the second game in the series to have two sisters as playable characters, the first being Final Fantasy V.
- Final Fantasy XIII-2 is the sixth game in the series to involve time travel as a major plot element, after Final Fantasy, Final Fantasy VIII, Final Fantasy XI, Final Fantasy Tactics A2: Grimoire of the Rift, and Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy.
- Final Fantasy XIII-2 is similar to the logo of Final Fantasy X-2 by having the game's number in larger size ("FINAL FANTASY X-2" and "FINAL FANTASY XIII-2") and having single-colored characters in battle poses. According to an interview with Isamu Kamikokuryo about the art direction, the colors pink and purple came up a lot, and consequently, they are the colors in the logo.
- The icon that indicates the party leader resembles the one from Final Fantasy XII.
- Final Fantasy XIII-2's North American release date is on the same day and month that Final Fantasy VII was released for the first time in Japan.
- The male cast and Lightning from Final Fantasy XIII-2 modelled Prada's 2012 spring/summer meanswear collection in a "photo shoot."
- Final Fantasy XIII-2 Allusions
- Final Fantasy XIII-2 Concept Art
- Final Fantasy XIII-2 Translations
- Final Fantasy XIII-2 Version Differences
- Final Fantasy XIII-2 Wallpapers
- ↑ http://www.siliconera.com/2014/09/08/square-enix-bringing-final-fantasy-xiii-smartphones-via-streaming/
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 https://member.eu.square-enix.com/en/blogs/final-fantasy-xiii-2-mini-interview-focuses-story
- ↑ http://www.1up.com/news/final-fantasy-xiii-2-darker-freer
- ↑ http://www.finalfantasy.net/xiii-2/final-fantasy-xiii2-ost-dec-14/
- ↑ http://finalfantasyxiii2.wordpress.com/2011/10/19/square-enix-reveals-final-fantasy-xiii-2-nordic-edition-and-special-editions/
- ↑ http://blog.us.playstation.com/2011/12/16/final-fantasy-xiii-2-qa-a-time-traveling-sequel-to-surpass-the-original/
- ↑ Andriasang
- ↑ IGN
- ↑ FFXIII Producer Wants a Sequel, Escapist
- ↑ Andriasang
- ↑ 11.0 11.1 11.2 http://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/173093/Square_Enix_to_avoid_largescale_internal_development_after_Final_Fantasy_XIII2.php?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+GamasutraNews+%2
- ↑ http://www.gameinformer.com/games/final_fantasy_xiii-2/b/ps3/archive/2011/11/23/creators-talk-time-travel-sequel-development-amp-more.aspx
- ↑ http://andriasang.com/comy9w/
- ↑ http://www.siliconera.com/2011/12/18/tri-ace-helped-out-with-final-fantasy-xiii-2/
- ↑ http://finalfantasyxiii2.wordpress.com/2011/08/11/exclusive-motomu-toriyama-interview/
- ↑ http://www.andriasang.com/e/blog/2011/06/09/ffxiii_2_team_interview/
- ↑ Where Final Fantasy Went Wrong, and How Square Enix is Putting It Right (Accessed: UnknownError: See this for how to archive.) at US Gamer
- ↑ 18.0 18.1 18.2 http://uk.gamespot.com/news/final-fantasy-xiii-2-roundtable-art-and-music-6345473
- ↑ http://finalfantasy.com.br/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1075
- ↑ Final Fantasy XIII-2 Ultimania Omega Scenario Interview with Toriyama and Watanabe
- ↑ Final Fantasy XIII-2 Ultimania Omega Developer Interview (Accessed: August 03, 2019) at Nova Crystallis
- ↑ Final Fantasy XIII-2 Judge 13
- ↑ http://gematsu.com/2011/11/final-fantasy-xiii-2-collectors-edition-announced
- ↑ http://finalfantasyxiii2.wordpress.com/2011/10/19/square-enix-reveals-final-fantasy-xiii-2-nordic-edition-and-special-editions
- ↑ http://asia.playstation.com/hk/en/news/pressDetail/255660
- ↑ http://asia.playstation.com/sg/en/news/pressDetail/257890
- ↑ http://asia.playstation.com/tw/cht/news/pressDetail/254740
- ↑ http://asia.gamespot.com/news/namco-bandai-to-distribute-xbox-360-final-fantasy-xiii-2-in-asia-6339843
- ↑ http://xboxlife.tw/show.php?fid=2&tid=2294
- ↑ http://asia.playstation.com/hk/en/game/gameDetail/254390
- ↑ http://marketplace.xbox.com/en-HK/Product/FINAL-FANTASY-XIII-2/66acd000-77fe-1000-9115-d80253510806
- ↑ http://www.siliconera.com/2014/09/18/yes-final-fantasy-xiii-trilogy-coming-pc/
- ↑ http://store.steampowered.com/app/292140/
- ↑ Final Fantasy XIII-2 Launches on iOS (Accessed: UnknownError: See this for how to archive.) at Square Portal
- ↑ http://andriasang.com/comzh1/ffxiii2_sellthrough/
- ↑ http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/interest/2012-01-06/japanese-video-game-market-down-8-percent-in-2011
- ↑ http://gematsu.com/2011/12/final-fantasy-xiii-2-scores-perfect-in-dengeki-sazh-teased-as-downloadable-content
- ↑ http://ps3.ign.com/articles/121/1217386p1.html
- ↑ http://www.crashtodesktop.co.uk/2012/01/oxm-us-ffxiii-2-feels-like-what-that.html
- ↑ http://www.gameinformer.com/b/features/archive/2012/12/25/2012-rpg-of-the-year-awards.aspx
- ↑ http://steamspy.com/app/292140
- ↑ Interview with Yoshinori Kitase and Motomu Toriyama, p200, April 12, 2012 issue of Weekly Famitsu