PlayStation Interview – FFXIII-2

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Final Fantasy XIII-2 for PS3

This week, Final Fantasy XIII-2 for PS3 is hitting stores across Japan with critical praise, garnering perfect scores from respected gaming magazines Famitsu and Dengeki PlayStation. Granted, the original FFXIII is the best-selling PS3 title in Japan by a wide margin, but this direct sequel isn’t resting on the laurels of its predecessor. For starters, it will offer a dynamic narrative, addressing one of the main complaints about FFXIII – linearity. The new game also has a darker and more serious tone, in line with the conclusion of the previous game, putting the glitter and glam of FFX-2.
When FFXIII-2 reaches stores in February, making it the fastest localization cycle among numbered episodes of the franchise – it will also deliver an improved combat system, an area full of mini games, branched dialogue trees with NPCs, and even multiple endings based on your time-travelling journey. To learn more about how Square Enix plans to “exceed Final Fantasy XIII in every aspect,” we reached out to Motomu Toriyama, who is reprising his role as director for Final Fantasy XIII-2. Read on for more details about Serah’s quest to find out what happened to her sister Lightning.

PlayStation.Blog: Of course, the Final Fantasy series was always known for its rich storylines, but Final Fantasy XIII had an unusually heavy focus on a linear narrative. Does Final Fantasy XIII-2 offer more opportunities for players to stray from the main narrative path this time?
Motomu Toriyama, Director, Final Fantasy XIII-2: In Final Fantasy XIII, our concept was to be story-driven and so the game had a very linear development. In XIII-2, we changed the concept to being player-driven and so we’ve prepared story options based on the area and time period the player chooses with plenty of side quests. We have changed it so that the player can enjoy just the main story, or progress in the game while straying from the main narrative path.
PSB: Square Enix typically does not utilize play testing for its Final Fantasy titles during development, but FFXIII-2 is reportedly incorporating user feedback from focus groups into its development process. How has this improved the game? Did users pinpoint any particular issues you did not expect?
Toriyama-san: During the development stage, we conducted numerous play testing and focus group interviews in Japan, North America, and Europe. By incorporating user feedback before the game was complete, we were able to analyze the level of completion objectively, which in turn polished not only the UI but the gameplay elements as a whole. In terms of elements that the users found positive, the audience enjoyed the Cinematic Action, which is one of the action elements, and the Japanese audience liked the Live Trigger, which gives choices in dialogue. It was a great experience for us, and it let us know what the different sensibilities are between users of the different countries.

Final Fantasy XIII-2 for PS3

PSB: Final Fantasy XIII-2 will feature time travel elements and multiple endings. Will it work in a similar way to Chrono Trigger? How many different endings will we have?
Toriyama-san: We have introduced a new system called “Historia Crux”, which is a portal menu that allows time travel. To best describe it, it’s as if you’re browsing videos on YouTube to get a preview of one part of the story, then the game progresses when you choose which time and area to go to next. It’s a system that’s geared towards busy adult users of this age. Plus, if you want to go back to work on a particular part of the game, you can always rewind the time of that area and try again as many times as you like. It’s designed to be an RPG style of the new generation, different from that of “Chrono Trigger.” We hope you enjoy your journey with this interface with which you can freely travel through history. In terms of how many different endings we will have, I recommend playing the game and checking it out on your own.
PSB: Considering the different phases of its development process, Final Fantasy XIII took more than five years to be concluded. Now, this sequel comes about two years after the original. What contributed to speed up the development process?
Toriyama-san: In the previous installment, we had to start with developing a new engine intended for a next-generation console from scratch, that’s why it took so much time. In this installment, the foundation engine is that of XIII, and so we were able to devote more time to development of the new game, which in turn shortened the development period. Of course, since we were able to use our time to build the game, we were able to make the game better than the previous installment.
PSB: Although there were plans for DLC in the original Final Fantasy XIII, these plans were eventually put on hold. Are you considering DLC for Final Fantasy XIII-2?
Toriyama-san: We were aiming for the previous installment to be in its ultimate form as a packaged software, so DLC in the form of later additions didn’t come to fruition. For this installment, we have designed and planned for content including DLC that would expand on the world of XIII-2 since the beginning of its development, and so I’m sure you will be able to continue playing the game long after its release. In terms of a lineup of specific DLC, please stand by for more information.

Final Fantasy XIII-2 for PS3Final Fantasy XIII-2 for PS3

PSB: Are there any special treats reserved for those who are holding on to their Final Fantasy XIII save files? Can you share any details on how that will work?
Toriyama-san: If you have any save files from XIII, they will be recognized upon the start of XIII-2, and you can get extras. Some of the bonuses include adornments for monsters that can be used in-game, and a bonus that can be obtained from the title screen. You don’t necessarily have to have save data of the finished game; you can still get something even if you’ve only played a little.
PSB: The most prominent Moogle from the series, Mog, makes a return as a companion to main character Serah. Can we expect more references to the series’ recurring elements?
Toriyama-san: We weren’t able to showcase the Moogle in XIII, and so in this installment we’ve made the Moogle much more prominent, like a mascot. The Chocobo will make its appearance throughout this installment as well, so if you’re a fan, I hope you look forward to it.
PSB: When will we finally be able to play Final Fantasy Versus XIII? You know, the game has been in development for eons. Do you have anything to share at this time? Anything!
Toriyama-san: First, please enjoy XIII-2 while you wait for additional information.

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  • it’s things like these that make me envy the Japanese so much

  • Obrigado, Fabio :)

  • PR lies, Toriyama-san. As usual.

  • Yup i already had my japanese copy of Final Fantasy XIII-2 3 weeks ago like i said its just like Final Fantasy XIII but with action button cut scenes abit lame game Final Fantasy XIII-2
    just wait everyone for Final Fantasy Versus XIII its totally amazing your think your playing Final Fantasy VII all over again.

  • you do know this is the EU blog right?

  • it´s not as linear as FFXIII cause i saw some overlayers off the maps but FFXIII whole universe is as boring as hell it´s more a game for girls then guys. and seeing as square alrdy tradmarkt the name FFXIII-3 i say milkage away.

  • I’m looking forward to it.
    FFXIII was a mixed opinion, but for me it was the first Final Fantasy I was able to get into and enjoy.
    I know that wasn’t the case for all.

  • So ‘2’ FF13 but still no PS3 Exclusive FF13 Versus yet? :-/
    (i say ‘PS3 Exclusive’ still hoping it will be)

  • how long before square Enix give a decent online addition. Not just online or just single player but both. They really are losing out as most decent RPGs now have online.
    IMO they should be going in the same direction as white knight chronicles.
    Ff xi was a joke but I still preferred that to ffxiii it was totally mind numbing and the end boss was a joke it was literally down luck to complete it.

  • @Carl-G
    FFXIIIversus is most likely not ps3 exclusive anymore Tetsuya Nomura really wanted the game to remain as a PS3 exclusive and while he’s really into the idea, Yoichi Wada is perusing a possibility of a multi-platform release.
    and if you been following square since launch off FFXIII you´ll know how hard square stock dropped like a rock and shareholders tried 2 get yoichi wada removed but somehow is he sucked his way through em for a last chance. i actually wished he got sacked useless CEO

  • I hope SE starts going backrupt soon and get back to their roots, they need a wakeup call and stop giving us hand me down westernised BS.

  • ok im going lay this down…
    if this game is NOT good im going to video myself snapping it in half and post it on youtube then…then im going to break my friends copy when he leaves the his room.
    Then im going to run down to GAME (i like gamestation) and see how many copies i can smash until the police arrive
    Then (yes theres more) i will (once released from incarseration) fly a blimp filled with copies off FFVII airdropping them across the enire uk. (you know what the l.e.d banner will say)
    Then with the remaining copies of FFVII i will individually wrap them in a note tied to a brick and lob then though each one of the (FFXIII-2) devs windows.then i will have a nice cup of tea… ok!

  • Motomu Toriyama, Director, Final Fantasy XIII-2:
    In Final Fantasy XIII, our concept was to be story-driven and so the game had a very linear development.
    so…what was FFVII? huh huh…? yeah Motomu Toriyama bow your head.
    i just thought GTA IV was character driven and that was FREEROAM seriously your excuses acually make me boil FFXIII WAS ABSOULTLY AWFUL, character driven pfffft pull the other one sunshine.
    i dont believe it one paragraph in and i want to punch the wall!
    still getting it though gotta find out for sure if it is a…..
    camp,linear,tinnie bopper,boring,dumb,un-original, gooie, slimy oozing,puss filled,rotting,smelly,eye stinging,wreching,pile of street throw up.(im talking sunday morning bus station city centre type throw up) lo

  • wow i feel much better now hope some of you enjoyed my rant(s) for those that didn’t…
    if anything at least im passionate and mildly entertaining to read. so get over youself! (in advance!)

  • I still think FFVI was the last game of the series that had any real charm. The only thing these games have excelled in since is terrible hairstyles.

  • Haaha is that snow at the top picture wow I see why he keeps his hat on anyone got any advice on beating Odin in the first one

  • Chrono Cross, or bust :(

  • FF7 for PS3 thats the best game ever FF 13-2 = FF 10-2

  • Answer to the picture saying is he dreamin’ again
    Nope your not they really did make a sequel to a really bad game.

  • dgnfly Wrote;FFXIIIversus is most likely not ps3 exclusive anymore Tetsuya Nomura really wanted the game to remain as a PS3 exclusive and while he’s really into the idea, Yoichi Wada is perusing a possibility of a multi-platform release
    Your information totally wrong as Final Fantasy Versus XIII will only be exclusive to Playstation 4

  • @Immortal-Wolf-
    could you troll somewhere else they haven´t announced it yet for ps4 it´s just rumor and speculation.

  • I ain’t playing any multiplat Final Fantasy game. I plated FF13 but I also hate FF13 with a passion. It doesn’t feel like a Final Fantasy game to me and I was a Franchise fan from FF7 up. Even FF10-2 was better than FF13.
    FF13-2 looks just as bad as FF13 and this decade long wait for FF Verses 13 isn’t doing it any favours. In fact when Square Enix finally do announce FFV13 as a Multiplat title then thats gonna be the final nail in the coffin for me and I won’t support this Company thats a former shadow of the once great Square Soft anymore.
    2 PS3 titles we’ve seen from this company this gen, Star ocean that was originally an Xbox Exclusive and FF13. Seriously the people who say JRPGs have fallen off are the people who are thinking of Square Enix. The only reason this company did well was because of Sonys support during PS1 and PS2 days. Now look at the company.

  • Just realised the guy with the weird hair was Snow. :O

  • When will we finally be able to play Final Fantasy Versus XIII? You know, the game has been in development for eons. Do you have anything to share at this time? Anything!
    first, please enjoy XIII-2 while you wait for additional information.
    (@#$%^&^$@@#$^&*&^%$@!@@@%*(*&) my blood is boiling. also dont plead with me to enjoy you game i will probably hate it like i hate your whole company the last 5 years oh like that guy said go bankrupt already so we get another FFVII you bunch of time wasters 5 years wait for dissapointment you idiots

  • @Andrefpvs
    if you insist on using japanese get it right its ARIGATO!(thank you very much) not Obrigado

  • wait…. why are people saying 10-2 was a bad game??? it was better (by many many miles) than 10, which has the honor of being the only FF game (from gameboy versions to ps3 versions) that i never completed…. anyway, i enjoyed FF13 and found the storyline to be engaging, yeah it was linear but meh, a few minigames etc etc dont make a good game, all the FF have been linear, the storylines have certain “triggers” built in so that you have to do things in a certain order, sure in 7 you could (eventually) go play in the Gold Saucer, and 8 had that card game that i loved, but the games themselves were linear????? (or am i just being REALLY dumb and missing the point totally?)

  • @ SalmonCannon
    yes you are being dumb and have totally missed the point. the dev says in his interview and i quote (again!)
    Motomu Toriyama, Director, Final Fantasy XIII-2:
    In Final Fantasy XIII, our concept was to be story-driven and so the game had a very linear development.
    why would that be the case if FFVII to FFXII was already linear which by the way isn’t at all i know i have played them all intensely devoting hundreds of hours to them and FFXIII was a bitter, bitter dissapointment.

  • @dgnfly
    Could you Troll somewhere else they have announced it in Tokyo Japan at exclusive Sony playstation building about playstation 4 but europe & america playstation 4 announcement will be in 2012 at E3 EXPO. What i say is 100% legitimate.

  • @RedeyedRonin
    The extreme way to get to the point about Final Fantasy i agree as your statement proves your a True Final Fantasy fan like me.
    Best CGI film ever created is Final Fantasy Advent Children Complete on Blu ray Sold 78 million copies world wide.

  • @Immortal-Wolf-
    Remember our talk about facts and evidence?
    Where’s your evidence?

  • SE can just burn for all I care. I’m done with that company.

  • @Player42791
    don´t bother with that idiot.

  • see Ronin i think your wrong but im not going to argue on here, games are ALL about personal opinions, i have liked every FF game other than 10, you didnt like 13 (12 was a great game though i hope you will agree)…..

  • here my 2 pence, i played every FF game series i still got the discs to prove it the word “linear” means to me, if you can’t go to towns or word map & devs force us to go just ahead in a line with-out detours.
    that’s linear FF 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 are not liner because you can go everyway go to a different town not the town that you should go to trigger the story on.
    10 & 10-2 i still like them both these are liner too.
    12 was good took a different path i can see why ppl dont like FF13 & ff13-2 even though we haven’t played it yet because SE did something new monsters on screen & bye bye turn based battle.
    ff12 was not liner because it had a world map so you could go eslewhere & not trigger a story.
    in FF13 we always force to trigger the story on.
    i remember in FF7 i had to go off the story & go somewhere to breed golden chocobos then find a island that not on the map for KOTR item & try find mine “minic” get those you KICK [Deleted] those weapons. :)

  • “I hope SE starts going backrupt soon and get back to their roots, they need a wakeup call and stop giving us hand me down [westernised] [Deleted].”
    that the other reason that ppl didn’t like FF13 you got it spot on.
    take skyrm & Fallout etc these are western RPG’s while skyrm may be awsome for some like a hole in a head.
    sure it awsome it got some awsome bugs yip bugs a broken game & a patch to fix it make it more broken.
    no SE should go back to it’s roots JRPG’s

  • No major changes to the battle system? FAIL. Mashing X is no fun.
    FFX had it just right, how did it go so wrong after that? Oh right, Enix…

  • @Bovrillor
    lol thats just reminded me of the combat in this game lol. The combat took no skill what so ever and I actually remember every time a battle started I would just press X over and over again while typing messages and browsing the internet on my laptop. The paragon shifts sucked and its was a huge let down.

  • Bovrillor Wrote: FFX had it just right, how did it go so wrong after that? Oh right, Enix…
    Well almost correct @Bovrillor its mostly the teams in Square Enix as didn’t cast are put into different protects as FF VII designer cast are not in FFXIII or FFXIII-2 as FF VII are working on FF Versus XIII and they did FF VII Crisis Core, FF Type 0 there the Square Enix designer cast game you wanna buy like Tomb Raider by Square Enix there same designers as FF VII series as FF XIII, FFXIII-2 are done by a NOOB Square Enix designers understand what i said.

  • If you don’t see a Blood slashing effect in a Square Enix game do no buy it all Blood slashing effects on body blade with violence so high a must buy as Tomb Raider must buy but don’t buy FFXIII-2 no blood effects as FF Blood slashing is the real makers of Square Soft not Square Enix

  • I enjoyed FFXIII , not the best (FF6) but still good.
    Got FFXIII-2 on pre-order can’t wait to play it.
    Any news on FFX HD ? anyone

  • Final Fantasy VII, VIII, IX, X & X-2 were fantastic for me!
    I prefer the turn-based actions, than the new system!
    VII materia slots were a great addition.
    I like the mini games in VII & the card battles in VIII & the Coin game within IX!
    X-2 had a great battle system, but put alot of people off due to the female characters. I thought it was great & i’m glad they made it. I just hope that X-2 will receive the HD treatment to go with X!
    I never played XII so I hope that gets released in HD too!
    XIII was the worst one imo & didn’t like the battle system at all, as it felt like I was managing it & not controlling it fully. A bit like Footbal Manager if that makes sense? ;)
    Glad to hear Versus has the turn-based battle system back :)

  • Quote: Apparently, the long-in-development Fabula Nova Crystallis game’s lighting has been overhauled with some help from Square Enix’ Luminous Engine, while Versus XIII’s action is handled by another, unique engine.
    More excitingly, Nomura said that he recently ran through the game’s entire world map, as well as its dungeons/side quests, and he’s “impressed with how expansive everything is.”
    This is good news, as FF Versus XIII sounds like it’s going back to it’s much loved roots :)
    So the game is already completed, but is having an overhaul!
    Hurry up & release it already. Why did you even bother with XIII-2 anyway?
    Hopefully the Final Fantasy PS1 titles within the store, will have a SALE soon ;)
    Take Care peeps!

  • He could have told us something about FF versus XIII, man i want that game so badly!

  • The game feels old, looks old and sounds old- I´m done with the Japanese games. Go Skyrim and The Witcher 2.

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