5th September 2011 - The latest title in Square-Enix's long-running video game series, Final Fantasy, has entered the public consciousness, courtesy of a two minute trailer shown at the Penny Arcade Expo (PAX) event, earlier this month. The ludicrously titled, Final Fantasy XIII-2, will be released on Xbox 360 and Playstation 3, in January 2012.
Final Fantasy XIII-2 takes place in much the same setting as its predecessor, the world of Gran Pulse. However, whereas the plot of XIII followed the protagonist, Lightning, and her nigh-incomprehensible adventures, XIII-2 will focus on Serah Farron, the younger sibling of Lightning, and a new, male character named Noel Kreiss. Three years will have passed between the end of XIII, and the beginning of the new game.
The game's storyline is rather more difficult to discern, at present. The PAX trailer featured a battle against monsters (which are falling from the sky), interrupted by a gigantic, disembodied hand – the writers are, ostensibly, leaning heavily on abstract elements, in a bid to reinvigorate the series; one of the most recent Final Fantasy titles, XIV, was very poorly received.
Notably, Lightning is entirely absent from the trailer – it is presumed, by both the characters featured in the trailer, and by the gaming press, that the girl with the pink hair has died, or has otherwise, gone missing. It, is therefore, feasible to assume that XIII-2's main quest will consist of the search for Lightning, and possibly, other characters from the original game, such as Snow.
XIII-2 promises yet another overhaul to Square-Enix's turn-based battle system, as well as adjustments to the manner in which random encounters with monsters are contested. The title is, hopefully, for the sake of mathematics, the last in the XIII saga. However, if digesting the back catalogue of Final Fantasy has left you feeling nauseous, a dose of comedy from Vic Reeves and Bob Mortimer might prove the panacea to your woes.
Article written by UK guest writer Sofie Olsen