It’s been awhile since we had new Final Fantasy XIII-2 news, the latest was a batch of gameplay screenshots, but the game has finally been dated, with first trailer releasing at TGS. Game director, Motomu Toriyama also delivered some answers regarding the game’s new gameplay feature, Historia Crux, and some screenshots of what the title will look like.
Square Enix has confirmed that Final Fantasy XIII-2 will be released in Japan on December 15th, with North America getting a later release date of January 31st – and lastly European version will arrive on February 3rd. Not only have the dates for the game been confirmed but news of a hardware bundle were also announced. Square Enix will release a 320GB PlayStation 3 bundle – with the console mainly decked-out in black and pink. The hardware will feature a picture of Lightning, the main protagonist, on the side and set back Final Fantasy fans back 37,960 yen.
Check out the trailer for Final Fantasy XIII-2 below:
Along with the trailer and screenshots Square Enix has also provided a Q&A with game director, Motomu Toriyama regarding the new gameplay feature, Historia Crux – an addition that was not yet playable during our hands-on time with title at E3 2011.
The Historia Crux is a new gameplay feature being introduced into Final Fantasy XIII-2 and will act sort of like compass for time travel. When asked how the Historia Crux will work game Toriyama stated, “The player can enjoy travelling through time by freely, choosing between all the time-space locations where gates have been opened up.”
Essentially, when players arrive at a portal that allows them to select different areas and times, the Historia Crux will become like a “home menu.” Along with going into the future players can also go back in time and “experience many different historical possibilities.” With the Historia Crux the player will have the ability to effect the future depending on actions in the past. This is key to story progression in the game and will, of course, play a role in which ending players receive. The Historia Crux will lead players down different paths depending on the choices they make throughout the game including the ability to rewind time after a player completes a side missions – in order to see all the different outcomes of their actions.
Check out the Final Fantasy screenshots below for another sneak peek at the Historia Crux in action:
The Historia Crux could sound off-putting to casual RPG fans but Toriyama has assured us that it is geared towards both casual players and hardcore fans of the series. Casual players will be able to use the Historia Crux sparingly in order to check out different locations, and times, if they want but hardcore players can use the feature to explore an exhaustive set of locations set in different times, future and past. Doing so will allow players to discover and unlock secrets – such as the previously mentioned variety of endings (depending on actions throughout the game). Toriyama also noted that level and equipment carry through time and space – making for an interesting new twist to the gameplay.
After the cry from fans who were upset about Final Fantasy 13‘s linear map and lack of exploration, Toriyama believes the Historia Crux will easily make-up for the negative feelings. Though according to the game director, the exploration is not mandatory – and players could simply progress through the core story.
As an added bonus, we’ve also include the latest trailer for the upcoming PSP game Final Fantasy Type-O (though, the video is mirrored – as a result of the developer’s original feed):
Final Fantasy XIII-2 is scheduled to be released for PS3 and Xbox 360 on January 31st, 2012.