While gamers in North America have to wait until the end of January 2012 for the chance to play Final Fantasy XIII-2, it releases in Japan next week. Just ahead of that momentous occasion, the game’s developers have dropped some new details on Final Fantasy XIII-2.

Additionally, Square Enix has released (yet another) new trailer, this time showing off the lovely environments players will explore. Finally, those who have long since written off the Final Fantasy series may want to give XIII-2 another look, if Famitsu is to be believed.

Speaking with Japan’s Dengeki PlayStation (translated by Andriasang), Final Fantasy XIII-2 producer Yoshinori Kitase and director Motomu Toriyama discuss what fans can expect from the new game. Players who spent some time with Final Fantasy XIII should be happy about what the two have to say.

Having any kind of Final Fantasy XIII save file at all, cleared or not, will boost players’ success rates in FFXIII-2’s casinos, and will grant access to “special monster decorations” (because you want your monsters to look nice, right?). There is an as-yet unspecified “title screen bonus,” as well.

Meanwhile, players who avoided FFXIII still have reasons to look forward to the new game. The big draw here is unquestionably the New Game Plus option that will become available after beating Final Fantasy XIII-2. Some items in the game (including more “monster decorations”) will only be available during a second playthrough.

To make sure that players don’t lose any progress along the way, the game will include both an auto save and a “save anywhere” option. Time-constrained gamers should be pleased to learn that FFIII-2’s episodes max out at about three hours, and updates about the planned bi-monthly DLC will be accessible from within the game world. Furthermore (and this is a mild spoiler), Odin, one of the game’s first bosses, can be made into an ally monster.

Now, while all that news sinks in, check out the latest Final Fantasy XIII-2 trailer, focused on the game’s environments. For a slightly more action-packed look at the game, check out the enhanced battle system trailer.

While Final Fantasy XIII was a disappointment for many players, Square Enix has long promised that Final Fantasy XIII-2 would be better. Apparently the company has made good on that promise. Famitsu gave the game a perfect score, making FFXIII-2 the third game this year (after Skyrim and Skyward Sword) to receive the honor. Will the game fare as well when it reaches these shores? What do you think?

Final Fantasy XIII-2 releases January 31, 2012, for the PS3 and Xbox 360.

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Source: Andriasang, Lens of Truth

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