Final Fantasy XIII-2 is one of the best role-playing games of the year (read our review), but as anyone who has played all the way through it can attest, the ending explicitly sets the stage for a sequel. Just last week, it was reported that Square Enix is planning to make a Final Fantasy XIII related announcement at the upcoming Final Fantasy 25th Anniversary event taking place in Shibuya from August 31st to September 2nd.
Now more info on the announcement has come to light, and it’s clearer than ever that we haven’t heard the last of Serah, Noel and Lightning.
The “Final Fantasy XIII Lightning Saga: New Developments Presentation” is scheduled to take place on September 1st as part of the Anniversary Event — that much, we already knew. What we still don’t know is exactly what will be presented. It’s certainly feasible that the “Lightning Saga” refers to yet more Final Fantasy XIII-2 DLC that will address the game’s notorious cliffhanger ending, though it appears equally likely that a whole new game is set to be unveiled.
Speaking with Japanese games mag Famitsu, Final Fantasy XIII and XIII-2 producer Yoshinori Kitase reveals that work on the project, whatever it is, has “just begun,” and that the official title will be revealed during the presentation. Yes, it sounds very much like the long rumored Final Fantasy XIII-3 is about to be confirmed — but how long will we have to wait to play it?
Square Enix’s Fabula Nova Crystallis: Final Fantasy project has already expanded beyond its initial scope with the addition of Final Fantasy XIII-2. Final Fantasy XIII-3 would swell the project’s number to a total of five games (unless the “Lightning Saga” is now considered a separate entity — a semantic concern, to be sure, but an interesting one). At issue is that one of those game, Final Fantasy Versus XIII, is still nowhere in sight.
Recent rumors pegged Versus as having been cancelled, though Square Enix CEO Yoichi Wada insists it is still in development. Whatever the case, Versus currently stands at six years in the making. Assuming that the game is, in fact, still on schedule to be released sometime before the next console generation dawns, what room does that leave for XIII-3?
Final Fantasy XIII-2 made use of assets from its predecessor, and thanks to the Historia Crux (which, without giving anything away, will have to appear in the sequel, won’t it?) there is every reason to assume that the same will be true of XIII-3. If that’s the case, then XIII-3 flat-out has to appear on current gen consoles — though, given that work has only “just begun,” it’s worth asking whether there is enough time left in this generation to develop another full length Final Fantasy game.
On the other hand, Versus has always been slated for this generation, and it’s hard to believe that after six years of (apparent) work, development would suddenly be shifted to Xbox 720 and PS4 (no matter how good Square Enix’s Luminous Engine turns out to be). Keeping in mind that PS3 owners also have Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn to look forward to, just how many Final Fantasy games is Square Enix prepared to deliver in the next eighteen months?
Personally, I think it’s just too many games in too short a time. My guess? We get Final Fantasy XIII-3 or Final Fantasy Versus XIII — not both. Either way, we find out one month from today. Mark your calendars.
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