hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII
 BLOG ABOUT THIS

Lightning Returns at TGS: Open worlds, cool costumes

8:15 PM on 09.20.2013 // Dale North
  @DaleNorth

Final Fantasy: Lighting Returns' best showing yet

I like Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII. I dug it from our very first hands-on preview, and I'm now I'm digging it even more after playing the new Tokyo Game Show floor demo.

Some felt that the first preview was a bit linear. Linear is a scary word after seeing how players reacted to the first Final Fantasy XIII game. But this new gameplay show here was totally open and free to explore. Oh, and I saved a chocobo's life. That's a pretty good day in Final Fantasy world.

As you may have heard, the third and final Final Fantasy XIII game changes things up a bit, with an action-type battle system replacing the more traditional system of the previous two. Parties are also gone -- it's just Lightning and all of her crazy costumes and silly poses. 

I liked the old battle system, but I really like this new one too. It does take a bit of getting used to, though. Lightning is free to move around the battle field and choose any attack from a selection of commands, and they're executed immediately, much like an action game. These commands are contained in three equippable combat styles, each with their strengths and attributes. Oh, and each comes with a different costume for Lightning. 

These costumes are getting a lot of heat, but I think series fans are taking some of this stuff too seriously. Plus, the costumes showed in this TGS demo were neat. One has Lightning as a sort of dragoon, just like Kain Highwind from Final Fantasy IV. Her costume is a treat for fans with its dark purple metal and trademark arm spikes, and her air-to-ground spear attack would make Kain proud. I think fans are really going to like some of these costumes. They're not all senselessly pervy.

Back to the battle system. When used, each command depletes its combat style's gauge a given amount, forcing players to jump to another combat style until it refills. Successful fighting involves bouncing from one style to the next, exploiting weaknesses while keeping the hits coming. Again, it's weird at first, but you'll soon enjoy how fast and free it is. 

We've talked about the battle system before, but our experience with it came in a pretty linear slice of the game. But the Tokyo Game Show demo is happy to show off just how open the game is.

There was a quest to follow, but I went exploring first, running around the lush countryside that surrounded a village called Canopus Farms. Green covered hills served as a backdrop to gorges filled with ruins. Sunlight served to highlight chocobos and their riders traveling in the distance. Scaling the world up for Lighting Returns to make it fit in with current open-world games couldn't have been easy, but Square Enix has done a nice job here. What a pretty game.

Canopus Farms is a small village, but I was able to check out some of Lightning Returns' new world features there. Walking about town is easier now with Lightning's new jump ability. I hopped fences and other objects you'd normally have to walk around. There are vendors that sell time and food now, too. I grabbed a pudding at a snack stand to refill my HP after some field battles.

When approached properly, encounters in the field can bring you temporary battle bonuses. Like in Atlus' Persona series, Lightning can swing her sword at a field enemy to gain perks like 10 percent more hit points or a speed boost. On the other hand, missing gives you a temporary penalty to deal with.

I hacked away at Puchineros and Gremlins in the field to get back into the battle system -- it's just as fun as I remember. Larger enemies had me using a bit more strategy. Lightning's status debuffing combat set let me bomb these guys with speed and defense debuffs to wear them down before polishing them off with swords and spells.

Meanwhile, Hope gave me guidance on my quest, which had me seeking out this legendary chocobo. Riders I met along the way warned of some danger, and just beyond them was a large beast that seemed to be blocking my access to something behind it. This monster was quite a bit harder than the field enemies, requiring me to use Lightning Returns' new Overclock ability to stagger him a few times. Though the action in battles continues without interruption, I found it interesting that you could hit the Start button to use some readied items. This battle had me using all of my remaining Hi-Potions before finishing it off.

It turns out that this monster had harmed the legendary chocobo. The following cutscene was sad: a white chocobo lay trembling on the ground, feathers stained with blood. Before you start crying, know that I saved it. Villagers took it back to Canopus Farms and nursed it back to health. I won't ruin it for you, but you come to know this particular chocobo as the story continues.

This TGS demo for Lightning Returns was just another small slice for us, but I'm pleased to see just how open and freely explorable it is. I have still have concerns about the story, but there's enough exciting stuff going on outside of the story to keep us entertained. It's still Final Fantasy XIII, so take that as you will, but Square Enix's approach is so different here that I think fans are going to be pleased. 

 

Photo Gallery: (7 images)
Click to zoom - browse by swipe, or use arrow keys



Dale North, Former Dtoid EIC
 Follow Blog + disclosure DaleNorth Tips
I am Destructoid's Editor-In-Chief. I love corgis. I make music. more   |   staff directory



 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our moderators, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding *.disqus.com to your whitelists.

 Add your impressions

 Quickposts
Status updates from C-bloggers

Mike Wallace avatarMike Wallace
Could you stop calling Metal Gear Solid V Kojima's "swan song?" He's not retired, for crying out loud.
extatix avatarextatix
Seems rather excessive for a 3ds game. (3ds xl for scale) [img]http://i.imgur.com/DwOtP0s.jpg?1[/img]
Cosmonstropolis avatarCosmonstropolis
Tried the stealth approach for awhile, time to switch things up. *plants C4 everywhere* I'll probably toss one on the poor schmuck that delivers my copy of MGS V. For taking so long.
WryGuy avatarWryGuy
Just a quick update for folks. Phil/Mike Martin is off the streets and safe for the next month. Thanks to everyone who helped out. You can keep up to on the forums: http://www.outerheavenforums.com/showthread.php?41974-The-Save-a-Phil-Foundation
Script avatarScript
Watching Twin Peaks for the first time. Just yooou... aaaand IIII...
Perro avatarPerro
So the 3DS Dragon Quest VII remake is coming to mobile in Japan, so there's a chance that version will get ported over here. Not ideal but if we get it at all I'll be happy!
The Travisionist avatarThe Travisionist
I'm just waiting for "Mad Max: U Mad, Bro?"
gajknight avatargajknight
Put down the deposit for my new car, will probably be able to pick it up on the weekend. Insurance is pretty good too, sub £1000 which is excellent. Kinda. My mum tried to reverse in 5th gear. She drives an automatic. What a noob. :P
Bardley avatarBardley
We are Diamond Dogs.
IDrawOnTape avatarIDrawOnTape
I get to work to stock and STAR WARS TOYS STAR WARS TOYS STREET DATE SEPT 4 OMG STAR WARS TOYS STAR WARS TOYS STREET DATE SEPT 4 STAR WARS TOYS STAR WARS TOYS STAR WARS TOYS STAR WARS TOYS STAR WARS TOYS STAR WARS TOYS STAR WARS TOYS WHY ISN'T IT SEPT 4?
Cosmonstropolis avatarCosmonstropolis
Still waiting by the mailbox. Tranq'd a jogger and stuffed them into a locker just for fun. I keep throwing rocks to get the attention of the neighbors and then hiding in tall grass. They look noticeably upset. Probably because I kept them up all night.
ChillyBilly avatarChillyBilly
Metal Gear or Mad Max? The choice is obvious. [IMG]http://i22.photobucket.com/albums/b321/Felth/obvious%20choice.jpg~original[/IMG]
Jiraya avatarJiraya
Quickpostmortem My wife´s dog died yesterday . Rest in peace Diamond Dog . [img]http://i.imgur.com/uVT3HlF.jpg[/img] Here's to you, Malu Rest forever here in our hearts The last and final moment is yours That agony is your triumph
SeymourDuncan17 avatarSeymourDuncan17
Xbone journey continues! I thought I would like Dead Rising 3 well enough as a huge fan of 1/2, but I must say I find it's emphasis on hard drama laughable and the game fundamentally disingenuine. Guess I'm moving on to Forza Horizon 2.
TheDefenestrator avatarTheDefenestrator
I dig the feature in Until Dawn where, if you have the Playstation camera, it will record you briefly during jump scares for you to watch later. It's a really neat use of an underused peripheral. Too bad I'm dead inside and never react to them.
Shinta avatarShinta
[img]http://i.imgur.com/oZ7CQJa.jpg[/img]
nanashi avatarnanashi
Fallout Shelter: Impossible to Learn, Easy to Master.
Mike Wallace avatarMike Wallace
Not saying this is the case, but Kojima has gone on record as being a huge Mad Max: Fury Road fan. Konami decided to release MGSV on the same day as Mad Max TVG. They're trying piss on Kojima's lawn, man.
ooktar avatarooktar
Downloading Phantom Pain. ETA, 16 hours. Just in time for lunch tomorrow.
Mr Knives avatarMr Knives
OH WOW. Talk about a complete about face. After slogging through the horrid beginning and slow ass swap sequence this game picked up exponentially. So far, I'm enjoying the hell out of it now. All if forgiven. Thank you based Kojima.
more quickposts


Contest!


destructoid's previous coverage:
Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII


View all:powered by:  MM.Elephant

Ads on destructoid may be purchased from:



Please contact Crave Online, thanks!



Seriously

Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme


Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo



Back to Top


We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -