Let's go ahead and get this out of the way: the Final Fantasy series might be a sinking ship (or maybe not), but I'm a fan. There I said it. I love Final Fantasy, despite its (many) flaws.
Jump Festa 2009 -- the annual convention sponsored by the Jump brand of anime, manga, and videogame magazines -- started yesterday, and a slew of trailers and some new information about Final Fantasy XIII have come out along with it. The new trailer is a pretty standard affair -- very little actual gameplay or details, just a lot of very pretty scenery and magical explosions. This trailer is from Square Enix' DKS3713 event back in August, and, after a few months of waiting, has been made available to the public.
Perhaps more interesting are these scans, taken from the recent issue of Shonen Jump. According to people that know way more Japanese than I do, battles will return to a true turn-based system, even though you'll be able to see enemies on the screen; so, menus, standard commands, and little numbers above heads will make a return. I found Final Fantasy XII's Gambit system delightful and deep, but I guess FFXIII battle director Toshiro Tsuchida thinks otherwise.
While FFXIII seems to take its cues from Star Wars, Versus is a decidedly somber affair. A new Versus trailer, also from DKS3713, begins with "This is a fantasy based in reality." I can't tell if the Versus team takes itself seriously, or if Japanese irony is more subtle than my dull American brain can handle, but there is absolutely nothing realistic about that trailer.
For those of you still clamoring for a Final Fantasy VII remake (seriously, shut up, the game's fine as it is), Versus might be the closest you're ever going to get. It's got a brooding, spiky-haired protagonist with a sword the size of his ego, a gritty urban mise-en-scene, and a straight-haired damsel that needs help (and might die). If that doesn't scream Midgard, I don't know what does.
Anyway, check out the screens in the gallery, and the Versus trailer after the jump.
[Via FFRing -- warning: it's in French]
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