New Final Fantasy XIII-2 Setting, Character & Gameplay DetailsDetails on why Noel is so attractive, monster raising, weather and moogles.06.17.11 - 11:52 PM
With E3 over, it's time to stop talking about the English-voiced slice of Final Fantasy XIII-2
we got to spend time with. Now it's back to reporting on the slew of new information out of Japan, largely sourced from Dengeki PlayStation's new 8-page feature on the title. Let's get started!
This screen shot we've seen before, but now we know it represents the town of New Bodhum, a coastal town that's the home of not only 'old' Bodhum residents and members of Nora, but also Lightning's sister, Serah.
Speaking of Serah, we know that she and newcomer Noel are the game's lead characters, despite XIII's protagonist Lightning still being a "major character." Noel is described by producer Yoshinori Kitase as "ikemen," or, a stylish, attractive guy. This is meant to contrast with the 'toughness' seen in Snow. According to Kitase, Noel is also the first "orthodox" hero for Final Fantasy in awhile, though he didn't elaborate on exactly what he meant by that.
In battle, Noel is FFXIII-2's frontline fighter with Serah taking on a supporting role. Outside of battle, however, Noel is not very knowledgable about Cocoon and Gran Pulse. According to the game's director Motomu Toriyama, this is being done in part so that people that didn't play the first game have someone to relate to, and will presumably learn about the game's world through Noel.
Final Fantasy XIII composer Masashi Hamauzu is in charge of the music for XIII-2 as well, contributing similar styles of music. This time however, he will be joined by one or more other composers that will bring in some different music stylings as well. Whoever these other composers may be, Toriyama seems to be excited about it, and says we should be too. (I am!)
We got a glimpse of the monster raising component of gameplay at E3, but weren't able to get very deep into it. Parties are still limited to three characters, one of which can be a recruited monster. It seems there will be multiple types (classes, maybe?) of monsters, such as those that focus on attacks, defense, etc. These monsters will be able to level up in some fashion as well.
Now we come to the 'random tidbits of information' part of the story. Gameplay in towns is not only a new and much-needed addition to the FFXIII world, but is sounding more dynamic than we expected. Townspeople will interact and speak with your party members, and even be affected by the weather (doing logical things like seeking shelter from rain). It seems the weather will also affect battles, though in what way we don't yet know. While we don't know if this will mean the death of the Save Point, FFXIII-2 will feature an auto-save system, which should make more than a few people happy.
And, lastly, with the sudden importance of moogles in the game world (between Serah's transforming moogle/weapon and the Mog Clock), there is some form of moogle-centric 'search/explore' system. Could this be Moogle Hot and Cold? Because I am so there.
Be sure to read through Kim's hands-on preview from E3 if you missed it, below. Final Fantasy XIII-2 is scheduled for release this December in Japan, and early 2012 in North America, for both the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.