New Final Fantasy XIII-2 ScreensThe new Crystarium, and a flan wearing sunglasses.11.17.11 - 3:24 AM
Last time we told you that Final Fantasy XIII-2
's Crystarium will this time be a single one shared by all roles where you choose what to level. The latest screens give us a closer look at what to expect. For Noel and Serah's Crystarium, you'll get to choose and bonuses you want.
As Famitsu explains, monsters you add to your party use a Crystarium too. We've mentioned that monsters are actually levelled up using items - ones that you can both purchase at a shop and collect after a battle - to move around the chart, rather than using points. The further you go, however, the rarer the items you'll need to level up your monsters. Monsters can also inherit abilities when you sacrifice other monsters. However some, like command and auto abilities can only be inherited if both monsters have the same role. If they're of different roles, you might get a whole new set of abilities instead. Monsters have varying growth parameters too. But you can't leave them alone in battle - if both Serah and Noel die, then it's game over.
In regular battles, you'll be able to switch between paradigms instantly so as to speed things up. For tougher fights and bosses however, you'll have to choose paradigm shifts more carefully. Bosses will be tougher than they were in XIII, but the game does have an easy mode that you can switch to if you're not one for difficult battles. You can even beat a boss later if it still proves difficult at the time. While summon monsters make a return, they'll look different since you're not l'Cie. Finally, 'blood damage' was added to the game - this can't be cured by healers, but you can use items to help this type of damage.
In total, there are 160 fragments to collect, but what you've collected in each era will be easy to keep track of on the Historia Crux screen. They're kind of like quests, but aren't a part of the main story. Completing these, you get rewards like items and skill boosts. The magazine also introduced the Augustia Tower, which Hope's group Academy built so that people could get what they need without needing to rely on fal'Cie. Due to the disruptions in the space-time continuum (such as FFXIII's ending), the inside of the building changes quite often.
Final Fantasy XIII-2 releases on January 31st in North America. In case you missed it, a collector's edition was announced for western fans earlier this week.