This leaves us with the upcoming Final Fantasy XIII, which despite all the claims of PS3 exclusivity has gone multi-platform. Although it’s better for a title to be able to reach a larger audience I personally believe that having Final Fantasy XIII become multi-platform diluted the quality of the game and was a slap to the face to Sony after years of success on their platform and claims of exclusivity to Sony for this game and the fact Sony owns about 9% of Square Enix thanks to that mishap called The Spirits Within. So far Final Fantasy XIII is looking really good, I really like that the main protagonist is a female (like Final Fantasy VI) and from all the trailers, images and articles, the story sounds really really interesting. The story, as I understand it, is that there are two worlds, one which is called Cocoon, and another known as Pulse (the surface world).
Apparently in the game’s world there are beings called fal’Cie (Summons), which were created by the crystals. People who were marked by the fal’Cie were meant for a greater purpose and were called l’Cie. A l’Cie who does not fulfill their purpose (fulfilling their Focus) will turn into monsters. To facilitate a place for humans who have been marked by fal’Cie the city of Cocoon, floating above the surface world Pulse, was created. Over time the inhabitants grew to fear the potential of their city falling from the sky into Pulse. In the present day of the game, people that have been affected by the surface world were banished from Cocoon by Pulse using the mighty army PSICOM. The protagonist, Lightning, and her comrades attempt to stop this banishment. Through this attempt the characters begin to assemble into a team that intends to bring about the end of Cocoon.
The story, setting and cast of characters are reminiscent of the previous titles. The whole event in which Lightning and her comrades attempt to stop the purge reminds me of Avalanche’s attempts to destroy the Shinra reactors in Final Fantasy VII, including the whole scene in the demo and trailers that take place on, of all things, a train. Then there is the fact that the protagonist not only is a former soldier (like Terra and Celes in Final Fantasy VI and even like Cloud) but was designed by Character Designer Tetsuya Nomura to be a female Cloud Strife. That just makes me all the more interested in the game; will Lightning be as messed up as Cloud was or will she just be a tough-as-steel character like the trailers are showing her to be? I have high hopes for Final Fantasy XIII and I sincerely hope that I won’t be let down.
On a side note, there is another Final Fantasy XIII title that is still a PS3 exclusive that is being directed by Tetsuya Nomura, Final Fantasy Versus XIII, that for the most part has really gone no where since an extended trailer of the one we’ve seen for years now. This extended trailer was part of the Japanese Final Fantasy VII Advent Children Blu-Ray, however I haven’t checked to verify whether it is on the North American version or not. There is very little information available about the game itself aside from bits and pieces about the cast of characters and that the game is meant to be a sort of Kingdom Hearts meets Final Fantasy XIII sort of game in that it’s action-based, I take it along the lines of Tales of Vesperia or Star Ocean: The Last Hope.
On the bright side of things Final Fantasy XIII director, Yoshinori Kitase, mentioned that the development time on Versus should be considerably quicker as a result of the development process of Final Fantasy XIII. I do find it funny though, despite the PS3 exclusiveness, is some fans initial (and maybe even still present) attitude towards this game as being the real Final Fantasy XIII and that it will sell much better than Final Fantasy XIII. Well considering the lack of information about the game I don’t know how they can jump to that conclusion just yet. I personally have a feeling Versus will be a unique experience that could very well provide Sony with some nice hardware sales down the road, but I guess we’ll just have to wait and see what Nomura and his team have lined up for Versus.