Final Fantasy Versus XIII remains an enigmatic title to most, even after years of supposed development after being announced alongside Final Fantasy XIII during E3 2006, very little about the title is known. And yet every tidbit we get, whether it’s a simple tweet from the game’s director or a couple pages of information from the latest issue of Japanese Famitsu, has us squealing with excitement. So what exactly is it about Final Fantasy Versus XIII tickles our fancy? Hit the jump to find out what we’re most excited about.
5. What Little we’ve Seen Continues to Impress
It wasn’t until late June that actual real time gameplay screens of Versus XIII were shown to the general public – up until then trailers showing the title in action have been aired behind closed doors. It’s amazing though how much three simple screenshots can reveal about a game. If there’s one thing we can say, it’s that the years of development are definitely paying off in the graphical department. Every single object is rendered with such incredible detail – from the realistically pleasing skies, to the city lights, buildings, and cars, as well as the characters within these gorgeous environments. The amount of detail on the single Military Behemoth shown is just mind-blowing, and we can’t wait to see it all in motion.According to Nomura, it’s the team’s goal to improve upon the visuals even further. And with a lot of time being spent on making things look just right (the gas station shown in this first batch of screens can even be entered and explored from the inside!) there’s going to be a lot of eye candy through this lengthy adventure. If there’s one thing we can expect from the Final Fantasy series, it’s pushing hardware to its limits, and we expect no less here.
4. Soundtrack by Yoko Shimomura
Previously known for her works in Super Mario RPG, Legend of Mana, Parasite Eve, and most recently, the Kingdom Hearts Series, Yoko Shimomura has enhanced RPG’s with her ambient, emotional, and flowing tracks for years now. Nintendo, Square Enix, and RPG fans in general continuously praise her music, and Versus XIII marks her first foray into the Final Fantasy series, and we can’t wait to see how her music sets the tone for the title.We’ve gotten a taste of what to expect with Somnus, the theme song for the game. The music is extremely powerful and heavy, and if we can expect this sort of quality from the rest of the soundtrack, we can’t wait to be put through an emotional roller coaster while listening to the music when the game reaches store shelves.
3. World Map
In reality this would have made number one on my personal list if just to rekindle my faith in a series that has over time distanced itself from many of its traditions. I’ll be honest, this is just nostalgia speaking, but the fact that Versus XIII is to have some sort of world map really piques my interest in the title. Despite Versus’ unique take on an action packed Final Fantasy title, it seems to be returning to its roots when it comes to other aspects of the series, and that’s something many older fans can appreciate. It’s already been confirmed that multiple forms of vehicle transportation will be in the game, something fans haven’t been able to tinker with for a long time.This is the return of the world map after nearly a decade of disappearance (the last world map in a Final Fantasy title was IX – X, XI, XII, and XIII all skipped the series staple). In reality what really excites about the idea of a world map is that aspect of exploration often missed in RPGs. Will Versus bring us back to the days when there were hidden surprises in every corner of the world, just waiting to be discovered?
2. Made by Square’s Kingdom Hearts Team
So this reason was met with some skepticism. To some, this title being developed by the now famous Kingdom Hearts team could be seen with some cynicism. But really, what better folks to spearhead an action take on the Final Fantasy Series than a group that’s already successfully done it once. More importantly, the team is no longer being held back or bounded: they won’t have to compromise difficulty, depth, or strategy for the sake of a younger audience and the world’s largest entertainment company (Disney) breathing down their necks. They can finally craft a hardcore action RPG reflecting the maturity the team themselves have developed over the years.And that’s exactly what Versus XIII seems to be. It’s taken a much darker turn within the series when it comes to environments and themes, and we hope the game play reflects that. With the goal being “Advent Children like” intensity in battles, we can’t wait to see how the Kingdom Hearts team delivers
1. There’s Still So Much We Don’t Know (and it’s coming sooner than you think!)
So there are varying reasons to look forward to Versus XIII, but when fans have been waiting for such an extended period of time (heck, in five years, live changing events can happen – graduation, careers come and go, marriage), it certainly can be hard to maintain enthusiasm. Part of the hype for the title definitely lies in the air of mystery that’s remained after so long, and for some fans, it’s merely a matter of putting all their faith in something they actually know so little about.Not to fret, with the PC Version of Final Fantasy XIV releasing worldwide this September, we expect Versus XIII to get its first big debut at this year’s Tokyo Game Show, and if not, then definitely by Jump Fest in December. And by blowout, we mean a public trailer, with actual game play, new party members revealed, and more information on just how this title will play out. Furthermore, with XIV fully out of the way by March 2011, there’s little doubt that Versus XIII could be Square Enix’ big holiday release for the holidays that year. This time next year we might be hyping the game’s actual, final release date.