New screenshots from Final Fantasy XIII-2

Final Fantasy XIII-2 is the second time Square Enix has made a direct sequel of their flagship franchise.  Although they aren’t letting much out of their LA offices, the surprise showing at the E3 expo last month was refreshing and offered a small preview of what’s to come.  For those unfamiliar, the video game industry, unlike other entertainment media, has very strict control over what anyone involved in a project is allowed to talk about.  While some of this is understandable considering the game making process, it is usually quite frustrating for fans.  The videos snuck out of the E3 Expo have led to a lot of speculation and conversation, not least of which is many fans wondering what happened to Lightning?  Contrary to what the people in the demo are saying about Lightning being dead, she’s certainly not.

In 2003 Final Fantasy X-2 was successful but criticized by many fans for its levity and stylistic changes.  Fast forward eight years and Final Fantasy XIII-2 looks to be superior in almost every way to Final Fantasy XIII.  The linearity looks to have been relaxed a bit as there are now towns or hubs where players can pick up plot affecting sidequests.  Additionally, there are pets you can collect that will assist you in combat and offer bonuses to your characters.  This week, Square has released some new screen shots and some information about what is going on in them.  The new screenshots set the tone for the upcoming adventure in FINAL FANTASY XIII-2, recap on the Paradigm system, introduce Team NORA, and discuss one of the locations in the game.

THE BRESHA RUINS


Long ago, Lake Bresha and the surrounding lands were crystallised. After the fall of Cocoon, the entire area was destroyed. Now these ruins are a restricted area, filled with remnants of life from a previous era. Today, excited researchers and cautious guards swarm the site in hopes of new discoveries.

Troops surround Noel and Serah at Lake Bresha. Why were the two deemed such a threat?

WITHIN THE BRESHA RUINS

Deep within the Bresha Ruins lies a maze‐like pathway.

PARADIGM SHIFT

Several screenshots show a particular sequence that are intended to be shown in order. Each party member is assigned an offensive, defensive or healing role. Executing a Paradigm Shift will allow the player to change each character’s role. Using different paradigms for different situations is key to winning these real‐time battles. Quick thinking and smart tactics keep the battles intense and enjoyable.

Select a previously‐set paradigm to best fit each battle situation.

A selected paradigm will be put into action immediately.

Slash & Burn is a tactic where Commandos keep the enemy’s chain gauge up and Ravagers increase chain bonuses, both driving the enemy to its stagger point. The higher the chain bonus, the greater the damage the foe will receive.

An enemy takes more damage while staggered than when in its normal state. This state also unlocks the Commando’s launch ability, which paralyzes the enemy, creating an opportune time for an offensive blitz.

Undermine –  With this offensive paradigm, Saboteurs weaken the enemy while Ravagers attack the foe until it reaches its stagger point. The Saboteur’s attribute‐lowering spells help to stabilize the chain gauge.

Twin Shields –  Execute this defensive paradigm moments before the enemy is about to attack, to greatly reduce damage taken.

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