If you’ve been waiting eagerly for more information on Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII, you’re in luck, as today Battle Design Director Nobuyuki Matsuoka and Lead Monster Planner Daisuke Inoue shared quite a lot as part of an interview on Dengeki Online.
Here’s a recap of the new information.
- The keyword of battle is “Judge and Respond”. Players are encouraged to judge the situation and decide by themselves how to respond.
- Before the battle system was made for groups. This time around only the core of it has been preserved, in order to let Lightning fight alone.
- The aim of the new system is to let battles happen quickly and smoothly. Actions happen as soon as the button is pressed.
- Combat will be much more reliant on timing, in order to stagger the enemy or to counter his attacks.
- Pressing the guard button puts Lightning in guard stance and she will block all attacks, but the ATB gauge will deplete gradually.
- It’s possible to attack continuously by keeping the attack button pressed. However pushing it with the right timing will deal more damage. This will be displayed visually.
- There will be a system that allows players to post their battle score on social networks like Facebook or Twitter.
- Some monsters will drop certain items only when one of their limbs is cut or destroyed.
- It’ll be possible to buy scans of the monsters from the informant in towns. That way it’ll be possible to prepare carefully beforehand for the enemies Lightning will have to face. Some scans will require completing a specific quest and some information may not be provided, leaving room for some guesswork.
- There are less monsters than in the previous titles, but about half of them are completely new.
- Behavior of certain monsters will change depending on th day/night cycles.
- There are “Time signal monsters” that come out when it’s almost 6:00 in the morning.They’re an indication that it’s time to wrap up what we’re doing and go back, because at that time Lightning will be forcibly returned to her base (the Ark).
- The strength of monsters depends on the number of days passed from the start of the game. For instance for the first four days their strength remains the same, but on the fifth it will increase. Stronger monsters also drop better loot, so killing monsters later in the adventure might be beneficial.
- The strength of Lightning depends on how many quests she completes. Her stats increase by completing quests, and there are some quests that don’t require battle at all. So if an enemy is too strong, it’s possible to go back to town and clear quests to become stronger. Buying a better weapon and shield will also help dramatically.
- Returning to the Ark fully restores Lightning’s HP and Glory Points (necessary to heal).
- Using Glory points wisely is important, as HP won’t be restored between battles. Players will have to decide when to use them or when to carry on without healing. Conserving them may be important for boss battles.
That’s quite a lot to take in, but the development team seem to have put a lot of thought into the new battle system. Most of the previews are positive, but will they be able to win over those that didn’t love the Lightning Saga so far? We’ll have to wait and see on that one, but what I’ve seen so far is rather promising.