This week Dengeki Playstation sat down with Final Fantasy XIII-2 director Motomu Toriyama and battle director Yusuke Matsu to talk about the sequel’s updated battle system.
For one thing, there are no animations for transitioning between Paradigms. Paradigms will switch instantly, making for a smoother flow of battle. Paradigm combinations can also be saved. Toriyama also promised harder bosses that require strategic use of the Paradigm system. For those of us without the patience (or skills, if we want to go down that road) for these teeth-gnashing-ly uphill battles, the game offers as Easy Mode.
The game includes a battle element called “blood damage,” a concept new to the Final Fantasy series. Blood damage cannot be healed by Medics and can only be recovered with special items. There is no word yet on what these items are or where they can be found or bought, but the instinctive clench of my jaw at the mere thought of it means I (and you) will probably have to plan out battles in XIII-2 more carefully.
There be summons in XIII-2, but not in the same way as XIII since the characters are not l’Cie and don’t possess Eidolons.
Each boss fight also has a designated camera angle – there will be no more of that panning in and out and swinging around stuff. Boss fights have been liberally peppered with quick-time events (read more about my experience with XIII-2‘s in-battle events here). Toriyama and Matsui also shared that the game was developed so players can make it through the entire game only fighting boss battles. That’s not to say enemies won’t scale themselves against your characters’ levels if you choose to farm in traditional RPG fashion.
Final Fantasy XIII-2 hits Japan next month on December 15, and North America and Europe next year on January 31 and February 3 respectively.