Tag Archives: Final Fantasy XIII-2

Science Fiction and Religion – The Apocalypse

Is there just an apocalypse waiting?

From Avengers #3 by Jonathan Hickman.

I love Hickman’s Avengers. I’ve written about that fact before, and especially one of the things I love about his Marvel work – and his other comics – is how he works with both science and mythology. In Avengers, especially, he works on larger, over-arching mythology for the whole Marvel Universe. Its origins… and its ending.

That ending was last summer’s big crossover event, Secret Wars. I reviewed that recently. But it was a lot of time and comics leading into it, not just one crossover and everything is over. The apocalypse did not happen suddenly, although it may have felt that way if you were reading other titles… or just reading about the whole thing in the press about it.

No, in reading the whole thing, the buildup and then the collapse, I got to thinking of two things. One is the obvious, I suppose: other apocalyptic literature. Religious especially, the sort that seeps out into shows like Supernatural or Buffy the Vampire Slayer. We were reading a lot of the book of Daniel recently at church, and it’s also just chock full of apocalyptic dreams and visions. So the end of the world: symbolism, signs, and things that are either super literal or completely metaphorical…

The second thing I was thinking of, however, was the Final Fantasy XIII series, wherein the world ends between Final Fantasy XIII-2 and Lightning Returns. In particular, at the end of XIII-2, time itself ends, and the power of death along with it… but as Mr. Fantastic might say, everything dies, and ever so slowly that world does too.

Taken all together, you get what I considered as the alternate title to this blog post: how to end the universe.

Continue reading

Advertisements

Specialization in Role Playing Games

This is a post idea I’ve had for a long time. My initial thought is this: lately I feel like there has been an increasing move towards specialization in characters in role playing games (RPGs). Meaning that before you often had characters who needed to be able to handle a multitude of situations, need to be able to heal and do damage and take a hit – all in one character, or all in each character.

However, that has been decreasing of late. Instead, we see the rise of roles like Tanking, Healer, and DPS. You see it in party-based online situations especially, and with the rise of MMORPGs, there’s a lot of this going on online and in big-name games people are putting a lot of time into. However, a further place you see this happening was in Dungeons and Dragons 4th Edition, which was built to in many ways play like an MMO.

So I will look a bit at both of those – MMOs and D&D 4th Edition – but what really has me thinking about this is that I now have an even better case study. the Final Fantasy games. In Final Fantasy XIII, they hit the most specialized that they ever have; however, in breaking away from that in Lightning Returns, they are moving back to a place where you have far more control over customizing your character. So have we hit the far extent of the trend? Are we moving back away from specialization? That’s the question I will close with!

Continue reading

Lightning Returns in Another Light

So, as I have been seeing aspects of Lightning Returns, my brain has been turning to mashups of different plots with this, comparisons to other Final Fantasy games, and other things.

Helping my case, they seem to have dived right in to other games, with outfits and schema (the job system) based on other SquareEnix games – mostly other Final Fantasy games, but also Tomb Raider. So, thank you for helping my case.

And then, just to help a bit more, they built in screenshot-sharing functionality, through Twitter and/or Facebook. Is this going to be dangerous? Indubitably.  But it also makes these screenshots easy to find and share with others. So I took a few, found a few on their site, and many more from around Twitter, and thought I would share. My comparisons are perhaps tongue-in-cheek, but the screenshots show a game that is going to fascinating to experience once it arrives.

You can tell the screenshots in this post from social media because they have the copyright information embedded in them.

You can tell the screenshots in this post from social media because they have the copyright information embedded in them.

Continue reading

Are We In The True Timeline? – Final Fantasy XIII-2

Last week I wrote a post recommending that you play, or complete, the Final Fantasy XIII games. Next week, Final Fantasy XIII-3: Lightning Returns comes out; Holly reviewed the Demo for that, which gave a lot of insight into the plot, and also the gameplay, of what is one of our most anticipated games of the year.

final fantasy xiii-2 collector's edition strategy guide

I’ve been finishing up side quests and Paradox Endings, getting ready for Lightning Returns!

That makes this week the right time, I feel, for a nice, spoilery, Time-Travel post about this game, right? Except, this game is two years old now… and the blog is one year old… meaning yeah, we’ve definitely already written that post. Holly actually did a really great explanation of the time travel in Final Fantasy XIII-2 last year. So many great elements – paradoxes, competing timelines, paradox endings, prophecies… good stuff. But she has that covered.

So instead, let’s take that time travel into a philosophical place. The statement from the game is: if you change the future, you change the past. First, I’ll look at what this means in the game or in general as a statement, and then, let’s carry it into the future. It also ties into another concept from the game: the idea of the “True Timeline,” which is effectively, the one that exists before time travel tampering. Or is it the one with the best outcome? Let’s consider these questions, and our own world!

Continue reading

Final Fantasy XIII-3: Lightning Returns

Last night I got my hands on the demo for Final Fantasy XIII-3: Lightning Returns and I am so excited for this game. The demo did a great job of giving me a taste of what the game play is going to be like, the job mechanics, fighting, and just a hint at the story. The graphics look amazing and the story had me intrigued before the demo and the demo just added to that. It also made me start thinking about how different this game is going to be compared to Final Fantasy XIII and XIII-2.

One of the biggest differences is definitely going to be the timed aspect of the game. You start out facing 13 days until the end of the world and the clock is ticking. The thing I do like is the combat system seems really neat. You tie abilities to the four main buttons and you press them to perform specific actions. You are still pulled in to a battle room, but instead of picking actions from a list you move around and press buttons. It makes for a very different way to play. The fact that the story is around Lightning herself also makes it a different sort of story being told. Continue reading