Here’s Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII’s New Action Heavy Battle System

By Ishaan . January 23, 2014 . 12:14pm

Square Enix have shared a new trailer for Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII, highlighting the game’s battle system. You can view it below.



Lightning Returns will be available on February 11th in North America and February 14th in Europe. The game will cost $59.99, but Square Enix are also offering a collector’s edition in limited quantities via their online store for $89.99.

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  • rpgmaniac

    Good riddance FFXIII we wont miss u.

    • SerendipityX

      I can’t wait until she makes a cameo in KHIII…

      • harmonyworld

        you joke, but I actually said that today and I ment it.
        I think it’d be nice!
        She’d be fighting the “chaos” or “heartless”

      • …and FFX-3…

        • rpgmaniac

          I speak for the whole trilogy ofc ~__~

      • RichyGaming

        Send in Gilgamesh too. He’ll fit in KHIII as a secret boss easily.

      • Chaos_Knight

        …and XV.

      • Pdugna

        if Paine and Riku made it into a KH you sure as hell bet Lightning will, and I personally don’t mind what so ever if she does the story around her sucks but her VA and her Design is still cool and fits the KH games.

  • Timovisch

    Nice trailer!

    Really looking forward to the full game. :)

  • SerendipityX

    Wait, we get to use Odin’s Sword? Nice.

    • Ferrick

      we pretty much get to use even villain’s swords and heroes from other FF games, though one of it is dlc only

  • Tiredman

    Will be a long distance, much cheaper purchase price, pick up for me. I was thoroughly disenchanted with FF 13-2. It lacked real difficutly, and I hated the ending and the real straw on the camels back was the lack of any arena fights without paying.

    This trailer looks like they are finally getting behemoths back to the awesomeness they were in 13-1. I took on behemoths underpowered, made them a ton of fun, and I found no fight like that in the entirety of 13-2. Also, no giant robot enemies with tons of hp like in 13-1. I complained about the first FF 13, but it was a lot more fun than 13-2 for me, even with all the things it does wrong.

    Anyway, that is why I am waiting to buy this game. I don’t feel Squeenix has earned $60 from me again. They have taken what used to be one of my top 3 franchises and they murdered it, or maybe I should say they cut off its legs and made it much less than what it used to be.

    Now, to be positive, this trailer does look fun, especially blocking and evading. I am curious about one thing though, how can an ATB based game feel fun, when compared to full parties, with 1 character, even if they have different outfits, it is still just one character. I will try the demo soon, after I finish Earthbound.

    • KnifeAndFork

      I quit FF XIII-2 right around those stupid clock puzzles

      • I don’t even think I got that far…

    • I’m about the same – the demo did the reverse that it probably should have for me. I’ll probably be one that invests sometime down the line.

      For the time being around that time I have Bravely Default and Puyo Puyo Tetris in my entertainment budget of time and money to look over.

  • Kj Kim

    can’t wait

  • Yan Zhao

    Played the demo, it was actually kind of fun. I just hope the story at least is easier to follow this time around.

  • KnifeAndFork

    “All in real time”

    It’s almost as if they know a lot of gamers in the West for whatever reasons, have turned their backs on respecting turn based games…

    • TheBlackRabbit

      makes me sad

      • Ric Vazquez

        Me too

    • Fen Y

      I will never know nor understand why so many western gamers seem to think that only twitch-based games can be fun.

      • Tiredman

        Short attention spans and instant gratification, is the explanation in a nutshell. They want things to die fast and consistently, they want to move their character the exact way they want to, not stand there only attacking when their turn comes up. They don’t want to think as much as react, or twitch as you said. Twitch gameplay is fun, but it is way overused, even by developers that really shouldn’t put it into their games.

        • TomSkylark

          To be fair, it’s not like there aren’t equally mindless turn-based RPG’s, or smart action-based RPG’s for that matter. Good game design is good game design; that means working with the mechanics you choose in order to make them shine, rather than hoping folks will put up with lousy implementation of mechanics.

          • Tiredman

            I agree. To be honest, I wish I could get a Xenogears and Star Ocean 2 baby. Combat system of both games merged in some way with the story complexity of Xenogears and the insane amount of optional stuff of Star Ocean 2. Those games epitomize the goodness of rpg’s for me, and no single rpg since has been quite as good when it comes to story or optional content.

        • Ketsuyame


    • Pdugna

      Dunno if the devs worked the game to be twitch based from the beginning I have no problem, and same goes with Turn based. what shouldn’t done though is just things like turning all japanese RPGS turned based just because and vice versa countries shouldnt decide the design of the game.

    • TomSkylark

      And as though they think all the flack they got for XIII and XIII-2 boiled down to their being turn-based outings. As I recall, those weren’t the major complaints.

      • I really doubt Squeenix read many of the complaints. Hell, the reviews weren’t even that bad.

      • Michieie

        I enjoyed XIII-2, though.

  • harmonyworld

    I played it!
    It’s fun and easy to get into~
    Fought that dragon guy several times because he kept respawning though~
    Just wish there was a little more to the demo~
    The english voices were really good though!
    As to be expected!

    • Aoshi00

      I really liked the eng dub for 12, 13, 13-2, and LR, SE localized these games very well. I was going to get the regular edition to save money, buy the fun unboxing video tempted me to go with collector s edition, same for X HD. Been playing the Jpn imports for both, x, x2, and LR are all fun in different ways.

      • Did the original Japanese audio make people fantasize about Vanille choking to death?

        • Aoshi00

          Vanille was okay.. I liked Fang’s Aussie accent, but not Vanille’s (her actress’s been living in the US for too long). I like both the Jpn & Eng dub, but prefer the Eng dub. If you’re interested in the Jpn dub, the 2 drama CDs based on Episode 0 novel were really good.

      • Happy Gamer

        Despite improvement, I actually did not enjoy XIII-2 a much for some reason. I played the Japanese demo, and the customization and item collecting alone made me want to play LR.

        I’m pondering if I should get the CE tho…I’m getting quite a bit and my budget is MUCH smaller than when I started to post on this site.

        p.s. I want another Mistwalker game…

        • Aoshi00

          man, my fellow LO fan doesn’t like 13-2 lol.. I didn’t like 13, but really got into 13-2 like Chrono Trigger… I do like everything about LR except the time limit..

          Hm.. I don’t care about the stop watch too much but want the artbook mainly. If this is not from the S-E store, I would say wait a bit since S-E games’ price dropped very fast if 13, 13-2, Hitman, Deus Ex, Tomb Raider, etc are any indication, even the LE for 13-2 was on sale later for very cheap (I got for $80).. LR’s LE is $90 + $10 shipping plus tax so it’s quite a lot, but might be rare if from S-E store.. or might not be rare. If you want just the regular ver, it would probably drop a lot to ~$20 in weeks or 3 months.. I thought about just getting regular for LR & FFX/X-2 HD, but ordered LE for both from S-E store *.*; Importing Drakengard 3 10th anniv cost an arm and a leg too.. I keep telling myself I shouldn’t get LEs anymore and wait for price drop lol..

          Yeah, I hope Mistwalker would work w/ Ex-Cavia (Cry On..).. to make something like Nier or Drakengard 3.. iOS is a waste of them :(..

          • Happy Gamer

            Hello Fellow LO fan back to you!!! lol
            I didn’t “dislike” 13-2. More like….hmmm
            I loved the setting they well..set up for 13. The world of 13 is pretty darn amazing imo. The lore, the locales etc. But I felt 13-2 didn’t do it justice. I really did want to see an expansion to the original 13 world in 13-2, instead, it got a tad bit farther than I expected.

            mind you I played through it and it was a heck of alot better content wise.

            I think honestly, I just had very high hopes for the series haha.

            Ugh I hear you on the LE thing…I keep getting em as well. And I have not been financially better off lately too lol. Rather…I “sacrifice” other stuff (new pair of shirt, pants etc) for it. I hope I don’t look too bummy eventually.

            LR’s CE/LE does look amazing tho.

            you know what LE I really wanted but missed?
            Ni No Kuni White Witch Edition…I was a tad bit late. :(

            I dreamed of Miswalker kickstarting something couple weeks ago lol

          • Aoshi00

            yeah, I thought 13 didn’t do the universe and setting justice at first, a bit clumsy it took S-E a couple of tries to realize the full potential (the lore got more complicated though), while past FFs had one shot in each world for the most part. yeah, I don’t spend too much on clothes either lol.. if you like artbook & OST (like 13-2 LE had the 4-disc soundtrack), LEs are worth it, the boxes are just a bit bulky and take a lot of room sometimes.. they do those official unboxing videos to tempt us too.

            I’m playing the Jpn ver of FFX HD now and got to Luca, still think it’s an amazing game (the rearranged soundtrack is actually, just slightly varied and refreshing but not that different at all), like it better than 12 & 13s *.*;.. and Mistwalker made games like Blue Dragon, Lost Odyssey, or the Last Story that felt more like FFX.. turn based never feels old.. I only got the regular ver of Ni no Kuni from gamestop w/ the steelbook case and actually didn’t play much.. later it dropped to $20, kinda wish I had waited.. for some reason just couldn’t really get into it.. definitely wish MW would kickstart something too and not for iOS, handheld, or PC :) Sakaguchi and Uematsu always need to stick together..

          • Happy Gamer

            Speaking of Uematsu, you heard of Project Phoenix kickstarter right? If not check it out!

          • Aoshi00

            cool.. I’m not sure how these indie kickstarter projects would turn out.. but would always love Uematsu doing full soundtrack for a more serious RPG.. playing FFX HD now just reminds me how much I miss him from the FF main series.

    • Nightmare637

      He respawns? I had no Idea.
      I just kept replaying the Demo.

      • harmonyworld

        He respawned like 3 times when I was exploring after that first initial battle with him.
        I guess so you can fight him over and over until you get the score you want.
        I had gotten 5 stars in my 2nd battle with him and managed to stay at 4 stars after~

  • Kaetsu

    I honestly don’t like the ATB combat. For me I like games to either go turn-based or all out action instead of a weird middle ground.

    • 하세요

      I like ATB. It still takes standard turn-based tactics and requires split-second reactions. Keeps me on my toes. BD is a nice form of going back to turn-based, but after awhile I do miss ATB.

      • Kaetsu

        Fair enough. For me I either like to take time to think about what I want to do or if it’s an ARPG, wreck havoc. I know my friends really like ATB it’s just not for me.

    • Ferrick

      honestly, it felt like i was playing NamcoXCapcom and ProjectXzone with Final fantasy

    • Aoshi00

      I think LR s combat system is fun and fast paced like x-2, but my fav is still turn based too like FFX or lost Odyssey, but I love games like Nier too. I think they all have their merits. The last story was also a combo of real time action and turn based which was unique and addictive.

      • Kaetsu

        I still haven’t played the demo. I’ll get to it eventually.

        • Aoshi00

          I played the Jpn ver but haven’t gotten very far yet (not too crazy about the time limit, otherwise the game’s fun). As w/ 13 & 13-2, I prefer the Eng dub to the Jpn dub for LR as well.. you should give the demo a spin to get free costumes, one free for just d/ling, the other by posting scores, selling your soul to social networking lol

  • Kumiko Akimoto

    I can’t wait it’s gonna be so cool

  • James Enk

    real time is overrated, not that i don’t enjoy it if done right, just pls don’t forget about turn base:)

  • Guest

    Another one?!!!! Dx *sigh* I’m done with this game. I feel that I finish it by only watching videos.

  • Saphiren

    Real time is better than turn based for me.
    Can’t wait.

  • Richard N

    Played the demo, was a lot of fun. And unlike most people I like the XIII series, so hey, looking forward to it.

    • Kaitsu

      I think everyone should enjoy this 3rd installment, regardless of their distaste of the previous entries. It’s very different, and oddly enough, it’s the costumes that makes this game really fun.

      To me, this is like a very improved Crisis Core combat, haha. I love it.

      • Wesley Kenneth Houpt Mattingly

        Crisis Core was more of an action game than this, and if costumes are what make a RPG fun, the focus of the game has been lost.

    • Ric Vazquez

      Same here

  • Raspberry

    Very exited , pre ordered after trying out demo, battle system is probably one of the most fun systems i played in any J-RPG.

  • eilegz

    the best rpg of this generation and this will be the est rpg of 2014 :D

    • idnt want to say It but twitter is abuzz also saying the same thing. The story will depend on person to person but based on battle system? Yeah this is the best rpg battle system the ps3 has to offer. Don’t have an x box so don’t know there lol

  • Chaos_Knight

    Fun Fact: Masahiro Sakurai likes the battle system.

  • TreizeX

    I really didn’t like the 13 series. Regret getting both games

    But playing the demo for Lightning returns was actually fun. Glad it’s fun this time.

  • Kelohmello

    haha same

  • Kelohmello

    Gonna rent it. Game seems cool and all, but honestly after playing some of the japanese version, while it seems like the revamps they made to the combat system are great, I don’t see myself playing it enough to warrant owning the game myself.

  • Richard N

    All my upvotes to this guy. He’s got my back about the XIII series.

  • Daigure

    You know what? I think I finally understand why this looks as good as it does to me. They took the characters and universe of FFXIII and made it a Valkyrie Profile game based on a single character rather than a party dynamic! Just hear me out: the in-game time limit, Lighting’s Godlike status, being able to map certain spells/attacks to buttons (albeit done slightly differently), being able to move around in real time (in Silmeria); a great chunk of this game has almost everything I love about Valkyrie Profile in its gameplay. Am I crazy, or is anyone else seeing this?

    • MrSirFeatherFang

      Didn’t Tri-Ace work on the map/level design in XIII-2? Not that it really matters if they were involved in LR either… however I’ve been told that the XIII series is heavily based on Norse mythology, just like VP.

      • Tri ace was responsible for xiiis battlle. This one is a new take based on that idea. The new part isdone by shintaro takai and matsuoko. There is another gentlmen part of the team but his name escapes me. Also takai was in charge of visual fx so technically he’s not a designer. But, I felt I should give him credit based on the the fact most of the visuals have been upgraded. Its funny how the demo has the same score as the full game in japan.

        • MrSirFeatherFang

          Wow, thank you very much for the information!

  • revenent hell

    I liked the battle system mostly… I mean it actually became a game that a player plays for the last one… Kudos SE. I did enjoy that in the demo.

  • Original Sayin Prince

    the 13 series just need to end, plz

  • Wesley Kenneth Houpt Mattingly

    Action heavy is not the term I would use to describe the battle system. It’s a pseudo action RPG. Movement in battle serves no purpose, at least as far as the demo showed, We still have an ATB, just 3 of them now.

    • Sylveria

      Indeed. Action heavy is extremely generous. Fundamentally it’s no different from 13 or 13-2. They tried to sell it like an action RPG with the ability to move around the field, but your combat movement speed is so slow it may as well not be there. The only significant change is you can actively defend. Oh, and you can’t afk and still win battles anymore. They’ve finally figured out that whole “Letting the player do something” roadblock they’ve had for the past 6 years..

      It’s closer to Dissidia in some ways, what-with the button assignments being designated to specific skills, but it’s still miles away to that level of intensity and freedom. Even “slower” stuff like Star Ocean is vastly more action oriented than this. It’s just flashy looking.

      • Wesley Kenneth Houpt Mattingly

        Glad someone else doesn’t have SE blinders on and worships XIII :)

        • I don’t worship xiii. The battle system in lightning returns is fun and addictive. Later on my main method for moving was the dodge skill. I leveled up my dodge so the atb cost was 2 or 3. It was awesome =) I can do abattle against chocobo eater without getting attacked at all. I tried in on Buni but he destroyed me until Iswapped it with light guard. I don’t think you need tohave SE blinders to see this battlesystem is fun beyond the demo. To be honest judging 70 hour rpgs based on apsn demo might not be the best way to evaluate an unfolding battle system like this one. But then again what would I know? I Have se shades on though they don’t seem to work as well when it comes to xiii”s battIe sys.

          • Wesley Kenneth Houpt Mattingly

            That isn’t, nor does it a describe an action heavy game. There is the evade counter on the Dragoon class, while cool to pull off, it was a timing of pressing square, more like a QTE rather than an action based roll. I’m going to play 13-3, but I am not fooled by this claim of it beimg an action heavy RPG. Thats like calling 13-2’s QTE’s action rpg elements.

  • Seven of The Scions


  • Vash bane

    o_O demo? English demo? is the same as the jp one?

    and holy cow….there is a weapon that looks like odins….but white.

  • digitaldevil0

    FF XIII-2 is only 9.95 on PSN right now, any worth for it?

  • artemisthemp

    Did Lightning hold Caius sword?

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