Speaking to Famitsu, game designer for Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII Yuji Abe and battle design director Nobuyuki Matsuoka rocked up more details on Hard mode for the game. Players can unlock Hard after finishing the game the first time, which will take anywhere from 20 to 50 hours.
Playing the game on Hard has its benefits–while monsters will also become more difficult, item drops and item quality will also increase, with some impossible-to-find-otherwise items only dropping in Hard. Fortunately, gamers will be able to carry Lightning’s upgraded stats, garb and abilities from their regular playthrough over to Hard mode.
Matsuoka also shared that thinning the herd of a specific monster in an area might possibly spawn a boss version of them. These more powerful creatures will have a chance to drop rare items available only from them. This makes the aforementioned limb-targeting something to pay attention to, training players on where to chop on minion mobs before the big bads.
Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII will be out November 21 in Japan, February 11 in North America and February 14 in Europe for Sony’s PlayStation 3 and Microsoft’s XBox 360.