New Final Fantasy XIII And FF7 Prequel Details Emerge
Following Square's sketchy E3 announcement from a few weeks ago, more details about their new Final Fantasy XIII universe are finally starting to emerge from Japan, along with some teasing bits and pieces regarding Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII - the upcoming PSP prequel that focuses on Zack's role as a Soldier (and of course Sephiroth as his wicked self).
First off we have IGN's story based on a couple of Japanese magazines. According to director Motomu Toriyama, scenario work for the main Final Fantasy XIII title is 80% complete, with the game's visual engine, running on actual PS3 hardware, being nearly finished. And that, considering the fact that FF XIII first began as a PS2 project some three years ago, and that everything was started from scratch when the development staff started anew on the PS3. Also from IGN's report, we learn that:
"Weapons seem like they will play a big part in the main FFXIII too. Toriyama noted that with the PS2, weapons were forced to have the absolute minimal amount of polygons. With FFXIII, the staff has devoted considerable polygon budget to the weapons... going so far as to include details right down to "transformation gimmicks." Weapons can change form in the middle of battle, which is what we see in the FFXIII trailer as the main character uses her sword as a gun.
(...) one of the team's goals is to show "the next type of RPG following Final Fantasy X." FFXIII will make some big changes to the RPG genre, right down to the basic progression of going to a town, talking to people, then moving on to battles. Kitase believes people will feel "Is this really FF?" when they play the game."
The other PS3 project, Final Fantasy Versus XIII, is a lot earlier in development, and in fact Tetsuya Nomura (director and character designer) revealed that so far "absolutely nothing has been done on the actual scenario". They do however plan on building a game with completely different characters, a different world and even different visual design. The only thing linking all the future FF XIII games will be the mythogoly of this new universe.
Not much else is said in IGN's story, however another interview - which was translated and posted on GameBrink - reveals plenty more gameplay details about the new FF XIII games, including Final Fantasy Agito XIII for mobile phones. Not to mention it also tells a thing or two about Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII, which is due out this summer on the PSP. So it's definitely worth a read, if you can spare the time!(N.B. Archive text, links removed)