TSA’s Top 100 of 2011 – #68 Final Fantasy Versus XIII

Director Tetsuya Nomura-san’s Final Fanasy Versus XIII represents a departure in a series renowned for reinvention. No two Final Fantasy games are the same; each rendition professing its own style, gameplay mechanics and backdrop, while retaining that distinguishable Final Fantasy vibe; permeating themes of ecological concern and the oppressive dogma of totalitarianism ever-present no matter what jumble of roman numerals complete each title’s name.

For Versus, however, Square Enix aren’t just discarding trusted, if somewhat hackneyed, staple Final Fantasy idiosyncratic traits, they’re looking to reinvent the wheel while simultaneously trying to sell you the car.

– ARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW –

Set in the same thematic universe of the vanilla version of Final Fantasy XIII, Versus embraces a degree of realism previously absent from the existing – and extensive – Final Fantasy anthology. It’s still fantastical – it wouldn’t be Final Fantasy if it wasn’t – but instead of anthropomorphic characters, traditional magic and some of the series’ other characteristic quirks, expect cars, semi-automatic weaponry and towering metropolises suggestive of how Tokyo might appear in a few hundred years. Godzilla and rogue governmental experiments withstanding.

As with the highly-anticipated and, if we’re being honest, slighty disappointing XIII, Versus concerns crystals, their protection, and how the political and militaristic landscape of the game’s countries is shaped by their influence. You’d be forgiven in thinking this all sounds familiar.

Protagonist Noctis Lucis Caelum is the heir if one such state. A brooding, standoffish successor with a penchant for blue rinse and, from looking at one of the few images of the game released to date, telekinesis, Noct represents another departure in the long-running series – a decisive main character with a strong personality; independent and resolute in his determination to protect the Caelum Dynasty against marauding crystal-coveters. With a mouthful of a moniker that translates from the Latin “Light of the Night Sky,” naming his flaxon-haired rapier-wielding love interest Stella Nox Fleuret, a name that has connotations of darkness, also suggests a star-crossed Romeo & Juliet type dynamic is on the cards, or, more aptly perhaps, in the crystals, for our Noct.

Nomura-san has confirmed that the game’s combat system is a derivation of another series he worked on, Kingdom Hearts, while characters will be able to drive, walk and airship around a world map, replete with the series’ mandatory random encounters. And that’s pretty much all we know.

There’s no disputing that a game of Final Fantasy Versus XIII’s magnitude ending up in the “wrong” half of this list can be attributed more to the franchise’s last less than stellar outing rather than any suggestion of mass Final Fantasy ennui here at TheSixthAxis. XIII has its acolytes, and rightly so as it’s a rewarding game. The fact that it took so long to dish up the rewards when playing said game is probably why we’re not as eager to return to Chocoboland next year with Versus as we possibly should be.

Finally, though Final Fantasy Versus XIII has been designed with the PS3 in mind, don’t be surprised if the oft-rumoured 360 version magically materialises sometime in the distant future. The “normal” version of XIII sold well enough on Microsoft’s console to warrant another faux’ defection,’ so there’s every reason to believe Noct and his merry cohorts will be defending shiny shards of glass on multiple platforms at some point in time.

– PAGE CONTINUES BELOW –

20 Comments

  1. Just read you guys review of Final Fantasy XIII because of this article and it’s one of the most accurate reviews of the game I read. There is no reason to pan XIII, its not awful it just made some awful mistakes with a good game… Personally though I think FFXII is one of the best in the series and that has a combat system that (From what I’ve seen) resembles Versus XIII… Count me sold anyhow, Nomura, Kingdom Hearts, Final Fantasy, More Gritty etc…. Nice…

    • Indeed. It’s hard to say we were disappointed with XIII (considering we gave it an 8/10). Perhaps we just had very high expectations.
      :)

      • I thought it was a brilliant game with a few disappointing elements but they certainly didn’t come close to spoiling the game for me.
        Thanks for the review compliments :)

      • Im still stuck on the 5 headed boss characters seem pathetically weak compared to him. I think im going to have go back and grind a lot, I’m not looking forward to that.

      • I completely loved XIII but I do understand that some elements bothered other people more than me. I played a whole 104 hours until I got the platinum and don’t regret one second of the journey. The combat system is one of my favourites of all time. I can’t wait until Versus comes out and I’m curious if it excels your slightly lowered expectations. Solid review on XIII so I’m sure you guys will do the same for Versus.

  2. I don’t think FFvsXIII will launch in 2011, atleast not in Europe. So therefore I’ve not included it in my personal top 10 list for 2011, although it was tempting. Really, really looking forward to this, can’t believe you put it at #68!
    Whats wrong with you guys?… ;)

    • Indeed. Kitase-san would not commit to a 2011 release date, and it’s expected that not every game on this list will see a release next year. We are hopeful though.

    • Maybe we thought there 67 games better than Vs?

      • Like the other 67* Final Fantasy games coming out next year

        *May be a slight exaggeration

      • May be. Or you’re simply nuts :)

  3. Enjoyed FF13 after i got to the end of the 10 mile tunnel that was the first 30 hours of gameplay.

    Completed the storymode and hope to return soon to get it on with the marks side quest.

    Probably will get versus just because im a total series fanboy.

  4. This is the final fantasy we’ve all been waiting for, I did a preview in the Gamin Forum if anybody’s interested (can’t post a link, I’m on my phone)

  5. Definitely one of the ones I have been waiting for ever since I saw the first footage. Please bring this out by summer Square-Enix

  6. Kingdom hearts was kinda cool but I miss the classic battle systems from the era of the great FF games (VII, VIII, IX, X). I eventually got used to the system in XII, but it didn’t remotely feel like an FF game. I still haven’t tried XIII yet for that reason, so it’s a shame versus is going the action RPG route too

    • What did you think of FFXII? Personally I think 12 had one of the best battle systems ever. FFX was great as well but it may be seen as too slow by some, which I can understand

      • I loved XII big time, Probably my favorite (After my nostalgic love of VI and VII) – The thing is FFXII was more like a Vagrant Story II though which suited me down to the ground…

  7. I have high hopes for this one, but the fact we haven’t seen any gameplay footage yet does not inspire confidence.

  8. Really hope this comes out next year … i have little hope though

  9. i cant wait for this, I said the same for 13., i love 13 but just havent got the time to sink a lot of hours in it, plus theres always new releases coming out that i ‘have’ to get!

  10. I can’t wait. Versus XIII should be awesome. Just hope it’s not disappointing like XIII. That game is terrible.

Comments are now closed for this post.