Within a matter of two weeks, Square-Enix will be launching which is perhaps one of the biggest titles in the Final Fantasy series, and to get everyone ready just in time for it, Square has been dropping a ton of goodies over the last week. Every thing from, the constant urging from Square to pre-order for the exclusive Cloud Strife costume and buster sword down to a retrospective video of the first two games in the XIII series have all been thrown at us. And I have to say, if that isn’t enough to make you go pre-order your copy of Lightning Returns, then stick around because I’m about to take you down a long list of reasons why you should purchase your copy of Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII.
Now before I get started, let’s be honest…everyone seems to talk about how much they hated the Final Fantasy XIII series, but honestly if everyone really hated it as much as they say they did, would Square-Enix really go out of their way to make a XIII-2 or XIII-3? Sure, XIII had it’s flaws with a the linear path and all. And let’s not forget about the forced leveling grind. But it wasn’t that bad was it? Maybe I’m wrong and there’s just a sleuth of Final Fantasy fan boys that will literally pick up and buy anything that has the name Final Fantasy attached to it, either way Square Enix felt the need to make two sequels and here we are now.
Reasons to Pre-Order Lightning Returns
So Lightning Returns is set to come out and you’re wondering if you should pre-order or wait until or after the release date. Here’s a few reasons why you shouldn’t hold off on the pre-order.
- Cloud Strife 1st Class Soldier Uniform w/ Buster Sword
Apparently, Square-Enix feels the need to take us back down memory lane and market Final Fantasy VII more by allowing those who pre-order their copy of LIghtning Returns to dress up as non other than Cloud Strife. Not only will they get to dress up a the blonde spikey hero of Final Fantasy VII, players also get to wield the Buster Sword, a sword that passed down from Angeal to Zack and from Zack down to Cloud. One can only wonder how Light came upon it. Lightning even does the victory pose that Cloud does at the end of each battle. Geez, talk about triggering that nostalgic feeling. I’m sure a lot of people will want to download and play Final Fantasy VII after all this, especially when just about every gaming website is cramming it down our throats.
- Collector’s Edition Sweepstakes
You know…at this point, I’m tempted to tell Square to shut up and take my money. Why? I mean come on, what doesn’t get much more awesome than a chance to win a customized console of the person’s choice, a copy of both XIII and XIII-2 for the console of the person’s choice, a Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII collared button down shirt, and a Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII Logo emblem keychain? Anyone that pre-orders is automatically entered into the sweepstakes, with one grand prize winner receiving all that was just mentioned and 13 second prize winners receiving the T-shirt and Key chain. Yeah…Square Enix this is for you…
Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII Demo
Now if that wasn’t enough, on January 21, 2014 Square Enix released a playable demo for the game. The demo itself covers the first few minutes of the game, leading up to the first boss battle. After watching the intro twice (yes they make you watch the intro twice) I found myself fighting an Anubis like chaos demon and was walked through the first few battles with small tutorials on the battles system.
Now the battle system itself is slightly different from XIII (I haven’t played XIII-2 yet) and player finds theirself in a bit more control of Lightning as opposed to the previous games. After struggling to get use to the controls, I was able to easily take down my enemies. That is…until I got to the boss. The boss was a bit tough as I found myself trying to manage my ATB gauge, all the while switching between classes in an attempt to stagger the boss.
When I finally found a good combo and strategy on how to quickly and effectively damage and stagger the boss it was smooth sailing from there. Needless to say, I was a bit disappointed to see it all end so quickly and I guess I’ll have to wait until Feb. 11th for my copy of Lightning Returns.
Revisiting the past…retro style!
For those of us that have enjoyed the Final Fantasy XIII series, it’s sad to see this story finally come to an end. But, If there was ever a way to relive the past, Square sure knows how to do it. On January 29th, Square released a retrospective video recounting the journey of Lightning and her friends…in classic Final Fantasy RPG style. Check it out below.
To be honest, I fall in with that crowd that loved the first XIII and will be purchasing XIII-2 to go along with my pre-ordered copy of Lightning Returns. Sure, I hated the linear path. Sure I hated that Hope couldn’t decide if he wanted to take revenge on Snow or just be a whiny baby. Sure I hated that Vanille was always just so damn bubbly and happy. And sure, I hated that I’m still stuck on Chapter 13 trying to max out my Crystarium for everyone before I head on to Orphan. But all in all, I loved the game, the graphics, the gameplay, you name it and I loved it.
It’ll be said to say goodbye to Lightning and everyone, but as one Fantasy ends…a new one will soon begin.