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Final Fantasy XIII: March 9 In North America

Also, uh, Leona Lewis?

You can stop worrying: There are in fact games coming out early next year. One of them is Final Fantasy XIII, which Square Enix has just confirmed will release in North America on March 9. That's both the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions of the game.

The company also confirmed the game's requisite pop song will be performed by... Leona Lewis. Still scratching my head a bit over that one, though at least this choice will curry more favor in Western markets than the Japanese pop stars that have contributed to previous games in the series. This also marks the first time Final Fantasy and Simon Cowell have come together in a meaningful capacity.

Hey, Square put out a trailer to promote this announcement. This trailer has a host. They are serious about this. 


  

While I'm throwing promotional business at you, here are three new shots of the game, along with the company pitch on the game's story and features (WARNING: STRAIGHT OUT THE PRESS RELEASE). Square would also like you to know that three new characters--Fang, Hope, and Serah--are now on display at the official site, too.

Story

Cocoon — a utopia in the sky.
Its inhabitants believed their world a paradise.
Under the Sanctum's rule, Cocoon had long known peace and prosperity.
Mankind was blessed by its protectors, the benevolent fal'Cie, and believed that tranquil days would continue forever.
Their tranquility was shattered with the discovery of one hostile fal'Cie.
The moment that fal'Cie from Pulse — the feared and detested lowerworld — awoke from its slumber, peace on Cocoon came to an end.
Fal'Cie curse humans, turning them into magic-wielding servants.
They become l'Cie — chosen of the fal'Cie.
Those branded with the mark of a l'Cie carry the burden of either fulfilling their Focus or facing a fate harsher than death itself.
A prayer for redemption.
A wish to protect the world.
A promise to challenge destiny.
After thirteen days of fates intertwined, the battle begins.
 

Features

  • Take Part in a Gaming Experience that Sets New Standards – The first in the series developed for a simultaneous release on multiple high-definition consoles, FINAL FANTASY XIII pushes new boundaries in cinematic presentation, sound and gameplay.
  • Experience the Unity of Speed and Strategy with the Ultimate Active Time Battle system – The familiar system has evolved, granting players the freedom of executing numerous commands in a single turn with the multi-slot ATB gauge. Whether inputting singular commands in each slot for consecutive attacks, or expending multiple slots at once to activate a devastating blow, it’s up to the players to respond effectively to the battle conditions at hand.
  • Adapt to the Ever-Changing Tide of Battle with Paradigms – A brand-new game mechanic enabling players to assign roles to their party members at any time during battle, shifting between combat paradigms. Consisting of various combinations of the game's six roles, ranging from Commando, the offensive specialist, to Medic, the quintessential healer, paradigms allow players to respond and adapt instantly to any given situation to turn the tide and seize victory.
  • Witness the Battle Scene Transform with an All-New Summon System – Introducing Gestalt Mode, a powerful dimension of the summon system that elevates the action to a whole new level. In Gestalt Mode, characters and their transformed Eidolons fight as one, dealing massive damage to enemies through simple button commands.
  • Delve into an Emotional Experience – An immersive storyline connects players to an intriguing cast of characters. Will they have the strength to confront their cursed fates, or will destiny prevail over all that they believe in?
  






Now that FFXIII has a release date and consequently is starting to feel more like a video game and not some nebulous idea, I'm actually kind of getting excited about this thing. Where's your hype level and what platform are you feeling for this one?     Brad Shoemaker on Google+
236 Comments
Posted by babz

finally!!!

Posted by Creamypies

Also why isn't this article called "Final Fantasy XIII: March 9 in North America and Europe. Because that is what the trailer said.

Posted by PapaLazarou

The problem I have with Final Fantasy games is the characters look ghey, the voice acting always sucks and the script writing is so cheesy.

Posted by DavidSnakes

"FF13 quite possibly the most anticipated gaming experience of all time"
 
Hahaha, what a joke.

Posted by WilliamRLBaker
@Noodles said:
" Getting it on PS3 for sure. Grinding achievements and getting bombarded by game invites/messages while playing a Final Fantasy game would completely ruin the experience for me. "
good news!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! you can turn that stuff off...
Posted by Tebbit

I am really excited. I'm getting Final Fantasy VII jitters all over again!!

Posted by reflekshun

Omg thats one of the most epic trailers I have ever seen!

Posted by Jayzilla

it's time for androgyny...

Posted by Meteora

About bloody time. I was thinking they would release it in May or June but I was wrong apparently.

Posted by Curufinwe
@PapaLazarou said:
" The problem I have with Final Fantasy games is the characters look ghey, the voice acting always sucks and the script writing is so cheesy. "
The voice acting in FF12 was fantastic, especially Balthier and Fran.
Posted by NateDogg

lol how is it wrong to get it on an Xbox? Didn't FF Start their shit on Nintendo anyways? Wouldn't it feel wrong to get it on a PS3?  
 
ACHIEVEMENTS! 

Posted by Aljosa15

I'm getting this day one for the 360, super excited for it.

Posted by demonbear
@ryanwho said:
" @demonbear said:

" @Vito_Raliffe said:

" Most likely the PS3 version for me. It just feels wrong for me to get it on the 360. "

Since it was developped on the PS3 first and adapted to the 360 second, this is the correct choice. "
In other words, don't play Fallout 3 or any first year multiconsole games, because they were developed for the 360 and ported to the PS3. Sound logic, goober, good luck with all that. Never forget, man.  "
Be a fanboy if you want, i don't care. All im saying is that if you have the choice, go with the console on which this game was originally built for. They came up with the 360 version pretty quickly, there's a rish there and one more thing : 
 
CD Swapping.
Posted by Brendan
@Curufinwe said:
" @PapaLazarou said:
" The problem I have with Final Fantasy games is the characters look ghey, the voice acting always sucks and the script writing is so cheesy. "
The voice acting in FF12 was fantastic, especially Balthier and Fran. "

True THAT! I loved FF12
Posted by TheKing

360 for me. I only play blu-rays and exclusives on my PS3.

Posted by iDrop2

3.9.2010 could be interpreted as September 3, 2010 (if you're European), and judging by past FF games, it'll probably get pushed back to around that date.

Posted by SoothsayerGB

God, it looks horrible.  The better the graphics get, the gayer everything is.  SE is trying to take over the world, by making all our children pacifist gays.
 
There hasn't been a decent FF since 8 and that one wasn't very good in the end half.  They have been riding their own coat tails since 7.   Which is obvious in this video, as they try to sell themselves, again. 
The originals are still the only ones worth playing.
 
Every time they reinvent their systems, they get more and more cluttered.  6 was fine, they should have just built on it.  Now they are completely lost. Trying, once again, to do to much.  While impressing simple minds with flashy colors. Hence the same basic story formula. It's a insult really.
 
If only the new ones were half as good as the original 4.  Those were fun.   They were simple with a detailed story.  Everything was customizable.  Not over flashy and unneeded.
 
But my opinion doesn't matter.  Since I'm not 12 and this isn't being made for me.  Just sucks that FF never grew up when its original fan base did/should have.  
 
Final Fantasy is stuck in its own world, collecting fanboys like the old crazy cat lady.  Who lives down the street and never leaves her house.   

Posted by lucas_kelly

Hopefully its the same for Australia.

Posted by liveinafrijj

i'm soooooo hyped, after the pile of boring krap that 12 was, this actually looks like it's gunna be aweeeeeesome!! Still wish it would go back to old skool battling, ie. ff7, 8, 9, 10 but still, can't wait.

Posted by ivanbez

i betting now that there will be no trophy/achievement support. i would actually prefer that, as they would just ruin the FF experience.  

Posted by osuvinny

I'm still debating on which system I'll be getting this for.  I might wait until the reviews come out and see if there are any advantages with either the 360 or PS3 version of the game.  Right now I'm leaning towards PS3 since I'm used to playing FF on Sony's systems by now.
Posted by DiGiTaL_SiN

Some Guy!

Edited by WinterSnowblind
@demonbear said:

" @ryanwho said:

" @demonbear said:

" @Vito_Raliffe said:

" Most likely the PS3 version for me. It just feels wrong for me to get it on the 360. "

Since it was developped on the PS3 first and adapted to the 360 second, this is the correct choice. "
In other words, don't play Fallout 3 or any first year multiconsole games, because they were developed for the 360 and ported to the PS3. Sound logic, goober, good luck with all that. Never forget, man.  "
Be a fanboy if you want, i don't care. All im saying is that if you have the choice, go with the console on which this game was originally built for. They came up with the 360 version pretty quickly, there's a rish there and one more thing :   CD Swapping. "
 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crystal_Tools
 The game was NOT developed on the PS3.  It uses a specially created system on a PC platform to make porting it over to either Windows, PS3 or 360 as easy as possible.  (or even the Wii, although that obviously wouldn't be possible in this case)

Although the PS3 version has been worked on the longest, there's no reason to beleive there will be any significant difference because of the Crystal Tools. 
Personally, I haven't decided which system I have to buy it on, but I can tell you for 100% certain that having to switch discs at two key moments through-out the game will not have any impact on my choice.  Infact, I always loved how that built up the tension in FFVII, VIII and IX.
 
I'm also not sure I follow the "Buying it on Xbox doesn't feel right" comments, considering the game was originally a Nintendo series and all of the classics have recently been re-released on the GBA/DS and Wii.  Playing it on my 360 would feel no more strange than playing it on the Playstation..  And yes, being from the UK, VII was the first one I played.  Are you guys honestly telling me that none of you have played any of the Nintendo versions?
Posted by ndawgdrake

I hope they release JP Version with Eng Subs. Either that, or they release the American Version with the option to switch to the JP version's theme song.

Posted by BiG_Weasel

Looks interesting, but JRPGs are getting old.  Its the same over-the-top crap all the time.  Oh, and what's up with the names? Ever since Cloud, they've gotten progressively worse.  You've heard the rumors, I'm sure, that in FF XIV, the characters names are Chilidog, Scooteroo, and Anal Seepage, right?

Posted by ElectricHaggis

Excluding any major difference in quality, I'll be playing the 360 version.  Achievements really got a hold on me.

Posted by Demonstride

I'm hyped I definitely am gonna get a copy.

Posted by xyzygy
@Video_Game_King said:
" @xyzygy: 
 
Oh, OK. Still, not very trusting of Square on the 360, probably because the guys behind Final Fantasy couldn't make a convenient box that held all 4 discs at once. "
Hey, all you had to do for Lost Odyssey was get a DVD sleeve for the other disc, which are extremely cheap. But I do agree - when I first got the game and opened it up and seen one disc just randomly floating... I was like WTF. Lost Odyssey is fantastic though! It's going to be interesting comparing the two games once they're out for 360. FFXIII is going to have to be insanely good if it wants to top Lost Odyssey.
Posted by Video_Game_King
@xyzygy: 
 
I'm not saying anything about the quality of the game, just the quality of the packaging. The worst thing about it is that Japan got the 2-door thingy you'd expect it to have, meaning they knew it existed and knew it could be used.
Posted by ShadowSkill11

I was putting off a pre-order until now because I was waiting for a firm release date. Now that I have one I am putting it off to see if a collectors edition will come out. March is a nice surprise though. I assumed it would be closer to summer since Japan was only getting it in December.

Posted by Jeffsekai

That in game footage looked like ass.

Posted by Banjo_ace
@Aljosa15:same
Edited by Meowayne
@xyzygy said:

FFXIII is going to have to be insanely good if it wants to top Lost Odyssey. "

This. I hoped XIII was going to improve on the storytelling, but every trailer tells me that this is not the case, quite the opposite. It seems to be the same melodramatic embarrassment that Lost Odyssey was; only Lost Odyssey made up for that in the combat and dungeon/level design department.
Edited by CL60
@demonbear said:

" @ryanwho said:

" @demonbear said:

" @Vito_Raliffe said:

" Most likely the PS3 version for me. It just feels wrong for me to get it on the 360. "

Since it was developped on the PS3 first and adapted to the 360 second, this is the correct choice. "
In other words, don't play Fallout 3 or any first year multiconsole games, because they were developed for the 360 and ported to the PS3. Sound logic, goober, good luck with all that. Never forget, man.  "
Be a fanboy if you want, i don't care. All im saying is that if you have the choice, go with the console on which this game was originally built for. They came up with the 360 version pretty quickly, there's a rish there and one more thing :   CD Swapping. "
Who gives a shit about CD swapping? PS3 will most likely have to install the game at certain points like it did with MGS4. Those points will probably be the exact same points that the 360 needs to change discs. Are you seriously too lazy to walk a few feet to change a disc?
Posted by Meowayne

 Who gives a shit about CD swapping?

I do. I love it. Its like completing a chapter when reading a book. A great feeling. I think everyone remembers how awesome it felt when completing a disc in the PSX Final Fantasy era.
Edited by AgileNate

Im gunna wait a while after release to buy this game. Well maybe when there are lots of gameplay videos it will change my mind... The story and characters dont catch my eyes like past Final Fantasy games. I'm just getting tired of the teen anime feel. Maybe its more mature than I think and at least this protagonist looks older than 13...  Also like some others have mentioned, I dont mind swapping disc because most games with multiple discs as you to switch at the right time and it can get suspenseful. Hopefully the PS3 version has some kind of pause where normally a disc change would be needed.

Edited by jmrwacko
@Afroman269 said:

" @Warchief said:

" 0 interest in this game. "
this. Never got into the Final Fantasy series. It just looked like the same game with slightly updated looks and features in the turn-based combat. Some of you out may point out something different to me so go for it. This isn't my cup of tea. "
You're missing out then. The Final Fantasy series has multiple GOTY-winning entries, and from the trailers, I feel like FFXIII won't be any different.
@Light_Bahamut said:
" I always find it oddly disturbing that the Japanese do not create heroic characters who look like them. They're always these strangely white yet not actually Caucasian people.  "

I often see this, and think to myself if people are actually visualizing Chinese people when they make this statement. There actually isn't that large of a gap physically between the typical Japanese and Caucasian person, only that the Japanese have rounder jaws and slightly slanted eyes.
Posted by WinterSnowblind
@Meowayne said:
"

 Who gives a shit about CD swapping?

I do. I love it. Its like completing a chapter when reading a book. A great feeling. I think everyone remembers how awesome it felt when completing a disc in the PSX Final Fantasy era. "
Thank you.  This is what I meant in my last post, but wasn't sure how to word it.
Edited by Pronssi

If the PS3 version allows switching the audio to japanese, then I'll definitely get that. If not, then I probably end up importing the japanese release or possibly not getting the game at all. 
 
Obviously this is an indication, that I absolutely despise the english voice-overs they've done this time, everything I've heard has sounded equally bad or even more bad than the voice acting in FF10. Enough to make me skip one of the most anticipated games of 2010.
 
Oh, and how come you forgot to mention that the European release date is also 3rd of March 2010 when the commentator dude clearly talks about both regions in the video? Am I sensing some partiality towards the US here?;)

Posted by Meowayne

From what I've seen, voice acting cannot save the sub-soap-opera-level cringeworthyness of the script.

Posted by HCARyan

Holy shit, who cares if you're buying for the PS3 or the 360, it'll be the same damn game on both systems.  You don't get cool points for owning one system or the other.

Posted by Spike94

My level of hype has increased by a rather large margin. I am feeling the PS3 for this one. Mainly because I lack a 360 and the PS3 is my favorite current-gen console, but I am stoked regardless, and intend to (probably) get this game. I was originally planning to only get the Versus game (had me at "Kingdom Hearts Team") but things have slightly changed with each new thing or whatever I see or hear of about this game. It's lookin' good.
Posted by Slippy
@WinterSnowblind said:
"@demonbear said:

" @ryanwho said:

" @demonbear said:

" @Vito_Raliffe said:

" Most likely the PS3 version for me. It just feels wrong for me to get it on the 360. "

Since it was developped on the PS3 first and adapted to the 360 second, this is the correct choice. "
In other words, don't play Fallout 3 or any first year multiconsole games, because they were developed for the 360 and ported to the PS3. Sound logic, goober, good luck with all that. Never forget, man.  "
Be a fanboy if you want, i don't care. All im saying is that if you have the choice, go with the console on which this game was originally built for. They came up with the 360 version pretty quickly, there's a rish there and one more thing :   CD Swapping. "
 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crystal_Tools
 The game was NOT developed on the PS3.  It uses a specially created system on a PC platform to make porting it over to either Windows, PS3 or 360 as easy as possible.  (or even the Wii, although that obviously wouldn't be possible in this case)Although the PS3 version has been worked on the longest, there's no reason to beleive there will be any significant difference because of the Crystal Tools.

That's not totally true. Try not to asume everything you read on Wikipedia is the whole uncut truth. Crystal Tools was not unvelied until GDC2008 - a whole two years after the game had been show at E3 2006 running on PS3 hardware. It's precursor, the White Engine, had been specifically designed to take advantage of the Cell's SPUs (4 out of the 7 iirc, back when IGN interviewed them post-E3 2006). The engine was not initially designed to be for games or platforms outside of Final Fantasy XIII and Final Fantasy Versus XIII on PS3 - it was only made multiplatform friendly later on to accomodate an Xbox 360 version of Final Fantasy XIII, which was unsurprisingly announced a couple of months after GDC.  
 
So yes, there was a large gap of time before Crystal Tools inception, dating back as far as 2005, when the game was being developed only on the PS3 under the White Engine. You are also forgetting Square's own words regarding the 360 version - they will only begin the porting process after they have finished the main work on the PS3 version. This further cuts down on the amount of time they are allowed to spend on the 360 version. The early 360 taster they showed at E3 2009 demonstrated a framerate quite a bit worse than it was in the PS3 Advent Children demo. Now, not to sound like a pessimist, but it isn't as good a situation on 360 as you are imagining it to be. It's not like they are using an engine as versatile as Capcom's MT Framework engine - that thing is like a poster-child for multiplat engines, yet even it had some serious teething troubles on PS3 and has only now started to show some real platform parity.
Edited by Karmann

I love Final Fantasy, but I'm definitely not feeling this one! Not sure why, maybe I'm just tired of the "fantasy" part, I can't wait for Persona5 though! 
...If I do end up getting this game, It'd be PS3 though.

Posted by obiwan

I'll keep this in sight. I have lost interest in any FF since FF11....

Posted by Jedted

I saw this on XBL and even thoug i'm not a big FF fan i enjoyed the little intro with the random announcer guy talking about the history of the series.  If there's no other games coming out at the same time then i'll i might try this out for the 360.

 

Online
Posted by Kenzo287

Looks like me and my PS3 have a date in March

Posted by jamescheong

This is, quite possibly, the most anticipated game of ALL TIME

Posted by pirate_republic

A host? Damn they are serious.

Edited by Brau
@pirate_republic: I just saw this guy in a different spot for Lawyers.com. 
  
  I guess he's just like the rest of us.  Gotta pay the bills somehow.  They should have had the woman in this spot host the Final Fantasy promo in a wardrobe furnished by Team Ninja.  We'd probably have fewer complaints.