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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 Brad

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?    
Staff
Posted by CharlesAlanRatliff

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

Posted by G0rd0nFr33m4n

what is anime crazy ? :(
Posted by Mushir

Some Guy! Woo!

Posted by Vendetta

Nice to see it releasing in March rather than June, but I'm not going to hold my breath. I was so excited for FF12 and that game let me down, hard. I've sort of migrated away from JRPGs since FF10 and more toward action RPGs. But I'm such a huge fan of old school JRPGs that I'll definitely check this one out regardless.

Posted by dubios451

My girlfriend wants this.

Posted by MrGetBonus

I just wanna ride a motorcycle made out of sexy ladies.

Posted by atomic_dumpling

 This trailer is over 9000.
Posted by empfeix

The host of this commerical makes me want to have a warm cup of cocoa and discuss old memories with friends.  Well done.

Edited by Linkyshinks

I kinda like the Japanese theme song, it's grown on me. 
 
  

Posted by Seedofpower

double post?

Posted by ThePhenomenal1

i'm gonna probably get the ps3 version too thought it depends on how both versions actually stack up against each other.

Edited by Adamantium

Game looks cool, but I had to wiki Leona Lewis just to find out who she is. If they're not gonna use some J-Pop star that I've never heard of, what's the point?
 
Edit: also that dude's a tool. I'd rather have some unintelligible Japanese dude in a t-shirt telling me to buy the game; it just feels right.

Posted by Noodles

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.

Posted by Blair

The PS3 version is the right answer here.
 
It's best if you just forget that it's coming out for the 360.

Posted by kumis

Why does everyone ignore the fact that he says North American AND EUROPEAN release date?

Posted by Bwast

Endurance run? DO IT.

Posted by _Phara0h_

Chocobo riding confirmed Yeah I'm in.....

Posted by MarkWahlberg

Whenever I see that blond dude, I just think of the parodies IGN did. Which were HILARIOUS, by the way.

Posted by Kyle

Ugh, I feel like I've been done with this game before it's even come out. I miss the days back when I didn't pay attention to game news and I just went into Final Fantasys cold.

Posted by Frederik

Leona Lewis? Seriously?!... Well that won't stop me from getting excited, I would just wish that they would just spit out the PS3 version already and then focus on the XBOX release afterwards... That's how selfish I am :)
 
P.S. God dammit the japanese guy speaking english was hard to understand...

Posted by niall077

this in the same month as GT5 and God of War 3 and Super Street Fighter IV?     
 
I will be deep into college assignment and exams then no I dont think I will be picking up this untill the sumemr
Posted by Asseroth

North America AND EUROPE!

Posted by Joker_777

Is it wrong for me to have an overwhelming urge to stab this man?

Posted by Callik

Serious video is serious.  You can tell from the obscene amount of lens flare.
 
Also way to be ambiguous; any European watching will take September 3rd 2010 from that =P

Posted by John_Martone

Where is everyone getting the fact that it's releasing on 360 at the same time? I mean, I heard in the video that it was both NA and Europe, but never once saw message of a system, and I assumed they were still on a delayed release schedule. Maybe them being simultaneous releases is old news I just missed it though

Posted by cmac2099

Leona Lewis and Final Fantasy? What's next? Disney and Final Fantasy? (ha, that'll be the day)

Posted by CharlesAlanRatliff
@Kyle said:
" Ugh, I feel like I've been done with this game before it's even come out. I miss the days back when I didn't pay attention to game news and I just went into Final Fantasys cold. "
I ignore all news on any game that I don't want spoiled. Anytime you see anything that says Final Fantasy XIII, scroll past it/don't click it!
 
Only 4 months to go man. You can do it!
Posted by Arjuna

Thanks, some guy.  BTW, you better hurry, my patience has long since grown thin and is now on the verge of becoming disinterested.

Posted by Gunharp

I'll be purchasing the game for the PS3, very much so looking forward to it.

Posted by JackSukeru

I can't believe this is actually coming out, seems longer than forever since they announced it. 
 
Actually I'm not even sure how I feel about it anymore, picking it up for sure though. Still dug FF back when 10 was released.

Edited by dankempster

This is a definite pick-up-on-day-one title for me now. Nice to see us European gamers aren't getting shafted with the release date, for once. Between this and Red Dead Redemption, my spring is going to be full of gamey goodness :D

Posted by Crackerz

About damn time we got a date

Edited by LeetBalla

I really don't see anything that makes me want to play this game. I would much rather play Lost Odyssey again. On a side note, I found it funny that the first thing Producer, Yoshinori Kitase, wanted to point out about the game was that HD resolutions make things look better. lol. Thanks for the info.

Posted by Symphony

Horray for an earlier release date! Can't even say I've heard of Leona Lewis though... I wonder why they couldn't just stick with Sayuri Suguwara... Oh wait, I'm pretty sure I know considering this is the same group that didn't realize many western fans would love the option to keep the original Japanese voices... =/
 
Though I don't really agree with you, Brad, on the idea this will "curry more favor in Western markets than the Japanese pop stars that have contributed to previous games in the series". The theme songs have never been a big point of contention, and "Eyes on Me" (theme of FFVIII) by Faye Wong was very well received, while "Suteki da ne" from FFX was also popular enough to be a part of live concerts such as "Beginning of Fantasy" and "More Friends: Music from Final Fantasy". Also, the English localization of the pop song from FFX-2 didn't exactly change peoples opinions about that game or make it any more well-received ;P

Anyways enough nerdy fan-girl ranting from me. My hype level's pretty high with this one; it's one of the few games I am actively trying to avoid any and all spoilers for (sorry I didn't read 75% of the article or watch that video because of this ;P). I'm still torn between getting it on the 360 or PS3.... really depends on if Tales of Vesperia gets a western PS3 release by then... if so, I'll have incentive enough to finally buy one and if that's the case I'd be silly not to get FFXIII on the PS# as well.

Edited by mikeja

Was I the only one that found the announcer and the script unbearable?  The dramatic reading, the awful "well they havent told me the release date" bit, the fact that the man only uses the left side of his face when talking. 
 
Getting it on 360 seems "wrong", points or no points.  There's something to be said for not having to get up to swap discs too. :-)

Posted by Slippy

Wtf at the host. This game doesn't need any of this crap - it's FINAL FANTASY. It will sell millions regardless of its marketing. 
 
I will be picking this up on PS3 as it's the lead platform and I view FF as a PlayStation franchise. I'm also betting that the video quality and audio will be vastly superior thanks to Blu-ray.
Posted by bybeach
@Linkyshinks said:
"I kinda like the Japanese theme song, it's grown on me. 
 
  
"

She so cute
 
Loved the fingernail polish. They hid she`s a little heavy, but i don`t care. 
 
As for FF..well, NEVER.  Back to borderlands.
Posted by mikeja
@Slippy: or equal thanks to several dvds :-)
Posted by Computerplayer1

I don't think there is a face palm big enough for that host...

Posted by Milkman

That's waaaaaaaaayy earlier than I expected.

Posted by LeetBalla
@mikeja: I don't know if disc swapping is such a bad thing. It would have been much quicker to just stick a new disk in Metal Gear Solid 4 when the chapter changes. That, on top of the fact that you have to reinstall the chapter every time you want to start that chapter.
Posted by JJOR64

 Great to see the game finally got a US release date.  I just hope this game doesn't come out when Super Street Fighter IV is out because I will never play FF13 if that's the case.

Posted by theWarren

I'd love to see a Quick Look (when available) of the combat system.  I'm not sure if i should be excited or scared.  Without a combat system i like...i may just have to skip this one as i did for 12.

Edited by Evilsbane

If I get the game at all ill wait and see which version is better as much as I like my 360 something tells me the PS3 version is gonna come out on top that seems to be the new trend plus this was started on the PS3 but we shall see it would be nice if the 360 version stacked up toe to toe to silence some of the PS3 extremist.
 
 @cmac2099: Ah ah i see what you did there.

Posted by CL60

Sweet.

Posted by Jimbo

That guy at the start needs a massive kick in the face.

Posted by Death_Burnout

Dude that video is fucking insane, i want that guy to sell me other things! holy shit...get that guy in my house!

Posted by Warchief

0 interest in this game.

Posted by PureRok
@kumis said:
" Why does everyone ignore the fact that he says North American AND EUROPEAN release date? "
Because this is a NA website.