Lightning Return's Time Mechanic

#1 Posted by Demoskinos (13832 posts) -

So taking a page out of Majora's Mask or Dead Rising (take your pick) Lightning Returns indeed has a constant literal Doomsday Clock ticking down. So, like many people I was wondering how this was going to affect the game as Final Fantasy games and RPG's in general are games that are usually more relaxed in their pacing. Well Amazon has released a small .pdf guide that covers a lot of the basics of the game which you can find here if you want to read through and pick out the information yourself. However, I've got the tl:dr version here in bullet points below:

  • The game features 5 main quests which must be done by the end of day 12 to access the final day and the end game content.
  • Sidequests are REALLY important. Completing them gives you "eradia" a.k.a A small amount of soul energy from those she helps along her way on the side quests. This is turned in at the end of every day and at specific milestones of eradia earned you can "earn" extra days on the clock.
  • Every day ends at 6:00 at which time your transported back to "The Ark" Lightning's sort of "home base" where time does not flow.
  • Time of Day matters. NPCs, Monsters and availability of side quests are all dependent on the time of day.
  • A special "day" and story quest can be unlocked by completing a large amount of side quests.
  • If you run out of time its Game Over. Your only option is to restart the game but.....
  • ...if you have to restart you can also choose New Game+ allowing you to carry over almost all of your character progress à la Dead Rising.

So, who is getting this on Tuesday? I'm pretty excited I've been trying to get back up to speed on the main story beats. Also, last minute FYI if you have saves from FFXIII and FFXIII-2 you can unlock Light's outfits from both games by having those saves present on your HDD upon starting your game.

#2 Edited by Fredchuckdave (4473 posts) -

I'll play this eventually; it just looks like the combat isn't as interesting as the previous 2 games (which had the best combat in any FF and in 95% of JRPGs as a whole) and like any game the price will tank quickly. Obviously Dark Souls 2 will be out by the time the price tanks and that'll last a few months; at that point if its $20-25 I'll buy it if it's $30+ then I'll wait and see if it comes out on PS+

#3 Posted by SteadyingMeat (631 posts) -

Thanks so much for this! I was wondering how this would work but couldn't find a straight answer anywhere.

I'd still vastly prefer this game to not have this time mechanic, but yeah, I'm definitely picking this up. I mean, I played the first two, I might as well play this one as well.....Even though jerks have already spoiled most of the game for me. >_>

#4 Posted by Demoskinos (13832 posts) -

@steadyingmeat: Yep. I started being real careful what I read and where I read it once it came out in Japan in November. Hopefully you can still have fun with it.

#5 Posted by benspyda (1891 posts) -

The time stuff is a little off putting to me. I'm not a fan of the time mechanic in the dead rising games but I will probably play this eventually. I'll probably check out FFXIII-2 first though. Also I'm playing Bravely Default which is probably a better JRPG anyway.

#6 Edited by lilyWhite (29 posts) -

I'm getting it on Day 1. (First game I've ever pre-ordered. The Cloud Strife DLC sealed the deal. I am a weak weak woman.)

Another important thing to note (since not everyone might take the time to look through the guide) is that you have access to the Chronostasis ability which freezes time for a short period, giving you some breathing room when it comes to time limitations.

#8 Posted by StarvingGamer (7553 posts) -

I am so excited and have this preordered but I still haven't beaten FFXIII-2 yet. I probably should stop doing all the sidequests and just critical path it but I can't because it's so fun and I am probably going to run out of time in Lightning Returns.

#9 Posted by Hailinel (22695 posts) -

I am so excited and have this preordered but I still haven't beaten FFXIII-2 yet. I probably should stop doing all the sidequests and just critical path it but I can't because it's so fun and I am probably going to run out of time in Lightning Returns.

I never actually beat FFXIII-2, either. I really wanted to get around to that, but I just didn't find the pacing as interesting as in XIII, I guess, and another game just caught my attention. Not finishing XIII-2 is the crowning piece on top of my pile of shame for this past generation. I don't intend to make that mistake for Lightning Returns.

#10 Posted by kishinfoulux (2077 posts) -

@benspyda said:

The time stuff is a little off putting to me. I'm not a fan of the time mechanic in the dead rising games but I will probably play this eventually. I'll probably check out FFXIII-2 first though. Also I'm playing Bravely Default which is probably a better JRPG anyway.

I was put off by the time stuff as well, but if you run out of time you can basically start over in a new game plus. It's not just game over and you have to start all over again with a clean slate thankfully.

#11 Edited by GERALTITUDE (2810 posts) -

ahhhhhhh..

This explains some of the reviews.

Historically reviewers have always cried foul over time-of-day quests and doomsday clocks since they make playing on a tight schedule infuriating.

#12 Posted by BisonHero (5658 posts) -

ahhhhhhh..

This explains some of the reviews.

Historically reviewers have always cried foul over time-of-day quests and doomsday clocks since they make playing on a tight schedule infuriating.

Yeah, that pisses me off sometimes. Seriously, they usually give you AMPLE time. Devs aren't idiots. I actually find the stress makes these games more interesting because of the risk/reward element of pushing your luck on the time limit, though I can't speak to how well Lightning Returns handles it.

But like Majora's Mask. As long as you use the song that slows the passage of time and leave it on, you can get a tonnnnnn of things done in 3 days. If you do a big-ass quest in the overworld and finally unlock the next dungeon, guess what? Don't start the dungeon, idiot! You probably burned through nearly 2 days just doing all the stuff to open up the dungeon. So either go do some sidequests or look for stuff in the environment, or just play the Song of Time, reset the 3-day cycle, then immediately warp to the recently unlocked dungeon. If it takes you more than a full, slowed-down 3-day cycle to finish a dungeon, you should go see a doctor. If 11-year-old me could figure out everything I just described, I'm pretty sure professional reviewers can.

Also Pikmin 1. Guess what, did you go down to the planet, and spend a whole day just hitting dead ends and not recovering a single part? Don't save! When the end of the day hits, just hit "Don't save", and reset the game, because that day was a write off and not worth keeping. I'll admit, it's a dick move that the game makes you find the radar so you actually know where the parts are on each map, so that can waste some early days if you accidentally miss the radar item. But seriously, the simple maxim of "don't keep that day unless I got minimum one part" makes Pikmin 1 literally unfailable. Yes, it's save scumming, but it's effective.

#13 Posted by Turtlebird95 (2140 posts) -

I wish you could turn this time shit off. Or at least offer a free play mode after you've beaten the game for those who want to go exploring.

#14 Posted by kishinfoulux (2077 posts) -

Having played a little I will say the time does go a little faster then I was expecting it to. You can freeze it with an EP ability, but that doesn't last super long. I feel pressured to hurry and feel like I'm wasting time constantly. Then again it's hard to say until I finally see that game over screen.

#15 Edited by Fredchuckdave (4473 posts) -

I bet if Lightning Returns played like Dynasty Warriors and was about Zombies reviewers would love it!

#16 Posted by Hailinel (22695 posts) -

I bet if Lightning Returns played like Dynasty Warriors and was about Zombies reviewers would love it!

Heh.

Having played a little I will say the time does go a little faster then I was expecting it to. You can freeze it with an EP ability, but that doesn't last super long. I feel pressured to hurry and feel like I'm wasting time constantly. Then again it's hard to say until I finally see that game over screen.

If time flows like it did in the demo, yeah, it could go by fast. On the other hand, the game does let you New Game + if you run out of time and you keep everything you had when you ran out.

#17 Posted by Irvandus (2643 posts) -

I'm actually really interested in this game. Weird.

#18 Edited by Yummylee (20542 posts) -

@fredchuckdave said:

I bet if Lightning Returns played like Dynasty Warriors and was about Zombies reviewers would love it!

Your continued insistence that Dead Rising and Dynasty Warriors are actually on-par continues to mystify me.

#19 Posted by Hailinel (22695 posts) -

@yummylee said:

@fredchuckdave said:

I bet if Lightning Returns played like Dynasty Warriors and was about Zombies reviewers would love it!

Your continued insistence that Dead Rising and Dynasty Warriors are actually on-par continues to mystify me.

Not as mystified as I am by your continued insistence that Dynasty Warriors should be something it's not.

Wait, what game are we talking about again?

#20 Posted by Yummylee (20542 posts) -

@hailinel said:

@yummylee said:

@fredchuckdave said:

I bet if Lightning Returns played like Dynasty Warriors and was about Zombies reviewers would love it!

Your continued insistence that Dead Rising and Dynasty Warriors are actually on-par continues to mystify me.

Not as mystified as I am by your continued insistence that Dynasty Warriors should be something it's not.

Wait, what game are we talking about again?

Drakengard 3 of course.

#21 Edited by Fredchuckdave (4473 posts) -

@yummylee: If you like one you should like the other and if you dislike one you should dislike the other, quite simple. No value assessment needed.

Oh, and RE6 was better than RE5.

#22 Posted by Yummylee (20542 posts) -

@fredchuckdave said:

@yummylee: If you like one you should like the other and if you dislike one you should dislike the other, quite simple. No value assessment needed.

Which is simply ludicrous, but because this isn't the thread for it, it'll hafta to be left at that.

...For now.

#23 Edited by alanm26v5 (410 posts) -

What carries over in a new game plus? Is it just character progression or is there any kind of story checkpoint progression too? I can't imagine having to clear the same areas and skip story cutscenes multiple times, even if you're super powerful, could be that fun to do repeatedly. Still, I will probably play this at some point if I ever get around to finishing the first 2 games.

#24 Edited by billymagnum (554 posts) -

this was the first FF game i wanted to play since 10. but that timer is why ill never play it. ill watch someone else deal with that junk though via a let's play....

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