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Final Fantasy XIII-2 Directors Discuss Paradigms, Battle Balance and Monster Collection

 

Dengeki PlayStation has an interview this week with Final Fantasy XIII-2 director Motomu Toriyama and battle director Yusuke Matsui. Here are some of the highlights from Sokuho@Hokanko's summary of the feature.

Paradigm Shifts

You can now switch instantly between Paradigms. This will help out with the pacing during the game's basic battles, as the focus for these is on speed. For the bosses and tougher rare monsters, however, you'll need to actively and strategically switch between Paradigms or you won't win.

XIII-2 makes one major improvement to the usability of the paradigm system: the game will now save your paradigm combinations, so you can easily switch them out.

Difficulty

Toriyama suggested that the bosses in XIII-2 may be tougher than those of the original FFXIII. However, the game has an Easy Mode, so if you're having trouble with a boss, you can turn the difficulty down. And if you still can't defeat a boss, one option may be to temporarily give up and move on to another scenario.

Blood damage was added to the game because Toriyama wanted to fix the problem where if you had a healer in your party you could win the battle by just taking your time. Blood damage can't be healed by healers, although there are items that will recover it.

Balance

Balancing the battles has been difficult, in part because they don't know in what state the player will be when they enter a particular area.

The team made a special program just for balancing work. The program analyzes the test players' logs, and can output such things as how the payer defeated the boss.

The game is being balanced so that, at the extreme, it might be possible to clear the game by defeating bosses. Of course, you can go the traditional route and build up your characters gradually. The game does not place caps on your characters' growth.

Summons

The game will have summon creatures. However, they will not appear in the same form as in the original FFXIII, as the characters are not l'Cie this time.

Battle Presentation

They've been working on the presentation side of battles. The original had relatively few character motions, but this time the characters will move around in ways that match the formation. For instance, a defender will move forward and guard. Additionally, each boss battles will have specialized camerawork designed to make give the fight impact.

Monster Collection

There seems to be quite a bit of variety to the monster collection system. The same monsters will have different growth parameters, with some being fast growth while others take longer. Monsters that have the same role will have different abilities.

As previously detailed, you can give your monsters accessories that change their physical appearance. The staff decided to offer interesting decorations even if they don't fit in with the world.

It's possible to build up your monsters into powerful beasts, as you can make one monster inherit abilities from others. Toriyama said that he's currently try to make the ultimate monster. This is the first time he's wanted a strategy guide while test playing a game.

Wondering what happens if Serah an Noel die leaving the monster as the sole member of your party? You won't be able to take control of the monster. When the two human characters die, the game ends.

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