Final Fantasy XIII-2: Monster Crystarium, Ability Inheritance and the Mysterious Augustia Tower
Final Fantasy XIII-2 has an updated Crystarium character growth system, but it's not being used exclusively for Noel and Serah. Weekly Famitsu's report on the game this week confirms that the monsters you add to your party are also built up using a Crystarium system.
According to a summary of Famitsu's article at Sokuho@Hokanko, the monster Crystarium is similar to the playable character Crystarium. However, in the case of the monsters, you don't use use CP (experience) to traverse the Crystarium chart. Instead, you use items, which you buy from shops or earn after winning battle. The abilities that get upgraded will differ depending on the item that you use. When the Crystarium itself rises in level, you'll find that you need rarer items to advance further.
Famitsu also has a look at the playable character Crystarium system as well, although you might have guessed most of the details from the English screenshots that were released earlier in the week. When the Crystarium gets a level up, you'll get to select your choice of bonuses. Examples shown in Famitsu include Auto Ability ATK Bonus Up, Auto Ability BLA Bonus Up, Jammer Role Release (for Japanese readers, this is "ジャマーのロール解放"), ATB Level Up and Accessory Equipment Ability Up + 20.
Back to the monsters, Famitsu confirms that you can edit not only their physical appearance through vanity accessories like sunglasses, but you can also give them names.
Outside of the Crystarium, monsters can also grow through inheritance. By sacrificing a monster, you can make your other monsters inherit its abilities.
There are four general types of abilities that can be inherited: command ability, auto ability, special/characteristic ability (特性アビリティ) and resistance (耐性). (I've included the Japanese names for some of these as I'm not of their English translations). Command abilities and auto abilities can only be inherited by monsters that have the same role as the monster that's being sacrificed.
The inheriting monster won't just gain the same set of abilities as the parent monster. In the case of inheriting to a different role monster, you may get completely new abilities.
Famitsu also has a few details on the Historia Crux time travel system, the fragment (quest) system and the game's world and story.
Regarding the Historia Crux system, the magazine shows two types of gates that you'll be able to cross to jump to new eras. Blue colored gates can be unlocked through general Wild OOPArts items. A yellow color means that a gate requires a specific key.
Getting all the fragments may be one of your goals, and it looks like the game does facilitate this. There are a total of 160 fragments. You can see how many you've gotten in the upper left of the Historia Crux screen. When cycling through gates on the Historia Crux screen, you can see how many fragments you've obtained from the corresponding era.
The story and world details this week include some conversation scenes involving Lighting, Serah and Noel (some of these appear to be just Japanese versions of the English screens that were shared earlier in the week). The magazine also introduces a strange building known as "Augustia Tower." This was built by the Academy, the group that was formed to make the people of the world acquire essentials without reliance on the fal'Cie, for a project that is not disclosed in the magazine. Because of disturbances in the space time continuum, the rooms and halls of this building are changing.