Final Fantasy XIII-2's time travel explained

By Andrew Yoon, Sep 08, 2011 5:00pm PDT

Final Fantasy XIII-2 may just remind you of Chrono Trigger, the game's director says. Why? Because it's all about time travel.

"We are aiming to make time travel a major thematic direction, and be able to express this on high-end game machines," Motomu Toriyama said in a PR-provided Q&A. "We really have received a lot of feedback about the game, but among the voices, there are those who say it reminds them of the classic RPG, Chrono Trigger."

At the center of XIII-2's time traveling antics is a new gameplay system called "Historia Crux." It functions like a menu, and it enables players to travel through space and time. That means you'll be able to not only select where you want to go, but the era of your arrival as well. "It will be possible to wind back time in each of the areas you visit and replay them. Character levels and equipment etc. will be carried over so it will be possible to play the game as if doing a “New

Game+” for each of the areas at different times," Toriyama explained.

The reason for implementing the time traveling mechanic was to make the game less "story-driven" like Final Fantasy XIII, and more "player-driven." By offering the Historia Crux, players can explore the game at their own pace. If you want to get through the story as quickly as possible, while avoiding any filler, you can. If you want to grind a bit in familiar territory, you can as well. And, if you want to unlock every passage, and experience the game's multiple endings, you can do that as well. "In the original game, the sidequests were only unlocked in the second half of the story on Gran Pulse, but in the sequel we have put in many different sidequests right from the start," Toriyama added.

It's unlikely XIII-2 will attract gamers that haven't played its predecessor, so expect a lot of fan service through the adventure. "The main characters from the original Final Fantasy XIII will show up in this journey through time, so we will see them in many different situations and guises," Toriyama noted. "I am sure that the fans of the original will be looking forward to seeing them again and how they have changed over the years!"

Final Fantasy XIII-2 will be available on PS3 and Xbox 360 in January 2012.

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