Hello, it's me again, your Japanese game news guy from the magical land of Narnia! So there are rumors saying that we will be seeing Versus XIII in this E3. Some people are excited, some people abandoned all hope, some people call them bullshit. Well, whether it's true or not, all the evidences we have so far proved that the game is indeed still in development, and we will be playing it one day. So before the game is released, why not have some delicious info I work not-so-hard digging up?
So, let's go over the staff we have here:
Director & Character Designer: Nomura Tetsuya (we all know who he is, but in case not, Kingdom Hearts)
Producer: Hashimoto Shinji, Kitase Yoshinori
Scriptwriter: Nojima Kazunari (Kingdom Hearts, Black Rock Shooter: The Game)
Composer: Shimomura Yoko (Kingdom Hearts, The 3rd Birthday)
Now, let's refresh some memories and watch the trailer before we jump into it deeper:
Now, for the story:
"Nothing is either good or evil, but thinking makes it so."
"This is a fantasy based on reality."
These will be the theme of the story.
Noctis, that's the main character in case you don't know, is the prince of the biggest nation in the FFVXIII universe, as well as the next heir of the throne. Because his country is the only country that has control on the world's last crystal, that makes them not only the strongest nation, but also the enemy of their neighbor country who lost their magic and fear them. While Noctis' country tried to make peace with other nations, a group of extremist terrorist known as Nifelheim(which we can assume are the primary antagonists in the beginning of the game) is also trying to crush their little cute negotiations.
Stella, the heroine, is the princess from another nation, Tenebrae (which means darkness in Latin by the way, Tales of Symphonia says hi). In that country, people believe in the Goddess of Death, Etro. The myth said that there is a door between the real world and the after life world, and when people died, the door will open, and light will come out to guide these souls to heaven. There are also few people who can see the light when they are still alive (the cutscene in the trailer revealed that both Noctis and Stella can see them).
The story between Noctis and Stella is that they met each other in a romantic situation, but soon they became enemies on the battlefield (just like you have seen in the trailer). The drama between characters will focus on "human nature", and various details in the story and game world heavily resembles real life as well.
By the way, the name of the theme song is Somnus. Somnus is the Roman version of the Greek god Hypnos, as well as Latin for opium poppy, a flower represent "sweet love that ends painfully".
As we all know, that's Noctis Lucis Caelum, the protagonist. The upper one is the early design, and the bottom one is the newer redesign. The voice actor is Suzuki Tatsuhisa, you might know him as the voice actor of Valvatorez from Disgaea 4. His name means "light in the night sky" in Latin. Nomura also said that he is not a Cloud clone. Personality wise, he is a shy and quiet guy, but very open and straightforward to people he is familiar with.
Stella on the other hand, is the complete opposite of Noctis, not shy, straightforward and out going girl. She has the ability to summon swords just like Noctis. Her name in Latin means "sword of the star night". Her voice actress is currently unknown. My money goes to Hayami Saori. :P
Ignis, voiced by Miyano Mamoru, you might know him as Yagami Light from Death Note, or the mad scientist
Hououin Kyoma Okabe Rintarou from Steins Gate. He is the strategist of the party as well as Noctis' childhood friend.
Gladiolus, another childhood friend of Noctis. Voiced by Yasumoto Hiroki, aka Germany from Hetalia and Azrael from Blazblue.
Prompto, Noctis' good friend. Voiced by Kakihara Tetsuya, aka Simon fro Gurren Lagann and NII-SAAAAAN!!! from Blazblue.
All three of them are playable characters. There will be more, but not too much.
Now, the gameplay and mechanics you have been waiting for:
The game will have day and night time, and the NPCs will also be different depending on the time.
There will also be cutscene where you will still have control on the character.
As for the maps, it's confirmed that it WON'T be straight lines like XIII. The green field you see in the trailer? Totally explorable. There will also be vehicles, from classics like Chocobo and ariships to cars and even mechs. Noctis also carried a smartphone with him, and you will be able to freely take pictures with it.
For the battle system, there will be no random encounters, but instead, you can directly see the enemies on the field and run straight in and hack them. The number of active party members is three, and you can switch your controlling character anytime you want, even in battle. There will also be voice over and chats in battles like the ones you see in the newer Tales games and White Knight Chronicles, including the non-active members.
Each character has their own unique abilities. For Noctis, as we can see in the trailer, he can use teleportation, Prompto will be the only character who can use TPS mode to aim for enemies weak point for massive damage. It seems like there will be some heavy emphasis on the weapons as well. There will be tons of weapons, from your classical swords and spears to guns, even shotguns and rocket launchers, some of them will even have multiple usages, like the shield can be use for blocking, but you can also attack people with it. Each characters have their own range of weapons of choice. Noctis will be able to wield almost all the weapons, Prompto mostly use guns, Ignis was said that he is good at throwing knives, but he is also seen using a katana in the trailer.
Noctis plays an important part in your party. While everyone can use magic, they can only do so when Noctis is in the active party. You will also get a game over if Noctis died (that only applies to Noctis, if other is fallen, they can be Phoenix Down'ed). And as we can see in the trailer, there is summon, as well as an EX-ART, which we currently don't know anything about (we can assume it's gonna be something like limit breaker). There is also some sort of unison attack for all three members. Giant enemies will also have weakpoint, which adds some sort of strategy to the battle. There will be emphasis on realism in terms of presentation, and you will be hearing blood splattering and bone crashing when you are attacking people. The difficulty of the game will be rather high as well.
That's all the info I can find. Now would you excuse me, I am going to sit back on my couch for another 6 years waiting.