Lighting Returns: Final Fantasy XIII Striking In December

I know I go on about wanting the anime boyband road trip that is Final Fantasy XV to be announced for PC too, but you have to understand that I really want it. Still, we’ll soon be caught up on the endless RPG series, as Square Enix have announced that the third and final part of Final Fantasy XIII, Lightning Returns: FF13 [official site], is coming our way on December 10th. And once we’re up to date (XIV of course being the MMO we got years ago) then surely they’ll start talking about XV too, right? Oh give over, Alice.

Lighting Returns sees her, er, back once again, this time on a timer to save the world. You’ve got 13 days before it blows, and the world runs in accelerated real time (and it’s faster on higher difficulties). Lighting Returns shakes up FF13’s combat too, with more freedom of movement, and a system of switching stances mid-battle to use different gear and powers.

Lightning Returns will cost £12.99. The original plan for FFXIII’s PC ports was to have Lightning Returns out by this spring but, well, it’s taken a wee bit longer than that. The ports got off to a wonky start with poor resolution options, though Square Enix did circle back and improve those. The Steam page explains this PC release comes with almost all of the game’s costume and weapon DLC from consoles, missing only the FFVII Aerith pack. You get to cover yourself in Moogles, though, so that’s something.


  1. Bighungryjo says:

    I know there’s a lot of hate for this series, but I actually quite enjoyed Lightning Returns. The combat system was one of the best ever put into an RPG (planning AND execution are critical) and kept me interested even when I was running around doing fetch quests. It also didn’t take itself too serious even though the game revolved around the idea of mortality.

    Will definitely be a purchase for me if the port is playable.

    • KreissV says:

      I’m excited too and ive played the previous installments. They seem to be learning somewhat. I heard the deciding factor in this game is whether you like the countdown clock

      • pug987 says:

        The countdown clock isn’t nearly as constricting as people make it out to be. I finished the game on PS3 having driven all monsters exctinct and I had so much time left that I had to fast forward several hours at the end.

        A bigger problem for people who like JRPGs where you can do everything is that some quests are missable if you don’t do them in the correct time/day or in the correct sequence.

        • Clavus says:

          I remember hearing the advice to play this game with a spoiler-free walkthrough. Seems I’ll be taking that to heart.

      • roris says:

        I’m excited about this port too. It’s the only iteration of FF13 that I’m interested in. I’m glad there’s some nice opinions of it here.

    • MadTinkerer says:

      The hate comes from the fact that XII was a brilliant but technically incomplete game where you could play for days and if you didn’t quite get to the end of the story you wouldn’t even notice that some of the plot is unfinished because all of the actual-game parts you actually play are the best RPG game I’ve ever played. (BEST RPG I’VE EVER PLAYED. Yes, that includes Ultima VII. I too was shocked to learn that a better game than U7 could be made. But it’s true.)

      Then the suits said “Making a game with an incomplete story is unacceptable! We must make having a complete story be our number one priority for the next game!” So they made a game that has:

      1) Very, very pretty graphics.

      2) An interesting and deep combat system which uniquely combines action and strategy in a way no other game has even tried.

      3) A complete storyline.

      4) NOTHING else about the game is even arguably good. Including that “complete” storyline.

      So XII is a horribly underrated game where you can play for days and weeks and not notice it’s flaws, and Final Hallway XIII is a game where you can’t play for a minute without being reminded of it’s flaws.

      You have to play XII for a minimum of about 40 hours before you can get to the part where it even seems incomplete. You have to play XIII for a minimum of 15 hours before you can get to the part where it’s most Stockholm Syndrome afflicted defenders will tell you that it becomes “good”. (This is a delusion of the tragically abused. When you get to Cocoon, the game does not become “good”, it just starts to put effort into pretending that you have some decisions to make. You still don’t get to make any actual decisions other than “fight this optional monster now or continue down the hallway instead”.)

      XIII-2 is okay. Haven’t played Lightning Returns even though I own it because our PS3 was sabotaged by Activision. (CoD Ghosts II on PS3 kills springs on PS3 disc drives because Marketing made an Engineering decision. It was so bad that Activision almost had to suffer consequences for their terrible decisions.)

      Anyway, that’s why the hate for the XIII sub-series exists. It’s almost entirely hate for XIII, and mild annoyance at XIII-2 for being a spin-off of XIII. Some people are still slightly bitter at Lightning Returns because it was supposed to be a new Valkyrie Profile game and not a Final Fantasy game, but I’m over it.

      • socrate says:

        Yeah comparing a JRPG with a CRPG and a final fantasy game on that with ultima…ffs and then saying its actually better…errr…jrpg didn’t evolve that much at this point and in the recent year all they did is make it more action oriented then rpg oriented and i think its actually bad and not an improvement at all…there also was the moment were they tried to make it more like mmo which still happen from time to time…but its just done in a very…well asian way…which i hate…nowaday jrpg are all about boyband and little girl band that look hot which is a total turn off for me…even disgaea,dragon quest and the more cartoony one tend to stagnate and offer not much improvement that are require at this point…but when you look at the fanbase for JRPG they are basically braindead so…no surprise in this…that said CRPG are just doing everything they did 10 year ago but in a worst way these days with all the kickstarter thing so…not much better.

  2. Eight Rooks says:

    Never played XIII-2 or this, but XIII wasn’t half as bad as it was made out to be (played up to Gran Pulse on the PS3). X commits most of the exact same sins – and in many respects is far, far worse – and yet it gets far more praise for no good reason. So I’m still interested. I hate to be “I’ll wait for a sale!” guy, but I am somewhat put out I skipped the first two on the last big Steam event that had them in.

    Also, I feel your pain, Alice; the latest Valkyria Chronicles announcement has me muttering “…and PC, right? Right? You… did see what the first one did on Steam, right? Right? Right?” Once you’ve seen one make the jump, you want them all.

  3. Cyroch says:

    In other Squeenix News: Dragon Quest Heroes will be coming to PC and will be released on the 3rd of December

  4. shoptroll says:

    XV will likely hit PC at this rate. I think a lot of the Japanese developers/publishers focus on consoles/portables because that’s where there money is in Japan and the PC version is likely targeted at everyone else. So once XV is out on PS4, we’ll probably hear about a PC release.

    (Also, how much longer until we get Persona or Shin Megami Tensei?)

  5. Eight Rooks says:

    That’s less Squenix news and more Tecmo Koei news.

    • Eight Rooks says:

      EDIT: Ugh, reply fail to Cyroch overhead.

      • Cyroch says:

        Squeenix is still the publisher and I was desperately looking for a possible connection so I could get this news off my chest.

  6. Planet9 says:

    Lighting Returns sees her, er, back once again

    Truly, she is the Renegade Master.

    • Steven Hutton says:

      D4 Damage with the ill behaviour.
      D4 Damage with the ill behaviour.
      D4 Damage with the ill behaviour.
      D4 Damage with the ill behaviour.

  7. Jekadu says:

    I’ve only played this for a short while on the 360. It came out at a time when I was feeling very low and didn’t have very much time to do anything, so I got sidetracked with some other game and forgot about returning.

    I’ll say this much about this game: the Christian-apocalyptic setting is immensely fascinating to me. All but a tiny slice of the Universe gets unmade, biological time stops for five hundred years and God throws her hands up and say, “screw it, let’s start over”. There’s something about the sheer bleakness of the setting — it’s like dissecting the corpse of a dead Universe.

  8. mpk says:

    Not quite up to date – I’d still like FFIX and both FFX games to somehow make their way to PC.

    • Scumbag says:

      I’ll agree on IX. I remember many, many years ago there was a murmur of a PC version, then nothing.
      Also has VI and the older ones hit PC? I know versions of III and… another one(?) have appeared, but a lot of the older games never materialised.

      • socrate says:

        FFIX was and still is pretty fun and yes that should be ported…FFX meh…crappy dumb story with uninteresting character for me.

  9. Zekiel says:

    *Please* can we drop the Roman numerals for this series – anything over twelve just gets confusing. The Romans are remembered for a lot of things, but advanced in maths ain’t one of them.

  10. Jenks says:

    I really hoped they would take the FFXIII battle system and make a sequel with it, scrapping the awful story/setting. Instead, they scrapped the battle system and doubled (tripled) down on the story/setting.

    Ungh, gave up after the second one.

    • MadTinkerer says:

      Well, yeah, but XIII-2 was an actual game. I wish I could play it more (broken PS3 disc drive thanks to Activision) so I could have a better perspective on how good or bad it is, but I did enjoy the first few hours in spite of it being a XIII spin-off.

      Oh, hey, wait: I just remembered that XIII-2 is also on Steam. I feel silly now. Maybe I’ll get it on sale if the PS3 doesn’t get fixed.

  11. Sulpher says:

    This is off-topic: a friend recommended this to me and it does seem to stand out from the rest of the FF series. However, I am FLOORED by the quickly approaching release of Dragons Dogma: Dark Arisen for PC! Loved that game on PS3, but now with no letterboxing, 60fps and FHD? I now think god may answer certain prayers, if enough heathen blood is offered.