I know, I know. I’m almost as tired of writing these “Coming Soon” titles as you are of seeing them. The big titles are approaching like a tidal wave, and we have nothing to do but strap in and occupy ourselves by playing some indie games and older titles. But, in the meantime, here’s a look at the next game in the entrenched Final Fantasy series.


Speaking as someone who has only a passing interest in Final Fantasy, I’ve been told by more people than I care to count that VII is the highlight of the series, the bar that the rest have been striving to meet. I’m not sure if that’s true, but even I can tell which previous title was the inspiration for Final Fantasy XIII.


Most of the initial positive reactions concerning XIII that I heard were that the hero is, for all intents and purposes, identical to Cloud Strife of VII except for the fact that she’s a woman. So she’s FF’s Supergirl or Batwoman? In other words, she began as a gender-swapped take on a classic male character and grew to have an interesting personality independent of her origin?


I can only conclude that’s what happened, since FFXIII is now getting its second sequel revolving around the stoic, pink-haired Lightning Farron. Something about this female protagonist struck a chord, as she’s been a prominent figure in gaming media for a while now.


I honestly can’t describe the story of Lightning Returns because I think it requires knowledge of XIII that I don’t have. I think it involves Lightning having to save the world from some kind of crystal apocalypse, and I bet that’s even more interesting than I made it sound. I might even give it a try myself if I have the time.


I’m not a huge fan of Final Fantasy, but I do recognize its importance. The series’ fanbase is one of the original niche audiences in gaming, and I think this might be one of the few franchises that haven’t bowed to the Call of Duty model of less color, more combat. If you are a member of that niche audience, then you already know if you want to buy this game. To all the rest, go forward with caution and curiosity.

I'm the daughter of a veteran who spent my childhood in Killeen. As of 2013, I have a degree in English from the University of Texas at Austin. I'm a critic of books, films, television, and video games. Find me on Twitter: @rachel_knows

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