Final Fantasy XIII-2 confirmed (Updated with a trailer)

final fantasy xiii 2 confirmed ffEarlier today, Square Enix announced that last year’s Final Fantasy XIII will take the same route that Final Fantasy X did when it released the Final Fantasy X-2, and receive a direct sequel.

Final Fantasy XIII was something of a divisive title. In general, Japanese audiences loved the fighting system and heaped massive praise on the game, going so far as to name it one of the best games of 2009. When it was released the next year in the US, it was well received by some and hated by others. As with the Japanese fans, the story received top marks from American gamers, but the battle system failed to impress many and the pacing was an issue that was frequently brought up. The linear nature of the game also received criticism in America, while the Japanese market seemed to enjoy that same linearity.

The sequel will once again follow Lightning, the hero from the first game, although it will feature a revamped battle system. Final Fantasy XIII-2 will hit Japan sometime “next winter”.  No immediate word yet on when to expect it in the U.S., but the original followed its Japanese predecessor roughly four months later.

[Updated with the clip below. The trailer is technically unofficial as it has been leaked, but not officially sanctioned by Square Enix]