Lightning Returns further tweaks the Final Fantasy battle system

Lightning Returns further tweaks the Final Fantasy battle system

A significant change to the battle system for Final Fantasy was a long time coming. Final Fantasy XIII introduced said change — albeit rather haphazardly — and as evidenced in Square Enix’s latest trailer for the title, the combat system is noticeably quicker, with battle-ready monsters and additional features in hand.

With the conclusive Lightning Returns, the final installment of the FF XIII series, players will engage in an Active Time Battle system (ATB). Each set of armor touts its own ATB gauge, and players must switch between armors before the gauge drops to zero. Likewise, the ATB gauge will automatically replenish itself when the player isn’t wearing armor, while the system boasts three available outfits players can choose before entering battle. Like the previous incarnations of FF XIII, there’s no menu to navigate while in combat, but players can assign quick buttons designed to instigate predetermined actions.

Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII is slated for release on the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 on Feb. 11. In the meantime, check our hands-on assessment of the title and our review of its predecessor, Final Fantasy XIII-2. A playable demo for Lightning Returns is also available for download from the Xbox Games Store and Playstation Network.