Final Fantasy XIII: Lightning strikes twice

Lightning returns and I am not talking about Thor or the man in a tight blue costume trying to act and play hero in the local primetime TV series.

The Final Fantasy heroine goes solo in Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII, the third title of the revered series that seeks to continue the evolution of the game with a more action-oriented combat and open-ended exploration system.

The new game concludes the story of Lightning, who emerges long after the events of XIII-2 and has 13 days to save Novus Patrus, the realm formed by the merging of Granga and Valhalla.

Following the events of Final Fantasy XIII-2, Gran Pulse and the realm of Valhalla have merged due to the chaos released after Etro’s death. The result is Nova Chrysalia, a series of islands floating in the Sea of Chaos, with Bhunivelze, the new Cocoon, hovering in the sky. Five hundred years after the  ending of XIII-2, Lightning awakens from her crystal sleep and the god Bhunivelze gifts her with the powers and garb of the liberator, the god’s servant, to perform her new mission of saving the world. Along the way, Lightning reunites with her former allies, including Hope Estheim and Snow Villiers, who help her fight those who oppose her mission.

To address the linear environments of FFXIII and the confusing time-hopping mechanics of XIII-2, Lightning Returns tries a different approach to make it the most open-ended adventure yet. As seen in the previews, one of four main areas is connected together by a monorail, Luxerion is a fully explorable city with multiple districts packed with shops and characters to interact with. Exploration’s revamped, too, with the ability to sprint and jump to explore new areas. Another two areas, the Wildlands and Dread Dunes were also briefly revealed and it seems possible to freely visit other areas whenever you like with each featuring different gameplay styles.

Perhaps the most noticeable change though is in the combat system. As Lightning is now fighting solo, commands such as melee and magic are now assigned to face buttons instead of a menu. Costumes will also play a crucial role in the battle system as she can be dressed in different attires— each with their own moves and stats. These replace Paradigm Shifts, whereby switching between three costumes provides access to a variety of tactics in battle. Equipping different swords and shields can change Lightning’s stats, while the ability to tweak costume colors let you customize her appearance.

So while combat is definitely more hands-on and action-oriented, it’s not hack and slash and remains as tactical and customizable as any Final Fantasy game.

These changes according to director Motomu Toriyama, are meant to lure new audiences to the franchise. He believes that anyone, even those who have not yet played any FF game can enjoy it as a brand new game.

For the Asian version, Namco Bandai Managing Director, Gerard Noonan announced that it will distribute the XBOX 360 version and work collaboratively with Square Enix to provide localized in-game text/menus into Chinese, Korean, and English, with voiceovers in Japanese for the Asian  version in the above territories.

Since the release of Final Fantasy by Square Enix back in 1987, this unique RPG series continues to earn the highest accolades from users around the world by showcasing spectacular visuals, highly imaginative worlds and rich stories. The Final Fantasy franchise has so far achieved a cumulative shipment of over 100 million units worldwide (as of June 2012).

Check out or for the latest updates, preorder promos of and the release date of Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII.

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Philippines sends two teams to PlayFPS Elites finals

This weekend marks the gathering of the finest First Person Shooter gamers in Southeast Asia as two Philippine teams participate at the PlayFPS Elites 2013—the only e-sports event that will see the best gamers from six South East Asian countries. The event will be held at The Mall Ngamwongwan in Bangkok, Thailand, with more than $10,000 cash prizes to
be given away.

After four months of intense qualifying rounds and from over 100 participating teams, seven Sudden Attack (SA) Teams from participating countries and a special guest team from Korea, plus six  Alliance of Valiant Arms (AVA)  Online Teams have risen to represent their own country and battle it out with all their wits at the inaugural PlayFPS Elites 2013 Grand Finals.

Sudden Attack (SA), is the no. 1 online shooter in South Korea while Alliance of Valiant Arms (AVA), is a fast action hi-def graphics game powered by Unreal Engine 3.

The Philippines will be represented by Team Newrez.SixthSense for Sudden Attack and Team LMM.Rebels for AVA Online.
Team Newrez.SixthSense, is not new in the FPS competitive gaming scene. They have won several competitions already starting from Counter Strike, Special Force, Crossfire and other local PH FPS tournaments in and out of the country.

Sponsored by Newrez the team is composed of Team Leader Jayson Delima Biboso; Mark Anthony Mendoza; Miguel Fernan Mendoza; Jhay Arfel Quilicot; and Aries Lloyd Camilang.

Team LMM.Rebels are from the Northern Province of Benguet and La Union. The team was formed in the early 2000’s, competing for Counter Strike (CS 1.5) on several local competitions. Backed by their sponsor Lean and Mean Machines, they are composed of Team Leader Arvin Untalan Caburian; Paul John Ordono; Jason Solloso Peru; Rupert Galvan and Jayson Mugas Mañalac is the only FPS gaming portal present in Southeast Asia with millions of gamers from Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam and in the Philippines. It is a shooter’s haven for the latest in Free-to-Play online action.

Get updates and follow PlayFPS Elites 2013 on;; and like their fanpage at


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Final Fantasy XIII: Lightning strikes twice

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