Final Fantasy Versus XIII: You control the cutscenes

It's easy (and fun!) to rag on Final Fantasy XIII for its less-than-immersive gameplay-to-story ratio. Spinoff Final Fantasy Versus XIII will still be heavy on the cutscenes – but rather than just making players sit there and like it (or wander off to get a drink while the pathos plays out onscreen), Famitsu reports that director Tetsuya Nomura's come up with some tricks to keep those cutscenes engaging.

Echoing earlier titles' clever integration of FMV and playable character models, Final Fantasy Versus XIII uses two sets of character models – in-game and cutscene versions – with only slight differences, mainly in the modeling of things like hair. This will enable high-quality models to remain playable within the cutscenes, while reportedly keeping cinematics at the ridiculously watchable quality to which fans are accustomed.

Above: Control your character as he's dragged through the streets

Above: Control your character as he struts toward the camera like a boss

FF-Reunion brings (all-Japanese, sorry) news of new, secretly-unveiled screenshots which reportedly look indistinguishable from real photographs. Please join us in shrugging non-acceptance of the idea that the playable cutscenes will look that good (and if you can find anyone who plays Final Fantasy for its flawless realism, we'll give you both a free chocobo), but it's exciting nonetheless to hear that the series continues to find ways to combine “epic cinematic narratives” with “any reason to stay in the same room while the plot's unfolding.” Looking forward to seeing more?

Jul 13, 2011

Source: Silicon Era


  • 04whim - July 16, 2011 8:28 a.m.

    On a thread about Final Fantasy, why did I just see the words Metal Gear Solid six times? They're both cut scene heavy, I freakin' get it! And I agree with the first guy, Final Fantasy>Metal Gear Solid in the most superlative sense you can manage. On another note: Who said anything about controllable cameras, quincytheodore? They never said what was controlled, but it seems heavily hinted that it's Noctis himself. But come on Square, can we have some proper news on this game, yet? Maybe an actual gameplay trailer? I'm actually somewhat optimistic about this game and I don't want it to be rushed but Jesus how many spikes of hair are you giving these people? It's like it only gets developed by one guy on his lunch break. But on top of that didn't they say no Kingdom Hearts 3 until this came out? Also if Olette and the rest of the Twilight Town gang aren't in Kingdom Hearts 3, I'll be miffed. I kinda liked 'em, relative to how much screen time they got.
  • yetanotherCid304 - July 15, 2011 5:06 p.m.

    Controlable cutscenes, metal gear 4 anyone? free chocobo please!
  • justinbanda - July 14, 2011 5:14 p.m.

    This game was first announced at E3 2006. That was over five years ago. Can we just assume that V13 is just vaporware, or at best, this console generation's "Duke Nukem Forever"? And by that I mean, in development hell for over a decade, only to be released three console generations later as a buggy, boring mess of a game.
  • UsernameLoser - July 14, 2011 4:42 p.m.

    So, what button do we press to fart?
  • statutoryreparez - July 14, 2011 2:04 p.m.

    Ill have to dissagree, i thoroughly enjoy watching cutscenes especially when they look as good as ff or mgs. Am i the only one who thought ff13 was absolutely gorgeous? Also in my opinion 13 is better than 7, there i said it.
  • FOZ - July 14, 2011 1:41 p.m.

    Oujisama: Quality story-telling? Because a video game having so many cutscenes that it has more non-interactive footage than a movie is quality story-telling, right? It is not about instant gratification, it's about PLAYING A VIDEO GAME. You don't play a video game so you can watch a completely non-interactive cutscene for 20 minutes. There is nothing "immersive" about the game stopping, and then making you watch a scene with swooping camera angles and such. Have you played Metroid Prime? It doesn't freeze the game so you can watch pirates talk about their DASTARDLY plans, you just scan things. It doesn't work for every game, but it's still the best implementation of "immersion." And Half-Life 2 does it well also, aside from fairly rare sections where you just stand around and throw books while people talk. As the length of cutscenes increases, I think the quality of story"telling" goes down.
  • jackthemenace - July 14, 2011 12:06 p.m.

    @MedianGTX, I'm with everyone else. MGS>FF cutscenes. But I still have no clue how these are going to be "playable", unless it means like in Half Life, where everything unfolded around you and you just, kinda, wandered about. Which was even MORE boring than just having huge cutscenes.
  • Sjoeki - July 14, 2011 11:48 a.m.

    Man this game is taking a long time
  • bilstar - July 14, 2011 11:22 a.m.

    I like cutscenes.
  • ungungre - July 14, 2011 10:28 a.m.

    Devil May Cry can learn from this.
  • quincytheodore - July 14, 2011 8:02 a.m.

    When they said "small update", I kept my expectation low. But wow, camera control during cutscenes, MGS3 has that since ps2 era. Let's face it, in a perfect world this game will be released in one year, after XIII-2, or realistically speaking, won't be until 2015. It does look good though. Modern fantasy and slightly contemporary setting, it reminds me of the first Parasite Eve (in New York).
  • EvanSmith - July 14, 2011 5:21 a.m.

    I'm never reading an article on this game ever again until it's officially released. I'm so sick of Final Fantasy games being announced before they've even finished spiking the tips of the main characters hair. They showed this for the first time during E3 2006, and it's STILL a long way from being released. Also I keep having this nightmare where Hope and Sazh are making out, and I don't even want to begin to deal with that.
  • BriNk581 - July 14, 2011 5:10 a.m.

    ugh... I hope it comes to xbox as well
  • Maxw144 - July 14, 2011 4:17 a.m.

    Probably one of my most anticipated games, and this seems like a really cool addition. 13 is probably one of my favourite games this generation. I really love the cutscenes. They're (to me) a fantastic reward for playing through all the battles. I'm excited for more kingdom hearts/crisis core style play though.
  • meh - July 14, 2011 4:01 a.m.

    That last screenshot looks like the japanese version of The Hangover.
  • pinoklin - July 14, 2011 3:52 a.m.

    @Moondoggle1157: AMEN dude, i always prefer a good storytelling over online multiplayer, hell i play WoW a lot, and cata has been my fav xpac so far because they started giving a shit about storytelling in that xpac!!, i never ever skip cutscenes, unless they´re right after a checkpoint and bfore a hardass boss, (Yunalesca you bitch).
  • Decabo - July 14, 2011 3:52 a.m.

    FF XIII is the worst game of this console generation.
  • shadowreaper72 - July 14, 2011 3:48 a.m.

    Hmmm sounds sexy.... @MidianGTX pssh give me MGS over Final Fantasy anyday.
  • Moondoggie1157 - July 14, 2011 3:20 a.m.

    Keep the cutscenes, story telling and beautiful cinematics are the only way video games will ever be taken seriously... Aside from running over hookers after you have your way with them... :D But really, I find it funny that so many people (outside of GR as well) rag on the "boring" segments of games that actually build up characters and a decent plot. I get it, it's fun to shoot Russian terrorists, or North Korean invaders, but in the end you aren't left with anything... Hence the massive lean towards online gaming. Video have become bland for the most part, and to make up for that staleness, online multiplayer (not all games) tries to take the forefront. I love my online multiplayer, don't me wrong. But can you imagine if all games were as shallow as the big sellers right now? It's no wonder games are seen as a joke to most people. Keep the cutscenes, keep the story development, if anything it deserves far more respect than a bunch of bald space marines shooting everything that moves.
  • Plan10FromOuterSpace - July 14, 2011 3:18 a.m.

    Well its only a small change really, but then when you consider the amount of cut scenes in an FF game that small change could add up to quite a bit, personally I think it sounds quite cool, not a game changer wont stop boring cut-scenes from being boring

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