FINAL FANTASY XIII-2 is an RPG developed by Square Enix’s 1st Production Department (with some assistance from tri-Ace) for PlayStation 3 & Xbox 360. It is the sequel to FINAL FANTASY XIII and apart of the FABULA NOVA CRYSTALLIS series of games.
It was released in Japan on December 15, 2011, January 31, 2012 for North America, February 2, 2012 for Australia and February 3, 2012 for Europe.
FINAL FANTASY XIII-2 began development shortly after the international release of FINAL FANTASY XIII with the team looking to continue the story and address the criticisms the first game received. The game was made to be less linear than XIII, and they also made sure to include many towns, side quests and mini-games. Development only took about 18 months.
The team was mostly the same as the one that made XIII, simply smaller and with assistance with tri-Ace who helped with the game design, art and programming.
The team drew inspiration from western games such as Rockstar San Diego’s Red Dead Redemption.
Jun Eishima who had written the prequel novel to FINAL FANTASY XIII was brought in to write another prequel novel titled FINAL FANTASY XIII-2 Fragments Before, this included FINAL FANTASY XIII -Episode i- which had been released earlier in Japan and would also be released in the rest of the world. Eishima also served as Story Advisor for the game and wrote FINAL FANTASY XIII-2 Fragments After. Motomu Toriyama & Daisuke Watanabe planned and supervised both novels.
A story link to fellow FABULA NOVA CRYSTALLIS title, FINAL FANTASY TYPE-0 was considered during development but was later discared.
The team planned to release DLC for the game from the very start and they released several pieces of DLC in the months that followed the game’s launch until May. The DLC included costumes for Serah, Noel and Mog, weapons for Serah & Noel, Coliseum battles with classic FINAL FANTASY monsters and characters from FINAL FANTASY XIII and story DLC with Sazh, Snow and Lightning. The DLC saw Sazh and Lightning being controlled for their entire episodes before they were then unlocked for the player to use as the third party member while Snow was unlocked after he was defeated.
Masashi Hamauzu returned to compose some of the game’s soundtrack with Naoshi Mizuta and Mitsuto Suzuki brought on board to handle about half of the soundtrack. Toriyama also wrote more music lyrics.
The game received a perfect score from Famitsu magazine, one of only 23 games to ever do so. It also sold over 3.1 million copies worldwide by January 2013.
Square Enix released various Play Arts Kai figures, soundtracks, books and more for the game. A custom PlayStation 3 was also released in Japan.
A demo for the game was released on the PlayStation Store & Xbox Live shortly before the game’s release. This marked the first console FINAL FANTASY game to ever have a demo available to download.
Following the massive size of XIII and being forced to compress XIII to 3 DVDs for the Xbox 360 they made sure the game was smaller and could fit on a single DVD for Xbox 360 without the compression XIII had.
In 2013, the game was released digitally for both PlayStation 3 & Xbox 360 and was also released in Japan at retail with all DLC.
It was ported to Windows PC in 2014 by Kitase, Naoki Hamaguchi and other programmers & artists inside Business Division 1. Main Programmer Yoshiki Kashitani who left the company after FINAL FANTASY XIII-2 was finished supervised the port. The Windows PC port was released on Steam worldwide with dual-audio (English & Japanese), up to 60fps support, support for high resolutions and most of the DLC. The PC port has sold about 300,000 copies according to SteamSpy.
Broadmedia later used the Windows PC version to make versions for iOS & Android devices in Japan.
The PlayStation 3 version was released on PlayStation Now worldwide but was later removed.
The theme song for the game was “Yakusoku no Basho” and was sung by Mai Fukui. The English version titled “New World” was sung by Charice Pempengco.
The English version of the game features a star-studded line-up of voice actors including Laura Bailey as Serah, Jason Marsden as Noel, Ariel Winter as Mog, Vincent Martella as Hope, Kim Mai Guest as Alyssa, Troy Baker as Snow, Reno Wilson as Sazh, Connor Villard as Dajh, Georgia Van Cuylenberg as Vanille, Rachael Robinson as Fang, Daniel Samonas as Maqui, Zack Hanks as Gadot, Anndi McAfee as Lebreau, Jeff Fischer as Yuj, Julie Nathanson as Chocolina, David Wittenberd as Captain Cryptic, Steve Blum as Arbiter of Time, Anna Vocino as Historia Crux Narrator, Amber Hood as Yeul, Liam O’Brien as Caius and Ali Hillis as Lightning.
Veteran staff who assisted in development in various roles include Yuji Abe (Battle System Design Supervisor), Yusuke Naora (Costume Designer) and Toshiyuki Itahana (DLC Costume Designer).
Director: Motomu Toriyama
Lead Game Designer & Main Programmer: Yoshiki Kashitani
Art Director: Isamu Kamikokuryo
Graphics & VFX Director: Shintaro Takai
Main Character Designer: Tetsuya Nomura
Image Illustrator: Yoshitaka Amano
Music: Masashi Hamauzu, Naoshi Mizuta, Mitsuto Suzuki
Lead Scenario Writer: Daisuke Watanabe
Story Advisor: Jun Eishima
Level Design Director: Takeshi Iwabuchi
Lead Application Programmer: Naoki Hamaguchi
Battle System Design & Programming Director: Yusuke Matsui
Character Modelling Director: Hideo Kubota
Character Texture Director: Masaaki Kazeno
Lead Rendering Programmer: Daiki Hoshina
Gameplay Animation Director: Yoshiyuki Soma
Cutscene Animation Director: Yusuke Tanaka
Cutscene Layout Director: Hidekazu Miyake
Lead Technical Engine Programmer: Shuichi Ikeda
Lead Art Designer: Toshitaka Matsuda
Environment Director: Takako Miyake
Environment Technical Artist: Yoji Iio
Lead Tools & Build Engine Programmer: Hideki Shibuya
Menu Director: Yoichi Seki
Lead VFX Programmer: Yasunari Ohinishi
Lead Menu Programmer: Koji Honma
Chief Movie Director: Kazuyuki Ikumori
Movie Director: Hiroshi Kamohara
Sound Director: Tomohiro Yajima
Music Coordinator: Keiji Kawamori
Theme Song: Charice
Publicity Producer: Akio Ohfuji
Producer: Yoshinori Kitase
The various streaming versions are linked below.