Watch Lightning fight monsters, talk in Japanese, and walk in open fields of majestic freedom.
Lets just get this out of the way: Final Fantasy XIII is not the most beloved game in the franchise. Complaints ranged from its linear nature to its confusing plot. FFXIII-2 didn't do much to sway critical opinion, but Square Enix wants to turn that around with Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII, a title that itself should be turned around. While the developer has been showing off all the changes and upgrades it's making, nothing beats just seeing it in action for yourself. Thankfully, Japanese news site 4Gamer has grabbed 11 minutes of footage showing Lightning running about and hacking cute monsters to bits.
The entire video is in Japanese, so anglophones will be insulated from spoilers. Past the opening montage, the video is a series of fairly lengthy gameplay clips. While it shows the inventory and combat system, it also shows Lightning running around in open fields. That taste of heady freedom could be a sign that Square Enix is allowing players to escape FFXIII's dreaded corridor of doom, or it could just be a trick. Either way, hope is a precious thing (but not that Hope).
Lightning Returns strikes again on February 11 on the Xbox 360 and PS3, but it hits Japan tomorrow.