Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII makes an appearance in this week’s issue of Famitsu, with some additional details about the game’s battle system and customizability. As we detailed before, Lightning returns to a world that is constantly changing — with the inclusion of a day and night cycle. NPCs in the game will have their own schedules, and will appear at certain times of day, making it imperative for Lightning to be aware of her surroundings. Some information she’ll need to gather may only be available at a certain time of day. Time will stop when you enter the main menu screen.
As for Lightning, you’ll be able to change her costume in a variety of different ways including her weapon, shield, armor, accessories, and abilities. As a collective, they form a “style” which Lightning can switch between in battle similar to how Paradigms functioned. (These styles are named “Cerberus”, “Divinity”, and so on in the trailer footage.) In Lightning Returns, you’ll be able to press a button to execute an ability immediately like guarding or attacking, and those actions will consume parts of the ATB bar. Each “style” has its own individual ATB bar.
In previous Final Fantasy XIII titles, you’re graded with a star system in battle, and while it wasn’t directly stated that it was returning — Lightning will be graded by her performance by how quickly she can defeat foes as well as how effective her “styles” are against them. Famitsu goes on to say that despite Lightning’s one-woman team in battle, the styles seem to (I paraphrase) “give the impression more than one person is fighting”.
A tentative name for the battle sytem is “sugoi ATB” or “Cool ATB”