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Lightning Returns is Combat Evolved

January 23rd, 2014 by Tony Garsow

If you haven’t heard much about the combat in Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII, you’d best describe it as “different” from its two predecessors. While you may control one singular protagonist in the final chapter of the Final Fantasy XIII saga, combat is by no means simple.

Equip Lightning with three different, and highly customizable, gear and ability sets called Schemata to switch between roles on a hair trigger. You’ll need to, as in this outing, use of defensive abilities like Guard and Evade to avoid whittling the Savior’s precious reserve of hit points will be a key long-term battle strategy. Be sure to use your resources wisely!

Your enemies will have their own unique abilities and weaknesses, and exploiting them to the point where they are staggered will give Lightning a considerable advantage.

If Square Enix’s new combat showcase in the video above whets your appetite for more, you can check out an official demo that’s currently abuzz amongst Final Fantasy fans. Challenge the highest battle score against the Zaltys boss, and submit your results through the Outerworld system to Twitter or Facebook. Can you defeat him in under a minute? Download the demo today through either PlayStation Network or Xbox Live for free — and it’s worth mentioning you can unlock two outfits for the full game for your mere participation.

Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII will release on February 11th in North America and February 14th in Europe. Available for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, PlayStation Network users will be able to download a digital version at release (9.6GB space required). A Collector’s Edition for North America will also be available.

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  • Dat Caius… I played the demo about 3 times last night, still can’t get used to the “Guard” abilities. I mean, when exactly are you supposed to use them? Whenever the enemy was about to attack I just kept spamming “Guard”, but they were so slow, I couldn’t use it anymore by the time the attack landed, so I just kept getting hit.

  • Tony Garsow

    You can hold down “Guard” when an enemy attacks you to absorb most of the damage, but if you time it just right you can perfectly guard all of the damage. On the Dragoon Schemata you can also hold down “Counterblow” just as an enemy is attacking to evade, teleport, and counterattack. It’s a nice way to get a quick stagger.

  • Daniel Masterson

    What Tony said. You have to time it and also hold the button down. Make sure you don’t mash buttons either, play smart and it will come to you. I had no problem with the guard function. I could tell when the monster was about to attack and stopped attacking and held the guard button down. Also in the settings it might help to change the camera for a further view. that helped me a bit! I hope you can get it down.

  • So you’re supposed to hold the button and not just press it, like in the previous games. Thanks guys, that helps! I’ll try it again in preparation for the main event in February! Btw, how do you unlock the Siegfried and Utsuemi garbs? Cause I did all those Outerworld functions after the Zaltys battle, but nothing showed up in my menu…

  • Daniel Masterson

    You download the Utsuemi from the PSN and then when you beat a monster towards the end of the demo it will ask you after you beat him if you want to sumbit your battle score to your facebook or twitter account once you do that when the final game comes out you will get the siegfried garb!