In one of the more weirder news items of the week, those who pre-order the upcoming Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII get a very special bonus. That bonus is Cloud Strife’s SOLDIER uniform and the iconic Buster Sword from Final Fantasy VII.
Almost instantaneously, Lightning Returns shot up to the top five best selling games on Amazon. Not too shabby for a game that doesn’t come out until next February. Usually pre-orders spike closer to release time. This pre-order bonus, at least in the short term, worked. I am hearing more people talk about this game as well.
When I first saw the trailer above, I had no idea what to think. This is the third installment of one of the most controversial Final Fantasies in recent memory. Square is also coming off one of its worst quarters ever. Combine that with the fact they released Final Fantasy XIV, a game so broken that Square has to “relaunch” the game later on this summer. Part of me was watching with caution. Then I remembered this trailer at E3 last month:
And this one:
Better! It’s like eating a snickers.
Square Enix looks like they are on the road to recovery my friends. Lightning Returns is actually shaping up to be a much better game than its predecessors. More of an open world combined with a Majora’s Mask doomsday concept, and you have a worthy combination. I can actually look forward to this game.
My only hope is that they make the Cloud pre-order bonus available to everyone who purchased the game at a later date. I understand trying to bolster day one sales. Game companies’ best opportunity for profit comes within the first week. A good model would be what Namco Bandai did with Tekken Tag Tournament 2 last year. Pre-order customers received four extra characters to fight with. A few months later, those characters were available to everyone.
Whether the DLC gets released later or not, gamers are excited again for a Final Fantasy title. Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII releases February 11 for the PS3 and Xbox 360.
See you next week!
This is a weekly blog focused on the world of video games. Follow the author, Ray Atkinson, on twitter. @FilthyRay