If there is one thing that can bind every Final Fantasy, it’s that every game in the series sports a huge opening cinematic. Airship battles with monsters, meteors falling from the sky, robot armor attacking a mining village, thieves invading a royal theater, or the destruction of an urban paradise under a tsunami. Each and every game in the series kicks off its storyline with a heavy blast of action and catastrophe.

Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII will continue in this tradition as shown by the opening cinematic released by Square Enix. The world has 13 days until doomsday, and the character Snow is back to make sure it happens. Only the emotionless heroine Lightning can put a stop to her former ally and save everyone in existence .

I haven’t’ followed the plot long enough to know why Lightning has been pitted against her friends, but Snow and Lightning never did seem to get along very well, nor did they ever truly act like a team from what I saw. So much for Final Fantasy being a story of boy meets girl.

What matters more than character in the flashy Final Fantasy XIII sub-series is acrobatic, unrealistic action, and this scene has plenty of that. Gargantuan beasts in heavy plated armor have trouble taking down a woman who can’t weigh more than 90 pounds. She flips through the air, cutting them to ribbons while pink lightning and other other-the-top energy effects flash around her.

Lightning’s wardrobe is also continuing to expand to include the outfits of other famous Final Fantasy heroines. Yuna from Final Fantasy X, Aeris from Final Fantasy VII, and the Miqo’te from Final Fantasy XIV all sport iconic clothing, and now, Lightning can wear and customize them all. She even dresses up as Cloud Strife!

I guess if you can’t give a woman the emotions of a human, then you can at least dress her up in famous clothing and let fashion define her personality. Although, the sensual posing the character does in these clothes, especially the Miqo’te catsuit, is a huge departure from the character, and I don’t think the designers have her doing it to add any depth to the character.

Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII will be released on Feb. 11 for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.

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