“Hold on to that FFXIII save file if you have it! (This time, we mean it!). In an interview at Xbox.com, producer Yoshinori Kitase confirms that XIII-2 will have a bonus item for those with a save file from the original.
He wouldn’t share specifics, but said the item will give you just a slight bonus. It’s not something that will have a major effect on game balance, but it is something that will be convenient to have.
He discussed the game’s “Fragment” system. Fragments can be thought of as quests. You’ll find over 100 of these, and if you clear them, you’ll get rewards, special items, skill ups and more. However, the Fragments are not part of the main story, so those who just want to play through the story can ignore them.
The game’s improved loading was mentioned in previous play tests from the Japanese press. Kitase told Xbox.com that the game is extremely quick when it comes to loading. There will be just a bit of loading in the game’s “Historia Crux” time travel system when you jump between time periods.
That time travel system, as previously detailed, only includes time periods after the events of Final Fantasy XIII, so don’t expect to relive your favorite moments from the original. There’s apparently a story-based reason for this. The time traveling was triggered when the “catastrophe” at the end of FFXIII messed up the space time continuum. One of the base components of the story is the “time paradoxes” the characters are involved in as they travel through time.
As previously detailed, you’re free to replay individual time segments as you please. Kitase likened this to a “new game plus,” where you replay the game with your characters fully powered after clearing the game once. The difference here is that you can replay individual sections without clearing the whole game first.
The time travel system is tied in heavily with the story. If you do something in the past, this will be reflected in future time periods. As you make changes to the past, and those changes are reflected in the future, the story’s mysteries will slowly clear up.
Kitase played up the importance of Hope, who’s appeared grown up in all the screens we’ve seen so far. Serah and newcomer Noel are the main characters, he reiterated. While the characters from the original will appear in the game in some capacity, Hope is of particular importance to the story as his role connects to the theme of “prayer for regeneration/rebirth.”