Preview: 'Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy Xiii'

An open world. A ticking clock. An active battle system. "Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy Xiii," the second sequel to Square Enix's first outing with pink-haired heroine Lightning seems to be answering for a lot of flack that game and its follow-up, last year's "Xiii-2," have received from fans and critics alike.

And according to the game's producer, Yoshinori Kitase, that's sort of been the theme of this current cycle of "Final Fantasy" titles: a game comes out, the fans have "concerns," and Square Enix reacts with a host of changes. But what does that do to a game in the long run--simply making it a checklist against fan demands? Or does "Lightning Returns" have enough of its own vision to get the lapsed "Ff" fan excited again?

The game's director (and 19-year Square Enix vet) Motomu Toriyama stood up and warned the three journalists watching the hands-off demo that everything

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