Not only did the recent release of Advent Children Complete come with a retooled plotline for the sort-of-sequel movie to Final Fantasy VII and additional scenes showing gravity-defying magical combat, it also snuck in some fresh new screenshots of the upcoming Final Fantasy XIII. We couldn’t help but notice that, while they look roughly the same as the screenshots that were released in 2008, these new 2009 screenshots show a much leaner visual appearance.

Is this the result of Final Fantasy XIII having gone multi-platform? When Square Enix announced that FFXIII would no longer be a PS3 exclusive, and would also appear on Xbox 360, they may as well have dropped a nuclear bomb on the console wars. Now, with suspicions that this perceived downgrade in the visuals is the result of the game being forced to fit on the smaller DVD media of the Xbox 360 instead of enjoying the oceanic Blu-Ray freedom the proprietary Sony format offers, the fallout could be immense. Or not, the power is in your hands if you want to get upset about having less polygons in your Final Fantasy experience. The graphics don’t make the game, right? Here are some direct comparison screenshots so you can make up your own mind just how big of a deal this is:

August 2008: What a titillating screenshot! The hair looks great, and the glow on the sword looks fantastic.

August 2008: What a titillating screenshot! The hair looks great, and the glow on the sword looks fantastic.

June 2009: The hair has become more simplified, the background has changed, the glow from the sword is missing and a lot of polygons have vanished.

June 2009: The hair has become more simplified, the background has changed, the glow from the sword is missing and a lot of polygons have vanished.

August 2008: Notice the textures on the background, and the collar of the lead character's shirt.

August 2008: Notice the textures on the background, and the collar of the lead character's shirt.

June 2009: The background texture has become a repeating pattern, the collar has popped up and become less detailed, and the hair has changed as well.

June 2009: The background texture has become a repeating pattern, the collar has popped up and become less detailed, and the hair has changed as well.

August 2008: One of the first screenshots of pig-tailed Oerba Dia Vanille, with stunning detail in the pig-tailed region.

August 2008: One of the first screenshots of pig-tailed Oerba Dia Vanille, with stunning detail in the pig-tailed region.

June 2009: The pig-tails have become less detailed, the backdrop is also the repeating pattern now, and her jewellery has become significantly less detailed.

June 2009: The pig-tails have become less detailed, the backdrop is also the repeating pattern now, and her jewellery has become significantly less detailed.