by Joseph Leray
Square-Enix announced today that pre-order bonuses for "Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII" will feature a downloadable costume set based on Cloud Strife's iconic get-up from "Final Fantasy VII," including a Buster Sword, SOLDIER 1st Class Uniform, and the chunky Soldier's Band accessory.
As you can see in the trailer below, the DLC also includes the classic victory fanfare and animation. Cloud's old uniform will also unlock special abilities -- I'm putting my money on Omni-Slash or some other Limit Break -- but Square is saving those details for later, according to the press release they sent out this morning.
Anyone who doesn't pre-order "Lightning Returns" will be able to snag the Cloud-themed costume pack on the PlayStation Network or Xbox Live Marketplace when the game launches in February, presumably for nominal, and as-yet unannounced, fee.
As for the costume itself: it's fine, but I was never enamored with Lightning's crotchless parachute pants anyway. The worst part of the entire idea of Cloud Strife costume DLC is that it evokes a certain cloying cynicism (or worse, a lack of confidence in "Lightning Returns") on Square Enix' part, as if the overwhelming nostalgia for "Final Fantasy VII" is still worth pandering to.
In other news, both PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 versions will also feature DLC that litters the world of Nova Chysalia with dead horses and provides Lightning a special bat with which to beat them.
Joseph Leray is a freelance writer from Nashville. Follow him on Twitter