Final Fantasy XIII won’t be using the concept of “character levels” and you must be asking yourself: “how do I power the characters up?
Accordingly to Weekly Shounen Jump the game’s new system Crystalium System will be used to give your characters new skills and abilities. As you defeat enemies in battle, you earn Crystal Points (CP). These can be exchanged for new skills and abilities, shown on a circular chart in the Crystalium management screen. As you learn certain skills, new paths on the chart open up.
In addition to earning new skills like “Fire,” you can also use this system to increase your characters’ parameters. The screenshots in Jump show options for increasing character HP. Character growth appears to be done on a per role basis. This is my speculation based off the screenshots, but it appears that each character can be raised individually in the various battle roles (Blaster, Defender, Attacker, and so-forth).
As an example of the growth system, the magazine details how a Blaster can earn the ability to cast Fire. As you use the Crystalium system to build up a character as a Blaster, you’ll eventually be able to unlock the Fire skill. Keep on building up the character, and you’ll unlock more advanced versions of Fire.
Typical of Jump’s coverage, the specifics of the system are unclear at present. Famitsu usually comes through with details shortly after Jump, so we’ll likely get an update later this week.