According to a recent issue of Famitsu Weekly, a notable Japanese video game publication, the new character designs aren't the only changes for the upcoming Xenosaga sequel. Monolith Soft intends to revamp the battle system by increasing the overall speed and adding more options. In addition, the party members will be visible on the field map.
Those who retained their save file from Xenosaga Ep. I will be able to load the data and discover bonus features in Ep. II. This is not mandatory, as newcomers will be able to enjoy the saga without prior knowledge of the events in the previous title.
Xenosaga II: Jenseits von Gut und Boese has not received a definite release date for Japan, North America, or Europe. However, as the game nears completion, more details will emerge, and RPGamer will post any future news developments.