For those that may not know, I am a huge Final Fantasy buff. I am willing to say that Final Fantasy VII is without a doubt my all-time favorite game. In my opinion, FF games are the perfect emulation of what an role-playing game (RPG) should be. Imagination, adventure, customization, and an invested story are just some of the things I look forward to with each installment of the series. Unfortunately, words can not describe the utter frustration I feel towards the series and this is a perfect example why:
As I was catching up on IGN recently, I saw an interesting post regarding how Final Fantasy Versus 13 is most likely being moved to the next-gen PS4 console. Now, if you were like me, you probably were watching the PS4 conference and are excited to see the next evolution in video games. However, Final Fantasy is a series that has become such a clustered mess that it is hard to keep things straight. Here is are my current thoughts with the series:
1. The environment. Final Fantasy games support some of the most beautiful graphics I have had the pleasure of experiencing. The trailer above came out 4 years ago (we will get to this in the ‘cons’) and it still looks beautiful. Square Enix really does go all out in regards to graphics in their games and I really appreciate that in a developer. Sometimes, it is nearly impossible to distinguish between cutscenes and actual gameplay.
2. The battle systems. Each main title of Final Fantasy comes with its own unique battle and gameplay techniques. All though the techniques are similar enough that players are always familiar with the overall dynamics, I love the effort that goes into trying to make each game different and customizable. Some ideas have worked better than others, but it is still nice to see some originality and ingenuity being put into the game creation.
3. My favorite part: the characters. Some of my favorite video characters are all in various Final Fantasy games. Cloud, Tidus, Auron, and Zack are just a few of my top picks. The character personalities, depth, and dynamics are what make RPGs fun! You are playing a role-playing game. That is the entire objective. Immerse yourself into the life of a fictional character and go on a fantastic adventure!
4. I know FF games still have quality opportunity to be great. I loved the mechanics in Final Fantasy 13, but the story and characters were just not doing it for me. I would pick story over quantity any day of the week. Instead of trying to pile in hundreds of years of history into a single game, I think Square Enix needs to tone things down and bang out a knockout of a story.
1. I cannot stand the development disaster that many Final Fantasy titles fall victim towards. Do you remember the trailer that I posted at the top of this blog? That was uploaded on December 13th, 2008. Over 4 years ago. When I watched it recently, it felt like I was watching it for the first time. Not only has it taken forever to be released, but there are new rumors available all the time, which keeps fans in a constant state of confusion. And Square Enix cannot drop the ‘we have had other games planned’ excuse, because Final Fantasy 13-2 and Lighting Returns: Final Fantasy XIII have all come onto the radar and appeared to be put into prroduction overnight. Don’t even get me started on the Type-0/Agito debacle because I get too frustrated.
2. Stop replacing quality character dynamics with a detailed world history. FF lovers will praise the series for its appealing story and character dynamics. Games, such as 7, 8, and 10, were loved not because of their nearly incomprehensible storylines, but because they were fun to play and made sense. I found myself to be completely indifferent towards the storyline in both 12 and 13. There was way too much unnecessary detail and a handful of annoying characters. And did anybody seriously like Hope or Penelo?
3. I appreciate that FF games are long. Gaming has become an expensive ordeal, so if I am going to drop $60 on a game, I want it to get my money’s worth out of it. However, it took me so long to actually beat FF-13 that I nearly forgot what the objective of the game was. Going back to the storyline, if you are going to make a long game, it has to be one people can understand.
4. Stop keeping fans in the dark about games. We love Final Fantasy games because we have seen their potential. I am willing to bet a hefty proportion of sales are a result of the long-time fans. Final Fantasy Versus 13 has taken an absurdly long time to be released and if Square Enix wants to keep its fans happy, they should be more clear on what the state of their games are.