Hello everyone, Megan Highwind here! Joshua Evo sent me an interesting article from the website Kotaku that prompted me to examine and wonder about my feelings on the future of the Final Fantasy series as we know it. If it is not obvious, I am a huge fan of this series and the article entitled “The Slow, Excruciating Death of Final Fantasy” discussed a new game from Square Enix entitle, Final Fantasy All the Bravest, is a game which pits heroes of the series against villains while various themes from the different titles play in the background. Now, I have yet to play this title since I refuse to pay any money for something that has, in every sense of the word, been considered terrible by everyone that has reviewed it. However, this article not only brought up this poor excuse for an addition to the long lived franchise, but how the future of the Final Fantasy series as a whole is in question due to poor choices in titles and lack of anything with any real sense of depth from Square Enix as of late in regards to Final Fantasy and how the writer of the above article feels that Final Fantasy has gone off the deep end and may never recover.
Square Enix has become a bit of a money grabbing company as of late, this is hard to deny, but the titles they have released are not games that make fans come and stay with a series. Between titles released for the iOS that cost an arm and a leg just to buy some new little upgrade and the terror that is Final Fantasy XIV, there are definitely questions to be raised. It is obvious that all companies in the industry are out to make some money, of that there is no question. It just seems as though Square has become too focused on the money and has started to forget how to make those good, solid, interesting titles of years past. Now, before anyone who likes Final Fantasy XIII gets down my throat about being an old fart who is always going to say things were better back “in my day”, let me tell you that is not the case. I did not love Final Fantasy XIII, I will not lie about that. But, I did not think that it it is the worst thing that happened to the series. It did bring in new fans who never had interest and maybe reawakened new fans who were wanting a change in pace. It also added some new systems and elements to the series that were fun to play. I do think, however, that in trying to bring new fans into the fold, Square has pushed away some of its veteran players. It seems like ever since Square Soft became Square Enix, everything for the series has changed. The first game after the combination, Final Fantasy XII, was fairly similar to other games before the merge except with a more action RPG based fighting style instead of the more familiar turn based style. Then, Final Fantasy XIII took this more action based style even further and changed even more from the older style. Some fans love this new direction that the series has taken while others disagree. The main point I am trying to make is that these changes have changed how veterans feel about the series and that is bound to catch up with Square at some point. There were a lot of people who were excited about Final Fantasy XIII, less excited about XIII-2, and I am supposing from that trend even less are awaiting this final installment in the Lightning saga. Now, will I play this title? Yes. Will I enjoy myself at least somewhat? Probably. However, if Square wants to save itself from losing the fans that it has built from the inception of the Final Fantasy franchise, something needs to change. Things have just become too different for fans of the older titles and while newer fans may enjoy these changes, compromises need to be made to keep both sides happy.
In my opinion, Square needs to take Final Fantasy Versus and release it, SOON. It may be too late for some fans who kept waiting and being disappointed, but for the series to recover its veterans and keep its new fans Square should release this game. You might ask why I am saying this. Final Fantasy Versus looks to be the combination of the two that will keep both sets of fans happy. I could be completely wrong on this, but at this point what does the company have to lose? From all of the screen shots and demos we have seen Versus uses the old school open world style, storyline concepts and emo main characters, while incorporating the more action oriented style of the newer versions of the series. As I said earlier, there are fans that have been lost and gained by Square Enix as of the past few years. My disappointment in the direction the series has taken I’m sure is apparent from my reviews of the past two Final Fantasy titles. I think that XIII disappointed a bit too much with the overly linear style and XIII-2 tried to bring some of that back, which is why I prefer the latter over its predecessor. However, Square could do better. I have been a fan of Final Fantasy for over 10 years now and in order for the company to keep myself, other older fans, and newer fans from getting bored and straying from the beloved series, Square needs to work to merge the new and the old to make a game everyone can enjoy. I do agree with one thing, at least, that the author has said though, for good or for bad the Final Fantasy series will never be the same.
-Megan Highwind has left the party.